Showing posts from January, 2013

Q&A with Stephen Bradlee

1. Please tell our readers about Falling In Love.

Falling In Love is based on a true story about a young woman’s battle to overcome sexual addiction. Despite her addiction, the book isn’t really erotic. It is really about her journey to overcome her self-loathing, gain her self-esteem and, ultimately, to do the hardest thing for her, to find self-love.

2. What was the most challenging thing you came across while writing this book?

Sherry wanted to tell her story but she also wanted to remain anonymous.  So I had to change some of the events in the book but still keep the emotional impact of the original events.  That was much harder than I had imagined it would be.

3. Falling In Love is based on a true story. How much of it is actually true?

Well, most of it. I would guess that 75% of Falling In Love is pretty much straight from the transcripts.

4. Why did you feel the need to tell this story?

It was just too great of a story to pass up. But also I thought it would resonate with a l…

Beetle Days: Guest Post by Gabriel Böhmer

I'm thrilled to have Gabriel Böhmer here today to talk about his Kickstarter project. Kickstarter is something that I have come across a few times but know very little about it. Gabriel is kind enough to come on To Read or Not To Read to explain how it works.

It’s a Kickstarter Project
My novel Beetle Days is not out yet. But as you’ve undoubtedly heard more and more recently: it’s a Kickstarter project.
Beetle Days is a satire about the greed and herd mentality one so often sees today. Told as a fable of talking sheep, people, and dissatisfied beetles.
I got in touch with Marcie at To Read Or Not To Read, and she was kind enough to let me write about what the Kickstarter experience has been like. For those who don’t know, Kickstarter is a crowd-funding platform.

So, Why Kickstarter?
If you take a look at the site you’ll find writers, musicians, and filmmakers you may recognize. But you’ll mostly see countless interesting projects by strangers. Since my first look at Kickstarter, I k…

While He Was Away Cover Reveal and Guest Post

While He Was Away Walmart-Exclusive Cover Reveal and How Inspiration Can Come From Anywhere:  Even a Trip to the Grocery Store and a Handful of Long-Lost Photographs By Karen Schreck

I sometimes wonder what my mother would say if she knew that her story—one of the saddest, sweetest love stories I’ve ever heard—was retold in a new way in my young adult novel, While He Was Away.

Now Sourcebooks Fire is sharing the story yet again, in a second, exclusive edition, released nation-wide at Walmart.  The fact that Sourcebooks believed enough in While He Was Away to bring it to life the first time felt like a much-needed confirmation of years of hard work.  The fact that they are standing behind my book again in this way . . . well, it feels like a miracle.  I’m truly grateful.

I wonder what my mother would say to this incredible news? I like to think she would be grateful too.  I like to think she would be happy.  She wanted her story heard after all.  So much so that it was one of the last thi…

Why My Character is “Comic Book Cool”: Guest Post by Laurie Boyle Crompton

Why My Character is “Comic Book Cool”
Blaze’s character showed up in my mind like Blam! Pow! “Tell my story!” She’s really into comics and is sort of stuck in her life as an outsider, but she isn't ashamed of being a geek. She displays her superhero buttons proudly and is constantly drawing and reading comics. I couldn't wait to write about her. Of course, working on a project where studying comic books counted as research was a bonus!
My step-father has this Ah-mazing! collection much like the one Blaze’s dad has in the book and I remember staying up late at night reading through stacks of them as a kid. I would try to tell my friends about these awesome characters like the Silver Surfer and Iron Man, and I’d even try to imitate Thor’s Norse God way of speaking. This was before the movies made these guys more mainstream and I was definitely on the fringe with my obsession, but when I’d find another comic book nerd we had an instant bond.
As I was writing, Blaze surprised me w…

Queens, and Why They’re Cool Guest Post by T.D. Thomas

Queens, and Why They’re Cool
Queens are cool. Often misunderstood and seriously underestimated, queens are tough chicks who do what needs to get done. Don’t believe me? Check out this list of women who weren’t afraid to wield a little power. Or a lot.

1)Queens of Myth
Hera: The queen of badass-ery herself. This chick with a chip on her shoulder has gotten a really bad rap. Sure, she may seem like a major b* with a huge A (attitude), but take a second to think about things from her perspective. She’s stuck with a cheating husband, who finds himself a new lover by the second. She can’t even cheat on him herself, because, well, she’s the goddess of marriage and she’s supposed to be the perfect wife. Those are some solid reasons to be majorly p.o.ed. Hera is the goddess of marriage who can’t even fix her own marriage! Now that’s ironic AND humiliating. No wonder she’s got some anger management issues.
Frigg: Queen of Asgard a.k.a. Thor’s mom! ‘Nuff said. Or is it? Apart from her totally e…

Review: Judgment of Proteus

Title: Judgement of Proteus (Quadrail #5)
Author: Timothy Zahn
Publisher: Tor Books
Published: June 5, 2012
Hardcover, 416 pages
ISBN13: 9780765322135
Genre: Science Fiction
Source: Publisher

