Friday, August 31, 2012

Cover Reveal: Tirade by Cambria Hebert

Congrats on another fabulous cover, Cambria!!  

Title: Tirade (Heven and Hell #3)
Genre: YA paranormal
Publisher: Cambria Hebert
Release date: November 30, 2012
Format: Ebook and Paperback

Betrayal burns. Death hurts and the clock ticks…
Minutes and hours stretch into days. How long can Sam survive being confined in Hell? I have a plan… a plan with a lot of holes. I need someone who can make up for my weaknesses, someone who possesses the power that I lack. Riley is supposed to be off limits. He’s dangerous, he’s mean and he’s not to be trusted. But I do.
Beelzebub is on a tirade, bent on revenge. I took what he wants and sent him into the flames. I will wear the scars of his punishments forever. But scars don’t scare me anymore.
On my way to free Sam I find my true path, a secret place and new allies. But in Hell nothing is easy… and everything is cruel. The only thing left to do is survive.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Cover Reveal: Bewitched by Cambria Hebert

Happy Friday, y'all!  Has this month been as crazy for you guys as it has been for me? Talk about some stress...

But, let's forget about all that today and celebrate the cover reveal for Cambria Hebert's next release, Bewitched!

Here it is!  Isn't it gorgeous??? (I love the green!)

Title: Bewitched (Heven and Hell #2.5)
Genre: YA paranormal
Publisher: Cambria Hebert
Release date: October 5, 2012
Format: Ebook

For years, I accepted that Heven was more popular than me. I never liked it but I lived with it. I walked in her shadow, I stood by her when no one else would. When I finally thought her spotlight was mine things began to change. She began to change. Now she hardly ever calls me back, she spends all her time with her hot new boyfriend and everyone at school thinks she’s back on top. She had it all. But apparently she wants more. She wants Cole – my boyfriend. What’s worse is that it looks like she got him. I’ve had enough and she’s going to be sorry. Why?
Because I am bewitched.

And, if that isn't enough to get you hooked, here's a little preview for ya.  Enjoy!!


Working out was for jocks. Homework was for nerds and I wasn’t a jock or a nerd. Yet, here I was, sweating through my favorite Victoria Secret yoga pants and tank with a headache the size of Macy’s. Learning about my powers was hard work. I thought it would come naturally. My brain was hurting from concentrating and my muscles were actually sore from effort. I thought longingly of the potion in the green bottle that Hecate had given me—a little sip would make it that much easier to use my powers, but she took it away. Apparently, I had all the power she wanted me to have. It kind of pissed me off.
   In fact, I was feeling pretty disgruntled all around.
   I was hot, I was sweaty, my head hurt and my hair was frizzy. Not to mention I had been wearing sneakers far too long. Thank goodness Hecate was gone. I actually had been glad not to be alone after the “bone incident,” but now I was ready for some alone time. I felt stronger.
   Feeling strong plus feeling disgruntled equaled somebody was gonna get hurt.
   I was standing in my yard near the lake and I glanced up at the moon before heading inside. It was low and swollen tonight—a haunting moon. It sent a shiver up my spine. I thought briefly about going to Heven’s and treating her to a little of what she deserved. I even looked toward the driveway as I walked, but I wasn’t going anywhere looking like this.
   I went into the house and began climbing the stairs. Halfway up, I heard a noise in the kitchen and I paused. My parents were still out of town. It wasn’t the maid’s day to be here… unless she came early. Another thud in the kitchen had me spinning on the stairs to see what it was.
   “Mary?” I called out. “Is that you?” Maybe she switched her schedule around and I didn’t know about it. Maybe I could get her to make me a latté.
  No one answered, and the noises in the kitchen fell silent. I stopped at the bottom of the stairs and listened, wondering if I had heard anything at all. “Hello?” I called again, this time more unsure. This time a fine chill raced up my back.
   Suddenly being alone in this big house was scary.
   Clink, clink, clink.
   Okay, I wasn’t hearing things. Someone was there.
   I stepped off the stairs and walked through the foyer in the direction of the kitchen. I heard the cat hiss and I paused again. Clover was too lazy to hiss at a mouse. Something in my stomach turned cold and hard.
   I looked over my shoulder at the massive front doors to the alarm keypad and the distress button.
    But it was too late for pressing buttons.
    Clover burst around the corner with a hideous screech and barreled into me, hitting me in the knees and causing me to stumble. The cat didn’t even stop. I could hear his claws scraping frantically across the tiles. “What the…” I began as I straightened, but then something lurched around the corner after the cat.
     It was hideous.
     It stood about a foot taller than me with wide shoulders that were uneven looking—one was lower than the other—and a wild mane of bushy orange hair that seemed to create a cloud around its pasty, white face. Its lips were black and it had a nasty row of teeth that had seen a lot of decay. It had large purple circles around its eyes, which seemed to have no color at all.
    It looked like a psychotic clown.
    I screamed and took a step backward, and the thing grinned. I went running but it lunged and caught me around the wrist, pulling me back. I struggled, kicking out, but it was no use, his grip was too strong.
     Without any warning it reached up and snatched my silver pendant right off my neck. “Hey!” I screamed as it shoved me away. I fell onto my butt and stared up at the glittering silver heart as it dangled from the nasty clown’s hands.
    Cole had given that to me. It was the last gift he had given me before we broke up.
    Anger surged into my chest, making me hot. “Give that back.”
    Freaky Clown gave me another frightening grin and ran back into the kitchen, disappearing from sight. I ran after it, running into a solid wall of… offensiveness.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Colorful Kisses

