Monday, July 28, 2014

Trailer Reveal ~ "Operation Tree Roper: An Eye Above" by Robert A. Polk




Anaiah Press is revealing the trailer for OPERATION TREE ROPER: AN EYE ABOVE by Robert Polk today and we have it here on the blog!






Blurb:

Twelve-year-old Declan Parker was born with only one eye, but all he seems to have trouble seeing in proper perspective is himself.  All he wants is for kids to see him as normal before he starts a new school in the fall. To that end, he sets out to make money helping with his dad’s tree care business.

Unfortunately, when his dad lands in the hospital after a climbing accident, Declan’s surgery hopes are wrecked. His only hope remains in a neighbor girl and her uncle, a wounded army veteran. Can they help him save his dad’s business, or will Declan’s once-courageous drive turn into total despair?

Operation Tree Roper: An Eye Above is a well-crafted story about a strong, dauntless young man who redefines the value of self-reflection. Declan is a character you won’t be able to forget.

Welcome to your new favorite book…


Release Date:
October 7, 2014


Book Links:
Anaiah Press: www.anaiahpress.com



Author Bio:

 Robert Polk lives in western Nebraska where he shares his love of books and the great outdoors with his wife and seven children. He is a former school counselor, business owner, and tree climbing arborist. Robert participates in his church and local community, currently serving on several non-profit boards.


Author Links:
Website: www.stmercy.com

Friday, July 25, 2014

Book Review ~ "Upon Destiny's Song" by Mike Ericksen

Upon Destiny's SongUpon Destiny's Song by Mike Ericksen & Sage Steadman
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: Received to Review
Genre: Historical / Inspirational

Book Description:  "Upon Destiny’s Song" is a remarkable true story about sacrifice, courage and love. Ane Marie Madsen was only ten-years-old when she immigrated to Utah with her family. She was numbered in the ill-fated Willie Handcart Company of 1856, which saw the deaths of almost a third of the company when winter storms hit Wyoming. After settling in Utah, Ane Marie’s faith is tested once again as her path moves through the misadventures of colonizing a new territory ridden with danger and disease. Over 150 years later, descendent Mike Ericksen retells this epic journey and discovers lessons for his own modern sojourn.

Ericksen has previously told the story of his ancestors harrowing trek through song and speaking engagements held across the country. Now the amazing story and its beautiful message is finally available in "Upon Destiny’s Song.



My thoughts: This is a beautiful story. The story is basically two stories in one. Mike Ericksen is learning about his ancestors who traveled from Denmark and eventually were a part of the Willie Handcart Company.

The Martin and Willie Handcart Companies were both subject to extreme conditions. Many died on the journey to the Salt Lake Valley. Their stories have always been one of faith, endurance, and courage.

I enjoyed reading about Mike Ericksen's journey. He related events in his life that led him to searching out his ancestor, Ane Marie Madsen. Interspersed through Mikes story, his ancestor's story is told. The book takes the perspective of the Madsen family. You could see the progression of their faith and courage first as they are baptized into the LDS church, and then through the trial of traveling across the United Stated by handcart. I really appreciated this format. It gave me a better understanding of genealogy and the way looking back at ancestors gives strength and understand of modern day trials. The admiration that Mike Erickson felt for the Madsen family came through the pages of the book and permeated the story.

My husband and children are descendants of a member of the Martin Handcart Company, Margaretta Unwin Clark. I know what value this heritage is to my family. This book perhaps held a deeper meaning to me because of the connection and similarities between the two companies. I feel that this book would be of great worth to anyone who wants to read a story of courage, faith, and a love of family and God.

The book comes with a music CD of four songs.  Three  were written by Mike Ericksen and one by his brother.  They were a wonderful compliment to the story.


