Friday, September 26, 2014

Blackberry Orange Sangria

I managed to pick up a bottle of Blackberry Brandy and it added just a touch of sweetness to this delicious Sangria.  Enjoy!

Ingredients: (makes about 7 or 8 large glasses)
1 1/2 Cups Merlot (I used La Terre)
1 1/2 Cups Riesling (I used 2012 Old Vine Riesling from the local Christoval Vineyards)
1 Cup Brandy (I used Blackberry)
1/2 Cup Orange Liquor (I used Gran Gala)
3 Cups Orange Juice (not from concentrate is best I used Simply Orange)
1  Red Apple (Cored & Sliced)
1  Green Apple (Cored & Sliced)
1 Orange (Rhine Removed and Sectioned)
10-15 Green Grapes (Seedless)


Directions:
Add all ingredients except fruit to a pitcher.  Stir thoroughly.  Add in the fruit and stir again.  Allow fruit to sit in sangria for at least 10 minutes before serving.  Serve & Enjoy!  (Feel free to eat the fruit and add it to your glass)

Add all liquid ingredients
Add in the fruit
Serve & Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Spotlight on God on Trial by Sabri Bebawi




Blurb:

Convinced that God is a negative force, tormenting the helpless human race, an ailing English professor becomes determined to put the deity on trial.  But when he’s diagnosed with schizophrenia, he soon succumbs to the damning madness and brutally stabs and kills his wife. And in the deadly manhunt that ensues, he is ultimately shot dead by the police.   This prompts his grieving sister to follow through his life’s mission to bring God to justice.


See the Book Trailer on Youtube!


Excerpt:

He’s now back home in California. It is another night. That
tantalizing sensation overtakes his natural senses again. Growing up, he always felt a sense of discomfort that was unrelated to his illnesses, and he still feels it now. He never has been able to identify the source of his severe and unusual discomfort. He wonders whether it was his family, religion in general, or society, with its unscrupulous culture.

He thinks of his parents. “Sadly, They were at odds,” he hears himself utter. “And rightfully so.”

His mother was at home, taking care of five kids, and his father was
either working or endlessly playing. His mother had a tender soul. She was simple, affectionate, and caring, and loved her children dearly. The child in him sees her before him as a pretty young woman with fair skin, brown hair, and large brown eyes. She stands by his bed; she is neither too tall nor too short and neither too slim nor too heavy, but she is mysterious. Though his mother probably never knew it, she has had an immense impact on his life that continues with him until this moment of certain hallucination.
 

He becomes fully awake. It is 2:25 a.m. He gets up and decides to make a cup of espresso forte. After breaking a couple of coffee cups, spilling coffee all over his kitchen counter and floor, and mumbling a few expletives, he cleans up. Now he is calm; now he will taste the fruit of his coffee-making adventure; he places the cup on his desk and starts to write.  
I’m not sure my parents’ odd relationship had any effect on me. I was a happy child tormented by religion and religious people’s
hallucinations. I was tormented by Egyptian hypocrisy. I’ve seen a great deal of hypocrisy, child abuse, infidelity, abuse of women, and abuse by the government, churches, and mosques.
 
He hears the voice of his mother; during his childhood she always
read to him in bed before he went to sleep. Now she reads from the
Bible. In both her wisdom and lack of awareness, she reads from the Book of Genesis and the Book of Revelations. This exposure to apocalyptic writing at a very young age has had a profound effect on him.
 

Being imaginative, and in this phantasmagoric state, he now experiences the same fright he experienced as a child. He returns to bed and suddenly falls asleep but is soon awoken by one of his many epileptic seizures. His body shakes uncontrollably, and his tremors seem to have a mind of their own.

As his attack gradually dissipates, he thinks of the savagery of God and questions why a peaceful God would be so cruel and nasty. These thoughts make him feel even more terrified. Since childhood he has been petrified of that entity referred to as “God.”

At age seven or eight, he developed an obsessive-compulsive disorder.  He’d repeat the phrase “God forgive me” to himself all day until he went to bed. He kept this a secret because he had no idea how his mother, siblings, or Zakia would react. He remembers that he often went to Zakia, who was a Muslim, and asked her to hold him. She would oblige, and he would feel protected, even from that savage God.

He gets out of bed. It is 3:42 a.m. He makes another cup of espresso forte and sits at his desk, thinking. Again he writes.


This phase simply shaped my feelings about whether God does indeed exist. I often thought I’d be better than him or her or it, for I would not be as cruel, brutal, or malicious. Today I am an agnostic, and I can’t get myself to understand why anyone would believe in such a God as depicted in the holy books, including the Bible.

