Sunday, February 27, 2011

Guest Poster: Carolyn McCray

30 Pieces of Silver
I’m so pleased to be here today! Thanks, Andrea for the wonderful support you give to indie authors.
I’m SO excited about my promotion this Monday, 2/28 Bestseller For A Day, where the Indie Book Collective joins forces with an indie author to propel their book up the Kindle Top 100 Bestsellers . For this amazing event my controversial historical thriller, “30 Pieces of Silver,” is priced at just 99 cents!
Every purchase will help drive my book to the top of the Bestselling Lists and ultimately into the Kindle* Top 100! This will hopefully be a historic day in publishing history as we count on all of you, our amazing readers, to propel an indie author onto the top lists for the very first time! I just can’t wait!!
This promotion is so critical, not only to my success as an author but for any indie author who wants to show that we can put out quality books. We’re sending a clear message to the NYC publishing industry that our books can compete with the big boys here – but we need you to help us, readers.
So…as a little added incentive for you to participate in “Bestseller for a Day,” (cause I’m all about the fun, you know), I’ve decided to throw in a little something…like, oh the chance to win a FREE KINDLE! Woo-hoo!
Anyone who purchases my eBook – remember, we’re talking only 99¢ here, people— qualifies you for 5 entries into the contest giveaway! You simply need to head to the Bestsellerforaday website after your purchase and follow the directions to secure your entries.
But that’s not all. How about a BONUS BUY? Yep. The IBC is offering Cristyn West’s Patterson-style thriller “Plain Jane” as a “Bonus Buy” for just 99¢ as well!
Wait, it gets even better! Purchase “Plain Jane” at the same time you buy “30 Pieces of Silver” and we will rebate you the full purchase price of “Plain Jane!”  Just head over to the Bestseller For A Day rebate page, follow the instructions and if you qualify, we will rebate you the full 99 cents for “Plain Jane.”
AND – oh yes, there’s even more – 5 additional entries into the free Kindle giveaway contest!
Phew!  That’s a lot of indie action for one day, but that’s what “Bestseller for a Day” is ALL about. 
Authors, readers, and reviewers all coming together to celebrate the indie spirit!  And, of course, entering to win a free Kindle! LOL
*And remember, even if you don’t have a Kindle, you can still download an eBook: all you need is a smartphone or computer. See the Amazon free Kindle app page for details.

You can find Carolyn McCray on Twitter at @craftycmc, @IndieBookIBC, or @writingnodrama where she teaches writers writing stuff. You can also check out her website for all of her books and multiple personalities.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Book Club Books

These are the books from Books-A-Millions' Book Clubs for the month of March.

Non-Fiction Book Club Pick

The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn (Random House Reader's Circle)Rejecting as myth that Henry VIII, desirous of a son and a new queen, asked his principal adviser Thomas Cromwell to find criminal grounds for executing Anne Boleyn, the prolific British historian Weir (The Six Wives of Henry VIII) concludes that Cromwell himself, seeing Anne as a political rival, instigated one of the most astonishing and brutal coups in English history, skillfully framing her and destroying her faction. Ably weighing the reliability of contemporary sources and theories of other historians, Weir also claims that though perhaps sexually experienced, Anne was technically a virgin before sleeping with Henry. Anne was also, Weir posits, a passionate radical evangelical, with considerable influence over Henry regarding Church reform. Weir wonders if Anne's childbearing history points to her being Rh negative and thus incapable of bearing a second living child. Dissecting four of the most momentous months in world history and providing an eminently judicious, thorough and absorbing popular history, Weir nimbly sifts through a mountain of historical research, allowing readers to come to their own conclusions about Henry's doomed second queen.

Books-A-Million Book Club Pick

RosesThis enthralling stunner, a good old-fashioned read, may herald the overdue return of those delicious doorstop epics from such writers as Barbara Taylor Bradford and Colleen McCullough. Meacham's multigenerational family saga, set in East Texas circa 1914–1985, charts the transformation of Mary Toliver, a wide-eyed 16-year-old heiress, into a calculating cotton plantation queen as hardheaded as Scarlett O'Hara. Her brother, Miles, goes off to WWI, returns home, but then goes back to France to marry Marietta, a French Communist, leaving Mary to deal with their plantation, Somerset, and Darla, their alcoholic mother (who later hangs herself ). Many years later, Mary, now an elderly, terminally ill widow, resolves to defeat the Toliver Curse and regrets selling her soul for Somerset and giving up her true love, Percy Warwick, the father of their secret child, to marry their friend Ollie DuMont, who helped her save Somerset when Percy refused. Meacham uses three well-balanced viewpoints: Mary's, Percy's and Rachel's, Mary's great-niece, who must confront Percy when she discovers some disquieting family information after Mary dies. A refreshingly nostalgic bouquet of family angst, undying love and if onlys.

