Sheila's Books Read

Sheila's bookshelf: read

The Best Intentions
Scotland's Melody
The Secret Society of Salzburg
Secret of the Sonnets
20-40-60-Minute Dinners: Meals to Match the Time You Have
Through the Wilderness: My Journey of Redemption and Healing in the American Wild
Secret Santa Claus Club: A Tool to Help Parents Unwrap the Secret of Santa
Mr. Pudgins
Revenge Never Rests
The Best Mistake
Meriden Park
More Inspirational Stories for Young Women
The Great Tree: A Christmas Fable
To Capture His Heart
The Call of the Sea
Livvy and the Enchanted Woodland
Come, Gentle Night
The Bad Boy Theory
Guide To Smart Wedding Planning: What You want to know and everything you haven't thought of yet.

Sheila's favorite books »

2023 Goodreads Reading Challenge

2023 Reading Challenge

2023 Reading Challenge
Sheila has read 3 books toward her goal of 100 books.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Blog Tour Review and Giveaway for, The Grimm Chronicles: Volume 2, by Ken Brosky and Isabella Fontaine

Tour Schedule

Product Details

  • Title:  The Grimm Chronicles: Volume 2
  • Authors: Ken Brosky and Isabella Fontaine
  • File Size: 1072 KB
  • Print Length: 545 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1481897810
  • Publisher: Brew City Press; First edition (February 15, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BGIL4U0
  • FTC FYI: I was given a review e-copy in exchange for an honest review.

Book Description:
200 years ago, the Brothers Grimm changed everything.

With the help of a little magic, fairy tales were made real, manifesting all over the world. Charming princes. Gold-hunting dwarfs. Terrible step-mothers. Heroic animals.

Then, slowly, they began to change. Everyone—from Prince Charming to the old miller—grew more evil. Corrupted. A hero was chosen to stop them, hunting them down one by one and destroying them with the help of a magic pen and a special rabbit assistant.

For 200 years, the hero’s magic pen has been passed on from generation to generation. The newest hero is Alice Goodenough, an 18-year-old junior from Washington High School. While her friends spent their summer working and having fun, Alice found herself doing battle with creatures most human beings don’t even realize exist. A giant snake. A blood-sucking prince. A terrifying half-man, half-hedgehog. Dastardly dwarfs intent on mind-controlling everyone who uses a cell phone.

Now, senior year has begun. With it comes a new challenge at school, where bullies have grown bolder and classes more challenging. As if that’s not enough, Alice must face off against a collection of Corrupted who all share a terrible secret, one that might awaken a creature capable of doing untold damage. To uncover the secret, Alice will have to face off against a man-eating lizard, a bloodthirsty sea captain, and a mysterious wizard who can see into the future …

This book contains:

Episode four: The Orphanage of Doom
Episode five: Blood and Thunder
Episode six: The Order of the Golden Dragon

Bonus material:
The Lost Journal of Eugene Washington
Assorted fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm
A Legacy of Red

My Review:
I loved this second volume of The Grimm Chronicles. With the background story already established, the story seemed to flow even better than in the first volume. The mystery that Alice and Briar set out to solve makes for a lot of action and excitement. I especially loved how the authors brought in the story from Alice in Wonderland, even though it is not a Grimm story. It all seemed very fitting for the Alice in this novel. 

Again, I feel that this series is written for for older teens and adults. I've had to tell several people that this is NOT a book for children just because they read the title and think fairy tales are for kids. 

I love the characters, I love the story lines, and I love Briar Rabbit. If you like the darker Grimm Fairy tales, you will love The Grimm Chronicles. I suggest that you read Volume 1 before reading volume 2 or you may be a little confused. I'm kind of anal about reading books/series in the right order. Enjoy reading the excerpt, and make sure you enter the giveaway for your chance to win an e-copy of this book.

