Oh, and it's also available in audiobook for you audiophiles out there!
All the best,
#fighthumantrafficking #bookies #30reddresses
I was surprised, and honored, to come across this amazing video review by Bookies, for 30 Red Dresses! It's always rewarding to see other enjoying these stories that I love so much.
And if you haven't purchased the ebook, it's on sale for $0.99 this week. It's a great Book Club read (with discussion questions in the back) and I'd love to join your book club via video chat to talk about 30 Red Dresses and how you can help combat human trafficking.
Oh, and it's also available in audiobook for you audiophiles out there!
All the best,
#fighthumantrafficking #bookies #30reddresses
It's time for the semi-annual BEGGING FOR REVIEWS DRIVE. Help me hit 200 reviews!
In celebration of my SEMI-ANNUAL BOOK REVIEW DRIVE, all of my books are on sale (Most are only $0.99). Help me reach my goal of 200 reviews for 4 Years Trapped in my Mind Palace.
It's at 172 reviews this morning. With your help, we can reach my goal of 200 reviews!
HOW TO LEAVE A REVIEW IN 3 STEPS
If you're not sure how to leave a review on Amazon.com, just follow the steps below after going to the book page on Amazon.
I Am Sleepless: Traitors is here!!!
It's official--book 3 is available for purchase (just in time for the holidays). Traitors is a non-stop thrill ride packed with action, humor, and some jaw-dropping twists and turns that will make you want to go back and read the first two books. Early readers have called it the best in the series and I'm excited for you to read it.
I Am Sleepless: Traitors (Synopsis)
After the devastating loss in Vapor City, Aidan and his ragtag team search for the Reader and the remnants of the rebellion—desperate for his help to save their captured friends. Aidan continues to develop his abilities and is led to the island from his visions where he faces a legendary beast and gains a remarkable new companion. But the discovery of an android army hidden by Director Tuskin, and a deep betrayal from those Aidan trusted, lead him into a tailspin that tests his integrity, his loyalty, and his newfound powers.
I have a quick favor to ask you…
Amazon uses reviews to rank books and many readers evaluate the quality of a title based solely from the reviews on Amazon.com and Goodreads.com. To put it simply, reviews are very important to an author like me : )
So, if you’ve enjoyed I Am Sleepless: Traitors, or even if you’re still working through it, could you take a minute to leave a review? Even a sentence or two about what you like really helps!
I really appreciate you taking the time to check out the book and I look forward to seeing your reviews.
If you're looking for a great Historical Non-Fiction, something with amazing stories about women you've probably never heard about, who's lives on the frontier were way more epic than any fictional tale, who's stories could be turned into blockbuster movies and are nothing short of fantastic, adventurous, and inspirational, then have I got the book for you.
This past week my wife and I finished listening to Frontier Grit: The Unlikely True Stories of Daring Pioneer Women by Marianne Monson. As my wife said, "It might be the best book I've read all year."
I agree. It is the best book I've read all year! If I ever write historical non-fiction, I want to write like Marianne Monson and write something as compelling as Frontier Grit.
I read and listen to a lot of books each year. Granted my wife reads more books than I do and she's my book critic/suggestion guru. She knows my reading tastes pretty well after 13 years of marriage. She'll finish a book and say, "I think you'll like this." Or she'll give me the thumbs down and tell me to move along.
She listened to Frontier Grit first, and after hearing a bit of the book and listening to her high praise of the stories, I downloaded a copy for myself. We listened to the audiobook on Hoopla through our library (the narrator was very good), but you can also pick up a copy on Amazon.com, local bookstores, or request a copy at your library if they don't already have one.
The women and stories she shares are truly amazing. Their frontier experiences, tales of adventure, and amazing determination will make you think you're listening to wild fiction--but it's all true and equally inspiring.
I can't recommend it enough. If you're looking for a summer read/listen, I highly suggest Frontier Grit.
Do you want to liven up your next book club meeting? Let me help with...
Here are some pictures the Tip Top Thursday Book Club sent me after our video chat. One of their members, Helen, reached out to me to let me know they were discussing 4 Years Trapped in My Mind Palace later that week. She was so nice that I offered to do a video chat during their meeting.
The Tip Top ladies were a blast to talk with and I had so much fun that I thought, "Why not offer to do this all the time?"
he Thief's Daughter is a wonderful continuation of the Queen's Poisoner. This story jumps ahead to find Owen and Elizabeth in their late teens while the kingdom is in peril from multiple enemies. New characters are introduced along with new threats and intrigue.
