Saturday, March 31, 2012

Review of Safe Harbor by Rosemary McCracken - 5 stars!


Happy Saturday!



Author: Rosemary McCracken

Title: Safe Harbor
Release date: 1st of March 2012
Published by: Imajin Books
Reading level: FICTION – Adult: Mystery, Crime
URL: http://www.rosemarymccracken.com/  http://rosemarymccracken.wordpress.com/
Pages/Size: 573 KB
Source: Book provided by the author for reviewing

Summary of Safe Harbor:



What would you do to protect your family?


Financial advisor Pat Tierney’s world is shattered when a visitor to her office tells her that Pat's late husband is the father of a seven-year-old boy. Stunned by the revelation of her husband's affair, Pat is even more shocked when the woman bolts from the office, leaving young Tommy behind.


When Tommy's mother is murdered, police tell Pat that the boy may be the killer's next target. In a desperate race to protect Tommy, Pat's searches for the truth and uncovers a deadly scheme involving illegal immigrants, trafficking in human body parts and money laundering.


And Pat discovers that she'll do just about anything to keep her family safe.

Let me start with stating that Rosemary is one of the nicest authors I have worked with, she is kind, helpful, loyal and has a very interesting blog. She is the kind of author which is a dream for a book blogger, she retweets and shares your posts, she is patient, and she does everything she can for a book blogger. So this is for you, Rosemary – thank you for besides being an excellent author, being a nice and kind person to work with!

Sorry, peeps, I just had to say it out loud! And now to the review!

My review:

Safe Harbor is a captivating book to read, once you have read the first pages, you are intrigued and want to know what is going to happen. This book is not only a mystery, but it touched so many other important topics like betrayal, protecting your family, human trafficking, international crime – it affects you on many different levels. Safe Harbor is well written, has an interesting plot and very enjoyable characters.

Regarding the plot:

Safe Harbor introduces you to a financial advisor Pat Tierney, who has a safe life: she has well-paid job, comfortable home and nice and quiet family life. It is all being changed when one day in the office she meets Jude. Jude is a young woman who reveals to Pat, that the little seven-year old boy is the son of Pat’s recently died husband. It seems that Jude is concerned about the safety of her and her son’s life and leaves Tommy at Pat’s office promising to come back for her son after the threat is gone.

After that meeting everything changes for Pat, her life is turned upside down. Firstly, she is shocked and heart broken by the fact that her husband cheated on her and now needs to gather the pieces of a very hurtful knowledge. Besides that, Jude is found murdered and Pat also needs to take care of her husband’s son whom she had no idea even existed.

Pat needs to make lot of quick and difficult decisions and since the threat for her own family and for Tommy is coming closer, she starts investigating why and who killed Jude and who are the persons behind wanting to kill Tommy. With persistent approach she is coming step by step closer to the killers and to the truth and it all points towards the refugee home Safe Harbor.

I really enjoyed the story! It had unexpected twists and turns and what enjoyed most of all, it was believable and real. The story was nicely supported by the characters of the book which were also brilliantly created!

I loved the title of the book! Safe Harbor mirrors many things in the plot: Pat’s choices to live her life too safely, not allowing herself to love again after her husband’s death; it mirrors the safe place for refugees to feel safe, it mirrors Tommy’s journey to finally finding a family. It was incredibly good choice for the title of the book!

Regarding the characters:

Rosemary McCracken did a very good work with the plot and she managed to create the story of Safe Harbor around very strong characters! The characters were thoroughly developed and that made them real, believable and human.

Pat Tierney is a woman which every reader would love and could relate to. What I loved about Pat was the fact that she was middle-aged. There are not many good mystery books where the main character is a middle-aged woman who is already well-established, has had a lot of life experience and who is not a perfect person. Her kids are already grown: one daughter is in the university and the other is in high school. She has loved deeply and has felt the loss of her husband. She is smart, has strong personality and last, but not least, she has a kind heart and yet is vulnerable. She has second thoughts of letting go of her dead husband and giving herself a second chance to love.

I truly enjoyed reading about Pat!

Tommy was another favorite character in the book. Rosemary did an excellent job with describing a seven-year old boy who misses his mom, who is sincere, who is accepting things as they are seen from kid’s point of view. He was adorable and I felt the pain when his father’s family did not want anything to do with him because he was born out of marriage bounds.

Another character whom I adored was Sister Celia who worked at the refugee center. I had my doubts about her in the beginning, but she was such a nice woman conflicted between doing the right thing and getting the finances to support the refugee center.

Detective Sergeant Neil Hardy was also one of the characters I liked. He was the detective in charge to investigate the murder of Jude. He was one weird police officer: from one side he seemed cold and not the wisest piece of work and the same time he was supporting and at least trying to help protecting pat and Tommy.

Farah was also an interesting character. Farah was Pat’s housekeeper and a refugee who tried to create a new life. She was so naïve, so inexperienced in the way people lived in her new country. She just did not know better and wanted so badly to live as Canadians and break out of her religion and traditions from her old country.

