Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted here, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Until Next Time
The Angel Chronicles
Book 1
by Amy Lignor
Publication Date: February 1, 2012

How does a girl choose between the one who steals her heart and the one who owns her soul?

Matt and Emily were created for a specific job. Raised and trained as the ultimate angel/warrior team, they are sent down to save, defend, judge and forgive, depending on the 'life' they've been assigned. What they don't realize is that the power of human emotions, such as love, anger, passion and fear can take over even the best of souls, causing them to make mistakes and follow paths that lead to confusion and heartache.

When the reason for their training is finally revealed, the angel/warrior team find themselves thrust into a world they know nothing about. Matt takes over the life of Daniel, a young man with a great deal of baggage. Emily becomes Liz, a girl living in a remote village who relies on nothing more than her own strength to survive. A violent storm erupts one night, and framed in the window of Liz's establishment is a frightening face. Let in by the soul of a Good Samaritan, the two visitors bring with them a past full of secrets that could literally change an angel's path and a warrior's plans.

From murder to redemption, this angel/warrior team must find a way to keep the faith they have in each other in a world that's ripping them apart.

GoodReads link to Until Next Time

Monday, January 16, 2012

Paul H. Magid - Lifting the Wheel of Karma - Giveaway & Review

GIVEAWAY

Leave a comment with your email address to win a FREE paperback of Lifting the Wheel of Karma. There will be 3 winners. Giveaway ends 1/31/12.

REVIEW

Refreshingly different. That's what Lifting the Wheel of Karma is. It's not your average read. Paul H. Magid mixes the practicality of a Montana farm with the spirituality of a Himalayan retreat. What seems like two disparate worlds are blended seamlessly in the fictional life of Joseph Connell. Plagued with nightmares throughout his life, this teenage karate champion is paralyzed as the result of a car accident that seems predestined. Afterward, he catches a television news report featuring a meditation expert in India proclaiming the power of mind over matter. With the hope of walking again, he gets on a plane with his older brother, Billy, in order to track this man down.

After a long and tiring journey, he arrives at the house of Lahiri, a man he met right before his life-altering crash. The encounter is jaw-dropping. The realization of their shared destiny becomes even more profound as the intricacies of reincarnation are explored. Actions from their prior lives are being held accountable in the present. What happened between Lahiri and Joseph in the 19th century must be resolved before they can both find peace.

Throughout the Indian culture comes alive with lush detail. The country's inherent sense of celebration is depicted through ceremonies and festivals. Fires enliven the night sky. Colored spices fill the air. Brilliant saris twirl through the streets. The friendliness of the citizenry is heralded. The pulse of the subcontinent energizes the pages.

India is beautifully contrasted with the big sky country of Montana where words are precise and rarely used. Neighbors are miles away, but there in a time of need. Natural abundance is tempered with frugality. Prosperity is ignored and trucks are run into the ground rather than replaced with the latest models.

Joseph is the product of both of these locales. He is a son of the American West, but finds fulfillment atop the Himalayas. His journey spans the globe, but it's only when he stills his mind through meditation that he is able to reach his intended destination.

Overall, this wheel will take you where you need to go, if you let it.

About the Book
Lifting the Wheel of Karma

Book Details:
Price: $15.00 paperback, $9.99 Kindle
Format: Paperback, Kindle
Publisher: Point Dume Press
Published: September 2011
Pages: 192
ISBN: 9780984016068
Genre: Fiction, Spirituality
Buy Links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kindle

Blurb:
A Profound Spiritual Journey of Extraordinary Healing and Redemption - a modern tale that harkens back to the myths of antiquity. It takes you on a remarkable journey, while exploring the themes of healing, redemption, forgiveness, sacrifice, and ultimately...peace within.

Joseph Connell is a gifted high school athlete from Montana, loved deeply by his family, yet tormented by nightmarish visions he can neither explain nor escape.

He believes the answer to what threatens to crush him can be found in the knowledge possessed by a mystical old wise man, who lives deep within the remote Himalayas of India.

If Joseph is ever to find the peace he so desperately seeks, he must get this wise old man to reveal what he truly knows, but that will not be easy…for this sage knows far more than he admits.

