Sunday, March 31, 2013

Beautiful Freaks By:Katie M. John


Title: Beautiful Freaks

Author: Katie M. John
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: YA/Paranormal/Gothic/Romance
Publisher:  Little Bird Publishing House, London
Release Date: Ebook October 2012 Print February 2013
Edition/Formats Available In : Currently just ebook print coming soon Feb 14 2013.
Between these pages you will find yourself transported back in time to the high Gothic. Victorian London.

The year is 1899 and both the century and the Queen are dying.

As the London populace is gripped by a terrifying series of paranormal murders,
eighteen year old Kaspian Blackthorne finds himself on a decadent journey of self discovery.
Victorian London is a place where appearance is everything, but sometimes
appearances can be deceiving. Behind the grand houses, carriages and silks, London is a dark labyrinth of sorrow and violence.
Amongst the gambling dens, dancehalls, and brothels you'll find No 7,
known to its members as Eve's; the most exclusive club in London, infamous for its 'Palace of Beautiful Freaks'.
 Each exhibit has a history, each their own unique story.

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About the Author:

Katie. M John is a writer of YA, Dark Fairytales, Contemporary Paranormal Fantasy and Horror. 

She lives in the London suburbs, is married to a dashingly handsome giant and is mummy to a 3ft Mud-puddle Fairy. Katie likes to write whilst eating Jaffa cakes and listening to her i-Pod.

Katie's Contemporary Arthurian series, 'The Knight Trilogy' was launched in December 2010 with the release of 'The Forest of Adventures' and the subsequent release of 'Immortal Beloved' in 2011. Both books have been in the UK top 10 Amazon charts for Contemporary Fantasy and Fairytales. The final book 'Star Fire' was released this summer.

She has recently released a standalone YA novel called 'Beautiful Freaks', a steam punk, Victorian Gothic detective fairytale in London, which has gained a loyal fan base.

She is currently working on a seven book series called the ‘Pentacle Chronicles’, a tale of witchcraft and other supernatural happenings in a quaint English village.

She is a founding member of Dark Heart & Night Shade; a twice yearly anthology publication that showcases emerging YA talent.

Author Links:
Beautiful Freaks Website:
Facebook Page:    Beautiful Freaks



Kaspian pondered his eighteen years as he walked through the evening gloom of the London streets. The rain had forced most people inside, creating the impression that the great metropolis had turned into a ghost town. Kaspian liked walking at times like this. It made him feel as if he were walking through his own silent empire.
Then he saw her.
She was standing under the streetlight, a newspaper held out in front of her as if she were reading it. Kaspian thought it obvious that she wasn’t; she was watching the church on the other side of the cobbled street. He stopped midstride and pulled himself behind a tree; spied on her as she took a pocket-watch from her pocket and flip open the lid. He thought it strange she should read it by placing flat in front of her eyes rather than looking down on it – it was as if she were taking a reading from a compass. Kaspian looked over to where she was watching. The church was empty and he couldn’t fathom what could possibly be of interest. The lights were out, the door locked, and the whole place had the impression of sleeping.
The woman was tall and slender; striking in a slightly over-powerful way. Despite wearing a full, black silk skirt, the fitted waistcoat and black necktie were more manish in dress than ladylike. Kaspian had never seen a woman like her, although he had heard of ‘her sort’ as Heartlock’s companions would say.
When he looked closer, he could see she wore a monocle in her left eye and was at least ten years younger than he’d guessed from the first impression: twenty one was the age he now settled on in his mind.
She must have sensed him looking at her because she turned towards him and, seeing him poking out from behind a tree, smiled. It was a strange reaction to the discovery that someone was spying on you. The boldness of her action unsettled Kaspian in a way he couldn’t quite understand. He bent down, pretending that he had been about to tie his shoelaces. When he was sure she had returned to her own secret observations, he scuttled past her and almost ran all the way to the safety of home.
 By the time he pushed open the imposing, black front door, Kaspian carried the strangest sense that something deep within him had changed, and things would never be quite as before.