Goodreads Summary:
In Timothy Zahn's Judgment at Proteus, the Quadrail that connects the twelve civilizations of our galaxy has been the flashpoint of a battle for dominance fought mostly unnoticed by humankind. But Frank Compton of Earth, aided by the enigmatic woman Bayta, has fought on the front lines, using every bit of his human ingenuity and secret agent skills to outwit the Modhri, a group intelligence that would control the minds of every sentient being it can touch.
Following a trail of deception and death to Proteus Station, Compton has discovered a conspiracy that threatens all life in the galaxy: the Shonkla’raa, an ancient enemy thought to be long dead, is rising again. So serious is the danger that the Modhri, the enemy of his enemy, may now be his friend, as the burgeoning thr…

Q&A with Ryshia Kennie

1. Please tell our readers about Fatal Intent.

Fatal Intent is a romantic suspense that is one of my favourite of all my stories because writing it brought back beautiful memories of a trip into the Borneo rain forest. Fortunately, there was no death or deception on the real trip. In the world of Fatal Intent, it’s a different matter.
Fatal Intent is the story of entomologist, Garrett Cole, who has finally secured the lead role in a coveted excursion into the Borneo Jungle. But the excursion ends abruptly with the discovery of their guide, dead and headless. In the middle of the Borneo rain forest with neither guide nor map, she’s terrified and desperate and determined to her to get her team to safety.
Raised in the lush cradle of the Borneo jungle, Aidan is as unconventional as the fact that he has no last name. While the city is home, he returns often to the jungle for peace and solitude. As a PI he’s seen a lot but he’s not prepared for the group he finds, obviously lost…

Review: Princess of the Silver Woods by Jessica Day George

Title: Princess of the Silver Woods (Princess #3)
Author: Jessica Day George
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
Published: December 11, 2012
ebook, arc
ISBN13: 9781599906461
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Source: NetGalley

Goodreads Summary:
When Petunia, the youngest of King Gregor's twelve dancing daughters, is invited to visit an elderly friend in the neighboring country of Westfalin, she welcomes the change of scenery. But in order to reach Westfalin, Petunia must pass through a forest where strange two-legged wolves are rumored to exist. Wolves intent on redistributing the wealth of the noble citizens who have entered their territory. But the bandit-wolves prove more rakishly handsome than truly dangerous, and it's not until Petunia reaches her destination that she realizes the kindly grandmother she has been summoned to visit is really an enemy bent on restoring an age-old curse. The stories of Red Riding Hood and Robin Hood get a twist as Petunia and her many …

Review: Summerset Abbey and Give@way

Title: Summerset Abbey
Author: T.J. Brown
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Published: January 15, 2013
ebook, arc
Genre: Historical Fiction, Young Adult
Source: NetGalley and RockStar Book Tours

1913: In a sprawling manor on the outskirts of London, three young women seek to fulfill their destinies and desires amidst the unspoken rules of society and the distant rumblings of war. . . .
Rowena Buxton Sir Philip Buxton raised three girls into beautiful and capable young women in a bohemian household that defied Edwardian tradition. Eldest sister Rowena was taught to value people, not wealth or status. But everything she believes will be tested when Sir Philip dies, and the girls must live under their uncle’s guardianship at the vast family estate, Summerset Abbey. Standing up for a beloved family member sequestered to the “under class” in this privileged new world, and drawn into the Cunning Coterie, an exclusive social circle of aristocratic “rebels,” Rowena mus…

Jen Minkman Q&A and Give@way

I am happy to have Jen Minkman, author of Shadow of Time, to stop by today and answer a few questions. She has also offered to giveaway an e-copy of her book to a lucky reader. To enter, fill out the rafflecopter form below.

About the book: All Hannah needs is a nice and quiet vacation after her first year of teaching French at a high school. She joins her brother Ben for the summer in their mom’s log cabin in Arizona. There, she meets Josh again, Ben’s childhood friend from the Navajo reservation. The little boy from the rez has grown up fast, and Hannah can’t help but feeling more for him than just friendship.

But fate apparently has something else in store for her. And it’s not peace and quiet. Night after night, Hannah is plagued by strange nightmares about the past of Navajo Nation and terrifying shadows chasing her. They seem to come closer – and why is Josh always present in her dreams? 

Sometimes, the past has a way of catching up with you.

1. Please tell us about Shadow of Time.

Check out the next book in the Silver Series and enter to win a copy!

Hunter, the sixth book of the Silver Series, is about Dray, a werewolf who feels trapped and alone in his small farming town. Dray’s world is shaken when a cute girl shows up the same time as a vengeful wild werewolf pack. With Jaze’s help, Dray fights to protect his town, but when Jaze is in trouble, Dray puts everything on the line to help the werewolves who changed his life.

Hunter is about finding the courage to step into the unknown. It is a story of risking life for love, and discovering the truth about one’s self in the heart of adversity.

