Saturday Special: Happy Release Day!

My buddy Mark Fassett (developer of my favorite writing program, StoryBox), came through for you fantasy lovers!

That’s right! He’s released his second fantasy novel today. Take some time to check out his new series (Lords of Genova). Make it your first read of the new year. 🙂

On the run from an Empire he once served, Lord Questioner Petyr Ocyna stumbles across the mutilated body of a young woman in the middle of the forest, not far from a strange barrier known as the Fringe. Despite the urgings of his companion Alec, Petyr chooses to risk a possible trip to the gallows in order to discover the killer. But the truth he uncovers in the small logging town of Dunsriver might not only lead to the end of his own life, it justmight lead to the destruction of the Empire.

Available in E-Book at: Amazon and BN.com

Happy reading!

Best of 2011 Giveaway Hop (Dec 27-31)

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. 🙂 Thanks for getting those lines stuck in my head, Julie Cross. haha

This year was full of great reads, but only a small collection hit 5/5 stars on my chart. For this giveaway, I’m offering them to you!


Best of 2011 Giveaway Hop (Dec 27 – 31)

Best of 2011The year is quickly coming to an end. It’s time to spotlight my favorite reads of 2011.

The Rules: The giveaway should be for one of the blogger’s favorite reads of 2011. It can be a book that was released in 2011 or a book read in 2011. Alternately bloggers may include a list of favorite 2011 reads for the winner to choose from. Prizes may be provided as a gift card. No erotica (a reminder for me). This blog hop is sponsored by I’m a Reader Not a Writer.

I’ve opted to present a list for my wonder readers. One winner will have the opportunity to choose a book from my favorite reads of the year. All 5 star reads and highly recommended by yours truly.

Prizes (winner’s choice)

Click on image to read my review

As always, entering is easy. :)

  • You’ll earn 1 point for completing the form.
  • An additional point for sharing the giveaway and leave the link (Twitter, Facebook, Blog, Linked, MySpace, etc.). *OPTIONAL*
  • Sign up for my newsletter for an additional 2 points. *OPTIONAL* See special incentive note below.
  • Comments are appreciated, but only entries from the form count.
  • Giveaway ends Saturday, December 31, 2011 at 11:59 PM ET.
  • Please read the giveaway policy for the nitty gritty.

Special note about my newsletter. Starting in January, I’m starting subscriber-only monthly giveaways in addition to the blog giveaways. If you’re already a subscriber, you’re already entered.

Not a subscriber yet? Subscribe to our newsletter here or fill out the form in the sidebar (upper left).

Novel Review: Tempest by Julie Cross

I’ve been cracking down on reading the last couple of weeks. My Goodreads reading goal was 60 books. Tonight I plan on finishing an anthology once I get my posts out of the way. That’ll put me at 58 books. It’ll be a close one folks.

What do we have for you today? Hmmm… Tempest by Julie Cross. This one happens to be a Netgalley read. Have I mentioned how much I love Netgalley? haha So the blurb from Goodreads:

The year is 2009.  Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.

That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future.

Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities.

But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler.  Recruit… or kill him.

Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly… and possibly the entire world.

When I first started Tempest, I have to admit… I didn’t buy the story line. A guy who time travels with his mind but not his body? I’m think the boy’s having seizures and is delusional. I kept expecting the author to give me a “gotcha, this is all a dream” scene. In fact, I have notes up to the 13th chapter like “I still think he’s delusional.” haha But you know what? I couldn’t put the book down.

The read was so unique, I never knew what to expect. And as complicated as I expected time travel to be, Tempest was written in a way that explained everything in simple and realistic terms. Goodbye Paradoxes; Hello Tempest.

This book had more than a few heartfelt moments. At the same times, it was chalked full of humor to lighten the mood. And it certainly didn’t hurt to have such a likable character like Jackson.

Though at times, I thought he was beyond mature for his 19 years. His mentality on issues such as dating and sex made me think of men pushing thirty and over. None of the boys I dated in my early teens and twenties were anything like that. It made Jackson sweet in many ways… and very dreamy. Take notes, boys. Girls will be reading this book and expecting more from you, because Jackson really steps up the game.

My summary? Think Back to the Future, MiB, The Time Traveler’s Wife, and Doctor Who, roll it all into one and you’ve got Tempest. If you don’t believe me, read it for yourself. I loved it and can’t wait for the next installment.

***Tempest by Julie Cross was an EXCELLENT read. 5/5 stars and one of my favorites for 2011. Way to make it under the 2011 deadline. This book will be part of the giveaway on my blog December 27-31 as part of “Best of 2011.” Woot!***

Find Tempest by Julie Cross:  Barnes & Nobles and The Book Depository

Novel Review: Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Every Other DayIt’s been a while since I’ve done a review. Between NaNoWriMo 2012 and releasing a couple of works in December, I’ve been behind… WAY behind on reading and reviews. Well, it’s time to mend my ways. 🙂

So here we have Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. I picked up a copy from NetGalley. I have to say, the Netgalley program is treating me right. 🙂 How about a blurb before the review, just like old times.

Every other day, Kali D’Angelo is a normal sixteen-year-old girl. She goes to public high school. She attends pep rallies. She’s human. 

And then every day in between…She’s something else entirely. 

Though she still looks like herself, every twenty-four hours predatory instincts take over and Kali becomes a feared demon-hunter with the undeniable urge to hunt, trap, and kill zombies, hellhounds, and other supernatural creatures. Kali has no idea why she is the way she is, but she gives in to instinct anyway. Even though the government considers it environmental terrorism. 

When Kali notices a mark on the lower back of a popular girl at school, she knows instantly that the girl is marked for death by one of these creatures. Kali has twenty-four hours to save her and, unfortunately, she’ll have to do it as a human. With the help of a few new friends, Kali takes a risk that her human body might not survive…and learns the secrets of her mysterious condition in the process.

One thing I have to say about Every Other Day, the story line was unique to me. If anything, that alone kept me in the story.

The novel is set in an alternate reality where paranormal elements (zombies, hellhounds, dragons, etc) were discovered by Darwin way back when. Not only are the paranormal creatures a part of the world, but they’re also protected as endangered species. Too bad for them, Kali is a natural born hunter during her “non-human” cycle.

The bulk of the story follows Kali, the main character, during a 48-72 hour time span. All the while, Kali’s internal clock provides a countdown until her next cycle.

For the most part, this was an okay read. Like I said, the story was unique. Early on, I was a bit confused about the Darwin theory, but eventually it was explained. Other parts were a bit predictable, but my biggest gripe was Kali’s near invincibility.

On her “non-human” days she was like Spider-man in the areas of strength and reflexes and Wolverine when it came to rejuvenation, but she felt no pain and was A LOT harder to incapacitate.

Meanwhile, all she had to do was lay low on her human days and voila! she was back in action. As such, it lacked any real stakes.

Normally I like to talk about side characters, and there were quite a few with varying importance in the story. However, the relationships Kali seemed to form with them seemed rather shallow, making it difficult to care for anyone in particular.

I give the story an A+ for uniqueness, but the execution could have been better. If a sequel does happen, it’s a story I may or may not seek depending on mood. Overall, 3/3.5 out of 5 stars.

As a side note: I never did figure out how she managed school on her non-human days.

Available atBarnes & Nobles and The Book Depository