Steptree steeled himself for the gruesome sight he was sure awaited him. He let his breath go shallow; a trick he’d learnt to prevent the stench of death from making him wretch. He’d seen some awful violence in his time, but despite attending hundreds of murders in his ten year career, he’d never quite grown immunity. However, none of the sordid and violent ugliness he’d encountered up to this point could have prepared him for the sight in front of him.
He was expecting horror but he was greeted with a sight that was nothing short of beautiful.
At first, Steptree wasn’t sure it wasn’t all an elaborate trick; that he hadn’t been dragged from his warm bed for the sake of a stolen statue. Approaching closer, he realized it wasn’t a statue but the corpse of a young man, still standing. He was posed in the movement of a kiss; his eyes were closed, his hand raised as if still cupping the cheek of his lover. The boy almost sparkled, as if his skin were made of a quartz marble: It was so white as to almost be a shade of pale blue.
Steptree gasped, and tears pricked at the corner of eyes as he thought of how the boy was the same color as the moon, and just as luminescent. Never before had the sight of death moved him to a feeling of such sorrow. In front of him was poetry that went beyond words.
The boy sparkled. The faint flush of a youthful blush was still painted on his cheek. Steptree extended his fingers to explore the thin translucent crust which covered the boy – it was ice; perfect snowflakes had caught in the fibers of the young man’s velvet jacket and laced his eyelashes.
Steptree was an exceptionally logical man, but for the life of him he could not understand how on a slightly chilly October evening, a young man had spontaneously frozen to death. A creepy sensation spread over his skin and an alien sense of superstition entered his thoughts: It was as if the boy had been placed under a fairytale spell.
 “Brown, how is this possible?” Steptree asked, his mind whirling.
“It isn’t, Sir! It isn’t possible.”


Since her first sighting of him, he had haunted her dreams. Evangeline rarely dreamt and so the experience was at one curious and unsettling. In her dreams the two of them were always dancing some kind of waltz. It made her feel as light as a feather; or a ghost. Cherry blossom fell over them like snow or maybe confetti. The dream was so vivid that she could feel his arm around her but it was the same kind of feel as porcelain so that although solid, it was also fragile and she knew that she might break him. Where their hands touched there was soft light. They danced and they danced, faster and faster until it became almost crazed and the world around them started to slide and crack.
Through those cracks, the demons swarmed.
Evangeline believed in demons because she knew that angels existed. She was also wise enough to know that sometimes the two were sometimes indistinguishable.

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 My Review:

Once I started this book I could not put it down. I had to know what happen next. Kaspian is now an adult and he finds out what he is from a letter from his mother. Lots of crime scenes are happening and Steptree doesn't know who is causing them or what. Kaspian meets Evangeline. This book has lots of story's in it. This book has so many details in it. You won't be able to put this book down it's really good. Make sure you get this awesome book. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Possess By: J.A. Howell

Title: Possess & The Untimely Death of Brody Walsh
Series: #1&#2 of The Possess Saga
Author: J.A. Howell
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Self Published
Format: Ebook
Possess- 84,634 words
The Untimely Death of Brody Walsh- 31,000 words
Book Links:
Book Trailers
The Untimely Death of Brody Walsh-
Book Description:

Stumbling off the bus in Midtown, Harley Martin thought she found an escape from her old life.

She soon realizes it was anything but that.

Low on cash and options, she manages to find herself a cheap but surprisingly nice apartment. The catch? The last tenant, Brody Walsh, killed himself.

Or did he?

As disturbing dreams and hauntings start to occur, Harley realizes there may be much more behind the previous tenant’s death than a simple suicide. She finds her life further entangled with his when she learns that her new boss, Nolan, was also his best friend. Could this handsome but evasive pub owner have something to do with Brody’s death?

Trying to piece together the events surrounding Brody’s death proves to be a daunting task, but Harley can’t give up. Brody won’t let her. He is still in the apartment with her, trapped in limbo until she finds his killer.

But he’s not waiting for revenge.

Harley’s next.

The Untimely Death of Brody Walsh
Brody Walsh’s life is left in disarray when his girlfriend is found brutally raped and murdered. But it completely shatters when his best friend, Nolan is arrested for the crime.

Even as the media is portraying him as a monster, Brody knows Nolan isn’t capable of murder.

That leaves the question: Who is?

Once the trial begins, Brody discovers just how little he knew about his girlfriend, spurring him to dig into her past for possible answers. And as Aggie, his long time confidant and childhood crush, stands by his side through all of this, he finds his own past resurfacing when his feelings for her reignite. But as the media and the prosecutors close in on Nolan, ready to convict him for a crime he didn’t commit, Brody will be forced to make a choice.

A choice that will lead to his untimely death.

About the Author:

J.A Howell is an office drone by day, and a writer by night. Her love of writing took off when she was eleven years old and decided to fill a composition notebook with stories to read to her friends. Many years (and notebooks) later, not much has changed. She still loves writing and sharing her works with others. When she isn't writing, she can often be found trying her hand at whatever artistic pursuit strikes her fancy. J.A. Howell resides in Apopka, FL with her husband and their menagerie of animal children.