Owen and Elizabeth's sense of loyalty to the King is put to the test and Owen works to save the kingdom by using his gifts as one who is Fountain Blessed. But like the game of Wizr (think chess) of which Owen is a master, he feels a step behind, recognizing there are pieces in play he does not see. But most troublesome to Owen, besides feeling like a pawn in the game himself, is his lack of knowledge about who is really moving the pieces.
The ending has some twists, there are some sad moments, but you come away with hope for Owen and the future as we await book 3.
Once again, I find myself comparing this Jeff Wheeler's Kingfountain series to that of the Attolia series by Megan Whalen Turner, and Sherwood Smith's Crown Duel books. They have hints of magic in a historical fantasy where the fate of kingdoms sit in the balance.
Lastly, I enjoyed the clean aspect to The Thief's Daughter. It was devoid of the graphic violence, sex and language that so easily turn me away from many other fantasy books. But it doesn't compromise in the storytelling that I enjoy. I would give it a PG rating since people die, there are some intense situations, threats made, thematic undertones, etc...
Owen Kiskaddon first came to the court of the formidable King Severn as a prisoner, winning favor with the stormy monarch by masquerading as a boy truly blessed by the Fountain. Nine years hence, the once-fearful Owen has grown into a confident young man, mentored in battle and politics by Duke Horwath and deeply in love with his childhood friend, the duke’s granddaughter. But the blissful future Owen and Elysabeth Mortimer anticipate seems doomed by the king’s machinations.A pretender to Severn’s throne has vowed to seize the crown of Kingfountain. But Severn means to combat the threat by using Elysabeth as bait to snare the imposter—and forcing Owen, as a pawn in the dangerous charade, to choose between duty and devotion. With poisoners and spies circling ominously, and war looming on the horizon, Owen must make painful sacrifices to beat back the advancing shadows of death and disaster. Will Owen’s conflicted heart follow the king’s path or will he risk everything for love?
The Queen's Poisoner, by Jeff Wheeler, is book 1 in The Kingfountain Series. And truth be told, it was very different than what I expected, but not in a bad way. I'm a fan of Jeff Wheeler and have enjoyed his 3 trilogies in the Muirwood and Mirrowen worlds, and came into this book expecting The Queen's Poisoner to be much of the same, but it was surprisingly different and unique.
Although Wheeler's writing style is still clear throughout, unlike his other books, this story follows a child, 8-year old Owen, as the main character. This lent to a different overall feel from his other books as you learn about this new world through the eyes of young Owen.
Owen is thrust into conflict and must learn to adapt, build courage, and make alliances/friendships to help him survive and save his family. The characters are entertaining (Mancini is my favorite), bringing humor and intrigue to the story.
As Owen begins to feel the magic of the Fountain, we get a lot of foreshadow, hints, and small demonstrations of what the magic entails, but the magic is not what drives the plot in The Queen's Poisoner-- it's the characters. In this way, I felt like I was reading more of a historical fiction, albeit in a fantasy kingdom where the magic of the Fountain Blessed is evident, but running in the background. Magic is not necessarily how kings keep or enforce their rule. It's not the traditional fantasy story (at least in this first book) with some overwhelming evil or tyrant that must be overthrown or an impossible quest. Nearly all of the characters have done good and bad things, with real motivations and consequences, and we get to see what makes them tick. Basically, this is an origin story that sets the stage with a focus on the characters.
It reminds me of how I felt reading Megan Whalen Turner's, Queen of Attolia series, or Sherwood Smith's, A Stranger to Command.
At the end, I was left wanting to know where, and what, Owen's gifts will sprout into and where the conflict will go. In the afterward, it appears book 2 will jump seven years into the future with Owen now fifteen, having been trained and taught the last seven years. I'm looking forward to book 2.
Lastly, as with all of Wheeler's books, I enjoyed the clean aspect to his writing. The Queen's Poisoner is devoid of the graphic violence, sex and language that so easily turn me away from many other fantasy books. But while doing so, it doesn't compromise in the storytelling that I enjoy. I would give it a PG rating since people die, there are some intense situations, threats made, thematic undertones, etc...
King Severn Argentine’s fearsome reputation precedes him: usurper of the throne, killer of rightful heirs, ruthless punisher of traitors. Attempting to depose him, the Duke of Kiskaddon gambles…and loses. Now the duke must atone by handing over his young son, Owen, as the king’s hostage. And should his loyalty falter again, the boy will pay with his life.
Seeking allies and eluding Severn’s spies, Owen learns to survive in the court of Kingfountain. But when new evidence of his father’s betrayal threatens to seal his fate, Owen must win the vengeful king’s favor by proving his worth—through extraordinary means. And only one person can aid his desperate cause: a mysterious woman, dwelling in secrecy, who truly wields power over life, death, and destiny.
You can learn more about Author Jeff Wheeler at his site www.jeff-wheeler.com.
Stellar Cloud, by Charity Bradford, is a collection of intriguing short science fiction stories that leave you wanting more. I listened to Stellar Cloud through Audible.com and was pleasantly surprised. I have not read many short stories before and I was caught off guard by how engaged I became with each story. I listened to them while working on a tedious and boring project for work, so it made the project much more enjoyable.
All of the stories are unique in regards to characters, worlds, plot, etc... The retelling of the classic fairy tale, Sleeping Beauty, with the scifi twist, was my favorite story. Though the Assasin world, reprogrammed aliens with wings, mental collective and all of the stories were equally great. I felt like I listened to a season of Dr. Who.
The narrator definitely added to the stories and was entertaining. My only complaint is that the short stories were so interesting that it left me wanting more when each ended.
I would give Stellar Cloud a PG-13 rating, mostly for the action and violence, though there are a few mild innuendo and swears. The narration is only 1 1/2 hours long, so it's a fun, quick read (or a fun, quick listen)
A soldier struggles with the emptiness left behind by amnesia until he learns he is more than the world would have him remember. The earth is desolate, and only one ship of humans remains. An assassin plays god, dealing out justice and mercy as he sees fit.
Explore the outer reaches of the imagination through these and other short stories. From brainwashed clones to winged aliens of destruction, the stories in Stellar Cloud will pull in any lover of science fiction and fantasy.
You can learn more about Author Charity Bradford at her site www.charitywrites.com
Shadows of Self, by Brandon Sanderson, is a new Mistborn novel and book 2 in the second trilogy by Brandon Sanderson. I was introduced to Sanderson's writing with the first Mistborn trilogy and I've been hooked ever since. I am an unabashed Brandon Sanderson fan and have read all of the books he's published so far.
With that said, compared to his other writing, Shadows of Self was a little slower than usual and I had a harder time getting into it. I wasn't as engrossed in the story, as is the usual case, until 2/3rd of the way through. The familiar magic and characters were there, but the mystery and plot took a while to unfold.
There is some language and crass jokes in the book, though they fit with the characters telling them, along with plenty of action and some vivid scenes of violence and death. If this were a movie, I would give it a PG-13 rating, just like the other Mistborn books.
As with Book 1, the Alloy of Law, Shadows of Self brings all the fun of the mistborn magic system, but in a wild west meets the progress of an industrial revolution age. Motor cars and microphones are recently invented and the world is changing. This bring great opportunities for conflicts between those with allomantic, hemulurgy and other powers with a technologicaly progressing time and those without powers.
But at the heart of the story is the Wild West cowboy lawman, Waxillium. He's a guns blazing, tough fighter with dual powers and a smart detective head on his shoulders. Shadows of Self brings to head his past and forces him to rethink his future as the two collide in a twist I was not expecting.
The ending of Shadows of Self made the slow moving detective mystery and hunt worth it and I'm excited for the release of book 3, The Bands of Morning on January 26, 2016.
One note. If you have not read the original Mistborn trilogy, I highly suggest doing so beforehand. You can start the second trilogy by itself (it's a different feel, tone and story line than the original trilogy), but there are some characters and easter eggs you will miss from not reading the original trilogy.
The #1 New York Times bestselling author returns to the world of Mistborn with his first novel in the series since The Alloy of Law.
With The Alloy of Law, Brandon Sanderson surprised readers with a New York Times bestselling spinoff of his Mistborn books, set after the action of the trilogy, in a period corresponding to late 19th-century America.
The trilogy's heroes are now figures of myth and legend, even objects of religious veneration. They are succeeded by wonderful new characters, chief among them Waxillium Ladrian, known as Wax, hereditary Lord of House Ladrian but also, until recently, a lawman in the ungoverned frontier region known as the Roughs. There he worked with his eccentric but effective buddy, Wayne. They are "twinborn," meaning they are able to use both Allomantic and Feruchemical magic.
Shadows of Self shows Mistborn's society evolving as technology and magic mix, the economy grows, democracy contends with corruption, and religion becomes a growing cultural force, with four faiths competing for converts.
