The Budweiser Clydesdales are at it again…and they have the best friend ever


I love Super Bowl commercials, especially the ones with animals and the Clydesdale horses.  Here is the latest and greatest.  It is most excellent.  🙂

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9-year old author has a dream…will you help her reach it?


9-year old author, Makenzie Lawrey has a dream…finding a cure for Mitochondrial disease.  She even wrote a book to help raise $1 million for research.

You see, Makenzie’s brother, 6-year old Gavin, has Mitochondrial disease.  He can’t play like normal 6-year olds.  Hospitals visits and medications are the norm, not soccer practice and conquering the jungle gym at the park.  Gavin even has a service dog to help detect his seizures.

This is not the life we imagine for a 6-year-old boy.  It certainly isn’t the life little Makenzie wants for her little brother.

What exactly is mitochondrial disease?  From the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation website:

Mitochondrial diseases result from failures of the mitochondria, specialized compartments present in every cell of the body except red blood cells. Mitochondria are responsible for creating more than 90% of the energy needed by the body to sustain life and support growth. When they fail, less and less energy is generated within the cell. Cell injury and even cell death follow. If this process is repeated throughout the body, whole systems begin to fail, and the life of the person in whom this is happening is severely compromised. The disease primarily affects children, but adult onset is becoming more and more common.

So much more research needs to be done to find a cure.  Please, will you help Makenzie raise her goal of $1 million to help find a cure for her brother and so many other children like him?  All proceeds from her book, MIGHTY MITO SUPERHERO, will go to the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation.

Stand up and cheer for this precious 9-year-old hero and her unwavering love and dedication to her little brother.  You can purchase MIGHTY MITO SUPERHERO by clicking on the Amazon link below, and from my heart to yours…thank you for your support.  Together, we can find a cure.

amazon

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Today, the lie is revealed!


Today, Jamie Ayres‘ new book, 18 Truths, was released.  If you haven’t already grabbed a copy, do so today, right now.  Just click HERE.  It’s also available in paperback.  If you buy the book today, you will help drive the book to the #1 spot on Amazon!!  The book is awesome and deserves to be on the best-seller list.  Make sure you grab a copy of the first novel in the series, 18 Things.

In honor of her new novel coming out, Jamie conducted her own Can You Handle the Truth book release blog fest.  For the last week, participants posted 2 truths and one lie and others played along to guess the lie.  

My two truths and one lie I posted were the following:

1.  A horse ate my dress once while standing in line to go on a tour of a castle.

2.  When I was ten, I tumbled over the handlebars of my bike while going downhill, and broke my arm.

3.  I played a pirate in a college stage production of The Pirates of Penzance.

I am so happy to announce today that #2 is the lie.  I did race down a hill and tumbled over my handlebars, but all I got was major road rash.  No broken arms.  In fact, I’ve never broken a limb in my life, though I did have a small hairline fracture in my little toe after cramming it into a door frame.

As for #1, I was 7 years old and we had just dismounted from the horse-drawn cart that carried us up the mountain to Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany.  My mom wanted a picture of me in front of the horses.  I guess one of them liked the color green as he proceeded to munch down on my dress.  Thank goodness, my mom brought a change of clothes as the horse pretty much ate the seat out of my dress.

As for #3, it was a dare to try-out.  I never thought I’d make it.  I’d been in plays before when I was younger, but this was a musical and everyone who knows me knows I can’t carry a note for diddle squat.  Came to find out, I just needed to hang from the rafters of the ship and pretend to sing.  I did, and all turned out well, especially since I lip-synched most of the songs.  🙂

And there you have it.  Make sure you check out the other participants to find out what their lies were.  Just click here!

 

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Graceling – A Review


From the back cover:

Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight –     she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.

When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change.

She never expects to become Po’s friend.

She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace – or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away…

My Review:

I don’t know what’s wrong with me.  This book came out in 2008 and it was always on my TBR list but I didn’t get around to it until the end of 2013.  Why did I wait so long?  This book is exceptional on so many levels, I don’t even know where to begin.

I’m not going to bore you and recap what the book is about as I already posted the back cover blurb.  I will say this is a fantasy novel I will read again and again.  GRACELING is confidently and smoothly written.  It’s fresh and new.  The plot moves along at a great clip…not too fast, not too slow.  Cashore gives the reader time to ponder the characters, the scenes as she takes you from one to the other.  The reader has time to absorb the plot, the scenery, the character interactions.  It’s breathtaking to not be rushed from one intense scene to the next.  Never once did I feel bored or have the need to skim to get to the next exciting part.  The story unfolds naturally.  Exquisitely. The dialogue has a classic style about it and there is a timeless energy in Cashore’s writing style.

The characters are wonderfully engaging.  Katsa is a fantastic heroine.  She’s strong but not sassy.  She’s far from predictable, and yet at the same time, the other characters know not to mess with her.  She’s not a typical, sassy heroine.  She’s a skilled fighter and has been since a young age.  She is conflicted, torn between what is right and what she needs to do to survive.  She’s wary, but not afraid.  She’s strong but vulnerable.  She has no desire to marry and she stands firm to that belief, though there is nothing to keep her from experiencing life’s pleasures.  She is headstrong, not on the delicate side, and yet there are moments where the reader senses a childlike devil-may-care attitude, even aloofness that makes her endearing.  She is definitely an odd mix of personality which makes her real and extremely likeable.

Katsa has a wonderful cast of supporting characters:  Helda, her attendant, Oll, Raffin (her off beat, loveable cousin), and The Council, a grassroots sort of political group determined to bring fairness, honesty and peaceful leadership to the seven kingdoms of the realm.  There is not one person or kingdom unnecessary in the telling of this story or what they mean to Katsa.

The biggest surprise for me was Katsa’s love interest, Po.  I am so happy this is not another one of those ‘twitterpated’ love stories that makes me want to gag.  Po is a prince, Graced like Katsa, in search of his grandfather who was kidnapped.  But Po turns out to be so much more than a love interest.  His character is so deep and the perfect match for such a strong heroine.  He is the catalyst that drops the wall Katsa has built around herself.  My heart is drawn to him because of his unconditional love for Katsa.  It is a pure, unselfish love with no strings, no expectations.  Completely and absolutely refreshing.

I was captivated and mesmerized by Cashore’s writing.  I couldn’t put it down.  At the end of every chapter I kept telling myself, “Just one more.”

GRACELING is a Young Adult novel and I would recommend it for readers 14 and up.  For parents, you should know there are some scenes of violence and sexual intimacy, but none of them are graphic or gratuitous.  I’ve read other YA books that ‘show’ so much more. 

So, in closing, GRACELING is an engrossing read with mesmerizing characters, a truly satisfying romance that is far from mushy, and a plot that will hold you spellbound.  Cashore knows how to weave and tell a compelling tale.  GRACELING is completely worth the read and the tired, blood-shot eyes that come along with it.

Rating:  5 stars

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Broken Bargain Pre-Release Tour – Author Interview: Jenny Keller Ford


I had lots of fun answering these interview questions! I hope you enjoy and if you can, help Deb’s family win a trampoline!! How fun is that!

Deb E.

Broken Bargain Pre-release Blog Tour Banner

***NEWS: The winner of the $5 Amazon Gift Card I was giving away yesterday was Rose Lennart. I’ll be in touch with you soon!***

I have the privilege of hosting Jenny Keller Ford for an interview as part of Clare Davidson’s Broken Bargain Pre-release Blog Tour.

(Note: There’s a RAFFLECOPTER giveaway, too… see bottom of post)

Enjoy getting to know Jenny…

Hi Deb,

How are you? I really want to say thank you for having me today to talk to your readers.

 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?