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My Review:

Once I started this book I could not put it down. Harley leaves her Ex to start a new a life. She moves to Midtown Central, looking for a job and a place to live she meets a girl name Aggie and a guy name Nolan and Soon they become friends, and they get to know each other. Harley finds her an apartment but she doesn't realize its haunted but soon she finds out it is. Aggie try's to tell Harley that she needs to move out of that Apartment right away but she doesn't. Harley and Nolan has a thing for each other. I could go on about this awesome book, but I don't won't to ruin it for you. If you haven't read it you need too

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Review/Interview By: Dana Michelle Burnett

                                                                         Blurb:Beautiful. Secretive. Magical. You envy their freedom, but you are distrustful of their ways. A strange carnival has come to Corydon, Indiana and the Irish Travellers have captured the small town's attention--but it's Harmony who's attracted theirs.
Harmony sees the Travellers everywhere and just like everyone else in town she's curious. But once she meets the mysterious and captivating Kieran, Harmony's life takes an exciting and chilling turn.
Up until now, Harmony never believed that fairytales or myths were real, but Kieran and his family belong to an ancient tribe called the Tuatha de Dannan and someone else has discovered their secret.
An ancient battle is about to begin again, and now no one is safe, especially Harmony. Can Kieran resist the urge to be with her or will his feelings put her in the crossfire?
 Author Interview - Dana Michelle Burnett, Author of Once (Gypsy Fairy Tale Book One)

Where were you born and where do you call home? I was born in New Albany, Indiana and I currently live in Lanesville, Indiana with my dancing diva daughter, two dogs, and two cats.

Tell us about something that has just happened or is about to happen in your life that you would like to share.  I super excited about the release of Once, the first book in my new Gypsy Fairy Tale series.

What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 30 or less words, what would you say?  Once is the story of Harmony Jacobson.A strange carnival has come to Corydon, Indiana and the Irish Travellers have captured the small town's attention--but it's Harmony who's attracted theirs. But once she meets the mysterious Kieran, her life takes an exciting and chilling turn. 

Do you have plans for a new book?   Is this book part of a series?  I'm currently working on the second book in the series and as it stands now there will be one other book after that. It's hard for me to focus on one series that long though, I'm already getting ideas for new characters and new stories.

What books have influenced your writing?I would have to say Gone with the Wind because I believe in strong heroines that may need the man to save them from the immediate situation, but they don't need to be rescued.  I want my characters to rescue themselves.

Is there an Author that you would really like to meet?  It would be a toss up between Ann Rice or Stephen King.  I am totally enthralled with Rice's work, but Stephen King.....Well, he's Stephen Freaking King!

Do you prefer ebooks, paperbacks or hardcover?  I prefer ebooks.  I tend to read quickly and it's easier to carry two or three books on a Kindle than the actual paperbacks.

Where do you prefer to buy your books?  I am a complete Amazon junkie!

Are you a self published (Indie) Author?  I am a proud Indie Author.

What book would you like to read again?  The Witching Hour by Ann Rice

Who designed the cover of your book?  I designed this cover myself.  I've designed all of my covers, but so far this is my favorite.

Do you buy a book by the cover?  I try not to, but I as guilty of it as anyone else.

Do you have a book trailer? Yes.  My book trailer for Once can be seen on YouTube or my Facebook page.

What are your thoughts on book trailers?  I love book trailers!  I don't think they really sell books, but they make great conversation starters on Facebook and they are so much fun to make!  I've made six of them now and collectively only spent about $50.  My favorite is the one for the third book in my Spiritus series, Incarnate, it really captured the feel of the entire series.

Do you have any advice for other writers?My advice would be to never give up or stop writing. I made that mistake ten years ago. I was doing really well with my writing, getting published in literary magazines left and right, and then I just stopped. Life got in the way and I just let it happen. It's one of my biggest regrets.

What date were you born? - you can leave off the year if you like. I was born July 7.  I so fit under the cancer zodiac sign. I'm moody, reclusive, and everything else.

Did you have a favorite toy as a child? I was a Barbie fanatic!  I'd have my dolls act out these crazy romantic stories about magical creatures....Wow, I guess my life hasn't changed all that much.

An early childhood memory - One of my earliest memories is of me begging my mother to read me Peter Pan (again) and her telling me that twice was enough and that it was bedtime.  I had horrible insomnia as a child and my mom would have to read me story after story to try and get me to go to sleep.

Do you ever write in your PJ’s? One of my guilty pleasures is writing in my PJ's in bed.

White wine or red? I prefer Barefoot Moscato (white)

Coffee or tea? Hot coffee, but iced tea.  NEVER the other way around.

So you like to cook?  Do you have a favorite food? I don't cook that often but when I do, I can make some mean Italian. My favorite food though would have to be grilled salmon.

Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream? I'm one of those odd people that actually prefer vanilla to anything chocolate.

What do you normally eat for breakfast, of do you skip it and get straight to work? I normally have to have a little over half a pot of coffee before I can have any breakfast and then it's just a doughnut (preferably maple frosted)

Sleep in or get up early?I love to sleep in, but it doesn't happen that often.  Fortunately, my version of sleeping in is getting up at seven, while my daughter's version is eleven.

Laptop or desktop for writing? I actually write everything out in spiral notebooks first and then it goes into my laptop.