I turned back to the room Alex had slipped into, feeling myself lift off the ground as I became distracted, forgetting about thinking about my feet on the floor. I grabbed the frame of the doorway before I could float back down the hall, then regained my bearings and walked inside.
It was the living room. The one with the old dark drapes and the old couch. There was a bearskin run sitting on the floor in front of the couch—I hadn’t noticed it before but now I found myself stepping sideways to put space between myself and the bear’s terrifying head, frozen in a look of absolute hunger.
The boy was hiding behind the couch, peering around the edge and watching me walk over. In the delicate silence, I could hear the sound of my feet on the hardwood floor, muffled by my socks.
My socks. Last night, I’d taken off my socks before going to sleep. Tonight, I was wearing socks. Whatever ghostly creature I was, I was probably wearing exactly what I wore to bed.
Which meant the ghost standing before Alex was wearing an old teddy bear t-shirt and Hunger Games pajama bottoms. Oy. Some savior.
Thankfully, he didn’t look too disappointed. He was crouched over, his fingers clutching the couch so tightly his little knuckles had turned white. Above us, the ceiling creaked. A door opened, then slammed shut.
“She’ll come back down,” he said in a low voice. “I can’t fight back. I’m so tired. I think they put something in the porridge.”
Carbs, I thought. They loaded it with carbohydrates so the kids got a quick sugar rush. Then the rush wears off and they crash and go to bed. They start it all over again the next day. No protein or fat in their diets would make them groggy and unable to gain much strength to fight back.
Thank you, health class.
“Are you a ghost?”
I shook my head. I tried to talk again, but my voice was silent.
“Here,” he said, reaching into the pocket of his overalls. He pulled out a small chunk of coal. “Can you grab this?”
I could try. I reached out, but nothing happened.
Think about grabbing it, Alice!
I reached out again, imagining my invisible hand grabbing the coal. It floated in mid-air; the boy smiled.
I moved the coal to the floor, writing a simple message:
What’s in the basement?
The boy nodded, understanding. “They have us digging for something. Well, they have us and something else digging for something. Some of us sew clothes, too, and the mistresses sell the clothes for money to keep buying more coal. Some of us have to keep the furnaces going. It’s really hot.”
“Why?” I wrote.
The boy shrugged. “Because the creature likes it hot.” He swallowed, taking a shaky breath. “The younger one is named Marleen.”
Marleen! Of course. It made sense: Marleen was the daughter in “The Juniper Tree.”
The sound of heavy shoes pounding on the stairs caused us both to flinch. I dropped the coal. The boy quickly used his hand to wipe away the words, putting the lump of coal back in his pocket.
“Will you save us?” he asked.
I nodded.
“Are you going to do it wearing pajamas?”
I smiled and shook my head.
A look of relief spread across his little face. “The creature …” he started to say, but then his big doe eyes glanced over the couch and a look of terror spread across his face. A pair of long, slender hands reached over and grabbed him by his overalls, pulling him over the couch.
“Come along now, my little darling,” said the sweet-sounding Marleen, tucking him under her arm as if he was a football. I tried to follow and felt my feet lift off the ground. I reached out, trying to grab Alex’s hand. But I was floating now, unable to control myself.
“Let go!” Alex shouted, pounding on her back.
Marleen laughed. “Such a strong little boy! Why, two extra hours shoveling coal will be a walk in the park! And if you collapse, all the better! I’m starving and I haven’t had a good leg of child in years.”
The boy screamed louder. I was falling behind, trailing them in the dim hallway.
“Oh, hush,” said Marleen. “I would never, never do such a thing to you. You remind me too much of my dear brother. It was all my fault, you know. I killed him. From that moment on, it was only a matter of time before Death returned to claim him.” She stifled a sob, reaching for the heavy door near the kitchen. “Oh my dear, dear brother. The guilt tears at me so. I fear it will consume me if we don’t find him again!”
I planted my invisible feet on the carpet and stepped quickly, losing my footing again and again. By the time I reached the door to the basement, it was already shut.
And locked.
“But I’m a ghost,” I said in a mute voice. I thought about moving through the door, closing my eyes as I drifted closer. When I opened them again, I found myself in a dark staircase leading down.
Behind me, the door was still shut.
From farther below came the unmistakable sound of Alex’s cries. I willed my feet to touch the steps and take them two at a time, down one landing and then another, where the wooden steps gave way to stones and the wooden walls of the staircase turned to rock. There was no basement, only another winding staircase leading deeper. The air cooled. The noxious scent of burning coal entered my nostrils.
Alex screamed again. I fought to catch up, tripping on the stone steps in the near-darkness. The only sources of light were three small lanterns hanging from the stone walls, and as I passed the last one I found myself surrounded by darkness, carefully plotting my footsteps on the wet stone floor as my invisible fingers followed the rocky wall. I turned right and suddenly, there was light at the end of the tunnel.
I gasped. It was a cavern. A massive cavern with massive iron furnaces on either side with long exhaust pipes crawling up the walls and disappearing into the rocky ceiling. Children lurched from massive piles of black stuff over to the furnaces with heavy shovels full of coal. With every fresh load of coal, the fires inside each furnace belched in satisfaction. The wet rock walls glistened in the firelight.
More kids sat at tables spread out near the entrance to the tunnel, hunched over stacks of jeans, sewing as furiously as their little fingers would allow. Boys, girls, all of them incredibly young, all of them dirty and disheveled and tired-looking. Their eyes blinked furiously in the hot, dry air. On every pair of jeans was a gold “B.”
“Faster now!” said the older Corrupted woman with the gray hair. She was walking between the rows of tables. “Jeans mean money. And money means coal.”
But for what? I thought. Was it to build the furnaces? How long had it taken to build each one? Why were there so few farther down the cavern?
Five of the boys farther down the cavern, tossing another load of coal into the hot furnaces, and the entire cavern brightened.
There, on the other end of the cavern: a lizard. A massive lizard the size of a truck, clawing madly at the walls, tearing away chunks of rock.
I gasped.
The lizard turned, causing the kids to drop their shovels and run back toward the tables. The lizard had bright brown and black spots, like someone had splattered it with paint. It had a fat tail and a wide, spade-shaped head. Its long red tongue jutted out, tasting the air. One of its black eyelids blinked. More shovels full of coal fed the furnaces along the walls and in the brief moment when the fires grew brighter, I could see the creature’s pupil plain as day. A terrible realization crept over me.
It could see me.