 One More Day Book CoverMy most recent published short story is a YA piece titled Dragon Flight and it appears in the ONE MORE DAY anthology. It’s about a girl who is terrified of heights who gets stranded 300-feet in the air atop the rollercoaster…

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Can You Handle The Truth Blog Fest


Hi everyone!  My friend and writer buddy Jamie Ayres has a new book coming out on January 28, titled 18 Truths.  It is the follow-up to her 18 Things, which, if you haven’t read, I strongly suggest you do.  So, so good.

In honor of her new novel coming out, Jamie is conducting her own Can You Handle the Truth book release blog fest taking place this week.  The whole idea of the game is for the blog host to post two truths and one lie about themselves and have the visitors try to decide which are the true statements.  I’ve played this game before and it’s a hoot and a great way to meet people and have some fun, so I hope you play along.

You can find a list of all the other blog participants here so let’s go blog hopping!

And here are my two truths and one lie.  Can you figure out the factoids about moi?  🙂  I’ll give the answer on the last day of the blog hop.

1.  A horse ate my dress once while standing in line to go on a tour of a castle.

2.  When I was ten, I tumbled over the handlebars of my bike while going downhill, and broke my arm.

3.  I played a pirate in a college stage production of The Pirates of Penzance.

Beasts of Burden


J. Taylor Publishing is giving away FIVE ARCs of Beasts of Burdin by Alexander Nader!

Check it out!

Demon hunter Ty Burdin hung up his guns, knife, trench coat and fedora a year ago. Bags packed, hands washed of all demon politics, he’s done. Forever.

In fact, to get far far away, he dragged Nora, his rockabilly secretary, from Miami to the Tennessee mountains where he’s lived a life of peace—if peace can be defined as drowning in scotch and taking private eye jobs to keep the lights on. Jobs for real people. Not demons.

No demons.

He’s retired from that. Remember?

Demon hunters aren’t a dime a dozen, though, and when Ty’s brother asks him for a favor—just one—what’s a brother to do? Agreeing to take down one hillbilly demon shouldn’t take that long. In. Decapitate. Out. Favor complete. Back to the office where Nora and his bottle of whiskey are waiting.

Unfortunately for Ty, staying retired doesn’t seem to be in the cards, and an avalanche of bad luck draws him right back to an agency he despises and the career that nearly cost him his sanity.

This time, Ty has no way out and will have to face his own demons just to survive.

BEASTS OF BURDIN is the first installment in an exciting and witty new urban fantasy series, featuring Ty Burdin, a retired demon hunter turned private eye. And J. Taylor Publishing is giving away FIVE ARC copies.

To YOU!

You don’t even have to be a book blogger!

Nope, so long as you are willing to leave an honest review between the dates January 27th – February 10th 2014, you are eligible to enter.

Interested?

Then just fill out the form and keep your fingers crossed.

You have until midnight of January 26th to enter.

Continue reading “Beasts of Burden”

Writing out of sequence


So, I woke up in the middle of the night with the ending to my Chronicles of Fallhollow trilogy playing in my head like a movie.  I had to write it down before I forgot it. The attached song by Evanescence was playing in my head as I watched the ending unfurl in my dream.

OMGosh.  I got up this morning and read what I wrote and I was in tears.  Not that what I wrote doesn’t need work, but I saw the ending of this story in such clarity and it was so darn sad…yet there can be no other ending.

This song captures the ending so well.

Does anyone else write out of sequence?  Do you have moments of clarity that just blow you away?

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My Top 20 Favorite Reads of 2013


I surprised myself in 2013.  I only read 32 books last year.  I usually read twice that amount.  I’m a little disappointed I didn’t reach my goal of 50, but then again, I did do a lot of beta reads this past year, so in a way, I did read close to 50 books/novellas; I just can’t claim them yet.

Anyway, here are my top 20 not listed in any particular order.  Reviews will be popping up for each of them soon.

1.  Don’t know why it took me 8 years after its publication date to read it, but I’m glad I did.  I would have to say out of all the books I read this past year, it comes in at #1.

  2.  This is the second novel in a fantastic middle-grade series.  Received it as an ARC and completely fell in love with it.

