Sheila's Books Read

Sheila's bookshelf: read

What Would the Founding Fathers Think: A Young American's guide to understanding the mess our country is in and how we get out
Isabelle Webb: Legend of the Jewel
Captive Heart
Cobble Cavern
Caller ID
Summer of Secrets
On Little Wings
We Lived in Heaven: Spiritual Accounts of Souls Coming to Earth
Christ's gifts to women
A Woman's power: threads that bind us to god
Scary School
Hope's journey
Targets in Ties
Crater Lake: Battle for Wizard Island
With a Name like Love
Sean Griswold's head

Sheila's favorite books »

2022 Goodreads Reading Challenge

2022 Reading Challenge

2022 Reading Challenge
Sheila has read 6 books toward her goal of 90 books.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Book Blast and $100 Giveaway for Guardians INC: The Cypher by Julian Rosado-Machain


A chance reading of a newspaper ad will send 16 year old Thomas Byrne into the world within our world.

Following the ad he will find Guardians Incorporated. A seven thousand year old organization charged with protecting the balance between Magic and technology.

Through their guidance, technology has kept Magic at bay since the Renaissance, but the balance is shifting and soon all those creatures we've driven into myth and legend will come back with a vengeance.

To protect the present, Guardians Incorporated needs to know the future and to unlock the future
they need a Cypher.

Book Trailer

Guardians Inc.: The Cypher is FREE on Kindle, Nook and iBooks

USA Book News 2012 Finalist -Young Adult Fiction

"Rosado-Machain brings a light, humorous touch to themes of teenage love, loss and betrayal wrapped up in a tasty package of magical coming-of-age."
~Kirkus Reviews

"It's like Julian Rosado-Machain took everything that I love about middle grade children's fiction and slammed it into one awesome, well-paced fantasy"

"The Cypher hooked me from the beginning. And kept my attention right through to the very end."
- Heidi Roth

Get Your Copy for FREE

Author Julian Rosado-Machain

Julian has enjoyed pizza in three continents, holds a degree in graphic design, built armored vehicles and computers, handcrafted alebrijes and swears has seen at least one ghost.

He is the Co-owner of Hacienda de Vega Restaurant in San Diego, California and enjoys the sun with his wife, three children and cat.

Book Blast Giveaway
$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 3/13/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Book Blast and $50 Giveaway for Fields of Elysium by A.B. Whelan

Fields of Elysium by A.B. Whelan

How can love mend a heart full of hate?

Small town girl, Molly Bennett, moves to Los Angeles where she becomes an outsider while attending Beverly Hills High School. It seems life cannot be any more dreadful. Then one day after school, something magical happens. On a secluded hike in the Hollywood Hills, Molly chases her disobedient mutt and only friend into a hidden cavern. She stumbles upon a strange glimmering gateway that transports her to Arkana, a planet that is the cradle of an advanced human race. There, teenagers navigate amazing flying vehicles, compete in perilous games for glory, and possess supernatural powers. While Molly tries to wrap her mind around this unbelievable discovery, she meets the alluring and mysterious Victor Sorren. He is a Sentinel Apprentice, whose hatred toward people from Earth is beyond understanding. Yet every time Victor unpredictably saves Molly's life, his heart draws closer to hers, no matter how much he tries to fight against it. It further complicates things that their growing friendship is strictly forbidden. Earth people are prohibited in Arkana, yet Molly continues to cross through the portal to Arkana to see Victor. Torn between their double lives, they go down a dangerous path, from where there is no return and multiple endings.

Fields of Elysium is a suspenseful, romantic tale full of forbidden secrets, unimaginable danger, deception, and the never-ending fight for true love.


