Thursday, November 29, 2012

Desecration Blog Tour Day 4!


Hi guys! It's day 4 of the Desecration Blog Tour and I'm very excited to be part of it. Desecration is the fourth installment of the Future Savior series and it will be released this Saturday, December 1st! I know it's going to be an awesome read and I just can't wait to get it! Here the book blurb:

Charis’ latest time paradox has left me staggering. The history of Meric is being unraveled right before my eyes. While some unimaginable questions are being answered, even more start to creep up. Will we make it out of this place alive? Will we make it back to Meric in time to stop Leticia and save our friends? Will I ever marry Shaw, the man of my dreams?

I guess only time holds the answers to these questions. Considering I’m not even in my own time, I’m not so sure anymore. One thing I do know is I never would have thought Meric’s origins would have been in this place.

Yay! Ok, once you're done here, be sure to stop by Author Jennifer Hartz' site to read an excerpt of Desecration! And at the end of this post you can enter the giveaway for a chance to win a SIGNED copy of Book 1 in the FS series, Conception. For today's stop in the tour we have Christina interviewing Shaw! Well, sort of :)

Evangeline Lilly as Christina
Kellan Lutz as Shaw
Shaw: What are you doing?
Christina: I'm going to interview you. *taps pen on black & white marble notebook*
Shaw: What in the world for?
Jared Padalecki as Drexton
Christina: Because it'll be fun! Just cooperate, okay. *clears throat and eyes the muscles in his arms* Now Shaw, how much can you bench press?
Shaw: You can't be serious.
Drexton: *bursting into the room* Hey all! What ya guys doin'?
Christina: I'm interviewing Shaw.
Drexton: Have you asked him to take his shirt off yet?
Shaw: What!?
Christina: *laughs loudly* That's the third question on my list.
Drexton: Good luck, buddy! *smacks Shaw on the shoulder and walks out the door*
Christina: Okay, you didn't answer my question… how much can you bench press?
Shaw: You really want me to answer that?
Hayden Christensen as Rayliex
Christina: Of course! One of your Guardian powers is super strength. I just want to know how super your strength is.
Shaw: Well… I never really--*gets cut off by someone instantly appearing in the room*
Tiana Benjamin as Markella
Rayliex: *teleports into the room* Oh! Sorry to interrupt! *teleports away*
Christina: Ugh! This is ridiculous! Maybe I should try a different question.
Shaw: Maybe you should just stop with the questions. *smiles seductively at her*
Christina: *grins* Hmmm…should I just to question three? Will you take your shirt off? *snickers* 
Shaw: *Kisses Christina then moves to take off shirt*
Markella: *saunters into the room* Oh you two! Always so lovey-dovey.
Christina: That's it! I give up! *storms out of the room*

 * * *
Uh-oh! That didn't seem to go as planned :/ Sorry Christina! Maybe next time you won't be interrupted so much. At least there's still an awesome giveaway the readers can enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Author Interview + Giveaway with Jennifer Hartz

Another favorite author of mine is here for a visit! Jennifer Hartz is the author of the Future Savior series. You can read my reviews of the first 3 books here. The fourth book is set to release on December 1st (Eeep!) I've been looking forward to it for months now and can't wait to get back to the land of Meric with Christina and Shaw and... Oh, I'll stop now before I go crazy telling you all how much I love these books :) Enjoy the interview!

Hey Jenn! Thanks for being with us today. For those who have not yet heard of you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Hey Crystal! Thanks so much for having me on your blog! Gosh, some stuff about me… but I'm boring! That's why I write fantasy stories… gotta spice up my normal life! LOL! Seriously though, I'm a wife and a mommy of a wonderful little boy. Up until recently I was working as a teacher, but I've decided to stay home with my son and work on my writing… and praying God will provide!

I love Jesus so much because He knows that I am not perfect and I mess up a whole lot! That's why He came, for all us lovely mess ups! I also love Speculative fiction (fantasy, sci-fi, paranormal… anything a little weird) and if you can get me a really great Speculative/Christian/Romance, well I'm one happy camper!

What writing projects have you been working on since you were last here in February? 
Future Savior Book 4: Desecration!!! The continuing saga in everyone's favorite land of Meric will continue on December 1st. My editor just finished her first round of edits and is freaking out over FS4... which is always a great feeling! I must say, FS4 has been the most fun to write in the entire series. I can't wait for everyone to check it out.

I also signed a new 4 book deal for a YA Paranormal series called, Heroes of the Horde. The first book, Unleashed, will be released on May 1st.

I finished writing a Middle Grade novel called The Ghost Runner. I am currently querying this project... I hate querying!

AND... as if everything above was enough... I just started work on a new novel Paranormal Romance. The working title for this project is Hunter's Fury. This one could be classified as a New Adult story because the main character is 21 years old.

