Friday, May 31, 2013

May Madness: May 31 - If These Trees Could Talk - Brian W. Smith


Josh and Stevie are two eleven year old boys who appear to be different. Josh is white, Stevie is black. Josh is poor, Stevie if from a middle class family. But, these two boys have one thing in common - they both are being molested by their mother's boyfriends. The two boys make a decision to get rid of their abusers once and for all...but will they be able to get away with their revenge?



Brian W. Smith is the author of several bestselling novels: Nina’s Got A Secret, DEADBEAT, BEATER, Mama’s Lies – Daddy’s Pain, and If These Trees Could Talk. He is the President of Hollygrove Publishing and has a major book deal with Simon and Schuster.

Brian is also an Adjunct Professor of Creative Writing. Brian’s educational background consists of two Bachelor of Science Degrees (Business Administration and Criminal Justice) and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Dallas. Brian is a native of New Orleans, LA, and currently lives in Dallas, Texas.


Thursday, May 30, 2013

May Madness: May 30 - Live Without Fear - Creflo Dollar

 
If you struggle with fear or anxiety, Dr. Creflo A. Dollar has life-altering news: you don't have to be subject to those crippling emotions any longer! In this compelling and compassionate book, Dr. Creflo A. Dollar expertly equips you with the Word of God to overcome and conquer negative mind-sets. Dr. Dollar gives clear, practical principles that will banish these strongholds from your life forever.
 
 
 
Creflo Dollar is the founder and senior pastor of World Changers Church International (WCCI) in College Park, Georgia, which serves nearly 30,000 members; World Changers Church-New York, which hosts over 6,000 worshippers each week; and a host of satellite churches, located in Los Angeles, California; Indianapolis, Indiana; Washington, D.C.; Cincinnati, Ohio; Cleveland, Ohio; Dallas and Houston, Texas; and Carrollton, Norcross, Macon, and Marietta, Georgia. As mandated by God, Creflo Dollar’s goal is to establish 500 satellite churches around the world.  With 30 years in ministry, Creflo Dollar is committed to bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ to people all over the world, literally changing the world one person at a time.

A native of College Park, Georgia, Creflo Dollar received the vision for World Changers Ministries Christian Center in 1986. He held the church’s first worship service in the cafeteria of Kathleen Mitchell Elementary School in College Park, with only eight people in attendance. Over the years, the ministry grew rapidly, and was later renamed World Changers Church International. The congregation moved from the cafeteria to a modest-sized chapel, later adding a weekly radio broadcast and four services each Sunday. On December 24, 1995, WCCI moved into its present location—the 8,500-seat sanctuary known as the World Dome. At a cost of nearly $18 million, the World Dome was built without any bank financing. The construction of the World Dome is a testament to the miracle-working power of God, and remains a model of debt-freedom that ministries all over the world emulate.
A former educational therapist, Creflo Dollar received a bachelor’s degree in education and both a master’s and doctorate degree in counseling. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Oral Roberts University in 1998. He is the publisher of CHANGE online magazine and The Max, a bimonthly resource newsletter for ministers and ministry leaders. His award-winning Changing Your World television broadcast reaches nearly one billion homes in practically every country in the world.

A much sought-after conference speaker and best-selling author, Dollar is known for his practical approach to the Bible, and has encouraged thousands to pursue a personal relationship with God. Creflo Dollar and his wife, Taffi, have five children, and they live in Atlanta.
 


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Review: Zero Balance - Ashley Fontainne

 
Nine months ago, I served my own personal brand of punishment on those that kept their silence when I was raped. Nine months ago, I was the voice that found justice for a beautiful young life, viciously slain in her prime many years ago, and helped her grieving mother to finally find peace. Nine months ago, I saw this rapist/killer escorted to jail in handcuffs and now, I reign from his old throne. Nine months ago, my horrid nightmares were finally quieted after eviscerating the snake’s body and crushing its evil head. Two weeks before the trial of Olin Kemper was scheduled to begin, the dreams came back. Haunting, disturbing dreams that I can’t escape nor understand. A week ago, I realized that I didn’t kill the snake; I just wounded it.
 
REVIEW

 
This book was the second in a series on Eviscerating the Snake Series.  This story was about a man was in prison for a crime that he has committed.  His girl friend has taken on the mission of killing all the people who is responsible for his being imprisoned. This story includes homosexuality, rape, love, torture, kidnapping, and murder.
 