About the Author
Paul H. Magid


Paul H. Magid started writing his debut novel, LIFTING THE WHEEL OF KARMA, twenty-five years ago while still in high school. It took him so long to complete because he tried repeatedly to abandon it, but the work refused to be forsaken. Eventually he realized that sharing this story with the world was, in fact, his Dharma.

Along the way he has worked as a Wall Street financial analyst, a waiter (not a very good one), a Hollywood Agent Trainee, a real estate developer, a summer day camp director, an award winning screenwriter, and independent filmmaker—including his autobiographical film, A LIFE UNFINISHED, which screened in The Hamptons International Film Festival.

Connect with Paul:
Web Site
Facebook (book)
Facebook (author)

About the Tour

Tribute Books Blog Tours

Lifting the Wheel of Karma Blog Tour Site

Tour Participants:

January 1 (review)
Dad of Divas

January 2 (review)
Crazed Mind

January 3 (review)
Minding Spot

January 4 (review)
Live to Read

January 5 (review)
vvb32 reads

January 5 (author interview)
You Gotta Read Reviews Guest Blog

January 6 (review)
Tic Toc

January 6 (author interview)
Tribute Books Mama

January 8 (review)
Red Adept Reviews

January 9 (author interview)
I Am A Reader, Not A Writer

January 10 (review)
My Favorite Things

January 10 (review)
Knits & Reads

January 10 (review)
Adventures of Frugal Mom

January 11 (author interview)
The Book Connection


January 12 (review)
Book Dragon's Lair

January 13 (review)
Bibliophilic Book Blog

January 13 (review)
Concert Katie

January 14 (review)
My Tower of Books

January 15 (review)
Cheryl's Book Nook

January 16 (review)
Tribute Books Reviews & Giveaways

January 17 (guest post)
CMash Loves to Read

January 18 (review)
Community Bookstop

January 18 (review)
Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

January 19 (guest post)
Community Bookstop


January 20 (guest post)
Splashes of Joy


January 21 (guest post)
A Bookalicious Story

January 23 (review)
The True Book Addict


January 23 (review)
Proud Book Nerd

January 24 (guest post)
Proud Book Nerd

January 26 (guest post)
Ascroft, eh?


January 27 (review)
Whispering Winds Book Reviews

January 28 (review)
Scorpion Stalking Duck

January 29 (author interview or guest post)
The Plot Thickens

January 30 (review)
Celtic Lady's Reviews

January 31 (author interview or guest post)
The Character Connection

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Maggie Stiefvater - The Scorpio Races - Review

Imagine this frightening thought - horses that kill. In Maggie Stiefvater's The Scorpio Races, they emerge from the sea seeking blood. Instead of succumbing to their fear, the island inhabitants of Thisby celebrate these predatorial equines by harnessing their power for an annual race. Every year on the first of November, they shackle them with iron hoping to make it to the finish line alive. The four-time reigning champ of the event is 19-year-old Sean Kendrick. He's yet again the odds-on favorite until Kate "Puck" Connolly, the race's first female, enters the fray. Suddenly for the first time, Sean is aware of more than just the horses.

Stiefvater fashions a world that borders on the edge of reality. Thisby exists somewhere off the Florida mainland. Tourists descend from the United States to witness the carnage firsthand. The time period is undefined, but men wear bowler hats and reporters wield large flash bulb popping cameras. The ambiguity of the setting adds to the narrative's off-center feel. It is familiar, yet strange. It's the Kentucky Derby meets Jurassic Park.

The romance between Sean and Puck builds slowly. At first, the lack of dialogue between the two is frustratingly apparent. They barely know each other and don't have much contact. However, after the first 100 pages, the passion between the unlikely couple begins to build. It reaches a fever pitch during a midnight ride on the beach with both astride Sean's horse. A boy tucking a girl's ponytail into her collar was never so hot.

What makes the story compelling is how much is riding on the outcome of the race for Sean and Puck. Benjamin Malvern, the owner of the stable where Sean works and Puck's landlord, holds their fate in his hands. If Sean wins, he can finally buy his winning mount from him. If Puck wins, she can pay the back rent on her family home. However, Puck has more of an uphill climb. The men do not want her in the race. Her ride is a regular breed, not of the feared water horse bloodline. Her parents were killed by the beasts during a boating accident. Taking part in the event only serves to reawaken painful memories for her.