Your favorite gadget - My kindle is a lifesaver, but a close second would have to be my Dragon software since I write everything out longhand first.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing? I tend to write all day until I pick my daughter up from school. After that, I'm shuffling her back and forth to dance class and running errands so unless she doesn't have class, I don't get to do much writing in the evenings. I prefer to write in the living room, kitchen, or in bed.  Actually anywhere other than tucked away in my office.

Your thoughts on receiving book reviews - the good and the bad - I love getting any sort of review, but I am a bit of a drama queen if it's a bad review.  I tend to read it over and over.  I'm not above calling up people I know and asking them "Is my writing really this bad?".  Then a good review will come in and there I am, stopping people on the street and reading it to them.  I try to find some sort of constructive criticism in all of them, but there are times that it's hard to do that and I have the typical fragile writer's ego.

If you were deserted on an island, who are 3 famous people you would want with you? If I could pick dead people it would be Eva Peron (that woman had spunk), Vivian Leigh (she made insanity beautiful), and John Lennon (one of the most interesting people that ever lived). If it had to be living people, it would be Anne Rice (amazing author), Lady Gaga (the exact opposite of boring), and Charlie Sheen (because eventually I would want to have some fun).

Where is one place in the world that you would really love to visit someday?I've always wanted to visit England. It would be so great to go see a West End show and visit the tower of London.

List 3 of your favorite movies? Interview With The Vampire, any Harry Potter, and That Hamilton Woman.  I know, quite the odd little collection.

An actor or a book character you have a crush on -To this day I am still completely in love with Michael Praed.  I first saw him in the Robin of Sherwood series, then in The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne, and then recently I caught a video of him in Beautiful and the Damned / Zelda. He's the reason I love dark haired men....Now silver is looking damn good.  I'm always crushing on Johnny Depp too, but who isn't?

What is a movie or TV show that you watched just recently and really enjoyed? Since I'm a single mom with no life, my only date is my daughter and she hates going to movie theaters (it's a volume thing). So I always have to wait until things come out on video.  I just watched Les Miserables on video and LOVED it!  Of course, I'm also completely addicted to Gypsy Sisters and My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.

Where can your readers stalk you?

Is your book in Print, ebook or both? Both and soon in audio book as well.

My Review:

Once I started this book I could not put it down I had to know what happen next. Harmony is an Adult who watch's over her grandma and her grandma's store. Her Grandma is sick, her last words to Harmony was Your a good Girl. Now Harmony has her grandmas store to run by herself will not completely she has works who work there too. Harmony has a hard time about her Grandma's death but she doesn't let other people see it that she is having a hard time she keeps it all in. The Circus comes to town, and she meets one of the travellers name Kieran, and soon Harmony learns a lot more about him and the others, and she falls in love with him. Harmony knows she has to move on because they will be leaving soon. Kieran ask's Harmony to come with him but she tells him no because her life is here, running her Grandmas store. Kieran has to leave he doesn't won't but he has too, and he leaves a note to Harmony. I could go on about this awesome book, But I don't won't to ruin it for you all!! I hope there is going to be a book 2!!!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Allusive Aftershock By: Susan Griscom Tentative

Title: Allusive Aftershock
Author: Susan Griscom
Genre: YA
Publisher: Amber Glow Books
Release Date: December 18 2012
Editions/Formats Available In: Print and Amazon Kindle
What happens when a major earthquake changes life as you know it and the boy you thought you hated ends up saving you? Three times!

Courtland Reese is the guy everyone hates and makes fun of because … well, he is weird. He communicates with animals. Strange or interesting, seventeen-year-old Adela Castielle can’t quite figure out, but when he saves her from being trampled by her own horse, she begins to understand him a little better and wants to learn more about him. But, Max--her best friend/dream guy/someday-to-be-her-husband-only-he-doesn’t-know-it-yet--hates Courtland with a passion. Adela wants to know why, except neither boy is talking. When Max leaves her stranded in his parents' wine cave with his worst enemy, Courtland, after what the experts are calling a “megathrust” earthquake, Adela starts to question her loyalty to Max as steamy kisses in a dark damp cellar only fuel her emotions with more conflict. But does she really have time to worry about that when fire, destruction and mayhem surround her?