In addition to the Bible, there were other sources of great damage.  Egypt is an Islamic country. I was exposed to and forced to learn about Islam and its holy book, the Quran, which is like the Bible in its
catastrophic content. I was forced to learn about the Islamic laws, Sharia, even though I was a Coptic. I did so in schools, and I did so in everyday affairs. I was even forced to memorize and recite verses from the Quran, which also had a negative impact on me.

The daily prayers announced over loudspeakers, and coming from all directions, were a frightening experience for me. Everywhere in Egypt, between each mosque there is a mosque, and even that wasn’t enough. The radio broadcasted Quran readings repeatedly. Even today the memory of these sounds brings a deep downheartedness to my soul.

I remember Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, the blind cleric who’s in a North Carolina prison now for conspiring to commit terrorism. His mosque was right behind our house. I remember Abdel-Rahman’s Friday sermons. He’d curse the Christians, Jews, and Americans (I don’t know why he cursed Americans) publically over a loudspeaker that echoed miles away. The sheikh would scream in a screeching, deafening voice, “May God burn them and displace their children, and may God burn their houses.” The congregation would repeat, “Amen.” And the pattern would continue.

This persisted for a long time. We were so used to it, however, that it didn’t bother us much. The amazing thing is that Sheikh Abdel-Rahman was a friend of my father’s. He often visited my father at his law firm and spent hours talking with him. My father considered him a harmless, kind man.

Well, for once my father was wrong. The sheikh always has been a terrorist, and he put his evil spirit into action. Fortunately he’s in prison now. I hope he never gets out.

He stops writing for a minute and wonders how the United States allowed that savage man to enter this country. Where was American intelligence?  Didn’t they know how radical Abdel-Rahman was? This was simply bizarre.  But the United States government overlooks such things so often that he
wonders whether the word intelligence is fitting at all.

His mind is racing, and he grows exhausted with the burden of thoughts.  Hoping for a few minutes of sleep, he goes back to bed. His hope materializes, or perhaps he thinks so; at the very least, he is
semi-asleep.


Buy Link:
Amazon


About the Author:
The middle of five children, Sabri Bebawi was born in 1956 in the town of Fayoum, Egypt, where he attended law school at Cairo University. He then left Egypt for the United Kingdom. He was invited by Oxford University, where he spent some time, and never returned to Egypt. A few years later, after living and working in England, Italy, France, and Cyprus, he took refuge in the country he loved most, the United States.
In California he studied communications at California State University, Fullerton, then obtained a master’s degree there in English education. Later he worked at many colleges and universities
teaching English as a second language, freshman English, journalism, and educational technology. He did further graduate work at UCLA and obtained a PhD in education and distance learning from Capella University.


Although English is his third language, he has published many works in English on eclectic topics. It has always been his ambition to write novels, and this is his first attempt. As English is a foreign language to him, the task of writing a novel has been challenging.


As a child, Bebawi struggled to make sense of religions and their contradictions; in fact he grew up terrified of the word God. As he grew older and studied law, as well as all the holy books, he developed a more pragmatic and sensible stance; the word became just that—a word.

Connect With The Author:

Giveaway:
Enter to win one of three e-book copies of God on Trial. To enter, simply leave a comment with
your email address on the tour post. The giveaway will be open 9/22/14 –10/20/14. To increase your chances of winning, simply follow the tour and comment at each stop! Winners will be randomly selected and contacted by the author after the tour is over.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Two Jammies are Better Than One and Bedtime Shenanigans: The Mind of a Toddler

The month of August was definitely an exciting time for Liam and I. As always toddler logic and sayings make life better. Here are some that I was able to record for the month and wanted to share. Please feel free to share any of your own stories about your children so we can all laugh together! As always, thank you for sharing in our life.

Liam and I #reorganized his drawers, he wanted to wear a bunch of clothes we went through. He is currently wearing 3 pairs of pajamas, 2 pairs of socks with his footie jammies and a zip-up hoodie haha

Liam's latest tactic to try to get out of things is to go lay down in his bed and tell me he is taking a nap or he doesn't feel good.
This is most often happening when he is asked to pick up a big mess he made.
Telling him that it must be nap time and then closing the door and saying goodnight usually gets him up and back to cleaning.

Liam's latest bedtime stalling technique includes stuffed animals...
I have been needing to hug and kiss each one, sometimes they want songs, sometimes I need to tell them each good night and sweet dreams...
Liam keeps sneaking new ones into his bed each time I come in.
Suffice it to say that the last encounter included 11 stuffed animals....
This boy is a genius at stalling techniques...

Liam got his first stripe in Taekwondo, I couldn't be prouder.