Colorful Kisses
Written and Illustrated by: Melissa Fusarelli
ISBN: 978098277396
Published February 11, 2012 by Perfected Pen
Available Format: Paperback

My Rating: ★★★★★

My daughter was so excited when we received this book in the mail today. (I think she might just be a book lover like her mommy J.) We immediately sat down to read it together.

The smooth, rhyming text is great for early readers, but it wasn't so simple that it became boring or cliché. What really tells the story is the beautiful artwork. Bright, colorful illustrations take the reader on a journey through the associations of color with emotions.

I think this is a fantastic teaching tool on a few different levels. First, the early reader is introduced to some stimulating text. The opening line—"The smiling sun delivers dawn with a kiss."—is just a sample of the creative phrasing. In addition, inspired artwork graces every page from top to bottom. The eyes are stimulated, but not overwhelmingly so. While given an extra opportunity to learn the different colors, children are also introduced to the ways different colors are associated with different emotions or behaviors. From a psychological standpoint, I love this the most. How amazing if our kids could express themselves through the use of color and art, in addition to using their words in proper ways.

This is a wonderful book for all ages. I encourage you to get a copy to enjoy and use it as a platform for furth

Friday, August 17, 2012

Guest Post: Another Tolkien Trilogy by Lauren Bailey

Hello to all my bloggy friends :-).  I really hate I am not around much these days, but I am busy, busy, busy!  School is about to start, and combined with a much more demanding editing schedule, we're trying to scramble to get all those last minute, end of summer tasks completed! 
I haven't been able to read as much or as quickly as usual, but I am rereading The Hobbit right now. It's slow going, but I plan to be all finished by the time the film releases this winter, after which I will have an updated review for you. I can't wait to see what Mr. Jackson does with this timeless classic!
So, I was thrilled when Lauren presented me with this little article about the upcoming trilogy. Enjoy! And have a great weekend!

Another Tolkein Trilogy 

Tolkein fans have been awaiting the completion of The Hobbit for two years now. Director Peter Jackson returned to complete the film, and after substantial delays, the film is complete and scheduled to release in December of 2012.

Though the adaptation was scheduled to span the length of two full-length films (subtitled An Unexpected Journey and There and Back Again), last week Jackson announced that the film would be expanded into three films.  The second film will be released in December of 2013 while the third is scheduled to open in summer of 2014.

Like so many Tolkein fans, I have been anticipating the release of The Hobbit since the announcement of the release date.  The story has been one of my favorites since childhood. Even as a bookworm, my first memory of The Hobbit is of the 1977 animated version.  I later read the Lord of the Rings trilogy to coincide with the movie releases that extended into my college years.

