CELTICLADY'S REVIEWS   

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

MS Madness! A “Giggle More, Cry Less” Story of Multiple Sclerosis by Yvonne deSousa

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mscover-halfYvonne deSousa’s diagnosis of relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis came with an insightful declaration from a new doctor (“MS Sucks”) and a brother’s helpful advice (“You could totally get one of those handicapped parking plates now”). What followed was a year of MS-adventures: “accidentally” kicking an officious male doctor in the crotch, becoming an undercover agent to pay for medication made from Chinese hamster ovary cells, discovering the amazing effects of legal speed, and battling her arch-nemesis, the dreaded food group-vegetables. Throughout her MS journey, Yvonne learned how to use humor to find acceptance in her diagnosis and how to smile in the face of chronic illness. Life with multiple sclerosis can be daunting, but Yvonne shares her giggles at the bizarre world she has unwittingly entered and the new perspectives it has given her on life. MS Madness! makes us realize that with a sense of humor, we can survive anything. “MS Madness! A ‘Giggle More, Cry Less’ Story of Multiple Sclerosis combines defiance with humor, the secret weapon of the sick. Laughter has carried me a greater distance than conventional medicine ever will. In the end, attitude drives well being.” -Richard M. Cohen, NY Times best-selling author of Blindsided and Strong at the Broken Places

Buy on Amazon Kindle | Amazon Paperback | B&N

Put MS Madness on your TBR pile

Author Bio
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Yvonne deSousa has worked as a street sweeper, a shell seller, a babysitter, a candy peddler, and a guest house manager, all before the age of sixteen. Later on she worked as a waitress, sales clerk, library assistant, victim’s advocate, and at the front desk of a doctor’s office. Two years before Yvonne’s diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, a relative volunteered her to write an article for a local newspaper. Little did she know it was the beginning of a writing career. When MS threatened to turn her into a lunatic, she started writing more frequently and quickly discovered that writing about the insanity that is MS was helping to keep her sane. Her work has appeared on CapeWomenOnline.com, and in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Finding My Faith and Something On Our Minds, Volumes 1 and 2. Yvonne also writes a weekly blog on www.yvonnedesousa.com the website that uses a giggle stick to beat up on MS. Since finishing MS Madness! A “Giggle More, Cry Less” Story of Multiple Sclerosis, she has started presenting programs designed to help others use humor to help cope with chronic illness. Yvonne enjoys writing, laughing, and resting. She lives by her personal mottos, “how you deal affects how you feel” and “my MS is not your MS and your MS is weird!” Contact her at Yvonne@yvonnedesousa.com
Find her on Twitter | Facebook | Literary Addicts | Goodreads

Read the Reviews Uplifting Reads Taking Time for Mommy What U Talking About Willis? Niki's Book Blog Mullen Army Family Enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card for a tour prize. Fill out the form below to enter. 

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The Watchers Book 1: Knight of Light Book Trailer!

The Watchers Book 1: Knight of Light



In England, 1270 A.D., Auriella (pronounced yurr-ee-ella) flees her village after being accused of witchcraft. Pursued by nightmarish creatures, she struggles to accept the truth about her humanity. Filled with fairies, dwarves, pixies, dragons, demons, and monsters, Knight of Light is an enthralling tale that will capture the imaginations of readers young and old.


The Watchers Series has been described as Braveheart meets Supernatural. The mythology for the series is based on many theological texts from dozens of sects with correlating themes. Ancient writings include The Dead Sea Scrolls, The Traditional Apocrypha, The Pearl of Great Price, and The Kabbalah.

“The Watchers” are supernatural beings in human form whose duty it is to protect and guard mankind from the armies of darkness. Unfortunately, as the Book of Enoch mentions, some of these Watchers go bad. Although the mythology is based on these texts, Deirdra Eden’s The Watchers Series is written in a traditional fairytale style with a young girl’s discovery of incredible, but dangerous powers within herself, a cast of humorous side-kicks, a quest for greater self-discovery and purpose, and villains of epic proportions




About the Author


"My goal in writing is to saturate my books with intrigue, mystery, romance, and plot twists that will keep my readers in suspense. I want to see fingerprints on the front and back covers where readers have gripped the novel with white knuckles! Aside from writing, I enjoy jousting in arenas, planning invasions, horseback riding through open meadows, swimming in the ocean, hiking up mountains, camping in cool shady woods, climbing trees barefoot, and going on adventures."