The Grimm Chronicles Volume 1

This book contains the first 3 episodes of the critically acclaimed series:
Episode 1: Prince Charming Must Die!
Episode 2: Happily Never After
Episode 3: Revenge of the Castle Cats

The Grimm Chronicles is intended for Young Adults aged 13 and up. The goal is to provide Young Adult readers with a strong, charismatic young woman in the role of the hero and provide readers with a positive protagonist who uses her brain to overcome obstacles life throws in her way.


“5 stars!” ~ Bookies Book Blog

"Highly recommended for all who love fairy tales and the YA genre." ~ My Cozie Corner

"All in all the books were excellent." ~ LilyElement

"If you love fairy tales and them being turned into modern day stories you will love these short stories." ~ Mom With a Kindle

5 stars (out of 5) ~ I Am, Indeed

“Isabella Fontaine and Ken Brosky’s incredible talent for storytelling takes the reader on an amazing action-packed ride fueled by endless creativity and limitless imagination. TGC is like a high-stakes version of Harold and the Purple Crayon meets a contemporary, above ground Alice in Wonderland. “ ~ Bookfetish

“I absolutely loved this book! No, let me rephrase that, I FREAKING LOVE THIS BOOK! Nope, that doesn't even do it justice. Vol. 1 has the first three stories from the 12 that will ultimately make up the chronicles.” ~ Jesse Kimmel-Freeman


About the Authors
Ken Brosky received his MFA in fiction writing from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He also teaches English at Madison College. This is his first Young Adult series.

Isabella Fontaine owns a farm in Wisconsin and enjoys reading weird books like House of Leaves. This is her first Young Adult series.

Tour Giveaway
5 Kindle ebook copies of The Grimm Chronicles Volume 2
Ends 4/11/13

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop

Welcome to...
Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop
March 29th to April 5th
Hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Read Now Sleep Later

I love this Easter hop and Spring is my favorite time of year.
I'm happy to offer up a $5.00 Gift Certificate to!

Happy Easter and thanks for visiting my blog.