Teen Book Club Pick
The Dark DivineGrace Divine, a pastor's daughter, doesn't think she lives up to the name that her father tells her means "heavenly help." Her brother, Jude, a church volunteer whose faith seems unshakable, has always seemed to be the more "graceful" Divine. When his friend Daniel returns to town after a long and mysterious absence, Jude recognizes Grace's attraction to him but urges her to stay away with unusual vehemence. Against his advice, Grace begins a relationship with Daniel, whose reluctance to discuss his disappearance piques her curiosity. As she attempts to uncover the mystery of Daniel's past, Jude discourages her investigations with oblique references to an ancient evil and a transforming curse. The novel builds to a dramatic climax involving the surprise revelation of a Divine family secret and a violent confrontation that suggests a possible sequel. Despain's first novel mixes romance and the supernatural and offers true love as the ultimate defense against lycanthropes. This long novel is a slow starter, but as Grace discovers unexpected local connections to the mystery of Daniel's absence, the pace picks up and the suspense builds. Although not a novel of Christian fiction, the book's thematic investment in faith and sacrifice distinguishes it from traditional supernatural romances.

Romance Book Club Pick

Salting Roses: A NovelA young woman abandoned as an infant on an Alabama porch is horrified to discover that she is the missing heiress to a vast Connecticut fortune—a birthright she is desperate to reject in favor of her Peachtree Lane roots.

Gracie Lynne Calloway—once left in a coal bucket on a front porch in a small Alabama town—discovers on her twenty-fifth birthday that she is the kidnapped daughter of a late New England financier and heiress to a fortune. When the tabloid press and her unwanted greedy relatives descend on her, she has to admit the quiet secure life she's known and loved is gone for good. As Gracie struggles to stabilize her world and come to terms with her new identity, she learns that belonging is not about where you came from but who you are.

Which books would make or are on your TBR piles?

I'm So Behind

I have so many books that I need to read for reviews, and sadly I need to have them read by a certain date.

Oye and vey.

I have three books that I need to read by March 2!

I have an author interview due on March 3!!

I need to get reading.

If only I weren't so tired. I totally crashed out on the couch tonight. It wouldn't be so bad if one of the books weren't 400 + pages either.

I guess I'm going to be doing a lot of reading this weekend.

I also guess this is what I get for randomly starting a book from my TBR pile in the middle of the week when I knew I had these other books to read.

Bad me!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Book Review: A Little Bit Wicked #18

A Little Bit Wicked: Life, Love, and Faith in StagesAuthor: Kristin Chenoweth w/Joni Rodgers
Title: A Little Bit Wicked: Life, Love & Faith in Stages
Publisher: Touchstone
Publish Date: March 5, 2009
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: You might know her as a Tony Award-winning Broadway star, who originated the role of Galinda the Good Witch in the smash musical Wicked and won a Tony for 1999's You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Or you may recognize her from her starring roles on TV—The West Wing, Pushing Daisies, Sesame Street...oh, and her Huge Hit Sitcom Kristin on NBC. (Huge hit. L.A. breast-implant huge. Ask either of the people who watched it.) Or maybe you saw her sexy spread in FHM magazine? Or her appearance on Pat Robertson's The 700 Club? Kristin is a wonderful collection of contradictions—but everyone who's ever met her remembers her as the little girl with the big voice. At four foot eleven, Kristin Chenoweth is an immense talent in a petite but powerful package.
In this lively, laugh-out-loud book, Kristin shares her journey from Oklahoma beauty queen to Broadway leading lady, reflecting on how faith and family have kept her grounded in the dysfunctional rodeo of show biz. The daughter of an engineer and a nurse, Kristin was singing in front of thousands at Baptist conventions by age twelve and winning beauty pageants by age twenty-two. (Well, actually she was second runner-up almost every freaking time. But, hey, she's not bitter.) On her way to a career as a professional opera singer, she stopped in New York to visit a friend and went on a whim to an audition. Through a combination of talent, hard work, and (she's quick to add) the grace of God, Kristin took Broadway by storm. But of course, into every storm, the occasional drizzle of disaster must fall.