Wow there's so much to look forward to from you! Can't wait to check them out. What was your inspiration for the Future Savior series?
The obvious books that inspired The Future Savior Series are The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia. As much as I loved these epic fantasies, I must say that they were lacking in the "epic romance" category. So, I took what I loved from epic fantasy tales, added some MAJOR romance, sprinkled in some sci-fi, and just a touch of "fish out of water tale" to get The Future Savior Series.

Describe the FS series in 3 words.
Adventure. Love. Faith.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I can't say I'd change anything in FS4, but if I could go back and do something different in FS3: Evacuation I would. There would be no changes to the plot, but I would make that book a little longer. I had a difficult time with FS3 because I was going through some really tough personal stuff... it killed my desire to write. If I could write FS3 now, I know it would be longer.

If you weren't an author, what would your dream job be?
Hmmm... writing has always been my dream job since I was young. If I had to pick something else, I'd have to say acting. I always enjoyed drama. I did a lot of drama in high school and college.

What's the fastest you've ever written a book?
I wrote The Ghost Runner in about one month, but that one was pretty short since it's Middle Grade. Usually, it takes me several months because I have to really envision the next scene. I picture every possibility of a scene in my head, how the characters would react, etc, before I write it out.

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?
Yes, but life took me into some crazy directions first. So I didn't start writing until I was thirty.

Name your favorite... 
Book: I refuse to pick just one!!! Top 5 (in no particular order) Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling, The Hunger Games by Susan Collins, The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien, Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren, The Stand by Stephen King
Movie: Again I refuse to pick one! Top 5 (in no particular order) The Goonies, Under the Tuscan Sun, The Empire Strikes Back, Back to the Future, The Avengers
TV Show: All right, I won't do Top 5 this time... how about Top 3! Friends, Supernatural, The Office
Song: I can't do just songs... How about Top 5 bands! U2, Pearl Jam, Muse, Manic Drive, Counting Crows
Writing spot: On my couch

Anything else you'd like to add? Where can readers find you on the web?
We're giving away an autographed copy of Future Savior Book 1: Conception, right? Why not have a little taste of Conception right now! But before you read the excerpt, be sure to find me on the web at these following locations:

Website: http://jenniferhartz.com
Twitter: @JenniferLHartz
The Future Savior Series on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheFutureSaviorSeries
Me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jennifer.hartz.71

Future Savior One: Conception (excerpt) 

Shaw stepped between the beasts and the men. The Vaipes must have been stunned by his utter lack of fear, or perhaps even these devilish beasts were familiar with the legendary Shaw, either way, they all took a step back. 
Shaw faced me and the frightened men. His incredible pale blue eyes narrowed, and burned with such intensity they were nearly silver. “Stay back. I can handle this.” 
A brilliant flash of lighting framed his perfect physique in an illuminating beauty. A resounding crack of thunder pounded the air, and I jumped. How did the storm happen upon us so quickly? 
The five men backpedaled until they were behind me. Then Shaw spun to face the beasts. He tossed his bow and arrows off to the side and ripped out his long sword from its sheath. Neither Shaw nor the Vaipes attempted to strike. They assessed each other, trying to ascertain a weakness, I supposed. The Vaipes on either end of the pack were trying to slowly loop around behind Shaw and surround him. This was the scene from my premonition! The lightning and thunder continued. Shaw’s muscles tensed. He prepared to attack. Looking around me quickly I realized that the five men were gone. I stood back myself, watching Shaw, not knowing what to do. I had my sword raised, but I had no clue how to help him. Apparently he didn’t need my help. 
He pounced with alarming speed. The spin move he performed was so quick, so strong, so devastating that when he completed the one-hundred and eighty degree turn that took less than a matter of seconds he had killed seven of the Vaipes. 
He faced me now and the fierce, deep concentration in his face astounded me. He attacked Vaipe after Vaipe, and the beasts continued to fall before him. I couldn’t believe how swiftly and fluidly Shaw moved. He had pulled out his smaller sword now and assailed the creatures two at a time. 
Shaw truly had to be the greatest warrior in all of Meric. None of the Vaipes even came close to him. He just spun, ducked, thrashed, lunged, turned and twisted so effortlessly that it barely appeared he exerted any energy at all. 
When the last Vaipe lay dead, he walked toward me, wiping the blood and gore off his face. I stared, amazed by what he just accomplished. 
He looked me over, drawing the back of his hand across his cheek. “Are you alright?” It was a loaded question. Was I physically injured? Was I mentally scarred for life? I replayed the last few minutes in my head. I witnessed a man being eaten and Shaw slaying more than twenty Vaipes. The stuff of nightmares. 
“Yeah, I’m fine.” Even though I wanted my statement to sound brave, I couldn’t control the shakiness of my voice.
“You should go inside one of the houses,” Shaw reiterated. 
I was about remind him of my last answer to that suggestion when a Vaipe leapt at us from on top of the fence. I dropped my sword and tried to shove Shaw out of the way, but he was just out of my arms reach. My telekinetic powers kicked in again and I brushed Shaw off to the side with my left hand as easily as sweeping dust from a shelf. With my right hand, I held the Vaipe in midair. It looked at me with such hatred and rage that I couldn’t help but scoff ever so slightly. Then I thrust my right arm as hard as I could, throwing the Vaipe into the fence knocking the wind out of it. Grabbing my sword again, I ran to the dazed monster. I hesitated for just one second, wondering if it was right to kill something that was knocked unconscious, when its eyes snapped open and it snarled at me, bracing for attack. The instinct to protect myself outweighed my moral debate, and I slashed it straight through heart. 
I turned back to Shaw, breathing hard. He stared at me with raised eyebrows and a slightly open mouth.
I smiled. “How can I go inside a house when clearly you need my help.” Shaw snorted a laugh. “Clearly.” He gathered up his bow and nodded for me to follow…


