Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Mrs. Potter’s Book Publicity Services Presents: GIRLS LOVE TRAVIS WALKER

Mrs. Potter’s Book Publicity Services Presents:
A month long Blog Tour for:


GIRLS LOVE TRAVIS WALKER 
By: Anne Pfeffer Book 


Description:

 To nineteen-year-old high school dropout Travis Walker, women are like snowflakes–each one different, but beautiful in her own way. He can charm any girl he meets, and yet down deep he fears he’ll always be a loser like his jailbird father. As the landlady threatens to evict him and his sick mother, Travis takes a job he hates and spends his evenings picking up girls at a nearby night spot. When he enlists in a teen program at the local fire station, he finds out he’s amazing at it. Then he meets the smoking hot Kat Summers, enlists Kat’s friend Zoey to help him woo her, and falls in love for the first time ever. But he keeps the details of his life secret. His girl will never love him back if she knows the truth about him….

 Add it to your Goodreads TBR List: 
 Awards: WINNER -- Third Place for Fiction 2013 Indie Reader Discovery Awards FINALIST-- New Fiction 2013 

National Indie Excellence Awards Reviews: “ ….the title of this book had me expecting something very like a teen romance. While there is romance aplenty in this wonderful novel, Girls Love Travis Walker is far more than that…. “Little did I know that what I was about to read would have such a huge impact on me…. This book hit me right in the heart.” “I really loved Travis…. I cried and was scared with him.”

 “This book will make you fall in love for so many reasons…”

My 5 Star Review:

Received the book from the Tour Host for an honest review

I loved this story! And the main character Travis Walker, in real life I would have admired him and have the utmost respect for him. Although the name of the book gave you the idea that you will come across a man that is into women, the plot will bowl you over. Yes, there are women who falls madly in love him, are crazy about him, even tells lies about him to boost their own egos, and yes he likes them as well. In the process he scores many warm nights in their arms but walks away with no thought of them again. It sounds typical male many women would say, but that was not the main focus of the story.
The main plot will grip your heart, leaving you helpless at times because you can not help him with his continues troubles. Taking care of a sick mother while his world falls apart. Trying to do the right things but back fires in his face with catastrophic results. You see how his selfish attitude turns into sacrifice, laying down his own comforts and life to help the people who needs it the most.
Young, strong, determined and proud he had all the capabilities to move forward but lacked in support from supporting characters and trust that cause him much heart ache. Believing he was like his father, that is a loser, gambler and prison inmate.
Infatuated with the firefighters he met, after a rescue attempt right in front of him, he enrolled into a program to secure his future and you see how this young man blossom into a mature adult. Befriending a young lady Zoey, who worked at the Community center, helping her in many ways through out the book and you are part of the beautiful romance that developed between them.
But it was a long road to travel, a difficult road that left a few tear marks on my cheeks and in the process of evacuation, loosing everything he owns you learn more about him as a person making his character believable and sincere.
Zoey's character was also strong, an independent young woman with a heart of gold, supporting him the best she can but at the end his pride almost cost them their relationship.
Fast paced and well written this story will keep your attention till the very last page. Highly recommended to all readers with a love for the unexpected within a romance.

Purchase: Amazon:  / Barnes&Noble: 

 Author Bio: Anne Pfeffer lives in Los Angeles, California. She likes to write, walk her dog, play poker, and work as a library volunteer at a local school. Her book Any Other Night has been named a Finalist in both the 2012 Indie Reader Discovery Awards and the 2013 National Indie Excellence Awards.

Author Links:
Facebook / Twitter @AnnePfeffer1 / Website 




Anne_Pfeffer To follow the other Blog Tour Stops, click on the photo below:





Excerpt from Girls Love Travis Walker:
Only fifteen minutes since I’d entered the halls of Perdido High School and already the beady eye of authority was upon me. I hadn’t even done anything wrong. Yet. “Travis!” Ms. Valenzuela called out to me from the door of the guidance office. Although she was getting old, maybe into her early forties, she hadn’t let herself go. She had great legs, which were hidden today by her lime green pants. “Yo.” I loped over and unleashed a grin that combined sincere remorse for my failings with my irresistible charm. She pursed her lips. “Don’t start with me, Travis.” I led the way to her office and took my usual chair while she sat at the desk across from me. “New picture,” I said, nodding to the updated photo of her two daughters. “Kelsi and … Julianne, right?” She struggled to keep back a smile. “Yes, Travis. Those are their names.” “Fifth and seventh grade, right?” “Yes, Travis.” Now she was smiling for sure. Maybe it was my blue-green eyes, or maybe my granite abs, but I could always get women to smile at me. Ms. Valenzuela opened my folder. “Six more absences since your last visit to my office. Plus numerous missed homework assignments. You’re this close to suspension.” She held up her thumb and index finger a millimeter apart. “I have to work, Ms. Val,” I said. “Gotta get ahead, you know.” I had a promising position as a bus boy at Jake’s Burgers. “How many hours are you working these days?” “As many as I can get, whenever I can get ‘em.” “You can’t cut back?” She knew she couldn’t push me that hard. My family’s sudden move to Los Angeles in November of my junior year, coupled with my erratic attendance at Perdido High, had screwed up my graduation credits. With all my former classmates in college, I was starting my senior year, again, at age nineteen. “I can’t get weekend shifts at Jake’s,” I told Ms.Val. She didn’t like me working there, but she should just be glad I wasn’t following in the path of my father, who knocked over a convenience mart a year ago and ended up in prison for armed robbery. Mom had gone to visit him, but I refused. He could rot there for all I cared. “You’ve got one school year left to graduate. I want to see you get that high school diploma, Travis. Or a GED at least.” Between her fingers, she rolled a pen. It was the cheap kind the school district bought that wrote for about five minutes before it crapped out on you. “Yeah, well, we’re about to get evicted,” I said, “so that’s kind of rearranged my priorities.”