"The novel's take on otherworldly travel is a compelling one, and the romantic plot will likely appeal to Twilight fans." - Kirkus Reviews

"I expected a good love story with a paranormal twist. I got so much more. I think you should take the chance and read it. Let this book take you on the adventure, fall in love." - Young Adult and Teen Readers

"Fields of Elysium is a fabulous read. ... Whelan paints her faith into the fabric of her story with deft, light brushstrokes, making her work accessible to all, no matter their spiritual beliefs or background." - Readers Favorite

"I escaped into this fantasy world, author, A.B.Whelan, created and I didn’t want Molly to go. From detailed descriptions, to sweet romance, and to all the twist and turns in the story, it had me captivated from page one." - Mary Ting, author of the Crossroads Saga

"Whelan's writing is very vivid and descriptive. It's more formal than the average YA novel, but I enjoyed the lyrical and mesmerizing quality to it. I thought the overall story read like a fairy tale--very sweet." - Megan Thomason, author of Daynight

Author A.B. Whelan

A.B.Whelan is a Hungarian born, American writer. She currently lives with her husband and two children in Southern California.

While growing up in a wealthy Eastern European family, she had a chance to travel Europe. Later as an adult, she visited Africa and the Middle East and lived in Ecuador and in Crete.

Tour Schedule

$50 Book Blast Giveaway
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash plus a gift bag of one signed copy of Fields of Elysium, a scrabble-tile pendant with a butterfly image on a chain necklace, and a fridge magnet.

Ends 3/11/13

Gift Bag open to US only.  If winner is international they will receive only the gift card or paypal cash.
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Blog Tour Review of, Tide Ever Rising, by Mandi Tucker Slack

Product Details

  • Title: Tide Ever Rising
  • Author: Mandi Tucker Slack
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Cedar Fort, Inc. (February 12, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1462111076
  • ISBN-13: 978-1462111077
  • FTC:FYI: I received a review e-copy in exchange for an honest review.

Book Description: 
Kadence Reynold’s favorite pastime is exploring old ghost towns, but when she and her sister, Maysha, stumble across an old journal and cheap pendant hidden in the depths of a crumbling foundation near Eureka, Utah, their world is suddenly turned upside down. Immediately, strange dreams and premonitions begin to haunt “Kadie” as she learns more about the author of the journal, Charlotte Clark. Kadie sets out on a journey to learn more about Charlotte and her family, and she and Maysha travel to Bremerton, Washington, where they discover Charlotte's still living twin sister, Adelaide and her family.  

  Kadie and Maysha, upon arriving in Washington, are immediately immersed in Adelaide and Charlotte’s story. Kadie soon learns that Charlotte disappeared the night of a tragic fire that took the lives of Adelaide’s entire family. With the help of Logan Mathews, Adelaide’s handsome grandson, and Charlotte’s ever disconcerting presence, Kadie delves into the past. Hoping to solve the mystery of Charlotte’s disappearance, Kadie immediately discovers the secrets contained in the journal will toss her and Adelaide’s family into a world filled with mystery, past regrets, and dark unknowns.
My Review:
 Tide Ever Rising is a great mix of mystery, romance, and paranormal. This story grabs you from the first, and will not let you go until the end. It is easily a book that you can sit down and read in one sitting, if you have the time. I actually read about 3/4 of the book until my eyes wouldn't stay open any longer. 

Readers are first drawn in as Kadance (Kadie) and her sister, Maysha, are out exploring ghost towns. Kadie is a junior high history teacher in Utah. There in Eureka, Utah, Kadie finds an old can with a journal and a pendant in it. This new-found mystery pulls both sisters into a life changing adventure. They leave for Washington to return the contents to the closest living family member, Adelaide. Once they got to Washington and met Logan Matthews, Adelaide's grandson, both me and Kadie were taken in. I loved Logan and the type of man he was. He was strong, kind, loving, and very loyal to those he loves. Kadie and Logan were made for each other. I was enchanted by their love story. Though it happened quickly,they grew close by what they went through. Supporting characters 6-year-old Zaza, was darling (Logan's daughter), while Kadie's sister, Maysha, was sometimes annoying, I really liked Logan's devoted sister Beth. 

