Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Only Boy by Jordan Locke

only boy tou

The only boy
The Only Boy by Jordan Locke Mary is stuck in Section One, living with three hundred women in a crumbling hospital. She wonders what life was like two centuries ago, before the Cleansing wiped out all the men. But the rules—the Matriarch's senseless rules—prevent her from exploring the vacant city to find out. Taylor's got a dangerous secret: he's a boy. His compound's been destroyed, and he's been relocated to Section One. Living under the Matriarch means giving up possessions, eating canned food and avoiding all physical contact. Baggy clothes hide his flat chest and skinny legs, but if anyone discovers what lies beneath, he'll be exiled. Maybe even executed. Mary's never seen a boy—the Matriarch cut the pictures of men from the textbooks—and she doesn't suspect Taylor's secret. If she knew, she might understand the need to stop the girls from teasing him. If she knew, she might realize why she breaks the rules, just to be near him. Then again, she might be frightened to death of him. Taylor should go. The Matriarch is watching his every move. But running means leaving Mary—and braving the land beyond the compound's boundaries.

     The pit is dark and musty. Dirt walls line two sides, and bars surround the rest. Every so often, footsteps tap overhead, but other than that, silence.
     No one told me how long I’ll be here. I think the rulebook says three weeks for fighting, but the Matriarch might have added destroying property. I touch my chin, and stubble prickles my fingers. Before long, the beard will be impossible to hide.
     I should never have come to Section One. I could have run—disappeared—after the Earthers bombed my compound. Even when the Matriarch sent a carrier pigeon, I didn’t leave. I waited for someone to come. My hair was long, and I figured I could pass for a girl.
     I should have realized it was a mistake.
     I have no idea how long I’m here—maybe hours, maybe days—before a shaft of light shines across the room. Footsteps approach, hinges squeak, and metal slams shut. Someone is breathing in the cell next to mine. I imagine Katherine sitting inside. It could be weeks of only her and me. I’ll go insane. I crawl away, push my back against the cold wall.
     A calm clear voice says, “Taylor?”
     I let myself smile. It’s Mary.

Praise for The Only Boy 
“It’s not a dystopia that does a good job—it’s a great book that happens to be a dystopia.” Rachel Miller, Editor 
“This book is one of the best of its genre I have read, it kept me gripped to its satisfying end.” Janet Love, Amazon UK Reviewer 
“If you like a different take on the dystopian genre then I would highly recommend this unique and amazing book.” Tamara Bass, The Avid Book Collector  

My Review of The Only Boy by Jordan Locke

     The Only Boy is an interesting concept: disease has eradicated the earth of all males, and most of the females as well. Those who are left behind fiercely guard their health by refusing to let any males be birthed, genetically engineering babies from only female DNA. Taylor, a boy in disguise as a female to protect his life, shows up in Section One, where he meets and befriends Mary.
     The story is about their blossoming friendship, and their growing feelings which Mary thinks are illicit because of a strict “no touching” law. Yet she yearns to be with Taylor. When she learns he’s a boy, she debates whether she should do the right thing and turn him in—or if she should follow her feelings and help him escape.
     I had a few issues with the book. There were places where the story jumps from one thing to another and I felt like it was missing pages. Luckily, the story fills in enough that I wasn’t completely lost. The MC’s (Taylor and Mary) had a few too many misunderstandings. That’s a common and completely acceptable story trick, to create misunderstandings that lead to conflict. I just felt like with these two it was practically every chapter. The other characters weren’t particularly likeable, none I felt like I could really get onboard with—excepting Rose, who was only in the book briefly. It seemed like some of the characters loyalties swayed with the wind, and no one seemed to have really clear cut morals or ideals that led them to make the choices they did. I’m not sure who Jordan’s editor is, but I feel like most of these things should have been addressed with the editor.
     That being said, once I really got into the book, I wanted to keep reading to see what would happen next. The story was compelling enough to keep me interested, and I really enjoyed the book. The MC’s were innocent and had never been exposed to what we would consider normalcy, so some of their inconsistencies I attribute to that. I really did root for them, which to me is important in determining what I consider a good book. It was written in short, staccato sentences which added to the feeling of the book and gave it a nice, sort of urgent feel—perfect, since it’s a dystopian book.
     I’m giving it 4 out of 5 stars because it was hard to put down once I really got into it, and I would recommend this for anyone who likes dystopian novels.

