Sunday, March 31, 2013

Giveaway Hop - Fool for Books - Benevolent - Devon Trevarrow Flaherty

Benevolent (Kindle Edition)
TITLE: Benevolent

AUTHOR: Devon Trevarrow Flaherty

GENRE: General or Literary Fiction

Gaby LeFevre is a suburban, Midwestern firecracker, growing up in the 80s and 90s and saving the world one homeless person, centenarian, and orphan at a time. With her crew of twin sister, Annie, smitten Mikhail, and frenemy Mel, she’s a pamphlet-wielding humanitarian, tackling a broken world full of heroes and heroines, villains and magical seeds, and Northwyth stories.

Beginning with a roadkill-burying nine-year-old and a gas-leak explosion, Benevolent follows Gaby from her formative years; through her awakening during a soup-kitchen stampede; through high school drama; a college career filled with an epic term paper, a building fire, and a protest-gone-bad; to Israel, a land full of romance and mysticism. It all ends back in metro-Detroit with a cataclysmic clash to resolve all good intentions.

Giveaway information:  One paperback copy or ebook, your choice will be given to the winner of this hop.  Enter today…easy peasy entry.   See below.

RELEASE: March 18, 2013 for the virtual launch. Local launch party on April 8. The e-book is already available through Kindle.
Devon Trevarrow Flaherty
BIO: Devon is a writer in the Durham, North Carolina area. She is originally from metro Detroit, Michigan. She is a mommy, a wife, a hobby yogi, a photographer, painter, believer, and foodie. She has been writing seriously since her very earliest brushes with literature, and has published articles, poems, and photography in literary journals and magazines. She received a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and was an assistant editor and freelance editor for ten years, during which she wrote copy for and contributed to various research materials. She has been blogging since 2008, first with The Green Notebook (now retired and not to be confused with "the green notebook") and then with RealisticChef. She is launching her lifelong dream and tackling her greatest aspiration--to be a career novelist--with the publication of Benevolent.


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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Places We Love - Wisconsin Dells Deal we couldn't pass up!!

Kalahari Resort • Wisconsin Dells, WI
We are going here in May on this terrific deal.  Here is the link.
Kalahari Resort • Wisconsin Dells, WI
169 a night for up to 6 in a two room suite with water and indoor amusement park passes.  The amusement park passes are normally $25 each and so that is worth $150 on it own.  Great kids can't wait.
This is right across the road from The Great Wolf Lodge which is great for families with younger children....mine get bored over there now.

Book Feature - Submerged - Nicole Sobon

Submerged (Outbreak, #1)
Synopsis:   After a mysterious virus makes its way into the United States, the government demands that states seal themselves off from one another and do their best to protect their surviving residents. When the state of Florida is bordered off from the surrounding states, Taylen Fincher, a seventeen-year-old girl with a yearning for her former life finds herself wondering how much of what they've been told is true.

When Troum took control of the state, he told the residents that the other states had fallen to the virus and that he wouldn't allow the same thing to happen to them. But Taylen doesn't believe it. She insists that there is still life outside of the state, and she is going to do whatever it takes to prove it... but her actions will cost her more than she ever expected.

Troum kidnaps Taylen's sister, Penelope, in hopes of coaxing her into behaving - into being a submissive resident, much like the others. But Taylen isn't one to give in that easily.

Eager to rescue her sister, Taylen will set out on an adventure that'll force her to open her heart to the unexpected and to uncover secrets that will change everything.

SUBMERGED is the first book in a Young Adult Dystopian duology.

Nicole Sobon
Author information:    Nicole Sobon is the author of the Emile Reed Chronicles, Capture, No Place Like Home, and various short stories.  Author web page link here.

Published February 14th 2013
ISBN 1482025299

Friday, March 29, 2013

Book Feature - Program 13: Book One of The Emile Reed Chronicles - Nicole Sobon

Program 13 (The Emile Reed Chronicles, #1)
Two identities. One Body.
17-year-old Emile Reed, may have died, but she isn't dead. Her body now belongs to Program Thirteen, where her every thought, every movement, is controlled. Until Emile begins to find her way back inside of Thirteen's core, where she manages to fend off Thirteen’s programming to reclaim the life that she lost. But Charles McVeigh, the owner of Vesta Corp, isn’t willing to let Thirteen go. And he will stop at nothing to reclaim control of Thirteen's programming. Because without her, McVeigh has nothing.
What makes you human?