Purchase Links:


About the Author:  Mike Ericksen has been a devout student of the trail of the handcart pioneers since learning of his family’s trek from Denmark to Utah in 1856. In the past 10 years he has spoken in many programs and firesides across the country and has produced films and music related to the stories and events of the pioneers. The documentary Walking in Obedience produced by Ericksen in conjunction with Groberg Films and Dreamchaser, has been heralded as a “historical masterpiece” and has been shown around the country receiving acclamations and awards at film festivals and firesides. An accomplished classical guitarist, Mike has produced four musical albums to date, and is currently playing with the band Cedar Breaks. He is passionate about music, writing, faith and family. He enjoys nature, tennis and yoga, and currently resides in Utah with his wife Cheri. Together they have four children and eight grandchildren.




Cover Reveal ~ "Tess in Boots" by Courtney Rice Gager

Cover Reveal - Tess in Boots Banner

Tess in Boots by Courtney Rice Gager

Anaiah Romance


Tess in Boots Cover RevealTess Dougherty plans every aspect of her life right down to the last detail. But she doesn’t plan on running her boyfriend off by bringing up the topic of marriage before he’s ready. And she doesn’t plan to lose her job on the day she’s set to receive a huge promotion. So when her perfect world unravels, Tess makes a new plan: disappear.

Tess packs her bags and leaves her city apartment for a remote vineyard in North Carolina. At first, she’s put off by the slow pace of small-town life in the South. She’s especially irritated by Thatcher, the vineyard’s smart-mouth, dimple-faced farmhand. But she soon begins to appreciate the area’s charm, and Thatcher’s charm, too. She even swaps her trademark heels for a pair of cowboy boots. As Tess spends more time getting to know Thatcher, she finds herself loosening her grip on her old life little by little. Unfortunately, things on the vineyard aren’t as simple as they seem. There’s a secret here, and when the truth comes to light, Tess is forced to reconsider every plan she’s ever made.



Release Date: December 2, 2014

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22779717-tess-in-boots

Author Bio:

Courtney Rice GagerCourtney Rice Gager graduated from Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in communication and a minor in creative writing. Courtney is also the author of The Buggy List. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and daughter.

Website: http://www.courtneyricegager.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/CourtneyRGager

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/courtneyrgager

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/courtney_rice_gager

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CourtneyRiceGager

Google+: http://www.plus.google.com/+CourtneyRiceGagerWrites

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/courtneyricegager

Book Review ~ "Skylight" by Kevin Hopkins

SkylightSkylight by Kevin Hopkins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source:  Received to Review
Genre: Catastrophe, Suspense

Book Description:  One October night, millions died when the air suddenly became unbreathable. Miraculously left alive, Martin Fall journeys home to Los Angeles and watches as society collapses all around him, leaving him to pick up the pieces. But when he’s recruited for a dangerous mission, he must confront his tragic past to rescue a technology that could save the earth from destroying itself.

My thoughts: A calamity kills millions. Quality of life disintegrates for the masses, leaving a few power hungry living in luxury while most don't have the basics to get by.

This book follows Martin Fell. At the beginning of the book he watches as his wife, daughter, and friends die from a lack of atmospheric oxygen. He can't save them, but he can try to save his friends daughter and take her to a safer place, back to his home in California.

The book looks at his life after the catastrophe, he is trying to puzzle pieces together to solve why there have been explosions at oil refineries. He has the expertise to help, but he still suffers from his past.

The book vacillates between Martin's present and recollections of life immediately following the catastrophe. Each chapter ends with the uncertainty and actions he took to return home, the chaos of life, and the panic of the people.

The book is very interesting. It is obvious to me that Kevin Hopkins knows about the environment and energy. His scenario made sense. I found the book to be a precautionary look at what we could be doing to our plant by carelessness and greed.

The book is full of suspense. There is a mystery that Martin is trying to solve. His instincts are impeccable and he is a man of integrity. He is faced with many emotional roadblocks, but still keeps moving to discover the truth.

This book is written for environmentalists, suspense, mystery, and dystopian readers. It's just a great story that gives the reader something to think about when the book is done.  This book does contain violence.






