Monthly Archives: August 2012

A review of Phillip Frey’s ‘Dangerous Times’


REVIEW BY CASSIE HOFFMAN

Dangerous Times is a crime-thriller that is full of twist and turns and unpredictable situations. The story has murder, sex, lies, and it is just an all around dark and gritty story. Dangerous Times keeps you on your toes, guessing and wondering what is going to happen next.

Frank is a hit man who is paid to do his favorite thing, kill. He comes up with a plan to screw over his boss for a few million dollars. His wife Ty helps him, because she wants’ payback for what her uncle, Frank’s boss did to her parents. But what Ty doesn’t know won’t hurt her, because Frank has no plans to include Ty.

Frank is obsessed with what he does and fascinates about slicing women’s veins with his favorite blade when he sees them. He is a cold-blooded murder that loves what he does. He nicknames his victims pigeons. Frank has no sympathy for anyone or for what he does. He dreams about killing more and more people.

When Franks plan calls for a look-a-like that is where Kirk, ex-marine and mechanic comes in. He will Kill Kirk, take over his identity and trade places. So when they find Kirks body they will think its Frank and never come look for him.

Frank goes through with his plan, but everything stars unraveling. Something goes wrong…I am not going to tell ya what that is, but it’s a good plot!

That is where we meet Hicks, a high-ranking cop who has taken bribes and is facing being kicked off the police force. Hicks’ is also struggling with the death of a very close family member and a divorce.

All three of these men’s lives are intertwined throughout the book; they are all similar in a way, and looking for a way out. There is also a racial divide in the book between, whites, blacks and Hispanics. You will meet quit a few different characters, who play a pivotal role in the story.

Throughout the book, Franks plan is unraveling right in front of his eyes. Will he get his “Pigeon”, make a successful switch, and get the money? Will his determination pay off? You’ll just have to find out!

Every chapter is told by a different character, they switch back and forth. We get to see what they are thinking, feeling, and dealing with. I enjoyed it to a point, it was something different then other books I have read, but it also would make me detach a bit. I struggled to read the book, just because it was a different genre for me but I really did enjoy it. I have to say the author knows how to write a story, merge the characters all together, and keep you guessing and wondering how it’s going to end.

QUOTES FROM THE BOOK:

“Listen wise-guy when you get to be my age, you’re gonna look back and see what a fuckup you’ve been”-Bob Staub

“Yeah, Maria, how bout I just take his shoes.”- Juan

“Ta-ten, ten-ten milly-milly-million!”- Ty

If I have talked you into reading this book, please leave a review where you bought it. Every review helps the author! I will insert a link to buy the book from Amazon under the picture. I hope you give it a chance!


Dangerous Times

Katherine Polillo Guest Post/Giveaway (contest closed)


Hi everyone my name is Katherine Polillo and my book Destine is now available through the Kindle store at www.amazon.com.  My inspiration for Destine was not a dream or a grand ah ha moment, rather it was a compilation of things.  I have a love of YA literature and knew I wanted to write something within that genre.  I also was raised in a very religious household, very fire and brimstone.  While in college as a history major, I found a passion for studying all religions of the world.  So when I sat down to write a book it came very naturally to combine my love of theology with my love of YA literature, and ta-da: Destine was born.

Many writers will tell you that they have been writing since they were children and always knew that this is what they wanted to do.  I was not one of these cases.  I have been a lifelong reader and lover of books, but had never even attempted to write a short story, let alone a book, until I sat down to write Destine.  I was a history major in college with a minor in English and had read everything from the traditional literary classics, to the modern cult classics, to drug store paperbacks, but if I’m being honest it was the genre of Young Adult Paranormal Fiction that grasped my interests the most.  If I was going to read for enjoyment and pleasure that was the genre that I found most captivating, so it is with no great surprise that Destine is YA Paranormal Fiction, but this does not explain how I came to call myself an author.  

I was teaching middle school social studies when the infamous budget cuts of New Jersey occurred and all non-tenured positions were eliminated.  It was mortifying to be called to the principal’s office like a child and be told “you’re great, but there is no money to pay you, so we are not renewing your contract.”  I felt cut adrift into a sea of uncertainty.  I had gone to college, I had worked hard, I had done everything right, so why did this happen?  As I struggled with finding a new job, I also buried myself in reading to escape the realities of my life.  It was during this time period, where I found myself with an abundance of free time, that I decided to try to write.  My husband had told me for years that I should write a book, but I had never made the attempt.  I sat down at my computer and my characters seemed to flow from me, as if they had always been there waiting to make their entrance.  I loved the feeling of creating a life for them that I had control over, when my own seemed out of my hands. 