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Author Bio:  

I daydream often. If I didn't write, I think my mind would explode from an overload of fantasy and weirdness. To the annoyance of my friends and family, my characters sometimes become a part of my world. During my childhood, I would frequently get in trouble in school for daydreaming. Eventually, my vivid imagination paid off and I had the privilege of writing and co-directing my sixth-grade class play--a dreadful disaster; though not from my writing, of course, I must blame it on the acting.
The craft of writing, although dormant for years, never really left me. Many years later, and with the help of technology, I let my imagination run wild again.
Born in a small town in Pennsylvania, I enjoy writing about characters living in small quaint towns. I tend to lean toward the unusual and spooky. I read all genres but I love reading paranormal romance and like writing in that genre.
My paranormal playing field delves into a different milieu, abandoning vampires and werewolves, but not discounting them. Someday I might like to write a novel about vamps and those furry creatures. But for now I like the bizarre mixed with romance. A strong hero or heroine confronted with extraordinary forces of nature, powers and capabilities gets my blood running.
I live in Northern California with my very romantic husband, my small yippy dog, Riley, and my humungous black cat, Saké. My family consists of his and her children; four wonderful sons, one beautiful daughter, and seven grandchildren. My greatest love in life is my family and those large and ever growing holiday dinners.
I enjoy traveling. I hate running, but do it once in a while. Reading and writing are my favorite pastimes.

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Excerpt 1:
As Courtland stood, the legs of his chair scraped along the floor and the back of his knees pushed it out of the way of his tall frame. His dark green hoodie hung loose and unzipped, his jeans sat low on his waist. His hair was slicked back away from his face, different from the normal way it usually fell over his forehead, giving him the appearance of an ancient Native American warrior. If I wasn’t already in love with Max and Court hadn’t been so mean to me the other day, I might actually think he was hot, the way he walked up to get the book without saying a word, his gait easy but cautious as he sauntered past Max’s desk. One never knew what Max might do and Courtland had been the brunt of his antics more than once.
“Stop by the library on your way back and pick up a couple of the books they have on earthquake preparedness. There should be a good selection on the subject. Ask Mrs. Snow to help you; she’ll steer you in the right direction.”
Courtland strolled out of the room while Mr. Montgomery continued his talk about earthquakes.
Sometimes I felt sorry for Courtland, the way some of the kids made fun of his keen intuition with animals. This morning, I was still too mad at him to care much about that, though. My mind wandered back to Big Blue. I really wanted to ride him—maybe today would be a good time to do it. If Max rode with me, Courtland might stay clear. I scribbled a quick note in my binder, ripped the page out, folded it into a little square and handed it to Max while Mr. Montgomery wrote something on the board. He read it and folded it back up before sticking it under his history book. After flashing a smile at me, he nodded.
I sat doodling on the paper in front of me, making little swirling designs I thought might look good on a book cover, half listening to Mr. Montgomery when I felt a brush of material glide over my arm. I looked up to see Courtland as he strolled past me, back from his trip to the office.
 All of a sudden, my desk jolted 

Excerpt 2:
With no electricity, I could barely make out the two figures standing by the door to the cellar. If not for the half moon, I would not have been able to see them at all. I stepped up to them and realized they were staring up at the sky and my eyes naturally followed their gaze. I had never seen such an awesome sight. Without any city lights for miles and miles, the stars in the sky were unusually bright and plentiful. A truly beautiful sight.
“Wow,” I whispered, standing between Max and Court. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed Court’s focus change and he stared down at me. There was something strange about the way his eyes bored into me, as if he could see into my soul. I waited for him to look away but he held his gaze on me while I pretended to marvel at the sky. I’d never seen him stare at me that way before and I got nervous. My fingers fidgeted with each other and I clamped two of them in my other hand to steady them. If I hadn’t known better, I never would have guessed in a million years he had injuries. His eyes stayed fixed on me with an intense tenderness I had never seen from a boy before. Maybe Courtland Reese wasn’t so bad after all. Standing between the two of them in all their glorious hotness had my stomach doing flip-flops. I knew it was wrong to think these things under the circumstances, but maybe my mind just needed the distraction … or confusion. I loved Max, but I was beginning to like Courtland too. Man, I was in so much trouble.

Excerpt 3:
“I’m so sorry, Adela. I’m so sorry.” His soft voice barely registered in my ear while he stroked his hand over my head, trying to comfort me. I didn’t want comfort. I wanted to find my mom. I wanted her arms around me, rocking me the way she did whenever I became upset or sick. My legs buckled under me, and I collapsed to the ground. Max held on and sank down with me. We sat on the pile of my broken home. “I’m pretty sure she’s not here.” He continued, “I think she went to Sacramento with your dad.”
I sniffled, hoping Max was right. I knew we couldn’t search through this on our own. I just wanted to try.
I don’t know how long we sat there while I leaned against Max’s chest—could have been a few seconds, could have been a few minutes. It felt like hours. I dried my cheeks with the sleeve of my sweater but couldn’t lift my head from the comfort of Max’s embrace.
I thought about how I’d just used my sweater to wipe my tears and nose and sighed as I sniffled. Speaking softly into Max’s shirt, I said, “My mom would cringe if she saw me do that. She’d say, ‘Adela, stop, get a tissue. You’re going to ruin your sweater.’”
“Ah, you’re right, she would. Are you going to be okay?”
“No, but what choice do I have? I can only pray she’s with my dad and they’re okay—and hope Ambrosia and Aaron survived. We need to find them.”
“Right. First let’s find something for your hand.”
“My hand?”
“Yeah, look.” He placed his fingers around my wrist, turning my hand over; blood covered my entire palm. I stared at my blood-soaked hand as if it belonged to someone else. “When did I do this?”
“You fell when you were running toward the sweater.”
“Oh yeah, right, I fell.” I shrugged. “There’s a lot of blood, but it doesn’t hurt.”
“It will once the shock wears off.” He found a small dishtowel under the ramshackle pile of debris in the kitchen area and wrapped the soft cloth around my hand, tying a knot at the backside. “That should be tight enough to stop the bleeding. Let’s go to my house. My folks can help us.”

