Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Blog Tour: (Review + Giveaway) Hidden Salem By Kiki Howell

I would like to welcome Kiki Howell to The Avid Reader today. Thanks for stopping by Kiki Howell. Please be sure and check out Kiki Howell's novel Hidden Salem. Check out my review of Hidden Salem. Oh and be sure you enter the giveaway before you leave.

Hidden Salem banner

Hidden Salem cover

Book Title: Hidden Salem

Author: Kiki Howell

Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Romantic Suspense

Publisher: Mitchell Morris Publishing Inc

ISBN: 9781937629281

Number of pages: 332

Cover Artist: Tara at Fantasia Frog Designs




Hidden Salem


Barnes and Noble


Hidden Salem

Intuition alone brought Makayla to Salem, Ma in search of a story, but her research has her confronting more than she bargained for. With her empathic gifts stronger in Witch City, she physically suffers, landing her literally unconscious in the arms of both Noah Ayers, local cop and Dylan Baines, local history teacher. Yet, it is Lauri, a witch who owns a local shop, who teaches Makayla about who she is and what she can do.

Unfortunately for all of them, Makayla also stumbles upon a coven in the woods practicing a dark magic ritual. Now they are after her, threatening her life and the lives of those she has quickly come to care about. Immersed in things she never expected, like an old legend and necromancy due to residual hauntings, the race is on to stay safe from the coven and protect her heart from a certain sexy cop.

But, is Lauri correct in thinking Makayla might just have encountered the only real witch in Salem in 1692? And, do they share the same bloodline?


Hidden Salem

"Richly vivid and captivatingly engrossing, Hidden Salem is a mesmerizing tale that blends an eerie historical past with a rather terrifying present. Kiki Howell brings the fascination of the witches of Salem - both past and present - to a brilliant level, adding liberal doses of sensuous love, suspense and murder to provide a hard-to-put-down, provocative and memorable story that you don't want to miss." ~ April Pohren, Cafe of Dreams Book Reviews

"Kiki Howell spins a tale that will bewitch your heart and leave you wanting more." ~ Misty Rayburn - Top Shelf Book Reviews

"I really enjoyed reading Hidden Salem. You see a lot of books about the Salem Witch Hunt. This one is really different and I just really loved the characters and how they interact with each other. I enjoyed this paranormal. Had the right amount of suspense and love interest." ~Crystal, Romancing the Book


Hidden Salem


The following review is my opinion and not a paid review. I was given a copy of Hidden Salem from the author for a review via Bewitching Book Tours.

Makayla goes to Salem, MA hunting a story so she can write her book. Upon arriving in Salem she meets two very good looking men. She literally passes out in both of their arms but not at the same time of course. One of the guys is a local cop, Noah Ayers and the other guy is Dylan Baines, the local history teacher.

Dylan is very nice and offers to help Makayla with her research for her book. Dylan knows a lot about the history of the Salem witches. Makayla likes Dylan but she is more attractive to Noah and has stronger, different feelings for Noah than she does for Dylan. Makayla is not completely honest with Noah or Dylan about who or what she really is. She has always been afraid to let anyone in on her secrets except for her best friend "Neeece". She is afraid that they will think she is crazy.

She meets Lauri a local witch who owns a local witch shop. It is Lauri that teaches Makayla about who and what she is. Lauri helps Makayla to understand more about the things that she can do. Makayla's mother died when she was young and never told Makayla anything about who she was. She never had any family that she knew of to teach her about her gifts.

I have read a lot of books about witches and ones about Salem witches. But I have never read a book that was anywhere near like Hidden Salem. Hidden Salem was unique in the way that it actually portrayed the witches. I mean that a lot of people could or maybe even can do the things that Makayla does. They just don't know what they are doing. They never realized why they can do what they do or even know that they have done anything.



Ever since she was young, Kiki Howell has loved to listen to a well-woven tale with real characters, inspired plots, and delightful resolutions. Kiki could spend hours lost in a book, and soon she knew that creating lives, loves, and losses with just words had to be the greatest thing that she could do. To that end, she pursued her study of literature and writing, earning a bachelor's degree in English. She then followed in a Master's program in Creative Writing.

She has now had over thirty stories published between eleven different publishers. She could not be more thrilled or grateful to see her creations polished and out in the real world. In May, 2011, Kiki was chosen as an Ohioana Book Festival author for her novel, Torn Asunder.






Hidden Salem Bewitching Book Tour Giveaway

Kiki has four pieces of jewelry purchased from The Official Witch Shoppe in Salem, MA which was still open when she visited Salem in August 2010. Each week, throughout the month tour, a winner will be chosen from one of the tour stops.

All who enter will also be put into a final drawing for a $25.00 Gift Card from the winner's choice of several retailers from Barnes & Noble to Starbucks (list will be provided to winner).

Open to US Shipping

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Want to know more about the four pieces of jewelry and the store they came from?

Here's A Little Information From Front Page of The Official Witch Shoppe Online Shopping

The Official Witch Shoppe (formerly The Cat, The Crow and The Crown), owned and operated by Rev. Laurie Cabot H.Ps. , opened in November 2010 at 63R Wharf St. in Salem, MA. (closed in October, 2010)

Laurie Cabot opened her first store ("The Witch Shop") and the very first Witch Shop in America in 1970. Laurie established her Witch Shop initially for the purpose of educating people that magic (or Majick as it is known in the Cabot Tradition) is real, beneficial and exists and that Witchcraft is not devil worship or evil. Ultimately her first shop and her subsequent stores have supplied Magical people and Witches of all traditions with all the tools and supplies required to perform their own Majick.

Why is Laurie Cabot known as the "Official Witch of Salem"?

In the mid 1970's, Governor Michael S. Dukakis of Massachusetts, bestowed upon Laurie Cabot the state's Patriot Award.

The proclamation is signed by the Governor and the Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and it reads:

"I proclaim Laurie Cabot the Official Witch of Salem for her work with children with special needs."

Laurie's first official duty as a state Patriot residing in Salem, was to greet a delegation of artists who were visiting the city from China. The artists had been invited to the United States to display their art at the Boston Museum of Science, and were the first such group of artists to be invited to America after relations with China had been established by President Nixon.

While this certainly was a compliment to Laurie Cabot, it was and is today a symbol of hope for all Witches who do good works on behalf of their community and nation. Equally as important, it serves as a testament that Witches have a place in America today and are recognized as practicing a legitimate and honorable religion which shows a path of dedication for the good of all. This was the first time in history that a high standing politician openly recognized a Witch for their good works.

Product Descriptions From Website:


Fancy Silvertone Anklet:

This delicate silvertone anklet has been decorated with an array of bells, chains, and flowers to create a piece of jewelry that will perfectly accent your ankle and ring out musically with every step you take. Measuring approximately 10" long, each anklet will vary slightly in size.


3 DZi Bead Bracelet

To Tibetans and other Himalayan peoples, the dZi is a "precious jewel of supernatural origin" with great power to protect its wearer from disaster. "Pure" dZi beads (based on Tibetan tradition) are regarded as the most valuable and desirable variety. To qualify as pure, a bead must be genuine etched agate and lie within a certain range of styles. It should also have a sharply delineated pattern, symmetrical shape, strong color, glossy surface, and no flaws. The nine-eyed dZi is a pure dZi with the most highly desired pattern. Etched agate beads not considered pure are called chung dZi, or "less important dZi." This adjustable necklace expands to a maxium of 10" in diameter.

Hidden Salem earrings

Celtic Heart Earrings

Centered on the tangled knots of a Celtic knot, each layer of these fantastic earrings displays a new heart, wrapping around the first and the knot within, becoming at last a beautiful, full sized heart design, without beginning and without end. Made of fine, lead-free pewter each earring hangs approximately 2" long from a French hook, with the hearts being about 3/4" wide.


Flower Locket

Experience your favorite scent all day when you wear it in our pretty, practical lockets. Saturate a blotter pad (included) with an essential oil or perfume of choice, and place it in the locket - portable aromatherapy! Pewter locket with flower design is double-sided on black satin cord, and measure 1 1/2" long by 1" wide. Comes with five 3/4" blotter pads, refills also available.

Be sure and check out all the other stops on the tour.


October 15 Guest blog Jen McConnel

October 16 Promo Doctor's Notes

October 18 Guest blog and review Donna’s Blog Home

October 22 Guest blog P.W. Creighton Mondays as part of the Paranormal Perceptions

October 26 Guest blog Ex Libris

October 28 Guest blog and review For The Love of Reading

October 29 Review Not Now...Mommy's Reading


October 30 review Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

October 31 Guest blog and review On the Broomstick

October 31 Promo Sapphyria's Book Reviews

October 31 Promo and Review The Avid Reader

November 1 Guest blog Butterfly-o-Meter Books

November 5 Guest blog My Guilty Obsession

November 6 review Darkest Addictions Book Reviews

November 7 Interview JeanzBookReadNReview

November 8 Guest blog A Bibliophiles Thoughts on Books

November 8 Promo and review Starry Night Reviews

November 9 Interview Ilusions of Intimacy

November 10 Promo (review) Michelle's Paranormal Vault of Books

November 11 Promo Paranormal Cravings

November 12 review Stephanie Nordkap

Bewitching Book Tours

Wishlist Wednesday #30

Wishlist Wednesday is a book blog hop where we will post about one book per week that has been on our wishlist for some time, or just added (it's entirely up to you), that we can't wait to get off the wishlist and onto our wonderful shelves.

  • Follow Pen to Paper as host of the meme.
  • Please consider adding the blog hop button to your blog somewhere, so others can find it easily and join in too! Help spread the word! The code will be at the bottom of the post under the linky.
  • Pick a book from your wishlist that you are dying to get to put on your shelves.
  • Do a post telling your readers about the book and why it's on your wishlist.
  • Add your blog to the linky at the bottom of the post on Pen to Paper.
  • Put a link back to pen to paper somewhere in your post.
  • Visit the other blogs and enjoy!

On My Wishlist

Title: Revived
Author: Cat Patrick
Kindle Edition:
Pages: 352
Published: May 1st 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Goodreads Synopsis

As a little girl, Daisy Appleby was killed in a school bus crash. Moments after the accident, she was brought back to life.

A secret government agency has developed a drug called Revive that can bring people back from the dead, and Daisy Appleby, a test subject, has been Revived five times in fifteen years. Daisy takes extraordinary risks, knowing that she can beat death, but each new death also means a new name, a new city, and a new life. When she meets Matt McKean, Daisy begins to question the moral implications of Revive, and as she discovers the agency's true goals, she realizes she's at the center of something much larger — and more sinister — than she ever imagined.

Why did I choose Revived for this weeks Wishlist Wednesday?

Revived sounds very intriguing to me. A secret government agency has developed a drug called Reveve. This drug brings people back from the dead. Dasiy Appleby, one of their test subjects has been brought back from the dead five times.

Look for Cat Patrick on the web

Goodreads - Cat Patrick

Goodreads - Revived

Web Site - Cat Patrick

Twitter - Cat Patrick

Facebook - Cat Patrick

What is on your Wishlist Wednesday?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday #29

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics, check them out here!

This weeks Top Ten List

Top Ten Favorite Kick-Ass Heroines

  1. Zoey Redbird: House of Night By P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

  2. Stevie Rae: House of Night By P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

  3. Remy King: The Hollows By Amanda Hocking

  4. Jess: Witchblood (Witchblood Series) By Emma Mills

  5. Juliette: Shatter Me

  6. Elena: The Witching Pen By Dianna Hardy

  7. Mary: The Demon Bride By Dianna Hardy

  8. Kayla: Darkness Falls By Jessica Sorensen

  9. Lanore Vesta: Fire Baptized By Kenya Wright

  10. Alison Monroe: The Vampire Hunters By Scott M. Baker

What is on your Top Ten?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Blog Tour: (Interview + Excerpt) Zane By Kimberly Lewis

I would like to welcome Kimberly Lewis to The Avid Reader today. Thanks for stopping by Kimberly Lewis. Please be sure and check out Kimberly Lewis's novel Zane. Check out my interview with Kimberly Lewis and an excerpt of Zane.

Zane banner

Zane book cover

Book Title: Zane

Author: Kimberly Lewis

Series Title: The McKades of Texas

Book Number in Series: #1

Genre: Western Contemporary Romance

Book Content: Curse words used throughout entire novel, mild violence and some sexual situations (not recommended for readers under the age of 18)



*Zane is currently only available in ebook format*




Kellan Anderson is in hillbilly hell-or at least that's what it feels like. After enduring endless accounts of abuse from her now ex-boyfriend, Kellan makes a run for her life and finds herself in cowboy country. Leaving her fancy clothes and expensive lifestyle behind her, she trades in her high heels for cowboy boots and changes her name to Andi Ford. With her painful past threatening to catch up with her, hiding out in this small town seems easy enough - until one blonde hair, blue eyed cowboy steps in the picture.

Zane McKade has sworn off women, determining that they are all liars and cheats-including the new waitress at the local bar. After a rather unpleasant first encounter with the beautiful brunette, Zane's radar is set to high as he believes this woman is not who she claims to be. When his intimidation methods fail to break through Andi's barrier he decides to turn on the charm to get her to tell the truth. But Zane's plan begins to backfire as the more time he spends charming Andi, the more he finds himself breaking his own rules and falling for her.



Kellan saw the man coming her way and a nervous feeling began to grow in the pit of her stomach. She hadn't noticed it when he rode up, but he was incredibly good looking. The man had to be a least six two, with long muscular legs leading up to narrow hips that angled into a very masculine upper body. He looked like an athlete. He looked…solid. And although his pale blue shirt was soaked with sweat, it somehow added to his overall appeal. He stopped at her table and glared at her. Only then did she realize that this man was not coming over for friendly chit-chat and her mood shifted.

"Is that your red sports car out there?" Zane asked, tilting his head and jerking his thumb towards the parking lot.

"Yes," Kellan told him. What's it to you? She stared up at him, waiting for him to continue. But when he just stared back, his deep blue eyes shooting daggers at her, she decided enough was enough. "Is there something I can help you with?"

Zane's jaw flexed. "You could have four miles ago."

"What?" She was utterly confused as to what mileage had to do with his apparent anger towards her.

"I don't look familiar to you?" He stared at her, his eyebrows coming together in frustration.

She looked the man over from head to toe. "No, I'm sorry you don't."

Zane let out an exasperated sigh. "How about now?" He raised his arms above his head and waved them just like he had done when he was trying to flag her down.

He looked completely ridiculous and she fought back the urge to laugh at him. But the more she looked at him she realized that he did look strangely familiar. Oh my… He was the man on the side of the road next to the pickup truck just outside of town.

"Oh," Kellan said. "Yes, I do remember you now. I'm sorry I didn't recognize you with your shirt on." She loaded her voice with sarcasm and crossed her arms over her chest. If he was going to have an attitude with her, then she was going to give it right back.

Zane's eyes narrowed. "Well, would you care to explain why you just blew past me like that?"

Kellan laughed, quietly as to not draw attention. "Why did I blow past you? Hmm, let me think. Um, maybe it has to do with the fact that you were partially naked and in the middle of nowhere."

Well damn. He hadn't thought about that. He'd been all riled up thinking that some guy just ignored him. Now, thinking about it from her perspective, he could see why she didn't pull over to help him. As it was though, his built up anger from everything that had transpired today got the best of him and he continued with his rant.

"I was not half naked," he said, his voice low as he briefly glanced around the room to see if anyone could hear them speaking.

"Look, cowboy." She said the word as though it were an insult and not an affirmation of what he obviously was. "I'm sorry you're having a bad day, but don't come over here and take it out on me. I had a good reason for not stopping earlier and I'm not going to apologize for looking after my own safety. You could've been a murderer for all I knew."

Zane knew that he should just man up and walk away, but he just couldn't do that now after her snarky "cowboy" remark. Why'd she have to go and say it like that anyway?

"Look, princess," he said with the same tone she had used. "This ain't Hollywood. Take your sunglasses off. You're inside and you look like a damn fool."

Kellan's jaw fell in disbelief.

Zane smiled, feeling triumphant that he got in the last word. He turned and started to walk away from her.

"Screw you, cowboy!" she yelled after him, saying the word exactly as she had before. "And that horse you rode in on."

And-Whoops!-now everyone in the diner had turned to look at them. Zane turned around to face her with amusement on his face. "Very original, princess."


Kimberly Lewis

The Avid Reader: What inspired you to write Zane?

Kimberly Lewis: I had just finished writing my first western contemporary romance, When the Heart Falls, and I knew I wanted to keep writing and do more westerns. I love reading series and really wanted to make my next novel the first in its own. But I decided to put off the idea for a bit and expand my writing outside of the western genre to reach more readers. I started writing a contemporary romance about a school teacher, Jenna, who sort of gets herself involved in a bit of a love triangle with her father's wealthy associate's son, Nathan, and her childhood/best friend, Cole. I really liked the story but hit a bit of a road block with the plot, so it's now just sitting on my laptop, patiently waiting for the day I return to it :-) So after that, my mind started wandering and on a day that I was just in a really bad mood and feeling depressed I came up with the idea for Zane-sounds weird I know but let me explain. The idea came to me when I was contemplating on writing down my feelings (on that particular day as a way to vent) and then I got thinking about this character (Kellan/Andi) and her keeping a journal of her own. I started to think about why she would keep a journal and then the rest of the story just came in to place after that. After I thought about the characters (main and secondary) I decided that this was the family that I wanted my first series to revolve around-and The McKades of Texas was born.

The Avid Reader: When or at what age did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Kimberly Lewis: I knew I wanted to pursue writing seriously when I was 26. I had always loved writing but never dreamed I would actually have the opportunity to take it to the level where I would write a full length novel and publish it.

The Avid Reader: What is the earliest age you remember reading your first book?

Kimberly Lewis: Wow, you're really making me think hard with this question :-) The earliest I can remember would be in first grade when we had to read a book for an assignment. I think the only reason I remember that is because I had to do this during my family vacation to Disney World. We'd spend all day in the Magic Kingdom and then I had to come back to our rental house and do my homework. We took our trip in November and, in an effort to keep me up to date with my lessons, my parents asked my teacher to send my work with us. It was a nice thought and pretty smart thinking, but when I got back home from vacation I was way ahead of the class. LOL.

Now the first book, or books, I can remember reading for enjoyment would be the Sweet Valley High books, but I can't remember how old I was when I read them.

The Avid Reader: What genre of books do you enjoy reading?

Kimberly Lewis: I really love romance novels and my favorites are westerns (of course!). I do read outside of the romance genre but very rarely. The only books I can think of offhand that I've read that weren't romance are the Harry Potter ones.

The Avid Reader: What is your favorite book?