When I finally finished Destine, I found a very happy home with Anchor Group publishing. I am thankful that I have this supportive and hilarious family to take this ride with.  Sails are hoisted, hatches are battened down, anchor is raised and Destine and I are ready to set sail with Anchor Group to navigate. 

Stalker links:

http://www.facebook.com/WatchersTrilogy

http://www.destine-watcherstrilogy.com

https://twitter.com/KPolillo

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15792303-destine

Trailer Link:

http://youtu.be/yPvg1oVHp8s

Buy Links:

Available through Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Destine-The-Watchers-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B008TXCLWU/ref=sr_1_9?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1344354379&sr=1-9&keywords=Destine

Available through my Author App on my Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WatchersTrilogy

__________________________________________________________________________________________

THE GIVEAWAY:

Katherine has been so kind as to offer a combination prize! One lucky winner will win a pdf version of the book, a bookmark, and a magnet! To enter is easy! Three chances to as usual. Names will go in random name generator however many times you entered and it will spit out a winner!

1) This is MANDATORY! Leave a comment on this post asking Katherine a question about her book or the post.

2) LIKE her facebook page. Click HERE to like her page. Make sure you tell me that you did!

3) FOLLOW her on Twitter. Click HERE to follow her. Make sure you tell me that you did!

Contest ends 8/9 at 8am CST!

I ALSO HAVE A CONTEST GOING ON FOR THE SAME PRIZE ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE. ENTER IT FOR EVEN MORE CHANCES TO WIN! http://www.facebook.com/cynthiashepp

Jayce Grayson’s ‘Xianne: A Comedy of Cultures: Volume 1’ Review/Giveaway (CONTEST CLOSED!)


Xianne: A Comedy of Cultures: Volume 1

I have to say that this is one of my favorite books. Not only is it funny, and hot as hell, but it has an underlying message that I hope everyone gets. It is a satire and it deals with societies problems in a humorous way. Jayce Grayson really did it for me with this book 🙂

Welcome aboard the Xianne, a famous spaceship, and journey with the characters through an adventure that will have your blood pressure rising (in a good way!) and your brain churning, as you go from a space station in the orbit of the earth, all the way to Mars, in the 24th century. Earth has been “burdened beneath heavy-handed laws, injustice, and fear; yet liberated by abundant power-thanks to Helium-3 Fusion Reactors-and the Porn Culture’s near-eradication of the sexual taboo,” (straight from the back cover).

Along the way you will meet four people that hope to board the Xianne, which is owned by the mysterious and extremely rich Tom Duncan. The main character, Jim, is a young man who hopes to find passage and work on the Xianne. He applies for the job by filling out a strange questionnaire, where he meets the other three people that eventually join him aboard the ship. They are Sax, Suki, and Keira. These three people could not be any more different than Jim if they tried. In the questionnaire room, they look over Jim’s shoulder while he is filling in his answers and began a conversation about the ask/tell question, which asks your sexual orientation. They realize that Jim is NAY, which means that he is not sexually attracted to anyone. Yes, I know, how weird is that??

That sparks off a friendship between one nay and three highly-charged sexually active people. Once aboard the ship they meet Tom Duncan, Dr. Sharon Miles, and Moses Jones, who are the only three people aboard the ship besides a crotchety old artificially intelligent computer. This begins a trip like you have never taken before, unless of course you have been on a swinging cruise or something similar lol. Jim’s adventure takes him on a ship where sex is enjoyed and shared by everyone publically, besides him and Moses. Jim has to learn how to handle, and deal with, all the sexually charged tension, while fitting in and becoming a part of the group. He stays true to himself, even though he is given many opportunities to join the “party” so to speak, as well as a very close relationship with Dr. Miles. I could go on and on about this book, but I do not want to post any spoilers so I have to stop.

The bad thing about this is I do not know how to explain it to its full potential.

Yes, this book is a panty-drenching, hilarious ride that will have you gasping for more when you hit the last page, but it is also a look into humanity and what our culture is coming to. This is a world where almost nothing is taboo and even marriage is not sacred, but then again, people are free and liberated to do what they like. Regardless, you will have to make up your own mind about this book and I urge you to give it a chance.

Xianne is super-entertaining, perfectly edited, and a laugh-out-loud, make you think masterpiece! I give this book 5 stars and I cannot wait to read Volume 2!

(Which I have half of even though it is not due for release until early 2013! Ha-ha! The joke is probably on me though because I am going to die when I read it and it stops mid-book. That Jayce Grayson is cruel!)

Quotes from the book:

“I think that beautiful people are beautiful-even if they’re naked. Sometimes, especially if they are naked.”

It’s a Porn world-a Porn Solar System, now-No attractive woman alive expects to find all of her panties the next time she looks.”

“Sexual orientation is just a matter of our preference.”

Once again if I have talked you into reading this book, please leave a review for the author where you bought it. Every review helps the author. There is a link to buy the book under the picture and a giveaway below that.

Amazon: Xianne: A Comedy of Cultures: Volume One

__________________________________________________________________________________________

The Giveaway:

I have TWO SIGNED copies of Xianne up for grabs today. It is easy to enter, and you get three chances.

1) All you have to do is comment on this page about the review.

*For extra entries show some support to Jayce Grayson and let me know that you did. He has a new author page that needs some likes and a new blog on Goodreads! Don’t forget to tell me that you liked him on Facebook and/or followed him on Gooodreads.

2) Click HERE to “like” Jayce Grayson on Facebook.

3) Click HERE to follow or friend Jayce Grayson on Goodreads.

Contest ends 8/8 at 8am CST. Names will be entered into a random name generator however many times you entered, and two winners will be announced shortly after. Thanks!

Shaun Jeffrey’s Day by Day Review/Giveaway


(Giveaway Details Below: PLEASE read review first!)

Shaun Jeffrey’s Day by Day

This is a short novella with a huge impact. This book highlights the horrific reality of child and sexual abuse. Tina, the main character, is a fifteen year old child and the product of a broken home. She has a weekly visit with a father that she thinks loves her sister more. An older sister that she has a huge sibling rivalry with, and a mother that goes through men like tissues and tries to be something she is not, which is young again. Tina has no self-esteem and it shows. When her mother’s new boyfriend, Trevor, starts showing her attention with money, cds, and kind gestures, Tina eats it up. Little does Tina know that Trevor is grooming her for something sick and sadistic, a life of drugs and prostitution. Tina falls in love with Trevor hard, as any fifteen year old falls in love, and starts a sexual relationship with him. Tina’s whole personality changes and she becomes jealous and withdrawn. Before long, Tina will do anything for Trevor, ANYTHING, and that is when everything spirals out of control.

This is a scary novella to read for anybody who has kids, as I do, and it opens your eyes to the depravity that exists in the world. Full of shock value and emotional moments, Day by Day is a must read. The best thing about this book is that on Amazon it says, “A percentage of any profits from this story will be donated to a children’s charity to help those affected by sexual exploitation.” I hope that you take the time and the measly .99 cents that this book costs, to clink on the link and buy the book.

Quotes from the book:

“Had it really only been six months since he entered my life?”

“Better not tell your sister or your mum about the money. It’ll be our little secret.”

“I soon learned that monsters were real and that they were in human form.”

“It was easier to say yes and keep him happy.”

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 will put a link to buy the book under the cover.


Buy on Amazon for $0.99: Day by Day

__________________________________________________________________________________________

THE GIVEAWAY:

There will be a giveaway with this post, but I hope that everyone that reads this post will buy this book. Shaun is giving away 1 e-book copy. To be entered in this giveaway I want to hear your thoughts about the book’s subject matter (child abuse/sexual abuse) in a comment below. You can always buy a copy to share with friends or even just buy a copy to help out. Every little bit counts! Giveaway ends 8/7 at 8 am CST.

D.S. Hellen’s ‘Chasing Evil’s Shadow’ Review/Giveaway (CONTEST CLOSED)


(3 signed copies of Chasing Evil’s Shadow Giveaway Below: Please read review first)

Chasing Evil’s Shadow

D.S. Hellen created a world in which nightmares walk. As most of you know, I am a scaredy-cat lol, and I usually do not read horror books, but Chasing Evil’s Shadow is one I let slip through the cracks…and I am glad I did. This book kept me awake long after I finished the last page, as I lay in bed and looked in the shadows for the Cipes. The fog that I wake up to most mornings at my house became less about the beauty of the morning and more about what faceless, soul-sucking creatures could be lurking out in it.

The Traveler and the Hunter hunt the Cipes, which are soul-stealing demons that are from a different realm. Cipes are brought to our realm by the souls that scream to be taken, such as the worst people that humanity has to offer. When they are brought here by those souls, other souls along the way hang in the balance. The family members of the people whose souls get taken suffer horribly because of that. Along the journey the Traveler and the Hunter meet two men whose lives are intertwined with their own. These two men brave all sorts of battles to keep their souls intact, while grieving for the loss of many of their loved ones along the way. The characters of this book make it as you will really relate to them. Some of the scenes will have your stomach feeling uneasy and nervous. D.S. Hellen also takes some of lives more private moments, and makes them perverse, not in a sexual way, but in a super creepy way. It all works with the subject of the book though.

Pick up this book and journey with these men on an adventure that will have you holding your breath, looking over your shoulder, and hiding inside when you see creeping tendrils of fog lingering outside. I give this book four stars for creativity and for making it hard for me to sleep at night! It is well-written and the short chapters make it an easy, page turning read. It is also the first volume in a series and it leaves itself wide open for the next installment.

Quotes from the book:

“Your kitty lost his head. You get to keep yours…but your life is mine.”

“A thick fog draped over him, like it was trying to hide him or something, and I thought it was going to take me too.”

“Recently, everything had more flavor, colors were brighter, and the smells were more intriguing.”

 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 will place a link for the book below the cover.

Kindle: Chasing Evil’s Shadow

Paperback: Chasing Evil’s Shadow (Volume 1)

__________________________________________________________________________________________

THE GIVEAWAY:

I have THREE SIGNED COPIES of Chasing Evil’s Shadow to give away this weekend. This will be an easy entry. All you have to do is comment on this post and tell me WHY you want to read this book.

For an EXTRA entry, simply go to Chasing Evil’s Shadow Facebook page and give it a like. Click HERE to like the page. Let me know in a comment that you did or if you already have.

Contest ends 8/6 at 8am CST. Names will go in a random name generator however many time you answered, and the first three names it gives me will be owners of a signed copy 🙂 Good Luck!

WAITING FOR DAYBREAK BLOG TOUR GUEST POST/GIVEAWAY (CONTEST CLOSED!)


I am honored to be a part of the Waiting For Daybreak Blog Tour! Today I have a guest post from author Amanda McNeil. I hope y’all will make her feel very welcome and ask some questions as well as buy her book if you are interested lol. I will insert a link to buy the book from Amazon below. Amanda also generously offered an ebook of Waiting for Daybreak for giveaway. Giveaway details below.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________

GUEST POST:

Boston is an amazing location for an apocalypse.  I honestly don’t know why it doesn’t feature more often, although urban fantasy writers are starting to catch on to the allure.  I’ve lived in Boston for seven years now, and one of the things foreign tourists always tell me is that it is the most European city in America.  We all know nothing is spookier than old buildings and winding streets, and Boston has both.

 Most cities in America are built on the grid system, but Boston’s streets were literally originally cow paths.  I don’t know if you’ve seen the trails animals make in the wild, but they are not straight and planned.  They wind and meander.  This means that it’s a lot easier for something like, oh say a zombie, to sneak up on you.

 My zombie apocalypse, then, is set in this pseudo-European city with meandering streets, old buildings, and dark alleys.  It’s a modern, scientific apocalypse that somehow simultaneously manages to be gothic.  I thank Boston for that. 

 Frieda, the main character and thus a survivor, knows Boston very well.  She knows innately how to get from one neighborhood to the next by sense of direction alone, a talent that is not necessary in grid-style cities.  It’s one of her strengths that she doesn’t realize she has until the apocalypse forces her out of her depressed stupor and into survival mode. 

 Setting is important both in establishing the scene for the reader and developing the character.  In this instance, Frieda is more self-sufficient than she realizes purely because navigating a city that is not built on a grid takes a bit more effort.  Realizing that this is a skill she has and using it helps her to start to see her value as a person.  Her journey out of depression and into self-actualization is thus helped along by the setting of the winding streets of Boston.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

WAITING FOR DAYBREAK BLURB:

What is normal?

 Frieda has never felt normal.  She feels every emotion too strongly and lashes out at herself in punishment.  But one day when she stays home from work too depressed to get out of bed, a virus breaks out turning her neighbors into flesh-eating, brain-hungry zombies.  As her survival instinct kicks in keeping her safe from the zombies, Frieda can’t help but wonder if she now counts as healthy and normal, or is she still abnormal compared to every other human being who is craving brains?