Filled with wit, wisdom, and backstage insight, A Little Bit Wicked is long on love and short on sleep; it's essential reading for Kristin's legions of fans and an uplifting story for anyone seeking motivation to follow his or her dreams—over the rainbow and beyond

Review: When I saw Cheno's mini-memoir (hey, it really isn't an autobiography, and its only about 240 some pages) on the shelf at my YMCA's lending library, I had to pick it up. I like to read celebrity books, because usually they are funny, even when they are trying to be serious.

But then there's Cheno. She's just so darn CUTE! I'm pretty sure if you look cute up in the dictionary these days, Kristin's picture is right there. She has the added bonus of being super funny and a super fantastic singer. But none of that really has anything to do with the book, yet it does.

Every aspect of Kristin's bubbly personality comes through these pages. It is easy to see why she has a legion of fans. She's just so fun. She's also nice. There's not a nasty word said about anyone in this book, and like most people, she's had some tough times, careerwise, and yet she doesn't bash anyone. She really makes light of a lot of things. She takes the bad things in a spiritual way. You learn from the tough times you go though, and maybe she's right.

So if you are looking for scathing commentary about people on Broadway or TV, you aren't going to find that here. You will find a lot of things to laugh at, especially some of the things she learned from her vocal teacher. Singing from your Hoo Hoo being one of them. That was so funny it inspired Ellen Degeneres to do a musical number, with Cheno....

This is the kind of book you can devour in a few hours. If you are in a bad mood, it will lift it. Plus it gives you faith that all celebrities aren't egotistical idiots, and Kristin is obviously one of the nice ones.  It's definitely worth reading, even if you only know a little bit about the lady.

Rating: 5 flowers

Watch:  Sing From Your Hoo Hoo

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


This weekly meme brought to you by Should Be Reading
• What are you currently reading?
A Little Bit Wicked: Life, Love, and Faith in Stages
• What did you recently finish reading?
Venice Vampyr (Venice Vampyr #1)

• What do you think you’ll read next?
30 Pieces of SilverThe Emperor's Edge (a high fantasy mystery in an era of steam)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Book Lovin Bitches Book Tour & Review: Venice Vampyr

Venice Vampyr (Venice Vampyr #1)
Author: Tina Folsom
Title: Venice Vampyr
Publish Date: Dec 12, 2010
Buy: Amazon
Copy Provided By: Book Lovin' Bitches Ebook Tours and the author
Book Blurb: Venice, early 1800s
Isabella Tenderini, a wealthy merchant's widow rescues a stranger from drowning in one of Venice's canals. And how does the man repay her selfless act? By kissing her - her, a respectable woman.

Not only is Raphael di Santori grateful for his life being saved, he would also like to thank his rescuer very intimately - more intimately than decorum allows. But then, Raphael has never been one to play by the rules - as a vampire he doesn't have to.

Review:  Tina Folsom is truly a master when it comes to erotic fiction, with a paranormal twist, of course. Anyone who has read her Scanguard Vampire series knows that she writes a great sexy vampire story.

Venice Vampyr is all that, and a historical story as well. It is also smoking hot. It is so hot, that a cold shower is recommended after the last page is turned. Isabella rescued Raphael from drowning, because that was the fate her first husband suffered. She takes him into her home to nurse him back to health, however she finds herself attracted to him from the very start.

Its this attraction that gets her in trouble with her late husband's cousin and results in her quicky marriage to Raphael. Raphael then discovers that Massimo is more than just a hateful cousin out to ruin, Isabella to get to her fortune, he's a vampire slayer! (of the sort) Isabella, doesn't know that her new husband is a vampire, but not to worry, she'll find out!

It is hard for an author to really develop characters in about 130 pages, but Tina has done it.  You learn a lot about Isabella, probably more so than Raphael.  You even get a good backstory on her first husband. That ties in with "The Guardians."  She's a very strong character that follows her heart, even when her head might be saying something different.

My only gripe is that this was a novella. I would have loved a full story about Isabella and Raphael. I definitely would have liked to have learned more about his past and a bit more about "The Guardians."  It would have been a little something to fill the pages between the sex scenes, and this story was full of those.

