Saturday, April 28, 2012

Win $125 for Your Mom (or Yourself, if you prefer)

Last month Brad Wirz of Gone Reading came on the blog to tell everyone about the worthy cause of his company, which is to raise money to develope libraries all over the world. Can you imagine living somewhere where there was not a library? You can read that post here.

To help bring further awareness to their cause, Gone Reading is having a giveaway honoring Mom's, just in time for Mother's Day in 2 weeks. You can enter for a chance to win the prizes ($100 in Gone Reading merchandise and a $25 Amazon gift card) for the mom in your life or for yourself. They have some really cool tee's that you can see scattered through my post here.

Below is Brad's email, telling about their cause:

"Lots of exciting stuff happening at GoneReading! We’ve signed a new fundraising partnership with Ethiopia Reads, will soon test a fundraising program for public libraries, and are talking with two national online booksellers about strategic partnerships. Also, we’ve begun wholesaling our t-shirt line into independent bookstores! It’s early for projections, but our year-end donations to reading-related charities should make a dramatic jump in 2012!

We’ve also just announced a unique, $125 giveaway for Mother’s Day called “The Month of Mom”, which you can read about here. Because Mother’s Day represents such an important gift-buying season, it’s important for us to get the word out."

You can enter the drawing here. Good luck, ya'll!

*Please keep in mind all of the pics of the t-shirt fronts on this page are copyright of Gone Reading, so please don't copy them and use them for your personal use. Thanks!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Jericho Solus: A Great Book

Today it's my turn to host the Jericho Solus Blog Tour as stop #3.

“They watch me—the feeling as acute as a sharp, cold blade against my skin. I may have lived an ordinary existence, but I can fight. Though my memory is like a beast cowering in the shadows, I know in my core I can fight, as if it’s what I’m wired to do.Her breaths echo in my dark cell. Is she real? She fills my emptiness with heat, and God help the people that harm her. I am the Solus. My name is Jericho, and killing is what I do best.”

Jericho’s captivity begins a journey to a forgotten past, forgotten comrades, and forgotten love. His remembrance pulls him back in time to reveal an unexpected metamorphosis to his current state. As memories move Jericho back through history, his captors propel him forward into a surreal world, until both time lines combine to expose who and what Jericho is.

And now, for my review. I want to begin by assuring you that my review is not influenced by my personal or business relationship with Jeff. I was lucky enough to read Jericho Solus as Jeff was writing it, for critiquing and editing. I'm already a fan of Jeff's other books (The Bounds series) but I really love this one. I could hardly wait for him to send new chapters as he wrote it. Really like the cool cover as well. Here is my honest review:

Jericho Solus grabbed me from the first page. It begins with a young boy asking his grandfather about a legend. The legend is fascinating, and I could probably have read a whole book of just the story of the legend being told. There's a reason for the legend being told, and a reason it is being told to this particular boy. And that's as close to a spoiler as you're going to get from me about that!

From there we jump into Jericho's story. He wakes to find himself in a strange room. Actually, a strange environment would be more accurate. As this part of the story unfolds, I found myself not only intrigued by exactly what was going on and why, and curious about how it was going to play out, but also enthralled by Jericho's dreams that are actually memories being restored to him. It isn't long before the reader figures out that Jericho isn't who--or what--he thinks. I love the idea of being something/someone other than what you completely believe you are.

Jericho Solus is written like a 3-part play. Each part is Jericho's story in a different environment, and as a different entity (though the same, if that makes sense. If not, read the book and it will). The parts are all important to his journey. And they are all part of the legend in some way.

The book is described as speculative fiction. It is that, but it is also fantasy, sci-fi, romance (a legendary romance), and history served up as fascinating fiction. Really, there's something for almost everyone. I highly recommend this book. I can't reiterate enough how much I genuinely love this book. If you have the creativity to suspend your disbelief enough to take the ride, you won't be disappointed.

Here are all the places you can find Jeff and his book.

Jericho Solus Blog

Jeff's Blog


Barnes & Noble


Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Winner of the Autism Awareness Hop is: Linda Kujaca.

Congrats, Linda! I'll be contacting you by email to confirm your shipping address for the book.

Thanks to everyone who joined the hop, and for your support of this awareness campaign.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Small Blogs, Big Dreams and Small Books, Big Stories Go Together . . . Right?

Thanks to Forbidden Passions Reviews and Walking on Bookshelves for hosting this blog hop. I'll have 2 winners of my two latest short story releases: Reluctance (already released) and Beautiful Beast (releasing May 1). Giveaway is international as the giveaways are both ebooks. Enter on the Rafflecopter form and then hop to the other blogs on the linky list for more chances to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

English Language Part II

A couple weeks ago I wrote a post about the idiosyncrasies of the English language. I enjoyed researching them so much, I decided to share a couple more with you.

Our Strange Lingo

This was written by Lord Cromer, published in the Spectator of August 9th, 1902 and extracts were quoted in an SSS pamflet in 1930.

