Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Summer Giveaway Hop - The Secret Life of Copernicus H. Stringfellow by Lorin Barber

The Secret Life of Copernicus H. Stringfellow: Surreptitious Superhero

Blurb (from Goodreads):

Copernicus H. Stringfellow, a.k.a. Nick, is not your run-of-the-mill genius. His mind is so powerful it can stop a speeding automobile or stem internal bleeding. As Nick goes about quietly doing good, he discovers that his powers are greatly enhanced by the nutrients present in Twinkies. Follow Nick on his amazing adventures in this humorous and exciting action-packed book for all ages.

The Secret Life of Copernicus H. Stringfellow: Surreptitious Superhero 

by Lorin K. Barber

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Secret Life of Copernicus H. Stringfellow: Surreptitious Superhero(I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis.)

This book is the tale of a rather strange fellow called Copernicus H. Stringfellow, or Nick as he likes to be called. Nick has an absolutely incredible memory, he can even recall the details of his birth and his first birthday party. He reads for exactly 1 hour 43 minutes every day, and by doing this has learnt a great deal, including several languages!
He first went to university when he was 11, and has since earned at least 17 PhD’S, in many different subjects, and is also a medical doctor with specialisation in a multitude of fields. He’s also invented a great many useful items, and is a wiz at stockmarkets. Thus Nick is financially secure, and even owns his own company. He also uses Twinkies to sustain his brain power, and eats them at a rate of around 400 a week!

The most striking thing about Nick though, is his outlook on life, he believes in helping people, and in spending his money wisely. He does this by employing people who desperately need jobs, and paying them fairly for their work.

Nick has just moved to Seattle, where he’s working his magic, from saving people from muggings, to helping people to heal. In a crisis though, how good is Nick without his twinkies? And is the only thing he knows nothing about… women?

This was an interesting book. It’s not the sort of thing I would normally read, but I gave it a chance and it was actually found it quite entertaining! It really made me consider how little I know about so many things, and I couldn’t help but wonder exactly what Nick would get up to next!

I have to say that I found it quite amusing that knowing all the stuff that Nick knows he has no idea when it comes to women! This probably shows that book learning doesn’t negate real-life experience, and it was nice to know that even super-Nick had his limitations!

I find it really difficult to actually put this book into a genre, it doesn’t seem to fit completely into any genre that I can think of, what I will say though is that this is different from the norm, and an interesting change!
6 out of 10.
(Book Length: 4856 kindle locations)

Author Interview - Lorin Barber

When did you start writing?
    I wrote my first book in 2004 during a long cold winter in Wisconsin.
What was your inspiration for ‘The Secret Life of Copernicus H. Stringfellow’?
    I once knew a tall, skinny, super smart guy. When I came up with the Copernicus name the it fed my humourous side and the story grew.
What three words would you use to best describe for ‘The Secret Life of Copernicus H. Stringfellow’?
    Amazing Wonderful Nerd
What are your favourite things about Copernicus?
    He's everything I'd like to be except good looking and athletic. He's kind, smart, funny and has some cool super-powers.
Could you tell us a little about what are you working on now?
    A sequel.
Other than your own, what are your favourite books?
    "Life Expectancy" by Dean Koontz, The DaVinci Code and Harry Potter. Aside from those I read mainly non-fiction.

Random Question – what is your favourite treat?
    Strawberry Shortcake

Thanks to Lorin for stopping by the blog!

And now time for the Giveaway!

Thanks so much to Lorin for making this possible ☺ 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

One Breath Away by Heather Gudenkauf

One Breath Away
Blurb (from Goodreads):
In her most emotionally charged novel to date, "New York Times" bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf explores the unspoken events that shape a community, the ties between parents and their children and how the fragile normalcy of our everyday life is so easily shattered. In the midst of a sudden spring snowstorm, an unknown man armed with a gun walks into an elementary school classroom. Outside the school, the town of Broken Branch watches and waits.

Officer Meg Barrett holds the responsibility for the town's children in her hands. Will Thwaite, reluctantly entrusted with the care of his two grandchildren by the daughter who left home years earlier, stands by helplessly and wonders if he has failed his child again. Trapped in her classroom, Evelyn Oliver watches for an opportunity to rescue the children in her care. And thirteen-year-old Augie Baker, already struggling with the aftermath of a terrible accident that has has brought her to Broken Branch, will risk her own safety to protect her little brother.