Nicole Sobon
Author information:  Nicole Sobon is the author of the Emile Reed Chronicles, Capture, No Place Like Home, and various short stories.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Happy Easter Giveaway Hop - Book Feature - Author Interview - The Ivy League Chronicles 9 Squares - E.K. Prescott, Ph.D.

One copy of this book is up for grabs.  

by E.K. Prescott, Ph.D.

ISBN: 978-1-58985-254-9
eISBN: 978-1-58985-255-6

Published by Five Star Publications, Inc.
P.O. Box 6698, Chandler AZ85246-6698

Interview Questions:
Responses from EK Prescott provided in blue.

1. Why did you choose New Haven, CT as the setting for your book?
Actually, my husband and I put a map of the US in front of me, and I closed my eyes, lifted my arm high, and put a finger down at New Haven, CT. Then I started researching the place. The history was so intriguing; I couldn't make it up any better. So that is where I started: a map and historical research.

2. How long did it take you to research the historical information for the book?
That is hard to say, because I was teaching full-time while I researched the book. And the research is continual even after you have the outline and start writing. I am always digging further. So as a rule of thumb, I would say I researched for a year, and built the plot outline and characters around the research.

3. What surprised you the most during your research?
The unbelievable truths I found as I delved into the 1920s in the US and England. I found so many connections that we hadn’t been taught in any history courses ... it was eye-opening.

4. What is the most important thing you want readers to take away from the book?
I asked several people to read an advanced copy and give me their thoughts. Not one came away with the same thing. As an English teacher, I know that is a mark of good literature, so obviously I was pleasantly surprised. There are many themes and subplots in the book, so what each person takes away is what is important, and I love to hear their thoughts and opinions!

5. Why did you decide to write a series?
One of the things about writing is to write what you enjoy, and I enjoy reading mystery series. I read them constantly. I love getting to know characters and seeing them move from book to book. I am always sad when the series comes to an end.

6. What was the most difficult part in writing it?
Bringing together the themes, subplots, characters, outline, and the history so it makes for a good story. I love the challenge! Now I have the base of the series and am moving forward to write the second book.  

7. Who do you think would most enjoy reading this book?
Anyone who loves history, fiction, mysteries, and series books.

8. How did you develop the characters of Maize and Richard?
I knew I wanted a male detective from Scotland Yard ... thus I created Professor Detective Lord Richard Wikki. His many names make him who he is. I like to play around with names until they sound good to me, like my new Irish rogue character in book two, Tommy Mulhanney ... the name sounds delicious!

Maize (a common name in the 20s) is a Golden Era girl and wants a career, to vote, go to college, and marry later, unlike the elite Victorian women. In developing her ... I found that she became me.

I worked hard to develop the energy between these two characters in order to move them on through the series. I had fun with them. Read it and see for yourself!

9. How many books will be in the series? When will the next book in the series be available?
At this point, there are six books planned in The Ivy League Chronicles series. But if my fans want more, there is always a possibility.

10. In 9 Squares, Maize has a reading done by a psychic. Have you ever had a reading and were you pleased with the experience?

In the 1920s, metaphysics was very popular - especially among the elite. Anybody that was anybody had a psychic at their events, even at baby showers. Since this series is historical fiction, it was only fitting to add this to the plot. In fact, during my book signings I am dressed in 1920s style clothing and have a psychic with me to help the history come alive! Anyone who buys a book receives a free five-minute reading.


100 words – A former detective from Scotland Yard, Richard Wikki is now a professor at Yale University and misses his days of crime solving. Maize Judson hopes to become an investigative journalist. When Maize and her friend find a skeleton buried in the sand at the beach with a mysterious amulet wrapped around its fingers, she and Richard set out to solve a murder. But Richard soon finds himself following well-planted illusionary clues, and as he continues to investigate, a series of events shake the depths of his philosophical, religious and spiritual beliefs, as well as his perspective on life…forever.