3.  Talk about an emotional rollercoaster.  Ms. Ayres’ new book, 18 Truths arrives on  Jan. 28, 2014 and I can’t wait to read it in its final glory.

4.  Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare.  This is book 3 in the Infernal Devices series and it’s OMGosh stupendous.

5.  The Iron Traitor, by Julie Kagawa  #2 in The Iron Fey:  Call of the Forgotten series.  I’d love for Kagawa’s books to be made into a movie.  Then again, some things are best left to the imagination.

6.  Taken by Erin Bowman.  This book blew my mind.  Fan-freaking-tastic.

7.  Requiem by by Lauren Oliver.  Not as great as Delirium in my opinion, but still a great read.

8.  The Fall:  An Autobiography of an Alter Ego by Elle.  This book had my emotions all over the place.  It’s a dark book that deals with depressive topics, yet it is so completely filled with hope.

9.  Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi.  I didn’t think I’d like this one but I was so wrong.  The next in the series, Through the Ever Night is next on my TBR list.  Can’t wait to read it.

10.  Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger.  The first book in the series.  Love the fantasy element in this book and the plot is perfect for middle grade kids…especially girls.

11.  Jack & Jill Volume 1 by Jennifer Eaton.  Two lovely romantic stories that follow the lives of Jack and Jill’s Christmas romance.  These are quite endearing tales with beautiful HEA endings.

12.  Avenger, by Heather Burch.  Super fun, probably my favorite in the entire Halflings series.

13.  The Selection by Kiera Cass.  Described as The Hunger Games meets The Bachelor.  Whomever came up with that pretty much hit the nail on the head.  Loved it.

14.  After Dark by Emi Gayle.  Loved this beginning to the 19th Year series.  Filled with all kinds of fantasy goodies and a great storyline.

15.  Day After by Emi Gayle.  Second book in the 19thYear series and wow…I can’t wait to get my hands on book 3.

16.  Perry Road by Emi Gayle.  This is the first book in the Revolution series.  What do teenagers do when they find they are pawns for the new American Union?  Emotional and deeply involved plot.

17.  Eye of the Soul by Terri Rochenski.  Again, another fantastic fantasy story and I’m in love with the cover.  A perfect blend of good and evil.  Well thought out characters.  Stunning plot.

18.  Songs from the Phenomenal Nothing by Steven Luna.  I don’t know why I picked up this book but oh my, what a haunting, beautiful tale.  Talk about a tear-jerker.  Totally worth 5 stars.

19.  This is book 4 in the Heroes of Olympus series and was a fun, fast read.  It was charming, funny, and way too short.

20.  Sever by Lauren DeStefano (The Chemical Garden, #3).  I’m all over the place about this book and this series.  I wasn’t crazy about Fever but I had to see how this story wrapped up.  This definitely ends the storyline.  Like the ending of Mockingjay, it left me feeling numb, like there should have been more or something else, but it really was the only way to end it.

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Night & Day Cover Reveal!


Back Cover

Something is wrong with Suze. His memory, his magic, even his muscles have all gone mental. If he’s not careful, the underworld’s version of the loony bin may be his next stop.

Not ready to give up the goat yet—if he had one he didn’t eat that is—Suze sets out to stop the mystical mayhem. Unfortunately, this isn’t a fairy tale, and Suze isn’t Snow White felled by an apple waiting for a kiss. Nor is he Prince Charming.

Nope, he’s just Suze. A destroyer demon stuck without the one person who probably kept him sane for the last eighteen years. Mackenzie Thorne. Or, maybe, just maybe, Mac made him insane, and what was once wrong is now right.

The only thing Suze is sure of—maybe—is that he needs to find the cure. However, with boy wonder memory-less and Mac in California, he’s not even sure where to start.

Of course, once he does figure it out, everything will fall into place like a well designed set of dominoes. Where the path leads, though, is a place Suze never would have expected.

<~~~~~~~O~~~~~~~>

Night & Day is a YA novella and will release in print and ebook on February 10, 2014 for only $.99!

More about Emi Gayle

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