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Book Blast and $25 Giveaway for, Fire and Ash by Anne Patrick

Fire and Ash by Anne Patrick

Fire and Ash is the story of female fire investigator Sadie McGregor.  When she was a child, Sadie lost her family in a horrific fire that still haunts her.  She's now been called in to investigate a fatality fire in her hometown of Emerald Point, Missouri. What Sadie and the handsome new police chief discover will not only affect those close to them, but will rock the entire community.

Reviews and Awards
"This is a beautiful, yet hard-hitting story, fluently written, presenting characters you fall in love with." 
~ Reviewed by Fennel at LASR

"A Top Pick! Another Fantastic Novel!!!! Anne Patrick's novel, "Fire and Ash" is a well-written novel that flows wonderfully. A fantastic read!" 
~ Night Owl Reviews

"A wonderful read, this book had me laughing and crying. True to life characters and vivid descriptions, along with comedy and heart stopping moments, make this a page turner you'll want to read again." 
~ Happily Ever After Reviews

"As a forensics show enthusiast, I found that Anne Patrick, in her book, Fire and Ash, goes into great, minute detail of the fire investigation, that puts you on the scent of a perpetrator.  Her unique ability to incorporate multiple plots to throw you off course makes the pages fly by to connect the dots."  
~ Onedesertrose's Christian Book Reviews Blog

"As a retired fire investigator I have to say kudos to Ms Patrick on her research. I normally don’t read romantic suspense, but this book sounded intriguing so I couldn't resist. I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED
~Review from 'Fireboy' at

Received Four Stars from Romantic Times Book Reviews!

LASR BEST BOOK of 2010 Nominee!

'Best Inspirational' 2010 at The Romance Reviews!

#1 Bestselling Suspense eBook, and #1 Bestselling Romance eBook at!

Amazon Top 100 Bestseller in Christian Fiction!

Author Anne Patrick

Anne Patrick is the author of more than a dozen novels of Romance, Mayhem & Faith, including the award winning and bestselling WOUNDED HEROES SERIES, FIRE AND ASH, and TIES THAT BIND. When she isn't working on her next novel she enjoys spending time with family and friends, and traveling to foreign countries to experience new cultures and adventures. Born and raised in Oklahoma, she now makes her home in Kansas. 

She loves to hear from her readers!

Book Blast Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 4/10/13

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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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Book Blast and $50 Giveaway for Blue Hearts of Mars by Nicole Grotepas

Blue Hearts of Mars by Nicole Grotepas

Retta Heikkinen knows the unspoken rule of society: love between androids and humans is forbidden. A simple enough edict until Hemingway Koskinen spends an evening charming her with his intense gaze, bewitching smile, and sparkling conversation that hints at so much more than the usual obsessions of high school boys. Rules were meant to be cast aside, especially when love beckons.

If only it were as simple as being in love.

Trouble is brewing, not just for Hemingway--for all androids. Secrets have been kept, lies propagated, and Retta soon discovers that a frightening future awaits thousands of androids if she doesn’t do something to stop it. Worse yet, she will lose the one love she’s ever endangered herself for: Hemingway.


"Nothing like I've read before. A true original story! Everything is so well described. Now if they could make a follow up book and movie, that would be great!" ~Mrs. Z (Amazon)

"I was addicted to this book from the beginning. Life on Mars was very real and not at all a sci fi world I didn't understand . . . I found myself rooting for Retta and Hemingway from the very beginning. Easy reading, couldn't put it down and had it read in a weekend. Waiting for a sequel!" ~TNielsen (Amazon)

"The ending of this book is exceptional. While it was different from what I imagined, the way the author brought in a shocking revelation was amazing. I probably reread the last chapter 3 times letting it sink in and the meaning behind it. It was truly beautiful . . . I would love to see more of Retta and Hemingway!" ~Kat Meyer, (Goodreads)

"I love how the author populated Mars . . . so descriptive and comprehensive . . . I could clearly picture everything as if I was seeing the movie &/or was along for the ride. . . . Retta, the main character, is strong, opinionated, and a great champion for her cause." ~Megan (Amazon)

"I had been in the worst reading slump ever and came across this on Goodreads and thought I'd give it a try. Well, I was pleasantly surprised on how funny and exciting and mysterious it was . . . Mei, Retta's bff, had me laughing out loud quite a bit as well as Retta herself. I'd definitely hang out with those two." ~Deanneluvbooks (Goodreads)

Blue Hearts of Mars has made it to the quarterfinals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.