Jordan Locke
 Author Jordan Locke Jordan Locke lives in Connecticut with his wife, two lively daughters and a well-behaved whippet. A graphic designer by trade, his creativity spilled over into the literary world. After years of writing, reading and learning the craft, his fifth novel, The Only Boy, brought him offers of representation from two well-known agents. Now, after the dog is fed and the kids are in bed, you will find him tapping away at the keyboard.

  Blog Tour Giveaway $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 6/8/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Dystopian Tour

A Prism Tour with Prism Book Tours

Welcome to the Launch for
What will the future bring? We're featuring several possibilities. Come along and check them out!

May 28: What Tomorrow May Bring #1

Goodreads - Amazon

Follow 11 authors into 11 dystopian tomorrows, where the dark portions of our humanity have taken hold of today, where the fabric of society is torn and greed consumes us all. Follow us down a dark path.

Titles in the boxed set include:
Open Minds, Susan Kaye Quinn
The Moon Dwellers, David Estes
Prison Nation, Jenni Merritt
daynight, Megan Thomason
Stitch, Samantha Durante
The Girls from Alcyone, Cary Caffrey
The Narrowing Path, David J. Normoyle
The Rain, Joseph A. Turkot
Virulent: The Release, Shelbi Wescott
External Forces (Bonus Chapters!), Deborah Rix

May 29: Terra by Gretchen Powell
Goodreads - Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Kobo - Apple Store

Terra follows protagonist Terra Rhodon through a dystopian future where the planet’s natural resources have been depleted and the rich and powerful have fled to cities in the sky.

May 30: Stitch & Shudder by Samantha Durante

Her heart races, her muscles coil, and every impulse in Alessa's body screams at her to run... but yet she's powerless to move.

June 1: Contributor & Infiltrator by Nicole Ciacchella
Goodreads - Amazon

When the Great Famine threatened the existence of mankind, the Creators saved humanity. Humanity has been their loyal subject ever since.

June 2: What Tomorrow May Bring #2
Goodreads - Amazon

Follow 11 authors into 11 dystopian tomorrows, where the dark portions of our humanity have taken hold of today, where the fabric of society is torn and greed consumes us all. Follow us down a dark path.

We will be sharing excerpts from these titles:
Open Minds, Susan Kaye Quinn
The Moon Dwellers, David Estes
Prison Nation, Jenni Merritt
daynight, Megan Thomason
Stitch, Samantha Durante

June 3: Among the Joyful by Erin Eastham

Everyone knows that it’s a citizen’s duty to smile; negative emotion is a social contagion, an aggressive act against society. For Alaire Larkin, staying positive has never been a problem.

June 4: The Annihilation of Foreverland & Foreverland is Dead by Tony Bertauski

Goodreads - Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Google Play - Kobo - iTunes

When kids awake on an island, they’re told there was an accident. Before they can go home, they will visit Foreverland, an alternate reality that will heal their minds.

June 5: The Breeders & The Believers by Katie French
Goodreads - Amazon - Barnes and Noble

Sixteen-year-old Riley Meemick is one of the world's last free girls. When Riley was born, her mother escaped the Breeders, the group of doctors using cruel experiments to bolster the dwindling human race.

June 6: What Tomorrow May Bring #3 
Goodreads - Amazon

Follow 11 authors into 11 dystopian tomorrows, where the dark portions of our humanity have taken hold of today, where the fabric of society is torn and greed consumes us all. Follow us down a dark path.

We will be sharing excerpts from these titles:
The Girls from Alcyone, Cary Caffrey
The Narrowing Path, David J. Normoyle
The Rain, Joseph A. Turkot
Virulent: The Release, Shelbi Wescott
External Forces (Bonus Chapters!), Deborah Rix

Tour-Wide Giveaway
Ends June 15th.