There were so many lovable persons in Safe Harbor: Pat’s new love interest Devon, Pat’s daughters, the Greek neighbor of Jude - Sophie, the gay colleague Stéphane who worked with Pat, Devon’s son Ryan, Tommy’s grandmother – the list would be very long! They all played an important role in the story and gave so many extra points to the book from reader’s perspective.

Rosemary balanced it out with bunch of people who were despicable and it was another strong side of the book.

Let’s start with Arlene who is Pat’s sister in law and Tommy’s aunt. She was nasty, bitchy, greedy woman who made the reader to want to slap her. The reader also met Oskar who was working at Safe Harbor and who gave you shivers down in your spine! Another funny and interesting character was Pat’s new colleague Arnie who was a son of one of the wealthiest clients who Pat had.

There were so many intriguing characters in the book and all of them had a story to tell to the reader. I loved the richness and colorfulness of the characters in Safe Harbor!

Generally:

Safe Harbor by Rosemary McCracken is a book which you want to re-read after you finished it. It stays with you for much longer than just during the reading time. It is filled with fast paced action, intriguing mystery, drama and absolutely captivating characters! I highly recommend it to read – it is such a good and interesting and entertaining book!


5 Flowers!
5 stars.




Thanks goes to Rosemary for providing me with the review copy of the book!

Happy reading!

Friday, March 30, 2012

A Grand Murder Book Tour - Review and Giveaway


Happy Friday!

Welcome to my stop at A Grand Murder Virtual Book Tour! This Tour is organized by Partners in Crime Tours and by the author Stacy Verdick Case. My stop includes review, giveaway and some information about the book and the author. Enjoy!





Book Details:

Genre:Adult Suspense, Mystery, Thriller
Publisher: Before The Fall Books
Publication Date: August 9,2011
Pages: 207
Purchase: Amazon ~Barnes&Noble~Powells

Synopsis:




A Grand Murder is the first book in the Catherine O'Brien mystery series. When a prominent local businessman and friend of the chief of police is murdered on the front steps of his posh Grand Avenue Hill home, Catherine O'Brien a pithy, vertically challenged, St. Paul, Minnesota, homicide detective with a monstrous coffee habit and her partner Louise are given two days to find his killer. They soon discover their victim had a list of people with motives to murder him, including his fashion designer ex-wife, his mistress's husband, and the chief of police. The only evidence they have to go on is a missing cell phone, a stolen book, the victim's letter opener, and an ugly pair of Alpaca wool mittens.



About Stacy:

Stacy Verdick Case was born in Willmar, Minnesota. After a brief stint as a military brat, where she lived in Fort Sill Oklahoma and Fort Campbell, Kentucky, her family moved back to Minnesota.
Stacy currently lives in a suburb of St. Paul with her husband and her daughter. Her Catherine O'Brien mystery, A Grand Murder, is available from Before the Fall Books. Her second Catherine O'Brien mystery Murder is a Family Affair, will be released shortly. Stacy is hard at work on her third book in the series.

Connect with Stacy:
Goodreads
Website
Twitter
Blog

My review:

A Grand Murder by Stacy Verdick Case is a first book in Catherine O'Brien mystery series. I know that it must sound weird, but it was a fun book to read, even though it's about murders. It was smoothly written and the story flowed nicely. I enjoyed the characters and the humor in the book.

Regarding the plot:

Catherine and her partner Louise are getting a murder case of a prominent businessman and they have only two days to solve the case. It does not help that the murdered businessman was a close friend of their chief. There are not many clues to go after and since one of the the main suspects is also killed, the whole case gets more complicated.

I have read many mystery stories lately and I have to say that even though I think the plot was little obvious, then the book still surprised me with many suspects, interesting twists and turns in the story. I liked the writing style of Stacy Verdick Case, the book was easy to read, but could definitely have more thorough editing done.

Regarding the characters:

Before anything, I would love to tell, that I simply loved reading mystery story, where both detectives were women. It's a very rare combination. usually partners are either man and man or man and woman, but almost never two female detectives. I really liked that! Both Catherine and Louise really supported each other because they were so different from each other. Both of them made the plot stronger with their characters and they also balanced each other.


Generally:

I really liked A Grand Murder and I think that the author has done a good job with the first book in the series. She introduced the main characters very detailed way and it gave a good basis for other stories to come. The only weakness I can point out is the editing of the book. Otherwise I definitely recommend A Grand Murder Case to all mystery lovers! It's a great story!

5 Flowers!
4 stars.

Thanks to the Partners in Crime Book Tours and to the author for providing me the review copy of the book!



Stacy has agreed to give away one e-copy of A Grand Murder. In order to participate, leave a comment with answering the following question:

What do you value in a good mystery book?

As said, there will be 1 winner and the giveaway is open internationally until 17th of April. Winner will be picked randomly and informed by email.