Every night I have to say goodnight to "somebody else." A lot of nights it's Josselyn (a girl in Liam's class), some nights it is puppy or kitty or bear. Tonight it is digger haha.

Liam is setting up for a ‪birthday party‬ while I finish up my ‪final paper‬. These leftover ‪‎birthday supplies‬ have gotten a lot more use than the ones used in his actual birthday party did haha

Liam's new thing at bedtime is that I am not allowed to talk to him above a whisper without getting lectured.
As soon as he is laid down in bed (the first time), if I use a normal voice I get told
"Shh mom, be quiet, people are trying to sleep."
According to Liam we should only communicate in whispers after this time...

Liam just got me good.
He came up to me out of the blue and asked "Mom, are you happy?"
I said "Yes of course I am happy, are you happy?"
He said "No, I need a cookie."
Where does my kid come up with this stuff?

Liam rubbed some lotion on me and said "Smell mom, you smell like Winnie the Pooh"
Luckily all that really means is that it was from a bottle of lotion that had Winnie the Pooh on it.... otherwise I'm not really sure what that would smell like... Honey I hope..

What started out as Liam's ‪‎dump truck‬ ‪‎taking a nap‬ and somehow ‪‎morphed‬ into an ‪enormous‬ ‪‎blanket nest‬

My son is currently engaging in pant-less karaoke... Somehow this seems like the best way to do it haha.

Liam is a celebrity, being featured in a local magazine for 2 photos! So awesome.

Well ‪Team Chip sucked us into ‪joining Taekwondo‬. Liam said "I like it mom, I don't want to be shy", he was so shy during the whole thing, so I gave in and let him try it out for a month. He is loving his ‪‎uniform‬

I have a bunch of old pictures that I like to go through on my side table in the living room. Liam just found a picture of auntie Shayna from when she was 4 years old. He asked if he could put it in his room, and now he wants to show auntie thepicture in his room next time she comes over.

Liam and I are watching The Little Mermaid, he never let's me watch more than 10 or 20 minutes of it, so this is the first time that he has ever seen Ursula.
He said "Mom, I don't like the giant."
I said, "Liam, she is an octopus"
He said "no mom, she's is a giant... fee fi fo fum...."
Haha I can't lie that it does kind of fit haha

Liam is currently apprehending a suspect with a power drill. Something tells me they won't get away....

Liam and I put Liam's tent back up in his playroom today. He is so excited to have his "castle" back!

Liam was picking out his clothes this morning and found some Cars jammies‬ in a drawer that have been stored for when he is a bit bigger. He was gone for awhile and as I was about to go check on him he came running into the bathroom with them over his other ‪‎pajamas. ‬He was quite pleased with himself haha

Liam's teacher at school is moving to a new job and he has been quite distraught about it. So I told him we could make her a going away card. He has been putting his heart and soul into painting and sticker adding this evening.

Liam is currently sitting outside in a chair naked listening to the birds... It's so hilarious I would take a picture, but well you know.

Liam was watching a cartoon that was exploring a dark museum, and I came out of the kitchen to see him peeking out from over a blanket, he told me it was scary, so I went through and pointed out everything so that it wasn't scary anymore, and then he threw the blanket at me.... at least he wasn't scared anymore haha

I got Liam a new blowup pool that was on clearance. Unfortunately I do not own a bike pump, so I just spent over an hour blowing it up by mouth. For good measure Liam would sproadically come squeeze on parts of it to see how it would affect me.

Liam has started singing himself to sleep. It's so adorable, I go to the door and listen. I walked in one time and then it ruined his cool down mode, so now I don't interrupt him. He is such a sweet little boy

The best Friday nights are spent building train tracks with Liam.

We got a care package from grandma and Liam keeps repacking the box up and taking it to the door.  He then presses the wall and says "ding dong", pretends to receive a package and saying excitedly "Oh Thank you."  Then he unpacks the box jumps around excitedly and enjoys the stuff.
The box is then repacked and it starts all over again.  We are on about the tenth time now haha..
 


















Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Graeme Ing: Interview

I was given the opportunity to interview author Graeme Ing after reading his enjoyable book Necromancer.
You can see my review here: Necromancer Review

Please take this time to get to know Graeme a bit more and then also check out Necromancer as well as his other books:
How did you get into writing?
I began scribbling stories as a teen (a long time ago!) and even typing screenplays on a manual typewriter. I think it stemmed from my immersion into fantasy and sci-fi as a kid. I blame...er thank... my mother for that. As my career and life took over (like it does), I found little time to write, but returned to my lifelong dream of becoming an author about 8 or 9 years ago. With so many ideas, worlds and characters whizzing around my head, I'm not going to stop now.