US Only Giveaway
Print copy of Terra + bookmarks
Print copies of Stitch & Shudder + bookmarks
Print copy of Among the Joyful

Internationally Open Giveaway
Amazon GC $15 (Megan) + $10 (Erin) + $10 (Samantha)
11 ecopies of What Tomorrow May Bring
Ebook of Terra
Ebooks of Stitch & Shudder
10 e-book copies of the complete Contributor trilogy, including book 3 (Kindle only)
Ebook of Among the Joyful
Ebooks of The Annihilation of Foreverland & Foreverland is Dead
Ebook of A Taste of Tomorrow Boxed Set
5 ebooks of The Breeders & The Believers

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Prism Book Tours
Are you a blogger and want to receive information about new tours? Go HERE.
Are you an author or publisher and would like to have us organize a tour event? Go HERE.

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Guns of Napoleon by Peter Lean

The Guns of Napoleon takes Victor Sirkov, professor of History at St. Petersburg State University, and passionate scholar of Napoleon, on an adventure through time to meet the very man he thought he knew so well. 

Victor is contacted by the mysterious ChronoLab and given the opportunity to witness first hand what he could only have imagined. He is sent back two hundred years through a natural wormhole, and brings his personal demons with him. 

Thrust into a world very different from the one he left behind, Victor must fight for survival during Napoleon’s fateful, and bloody, conquest of Russia. Knowing how history should play out, doesn’t always give him the upper hand, as Victor soon finds out. 

The Guns of Napoleon deals with the consequences of changing significant moments of world history, and to what lengths one man will go to correct them, not only for the greater good of mankind, but for the woman he loves.

My review:

I love the idea of time-travel, and especially the idea that what might be done in the past can change our present. Like every author I have a book or two in mind to explore this idea. (I know there’s a technical term for this, but am not sure which the right one is: The butterfly effect? Temporal paradox? Bootstrap paradox? Retrocausality? Take your pick. You get the idea.)

When I first read The Guns of Napoleon, I wasn’t quite sure what I was in for. I was pleasantly surprised to find myself in for an enjoyable ride using this idea with a real historical figure (Napoleon Bonaparte) and an unassuming professor who tries to spread his love for all things Napoleon to his disinterested students. A present day man used to today’s luxuries thrown into the rough past that he’s unprepared for has to figure out how to survive to get back home. Due to a mistake made by his time-travelling companion, history is changed and he eventually returns to an unexpected world, the only man with the knowledge of how it’s changed.

Peter Lean gives us Victor, who could be any one of us, and skillfully weaves a tale around his passion for history and the unexpected chance to get to witness firsthand the object of his great knowledge. Who among us wouldn’t jump at the same chance? Victor is a great character because he is us. The rest of the story is an added bonus. All of the secondary characters really only show up for a short time, but Lean manages to make their indelible impact on Victor’s life clear and concise in their scenes. Great authors are able to do that subtle trick without us even realizing they’re doing it.

Even if you don’t consider yourself a fan of historical novels, this is one you’re going to enjoy. The history to me was secondary to a character study, and how even the smallest of our actions can have a profound effect on the world we live in. I look forward to reading the sequel to this novel.

Get your copy of The Guns of Napoleon today at Amazon.

*Note: Peter Lean had me edit this book for him which is how I came to read it. That didn't affect my review. My review is an honest, unbiased review.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Airel: The Awakening

Displaying Airel Tour Graphic.jpg

AirelAirel: The Awakening is a young adult paranormal romance about the angel Kreios who falls so deeply in love with a woman that he chooses to fall from heaven to be with her. She gives birth to a daughter in Arabia, 1250BC. The girl is pursued ferociously, relentlessly by an enemy in the deepest darkness.   In present day, Boise, Idaho is just a girl: Airel. She's just your average high school student...who turns out to be anything but average. It's because of who she is, because of her ancestry, because of her lineage. Past and present collide as what has been twisted comes dangerously unraveled.