Please do not forget to add your name and email together with your answer!

Good luck and happy reading!


An Unfamiliar Murder Blog Tour - Book Spotlight

Happy Friday!



Welcome to my stop at An Unfamiliar Murder Blog Tour. This tour is organized by Sizzling PR and by the author Jane Isaac. My stop involves some information about the book and the author.


What secrets lurk beneath a normal, healthy skin?



Arriving home from a routine day at work, Anna Cottrell has no idea that her life is about to change forever. But discovering the stabbed body of a stranger in her flat, then becoming prime suspect in a murder enquiry is only the beginning. Her persistent claims of innocence start to crumble when new evidence links her irrevocably with the victim...


Leading her first murder enquiry, DCI Helen Lavery unravels a trail of deception, family secrets and betrayal. When people close to the Cottrell family start to disappear, Lavery is forced into a race against time.


Can she catch the killer before he executes his ultimate victim?

Genre: Psychological Crime Thriller / Murder Mystery



About Jane Issac

Jane Isaac lives in rural Northamptonshire, UK with her husband, daughter and dog, Bollo. Jane studied creative writing, and later specialist fiction with the London School of Journalism.

Jane blogs about her writing experience, 'Diary of a Newbie Novelist' at www.newbiewriters.com. She is also co-author at the Pyjama Club.

Two of Jane's short stories, Duplicity and Perilous Truths, will appear in Crime Anthologies released in 2012 by Rainstorm Press and Bridge House Publishing. An Unfamiliar Murder is her first novel, 'due for release' in 2012.

Webpage
Twitter


Happy reading!




Sunday, March 25, 2012

Winner of Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway!


Happy Sunday!

Time to announce Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway winner! There were 314 participants from 45 countries!!!! I am always surprised by the fact that the participants of the giveaways are from so many different countries! I love that!

Thanks to all who participated and thanks to I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Books Complete Me and Cindy Thomas for organizing the event!



The winner who can either pick 15$ Gift Certificate from amazon.com or a book of his/her choice from The Book Depository is:

Dawn Valentine from US

Congratulations!!!

To claim the prize you need to reply to my email within 48 hours. If no reply, I will pick another winner.

Thanks again and happy reading!




Winner of Me and Reading's Facebook giveaway!

Happy Sunday!

Time to announce the winner of Me and Reading's Facebook Giveaway! I organized it due to my birthday and I was happy to see that there were quite many participants - 86 to be exact. Thanks to all who participated.


Ladies and gentlemen, the winner is:

Cynthia Wong

Congratulations!!!!

I need your email address to send you amazon.com GC!

Happy reading!


Generation Blog Tour by William Knight - 5 star Review!

Happy Sunday!



Welcome to my stop at the Generation Blog Tour! This tour is organized by Novel Publicity and by the author William Knight. My stop includes some information about the Generation, about the author, review of the book and some tour notes.

Let's start with the review!



Author: William Knight

Title: Generation
Release date: 18th of March 2012
Published by: Standing Hare
Reading level: FICTION – Adult: Crime, Thriller, Horror
URL: http://www.williamknight.info/
Pages: 288 pages in eBook
Source: Received from the Novel Publicity and the author for reviewing

Summary of Generation:


A crime-thriller with an injection of horror.



The facts behind the fiction.


In 2001 scientists isolated the gene for regenerating damaged organs from the DNA of a South American flatworm. Within five years it had been spliced into the chromosomes of a rhesus monkey, transported through the cell walls by a retro-virus denuded of its own genetic material.


Attempting to regrow impaired or elderly tissues, a scientist will one day modify the DNA of human beings by injecting the gene-carrying virus. It is just a matter of time.


Before consenting to treatment, you may want to ask a simple question: could there be a situation in which you would want to die but were unable to do so?


Journalist Hendrix 'Aitch' Harrison links bodies stolen from a renowned forensic-research lab to an influential drug company.


Aided by Sarah Wallace, a determined and beguiling entomologist, he delves into a grisly world of clinical trials and a viral treatment beyond imagining.


But Aitch must battle more than his fear of technology to expose the macabre fate of the drugged victims donated to scientific research.

My review:

When I saw the cover of Generation by William Knight, I was intrigued. After reading the blurb of Generation, I was sure I wanted to read it. I am glad that I did.

Generation is a book where crime, thriller and horror are nicely combined and well written. It was not the easiest book to read for me, but I have to say, that I enjoyed it more than I expected. I have a very strong opinion of reanimation, regeneration, cloning and similar other topics, so I wasn't sure how I would react to Generation. I loved it! I was spooked, entertained and what was most important, it made me think and reconsider some of my previous thoughts about the topic.

Regarding the plot:

The beginning of the book was eye and mind catching and so was the rest of the book. The reader meets journalist Hendrix "Aitch" Harrison who starts to investigate a hunch of a story and end of with quite horrifying results of what science and technology can do to humans. As the story develops he is helped by Sarah Wallace and both of them will have to take journey which is both unbelievable and captivating and last, but not least scary.