The scenes with the ghost were written well, realistic and not cheesy at all. The spirit of Charlotte, Adelaide's sister who had died many years before, ended up being a central part of the story. With loads of action, and bad guys threatening Logan's family...Tide Ever Rising will keep you reading until the wee hours of the morning.
Author Bio:
Picture Mandi Tucker Slack grew up in Orangeville, UT, where her father worked as a coal miner for eighteen years. In 1987 the coal mines shut down for a time and her father joined the U.S. Army. They were stationed in Hanau, Germany, and she had the opportunity to explore Europe. Mandi’s family returned to Utah in 1992, and they settled in Orangeville once again, where she attended and completed High School. She then attended the College of Eastern Utah, where she studied Geology. Eventually Mandi changed her major and moved on to Utah State University while she completed a degree in Special Education. She then married her best friend, Charles Slack. They have three children, with one on the way, 6 chickens, and a lizard (sometimes several lizards).Their family loves to spend time together. They enjoy 4-wheeling, camping, and especially rock hounding. Her house is littered with rocks and fossils. As a child Mandi spent many weekends with her parents and sister exploring abandoned mining towns and searching for relics among the brick ruins. Her adventures with her family are often the inspiration for her stories. Mandi is also the author of romantic/ suspense title, The Alias, available at a bookstore near you. Contact her via email at:

Friday, February 22, 2013

Review and $25 Giveaway for, The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back by Sariah Wilson

Tour Schedule

Product Details

  • Title: The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back
  • Author: Sariah Wilson
  • Paperback: 222 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (February 10, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1479321737
  • ISBN-13: 978-1479321735
  • FTC:FYI:I was given a review e-copy in exchange for an honest review.

Book Description:
Everyone knows how all those fairy tales go. The princess gets beautiful, nabs her prince, falls instantly in love, lives happily ever after and leaves her evil stepsisters in the dust.

But what happens when you’re the ugly stepsister and your obnoxiously perfect—read pretty, smart, and, worst of all, sickeningly nice—stepsister is dating the charming, tall, devastatingly handsome guy you’ve had a thing for since you were nine years old?

Quirky, artistic and snarky Mattie Lowe does not lead a charmed life. Her mother is constantly belittling her on Skype. Mercedes, the school mean girl, has made it her personal mission to torment Mattie. But worst of all? Her stepsister Ella is the most beautiful, popular girl in school and is dating Mattie’s secret longtime crush, Jake Kingston.

Tired of being left out and done with waiting for her own stupid fairy godmother to show up, Mattie decides to change her life. She’ll start by running for senior class president against wildly popular Jake.

Ella can keep her Prince Annoying. Mattie’s going to rule the school.

And no one, not even a cute and suddenly flirty Jake, is going to stop her.

My Review:
I had heard so many great things about this book, so I was very excited to read it! I wasn't disappointed at all. This YA book is fun, and full of teenage angst that is realistic, but with loads of humor. With witty main character, Mattie, taking the reins and standing up for herself, especially against the one person she desires the most,sets the way for a great plot. Mattie is such a likable girl, you can't help but be on her side, even though she isn't your typical heroine. Funny enough, the "perfect" stepsister Ella, is hard not to like too! The character of Jake is that guy in high school everyone had a crush on. You might think there are many cliches in this book, but you would be wrong, because of the fresh new voice that is found in Sariah's writing of these characters.  I also love that this is one of those books I can gladly hand over to my teenage daughter. I might even want to read it again with her...yes this book was that good! The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back is full of humor, a nice romance, and a feel good ending, that altogether makes for a really good read!



“My top pick of 2012 YA… This book is just. plain. fun.”
~Jordan McCollum, author of Saints & Spies and I, Spy

“Sariah Wilson's new book, The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back, is hilarious…What follows is a story of fun and romance with some good non-preachy life lessons thrown in.  The voice in the main character, Mattie, makes the whole thing.  I thought it was definitely a book I'd recommend to anyone with teenagers or who just want to read a good teen romance.”
~Julie Coulter Bellon, author of All Fall Down and All’s Fair

“Sariah [Wilson] has written one of the funniest stories I've read in such a long, long time. I literally couldn't put it down. Yes, my poor Kindle's battery died and I was attached to a short power cord, contorted in a very uncomfortable position while I read to the end…. Sariah Wilson captured the back-biting, insecure, hormone-driven, clique-riddled high school atmosphere so perfectly you'd think she never grew up. I dare you not to laugh as you read this witty and oh, so, romantic story.”
~Debra Erfert of Windows into Writing

“Sariah Wilson writes like the best of/most popular YA teen fiction/teen romance authors - Sarah Dessen, Jennifer Echols, Susanne Collins, Cassandra Clare.  She sucks you in and never lets you go.  I finished the ~194 novel in one night because I just couldn't go to sleep without knowing the ending!  I hope that Sariah comes out with more novels, I know I'll be re-reading this one all the time!  She's extremely talented and needs to be talked about.  I highly recommend The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back! to anyone (over the age of 12) who wants a YA novel that's a real modern-day fairy tale.”
~Hilary at Novel d’Tales

“This was such an entertaining story! I shouldn't have started reading it so late in the evening, because I didn't want to put it down to go to sleep…This is a book I can see myself reading several times. It's a fast, clean read with great characters, and I highly recommend it.”
~Andrea of Literary Time Out

The book is wonderful.  It’s quirky and fun.  The story makes you laugh and you fall in love with the characters right from the beginning…This is a well-written book.  It is one that will make you smile and sigh as you remember your first love.  And it has a moral…be yourself, believe in yourself and maybe, just maybe, your fairytale will come true.  Pick up this book.”
~Ana of The Book Hookup

Author Sariah Wilson

Sariah Wilson has never jumped out of an airplane, never climbed Mt. Everest, and is not a former CIA operative. She has, however, been madly, passionately in love with her soulmate and is a fervent believer in happily ever afters—which is why she writes romance. The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back is her fourth happily ever after novel. She grew up in southern California, graduated from Brigham Young University (go Cougars!) with a semi-useless degree in history, and is the oldest of nine (yes, nine) children. She currently lives with the aforementioned soulmate and their four children in Utah, along with three tiger barb fish, a cat named Tiger, and a recently departed hamster that is buried in the backyard (and has nothing at all to do with tigers).

Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 3/10/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Review and Giveaway for, Three Sisters and Showstoppers by Helen Smith

Tour Schedule

Three Sisters and Showstoppers by Helen Smith

 Book Descriptions:
Three Sisters and Showstoppers are two novella-length stories in the Emily Castles mystery series. The first full-length novel, Invitation to Die, will be published by Thomas & Mercer in October 2013.

The Emily Castles mystery series is set in present-day London. It features twenty-six-year-old Londoner Emily Castles and her neighbor, eccentric philosophy professor Dr. Muriel Crowther. In Three Sisters, Emily goes to a party in a big house at the end of her street. She's sure she witnesses a murder, but no one will believe her. She teams up with Dr. Muriel to investigate.

In Showstoppers, Emily helps out at a local stage school run by her neighbor, Victoria. Soon she's mixed up in a blackmail plot and two deaths. Emily and Dr. Muriel team up to prevent further a massacre live on stage during the end of term show.

My Review:

I enjoyed reading The Emily Castle Mysteries with the cast of fun and quirky characters. The dry sense of humor in these books had me giggling a lot. I also liked the way that the mysteries unfolded, even though they sometimes confused you, and led you astray; but isn't that what a good mystery is supposed to do? If you are looking for a mystery that doesn't take itself too seriously, and makes you laugh amidst a crisis, the Emily Castles Mysteries were written just for you!

Praise for the Emily Castles Mystery Series

Fast-paced, funny, and mysterious... Helen Smith is a master story-teller.
~Socrates Book Reviews

It grips you from the very beginning.
~Babs Books Bistro

Bright, colorful and full of surprises.
~Amazon Vine Reviewer

Fast-paced and unusual, I highly recommend this one.
~Eva’s Sanctuary

Praise for Helen Smith

Smith is gin-and-tonic funny.
~The Booklist


Author Helen Smith

Helen Smith is a novelist and playwright who lives in London. She's the author of bestselling cult novels Alison Wonderland, Being Light and The Miracle Inspector as well as the Emily Castles Mystery Series.