Author Ashley Fontainne uses a method of writing that I find interesting.  She divides the book into chapters that focus on one character at a time and tells what is going on with that character.  The book was a fast read and it was very interesting.   I look forward to reading the next book in the series in order to find out what happens to the main character.   I am interested in reading more books from this author.
 
5 Stars
Edna

 
 
 

Review: The Holy City - Michael F. Blake


Imagine all your life you were surrounded by poverty.... When a life changing proposition is imposed on Marcus Williams he reluctantly makes a decision that would forever change his life. Leading into a life of blood mischief and crime, would his journey through the cold and gritty streets of Chicago end tragically? Or would he beat the odds and prevail? Experience these events at your own risk as you enter The Holy City .


REVIEW
 
The Holy City by Michael F. Blake started out as a difficult read for me.  Some of the parts were predictable because as much as I did not want Marcus to fall into the drug game …there was just too much temptation there for him not to get in on the life.   He also did not have any positive support at home.  The Holy City also touched on family and what it really means to be brothers and how one decision can change the rest of your life.  
I loved how Author Blake gave detailed descriptions of the character’s emotions and surroundings.  At times, I felt like I was actually walking the streets of Chicago with Marcus.
Although it was well written, I felt it was too busy at times and seemed to jump around a lot which made me re-read some parts just to keep the characters and actions straight. You would’ve thought Marcus was innocent and wouldn’t know the game, but boy did he know it and know it well!  He went from looking in from the outside to being the boss.  He didn’t take any mess!  
I didn’t think I was going to enjoy it as much as I did. I liked how Author Blake gave the reader a lesson on choices, jealousy, family, and friends.   I would recommend this book to others. I'm interested to see how things turn out in the sequel.  
3.5 Stars
Carmela
 
 

May Madness: May 29 - The Woman Upstairs - Claire Messud

 
Nora Eldridge, a 37-year-old elementary school teacher in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is on the verge of disappearing. Having abandoned her desire to be an artist, she has become the "woman upstairs," a reliable friend and tidy neighbor always on the fringe of others' achievements. Then into her classroom walks a new pupil, Reza Shahid, a child who enchants as if from a fairy tale. He and his parents--dashing Skandar, a half-Muslim Professor of Ethical History born in Beirut, and Sirena, an effortlessly glamorous Italian artist--have come to America for Skandar to teach at Harvard.
 
But one afternoon, Reza is attacked by schoolyard bullies who punch, push and call him a "terrorist," and Nora is quickly drawn deep into the complex world of the Shahid family. Soon she finds herself falling in love with them, separately and together. Nora's happiness explodes her boundaries--until Sirena's own ambition leads to a shattering betrayal.
 
Written with intimacy and piercing emotion, this urgently dispatched story of obsession and artistic fulfillment explores the thrill--and the devastating cost--of giving in to one's passions. The Woman Upstairs is a masterly story of America today, of being a woman and of the exhilarations of love.
 


Claire Messud is a novelist. Born in Greenwich, Connecticut, Messud grew up in the United States, Australia, and Canada, returning to the United States as a teenager. Messud's mother is Canadian, her father of French origin (from formerly-French Algeria). She was educated at Milton Academy,Yale University, and Cambridge, where she met her spouse, the British literary critic James Wood. Messud also briefly attended the MFAprogram at Syracuse University.
 
Messud's debut novel, When The World Was Steady (1995), was nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award. In 1999, she published her second book, The Last Life, about three generations of a French-Algerian family. Her 2001 work, The Hunters, consists of two novellas. Her most recent novel, The Emperor’s Children, was longlisted for the 2006 Man Booker Prize. Messud wrote the novel while a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study in 2004-2005.
 
The American Academy of Arts and Letters has recognized Messud's talent with both an Addison Metcalf Award and a Strauss Living Award. She was considered for the 2003 GrantaBest of Young British Novelists list, although none of the three passports she holds is British.
 
Messud has taught creative writing at Kenyon College, University of Maryland, Amherst College, in the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers in North Carolina, and in the Graduate Writing program at The Johns Hopkins University. She is currently the writer-in-residence at Tulane University. Messud also taught at the Sewanee: The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee.
 
Messud is married to the British literary critic James Wood. They live in Washington, DC and Somerville, Massachusetts with their two children.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Book Review: The Left Lane - Keith T. Hodge



The name Tyrone Philpott rings in the streets as being southern Virginia's top dog behind the wheel. Recognized and adored by hustlers for his ability to pimp rides, his carefree lifestyle is disrupted when he shoots his hot at a women who appears to be well beyond his grasp.