-Deirdra Eden

Find Deirdra Eden and The Watchers Series online on AmazonDeirdra's websiteFacebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Wattpad, and Pinterest.


Monday, September 15, 2014

Stay(The Keaton Series) by B.A.Wolf Cover Reveal!

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Title: Stay (The Keaton Series) 


Author: B.A. Wolfe 

Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance 18+ 

Publication Date: October 20, 2014 

Cover Design: Bookfabulous Designs LP Hidalgo 

Event Organized by: Literati Author Services, Inc.

Synopsis

Fate took Cassandra down a path she never expected. Then a small town in Colorado gave her exactly what she needed—until tragedy left her heartbroken and devastated. Alone with only her child and her memories, Cassie struggled to put her life back together, one day at a time, piece by piece. Finding love again was something she never thought possible. That was, until she ran into an unlikely stranger who flipped her entire world on its axis. Aidan had a secret locked away in his heart; one that would surely send Cassie running the second she discovered it. He held onto her closely and kept his secret guarded, but one careless mistake could reveal all. Their friendship was strong, their moments beautiful, and the love that brewed between them intense—something neither denied. The only problem? Cassie was slowly letting him into her life. Could she let herself get close to the one person she didn’t think she should? Her mind tells her to run, but her heart tells her to stay.    


Click the book jacket for larger image
  Stay

Excerpt

       “God, he’s gorgeous, Cass,” Mel gushed, pulling me out of my thoughts. I followed her swooning eyes and immediately found the source standing by the bar. She was right about one thing: he was definitely good looking.

       His hair was dark; his jawline was sharp, complimenting his clean-shaven face. His body was hidden under a pair of dark jeans that hung on his hips and a button up shirt that was layered under a casual suit jacket. He looked professionally polished. He also had more than just mine and Mel’s eyes on him.

       I bit down on my bottom lip. Something else stuck out about him. I glanced back at Mel. “He looks familiar, doesn’t he?”

       She deepened her gaze on him, wrinkles forming around her eyes. “Eh, kind of. Why don’t you go talk to him?” She wiggled her brows.

      “No. I’m not here to pick up guys. I already have an awesome one back at home.” My voice was playful, but my insides clenched at the thought of talking to a guy—especially that guy.

      “Yes. That’s true.” She held up one finger as if she’d just discovered how they get all that caramel into the Caramilk bar. “But this guy can actually take you to dinner.” She laughed and I gave her an exaggerated eye roll. Suddenly, she sat straighter. “Looks to me like you’ve been noticed too. Someone’s hot-ass eyes are locked on your back. I think he knows you were ogling him.”

      “He does?” My heart went from normal to pounding in zero point three seconds. “How?”

      “For real?” She gave me the you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-meglare. “He’s been looking over here all night, but he caught you just as you turned around. I wasn’t able to hide my looky-loo eyes, sorry.” She shrugged as if to let me know she wasn’t sorry. “What if you do know him? School, maybe?”

      “I don’t know. I guess it could’ve been college. He looks older, though.” The urge to see him up close was something I hadn’t experienced before. It was powerful. “Okay, I’ll go, but just because I need to know where I’ve seen him before.” I couldn’t even admit to myself that part of me wanted to talk to this attractive man just because.  

Add to Goodreads


Ebook mailed 9.13

About the Author


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B.A. Wolfe is a girl with a passion for reading and writing, and lives in the good ol’ state of Colorado with her husband (her biggest cheerleader), and her two crazy min pin fur babies. These days, her life is anything but calm, and there isn’t one thing she’d want to change. B.A. spends all her free time either furiously typing stories on her laptop or happily reading through her endless T BR on her Kindle. Her list of favorites would be long enough to fill a book, but most would likely fall under the romance category. She is a sucker for a good love story that makes her cry, and an amazing book boyfriend who will melt her heart. ‘Away’ is B.A. Wolfe’s debut novel.
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Chronicles of Steele Raven Cover Reveal!

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This is the complete Steampunk Fantasy novel - all four parts of the serial in one volume! Human life has value. The poor living in the gutter is as valuable as the rich living in a manor. The scoundrel is no less valuable than the saint. Because of this, every life a reaper takes must be redeemed. Raven has lived by this first tenet since she was trained by her father to become a reaper. But since his death, she’s been spending years redeeming the lives she’s taken. By her count, she’s even and it’s time for that life to end. If she settles down and becomes a wife, she might just feel human again. But on the way to the life she thinks she wants, the baron of New Haven asks her to complete a task which she cannot ignore… Just when Raven decides to give up on her life as an assassin, she’s pulled right back in.