What made you choose the topic of necromancy for your book?

Magic and creatures from beyond the grave are a solid staple of fantasy. To me, necromancy is a sinister subject that conjures images of decrepit sorcerers in dark cellars poring over ancient spellbooks to summon nasty creatures. I wanted to turn that trope on its head. I wanted necromancers to be protecting people from undead and spirits. I wanted a young hero, and I wanted to thrust a female into a male-dominated profession. That was the premise that drew me to writing this book. Necromancers can be heroes, right?

What was the religious background that you incorporated into the lives of your characters?

Like most books in the fantasy genre, I drew upon a "pagan" pantheon of Gods, but chose to leave it open as to whether such Gods had real power in the physical world. Like ancient times on Earth, each God or Goddess represented a sphere of life such as justice, nature, storms, or in the case of Lak (referred to many times in the book), God of the underworld and demons. In the city in the book, the temples to all the Gods are clustered in the mighty Temple Plaza, and I envisioned it likely that the populace would worship multiple Gods rather than a single one, or perhaps only Belaya, who is the mother of the Gods. I chose not to make religion a significant factor in the book, but more a backdrop. I was trying not to make any religious statements.

Is there an author that stands out to you as inspiration?  If so, what was it about this author that gave you inspiration?

Anne McCaffrey has inspired me more than any single author. I'm still incredibly impressed with the depth of her characters, her incredible imagination and how she wove in romance and tension without the need for indulgent sex or excessive violence. I found myself deeply engrossed in every character she wrote. If you've read The Harper hall trilogy and had your emotions ripped apart by the struggle of Menolly, then you know exactly what I mean. She's one of the rare authors that could make me actually cry because she wrote emotional drama so well.

Will there be another book to carry out the adventures of the characters remaining from Necromancer?

For sure! Not immediately. I have 3 or 4 other books that need writing first, but I definitely want to tell more about Maldren and Ayla's adventures together. I already have an outline for another book set in the city of Malkandrah, involving a daring swordswoman forced into a series of deadly actions to save her young daughter. Phyxia will make an appearance in that too.

What is your favorite target audience to write for?

That's a great question. Women I think. Traditionally, females in fantasy and sci-fi have had a bad rap, serving as victims or eye candy. Ayla (and Lissa from my first book "Ocean of Dust", and Majara from my upcoming romantic adventure) are free-spirited and adventurous female characters that I love to write about.

Do you have any advice that you would give to any aspiring authors out there?

Doubts and fears are a fact of life for an author, so don't let them deter you. Keep writing what you enjoy. Be bold, be creative, and keep pushing yourself to strengthen your writing craft. Despite recent successes in the Indie field, this isn't a get rich quick scheme. Writing involves long hours grappling with plot and character, building a reputation with readers one book at a time. Keep writing, even when you feel like you are writing junk. Keep writing. Keep editing. The satisfaction that comes when a reader enjoys your story is worth every hour at the keyboard. Chase your dream. Never give up.

Excerpt from Necromancer (Sinister):


She glanced at me then the ground below, but only clung tighter. A man appeared at the window, his teeth bared. Four scratches on his cheek oozed red. White drool speckled his trimmed beard. He clawed at her. She scrunched her eyes shut and wailed.

With a crack, the casement tore free, and she plummeted into my arms. We tumbled to the ground and the smoke surrounded us like a pack of wild animals.

I rolled to my feet, helped her up, and dragged her down the street, holding my breath as long as I could. She coughed and choked, resisting my pull. Murder flared in her eyes. I slapped her.

“Trust me. Hold your breath and stay with me.” I yanked her forward.

I shouldn’t have spoken. Smoke surged down my throat and I gagged.

Rage ignited inside me. I wanted to tear out her rabid eyes. My arm squeezed hers until she cried out, and I knew that I could break it with a twist, could snap her entire frail body. My gaze fixed on her pale, sweat-soaked throat. It invited me to choke the life from her, watch her struggle and finally go limp. My pulse quickened. Anger flooded my veins. Then my hands were around her throat, squeezing, crushing. She coughed and drooled thick, white saliva. Her blue eyes locked with mine but she put up no resistance. A smile twitched on her lips as my thumbs dug deeper. Ah, the sweet moment of superiority. How would it feel to kill? Delicious. It washed the tight pain from my head.

Something flickered deep within me. This was wrong.