Excerpt 4:
An explosion burst through the air and I almost jumped out of my skin. I turned toward the noise and stared in horror at the sight of the Arco gas station completely engulfed in flames. The fire immediately spread into a clump of trees between the station and the half-demolished grocery store about six feet from where Max stood.
“Max!” I screamed and leaped up forgetting about the clenching in my stomach.
Max hurried back and grabbed my hand again. We ran, hopping over broken brick, concrete, glass, and wood from collapsed buildings, swerving between and around abandoned cars stopped or smashed along the road. Max never let go of my hand. Trees and buildings consumed in flames glowered around us, the heat almost too much to bear. The scent of gas permeated the air along with the muck of smoke and debris. Water spewed up from a broken fire hydrant, knocked on its side by the delivery truck now perched on top of it and I gasped at the sight of a bloodied man’s head hanging out the window.
I wanted to be home more than anything now. Did we even have a home? Were my mom and dad okay? The twins? What about Big Blue? I fought back tears, trying to convince myself they were all fine and probably wondering where I was. I squeezed my eyes shut to picture my mom pacing the living room, worrying and telling my dad they needed to find me.
All of a sudden, we stopped running. I glanced up to see why and gaped with horror at the road in front of us. The broken asphalt had buckled into a pile about twelve feet high, obstructing our way. The crumbled debris from the buildings on both sides blocked the entire area. With the newly formed abyss in front of us and the out-of-control inferno behind us closing in fast, we were trapped.

My Review:

Once I started this book I could not put it down, I had to know what happen next. This book has love and staying alive. Adela is seventeen years old her life change's by an earthquake that happens in her town. She meets a guy name Courtland everyone hates him and makes fun of him but Adela doesn't she gets to know him and soon she falls in love with him. Adela  is worry about her family. This book is really a great book to read if you have not read it you need too!!!

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Winter Sparrow By. Estevan Vega

Title: Winter Sparrow
Author : Estevan Vega
Genre: Fantasy/Romance
Publisher: Stonehouse Ink
Release Date: Sept 2012
Edition/Formats Available In:  Ebook & Print
“I’ll grow wings all by myself.”
Mary is a young artist about to enter a new chapter in her life. After years of waiting and searching, she has finally found true love. She’s also just discovered that her fiancé Joshua has inherited his father’s rundown countryside mansion. To add to the rising pressure, her wedding day is so close she can practically hear the music. All she has to do is accept what the future holds. Accept…and be happy.
But something’s missing.
As the seasons change, her doubts turn to fears, and her fears become reality. Through struggle and loss, the love she once possessed for Joshua transforms into contempt. When Mary is confronted with a magical escape, the life she has and the life she dreams of will collide, awakening a mysterious change within. But no choice comes without cost, and each one will draw her closer to the truth.
At times both beautiful and haunting, Winter Sparrow dares you to step into a world where eternity is a moment and every breath is a second chance. The fantasy begins….

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It was Mary’s first time in the country. She’d driven through secluded parts of the state before but never like this. In her youth, she didn’t have the chance to linger anywhere long enough for the place to really get to know who she was or for her to be anything more than a passing shadow.
Her father had it set in his mind to expose his children to a diverse life and a number of experiences she now kept tucked away in some deep, dark closet of herself. In spite of his un¬usual way of loving, it was never Mary’s intent to run away like she had. But the never-looking-back part came a little too easily. I have to be free. That’s what she’d said. Thought, actually. The words were never fully conceived. She supposed they lived somewhere inside of her too, with the items she preferred to leave nameless.
She glanced down at the ring on her finger; it told her she had become a skilled actress waiting for a cue to dash onto the stage. Waiting for the crescendo of jeers to label her a phony. But she couldn’t be that. She was a bride to be, after all; “the perfect sparrow,” as Joshua called her.
Mary pulled her eyes away from the engagement ring for a minute, long enough to study Joshua’s profile. Such an ef¬fortless piece of art it was. The shadow of the evening sunlight poured in from the windshield and from the blue skies beyond, making his features seem even more magical.
She liked how the hair on his chin graced it just so she’d know it was there. Nothing fancy, nothing preten¬tious, just simple and handsome. Mary especially liked the pattern his teeth fell into. A mouth had never looked so accurately composed, and without the aid of cruel metal and overpaid professionals. It was a smile that could melt any girl’s heart.
Mary didn’t realize she had been squeezing Joshua’s hand or that cutting off his circulation would cause him to swerve unintentionally. She sank back into her seat, a little embar¬rassed, mostly thankful they didn’t crash.
“Sorry,” she eventually said in a hush.
He reached for her hand again nonetheless, after letting the blood return, and kissed it. “It’s nothing.”
That smile revisited her in the stillness of the sedan. She felt so safe here with him. So known. But it wasn’t at all like she had thought it would be. Her love for Joshua wasn’t the stuff of fairy tales or high-gloss Hollywood productions; it was deeper.
Then why did it take so long for you to say yes? her mind intruded.
She didn’t have a good enough answer. Perhaps it was because this world had left its mark on her somehow. Even though she was young, it was like a year could be a lifetime. She’d fallen behind. Joshua reminded her what it felt like to be alive. She had given up on relationships before meeting him, claiming they were nothing more than an insecure girl’s ego trip. A trip she had sworn off.
But oaths could be broken, couldn’t they? Couldn’t she mask that part of herself that believed love could never really work? She felt sure she could, and she would.