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Buy episode 1 & episode 2

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Pauline Creeden


Pauline Creeden

Pauline Creeden is a horse trainer from Virginia, but writing is her therapy. In her fiction, she creates worlds that are both familiar and strange, often pulling the veil between dimensions. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long.
Follow Pauline Creeden: Website | Facebook | Twitter
Goodreads Giveaway!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Raven by Pauline Creeden

Raven

by Pauline Creeden

Giveaway ends November 14, 2014. See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
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Elemental Magic Book One by Brynna Curry Spotlight with Giveaway!

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Earth Enchanted Brynna Curry Blurb: Writer Liv Corrigan has the worst luck with men -- her telepathy tends to make them run for the hills. When she meets widower and ex-cop Jack Roarke, she decides to keep her talent hidden. Things are looking up until their third date crashes and burns as the man who murdered Jack’s wife turns out to be after him too. Injured, Jack retreats with Liv to his house under armed guard. But with Liv’s mysteries rapidly coming unraveled, a diamond-thief killer to stop and passion in the air, the safe house is anything but safe for their hearts! 

Excerpt 
First meet between Hero and Heroine Jack scanned the bookstore as he sat in the hard metal folding chair, at the small table, and wrote. He thought his hand would fall off. Whoever said writing wasn’t real work had to have been crazy. He knew things about two hours’ worth of people their mothers probably didn’t know. Mandy Lou something or other had a granny who thought he was grade A and she was his number one fan. She didn’t look old enough to be allowed to read his brand of horror, but she had two copies of each of his books. Jack had politely—he hoped—shrugged off the forty invitations to dinner, fourteen offers for coffee, and two very indecent proposals for ‘wild, hanging from the chandelier sex’ to quote one lovely fan. All in all, a long day barely described it, but he’d seen people and observed, that was for sure. If it helped with the new book, it might have been worth it, and then again maybe not. Ellie dropped by to see how things were going, and then promptly ran away when he tried to beg out. He didn’t like being maneuvered, and Ellie was a champion at it. Entertaining the notion of strangling her got him through the second hour, but considering he needed a good editor, he changed his mind. The line grew shorter. While he juggled the newest Hastings baby on his knee, which the boy’s proud papa had insisted on, Jack inscribed a message in the front cover to Mrs. Hastings, another number one fan and the mother of six children all under ten. How does she have the time to read at all? 

His message to her read, “Mrs. Hastings, I’m your number one fan. You rule. 
Jack.” Mentally saluting her efforts, he passed back junior, and sent them on their way. He automatically reached for the book a slim hand offered. Eyes down on the cover of what he’d created, he said the same thing he’d told countless others.
“Hi, who should I make this out to?” “
Just sign it to Olivia Corrigan, fellow mystery writer.” 
 Her voice alone lifted his eyes to meet hers, a musical lilt that teased of mist and bogs, faeries and leprechauns. She was dressed professionally, but he could easily imagine her calling up a wild wind or casting spells. She was only about 5’4” and slim, claimed black Irish coloring. He saw a flash of what might have been a premonition, but after blocking the gift so long he couldn’t hold on to it. Did he smell rain? Candles or lightning? But the sun was shining. For a moment he just stared, couldn’t speak , and was certain he knew her but couldn’t remember where from. “Is something the matter?” He quickly signed her book, before he forgot that was the reason for their meeting in the first place. She was the last in line, and he was free. Thank God! Sorry, muse, position filled. 
 “Jack Roarke, it’s a pleasure, Miss Corrigan.”   

  Series Buy Links (Now only $.99 each) 

  GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleKoboKensington 

 About the Author: 
 Brynna Curry was born south of the Mason-Dixon Line. After living all over the southern states, she finally landed in North Alabama where she lives with her husband and their three children. Growing up, books fueled her dreams and imagination, ultimately becoming her salvation during the hardest times in her life.Writing is her passion, but she enjoys the fun of sharing those stories with others by reviewing books and working in publicity. When she isn’t writing or promoting, she’s often found haunting the library for new books to read or just spending an quiet evening at home with Jackie watching old westerns on TV. Although her wizards, shifters and vampires are as real to her as anyone, she insists love is the truest magic and with it every day is another wonderful adventure.  