* * *
Thanks so much for the interview, Jennifer! It was awesome having you stop by :D 

Ok guys now it's time for.... 

A Giveaway!

The first book in the Future Savior series is coming out in print sometime this month, and Jennifer has offered to give away a SIGNED copy! **doing a happy dance** 
Enter using the Rafflecopter below. This giveaway is open to the US only and will run until next Friday, October 19.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 8, 2012

Author Interview + Giveaway with Anne Elisabeth Stengl

I'm so excited to have a new favorite author of mine here on the blog! Anne Elisabeth Stengl is the author of the Tales of Goldstone Wood series. If you haven't checked it out yet, you really are missing out on a wonderful series. I'll be posting my reviews of Heartless and Moonblood soon, so keep an eye out for those! There'll be a lot more gushing about these books :D Now carry on and enjoy the interview!

Thank you for being with us today, Anne! Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Hello! I am Anne Elisabeth, a lover of Fairy Tales, cats, Sri Lankan teas, classical piano, fuzzy socks, and old literature.

I am the author of the Tales of Goldstone Wood series, fantasy novels written in the Classic Fairy Tale style. My debut novel, Heartless, won the 2011 Christy Award for Debut Novel and was an INSPY Award finalist. My sophomore novel, Veiled Rose, won the 2012 Christy Award for Visionary Novel and was a Romantic Times Inspirational Novel of the Year finalist . . . so it's been a busy couple of years!

I live with my handsome husband in a little house on a hill in North Carolina, where we enjoy gardening and music, fine tea and pastries, and lots of company.

What is Starflower about?

Starflower tells the story of self-centered immortal poet Eanrin and the mortal girl he finds trapped in an enchanted sleep deep in the magical Wood Between. Against his better judgment, Eanrin chooses to wake the girl . . . and finds himself caught up in an adventure far more dangerous than he ever imagined!

Sounds like an interesting tale! What appeals to you most about writing fiction?

Storytelling is in my blood. I come from a family of storytellers, so it is as natural to me as breathing to create a tale. Novel-writing suits me far better than short stories too, since it gives me so much room to flesh out all the various characters and threads!

What are two things people might be surprised to know about you?

I'm an utter crazy cat lady. Die-hard, in fact. I rescue wild kittens out of my neighborhood, tame them, and find them homes. For a few days this last summer, we had more than twelve cats in our little house at one time! I've got traps set even now to catch two more kittens, who will then be cleaned up, loved on, and found permanent homes. That's right. Crazy. Cat. Lady.

I can't eat cilantro. It tastes like soap. And since every gourmet cook in the galaxy lives to cook with cilantro, this definitely limits my gourmet dining experience. (But I mean . . . ick! Who wants to eat soap?)

Lol! I'm not too crazy about cilantro either. I'm mexican so it's kinda hard to avoid it in my family's cooking :D What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?

I am a bookworm. I love YA fantasy novels! Diana Wynne Jones, Sir Terry Pratchett, Robin McKinley, Shannon Hale, Megan Whalen Turner . . . they are my favorites!

I also love to bake pastries, play classical piano, sing jazz standards, paint with acrylics, sketch, and take long, romantic walks with my adored husband.

If you could have any superpower, what would you choose?

Oh, I'd fly. No doubt about it.

Name 3 things you can’t live without.

My husband, Rohan. He is my encourager and support in all things, my best friend, and my best source of amusement.

My Mummy. Though she lives across the country, we talk every day and are very close. She is my number one brainstorming partner, my confidant, and my other best friend.

KITTIES!!!!! (Told you. Crazycatlady)

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?

Rather more often than I like to admit, yes. I usually find the best way to clear it up is to read a book. Not just any book, though! I must read a book I love, a book that reminds me why I write. Anything by Terry Pratchett or Diana Wynne Jones usually does the trick.
I also like to sketch when I'm writer's blocked. Sketching taps into the non-verbal side of my creativity, giving my writing brain a break. Piano practice helps a bit as well, but sketching is more often what I turn to.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.