About the author: Cheree Alsop is the mother of a beautiful, talented daughter and amazing twin sons who fill every day with light and laughter. She married her best friend, Michael, who changes lives each day in his Chiropractic clinic. Cheree is currently working as an independent author and mother. She enjoys reading, riding her motorcycle on warm nights, and rocking her twins while planning her next book. She is also a bass player for her …

Random Thoughts

If you've followed this blog for awhile then you probably know about my love for all things Jane Austen. So when I stumbled across the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, I was pleasantly surprised. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is a modern-day retelling of Pride and Prejudice where Lizzie is basically vlogging about her life. Each episode lasts approximately 4-6 minutes. After I watched the first few episodes I was hooked. I never have been one to watch a lot of vlogs, but I think this is a great way to introduce new readers to the wonderful world of Jane Austen.

What Would You Do?...

What Would You Do?...
Imagine finding out a terrible secret about someone you deeply care about. Something that could very well land that person in prison. Only, you don’t quite have all the facts, and well, you and that other person haven’t exactly been on the best of terms lately. Would you blab everything to get it off your conscience, or would you keep that secret under wraps — even if it led to your own psychological torment?

That’s the question we set out to explore in our new novel, Exposure, which was inspired by William Shakespeare’s dark and twisted play, Macbeth. The heroine of our novel, Skye Kingston, learns a damning bit of information about Craig MacKenzie, the most popular guy in school on whom she harbors a colossal crush. While re-interpreting Shakespeare’s bloody and macabre masterpiece for a modern-era was certainly a challenge,  we also found ourselves tested by a few of the characters we devised. In striving to keep them as human and realistic as possible, we en…

Review: The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories 2 by Joseph Gordon-Levitt & Wirrow

Title: The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories, Volume 2.
Author: Jospeh Gordon-Levitt & Wirrow
Publisher: It Books
Published: November 13, 2012
Hardcover, 127 pages
ISBN: 978-0-06-21263-9
Genre: Fiction
Source: Publisher

Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The Dark Knight Rises, Inception, Looper, 500 Days of Summer) made a big splash with The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories - so now he’s back with volume 2! One of the most ingenious and successful projects to come out of Gordon-Levitt's online creative coalition hitRECord - an international collaboration of artists and writers - The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories: Volume 2 offers more quirky, delightfully small, ingeniously illustrated haiku-like tales, proving once more that the universe isn’t made of atoms; it’s made of tiny stories. The best things do come in small packages.

My thoughts:
Last year I had the privilege of reading and reviewing The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories, Vol. 1. I fell in love with it. So I was really excited when volume 2…

Review: The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart by

Title: The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart (Magic Most Foul)
Author: Leanna Renee Hieber
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Published: November 1, 2012
ebook, arc
ISBN13: 9781402262036
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Source: NetGalley

Goodreads Summary:
I'm coming for you.
The whispers haunt her dreams and fill her waking hours with dread. Something odd is happening. Something...unnatural.
Possession of the living. Resurrection of the dead. And Natalie Stewart is caught right in the middle. Jonathon, the one person she thought she could trust, has become a double agent for the dark side. But he plays the part so well, Natalie has to wonder just how much he's really acting.
She can't even see what it is she's fighting. But the cost of losing her heart, her sanity...her soul.

My thoughts:
The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart is the second book to the Magic Most Foul series. This book picks up literally where the last one left off. Natalie and Jonathan are on a…

Don't Panic-It Will Only Attract Sharks! Review: Etiquette For The End of the World by Jeanne Martinet

Title: Etiquette for the End of the World
Author: Jeanne Martinet
Publisher: Jeanne Martinet
Published: August 14, 2012
ebook, approx 278 pages
ISBN13: 9780615683416
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: NetGalley

Goodreads Summary:

A romantic comedy of post-millennial manners, apocalyptic career moves, and a woman’s last chance to get life right…


It’s not the end of the world. That’s what 39-year-old Tess Eliot has to remind herself after losing her newspaper column (“Tess Knows Best”) and being dumped by her boyfriend for a younger woman (a feng shui expert? Really?). Then Tess is hired to write an etiquette guide preparing readers for the Ancient Mayan doomsday of December 21, 2012, and she has to ask herself: Could the world really be coming to an end? At first, Tess fakes her way through chapters like “Boundaries in the Bunker” and “Cannibalism: Yes or No?” But after uncovering a secret plot for world destruction, she is forced to emba…

Q&A with Mike Romeling

1. Please tell our readers about, Tale of Taconic Mountains.

My novel was released first as a e-book early last year and then more recently as a paperback.  Right now I am narrating the book to have it released as a audio book as well, hopefully in the next couple months.
It is a cross-genre book with elements of mystery, suspense, paranormal, and perhaps more humor than usually found within these genres.
I have lived in the Taconic Mountains myself for most of my adult life, and when considering where to place the novel—which has paranormal elements within it—it occurred to me that I could place it right here in what are among the very oldest mountains on earth, and where all the legends and lore of the New England Mountains have passed down through the generations by other writers like Poe and Hawthorne, Bierce and Lovecraft. It seemed like a natural extension and a setting I could handle well from personal experience.

2. Which character was your favorite to write?

Amber Steele pro…