Kimberly Lewis: Gosh, this is a hard one. I have so many books that I LOVE and it's really hard to pinpoint which one would be my favorite. If I have to pick one I'm going to go with the first contemporary romance I ever read and that would be Infamous by Suzanne Brockmann. There is so much going on in that novel and it really kept me interested from beginning to end. I love books where I can see it play out in my head like a movie and this book is one of those.

The Avid Reader: You know I think we all have a favorite author. Who is your favorite author and why?

Kimberly Lewis: This one is easy. I really adore Joanne Kennedy's western romances. Her novels are full of life, with main characters that you really fall in love with and want nothing but the best outcome for them. She creates these secondary characters that really add that extra bit of support and comic relief that brings some lightness to her stories. Plus, the woman really knows how to write one heck of a sexy cowboy.

The Avid Reader: If you could travel back in time here on earth to any place or time. Where would you go and why?

Kimberly Lewis: I really think I'd like to visit the old west. I'm into the whole western romance thing and since I get to experience the contemporary world of that genre, I think it'd be cool to experience the historical world. But not for too long because I'd have a panic attack without today's modern conveniences and technology. LOL.

The Avid Reader: When writing a book do you find that writing comes easy for you or is it a difficult task?

Kimberly Lewis: Both. Sometimes I get on a roll and just write and write until I realize it's 4am and I've gotten no sleep and am going to have to take care of my family in three hours :-) And other times I will sit there and stare at my laptop screen, waiting for the next sentence to come to me. When that happens I usually take a break and if the creative juices start flowing I'll go back and start writing. If they don't I just call it a day and pick up where I left off another time. You can't force creativity.

The Avid Reader: Do you have any little fuzzy friends? Like a dog or a cat? Or any pets?

Kimberly Lewis: We do have a dog but she is far from fuzzy. LOL. Her name is Deja and she's our nine year old red Doberman Pinscher. She is honestly the best dog I have ever had and you'd never know she was nine years old. She still acts like a puppy and people always mistake her for being around the age of three.

The Avid Reader: What is your "to die for", favorite food/foods to eat?

Kimberly Lewis: I really like good old, down home foods. I'm from the country so chicken-n-dumplin's is my absolute favorite meal (slick, flat dumplings...not the biscuit kind). My favorite dessert is New York style cheesecake...but...Applebee's used to have this dessert called an Apple Chimmi-cheesecake (I'm sure I totally butchered the spelling of that). It's this ridiculously delicious concoction of a slice of cheesecake wrapped in a dough and deep-fried, then sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, topped with apple pie filling and a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream on the side. Holy. Freakin'. Moly. My mouth is just watering thinking about it. LOL. But they don't make it anymore! If the owner of Applebee's just happens to read this interview I would really, really appreciate it you could bring that dessert back! The world is a much better place with Apple Chimmi-cheesecake :-)

The Avid Reader: Do you have any advice for anyone that would like to be an author?

Kimberly Lewis: There is so much advice to give to aspiring authors and I think the best advice I can give is to just never give up on your dream. Write what you want to write and how you want to write it. Each of us have a unique way of storytelling, so don't let someone's opinion of how you should do things get you down or discourage you from reaching your goal.


Zane author

In November of 2011, author Kimberly Lewis stepped into the writing world with her first original western contemporary romance novel, When the Heart Falls.

Born and raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, this country girl at heart caught the creative bug at an early age, doing everything from drawing to writing short stories.

After the birth of her son, Kimberly found the inspiration to pick up a pen, or in this case a laptop, and began writing her first novel. Since then she has continued to write and credits her husband, Rob, and her wonderfully crazy family, who with their love and joking demeanor provide her with the ideas that inspire her novels.

In her spare time she enjoys reading, horseback riding, and spending time with her amazing family.






Be sure and check out all the other stops on the tour.


Oct. 21 - J.A. - (interview)

Oct. 22 - Jamie Leigh Haden - (Interview, guest post, excerpt,Giveaways)

Oct. 23 - Sheri - Review

Oct. 24 - Debbie - Amethyst Eyes - (interview/guest post/review)

Oct. 25 - Alana - (Review)

Oct. 26 - Midu - (Excerpt/book promo)

Oct. 27 - Johanna - My Miscellaneous Bookshelf - (guest post & excerpt and giveaway)

Oct. 28 - Dina - (Guest Post)

29 - Nancy - The Avid Reader - (excerpt and interview)

Oct. 30 - Flora - (Excerpt)

Oct. 31 - Tana - (Review)

MC Tour host banner

Blog A Quote #22

Blog A Quote is weekly meme hosted by Michelle Chew Writes. Each week we will be sharing a quote from our favorite books. For more info and to sign up visit Michelle Chew Writes.

My quote for this week

Gone With the Wind
Gone with the Wind By Margaret Mitchell

“I bare my soul and you are suspicious! No, Scarlett, this is a bona fide honorable declaration. I admit that it's not in the best of taste, coming at this time, but I have a very good excuse for my lack of breeding. I'm going away tomorrow for a long time and I fear that if I wait till I return you'll have married some one else with a little money. So I thought, why not me and my money? Really, Scarlett, I can't go all my life waiting to catch you between husbands. ”

Gone with the Wind is one of my all time favorite books. I really enjoy reading about the civil war and the fall of Atlanta. I love books like this where you can learn the history of your country while reading a good story.

What is your favorite quote?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Stacking The Shelves #19

Stacking The Shelves, A weekly Meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Blog about the books we got in the past weeh.

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Where each week we share the books that we have added to our shelves during the past week. This includes books that we bought, borrowed from the library, received from the author for review, books that we won. They can be either physical books or ebooks.

You can find out more about Stacking The Shelves from the official launch page.

More Amazon Freebies. But hey, I love Amazon Freebies.

Dead Religion Title: Dead Religion

Author: David Beers

A "God" is released on the world? Is it a "God" or a "Demon"? A hotel is blown up in Mexico City and an American citizen is responsible for the explosion that kills a lot of people? Wow Dead Religion sounds like a very intriguing read.

Bottomland: A Novella Title: Bottomland (A Novella)

Author: Curtis Hox

A writer instructor challenges his students to spend the night in an abandoned house in the mountains. Is the house haunted or does he just want to scare them?

Title: I Dream of Zombies

Author: S.D. Rasheed

25 year old Ash Nickeas likes to fantasize about a zombie outbreak. He likes to dream about who would survive and who wouldn't. What will he do to find out?

Zombie Day Care Title: Zombie Day Care: Impact Series - Book 1

Author: Craig Halloran

A day care for zombie children? How do you care for zombie children? Very carefully I would imagen. Why do you need a day care for zombie children? To save the children or yourself?

Title: Rise of the Zombies

Author: Drac Von Stoller

Rise of the Zombies? What are they gonna do? Stand up for what they believe in? Take over the world? Are they going to become the leaders of the world?

Title: Dragon Soul (Dragons in the Mist)

Author: B.J. Whittington

I have never read a book about dragons before. Dragon Soul just sounded like a good one to start with. It sounds as if it will be very interesting with plagues and humans being the host for the dragons.

Recieved from the author for an honest review.

The Whispers of the Sprite Title: The Whispers of The Sprite (YA Paranormal Romance) (The Whispers Series)

Author: Joanna Mazurkiewicz

I was asked by the author if I wanted to review her book The Whispers of The Sprite. It sounds like a very great book. Ania sees people that no one else sees or notices. She also falls for a guy named Gabriel. Is is alive, a sprite or what is he? Can she or will she let herself love him?

What did you add to your shelves this week?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Review: No Shelter By T.S. Welti

No Shelter (No Shelter, #1)

Title: No Shelter

Author: T.S. Welti

Series: No Shelter #1

Published: June 15th 2012

Publisher: Blackhill Publishing

Kindle Edition

Pages: 103



When the environment is ravaged by rising sea levels and monstrous storms, America is divided and survival becomes more precious than love.

When seventeen-year-old Nada and Isaac stumble upon a handsome stranger in the woods, their cozy alliance and romance begin to unravel. This stranger promises Nada the impossible in exchange for helping him rescue his sister from a prison in the last corner of civilization in the western United States. But this rescue operation is wrought with complications, including the fact that the girl they are supposed to save is the ex-President's daughter. This mission puts everyone's life at risk, especially Isaac--the one person who has always been there for Nada. Now Nada and her small tribe must choose between a somewhat comfortable existence in the mountains and the chance at a life free of fear and starvation.

This is a post-apocalyptic novella.



The following review is my opinion and not a paid review. I received No Shelter as a free download on Amazon.

The world and life as 17 year old Nada knew it has come to an end. The end was caused by huge storms like no one has ever seen before. Which resulted in large masses of flooding ending the life of the mass majority of the human population.

After the world had been destroyed and there was no more government officials and no more rules for anyone to live by there was a group of people who took charged called the guardians. Homes were destroyed so Nada and her mother went to live in a shelter in the high school. When a riot broke out at the shelter and the guardians were going to kill Nada she was saved by Isaac. The guardians set the school on fire and Nada's mother was killed in the fire.

Nada and Isaac along with some more friends set out on their own living in caves and any place they could find to stay safe. Nada and Isaac was attracted to each other but it took Nada a while before she gave in to her attraction to Isaac. They met a guy in the woods that wants Nada and her friends to help him rescue his sister. In return for their help he promised to take them to a safe place to live where there was plenty of water and food.

Isaac doesn't trust this stranger. He is jealous of him and Nada. Why he would be jealous I never could figure out exactly after what he did to Nada. But Nada being the nice person that she is could not say no to the strange. So they set out to go with him to rescue his sister. Nada has feelings for both Isaac and the new guy. She is confused most of the time as to which one she is really falling in love with.

I really liked reading No Shelter it was somewhat different from most post-apocalyptic novels that I have read as of lately. It is one of those page turners where you just want to keep reading and you don't want it to end.

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Blog Tour: (Guest Blog + Giveaway) The Death of Jack Nylund By David F Porteous

I would like to welcome David F Porteous to The Avid Reader today. Thanks for stopping by David F Porteous. Please be sure and check out David F Porteous's novel The Death of Jack Nylund. Check out my guest post with David F Porteous.

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The Death of Jack Nylund Book Cover

Book Title: The Death of Jack Nylund

Series: Gods and Monsters Book One

Author: David F Porteous

Genre: Urban Fantasy

ISBN: 978-1-291-03025-9

Number of pages: 127

Word Count: 37,000

Cover Artist: Rob Moran


The Death of Jack Nylund

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The Death of Jack Nylund

America, 1922. Ten years have passed since The Lines went up, dividing the States and the world into isolated pockets. The oligarchs are gangsters, titans of industry, monsters - the secret masters of mankind. They have endured a decade of cold war stalemate - but with forces equally weighted, the life of one man might be enough to change the fate of all men.

US Federal Marshal Clay Falk must bring Jack Nylund to New York. For the Marshal and his deputies the financial rewards are enormous, but in a landscape of shifting loyalties Falk is soon made a counter-offer he can't refuse. The war can be ended in a single night - the price is the honour of a legend and the life of a god.

Private Investigator Walter Black has no idea his latest missing person's case is the balance on which the world rests. Jack Nylund's sister is dying and Walter must track Jack's scent across America, through ruined lives, secret addictions and unforgettable pasts. The enemy he must overcome is one he's all too familiar with. The cost of his failure would be the death of Jack Nylund.


The Death of Jack Nylund

"This is a picture of him from 1919, just after the war, looking like he slept in that uniform all the way from France. He still had that face, but he wasn't the same. I know there's men who came back changed: the Paterson boy up in Brownville hung himself that summer. Nobody talked about it much, and I suppose that was for the best. But Jack wasn't like that; it hadn't been a terrible thing for him, I don't think. Or if it had been, then it was one of those terrible things you get through and it sets you free." She said it in a deliberate, emotionless voice and finally passed the small black and white photograph to Walter Black.

Mary Howard's hands and the photo smelled of Johnson's Baby Powder and Ivory soap.

"I knew the truth before he did," she said. "About this place. About him. He'd come back from the war having seen the world and, well, I can't imagine what else. He'd grown a head taller, but Auburn was still a small town; too small for him. Sure enough, he was gone before the winter set in."

"This is your only picture?" he asked.

"It's the most recent one. I have couple of older photos of him with our mother. I don't suppose those would be much use to you. I hope he still looks like this: can't imagine him as anything else. Is it enough?"

"You said he wrote to you," he reminded her.

"From hotels. I think only because there was paper and he had nothing to do. Backwards, forwards, 'cross a dozen states: as far east as Chicago and then three months later Baton Rouge and Beaumont, Texas. I kept all of them, wrote back the day I got each one, but I doubt he saw more than a handful of my replies. And so what? What stories did I have to tell him? Then a year ago the letters stopped. It was just after the baby came and before Arnold - that was my husband - before he passed away. For a couple of months I'd wait for the postman every day and some days he even had a letter for me. But it was never from Jack. His last one was from the Ramsay in Des Moines. I wrote there so many times the hotel manager wrote back asking me to stop."

"Can I see the letters?" Walter asked.

"Of course, let me-" She was cut-off by the sudden, sharp cry of the baby in the other room. "Like as not, he'll need changing. Can you give me a few minutes?"

He waited at the table and took another sip of the cheap, bitter coffee. The kitchen was clean, and worn from use and cleaning. The stove was older than the house around it, cannibalised from another home no grander than this one. A sink of similar ancestry was attached to the wall by iron bolts and stained with tears of indelible orange rust.

Mary Howard returned with a shoebox of letters under one arm and a wide-eyed child pressed to her side by the other. Her son - whose looks strongly favoured his mother - was Arnold Jack Howard.

"Pleased to meet you Mr Howard, I'm Walter Black," he said and extended his hand. The boy grabbed the top half of his thumb and beamed a toothless smile. "That's quite a grip you have there."

Mary sat back down and placed the collection of letters on the table. "You have a way with children Mr Black; little Jack doesn't usually take to strangers."

He asked, "May I see them?"

Her eyes followed his and with surprise she noticed the hand perched on top of the box, its fingers gripping the cardboard, like something precious beyond value, like a handhold on the edge of a precipice. Recognising the hand was hers, she exhaled and let go.

"I don't know what use they'll be. But if you need them, that's fine. I have most of them memorised."

He sorted the envelopes by eye. Four different sizes, eleven different shades of cream and white, one blue. Postmarks from fourteen states; nothing east of Chicago, Illinois, nor anything west of Grand Junction, Colorado. They smelled of the house and the shoebox and woman who had read them uncounted times. A handful were from Des Moines, but he lifted three others that looked the same and found a return address pre-printed onto the flap of each: Savoy Hotel, Kansas City.

As tactfully as he could, Walter Black said, "You should prepare yourself for the possibility-"

"That he's dead? I know."

"You should prepare yourself for the possibility that he's alive and doesn't want to come back."

She replied in that same flat voice, "I need you to find him Mr Black. If he's dead then I don't know what I'll do, but if he's alive he's got no choice. My son is all that matters to me now and he'll need someone when I'm gone."

Mary Howard's heart would not last the year, so the doctors said. Her mother died of the same thing at thirty-seven, though Mary was only twenty-eight. Stress, they called it; stress had cut her years as a grown woman in half, cut her time as a mother to nothing.

Walter continued, "This isn't as simple as making a few calls or writing some letters."

She held herself straight-backed as he explained his terms.

The blue cotton dress she wore had a small mending stitch at the shoulder. He'd seen this dress a hundred times on as many women. Such as it was, it was certainly the nicest thing she owned and she had worn it as much for herself as for him.

"I know the price," she said, "and I will pay it." Her desperation and the defiant setting of her jaw was a promise she couldn't break. They didn't discuss payment again.

"I'll leave in the morning for Kansas City and call you if I find anything there." He stood and picked up his hat from the table, taking the photograph and a selection of letters, as many as he could fit in a pocket.

"I don't have a telephone," she said.

"I'll write you, unless I can bring him back with me faster. Or unless it's not news you'd want to get by letter."

She rose to show him to the door and replied, "I'll wait for your letters, then."

Guest Blog

The Death of Jack Nylund

If you were to read the blurb for my new book The Death of Jack Nylund, you'd think it was a taut thriller set in the supernatural gangland of a fictional 1920s America. At least I hope that's what you'd think, because that's what I intended when I wrote the blurb. But that's not how the book started and in this guest post I wanted to draw back the curtain and show you just a little of the path towards creating this book.

The story that became Jack Nylund started in my first novel, Singular, set in a near-future where virtual immortality is possible through uploading your consciousness into a computer network. In this electronic afterlife people play games - much like they do now - assuming roles, undertaking quests, killing things and so forth.

In a world where the virtual is real - considers the recently deceased philosophy professor Patrick Clark - what are the moral implications of performing these tasks? And how are people changed by setting their sights on the "Genghis Khan Medal", awarded for killing one billion enemies - a feat that may take hundreds of years to achieve?

I wanted to explore this notion of changing the exterior -the skin of a person - and what effect this would have on the individual. Would the exterior change the interior? Or would the person within come to shape their appearance?

Then, understanding that there would be a world populated by individuals who could live forever, I asked myself what they would do with their lives? Would their needs and desires be dictated by their bodies or would they embrace a cerebral existence? Would they be noble or venal? How would they behave towards those whose bodies they stole? All these questions took me on a journey to the creation of a detective.

My detective meant to unpick, to understand and to reconcile the worlds of the shell-hoppers and the human beings. Thus was created Walter Black and the book opens with the dour, taciturn gumshoe in the run-down kitchen of his latest client whose brother Jack, a perfect candidate for a host body, has vanished without explanation.

All detectives of the pulp genre have dark stories; I knew Walter would be no exception, but the process of understanding the deep sadness in him was also how I came to understand his enemy and shape the oligarchs -the secret masters of mankind. As these pieces began to fit together I understood that the book - and the series that needed to follow - would also have to be an exploration of a man's relationship to his creator and the nature of love, weakness and obsession.

Walter Black opened the door on a new world of Gods and Monsters and I hope you'll step through that door with me and see what follows The Death of Jack Nylund.

    About the Author

The Death of Jack Nylund Author

David F Porteous is a social research consultant and author of the novel Singular and the forthcoming Gods & Monsters series. The following are randomly selected biographical details about David - hit refresh to learn more.

Early Life: David attended Cockenzie and Port Seton Primary School where he learned to spell and write his name in cursive. The value of these once impressive skills has been substantially undermined by subsequent technological developments.

Influences: His favourite authors include Iain Banks, George V. Higgins, Douglas Adams, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.

Other Interests: In his teens and early twenties he used to write poetry. People shouldn't try to find it; none of it was good.

Professional Work: In 2002 he graduated from Edinburgh Napier University with a degree in Marketing Management. His honours dissertation asserted that there was a bright future ahead for DVD rental stores. Over time this assertion proved to be both wrong and stupid. (He is not giving back the degree).







Tour wide giveaway

10 signed copies of David's debut novel – Singular.

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