Readers are invited to download the excerpts (here) and rate and comment on the entries. So please, if you want to contribute, download and rate Blue Hearts! Your support is incredibly appreciated!

Or purchase the full version of the book here: Amazon

Author Nicole Grotepas

Nicole wrote her first fantasy novel in 7th grade on her mother's old Brother typewriter. It was never finished but it strongly resembled a Dragonlance plot and she's forever wondered what happened to the manuscript and Tonathan--the handsome elven protagonist. After living in Nashville where she worked as an editor, she returned to the Utah desert where she was raised. Nicole now lives near the Wasatch mountains with her husband. She writes and raises her son and three cats full time.

Tour Schedule

Book Blast Giveaway
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 4/14/13

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, March 20, 2013

Review of, Cragbridge Hall Book 1: The Inventor's Secret, by Chad Morris

Product Details:

  • Title:Cragbridge Hall Book 1: The Inventor's Secret 
  • Author: Chad Morris
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Shadow Mountain (March 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609073266
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609073268
  • FTC FYI:  I won an ARC for this book in a contest!!

Book Description:
March 5, 2013 Cragbridge Hall (Book 1)
Abby and Derick have been accepted to the most prestigious secondary school in the world Cragbridge Hall. Due to the inventions of their grandfather, Oscar Cragbridge, they will be able to experience history in 3D, use their minds to literally project visual interpretations of classic literature, and become animal avatars for zoology. But when their grandfather and parents go missing, Abby and Derick must follow clues Oscar left for them that will reveal a dangerous secret. Along the way, they discover there is much more to one of their grandfather s inventions than anyone has ever dreamed. Saving their family will take all of Derick s mind and Abby s heart as they come face to face with a crazed scientist who desperately seeks to change the past. If they fail, the world past and future will never be the same. This book is a page-turning, time-travel adventure that teaches powerful lessons about choice and consequence, believing you can do hard things, and valuing your history.
 This is the very cool cover jacket for the book!!
My Review:
 Cragbridge Hall Book 1: The Inventor's Secret is about a school for intelligent kids in the year 2074. Here they don't just read about history, they live it! There are so many things in this book that made me wish I could teach at a school like this.They truly make learning fun by being able to virtually experience their lessons. 
 Our twin protagonists, Abby and Derick, are excited to go Cragbridge Hall, because this is their inventor Grandfather's school. There is an adventure around every corner. Soon the fun turns into a race against the clock, as they have to discover their grandfather's hidden secrets. These secrets could save the lives of their parents and grandfather who have been kidnapped by a very dangerous enemy.The coolest thing in the book is "The Bridge". This is what enables someone to experience history firsthand, and even to ultimately travel in time! I have a particular love for time travel books.

Even though this book is written for a middle grade audience, it doesn't feel like it when you read it. Every age can read and love this book! Though there are great lessons for the reader in this book, they are not preachy or jump out at you. I can't wait to get back on track so I can read it out-loud to my 2nd grade class. I know that they will LOVE it! My own kids are vying to see who can grab it first when I'm done writing this review. This book will someday make a very awesome movie! I predict...yes I'm looking into the future...that this series will become very popular and will find it's own place in literary history.

 About the Author:

Chad Morris grew up wanting to become a professional basketball player or a rock star. (Inspired by Animal from the Muppets, he’s been banging on drums since he was eight years old.) After high school, he wrote and performed sketch comedy while going to college, and eventually he became a teacher and a curriculum writer. He lives in Utah with his wife and five kids. Chad would love to teach at Cragbridge Hall.

Unlike Oscar Cragbridge, however, he hasn’t really invented anything, though his son once sketched out blueprints for a machine that would turn celery into cookies.