Every time I hear from a fan who tells me how much one of my books has touched him/her, I feel so blessed and rewarded. I have developed some real friendships with many of these fans, from all walks of life and from all over the world. I love them all, those I hear from only once, and those I hear from once a week!

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? 

In Starflower? I suppose not . . . I mean, every time I get to the very last read-through before it goes to print, I think to myself, "Dragons blast it! This is the worst piece of idiot writing anyone ever put to paper!" and I wish I could re-do the whole thing. But that's just fear talking. It's hard to let your baby go, sending it out into the world to readers, some of whom will love it, some of whom will hate it. But that doesn't mean it isn't ready to go.

Starflower was the book I was meant to write when I wrote it. I wouldn't write it that way now . . . but then, it also wouldn't be Starflower!

What was your favorite scene to write in Starflower?

I love the scene where Starflower gets awakened from her enchanted sleep . . . by an unexpected source! I had a lot of fun writing that, but I can't say more without giving anything away. :) I also really loved writing the climactic scenes between her and the villain. I have had this story in my head since I was seventeen years old, so finally writing it out and seeing it come alive on the page was a total thrill!

Can't wait to read it! What's next for you?

Come summer 2013, my fifth novel, Dragonwitch, will hit the shelves! Dragonwitch is another Tale of Goldstone Wood, and it is the closest thing to an "epic" fantasy I have written yet (the others I would call "fairy tale novels"). It was tremendously difficult to write but tremendously satisfying to finish, and I can hardly wait to share.

I am currently drafting Book 6 in the series, which will release Spring 2014. So, plenty more to come in Goldstone Wood.

Is there anything else you'd like to add? Where can readers find you on the web?

I love to hear from my readers! So please do find me on my blog (anneelisabethstengl.blogspot.com) or on Facebook under my name, Anne Elisabeth Stengl (author).  You can also follow me on Twitter (AnneElisabeth Stengl), but I'm still learning the ropes of that one, so you'll have to bear with me . . .
Thank you for the fun interview, Anne! It was so great to have you here today :) I'm looking forward to reading Starflower!

* * *
A Giveaway! 


Anne Elisabeth was so very kind to offer a signed copy of Starflower to give away! How nice is that?! The giveaway is open internationally and you have until October 16th to enter.

*Note: The winner will have to wait a couple weeks to receive the book since Starflower doesn't release until November.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 5, 2012

Cover Reveal: Dragonwitch by Anne Elisabeth Stengl


An Ancient Evil

Long ago, Etanun buried his sword in the depths of the Netherworld then vanished from all known history. One day, it is said, his heir will find the sword, and the Dragonwitch, firstborn of the Dragon King, will be finally slain.

A Desperate Hope

These stories are no more than nursery rhymes. In a world of cold reality, what room is left for fairy tales? Lady Leta of Aiven is pledged to marry a man she does not love . . . sleepless Lord Alistair struggles to unite the stubborn earls of the North Country . . . Mouse is lost, far from home, slaving as a kitchen drudge . . .

. . . and the reclusive Chronicler, keeping the records of Gaheris Castle, bears a secret so dangerous it could cost him his life and plunge the North Country into civil war.

An Impossible Journey

But when nursery rhymes begin to come horribly true, will these unlikely heroes find the strength they need to fulfill a prophecy of fire? For the Dragonwitch lives. And she has vowed vengeance on all who have wronged her.
______

Coming Summer 2013

Tales of Goldstone Wood

Timeless Fantasy that will keep you Spellbound!

(www.anneelisabethstengl.blogspot.com)

* * *
I just got into this series a couple weeks ago and cannot get enough of it! We have quite a while to wait for the release of Dragonwitch, but at least Starflower(Book 4) is coming out very soon! It should hold us over until Summer 2013 :) 

What do you think of the cover? It's so different from the rest in the series, but I like it! Thanks to the Anne Elisabeth for letting me participate in the cover reveal!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fall into Reading 2012

Fall into Reading 2012 is hosted by Katrina over at Callapidder Days and runs from September 22-December 21. To read more about this challenge, go here.

I came across a blog post about this challenge a few days ago and thought it'd be fun! I was originally going to keep the number of books I was going to attempt to read this season short, but I was challenged by a friend so I decided to raise the number a bit. This list consists of books I got for review and some that I've been wanting to read just for fun.


My goal:
These are all the books I'd like to check off my to-read list as soon as possible. I probably won't be able to read them all this Fall, but my goal is to read at least 15 of them for this challenge.