The brilliant idea behind the plot was little unconventional. the author did not ask if it is good or bad to use science and technology on humans for testing, but more, that if it is done and a person would finally like to die, but cannot, then what? What are the consequences of scientific immortality? Very scary statement, but very interesting in the same time. It was also unconventional  because there are so many book in the world which deal with immortality and its benefits, but Generation was a very refreshing reading amongst the usual trend.

Regarding the characters:

I liked Aitch! Since there are not so many people who are resistant to technology and its rapid developments, I found him interesting from the very beginning. I think the author did a wonderful job with this specific character and brought some very human characteristics into him. He was likable and seemed very real.

Sarah was in a way a total opposite of Aitch. she felt like a fish in a water when at least talking about science and technology. These two characters also supported each other in many levels and many aspects.

Generally:

Generation by William Knight was an unconventional a refreshing read about immortality. It was well written, the plot was intriguing and captivating1 Definitely a must read for thriller lovers!

5 Flowers!
5 stars.


Novel Publicity Blog Tour Notes:

Get Generation on Amazon or Barnes & Noble – you know you want to!

And please vote for my blog in the traffic-breaker poll for this tour. The blogger with the most votes wins a $50 Amazon gift card. I want that to be me! You can vote in the poll by visiting the official Generation blog tour page and scrolling all the way to the bottom.

Be sure to enter for your chance to win an autographed copy of Generation : ENTER HERE.


About the author:


William Knight is a British born journalist and technologist currently living and working in Wellington, New Zealand. He's chased a varying career starting in acting, progressing to music, enjoyed a brief flirtation with handbag manufacturing and was eventually wired into technology where he's been since 1989. In 2003 he published his first feature in Computing magazine and has since written about the many successes and failings of high-tech for the Guardian, Financial Times and the BBC among many others publications. He continues to maintain a lively IT consultancy. Connect with William on his website, blog, Facebook, Twitter or GoodReads.

Thanks goes to Novel Publicity and William Knight for providing me with the review copy!

You can follow the rest of the tour and tour spots on following link: http://www.novelpublicity.com/generation/

Happy reading!


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Free Excerpt - Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon

Happy Saturday!

Romance At Random is offering another free excerpt, this time it is Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon!

Summary of Wife 22:

For fans of Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’s Diary and Allison Pearson’s I Don’t Know How She Does It comes an irresistible novel of a woman losing herself . . . and finding herself again . . . in the middle of her life.




Maybe it was those extra five pounds I’d gained. Maybe it was because I was about to turn the same age my mother was when I lost her. Maybe it was because after almost twenty years of marriage my husband and I seemed to be running out of things to say to each other.


But when the anonymous online study called “Marriage in the 21st Century” showed up in my inbox, I had no idea how profoundly it would change my life. It wasn’t long before I was assigned both a pseudonym (Wife 22) and a caseworker (Researcher 101).


And, just like that, I found myself answering questions.


7. Sometimes I tell him he’s snoring when he’s not snoring so he’ll sleep in the guest room and I can have the bed all to myself.
61. Chet Baker on the tape player. He was cutting peppers for the salad. I looked at those hands and thought, I am going to have this man’s children.
67. To not want what you don’t have. What you can’t have. What you shouldn’t have.
32. That if we weren’t careful, it was possible to forget one another.


Before the study, my life was an endless blur of school lunches and doctor’s appointments, family dinners, budgets, and trying to discern the fastest-moving line at the grocery store. I was Alice Buckle: spouse of William and mother to Zoe and Peter, drama teacher and Facebook chatter, downloader of memories and Googler of solutions.


But these days, I’m also Wife 22. And somehow, my anonymous correspondence with Researcher 101 has taken an unexpectedly personal turn. Soon, I’ll have to make a decision—one that will affect my family, my marriage, my whole life. But at the moment, I’m too busy answering questions.

As it turns out, confession can be a very powerful aphrodisiac.

Enjoy the excerpt!

WIFE 22 by Melanie Gideon (Excerpt)

Happy reading!

Free Excerpt - The Winter Palace by Eva Stachniak

Happy Saturday!

Romance At Random is offering a free excerpt! The excerpt is from The Winter Palace by Eva Stachniak.

Summary of The Winter Palace:

From award-winning author Eva Stachniak comes this passionate novel that illuminates, as only fiction can, the early life of one of history’s boldest women. The Winter Palace tells the epic story of Catherine the Great’s improbable rise to power—as seen through the ever-watchful eyes of an all-but-invisible servant close to the throne.