Book Blast and $50 Giveaway for Ixeos: Book One of the Ixeos Trilogy, by Jennings Wright


The McClellands are enjoying a lazy summer vacation at the beach when they are lured from our world into Ixeos, an alternate Earth. Finding themselves lost in a maze of tunnels under Paris and surrounded by strangers, they discover that they have been brought to Ixeos for one purpose:  to take the planet back from humanoid aliens who have claimed it. With the aid of the tunnels and a mysterious man named Landon, the teens travel the world seeking the key that will allow them to free Darian, the long-imprisoned rebel leader. But the aliens aren't the only problem on Ixeos -- the McClellands have to deal with brutal gangs, desperate junkies, and a world without power, where all the technology is owned by the aliens, and where most of the population has been killed or enslaved. The worst part? There's no way home.

Author Jennings Wright:

Born and raised in Florida, Jennings spent her early years reading anything she could get her hands on, when she wasn't spending time in and on the water. She won a prize in the 6th grade for her science fiction stories.

Jennings attended the University of Tampa, graduating with a B.A. in Political Science, and almost enough credits for B.A.s in both English and History. She attended graduate school at the University of West Florida, studying Psychology. She spent time over the years doing various kinds of business writing, editing, and teaching writing, but mostly having and raising her family, homeschooling her children, owning and running a business with her husband, and starting a non-profit.

Thanks to a crazy idea called NaNoWriMo Jennings got back into creative writing in 2011 and hasn't stopped since. She currently lives in North Carolina with her husband, also a business owner and writer, and two children, and travels extensively with her family, and her non-profit in Uganda.

Tour Schedule

Book Blast Giveaway:
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 4/7/13

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 authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Review of, Emergence, by C. Michelle Jefferies

Product Details

  • Title: Emergence
  • Author: C. Michelle Jefferies
  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Walnut Springs Press. (October 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599928728
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599928722
  • FTC FYI: I was given a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Book Description:

October 31, 2012
A Hitman with a Conscience.

Assassin Antony Danic has never killed an innocent man. At least the corporation he works for has never given him a reason to think otherwise until now. Reeling from a series of demanding assignments, Antony is desperate for some downtime. As he sits on a beach in Tahiti watching his wife play in the ocean, a messenger from his employer delivers a death threat. Suddenly, the hunter has become the hunted. While Antony struggles to find a way out of his till death do us part contract, he's faced with the decision of a lifetime: kill another man who may be innocent, or do what's right even if it puts his family in jeopardy.

Emergence Book Trailer

My Review:
I really liked this book! C. Michelle Jefferies is a great writer. She knows how to write action, and pull in her readers from the first page. Emergence is the kind of book that you never want to put down until the last page. The main protagonist can be aloof at times, but also is a deep thinker. He grows on you so much! Antony is someone that you can see being the next James Bond; he is that charismatic, but he is also very deadly in his role as an assassin. 

I was so totally shocked at the ending I wanted to throw the book across the room...until...I learned that Emergence is a prequel to a series. I was relieved to hear that information and liked the book again. The prequel leads into a new beginning for Antony. The main character's life is changed because of what happens in the prequel. As I always do, I am giving out NO information because that would totally ruin it for other readers. Just know, this is one book that you don't want to miss reading. If Emergence is an example of C. Michelle Jefferies writing skills, there is a whole lot more that readers have to look forward to! This story is appropriate for adults and older teens because of the violence. Bring on more of this series...quickly!!


Sneak Peak of EMERGENCE


Sneak preview of chapters one and two HERE

Where to get the book:

Where to find C. Michelle Jeffries:
Website     Blog
About the Author:
 C. Michelle Jefferies practically grew up in a library, and she spent her early years reading books with her mother. When Michelle was ten, she realized she wanted to write stories instead of just reading them. In high school, she met another writer, who inspired her to write a full-length book instead of just short stories. Michelle finished that 189-page handwritten novel the summer of her junior year. She married her best friend and put her writing on the back burner while she focused on raising her seven children and volunteering as a breastfeeding counselor in her community. When her children were old enough for her to spend a few hours on the computer without them burning the house down, Michelle returned to writing and hasn’t stopped since. She can often be found writing or editing with a child in her arms or under her feet. With a passion for secret agents and all things Asian, she writes technical suspense and futuristic thrillers about bad boys turned good, all while beating herself up in karate class as she works toward her black belt in tang soo do.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Blog Tour Review and $25 Giveaway for, Aura, by Rebecca Lynn Talley

Tour Schedule

Product Details

  •  Title: Aura
  • Author: Rebecca Lynn Talley
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1481002449
  • ISBN-13: 978-1481002448
  • FTC FYI: I was given a review e-copy in exchange for an honest review.