My list:
1. Heartless by Anne Elisabeth Stengl - finished 9/25
2. Submerged by Dani Pettrey
3. Gravestone by Travis Thrasher
4. House of Mercy by Erin Healy
5. Halflings by Heather Burch
6. The Next Target by Nikki Arana
7. Two Crosses by Elizabeth Musser
8. When the Smoke Clears by Lynette Eason
9. Promise Me This by Cathy Gohlke
10. Prowl by Amber Garza
11. Fatal Judgement by Irene Hannon
12. Temptation by Travis Thrasher
13. Healer by Linda Windsor
14. Chasing Mona Lisa by Tricia Goyer and Mike Yorkey
15. Relentless by Robin Parrish
16. A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman
17. Moonblood by Anne Elisabeth Stengl - finished 9/28
18. Starflower by Anne Elisabeth Stengl
19. The Last Thing I Remember by Andrew Klavan
20. Out Of Control by Mary Connealy
21. In Too Deep by Mary Connealy
22. Over The Edge by Mary Connealy
23. Hide and Seek by Jeff Struecker and Alton Gansky
24. Diviner by Bryan Davis
25. To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer
26. Back on Murder by J. Mark Bertrand
27. Pattern of Wounds by J. Mark Bertrand
28. Nothing to Hide by J. Mark Bertrand
29. Priceless by Tom Davis
30. Frantic by Mike Dellosso
31. False Pretenses by Kathy Herman
32. A Tailor-Made Bride by Karen Witemeyer
33. The Betrayal by Jerry B. Jenkins
34. Accused by Janice Cantore
35. Hearts that survive by Yvonne Lehman
36. Cool Beans by Erryn Mangum
37. Freefall by Kristen Heitzmann
38. Directed Verdict by Randy Singer

And that's my list! Check back here throughout the next few months if you'd like to see my progress. I'll be marking them off as I finish them.

Will you be signing up for the challenge? Let me know in the comments, I'd love to see your list :)
Happy Fall everyone!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

My computer problems...

Hi guys! It's been a long time since I last posted and I wanted to apologize. I've been having computer problems for the past two months now and each time I think it's finally over, something else happens. In early June, my desktop computer started acting dumb. It wouldn't stay on for more than 30 mins. I have no idea what the problem was with it but it would just shut off out of nowhere. It annoyed the heck out of me, so I just gave up trying to use it and I decided to use my moms laptop.

The laptop did work for a while but then the battery burned out. It wouldn't hold a charge and when I'd try using it while charging, it'd make the fans run super loud. We ended up buying a new battery and I was sure these computer issues were over. WRONG! One morning when I went to plug in the charger, it made a loud "POP!" sound and kinda burst into flames. LOL! I can laugh now, but at the time I did get pretty scared. So, we had to buy a new charger and had to wait about a week for it to deliver. When we got it I thought, "Yay, I can finally post on my blog again! Oh how I miss all my blog buddies!" That excitement ended really quick because now the laptop is super slow. UGH!!!

So I wanted to tell you all that I'm sorry for not posting. I've wanted to cry a few times because it gets so frustrating! I actually thought about just shutting down my blog because it feels like this is never going to end. I won't though because I'd miss you too much!

I'm gonna see if I can buy a new computer sometime this week so I hope it will be the end of all this annoying stuff. Oh and my blogoversary was yesterday and I really wanted to do a Blogoversary Celebration, but I wasn't able to get all the posts together. I was thinking of doing a Belated Blogoversary Bash sometime this month. What do you think?

Thanks for understanding guys! I hope you'll stick around because I'll be back real soon!!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Custom Blog Design Winner!!!

*NOTE: I'm sorry if theres a whole bunch of spelling errors in this post, the charger for my laptop broke so I'm using my iPod to type this. Just when I thought my computer troubles were finally over! Oh well, I'll hopefully have the new charger by Friday!

Now it's time to announce the winner of the custom blog design! Thanks so much to everyone who entered and helped spread the word about the giveaway. And thanks for all the birthday wishes! They were super sweet and made my birthday so much better :)

On to the winner!! The lucky winner of the custom blog design by Lori from Imagination Designs is...

Katie from Legacy of a Writer!! 

Yay! Tweeting about the giveaway every day really helped you out in this one, Katie! Congrats! I can't wait to see how your design turns out :)

Again, thanks so much to everyone who entered! I wish I had enough money to pay for all of you to get a new design :(

Talk to you all soon and Happy Reading!!

Oh yeah and Happy 4th of July!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Review: Glamorous Illusions by Lisa T. Bergren (Litfuse Tour)

Series: Grand Tour, #1
David C. Cook (June 2012)
Source: from publisher for Litfuse blog tour
AmazonGoodreads

It was the summer of 1913, and Cora Kensington's life on the family farm has taken a dark turn. Not only are the crops failing, so is her father's health. Cora is carrying on, helping her mother run their Montana farm until a stranger comes to call, and everything changes. Cora then learns a secret that will radically change her future: she is the illegitimate daughter of a copper king who has come to claim her.

 Cora is invited to take the "Grand Tour" of Europe, a journey intended to finish a person's education, to solidify an understanding of ancient culture and contemporary refinement. As she travels from England to France with half-siblings she's never known, Cora encounters the blessings of the Kensington family name, as well as the curses. But when an unbidden love begins to form, she realizes the journey is only beginning.