Her name is Barbara—in Russian, Varvara. Nimble-witted and attentive, she’s allowed into the employ of the Empress Elizabeth, amid the glitter and cruelty of the world’s most eminent court. Under the tutelage of Count Bestuzhev, Chancellor and spymaster, Varvara will be educated in skills from lock picking to lovemaking, learning above all else to listen—and to wait for opportunity. That opportunity arrives in a slender young princess from Zerbst named Sophie, a playful teenager destined to become the indomitable Catherine the Great. Sophie’s destiny at court is to marry the Empress’s nephew, but she has other, loftier, more dangerous ambitions, and she proves to be more guileful than she first appears.


What Sophie needs is an insider at court, a loyal pair of eyes and ears who knows the traps, the conspiracies, and the treacheries that surround her. Varvara will become Sophie’s confidante—and together the two young women will rise to the pinnacle of absolute power.


With dazzling details and intense drama, Eva Stachniak depicts Varvara’s secret alliance with Catherine as the princess grows into a legend—through an enforced marriage, illicit seductions, and, at last, the shocking coup to assume the throne of all of Russia.


Impeccably researched and magnificently written, The Winter Palace is an irresistible peek through the keyhole of one of history’s grandest tales.
 
The Winter Palace: A Novel of Catherine the Great by Eva Stachniak (Excerpt)

Happy reading!

Free download - Venegance Thwarted by Prue Phillipson

Happy Saturday!

I am sometimes contacted by publicists and publishers about free downloads, so I decided to share them with you, too

This weekend (starting Friday and ending Saturday night), 'Vengeance Thwarted', the first novel in Prue Phillipson's Restoration trilogy 'The Hordens of Horden Hall', will be available as a free download in the Amazon Kindle store.


Here is the book blurb:

What if the one you love is also the one you are sworn to kill?


Northumberland, 1640. Arabella 'Bel' Horden is a mischievous, pugnacious thirteen-year-old. The youngest daughter of a Northumbrian squire and magistrate, she is wracked by guilt after a careless haystack fire leads to the wrongful hanging of an English army deserter. Sent to boarding school in Yorkshire after another unbecoming act of disobedience, Bel blossoms into a beautiful and quick-witted young woman. Nathaniel 'Nat' Wilson is ill with fever when his twin brother, Daniel, is falsely accused and hung for the fire started by Bel. Accursed by his mother for the tragedy, he is reluctantly sworn to vengeance against the Horden family. A peace-loving boy, Nat temporarily escapes his mother's maddened demands through pursuit of his studies in Cambridge. Years after the violence that first juxtaposed their lives, Bel and Nat's paths finally cross when Nat arrives in Northumberland to discover what he can of the Horden family and their role in his brother's unfortunate death. As a second Scots invasion sends the land into chaos, will love triumph as vengeance is thwarted?

Links:
Amazon.com - http://www.amazon.com/Vengeance-Thwarted-ebook/dp/B00557T7VG/ref=sr_1_19?ie=UTF8&qid=1332408739&sr=8-19

Amazon.co.uk - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Vengeance-Thwarted-ebook/dp/B00557T7VG/ref=sr_1_16?ie=UTF8&qid=1332408787&sr=8-16

There is still time, so if you are interested, visit amazon pages quickly!

Happy reading!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Today is my birthday - Giveaway on Me and Reading FB page

Happy Friday!



Since today is my birthday, I am having a giveaway of 15$ Gift Certificate at amazon.com in Me and Reading Facebook page.

This birthday giveaway is open only during 23rd of March and winner will be announced both here and in Facebook tomorrow.

I will pick randomly one winner from all the comments in Facebook!

Take a look here: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Me-and-Reading/213143495380294

Happy reading!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Kick-Butt Characters Blog Hop 23 - 28 March


Welcome to Kick-Butt Characters Blog Hop! This event is organized by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Good Choice Reading and it runs from March 23rd to 28th. There are more than 150 blogs participating!




What can you win this time?


There will be 2 winners who can each pick one book from The Book Depository. The requirement here is that this book has to have Kick-Butt Characters and you need to convince me about that when you fill in the form.

Giveaway Details:

As usually in Me and Reading, this giveaway is international.

In order to participate you need to be a follower (GFC, email, Networked blogs) of this blog, enter your name and email. That's mandatory entry.

Optional extra entries
None! You can share and tweet to share it - feel free to do that.
All possible entries: 1

Winners will be announced in the blog latest 3rd of April.


I am posting this slightly earlier than other bloggers due to the time zone. I'm +6 till +12 hours ahead from the most of the participating bloggers.

Fill in the form to participate! Entries in comments will not be accepted this time!

If you cannot scroll, use Tab!

The link to all other participants is here: http://iamareadernotawriter.blogspot.com/2012/03/kick-butt-characters-giveaway-shatter.html
Good luck and happy hopping!



The Strong Female - Guest Post by Sheryl Steines - author of The Day of First Sun


Happy Thursday!

Today is the fourth day of The Day of First Sun's blog tour. My post today includes a guest post by the author Sheryl Steines who writes about strong female characters! Besides you will find some information about the blog tour and featured event, the author and of course, about The Day of First Sun.