About the Author:  Kevin Hopkins is the director of energy and environmental research for The Communications Institute, a Los Angeles-based think tank. He previously served as director of the White House Office of Policy Information, where he advised the President of the United States on economic, energy, and environmental policy, and also was senior policy counsel to the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy. He has published several books on U.S. economic and social policy, including The Catastrophe Ahead and Poverty and Welfare Dependency, and served for 20 years as a senior contributing editor to Business Week magazine. Skylight is his first novel.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

"The Practical Prepper" Blog Tour by Kylene and Jonathan Jones

See the Tour Page.


The Practical Prepper by Kylene and Jones
Rating: 4 of 5 starts
Source: Received to Review
Genre: Non-fiction

Book Description:

My thoughts:  I live in an area (Utah) that has been expecting a large earthquake anytime.  It can happen now or a couple hundred years from now.  We are overdue.  I remember earthquake drills from Elementary School.

I considered myself pretty knowledgable about emergency preparation.  My neighborhood has drills where we pretend that an emergency has taken place.  We put cards in our windows letting others know if help is needed.  Families are given scenarios for emergencies.  As a block captain, I've had to go knock on doors to find out what the (pretend) status of the home is and report the need for help.  I even have an amateur radio license, K7LKF.

So, yes I thought I was prepared-ish.  There are more things that can go wrong than we realize.  This book takes a look at many different circumstances that we need to prepare for.  It isn't written in a way that causes panic, the reader doesn't feel the need to rush out and start buying things that they can't afford just in case.  It takes a practical look at emergencies and a common sense approach to preparing for them.

The author's have a formula at the beginning of the book.  RISK = PROBABILITY x CONSEQUENCE.
Different areas have different probability and different levels of consequence.  It's a great idea to individually evaluate needs using the formula.

I am not as prepared as I thought. But, I do have a start.  This book is great at guiding the reader from their own level of preparedness and nudging them in the right direction.





About the Author's: Jonathan is a licensed civil engineer and an avid enthusiast of alternative energy sources, especially solar and wind power. He has served as vice president and advisory board member of The American Civil Defense Association (TACDA), as secretary/treasurer for a local chapter of Civil Defense Volunteers, and as an emergency preparedness and communications specialist. As a city councilperson, has been tasked with developing the city emergency plan in his own community. He has coauthored numerous articles with his wife on emergency preparedness topics and published them in The Journal of Civil Defense. He is the owner of Your Family Ark, LLC, an education and consulting business designated to assist individuals and families in preparing for an uncertain future (www.yourfamilyark.org). 
Kylene has an educational background in business management and family studies. She has also served on the advisory board and on the board of directors for TACDA and is currently the editor for The Journal of Civil Defense. She has a passion for researching and experimenting, which adds a sense of real life to her writing and teaching. A firm believer in hands-on learning, she involves her family in emergency training for everything from fire drills to living off food storage and garden produce to turning off the power in the dead of winter just to see if they can survive it. She’s learned many powerful lessons from these experiences, the best one being that we are tougher than any challenge. We will not only survive but will emerge better, stronger people as a result of the adventure.
Jonathan and Kylene make a dynamic combination. Together they have presented in a wide variety events, including community education courses, educational seminars, preparedness fairs, employee education programs, and community classes. With Jonathan’s extensive knowledge and Kylene’s high-energy personality, they have a unique talent for taking a relatively boring topic and turning it into an exciting quest, motivating audiences to join the ranks of provident preppers.

Blog Tour ~ "Second on the Right" by Elizabeth Los ~ Learn How to Make Your Own Treasure Map + giveaway!

Second on the Right by Elizabeth Los
A themed book tour through Prism Book Tours.

Second on the RightSecond on the Right
by Elizabeth Los
Adult Fantasy
Paperback, 506 Pages
May 9 2014

Spawned from an ancient promise, treachery and intrigue follow the protagonists through our world and one lost to the waves. Bound by an invisible bond, they are thrust into a fantastical world of pirates and demons.