Buy Links:

Amazon Kindle

Amazon Paperback

Barnes and Noble


add-to-goodreads-button

GraemeIngPhoto

About the Author:

Graeme Ing engineers original fantasy worlds, both YA and adult, but hang around, and you’ll likely read tales of romance, sci-fi, paranormal, cyberpunk, steampunk or any blend of the above.
Born in England in 1965, Graeme moved to San Diego, California in 1996 and lives there still. His career as a software engineer and development manager spans 30 years, mostly in the computer games industry. He is also an armchair mountaineer, astronomer, mapmaker, pilot and general geek. He and his wife, Tamara, share their house with more cats than he can count.

Connect With The Author:
Blog

Enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card! This giveaway will run the length of the tour. Open internationally. Enter through Rafflecopter.

Spotlight on Jennifer Snow


About The Author: 


Jennifer Snow is an Edmonton based author writing sweet contemporary romance fiction through Harlequin Heartwarming, The Wild Rose Press and Secret Cravings Publishing. She is a member of the Writers Guild of Alberta, the Romance Writers of America, the Canadian Author Association, and SheWrites.org. More information can be found on her website www.jennifersnowauthor.com


Connect With Jennifer Snow:
Website

Blog

Twitter 

Facebook

Giveaway:


One winner will win an e-book copy of Falling for Leigh at each tour  stop! Author Jennifer Snow is also giving away five swag packs, and each pack will include:


~ Signed print copies of What A Girl Wants, Falling for Leigh, and Mistletoe Bachelors

~ A Brookhollow lip gloss

~ A nail file

~ A comb and mirror set

To enter, simply leave a comment on the tour post with your email address. To increase your chances of winning, follow the tour and comment at each stop! Winners will be randomly selected by the author at the end of the tour. Open internationally.



Blurb:
Can she be his cure for writer’s block? 

For New York novelist Logan Walters, falling for the girl next door was more than a cliché. It was a calamity! If Leigh Norris hadn’t been so attractive, and hadn’t been hammering relentlessly while he was trying to write, Logan would never have ascended her rickety ladder in a misguided mix of gallantry and frustration. And he wouldn’t have a broken wrist—or a guilty new assistant who can’t type. Clearly, his escape to the Brookhollow B and B
was not going to be the quiet, idyllic retreat he needed to finish his overdue manuscript. But it was fast becoming much more interesting than expected….


See the book trailer on Youtube


Excerpt:

“I…uh…hired a typist.”

His agent snorted over the phone. “You’re lying.”

“No, really I did.” He and Leigh hadn’t exactly talked about payment, except for his brief mention of it at the haunted hike, but he certainly planned on compensating her for her time and help. Of course, he’d rather show her his gratitude in other ways, like taking her out on a real date, telling her how wonderful she was and helping to erase some of the pain in her past.

“From what agency?” Clive still sounded suspicious.

“No agency. She’s just a woman who lives here in Brookhollow, next door to the B and B.” It was such an understatement, Logan was almost embarrassed by the lie. But what could he tell Clive? That he was getting help from a woman he was falling in love with in the small town? Clive would for sure give up on him, thinking he’d lost his mind.

“Not the same woman who pushed you off a ladder?”

“Actually, yes.”

Clive laughed. “Wow, way to call in the guilt favor.”


Buy Links:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Necromancer

Necromancer600x900The Necromancer is written by Graeme Ing and features a man by the name of Maldren that is from the detested guild of necromancers.  He proudly wears his robes of office and valiantly works to save the people from things they don’t even know exist.  In his attempt to obtain a title of Master from his guild he is given an apprentice to train.  This apprentice happens to be a girl, which is rare in a mainly male field of work. 
Necromancer hits the ground running and although it is action packed, Graeme introducing many new elements in a world of his creation.  He has a different religious structure and throws around different names in curses (such as Kristach) that have no bearing on a new reader.  A prologue would be a welcome addition to give the reader a frame of reference and some background information.
When an unknown terror is threatening the lives of people in his city, Maldren must go deep into the underground below the city to try to the source.  It seems left up to him to fight this darkness with a young apprentice by his side. 
Graeme did a superb job of creating monstrous terrors of the dark.  These creatures were very imaginative and worked as great extensions of the villainous elements of the book.  The created world of Necromancer is a pleasure to visit and the suspense and secrets make for an enjoyable read.
I enjoyed getting to know Maldren and his apprentice Ayla.  Ayla was spunky and brave and a great woman-empowering character.  Out of everyone in the book, I would have to say that I was most intrigued by the character of Phyxia and wished there was more of her in the novel. 
Overall I give this book 4/5 stars.  It was definitely an entertaining story and I loved getting to know each character and element of the story.  My main complaint is the lack of explanation for basic elements that make up the story that could provide the reader with a better background of the information.  I feel that the religious makeup could be more in depth.  Usually a slight explanation of the religion behind the story and where someone stands is an additional way to understand a character’s motives and way of thinking as they go about their journey from both the hero and the villain aspects.  If you enjoy fantasy, paranormal, dark fantasy, fiction, woman-empowering, mystery, suspense, horror, or thrillers you will definitely enjoy this book.
*I received this book for  free in exchange for a fair and honest review
 

EXCERPT  - (Underworld creature)
“This is dangerous,” I whispered. “I know what I’m doing.”
Did I? I handed her the lightstick and crept forward, nudging loose stones with my boot to clear the way, never taking my eyes from the archway. The room was filled with heaps of rubble. The spectral rope snaked behind a huge fragment of a fallen buttress lodged against one wall.
Come out, come out, wherever you are.
I drew a sizable ball of magic from my core and blasted a massive Dispel into the room, bathing the entire area in a purple flash.
The grak leaped onto the ceiling, sending rubble clattering in all directions. It scuttled toward me, upside down, hundreds of barbs along its ten legs clinging to the bare stone ceiling. A razor-ridged carapace protected an abdomen the size of a barrel, yet the thing stretched eight feet in length, counting its forked, bony tail and oversize head. Two spheres of flylike eyes reflected a distorted version of my look of horror. Saw-toothed pincers clacked repeatedly and its antennae quivered, probing the air in front of it.

I stumbled backward, my heart thumping in my ears.
Kristach. I’d hoped it’d be smaller.


Please take the time to also check out my interview with the talented author of this novel: Graeme Ing.

Buy Links:

Amazon Kindle

Amazon Paperback

Barnes and Noble


add-to-goodreads-button






GraemeIngPhoto



About the Author:

Graeme Ing engineers original fantasy worlds, both YA and adult, but hang around, and you’ll likely read tales of romance, sci-fi, paranormal, cyberpunk, steampunk or any blend of the above.

Born in England in 1965, Graeme moved to San Diego, California in 1996 and lives there still. His career as a software engineer and development manager spans 30 years, mostly in the computer games industry. He is also an armchair mountaineer, astronomer, mapmaker, pilot and general geek. He and his wife, Tamara, share their house with more cats than he can count.


Connect With The Author:


Blog






Enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card! This giveaway will run the length of the tour. Open internationally. Enter through Rafflecopter.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

BREW COVER REVEAL

Welcome to the much anticipated cover reveal for David Estes' new witchy novel: Brew


Salem’s Revenge strikes without warning or mercy, ravaging the powerless human race under the forces of united gangs of witches, wizards, and warlocks. During the slaughter, Rhett Carter's foster parents and sister are killed, and his best friend and girlfriend are abducted by a gang of witches calling themselves the Necromancers, who deal in the dark magic of raising the dead. Rhett’s sword-wielding neighbor with a mysterious past saves Rhett from becoming another casualty of the massacre and teaches him the skills he needs to survive in this new world.

Rhett is broken, his normal high school life of book blogging and football playing shoved in a witch-apocalyptic blender. The only thing he has left is his burning desire for revenge. Armed with his new witch hunting skills and a loyal, magic powered dog named Hex, he sets out into the unknown with one mission: hunt and destroy those who took away everyone he ever loved.

But Rhett isn’t just a witch hunter; he has secrets of his own that he has yet to discover, secrets that his enemies will stop at nothing to keep him from.

And discovering the truth about himself is the human race’s only hope.


Goodreads   David's Blog    Twitter    Facebook   Tumblr and his Goodreads Fan Group      

David Estes was born in El Paso, Texas but moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when he was very young. David grew up in Pittsburgh and then went to Penn State for college. Eventually he moved to Sydney, Australia where he met his wife. They now live together in their dream location, Hawaii. A reader all his life, he began writing novels for the children's and YA markets in 2010, and started writing full time in June 2012. Now he travels the world writing with his wife, Adele. David's a writer with OCD, a love of dancing and singing (but only when no one is looking or listening), a mad-skilled ping-pong player, and prefers writing at the swimming pool to writing at a table.

You can also check out my review of Fire Country: Book 1 of the Country Saga

The Historian's Tale

The Historian's Tale is written by K.B. Shaw and is the 1st Book in the NeWorld Paper Series.  This is a sci-fi/fantasy book filed with intrigue and highly imaginative story telling.  The book is based around a man on the brink of 18 named Fallon.

The Historian's Tale paints a world that operates with little to no emotion and a plethora or rules and order.  Children come about based upon contracts which decide which parent will get to keep the child.  Once a contract of coupling is complete, people will go their separate ways and the parent with the contract will raise the child.  If a man is not born with a contract he will be "stemmed", and therefore unable to provide any offspring.  This is a way to retain order and to prevent over population.  (Kind of sounds like something the Chinese would come up with). 

Shaw did an impeccable job with descriptions of the world and the development of the story and the characters.  Whilst reading this book I found myself vested in the main characters and wanting to know them more and was rooting for them.  The concepts that have been created and the slight reference to Marx are brilliant.  I don't want to give any of the details that unfold away so I will leave it at that.

As a ward of his school institute, Fallon will be left out on his own in the near future when he turns 18 and has no idea what will become of him.  After witnessing a heinous crime occur, he finds himself constantly looking over his shoulder.  The many rules of NeWorld do not provide for my ingenuity or imagination, which leaves Fallon's ability to draw anything in detail from memory an ability that must be hidden.  Without warning he is then purchased by a wealthy woman to be indentured help.  Nothing that has happened to him in life thus far is going to prepare him for what is to come. 

I give this book 5/5 stars, as I was engrossed in it and was finding any small amount of time that I could spare to read more into the story.  I was hooked from the beginning and I love all of the thought provoking aspects that Shaw has added into this tale.  I cannot wait to read Book 2 and get more involved with the story.  It was a pleasure "watching" the story develop before my very eyes.  This would make for an excellent movie or mini series.  If you are into sci-fi, fantasy, romance, new adult, young adult, mystery, suspense, and fiction this book is definitely for you. 

*I received this book for free in exchange for a fair and honest review.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

August 2014 Playlist

Songs that defined my month and some insight into my mind and thoughts musically.



1. Never Let Me Go- Florence and The Machine: Two of my favorite things combined, FATM and Vampre Diaries...  and Damon, and Delena, and Damon...  and the beauty of this song.  *Spoiler alert if you have not watched the first 3-4 seasons of Vampire Diaries, this video may ruin some shock moments for you.

2. Good Enough-Sarah McLachlan: Sarah will always remind me of my mom, and I am happy that I can still listen to her after all of the CDs on repeat for months on end haha.  This song is still beautiful, and now that I am older I understand why my mom put some CDs, such as this one on repeat for so long because the lyrics speak to me now in a way that they never did when they were younger.  This song makes me feel like it was definitely speaking to my mother as well, in a way that she may have hid certain thoughts and feelings from us as kids.

3. Fade into You-Mazzy Star: This song reminds me so much of growing up and I still love the haunting melody and lyrics.  It has been featured in a multitude of tv shows and movies.  

4. Glory and Gore-Lorde: Lorde has always intrigued me with her uniqueness and that voice of hers.  This song may be most noticeable from the opening of the show Vikings.

5.  Motivation-Kelly Rowland feat Lil' Wayne: I have always loved Kelly, and this song is so hot!  I love that she isn't afraid to be the sexy one from Destiny's Child.

6. Better Days-Goo Goo Dolls: I just love the hope that can be felt from this song.

7. You're Not Sorry-Taylor Swift: Hate on Taylor all you want, but she provides lyrics for any girl who has ever felt heart break and betrayal.  I could dedicate this song too many times, plus it's catchy.

8. Here With Me-Michelle Branch: I don't think that there is a Michelle Branch song that I don't love.  I wish she was still making music.  

9. Ms. Jackson-Outkast: Such a classic song, you can't help but to get into it.

10. The Chain-Fleetwood Mac: I always think of my mom and my childhood whenever I hear Fleetwood Mac or Stevie Nicks. I like to cook and clean to this kind of music.  "And if you don't love me now, you will never love me again"

11. Play-Goapele: I love Goapele, and this song is hot and catchy.  Sexy man hunk in the video also ;)

12. Hand in My Pocker-Alanis Morissette: Oh Alanis, you write the soundtrack to my life.  Such a great song about life. "And what it all boils down to, is that nobody's really got it figured out just yet"

13. Single-Ne-Yo and NKOTB (New Kids on the Block): Like most girls around the decade that I was born, there was much glee when NKOTB finally made newer music a few years back (geez it has already been 5 years ago now).  I do love this song, the truth of being able to lose yourself in the arms of someone, if only for a single song.

14. Take Back the Night-Justin Timberlake: As  someone who will probably always feel that FutureSex/LoveSounds will be the greatest album that he will ever put together, I have found myself lacking interest in most of his newer music.  This has been the only son that has stood out to me from his latest singles thus far.

15. All the Way Down-Glen Hansard: This song holds such emotion, I can feel the pain of past experiences when I would find myself broken down to the point that you slowly slide down to the floor in disbelief and shock and cry from your very soul.

16. Can You Stand the Rain-New Edition: You can never claim that New Edition doesn't sing with soul, especially in this song.  I think that all of us are wanting that one person who can "stand the rain" with us in life.