As tension mounts with each passing minute, the hidden fears and grudges of the small town are revealed as the people of Broken Branch race to uncover the identity of the stranger who holds their children hostage.

One Breath Away by Heather Gudenkauf

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

One Breath Away(Source: I was given a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Mira Publishers, and Netgalley.)
This is the story of a man with a gun, the teachers and kids who he threatens with said gun, the police officers who try to control the situation, and the family of the kids held hostage.

13-year old Augie and her 8-year-old brother P.J. aren’t even supposed to be in Broken Branch, Iowa. They should be at home with their mom, but due to an accident that left their mom in the hospital with severe burns, Augie and P.J. are staying with their Grandfather.
Broken Branch is a small community. There are only around 20 children in each year at school, and this means that every child between the ages of 5 and 18 are schooled together.
One man with a gun sends the school into lockdown. Calls from the children result in a mass of terrified parents at the school gates, and the 911 line is jammed. The police arrive to take care of the situation, but what are the rules in this sort of case?

Who is the gunman? An angry father? Someone who is after one of the children? Someone with a score to settle with the local police? How can the police possibly know where to even start, and with the snow falling fast, no-one from tactical support is coming to help them.
One man has turned the day into a nightmare for almost every person in Broken Branch, and depending on how the day ends, things may well get a lot worse.

I really enjoyed this book, right from the beginning I just didn’t want to put it down.
The story is told from several points of view; Augie – 13-year-old girl living with her grandfather, Holly – Augies mother who is hospitalised with severe burns, Will – Augies Grandfather, Mrs Oliver – teacher whose classroom the gun man goes into, and Meg – local police woman.
This allows the reader to see what is going on from different viewpoints, and to understand the connections between the different members of the community. It also shows the different interpretations of the same event, and the conclusions that people draw, as well as the way that life doesn’t stop, even when there’s a crisis happening.

Augie is your typical angst-ridden teenager; sent to live with a grandfather she has never met, worried for her mother, and disappointed by her fathers actions, the one thing she wants is to get her brother out of the school alive, and she’ll do whatever it takes to achieve this, including going back into the building when she knows it’s not safe.

Holly is hospitalised and sedated, she knows nothing about what is happening in her old home town until Augie phones her from the school, but what can she do from her hospital bed? Can she trust the father who she hasn’t spoken to for 17 years to get her kids back to her safely?

Will knows that he has to get his grandkids safely out of that school, even if it means taking matters into his own hands. But what can he really do to help?

Mrs Oliver has been teaching for over 40 years. She doesn’t want to die the one day that she wore a denim sparkly jumper that one of her students made for her. She also refuses to see any of her students harmed, but what can one woman do to protect 20 children from a man with a gun?

Meg has an idea of who the man might be; her estranged brother, someone she arrested, one of the children’s fathers. But time is running out, and her leads are turning into dead ends.

I think the thing that struck me most with this book was people’s reactions to what was going on in the school. Augie wanted to help her brother, but instead of telling the police what she knew about the gunman’s whereabouts, she instead decided to just go back into the school and deal with it herself! I’m sorry, but this is an incredibly stupid and short-sighted thing to do, and I really could just not believe it when she did this.
The most infuriating moment for me came when a 5-year-old made it out of the building though; she admitted to Meg (the police officer) that she recognised the gunman, but when her parents arrived they said that the police could talk to her tomorrow!
‘Tomorrow?!’ (I actually shouted this) ‘How the hell can they say that when it’s 2 in the afternoon, and the entire towns kids are being held at gunpoint?!’
This really annoyed me. They should have been arrested for aiding the psycho, or obstruction of justice, or something. I really just could not believe how crazy and selfish this was!

When I got to the end of this book I have to say that I didn’t guess the identity of the gunman. I was totally in the dark, although once the gunman was revealed I did recognise the hints that had been woven into the story, and things began to make sense. The conclusion of the story was good, although the identity of the gunman (even thought it had been a mystery to me) didn’t excite me, I just sort of thought ‘oh.’ Which was the most disappointing part of the book for me.
Otherwise though this book was well written, and kept it’s mystery all the way through. Definitely a book to grab a copy of this summer. Enjoy!
8 out of 10.


Monday, 30 July 2012

Colonisation Cover Reveal!