James Benedict is a just man haunted by evil. Pushed to the edge, everything stripped from him, a new man arises . . . a man whose name strikes fear into the hearts of all who hear it: "Captain Hook".

Eileen Davis was a timid woman. Through a fateful cruise she finds herself in the company of the Captain of the Mistral Thief. With his guidance, and the meddling of the local barista, she eventually finds her inner strength.

Will the two of them unite through time to fulfill the promise of their ancestors or will tempers ignite leading all to failure?

True love's magic is not to avoid changes,
But to navigate them successfully.

Amazon - Barnes & Noble - iTunes - Smashwords

HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN TREASURE MAP
********************

1) Think about what you want on the map. Lucky for James Benedict, his photographic memory came in handy when it came time to recall the directions to the island called Neverland.

2) Choose a piece of paper, white is fine, and any size you’d prefer. Begin to draw your map, but make sure to use compass points, notes, labels, etc. Maps with few labels are useless.

3) Tear around the edges of the map, making each of the sides jagged and uneven.

4) When your map is complete and the edges are torn to your liking, it’s time to dye it. The best method is to use tea, or a tea bag, in order to stain the paper. Taking the damp tea bag, “paint” the map. You can allow it to dry and return to “paint” again, darkening the color as much as you’d like. Personally, I prefer a darker brown.

5) Now to create wear. You can crumple up the map now, or wait until the map has dried. Either way, roll it up into a ball and then reverse the process to see how it looks. Remember, this is your map, so it’s up to you as to how many wrinkled you’d like.

6) Once the map has dried, I’ve found that to create an even further weathered look, spot it with oil. Remove the excess oil and let the map dry.


That’s all there is to it! Once your map is complete and dried, you can display it alongside a copy of Second on the Right. And, if you’re lucky to have won the Scottish Dirk, your piratey centerpiece will be complete!

********************

ELosBnW
About Elizabeth Los

I began writing fan fiction short stories in 2010 as means of escape. Every night, after ten hours of work and once the children were finally tucked in bed, for the fifth time, I would sit at my laptop and let my imagination flow through my fingers. Typing over eighty words per minute, my stories quickly began to form from novellas into full length novels. I used writing as my therapy, my release for stress.


Tour-Wide Giveaway

- $20 Amazon gift card and an ebook of Second on the Right (INT)

- Signed print copy of Second on the Right (US Only)
- Ends August 3rd

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Blog Tour ~ "The Dreamosphere" by Laura Stoddard

Visit the Tour Page



The DreamosphereThe Dreamosphere by Laura Stoddard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received to Review
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Book Description: What if dreams don’t disappear when we wake up? Haunted by her younger sister’s death, and her unwitting role in the incident, 11-year-old Gwenevere Stoker takes solace in the Dreamosphere—a dimension where all dreams still exist. But when someone begins destroying her dreams, Gwen must find the culprit—or risk losing all her happiness forever. Bask in the mystery and imagination of dreams in this touching, funny, mind-bending children’s tale that encompasses themes of grief, friendship, family, healing, and grand adventure!


My thoughts: Gwen is a young girl who is suffering after the death of her younger sister. A few years have passed, and she has retreated into herself. Her personality is completely altered from her natural friendly and fun loving self.

Gwen is a dreamer. She has vivid dreams that she remembers the next morning. She keeps a dream journal that she records the events in. It is something that keeps her together. She begins to notice that she isn't dreaming every night, this is strange for her. She begins to have memory lapses.

She finds out that this is happening because someone is destroying her dreams. Each dream is stored on a dream web in orbs. She and her dream friend, Tabitha, must stop the destruction of the dreams. Kids in school are also having their dreams changed. It is a mystery that must be solved before it is too late.

I liked the concept that Gwen's dreams are connected to her reality. As she begins to explore her dreams, she becomes a better person. In fact, I would say that it is saving her and her quality of life. There are some powerful themes found in this book. Gwen is going through grief and she and her family try to find a way to cope with the tragedy that has struck them. Many of the kids bully Gwen. They say she is crazy or that she killed her sister. There is a lack of empathy. I also enjoyed that we see the a little of the psychology behind the bully. It's a great lesson for kids to learn why people can be mean. Maybe they are hurting too. Again an empathy lesson.