__________________________________________________________________________________________

 AUTHOR BIO:

Amanda is an energetic, masters degree educated, 20-something happily living in an attic apartment in Boston with her shelter-adopted cat.  She writes scifi, horror, urban fantasy, literary fiction, and paranormal romance.  She has previously published short stories and a novella.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

LINKS TO BUY THE BOOK AND CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR:

Buy on Amazon: Waiting For Daybreak

Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/Amanda-McNeil/e/B008DIXV8E/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

Website: http://opinionsofawolf.wordpress.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/amandamcneil

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5039763.Amanda_McNeil

Library Thing: http://www.librarything.com/profile/gaialover3

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/amandamcneil/

__________________________________________________________________________________________

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

I will make this giveaway super easy. There is ONE e-book of Waiting for Daybreak up for grabs. Winner has the choice of .epub or .mobi. To enter, all you have to do is ask a question about something that you read in this post. If you do not ask a question that is about something in this post, you will not be counted. So read and ask a question. Contest ends 8/3 at 8am CST with winner announced sometime afterwards. Thanks!

Robert Bryndza’s ‘The Not So Secret Emails of Coco Pinchard’ Review


 

I do not even know where to start because I do not want to post too many spoilers. I have so many pieces of the book rolling through my head and I am laughing just thinking about them! There were a few things that I had to look up but after I did, I just laughed some more and went back to reading.

Coco Pinchard is a hilarious character that anyone can relate too. She is still fairly young at 40-something, an author, and has a grown son who is gay. She lives in London and the story is full of British humor. The story starts out as a series of emails from Coco to her various family members and friends. It is Christmas time and Coco spouts off what she got for Christmas, from a bunch of Marlboro Lights, to the iPhone that her husband, Daniel, gave her. The most hilarious part is that Coco was not expecting an impersonal iPhone from her husband, she was fully expecting a present from Tiffany’s. The iPhone becomes Coco’s most prized possession, as she uses it to email her friends that are far away, as well as just to tell her son something while he is upstairs.

Daniel tells Coco that he is going out of town to be the new director of a musical. This starts off a series of events that culminate with Coco finding out that Daniel is cheating on her, with no other than Snow White! (lol, you will have to read it now just to find out what I am talking about!)

Coco and Daniel separate and ultimately divorce, but not without a million mishaps along the way that Coco manages to get herself into. Newly separated, Coco does not know what to do with herself. She manages to outcast herself in the publishing world with her book, Chasing Diana Spencer, because of a rivalry with the bestselling author of the time. Because of that all of her books are taken off the shelves and Coco goes on an adventure to see all her books burned.

Then there is her mother-in-law, Ethel, who is a crotchety old broad, who ends up living with her. Ethel is hilarious and horrible, in a well-meaning way. You can tell she loves Coco but she puts her through Holy Hell.

Then comes Coco’s chance to prove herself once again, by making a musical out of her book. With the help of all her friends, a few romances that will have you rolling in the floor, a couple of holidays, a visit to a jail in California, and a garden plot, Coco Pinchard will have you rolling on the floor and laughing so hard that you snort tea up your nose. (lol, I really did!).

The entire book is in email format and it really works. It flows so smoothly and the pages turn so fast because you just cannot put the book down. The emails are only one way but the story is told flawlessly from Coco’s point of view. The characters are fantastic from Coco’s best friends, Chris and Marika, to her various in-laws, to the hunky Adam that helps Coco find her way. I give this book 5 stars and I would give it more if I could.

This is one book you do not want to miss if you enjoy British humor and chick-lit. I am looking forward to reading many more books from Robert Bryndza and I hope you check this one out! It is actually free on Amazon today and tomorrow (August 1-2). I hope you snap it up, laugh your ass off, and write up a review! I would love to know what everyone else thinks about Robert’s brilliant book!

Quotes from the book: (I am going to limit myself to three but there are so many great ones!)

“E’s nineteen years old! It’s not trees e’s gonna be going up.”

“I heard your bed going like the clappers. For my own peace of mind I am going to assume you, and whoever, were jumping up and down on it to the music you were playing.”

“He’s letting her eat his corn on the cob.”

I also have to mention some words and phrases that I thought were so funny.

Prat, up the duff, bollards, pipped me to the post (there are just so many that are so funny!)

Link to Amazon: The Not So Secret Emails Of Coco Pinchard


The Not So Secret Emails Of Coco Pinchard