17. Shake Your Tailfeathers-Nelly, P. Diddy, and Murphy Lee: Back with Nelly and Murphy Lee did  everything.  I used to have a small crush on Nelly...  like most girls at that time I think.  This song was fun and catchy and man was the dance stupid haha, and you can bet that I was out there acting a fool and "Shaking my tailfeather" haha.

18. I Like That-Houston feat Chingy, Nate Dogg & I-20: Such a promising start and then Houston had to go all crazy and try to kill himself in the bathroom and detaching his eye or stabbing it with a pen...  I don't remember it was something about his eye...  and now I can picture is the Hostile blow torch to the eye incident...  It was such a great lesson to NOT use drugs.  It's always nice to hear Nate Dogg, and always missing how he could make any song sound better.  This is not to be confused with the song that came out around the same time by Marques Houston called I Like IT which was confusing but sound different.  Now I am also wondering what in the heck happened to Chingy and his Jackpot squad....

19. You and Me-Lifehouse: I will always love this song.

20. Play Hard-David Guetta feat Ne-Yo and Akon: I love David Guetta, he just seems like he rocks as a person.  This video is so hilarious.  Those are some insane boots.  It was nice to see a small emergence by Akon for this video and Ne-Yo has that voice that always sounds great.  Also this video gives a nice sexy shirtless shot of David Guetta that is much appreciated :)

21. Diamonds-Rihanna: Regardless of the way that diamonds reflect light in the lyrical debate that followed this song, it is still a song that I enjoy listening to and I like the message it is meant to impart upon the listener.

22. One More Night-Maroon 5: I LOVE this song.  Although I always feel like watching the video feels weird with what I felt the lyrics were saying.

23. Spectrum-Zedd: This was the first song that I ever heard from Zedd, and I was hooked.  I love the weirdness to the videos.  I always have to crank up this song!

24. Almost Lover-A Fine Frenzy: Oh the almost lovers of the world...  the ones that could have been, but never quite were.  "I never want to see you unhappy, I thought you'd want the same for me.  Goodbye my almost lover, goodbye my hopeless dream.  So long, my luckless romance.  My back is turned on you I should've known you'd bring me heartache Almost lovers always do"

25. 300 Violin Orchestra- Jorge Quintero: I love this song, great beat, great instrumental.

26. Evil Beauty-Black Mill: Black Mill rocks at music, and life most likely.  These songs always stand out amongst the crowd.

27. Keep Breathing-Ingrid Michaelson: Sometimes that is all that we can do from moment to moment.

28. Friend Like Me-Robin Williams from Aladdin: There are so many great moments from Robin Williams that helped shape my childhood and have never left me.  It is with heavy heart that the world says good bye to a brilliant man in a fight within his own mind.

29. Who Are You When I'm Not Looking-Blake Shelton: This is definitely something we all wonder about people we care about, we want those small insights into each and every part of someone who holds our hearts and find the beauty in all of the nuances and oddities in unguarded behavior.

30. Unfortunate-Trey Songz: This is the story of my life...  But once it's over, it's over for me.  "That's unfortunate, that you didn't believe in me"

31. Closing Time-Semisonic: This song will forever remind me of my first official job at the age of 15.  Mark's In & Out, and how we would play this song while closing every night, requesting it on the radio when we could. 


Friday, September 5, 2014

First Blood: Rise of the True Immortal

I received this book for free in exchange for a fair and honest review.

First Blood: Rise of the True Immortal is written by Chelsea Ballinger and is a book that revolves around vampires. Jericho is a man that has lived a lonely life and is currently biding his time until Leukemia takes his life and he can finally give up on his lonely existence.

In a moment of darkness, while drinking at a bar he is approached by a man named Mathias who will alter everything he knows about his entire life. Jericho will come to question everything he thought he knew and everything he believed, and open his heart up to feelings he never imagined were possible.

First Blood is a quick read and hard to put down. Chelsea has done a spectacular job at creating relatable and likeable characters. You get to know a lot about these characters and can feel the suspense in the action. The dialogue is not over done and I love the insight into the thoughts of others.

I must commend Chelsea on taking a topic such as vampires and still finding a way to twist it into a whole new light. The process of change and some of the abilities are entirely new. As is the back story of Jericho and his roots.

Overall I give this book a 5/5 stars. It is familiar and yet unique enough to entertain. The dialogue is full of entertaining banter and the characters are well portrayed. The end of the book left me wanting more and I can’t wait to read the next installment in this series. If you are into Vampires, mythology, fantasy, romance, suspense, thriller, fiction, you will definitely enjoy this book.