Brynna’s Links: WebsiteTwitterFacebookStreet TeamGoodreads 

 Giveaway:
$10 Amazon or B&N gift card to be given away on 10/1 during the kickoff of 31 Days of Halloween
1 digital copy of series
3 digital copies of Earth Enchanted


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Harbor Island by Carla Neggers Review!



HARBOR ISLAND
CARLA NEGGERS
$24.95 U.S./$27.95 CAN.
ISBN-13: 978-0-7783-1953-4

In this vivid and suspenseful addition to her widely acclaimed Sharpe & Donovan series, New York Times bestselling author Carla Neggers takes readers on a heart-stopping journey from Boston to Ireland to the rocky coast of Maine...

Emma Sharpe, former nun and granddaughter of world-renowned art detective Wendell Sharpe, is a handpicked member of a small Boston-based FBI team. For the past decade Emma and her grandfather have been trailing an elusive serial art thief. The first heist was in Ireland, where an ancient Celtic cross was stolen. Now the Sharpes receive a replica of the cross after every new theft—reminding them of their continued failure to capture their prey.

When Emma receives a message that leads her to the body of a woman on a frozen island in Boston Harbor, she finds the victim holding a small, cross-inscribed stone—one she recognizes all too well. Emma's fiancĂ©, FBI deep-cover agent Colin Donovan, is troubled that she's gone off to the island alone, especially given the deadly turn the thief has taken. But as they dig deeper they are certain there is more to this murder than meets the eye. 

As the danger escalates, Emma and Colin must also face do-or-die questions about their relationship. While there's no doubt they are in love, can they give their hearts and souls to their work and have anything left for each other? There's one thing Emma and Colin definitely agree on: before they can focus on their future, they must outwit one of the smartest, most ruthless killers they've ever encountered.


My Thoughts

This is the second book I have read in this series, Sharpe and Donovan, the first being Declan's Cross. Even though this was only the second that I read, It was easy to follow. Emma Sharpe is an FBI agent who is investigating a most prolific art thief when she gets a phone call from a woman wanting to meet her on a Boston island. When she gets there she finds the woman dead and may become a likely victim herself. Colin Donovan who is Emma's love interest, will do whatever it takes to protect her and help her find out who the killer is. Is Emma next or anyone else of family and friends? They need to work fast to outwit and capture this person. With scenarios in England, Ireland, Boston and Maine, this story will keep you on the edge of your seat. Great characterization and writing. I am never disappointed in Carla Neggers work! I am never disappointed in Ms.Neggers novels.
If you love a good mystery and true to life characters, than you will love this series!

I received a copy of this book as part of a tour and was not monetarily compensated for my review.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunset by Annie Crow Knoll Spotlight with Giveaway!

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Sunset

Return to Annie Crow Knoll. . . a place where people come to restore their spirits, heal their pain and reclaim their lives. Nate Bidwell blamed his mother Annie for his parents' divorce. Buried hurts and resentments between mother and son make Nate reluctant to risk his heart when his childhood friend Beth Ann offers him her own. Instead, he allows himself to fall in love with the fragile and dependent June, and Annie's opposition to their marriage reignites years of unresolved conflict with her only child. Nate swears that he will never return to Annie Crow Knoll, his family home on the Chesapeake Bay. Instead, he opens his dream restaurant in Manhattan and tirelessly works to build his career as a chef.

When near-tragedy strikes their lives, though, Nate is forced to return to the one place he hopes may save his wife: Anne Crow Knoll. There, surrounded by the love and support of his mother, their friend Packard and Beth Ann, Nate and June face their doubts and fears about themselves, their marriage and their future. In the beauty of this Chesapeake community, they find hope and healing.  

Purchase now at

Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords

And don't miss the beginning of Annie's story in

Annie Crow Knoll: Sunrise

Available at Amazon, iBooks, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords and Kobo

 

Sign up here to receive occasional updates from Gail Priest on her new releases and promotions!

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Gail Priest lives in New Jersey and summers in Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay with her husband and their cockatiel. In addition to writing novels, plays and screenplays, she loves theater, reading, birding and being out in nature.

Follow Gail Priest on Facebook/Website / Literary Addicts / Twitter   

 Gail Priest and Hayson Publishing are giving away a paperback copy of Annie Knoll: Sunrise. Open to US residents. Fill out the form below to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Vampire Secrets by Rashelle Workman Spotlight!!

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Title: Vampire Secrets (Blood and Snow Season Two) 
Author: RaShelle Workman 
Genre: Urban Fantasy (Reinvented Fairytale) 
Release Date: September 14, 2014 
Publisher: Polished Pen Press Corporation 
Cover by  Andrea Garcia 
Organized by Literati Author Services          



 ~ Synopsis ~
  Blood and Snow Season Two Book 2 ~ Vampire Secrets A dream is a wish your heart makes... It's been a month since Jasmine agreed to the wish that would keep Laeddin safe. By all accounts she should be happy. She's attending high school, hanging out with friends, and spending time with Laeddin. but she isn't. Ever since the sorceress ripped away a part of her, she hasn't felt llike herself. To make matters worse, the man with red eyes, the one that haunted her dreams, is appearing in real life. And demonic creatures keep showing up in Salem. The question on both counts is why? Jasmine must figure out who the man is and what the creatures want. Thankfully, she isn't alone. Laeddin, Peter, Zoe, and some friends from the mansion next door will help. And then there's the sorceress. she's using what she took from Jasmine to inflict havoc on the human realm as well as other realms.



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Buy the Book

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About the Author

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RaShelle Workman is the author of the popular Blood and Snow series. She loves to reinvent fairy tales teens and adults can sink their teeth into. Her stories include kissing, vampires, werewolves, witches, aliens, and more kissing. Her books: Sleeping Roses, Exiled, Beguiled, and Dovetailed have foreign rights contracts with a Turkish publisher. RaShelle is also one of the co-founders of Indie Recon LIVE, a self publishing conference that will debut October 10-11, 2014 in Sandy, Utah.
    

Powerboat Racer by Thomas Hollyday Spotlight!

           


  “vision, voice, imagination”

In his novel Powerboat Racer,  Thomas Hollyday once again gives life to modern Chesapeake characters in his fictional shipbuilding town of River Sunday, a place located at a crossroads of today’s world. Reviewers praise his rich sense of place, animals and nature coupled with a vibrant imagination. His words resonate with a deep awareness of history and legend, reminiscent of Michener and Follett.  From pre-history to the present, marauders have disturbed this land and its people when tribes, pirates, soldiers, criminals and, some say, even ghosts have come to do evil. These are the stories he relates. His novels have been compared to “pocket battleships,” with interwoven story lines, intriguing mysteries, beautiful love affairs and unique characters in carefully scripted pages. There is humor too as Tom draws on a comedic sense honed from an accomplished cartoonist background. Critics praise his ability to take the reader into thrilling suspense and to make him or her “see the blood” and “breathe the swamp air.” His books are enjoyable sojourns into a fascinating world and are definitely must reads on today’s bookshelf. 
                                                       

The little Chesapeake town had almost forgotten the young black driver of the fast racing boat who had been accused of murder and disappeared back in the civil rights days. Now a New York reporter has taken over the local paper and is asking questions.

 Harry Jacobsen, disgraced failure of a foreign correspondent and fired from a respected New York City paper, takes refuge as editor for a small weekly in a quiet town on the Chesapeake. The most excitement he sees is when a trio of children comes across the sunken hulk of a racing boat, lost thirty years ago. The black captain, Walker John Douglas, had crashed his vessel after killing two women and burning down half the town in a period of racial unrest. 

     Harry’s investigative reporter instincts kick in, and he begins to delve into the history of Walker and the infamous inferno. River Sunday, evenly split between black and white, roils in chaos at his front page headlines. Half the town  
welcomes the fresh exploration of the civil rights actions, while the other half would rather leave the past alone. The streets are also flooding with tourists as the largest event of the season – a nationally acclaimed powerboat race festival – swells the discussion with high profile personalities and racers who remember Walker’s racially charged legacy. 


     As Harry unravels the threads of time and reveals the truth of what happened during the racial clashes of the sixties, the heat levels rise in the once peaceful town. Passionate emotions threaten to spark a fresh wave of riots the likes of which River Sunday had not seen in decades. Harry races to discover the full story in time to save lives – and to save the town from burning anew.

Powerboat racer may be purchased in print or EBook at


From Chapter One, Powerboat Racer

 Rounding a bend the boat almost slammed into a looming state police motorboat, the side of the bigger boat emblazoned with the black and orange Maryland seal, stark and high above the gunwales of Hurry’s boat. Up on its deck two heavy set officers in well fitting dark uniforms looked down at them. One took a megaphone in hand and began barking to them to turn back.