This is a book that can capture a child's imagination. The dreams are strange at times. Laura Stoddard has illustrated her own imagination in the creativity of the dreams.




READ AN EXCERPT
********************


"What do you think happens to your dreams after you wake up?"
Gwen shrugged distractedly, too disoriented by her sudden arrival in the remarkable setting to focus. "I dunno. They disappear?"
The unblinking gray eyes of her young companion flashed as she leaned forward. "Incorrect. Every dream you've ever had still exists. All of them. They reside in a dimension called the Dreamosphere. It's where we are right now, as a matter of fact. Each dream basically exists as its own world, or dream-orb. There are thousands and thousands of them, connected like drops of dew on a gigantic spider web. Every dream you've ever had, Gwen. They're all up here. And you can visit them any time you want."
Tabitha, the enigmatic child who shares this information, has some even more shocking news. Gwen’s dreamosphere is in danger. Someone has been hacking into it—destroying her dream orbs, erasing pieces of her past, and affecting Gwen in more ways than she realizes. Together, Gwen and Tabitha travel through the outlandish landscape of Gwen’s dream worlds to find the person responsible. What will happen to Gwen when all her dreams are gone? What critical clues lie within the pages of her dream journal? And what does Edgar Allan Poe have to do with it all?


********************

See the TRAILER
 

About the Author:  Laura Stoddard was born in Idaho and spent her formative years running amok in the great outdoors. She received her bachelors degree in English Literature from Arizona State University. After being rejected from the masters program for creative writing she decided that she didn't need a masters degree to tell her she could write, so she started really dedicating her time to finishing the story she'd started months earlier, with the goal of writing a complete novel, and getting it published. The result is her debut novel, The Dreamosphere, for which her own vivid, bizarre, and incomprehensible dreams provided the inspiration.  Laura is an adrenaline junkie and will try anything once--or twice--or maybe three times. She can already check whitewater rafting, going down in a shark cage, and skydiving (three times) off of her list. Oh, and getting Lasik. It was five minutes of terror. She enjoys hiking, rowing, reading classic literature, embarking on new adventures and hobbies, volunteering regularly, and spending time with family. She currently resides in Phoenix, Ariz.

Book Blast ~ "Son of War, Daughter of Chaos" by Janette Rallison + giveaway

Son of War Daughter of Chaos Blog Tour
Blog Tour Schedule



Son of War, Daughter of Chaos ~  Aislynn is accustomed to watching for the enemy. Her parents instructed her from the time she was young to look for the signs: people with greater than normal strength, eyes that can glow green, and have the ability to jump long distances. Over the years, Aislynn has come to view her parents’ fears as quirks—things that get in the way of having a normal high school life. When Aislynn’s mother dies under suspicious conditions, her father doubles his restrictions. But all his precautions can’t stop the boy with glowing green eyes from finding Aislynn. She realizes too late she’s been drafted into an ancient Egyptian war, whether she’s prepared or not.  








Janette RallisonAuthor Janette Rallison Janette Rallison is old. Don’t ask how old, because it isn’t polite. Let’s just say she’s older than she’d like to be and leave it at that. Janette lives in Chandler, Arizona with her husband, five children and enough cats to classify her as “an eccentric cat lady.” She did not do this on purpose. (The cats, that is; she had the children on purpose.) Every single one of the felines showed up on its own and refuses to leave. Not even the family’s fearless little Westie dog can drive them off. Since Janette has five children and deadlines to write books, she doesn’t have much time left over for hobbies. But since this is the internet and you can’t actually check up to see if anything on this site is true, let’s just say she enjoys dancing, scuba diving, horse back riding and long talks with Orlando Bloom. (Well, I never said he answers back.)

book blast button        Blast Giveaway $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 8/17/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com 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 publisher. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway