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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Reading, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 26 - 50 of 2,303
26. Writer Wednesday: Summer Reading/Writing


My daughter starts summer break today, so we're selecting books to read together in our own little book club. I love reading with her (we take turns reading aloud to each other) because she has such great insights. It also means I get to read some good middle grade books.

In addition to reading this summer, I need to get my Ashelyn Drake contemporary romance, After Loving You, ready for its September release. This story is very special to me because I'm a firm believer that you don't ever stop loving someone, but you can change the way you love them. If you're not sure what I mean, you'll have to read the book in September to find out. ;)

So my summer will consist of lots of reading and writing, because they go hand in hand. Learning from great authors is my favorite form of research, not to mention the most enjoyable way to improve your craft.

Have you selected your summer reads? Feel free to share them in the comments.

*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

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27. Friday Feature: Tempting Death



The truck should have turned Libbi Piper into a Libbi pancake, but a mysterious boy named Aaron saved her life instead. The problem? Aaron’s the local Grim Reaper. The bigger problem? He saved her life so she can take over his job. 

Libbi has just days to choose between dying like she was supposed to or living a lonely life as Death Incarnate. The choice only gets harder when she learns Aaron’s reasons for wanting out of the whole morbid business. Basically, his job sucks. 

Still, when Aaron looks at her, there’s something more in his eyes. Something dark and secret. Something he’s hiding. Libbi will be damned if she’ll die without figuring it out. And she’ll be damned if she lets him go. 

Excerpt:

The creep is back.

I may not be able to see him, but I know he’s here, somewhere. Call it intuition. Or maybe it’s just the eerie memory of when the guy stared me down last night. I don’t know, but I’m not taking any chances.

I hunch over my history final and release my thick hair from behind my ears. It swings forward like a dark-brown curtain and hides my face.

Show’s over, buddy.

I can’t look around, not with Mr. Winkler on “cheater duty.” Hopefully, the guy will get bored and go wherever the hell he went last night when he took off.

The final is what’s important. I need to focus on this test.

I read the next question on the page, but the loser’s gaze bores through my dark shield of hair and my arms erupt in gooseflesh. Before I can skim the multiple choice answers, my eyes betray me and shoot up to scan the classroom.

Mr. Winkler sits at his desk scratching at some poor schlub’s paper with his red pen of doom. His bald head gleams in the harsh fluorescent light. God, I hope it’s not my paper he’s destroying. I can’t afford another bad grade in this class.
I quickly scan the rest of the classroom through the part in my hair, but everyone is working. Eerie feeling or not, nobody’s looking at me.

But I know someone is watching. Just like last night, I can feel his stalker stare.

This is ridiculous. I shake my head and rub my arms to dispel the goose bumps. This guy has freaked me out so much I’m imagining his eyes on me now. I don’t have time for this. I have an exam to finish.

The tip of my pencil hovers over the letter C, and something in my peripheral vision shifts. I snap my head up and finally see him.

The guy I caught staring at me at the art show last night, the guy who warned me something bad was going to happen to me today, stands at the tiny rectangular window in the door. He tilts his head and his ice-blue eyes lock on mine, sending a shiver through my body.

Shake it off, Libbi, I tell myself. He’s just a crazy boy with a crush.

Actually, with his tousled black hair and his nose pressed against the glass like that, he looks a little like a lost puppy. If he wasn’t so creepy, I’d almost feel sorry for him. But couldn’t he choose a better time than the middle of my history final to eyeball me? Plus, he said he wanted to talk to me alone, and this is most certainly not alone.

I point to my partially finished test and mouth, “Final exam.”

He nods. A half-smile lifts the corners of his lips.

“Bye.” I wave my hand.

“I need to talk to you,” he mouths.

“No,” I reply, but he continues to stand at the door.

Dude, catch a clue already. I spin away from the door, sneak a peek at Mr. Winkler, and shove the eraser of my pencil between my teeth. I yank the eraser out of its metal holder and flick it at the back of Haley’s head. Her chair squeaks as she jumps and whips around to glare at me.

“What?” she whispers.

“Look.” I point over my shoulder with my pencil to the classroom door. “That crazy guy I told you about is at the window.”

We turn to the door together, but the window’s empty. He must be a shy creeper.

“Where?” Haley says.

“Never mind. He’s gone.” I slump back in my chair. At least I can finish my test in peace.

Grab a copy on Amazon.

Elizabeth Holloway is a maternity nurse, an avid reader, an artist, a karaoke singer, a music lover, and a kick-ass Pictionary player. She lives in Hanover, Pennsylvania.

*Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.

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28. Friday Feature: Shadowed Eden



High school senior Avery Miles is ready to spread her wings and prove her worth on a mission trip to Iraq, but when their entourage gets blown off course in a dust storm in the desert, the group finds themselves lost in an inexplicable garden oasis. Along with the luscious fruits and crystal springs, Avery and her friends find poisonous snakes, deadly sink holes, and a group of natives that are almost unearthly—but that’s not their biggest problem. No matter which way they trek, they can’t seem to leave. Avery steps up and takes charge to keep the group safe, but it isn’t long before she begins suspecting things aren’t as they seem. She isn’t the only one seeing the mysterious boy named Rae, and after following her father’s path in the jungle she’s pretty sure he’s sabotaging her rescue efforts. Gathering her courage, Avery must decide what’s most important to her—finally winning her father’s approval, or getting out of the jungle for good.


