Sunday, November 29, 2015

NaNoWriMo: One Day Left. You can do it!

I wanted to give a shout out of encouragement for anyone participating in NaNoWriMo this year. I usually post my own progress throughout the month, but I couldn't really think of anything to say, so here I am, on the day before day 30 with a last minute pep talk.

Go team! Hang in there, throw whatever comes into your head onto that page. Be creative and don't worry about being right. Avoid the urge to edit and let those fingers fly across the keyboard. 

Some of you may already have won by now, some may be on track to finish today or tomorrow, and some others might finish a little bit after the deadline. But all of you have tried something amazing and challenging this month, and I for one am proud of you and that effort, win or not.

So, keep writing and keep challenging yourself to greater things. It's how we grow and learn. It's how we see what we're made of and what we can do. What works and what doesn't.

So keep writing and if you don't make it this year, here's to trying again next year. Now stop reading this and get back to writing.

You're in the home stretch.

You can do it!

Friday, November 27, 2015

New Release Announcement and Review: A Fairy Extraordinary Christmas Story by A.J. York

A Fairy Extraordinary Christmas Story by A.J. York
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Description:
Upstairs in the Anderson’s attic there is chatter coming from the Christmas, Easter and Halloween boxes. Someone new has arrived. Tallulah the Christmas Fairy wakes to find herself attached to the top of a tree. She soon makes friends and has a magical first Christmas. Once the festivities are over, Tallulah finds herself in the attic with the other decorations from Easter and Halloween. Each year they watch the seasons change as they wait excitedly for their turn to go downstairs. Until one day new boxes appear and then the unthinkable happens. A Fairy Extraordinary Christmas Story is a magical and uplifting tale for the whole family.

What has been said about A.J. York’s other stories.

“Quick, lively and entertaining reading specifically written for children ages 8 to 12, A. J. York's fantasy trilogy is very highly recommended for family, middle school and community library collections.”

Midwest Book Review, Small Press Bookwatch, April 2015


My Review:
This is a lovely short story about a treetop fairy who wakes up one day to find herself the newest addition to a young family’s Christmas decorations. After all go to sleep, the other ornaments awaken and welcome Tallulah. But after Christmas, they go back to the attic, where ornaments from other seasons and holidays are eager to tell her stories and bring her into their world.

I was faintly reminded of Toy Story, though this story feels much more optimistic and hopeful. The ornaments and toys try to be still when the people are around, and most of their shenanigans are at night or when the family is out. As the young family’s children grow up, the ornaments and, later, the toys start noticing differences, but still, each year, they are welcomed downstairs for their turn at adorning the home.

I really liked this story. It’s short and sweet and perfect for reading to a child. There are some cute illustrations throughout, which showed up well even on my plain Kindle, though not all of the chapters have one. I turned the last page with a smile on my face.

I received a free copy of this ebook from the author in exchange for an honest review.


View all my reviews

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Intrigued?

Pick up a copy at Amazon, and then check out some of A.J.'s other fine short stories, all of which I've read and enjoyed. Don't forget to follow the author on Amazon to find out first when a new story is coming.

A.J. York-Amazon Author Page



Live in the UK? Here are some links:
A.J. York-Author Page
A Fairy Extraordinary Christmas Story

M9B Friday Reveal: Cover Reveal – Rise (Order of the Krigers) by Jennifer Anne Davis with Giveaway #M9BFridayReveals


M9B-Friday-Reveal-Bannernew
 
Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!
 
This week, we are revealing the cover for
Rise (The Order of the Krigers #1) by Jennifer Anne Davis
an upcoming Month9Books Title!
 
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
 
Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00011]
The people of Nelebek live in fear of persecution from the evil Morlet, who reigns with a dark and destructive magic. The kingdom’s only hope lies with the Order of the Krigers—twelve warriors with mysterious powers linked to magical weapons. 
For over a century, Morlet has been annihilating the Order, picking them off one by one. Eleven Krigers have been hunted down, tortured, and imprisoned in his dungeon. Now, only one remains. 
Sixteen-year-old Kaia survives by keeping her head down and minding her own business. But when she finds herself in the middle of a public execution where the mysterious Morlet is in attendance, an odd compulsion she can’t resist comes over her.
Kaia looks into Morlet’s eyes. 
Soon, an ancient power awakens and Kaia can no more blend into the scenery. Will she heed the call of the Krigers or will Morlet’s dark magic destroy the last of the Order? 
Fans of GRACELING and THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS will enjoy RISE, book one in the RISE OF THE KRIGERS series from international bestselling author Jennifer Anne Davis.
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Rise (The Order of the Krigers #1) by Jennifer Anne Davis Publication Date: May 17, 2016 Publisher: Month9Books
Available for Pre-Order: AMAZON and Barnes & Noble
 
About-the-Author
 
Jennifer Anne Davis
Jennifer graduated from the University of San Diego with a degree in English and a teaching credential. Afterwards, she married her best friend and high school sweetheart. Jennifer is currently a full-time writer and mother of three young children. Her days are spent living in imaginary worlds and fueling her own kids' creativity.
Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Tumblr | Pinterest | Instagram | YouTube
 
Giveaway
Complete the Rafflecopter for a chance to win!
Title will be sent upon it's release.
 
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Friday, November 20, 2015

Cover Reveal - The Requiem Red by Brynn Chapman with Giveaway #M9BFridayReveals


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Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!
 
This week, we are revealing the cover for
The Requiem Red by Brynn Chapman
an upcoming Month9Books Title!
 