50 words – A former detective from Scotland Yard, Richard Wikki misses his days of crime solving. When Maize Judson and her friend find a skeleton at the beach, she and Richard set out to solve a murder. A series of events shake Richard’s philosophical and religious beliefs and his perspective on life…forever.

25 words – Richard Wikki misses his days of crime solving. When Maize Judson finds a skeleton at the beach, she and Richard set out to solve a murder.

10 words –Maize Judson and Professor Wikki try to solve a murder.


The year is 1923, and Richard Wikki, a former detective from Scotland Yard and now a professor at the prestigious Yale University in New Haven, CT, misses his days of crime solving. Maize Judson has enrolled at Yale with hopes of becoming an investigative journalist. When Maize and her friend find a skeleton buried in the sand at the beach with a mysterious amulet wrapped around its fingers, she and Richard set out to solve a murder. But Richard soon finds himself following well-planted illusionary clues, and as he continues to investigate, a series of events shake the depths of his philosophical, religious and spiritual beliefs, as well as his perspective on life…forever.


Although a fictional mystery, The Ivy League Chronicles: 9 Squares by E.K. Prescott, Ph.D., is filled with historical facts and events that were very real in New Haven, CT in the 1920’s. The book explores the truths about the ruling class of the United States and gives the reader a sense that there is a lot more to the world than what is actually seen. Prescott brilliantly weaves together the threads of New World Order, metaphysics, witchcraft, conspiracy, and good and evil into this first installment of the Ivy League Chronicles series.  


E.K. Prescott, Ph.D., has been an educator for almost 30 years, and has taught at the college level for the past 15 years. She spent many years as a high school English teacher, middle school principal, and national educational consultant. Among her many accomplishments, she has been awarded research grants, named director of a research institute, and her work was published by the S-STEP group of the American Educators Research Association. She was also asked to present her research in London, England at a S-Step conference.

Prescott earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Missouri and her master’s degree at Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, WI. She earned her doctorate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she was awarded a three-year, full-time Fellowship.

She is currently an online Associate Faculty member, mentor and residency instructor for the University of Phoenix-School of Advanced Studies, as well as a part-time professor for other online doctoral programs.

E.K. Prescott lives in a log cabin nestled in the mountains of northern Arizona with her husband, four horses, and two black labs.

“E. K. Prescott spins a compelling historical fiction with a hint of mysticism. Her characters are not only engaging, but the twists in discovery and adventure intrigue the reader. Set in a very descriptive 1920s New Haven community, 9 SQUARES is an amazing historical fiction which also leads any reader waiting for the next book in the series. A triumph!”

        Dr. Leah P. Hollis, Patricia Berkly LLC, Associate Faculty University of Phoenix School of Advanced Studies

“Set in the post-World War I New Haven, CT when modernism was blooming, E.K. Prescott’s novel, The Ivy League Chronicles: 9 Squares, reveals the discovery of a skeleton and the escapades leading to its identity. What follows is a tale with historical references to secret societies, underground passages, mysterious rituals, murder, and betrayal. The inclusion and description of historical sites add to the color and realism of the tale. An unlikely duo of Maize, the daughter of the publisher of the town’s newspaper and young advocate of modernity, and Richard, an expatriate from London formerly with Scotland Yard and currently a professor at Yale, join forces to discover the identity of the skeletal remains. Their paths join in New Haven, CT, with travel to Boston, MA, and Salem, MA, and back again to New Haven.
Along the way, they meet several fascinating characters who help and hinder their investigation. The readers of this historical mystery are teased by the introduction of some characters who arouse curiosity but seem to be reserved for further development in subsequent novels by Prescott. Characters I want to know better. The Ivy League Chronicles leads the reader on a fascinating quest by Maize and Richard that begs for another match-up in future novels.”

– George J. Graham, Ph.D., AssociateFacultyUniversity of Phoenix, School of Advanced Studies

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Book Review - The Birds Nest Outside My Bedroom Window - Cynthia M Sauter

The Birds Nest Outside My Bedroom Window
Title: The Birds Nest Outside My Bedroom Window                      

Author:   Cynthia M. Sauter

Review:  When I read the author’s note attached with the book, I was thrilled to read it. It was written as a remembrance for her children when they watched the birds outside their second story window. They actually started watching /noticing these birds because of her father-in-law who happened to be going through the final stages of cancer. It is quite a unique story and that intrigued me.

