Monday, May 30, 2011

Summoning

Summoning
By:  Debi Faulkner
ISBN: 2940011864247
Published October 10, 2010
Available format:  ebook

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Based on an old Irish witch story, Summoning tells the tale of young Meredith.  Sold into seven years’ servitude by her parents to pay only a year of their rent, Meredith learns there is more to her master than meets the eye.  One night she spies the Vicar making a deal with the devil himself—his soul as well as Meredith’s in exchange for vast wealth.  Over the years as his servant, Meredith learns this dark craft and begins her own correspondence with the demon in hopes of finding her vanished family once again.  When Meredith is accused of witchcraft and condemned to death, she must somehow save herself and those she loves before it is too late. 

I was the lucky winner of Summoning in a Library Thing giveaway.

I am sure that I read the book description before entering the giveaway, but I actually began reading this book not really certain exactly what it was about.  This was another one that I went into with tentative expectations but found myself extremely impressed. 

Debi Faulkner writes absolutely beautifully.  I have since learned that she is a poet, and that is obvious in the gorgeous prose of this novel.  She is a complete pro with imagery.  Without effort, I found myself right there with Meredith in the dank, cold cellar, dark, menacing mansion, and beautiful, rich orchard.  At first, I was a little thrown off by the jumps from the past to the present, but in the end it really worked out wonderfully.  I found practically no grammatical or mechanical errors as well which is always refreshing.

The characters are all strong and captivating.  Meredith is an impeccable protagonist, emphasized even more by the darkness and intrigue of the Vicar.  All the supporting characters, even Legion, were well-developed and added just the right touch to the overall story.  Meredith’s entire life is shaped by these characters and the influence they each have over her. 

This haunting story immediately grabbed my attention and kept me involved for hours.  I didn’t want to leave Meredith’s world.  This was a perfect read for a lazy Sunday afternoon!

This review can also be found at JournalStone.

Heaven is for Real

Heaven is for Real
By:  Todd Burpo
ISBN: 9780849949203
Published November 2, 2010 by Nelson, Thomas
Available format: Hardcover, Paperback, ebook, Audiobook

My Rating: ★★★★★

Heaven is for Real is a true story of a four-year-old boy from small-town Imperial, Nebraska.  Written by his father, a pastor, the book describes the revelation of Colton’s travels to Heaven during a terrifying emergency surgery for a ruptured appendix.  When Colton begins revealing details and facts he could not have possibly known about or fully understood, his parents had no other choice but to believe that Colton was indeed in the presence of God.  Often expressed in Colton's own words, the captivatingly simple message is:  Heaven for real, Jesus does really love children, and be prepared, the last battle is coming.

I was raised in a Christian home, attending church from the time I was just a few weeks old.  I accepted Jesus into my heart at the age of eight.  Although, I consider myself a pretty open-minded, tolerant person, I still hold onto the fundamental beliefs and morals with which I was raised.  I take my children to church, pray, volunteer in a Christian ministry, and maintain a strong relationship with God.  I even minored in religion in college, which surprisingly strengthened my conviction.  But, there are some things that are still hard for me to accept with unwavering faith.  Heaven is one of those things—something that I “know” is there but cannot in any way even begin to wrap my head around.  Deep down, I know that is because Heaven, God, the end of time, etc. are all things that are just not at all confined to our limited human understanding.  In some ways you might even call me skeptical.  It was with that skeptical mindset that I began reading this book recommended by my best friends. 

I settled in bed late Saturday night and thought I’d just go ahead and get started on it.  A few hours later, in the wee hours of Sunday morning, I closed the book, in tears and with an overwhelming sense of awe.  First of all, even though it is obvious in the first chapter Colton survives his illness, I was gripped with terror as his father described the events that unfolded during those few weeks.  I know being a mother makes those things more difficult, because it is so much easier for us to imagine something like that happening to our own children.  As he moved on to the realization that something remarkable happened to Colton during his surgery, I was both amazed and uncomfortable.  I could not help but think in the back of my mind, “Well, this boy is a preacher’s son.  Maybe he has a really great imagination, and the parents just took things the wrong way.”  It soon became evident that Colton just knew too many things for it to have been simply imagined.  He knew what his parents were doing during his surgery, he met his miscarried sister, and his great-grandfather who had passed thirty years prior introduced himself.  Also, much of his childish description of Heaven and its inhabitants aligned itself perfectly with scripture. 

There are so many little details that were just astounding, but I must insist that you read this book for yourself!  I know that many unbelievers will be able to easily shun the message this little boy was blessed to share.  As a believer, I can only hope that there will be some who may be enlightened and encouraged, regardless of personal beliefs or convictions.

I was about halfway through the book when my three-year-old daughter tiptoed into the room and crawled in bed with me.  She began chatting with me a little, and then pointed to the cover of the book.

Who is that?” she asked.

A little boy.”

I like him.  What’s his name?”

Colton.  When Colton was about your age, he got very sick and he got to go play with Jesus for a little while.”

She stopped with a very serious look on her face.  A moment later, she smiled really big and said, “Jesus loves me!

I think our children are much closer to Jesus and understand so much more than we could even hope to know.  If they can so enthusiastically believe in God’s absolute love for us, then why can’t we?


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Rio


Rio
Directed by: Carlos Saldanha
Released April 15, 2011 by Blue Sky Studios
Rated PG for mild off color humor

Taken from his native home when he is just a nestling, Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) the cerulean macaw finds a slightly over-indulgent home in small-town Minnesota with Linda (Leslie Mann).  When a scientist and bird lover from Brazil (Rodrigo Santoro) steps into Linda’s little book shop, Blu’s life is about to change in more ways than he expects.  He and Linda are convinced to make a trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil so Blu can mate with the only other known blue Macaw in the world, Jewel (Anne Hathaway), and insure the continuance of the species.  Because Blu is just about as geeky as he can be coupled with his lack of flying skills, Jewel is less than thrilled about her prospective mate.  Things take a worrisome turn when the new lovebirds are suddenly bird-napped and offered in an illegal international transaction.  Meeting a surplus of kooky and literally colorful characters along the way, Blu and Jewel must somehow find their way back home and perhaps even to each other.


I decided while I had a little time with just my boys, we would hit the drive-in tonight.  Rio was playing, and I had plenty of things along to distract me in case it wasn’t any good—my Kindle, nail polish, etc.  I am happy to report that I didn’t need any of it! 




Full of vibrant color and music, Rio is sure to entertain.  From the traditional Samba music to Will i Am and Jamie Foxx, Rio is packed with a fun and lively soundtrack.  The opening scene itself makes you want to shake your tail feather.  The Carnival scenes popped right off the screen with flashing lights, energetic feathered dancers, and hip-shaking tunes.  I even found a few opportunities to teach my six-year-old a little something: ornithology is the study of birds, and the Cristo Redentor is a real statue in Rio de Janeiro, for instance. Beneath it all, however, there is the essential message that if you truly believe it in your heart, you can make all your dreams come true. 


After watching this charming and exciting flick, I definitely have “Atenda ao Carnaval” on my to-do list right under “Buy Rio when it is available on BluRay”!!!



This review can also be found at JournalStone.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Free Kindle ebook: Self-Reliance

Self-Reliance
By:  Ralph Waldo Emerson


Redefining the classic essay, this modern edition of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s most famous work, Self-Reliance, includes self-reflections from both historical and contemporary luminaries. With quotes from the likes of Henry Ford and Helen Keller to modern-day thought leaders like Jesse Dylan, Steve Pressfield, and Milton Glaser, we're reminded of the relevance of Emerson’s powerful words today. Emerson’s words are timeless. Persuasive and convincing, he challenges readers to define their own sense of accomplishment and asks them to measure themselves against their own standards, not those of society. This famous orator has utter faith in individualism and doesn’t invoke beyond what is humanly possible, he just believes deeply that each of us is capable of greatness. He asks us to define that greatness for ourselves and to be true to ourselves. At times harsh, at times comforting, Emerson’s words guide the reader to challenge their own beliefs and sense of self. This modern edition of Self-Reliance is ideal for graduates or those who are in the midst of a career or lifestyle change. Emerson's sage guidance wrapped in modern-day reflections is a great reminder about the potential within us all and that life is what you make of it.


Go HERE to get this freebie while you can!

Imperial Hostage: Book One of the Destruction Trilogy

Imperial Hostage: Book One of the Destruction Trilogy
By: Phil Cantrill
ISBN: 9781936564064
Expected publication: June 3, 2011 by JournalStone
Available Format: Paperback


My Rating: ★★★★☆


Shortly after Prince Erechtheus arrives as hostage in Poseidia, the capital of the Empire, a blind seer shakes his world with an ominous prophecy. Al-Jinn, a dark, powerful High Priest of the Temple of Bel, is threatened by the foretelling and begins to abuse Prince Erech, finally preparing him as a sacrifice for Lord Bel. High Priest of the Temple of One, Kul-Kan, miraculously comes to Erech’s aid, saving his life and giving him sanctuary away from the evil Al-Jinn.


The Temple of One offers Erech safety, friendship, and proper education, yet he still finds himself pursued by darker forces. His survival depends on his new-found friends and the many skills and insights he gains while in their company. Throughout his years as hostage of the Empire, Erech will suffer several heart-breaking losses, but will he be able to endure the greatest challenge of all and prevent a war between his homeland and the land where he has grown into a man?


I received an advanced manuscript of Imperial Hostage: Book One of the Destruction Trilogy from the publisher for proofing and review.


I found the beginning of the story, after the exciting introduction of Ai-Ram, a bit slow. Cantrill writes beautifully, but for a while I felt it was lacking a little something to truly grab my attention. I’m never one to give up on anything in the beginning anyway, so it didn’t take long for things to pick up and draw me in deeper.


I could not help but giggle (perhaps sadistically) when Su-Lun was on the mountainside stalking Erech. The poor man could not catch a break, but I suppose if he did our protagonist might not make it through the book!


My absolute favorite part of the story was when Erech adopted Wolf. I think it added that extra warmth that was lacking before. His relationship with Drako was similar, but I felt his bond with Wolf was stronger and more important. I couldn’t help but become weepy regarding how their relationship plays out through the story.


I think Erech’s affairs with the girls bothered me a little. It would have been nice if maybe just one girl he liked (or didn’t initially like) didn’t throw herself at him desperately. With all the girls, excluding his friendship with Ai-Ram, I did not feel the emotional connection between them. It really seemed all physical, and I think that is why his bond with Wolf was so refreshing. There is naturally some unrequited love, but I have an inkling of what might be in store in the rest of the series. Of course, all this romantic stuff is going to be more important to us women than it will be to the men.


I love the basis of the story—the historical feel. I appreciate the way the mythological and religious we are accustomed to were woven into the more imaginative and unfamiliar. It felt a little ancient Greece meets Atlantis, and it was wonderful.


In the end, I was certainly left wanting more of the story. I am truly looking forward to the rest of the series. It was a great read, and I appreciate the opportunity to share in the publication process!


This review can also be found at www.journalstone.com.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Splash into Summer Giveaway with A Cupcake and a Latte



My friend at A Cupcake and a Latte is hosting a great giveaway right now! Please head over and follow her blog and enter to win these fabulous prizes!

The giveaway will run from May 24th to the 31st. The winners will then be chosen, announced, and contacted on June 3rd.

Up for grabs are ebook copies of She Smells the Dead and Spirit Storm by E.J. Stevens and Wither by Lauren DeStefano as well as a super pack of bookmarks, tattoos, magnets, etc.

Head over and enter for your chance to win!!

Galadria: Peter Huddleston and the Rites of Passage

Galadria: Peter Huddleston and the Rites of Passage
By: Miguel Lopez de Leon
ISBN:  9781609560089
Published March 3, 2011 by Wakestone Press LLC
Available Format:  Paperback, ebook

My Rating:  ★★★★★

Peter Huddleston has a dreadfully boring life in his little boring town with his boring father and stepmother.  Although he has the best of intentions, Peter can never quite fit in or stay out of trouble.  His harmless mistakes manage to be blown further and further out of proportion.  Finally, his father reaches his breaking point and sends him to stay the summer with his Aunt Gillian at her home, Hillside Manor.

Peter quickly learns that Hillside Manor is anything but ordinary.  The vast manor is a gateway to Galadria where Peter’s maternal family rules, meaning Peter is destined to be the Crown Prince.  Before he can wear that title, Peter must master The Rites of Passage while facing the threat of Knor of the House of Shadowray who covets the Galadrian throne.  With his trusty boomerang and magical trinkets, Peter strives to prove himself worthy to be the heir and finally find the place where he belongs.

I won a paperback copy of Galadria:  Peter Huddleston and the Rites of Passage in a Library Thing giveaway.

I was super impressed with this book!  It is recommended for ages eight and up, but it is truly perfect for everyone.  It is written so well.  The shape and size of the font and the spacing on the page is great for younger readers.  The vocabulary is advanced enough to “teach” something yet simple enough to not be overwhelming.   The story flows seamlessly.  Peter is a familiar and likable protagonist.  The transition from his dreary hometown to the colorful and exciting life at Hillside Manor really grabs the reader’s attention.  The characters are all fascinating—from the quirky and amusing Monty and Ms. Homebody, to the beautiful and graceful Aunt Gillian, to the angry hippopotami and the stunning and powerful tiger, Rune.  There has to be a character or two that the reader cannot help but adore.  Even the mansion itself, with its 3000 rooms, diverse animal preserve, and enchanting flower garden, could be considered a personality in itself.  The action really builds as Peter goes through the rites and climaxes at just the right time near the end of the book.  The reader is left with enough curiosity to continue on with the series, without being left confused or unfulfilled.  I absolutely loved it!   I'm looking forward to reading the series with my children.

Grab a copy of Galadria:  Peter Huddleston and the Rites of Passage and try it out for yourself!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Entangled in Darkness

Entangled in Darkness
By:  Lindsey Webster
ISBN: 978-1600473487
Published September 11, 2009 by Wasteland Press
Available Format:  Paperback, ebook

My Rating:  ★★★☆☆

Annalyn Johanssen was moving out from home with her best friend and starting university for the first time. It was supposed to be an exciting time in her life. She saw herself as being on the road to success and hoped to one day obtain a PhD and start a prestigious career. University was just the first step in a long and happy life of success. As much as she hoped to get away from the unhappiness of her adolescence, she soon found herself spiraling into darkness.

Lindsey Webster graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and endeavored to get another degree in psychiatric nursing in accordance with her passion for mental health and for the darker side of life that encompasses mental illness, disorder, abuse, trauma, and anything else that challenges the soul. Her writing explores this world and has been inspired by her own struggles with darkness, disorder, and chaos. Her other passions include writing poetry and editing for the literary magazine Cerulean Rain. She lives with her many pets in British Columbia, Canada and continues her work in psychiatric nursing.

I was a lucky winner of Entangled in Darkness in a Library Thing giveaway.

This might be one of the most personal reviews I write.  When I learned that this book dealt with a psychological disorder, I was certainly interested since I also hold a BA in Psychology and plan to work in the mental health field.  Much of my life, I personally have dealt with depression and anxiety, partially inherited from my father—another similarity with this read. 

As I read through the first third of Entangled in Darkness, I was immediately wrapped up in the intensity and darkness of Annalyn’s story.  It brought up a lot of personal memories and feelings for me.  My life certainly wasn’t exactly like hers, but I could definitely identify with her helpless spiral into depression.  That first night, I slept horribly because of the nightmares that the memories had brought on.  The following day, I was in a total funk both from exhaustion and all the thoughts that were crowding my head.  I actually had to take a break from the book to catch my breath. 

When I continued, Annalyn was moving into the more manic stage of her disorder and starting to realize something more was going on.  I identified less with her from this point, but I was no less enraptured with her life.  Her relationship with her father was striking for me.  Again, it was not exactly the same, but there were many similarities between their relationship and my own with my father. 

Overall, I really liked this book.  Lindsey absolutely knows about the darker side of mental illness—the side that often stays hidden within the person’s own mind.  She describes this perfectly through Annalyn’s experiences and thoughts.  The effect that it can have on family and friends is also flawlessly portrayed through her story.  

My only issue with the book is that sometimes the actual writing became a little repetitive, and there were several technical things that could have used a little cleaning up.  I read the Kindle version, so the paperback might be somewhat different.   Without all that, I probably would bump my rating up to 4-stars, because the actual story is very interesting and enlightening.  As far as being emotionally moving, Entangled in Darkness could not have been any better in my opinion.  

I am curious now if Lindsey will continue the story or if she is just going to leave us hanging! :-)

Free ebook: Their Last Suppers: Legends of History and Their Final Meals

Their Last Suppers:  Legends of History and Their Final Meals
By:  Andrew Caldwell



Did you know that Adolf Hitler was a vegetarian and his longtime private chef was Jewish? What dish played an integral role in Marilyn Monroe's unsuccessful bid to woo back Bobby Kennedy? Part historical narrative and part grilling guide and cookbook, Andrew Caldwell's Their Last Suppers: Legends of History and Their Final Meals guides history buffs and gourmands alike through gastronomically inspired biographical accounts of more than 20 legendary personalities.
Unearthing recipes as far back as 323 B.C., Caldwell, the History Chef, provides insight into 2,000 years of culinary lore. Each historical figure's profile includes a brief description of pursuits and accomplishments as well as little-known anecdotes, popular foods of his or her time period, recipes for the figure's actual last meal, and cooking tips. Because the kitchens of Montezuma, Caesar, and other notables profiled within the book were often very basic, Caldwell brings their fare into modern kitchens, although he strongly believes that, whenever possible, grills and open fires should be used for most dishes and therefore provides specific preparation tips throughout.
From the Titanic's 12-course tasting menu to personal recipes for Princess Diana's Favorite Watercress Soup, Elvis Presley's Fried Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich, Julius Caesar's Ambrosia, Cleopatra's Hummus, and Stone Crab a la Kennedy, historians and foodies alike will relish the trivia and tastings paired within Their Last Suppers: Legends of History and Their Final Meals.

   About the Author

Andrew Caldwell has worked as a classical chef in Bermuda, Mexico, and the United States. He has managed a number of resorts and overseen the development of more than 40 restaurants around the globe. A keen historian, Caldwell has visited many of the sites in this book to ensure its accuracy. He resides in Orlando, Florida, and maintains an online presence at www.thehistorychef.net.



Head over HERE to snag your copy while it is free!

Coming Soon!! Interview with The Sword of Darrow authors, Alex & Hal Malchow

Everyone be sure to stop by next week to learn more about this AWESOME book and the truly inspirational story behind it!

Synopsis & Review will be posted here Thursday, June 2, 2011.
Author Interview with Alex & Hal Malchow will be featured Friday, June 3, 2011.

Share with your friends and get everyone involved!  You won't want to miss it!

Welcome!

I just wanted to say a quick welcome to all the new followers!  I am so thrilled to have you all here!
Please share Gathering Leaves with everyone and ask them to join us.  Also, feel free to connect to the Facebook page and share over there as well!
I currently have several author interviews in the works as well as a giveaway coming up in June!
Blessings!!

Free ebook: The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden 
By: Frances Hodgson Burnett


What secrets lie behind the doors at Misselthwaite manor? Recently arrived at her uncle's estate, orphaned mary Lennox is spoiled, sickly, and certain she won't enjoy living there. Then she discovers the arched doorway into an overgrown garden, shut up since the death of her aunt ten years earlier. Mary soon begins transforming it into a thing of beauty--unaware that she is changing too.

But Missalthwaite hides another secret, as Mary discovers one night. High in a dark room, away from the rest of the house, lies her young cousin Colin, who believes he is an incurable invalid, destined to die young. His tantrums are so frightful, no one can reason with him. If only, Mary hopes, she can get Colin to love the secret garden as much as she does, its magic will work wonders on him.




Take this opportunity to get this classic HERE!!



Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Letters to Elise: A Peter Townsend Novella

Letters to Elise:  A Peter Townsend Novella
By:  Amanda Hocking
ASIN:  B004GUSE2Q
Published December 20, 2010
Available Format: ebook

My Rating:  ★★★★☆

In Amanda Hocking’s My Blood Approves series, Peter Townsend finds himself in love with Alice despite his own reservations.  Unfortunately, although Alice certainly has feelings for Peter, she is also in love with his brother, Jack.  It is revealed that Peter once was bonded with and very much in love with a vampire named Elise.  Letters to Elise:  A Peter Townsend Novella takes us back in Peter’s life.  Through his correspondence with Ezra and Elise, he describes how he becomes a vampire and what his early life is like.  We learn how he meets and falls in love with Elise and what became of her.  Finally we are given a backstage pass when Mae, Jack, and Alice enter his life. 

In case you didn’t catch it before, I LOVE Peter in Hocking’s My Blood Approves series.  He is so much more interesting and mature than his brother (and certainly better looking in my imagination).  I think Alice should have chosen him to begin with.  Of course, that would have taken a lot of content out of the books, but a girl can dream can’t she?   This novella gives the reader a chance to spend some quality time with Peter and get to know him a little better.  I was so thankful to finally have the full back story about him and Elise which was only briefly described in My Blood Approves

Because this book is a novella, and therefore much shorter, in addition to being formatted as letters instead of chapters, it is an extremely easy, quick read.  I read the entire thing at the ball field one day waiting for my son to finish baseball practice.  My only complaint is that occasionally Hocking inserts quite a bit of dialogue within a letter, making it a bit confusing and taking some of the charm away from the overall presentation. 


If you are interested in the
My Blood Approves series, this novella is definitely a great piece of supplemental literature.   If you want to quickly get a feel for the series as well as Hocking’s writing, I think this would be a great place to start.  Just be prepared to “need” her other books when you are finished!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Free ebook: The Pastor's Wife

The Pastor's Wife
By: Jennifer Allee


Product Description

Maura Sullivan never intended to set foot in Granger, Ohio, again. But when circumstances force her to return, she must face all the disappointments she tried so hard to leave behind: a husband who ignored her, a congregation she couldn’t please, and a God who took away everything she ever loved.

Nick Shepherd thought he had put the past behind him, until the day his estranged wife walked back into town. Intending only to help Maura through her crisis of faith, Nick finds his feelings for her never died. Now, he must admit the mistakes he made, how he hurt his wife, and find a way to give and receive forgiveness.

As God works in both of their lives, Nick and Maura start to believe they can repair their broken relationship and reunite as man and wife. But Maura has one more secret to tell Nick before they can move forward. It’s what ultimately drove her to leave him six years earlier, and the one thing that can destroy the fragile trust they’ve built.

   About the Author

As a child, Jennifer AlLee lived above a mortuary in the heart of HollywoodCalifornia, which may explain her unique outlook on life. Her publishing credits include a contemporary romance novel, The Love of His Brother (November 2007) as well as skits, activity pages, and over one hundred contributions to the popular My Devotions series. She’s an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers and serves as the Nevada Area Coordinator. Jennifer resides in the grace-filled city of Las Vegas with her husband and teenage son.  Website:  www.jenniferallee.com.



Head over HERE to snag your copy while it is free!!



Free ebook: Stick Dog Wants a Hamburger

Stick Dog Wants a Hamburger
By:  Tom Watson


Stick Dog and his four friends - Stripes, Mutt, Poo-Poo and Karen - will do anything to steal some sweet-smelling hamburgers from a family at Picasso Park. Their plans to do so are both devious and wacky. Illustrated with bold pastels, this story breaks the conventions of the traditional picture book: The narrative is conversational, the illustrations are loud and accessible and the story is longer (about 6,000 words) and aimed at slightly older readers of seven and up. Parents who read aloud will enjoy the story - and the laughs. Priced low so more people can discover Stick Dog and his buddies.


Head over HERE to snag this cute one for the kids!!!



Sunday, May 15, 2011

Free ebook FOR REVIEW: Vampires Rule

Vampires Rule
By:  KC Blake


The author is giving away free copies of her new young adult fantasy ebook Vampires Rule in exchange for reviews (please post at Smashwords, Goodreads, and Amazon specifically).  


Visit Smashwords, place the ebook in your cart, and enter the code RS97X at checkout to download your free copy in whatever format(s) you prefer!  Please be sure to post a review in return.


Book Description:
They don't call him Jackpot for nothing.

Seventeen-year-old Jack always beats the odds... at least until now. When a werewolf tried to kill him ten years ago, vampires saved his life. At first he was grateful. Then he realized he couldn't go home to his brother, couldn't return to his old life. Humans can become vampires; vampires can't become mortal again, but somehow Jack gets lucky. Like a cat, he always lands on his feet. He wakes up one morning without fangs, and the sunlight doesn't set him on fire. This is it, his dream, only it's real this time. What could possibly go wrong?

Enter a pretty hunter with dark secrets, a brother who wants to stake him just to be on the safe side, and a psychotic werewolf. Now we have a party. 





This freebie should last through June, but hurry and snag a copy before the code expires!  I'll say it one more time:  PLEASE be sure to post a review in exchange for the book, since that is the whole reason Ms. Blake is making this book free for everyone!! :-)

Doodling


Doodling
By:  Jonathan Gould
AISN:  B004KSQVCO
Published January 24, 2011
Available Format:  ebook

My Rating:  ★★★★☆

Neville Lansdowne just could not keep up with the desperately spinning world any longer.  He simply had to let go.  He soon finds, however, that life in space is just another adventure.  Wandering through an asteroid field, he runs into many remarkable characters.  One asteroid is home to kitchen appliance devotees, while another is the territory of a couple of party animals.  Life in outer space is as diverse, eccentric, and unpredictable as it is on Earth.  There is one slight complication, however.  The world is out of control and on a collision course with Neville’s beloved asteroid family.  It is up to Neville to figure out how to stop this horrific catastrophe from occurring and setting everything back to rights. 

Doodling is something I most likely would not have read under normal circumstances.  Since I was given a copy to review, I was happy to try it out.  I have to say, it was truly delightful! 

Doodling best falls under the category of comic fantasy.  It rides the waves with A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and an inkling of Gulliver’s Travels.  The writing is creative and perfectly paced—quite comparable to Lewis Carroll.  The book is chockfull of metaphors, if you care to notice them.  Although, you might just want to sit back and enjoy the wit (think a rather G-rated Monty Python production). 

At times it reminded me of one of my son’s favorite Nickelodeon television shows, The Upside Down Show.  The quirky humor and fun, inventive resolutions fall right in line with that show’s aim at both comical entertainment and education.  I think it is something that my kids would enjoy reading when their attention spans are slightly more extensive.   I was able to zoom through this short read in just a couple reading sessions, but it certainly did not lack in amusement!

Bravo to Mr. Gould! 

Right now you can snag a copy on Amazon for a mere $0.99.  Please don’t deny yourself a little break from this hectic world with a bit of Doodling.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Free ebook: How I Found Livingstone

How I Found Livingstone
By:  Sir Henry M. Stanley


The Travels, Adventures and Discoveries in Central Africa including four months residence with Dr. Livingstone.

CHAPTER. I. - INTRODUCTORY. MY INSTRUCTIONS TO FIND AND RELIEVE LIVINGSTONE.
On the sixteenth day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-nine, I was in Madrid, fresh from the carnage at Valencia. At 10 A.M. Jacopo, at No.-- Calle de la Cruz, handed me a telegram: It read, "Come to Paris on important business." The telegram was from Mr. James Gordon Bennett, jun., the young manager of the `New York Herald.'
Down came my pictures from the walls of my apartments on the second floor; into my trunks went my books and souvenirs, my clothes were hastily collected, some half washed, some from the clothes-line half dry, and after a couple of hours of hasty hard work my portmanteaus were strapped up and labelled "Paris."
At 3 P.M. I was on my way, and being obliged to stop at Bayonne a few hours, did not arrive at Paris until the following night. I went straight to the `Grand Hotel,' and knocked at the door of Mr. Bennett's room.
"Come in," I heard a voice say. Entering, I found Mr. Bennett in bed. "Who are you?" he asked.
"My name is Stanley," I answered.
"Ah, yes! sit down; I have important business on hand for you."
After throwing over his shoulders his robe-de-chambre Mr. Bennett asked, "Where do you think Livingstone is?"
"I really do not know, sir."
"Do you think he is alive?"
"He may be, and he may not be," I answered.
"Well, I think he is alive, and that he can be found, and I am going to send you to find him."
"What!" said I, "do you really think I can find Dr Livingstone? Do you mean me to go to Central Africa?"
"Yes; I mean that you shall go, and find him wherever you may hear that he is, and to get what news you can of him, and perhaps" --delivering himself thoughtfully and deliberately--"the old man may be in want:--take enough with you to help him should he require it. Of course you will act according to your own plans, and do what you think best--BUT FIND LIVINGSTONE!"


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Free ebook: 10,000 Dreams Interpreted

10,000 Dreams Interpreted
By:  Gustavus Hindman Miller


Uncover the deep-buried mysteries contained within the unconscious. With this updated, expanded, and beautifully-illustrated edition of a ground breaking work in allegorical dream interpretation--first published nearly a century ago--you can identify the unique meanings of the visual symbols in your dreams. Understand your hidden thoughts, fears and desires. Find out what your dreams predict for your future, and how they can affect everyday life. Arranged by category, the concise entries and extensive cross-referencing enable you to look up thousands of dream elements, including animals, weather, people and places, illness, deaths, births, sports, toys, buildings, methods of transportation, magical creatures, religious imagery, clothes and jewelry, behaviors, business and industry, furnishings, emotions, and more. The author's original introduction offers information on dream theory and the rationale behind his method of analysis.


I've been known to be a bit of a dream interpretation enthusiast since my early days of interest in psychology.  This should be a bit of fun!


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