What others are saying about Shadowed Eden:
"A truly original premise…filled with danger, redemption, and a cast of teenaged characters that I grew to love. I enjoyed Clark's story and look forward to seeing what she comes up with next." ~Jill Williamson, Award-winning author of By Darkness Hid andCaptives

"Shadowed Eden is a unique and intriguing tale that will keep the reader turning pages…and the suspense doesn't stop until its surprising end! I highly recommend it." ~Melanie Dickerson, Carol Award-winning author of The Merchant's Daughter



KATIE CLARK started reading fantastical stories in grade school and her love for books never died. Today she reads in all genres; her only requirement is an awesome story! She writes young adult speculative fiction, including her YA supernatural novel, Shadowed Eden, as well as The Enslaved Series. You can connect with her at her website, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

*Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.


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29. Friday Feature: The Haunted Stepsister


Today, I'm excited to share a book I acquired and edited for Leap Books Seek. I feel in love with The Haunted Stepsister immediately for several reasons. First, Medeia's writing is great. Second, it's about a haunted bathroom! Third, this is a diverse book.

If you haven't checked out The Haunted Stepsister yet, give it a try. You won't be disappointed.


Sixth grade isn’t easy for Jesenya Moradi, especially since her father's recent remarriage and tension with her new stepsister, Kammy. After an incident at school that nearly destroyed Kammy's life, Jess has been desperate to get on Kammy’s good side. But a fateful trip to an allegedly haunted bathroom changes both girls’ lives forever. 

The rumors about the bathroom are true, and now Jess is convinced a demon's possessing Kammy. Eerie things happen whenever she's around – flying objects, flickering lights, not to mention the fact that something, or someone, is making people into its puppets. 

Worse, the demon seems fixated on making Jess confess her part in ruining Kammy's reputation. Sticking to her Muslim faith, Jess enlists the help of an imam to exorcise the demon from Kammy. But can they get rid of the demon before it destroys her new family?

Find it on:
Medeia Sharif was born in New York City and presently calls Miami her home. She received her master's degree in psychology from Florida Atlantic University. Published through various presses, she writes middle grade and young adult short stories and novels. In addition to being a writer, she's a public school teacher.


*Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.

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30. Friday Feature: The May Queen Murders


Today, I'm excited to share Sarah Jude's latest book, which just released on Tuesday. Sarah is awesome and her book looks amazing! Check out The May Queen Murders.


Stay on the roads. Don’t enter the woods. Never go out at night.  

Those are the rules in Rowan’s Glen, a remote farming community in the Missouri Ozarks where Ivy Templeton’s family has lived for centuries. It’s an old-fashioned way of life, full of superstition and traditions, and sixteen-year-old Ivy loves it. The other kids at school may think the Glen kids are weird, but Ivy doesn’t care—she has her cousin Heather as her best friend. The two girls share everything with each other—or so Ivy thinks. When Heather goes missing after a May Day celebration, Ivy discovers that both her best friend and her beloved hometown are as full of secrets as the woods that surround them. 

Excerpt:
PROLOGUE
Now
Kerosene slopped from the rusty pail and splashed against the abandoned stable. Fumes burned my eyes but didn’t blur my father’s silhouette as he faced the building, bucket in hand. It would burn and, with it, the body inside.

     “Go to hell!”

     Papa’s shoulders twisted as he wheeled back, shouting, sweeping the pail around. More kerosene rained against the wood while bile scorched my throat. I was too tired to get sick on the hay, my body wasted from screaming. I wiped my hand over my mouth and something snagged my lip. My fingernail was missing, a ragged root jutting from the bloody bed. Bitten off and swallowed by someone who wanted me dead.

     This ain’t real.

     Yet I smelled the kerosene and felt the spring air and the dust in my nose, my feet firm on the ground. No matter how my mind ached to fly away, it tethered to a stark truth. This was real.

     “Ivy, stay back,” Papa warned, and then looked to Mama, close by with an antique lantern shedding dim light. The night sky swelled with clouds like spiders’ egg sacs ready to burst, but the storm would miss Rowan’s Glen. The hay, the ground, the stable were kindling-dry, and every movement kicked up brown clouds. Mama pulled me until we were safely away. The clink of her silver bracelets racked together as she eased her arm around my shoulder.

     “Don’t worry.” Mama’s still-thick Mexican accent lilted her voice, but her expression was stoic except for a pinch around her eyes. That blankness scared me.

     “This must be done,” she whispered.

     I wadded my fingers into my long skirt. The blue patchwork was smeared with blood and dirt. Last summer, my cousin Heather and I sewed peasant skirts together. They flared when I spun, round and round, always with Heather.