She stopped the boat, idled the engine and called out, “with fat arms and stomach, dressed in brown shorts, a Yankees baseball cap on his head. His chest was bare and Harry could see the toes of his bare feet on the edge of the police boat deck.
The other boy, skinny, his white skin red from the sun, dressed in cut off jean shorts and a blue striped tee shirt, spoke softly. “My name’s Steve. Do you know when we can start fishing again?” The boy’s attention was on the refastening the lure to the tip of his fishing line.
“When they get the boat out, asshole,” said the freckled boy, his voice high pitched. “’Course that old barge stirring up all the mud has ruined the fishing. Won’t be nothing left to catch.”
“Can you tell me what you saw when you were up on the hill, WeeJay?” asked Harry, looking up at the boys from the smaller boat.
 “We going to be in the newspaper?” asked the freckled boy.
 “His name’s Chuckie,” said WeeJay.
 Harry touched his camera. “Pictures and all,” he smiled.
 “You should hold out to get on TV, Mouseface,” said Steve, still engrossed in his fishing pole mechanics.

 About the Author
 Thomas Hollyday (1942-present) was born in Easton, Maryland. His father was an acclaimed photographer and his mother a brilliant teacher.His father's family were active in the history of Maryland since its settlement while his mother's family were prominent in Democratic Party politics. His grandmother's family descended from a well known German industrial family of Baltimore. He grew up in the southern atmosphere of the Eastern Shore with its maritime and military heritage. He studied writing with Elliott Coleman at the prestigious Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars and with C.Michael Curtis of the Atlantic Monthly. He served with distinction in Vietnam and became a successful international businessman.He also drew illustrations for national magazines and published maritime and Civil War history. He currently edits popular video blogs on you tube for animal water rights and for book reviews. He draws the popular humorous Animal Viewpoint Cartoons for newspapers. He continues to please his fans with new novels in his River Sunday Romance Mysteries collection. In his fiction he describes his recurring theme that human settlers since prehistoric times in the Chesapeake region have left a mist of legend and history that permeates its modern stories with a certain compelling truth. At the same time he incorporates the stories of machines with those of their human owners. Each novel, located in the small town of River Sunday, Maryland, also records the continuing beautiful nature of the area. His writing portrays today's problems, conflicts, and memorable local characters with their loves and their combat with evil



Facebook fan page for Thomas Hollyday Books
Magnolia Gods, Powerboat Racer, Terror Flower, Gold, Slave Graves, Powerboat Racer

The River Sunday Romance Mystery Series of Ebooks and print books are available through book retailers as well as Ingram and Baker&Taylor. Part of the proceeds from the sale of Thomas Hollyday fiction, cartoons and non-fiction goes to support clean drinking water resources for wildlife through his publisher, Happy Bird Corporation, PO Box 86, Weston, Massachusetts 02493.


Friday, September 12, 2014

Five Days Left by Julie Lawson Timmer Review!


"A beautifully drawn study of what is at risk when you lose control of your own life.  Unique, gripping, and viscerally moving -- this impressive debut novel heralds the arrival of an extremely talented writer." —Jodi Picoult,New York Times bestselling author of The Storyteller and Lone Wolf

I recently received a copy of Five Days Left by Julie Lawson Timmer for review.

Destined to be a book club favorite, a heart-wrenching debut about two people who must decide how much they’re willing to sacrifice for love. Mara Nichols, a successful lawyer, and devoted wife and adoptive mother, has recently been diagnosed with a terminal disease. Scott Coffman, a middle school teacher, has been fostering an eight-year-old boy while the boy’s mother serves a jail sentence. Scott and Mara both have five days left until they must say good-bye to the ones they love the most. Through their stories, Julie Lawson Timmer explores the individual limits of human endurance, the power of relationships, and that sometimes loving someone means holding on, and sometimes it means letting go.

I was drawn to this book because I will be able to relate to the character Scott soon. In this book Scott and his wife are temporary guardians for a young boy because the older brother is off at college fulfilling his dreams of being a basketball player and the mother is in jail. My wife and I are currently being licensed as foster parents in Florida and we have already accepted two young brothers as our first placement. Although we don’t have the kids in our home as of writing this review, we have been through a complex and complicated process to become licensed foster parents and part of that process has been accepting children into our home and loving them like our own, and then returning them to their parents when a judge deems it appropriate.