Fear permeates the pages. Puck cowers in a barn as a water horse tries to break in. Riders are mutilated on the beach during training. Gutted livestock litter the roadways. But the true savagery lies with Malvern's son, Mutt. His brutality to man and horse alike is distressing to behold. With Sean as his sworn enemy, a knife in Mutt's hand wields more destructive fury than the piercing teeth of any water horse.

Stiefvater does a phenomenal job of depicting the bond between horse and rider. The way that Sean and Puck relate to their charges is pure, devotional love. They view their horses as trusted companions, more like family members than mere livestock. They communicate with them on a higher level through subtle movement and tone of voice. Their ability to connect with their four-legged steeds is quite special and utterly remarkable.

Throughout island life is not glamorized. It's always windy. It smells like fish. There aren't any jobs. But Sean and Puck wouldn't have it any other way. The island is a part of their very soul. It's a dangerous, bleak habitat with imminent death around every bend, but they thrive off the freedom and connection to nature that it provides. There exists a tie to an ancient, primal society that they both feed off of.

The drama heightens as race day approaches at the conclusion of the book. The ending is full of surprises with several twists and turns. It is open-ended enough to allow for the possibility of a sequel, but it does wrap up quite nicely as a stand alone read.

Overall, this horse story has bite.




The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater is available for $17.99 at Amazon.com and at MaggieStiefvater.com.

Thank you to Michelle for recommending this book. Follow her fantastic book blog and Twitter posts.

Review copy provided by Valley Community Library.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Suzanne Woods Fisher - The Keeper - Review & Giveaway

Sometimes a book shatters stereotypes. The Keeper by Suzanne Woods Fisher does just that. The Amish culture is a mystery to most Americans. Their isolated, primitive lifestyle is closed off from mainstream influence, but as Fisher demonstrates they are not completely detached from the secular world. Families have pizza delivered. Teenage girls wear Spanx. Food is stored in a refrigerator. But the most surprising factor - upon which the book pivots - is that they partake of modern medicine in a hospital setting.

This homespun tale centers around the Lapp clan. With their mother already deceased, the children now face the possibility of losing their father if he does not receive a much-needed heart transplant. The eldest, Julia, is also suffering through additional heartache when her fiancee, Paul, calls off their engagement. Julia believes the culprit behind his change of heart is Roman, also known as the Bee Man. A loner who ventures into town once a year to pollinate the orchards of the surrounding farms, Julia feels his outspoken praise of the freedom of bachelorhood helps to derail her marriage plans. When Roman offers to stay with the Lapps for the entire summer in order to help get the farm back on track, Julia is fit to be tied.

The push and pull of the developing love story between Roman and Julia is a classic case of opposites attract. Julia begins to see the shortcomings in former fiancee's character. While Roman starts to realize that his flirtatious nature might draw women to his side, but why does he do everything in his power to keep them at arm's length? Secrets from his troubled past emerge when the reason behind his enforced isolation lies in a tragic family accident.

While the romance takes top billing, it is the characters that bring the story to life. Sadie, the middle sister, is pleasant and plump. Obsessed with her weight, she just can't resist helping herself to an extra sweet here and there. Meek and timid, she is infatuated with Roman, but always seems to make a fool out of herself in his presence. Menno is the boy in the family. Although simple minded, his sweet persona is beloved by people and animals alike. His faith in God is beautiful to behold and his unblemished outlook inspires all who come in contact with him. M.K., the baby sister, is a mischievous tomboy who gets into her fair share of scrapes. Although her heart is usually in the right place, her actions usually land her in a heap of trouble.

The newcomer to the family is Fern. Hired by their eccentric Uncle Hank, she moves into their home setting up command like a drill sergeant. She allows no one to meddle in her kitchen and sets the children to work on a multitude of chores. Although she displays a tough shell, she genuinely cares about the Lapps and gets everything running in tip top shape. Her own misfortune is in some way tied to Roman's, and their connection to a shared sense of pain helps them both to heal.