Mary was taken from the porch for a moment. Her eyes drifted to the willow tree planted on the front lawn. Its roots stretched across the dirt-and-pebble driveway and a number of other spots around its formidable trunk. At first, Mary squinted to see what was carved at the center. She walked down the porch steps to get a clearer look. Joshua didn’t notice. He was busy jangling his keys and trying to break in out of frustration because the lock now refused to budge.
As she edged closer, the carving in the willow tree became clearer. It was a solitary word no one would raise a question about. A forgettable something, really. Nothing elaborate or poetic. Just simple, scratched into the bark. It read, Once.
Who put it here? she wondered.
Just then, Mary glimpsed a shadow from the road that led to their future driveway, which she could see herself pressuring Joshua to get paved as soon as humanly possible. The shadow captured her glance when she touched the tree, felt the cut-up pieces that comprised the fragile, infant word. She swore she saw a face too with the shadow. It was a man with a soft complexion and a beard. A black hat kept his long hair neat and tucked. He had on a lengthy coat as well, and his teeth appeared yellow, glistening in the moonlight as he smiled at her from the road.
But then he was gone. Suddenly, a fog drifted in from the woods, and the chill forced her to blink. And shudder a little. She turned on the spot and saw Joshua coming closer.
She reached for his arm.
“What’s got you all jumpy?” he asked.
“It’s awful dark out here.”
“Yeah. Looks like we’ll have to get used to that,” Joshua said. “Hmm, did you notice our voices echo out here too?” Without awaiting a response, he repeated, “Echo!”
“Stop it,” she demanded.
“Because you never know who could be out this time of night.”
Tell him, Mary. Tell him what you saw. Tell him you saw
a man, well, what looked like a man, with long hair and a beard and a black hat and….
That is what you saw, isn’t it?
“I got cold all of a sudden, Joshua. I want to head back now.”
“Okay,” he said, embracing her. “Let’s get you warm.” He unlocked the car with the keyless entry device.
Mary immediately went for the passenger door and sank into her seat, fastening her belt as tight as it would go. Joshua walked slowly, however, intensifying the tension inside her.
Just tell him what you saw.
Mary shut her eyes and pictured the garden. Maybe her mind had invented the man in black. Her mind had invented things and ideas before, so it wasn’t all that strange, was it? An imagination could be a dangerous thing, a very dangerous thing, the years had taught her.
Joshua opened the driver’s side door and slipped into his seat. He started the car and backed out. Mary looked out the window as a branch scraped the front hood. She couldn’t help but feel saddened by the carving there in the heart of the wil¬low tree. In a matter of seconds, they were backing out of the driveway, leaving the property of the mansion, and heading back to the city.


Joshua hung up the phone and stared at his computer screen for a moment. Suddenly the design of a new skyscraper didn’t seem that important. Mary’s doubts were getting harder to battle, which was the reason he had extended his hours and had become selective at when they saw each other. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to be with her; it was that every time he got close, hearing the quiver in her voice or seeing the slant in her eye when she murmured that she loved him, intensified the sting.
As a boy, he’d envisioned his life a little differently. Making it through high school without getting into trouble. Going to college to be one of the world’s most esteemed architects. Graduating with a fiancée who would love him as much as he’d love her. But these snapshots never told the whole story, only glimpsed it in oddly arranged photographs. They never let him in on the fact that, though these things would come, they’d come in their own time. He’d gone to school—several schools, actually—but more in search of the right woman than the right degree program. Why? Why did it matter so much with whom he spent his life? Why did it become such a burden?
“Because we’re made to love,” his father had told him when he was young. “We are made to love.” Five words he still couldn’t fathom completely. It was in him to be this way, to throw his heart and soul into a person, even if that person didn’t know what to do with it. It wasn’t some kind of calcula¬tion; it was part of who he was. Transfer student looking for love. His roommates often snickered at his lofty ideals, at his always believing that his true romance could be found.
Joshua graduated. But the soul mate he had longed for since he could remember wasn’t there to see him get his diploma, to see that he could finish something and finish it strong.
Contemplative, Joshua leaned back in his chair and loos¬ened his tie. Through the glass doors of his office, he saw his best friend, Matthew. The one who had invited him to the art gallery downtown one night after work. The one who intro¬duced him to the love of his life.
“Better late than never, right?” Matthew whispered into his ear when they both noticed Mary’s slender figure from across the room. Her art was breathtaking, but it was more than her talent which attracted him to her, he knew. She was showing off one of her pieces from the collection to an elderly couple when he invented a reason to interrupt and ask her to dinner.
Matthew had always been a good friend. Joshua was grateful to have him as one of the few people from college with whom he remained in contact. Always the wing man. The decision to hire him as an executive had been an easy one to make.
“Better late than never,” Joshua said with a sigh. Perhaps that was the lens through which he had to view Mary. Several weeks came and went before she decided to finally open up to him for real. She agreed to his dinner date, but only because of his persistence that night and because her eyes couldn’t find a justifiable reason to escape his. She agreed to more dates because he continually found excuses to run into her on his walks home from the firm. The fact that her gallery sat just a few blocks away compelled him to drop by whenever possible. But even when he proposed, she hesitated. Why was there always this hesitation?
“Women are complicated creatures, man,” Matthew had said during a game of pool after Joshua had been seeing Mary for some time, but it wasn’t anything he didn’t already know. He didn’t want average, boring love. He craved intellect and a challenge.
No, Mary’s more than just some challenge. Joshua scratched the corner of his mouth, wishing he’d never even thought that low of her. He was so sure of his love, sure that maybe she had started out as a beautiful challenge, but that she was now a lover he could not imagine being without.
A lover who just needed time to come around. Folding his arms, he prayed it was true.

By the end of September, dawn resembled dark poetry. A spellbound earth sat behind the hills and clouds and dim but rising light. It was made new by irregular colors. The trees on the south end of the mansion flexed rebelliously out of the black dirt womb and created skinny branches. The shades of leaves faded. Mary imagined mutinous veins charging up the bark of its tree—the very same wires that showed the lifeline of every leaf that would soon slip off to die—as a nearly invisible force that plagued the world. The world was so unbalanced. When would she be able to explain the mystery of death? The mystery of change? Or perhaps no clean answer existed for why things were lost. Perhaps only the fallow grounds of the earth displayed the questions with similar unfinished lines.
Mary blinked and realized the sunrise had already come, and she had missed its final movement. She turned her gaze from the strange reality of nature to her still canvas—a pale, man-made thing desperate to come alive again with a fresh soul. Her paint¬ing had no beginning and no end. Where was her inspiration?
The light reaching down from a sky with no conviction seemed like a curse. There was no common ground in her, she knew that now more than ever. Maybe there had never been. She was purgatory, if such a wretched place could be conceived while wives were left empty.
The sounds of her husband hammering in the hallway less than fifty feet away encompassed her. Every time he swung against that drywall, she felt her brain brush up against her skull, wondering if ever he’d hit it hard enough to render her unconscious.
The center of her quivered at the thought of being reunited with him. He didn’t deserve to have her. Nor did the sky, with all of its apathy and neglect. Stuck in this spot. Stuck in this house. Stuck in this body with no life. Her roots had been planted deep, with no true comprehension that these grounds would seek to contain her for eternities no dream could compose.

My Review
Once I started this book I could not put it down, i had to know what happen next. Mary gets married to her love name Joshua and they moved to his fathers house which needs work on. Mary loves to paint. Mary gets all these feelings inside of her that she doesn't know what to do. Mary and Joshua gets in a fight and don't talk to each other. Mary can't let go of her past and its still haunting her. Finally her and Joshua talks and she tells him she needs to go for a drive to think. She does and she call's her sister Jamie to talk to her while she is talking to her Mary see's a man in the road and the only thing she can do is turn the wheel the other way, and the car goes into the railing and Mary gets thrown out of the car down into the bank, Mary tries to move but she can't. The guy that was on the road comes down asking her if she is okay and he tells her he will make her feel better and soon she does. Mary wakes up the next day and sees the guy and realize's that he is not Joshua. Mary soon finds out who this guy is, and all she want's is to go back to Joshua and soon she does. But one of them must die in order for the other person to live, Joshua soon finds out about the guy and everything else. I could go on about this Awesome book, but I am not If you have not read it, you need to, it is one of those books you can not put down.