I sat down and read the book to my two children as well as a neighbor’s child who was playing with us that day. Neither of my children liked the book much, but the neighbor child talked about how he liked the birds in the book. I didn’t love the book myself. There were a couple grammatical errors and the story seems like it is written for adults more than it is for children.

 I was also a little confused with the artwork. Some of the pictures are numbered, some have a penciled in text at the bottom. Sometimes the nest was drawn in pen and sometimes in pencil. The inconsistency of the artwork bothered me a bit. Because this is a children’s book, the artwork is a huge part of what keeps the kids attention. It fell short for me and my kids.

That being said, I admire Sauter for writing and publishing the book for her and her children. What a fun way to remember a loved one as well as support a local artist and friend. We should all have the courage to go out and accomplish the things on our own “bucket lists.” Way to go Cynthia Sauter!

Thanks Heather for this review.

Publisher: Published July 11th 2011 by Authorhouse
ISBN: 9781452099576
Copyright: 2011
Pages:  22
Quick Review:  2 out of 5 stars
Why I Read It:   Sent for review
Where I Obtained the Book:  Sent by author.

Synopsis: The birds nest outside my bedroom window is a true account of watching eggs in a nest which was so close I could have touched it. It was written when the family was dealing with the cancer of a loved one and his dying process. Thus, these birds were gifts from God to say in the moment and enjoy something for awhile each day.

Author Biography: Cynthia M. Sauter lives in Connecticut. She has two other children's books in the works. Also, she is working on a book called Red Embers which is poetry and short stories about her experience with loss.

Other Reviews:

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Book Review - The Darlings - Cristina Alger

The Darlings: A Novel
Title:  The Darlings

Author:  Cristina Alger

Review:  I enjoyed this book.  The writing is well paced and the story line kept me reading.  The story was interesting and very much about today and the way money is used in this country by those who have it anyway.  The abuse of power was disgusting and I like to think they all got what they deserved in the end. 

If you like fast paced novels with lots of drama and family issues this is the one for you.  You will keep turning the pages late into the night wondering what is going to happen and how it is going to happen?  Did the guy really jump off the bridge?  Read this book to find out and keep an open mind….not all of us have money like these guys…I don’t at least.  Wow to have that kind of wealth and power…what would you do first?

Great debut novel and I look forward to her next book.

Publisher: Published December 24th 2012 by Penguin Books (first published February 16th 2012)
Copyright: 2012
ISBN: 9780143122753
Pages: 352
Quick Review: 4 out of 5 stars.
Where did I get the book:  Sent by the publisher for review.

Synopsis:  A Bonfire of the Vanities for our times, by an author who "knows her way around 21st-century wealth and power" (The Wall Street Journal) Since he married Merrill Darling, daughter of billionaire financier Carter Darling, attorney Paul Ross has grown accustomed to all the luxuries of Park Avenue. But a tragic event is about to catapult the Darling family into the middle of a massive financial investigation and a red-hot scandal. Suddenly, Paul must decide where his loyalties really lie.

Debut novelist Cristina Alger is a former analyst at Goldman Sachs, an attorney, and the daughter of a Wall Street financier. Drawing on her unique insider's perspective, Alger gives us an irresistible glimpse into the highest echelons of New York society—and a fast-paced thriller of epic proportions that powerfully echoes Claire Messud's The Emperor's Children and reads like a fictional Too Big to Fail.
Author Bio:  Cristina Alger graduated from Harvard College in 2002 and from New York University School of Law in 2007.  She has worked as an analyst at Goldman, Sachs, & Co. and as an attorney at Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale, & Dorr.  She lives in New York City, where she was born and raised. The Darlings is her first novel and she is currently working on her next book.

Other Reviews:

Monday, March 25, 2013

Monday in my mailbox

What was in your mailbox this week....anything like these books?
Five DaysFrom the #1 internationally bestselling author of The Moment comes a remarkable new novel that explores how and why we fall in love.Laura works in a small hospital on the Maine coast, scanning and x-raying many a scared patient. In a job where finding nothing is always the best result, she is well versed in the random unfairness of life, a truism that has started to affect her personally. Her husband Dan has become a stranger since losing his job. With a son in college and a daughter set to leave home, she wonders how the upcoming empty nest will affect the disconnected state of her marriage.

Still, Laura jumps at the opportunity to attend a conference in Boston where she meets a man as grey and uninspired as her drab hotel. His name is Richard. He’s a fifty-something salesman, also from Maine, also in Boston for the weekend. When a chance meeting brings them together again, Laura begins to discover a far more complex and thoughtful man behind the flat faÇade. Like herself, Richard ponders his own life and wonders if the time has come to choose desire over obligation.

Five Days is a moving love story that will have readers reflecting about the choices made that so shape all our destinies. Featuring Kennedy’s trademark evocative prose and his brilliant ability to delineate life the way it is truly lived today, it is a novel that speaks directly to the many contradictions of the human heart.
In a tough job market, only a select few succeed at the interview process. What sets them apart? As President of Shimmering Resumes, Paul Freiberger helps job seekers rise above the competition and get hired. Now he's giving you the tools to ace the interview and win the job. You will learn how to: be ready for The Only Question You Must Be Able to Answer (not) tell the interviewer about your weaknesses answer any trick question or oddball question ask the right questions be confident in any interview situation avoid interview mistakes negotiate the salary you deserve Use the practical, effective, and proven techniques in this book to convert "We'll be in touch" to those four words everyone wants to hear: "When can you start?" "This book is powerful and expertly researched. Packed with interview advice you need to get your next job."-Larry Kramer, President and Publisher, USA Today.
Joy-Worthy: A Mother's Guide to More Joy, Less Stress and No GuiltNo matter where you are on your beautiful, often exhausting journey through motherhood, Joy-Worthy gives you a plan to put yourself first without guilt and rediscover what gives you joy. If motherhood is sucking the joy right out of you -- or you fear it might -- joy coach and licensed social worker Julie McGrath offers down-to-earth guidance on how to get your own needs met so you can be a better mother and create the fulfilling life of your dreams. You don’t have to put your happiness on hold -- you can learn how to be happy right now, because you are joy-worthy!
Strange FruitIn this frightening novel about the future, a series of catastrophic events not only cripples the world’s economy, but also ushers in the return of slavery. Traci and Bill Bianco were living the all-American dream, until the world as they knew it came crashing down.

Years after a black man is elected President of the United States and the Empire State building is toppled by an explosion, the nation is in a state of upheaval. But it’s Hurricane Molly in 2018 and The Stock Market Crash of 2020 that seals the country’s fate. Once the economy takes a nosedive, ordinary Americans must resort to the barter system to get by.

Food and shelter are exchanged for labor and initially it seems as though it may work, until the unscrupulous begin to take power and laws are changed. Though Traci and Bill actually fare better than most, economically, they are confronted with a new risk—interracial marriage is once again deemed unlawful and anyone caught is subject to arrest. Soon Traci and their four-year-old daughter are on the run.

Strange Fruit offers a post-cataclysmic world when desperation reigns supreme and people resort to the cruelties of the past to take control.
Number Cross Puzzles By: Rich RolloWelcome to the world of Number Cross Puzzles. These puzzles are designed to be both quick and challenging— they can be completed in as little as five minutes. (Using a pencil is definitely recommended!) Number Cross Puzzles improve critical thinking skills by utilizing problem solving strategies and logical reasoning in students. Recommended for anyone ages 8 and up.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Giveaway Hop - Kick-Butt - Turn You Passion into Profit - Walter Goodridge

I would have to choose Katniss from the Hunger Games...that girl is a fighter and not going down.

* Book Information - Giveaway and Feature- How about kicking some butt with a book on how to turn your passion to profit!!!!!!  Read on for your chance at a free copy chance.
Turn Your Passion Into Profit 2006 Edition

 Title: Turn Your Passion Into Profit: A step-by-step guide for transforming ANY talent, hobby or passion into a money-making venture

Author: Walt F.J. Goodridge

Formats:    ebook AND hardcopy (pdf, kindle, nook, paperback)
ISBN-10:    0974531324
ISBN-13:    978-0974531328
Genres/categories: Non-Fiction; business, entrepreneurship, self-help

Synopsis: Walt Goodridge’s “Passion Profit” formula is simple. Take a passion–something you love to do, something you’re good at, something you already have a certain amount of expertise in, something that interests you–and use it as the basis of a way to make money. It’s a simple strategy that could be your “plan B” during an economic downturn! Find your purpose. Discover your passion. Create a product. Market it for profit. Yes, you CAN make money doing what you love!

Word/page count:  (338 pages @ 7 x 10)
Order direct from publisher:

Available on Amazon and

Additional Information:

INDUSTRY REVIEW: [From the Library Journal]...Libraries might find their readers better served by Walt Goodridge's Turn Your Passion into Profit , which is noteworthy for its more complete coverage and practical, down-to-earth tone and style.- --The Library Journal, Susan C. Awe, Univ. of New Mexico Lib., Albuquerque

Quoted and excerpted in Jay Conrad Levinson's The Guerilla Marketing Job Escape Plan,
Author Wylie's Only the Crazy and Fearless Win Big, Peter Patsula's Successful Business Planning in 30 Days, recommended in The Entrepreneur's Information Sourcebook

Featured, reviewed and quoted in Time Magazine, Wall Street Journal, Black Enterprise, Career Focus and other magazines.


"The only way to take control of your life, raise your standard of living and move beyond merely surviving is to create your own unique product or service that you offer to increasing numbers of people in exchange for the things of value that you desire. This simple formula applies to countries as well as people. A self-sufficient economy has its own products or services of value to export to the world. Similarly, a self-sufficient individual has something of value to exchange in the global marketplace. That thing of value is based on your natural talent, skill, or interest-in other words, your passion!"

"If you create and market a product or service through a business that is in alignment with your personality, capitalizes on your history, incorporates your experiences, harnesses your talents, optimizes your strengths, complements your weaknesses, honors your life’s purpose, and moves you towards the conquest of your own fears, there is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY that anyone in this or any other universe can offer the same value that you do!”

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Book Feature - Back Before Dark - Tim Shoemaker

Back Before Dark
Title:  Back Before Dark

Author:  Tim Shoemaker

Author Tim Shoemaker Delivers a Spine-Tingling Follow-Up 
Tale in the Code of Silence Series

Author Tim Shoemaker brings attention to the startling number of child abductions in a riveting new novel in the Code of Silence series for teens and younger readers.  BACK BEFORE DARK (Zonderkidz; $14.99; March 2013), follows Shoemaker’s precocious teenage characters from the first book as they find themselves knee-deep in another dangerous case.

It is a normal evening for 14-year-old cousins Cooper and Gordy, and their friends Hiro and Lunk, who are out riding their bikes through the park. Then, all of a sudden, their lives are drastically changed when Gordy is kidnapped right before their eyes. 

With the police at a loss for leads, it’s up to Gordy’s determined friends—and Hiro’s gumshoe tactics—to find and rescue their pal. But none of them are prepared for the perils that lurk around every corner and threaten to split up the group, permanently. And Cooper’s often reckless rescue mission puts his and Gordy’s lives at risk. 

Shoemaker’s penchant for suspense will keep readers clinging to each page, anxious to find out what happens as the teens venture down one dark path only to find to another.  Fans will be left guessing all the way up to the book’s shocking conclusion.

At the end of the story, Shoemaker provides readers with discussion points and a question and answer guide from an actual police officer that teach kids how to take proper safety precautions in the event of an abduction. 

Complete with information that both adolescents and their parents can review, BACK BEFORE DARK is the perfect combination of thrilling realistic fiction and helpful truths. Readers will also learn that friendship, perseverance and faith can get them through any situation, no matter how impossible it seems.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tim Shoemaker is a speaker and author of several books, including 2012’s The Code of Silence. He has three grown sons and has been happily married for more than 32 years. His popular fictional stories are often inspired by his experience with kids as a volunteer youth leader for more than sixteen years.  He lives in Rolling Meadows, Illinois.

Disclaimer for all reviews sent by the publisher, publicist or author for review.