Tour wide giveaway of $25 gift card... 

EXCERPTS from RISING SUN, FALLING STAR by Vickie Hall. Give Away and Review


RISING SUN, FALLING STAR 
by Vickie Hall
Genre: Historical - Based on a true story
             WWII, Japan


Different eyes and skin
Mock me from the mirror’s light
Enemy am I.
Dec 7, 1941
Today my life changed forever . . . I am no longer considered American, but by shear heritage I am now the hated enemy . . .
The lives of Kenji and Aiko Onishi and their American-born children are about to unravel when the United States is thrust into war with Japan. Confronted by insurmountable prejudice and fear, the family is ripped from their California home without just cause by the American government and sent to an assembly center “for their own protection.”
Forced to live in deplorable circumstances, every aspect of their lives regulated and controlled, the Onishi’s freedoms are stripped from their grasp as they struggle to survive behind barbed wire. It isn’t long before the mind-numbing confinement and feelings of helplessness begin to pit the family against one another.
When sent to a relocation camp in the center of the Utah desert, they’re beset by ever increasing emotional and physical challenges, and Aiko is faced with her greatest yet: to mend the broken spirits of her family, or risk losing them forever.
Based on true and tragic events that transpired during World War II, Rising Sun, Falling Star is a heart-rending story of one family’s struggle to survive uncalculated loss and emotional destruction.

Author Vickie Hall
Vickie is a native of Utah, but growing up, lived in the states of Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and Nebraska. When she’s not writing, she’s composing music, or shopping with her sister. She loves animals of all kinds and camping with her family. Her favorite pastime is watching old movies on TCM, and unashamedly has a crush on Cary Grant.

Links:

Excerpt 1:

Ken leaned over the window display to get a better view. Two men in dark suits exited the vehicle and went into the building next door. They didn’t look like the sort of men who drove a panel truck. The hair on the back of his neck prickled to attention. He stepped outside but kept himself back, just inside the doorway.
Ken held his breath as the two men escorted Gary Fujita from the building and ordered him inside the truck. When they opened the door, Ken saw other men sitting inside, Japanese men, with an armed guard standing between them. His blood turned to ice. He fought the urge to rush to the aid of his friend, to demand his release, but he didn’t want to end up in the truck as well.
“Where is your probable cause?” Gary demanded.
“Being Japanese is probable cause,” one of the men replied, shoving Gary inside.

Excerpt 2:
 Aiko reciprocated with a bow and then left the shop. The moist air sent a chill through her body. She clutched her collar around her neck and walked to the butcher shop. Her soul felt as damp as the atmosphere, her heart as bleak as the slate-colored sky overhead. When she neared Mr. Koslowski’s butcher shop, she came to an abrupt stop. In front was a large hand-painted sign in the store window. “NO JAPS ALLOWED.” Aiko stood there blinking at the sign, her sensibilities shocked by the ugly words. She peered above the lettering and saw the familiar face of Mr. Koslowski as he assisted a customer, his affable smile still the same.
Aiko’s shoulders slumped with understanding, then she turned away, raised her chin, straightened her shoulders, and walked down the street to the Busy Bee Market. Her dinner plans had changed.

Excerpt 3:

“Mama, what’s wrong?”
“Come with me,” she ordered. “Hurry.”
Meri pulled hard against her mother’s tightened grasp. “Mama, what’s happened? Where are we going?”
“You see,” she said, breathless with her quickened steps. She made a beeline to the telephone pole by the post office. Meri followed, a look of dread splashed across her face as they came to a stop in front of the sign. “Tell me what say,” she said, pointing.
Meri cradled her books in her arm and stared up at the sign. She began to read and her eyes widened. “Mama,” she gasped, “we’re being evacuated!”
Aiko’s stone-like face never flinched as she absorbed the news. “What else it say?”
Meri spun toward her mother. “Where are they sending us? What’s going to happen to us?”
Aiko lifted her chin toward the sign. “Read more.”
Meri blinked back tears and turned to face the sign. “A responsible member of the family must report tomorrow to the Civil Control Station for further instructions between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.”
Aiko motioned to Meri’s books. “Write down what it say.”
“Mama—”
Aiko touched her daughter’s arm. “We be fine,” she said, adding a soft smile. “Write down.”
Meri’s hands were shaking as she took out a pencil and opened her notebook. She wrote down all of the instructions posted on the sign in careful detail. When she had finished, she looked at her mother with beseeching eyes. “Oh, Mama . . . this is horrible. It’s not fair!” Meri exclaimed, coming alongside her mother. “It’s just not fair!”
                Aiko could see the desperation in her daughter’s expression and brushed Meri’s cheek with the back of her fingers. “Meri, fallen blossom cannot return to branch. We pick up pieces and wait for new blossom.”   