“CLASS, THIS IS MICHAEL Alexander. Michael, welcome to Borah High. Please take your seat.” Mr. Brashear turned back to the board while Michael began moving toward the only empty seat, just one over from mine. I wanted to shake my fist at the sky and shout, “Why, God, why,” but I couldn’t do that in the middle of History 301.
As he moved through the motionless room, I felt the difference his presence made. 
I didn’t want to, but I was staring, too numb to do anything about it. He smiled as he looked around. His wheat- colored hair was spiked up softly, wildly, in the most out-of-control, amazing way. I felt my heart speed up as his bright blue eyes fell on me.
There he was. Mr. Napkins. I was Miss Coffee Spill, and I so wanted to be Mrs. Napkins.
I felt heat rising to the surface of my face. I’d never felt anything like this. Airel, what is wrong with you? This is so not like you. Michael moved with smooth grace. I was gawking, staring like some love-struck calf. I hoped he wouldn’t notice me. This was so stupid. Why was I acting like this?
But I could hear the universe calling my number, and I was stunned to discover that I had really been waiting in line all this time, staring wide-eyed, ticket in hand. But I don’t want this. I held my breath without realizing it. The draw I felt toward him was overpowering.
He sat in his seat and looked straight ahead, and I shook my head ungracefully. Just as fast as the room had stopped, it launched itself into hyper speed, and then I felt a hand on my shoulder. It was Kim, wearing a big, dumb grin on her face. Her eyes sparkled as she said, “Wow, girl. You’re as red as a lobster.”
“What?” I said. It came out as a raspy, forced whisper, but it was all I could manage. Kim was stifling a laugh. I slunk down behind my history book. “Shut up, Kim.” But she just smiled and batted her eyes. I really didn’t like her right now. Maybe I could find a new best friend.
THE CLASS BELL RANG. I jumped up and rushed out the door, desperate for the bathroom. I didn’t feel well. I turned on the water and splashed its cold wetness over my warm cheeks, trying to cool myself down and shake my mind from the maddening fog that had overtaken me. It wasn’t like me to freak out about a boy. I was the last girl in the world to go gaga over a good-looking guy. But it was more than that. So what if he was good-looking—there were lots of hot guys around. It was something else, and I was starting to think it was really a spell.
I looked in the mirror. “Aw, man.” My face looked like I’d just had my first kiss and then sat under a heat lamp for a few hours.
Kim came in and stood with her foot jammed at the bottom of the door—so she could grill me in private, no doubt. “So,” she said, “you see the new guy?”
I shook my head and rubbed the back of my neck. “Whatever. I was hot. That classroom … it’s always so muggy, and I had a headache.”
“Oh, is it? I hadn’t noticed.”
I ignored her, pulled my hair into a ponytail, and splashed more cold water on the back of my neck. I was relieved to see my face returning to its normal slightly fair hue. 
Kim just grunted and smirked and looked down at her nails, inspecting them, looking up at me in little snatches of concern. “Well, I think he’s ugly. Besides, what kind of name is ‘Michael Alexander?’ It’s like he has two first names. I mean, what is he, America’s Next Teen Pop Superstar?” Her face was calm. Much too calm.
She’s totally mocking me. I couldn’t help smiling. His face filled my mind for a split second. I could feel my blood warming, rising to my face again. I thought of all the dumb 80s song lyrics that my parents continually tortured me with. “Hey,” I said, trying to go on offense a little, “you and I both know he’s gorgeous, so stop lying. I don’t know what came over me. The room was actuallyspinning.
“Oh, the room was spinning? That’s news. Airel, are you crazy? Because, like, how did I miss that?”
“Kim, I don’t know. You know this isn’t like me at all. Something weird is going on. When he walked in, I completely lost it. It was weird. It’s like the clock stopped. Or jumped forward. Am I going crazy?” 
“Yeah, and he looked at you like he knew you or something,” she said, coming closer to me, a little worry showing on her features.
I couldn’t make my mind stop. It was racing, replaying every second of our first meeting—the coffee, his hand, his smile. He looked at me like he knew me, looked me right in the eyes, saw me, and I could feel him searching me, looking for something, perhaps some kind of confirmation from me that I knew him too. My heart fluttered with the memory of that moment. I suddenly had this insane desire to cry and laugh at the same time.
Kim made a kissing sound, reaching out to me. “Loooove, Airel.”
I brushed her off, moving to an empty stall and locking myself in.
“You should see yourself. You so just went all googly eyed over him.”
I fell to my knees as crippling pain suddenly shot through my side. I couldn’t help whimpering. Then a sickening wave of warmth washed over me and I was instantly depressed. Hello, roller coaster. Wow, what’s your name? Could it be Michael Alexander? Ugh. Or maybe it’s just barf.“Ugh,” I said aloud, turning toward the toilet. “I think I’m going to be sick.” 
“Loooovesick.” Kim was clearly enjoying my discomfort, but I had no time to defend myself. I bent and threw up into the toilet. Oh, dear God. This is fun. I was totally heaving in the high school bathroom.
Kim snapped out of taunting mode and rushed in to help me, going back into best-friend mode. I lost my dinner and yesterday’s lunch and started to wonder if maybe I should have had breakfast after all—was that why I was so sick all of a sudden? Skipping breakfast? There is a nasty flu going around this year…
Kim held my hair and rubbed my back. I didn’t know I was crying until I saw the tears splashing onto the floor and heard myself sobbing. I’m crying. Why am I crying? My stomach felt like a knife had been plunged into it and my whole body convulsed as I tried to stand up, my legs shaking like a newborn colt.
Kim helped me to the nurse’s station and soon after, I was on my way home, looking like death in the passenger seat. Trusty Kim was driving my trusty Honda. It was a good thing Mom was at work, and that Dad was out of town. I hoped I would be feeling better by the time Mom got home because she had a tendency to go overboard when I got sick. Parents. 
Kim parked in the driveway and helped me up the stairs, and even though it was the middle of the day, I went to bed and fell asleep feeling cold and scared. Maybe I wasn’t lovesick and something was really wrong with me.

  About the Authors Aaron Patterson is a NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling author of over a dozen novels. He writes hard-boiled thrillers and young adult fantasy. He was home-schooled and grew up in the west. Aaron loved to read as a small child and would often be found behind a book, reading one to three a day on average. This love drove him to want to write, but he never thought he had the talent. He wrote Sweet Dreams, the first book in the WJA series, in 2008. Airel is his first teen series, and plans for more are in the works. He lives in Boise, Idaho with his family.

Chris White is an award-winning author and editor, and is co-author of the Airel Saga with Aaron Patterson. Chris also writes psychological thrillers under the nom de plume Jet Deaver, and has penned some short stories as C.P. White. He blogs occasionally about writing and the journey of the Christian artist at C.P. White Media Blog and lives in Idaho with his family.

Praise for the Book “This is not your typical fallen angel story. It is one that has left me breathlessly waiting for the next one in the series.” --Sandra Stiles, Amazon review
 “A beautifully written and crafted fiction about teenage innocence, faith, loss and love. A must read for teens and adults alike." --Vincent Zandri, International Bestselling Author of The Remains, The Innocent, and Concrete Pearl
 “This was such a unique twist to the common way angels are portrayed…. The struggle between good and evil is the forefront of this great story!” – Courtney, Amazon review

Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 6/16/19 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Friday, May 16, 2014

The Secret of Darkwood Castle

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The Secret of Darkwood Castle
Book 3 in The Shapeshifter’s Secret Series
Release date: May 21, 2014

"Julia’s vision became completely black. All she saw now was Alexis’s haunting eyes, burned in her memory. She felt the shift as Alexis lowered the sword, ready to kill Julia."

Displaying Darkwood Castle cover.jpgJulia has embraced who she is. She's a shapeshifter, a siren, and a princess. But her fate is still unclear. As she runs for ambassador of Ossai, The Guild, lead by Julia's estranged mother begins attacking and killing those Julia loves in an attempt to overthrow the kingdom. To defend her family, her home, and her country, Julia must stop the Guild once and for all. 

But when a mysterious stranger shows up offering help, Julia is forced to trust them in order to solve the secret to the Guild’s whereabouts. Soon she travels to Darkwood Castle, a sinister palace, to confront the Guild—and her mother. If she doesn't succeed, all Julia holds dear will be ripped away and destroyed forever. 

Deadly forests, dangerous alliances, and a hidden fortress—nothing is what it seems at Darkwood castle. Discover the epic conclusion to Julia’s journey in Ossai.   

Visit Heather:
Twitter: @Heatherostler

About the author:
Heather Ostler grew up near the mountains with a rambunctiously entertaining family. She graduated from Utah Valley University and soon began composing stories about shapeshifters, sirens, and spooky castles. She and her husband reside in Utah Valley with two remarkably pleasant pugs.

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

What is Hidden Blog Tour

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In a land of masquerades and mystery, Evie is a mask maker in Venesia, where masks represent rank and identity. When a cryptic bandit strips away Evie’s mask and destroys her home, she goes into hiding at the palace to find both a new identity—and revenge. Fantasy lovers will be caught up by the mystique, romance, and magic of "What Is Hidden."

My thoughts: What is Hidden is a fresh, unique tale full of romance, intrigue, excitement, and a woman torn from the life she's always known. In her world, masks are worn by all; going without them is akin to being naked. This is a great device for people to conceal their true identity or hide their secrets easily—and Evie has a whopper of a secret to keep, as does Aiden.

Skidmore paints exquisitely detailed masks and a vivid world that's nothing like you've imagined. She's created a world I'd like to see, and characters I'd like to know in this tale reminiscent of Cinderella. I couldn’t wait to see what happened next, and how each of the characters were going to resolve their specific issues. Definitely a page-turner that I recommend. 

Get your copy today at:

Displaying skidmore-author_photo.jpgLauren Skidmore grew up in Kansas, with stints in Ohio and New York, and currently lives in Utah. She attended Brigham Young University where she earned a BA in English Teaching with an emphasis in Teaching English as a Second Language and Japanese. She then spent a year in Japan teaching and travelling. She hasn’t made it to Europe yet, but it’s on the list and has been to 30 states in the U.S. so far. When she’s not exploring new places, you can probably find her on the internet with fifteen windows open and looking at just one more thing before actually getting something done.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Diary of Two Mad Black Mormons

Spotlight on:

You’ve read the title, and now you’re scratching your head, wondering if this book is for real, right?

It is. Yes, the authors are bona fide Mormons. And hilarious, too! They call themselves Sistas in Zion.

Did we mention they’ve got enough faith to move mountains? Well, they haven’t moved any mountains just yet, but that’s not stopping them from keeping right on praying and believing and knowing that the gospel of Jesus Christ is worth it.

Their unique perspective on their own diary entries will have you laughing one minute and exclaiming “Amen!” the next. They talk about personal experiences and lessons they’ve learned about relationships, sisterhood, standing up for what you believe, embracing diversity, and dealing with adversity—what being a Christian is all about.

The Sistas’ humorous and poignant outlook on life will strengthen your faith and remind you of the joy to be found in living a Christ-centered life. You’ll soon realize that the authors aren’t mad-mad—they’re crazy-mad, funny, and inspiring!

Amazon   ~    Deseret Book

Zandra Vranes and Tamu Smith are popular multimedia personalities and the authors of the online blog Zandra (Sista Laurel) and Tamu (Sista Beehive) also host a weekly online radio program, Sistas in Zion Radio. Their media identities, which focus on humorous aspects of faith and Mormon culture, seek to uplift, inspire, bridge religious divides, and create healthy dialogue.

Zandra and Tamu are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter—day Saints. They enjoy the fact that their Christian values and their work coincide.

Their lives are blessed by amazing family and friends. Zandra is thankful for her boo, the love of her life. Tamu enjoys spending time with her husband of twenty years and their six wonderful kids.

Facebook   ~   Twitter    ~  Pinterest

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Remodeling: Part II

Earlier this week I posted my remodeling of my daughters room, which you can see here. Now it's time to show you the next room we remodeled, which is the family room.

When we moved in, this room was covered on 2 of the 4 walls with floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall mirrors. I kid you not. It felt like I was living in a carpeted dance studio without a barre on one side. So the first order of business was to tear down the mirrors.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Vote for Your Favorite Cover

Indie Rev Awards

IndieRevAwards is holding a contest for indie book covers. The cover for The End of Feeling is one of the contestants, so if you wouldn't mind hopping over to the blog and voting either for my cover, or for whichever is your favorite, I'd appreciate it! You can only vote once - if you vote more than once it'll void all of your votes, so no cheating! Vote HERE.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

And We Have Liftoff!

Last night was my Facebook launch party for The End of Feeling. If you came, thanks for attending. If you missed it, you missed a great time. We had a blast, and I gave away 31 books!

A huge shout out to the authors who generously donated their own books. You can click on their names below to check out their wondiferous blogs, and click on their book titles that the donated to get your own copy.

I myself gave away: The End of Feeling, Heart on a Chain, Geek Girl, and Enchanted Fairytales

These are the rest of the authors and their titles:

Sherry Gammon - Unbearable (due out June 9th - I'll be reviewing it during Sherry's blog tour)
Jamie Canosa - Dissidence and Falling to Pieces (read my reviews here and here)
Jennie James - Cinderella
Jaclyn Weist - The Princess and the Prom Queen
Shannen Crane Camp - Pwned, Finding June, and Chasing June (you can read my reviews here, here, and here)
Laura Howard - The Forgotten Ones and Stone of Destiny
Rachel McClellan - Fractured Light, Fractured Soul, and Fractured Truth (you can read my reviews here, here, and here)
Stacy Lynn Carroll - winners choice of The Princess Sisters or Frogs & Toads (you can read my reviews here and here)
Stephanie Fowers - With a Kiss, At Midnight, and As the Sun Sets
Mikki Kells - The Ace of Hearts
Jolene Perry - The Summer I Found You (review to come soon)
Juli Caldwell - Psyched and Arms Wide Open (you can read my reviews here and here)
Wendy Knight - Feudlings in Sight and Feudlings in Smoke
Stephanie Connelley Worlton - All the Finer Things (review to come soon)
Donna K. Weaver - A Change of Plans
Cindy M. Hogan - Confessions of a 16-Year-Old Virgin Lips
Peggy Warren - Life After (not pictured since it was a late donation)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Facebook Launch Party Excerpt 2

Currently my Facebook Launch Party for The End of Feeling is going on at . . . well, at Facebook. You can come join the party here. I'm giving away tons of prizes donated by some fantastic authors. This post is, in fact, for one of the games.

Below is an excerpt from The End of Feeling. All you have to do is read it and then answer the question asked in the post about it to be entered to win.