Book Description:
"I half-turned to her and shrugged, still processing what I'd seen, or at least what I thought I'd seen, in Ms. Neal's eyes—like they weren't hers. Obviously, they were her eyes, but it looked like she'd plucked them from someone else's head. A dead someone else's head."

In the fight between good and evil, Light is your only weapon.

Crystal Scott finally feels like a normal teenager. She has a lead in the high school play, a best friend, and a gorgeous boyfriend. With prom only a few days away, Crystal’s ordinary life seems perfect.

Endowed with great Light because of her virtuous choices and her inherent gifts, Crystal’s aura has become visible to those with the ability to see auras. Unfortunately, her power has also attracted the attention of demons intent on destroying all Light.

When Vincent Crandall, the human host for a powerful demon, discovers that Crystal’s Light is strong enough to disrupt the connection between demons and their hosts, he realizes she may be able to sever the connection altogether. Determined to stop her from interfering with his plans to rule the world, he sends operatives to neutralize her Light.

After the operatives fail to disable Crystal, Vincent decides he must harness her power for himself. He kidnaps her parents, and Crystal is thrust into battle against a demon army she didn’t even know existed. With the help of a mysterious young man and his mother, Crystal must learn to use the power within her before Vincent kills her parents and exploits her Light.

Excerpt From Aura...

“Looks like we’re right on schedule for the summit meeting with the other divisions.” Vincent smiled as he continued. “I’m sure you’ve heard that upper management is considering combining the southwestern and western divisions and I’m in line to head the merger. Of course, I plan to make the western division a strong competitor for our eastern comrades. The east coast currently out sells and out performs us, but I plan to change that.”
“Sir, we do have a problem,” Jack said. “In Colorado. Silver City.”
Vincent glared at Jack. He didn’t like being interrupted especially with news of a problem. Vincent was set to take over the western half of the United States, something he’d been working toward since he started with the organization right out of college. “What kind of problem?”
“There’s this . . .” His sentence trailed off.
“What, Jack? There’s this, what?” He emphasized the last word.
He pursed his lips and then said, “What does that mean?”
Chris, a man in his early thirties with cropped black hair, cut in, “A very recent associate in Silver City has reported a disruption of control over the host.”
“Then take care of it.” Vincent had no time for this, not with the summit meeting looming. He ran his fingers through his thick hair attempting to settle his bubbling anger. His powers of persuasion were far more successful when he was calm.
Jack leaned forward, making his chair creak. “Apparently, a teenage girl there can interrupt the connection in our newer, and possibly weaker, associates.”
“Preposterous.” Vincent blew out a breath. Was he working with morons? A teenage girl? Absurd.
“If she has enough Light to sever the connection between our associates and their hosts—”
“Yes, yes, I know. You don’t have to explain it to me, Jack.” Losing associates, and thus control, in any city reflected poorly on the organization, and on him. Vincent couldn’t have that.
“What should we do?” Chris asked.
Vincent closed his eyes for a moment, considering his options. He drew a deep breath and gazed at Priscilla, head of associate training. “Neutralize the girl.” 

My Review:
I'm a big fan of Rebecca's writing. This is her first offering in the YA paranormal genre. What did I think of Aura? It was a success! It had so many things I'm looking for when I'm selecting something for my teen daughter to read. It had a strong protagonist, who also has very strong morals and values. It showed a teen faced with making important decisions in her life and choosing between good or evil. 
Crystal finds out that she is so much more than the average teen. Because of the many good choices she has made in her life, she is filled with a great light within her. Her aura can be seen by those who can detect aura's...those that are good and evil. The problem is, Crystal's light is so strong that she can destroy demons and their evil. So they come after her and the action begins. Not only is this a great story of morals, but also a story of action and suspense. I really liked the way it ended, and leads perfectly into a second book. Crystal is a character that I really like, and can't wait to see how her powers grow in the next installment. This book will be enjoyed by tween, teens and adult readers.