Excerpt 4:

Meri felt a shiver run down her spine at the sight of the armed men. What slight infraction would cause them to use their weapons? Following her parents, Meri stepped from the bus, trying to keep her focus straight ahead. Her mother shielded her hat with her handbag in a vain attempt to ward off the rain, though its long pheasant feather drooped with the weight of the water.
Meri kept a wary eye on the soldiers and then allowed herself to scan her surroundings. Ahead lay the racetrack and the grandstand. Her mouth fell open. It wasthe Tanforan Racetrack. Soldiers began shouting orders to separate the males and females. Meri felt a shimmer of panic as she gripped her mother’s hand and was led away from her father and brothers.
Soaked to the bone, Meri and her mother fell in line with the others, her eyes darting about while her heart filled with trepidation. They filed into a large room and were ordered to strip off their wet clothes.
Meri looked at her mother in horror. “Mama,” she whispered, “we’ll be naked.”
Aiko gave her daughter a sympathetic look. For Meri, it was a mortifying thought. Even after gymnastics at school, the girls had some privacy for showers and dressing. She was never naked at home, except in the solitude of her own room or the bathroom. She’d never even seen her mother naked. Meri wanted to crawl beneath the benches that lined the walls, or pull up a floor plank and disappear into the sour earth below.

Excerpt 5:

Tonight there was something new on the menu: liver. Meri looked at the brownish-gray, overcooked lump of organ meat and grimaced. Organ meats were considered inedible in Japanese culture, and the thought of tasting such a thing repulsed her. She moved down the line to receive a boiled potato, a scoop of canned peas, a piece of bread, and cold tea.
In turn, each member of her family was served the same grotesque provisions. When their cups were filled with tea, Frank and Jeff peeled away from the family and went to find their separate groups of friends. Reluctantly, Meri followed her parents toward a spot at a table several yards away. She had no group of friends to sit with, and eating with her parents became more and more distasteful to her.
Meri stared at the liver, its smell turning her stomach. She poked at its rubber-like texture with the tines of her fork.
Aiko looked across the table at her. “You eat,” she encouraged. “Long time to breakfast.”
Meri scowled and her upper lip curled into a sneer. “I’m not eating this garbage. I’d rather die.”
Ken filled his spoon with the mushy, pale-green peas. “Our troops are eating a lot less and a lot worse than this. If they can do it, so can we.”
Meri’s eyes narrowed to burning slits. “Who cares what the troops are eating?” she countered. “It’s Hirohito’s fault they’re eating garbage over there, and it’s your fault I’m eating garbage over here!”
Meri’s fingers slid beneath the lip of her plate and with a twist, the plate flew up and across the table, landing upside down next to her mother. She exploded from the bench and pushed her way through the crowds to the door of the mess hall.



Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 8/11/13


My 5 Star Review

I received this book from the Tour Host for an honest review.
The Onishi family, although fictional gave a good glimpse in the lives of Japanese Americans during the Second World War. While the war was fought in Europe, the author focused on the family's life inside the prison camp and how they battled to overcome the tremendous difficult times. Each character portrait hope, loss, depression, honor and loyalty in different scenarios. Each battling with the overall weight of encampment and what it meant to them.
The moment the first bomb fell in Pearl Harbor the lives of thousands of Japanese, German and Italian American citizens changed drastically, to become the enemy of the state. Losing business and homes overnight. The effects of this could be seen throughout the story.
Each character touching the heartstrings in their battle to become humans again, seeking the validation not only from them selves but from a country who clearly wronged them. Building a town within the confinements to establish some sense of normalcy for all involved.  Battling with ill-equipped hospitals, schools and food shortages while people demanded to be heard.
I must say Aiko Onishi, the mother of the family really touched my heart. Keeping her faith alive in the midst of all the anger, depression and shortages. She did not allow her children the luxury of being despaired for too long. Setting an example and reaching out to those less fortunate than them. Keeping her family under her wing when dealing with lack, death, sickness, secrets, suicide and murder. Her character strong but yet fragile as she copes with everything happening around her.
Meri, her daughter's struggle with depression, her new environment, away from the familiar, seeking a sense in all of the uprooting of their lives believable and heartfelt. 
Frank, her son's continues battle to be true to his own principles standing for what he believes and will pay the price no matter what. Romancing Robin and beginning with a family in the midst of the prison camp. 
The book was well crafted, each scene beautifully illustrated, and a building block to the plot that unfolds a heart warming and gripping story in the American history. The letters between Karen and Meri capturing the essences of the struggles on a more personal level.
Overall a great read that was properly researched and well written.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Mason Michael: The Heaven Projection Book 3 in the The Beautiful Justice Series, 5 Star review




Faith, let me take a walk with you all the way to the end of the world. From my very first step, you have led me. You are my one true Friend. Bring me back to innocent days when things made sense. 
                                                  Alexa Dyson


“You ask a lot of interesting questions for a young girl,” he said. “This isn’t a physical war, Princess. It is a spiritual one. The only thing that matters to them is numbers of souls who renounce Christ before death. They’re building up an army for hell for the last fight.”
            Dax 

Mason Michael: The Heaven Projection Book 3 
The Beautiful Justice Series
Author Dawn Dyson

Buy Link


Blurb
“For one hundred thousand souls be saved, save me.”