The 1977 version remains one of my favorite children’s movies. It is a dark and lyrical movie that does not spare children from the more terrifying aspects of trolls, enormous spiders, goblins, wolves and elves. Even as a full-grown Hobbit, Bilbo is immature, naïve and innocent to the ways of the greater world. It is for him, as it is for the children who read the tale, a quest of self-discovery that requires bravery.

At its heart, The Hobbit is about the search for wealth and about the destructive nature of greed. Bilbo, though he remains uncorrupted, is incapable of stopping the war that follows the death of the dragon Smaug. The allure of wealth is enough to destroy ties between otherwise peaceful people; and the arrival of a common enemy is all that can bring peace again.

Though The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are intertwined, Tolkein had to make revisions to The Hobbit in order to align the greater context of the stories, most notably in the chapter Riddles in the Dark. In the original version, Gollum is a good sport about losing the riddle game. In the revised version, Tolkein illustrates the ring’s evil influence as Gollum secretly plots to kill Bilbo and becomes increasingly aggressive.

Fans of The Lord of the Rings film can easily make the connection between Gollum and Bilbo during the Rivendell scene when Bilbo sees the ring for the last time. Catching a glimpse of the ring, Bilbo is aggressive and desperate, echoing Gollum’s description of “the precious.”

Though the ring is precious, it does not represent a greed for earthly treasure the way Smaug’s hoard does. Instead, the ring represents greed of power, which is powerful enough to destroy an entire world.

Tolkein also attempted to revise The Hobbit in order to match its tone to LOTR, but he abandoned changes after the story lost its essential quality.

The risk that Jackson takes with extending the film over the course of three movies is similar to the problem Tolkein himself had when working to revise the book. To write the book, or the screenplay, as a prequel to The Lord of the Rings threatens to destroy the light-hearted and quick pace of the tale.

However, Jackson is also drawing inspiration from the appendices of The Lord of the Rings and will be telling a more involved tale that will involve the history of Middle Earth, which is something that has yet to be done before.

Lauren Bailey is an education writer and freelance blogger. She frequently writes about online colleges and courses and welcomes comments and questions via email at

Friday, August 3, 2012

Author Interview with Connor Wilson, author of A Giant Pencil--We're making history here! The first interview with the youngest traditionally published American author!!

Happy Friday, everyone!  Can you believe it is August already... and almost time for school to start?  Some of you may already be back in the halls.  My oldest will go back August 20th, and for the first time, I'll have all three in school--the other two will begin PreK August 27th.  What in the world will I do with all that free time???? Hahaha... I'm SURE I will find plenty to occupy my time.

Well, today we are making history! My very special guest is Mr. Connor Wilson, who is the youngest traditionally published author in America!  Connor has written A Giant Pencil, which will be released August 11th.  You may recognize this name because Connor's very proud father--Jeffrey Wilson, author of The Traiteur's Ring and The Donors--has been my guest a couple times.

As soon as I get my copy, I will share my review with you guys... I know we're going to love it!

Author Interview
Connor Wilson
A Giant Pencil

GL:  Can you tell everyone a little about yourself?

Connor:  Okay, I’m Connor Wilson and I am 11 years old. I live in Tampa, Florida, with my family, and I have written a children’s book called A GIANT PENCIL. It’s really cool, because I found out not too long ago that I’m the youngest fiction writer in America, which was a really neat surprise. I’ve always loved to make up stories and write them down, but I didn’t really think I could write a whole book until I did it.

I like a lot of things other than writing stories, though. I really love to skateboard—that’s something I could do, like, every day. I play basketball for my school. I’m learning to Scuba Dive (which is pretty freaky), and like all the other kids I know, I love video games.  I have a little brother and little sister. I love playing with them, but sometimes they can be a pain. Having a little brother and sister helped me write A GIANT PENCIL, because I could kind of think about what would Jack and Emma like in a story. I also have a best friend named Josh, who lives across the street, and we play together kind of every day. Actually, he and I are doing the Scuba lessons together, which is cool.