Finding a new home has never been so dangerous.
Andromeda has spent all seventeen years of her life aboard a deep space transport vessel destined for a paradise planet. Her safe cocoon is about to break open as Paradise 21 looms only one month away, and she must take the aptitude tests to determine her role on the new world and her computer assigned lifemate. As a great-granddaughter of the Commander of the ship, she wants to live up to her family name. But, her forbidden love for her childhood friend, Sirius, distracts her and she fails the tests. The results place her in a menial role in the new colony and pair her with Corvus, “the oaf”.
But when Andromeda steps foot on Paradise 21, her predestined future is the least of her worries. Alien ghosts from a failed colonization warn her of a deadly threat to her colony. And when Sirius's ship crashes on the far ridge in an attempt to investigate, she journeys to rescue him with Corvus.
Andromeda now must convince the authorities of the imminent danger to protect her new home. What she didn't expect was a battle of her own feelings for Sirius and Corvus.
Can she save the colony and discover her true love?

Author Bio:

Aubrie Dionne writes science fiction fantasy with romantic elements. Her writings have appeared in Mindflights, Niteblade, Silver Blade, Emerald Tales, Hazard Cat, Moon Drenched Fables, A Fly in Amber, and Aurora Wolf. Her books are published by Inkspell Publishing, Entangled Publishing, Lyrical Press, and Gypsy Shadow Publishing. She’s also a professional flutist in New England.
Please visit her website: www.authoraubrie.com
Twitter: @authoraubrie

Giveaway! – Open for US and UK only.

We have a very cool keyring as a giveaway. J
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Fifty Shades Freed by E. L. James

Fifty Shades Freed (Fifty Shades, #3) 
Blurb (from Goodreads):
When unworldly student Ana Steele first encountered the driven, damaged young entrepreneur Christian Grey, it sparked a sensual affair that changed both their lives irrevocably. Shocked, intrigued, and ultimately repelled by Christian's singular sexual tastes, Ana demanded a deeper commitment; determined to keep her, Christian agreed. Now, together, they have more -- love, passion, intimacy, wealth, and a world of infinite possibilities. But Ana always knew that loving her Fifty Shades would not be easy and being together poses challenges neither of them ever anticipated. Ana must somehow learn to share Christian's opulent lifestyle without sacrificing her own integrity, identity, or independence; Christian must somehow overcome his compulsion to control and lay to rest the horrors that blighted his past and haunt his present. Just when it seems that together their love can conquer any obstacle, tragedy, malice and fate combine to make Ana's worst nightmares come true.

Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James

My rating: 3.25 of 5 stars

Fifty Shades Freed (Fifty Shades, #3)(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Books for Reviews http://b4rbookclub.blogspot.com/)
This is the third book in the ‘fifty shades’ series, and opens to Ana and Christian on honeymoon. We get some flashbacks to the wedding and wedding night, and then it’s back to normal controlling Christian, and Ana who is always doing things that she doesn’t consider will annoy Christian.

The rest of the storyline focuses on Christian and Ana getting used to married life, and the myriad of things that Christian finds to complain at Anna about, the weirdo who seems to be stalking them, an emergency for Ana, and a couple of unexpected events.

As you can see, the summary of this book is pretty short, mainly because the whole point of the book is to read about Christian and Ana’s love-making rather than anything else. The storyline is basically just a vehicle for their erotic encounters, and while we all know that this is the case, if I say too much, you won’t have any surprises if you chose to read this book!

I personally am in two minds over this book. As I said, it’s mainly focused on the erotica, so if that’s what you’re looking for, then you’re going to get what you’re looking for, if you’re looking for a bit more of a ‘story’, then you might be disappointed.

The main issues I had with the book were related to repetition and just plain cheesiness! Every few lines it was ‘Mrs Grey’ this and ‘Mr Grey’ that. I know that they’ve just gotten married, but this was something that continued through the entire book, and just went past the possible ‘sweet’ connotations of these titles. The other thing was the over the top, almost cringe-worthy moments, when Ana and Christian would say or do things that were just sickening.
Eg: ‘I kiss his plain platinum wedding ring. He groans and closes his eyes.'
I know they’ve just got married, but I really don’t see how kissing his ring is erotic, or anything but just plain cheesy.