Amazon * Facebook *  Twitter * Blog

Tour Giveaway
10 winners will each receive a Kindle Ebook copy of Showstoppers & Three Sisiters
Ends 2/28/13

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Book Blast for Baked Alaska by Josi Kilpack

Baked Alaska by Josi S. Kilpack

An Alaskan cruise is the setting for amateur detective Sadie Hoffmillers latest adventure. Sadie plans to spend time relaxing with her two grown children, Breanna and Shawn, and her boyfriend, Pete, while enjoying the luxury and cuisine of an elegant cruise ship and helping to plan her daughters upcoming wedding. But even as the crew prepares to leave port, Sadie has suspicions about the voyage ahead and the relationship between her normally easygoing son and a mysterious female passenger he obviously knows but refuses to discuss. When the woman is discovered unconscious during the second night at sea, Sadies apprehension escalates. Over the last few years, Sadie has developed an extreme dislike for secrets and it would seem her son is keeping one from her. *Includes eight new mouthwatering recipes, tested and approved by the official bakers of Sadies Virtual Test Kitchen.

Praise for Baked Alaska
Josi Kilpack has done it again. You would think that all these events that occur in Sadie's life wouldn't be natural, but Josi Kilpack has a way of making you believe that it just "happens" and it is normal. I have grown to love Sadie's character, even if she is a busybody, you can't help but cheer for her as she attempts to solve a mystery or crime. One of my favorite series. :)
~Goodreads Reviewer Lacey McNeill

Author Josi S. Kilpack

Josi S. Kilpack grew up hating to read until she was thirteen and her mother handed her a copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond. From that day forward, she read everything she could get her hands on and credits her writing “education” to the many novels she has “studied” since then. She began her first novel in 1998 and hasn’t stopped since. Her seventh novel, Sheep’s Clothing, won the 2007 Whitney Award for Mystery/Suspense, and Lemon Tart, her ninth novel, was a 2009 Whitney Award Finalist. Josi was the Best in State winner in literature for 2012 and currently has two books (Banana Split and Tres Leches Cupcakes) as finalists in the 2012 Whitney awards.

Josi currently lives in Willard, Utah, with her family.

Tour Schedule

Book Blast Giveaway
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 3/17/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Random Acts of Kindness Giveaway Hop

Random Acts of Kindness Giveaway Hop.

February 17th to 24th
 Thanks to...
for hosting this giveaway!

February 17th is Random Acts of Kindness Day.

I found a great article on the Random Acts of page. 

Does Kindness Matter?

Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Foundation thinks so. RAK has forged a school based pilot in Colorado to assess the implementation of kindness activities in school. What difference will it make?
In 2008, the Colorado State Board of Education passed a set of social emotional learning competencies that focus on skills needed for a "prepared graduate" in the 21st century. Some of these skills include problem solving, conflict resolution, communication skills, decision making skills and stress management. (CDE Standards and Support & CDE Health and Wellness)
The Random Acts of Kindness school based initiative includes lesson plans and classroom activities that directly correlate with many of these  new state  standards – providing academic staff a way to teach and reinforce these new skills for their students.
The Colorado experience:
Spark Policy Institute has been contracted to design and implement an evaluation that analyzes multiple Kindness components in school, including instructional materials, staff training and related student and staff events. Both qualitative and quantitative analysis and stakeholder feedback allowed us to:
  • Assess the success of the 2011-2012 School Based  Kindness Pilot implementation;
  • Review how the RAK Pilot contributed to the social emotional learning development of students and the overall environment for students and staff;
  • Identify strategies to guide expansion into future school sites; and
  • Inform on-going research and potential publication about best practices of Kindness in schools, school based implementation processes and resulting district, building and classroom-level effects.
Finding results that matter!
During the 2011-2012 school year, teachers voluntarily provided feedback about the use of the kindness materials, time, cost, alignment with curriculum and ease or difficulty of use. Teachers overwhelmingly felt the activities were:
  • Clearly laid out;
  • Adaptable based on teachers’ needs and time;
  • Useful in teaching new skills and engaging youth in kindness oriented work.
They also reported that the materials complemented other behavioral and social emotional learning programs already within schools such as PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support) and Second Step.
At the end of the school year, teachers were asked to report what changes they had seen in their students. Nearly 40 classroom teachers and paraprofessionals responded to the end-of-year survey and 63% of them indicated seeing increased social emotional development in their students. Many of the teachers and staff who observed social emotional growth in their students indicated that RAK’s instructional materials were helpful tools with which to teach the Colorado P-12 Social Emotional Learning standards.
(Summary of Research)
Resources/Links to Other Websites:
Colorado Department of Education. (2009). Comprehensive health & physical education.  Denver, CO: Author.
Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (n.d.). Social and emotional learning (SEL) and student benefits: Implications for safe schools/healthy students core elements.  Chicago, IL: Author.
RAK School Based Pilot Evaluation Report, August 2011 – June 2012, JulieMarie Shepherd, Natalie Portman-Marsh and, Jewlya Lyn (LINK)

Learn More at

My Random Act of Kindness to you is, I'm giving away a $5.00 Gift Certificate.

Enter with the Rafflecopter form and then
go visit the other blogs participating!
Thank for coming to Why Not? Because I Said So!

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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Review of Rumplestiltskin (Faerie Tale Collection) by Jenni James

Product Details

  • Title: Rumplestiltskin (Faerie Tale Collection #3)
  • Author: Jenni James
  • File Size: 358 KB
  • Print Length: 113 pages
  • Publisher: StoneHouse Ink; 1 edition (January 31, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00B923V9U

Book Description:

A young prince crippled by a witch—

When Fredrico watches his cruel family mourn his false death and
announce to the kingdom their cursed prince has died, is the day he
truly embraces his new life and new name Rumplestiltskin. How could
he be known by anything else? —His skin is completely rumpled and
stilted now. He hides away from the king and queen and grows up as a
crippled servant in the castle.

Years later, his younger brother, Marcus, becomes king and humors
Aubrynn’s father when he boasts that his daughter can turn straw into
gold. Intrigued Marcus locks the distraught maiden in a tower and
declares to the kingdom that if she can transform the straw, he will
marry her, but if she cannot he will kill her father.

Rumplestiltskin is determined to help Aubrynn save her father and
marry the king. Now, if only he can remember to keep his real
identity a secret and not fall in love with her himself…

My Review:

I like Fairy Tale re-tellings, but I have to say, I LOVED this re-telling of Rumplestiltskin! Author Jenni James has given readers a brand new twist in this fairy tale. You instantly lose your heart to poor 5 year old Fredrico who is turned into a a twisted and rumpled being by a witch. As he grows, and becomes a man, your heart turns to him as he struggles in life. Rumple comes to the rescue of the beautiful Aubrynn who is imprisoned in a tower to spin straw into gold. With a few magical things, he not only saves Aubrynn's life, but he wins her heart. You will love this delightful tale of Rumplestiltskin like you have never known him before. 

About the Author: Jenni James

Her Books....
The Jane Austen Diaries
Pride & Popularity (Aug 2011)
Northanger Alibi (Feb 2012)
Persuaded (2012)
Emmalee (2013)
Mansfield Ranch (2013)
Sensible & Sensational (2014)
Prince Tennyson (Inspirational middle grade chapter book May 2012)
Jenni James Faerie Tale Collection
Beauty and the Beast (2012)
Sleeping Beauty (2012)
Rumplestiltskin (2013)
Cinderella (March 2013)
Snow White (2013)
Hansel and Gretel (2013)
Frog Prince (2013)
Many more to come...

I never knew what I was missing when my mom first gave me a collection of Jane Austen's works for Christmas. I believe I was fourteen at the time. One glance at the title Pride and Prejudice and I vowed I would never read the book. But, to be nice I placed it on my 'favorites' shelf; and there it sat for approximately two and a half years. Every month or so Mom would ask me if I had read it yet, and guiltily I would reply, "No. One day I will."
Then low and behold, the summer I was sixteen I had completely exhausted EVERY book I owned and almost all of my siblings' books, as well. (There were 5 siblings--not an easy feat I tell you!) With a desperate case of boredom and hair-pulling-cabin-fever anxiety, I finally, grudgingly brought down the book. I went ahead and started with Pride and Prejudice, just to prove to myself it wasn't worth the time.
One and a half days later, I finished. Sleep deprived, hungry and exhausted, but I finished! It was officially the first book I couldn't put down! It was SO amazing! Afterwards, I devoured every one of Jane Austen's novels, and I haven't stopped since.
Now, as my own daughter gets closer to this wonderfully draining attempt at teenhood, I wanted to share the same stories with her, but in a way she can relate to. I began to rewrite (More like channel) Pride & Popularity in the middle of March and was finished in just 6 weeks! All 25 chapters. It was such an amazing experience. Before I had even begun the long editing process new characters started to talk to me and hound me into writing their stories too.
I have 7 rambunctious kiddos and live in sunny New Mexico. When I'm not chasing my kids around the house, I'm dreaming of new amazing stories to write!