I highly recommend this story if you are a fan of erotic fiction and if you like vampires, it is definite must read. Also, check out the sequel Venice Vampyr: Final Affair

Rating: 4 flowers

Author Info:


Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of the Book Lovin' Bitches Ebook Tours and a copy was provided to me by the author, although payment may have been received by Book Lovin' Bitches Ebook Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review nor was there an obligation to write a positive one. All opinions expressed here are entirely mine and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book's publisher and publicist or the readers of this review. this disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

What To Do On A Semi-Snow Day

I had a few extra hours this morning before I had to go to work, thanks to about 7 inches of snow that turned every road in my part of Pennsylvania into a total flipping mess.

So what did I do with the 3 extra hours of unpaid time I received today?

1. I updated the Reviews post for 2011. Woo hoo! That is something that is really hard to keep up with.

2. I updated a few of the Challenge posts too. Up to date are the Ebook Challenge and the YA challenge. I have a few more to update and the post itself needs updating, but I've made a headstart.

Not to shabby for a few hours of spare time. I even managed to get some household things done....My cats are very happy about that too. I cleaned our litter boxes. One day, I swear I will teach them to use the toilet. It would be much easier!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Book Review: Dead As A Scone #17

Dead as a Scone (The Royal Tunbridge Wells Mystery Series #1)
Author: Ron Benrey & Janet Benrey
Title: Dead As A Scone
Publisher: Barbour Publishing
Publish Date: Nov 1, 2004
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb:
When Dame Elspeth falls over dead, presumably poisoned by a suspect creme brulee, can two pretentious prima donnas work together to solve this classically English crime--or will they end up victims of a tainted high tea themselves?

Review: This is a great example of a cozy mystery. Dead As A Scone starts out a little slow, but once it finds its footing it really takes off. Nigel and Flick are at odds with each other during the regular workday, but when Elspeth is murdered, the two seemingly unusual pairing get together to solve the crime and keep the Tunbridge Wells Tea Museum's collection.

It takes a little longer than necessary for the two of them to start really investigating the murder, but the appearance of a MI5 agent gets the ball rolling and from there on, things get moving. There's also a little hint of romance brewing (pun intended) between Nigel and Flick as the story moves on. Flick even gets him drinking tea, something Nigel doesn't really care for, even though he works at a tea musuem.

What really makes this mystery so fun, is that it is really two mysteries in one. There is the mystery of who poisoned Elspeth...and then the mystery of the stolen antiquities. It is obvious that the two are connected, but as we learn about Elspeth's ancestors, it comes into question who really owns the antiquities.

Discovering the history of Elspeth's family was half the fun of this story.

Ron and Janet created a wonderful whodunit, because I wasn't able to pinpoint the killer until it was revealed in the story. That is something that seldom happens for me in a cozy mystery.

I can't wait to find The Final Crumpet.

Rating: 4 flowers

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Novella Review: The Lion Of Kent

The Lion of Kent
Author: Aleksandr Voinov & Kate Cotoner
Title: The Lion Of Kent
Publisher: Carina Press
Publish Date: Aug 30, 2010
Review Copy Received By: Carina Press & NetGalley
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: Squire William Raven has only one goal—to finally receive his spurs and become a knight. When his lord, Sir Robert de Cantilou, returns from a five-year crusade in the Holy Land, William wants nothing more than to impress him.
After Sir Robert's return, noble guests arrive from France, bringing intrigue to the castle. William is oblivious to the politics, as he's distracted by nightly visits from a faceless lover—a man who pleasures him in the dark and then leaves—a man he soon discovers is none other than his master, Sir Robert.

But William can't ignore the scheming around him when he overhears a plot to murder Robert. He becomes intent on saving his lord and lover from those who would see him killed...

Review: This is a really short gay historical romance. Some might try to lump this in as erotica, but it really isn't. There isn't enough sex for it to be considered that. Mind you there's a bit of sex and in a story that's only a little over 80 pages, some might consider it more erotic, but when you compare it to some of the novellas put out by mass market romance it is pretty tame.

I found out after having read the novella that it is a a prequel to Aleksandr Voinov's story Deliverance from the anthology Forbidden Love. Once you read The Lion Of Kent, you'll be wanting to read the rest of William's story.

The two writers really pulled off the relationship between Robert and William well, especially as this was definitely a time when homosexuality was not as "out" as it is now. Both men are strong characters that are easy to like. A bonus is that the story is historically accurate.

It isn't easy to create characters that will draw a reader in, in only 80ish pages, but Aleksandr and Kate have done just that with The Lion Of Kent, plus they've left me wanting more

Rating: 5 flowers

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Book Review: The Bad Queen # 16

The Bad Queen: Rules and Instructions for Marie-Antoinette (Young Royals)
Author: Carolyn Meyer
Title: The Bad Queen: Rules and Instructions for Marie Antoinette
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publish Date: April 12, 2010
Publisher: Harcourt Children’s Books
Book Blurb: In this latest Young Royals tale, Meyer portrays the teenage Austrian princess “dealt” to France in marriage by her mother—might there be a sympathetic figure behind the persona of the woman mainly known for her extravagance and gruesome end? With the gorgeous clothes, sumptuous surroundings, and seemingly limitless wealth, Marie becomes a prisoner of royal pomp and circumstance with no concept of governance or political savvy as France descends into a revolutionary bloodbath. Historical-fiction fans will be swept up in the cruel fates of the monarchs and political forces, particularly as the drama escalates into horror.

Review: @ Rex Robot Reviews

Rating:  4 Flowers

Book Review: Wanted #15

Author: Vicki Lewis Thompson
Title: Wanted!
Publisher: Harlequin Blaze
Publish Date: June 10, 2010
Buy: Amazon
Book Copy Provided By: Harlequin Ambassadors
Book Blurb: Photographer Dominique Jeffries has come to Wyoming to find herself--her creative self, her sexual self. After escaping the engagement from hell, she's dying to break loose and live a little. And seducing a shirtless, sweaty cowhand looks like just the place to start....
Nick Chance isn't exactly a cowhand but, hey, he'll be whatever the lady wants! Only he soon realizes that this is more than just a quick roll in the hay. There's something about Dominique that calls to him, something about her that completes him.
There's only one problem. Dominique wants a fling, not another relationship.
Little does she guess how easily she'll be persuaded to take a Chance--again and again and again!
Review: Vicki Lewis Thompson is one of those authors whose books you can't help but love. She's written for the Harlequin Temptation line and now for Blaze, along with a bunch of other longer releases. Her books are always fantastic, and though the whole cowboy/rancher theme isn't usually my cup of tea, I decided to give Wanted! a go, and I'm glad I did.
Sticking with the Blaze format, Wanted! is full of steamy sex scenes, but they don't get in the way of the plot. In fact, they almost enhance the plot, in this case. Dominique and Nick get together as a one night, or one afternoon stand of hot sex, but things get sticky...erm...complicated.
In four days they fall in love and Nick discovers some life altering secrets his family kept from him. That's a lot going on, for sure, but Vicki manages to make things work out without being too over the top and the characters get there "happily ever after."
This story also sets the stage for the remaining two books in the mini-series that will feature Nick's brother's Jack and Gabe. Meeting them in this story will have you wondering about what sort of woman will fall for them, especially Jack, who really comes across as a bit of a jerk in Wanted!
Rating: 4 flowers

Thursday, February 17, 2011

How Weird Is This

I just realized that most of the books I've read this past month were ebooks. In fact, I'm not sure what the last hard copy book I read was.

That almost troubles me, especially with the news about Borders filing for Chapter 11.

Sure I love new technology. Its fun. It is also space saving, but I hate that it may be taking me away from "real" books.

What is even odder than me reading more ebooks all of a sudden, is that I read ebooks much more slowly than paperbacks or hard cover books.

I havent' figured out why that is yet. Except maybe I'm careful with my Nook and I don't want to hurt my pretty toy.

So do any of you ebookers find yourself reading more ebooks than print books? Any of you find yourself, like me, reading more slowly as a result?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday is brought to you by Breaking The Spine. This meme spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating.

Here's the book I'm waiting on this week:

Georgia Bottoms: A NovelGeorgia Bottoms is known in her small community of Six Points, Alabama, as a beautiful, well-to-do, and devoutly Baptist Southern belle.Nobody realizes that the family fortune has long since disappeared, and a determinedly single woman like Georgia needs an alternative, and discreet, means of income. In Georgia's case it is six well-heeled lovers-one for each day of the week, with Mondays off-none of whom knows about the others.

But when the married preacher who has been coming to call (Saturdays) decides to confess their affair in front of the whole congregation, Georgia must take drastic measures to stop him. In GEORGIA BOTTOMS, Mark Childress proves once again his unmistakable skill for combining the hilarious and the absurd to reveal the inner workings of the rebellious human heart.
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