Rebecca's Top Ten Ideas for Making Time to Write

1. Work through scenes or plot snags in your head while doing errands, washing dishes, or taking a shower
2. Make a list of all that you need to do each day and schedule a time for writing
3. Get up early (before the family does or the workday begins)
4, Stay up late (after the family is in bed)
5. Take along a laptop and write while at the dentist's office or waiting for kids to finish activities or during your lunch break
6. Use the 15-30 minutes while dinner's cooking to write down ideas or a scene
7. Give up TV
8. Give up other hobbies like knitting, sewing, playing the piano and use that time to write
9. Plan what you want to write so you can make the most use of even a few minutes here and there
10. Write instead of eating--ha ha, just kidding. Use a recording device to talk through a scene while folding clothes then go back and transcribe it later

Author: Rebecca Lynn Talley

Rebecca Lynn Talley grew up in the gorgeous seaside city of Santa Barbara, CA. She met, and married, her husband, Del, while attending Brigham Young University. She graduated from BYU with a degree in Communications. She currently lives in rural Colorado on a small ranch with a dog, too many cats to count, and a herd of goats. She and Del are the proud parents of ten wildly-creative, multi-talented children.

Rebecca is the author of a children's picture book, Grasshopper Pie (WindRiver 2003), a children's chapter book, Gabby's Secret (DuBon Publishing 2011), four novels, Heaven Scent (CFI 2008), Altared Plans (CFI 2009), The Upside of Down (CFI 2011), and Aura (DuBon Publishing 2012). She has also authored numerous children's stories and articles for both print and online magazines.

When she isn’t writing, Rebecca loves to date her husband, play with her kids, swim in the ocean, and dance to disco music while she cleans the house. She has folded at least one million loads of laundry, baked hundreds of batches of chocolate chip cookies, and eaten 5,478 gallons of ice cream.

Contact Rebecca, and find more information about her, here
at these locations.


This YA urban fantasy is fantastic! The story grabbed me from the start and kept me enthralled until the end! I love books that keep me thinking about the characters and events and possibilities even after putting them down...Aura is one of those books! Rebecca Lynn Talley has created characters you care about in a world begging for the special gifts they possess. I love the premise of Aura and imagine I'll be enjoying many more Light vs. Demon novels in the least I hope there are more to come!

I loved the clasic good VS evil in Aura. I loved that Crystal made the conscious choice to be good inspite of feelings and doubts. I also loved the idea of demons posessing somone who had made dark choices, or greedy bargains. The book is clean and well handled inspite of the serious subject matter.Well done.
~C. Michelle Jefferies

This is one of those books that you hope will become widespread enough to make a positive impact in this world. Personally, I think this is a book every teenager should read and I will definitely be passing it along to my own kids. Thank you, Rebecca, for writing a beautiful story with a wonderful message! I hope you keep at it because now I want a sequel!
~Rachael Anderson

Aura sucked me in from the first page. The book is intense and well-written. I loved that Crystal is innocent and makes a conscious choice to stay that way in the face of intense pressure. I would recommend Aura to young adults on up.
~Cami Checketts

Wonderful, wonderful message. Probably the most solid moral message I’ve ever read in contemporary literature, but without being too heavy or feeling like a lecture. You could almost look at it like an allegory, I think, representing real life with fictional symbols. I’m trying to explain without giving anything away, and I think I’m doing a bad job. Anyway, I have four boys, but if I had a girl, I would definitely have her read it. The story is imaginative and creative, Crystal is a strong but believable heroine, caught up in high school cares and not realizing her own potential or the battle that is waged around and for her. I thought at times it was a bit predictable, and that the first half of the book drug a little. It probably could have been told quicker or perhaps made a little more interesting. But all in all, I enjoyed it. The story kept me going and the characters were sweet and compelling.
~May Abbey

Wow! I got this book for free and LOVED it! I can't wait to read any follow up books! (There WILL be follow up books, right?) In this story Crystal is full of light, thanks to making good choices, and she has to figure out how to keep the light in the midst of high school where temptation runs rampant and where she just wants to be an average girl! I like that things never went too far, and I felt like it was very well-written, with rounded out characters!
~Tamera Westhoff

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