Friday, February 15, 2013

Blog Tour Review and GIveaway for, Stitch, by Samantha Durante

  • Product Details:
  • Title: Stitch(Stitch Trilogy Book 1)
  • Author: Samantha Durante
  • Paperback: 322 pages
  • Publisher: Samantha Durante (July 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0985804602
  • ISBN-13: 978-0985804602
  • FTC: FYI: I was given a review e-copy in exchange for an honest review.

Book Description:

Her heart races, her muscles coil, and every impulse in Alessa's body screams at her to run... but yet she's powerless to move.

Still struggling to find her footing after the sudden death of her parents, the last thing college freshman Alessa has the strength to deal with is the inexplicable visceral pull drawing her to a handsome ghostly presence.  In between grappling with exams and sorority soirees - and disturbing recurring dreams of being captive in a futuristic prison hell - Alessa is determined to unravel the mystery of the apparition who leaves her breathless.  But the terrifying secret she uncovers will find her groping desperately through her nightmares for answers.

Because what Alessa hasn't figured out yet is that she's not really a student, the object of her obsession is no ghost, and her sneaking suspicions that something sinister is lurking behind the walls of her university's idyllic campus are only just scratching the surface...

The opening installment in a twist-laden trilogy, Stitch spans the genres of paranormal romance and dystopian sci-fi to explore the challenges of a society in transition, where morality, vision, and pragmatism collide leaving the average citizen to suffer the results.

My Review:
I really loved this book! I really liked the aspect of how things shifted so much not even half way into the book! What you had assumed was happening, was really all a facade! This was such a clever premise! I also really liked the spunky main character, Alessa and her devoted sister Janie. This book is a fun read with a lot of action. It also is a great combination of paranormal and dystopian. This book/series is touted as being "twist-laden" and that's exactly right! I can't wait to see what is revealed in the next book. I think the most surprising thing about Stitch, is when you realize that this is the first book written by Samantha Durante! Congratulations to her for such a successful first book!

Excerpt From Stitch

Alessa held her hand up.  “Just save it, Janie.  My mind is made up, and nothing you say is going to change it.  I’m going to warn Isaac, and I don’t care about the consequences.  I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t try.”

Janie looked like she was about to argue, but she let it go.  “Okay, fine.  I have to go to the library now, but we can talk later.  Just… don’t do anything rash,” she pleaded.

Alessa just gave Janie a stony glare.  She could see the hurt on Janie’s face and felt a pang of remorse, but she just couldn’t seem to let the anger go.

Janie turned and left, closing the door cautiously behind her, and Alessa dropped into her desk chair.  She was shaking with rage from head to toe. 

Download the free sample chapters here!
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Looking for more Stitch Trilogy?  Spinoff stories, character interviews, and more available here!

 Buy Stitch on Amazon

Amazon Prime members: Stitch is currently available to borrow for FREE from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library!

****Here is an interesting post from Samantha Durante about why she chose to write a Dystopian novel. Enjoy!

Why I Chose Dystopian: by Samantha Durante, author of Stitch

  I’m so excited to be here and to share a little about why I chose to write Stitch – my very first book – in the dystopian genre.

There are literally HUNDREDS of book genres to choose from, but when I started coming up
with ideas for Stitch, there were only two that I knew right away Stitch might fall into: paranormal romance and dystopian sci-fi. (And in fact, I wasn’t able to choose just one, so it’s actually a little bit of both!)