In the final hours of Earth’s existence, eighteen-year-old Alexa Dyson holds the hope of humanity—the key to salvation of lost souls in a world where proclaiming Christ is a death sentence. Frightened and alone, Alexa finds herself warming up to an unlikely protector who vows to care for her and her unborn child. But when faced with a series of incredible events, Alexa realizes there may be more to her handsome young savior than meets the eye.

With judgment day approaching and countless lives hanging in the balance, will Alexa accept her divine assignment before it is too late? And when the time comes, will she be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice?

This thrilling conclusion to the Beautiful Justice series illustrates the power of intercessory prayer to redeem generational sins, and sheds light on justice and retribution, mercy and divine preservation. Mason Michael will break your narrow perception of heaven and inspire you to trust God’s sovereign will above all else.

“Drew was a kindhearted man with a pure soul. He was as pure as refined gold and therefore easy for God to formulate, fill, and use he was as honest as the unblemished blue in his straightforward eyes. His uncomplicated nature was a compliment to his Maker. And he carried it well and carried it lightly. Some people are like that – like a sunny day. They’re easy to love because their trust is in so much more than circumstance. Their pliability is what makes them solid to hold.”.


I will give the Beautiful Justice Series an over all 5 Star Rating
This is not a series you can read separately. The plot develops from Book 1 until the finale in Book 3. Giving you an in-depth look at the Bible and what it means for you as a believer. This is highly recommended for people searching the truth about spiritual gifts, Kingdom life and what happens after the Rapture. It will be good to first understand the Word before reading the series, since this is very symbolic by nature. A Series well written and developed to bring you closer to the Will of the Father.

I want to thank Dawn Dyson once again for sending me the whole series and introducing it to the public and readers.


About the Author


Dawn Dyson lives with her husband on a farm in Nebraska and has degrees in both Animal Science and Education. She currently serves as the farm's office manager, but writing is her primary passion. She describes her writing as a God-given gift and strives to incorporate Christian themes throughout each of her works. She encourages others to find their passion in life, link it with God's and then share it with the world.





My 5 Star review

My initial thought when I started with book 3 was I of wonder. It felt like a different person has write this book. It was not the same flow in adjectives as words rolled on the paper, giving you an in-depth look at every facet of the characters and plot. This was written casually, and simpler, making it an easier read.
All the characters were back from the previous two books with Alexa, Connolly and Dax added to explain in greater detail as the story unfolds. In Book 3 the rapture has come and gone and life as we know it has disappeared leaving people to do what they want when they want with no conscious of right and wrong, light or darkness.
What touched me the most was how God prepared the house for Alexa during this difficult times so that she could live there, giving birth never leaving the island or house.  Which became the center stage for the whole plot. 
In this book generational curses is explained with forgiveness playing a major role in the healing process. Restoring what God has intended all along in a specific person's blood line. 
The work of angels is better explained, the part of the sea clearly defined and I loved how the author brought in the horses as messengers of the Living Word. Helping the angels doing the work needed preparing Alexa to accept her task saving a 100 thousand souls. 
Dax's part was also clearly defined, first as protector and later as betrayer. The complexities of his character enhanced the plot as you learn his true identity, and at the end his knee had to bow before the Maker of Heaven and Earth.
Connolly's character was at first a mystery but as we got to know him he became a trusted friend and husband for Alexa. A beautiful and quiet man that knew his duty at the end.
I loved how the author brought the families together, opening the obvious wounds and tragedies and confronts them with it, restoring and healing not only them but all the generational blood lines as well as those people that was directly influenced by their acts. 
The angels doing their work silently in the form of Sienna, Jonathan, Drew, Bella and Justice. Each accomplish their task with grace and love. 
A great book from beginning to end.



Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Deluxe Blog Tour for Armored Hearts, Excerpt, Review and Give away

DELUXE Blog Tour 
July 1, 2013 – July 31, 2013 
For Armored Hearts 
By: Melissa Turner Lee & Pauline Creeden 
 Cover art by Marcy Rachel Designs 
Model Photographer: WinterWolf Studios Book 


Description

When a crippled young lord rescues a girl falling from a tree, it reveals a secret about himself and his mother's side of the family that could put him at the center of a war with beings he thought only existed in fairy tales. Tristan Gareth Smyth lived his entire life stuck at home at Waverly Park and left behind while his Grandfather makes trips to London, all because of his blasted wheelchair. Then an American heiress falls in his lap, literally, and he must find a way to keep her at a distance to protect not only his secret, but everyone around him from an assassin sent to kill him.