Telina Harris, a knockout sister with an education and an attitude, is piecing her life back together after getting a divorce from her cheating doctor husband. Scarred an not yet ready for a new man, her one night stand with a charismatic hustler becomes more than what she expected.

Despite being a business owner and grandma's boy, Tyrone crosses the thin line between being street and hood. For him, there is nothing more alluring than the chaotic double-edged razor called the hustle. One side is money and recognition and in the other, are the consequences. And these consequences he is all too familiar with....


REVIEW
 
First of all, there was a lot going on in this book, but not in a bad way. The author went in detail with everything and did it in a way that anyone could understand. I didn't know anything about street racing before reading this and feel like I came away with a better understanding of that world. I liked that even with everything that goes on the main character still had time for family, and that made the book great, in my opinion.

 I just wished the book ended differently. I was left with a lot of questions, but maybe that was because there will be a second book hopefully. This is the first type of book I have read like this, and it wasn't bad at all. I would absolutely recommend this book to a friend.  I give this book four stars.
 
 
4 Stars
Billie Jo

May Madness: May 28 - The DUFF - Kody Keplinger


Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

 
Kody Keplinger was born and raised in rural western Kentucky. She always enjoyed writing and began working on "novels" when she was eleven. She wrote her first published work, THE DUFF, during her senior year of high school. Since then, Kody has written two other novels, SHUT OUT and A MIDSUMMER'S NIGHTMARE.
 
Kody currently lives in NYC and writes full time. She enjoys Thai food, Converse tennis shoes, and way too much television.
 
Kodya writes for YA Highway, a blog devoted to the young adult publishing industry. She is also a featured writer for Poptimal.com, a popular pop culture blog, where she reviews TV shows and movies.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Monday, May 27, 2013

May Madness: May 27 - Gathering of Waters - Bernice L. McFadden


Gathering of Waters is a deeply engrossing tale narrated by the town of Money, Mississippi--a site both significant and infamous in our collective story as a nation. Money is personified in this haunting story, which chronicles its troubled history following the arrival of the Hilson and Bryant families.

Tass Hilson and Emmett Till were young and in love when Emmett was brutally murdered in 1955. Anxious to escape the town, Tass marries Maximillian May and relocates to Detroit.

Forty years later, after the death of her husband, Tass returns to Money and fantasy takes flesh when Emmett Till's spirit is finally released from the dank, dark waters of the Tallahatchie River. The two lovers are reunited, bringing the story to an enchanting and profound conclusion.

Gathering of Waters mines the truth about Money, Mississippi, as well as the town's families, and threads their history over decades. The bare-bones realism--both disturbing and riveting--combined with a magical realm in which ghosts have the final say, is reminiscent of Toni Morrison's Beloved.

 
Bernice L. McFadden was born, raised and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. She is the eldest of four children and the mother of one daughter, R'yane Azsa. Ms. McFadden attended grade school at P.S. 161 in Brooklyn and Middle School at Holy Spirit, also in Brooklyn. She attended high school at St. Cyril Academy; an all-girls boarding school in Danville, Pa.

In the Fall of 1983 she enrolled in the noted NYC fashion college: Laboratory Institute of Merchandising, with dreams of becoming an international clothing buyer.

She attended LIM for two semesters and then took a position at Bloomingdale's and later with Itokin, a Japanese owned retail company.

Disillusioned and frustrated with her job, she signed up for a Travel & Tourism course at Marymount College where she received a certificate of completion. After the birth of her daughter in 1988, Bernice McFadden obtained a job with RockResorts a company then owned by the Rockefeller family.

The company was later sold and Ms. McFadden was laid off and unemployed for one year. She sites that year as the turning point in her life because during those twelve months Ms. McFadden began to dedicate herself to the art of writing. During the next nine years she held three jobs, always looking for something exciting and satisfying. Forever frustrated with corporate America and the requirements they put on their employees, Ms. McFadden enrolled at Fordham University. Her intention was to obtain a degree that would enable her to move up another rung on the corporate ladder.

She signed up for courses that concentrated on Afro-American history and literature, as well as creative writing, poetry and journalism. She credits the two years spent under the guidance of her professors as well as the years spent lost in the words of her favorite authors, to the caliber of writer she has become.

In 1997, Ms. McFadden quit her job and dedicated seven months to re-writing the novel that would become, "SUGAR."

In February of 1999, after nearly ten years, four drafts and 73 rejection letters - SUGAR was finally acquired by Dutton Publishers.

Published in the winter of 2000, SUGAR is still in print and in 2010 celebrated its tenth anniversary.
Bernice L. McFadden also writes racy, humorous fiction under the pseudonym, Geneva Holliday.

http://www.bernicemcfadden.com


Sunday, May 26, 2013

May Madness: May 26 - Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden

 
A literary sensation and runaway bestseller, this brilliant debut novel tells with seamless authenticity and exquisite lyricism the true confessions of one of Japan's most celebrated geisha.

Speaking to us with the wisdom of age and in a voice at once haunting and startlingly immediate, Nitta Sayuri tells the story of her life as a geisha. It begins in a poor fishing village in 1929, when, as a nine-year-old girl with unusual blue-gray eyes, she is taken from her home and sold into slavery to a renowned geisha house. We witness her transformation as she learns the rigorous arts of the geisha: dance and music; wearing kimono, elaborate makeup, and hair; pouring sake to reveal just a touch of inner wrist; competing with a jealous rival for men's solicitude and the money that goes with it.

In Memoirs of a Geisha, we enter a world where appearances are paramount; where a girl's virginity is auctioned to the highest bidder; where women are trained to beguile the most powerful men; and where love is scorned as illusion. It is a unique and triumphant work of fiction—at once romantic, erotic, suspenseful—and completely unforgettable.


 
Arthur Golden (born June 6, 1956) is an American writer. He is the author of the bestselling novel Memoirs of a Geisha (1997).

Golden is a member of the Ochs-Sulzberger family (owners of the New York Times). He was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, grew up on Lookout Mountain, Georgia, and attended Lookout Mountain Elementary School in Lookout Mountain, Tennessee. He spent his middle and high school years at the Baylor School (then a boys-only school for day and boarding students) in Chattanooga, graduating in 1974. He attended Harvard University and received a degree in art history, specializing in Japanese art. In 1980, he earned an M.A. in Japanese history at Columbia University, and also learned Mandarin Chinese. After a summer at Peking University in Beijing, China, he worked in Tokyo. When he returned to the United States, he earned an M.A. in English at Boston University. He currently lives in Brookline, Massachusetts. He has a son (Hays Golden) and a daughter (Tess Golden) who recently graduated from Brown University.

After its release in 1997, Memoirs of a Geisha spent two years on the New York Times bestseller list. It has sold more than four million copies in English and has been translated into thirty-two languages around the world.

The novel Memoirs of a Geisha was written over a 10-year period during which Golden rewrote the entire novel three times, changing the point of view before finally settling on the first person viewpoint of Sayuri. Interviews with a number of geisha, including Mineko Iwasaki, provided background information about the world of the geisha.

After the Japanese edition of Memoirs of a Geisha was published, Golden was sued for breach of contract and defamation of character by Iwasaki. The plaintiff claimed that Golden had agreed to protect her anonymity, if she told him about her life as a geisha due to the traditional code of silence about their clients. The lawsuit was settled out of court in February 2003.

In 2005, Memoirs of a Geisha was made into a feature film starring Ziyi Zhang and Ken Watanabe, and directed by Rob Marshall, garnering three Academy Awards.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

May Madness: May 25 - The Shack - William P. Young

 
Mackenzie Allen Phillips's youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation, and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later, in this midst of his great sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change his life forever.
 

 
William P. Young (Paul) was born a Canadian and along with three younger siblings was raised among a stone-age tribe by his missionary parents in the highlands of what was New Guinea (West Papua). The family returned to Canada where his father pastured a number of churches for various denominations. By the time he entered Canadian Bible College, Paul had attended a dozen schools. He completed his undergraduate degree in religion at Warner Pacific College in Portland, Oregon.
 
While in Oregon, Paul attended seminary and met and married Kim. Together they celebrate “the wastefulness of grace” with their six children, two daughters-in-law, and now two grandchildren.

Friday, May 24, 2013

May Madness: May 24 - Kindred - Octavia E. Butler


Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South. Rufus, the white son of a plantation owner, is drowning, and Dana has been summoned to save him. Dana is drawn back repeatedly through time to the slave quarters, and each time the stay grows longer, more arduous, and more dangerous until it is uncertain whether or not Dana’s life will end, long before it has a chance to begin.



Octavia Estelle Butler, often referred to as the “grand dame of science fiction,” was born in Pasadena, California on June 22, 1947.  She received an Associate of Arts degree in 1968 from Pasadena Community College, and also attended California State University in Los Angeles and the University of California, Los Angeles.  During 1969 and 1970, she studied at the Screenwriter’s Guild Open Door Program and the Clarion Science Fiction Writers’ Workshop, where she took a class with science fiction master Harlan Ellison (who later became her mentor), and which led to Butler selling her first science fiction stories.
Butler’s first story, “Crossover,” was published in the 1971 Clarion anthology.  Patternmaster, her first novel and the first title of her five-volume Patternist series, was published in 1976, followed by Mind of My Mind in 1977.  Others in the series include Survivor (1978), Wild Seed (1980), which won the James Tiptree Award, and Clay’s Ark (1984).
With the publication of Kindred in 1979, Butler was able to support herself writing full time.  She won the Hugo Award in 1984 for her short story, “Speech Sounds,” and in 1985, Butler’s novelette “Bloodchild” won a Hugo Award, a Nebula Award, the Locus Award, and an award for best novelette from Science Fiction Chronicle.
Other books by Octavia E. Butler include the Xenogenesis trilogy: Dawn (1987), Adulthood Rites (1988) and Imago (1989), and a short story collection, Bloodchild and Other Stories (1995).  Parable of the Sower(1993), the first of her Earthseed series, was a finalist for the Nebula Award as well as a New York TimesNotable Book of the Year.  The book’s sequel, Parable of the Talents (1998), won a Nebula Award.
In 1995 Butler was awarded a prestigious MacArthur Foundation fellowship. Octavia Butler died outside of her home in Lake Forest Park, Washington, on February 24, 2006, at the age of 58

Awards

  • 1980, Creative Arts Award, L.A. YWCA
  • 1984, Hugo Award for Best Short Story – Speech Sounds
  • 1984, Nebula Award for Best Novelette – Bloodchild
  • 1985, Science Fiction Chronicle Award for Best Novelette – Bloodchild
  • 1985, Locus Award for Best Novelette – Bloodchild
  • 1985, Hugo Award for Best Novelette – Bloodchild
  • 1995, MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant
  • 1999, Nebula Award for Best Novel – Parable of the Talents
  • 2000, PEN American Center lifetime achievement award in writing
  • 2010, Inductee Science Fiction Hall of Fame
  • 2012, Solstice Award, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America




Thursday, May 23, 2013

May Madness: May 23 - What Looks Like Crazy On An Ordinary Day - Pearl Cleage


After a decade of elegant pleasures and luxe living with the Atlanta brothers and sisters with the best clothes and biggest dreams, Ava Johnson has temporarily returned home to Idlewild—her fabulous career and power plans smashed to bits by cold reality. But what she imagines to be the end is, instead, a beginning. Because, in the ten-plus years since Ava left, all the problems of the big city have come to roost in the sleepy North Michigan community whose ordinariness once drove her away; and she cannot turn her back on friends and family who sorely need her in the face of impending trouble and tragedy. Besides which, that one unthinkable, unmistakable thing is now happening to her: Ava Johnson is falling in love.



Pearl Cleage is an Atlanta based writer whose work has won commercial acceptance and critical praise in several genres. An award winning playwright whose Flyin' Westwas the most produced new play in the country in 1994, Pearl is also a best selling author whose first novel, What Looks Like Crazy On An Ordinary Day, was an Oprah Book Club pick and spent nine weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Her subsequent novels have been consistant best sellers and perennial book club favorites. I Wish I Had A Red Dress, her second novel, won multiple book club awards in 2001. Some Things I Never Thought I'd Do, was a "Good Morning America!" book club pick in 2003, and Babylon Sisters made the ESSENCE Magazine best seller list in 2005. Her most recent novel,Baby Brother's Blues, was the first pick of the newESSENCE Book Club and an NAACP Image Award winner for fiction in 2007. In the March 2007 issue of ESSENCE, Pearl had two books on the best seller list, Baby Brother's Blues and We Speak Your Names, a poetic celebration commissioned by Oprah Winfrey and co-authored with her husband, writer Zaron W. Burnett, Jr. The poem was also an NAACP Image Award nominee in 2007. Pearl was a popular columnist with The Atlanta Tribune for ten years and has contributed as a free lance writer to ESSENCEMs.Rap PagesVIBE and Ebony. Her recent play, A Song for Coretta, played to sold out audiences during its Atlanta premiere in February of 2007 and will be produced at Atlanta's Seven Stages Theatre in February of 2008 in preparation for a national tour.

Pearl's work occupies a unique niche in contemporary African American fiction. Her characters are as complex and multi-faceted as her readers lives and their balancing of work, love and family (not necessarily in that order!) ring true to those who eagerly await each novel. She balances issues as challenging as AIDS, domestic violence and urban blight, but the distinguishing features of her books are her optimism, her commitment to positive change and transformation, and her unwavering faith in the possibility and power of romantic love. The creation of good, believable, desirable men -- as well as the women who love them! -- is a hallmark of Pearl's fiction and her readers are quick to mention their fondness for Eddie Jefferson, the dread locked hero of What Looks Like Crazy On An Ordinary Day, Nate Anderson, the weight lifting high school principal in I Wish I Had a Red Dress, Burghardt Johnson, the globetrotting journalist in Babylon Sisters, or their all time favorite, the mysterious Blue Hamilton, a former R&B singer turned neighborhood godfather,who is at the center of both Baby Brother's Blues and Some Things I Never Thought I'd Do, where his character is first introduced. This character, with his amazing blue eyes and remembrance of past lives, not only keeps the peace, but falls deeply in love and isn't afraid to show it. His relationship with Regina Burns is at the heart of both books and has made him one of Pearl's most popular characters.

Pearl is married to Zaron W. Burnett, Jr., with whom she frequently collaborates. She has one daughter, Deignan, and two grandchildren, Chloe and Michael.




Virtual Book Tour/Review - Welcome To Paradise - Rosalind James

 
By the bestselling author of the Escape to New Zealand series—
They’re going to party like it’s 1885.

Mira Walker is hoping that competing on a “living history” reality show will give
her what’s missing from her real life. Maybe she’ll get closer to her boyfriend, who
hasn’t been all that nice to her lately. Get fired up about her job again. Who knows,
she might even win a million dollars.

Gabe Kincaid and his brother Alec are after that million too, though. Mira and Scott
are no threat at all, not when everybody involved is going to want to kill Scott after
the first day. And there’s no bond stronger than a twin’s. What could possibly go
wrong?
 

REVIEW


I can't wait for the next book in this series, this was an amazing read and it will definitely not disappoint. I couldn't put this book down and did not want it to end. I was drawn into this story right off the bat and instantly fell in love with all of the characters (except one) Mira's boyfriend, he is awful and I absolutely hated how he treated Mira.
5 Stars
 
Billie Jo

 
Rosalind James is the author of the bestselling “Escape to New Zealand” series.

“Welcome to Paradise” is her first book set in the United States. A former marketing executive,

Rosalind divides her time between California and New Zealand.

Rosalind’s website: http://www.rosalindjames.com

On Facebook: rosalindjamesbooks


 
BUY LINK

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

May Madness: May 22 - When It's Too Late To Tell - J. Evan Johnson


To tell is to perceive. To tell is to inform. When it's Too Late to Tell features four characters, Mark, Craig, Jade and Berta, all holding issues from the past that suffocate every lasting relationship they have. Mark, an elementary school teacher, and his wife Jade, a pharmacy technician, hold deep secrets from each other; secrets that cause a rift in their marriage. Mark's best friend Craig lives his days as a financial planner, struggling with the idea of God, questioning His existence each day. 

Indeed, Craig once believed and held strong to his faith, formerly being a youth minister for a well-known church, but some strenuous events turned his life upside down. If it weren't for a helping hand, his life would have ceased to exist. Berta, Craig's assistant, stands to be the most faithful, although the horrors that happened to her in her past would allow anything but. One part to her past in particular binds her, forcing her to believe that her entire existence boils down to a single man's dying wish. In this mesmeric story of relationships, each of the four must realize what issues truly hold them back and what issues to reveal before it is too late.


J. Evan Johnson is a novelist from the Philadelphia area whose goal in writing is to deliver a message of hope despite those things that make life seem hopeless. His writings cover a range of topics including marriage, the consequences of sin, and the reality of our human condition, all of which are packaged into an entertaining story. When asked about himself, J. Evan Johnson makes only one statement: "I'm just a man trying to use the gifts that were given to me in a manner in which God would be pleased."

May Madness: May 21 - Battlefield of The Mind - Joyce Meyer


Worry, doubt, confusion, depression, anger and feelings of condemnation: all these are attacks on the mind. If readers suffer from negative thoughts, they can take heart! Joyce Meyer has helped millions win these all-important battles. In her most popular bestseller ever, the beloved author and minister shows readers how to change their lives by changing their minds. 

She teaches how to deal with thousands of thoughts that people think every day and how to focus the mind the way God thinks. And she shares the trials, tragedies, and ultimate victories from her own marriage, family, and ministry that led her to wondrous, life-transforming truth--and reveals her thoughts and feelings every step of the way.





JOYCE MEYER is one of the world's leading practical Bible teachers. A #1 New York Times bestselling author, she has written more than seventy inspirational books, including The Confident Woman, Look Great, Feel Great, and the entire Battlefield of the Mind family of books. She has also released thousands of audio teachings as well as a complete video library. Joyce's Enjoying Everyday Life® radio and television programs are broadcast around the world, and she travels extensively conducting conferences. Joyce and her husband, Dave, are the parents of four grown children and make their home in St. Louis, Missouri.


http://www.joycemeyer.org/

Monday, May 20, 2013

May Madness: May 20 - The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho

 
This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and inspiring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom points Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transformation power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.

 
The Brazilian author PAULO COELHO was born in 1947 in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Before dedicating his life completely to literature, he worked as theatre director and actor, lyricist and journalist. In 1986, PAULO COELHO did the pilgrimage to Saint James of Compostella, an experience later to be documented in his book The Pilgrimage. In the following year, COELHO published The Alchemist. Slow initial sales convinced his first publisher to drop the novel, but it went on to become one of the best selling Brazilian books of all time. Other titles include Brida (1990), The Valkyries (1992), By the river Piedra I sat Down and Wept (1994), the collection of his best columns published in the Brazilian newspaper Folha de São Paulo entitle Maktub (1994), the compilation of texts Phrases (1995), The Fifth Mountain (1996), Manual of a Warrior of Light (1997), Veronika decides to die (1998), The Devil and Miss Prym (2000), the compilation of traditional tales in Stories for parents, children and grandchildren (2001), Eleven Minutes (2003), The Zahir (2005), The Witch of Portobello (2006) and Winner Stands Alone (to be released in 2009).
 
During the months of March, April, May and June 2006, Paulo Coelho traveled to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his pilgrimage to Saint James of Compostella in 1986. He also held surprise book signings - announced one day in advance - in some cities along the way, to have a chance to meet his readers. In ninety days of pilgrimage the author traveled around the globe and took the famous Transiberrian train that took him to Vladivostok. During this experience Paulo Coelho launched his blog Walking the Path - The Pilgrimage in order to share with his readers his impressions. Since this first blog Paulo Coelho has expanded his presence in the internet with his daily blogs in Wordpress & Facebook.
 
He is equally present in media sharing sites such as Youtube and Flickr, offering on a regular basis not only texts but also videos and pictures to his readers. From this intensive interest and use of the Internet sprang his bold new project: The Experimental Witch where he invites his readers to adapt to the screen his book The Witch of Portobello. Indeed Paulo Coelho is a firm believer of Internet as a new media and is the first Best-selling author to actively support online free distribution of his work.


http://paulocoelhoblog.com/

Blog Hop: Wet & Wild - May 20-25


Book Referees are excited to join another Blog Hop... This time it's The WET & WILD BLOG HOP!!! Book Referees are giving away some prizes too... Make sure you check out the Rafflecopter!!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway



Make sure you check out http://www.skyewarren.com/hop/ for your chance to win the prizes below...


Check out these BLOGS for more opportunities to WIN!!!!


Sunday, May 19, 2013

May Madness: May 19 - I Declare - Joel Osteen


Broken into thirty-one segments, this book defines the most powerful blessings in Scripture and encourages readers to declare one each day for a month. The declarations will affirm God's blessings in the area of health, family legacy, decisions, finances, thoughts, outlook, and overcoming obstacles.



Joel Osteen is a native Texan and the Pastor of Lakewood Church, which according to Church Growth Today is America's largest and fastest growing church. On July 16, 2005 after completing $95 million dollars in renovations, Joel moved Lakewood Church into its new 16,000-seat home - the former Compaq Center. It is the largest regularly-used worship center in the United States. Each week Joel delivers God's message of hope and encouragement to more than 38,000 attendees. According to Nielsen Media Research, Joel is the most watched inspirational figure in America. His weekly sermon is broadcast into every U.S. television market where it is viewed by seven million Americans each week and more than 20 million each month. His weekly broadcast is also seen in almost 100 nations around the world.





Saturday, May 18, 2013

May Madness: May 18 - The Notebook - Nicholas Sparks


A man with a faded, well-worn notebook open in his lap. A woman experiencing a morning ritual she doesn’t understand. Until he begins to read to her.  The Notebook is an achingly tender story about the enduring power of love, a story of miracles that will stay with you forever. Set amid the austere beauty of coastal North Carolina in 1946, The Notebook begins with the story of Noah Calhoun, a rural Southerner returned home from World War II. Noah, thirty-one, is restoring a plantation home to its former glory, and he is haunted by images of the beautiful girl he met fourteen years earlier, a girl he loved like no other. Unable to find her, yet unwilling to forget the summer they spent together, Noah is content to live with only memories. . . until she unexpectedly returns to his town to see him once again.

Allie Nelson, twenty-nine, is now engaged to another man, but realizes that the original passion she felt for Noah has not dimmed with the passage of time. Still, the obstacles that once ended their previous relationship remain, and the gulf between their worlds is too vast to ignore. With her impending marriage only weeks away, Allie is forced to confront her hopes and dreams for the future, a future that only she can shape. Like a puzzle within a puzzle, the story of Noah and Allie is just beginning. As it unfolds, their tale miraculously becomes something different, with much higher stakes.

The result is a deeply moving portrait of love itself, the tender moments, and fundamental changes that affect us all. Shining with a beauty that is rarely found in current literature, The Notebook establishes Nicholas Sparks as a classic storyteller with a unique insight into the only emotion that really matters.



Nicholas Sparks is one of the world’s most beloved storytellers. All of his books have been New York Times bestsellers, with over 89 million copies in print worldwide, in over 50 languages, including over 50 million copies in the United States alone, and his popularity continues to soar.
Sparks wrote one of his best-known stories, The Notebook, over a period of six months at age 28. It was published in 1996 by Warner Books. He followed with the novels Message in a Bottle (1998), A Walk to Remember (1999), The Rescue (2000), A Bend in the Road (2001), Nights in Rodanthe (2002), The Guardian (2003), The Wedding (2003), True Believer (2005) and its sequel, At First Sight (2005), Dear John (2006), The Choice (2007), The Lucky One (2008), The Last Song (2009), Safe Haven (2010) and The Best of Me (2011), as well as the 2004 non-fiction memoir Three Weeks With My Brother, co-written with his brother Micah.

Safe Haven, filmed in Southport, North Carolina is scheduled for release on February 14, 2013, and marks Sparks’s eighth film adaptation, following The Lucky One, Message in a Bottle, A Walk to Remember, The Notebook, Nights in Rodanthe, Dear John and The Last Song, which thus far have a cumulative worldwide gross of nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars.

Sparks lives in North Carolina with his family. He contributes to a variety of local and national charities, and is a major contributor to the Creative Writing Program (MFA) at the University of Notre Dame, where he provides scholarships, internships, and a fellowship annually. Along with his wife, he founded The Epiphany School in New Bern, North Carolina. As a former full scholarship athlete (he still holds a track and field record at the University of Notre Dame) he also spent four years coaching track and field athletes at the local public high school. In 2009, the team he coached at New Bern High School set a World Junior Indoor Record in the 4 x400 meter, in New York. The record still stands.

In 2011, Nicholas and his wife launched the Nicholas Sparks Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit committed to improving cultural and international understanding through global education experiences for students of all ages. Between the foundation, and the personal gifts of Nicholas and Catherine Sparks, more than $10 million dollars have been distributed to deserving charities, scholarship programs, and projects. Because Nicholas and Catherine Sparks cover all operational expenses of the foundation, 100% of donations are devoted to programs.

On April 19-22, 2012, he launched the inaugural Nicholas Sparks Celebrity Family Weekend and Golf Tournament in New Bern, North Carolina, a weekend devoted to raising awareness and funds for the Foundation. Sparks and his family hosted stars from the worlds of sports, music, movies and television, along with fans, for a full calendar of events, raising over $500,000.

http://www.nicholassparks.com/

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