That being said though, I enjoyed this book more than the second, although not as much as the first. There were some glimpses of the flirty Christian that we met in the first book, but the tone of the book is a little tamer than the first. If you’re a fan of the series though, then you’re sure to like this instalment.
6.5 out of 10.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Hacienda Moon by KaSonndra Leigh - Promo Blitz

Reading Addiction Blog Tours

KaSonndra Leigh

Author Bio: 

KaSonndra Leigh was born in Charlotte, North Carolina. She now lives
in the City of Alchemy and Medicine, North Carolina. She likes to
write about people doing fantastical things in magical worlds. Her two
sons have made her promise to write a boy book next.

She holds the MFA in creative writing, and loves to play CLUE,
Monopoly (the Indiana Jones version), and Pandora's Box (good writer's
block therapy). She lives in an L-shaped house with a garden dedicated
to her grandmother. It has a secret library complete with fairies,
Venetian plastered walls, and a desk made out of clear blue glass.
Twitter: @kasonndraleigh

Hacienda Moon

Gothic Romance
Date Published: July 28

A Pathseekers Novel
Love, obsession, and betrayal, the most powerful
human emotions, are spun together in this gothic
novel. Tandie Harrison is a police medium who has just
suffered a divorce after losing both her psychic visions
and her daughter in a car accident. When she leaves
New York City to start a new life near her hometown,
she moves into the alluring plantation house, Chelby
Rose, and falls for its enigmatic caretaker, Eric
Fontalvo. Their burgeoning affair ignites a century
old curse, ensnaring them in a web of danger, deceit,
and intrigue. Soon Tandie learns that in placid Bolivia,
the worlds of the living and the dead are dangerously

Hacienda Moon is a seductive tale of one woman’s
journey to confront the demons of her past and find the
courage to face her future. It is a mesmerizing novel
that explores the deepest depths of human nature, and
the characters will hold and haunt you long after you
have read the final chapter.


Eric Fontalvo began Tandie's renovations the following Monday. He arrived with an armory of tools and gadgets, setting to work with a tape measure as quietly as he did the first time he came by. Tandie’s curiosity was killing her. She wanted to know more about why this handsome stranger appeared in her novel and her dreams.
After spending Saturday night with Saul, a man who seemed to be handling quite a few issues himself, she craved something normal. One thing Frieda was right about: there wasn’t a shortage of eye candy in her life at the moment.
Dressed in ripped jean shorts, an old tee-shirt, and a blue bandana that would scream gang-girl if she were ever spotted in public, Tandie walked outside. The outfit wasn't too New Yorker, and it had just enough grit to compliment any job a contractor might need for her to do. On the first day she arrived at Chelby Rose, she’d promised herself that she would put her own personal touches on any renovations.
“Um, Ms. Harrison, what are you doing?” Eric’s face bore an amused smirk underneath his smile. He also had a slight accent covered up by his well-spoken English.
At first, the accent in his voice sounded somewhat southern. But after listening to the next few sentences, Tandie thought it sounded more Puerto Rican or South Columbian.
“Isn’t that obvious? I’m going to paint. Do you have issues with that?” Tandie asked, slightly annoyed by his smirk.
“Course not. It's your place. I just thought you’d—want to be writing.” He flipped a strand of hair away from his face. Tandie wondered if he was going to move the one beside it too.
“That's exactly why I need to be out here. I need inspiration.” Tandie pranced over to the two five-gallon paint buckets Eric had lined up along the front porch. She pulled out her paintbrushes and counted them. One of the six that came in the pack was gone. “Crap. One is missing.”
He cleared his throat before speaking. “Far be it from me to keep a lady from her mission, Ms. Harrison. But, you’re going to paint with those?”
“What’s wrong with my paintbrushes?” Tandie asked, glancing down at her hands. She took her time picking them out at the hardware store.
“Not a thing if you’re doing a paint-by-number job, that is.” A grin was creeping across his face. “Those are touch-up paint brushes. As in, you paint little tiny sections with them. Not the best thing for covering 200-square-feet of siding.” Tandie frowned and glanced at her brushes. They were super small compared to the ones he had laid out on the ground. They glanced back at each other. He burst out laughing, and so did Tandie.
“Well why didn’t you say something before now?”
“Sorry, Ms. Harrison,” he said and tried to straighten out his face.
“And please, lay off all the Ms. Harrisons. I mean, that sounds so grandmotherly,” Tandie said. He gave her a tight smile and then turned his head toward his toolbox.
“All right, Tandie it is. At least let me help you with those.” He grabbed the buckets much to Tandie’s relief and set them down on the porch. “Painting can be trickier than it looks. The house has to be sanded first.”
Tandie was determined to not let him see her squirm in her moment of renovation stupidity. Translation, she was completely dependent on this contractor. Plus, there was something about this guy that made her feel like it was all right to be somewhat needy. “I appreciate your offer, but I suspect painting doesn’t come anywhere close to writer’s block.”
He set down two more of the heavy buckets after moving them out of the sun, wiped his face with the back of his hand, and glanced at Tandie with his intense chameleon-eyed gaze. Yeah sure, it was no secret that she had strange two-toned eyes, but Eric's did amazing things. The pupils changed colors depending on the way and type of light that hit them.
“Somehow, I believe you can handle some pretty fierce writing issues.” His voice came out low and raspy and the tee shirt he wore stuck to his abs, all six glorious packs of them. Perfect wasn't a word that came anywhere close to describing Eric Fontalvo.
“Thank you for that vote of confidence, Mr. Contractor.”
"Ooh, I get it. You can use old-fashioned greetings on me, but not the other way around," he said with a smile spreading across his heart-shaped mouth.
Tandie shrugged. "It doesn't count for work titles, only when you use someone's last name."
Eric smirked and made a small laugh. "How convenient." He bent down, picked up his tool belt, and then stood up, leaving a small amount of space between their faces. He was ruggedly handsome in a subtle way minus the cockiness that made Saul Chelby so popular with females. But even with Saul's confidence and rich boy looks, this guy held his ground with ease.
"What's so convenient?" Tandie asked.
"That I'm stuck with an assistant who makes words and rules up for a living." Moving around Tandie, he said, "I'm heading inside to take a look at those pipes. I’m sorry that you got all dressed up in those shorts for no reason." He strolled toward the house, leaving Tandie outside.
"Okay. Maybe I gave you too much praise, a little too early," she whispered to herself and headed toward the house.