GL: Very nice to meet you, Connor! Sounds like you stay really busy! Taking Scuba lessons (with your best friend) sounds really neat. I'm not sure I could do it because I'm claustrophobic J. I'm getting kinda panicky just thinking about it...

GL:  Now, tell us about your book, A Giant Pencil.

CW:  Well, it’s a children’s book for kids in elementary school. It’s a picture book, but a little longer than, like, a little kid book, so maybe for second grade through about fourth or fifth grade, probably. The story is about a boy named Billy who is totally grumpy all the time. He always thinks that everyone is picking on him, like all of his brothers and sisters, and his parents, and the teachers and kids at school. Then one day he finds this giant pencil in the woods near his house and only he can see it. Then he finds out that with the pencil he can erase people he doesn’t like, and they really disappear. So you can kind of guess what happens to people he thinks pick on him. In the end, he learns about how much his family and friends really mean to him and that helps him be a better person.

GL:  Why did you decide to write A Giant Pencil?

CW:  Well, like I said, I have always liked to make up stories and write them down. In school I always get great grades on stories and my teachers like to read my stories as examples (which I hate and is totally embarrassing). Anyway, my dad is a writer and I see him writing his stuff all the time, and he tells me about his stories sometimes. I told him I thought it would be really cool to write a book, and he told me I should just try and do it. So, I decided I would try to write a children’s book. I honestly was a little surprised I was able to do it, but not as surprised as my dad, although he says he knew I could. Anyway, from there my dad helped me learn about editing (which totally stinks and is much harder than writing a book—like 100% harder) and then he helped me find a publisher. The first couple of publishers didn’t buy it, because they said it was too long for a picture book, but it was just neat to get these letters with my name on them. So, anyway, I had to edit it again to make it shorter and then the next publisher, Weaving Dreams Publishing, said they wanted to buy it. That was an AWESOME day because my dad called me and I totally flipped out. Sometimes I still can’t believe it.

GL:  That is really cool! I would flip out too… And, I'm an editor, so I get to do the hard part ALL the time J.

GL:  What message are you hoping the readers are able to take from the book?

CW:  That you should never wish that you have nobody in your life. I hope the story makes kids appreciate their friends and their families. Are you listening Jack and Emma?

GL:  How long did it take you to write it?

CW:  It took me about 3 months to write the rough draft, but then I learned how hard it is to edit. I could totally write it faster now, because I’m older now. When I wrote it, I did it in pencil in a notebook because I was, like, nine years old and didn’t know how to type on a computer. Then when I had to do all that editing, I learned more about using the computer to write. Now I do everything on the computer.

GL:  Imagine what life was like for writers BEFORE we had computers… even typewriters!

GL:  Who did the illustrations for the book?

CW:  Alyssa Machete did my illustrations. I met her when she was going to University of Tampa. She graduated already and is now a graphic designer in New York. She really made the pictures look like what I wanted and she is really nice, too.

GL:  Find out more about Alyssa on her website:

GL:  What was it like getting your book published?

CW:  When I heard my book was getting published, I was so excited. I felt like I was on top of the world. Then I had to edit. Ugh! When I found out I was the youngest writer, it totally freaked me out. It still kind of feels like a dream sometimes.

GL:  Are you as excited as your dad about being the youngest traditionally published American author?

CW:  Oh, yeah, I am so excited about that part. At first I thought I was just some other author, but then I found out I was the youngest and it was the best feeling. I guess because it made it more special or something. My dad is actually probably more excited. He tells everyone he sees, which is totally embarrassing. You know how dads are.

GL:  I do, but what a blessing to have a dad that is so supportive and proud of you! We moms can be pretty embarrassingly proud sometimes too J

GL:  Are you a better writer than your dad? ;-)

CW:  I am way better than him on writing children’s books, but horror books—not so much.

GL:  Do you play video games? What is your absolute favorite?

CW:  Yes, I play tons of video games. My favorite is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, or at least this month. I also like HALO, a lot of different skateboard games like Skate 3. I really love the sports ones like NBA 2K12 and the Madden Football series, especially the college football ones. Of course, my five year old brother is getting into video games now, so sometimes I play his games, like LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean and Toy Story 3—gotta do the big brother thing, you know. Plus, my dad is terrible at video games so someone has to teach the poor little guy.