I cannot necessarily relate to Mara’s character, as she is a victim of Huntington’s disease, but her story is pretty amazing. Both Scott and Mara have 5 days left; five days before Scott’s ward Curtis goes back to his mother and five days before Mara plans on ending her life before Huntington’s disease destroys her completely. The story is well written, it tugs at your heart strings, and brings life into perspective and reminds us all to be grateful for what we have because someone out there always has it worse then you.

The only negative critique I can give this book is exactly why these two major characters are in the same book. They are not related and they don’t live in the same city. They just happen to be in an online parenting forum for foster and adoptive parents (Mara and her husband Tom adopted a daughter and Scott and his wife were guardians of a young boy). That’s their only link. And in the book they only communicate a few times.  But my question is why? Why are their stories related? Is it just because the author wanted two stories where these characters both had five days left? I was disappointed at the end, waiting for the moment Scott and Mara have a climactic conversation or experience, but it just doesn’t happen. Maybe Timmer chose to have these two characters in the same book to show that even though they don’t know each other, they can still understand each other because they have one common thread-having children they did not create themselves.  

Both stories are interesting and touch on the human condition and showcase that there are families like this all over the world. Families that aren’t related by blood, but related by love. The fact that Scott’s and Mara’s stories don’t merge with each other doesn’t really impact the story that much to the point it’s not worth reading. Because it is. It reminds us all that not every story has a happy ending. Not everything works out the way it should, or the way we hope. All we can do is deal with the cards we are dealt.

I recently received a copy of Five Days Left by Julie Lawson Timmer for review. There was no monetary compensation.

...Guest Reviewer: Kara Kelly


About the Author
Julie Lawson Timmer grew up in Stratford, Ontario, and now lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan with her husband Dan, their four teenaged children and two badly-behaved labs. By day, she works as in-house legal counsel. By night, she is a writer, mom and stepmom, dreadful cook and fledgling CrossFitter. FIVE DAYS LEFT is her first novel.

This is How I'd Love You by Hazel Woods Virtual book Tour Spotlight!


Publication Date: August 26, 2014
Plume Books
Formats: eBook, Paperback, MP3 CD
Pages: 320

Genre: Historical Fiction

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As the Great War rages, an independent young woman struggles to sustain love—and life—through the power of words. It’s 1917 and America is on the brink of World War I. After Hensley Dench’s father is forced to resign from the New York Times for his anti-war writings, she finds herself expelled from the life she loves and the future she thought she would have. Instead, Hensley is transplanted to New Mexico, where her father has taken a job overseeing a gold mine. Driven by loneliness, Hensley hijacks her father’s correspondence with Charles Reid, a young American medic with whom her father plays chess via post. Hensley secretly begins her own exchange with Charles, but looming tragedy threatens them both, and—when everything turns against them—will their words be enough to beat the odds?

Praise for This Is How I’d Love You

“In This is How I’d Love You, Hazel Woods explores the enduring nature of an improbable love born of words, washed in tragedy, and sustained despite impossible circumstances. With prose as immediate and evocative as a painting, Woods accomplishes the magic of rendering sorrow into hope and fear into courage. It is as idealistic a tale as it is clear-sighted, a brilliant alchemy few novels achieve. Readers, prepare to melt” — Robin Oliveria, author of My Name is Mary Sutter


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About the Author

Hazel Woods lives in New Mexico with her husband and two children. For more information please visitwww.hazelwoodsauthor.com. You can also find her on Twitter.

This Is How I’d Love You Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 25
Review & Giveaway at Flashlight Commentary
Wednesday, August 27
Interview at Dab of Darkness
Friday, August 29
Interview at Book Babe
Monday, September 1
Review & Interview at Closed the Cover
Tuesday, September 2
Review & Interview at A Chick Who Reads
Wednesday, September 3
Review at The Bookworm
Thursday, September 4
Review at Booktalk & More
Friday, September 5
Spotlight & Giveaway at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time
Monday, September 8
Spotlight & Giveaway at Historical Tapestry
Tuesday, September 9
Guest Post & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books
Wednesday, September 10
Interview at Caroline Wilson Writes
Friday, September 12
Review & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews
Monday, September 15
Review & Guest Post at Bookish
Tuesday, September 16
Review at Book of Secrets
Wednesday, September 17
Review at Book Nerd

Hashtags: #ThisIsHowIdLoveYouBlogTour #HistFic
Twitter Tags: @hfvbt @PlumeBooks @HazelWoodsBooks

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Penguin Book of Witches by Katherine Howe Review!