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
 
The Requeim Red
Patient Twenty-nine. 
A monster roams the halls of Soothing Hills Asylum. Three girls dead. 29 is endowed with the curse…or gift of perception. She hears messages in music, sees lyrics in paintings. And the corn. A lifetime asylum resident, the orchestral corn music is the only constant in her life. 
Mason, a new, kind orderly, sees 29 as a woman, not a lunatic. And as his belief in her grows, so does her self- confidence. That perhaps she might escape, might see the outside world. 
But the monster has other plans. The missing girl's share one common thread...each was twenty-nine's cell mate. 
Will she be next?
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Title: The Requiem Red Publication date: 2016 Publisher: Month9Books, LLC. Author: Brynn Chapman
Pre-order: Amazon
 
About-the-Author
 
brynn
Brynn Chapman is published in Historical and Historical Fantasy Romance for adult books. She also writes under R.R. Smythe for Young Adult Historical Fantasy. 
Website- www.brynnchapmanauthor.com She also blogs with the wonderful authors, Grace Burrowes, Hope Ramsay, Alix Rickloff and many others at http://blameitonthemuse.com
 
Giveaway
Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!
Title will be sent to the winner upon it's release.
 
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Friday, November 13, 2015

M9B Friday Reveal: Author Spotlight – Krystalyn Drown with Giveaway #M9BFridayReveals


M9B-Friday-Reveal-Bannernew
 
Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!
This week, we are featuring
Krystalyn Drown
author of Tracy Tam: Santa Command, a Tantrum Books Title!
 
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
 
Krystalyn Drown
Krystalyn spent thirteen years working at Walt Disney World in a variety of roles: entertainer, talent coordinator, and character captain. Her degree in theatre as well as many, many hours spent in a dance studio, helped with her job there. Her various other day jobs have included working in zoology at Sea World, as an elementary teacher, and currently as a support technician for a website. In the evenings, she does mad writing challenges with her sister, who is also an author. Krystalyn lives near Orlando, Florida with her husband, son, a were cat, and a Yorkie with a Napoleon complex.
Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram | YouTube
 
When I was a child, my Christmas traditions were pretty simple. I would get up and open my presents. Then, I would have Christmas dinner (always turkey, green beans, dressing, cranberry sauce shaped like a can, and the most amazing homemade rolls you could ever taste) with my mom’s side of the family.
 
After dinner, my dad’s parents would come get me. I would go over to their house and repeat. Presents, dinner, and spending the night with my cousin giggling under the covers as we did our best to stay awake as long as possible.
 
As I grew older, our families were separated by distance, so those traditions gradually faded away.
As an adult, I have made my own traditions with my husband and my son. Whether we celebrate at home in Florida or with family in Indiana, we have some things that are always the same.
 
Our Elf on the Shelf, Elfie, does his best to win Cutest Elf of the Year.
 
Elf on the Shelf
 
We wear matching pajamas.
 
Family
 
And we make amazing memories with our family. Because no matter how traditions change, all that really matters is the time we spend with those we care about. A night spent playing board games or a drive to look at Christmas lights can create memories that last forever.
 
Although, I do have one tradition that always stays the same. I still have to have my cranberry sauce shaped like a can.
 
Cranberry Sauce
 
Tracy-Tam-Cover
Tracy doesn’t believe that Santa can deliver all of those presents in one night with out a little help from science. A flying sleigh can only be powered by jet engines, and Santa’s magical abilities can only be the result of altered DNA. In order to test her theories, she sneaks onto Santa’s sleigh and ends up at Santa Command, the place where a team of humans monitors Santa’s big night. When Tracy attempts to hack into their computers, she accidentally introduces a virus to their system. As a result, three states get knocked out of sync with the rest of the world. Before the night is over, Tracy has to fix time and help Santa finish his deliveries. And she has to do it all with Santa’s magic, which she doesn’t believe exists.
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Giveaway
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Monday, November 2, 2015

Classic Review: Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck


Sweet Thursday (sequel to Cannery Row)
by John Steinbeck

Description
In Monterey, on the California coast, Sweet Thursday is what they call the day after Lousy Wednesday, which is one of those days that is just naturally bad. Returning to the scene of "Cannery Row," the weedy lots and junk heaps and flophouses of Monterey, John Steinbeck once more brings to life the denizens of a netherworld of laughter and tears - from Fauna, new headmistress of the local brothel, to Hazel, a bum whose mother must have wanted a daughter. 

My Review
In Sweet Thursday, John Steinbeck returns to Cannery Row, a rundown place that’s fallen upon hard times since the local waters were all fished out and the canneries have all closed down. Central to this story is Doc, returned from the war to his failing business. He’s feeling low, and everyone in the neighborhood knows it. They just don’t know exactly what to do about it.

This is a delightful story, even for someone like me who hasn’t actually read the previous book. That being said, I found that the plot didn’t quite become evident until several chapters in after all the “where are they now” stuff was covered. At that point, it took off and I must say in quite a wonderful way. This book left me grinning so hard my face hurt. I feel a welling of emotion just thinking about it.

I mentioned what I was reading to my dad and told him it was the sequel to Cannery Row. He’d seen the movie for Cannery Row and asked if the book was just as good. I guess this means I’ll have to track that book down and see how it all started. That’s as good as a reason for reading it as was the one I had for reading this one. I read a blog post about hooptedoodle and it made me curious.

Anyway, I totally recommend this, though perhaps the first part have been better had I actually read the first book. This story won a Pulitzer Prize in Literature, well deserved in my opinion.

I borrowed this book from the library.

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Definitely worth picking up. But perhaps better if you pick up Cannery Row first.