When the English tongue we speak.
Why is break not rhymed with freak?
Will you tell me why it's true
We say sew but likewise few?
And the maker of the verse,
Cannot rhyme his horse with worse?
Beard is not the same as heard
Cord is different from word.
Cow is cow but low is low
Shoe is never rhymed with foe.
Think of hose, dose,and lose

And think of goose and yet with choose
Think of comb, tomb and bomb,
Doll and roll or home and some.
Since pay is rhymed with say
Why not paid with said I pray?
Think of blood, food and good.
Mould is not pronounced like could.
Wherefore done, but gone and lone -
Is there any reason known?
To sum up all, it seems to me
Sound and letters don't agree.

* * * * *

This is attributed to Vivian Buchan, NEA Journal 1966/67, USA,
published in Spelling Progress Bulletin Spring 1966 pdf, p6, Reprinted from Educational Horizons.

Phoney Phonetics.

One reason why I cannot spell,
Although I learned the rules quite well
Is that some words like coup and through
Sound just like threw and flue and Who;
When oo is never spelled the same,
The duice becomes a guessing game;
And then I ponder over though,
Is it spelled so, or throw, or beau,
And bough is never bow, it's bow,
I mean the bow that sounds like plow,
And not the bow that sounds like row -
The row that is pronounced like roe.
I wonder, too, why rough and tough,
That sound the same as gruff and muff,
Are spelled like bough and though, for they
Are both pronounced a different way.
And why can't I spell trough and cough
The same as I do scoff and golf?

Why isn't drought spelled just like route,
or doubt or pout or sauerkraut?
When words all sound so much the same
To change the spelling seems a shame.
There is no sense - see sound like cents -
in making such a difference
Between the sight and sound of words;
Each spelling rule that undergirds
The way a word should look will fail
And often prove to no avail
Because exceptions will negate
The truth of what the rule may state;
So though I try, I still despair
And moan and mutter "It's not fair
That I'm held up to ridicule
And made to look like such a fool
When it's the spelling that's at fault.
Let's call this nonsense to a halt."

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Three More Days to Win!

You still have time to win in the Annual Autism Awareness Giveaway Hop. Be sure to enter to win, and to hop on over to the other blogs listed on the linky list for over 75 more chances to win other great prizes!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Forbidden Passions are Amazing!

While forbidden passions really can be amazing, in this case I'm talking specifically about the blog called Forbidden Passions. Catie has been sweet enough to take the time to read and review Reluctance.

Here's some of what Catie had to say: "Reluctance is a short story but I found myself just as involved in this story as I would be with a full scale novel. I liked the characters and I did not feel rushed in any way while reading this short story. Even though it is only 54 pages there is a clear beginning, middle and an end to this story."

If you want to read her whole - and very kind and generous - review, you can here. Thanks to Catie and the Forbidden Passions blog!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Annual Autism Awareness Giveaway Hop

Because I feel it is a worthy thing to spread awareness of diseases, I decided to join the Autism Awareness Hop along with the hosts I Am a Reader, Not a Writer, Just Another Book Addict, Fire and Ice Photo, and Page Turners. Autism is one of those diseases on the rise. Whether because it is now being more correctly diagnosed or because there are more cases of it, it's still something that everyone needs to be aware of. Autism Speaks is a great site with current info about autism and strides being made in treatments, cures, and discovering the causes of autism.

Several years ago I read a book written by a woman who had autism. It was a fascinating autobiographical look into her mind, to see why she did the things she did, how the world was affecting her, and how she fought to live as normally as possible. Unfortunately, I can't remember the name of the book or the author, which is so disappointing because I'd love to read it again. If any of you have any idea what the book is, please let me know.

Recently I read a fiction book called Unlocked: A Love Story. This is the blurb:

Before You Take a Stand ... You've Got to Take a Chance. Holden Harris is an eighteen-year-old locked in a prison of autism. Despite his quiet ways and quirky behaviors, Holden is very happy and socially normal---on the inside, in a private world all his own. In reality, he is bullied at school by kids who only see that he is very different. Ella Reynolds is part of the 'in' crowd. A cheerleader and star of the high school drama production, her life seems perfect. When she catches Holden listening to her rehearse for the school play, she is drawn to him ... the way he is drawn to the music. Then, Ella makes a dramatic discovery---she and Holden were best friends as children. Frustrated by the way Holden is bullied, and horrified at the indifference of her peers, Ella decides to take a stand against the most privileged and popular kids at school, including her boyfriend, Jake. Ella believes miracles can happen in the unlikeliest places, and that just maybe an entire community might celebrate from the sidelines. But will Holden's praying mother and the efforts of Ella and a cast of theater kids be enough to unlock the prison that contains Holden? This time, friendship, faith, and the power of a song must be strong enough to open the doors to the miracle Holden needs.

I loved this book. The author switched POV's from Ella, Holden's mom, and Holden himself. It was fascinating to see all their different thoughts on why he was doing some of the "weird" things he was doing, and then to see from Holden's POV exactly why he was doing it. It was great watching Holden't journey as he fights to come out of his own world and rejoin the "real" world. I thought it was fitting for this giveaway to give a copy of this book. (Domestic Only)

Enter using the Rafflecopter below (you may have to click on the more button to see it). Then click on any of the many other blogs listed below for a chance to win great prizes on those sites.

A Reluctance Review

Thanks to Good Choice Reading for Kellie's amazing review of Reluctance. You can read the review here.

Some of what Kellie had to say: I really enjoyed this book. This short story was full of surprises but had an important message. This story deals with a topic that many young adults face. Many try to do what they think is for the best only to have it turn into a disaster. And when the right choice is right in front of you, you don’t take notice. Acceptance is not about what others think…it is about being who you are and being happy with yourself. This book demonstrates that sometimes you need to do what is right for you and not what you think is expected of you. That all you have to do is accept yourself, everything else with fall into place.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Charity Winner

Thanks to everyone who entered the Charity Blog Hop. And an especially HUGE thank you to those of you who donated to the Tour de Cure! You guys rock. I want you to all wrap your arms around yourself and give you a great big hug from me! Thank you, thank you, thank you. Because I am so grateful for both the chance to highlight this cause that is so near and dear to me, and because I'm so happy that some of you donated, I'm giving everyone who entered a free ebook of either Heart on a Chain, Immortal Mine, or Reluctance. I'll be contacting all of you by email.

Oh, I almost forgot. Congrats to Lindsay B, winner of the Amazon Gift Card. Watch for that in your email, Lindsay, and thanks for entering!

English - AKA Huh?

English is the most widely spoken language in the world. It is the predominant language of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Ireland, and New Zeland. The version we speak here in America originates from the UK version. BUT (and yes, I capitalized the whole word) there are huge differences. We have some idiosyncrasies that can drive even the most intelligent person crazy.

Aside from the most obvious words: your/you're, there/their/they're, to/too/two, who's/whose, who/whom, affect/effect, and all the others that can be confusing to even the most intelligent scholar, there are some that you just have to know because there doesn't seem to be any good explanation.

I Googled "funny English language" and was amazed at the sites (not sights) that popped up. I thought I'd share a few with you here.

We must polish the Polish furniture.
He could lead if he would get the lead out.
The farm was used to produce produce.
The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
The soldier decided to desert in the desert.
This was a good time to present the present.
A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
I did not object to the object.
The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
The bandage was wound around the wound.
There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
They were too close to the door to close it.
The buck does funny things when the does are present.
They sent a sewer down to stitch the tear in the sewer line.
To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
After a number of injections my jaw got number.
Upon seeing the tear in my clothes I shed a tear.
I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
I read it once and will read it agen
I learned much from this learned treatise.
I was content to note the content of the message.
The Blessed Virgin blessed her. Blessed her richly.
It's a bit wicked to over-trim a short wicked candle.
If he will absent himself we mark him absent.
I incline toward bypassing the incline.

There is no egg in an eggplant
No ham in a hamburger
And neither pine nor apple in the pineapple.
English muffins were not invented in England
French fries were not invented in France.

We sometimes take English for granted
But if we examine its paradoxes we find that
Quicksand takes you down slowly
Boxing rings are square
And a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

If writers write, how come fingers don't fing.
If the plural of tooth is teeth
Shouldn't the plural of phone booth be phone beeth
If the teacher taught,
Why didn't the preacher praught.

If a vegetarian eats vegetables
What the heck does a humanitarian eat!?
Why do people recite at a play
Yet play at a recital?
Park on driveways and
Drive on parkways

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy
Of a language where a house can burn up as
It burns down
And in which you fill in a form
By filling it out
And a bell is only heard once it goes!

English was invented by people, not computers
And it reflects the creativity of the human race
(Which of course isn't a race at all)

That is why
When the stars are out they are visible
But when the lights are out they are invisible
And why it is that when I wind up my watch it starts
But when I wind up this observation, it ends

I take it you already know
Of tough and bough and cough and dough?
Others may stumble, but not you,
On hiccough, thorough, lough and through?
Well done! And now you wish, perhaps,
To learn of less familiar traps?
Beware of heard, a dreadful word
That looks like beard and sounds like bird,
And dead: it's said like bed, not bead -
For goodness sake don't call it deed!
Watch out for meat and great and threat
(They rhyme with suite and straight and debt).
A moth is not a moth in mother,
Nor both in bother, broth in brother,
And here is not a match for there
Nor dear and fear for bear and pear,
And then there's dose and rose and lose -
Just look them up - and goose and choose,
And cork and work and card and ward,
And font and front and word and sword,
And do and go and thwart and cart -
Come, come, I've hardly made a start!
A dreadful language? Man alive!
I'd mastered it when I was five!

Have any of your own you'd like to share?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Win $25 to Amazon and a Copy of Reluctance

Noble Young Adult is having a contest to celebrate the launch of Young Immortals. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on their blog with your email address. Click this link to find the right place.*

You can win a $25 Amazon Gift Card and a copy of Reluctance, the first release in the Young Immortals anthology - which just happens to be authored by yours truly.

Contest ends April 7th!

*As much as I love to hear from you you can't enter here, you have to go to the Noble YA Blog :o)