Confessions of an Angry Girl (ARC) by Louise Rozett

Confessions of an Angry Girl (Confessions, #1)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Rose Zarelli, self-proclaimed word geek and angry girl, has some CONFESSIONS to make... #1: I'm livid all the time. Why? My dad died. My mom barely talks. My brother abandoned us. I think I'm allowed to be irate, don't you?

#2: I make people furious regularly. Want an example? I kissed Jamie Forta, a badass guy who "might" be dating a cheerleader. She is now enraged and out for blood. Mine.

#3: High school might as well be Mars. My best friend has been replaced by an alien, and I see red all the time. (Mars is red and "seeing red" means being angry-get it?)

Here are some other vocab words that describe my life: Inadequate. Insufferable. Intolerable.

(Don't know what they mean? Look them up yourself.) (Sorry. That was rude.)

Confessions of an Angry Girl by Louise Rozett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Harlequin and Netgally.)
Confessions of an Angry Girl (Confessions, #1)Rose is your average 14/15-year-old girl, except that as well as having to deal with all the normal crap that happens in high school, she’s trying to come to terms with her father’s death.
Rose’s father was killed in an explosion in Iraq. He wasn’t even supposed to be there, he was a contractor, not a soldier, but when he lost his job her mom was really worried about money, and so they made the decision for him to go to Iraq. The problem was that he didn’t come back.

Rose’s brother Peter has gone off to uni, leaving Rose alone with her mother at home who pretty much ignores her, and Rose’s best friend Tracy seems to be spending all of her time trying to impress the cheerleading squad, and wondering whether she should have sex with her boyfriend (who’s cheating on her!).

Rose is just trying to get on with her life, which is made extremely difficult when one of the cheerleader’s boyfriends starts showing an interest in her. Rose recognises Jamie because he used to play hockey with her brother. She’s always had a crush on him, but knows that it will never be anything real because he’s older than her. When he does start to make advances, Rose can’t quite believe it, but unfortunately his cheerleader girlfriend does and starts threatening Rose.