The lush descriptions of summer on the farm create a vivid, welcoming atmosphere throughout the book. Buggy rides are interspersed with quilting and gardening, immersing the narrative in the Amish culture. However, the plot lines are universal and the interior motivations are relatable regardless if the character is wearing a prayer cap or not. What cements the story in the reader's mind is the strong feeling of family that permeates throughout.

There is only one slight off-note near the conclusion. When a dire circumstance turns into a mixed blessing, it is heralded only as a triumph. This sudden turn-of-events seemed to gloss over a terrible occurrence in order to focus on the positive aspect. This disconnect was a bit jarring. Focusing on the good news is always a priority, but not at the expense of what the subsequent misfortune truly means to the characters in the story.

On the whole, The Keeper delivers in terms of quality read that is grounded in God and devoid of foul language and explicit scenes. For its intended audience, it is a delightful story that is uplifting and full of spirit. With sequels on the way, the goings-on of the Lapp family will certainly leave readers clamoring for more.

Overall, nothing proclaims love like a beating heart.


The Keeper by Suzanne Woods Fisher is available for $14.99 at Amazon.com and at SuzanneWoodsFisher.com.

Review copy provided by Lit Fuse Blog Tours.

It’s a “Honey of a Giveaway” from Suzanne Woods Fisher!


Suzanne is hosting a "honey of a giveaway"during the
blog tour for The Keeper! During 1/3-1/17 you can enter to win an iPad2 from Suzanne and connect with her on January 17th at The Keeper Facebook Party!


During the giveaway one Grand Prize winner will receive a Prize Pack valued at $600:
  • A brand new 16 KB iPad 2 with Wi-Fi

  • A $25 gift certificate to iTunes

  • A copy of The Keeper
But wait there's more! Just click one of the icons below to enter, then on 1/17 join Suzanne for The Keeper Facebook Party! During the party Suzanne will announce the winner of the "Honey" of an iPad Giveaway and host a fun book chat and give away some fun "honey" inspired prizes - It'll be 'sweet"!

RSVP early and tell your friends!

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 17th!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

FINAL SNEAK PEEK of Chapter Twenty of the young adult ebook "The Priest and the Peaches" - NOW AVAILABLE

A final sneak peek of chapter twenty of The Priest and the Peaches - a young adult ebook release from Tribute Books by Larry Peterson

NOW AVAILABLE!

buy links

Kindle - $2.99
Nook - $4.95
iPad - $4.99
PDF - $4.95
Smashwords - $4.99

CHAPTER TWENTY
Beatrice Amon and the Peaches

Teddy said uneasily, “Well look, Father. I can't help but think that all Miss Amon did by calling the cops was cause a whole bunch of trouble for all of us—even you.”

The priest’s exasperation with the young man's remarks was obvious. “Oh really? That's what you think, is it? Did you listen to one word I just said? Did you?”

Now Teddy was unnerved. When Father Sullivan got angry he seemed to grow two feet in height. He became very intimidating, especially for an 18 year old who knew him since the third grade. “Yes, Father, I was listening.”

“No, Teddy, you weren’t. You were too busy thinking about how much you don't like Miss Amon. Your pride has gotten in the way of your faith. L-Y-N, remember? Time to move on, Teddy. Miss Amon is not the mean-spirited person you think she is. In fact, none of you really know anything about her, do you? Now, you’re going to have to take this pride of yours and stuff it in your back pocket and sit on it. The fact is, you owe Miss Amon something.”

www.ThePriestAndThePeaches.com


Take a seven day journey with the five, newly orphaned Peach kids, as they begin their struggle to remain a family while planning their dad's funeral.

They find an ally in the local parish priest, Father Tim Sullivan, who tries his best to guide them through the strange, unchartered and turbulent waters of "grown-up world." A story that is sad, funny, and inspiring as it shows how the power of family love and faith can overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

SNEAK PEEK of Chapter Nineteen of the young adult ebook "The Priest and the Peaches" - NOW AVAILABLE

A sneak peek of chapter nineteen of The Priest and the Peaches - a young adult ebook release from Tribute Books by Larry Peterson

NOW AVAILABLE!

buy links

Kindle - $2.99
Nook - $4.95
iPad - $4.99
PDF - $4.95
Smashwords - $4.99

CHAPTER NINETEEN
Father Sullivan visits Beatrice

He pushed the doorbell and waited. He heard a faint voice coming from inside. “Oh, just a moment, please. I'll be there as soon as I can. I'm not moving very well. Hold on, please.” It sounded like someone was trapped in a deep hole calling for help as they attempted to climb out.

A few moments passed before Miss Amon slowly opened the door. She was dressed in a floor-length, gray housecoat, a maroon, button-down wool sweater and a pair of rubber boots. Her body was sort of listing to one side and she was holding an ice pack to her bruised forehead.

“Oh my, Beatrice, you look awful. Is there anything I can do for you?”

“Oh no, Father. I'll be all right. It's those kids upstairs. My apartment is destroyed. I was almost killed. I don't know what happened up there or what they were doing. All I know is, I'm lucky to be alive.”

“May I come in, Beatrice?”

“Oh, I'm sorry. Where are my manners? Of course, Father, come in.”

Father Sullivan followed the slow moving, lucky-to-be-alive woman into her apartment. She immediately headed to the sofa, as she fell more than sat on it. She took a deep breath while simultaneously emitting a soft moan. Leaning her head back, she removed the ice pack, shook it to rearrange the ice inside it before placing it back on her forehead.

Father took in the entire performance. “Well, Beatrice, tell me what happened here today. And what in heaven's name happened to your head?”

www.ThePriestAndThePeaches.com


Take a seven day journey with the five, newly orphaned Peach kids, as they begin their struggle to remain a family while planning their dad's funeral.

They find an ally in the local parish priest, Father Tim Sullivan, who tries his best to guide them through the strange, unchartered and turbulent waters of "grown-up world." A story that is sad, funny, and inspiring as it shows how the power of family love and faith can overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

Monday, January 2, 2012

SNEAK PEEK of Chapter Eighteen of the young adult ebook "The Priest and the Peaches" - NOW AVAILABLE

A sneak peek of chapter eighteen of The Priest and the Peaches - a young adult ebook release from Tribute Books by Larry Peterson

NOW AVAILABLE!
Holiday Special
Kindle version only 99 cents until January 2
buy link
Kindle - $0.99

other available buy links
Nook - $4.95
PDF - $4.95
Smashwords - $4.99

Coming soon:

iPad ($4.99)

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN
Running from the cops

“Don't do it, Dancer. Please don't leave us here alone.”

“You wanna go home, don't you?”

“Yeah, but...”

“Then be quiet and take care of Joey.”

Officer Joe was by the doorway with his back to the room talking to the nurse in the hallway. Dancer stepped quietly to the side of the unsuspecting policeman then bolted from the room. Officer Tommy, talking on the pay phone in the lobby, caught a glimpse of someone running. He turned to see Dancer headed for the exit. He dropped the phone as he ran after him but Dancer made it outside. He turned left and kept going—running faster than he ever had in his life.

Officer Tommy shouted, “Dancer, stop right now. You come back here!”

Dancer turned to see Officer Tommy gaining on him. He knew he was no match for the fleet-footed policeman. As he rounded the corner of the hospital he crashed into someone. The man instinctively raised his forearms to protect himself. He held onto Dancer preventing him from getting away. A second later, Officer Tommy grabbed Dancer by the arm. Dancer started hollering, “Leave me alone! I didn't do anything. Let me go!”

Surprisingly, Officer Tommy said, “I'm sorry. Are you all right, Father?”

Dancer turned and looked up at the man he almost knocked over. It was Father Sullivan.

www.ThePriestAndThePeaches.com


Take a seven day journey with the five, newly orphaned Peach kids, as they begin their struggle to remain a family while planning their dad's funeral.

They find an ally in the local parish priest, Father Tim Sullivan, who tries his best to guide them through the strange, unchartered and turbulent waters of "grown-up world." A story that is sad, funny, and inspiring as it shows how the power of family love and faith can overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles.