Monthly Archives: July 2012

Ashley Robertson’s UnGuarded Review/Giveaway (CONTEST CLOSED)


(A Big Welcome to My New Reviewer: Cassie Hoffman!!!) 

Unguarded by Ashley Robertson: Review by Cassie Hoffman

As soon as you delve into UnGuarded you are launched into action right off the bat, which I enjoyed, and it keeps with that same pace throughout the whole book. It is filled with angels, demons, vampires and a few immortals. Good versus evil is what this book is all about. What would you do for the love of your life? Would you risk one person for another? Would you risk your life for that of a person you care about? Those are the questions Selene finds herself facing.

Selene is an angel guardian, whose main priority is to protect and watch over her charge, Caitlyn Harris. Caitlyn is Selene’s responsibility, to watch over and keep safe from demons. Selene was on her way to becoming an archangel, who are the most supreme beings to exist. Every angel strives to become one. Selene was close, but then she fell in love with Cole, a vampire. Angels are not supposed to be with vampires, but Selene loves Cole and that’s all that matters. She has given up being an archangel to be with Cole and some of her powers were stripped, but being punished still will not keep them apart.

Cole ends up being kidnapped by demons and taken to Charon, a realm that has been over taken by demons. Selene has a hard choice to make, to leave her charge, Caitlyn, behind unguarded and without protection, which could leave her open for attack by demons.

Selene chooses and her choice is to find Cole and save him. While trying to find Cole, Selene meets another vampire, Travis, who helps her get Cole back, along with a few other vampires and demons. While teaming up with Travis to get Cole back, there is a bit of tension between the two…don’t you want to find out what kind? (Lol, well I’m not going to tell you! Read the book!)

While Selene is gone and Caitlyn is unguarded, something horrible happens to her, and her future is uncertain. So again Selene finds herself trying to fix what happened to Caitlyn, and she will do absolutely anything to help her charge. Selene goes to Raphael, an archangel and her mentor for help, but there is nothing that can be done. Caitlyn’s future is marked in stone, with only two outcomes, and they are not ones that Selene feels she can live with. Follow Selene on her journey to see how it turns out. Will she triumph…or fail?

I have not read any previous books of Ashley Robertson’s before UnGuarded, and I’m popping my hand for not having before this. She is a great writer and takes her readers into a world that she describes so well and leaves nothing out. You could actually picture yourself being there. I have not read a book like this one before, one that is filled with angels, demons, vampires, fallen angels and some immortals. I’m so glad that I chose this book to read and do a review for, it has opened my reading horizon. I loathe books that have misspelled words, mistakes, and do not have a great flow and happily UnGuarded is not one of those books. She writes so well and I did not find one misspelled word in the whole book, nor did I find myself drifting off into space. Throughout this book you will meet so many different characters, and they are so very likeable. It is full of action, tension, drama and love. You have good versus evil, and evil actually joining forces with the good to help out. The situations Selene finds herself in could be applied to everyday life, if you take out the paranormal aspect.  I will definitely check out more books by Ashley Robertson.

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Ok everyone, if Cassie has talked you into reading this book, please leave a review where you bought it. Every review helps the author! I am going to insert a link for the book below so everyone can buy it if they don’t win 😉

UnGuarded

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THE GIVEAWAY! (2 E-book copies of Unguarded)

The Giveaway is simple. You get three chances to enter.

1) The first one is MANDATORY. You must leave a comment on this post that has something to do with this guest post. That will get you in the running!

2) Like ASHLEY ROBERTSON BOOKS on facebook for a second entry.  Click HERE to like her. Make sure you leave a comment here saying you did. If you already have, just leave a comment on here saying you already did.

3) If you would like to up those odds, like ME on facebook for a third entry. Click HERE to like me on facebook. Make sure you leave a comment saying you liked me for a chance to win! If you already liked me on facebook before, just leave a comment telling me you already did and you will get your third entry.

Easy-Peasy! The names will go in a random name generator. I will put all the names in there 1, 2, or 3 times depending on the number of times you entered. I will hit the button and it will give us a winner! The contest closes at 8 a.m CST on 8/1. Winners will be announced shortly afterwards. GOOD LUCK!

Author Sean Joyce Guest Post/Giveaway ***CONTEST CLOSED***


The Sacred Relationship: The Reader and the Writer

It will come as no surprise that in order to do the job of writing a book well, you must also be an avid reader. I know that I am just one among a countless number of people who’ve spent their lives sharing with the visions and imaginations of authors. I’m also a film fanatic, and often take great enjoyment from forgetting myself for a couple of hours in the cinema. In fact, I regularly have the debate with friends regarding the merits of reading versus watching a film. And while I’m not going to deviate by delving too deeply into this particular discussion, I will say this: a great film can certainly be very compelling, and in the greatest examples, will leave an indelible mark on you.

A great book, however, is like nothing else on earth. A book doesn’t force feed you any images or ideas. There is not one vision that you are presented with. A good book weaves a path and leaves messages along the way for you to pick up.  A good book entices you into its realm, but it also makes you work for it by asking you to form your own inner world, using the author’s words as signposts.

I’ve always thought it a beautiful idea that when I read a particular book, I am sharing it with so many other people, yet my own personal vision of the book’s characters and settings won’t be the same as anyone else’s. When we read Great Expectations, for example, we’re each of us carrying our own version of Pip and Miss Havisham and Estella in our heads; a vision crafted from our own lives and experiences. We are, in effect, making our own unique, internal movie of the book, resulting in millions of different versions the world over from just one text.

I recently read a quote from an old Paris Review interview with John Steinbeck, who said that a writer tries to communicate like a distant star sending signals in order to establish a relationship of meaning and feeling. This got me thinking about the relationship between the writer and the reader, and just how important it is.

When a book brings you into its world and takes you along for a ride, it really is as if you are communicating with the author across time and space, sharing the experience with them, yet also making it your own by adding ideas and images to it that are no one else’s. I think it’s a truly great privilege for a writer to have this opportunity, and to share their stories and connect with strangers around the world. And while entertainment is always the main factor when writing a book that you want people to read, I also believe that it’s a chance to plug into something far more powerful than the internet, and to impart a piece of yourself.

In an age of quick-fix entertainment and constant distraction, I don’t think there could be a better time for us to engage more deeply in this reader-writer relationship. And from a reader’s perspective, I know that my life has been greatly enhanced by this relationship I’ve had with so many writers, and always will be.

I’ve tried to do the same thing with my first novel, and while time will tell whether I’ve succeeded or not, I only hope that I can impart even a smidgeon of the enjoyment I’ve taken from so many books.

You can connect with me at my website http://www.seanjoyce.net/ or find me on these social media outlets:
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 THE GIVEAWAY

The Giveaway is simple. You get two chances to enter. (1 ebook copy of Project Hope)

1) The first one is MANDATORY. You must leave a comment on this post that has something to do with this guest post. That will get you in the running!

2) Follow Sean Joyce on Twitter for a second entry.  Click HERE to follow him. Make sure you leave a comment here saying you did. If you already have, just leave a comment on here saying you already did.

Easy-Peasy! The names will go in a random name generator. I will put all the names in there 1 or 2 times depending on the number of times you entered. I will hit the button and it will give us a winner! The contest closes at 8 a.m CST 7/20. Winners will be announced shortly afterwards. GOOD LUCK!

Review /Giveaway of CJ Urban’s Diary of a Dead Girl ***Contest Closed***


Diary of a Dead Girl centers around Julie Townsend, who is 23.  In the very beginning of the book, Julie’s parents die, leaving her with custody of her ten year old brother, Sam. In her quest to give Sam a better life, she moves them to Dupont, which is a small town outside of Sacramento. Her uncle allowed her and Sam to live in his old house rent free. On the day that they move in, she was told that the only rule was not to move any of Tara’s things. Tara was Julie’s cousin who was murdered when she was sixteen, and her bedroom was left as a shrine. The door to Tara’s bedroom is locked and when Julie decides to get inside of it, she meets a man, Skye, at the hardware store. Julie opens the door to the bedroom and finds Tara’s diaries. Julie thinks that because of what the diaries say that the wrong person was convicted of Tara’s murder. Julie drags Skye on a journey to find her cousin’s killer. On their list for adventure is breaking and entering, a suspicious sheriff, a troubled young man, and a deadly secret that someone does not want out, and will do anything to keep them from finding out.

CJ Urban’s ‘Diary of a Dead Girl’ is a quick, delightful read. I am really big on books that do not go into excessive details and explaining, and this book has just the right mix of details and simplicity. This is CJ Urban’s debut novel and I have to say I was extremely impressed. The storyline was smooth, the mystery exciting and the characters were loveable. Full of mystery and a lazy Sunday feel, this is one book that you can read in one sitting, and still want more. It also leaves itself wide open for a sequel, as I was very upset by the ending. (I won’t tell you why!) I am looking forward to the next installment. I give this book 4 stars. J

Once again, if I have talked you into reading this book, please leave a review where you bought it. Every review helps the author. I am going to insert a link for the book below. At only $2.99 on Amazon, you should really take a chance on this book.

Diary of a Dead Girl

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The Giveaway is simple. You get three chances to enter. (1 ebook copy of Diary of a Dead Girl)

1) The first one is MANDATORY. You must leave a comment on this post that has something to do with this review. That will get you in the running!

2) Friend CJ Urban on facebook for a second entry.  Click HERE to friend her. Make sure you leave a comment here saying you did. If you already have, just leave a comment on here saying you already did.

3) If you would like to up those odds, like ME on facebook for a third entry. Click HERE to like me on facebook. Make sure you leave a comment saying you liked me for a chance to win! If you already liked me on facebook before, just leave a comment telling me you already did and you will get your third entry.

Easy-Peasy! The names will go in a random name generator. I will put all the names in there 1, 2, or 3 times depending on the number of times you entered. I will hit the button and it will give us a winner! The contest closes at 8 a.m CST 7/19. Winners will be announced shortly afterwards. GOOD LUCK!

Author Darren Rogers Guest Post/Giveaway ***CONTEST CLOSED***


CONTEST CLOSED

Releasing the Inner Writer

We as writers when beginning a book look at an empty page and start to panic. Where am I going to get an idea for a story? What is it going to be about? We start to sweat a little, start biting our nails; we might even pick up some paper off of our desk and play trash basketball trying to come up with an idea. Of course, we have heard, read, and even maybe attended seminars and courses about writing as they tell us to write what you know or look at life and the people around you. Yes, we might start putting some words down on the page trying to get a sense of where do we want to go with our stories. But most of our writing and creativity comes from within all of us. We sometimes have to dig deep to find the inner writer within or sometimes, the creativity within us just comes bursting out of us just like that particular scene from the Alien movie that once it comes out, there is no stopping the creativity and we just want to write and write and let the day get by us. We go on creating awesome novels that we want everyone to read and hope in turn we can create new writers. But as new writers ask, where does one find the inspiration and creativity to write a good novel?

I will tell you how I got my inspiration thanks to my sixth grade English teacher. Yes, my inner writer and creativity got started many years ago for me when I was in the sixth grade. Our English teacher assigned the whole class a writing project to come up with a story and make pictures and turn it into a book. Well, I guess being the typical student that I was; I thought to myself this project was stupid. I even told the English teacher that and I did not want to do the project. Well, let’s just say, she called my mom and we soon had a parent, teacher conference after school one day and the English teacher explaining to my mom what the project entailed, let’s just say the looks I got from my mom during the conference, especially after the teacher told my mom how I did not want to do the project because I thought it was stupid, I think the virtual daggers are still in my body somewhere to this day. As soon as we got home, my mom sat me down and in her mom voice, said in no certain terms that I was going to do the project and I was not going to get an F for it. Being the stubborn headed kid that I was, I just stormed off to my room and thought about what I was going to do for the project since I was forced into this so called, ‘stupid project’. Well, after thinking about it and realizing that the teacher did not put any kind of restrictions on the project, I thought to myself, I am going to do a science fiction story with an alien monster that was going to rip people’s heads and arms off of their torsos.

So I sat down the next night and crafted my first science fiction story that only a sixth grade kid can do.  I quickly wrote out how a passenger space ship came upon a dead alien spaceship as the captain went aboard and came across the big scaly alien monster with claws for hands that decapitated him. The ship took off and went back to earth to get help. The sent help did not last long against the alien monster either as it killed off all of the crew. Finally one man suggested using a laser canon to destroy the floating dead ship and the alien monster within it. BOOOM, went the ship and the alien monster was destroyed. Next I had to actually draw out pictures from my story depicting certain scenes to make it into a book to turn back in for the project. After two nights of writing and drawing, I turned my first novel in to my English teacher thinking she will still give me an F for all of the violence and blood depicted in the drawings.  After a couple of days, the turned in assignments were given back to us. There in all of its glory, right on the front page of my novel as my mouth hit the desk, for I could not believe it was a big A for my novel. My teacher had given me an A for the project and wrote on the side, job well done. The pride with in me swelled as I rushed home and showed my mom the A. She said congratulations and said I did a job well done. From that moment on, the inner writer was released within me thanks to my sixth grade teacher.  

After that, I started looking around, looking for more ideas for my next story idea. Soon after, I found it when I was reading a National Geographic article about what would have happened if the dinosaurs had evolved and became bipedal. The spark for my next story came out from that to become, Alien Tears. Unfortunately, I originally wrote the first half of the story in seventh grade but it was just two years ago that I finally picked up the story and decided since the characters were still milling about in the back of my crawlspace and that it ballooned to this great epic novel. The push for me to finally finish it was thanks to the National Novel Writing Month website to write a novel in a month. Talk about a kick in the pants to actually sit down every night and write to come up with 50,000 words for a complete novel. Let’s just say, I still have not won the contest but it was enough for me to kick start the inner writer within me again for writing and finishing my novel, Alien Tears.

No matter if one is forced into something creative or just observing life around oneself, there is always an inner writer within each of us that we just have to tune into, even if it is just listening to music, reading an article or reading a great novel that makes us release the inner writer in all of us.

 Links for my novel, Alien Tears.


Alien Tears

Amazon Ebook:
http://www.amazon.com/Alien-Tears-ebook/dp/B0086VYXNU/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1342066573&sr=8-2&keywords=darren+rogers

Lulu Paperback edition:
http://www.lulu.com/shop/darren-rogers/alien-tears/paperback/product-20214240.html

Lulu Hardcover edtion:
http://www.lulu.com/shop/darren-rogers/alien-tears/hardcover/product-20225669.html

Smashwords:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/170789

National Novel Writing Month Website:
http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/dashboard

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/einstein36

My website:
http://www.imagineerrecords.com/

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THE GIVEAWAY! (2 ebook copies of Alien Tears)

The Giveaway is simple. You get three chances to enter.

1) The first one is MANDATORY. You must leave a comment on this post that has something to do with this review. That will get you in the running!

2) Friend Darren Rogers on facebook for a second entry.  Click HERE to friend him. Make sure you leave a comment here saying you did. If you already have, just leave a comment on here saying you already did.

3) If you would like to up those odds, like ME on facebook for a third entry. Click HERE to like me on facebook. Make sure you leave a comment saying you liked me for a chance to win! If you already liked me on facebook before, just leave a comment telling me you already did and you will get your third entry.

Easy-Peasy! The names will go in a random name generator. I will put all the names in there 1, 2, or 3 times depending on the number of times you entered. I will hit the button and it will give us a winner! The contest closes at 8 a.m CST 7/18. Winners will be announced shortly afterwards. GOOD LUCK!

SBR Martin Friday the 13th Guest Post/Giveaway ***Contest Closed***


(CONTEST CLOSED!!!)

A Friday the 13th Tribute to Mother Rice

How Vampire Fiction Influenced My Writing on Human Nature

I was first ensnared by vampires in 1994 when, like nearly every other lovelorn teenage girl in the world, I ran to the theater to see blonde beauty Brad Pitt star alongside top gun Tom Cruise in Interview with the Vampire. The film was moving—deep and disturbing, yet inviting. It made me want to be a vampire a little bit, and not just so that I could keep company with two of Hollywood’s hottest hunks.

Since I was about 12 years old, I’ve been one of those people who is deathly afraid of death. To this day, I still have severe panic attacks when I attempt to contemplate the unknown. It’s always been an immobilizing fear that’s more than taken my breath away. So the idea of immortality seemed like a good thing to me. To live forever, to never die or face the unknown, if, that is, one actually faces anything after death—this seemed like a ticket I wanted to buy.

I overlooked a vital component of Interview though. I wasn’t able to see the suffering in Pitt’s pale eyes. All I could see was the promise of something more that his character’s eternal life offered. It wasn’t until two years later, when I decided to read the book on which the movie was based, that I caught a glimpse of the immortal’s inner struggle and turmoil.

A friend gave me a copy of Anne Rice’s “Interview with the Vampire,” which I read in less than two days. In no time, I was off to the store to pick up the second installment in Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, followed by the third, the fourth, and the fifth.

Fortunately for me, I caught word of Rice’s work around the same time that she was coming out with additional books in the Vampire Chronicles and developing another bloodsucker saga, the New Tales of the Vampires. For the next few years, I spent a lot of time with my nose buried deep in any one of Rice’s books, reading, rereading, referencing, and reviewing. I’d say I was hooked, but that’s definitely an understatement.

In Rice’s volumes, I discovered something I’d never known before. The Vampire Chronicles were the first books I ever read for leisure’s sake, rather than as an academic assignment. Rice’s prose was more vivid, more alive, than anything I’d ever read in the classroom. The storylines were rich with flashbacks and side-stories so elaborate, so fascinating, that my jaw dropped several dozen times (per book).

What stood out to me most were Rice’s characters, the depth with which she explored them and the lengths to which she developed them. By far, they were the most intensely real and unquestionably human characters I’d ever encountered.

Keep in mind, however, that they weren’t actually human characters for the vast majority of pages. They were vampires.

But before they were vampires, yes, they were humans. And that humanness, that abstract idea of humanity, did not, for the most part, die when certain characters crossed over; if anything it was merely chilled to an icy cross between distraction and desperation.

The crux of my own mortal crisis was put before me via these beguiling beings. I saw in them a personification of my own greatest fears, and learned that perhaps I’d feared the wrong things.

By the time I was done with “The Vampire Lestat,” I’d already seen more than enough evidence that immortality wasn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The promise was not a promise, but a curse. The remaining novels in the series went on to prove just that.

The sadness that some of Rice’s characters bled—oh, the sadness! There is no beauty in an immortal life, nor even any life as life implies an end. Sinking but never reaching bottom, falling but never landing, the vampire is burdened to linger in an unceasing decline as all the world around him changes and decays. The deaths of human allies, the troubles of mankind, and disassociation from nature—war, disease, disaster—to these things the vampire bears eternal witness.

So it was that I learned not so much to fear death as to fear life, to fear all the things that one is tasked to tackle during her time on this planet, whether in a finite or infinite frame. This is not to say that Rice’s work made me afraid to live. Not at all. Indeed, it made me want to live as much as I can before my time comes.

Her references to art and music, to history and culture, to sensation and perception, remind me that this life is a mixed bag. For all the darkness one must face, so too there is light.

And I needed to be reminded of that light, and recall familiar characters to whom I could relate, when my own life’s story began to unfold. Losing my mom, my only sibling, my father, and my grandmother within seven very short years, I felt like Louis, Lestat, and a handful of my other favorite characters. I was alone, neglected, forgotten. Forsaken, perhaps. The immortality I once craved would not remedy this. It’d only make it much, much worse.

Rice’s words helped me grow, from a teen to a woman, from a happy-go-lucky idealist to an open-minded realist, and from a reader to a writer. They allowed me to take a look at the human experience, as enlivened by nonhumans, and ground my perspective as an individual and a creator.

When I began writing novels, I couldn’t help but write according to how I read. It became my goal to see the complex plots, realistic characters, dramatic story-telling, and cross-genre style of Mother Rice’s work reflected in my own fiction.

Note that the stories I write are not Horror, at least not in any traditional sense. There are absolutely no paranormal, other-than-natural elements in my work. I write about people, human beings, some of whom are far more monstrous than any preternatural inhabitant of Rice’s literary world.

Through the Vampire Chronicles, I was able to hone my understanding of what does and does not constitute a real “monster.” Lore and legend, along with pop culture notions, would have us believe that vampires are dirty, rotten beasts of prey. Evil. No good. Mean-spirited, depraved, inclined to do only harm.

This is not the typical Rice vampire. Rice vampires border on being tragic heroes, for whom the reader cannot help but feel empathy and compassion. These characters are troubled creatures. They simply are not monsters.

But some of my human characters are. Dirty, rotten beasts of prey. Evil. No good. Mean-spirited, depraved, inclined to do only harm. Yeah. These words are better suited for my characters than for Rice’s.

Take, for example, Bender, the male antagonist in my most recent release, “pig.” He’s not a very nice guy. He beats his wife, calls her despicable names, and makes her live under his thumb. He drinks too much, shoves chewing tobacco in his mouth every chance he gets, and is generally pissed off because he never found fame.

Let’s look at Louis now—the vampire who was interviewed in the first title of Rice’s series. Louis didn’t too much like the idea of killing humans for blood, so he’d drink from rats when he had the chance. With limited exception, he never wanted to pass his Dark Gift on to others, because he didn’t want another to suffer as he’d done for centuries without end.

Louis could deliver a world of hurt if he wanted to. But he doesn’t want to. Now, Bender, on the other hand, he’s lookin’ to give far more pain than he’s willing to receive. Louis’ immortal existence brought suffering and torture mainly to Louis himself, while it was others who suffered and were tortured during Bender’s mortal stint. So who’s the loathsome swine here?

This post is live online as of Friday, July 13, 2012. That’s right—Friday the 13th. It’s a day we think of Jason Voorhees, the undead, and other things that go “Boo!” But these aren’t the scariest things in this world.

We are.

We, the humans, must endure a human condition not unlike the inescapable humanness and humanity embodied in the plights of the vampires in Rice’s series. Life, loss, death, upheaval, decline, and lots of other scary shit goes on around us, unstoppable forces eroding our very existence as if we stood as timeless pillars on a plane of perpetual fast motion.

We, the humans, have in our genetic code a primal disposition toward the gruesome, an uncanny ability to turn human circumstances into inhumane situations. Abuse, adultery, alcoholism, asshole-ism run rampant on this planet. We are the victims and the aggressors of the most heinous acts imaginable.

A scorned wife cuts off her cheating husband’s penis. A militant extremist storms into a youth camp and opens fire. Shoe bombs on airplanes and child molesters next door. You name it. The world of supernatural fiction suddenly seems so much more appealing. It’s easier to assign such base emotions and actions to something that is not human or living. We don’t want to confront the realities we are capable of, or have already committed, so we look for a scapegoat, something nonhuman to absorb our more prurient human inclinations.

Vlad Tepes had a penchant for impaling his captives on wooden stakes and is rumored to have feasted on their remains. Countess Elizabeth Bathory liked to take nice warm baths in the blood of young virgins. History has noted these blood-lusters, and they were human. But talking about Dracula as a fictitious supernatural character, rather than as none other than Vlad Tepes, heir to the Dracul reign, allows us to think that we humans are better than we really are.

Just as blind faith has been argued as an opiate for the masses, so too can be unyielding interest in the preternatural. We need something to dilute the truth and shade us from the inevitable, the unsavory, and the unknown. Immortality quashes the quandary of an afterlife. Nonhuman monsters allow us to sidestep human accountability, while simultaneously engorging the ever-present imp of our universal perverse.

But what of the fictitious bad guys like my Bender?

Writing him does the same thing that writing a vampire does, by putting real fears into fiction. But it does something else as well—or, rather, doesn’t do something else.

It doesn’t allow the reader to shift focus away from human instinct and incident. It tells the reader that shit happens, and that it happens because of people just like you and just like me. People. A man whose artistic ambitions failed, who is unhappy in his marriage, who looks at sex as a disgraceful and distasteful act is capable of cruel things. And his battered wife is capable of murder.

Have you ever cheated on a significant other? Ever slapped or hit a loved one? Ever wished somebody dead or called them a foul name? If you did these things, how’d you feel afterwards? I’m guessing you probably felt bad. Maybe you felt a little freakish, kinda like a monster.