Today’s featured event is… Facebook Sharing Contest. Stop by Novel Publicity’s Facebook page and share our latest post (you’ll see The Day of First Sun's book cover included with it). On Friday morning, one lucky sharer will be $50 richer. An autographed copy of The Day of First Sun is also up for grabs. Here’s the post – www.facebook.com/novelpublicity/




Please enjoy this guest post by Sheryl Steines, author of the urban fantasy novel, The Day of First Sun. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including $450 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of the book.



The Strong Female




I am always amazed to hear that, in the year 2012, women are still talking about strong female characters. It’s funny that we’re always surprised when one comes along. Even in Hollywood, actresses still can’t find roles to sink their teeth into. As a reader, I look for characters that I can relate to in some way; a character who is more than a damsel in distress but less than an unfeeling, mean, witch. I’m putting it gently, but I’m looking for someone, who when facing a problem, doesn’t necessarily need a man to bail her out--a woman who can take care of herself in spite of her vulnerabilities. Because in reality, women are multi-layered and complex. We don’t fall to one end of an extreme or the other.

When I was younger, I started reading Danielle Steele, but I couldn't read her for long. Her female characters were far too needy and always put themselves in a position of requiring a savior. Even as a child, I couldn't help but wonder why these characters always needed a man to improve their lives. Why couldn’t they simply take care of themselves? It seemed as though female characters fell into two camps, and only two. They were either villains, witches, someone to be hated and despised, or they were weak, pathetic, your classic damsels in distress. Why is fiction lacking real women, women who can simply be human and celebrate all that they are?

As I got older, I found myself drawn to shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I saw in Buffy a strong character. Yes, she could kick ass, kill the vampires and fight the demons. She also had a brain, could plan, and could save the world each week. But she wasn't uni-dimensional. She also has a side that liked clothes, shoes and boys, a side that was feminine, a little vulnerable; a side that, okay, sometimes needed to be saved. She was a complex female character, real and human, a character with whom I could definitely relate.

The strong female character isn’t a caricature or stereotype. She’s not a total wimp like Snow White, and she’s not a total monster like the evil queen. She falls somewhere in the middle. She’s reactive, emotional, human, sexual, confident and sometimes unsure of herself.

When I originally wrote my character Annie Pearce in The Day of First Sun, I wrote her as a no-nonsense person, strong and smart, the girl who could survive on her own. But she didn’t feel genuine. As the story unfolded and changed, I rewrote her, gave her friends and family with whom she could interact. I gave her feelings, gave her stress. I let the other characters take charge once in awhile and offer some support. I melded two halves into one woman--a strong woman, who can take care of herself and ask for help when necessary. We’re not perfect, so why should our characters be? Instead, why can’t we make them simply authentic?

Charlize Theron made a really compelling comment regarding her character in the movie Young Adult. She said, "Women are usually either really good prostitutes or really good mothers. Maybe women are finally getting the chance to play more honest characters," Theron said. "We usually don't get to play bad hookers or bad mothers -- or anything in between."

Maybe it’s time to be a little more real and a little more honest.

------------

I couldn't agree more! Well said, Sheryl! I have always enjoyed strong characters! Thank you for the post!




As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Day of First Sun eBook edition is just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include $450 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment--easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes:



  1. Purchase your copy of The Day of First Sun for just 99 cents


  2. Fill-out the simple form on Novel Publicity



  3. Visit today’s featured social media event




Help my blog win:


The tour blogger who receives the most votes in the traffic-breaker poll will win a $100 gift card. When you visit Novel Publicity’s site to fill-out the contest entry form, don’t forget to VOTE FOR ME.

About the book: A vampire, a rogue wizard and an army of soulless zombies are par for the course for Annie Pearce and Bobby “Cham” Chamsky of the Wizard’s Guard. But when the non-magical princess, Amelie of Amborix, is murdered by magical means, a deeper plot unfolds. Get it on Amazon.



About the author: Behind the wheel of her ’66 Mustang Convertible, Sheryl is a constant surprise, using her sense of humor and relatable style make her books something everyone can enjoy. Visit Sheryl on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

Happy reading!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Getting Ahead Blog Tour by Emily Cale - Guest Post

Happy Wednesday!



Welcome to my stop at Getting Ahead Blog Tour! This tour is organized by Sizzling PR and the author Emily Cale. My stop includes information about the book, the author and a guest post by the author. Emily Cale lets the heroine Amber to speak for herself!


Getting Ahead Blurb:
Colton is exactly the kind of distraction Amber doesn't want, but he might be exactly what she needs to get back on track.


Recovering from a bad fall during competition, Amber McDonald decides to spend her last week of training before her next rodeo at a Colorado ranch, away from any and all distractions. It'd be the perfect arrangement—if only her fear wasn't stopping her from getting back on her horse.