Faced with the challenge of accepting her father, new family, and the identity that comes with it, Cora also struggles to accept that she is also the daughter of the one true King-a Father who is the only One who can truly heal.

Lisa Bergren is one of my all time favorite authors. I loved her Homeward Trilogy and can't get enough of her River of Time series. The characters she creates are so easy to fall in love with and her descriptions of their surroundings make everything leap from the pages and come to life. When I got the chance to review Glamorous Illusions, I had no doubt in my mind that it'd be another favorite of mine. I was so right!

I actually liked Cora a lot. I loved her attitude and the way she handled herself in the tough situations she found herself in. I also liked seeing how well she adjusted to this new life and how she tried so hard to still be who she was before all the drastic changes. I kind of felt emotionally attached to her. I was so sad when she left her mother and father. I got nervous along with her every time she was around her siblings. And I couldn't help but sigh every time she was around Will. He was so sweet and I loved the interaction between the two. As of now, I can't tell where their relationship is going but I do hope they end up together!

Before this, I never heard of the Grand Tour. It sounds like it'd be an amazing experience to travel through Europe and see the famous sites and attend the fancy parties. It was pretty easy to envision all the places the characters got to visit because Lisa adds so much vivid detail of everything around them. It was kinda like I got to go on the Grand Tour along with Cora and the rest of the characters! It was really neat to read about.

Glamorous Illusions is an intriguing story that draws you in from page one and leaves you anxiously awaiting what's next! Yes, the ending was a bit abrupt, but it made me even more anxious for the release of Book 2, which can't come soon enough! I absolutely loved reading about everywhere these characters traveled to and all the excitement that comes with navigating through Europe. It was a fantastic story and I can't wait to get back to Cora and her new life when Grave Consequences comes out next year. This truly was a satisfying read!
 


About Lisa

Lisa Tawn Bergren is the best-selling, award-winning author of over 30 books, with more than 1.5 million copies sold. She just finished writing a Colorado historical trilogy (the first book, Breathe, Sing and Claim), and has begun a teen series called River of Time.


Lisa's time is split between managing home base, writing (including a fair amount of travel writing), consulting and freelance editing (with a little speaking here and there). She's married to Tim, a liturgical sculptor, graphic designer and musician. They have three kids-Olivia (15), Emma (12) and Jack (7).

All five of the Bergrens make their home in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

For more information on Lisa and to view other books written, please visit her website: http://lisatawnbergren.com

Monday, June 11, 2012

Review: Swipe by Evan Angler

Swipe
by Evan Angler
Tommy Nelson (May 2012)
Source: Publisher
Amazon | Goodreads

Logan Langley is just months away from his thirteenth birthday and the biggest day of his life- the day he will finally be Marked. The Mark lets people get jobs, vote, and even go out to eat or buy concert tickets.

Becoming Marked means becoming free. Or so he is told. Five years ago when Logan's sister went to get her Mark she never came back. Now Logan can't shake the feeling he's being watched...

And then he finds the wire.
 
Swipe is Evan Angler’s debut novel, and let me tell you… it was great! This fast paced dystopian mystery is one that its targeted middle grade audience will love. There’s tons of action and suspense to keep you flipping through the pages, and there are a few neat twists along the way. The beginning did start out slow and I had a bit of a hard time getting into it, but it wasn’t long before the pace picked up and the story really took off.

One thing I really liked was all the mystery. Throughout the majority of the book, there’s the mystery of who the kids of the Dust are and why they’re following Logan around. Once that’s all revealed, we still have the big mystery of what really happened to his sister, Lily, the day she was supposed to be Marked. Another thing I liked was how there was always a sense of danger looming just around the corner. It never felt safe for logan and I was constantly feeling as if something was about to jump out in front of me. Something about that feeling I got made me not want to stop reading because I didn't want to miss a thing.

When I think about how things are in Logan’s world, it’s a bit frightening because I can totally see our society going in that direction and just accepting it. The mark takes the place of money, credit cards, paperwork, etc. and once Logan receives it he can buy things and find a job. He can't do much without it, so that freedom is very appealing to any 12 year old who's sick of needing their parents around to buy ice cream or something. It's scary to think about!

The ending both surprised and upset me because we're just left hanging. I wanted so bad to continue on with the story and see what happened next! I guess I'll just have to be patient in waiting for book 2, Sneak, to be released later this year. Overall, I think Evan did a fantastic job on his first novel. It's well written and completely age appropriate for it's targeted audience. I think older teens and adults could even enjoy it. I can’t wait to read more of his work in the future.


Friday, June 8, 2012

Guest Post with Evan Angler

Why Differ? by Evan Angler

We live in a world where things can be easy. Tablet computers that fit in our pockets and make calls for us and tell us where we are. Globalized digital networks that connect us effortlessly, all the time. Modern medicine that works wonders. News that arrives the moment it happens. Food that stays fresh forever.

This isn’t science fiction. This is reality. And in the American Union, all you need—for any of it—is the Mark.

So what’s wrong with that? The Pledge unifies us, does it not? Just as its Mark protects us? No one could argue that it hasn’t brought us together, that it hasn’t created peace . . . that our allegiance to the Chancellor hasn’t bound us and given common ground from which all our ideas and ideologies may grow. Together. Compatibly.

After the years of slaughter, after the decades of political and environmental devastation that forced more and more of us to fight over less and less land, water, food . . . was this unity not a welcome change for all of us?

It isn’t even compulsory. No one has to Pledge. But who wouldn’t? In the years since its implementation, the Mark has rightfully become the capstone of a childhood well spent, the crowning achievement in a young man’s or woman’s life, the opened door to citizenship, adulthood, independence . . .

Every schoolchild knows that in the wake of the Total War, this Mark has become the very symbol of our commitment to patriotism and peace. It is the constant reminder of our loftiest intentions.

To be Markless is to reject these ideals. To be Markless is to be different. So why would anyone choose to be different?

In a world of absolutes, of black and white, of right and wrong, why would anyone choose “wrong”? My name is Evan Angler. I may have answers to these questions. But I can’t risk writing them. Not here. Not on the Internet, for anyone to see.

And you wouldn’t risk reading them.

But if you are determined . . . if you are determined to learn the truth, no matter the cost, then what I can tell you is this: I’ve put what I know onto paper. Old-fashioned, obsolete—paper. Where it can’t be copied and pasted with the stroke of a stylus, where it can’t be sent around the world at the press of a button, where it can’t be recorded and stored forever in a million irretrievable pieces across cyberspace and time for any watchful eye to see. Paper is intimate. It is between you and me. It is fragile. It can be destroyed.

And when you find it, if you find it . . . once you’ve read it . . . I do encourage you to destroy it.

Swipe is the first volume in the chronicles of Logan Langly, Erin Arbitor, and the Dust. Their account is dangerous; the information within it is forbidden.

I wrote their story for everyone. But if you are not yet thirteen, if you have not yet Pledged to the Chancellor in exchange for his Mark of citizenship, if you have not yet made that choice to conform to given definitions of what may be easy and what may be “right” . . . then I have written this story especially for you.

For I’m not ashamed to tell you that I’m still afraid of the dark. And if you too have ever turned out the light only to feel that tinge of panic, that inkling that someone, somewhere, might possibly be watching . . . I’m here to tell you that they are.

At its heart, Swipe is a book about friendship against the odds. It’s a book about a group of boys and girls who stick together to stand up for one another and for what they believe in.

But why would they choose to be different? Why would they choose “wrong”?

Are you ready to learn the truth?
________________________________________________________________________________
About Evan Angler
Evan Angler is safe, for now. He lives without the Mark, evading DOME and writing in the shadows of Beacon.

As a kid he was quiet and well-behaved, having grown up in a town not unlike Spokie, where he enjoyed music, drawing, hover-dodge, astrophysics, hiking, virtual reality . . .

None of that matters now.

Evan Angler is the author of SWIPE. But if anyone asks, you know nothing about it, and you didn't hear anything from him. Don't make eye contact if you see him. Don't call his name out loud. He's in enough trouble already.

And so are you, if you've read his books.


About Swipe
Logan Langly is just months away from his thirteenth birthday and the biggest day of his life––the day he will finally be Marked. The Mark lets people get jobs, vote, even go out to eat or buy concert tickets.

Becoming Marked means becoming free. Or so he is told. Five years ago when Logan's sister went to get her Mark she never came back. Now Logan can't shake the feeling he's being watched...

And then he finds the wire.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

It's my Birthday!

BdayCupcake

Today's my birthday! I've been anxiously waiting for this day to come because of this super fantastic completely amazing giveaway(IMO) I'm about to announce. Are you ready?? 

Ahhhh!!! I'm so excited =D

I'm giving away a custom blog design by Lori from Imagination Designs! She always makes beautiful designs and one lucky winner will get a new look for their blog by her! The design package you could win includes: Custom Header, background, a blog button, ratings, signature, page links and color styling, and installation.

Sound good to you?? Then enter using the rafflecopter below. This giveaway is for anyone with a Blogger.com blog.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 4, 2012

A short update

Hi everyone! It's been about 2 weeks since I last posted, but it feels like so much longer. I had a lot going on and I didn't have a chance to post as many reviews as I planned. I'm hoping to get them all up in the next few weeks. Let's see how that works out =D

I wanted to help out a blogger friend and post about a giveaway she's having. You can win one of three copies of The Next Target by Nikki Arana. And if Melanie is one of two bloggers with the most comments, she'll win a Kindle Fire! Isn't that neat? So if you'd like you can head on over to Christian Bookshelf Reviews, enter the giveaway, and then leave a comment to help her out :)

I hope you win, Melanie!

I also wanted to give you a little heads up on what I'll be posting tomorrow. As some of you may know, tomorrow is my 21st birthday! To celebrate, I'm having a special giveaway for you all. I don't think you're gonna wanna miss it :) Make sure you stop by tomorrow to see what you can win!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Month in Review: May 2012

What did I do? 
  • Not much went on around here these past two weeks. Sorry :( My computer has been acting all dumb lately, so I had to take a break from blogging. I'm getting it fixed so I'll be posting more frequently in June.
  • If you haven't already, check out my how-to post on Backing up your posts.
Blogger Interviews...
I Read...
Swipe -  Evan Angler
Yep, that's it! LOL!

I Reviewed...(title,author,rating)
Evacuation (Future Savior Book 3) - Jennifer Hartz, 5
Crazy Dangerous - Andrew Klavan, 4

Awards Received....



From Melanie at Christian Bookshelf Reviews.
Thanks!






Giveaway Winners...
  • Dana, winner of Forgotten and Shattered by Melody Carlson
That's my Month in Review. How was your May?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Review: Crazy Dangerous by Andrew Klavan (Litfuse Tour)

Crazy Dangerous
by Andrew Klavan
Thomas Nelson (May 2012)
Source: Netgalley
Amazon | Goodreads

"You probably want to hear about Jennifer and the demons and how I played chicken with a freight train and—oh yeah—the weird murder and how I found out about it—you're definitely going to want to hear about that. But first, I have to tell you about the stupidest thing I ever did . . ."

Sam Hopkins is bored with his status as a preacher's kid. So when a group of guys notorious for being in trouble offers him friendship, he accepts. Before long, he has several new skills—including hot-wiring cars.

At school, there's an eccentric loner named Jennifer. When Sam defends her from being bullied, she begins to seek him out as her only friend. Her ramblings often seem illogical . . . but then start to contain grains of truth. One leads Sam to discover that one of his new friends has been killed. And then she tells him, "I'm looking for the devil." Sam doesn't know what that means, but he knows it's a matter of life and death that he figure it out.

Everyone else thinks Jennifer is suffering from schizophrenia. But Sam is starting to wonder if there could be something prophetic in her words. Discovering the truth is going to be both crazy and dangerous.

Sam Hopkins is a preacher’s kid. All he wants is to fit in and break free from the expectations that come with the PK status. When he starts hanging out with the town thugs who spend their free time stealing cars, he realizes that these aren’t the kind of friends he wants. He knows what he needs to do, but isn’t sure how to do it. Do Right. Fear Nothing. These are the words that he keeps hearing over and over in his head. One day when his friends start picking on Jennifer, the weird girl at his school, he stands up to them even though it means he'll get beaten up.

Jennifer is tormented by voices in her head and has visions of terrible things happening. After Sam defended her, she now sees him as her magical friend. She begins telling him about the visions she’s had of tragedy striking their town. No one believes her and neither does Sam at first. But when the visions begin coming true, Sam is determined to do whatever it takes to stop the disasters from happening.

I'll start off with Sam. I liked his character a lot. He hated being pushed around and never backed down from a fight. You have to understand though, he wasn’t a tough guy at all so he was always the one getting beat up. And bad. It was so funny how he didn't know how to keep his mouth shut! The sarcastic remarks he'd throw at the bullies always made me laugh. But the reason why I liked him isn't because he fought a lot, it's because he always stood up to the bullies and did what was right. He had courage.

Jennifer was very weird. At first she creeped me out, but I eventually warmed up to her. In the beginning she’s in her room and she’s hearing voices telling her that they were the angels of death and that they would destroy everyone. It seems like it has to do with something paranormal, right? That's what I thought throughout most of the book, but when all was revealed in the end, it was such a surprise to find out where those voices were really coming from.

Crazy Dangerous was a fast-paced adventure with plenty of suspense to keep you flipping the pages. I actually liked it so much more than I thought I would. It was a bit creepy and scary at times, but I just couldn’t stop reading. The mystery was done so well and the unexpected plot twists really surprised me. When you start this novel there is no stopping. I didn't want to set it down because I felt like I'd miss something good. You should avoid reading this at night, though! I read it before going to bed and ended up getting scared =D. LOL!
 
 

{About the author}
Andrew Klavan was hailed by Stephen King as "the most original novelist of crime and suspense since Cornell Woolrich." He is the recipient of two Edgar Awards and the author of such bestsellers as True Crime and Don't Say a Word.

His books and screenplays have been turned into films directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Michael Douglas, Ed Burns, Michael Caine among others.

For more about Andrew and his books for young adults, visit him at the Adventure Page on Facebook.

 
Blog Design by Imagination Designs all images from the Loving You and Lavender Sweeties kits by Vera Lim