Book Details

  • Publisher: Penguin Classic (September 30, 2014)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00KB5BVPC

A unique tour through the darkest history of English and North American witchcraft, never failing to horrify, intrigue, and delight.

Chilling real-life accounts of witches, from medieval Europe through colonial America

From a manual for witch hunters written by King James himself in 1597, to court documents from the Salem witch trials of 1692, to newspaper coverage of a woman stoned to death on the streets of Philadelphia while the Continental Congress met, The Penguin Book of Witches is a treasury of historical accounts of accused witches that sheds light on the reality behind the legends. Bringing to life stories like that of Eunice Cole, tried for attacking a teenage girl with a rock and buried with a stake through her heart; Jane Jacobs, a Bostonian so often accused of witchcraft that she took her tormentors to court on charges of slander; and Increase Mather, an exorcism-performing minister famed for his knowledge of witches, this volume provides a unique tour through the darkest history of English and North American witchcraft.


About the Author

Katherine Howe is the author of THE PHYSICK BOOK OF DELIVERANCE DANE, which debuted at #2 on the New York Times bestseller list, was named one of USA Today's top ten books of 2009, and which has been translated into over twenty languages. In 2012 she hosted the Expedition Week special "Salem: Unmasking the Devil" on the National Geographic Channel.

Her second novel, a historical thriller set in Boston in the aftermath of the Titanic sinking entitled THE HOUSE OF VELVET AND GLASS, was released in the US in April 2012, and was a USA Today and New York Times e-book bestseller.

Her third novel, a young adult historical thriller called CONVERSION, follows a group of teenage girls who must uncover the real reason behind a mysterious outbreak at their high school. Praised as "Prep meets The Crucible," CONVERSION releases in the US on July 1, 2014.

Katherine edited of THE PENGUIN BOOK OF WITCHES, a collection of primary sources about witchcraft in English North America which appears with Penguin Classics for Halloween 2014.

A graduate of Columbia and Boston University, she lives in Massachusetts and upstate New York with her family, where she teaches at Cornell. She enjoys roaming the woods, reading, and sailing, and she looks very fetching in a pointy hat. In spring 2015 she will be the visiting writer in residence at Lenoir-Rhyne University in North Carolina. She is at work on her next novel.


Katherine Howe, the direct descendant of three accused Salem witches, is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels The Physick Book of Deliverance DaneThe House of Velvet and Glass, and the young-adult novel Conversion, a modern-day retelling of The Crucible set in a Massachusetts prep school. She teaches in the American Studies program at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

My Thoughts

When you think of Halloween you usually think of witches, well at least I do and a witches costume is usually one of the most worn on that day of ghouls and ghostlies. Whether or not you believe in witches is up to you, but I certainly do and when there are books to read or movies/TV shows  to watch, I am always right there. I love reading about witchcraft even the dark magic stuff. Witchcraft is something that has often plagued history, in most countries, but we had our own scare of it right here in the US. Salem Massachusetts, is what most people learn about in history classes in most schools. I think most people look at witchcraft as something to be feared but I believe that with education of this phenomonen we can all get a better understanding as to why people were persecuted for being witches. From the book "The first witchcraft act in England was passed in 1542, and the last anti witchcraft statute was not officially repealed until 1736." That is a 200 year span of witchcraft suspicion and persecution, pretty impressive I think. I also think in a lot of cases these people were superstitious and when something out of the ordinary happened, from a cow missing or an ill person, that the people could not explain, it was easy to accuse.

In The Penguin Book of Witches by Katherine Howe, the reader is taken upon a journey of fascination. A huge amount of resources went into the writing of this title. What do we really know of witchcraft? Usually what we have been taught and what we see in books and movies. Were there really witches? If there were, I think for the superstitious people as far back as medieval times and even earlier, witches in fact did exist for them. This book tells us the different legends and folk tales, as far back as the bible, the early colonies in particular Salem and what happened after Salem. A highly informative and entertaining book for the lover of witchcraft. 

I enjoyed it and highly recommend it.

I received a copy from First to Read and I was not monetarily compensated for my review.





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