And if you felt that way, if you did these things or merely contemplated them, guess what: You’re not alone. You’re one of millions upon millions of other likeminded people, though you’ll find only a small fraction willing to admit to these primitive impulses.

You can step into my fiction to confront those parts of yourself that are human, that you don’t necessarily like. Find a character to relate to—a victim or a perpetrator—and hunker down with human nature. See real life threads mimicked and woven into fictitious elaborations. Embrace what you are, what you were, and what you never want to be. Hide from yourself no longer.

In closing, I feel the need to issue a disclaimer. I love me a good vampire novel! The first half of this post should show just how much I’ve been influenced and affected by the work of the mother of all vampire yarns, the Queen of the Damned herself, Anne Rice. So don’t think for one second that I’m dismissing the subgenre. We need these types of stories to function as a society. Alls I’m sayin’ is that we need my brand too.

Wanna meet my monsters? Find “pig” on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Pig-ebook/dp/B008AY5L66 and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sbrmartin.pig.

Video Teaser-Clip:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWkHow6cIyk&feature=plcp.

Also by sbr martin: “in wake of water,” available for purchase at http://www.amazon.com/In-Wake-Of-Water-ebook/dp/B005WOFNFG and likeable on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/inwakeofwater.

Check out sbr martin’s Goodreads author profile for blog updates, reviews, giveaways, and other cool stuff—http://www.goodreads.com/sbrmartin.

Read it. Live it. Love it. sbr.


Pig

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 The Giveaway

Up for grabs is one free digital copy of “pig” by sbr martin. A .mobi file of the title will be sent to a winner selected at random from specific comments to this post.

What the heck does that mean?

Here’s how it works:

1) This is MANDATORY to be entered for a chance to win: Leave a comment below where you name a human character (from a book) who you find scarier or more loathsome than the average “monster,” and write a sentence or two about why that character frightens you.

2) Like SBR Martin on facebook for a second entry.  Click HERE to like her. Make sure you leave a comment here saying you did. If you already have, just leave a comment on here saying you already did.

3) If you would like to up those odds, like ME on facebook for a third entry. Click HERE to like me on facebook. Make sure you leave a comment saying you liked me for a chance to win! If you already liked me on facebook before, just leave a comment telling me you already did and you will get your third entry.

Easy-Peasy! The names will go in a random name generator. I will put all the names in there 1, 2, or 3 times depending on the number of times you entered. I will hit the button and it will give us a winner! The contest closes at 8 a.m CST 7/16. Winners will be announced shortly afterwards. GOOD LUCK!

Author Ashley Robertson Guest Post/Giveaway **CONTEST CLOSED!**


***CONTEST CLOSED***
Beating The Heat With A Book
by Ashley Robertson
(This is one of my shorter guest blog posts; sorry to those who prefer my more lengthy ramblings.**chuckles)
The best way for me to beat the heat is by sitting indoors with my fingers typing away on my laptop, working on my next novel. For the first summer in all of my native central Floridian life, I’m not trying to escape the Sunshine State—I’m doing quite the opposite actually. Usually the heat and humidity is more brutal than I can tolerate during the summertime months, but when I look at the weather map of the country and see that Florida is actually cooler than most other places, not only am I shocked, but I’m actually glad to be in Florida. What is going on with our world? Most of the northern states don’t even have air-conditioning, as cooler climates are expected during their summers. My hubby and I have been known to flee from our home in Orlando to visit places like LA, Boston, and Montreal to cool down. But now I’m more motivated to camp out at home, in the comfort of my overworked air-conditioning.
 
So even if you’re not a writer, then you’re at least a reader if you’re reading this blog post. How are you staying cool? Perhaps reading a book in the most comfortable room of your home? I know a lot of us have kids to care for, but with my little guy being in camp for the summer, it frees me up to not only finish my next book, but also allows me to continue building more blogationships with all the amazing authors, book bloggers and reviewers, and readers out there. Because every author knows that without those dedicated book lovers, our writing careers would be nowhere. And while we pray for a cold front to bring us relief from the heat, I’m also thanking God for this amazing opportunity to connect with some of the “coolest” people I’ve ever met. Come visit me at my website. I’d love to connect with you: http://www.ashleyrobertsonbooks.com/ or find me on these social media outlets:
LINKS TO BUY ASHLEY ROBERTSON’S BOOKS:
UnGuarded  (Amazon E-book)

Crimson Groves (The Crimson Series) (Amazon E-book)

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THE GIVEAWAY! (2 E-book copies of Unguarded)

The Giveaway is simple. You get three chances to enter.

1) The first one is MANDATORY. You must leave a comment on this post that has something to do with this guest post. That will get you in the running!

2) Like ASHLEY ROBERTSON BOOKS on facebook for a second entry.  Click HERE to like her. Make sure you leave a comment here saying you did. If you already have, just leave a comment on here saying you already did.

3) If you would like to up those odds, like ME on facebook for a third entry. Click HERE to like me on facebook. Make sure you leave a comment saying you liked me for a chance to win! If you already liked me on facebook before, just leave a comment telling me you already did and you will get your third entry.

Easy-Peasy! The names will go in a random name generator. I will put all the names in there 1, 2, or 3 times depending on the number of times you entered. I will hit the button and it will give us a winner! The contest closes at 8 a.m CST 7/13. Winners will be announced shortly afterwards. GOOD LUCK!

Review/Giveaway of Dhampyr Heritage by E.G. Gaddess (CONTEST CLOSED)


 ***CONTEST CLOSED***WINNER: CHRISTINA REVELS***

Dhampyr Heritage is a old-school vampire book. These vampires are not the sexy and sweet ones that you find in novels these days. They are evil. This is also a YA book. It is set in the early 1900’s. It starts with Christian and Gideon as young boys of around 12. Christian has a secret to share with Gideon, a secret that he is not supposed to tell anyone. He tells Gideon because they are best friends and share everything, and tells him to meet him out by the pear tree. This is no juvenile secret though, as it has dire consequences. Gideon witnesses Christian being turned into vampire. In an effort to keep Gideon safe and twart the rumors that Gideon had something to do with Christians death, his family sends him away to his grandmothers.

Fast forward four years and the vampires have found Gideon. Gideon realizes that his family has known all along that vampires exist. His family is actually a family of vampire hunters! Deciding to journey home, Gideon meets a girl, Zola, on the boat that takes him home. Zola has many secrets of her own. (I know something you don’t know!) 🙂 Once home, Gideon realizes that Christian is indeed a vampire, and that he still looks twelve years old. Christian is trying to fight his vampire nature and it is an eternal struggle.

The book centers around a variety of secrets, lies and danger. Gideon is on a journey that no teenage boy should ever have to go through. At times funny and sweet, with a clean YA budding romance, it also has the added edge of page-turning anticpation to know what is going to happen next.. This is a new twist on vampires and is very well-written. I really enjoyed this book even though it is not my usual type of book. I prefer more modern books but this made me think I should give more books like this a chance. I give this book 4 stars!

Quotes from the Book:

“A man. A powerful man. He is going to share his power with me, and then I will share it with you.”

“Never be ashamed of those tears. To feel sorrow at another’s pain or death is not a weakness. What is weak is to let it pull you into your own despair. There is always hope. Remember that.”

“Because, yes, being with Zola made him feel like he could toss a pear core clear across the meadow and beyond.”

Once again, if I have talked you into reading this book, please leave a review where you bought it. Every review helps the author. I am inserting a link for the book below.


Dhampyr Heritage  (Kindle E-Book)
Dhampyr Heritage  (Paperback)

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THE GIVEAWAY! (1 Signed Paperback of Dhampyr Heritage)

The Giveaway is simple. You get three chances to enter.

1) The first one is MANDATORY. You must leave a comment on this post that has something to do with this review. That will get you in the running!

2) Like E.G. GADDESS on facebook for a second entry.  Click HERE to like her. Make sure you leave a comment here saying you did. If you already have, just leave a comment on here saying you already did.

3) If you would like to up those odds, like ME on facebook for a third entry. Click HERE to like me on facebook. Make sure you leave a comment saying you liked me for a chance to win! If you already liked me on facebook before, just leave a comment telling me you already did and you will get your third entry.

Easy-Peasy! The names will go in a random name generator. I will put all the names in there 1, 2, or 3 times depending on the number of times you entered. I will hit the button and it will give us a winner! The contest closes at 8 a.m CST 7/12. Winners will be announced shortly afterwards. GOOD LUCK!

Upcoming Interviews/Reviews/Giveaways!!!


This will be a short post I just wanted to fill you in on next week’s activities so you do not miss out!

MONDAY: Interview/Giveaway with Fayth Devlin, author of Blood Lust Rising. This is adult paranormal romance! (1 E-book)

WEDNESDAY: Review/Giveaway of Dhampyr Heritage by E.G. Gaddess. If you like evil, old-school vampyres, this is the book for you. (1 Signed Paperback)

THURSDAY: Guest Post/Giveaway with author Ashley Robertson. She writes paranormal romance and urban fantasy! (2 E-books)

FRIDAY: Guest Post/Giveaway with SBR Martin, author of Pig. Pig is  “an unnerving, yet inspiring, story of domestic abuse, sexuality, reflection, and loss.” (1 E-book)

I hope you all tune in next week and enter to win all this great stuff. These are great authors and great books!

GIVEAWAY + REVIEW of Richard Stephenson’s ‘Collapse’ Ends at Midnight CST 7/7


***GIVEAWAY OVER!***    Winners are Jill James and Heather Alexander

COLLAPSE: NEW AMERICA BOOK 1

Richard Stephenson’s Collapse is a post-apocalyptic rollercoaster ride. Imagine the world right now, then imagine it again in the year 2027, except by then it is the America of your nightmares. The fact that is only 15 years in the future is extremely frightening to me because this book is so realistic. I could see most everything actually happening. I was hooked from the first page. The characters and supporting characters are so believable. The book revolves around 3 men specifically, but there are so many other stories and lives entwined within the pages. Stephenson did a very skilful job of flowing from story to story. He is a big one for leaving a character at a cliffhanger at the end of the chapter and making you wait several more chapters to find out what happened. Which I am a big fan of that because it makes the book more exciting.

In the book, America is in the 2nd Great Depression. Gas runs as high as $15 a gallon, travel is pretty much at a standstill. Most people are homeless and jobless. Florida is practically wiped off the map by a category 5 hurricane that makes landfall several times and decimated everything. Terrorists are on American soil and they could be anybody, even your next door neighbor. The government is no help to anybody, and becomes corrupt. The middle East has banded together as an army that is set on toppling America. This time, they actually have a shot at success.

Howard Beck is the richest, and most reclusive, man in America. He has Asperger’s Syndrome and has a genius IQ. He loves Star Trek. He is the creator of the world’s first computer that can think on its own. The computer’s name is HAL and he is a big part of the book. Hal is actually one of my favorite characters. Howard lives in a fortress that he defends at all costs but it is not enough to save it.

Richard Dupree is an ex-Navy Seal that is an escaped convict. Richard’s main concern is his children. I can’t go into why he is an escaped convict because it will just ruin it. Richard will do whatever takes to get to his children and keep them safe.

Maxwell Harris, or Max, is the crippled Chief of Police of a small Texas town. When a hurricane threatens to hit Texas, Max does whatever he can to save his town, which is not enough. There is love story intertwined with the story of Max, that gives it a touch of sweetness. Max goes on a journey away from Texas that has shocking consequences.

All three men go through hell to get where they are going and their journey brings them together. America is under new leadership, but not how you might think. The book leaves it very open for the next in the series.

I am not doing this book justice really. I can’t give out to many details because it will ruin the book. This book had me on the edge of my seat. It literally gave me strange, vaguely terrifying dreams of America falling into ruin. This book is masterfully written, and if you like this type of book, and even if you do not, it is worth the read. I think this book deserves 4.5 stars. I cannot wait to read the next book.

Once again, if I have talked you into reading this book, please leave a review of it where you bought it. Every review helps the author. This book comes out today, so I will insert a link for it below.


Collapse (New America)

GIVEAWAY!!!

We have one signed paperback and one Amazon Kindle e-book to give away today! The e-book will be gifted through Amazon. If you do not have a kindle, you can download the kindle app on most smart phones, tablets and PC’s. AMAZON FOR PC APP

The rules are easy. You can get up to two possible entries. Leaving a comment on this page is mandatory to enter. The comment should have something to do with the review. If you do not leave a comment on this review, you will not be entered to win the book.

You can get another entry by ‘liking’ my facebook page! Click HERE to like my facebook page!

Please leave a comment on my facebook page saying that you liked it to earn an entry. If you are already a fan on my page just leave a comment saying that you want an extra entry.

Contest ends on Saturday at midnight. I will post the winners on this page and my facebook page on Sunday morning, 6/8. Winners will have to submit their addresses or other contact info by 6/9 at midnight to receive their prizes, otherwise another winner will be picked.

WINNERS- Just leave a comment on this page with your email or request mine if you do not want yours public.

No family members of Cynthia Shepp can be entered. Good Luck!

It will be a old-fashioned random drawing! 🙂 I did not know how hard it was to put any kind of widget on WordPress. I could not get rafflecopter to work. So until I figure out a better way to do it, I am throwing the names in a bowl and letting my kids pick the winners. 🙂 This is my first giveaway so we will have to learn together!

Please follow my blog for more reviews and giveaways.

GIVEAWAY ALERT!!! 7/6/12


GIVEAWAY ALERT! PLEASE SHARE EVERYWHERE!
I am so excited to announce that Friday I will be doing a review/giveaway of Richard Stephenson’s ‘Collapse’. Friday is the release date for the book and I am telling you this is a book not to be missed! It is a post-apocalyptic-dystopian book that literally has me on the edge of my seat. It is so realistic. Friday I will have a signed paperback copy and an amazon e-book copy up for grabs! I do not know yet how the giveaway will be ran, either through rafflecopter or random.org probably. Here is the blurb for the book and a chance to preview the first 7 chapters! Don’t forget to tune in for your chance to win!

http://richardstephensoncollapse.tumblr.com/

America is falling, ready to join the Roman Empire as a distant memory in the annals of history. The year is 2027. Tired and desperate, the American people are deep in the middle of The Second Great Depression. The Florida coastline is in ruins from the most powerful hurricane on record, a second just like it is bearing down on the state of Texas. For the first time in history, the Middle East has united as one and amassed the most formidable army the world has seen since the Third Reich. A hidden army of terrorists are on American soil. This is the story of three men. Howard Beck, the world’s richest man, also diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. Richard Dupree, ex-Navy SEAL turned escaped convict. Maxwell Harris, a crippled, burnt out Chief of Police of a small Texas town. At first they must fight for their own survival against impossible odds. Finally, the three men must band together to save their beloved country from collapse.