Rose is just sick of everything; everything other than Jamie that is. She’s sick of the way her mother looks straight though her. She’s sick of the way that her brother went away to college and didn’t even come home for thanksgiving. She’s sick of her friend Robert who wants to be more than friends, and sick of the way Tracy won’t stop talking about having sex with her cheating boyfriend. And she’s really sick of the ‘cheerleader-witches’. The problem is that now when Rose gets really annoyed she opens her mouth and allows all her bottled up thoughts out, which isn’t always the best thing to do. Because now Rose is finding out, that letting people know exactly how you are feeling, isn’t always the best thing to do.

I enjoyed this book. Rose is really wise for her 15 years, and I have to say that in my opinion she had a right to feel angry. Her anger outbursts in my opinion aren’t that bad, no worse than me with PMT really, but maybe that’s just me! This book really shows what it’s like to be back in high-school, and I am so glad I am out of there and not going back! Poor Rose may be grieving and may have anger issues, but most of the girls at her school are just total and utter b*tches. Sorry, to use that word but it does fit.
Rose had to make a choice at times in this book, choices that made her very unpopular, but at the same time were important and even critical at times. These choices however landed her truly at the wrath of the ‘cheerleader-witches’, and the harassment that she faced left me feeling rage for her.

The romance in this book was at a minimum really. We did get a couple of kisses, but it seemed that most of the girl’s boyfriends were messing around with other people behind their girlfriend’s backs. There were several discussions in the book concerning safe sex and use of condoms, as well as the ‘appropriate’ age at which to lose ones virginity, but no actual sex scenes of any kind (so suitable for younger teens).

I finished this book feeling really sorry for Rose, and really glad that I’m no longer in high school! Looking forward to the next book
8 out of 10.

Confessions of an angry girl is released on the 28th of August in both the US and the UK.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Lazy Days of Summer Giveaway Hop - the Argetallam Saga by Elisabeth Wheatley

Blurb (from Goodreads):
The Key of Amatahns (Argetallam Saga, #1)
Janir had the misfortune of being born with one of the hated Argetallams for a father. But unlike other Argetallam children, she was mostly granted a normal childhood, away from the rest of her family. It looked as if she would live a relatively normal life as the foster-daughter of a powerful lord. Until one critical day Janir’s powers awakened and she became entangled in a young enchanter’s quest for a long-lost treasure called the Key of Amatahns...

The Key of Amatahns by Elisabeth Wheatley

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Key of Amatahns (Argetallam Saga, #1) (Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis.)
Janir is 8 when her father sends her away. She may be the Lord of the Argetallams daughter, but she is also half Brevian (another race who the Argetallams fight with). When her party is attacked and her mother killed, Janir finds herself taken in and raised by a man called Armandius Caersynn, who as it turns out is actually her mother’s husband! (Her mother was captured by Argetallams and taken as a courtesan for their Lord!)
However, 7 years later, when a visiting duke tries to stab Armandius during a dinner party, Janir finds herself driven mad with anger, and snaps the dukes neck. Knowing that this act will unveil Janir as half-Argetallam, Armandius sends her off to the moutains with a small amount of provisions and a horse, and tells her that he will send someone to find her if he can get her a pardon from the courts.

Janir goes off alone with her horse, but soon comes across a sorcerer in a tree (Karile) who she helps. He joins her and they travel along together. Karileis searching for ‘the key of amatahns’, a legend says that all the magical powers of a warrior tribe was locked in a crystal chamber, and sealed with a key – if someone finds they key, and enters the chamber, they will absorb all of the magical powers, making them nearly unlimited magical powers.
Karile says that the Argetallam’s are looking for the key, and that he wants to find it first and keep it from them, as the Argetallam’s are a fierce warrior race, and if they get their hands on the power, it will lead to the end of the world as they know it!
Thus is the start of an epic YA fantasy adventure, filled with elves, dwarves, seers, enchantresses, ghosts, and all manner of other strange mythical creatures.

This book was a great YA fantasy, and I would say that it is similar to ‘the lord of the rings’, only much easier to read!
Janir is such a brave girl, and doesn’t let anything phase her. She totally takes every obstacle in her stride, and keeps going even when the situation seems dire! She really does come across all sorts on this adventure though, and there’s never a dull moment! This storyline just keeps springing new surprises all the time!
I also liked the characters of Karile – the slightly batty sorcerer, and Armandius – Janir’s foster father. I also thought that Lucan (Janir’s half-brother) was a fantastic adversary.

This book is very well written, I don’t think I came across a single spelling mistake in the whole book! I would never have guessed that the fantastic author of this book was only 16 when she wrote this! This is truly an amazing achievement!