Buy Links: Amazon



 *This is an exciting collaboration between a Steampunk writer and a Paranormal Romance author. Together we are blending the two cultures as seamlessly as possible so that fans of both genre will love what we’ve come up with.



* Authors:


Melissa Turner Lee holds a BA in Communications with a concentration in Journalism from the University of South Carolina. She has studied fiction writing since 2008, attending various writing conferences and workshops, along with guidance from professional writing coaches. She resides in Spartanburg, SC with her husband and 3 sons.
Blog: http://melissaturnerlee.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/melissaturnerlee
Twitter: @MelissaTLee1975




Pauline Creeden is a horse trainer from Virginia, but writing is her therapy. In her fiction, she creates worlds
that are both familiar and strange, often pulling the veil between dimensions. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long.
Website: http://paulinecreeden.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/paulinecreeden
Twitter: @P_Creeden


Brain Giberson

My 5 Star Review

My first Steampunk novel and I enjoyed every moment of this book. I hope there is a follow up for this book. Would love to see where the author will go with this story.
The collaboration between the two authors, writing different genres have written a brilliantly crafted story that I enjoyed. The plot unfolds as we got to know, Gareth, as Lord Smyth, Tabitha the ward of the Lord of Pansees and Jessamine Kellar, a wealthy American in search for her English Lord.
Gareth trapped in a wheelchair for no reason accept that he could not walk was frustrated with his life and just wanted to be left alone. Tabitha the only woman or person he allowed close enough to guard his secret. His character was sour at all times, grumpy and not willing to love anyone, not even a pesky rich American girl he had no time for. But yet so sweet in his endeavors playing the protector when he thought no one was watching. His character well defined and strong, keeping your attention.
Tabitha's curious mind and strong will power led to some interesting scenes in the book, always at the ready to help him when needed. With her future in the balance Gareth was coerced into marriage willing to sacrifice himself for her happiness. (See, I said he was sweet)
His secret lead to attempts to kill him and he learned to trust people he thought was only servants, changing his viewpoints about people, especially women and marriage.
Jessie, the woman who fell into his life changed his outlook about life, her skill, cleverness and inquisitive mind attracting him from the start.
I love the fantasy angle the authors brought in, as the world of Fae, and Mimics or shifters and the search for their new King enhanced the plot. Making sure you are well entertained through out. Well planned the story start when Gareth was still very young, his world in turmoil because his mother left him and the death of his father. Not fitting in but once he discovered his secret it opens up a world to him he never thought possible, finding freedom in it and gained some much needed self respect.
A book that I can recommend to people to this particular genre, and everyone in between.

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 Giveaway 
1 Necklace, 2 swag packs and a signed Paperback 

HTML BLOG TOUR BUTTON (To Check out other blog tour stops):
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July 1st ~ Adventures of Frugal Mom http://adventuresfrugalmom.com/
July 2nd ~ Confessions of the Paranormal http://iloveladyporn.blogspot.com/ http://confessionsoftheparanormal.blogspot.com/
July 3rd ~ Indie Supporter http://indiesupporter.com/
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July 12th ~ Fated Paranormals http://fatedparanormals.blogspot.com/
July 13th ~: Candy Coated Book Bloghttp://bookcrazy123.blogspot.co.uk/ http://sweettreatblogblog.wordpress.com/
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July 18th ~ For the Love of Bookends http://loveofbookends.blogspot.com/
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July 21st ~ Cu's e-Book Giveaways http://cuskindlegiveaways.blogspot.com/
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July 23rd ~ Bookaholics For Life! http://bookaholics-for-life.blogspot.de/
July 24th ~ Alexia Purdy’s Blog http://alexiaepurdy.blogspot.com/
July 25th ~ MeyLu´s Buchgeflüster http://meylus-buchgefluester.de.tl/
July 26th ~ R&M Fab Book Reviews http://rmfabbookreviews.blogspot.com/
July 27th ~ Schmoeker-Welt http://www.schmoeker-welt.blogspot.de/
July 28th ~ Literary Redemption http://literaryredemption.blogspot.com/
July 29th ~ Paranormal Tendencies http://www.paranormaltendencies.blogspot.com/
July 30th ~ Reads After Dark http://readersafterdark.wordpress.com/
July 31st ~ Intoxicated By Books http://intoxicatedbybooks.blogspot.com/

The Story of Sassy Sweetwater Book Tour and review

Book Description:
Publisher: Musa Publishing (January 20, 2012)
Category: Southern fiction, Contemporary fiction, Women's Fiction
Tour Date: July, 2013
Available in: eBook,  289 Pages

After thirteen years on the run Violet McLaughlin returns to Carter's Crossing, South Carolina, in 1962, with her young daughter, Sassy. The Crossing is right outside of Beaufort and the turmoil of the Civil Rights movement will forever leave its scars on the young and impressionable girl. As Sassy stands before the imposing white farmhouse for the first time, with no knowledge of her history but that the McLaughlin's are her kin, Sassy begins a journey that will tear her apart before it heals her. Growing up among secrets that will forever damage her relationship with her mother, she attempts to make sense of her past. But will her passion for art and her love for Thomas Tierney be enough to sustain her future? Will the puzzles she must solve to discover who she is be worth the journey?



Praise for The Story of Sassy Sweetwater:

"An extraordinary second in the southern fiction genre, Vera Jane Cook explores the bonds of family and the fragility of love. The Story of Sassy Sweetwater is a sparkling debut novel.
Cook has penned a sweeping coming-of-age saga that is sure to appeal to fans of romance and drama. Sassy, an assertive, observant protagonist, gains the reader's sympathy at the outset; in the manner of Jane Eyre, she survives the hand fortune has dealt her through sheer will, rising up to meet every challenge.
It is not just the gripping love story that will hold the audience's interest; it is also Cook's nuanced portrayal of Sassy's positive relationships with people whom others are prejudiced against.
Drama lovers will be pleased to note that Sassy faces lies, cover-ups, violence, murder attempts, and the rediscovery of loved ones once thought dead. None of this descends into soap opera, however, because Cook skillfully grounds these events in her protagonist's emotions. Those who know the agony of a family rupture will feel Sassy's pain as she wishes for Violet to return, yet hates her for leaving. Along with the main story, as Cook delves into the lives of Sassy's family (particularly those of Violet and Edna) she paints a haunting portrait of physical abuse filtering through multiple generations. Despite its violence, though, The Story of Sassy Sweetwater is an uplifting read."- 5 Star ForeWord Clarion Review



"The Story of Sassy Sweetwater" by Vera Jane Cook was an excellent read. This story was one that I couldn't put down until I had finished it....so I read all nite long ... (smile).
Sassy (meaning....attitude and Sweetwater..a stream.... was a very strong, desirous, and daring person. How this author was able to present such a well written novel was simply amazing....dealing with a young Sassy trying to understand the grownups in her life....mainly her mother...going from one relationship to another...then returning home... to Carter's Crossing, South Carolina.....where Sassy remained there until the end... then it was France.
Ms. Cook worked her magic in bringing out Sassy emotions to the audience. The writing was well written and each of the characters were brought to life in this great read.  I know you will find it a great read. These characters really made this a well understood novel.
The Story of Sassy Sweetwater" is a real journey that while you are on it, you will find out just what Sassy needed most in her life. Will Sassy be able to get this in the end? I found this novel an excellent novel and I would recommend this for the Adult audience."- Arlena Dean, GMTA Literary Community
"Vera Jane Cook has quickly become one my favorite writers. Her stories are always interesting and lively and The Story of Sassy Sweetwater is no exception.
In this book we follow the journey of Sassy Sweetwater as she grows and matures from a child to a woman. What a ride it is! Sassy's life is full of ups and downs but through it all she stays sweet and endearing. She is a strong and passionate character and she always seems to find a way to prevail.
If you love strong, character-driven stories you'll love The Story of Sassy Sweetwater."-Sweet Tea, Amazon.com Reviewer



" I really enjoyed how the author brought Sassy Sweetwater to life. You can almost hear her southern drawl as you read her words. The characters are richly created and bring the story even more to life. Other than Sassy, my favorite character was Grandma Edna. This woman starts out as someone who seems untouchable, and turns out to be Sassy's greatest champion. She has so many facets, like a true southern lady who married young and to a very volatile man, she finds her own way of taking control of things and people around her and still keep her charm.
Anyone looking for a solid story of life, its ups and downs with great female characters would really enjoy this book."- Kmusings, Amazon.com Reviewer



About Vera Jane Cook:

Vera Jane Cook, writer of Award Winning Women's Fiction, is the author of The Story of Sassy Sweetwater, Lies a River Deep, Where the Wildflowers Grow, Dancing Backward in Paradise and Annabel Horton, Lost Witch of Salem.

Jane, as she is known to family and friends, was born in New York City and grew up amid the eccentricity of her southern and glamorous mother on the Upper West and Upper East Side of Manhattan.

An only child, Jane turned to reading novels at an early age and was deeply influenced by an eclectic group of authors. Some of her favorite authors today are Nelson DeMille, Calib Carr, Wally Lamb, Anne Rice, Sue Monk Kidd, Anita Shreve, Jodi Picoult, Alice Walker and Toni Morrison. Her favorite novels are too long to list but include The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, Cheri and The Last of Cheri, The Picture of Dorian Grey, Wuthering Heights, Look at Me, Dogs of Babel, The Bluest Eye, The Art of Racing in the Rain, Body Surfing, Lolita, The Brothers Karamazov, She's Come Undone, Tale of Two Cities, etc., etc., etc.

The Story of Sassy Sweetwater is a finalist for the ForeWord Book of the Year Awards for 2012. Her first novel, Dancing Backward in Paradise won the Eric Hoffer Award for publishing excellence and the Indie Excellence Award for notable new fiction, 2007. The Story of Sassy Sweetwater and Dancing Backward in Paradise received five stars from ForeWord Clarion Reviews. The Story of Annabel Horton, Lost Witch of Salem is her first paranormal novel.

The author works by day for an education publishing company as an account manager and lives on the Upper West side of Manhattan with her long term partner, her Pomeranian, Daisy, her Basenji/Chihuahua mix, Roxie, her Chihuahua, Peanut and her two pussy cats, Sassy and Sweetie Pie.

Vera Jane Cook's Website: http://www.verajanecook.com/
Vera Jane Cook on Twitter: https://twitter.com/verajanecook
Vera Jane Cook on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vera.j.cook




The story of Sassy Sweetwater start very slow as we are introduced to Violet, learning she was pregnant she ran away from home. The reason becomes clear as the story progress, and her sister El that helped her with her pregnancy, moving away from Carters Crossing where her family was. 
Sassy was born but never knew whom her Father was. As the story unfolds and start to pick up speed things regarding Violet and Sassy started to become known, a whole drama unfold as told through a girl of thirteen’s eyes. I must say the author's ability to write from such a view point was admirable. Seeing life from that perspective and how limited her perceptions were.
A lot of heartache followed because of decisions that were made, the family falling apart. We are introduced to Sassy’s grandmother Edna, at first she did not like Sassy when they met. 
As the plot of the story unfolds further, we met more family members who played a role in the growth of Sassy, good and bad. That had a great impact in her life affecting her decisions in relationships later on. Her Grandfather was a highly aggressive player and linked to some seriously undesirable people. 
As you read the story there are times you feel like shaking Sassy so she can get a grip on herself but also times when you feel her heartache a tear trickle down your face in compassion for what she had endured. In the end after a lot of wrong decisions she found herself in the arms of her true love. 
The story is well written and I cannot emphasized enough the real life dramas that was brought forth. A lot of eye openers especially for people who are very quick to judge. 
If you into southern history stories this is one is for you, definitely a must read. 
Thanks Jane a story well written.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Purple Heart Excerpt, Review and Give away

The Purple Heart
by Christie A.C. Gucker
Contemporary Paranormal Romantic Suspense
Categories: Inspirational, Military, Mystery/Thriller
Publisher: Pagan Writers Press
Release Date: February 22, 2013
Heat Level: Sizzling
Word Count/Length: 52,000 words/164 pages

Available at:

Description:
When does hiding the truth become an outright lie?

As an Army psychologist, Sydney Porter has heard her share of horror stories. The battle-scarred, down-trodden, and guilt-ridden have come to her office, seeking her help. When a highly decorated soldier is referred to her, she feels confident she can help heal his wounds. The chemistry between herself and Sergeant Aiden Thane is instantaneous. Sparks ignite and against her friend’s advice, she opens both her home and her heart.

Torn between a voice of reason and her undeniable feelings, Sydney begins to question just what is hiding behind her lover’s decorated uniform. What secrets are hidden behind his Purple Heart?

And does she really want to know?

Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 as it contains explicit sex scenes and/or situations (including multiple partners) and adult language, and may be considered offensive to some readers.

Dedication:
This book is dedicated to every man and woman who has served as a soldier to defend freedom for all. You are heroes. It is also dedicated to the families of those soldiers who give up their fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, brothers, sisters and friends so that we can have those freedoms. Your sacrifices do not go unnoticed. Thank you all.

Special dedication to the soldiers in my family, My father, John P. Choida, grandfather Stephen P. Gaida, brother-in-law in-Darren Dreher, my father-in-law Donald Gucker and my grand uncles who have served or continue to do so for our country.

I want to give a special shout out to Battling BARE for all their hard work to help soldiers and their families recover from PTSD! They have a special place in this book!

Reviews:
5.0 out of 5 stars – from KimCheck
“I have read 2 of Christie's books and one of her short stories and I have to say I'm very impressed with her writing. I have had the pleasure of meeting her as she was so very gracious to call in to my book club and chat about her books and her writing which impressed me even more! The Purple Heart was a story that draws you in and makes you feel like you are living within the story line. This story took me to a place I did not expect at all. The characters in the book became so alive in my head that I truly felt connected to every turn the story took. I highly recommend The Purple Heart and will be sure to let everyone know how great it is.”

5.0 out of 5 stars – from tori muise
“This book had me on the edge of my seat and I couldn't put it done! Beautiful book and I've been telling everyone I know to read it!!!”

5.0 out of 5 stars – from Ireland
“This book was one that I could not put down. I started it on Friday night and finished it on Saturday night, it was that good! I did not want it to end. I can't wait to read the next book that Christie Gucker writes!”

5.0 out of 5 stars – from BRIAN E LAROCQUE
“Her best book yet! Great story and great characters! I loved the Cheryl and Gina story as well. I'm sure we will be reading more great stories from this new author!”

5.0 out of 5 stars – from Newest Fan
“Although I am an avid reader, I seldom feel the need to write a review for a book. With The Purple Heart, I just had to. I discovered this book by accident, wanted something to read on a cold winter's day. I no way expected to be pulled into this love story. It pulled me in alright. Pulled at my heart strings. What a beautiful love story. Classic, romantic but completely unpredictable. Discovering this book and this author, Ms. Gucker was a delightful surprise. Can't wait to read your other works.”

About the Author:
Christie A.C. Gucker lives in NJ with her husband, two daughters and a menagerie of pets. Being a
mother is one of the greatest joys of her life. She has worked in the advertising industry for over 20 years as a degreed artist, but also works in the fine arts, especially sculpting out of stone or snapping photographs. Christie is also a singer and musician, and can be found singing on a few CDs.

After the death of her father, Christie searched for something to fill her desire to make a mark in this world. Her love of the arts and creativity allowed her to search for a new medium, which she found with a pen instead of a brush. Being an avid reader her whole life, and with her family cheering her on, she decided to take her shot, and began writing.

Christie is fascinated by the supernatural and sharks, and studies both avidly. You’ll be sure to find something spooky lurking somewhere in her stories. Her greatest joy is sitting on a beach with her family while surf fishing, flying kites or building sandcastles with her girls.

Christie is on FOUR Amazon Best Selling Lists: Romance, Short Story Paranormal Romance and Fantasy.

Connect with Christie A.C. Gucker


EXCERPT #2:
“Excuse me, Sergeant Thane?”

The soldier stood up, perfectly at attention, and addressed me with a serious, military tone and utter respect.

“Yes, Ma’am.” He offered his hand to shake mine.

My breath hitched in my throat immediately. Any man in uniform was to die for, but he was just drop-dead gorgeous. His dark, messy hair was longer than it should be for someone returning from a tour, and appeared as though he had just rolled out of bed. Sex hair is what I would call it, although others might refer to it as bed head. He must have been at the infirmary for some time. His face was squared and chiseled, and accentuated by a shadow of scruff. His eyes seemed to be piercing right through me. They were a deep shade of blue, but somehow had the appearance they were glowing. I bet now that he was home, all the girls would be knocking down his door, if he didn’t have someone already waiting for him. I couldn’t imagine he wasn’t already spoken for, unless he was a player.

I reached out to shake his hand, and when we touched, I could feel this humming vibration thing happening, from his skin directly to mine. It was reminiscent of something, but I couldn’t quite place it. I found myself holding onto his hand a little longer than was socially acceptably for a first meeting but just didn’t want to let go. I managed to stutter out a few words.

“Um, hi. I — I’m Sydney Porter. I’ll be handling your case.” This reaction was so unlike me. No one ever had this type of effect on me.

“Yes, Ma’am,” he said, and he released my hand with a small squeeze.

“Maybe you can just call me Sydney, okay? You’re making me feel old by calling me ma’am.”

“Yes, Ma’am,” he said again, but this time, I noticed a small smirk make an appearance at the corner his lips.

“Okay then, great. Would you like to go to one of the meeting rooms to talk for a bit?”

“Ma’am.” He nodded his head.

I walked over to the nearest open office, and he followed quietly behind me. He was so silent I couldn’t even hear his footsteps. I wondered if he had been trained for covert military missions or was special ops. I showed him to a seat, which he stood behind until I took mine. One thing about soldiers, they were extremely respectful. I loved that.


My 4 Star Review

Unpredictable is the best word I can use to describe the end of this book. Now looking back I can see there was several clues leading up to the perfectly crafted plot line, but I for one did not see it. While preparing this post I thought okay I should have guessed, but I didn't notice the part that said paranormal until I done the post and after reading the book. Maybe in away it concealed the nature of the book so that I could enjoy it the best. The four characters in the book, Aiden Thane, Sydney Porter, Cheryl and Gina played their different parts well building the story effectively and making it an interesting read.
There were times that I was annoyed with Sydney's character, her little drama's and meltdown at the end wanted me to skip paragraphs. As a care manager working for the military I expected more professionalism, more in the zone with Aiden, a Purple Heart Soldier just back from the war zone, but she was like a pendulum that went from one side to the next, swayed easily by people's attitudes and questions, causing her to be off-balance at times. Explosive at the time and at loose ends her character had a lot of growing to do. But as a whole her character made sure that you turned the page trying to understand her struggles and at the end coming to grips with her life and where she ends up.
A heart warming story as their love grows, and unfolds and you could feel the chemistry like a life current between them. Their different view points of fate would give you hope, knowing that there is more to life than we see. Secrets and holding back became major issues between them, and it almost cost the couples break-up.
Loved the character Gina as the voice of reason, grounding her and asking the correct questions coming to a place of peace and doing something about the relationship.
Aiden although a main character was more in a supportive capacity, at the back, but yet his role was the center of the plot. The reason why it was beautifully crafted by the author. She allowed just enough focus on him so that you could stay clueless until the very end. And as I already said, I did not see it coming.
Thanks to Christie for a wonderful and entertaining read.  

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GIVEAWAY INFO: 
Prize is a signed print copy of "The Purple Heart" 
and a signed bookmark from Christie A.C. Gucker.
Contest is tour-wide and ends July 21. 
Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. 


LINK TO SCHEDULE: