Monday, May 27, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (13)- May 27/13

 Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews that is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. Tynga posts her own STS on Saturdays.


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Saturday, May 25, 2013

REVIEW: The Photo Traveler by Arthur J. Gonzalez

Title:                       The Photo Traveler (#1)
Author:                   Arthur J. Gonzalez
Release Date:      Feb 20/2013
Genre:                YA-Science Fiction
Publisher:           Fahrenheit Publishing
Page Count:        352
Acquired:            Sent from Author
Format:              ARC-Paperback
Read On:            Apr 27-May 3/2013
Goodreads:         ADD
Purchase:           Amazon

Seventeen-year-old Gavin Hillstone is resigned to being miserable for the rest of his life. Left alone in the world after his parents died in a fire when he was four, he was placed in foster care, which for him meant ending up in an abusive home with an alcoholic adoptive father.

Gavin’s only escape is in taking and creating images. His camera is his refuge from the unending torture and isolation of daily life in his “family.”Until he learns by accident that he isn’t alone in the world after all. His father’s parents are still alive and living in Washington DC.

When he takes the plunge and travels 3,000 miles to find his grandparents, he learns that they—and he—are part of something much bigger, and more dangerous, than he could ever have imagined. Something that has always put his family at risk and that will now threaten his own life, while forever changing it.

He learns that he is one of the last descendants of a small group of Photo Travelers—people who can travel through time and space through images. But his initial excitement turns to fear, when he soon discovers that he and his grandparents are being pursued by the fierce remnants of a radical European Photo Traveler cult, the Peace Hunters. What Gavin has, they want!

His adventure will take him to past eras, like The Great Depression and the Salem Witch Trials. Gavin will have to discover who he really is and must make choices that spell the difference between life and death for himself, for the relatives he now knows and loves, and for the girl he will come to love.

For Gavin Hillstone, life will never be the same.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

REVIEW: SKY by R.E.Palmer

Title:                       Sky
Author:                   R. E. Palmer
Release Date:      Jan 7/2013
Genre:                Sci-Fi/Paranormal
Publisher:           FrontRunner Publications
Page Count:        224
Acquired:            Review Request from Author
Format:              ARC-Paperback
Read On:            Apr 21-Apr 27/2013
Goodreads:         ADD
Purchase:           Amazon/Indigo/Book Depository

Tomas Moone has a secret - he’s terrified if anyone finds out, he’ll lose the girl of his dreams he’s so desperate to meet.

Selene has a secret - she fears if Tomas discovers the truth, he’ll reject her, and the last of her race will be lost forever.

Carly has no secrets – she’s in a coma. If Tomas fails to rescue her, she will suffer an eternity of horror and torment.

For the first time in her career, Shelley has a killer story, but she dare not tell it… no one would ever believe her.

SYNOPSIS: Tomas Moone, is a dreamer, struggling to cope after the death of his father, in a run down London neighborhood. But Tomas has a secret - he’s fallen in love with a girl he calls Sky. But she’s not real. He’s only ever met her in his sleep. Then one night she fails to show, and his dreams take a darker turn. A mysterious woman in black, takes him to worlds beyond his imagination, promising Tomas power and immortality. But there's a heavy price to pay, and he begins to fear for his sanity, as the boundary between his dreams and reality breaks down.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Chantress (Chantress Trilogy #1)

Title: Chantress (Chantress Trilogy #1)
Author: Amy Butler Greenfield
Genre: Fantasy/Para-norm YA Fiction
Release Date: May 7/2013
Adquired: Ebook copy provided via Edelweiss
Goodreads: ADD

Lucy’s Chantress magic will make her the most powerful—and most hunted—girl in England.

“Sing, and the darkness will find you.” This warning has haunted fifteen-year-old Lucy ever since she was eight and shipwrecked on a lonely island. Lucy’s guardian, Norrie, has lots of rules, but the most important is that Lucy must never sing. Not ever. Now it is 1667, Lucy is fifteen, and on All Hallows’ Eve, Lucy hears a tantalizing melody on the wind. She can’t help but sing—and she is swept into darkness.

When she awakes in England, Lucy hears powerful men discussing Chantresses—women who can sing magic into the world. They are hunting her, but she escapes and finds sanctuary with the Invisible College, an organization plotting to overthrow the nefarious Lord Protector. The only person powerful enough to bring about his downfall is a Chantress. And Lucy is the last one in England.

Lucy struggles to master the song-spells and harness her power, but the Lord Protector is moving quickly. And her feelings for Nat, an Invisible College apprentice and scientist who deeply distrusts her magic, only add to her confusion...

Time is running out, and the fate of England hangs in the balance in this entrancing novel that is atmospheric and lyrical, dangerous and romantic.

Monday, May 13, 2013

BLOG TOUR: The Girl Who Married an Eagle by Tamar Myers

Title: The Girl Who Married an Eagle
Author: Tamar Myers
Genre: Mystery Fiction
Release Date: April 30/2013
Adquired: Print copy provided by tour host
Goodreads: ADD

The final book Tamar Myers's Belgian Congo-set mystery series, this is the story of an all girls boarding school for runaway child brides, and features events inspired by Myers's childhood in the Belgian Congo.

When Julia Elaine Newton, a young, pretty Ohio girl, volunteered to go on a mission to the Belgian Congo, she knew it was going to be a huge change. But she never expected to wind up teaching at an all-girls boarding school primarily populated by runaway child brides!

Much to her chagrin, Early Dusk was born beautiful. If only she'd been ugly, Big Chief Eagle would not have noticed her. Escaping an arranged marriage, the scrappy eight-year-old girl finds her way to Julia Newton and the school. But this time her jilted husband will not be denied.

It's up to Julia and Early Dusk to try and save the school as Congolese Independence looms and Big Chief Eagle embarks on his revenge. With the help of Cripple and her husband, and even Amanda Brown, these plucky women must learn to save themselves. Based on actual events, The Girl Who Married an Eagle is a beautiful finale to the Belgian Congo mystery series.

Friday, May 10, 2013

BLOG TOUR and Q&A: Elizabeth the First Wife by Lian Dolan

Title: Elizabeth the First Wife
Author: Lian Dolan
Genre: Women's Fiction/Chick-lit
Release Date: May 1/2013
Adquired: Ebook provided by author
Goodreads: ADD

Elizabeth Lancaster, an English professor at Pasadena City College, finds her perfectly dull but perfectly orchestrated life upended one summer by three men: her movie-star ex-husband, a charming political operative, and William Shakespeare. Until now, she’d been content living in the shadow of her high-profile and highly accomplished family.

Then her college boyfriend and one-time husband of seventeen months, A-list action star FX Fahey, shows up with a job offer that she can’t resist, and Elizabeth’s life suddenly gets a whole lot more interesting. She’s off to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for the summer to make sure FX doesn’t humiliate himself in an avant-garde production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

As she did so skillfully with her first novel, Helen of Pasadena, which spent more than a year on the Los Angeles Times bestseller list, Lian Dolan spins a lively, smart, and very funny tale of a woman reinventing her life in unexpected ways.


Thursday, May 9, 2013

REVIEW: Breakfast on Mars and 37 Other Delectable Essays by Rebecca Stern & Brad Wolfe

Title:                       Breakfast on Mars and 37 Other Delectable Essays
Author:                   Rebecca Stern & Brad Wolfe 
Release Date:      June 25/2013
Genre:                Middle Grade Fiction/Non-Fiction
Publisher:           Roaring Brook Press
Page Count:        224
Acquired:            Sent from Publisher
Format:              ARC-Paperback
Read On:            Apr 21-Apr 27/2013
Goodreads:         ADD
Purchase:           Amazon/Indigo/Book Depository

Breakfast on Mars and 37 Other Delectable Essays will inspire students to think differently about the much feared assignment in elementary and middle schools around the country: essay writing.

Rebecca Stern’s fifth grade students were bored to death with essay writing, and the one thing Rebecca needed to inspire them—great examples appropriate for kids—was nowhere to be found. Inspired by a challenge, Rebecca joined forces with her friend, social entrepreneur Brad Wolfe, and the two came up with a terrific proposal—to gather together a collection of unconventional essays by some of the best writers around. They have compiled and edited a collection of imaginative, rule-breaking, and untraditional essays that is sure to change the way you think about the essay.


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY: The Photo Traveler by Arthur J. Gonzalez


















Title: The Photo Traveler
Author: Arthur J. Gonzalez
Genre: YA Sci-Fi Fiction
Release Date: Feb 20/2013
Adquired: Print ARC provided by author
Goodreads: ADD

Seventeen-year-old Gavin Hillstone is resigned to being miserable for the rest of his life. Left alone in the world after his parents died in a fire when he was four, he was placed in foster care, which for him meant ending up in an abusive home with an alcoholic adoptive father.

Gavin’s only escape is in taking and creating images. His camera is his refuge from the unending torture and isolation of daily life in his “family.”

Until he learns by accident that he isn’t alone in the world after all. His father’s parents are still alive and living in Washington DC.

When he takes the plunge and travels 3,000 miles to find his grandparents, he learns that they—and he—are part of something much bigger, and more dangerous, than he could ever have imagined. Something that has always put his family at risk and that will now threaten his own life, while forever changing it.

He learns that he is one of the last descendants of a small group of Photo Travelers—people who can travel through time and space through images. But his initial excitement turns to fear, when he soon discovers that he and his grandparents are being pursued by the fierce remnants of a radical European Photo Traveler cult, the Peace Hunters. What Gavin has, they want!

His adventure will take him to past eras, like The Great Depression and the Salem Witch Trials. Gavin will have to discover who he really is and must make choices that spell the difference between life and death for himself, for the relatives he now knows and loves, and for the girl he will come to love.

For Gavin Hillstone, life will never be the same.
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What do you do when a sudden gust of wind forces your boat totally off course and into the unknown? When from one moment to the next, the life that you thought you’d always be living morphs into one you’d never imagined? 

Ever since I could remember, I believed there had to be something more to life than the one I’d been thrown into as a child. Even though I sometimes told myself I had to be crazy because just the idea seemed so hard to imagine—given how things had gone so far, anyway. 

 I would ask myself if it was wrong for me to feel this way. If I was being na├»ve to think there was something greater out there. Something that really belonged to me. But what do you if you feel an unknown force pulsating through your blood, constantly reminding you of it? Are you just supposed to ignore it? 

 I suppose that most of the time that’s what they teach us to do. You know, “Forget it. Take the easy way out.” Sure. Never the right one. 

 That’s what they kept telling me. “You’re kidding yourself if you think you can have a better life. Learn to live with what you’ve got.” Things like that. 

Maybe that’s why I started taking photos as soon as I got my hands on my first camera. It was a way I could distance myself from the life I was being forced to live. It let me create images of the world around me, finding life in the most ordinary moments…like when the sun makes a lonely tree sweat and it in turn gives water to a struggling, thirsty grasshopper below. Those things were real. Not the crappy life I’d always been trapped in. 

 And then, just a few weeks ago, my life took a turn for the unexpected. And now all I have to say to you is—believe in your gut instinct. Intuition is what kept me alive. It’s what made me believe. At the end of the day, it was all I really had that was mine. And you can find what’s really yours, too.


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My name is Arthur J Gonzalez. I’m 28 years old, born and raised in Miami, FL. I graduated from the University of Florida. I am currently releasing my debut novel, The Photo Traveler. The premise surrounds 17 – year old Gavin, who discovers he is part of a small group, called Photo Travelers, who can time travel through photos and images.

Contact Links:







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a Rafflecopter giveaway  
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Thank-you to the Xpresso Book Tours for hosting this tour, and to Arthur for sending me a copy of his book!


CLICK HERE to follow the rest of the tour

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY: Oxford Shadows (The Oxford Trilogy #2) by Marion Croslydon


















Title: Oxford Shadows (The Oxford Trilogy #2)
Author: Marion Croslydon
Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance
Release Date: May 6/2013
Adquired: Ebook provided by author
Goodreads: ADD
Purchase: Amazon

*17+ ONLY: language and content* 
When death is a new beginning and love an old curse.

Still recovering from her last tango with the afterlife, Louisiana-born Madison LeBon struggles not only with her life as an Oxford postgrad but also with her budding love for Rupert Vance, aristocrat extraordinaire. One thing is certain, though: she won’t run away from her powers anymore. From now on she’ll face the music…

… literally!

When a sixteenth-century ghost makes an appearance during a classical concert Madison attends and threatens her boyfriend’s family, she sets out to explore the dark mysteries of the Tudors, even if that means confronting their most royal and homicidal character.

Her plans take an unexpected turn when her voodoo heritage catches up with her. With horror, she understands what her fate was always meant to be.

The question now is: Can Rupert be part of it?
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Without a doubt, Oxford Shadows upped it's game from it's predecessor. This book was written a lot cleaner, and with a lot more thought to detail compared to the first book in the series, Oxford Whispers. What they both shone in was their emphasis on imminent danger. I was n the edge of my kitchen chair almost the entire time I was reading, and was endlessly wracking my brain trying to figure out who the culprit was.

The Oxford Trilogy is essentially a good ol' "whose ghost is haunting me now?" mystery/romance. Madison Lebon has had the ability to see, and sometimes communicate, with those who have moved on. Alike the first book in the series, Oxford Shadows has her chasing the ghost of someone who's intent is harm, and in the most painful ways. This time around, her mystery ghost is hell bent on hurting someone in her boyfriend Rupert's family. After revealing her powers to those closest to her, this time around she isn't forced to solve the mystery on her own. But who can she actually trust?

Like I previously mentioned, every qualm I had with the first book was satisfyingly attended to/corrected in Oxford Shadows. Madison's visions were clearly indicated for what they were, the readers knew exactly when she was having a ghost sighting, and I was able to be more present in that moment with her-truly feel her anxiety and fear. The characters felt more full, and fleshed out. I didn't feel like I was only skimming the surface of their personalities. Madison's character definitely earned a spot in my heart in Oxford Shadows. She held her weight in this book, was stronger, and more determined to use her abilities to help those who needed her. No more whiny, "OH Rupert save me!" hysterics. We could definitely be friends now, Madison and me.

The storyline in Oxford Shadows was fantastic, as it revolved around the dark mysteries of the Tudors-a moment in history that I find endlessly fascinating, despite being completely horrifying. I loved how Marion not only provided a story, but wove history into her words in way that made me want to keep reading. I think it should also be mentioned that I was able to get MORE than halfway through the book before I hit a graphic scene between Madison and Rupert-DEFINITELY an improvement. Unless you're reading Oxford Shadows solely for the romance aspect-in that case, you may be disappointed. But I reveled in it, I felt like the first book read way too much like smut. It focused more on hormones than storyline, and in turn, the book felt unfinished.

However, I definitely recommend continuing the series with Oxford Shadows. I was highly entertained, and can't wait for the conclusion!

Recommended for Fans of: New Adult, paranormal and romance.



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In addition to being an author, I work as an entrepreneur, wife and mother-of-one but spend a good deal of time with books, DVDs and listening to my mp3 player; all for the sake of inspiration, of course.

My debut series, The Oxford Trilogy, has been a blast to write because I can indulge in my favorite types of music: Country and English rock.

My main goal as a writer is to make readers dream bigger and cause their hearts to beat a little faster.

Since my writing is all about sharing dreams and stories, I love connecting with fellow readers and authors.


Contact Links:


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a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Thank-you to the AToMR Tours for hosting this tour, and to Marion for sending me a copy of his book!


CLICK HERE to follow the rest of the tour