My favourite quote would have to be this one from the seeress - ‘do not flee from who you are. You will never get away’ – so funny and so true!

Read this is you’re looking for an epic fantasy, that isn’t epically long!
6 out of 10
(Book Length: 4132 kindle locations)

The Secrets of the Vanmars (Argetallam Saga, #2)

Blurb (from Goodreads ):

After her adventures with the Key of Amatahns, sixteen-year-old Janir Caersynn Argetallam returns home to find Brevia on the brink of war with a neighboring country, Stlaven. Her foster-father and even Saoven—a brave young elf warrior—think it will be safe at the castle where Janir grew up. However, while trying to unravel a looming mystery, Karile—self-taught wizard and Janir’s self-appointed best friend—becomes certain that there is danger in the mountains surrounding Janir’s childhood home and that it has something to do with Stlaven’s most powerful family, the Vanmars…

The Secrets of the Vanmars by Elisabeth Wheatley

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The Secrets of the Vanmars (Argetallam Saga, #2)(I was given a digital copy of this book for free, by the author, on a read-to-review basis.)
This is the second book in the Argetallam Saga.
Three weeks have passed since the end of the events in ‘The Key of Amatahns’, and Janir is now on her way to Saaradan, to meet with her foster father – Armandius. Unfortunately her half-brother has also survived his wounds, and has made it back to ……

Janir makes it to Saaradan, and is reunited with Armandius, the man who she wishes was her real father. She explains to him what has happened since she left him, and he tells her that she must see the high lords for them to determine her fate after she killed a visiting Duke in ‘The Key of Amatahns’. (She did this because the duke tried to kill Armandius.)

Karile, the wizard who she travelled with, comes to her to tell her that he fears that there will be a war soon. The Stlavish armies are on the move, and Karile is concerned that it may have been a Stlavish Sultan who tried to purchase the key from the Argetallams.

Fortunately Janir survives her meeting with the high lords, but only through the kind words of Lady Gwenna. It seems that her maternal grandfather Meliard, would like nothing more than to behead her – immediately.

Once home, Janir and Karile start searching for a legensary road known as the ‘Kryden road’, and discovers dwarves, who appear to have teamed up with the Stlavish. What is going on? Why are the dwarves helping the Stlavish? And what does Janir’s real father have in store for her if he finds out that she is n fact alive?

I enjoyed this book, I actually think it was better than the first!
Once again there was a lot going on, and Janir finds herself in evens stickier situations. We once again have the characters of Karile, and Saoven the elf, and Janir is reunited with her foster father. There’s even a hint of romance between Janir and Saoven which I loved!

This book was once again very well written, and had excellent flow. I liked the storyline, but unfortunately it ended on a bit of a cliffhanger and we have to wait ‘til 2013 to find out what happens to Janir next!
7 out of 10.
(Book Length:3583 kindle locations.)

  Interview with the Author,

Elisabeth Wheatley

When did you start writing?
When I was about five or six I wrote this piece of fan-fiction for a picture book I adored, Corgiville Fair. I wrote the story and drew the pictures on scrap pieces of paper and held them together with duct-tape. We still have it because it’s too funny-looking to throw away. When I was about eleven, I got the idea to create an imaginary world and that imaginary world would eventually become home to Janir Caersynn Argetallam. I toyed with innumerable story ideas and beginnings until I started work on what would become The Key of Amatahns the winter after I turned fourteen.

What was your inspiration for the Argetallam Saga?
Oh, that’s a tough question. Various elements of the story came from different places. Certain characters were inspired by people I know – for example Karile’s antagonistic tendencies, his generosity,  and his devotion to Janir are all derived from my brothers.  The terrain for the Staspin Waste is similar to parts of Texas, while Brevia is similar to the wooded, rugged lusciousness of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. Sometimes I draw inspiration from places, people, or events that I’ve read about or seen.  (I love Rick Steve’s Europe  a travel show on PBS.)  So I guess the short answer is that I am inspired by things in my life.

What three words would you use to describe The Key of Amatahns/The  Secrets of the Vanmars?
The Key of Amatahns: magic, mayhem, mercy
The Secrets of the Vanmars: sorcery, secrets, sacrifice

What are your favorite things about Janir?
My absolute favorite thing about her is that she is strong without being cocky. (Cocky protagonists are just one of my pet peeves.) But I also like how she puts up with Karile. She’s obviously more patient than I am.