This bustling, optimistic, but still shaky society now faces its first instance of terrorism, crimes intended to stir up labor strife and religious conflict. Wax and Wayne, assisted by the lovely, brilliant Marasi, must unravel the conspiracy before civil strife stops Scadrial's progress in its tracks.
Shadows of Self will give fans of The Alloy of Law everything they've been hoping for and, this being a Brandon Sanderson book, more, much more.
You can learn more about author Brandon Sanderson and his writing at www.brandonsanderson.com
The Magic Awakes, by Charity Bradford, is a world-builders dream set on a planet called Sendek, with two suns, three moons, alien invaders, futuristic science, magic, and did I mention there are dragons. Yes, dragons.
She does a great job of blending all of these elements together to create an page-turning story and unique magic system.
CONTENT RATING: No real swearing, drugs, or sex. A war and battles do take place, acts of terrorism and many people die, some in very painful ways. But the violence is not overly grotesque or descriptive. There is a monster race of invading aliens and suspenseful situations. There is lots of magic-meets-tech and a budding romance story that is clean.
The main characters, Talia and Landry, come from two different backgrounds, but their experiences, personalities and magical abilities compliment each other as they work to stop an alien invasion meant to destroy them. As you can imagine, this leads to some romance.
The magic system is unique, but what interested me more were the repercussions of magic coming back into a world that had long forgotten it existed. Especially one that had progressed scientifically. There's no order or rules for all of these new mages and how does that play out.
The history of the Sendek world is interesting and I'm curious to see what comes next in The Magic Awakes series. There are so many routes to go with uncontrolled magic, new baddies, space explorations, dragons disappearing, etc...
The story did seem to have chunks missing in a few places as it jumped from scene and character without fully getting into the character's heads and motivations. I did hear that was partially due to the last-minute edits of the publisher and a number of scenes were cut to make the book shorter for print (i.e. almost all of the sections from the Dragon's point-of-view) I wish there were deleted scenes so I could read the author's full story. Even if the ebook version had the full story we could read since who cares about page length in an ebook.
Maybe the author will be able to post the deleted scenes on her website. You can visit author Charity Bradford's site at www.charitywrites.com and ask her.
THE MAGIC AWAKES BOOK SUMMARY FROM AMAZON:
Since childhood, scientist Talia Zaryn has been haunted by recurring dreams, visions of an alien attack on her planet Sendek. Each time it ends abruptly with Talia’s death in the capital city Joharadin, a city that she has spent her life desperately avoiding. Talia keeps these dreams a secret, hoping they are nothing more than childish nightmares. But when she is unexpectedly transferred to Joharadin she is convinced that the conflict, and her own death, is at hand.
As Talia’s nightmares occur with increasing frequency, they reveal the imminent invasion of a half-dragon, half-human race called Dragumon, bent on the annihilation of her world.
In Sendek, magic is dead and science rules, forcing Talia to keep another secret, one that could cost her everything if it were known. Now, in order to save her planet, Talia must awaken the powers within her and rely at last on the magic that is her true inheritance.
Nice Dragons Finish Last, by Rachel Aaron, is a fun read that took be my surprise and kept me up way past my bedtime as I plowed through it. Having never read any of Rachel Aaron's books before, I downloaded Nice Dragons Finish Last on a whim while I was looking for something new to read through Kindle Unlimited. There were over 500 reviews for the book with 4.5 stars so I thought I would give it a chance.
I've had to stop reading the last 6 books I downloaded on Kindle Unlimited due to content (sex, swearing, etc...). Some of those took me by surprise because I was half-way through the book, without any content issues, and then BAHM, a tirade of bad language and erotica out of the blue. Luckily, this was NOT the case with Nice Dragons Finish Last.
I tentatively downloaded this story and was worried I would get more of the same, but she never crossed that line. There are a few "mild" swear words and innuendo, but they are all mild, pertinent to the character and story, and nothing is graphic, which I really liked.
GRADE: 4.5 stars
CONTENT RATING: (PG-13) A few mentions of drugs, alcohol, mild sexual innuendo and a few mild swear words. There is violence and people are killed, kidnaped, and there is suspense with monsters and tense situations. There is lots of magic-meets-tech and a budding romance story.