Dystopian stories have been incredibly popular lately, particularly in the young adult market (see: Hunger Games, Divergent, Pandemonium, etc.). And though I didn’t realize it until I discovered all these new dystopian series recently, I’ve always been drawn to dystopian settings – The Giver, Brave New World, and Fahrenheit 451 were some of my favorite books as a kid. So this begs the question of what exactly it is about dystopian books that’s got me and all these other readers so excited.

And after giving it some thought, I think it comes down to a few factors: uncertainty, morality, and hope.

1. Uncertainty. We’ve all seen the news reports the past couple years – between the economy, the environment, and the unending global violence, it’s pretty obvious: our world is on a downward spiral. At least, it certainly feels like that sometimes. And when you look into the future and it’s all of a sudden unclear where things are going, it gets you thinking: what if things actually got worse? Like, much worse? What would it be like? Am I prepared? Could I survive?

2. Morality. So the media has got us down on ourselves and wondering if our civilization can
even make it, and as soon as you open that can of worms, all kind of difficult questions present themselves. What would I do to survive? With limited resources, how do you decide who gets to survive? Who makes that decision? What happens if I don’t like the answers to these questions? How could I do things differently? But am I any more qualified to come up with answers than the next guy? We all know what’s right and wrong in the normal day-to-day but what happens when the world gets turned on its head? Do the rules change?

3. Hope. And I think this is really the crux of the whole dystopian genre – when the world ends, and everything is terrible, and you’re forced to do things you don’t even want to think about just to keep on living, what do you have left? Hope. Only hope.

I think this is a fundamental feature of human beings – that inner optimism, the ability to remind ourselves that there’s something out there worth living for even when our world crumbles beyond our wildest nightmares. So we start thinking about how we can solve the problem – how would I structure our society to make something better? What could I change that would create a better outcome? After all, every dystopia is just a failed utopia – someone’s unsuccessful attempt at making the world a better place. So dystopian books force us to ask ourselves what we would have done differently, and thereby tap into that inner well of hopefulness, that unbreakable conviction that somewhere there is a right answer, even if we haven’t figured it out yet.

For me, dystopian books are all about the “What If,” and that’s a game I love to play. So with the Stitch trilogy, we’ll get to play “What If” through (the protagonist) Alessa’s eyes – to see how she answers these questions, how far she’s willing to go, and what factors will push her to bend her own rules. And as we watch Alessa struggle to find her place in a transitioning society, we get to ask ourselves: what would I do?

Author Bio:
Samantha Durante lives in Westchester County, New York with her husband, Sudeep, and her cat, Gio.  Formerly an engineer at Microsoft, Samantha left the world of software in 2010 to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams and a lifelong love of writing.  A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania's Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology, Samantha is currently working full time for her company Medley Media Associates as a freelance business writer and communications consultant.  Stitch is her first novel.  Learn more about Samantha at

The author is sponsering a great giveaway!! Here is what you can enter to win!

Enter the giveaway HERE!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Book Blast and Giveaway for, Forever My Girl, by Heidi Mclaughlin

Forever My Girl

I was never supposed to be a rock star. I had my life all planned out for me. Play football in college. Go to the NFL. Marry my high school sweetheart and live happily ever after.

I broke both our hearts that day when I told her I was leaving. I was young. I made the right decision for me, but the wrong decision for us. I’ve poured my soul into my music, but I’ve never forgotten her. Her smell, her smile.

And now I’m going back.

After ten years.

I hope I can explain that after all this time.

I still want her to be my forever girl

USA Today Best Selling Novel

"Seeing both sides of the story helped connect me to both main characters and given the complicated situation they were in, it was really well done."
~Aestas Book Blog

"I enjoyed reading this book and I finished it in one sitting ."

"Loved this book, loved all the characters, they were very relatable, and really enjoyed the story line."


Author Heidi McLaughlin

My grandma once told me that I can do anything I want, so I am.

Originally from the Pacific Northwest, I now live in picturesque Vermont, with my husband and two daughters. Also renting space in our home is an overhyper Beagle/Jack Russell and two Parakeets.

During the day you’ll find me behind a desk talking about Land Use. At night, I’m writing one of the many stories I plan to release or sitting courtside during either daughter’s basketball games.

I’m also an active reviewer on The Readiacs.

BookBlast $50 Giveaway
Ends 2/24/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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