Do you already know how Janir’s story will end or will it come to you as you write it?
How things will end—or at least a vague, general idea—is the first or second thing that I figure out when writing a book or coming up with a series. I have trouble flinging myself into the vast unknown, so I like to know where I’m going ahead of time. So, yes. I already know how Janir’s story will end.

Other than your own, what are your favorite books?
My all-time favorite book is An Acceptable Time by Madeleine L’Engle. I’m also a devoted fan of Gail Carson Levine’s Ever. Lately I’ve discovered new author Sarah J. Maas and I think I’ve become a faithful aficionado of her Throne of Glass books as well.

Random Question—What is your favorite treat?
Organic Chocolate. The 89% cacao stuff that’s as dark as the heart of a demon. It has practically no sweetness, but I love it to bits!

Thanks Elisabeth for stopping by the blog,

and thanks for making this giveaway possible!


On to the giveaway!

Elisabeth is giving away an ebook copy of 'The Secrets of the Vanmars' (or a copy of 'the Key of Armatahns' if you would prefer.)


Enter away, and may the odds be ever in your favour!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Perpetuating the Species by Spencer Phelps - Blog Tour!

Title: Perpetuating The Species
Author: Spencer Phelps
Genre: Humor, Contemporary Fiction

On one hand, Mike Lynch hates kids. He can’t stand how they scream all the time, poop themselves, everything. That probably comes from his father reminding Mike throughout his childhood that he was never wanted. On the other hand, that ice of indifference surrounding Mike's biological clock starts to thaw after his girlfriend gives birth to someone else’s child.

Mike believes everything has a reason for existing, including our naughty bits. He now has a desperate urge to fulfill his basic human duty by using those bits to procreate. He just doesn’t want to deal with the aftermath. To get around this self-imposed dilemma, Mike takes a three-day weekend trip to Indiana, finds some women who are also looking to get laid, and tries to get them pregnant. He justifies his actions by assuming the people he encounters are going to get pregnant during one-night stands anyway. At least with his being the sperm donor, their child will be born to serve a greater purpose: Mike’s.

When he returns to Indiana a year later to see if the scheme was a success, confronting the results of his actions elicits more emotions than he knew he had. Now Mike has no idea how he’ll react when he discovers his child.

Book Excerpt:

“Here’s where my problem comes in. If we don’t use our dangly bits to reproduce, we’re not fulfilling our roles as human beings. As we both know, I don’t want to be a father. At the same time, I want to uphold my duty as a basic human, because I believe if we don’t perform the tasks we’re given in this life, we don’t get that great reward at the end, you know? It’s like I punched in at the time clock and spent 80-some years on lunch break.”
“So you want to have kids now?” Ben asked, perplexed.
“Yes and no.”
“Oh, I know! Just put your sperm in the sperm bank. Problem solved.”
“I thought about that, but it won’t work. First, you have to be really smart and pass a bunch of physical and mental tests to even be considered. If any dude was allowed to donate, we’d have the stuff flowing in the streets. Second, there’s only a miniscule chance mine would be chosen; so if I die before I get popped into someone, then no deal,” Mike said as he ripped the lid off his Dew to get at the ice cubes.
“That’s a tough one,” Ben said. He looked around at the beautiful 80s decorations half in boredom and half in though. Suddenly, he slammed his hand down on the table, making Mike jump. “I’ve got it!”
“Got what?”
“I’ve got the answer to your dilemma so you can die a happy, fulfilled man and get this whole baby crap off your mind for good,” Ben exclaimed in confidence. He placed his elbows on the table so his hand could help illustrate his idea. “All you have to do is have a one-night stand with a chick, don’t wear a condom or poke holes in it or something and boom!”

What do you think? Want to hear more?

Author Bio
A native of Marion, Ohio, Spencer Phelps was a featured opinion columnist for The Marion Star newspaper from 2008-2010. He also wrote/hosted a local late-night TV talk show called Marion Tonight in 2009 and a radio version in 2010. On top of being a writer and show host, Spencer has been a singer, songwriter, practitioner of martial arts, husband, politician, geocacher, ghost hunter, and an international fugitive at one point or another.

Barnes & Noble

eBook Pie