What captivated me with this story is the unique setting. It's a semi-post-apocalyptic world, in that magical elements are awake after a comet (or meteor, I can't remember which) passed, and this is a few years down the road and our modern society has accepted the magic around them. Think Angel and Buffy, but the whole world knows about the magic and monsters all around them. There are universities and schools for mages, science/magic tech firms, monsters, old gods, and of course, dragons. Rachel Aaron does a great job of weaving these all together in the background, especially the fun concepts of future tech and magic. This makes for an interesting setting with interesting situations, but I like that it's the background and setting, not the main concept pulling the story forward.
The main story revolves around characters, in particular, the youngest dragon of the Hearstriker clan. Unlike all of the other dragons in the world, he's not a greedy, manipulative and ruthless monster. He's actually a nice guy in his early twenties. Dragons are able to shape-shift into human form and, as a punishment by his mother for his unwillingness to act like a real dragon, she traps him in human form and leaves him in the only city where dragons are outlawed, hunted, and killed. Here he receives a deadly and nearly impossible task, being pulled into the manipulative plotting of dragons that he's tried to avoid his whole life.
A budding romance forms with a young female mage as they work together to complete the task, solve mysteries and discover new plots.
I believe this was self-published and the editing is good, but there are a handful of misspelled words and incorrect sentences (i.e. two of the same words back-to-back- "the the"). It wasn't enough to deter from the story, but you do notice the errors.
I'm looking forward to reading the next book in this series and I found out she has a ton of other books and series that are highly rated on Amazon. I guess that means I found another clean and entertaining author to read. YAY!
NICE DRAGONS FINISH LAST BOOK SUMMARY FROM AMAZON:
As the smallest dragon in the Heartstriker clan, Julius survives by a simple code: keep quiet, don’t cause trouble, and stay out of the way of bigger dragons. But this meek behavior doesn't fly in a family of ambitious magical predators, and his mother, Bethesda the Heartstriker, has finally reached the end of her patience. Now, sealed in human form and banished to the DFZ--a vertical metropolis built on the ruins of Old Detroit--Julius has one month to prove he can be a ruthless dragon or kiss his true shape goodbye forever. But in a city of modern mages and vengeful spirits where dragons are considered monsters to be exterminated, he’s going to need some serious help to survive this test. He only hopes humans are more trustworthy than dragons...
You can learn more about author Rachel Aaron and her books at http://rachelaaron.net
I recently finished reading The Master Magician, by Charlie N. Holmberg. This is the third book in her Paper Magician series, and it's a winner.
GRADE: 4 stars
CONTENT RATING: (PG-11) It's a clean read with no sex, swearing or drugs. There is sweet and innocent romance, some violence, suspenseful situations, evil magicians, ruthless killers, magical fights, and people are killed. But spoiler alert, the hero and heroine save the day.
I first came across The Paper Magician as one of the free books offered with the Kindle First promotion. I took a chance on the book, having been burned by bad reads before on Kindle First, and was pleasantly surprised by the unique magic system story line. Holmberg lost me a bit at the end of the first book (I don't want to spoil the ending, but it got kind of weird), but I was still hooked enough to read book two. The second book brought some new twists to the plot and magic system and the third book wrapped up the storyline nicely. What I really liked about this third installment is that it went a bit deeper into the mystery/detective genre, while maintaining the growing romance and tension between the heroine and hero.
All three of these books are fun, short, and entertaining reads. They are set during the British industrial revolution, where magic is fully accepted and taught as a profession, and Holmberg does a wonderful job of pulling you into this world and making it feel realistic. The books are full of interesting setting, romance, mystery and a fun magic system. Of the three books in the series, (The Paper Magician, The Glass Magician, and The Master Magician), I think I liked The Glass Magician the best with the magic twists I was not expecting and the building of character and plot.
Book summary from Amazon-
Throughout her studies, Ceony Twill has harbored a secret, one she’s kept from even her mentor, Emery Thane. She’s discovered how to practice forms of magic other than her own—an ability long thought impossible.
While all seems set for Ceony to complete her apprenticeship and pass her upcoming final magician’s exam, life quickly becomes complicated. To avoid favoritism, Emery sends her to another paper magician for testing, a Folder who despises Emery and cares even less for his apprentice. To make matters worse, a murderous criminal from Ceony’s past escapes imprisonment. Now she must track the power-hungry convict across England before he can take his revenge. With her life and loved ones hanging in the balance, Ceony must face a criminal who wields the one magic that she does not, and it may prove more powerful than all her skills combined.
The whimsical and captivating follow-up to The Paper Magician and The Glass Magician, The Master Magician will enchant readers of all ages.
You can learn more about Charlie N. Holmberg and her books at www.charlienholmberg.com