Then Colt Riley steps in. He's sexy and seems to have incredible insight into her situation, but he's everything she's been trying to stay away from.

Colt knows exactly what Amber is going through...because he's been there before. Forced to give up his riding career after an accident, he sets his mind to helping her get back on track. All that's easier said than done, especially when she discovers his hidden past. Will his efforts be enough to help her get ahead?

Buy Links:
Publisher: http://www.breathlesspress.com/getting-ahead
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007B25V7M/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=wwwbreathless-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B007B25V7M
All Romance ebooks: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-gettingahead-728018-340.html


Author Bio:


Emily Cale spent the majority of her childhood as a visitor to the worlds of her favorite authors. With encouragement from her English teachers, she put pen to paper and began imagining her own stories. Preferring the fascinating lives of her characters, she majored in creative writing. When not lost in a manuscript or a good book, she enjoys crocheting, rock climbing, and playing board games. She currently lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her husband and a very spoiled cat.

You can find Emily online on her blog (http://www.emilycale.blogspot.com/) or on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/emilycale .


Ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to Emily Cale!


To Get Where I Want To Go


Today, I'm letting my heroine Amber take over my blogging duties.

***

Have you ever wanted anything so bad you'd do anything to get it? I've always wanted to be the top barrel racer in the country. In fact, I've worked practically my entire life to achieve that dream. I've had to give up a lot to get where I am too. I rarely get home to see my family, I only manage to keep in touch with a handful of my friends, and relationships, well, they get a little difficult when you're only available for a phone call once a week.

Some people think I'm too self-involved. That I only think about me and winning. They're partly right. I have to be that way. If I lose focus, even for a minute, the whole thing could come crashing down around me. It already did once. I was in the middle of a competition and my horse turned too tightly, slipped, and we both ended up in the dirt. It took months for my injuries to heal and even longer for me to be able to ride again. Every time I even look at an arena, my whole body starts to shake. I have to maintain my focus and block out everything that isn't going to get me where I want to go.

It's all worth it though. Or, at least I thought it was. Then I met Colt. He thinks he gets me simply because he's seen some rodeos on TV. He also thinks that falling off your horse in the middle of a pasture is the same as getting hurt in the middle of an event. I've never met anyone so arrogant or stubborn. Maybe that's why whatever he's doing is helping. It's either that or those dreamy eyes of his. Either way, he's helping me get back in the saddle so I can chase after what's really important to me. My winning belt buckle. Once I have it, then I can focus on the things I've missed in the rest of life. I just hope Colt is still around.


-------

Thank you so much, Emily, for coming by today!

Happy reading!

Wednesday Wonderings (12) - Plans for Book Expo America 2012

Happy Wednesday!


Spring has officially started and I love that I can see and feel its coming! The snow is melting, sun is shining, birds are singing - it is just beautiful. That makes me happy! I hope that you will have a wonderful and colorful spring!

Today's post is about BEA 2012.

I have mentioned more than once that I am going to US and what is even more exciting, I am going as editorial press to Book Expo America 2012! New York comes only as a side benefit. I wonder how many people in the world would think as me. Think, I am more excited about the event than the city! I am sure that once BEA 2012 is finished, I can take some time to see this big and eventful city!

I have already bought the flight tickets and I will be staying June 1 till June 14, so it is going to be two weeks: one week to BEA 2012 and to NY Book and Media Week and second week is not planned yet.

Why am I writing about it? Because I would like to use my time as efficiently as possible. I attend to take as much as possible from my visit. So in case you have any suggestions (yes, you!) or would like to meet me and my BEA 2012 blogger-buddy Maria (she is coming to help me and support Me and Reading during the BEA), I am very open to ideas and thoughts what to do, whom to interview, which booths and boxes to visit on site, which book events to visit during my stay. I am aware that many of you have had a chance to visit BEA earlier - all your advices are more than welcome.

I started make some plans about what do I want to see and whom do I want to meet there. That is the second reason I am writing this post today. I know for sure, that I will be participating in following things:

1. Entering the Javits Center
2. Going nuts over that I am actually there!!! And then feel totally lost!
3. See number 2.

:)

And after that I guess I will be realizing where I am!

OK, jokes beside, I will be participating BEA Bloggers Conference on the June 4th. From June 5th to June 7 inclusive I will spend on BEA. Evening will probably go with meeting old and new friends and visiting NY Book and Media Week. I guess that I will drop dead every night of exhaustion to wake up next morning and start again. :)

What my plans are exactly?

Well, I am not sure how many other Estonians will be there, but I think I will be one of the two who I know are going from Estonia to BEA (both of them from Me and Reading), and that is the reason I will take my task (more like a pleasure to me) seriously. Since I registered as editorial media, I will be doing press releases, interviews, photos, write articles, make vlogs and videos. Generally speaking I will spread the word of BEA in printed and audio and video media. I am trying mentally to prepare myself, that it is going to be fun and hard work at the same time.

You see, BEA for me is not only about getting access to new releases and books. For me it's so much more, it is about educating people, spreading the importance of reading and books. It might seem too ambitious, but this is really what I want. I want to meet and talk to people - be it authors, publishers, fellow book bloggers - and share the buzz from BEA to anyone who bothers to read my articles, blog etc. My vision of BEA goes way beyond my blog. Of course, I will be blogging, that is for sure, but the idea of me being there is wider. I sound like a true idealist, right?

I am just a book blogger from Estonia who believes that one person and one blog can change the world.

Let's see.

The Day of First Sun Blog Tour - Interview with author Sheryl Steines!

 Happy Wednesday!



Welcome to the third day of The Day of First Sun Blog Tour! The tour is organized by Novel Publicity and by the author Sheryl Steines. Today's stop includes information about the featured event, about the book and the author and the author interview!

Today’s featured event is… Google+ Sharing Contest. Here's an awesome opportunity to win a $50 Amazon gift card, and this time it just takes a single click! Visit Google+ and share Emlyn Chand’s most recent post (you’ll see The Day of First Sun's book cover included with it). On Thursday morning, one lucky sharer will be $50 richer. An autographed copy of The Day of First Sun is also up for grabs. Here’s the post - https://plus.google.com/100227436861049512391/posts/LGFyry248qA




Please enjoy this interview with Sheryl Steines, author of the urban fantasy novel, The Day of First Sun. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including $450 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

Today I have the author Sheryl Steines coming by and answering few questions. Ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to the author of The Day of First Sun



If you could travel in a time machine, would you go back to the past or into the future?

I would go to the past, meet famous people, see history as it happened. I’d be afraid to go to the future. I’m not sure I really want to know when I die.

If you could jump into a book, and live in that world, which would it be?

This might be to expected, but I would love to live at Hogwarts, stroll through Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade, play with all the magical stuff, and visit the Weasleys at their house. I saw the Harry Potter exhibit at the museum a few years ago, and it just seemed so fun.

If a movie was made about your life, who would you want to play the lead role and why?

Sandra Bullock. Since she became a movie star, people all over the place tell me I look like her. She’s also funny. I can only imagine how much more interesting and funny my life would be if she were the lead.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I always knew I wanted to be a writer. There were times that I thought I wanted to be an interior decorator, but in the end, I was always much happier writing and creating.

Who are your favorite authors of all time?

I have two. The first would be Stephen King. I was always amazed by the detail and imagination he used in his books, especially the earliest books. I watched him on an interview many years ago and he was talking about the things he was afraid of, one of which was sleeping with his feet outside the covers at night. He would always cover his feet so that the monsters under the bed wouldn’t get him. I laughed so hard because I do the same thing. J.K. Rowling is also a favorite. Her life story and Harry Potter reminded me that I wanted to be a writer when I was seven. She reminded me of the genre that I loved. It got me thinking about what stories intrigued me. I watched her interview on Oprah and cried through the entire thing. It got me thinking of ways to take my personal experiences and hide them in the fantasy world.

What do you do in your free time?

I read, a lot. In the winter, I spend time at museums and go shopping. In the summer, I love to go to flea markets. You could never have too many fleas. I love to travel. I spend most of the summer driving my 1966 Mustang convertible.

What is your guilty pleasure?

I’m a huge fan of Ninja Warrior. Yeah, the Japanese obstacle course. On one side, it’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen. On the other side of it, the obstacles are so challenging, and the participants are so revered for making it through each stage that it is a huge honor to win.

Favorite places to travel?

I love Europe, London being my favorite city. I’ve been to Scotland, France, Italy, Germany and Austria. The Austrian/German Alps are some of the most beautiful landscapes I have ever seen.

Favorite way to spend a rainy day?

In front of the television watching my favorite movies. Who doesn’t love Ferris Buehler’s Day Off and Sixteen Candles.

If you could have a superpower, what would you choose?

Telekinesis! Then I could clean my house without actually having to do anything.

Thank you so much Sheryl!

 

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Day of First Sun eBook edition is just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include $450 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment--easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes:





  1. Purchase your copy of The Day of First Sun for just 99 cents



  2. Fill-out the simple form on Novel Publicity



  3. Visit today’s featured social media event




Help my blog win:

The tour blogger who receives the most votes in the traffic-breaker poll will win a $100 gift card. When you visit Novel Publicity’s site to fill-out the contest entry form, don’t forget to VOTE FOR ME.



About the book: A vampire, a rogue wizard and an army of soulless zombies are par for the course for Annie Pearce and Bobby “Cham” Chamsky of the Wizard’s Guard. But when the non-magical princess, Amelie of Amborix, is murdered by magical means, a deeper plot unfolds. Get it on Amazon.


About the author: Behind the wheel of her ’66 Mustang Convertible, Sheryl is a constant surprise, using her sense of humor and relatable style make her books something everyone can enjoy. Visit Sheryl on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

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