November 27, 2014

Book Review ~Transparent by Natalie Whipple

I was looking for something fun to read, and I stumbled upon a YA Urban Fantasy called Transparent by Natalie Whipple. Short synopsis, invisible girl is forced to work for her father's crime syndicate and then she goes on the run. While that's the plot, most of the interest is in the characters and their relationships, and as we all know, character-driven stories are where my heart beats.

Very striking cover
The main character, Fiona McClean, was born invisible. Seems crazy, but in this world, a drug everyone took to protect them from radiation caused mutations throughout the population. So, nearly everyone has something weird about them--bizarre eye colors, physical mutations, lesser powers, super strength, flight, etc. The powers run the gamut but Fiona is unique. She's the only one with her gift, which she'd call a curse.

What struck me about this book was Fiona's character and how she deals with her predicament. She has a very interesting voice, and a few moments in the book really struck out as an imaginative response to living in her world, her situation, and with the people she knows. The cast of other characters are pretty well rounded too, and they feel real with realistic reactions to what happens around them. (Sorry for being vague, but I'm trying to be spoiler-free).

Unlike most books about super powers, mutants, or super-heroes, Transparent deals with the powers thing like it's just another part of life. "Yeah, that dude over there has super strength, so he's on the track team for the gifted guys." (not a quote, just to give an idea) And it's kind of refreshing not to have everyone with powers be expected to BE a hero, or use their powers for something. In this world, the country is controlled by crime syndicates and people with gifts are usually used by them. So, people tend to hide their strengths instead, but not for X-men mutant-race-relations kind of reasons.

Great imagination, compelling voice, and interesting characters. Transparent is a fun light read. While there's a bit of telling, that's usually a greater problem in first person present tense works. Overall, I enjoyed the book and it was a nice quick read. If you want something fun to just fly through, I definitely recommend.

November 21, 2014

Cover Reveal ~ Grit of Berth and Stone by Lisa dunn

Grit of Berth and Stone by Lisa Dunn
Surge, Anaiah Press


Banished for a foolish mistake, sixteen-year-old Grit of Berth and Stone scorns the loss of her home, her honor, and her only ally. Only the weak worry about such things.
But war is brewing all across Chasmaria, and as a group of rebels pull Grit into their ranks, she begins to question what strength, courage, and honor really look like. When faced with a horrible truth about herself, Grit must either fight her way back to Thresh or live with the blood of the innocent on her hands.

Release Date:
March 17, 2015

Book Links:

Author Bio:

As a child, Lisa Dunn fell asleep to her father’s fanciful bedtime tales and played with her own story ideas during the daylight hours. She now resides in a small southern town with her husband, four children, and an ever-changing assortment of pets. Local librarians habitually thank her for their job security. 

Twitter:  @ScouterWife

November 17, 2014

Trailer Reveal ~ The Last Stored by Sonia Poynter

The Last Stored by Sonia Poynter
Surge, Anaiah Press


After the sudden death of her parents, making it through the day is a struggle for Amber Megan Peel. In the midst of her grief, an exquisite bird perches on her garden fence and shows her visions of a vivid landscape and a dark lord slouching upon a throne. She thinks the visions are tied to her sorrow. But when a boy flies through her kitchen window to tell her she’s the Last Stored, she wonders if she’s just lost her mind.

Cree of Din is tasked with one job: Bring Amber home. For seven years, Cree has trained as her protector and it is the ultimate responsibility. Failure means Amber’s certain death, and that’s not an option for Cree – especially since he’s falling in love with her.

The Returning has begun. Now all Amber and Cree have to do is enter Tali, a world of unimaginable splendor and equally unimaginable horror, and defeat Lorthis. If they can’t, not only will Tali plunge into darkness, but so will Earth.

Release Date:
January 6, 2015

.....and now...for THE LAST STORED trailer!

Book Links:
Anaiah Press:

Author Bio:

Sonia Poynter is a homeschooling teacher, an active youth volunteer, and a writer.  She grew up traipsing through the thick woods of Kentucky often getting lost in the magic of the forest. The woods inspired her heart and her father and mother, a Kentucky Colonel, cultivated her love for storytelling. For Sonia every day is an adventure, providing her with an endless parade of eccentric characters and vivid worlds. Currently, she lives in the sleepy community of Pittsboro, Indiana, with the love of her life and God has blessed them both with three amazing kids.

Author Links:

November 13, 2014

Love Overcomes, a spotlight on the blog tour!

Love Overcomes banner

Anaiah Press proudly presents
LOVE OVERCOMES by Angela Schroeder
a contemporary romantic novel available on November 4!

Single mother Arabella Mackenzie never imagined that going to California with her sister Clara would have such a huge impact on her life. Since the end of a disastrous relationship, Arabella has been wary of wanting or needing anyone other than her family. But when she meets hunky actor, Jeremy Fowlis, she begins to have feelings for a man for the first time since her three year old son was born. Now, she needs to try to overcome her past and learn to trust again. 
Jeremy is not used to women who don't want to date him, or at least show him off to their friends - he is an in-demand actor, after all. He is tired of the shallow, avaricious attention that he gets from the public, but when he meets intelligent, cautious Arabella, she doesn't even know his name. Arabella’s grounded beauty captivates him instantly, but, he is wary of getting involved with a single mother with a complicated past.  
Can Arabella and Jeremy both overcome their doubts and fears in order to find love? 

Amazon     B&N    Smashwords

About the Author:

Angela was born and raised in Iowa, in a river town known for its pearl buttons. Having four siblings, she never lacked for someone to play with. As she grew older, she found herself pulled into books and writing more and more. Her parents are her heroes, her siblings her confidants and tormentors, and her children are a wonderful blessing.

Connect with Angela:
Website     Twitter      Goodreads     Facebook

Chapter One Excerpt
Shoving back a curl that had fallen into her face, Arabella neatly folded tiny T-shirts to place into her son’s little red Avengers suitcase. Quiet footfalls stopped in the doorway, and she glanced over her shoulder to see her older sister leaning lightly against the doorframe of Liam’s room.
“How’s it going? Are you two almost packed?” Clara asked.
“Almost.” She replied. “I’m just finishing up a few last things for Liam. Are you all ready?”
Clara shrugged her shoulders, glancing around the room as if one of the pieces of furniture might have the answer. She blew out a breath and her voice cracked when she finally spoke. “Yeah, I packed … Then I unpacked and repacked different stuff. I couldn’t really decide what I should wear out there.”
“I’m sure you’ll be fine.” Arabella smiled encouragingly.
Clara pursed her lips. “It’s an exciting opportunity.”
“Well, yeah. Not everyone gets their book turned into a movie.” A grin flashed across Arabella’s face. “So, they actually want Winnie to be there, too? Do they realize he really does eat everything? The studio will be empty before they know it.”
“They want to see the dog that inspired the book. The animal trainer asked if I could bring him.” Clara gave a slight shake of her head and a small smile. “I don’t even know why I have to be out there. I don’t know anything about movies.” She picked up a tiny pair of blue jeans, folded them, and handed them off to her sister.
“I’m sure they want to have your point of view. It makes sense. I read in some magazine that Kelly Martin was an on-set consultant when they made The Afterlife of Lizzie Monroe into a movie. Besides, it’s just a month.” Arabella considered her sister who was now nibbling on her bottom lip. She was glad, for Clara’s sake, that the flight to California was tomorrow. She knew a lot of the stress of the trip was just waiting for it to arrive.
“That was a really good movie. Of course, the book was better.” Clara smiled and visibly relaxed, clearly choosing to move on to a different subject. “We should take the DVD with us. We can watch it on the plane.”
Arabella nodded, her mouth scrunching up. “Have you seen Liam? I don’t know where he put No Hop. If I don’t take that ratty thing he will cry for days.”
“He’s at the farm house getting spoiled. But, I think I saw No Hop on the couch down in the living room. ”
The two of them walked out of Liam’s bedroom and down the stairs. Arabella paused in the living room to collect Liam’s beloved bunny, turned back, and chucked it expertly up the stairs. It plopped on the ground directly in front of the bedroom doors. Clara raised her eyebrows.
“Just want to be sure not to forget it later.” Arabella laughed. “Did you drop off the flower garden quilt to Mrs. Johnson?”
Clara nodded, “She said it was perfect for her granddaughter’s bedroom.”
“Of course it’s perfect. Everyone loves your quilts. How many orders do you have to work on while we’re in California?”
“Only two. I figure if I hand stitch the pieces together during my free time, I can have both the quilts ready to be sewn together when we get home.” They stepped out into the hot, sticky July air and Clara groaned. “Do you think it’s this humid in California?”
“Isn’t it humid everywhere in July? I doubt California is much different than Iowa when it comes to that.” They walked across the gravel drive toward the large farmhouse, leaving their little cottage behind. An enormous white dog bounded up to them, jumping to put his muddy paws on Clara’s shoulders. “There’s our super star. Where’s your side kick, little man?” Clara asked, rubbing the big dog’s ears. Arabella looked at the wet muck on Clara’s shirt and rolled her eyes heavenward.
“I sincerely hope they were not playing together.” Her eyes searched across the large yard until they landed on a tiny, three-year-old little boy covered in mud. A very audible sigh escaped her.
“Good luck with that.” Clara grinned. Arabella watched her sister walk off toward the house while she continued on to her little mud monster.
“Momma, I made a mud castle!” Liam’s white teeth were brilliant against the mud covering his face, and his blue eyes shone triumphantly.
“I see that. We need to get you cleaned up for dinner. Where’s Mema? You were supposed to be with her.”
His muddy hand grasped hers.
“Getting carrots.” He bounced as they walked toward the house. “Mema says I get to go on an airplane.” His voice went a little shrill as he spoke, and his legs bounced a little higher. “That’s true. But, first, you need a bath,” she laughed.
Arabella smiled down at her son. He was the one good thing that she had done in her life. 
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November 10, 2014

Weekend Wedding Whirlwind

This past weekend I ventured up to Pennsylvania to see my cousin get married. First of all, it was a beautiful ceremony, and all the dresses and decorations were gorgeous. I'm so happy for them! Here's the obligatory family photo of me with my brother and cousins (the happy groom is in the middle).

Look at all the happy smiles!
Aside from the wedding, this trip had a lot of firsts for me. It was my first time traveling away from my daughter for two whole days and being states away. That made me nervous because I missed her sweet smiling face. I also went without my husband, just meeting my brother at the airport. So, it felt really strange to be away from everyone. I had a great time though, and my nerves didn't stick with me long.

I did have a couple of "Lea moments" on the flight. In SCHISM, Lea has a fear of flying but does it anyway. During the landing, I essentially relived her freakout in the book. Look forward to reading that. >_^

Finally, my last first was renting a car and driving all over northern Maryland and southern Pennsylvania. I drive exclusively in Texas (sometimes Oklahoma), and 98% of my driving is on multi-lane split highways and interstates. Back road, two-lane "highways" in Pennsylvania are totally different! I didn't have a problem, but I definitely noted how things are laid out differently where the world isn't one big flat layer of ground as far as the eye can see. There are these things called hills, and you actually have to use your parking break to keep the car from rolling backward in a parking lot.

Well, now I'm back home and things are normal again. I loved seeing my family, and we have to go way less than 6-10 years before seeing each other again.