GL:  Hahahahaha… We are big LEGO game fans here.  I don't have much time to play, but I love playing with the kids.  But, Clayton, my seven-year-old is already getting better than me!

GL:  If you could do absolutely ANYTHING, how would you like to celebrate your next birthday?

CW:  I would celebrate it at Skate Park of Tampa or maybe Laser Tag with my friends.

GL:  What is your favorite subject in school?

CW:  My favorite would be P.E.

GL:  Who would you really, really love to meet?

CW:  I would love to meet Ryan Sheckler—what an awesome skateboarder. I already got to meet Tony Hawk at Skate Park of Tampa last year, which was one of the greatest things of my life. He signed my helmet and I have a signed skateboard from him on my wall.

GL: Wow!

GL:  Do you know what you want to be when you grow up?

CW:  I would maybe like to be a predator drone pilot in the Air Force. Maybe I could be in the Coast Guard and rescue people. Whatever else I do, I hope I will always be a writer.

GL: Sounds like a great plan!

GL:  What is your least favorite food and why? Favorite?

CW:  Sweet potatoes, because they are too sweet. Weird, because my favorite would be ice cream and it’s really sweet—but, it’s so good.

GL:  Mmmm… I love both sweet potatoes and ice cream!

GL:  Are you writing anything else right now?

CW:  Well, I’m thinking of ideas for a bunch of new books. I have a few ideas kind of outlined, and that part is really not so easy. I do finally have a new project that I have started on. I hope it will be done by Christmas break this year. This one is not a picture book, but a chapter book for older elementary school kids, like maybe fifth grade.

GL:  What fun things do you have in store for the release of A Giant Pencil?

CW:  It’s really cool because the Glazer Children’s Museum in Tampa is going to sponsor my book launch at the museum on August 11th. I will be a part of their “end of summer bash and back to school fair.” There are supposed to be all of these people that are going to be there, and I have to read my book to the kids at 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. I also get to meet with people and talk to kids and sign books and stuff. If anyone is in the Tampa area on the 11th I hope they stop by and say hi at the museum. Honestly, I’m pretty nervous about it, but my dad says I’ll be fine once I get going. Supposedly, I might have to talk to people from the TV news, which is cool, but kind of scary.

GL:  That is so exciting!  I really wish I could be there… I know you are going to do great and have a blast!

GL:  Do you have a website? Where can we find out more about you and A Giant Pencil?

CW:  Yes, I have a website. You can learn more about me and my books at I also have some book and movie reviews that I do on my site and I post a blog about once a month. There are also some cool pictures there, and there will be a ton of new ones after the book launch I bet.

You can also find my book at Barnes & Noble online and at

It was really nice to meet you, Cassie.

GL: Thank you so much, Connor! It is great getting talk with you and sharing your new book with everyone.  I can't wait to read it with my kids, and I know we'll be seeing lots more of you and your work in the future…

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Solid (Solid #1) by Shelley Workinger

by Shelley Workinger
Published July 9, 2010
ISBN: 9781453624821
Available Format: Paperback, ebook

My Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis: Clio Kaid may be seventeen and just beginning the summer before her senior year, but her life is anything but typical.

She's just discovered she was genetically altered before birth and is now headed to a top-secret Army campus to explore the surprising results of the experiment.

Follow Clio and the other teens as they develop fantastic super-abilities, forge new friendships, find love, and uncover a conspiracy along the way.

I really like the premise of this novel; it's something a little different, while it still has all those things we love about YA paranormal. Shelley does a great job introducing us to her characters and this new situation with which they are faced. Her writing is fun and easy and the pacing is spot on. I enjoyed the story from start to finish, and it was a fairly quick read.

I am definitely looking forward to learning more about the characters and their abilities in the rest of the series. Jack is such a sweetheart, and the turn of events involving Alexis was really exciting. I am dying to see how the relationships that began in book one play out through the following installments.

This is a great introduction to the series, and I am eager to get my hands on book two, Settling