Dinner is a lonely affair as usual. I don’t care. I prefer it that way. The microwave beeps, my burritos nuked. I open the fridge door and pull out the crusty bottle of salsa and container of sour cream. Green fuzz coats the top layer of the sour cream. I consider scraping it off and eating what’s beneath, but then decide I can’t afford food poisoning right now. Not with the game in two days.
I dump what little salsa is left across the burritos and toss the empty bottle into the trash, where it crashes loudly against the other bottles that fill the can—empty beer bottles. Guess I better take that out.
My cell buzzes as I sit down and take my first bite. Lava-hot beans and cheese burn my tongue and the roof of my mouth. “Argh,” is the sound that comes out of my mouth as I open wide, trying to blow around the bite of burrito, as if that will somehow relieve the burning. I quickly swallow the hot bite and follow it with a large swig of water, hoping it will prevent the burning from continuing down my esophagus.
My phone buzzes again and I pull it out of my pocket. As I suspected, it’s a text from Daniel.
Dude, meet me at Mega-Cinema at 9.
I text back, On a school night? What would your mother say, Danny boy?
C’mon, man, what if hot new girl shows?
That stops me from texting my auto refusal. What if hot new girl does show? She intrigues me. I’ve spent a lot of years honing the charm, as well as the biceps and abs, which means it’s a rare girl who can resist me. And yet, Charlie . . . uh, Charlie . . . what did she say her last name is? Anyway, Charlie seems to have no problem resisting. I sense a challenge.
I glance toward the trash can, remembering the sound of the bottles within. I know exactly what that means. My life is nothing if not predictable, and I know the bottles in the can mean I’m not going anywhere tonight.
Sorry, bro, gotta get a report done or my butt’s in a sling, I text. Give her a kiss for me. Wait, strike that. Talk me up to her.
My phone is silent for a few minutes. I know he’s debating trying to convince me to come, but I also know that he’s well aware it won’t work. Finally it buzzes.
Your loss, man. If she’s there I’ll be talking ME up.
I laugh, knowing that’s not true. Daniel and I have a very clear understanding about girls—I get first pick, and he gets either the leftovers or my picks once I’m finished with them. I glance at the time on my phone and realize I don’t have much time left.
I quickly finish the now tolerable-temperature burritos, then rinse my plate in the sink and put it in the dishwasher. After hiding all of the big knives in the freezer, I gather the bag full of glass bottles and take it to the large can outside. Back inside I look around to see what items make the worst weapons and place them in the backs of various cabinets. I can’t move too many items where it’s obvious or that’ll set him off. Avoiding setting him off is priority one.
Then I settle in to wait.
It doesn’t take long. I grab a notebook and sit at the kitchen table when I hear his car, pretending to do homework. I can’t have any real homework out on the off-chance he decides to target that. He’s done it before. He’ll do it again. He stumbles through the front door and I clamp my jaw. Why has he never been DUI’d? The man drives drunk more than he does sober, and yet he’s never been pulled over. Makes me wonder if the cops are simply waiting for him to kill someone before they do. It wouldn’t kill him—I’m not that lucky.
He barrels his way into the kitchen, and in spite of myself, I cringe. Shame fills me that I do, but in my defense, I’ve spent a lot of years on the receiving end of his fists. My dad is a big man, roughly the size of a grizzly, or so it seems. I’m pretty tall at six-four, but he towers over me. As much as I work out to build my muscles, I can’t hold a candle to his brawn or his meaty fists that are already clenched before he even sees me.
“Damn loser,” he says in greeting. No worries for him winning Father of the Year. I don’t respond. I don’t even bother looking up, but I watch his feet furtively. I need to be prepared when he nears, which he does rather quickly for an enormous, drunk man.
His fist lands on the side of my head, but the blow isn’t so bad. Because I’m prepared, I duck as he swings, causing his blow to glance off the side of my head. I stand, moving back from him as he swings again, this time catching my shoulder. I grimace in pain, in the back of my mind thinking about the possibility that a bruise might affect my playing in the game.
“Stop, Dad,” I say, the words coming in spite of my trying to keep them back.
“Stop what, loser?” he slurs, swinging again, connecting with the center of my back as I turn away. “Fight back, coward.”
I don’t want to. And yet, without a doubt I know what will happen if I don’t obey the command. He’s told me before in no uncertain terms. He even began a convincing demonstration on more than one occasion until I caved. I’ve also learned, though, not to fight back until he requests it.
I turn his way. Because he’s drunk, I at least have a small chance to, if not win, at least escape mostly unscathed. And so I fight back, no emotion coming into play as I do. I don’t feel any more or less for hitting him or receiving his blows than I do when I stand in the boxing ring. Ten minutes later, he swings at my head and misses, the force knocking him to the floor. He’s passed out cold as soon as he lands. I wipe the blood that drips from my lip with the back of my fist as I stare down at him. I want to hate him, I genuinely do. But that requires feeling I don’t have. I feel nothing for him.
Shamed at the life I live, the life not a single soul outside of my father knows about, I drop a blanket over his prone form and then drag myself to the shower. The hot water will loosen my tight muscles, and hopefully I won’t show too many signs tomorrow. Since I’ve made a rep for myself for hitting up the local boxing club quite frequently, no one questions the random bruises or cuts I might show up with.
Before stepping into the shower I stare at myself in the mirror. I touch my lip gingerly, turning my head to the side to examine the red mark where he managed to get a blow in. I press against the mark. Not too sore, so likely no bruise or black eye, or at least not too bad.

I avoid looking myself directly in the eye. I can’t do it. Haven’t been able to for years. My life is sick, twisted, at the mercy of insanity and absence of reason. Picking up the bar of soap, I drag it back and forth across the mirror until I’m obliterated.