     The last time I saw Heather, she was wearing a skirt with red ruffles.

     Papa trailed kerosene on the ground and retreated from the stable before tossing the pail inside. I couldn’t see into the shadows. The body lying on the stone floor might yet have a pulse. A shiver tugged at my neck, my chest rising and falling with shallow breaths. One clear thought pierced my mind’s muddle, and it sickened me.

     I wanted that body to burn.

     “Timothy.” Mama fished a book of matches from a pocket in her apron and gave them to Papa. He took the matches and stretched one hand to hold mine. He was strong. My throat ached when I swallowed, from being choked in an attempt to silence me. Now I said nothing as Papa struck the match.

     The fire didn’t whoosh to life. First, the match hit the ground and breathed. Then a blue worm of flames emerged from the earth and devoured one blot of fuel before moving to the next. Upon reaching the stable, the worm bloated into a dragon that blazed yellow and orange. The wood planks hammered by my great-great-grandfather when he was young crackled, bone-dry from drought. Fire twisted through the stable while coils of smoke erupted from the windows. The pulse of the body inside thump-thumped in my head. Frantic. Dying.

     “Mama?” I whimpered.

     “It’s only fair,” she said.

 
Papa didn’t speak. Rage had made him do the unspeakable. For me, even though I’d survived. But also for those who hadn’t. Fire was cleansing. Fire was vengeance. The flames burned red, as red as the ruffles of Heather’s skirt. As red as Heather’s hair.
Grab the book on Amazon now!
SARAH JUDE lives by the woods and has an owl that lands on her chimney every night. She grew up believing you had to hold your breath when passing a graveyard. Now she writes about cemeteries, murder, and folklore. She resides in Missouri with her husband, three children, and two dogs. When she's not writing, she can be found volunteering at a stable for disabled riders. Visit her website at www.sarahjude.com.


*Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.

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31. April Showers: The Sweet Rain of Books

Hi, folks. Today I'm putting my writer hat aside and my creative hat too. I'm placing that reader hat on my head. Here I'm going to talk about something I don't chat about much.  I love to read. I read every day of my life. I mark off the days to a book I want to read is ready to be published. My live revolves around stories, true and fiction. There is nothing that waters my life more than books.

I'm not a high brow reader.  I occasionally read a book that is called literary fiction, but most of the time, I like children's books and genre fiction, most of all historical, historical romance and science fiction.  I occasionally binge on non-fiction.  I have had entire decades devoted to mysteries and thrillers.  I never like horror. I like the classics and read one or two a year. I read a few fantasies every year too. Occasionally, I just like an author and I read every thing they have ever written.

In books, I have lived thousands of lives. I faced thousands of problems. I've inhabited the lives of  so many and I am so much more this.

 I feel like I've survived the Battle of Talavera in 1800s Spain, and at the same time, the intrigues of Russian noblemen is the times of Peter. The history of the Netherlands for thousands of years boils in my blood. I've seen the pyramids built and inhabited huts with my fellow slaves. I lived in the bogs of Ireland thousands of years ago struggling against my harsh gods. The stories of ages inhabit my soul.

I've felt Mr. Darcy's pride and Elizabeth Bennet's prejudice. I've been with Jane and heard Edward's mystic cries through time and space.  I've survived bombings while working with my true love.  I've been broken to shards and found love with someone also as broken as me. I've missed huge swaths of life, frozen with fear, and found the fortitude to love again. So many stories.

I've traveled to the far reaches of the galaxy. I've fought aliens, terra-formed planets, and discovered the ruins of ancient species. I've been sold into slavery and been rescued by an intergalactic cop. Apocalyptic nuclear winters, jungle green worlds, the harsh conditions of Mars, I've lived in a myriad of unique environments, survived, thrived and sometimes died. Like the intense electromagnetic radiation of the sun, the heart of all life. Speculative stories have transformed me.

I've sat on the bones of dead children waiting for rescue from a white mouse. I've had my memories stolen from me and forged a new life. My puppy fell out of an airplane once! Oh, one of my best friends is spider and I might be some pig. I care too much and call it love.  I've opened my heart and believe that someone will come. I am stronger than I think, and I may not belong in the zoo but there is a place for me.  I like your hat, I understand the price, and know stories are light in this dark, dark, world.

Books water the soul. They expand horizons and open my eyes to the distance shores.  They encourage me to be more, to accept myself and others, and believe in happiness with good things beyond the bright light of last moments on Earth.

Pick up a book and read till your heart is content!

Next week a new series starts. Exciting news! A guest blogger will usher in the month of May with Bloom! Excellent author Alexandria La Faye will be here! If you don't know her  books already, please check her out!!! Edith Shay! Strength of saints!  Strawberry Hill!  So many fab stories. www.facebook.com/alafayeauthorwww.alafaye.com, a@alafaye.com

Here is a doodle.



Here is a quote for your pocket. 

Stop being so fruitlessly busy and dream. Use your imagination. Reach out into the unknown and dream of how you can enlarge your experience and improve your mind and your soul and your world. Mary Balogh

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32. Friday Feature: One Smoking Hot Fairy Tail


Today, I'm happy to share One Smoking Hot Fairy Tail by my fellow Corvisiero author, Kevin James Breaux. I have to say I love this cover.


America’s population is slowly dying due to an epidemic, and Alexander, an ancient, immortal shaman, has medicine that can heal people. It has one small side effect—Alexander’s able to control the minds of anyone taking the drug, nicknamed “dust.”
Alexander plans to take over the country once dust is released to the general public, crushing anyone who stands in the way. He needs just a little bit more of a certain magical ingredient to make the medication work properly: fairy wings.
An intelligent, stunning fairy, Sabrina was also America’s sweetheart—until a video of a crime she was involved in surfaces, nearly destroying her. A year later, she’s finally ready to step back into the spotlight. Together with her bodyguard, Mira, a water spirit in human form, Sabrina’s prepared to start over.
Things are starting to look up until she meets Alexander in a club and goes from social outcast to tortured captive in the blink of an eye. Will she be able to escape the evil shaman and his mind-controlled slaves in time to save herself and everyone she cares about?


Grab the book in paperback or on Kindle.

Kevin James Breaux is an award-winning author and artist. He has over eight years of professional writing credit, including short stories and novels and has completed seven books.

He is a member of the Horror Writers Association, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, and the Erotic Authors Association.

Breaux has a growing fan base, including foreign markets in Great Britain and other parts of Europe, and has never stopped striving to better himself as an author as well as to encourage his fellow writers. His motto is Write Makes Might! He is passionate about his craft, while understanding that writing is his business.

Breaux is represented by Marisa A. Corvisiero, the founder of the Corvisiero Literary Agency.

*Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.

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33. A captivating middle grade book-Southern Gothic

I know many parents and visitors to this site are frequently on the hunt for captivating books for their older readers..and lucky me, I just discovered a new one!

Southern Gothic by Middle Grade/YA author Bridgette Alexander is a wonderful new book which incorporates art and mystery in very intriguing ways. I learned of Bridgette and this intriguing book when so became one of our Author Sponsors for Multicultural Children’s Book Day in January.

Southern Gothic

Celine Caldwell lives a life of privilege, allowed into the elite art community of NYC thanks to her powerhouse mother who is a curator for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Julia Caldwell has made a prestigious name for herself in the art community. With that comes loyal followers as well as fervent enemies, and Celine soon gets wrapped up in her mother’s political and backwards world.

Two paintings have gone missing from the Met’s archives, paintings that Julia Caldwell publicly deemed unfit for the Met’s prestigious reputation and her selective exhibitions. Julia’s attitude towards the paintings pinpoints her as the head suspect in the NYPD’s investigation into the missing paintings. Celine cannot stand by and let her mother be accused of something she knows she would never in a million years do. Julia may not appreciate the paintings, but she would most certainly never steal them.

Celine and her best friends Sandy, Baheera, and Troy jump right into their own investigation, unaware just how over their heads than they are. But Celine soon realizes that there’s much more to these paintings than meets the eye. While they might seem simple on the surface level, they tell a story—a true story at that, one that is near to a lot of people’s hearts and forces Celine and her friends to relive a murky time in the American South’s history.
Despite the mystery and the danger that follows her investigation, Celine manages to crack the code, piece together the story behind the missing paintings, and clear her mother’s name. All while dating a new guy and managing to stay in school. I’d call that a success, wouldn’t you say?

Learning about Art from Southern Gothic:

I actually learned a lot about art in this novel. I enjoy looking at art, but I cannot say I’m necessarily profound in my analyses of them. But Celine Caldwell taught me a lot. For instance, a provenance is a record of ownership of a work of art, used as a guide to authenticity and quality. Celine’s investigation involved creating a provenance for the Southern Gothic art trilogy.

Pieces of art have been used as legal documents in the past. The Marriage of Arnolfini depicts a wedding of the Italian Medici family, and it basically serves as a marriage licence. Portrait d’une Negresse depicts an African-American woman after she was freed from slavery and brought to France. This painting serves as her ticket of freedom, showing that she is a free citizen, not a slave.

You’ll have to involve yourself in Celine’s investigation to learn more.


bridgetteBridgette R. Alexander is a modern art historian. She received her graduate training in 19th century French art history at the University of Chicago. Alexander worked with some of the world’s greatest museums in New York, Paris, Berlin and Chicago and developed art education programs; curated exhibits; she has taught and published in art history. She’s been featured in a number of publications including, Art + Auction Magazine; the Wall Street Journal; and the Washington Post. SOUTHERN GOTHIC is her debut novel. Alexander currently lives in Chicago and when not writing, she takes her husband, daughter and friends on midnight tours of the cultural institutions.

 

Something To Do: Interesting Links if you’re interested in getting more involved in the art community:
Art

Art Museums Around the World

art museums
Met Museums Kids and Family Resources

@MetKids logo

The answer to the question “Why the arts are important.”

Planning a visit to France? You have to stop at the world’s biggest museum, Le Louvre. And I’d plan your day around this massive museum. You can get lost for hours in this magnificent building.

Paris art

Happy reading!

Speaking of art…Do you know what Hans Christian Andersen liked as much as his fairy tales?

Paper! He was an addict to paper. He wrote on it, he drew on it and he use to cut in it. Just like a sculptor carves the figure out of stone, Hans Christian Andersen use to cut his stories out of paper. In fact he was a very popular paper cutter. (images courtesy of the Odense Museum)

Hans Christian Andersen
In order to amuse his friends and their children, Hans made his very famous paper cuts. Wherever he would go he would carry his bag filled with paper and these very large monstrous scissors which he used to cut out the most elegant figures.

Would you like to create a very special item that is inspired by the paper cuttings of Hans Christian Andersen?
I’ve made a FREE off the shoulder felt story bag craft and tutorial just for this occasion! This simple craft is something the whole family can participate in creating it will make a delightful gift for the book lover in your life. I hope your little bag of tales holds as many wonders for you as ours has.

Click the image below and get instant access to this Hans Christian Andersen-inspired shoulder bag!

Storyteller-Bag

The post A captivating middle grade book-Southern Gothic appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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34. Confessions of a Re-Reader

My name is Kelly and I’m a re-reader. I read the same books over and over again–some books I read once every year–and I love it.

My husband doesn’t understand this. He is always reading something new. Sometimes he sees me re-reading a book and rolls his eyes a bit. He has so many questions and protests.

But there are so many new books and so little time!

True. And I read plenty of new books, too. I love tumbling head-first into a brand new book. But I believe there’s also a deep magic in reading a book again for the second, or third, or tenth time. Sometimes re-reading is medicinal; it can help heal things in my heart. I reach for old, beloved books that are tried-and-true at those times, and turn to new, unread books when I’m ready to be swept away. And finite time on Earth doesn’t factor into my decision. I already know it is impossible for me to read every book in the world before I die, and I don’t want to try. I want to read books that challenge me, that comfort me, that surprise me, that make me laugh, or cry, that touch some inner part of me. Sometimes I want to read those books twice.

But you already know what’s going to happen!

Yes. But knowing exactly what’s going to happen only amplifies the tension for me. Knowing that Jo is going to refuse Laurie doesn’t make it any less painful when it happens. (Damn you, Louisa!) In a strange way, I sometimes find myself so invested in the story that despite knowing better I’ll begin to believe that something could turn out differently this time. The emotional resonance of a story well-told is sustaining.

I don’t have the patience for that!

Then you’re missing out. Here’s the thing: the book is always the same. The words on the page are the same words, and in some books they are as familiar as my own heartbeat. I call these my comfort books. I reach for them again and again and they fill up all my hollow spots. The books are always the same, and the characters make the same choices, and the stories have the same endings, but I am the one who has changed. The best way to describe it is to quote a passage from Catcher in the Rye in which Holden describes going to the Museum of Natural History over and over:

The best thing, though, in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was. Nobody’d move. You could go there a hundred thousand times, and that Eskimo would still be just finished catching those two fish, the birds would still be on their way south, the deers would still be drinking out of that water hole, with their pretty antlers and they’re pretty, skinny legs, and that squaw with the naked bosom would still be weaving that same blanket. Nobody’s be different. The only thing that would be different would be you. Not that you’d be so much older or anything. It wouldn’t be that, exactly. You’d just be different, that’s all. You’d have an overcoat this time. Or the kid that was your partner in line the last time had got scarlet fever and you’d have a new partner. Or you’d have a substitute taking the class, instead of Miss Aigletinger. Or you’d heard your mother and father having a terrific fight in the bathroom. Or you’d just passed by one of those puddles in the street with gasoline rainbows in them. I mean you’d be different in some way—I can’t explain what I mean. And even if I could, I’m not sure I’d feel like it.

—J.D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye

Do you like to re-read books too, or do you always pursue new books? If you like to re-read, which books and why?

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35. Friday Feature: Stricken Free Today Only!




Only one immortal can save them, and only one mortal can stand in his way...


FREE Today Only!
STRICKEN (The War Scrolls #1)
New Adult Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Released: March 8, 2016


It took only four months to bring the angels to their knees…

With a virus ravaging the fallen angels on earth, mankind’s symbol of love and hope is at risk of extinction.

Centuries ago, a group of angelic warriors known as The Fallen risked everything to save themselves and carve a future for their kind. Hope slips away as The Fallen and their kin are cut down by an ancient menace, LaMorte Nera—and no one saw it coming.

Only one immortal can save them, and only one mortal can stand in his way…

When Nephilim warrior Killian St. James sets out on a quest to find a cure, he and his blade-brothers discover nineteen-year-old Aubrey Carter—a human with a past as dark as it is mysterious—cowering in an abandoned house in the heart of Memphis, Tennessee.

The corrupted races are chasing her, and Killian is determined to find out why…

But neither he nor Aubrey are prepared for their attraction to one another, or for the frightening truths lurking in the shadows. The painful childhood memories Aubrey has buried hold precious answers. Answers that threaten to tear Killian's world apart.

With her life hanging in the balance, Killian must choose between the future of The Fallen, and the human girl he's pledged to protect.

Demons are rising, and this time they plan to win the war for dominion once and for all.



Get STRICKEN for FREE Today Only on Amazon!
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C64X7OI

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Killian stepped forward, forcing her to tilt her head back to look up at him. He still seemed so big to her. He still overwhelmed her. But he didn’t frighten her anymore.

“You look tired.” She fought the urge to lift her hand to touch his gorgeous face.

“I am,” he said, the corner of his lips turning up in a half smile.

“Oh.”

He stared down at her, his half smile slipping. A dizzying parade of emotions swirled through his eyes. She couldn’t read them all, but she understood enough. He felt as torn as she did.

“Will I remember you three years from now?” she whispered, her heart aching with the fear that she would forget him as she had so much else…and with fear that she would remember him. That she would survive this nightmare and he would haunt her for the rest of her days like so much else did.

“Do you want to remember me?” He took another step in her direction.

“I don’t know.”  She frowned, confused. “You make me feel like maybe the world isn’t so bad. Like maybe I’m safe with you. I don’t think I want to forget that.”

Killian tucked a strand of hair behind her ear and cupped her cheek gently in one big hand. “You are safe with me. I won’t let anyone hurt you, Aubrey.”

She stared at him for a long, silent moment. He’d promised before that he wouldn’t hurt her, but even then an unspoken fear had stood between them like a wall. A little voice whispered that if she got too close, he would hurt her as badly as the things in her past hurt. That voice had stopped whispering when he’d kissed her today, and wasn’t that odd?

“You hurt me today.”

He bowed his head, letting his hand fall away from her face. “I’m sorry.”

Her heart ached a little at the agonized way he said it. As if it shamed him to know he’d hurt her. As if, maybe, he cared more than he should too.

“Why did you?” she asked, not accusing, but curious. She wanted to understand him. No, she needed to understand him on some level she couldn’t even explain to herself. “You wanted me, didn’t you?”

His gaze sought hers, honesty shining from his angel-bright eyes. “More than you know.”

Aubrey took a deep breath, letting her lungs fill with air even as her heart filled with his confession. And just as quickly, the buoyant feeling vanished. “It doesn’t change anything, though, does it?” she whispered.

“Do you want it to?”

She hesitated for a long moment, unsure. And then her shoulders slumped, the breath she’d taken expelling in a long sigh. “I’m sorry.”

Killian gave her a sad smile and reached for her again. He swept a finger beneath her eye, collecting the teardrop she hadn’t even realized had fallen. “No apologies,” he whispered, bringing his finger to his mouth. He stuck out the tip of his tongue and lapped that single bead of moisture from his fingertip. “You owe me nothing.”


If that was true, why did she feel like crying?



*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

A.K. Morgen is the Amazon Bestselling author of the Ragnarök Prophesies series. She lives in the heart of Arkansas with her childhood sweetheart/husband of twelve years, and their five furry minions. When not writing, she spends her time hiking, reading, volunteering, causing mischief, and building a Spork army. Ayden graduated summa cum laude with her Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and Forensic Psychology in 2009 before going on to complete her graduate degree in CJ and Law. She currently puts her education to use in the social services and CJ field. 

Ayden also writes New Adult and contemporary romance under the penname Ayden K. Morgen.

You can find her on 
Twitter, Facebook, or via her website at http://aydenmorgen.com.


*Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.

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36. Friday Feature: Under A Purple Moon

*If you are looking for the YA Scavenger Hunt, click here.

Today I'm excited to share Beverly Stowe McClure's new young adult novel, Under A Purple Moon.



Eden Rose has learned to deal with her mother’s criticism that she can do nothing right. What she can’t deal with are the arguments between her parents. To escape their angry words, she finds refuge in an old abandoned house. She always returns home, however, hoping her mother will love her one day, even though Eden’s not sure what the word love means.

Three other teens with problems also hang out at the Old House. Meeting Murphy, Toby, and Josh changes Eden’s world, and she begins to have faith in herself. Perhaps she can do something right, after all.

Thanks to the boys, she begins to understand the meaning of love. But will it be enough to save her broken home life?

Grab the book at these locations:


Barnes and Noble:  http://tinyurl.com/hy63vn4


Purple has always been one of my favorite colors so I'm loving this cover!

Most of the time you’ll find Beverly Stowe McClure at her computer, typing stories little voices whisper in her ear. When she’s not writing, she enjoys taking long walks and snapping pictures of wildlife, flowers, and clouds. To relax, she plays the piano. Her fur babies don’t appreciate good music and hide when she tickles the ivories. She’s sometimes known as the “Bug Lady.” She’s not telling why.

Find Beverly online:


*Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.

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37. What If?

Do you ever wonder what your life would be like if you weren’t a reader? I found myself rolling it around in my brain after work today while walking to catch my train. I’ve been feeling so busy that it seemed like I could actually manage it and, dare I say, not miss reading for at least a little while. I made myself laugh because here is what I thought:

If I weren’t a reader I would certainly have lots more time because I wouldn’t be reading, I wouldn’t be blogging about books or reading other blogs about books. Wow, I’d have so much extra time to read!

Wait, what?

And it took me a few seconds to realize what I was thinking because when I thought about how much extra time I’d have to read if I wasn’t reading my brain started going over my TBR lists and wondering what books I should read first. I was also carrying a book in my bag I had just checked out from the university where I work called Green Planets and Science Fiction about the intersection of SF and ecology.

Clearly if I ever seriously decide to give up reading for a while, I will have my work cut out for me.

No post from me tomorrow night, I will be out collecting the Dashwoods and escorting them to their new home. A respite for you all before I bombard you with baby chicken photos and video. You have hereby been warned.


Filed under: Books, Reading

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38. Friday Feature: Darkness Released Cover Reveal


► COVER REVEAL ◄
"What happens when ghosts of the past threaten your future?"


DARKNESS RELEASED by Candis Vargo
The Darkness Series, Book #2
Release Date: April 12th!
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Cover Designer: Redbird Designs 
►SYNOPSIS◄

For Hailey James, the ghosts of the past have never truly been laid to rest…

After a troubled childhood and one last visit to her family’s abandoned home, everything in Hailey’s life seems to be going according to plan. The business she runs with her best friend, Pat, has hit big time success, and she isn’t even twenty-five. 

When night terrors come out to play, her future is in jeopardy…

With the demolition of her childhood home, and her twenty-fifth birthday drawing near, Hailey’s nightmares become even worse. She is no longer able to do her job. At Pat’s insistence, Hailey undergoes hypnosis. She doesn’t remember much of her childhood, but when she sees a man dressed all in red in her visions, Hailey knows he is the key to her understanding.

Hailey can’t seem to escape her past and the ghostly women who haunt it. But she can break the cycle of suffering that has surrounded the women of her family, especially with the future of her little niece, Lilly, on the line.

To move forward, sometimes we must go back…

Hailey’s future remains uncertain if she can’t face her demons. She can only hope she will be able to defeat the evil which has pervaded her childhood and threatens her family.

When the shadows of her past threaten to cloud her future, Hailey must find the strength to unlock the truth of her troubled childhood.


►►► THE DARKNESS SERIES ◄◄◄
DARKNESS WITHIN, BOOK 1: http://bit.ly/1LEJ3Gs

►CANDIS VARGO◄
Growing up on an old dirty road in the middle of nowhere, as a child Candis used her love for books as a way to escape reality (and her brother constantly trying to kill her—literally). She blames her love of all things Horror on being born on Friday the 13th and will always find joy in scaring her friends.

You will find a little piece of her in every book she writes. She loves a good happy ending, but most of the time she prefers one she never saw coming.

When she’s not writing or reading, she can usually be found chasing her children around. She currently lives in Rome, Pennsylvania with her husband and three children. And her fat cat.

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39. Out of the Ashes Is Here!

It's here! I think I'm even more excited for the release of this book than I was for the rerelease of Into the Fire because this one is new to everyone. This trilogy just gets better as it goes along in my opinion. Don't take my word for it though. Read it and decide for yourself.



Seventeen-year-old Cara Tillman’s worst nightmare has come true… 

She’s been reborn as a Phoenix and has forgotten everything from her first life—including Logan Schmidt. He’s handsome and protective, but with no recollection, he can’t be trusted. 

Accused of being a Hunter, Logan’s mortality is put to the test… 

Logan isn’t willing to admit he and Cara are over—not even after he watches her rise from her own ashes. 

While the other Phoenixes are convinced Logan is a sworn enemy, a group of deadly Hunters are sure he is a Phoenix. Only being guilty of loving Cara, he must prove them all wrong—and convince Cara she loves him. 

However, a magical link may be the demise of Logan’s devotion… 

With the Hunters hot on their heels, it’s up to Logan to save Cara. But when the dagger calls out, Logan is drawn to its power. 

Cara’s missing memories may not be the only obstacle standing between her and Logan. Their relationship isn’t just complicated—it’s deadly. And when Cara finds herself at a crossroad, she is forced to choose… 

She can plunge into the darkness of her treacherous fate, or use her Phoenix instincts to once again rise Out of The Ashes.


Grab it on Amazon.


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40. Friday Feature: Waking Up Blank



¸.•*´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•`Waking up Blank`*)
                                                          *  
 Author: Sara Schoen
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Release date: June 17th 2015

Chelsea Lerman wakes from a sixteen-week coma with a shattered memory.

Following the brutal attack that left her life in tatters, Chelsea learns her best friend Maddie Gray was murdered. Left with only fragments of memory—and none at all about the crime—she is certain she wouldn’t kill Maddie.
But the police aren’t looking for who did it, because they already have a prime suspect…Chelsea. The only way to prove her innocence is to figure out who she is, explore her faded past, and unlock her blocked memories.
The truth she seeks might be deadly.
Chelsea realizes if she didn’t kill Maddie, someone else did. If she has any hope of reclaiming her life, she has to find out who did it…and why. However, her friends, family, and the police aren’t convinced her memory loss is genuine, so she’s forced to undertake the dangerous search alone.
Plagued by a sense of being watched and a series of mysterious “accidents,” and unsure who to trust, Chelsea is running out of time. Can she unmask Maddie’s murderer before she becomes the next victim?

GET IN NOW

 AMAZON / B&N •*¨*•*´¨)
¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•`
 FOLLOW SARA

About This Author

My name is Sara, I’m twenty years old, and I was born and raised in Northern Virginia. I have always been interested in writing, even started a book in elementary school, but it wasn’t until high school that my friend, and writing partner, more or less forced me to join an amateur writing site. After some convincing from her, I plucked up the courage and posted one of my stories. While it wasn’t popular at first, I was shocked and overwhelmed by the support of readers on Wattpad, and they gave me the support and confidence to get where I am today. I continued to write religiously for the next three years I was on the website, starting countless stories and deleting a few others. It wasn’t until I was nineteen that I was given the opportunity to work with a publisher, and I’m excited that I now get to share my work with countless other people as well as continue to write for the fans that supported me to continue working toward telling the world a remarkable story.


*Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.

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41. Let the Book Madness Begin!

Tip off is here and we are ready to choose teams. On one side we find out which fictional character reins supreme, and on the other side great beasts go head-to-head. Prizes are on the line so choose wisely.

MarchMadness

You guessed it, It is time for March Madness! We are mad about books at Arbordale and this year we have our own March Madness contest for you. Choose your favorites on the bracket downloaded from our website and submit your choices by March 25th. This tournament isn’t winner take all; the top four scorers will win a prize.

Visit our March Madness page for all the dates, details and to download your bracket!

And don’t forget, one of the newest members of the Arbordale team, Midnight Madness at the Zoo is a great March read!

MidnightMad


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42. Friday Feature: Secrets of Artemis


Today I'd like to introduce you to C.K. Brooke and her novel, Secrets of Artemis.


Not even the god of gods could command my heart not to love...

In Ancient Greece, the goddess Artemis was venerated as a maiden huntress, swift with her bow and arrows, and eternally chaste. But could there be more to her story? Perhaps Lady Artemis had envisioned quite a different destiny than the one her father, Zeus, had chosen for her. What if she hadn't merely pined after the giant huntsman, Orion, but had secretly partaken of a forbidden romance with him?

From prolific fantasy writer C.K. Brooke comes an original divine novel, in which Artemis's classic myths are retold as never before, in her own voice, as the young goddess sets the record straight and reveals the true account of her immortal life - and love. 

Grab the book on Amazon.




C.K. Brooke is the author of multiple fantasy, romance and women's adventure novels. She lives in Washington, Michigan with her husband and young son. For news about upcoming releases, follow her on Facebook and Twitter, and visit her at www.CKBrooke.com.







*Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.

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43. Read Kid’s Classics Challenge: March’s Selection (#readkidsclassics)

Hello and Welcome to our first installment of the Read Kid’s Classics Challenge! I’m so glad you’re here and I can hardly wait to see what you’re reading as well. As many of you already know, I am a huge fan of children’s classics and over the years my family has actively read old classics and discovered new ones. In 2016 one of my many goals is to discover even more classics and share them with you, my valued readers.

So from now on, every month during my Read Kids Classic Challenge, I am going to present one classic that I simply can’t live without!

#ReadKidsClassics

Joining me in this book-ish and fun campaign is a handful of powerhouse bloggers who are excited to share their very own #readkidsclassics picks!  Please feel free to visit these five #ReadKidsClassics bloggers to see what classic book reading fun they have created.

Read Kids Classics

I don’t think it will surprise anyone what my first Read Kid’s Classics Challenge pick is going to be, and I have a very good reason for that! I picked this book because it was my first kid’s classic and it became my favorite friend and companion throughout my childhood, ….no, throughout my life.

What could that incredible book be? Why The Secret Garden of course.

The Secret Garden

It was such a favorite book that I even wrote an activity guide to bring the entire book alive, month by month. What I would have done to be Mary and to live at Misselthwaite Manor but most of all to enter that garden.

OK, so knowing this about me, can you imagine my excitement this past November when I got to meet the author of the Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett) great grand-daughter? Oh it was really incredible. I had a little fan girl moment but then again so does her great grand-daughter Penny Dupree. Frances was just the most remarkable person and Penny has dedicated her life to getting her great grandmother’s story out.

Frances Hodgson Burnett

While writing A Year in the Secret Garden I discovered that Frances Hodgson Burnett (FHB) started her writing career here in East Tennessee where I live. Last November was the 150th anniversary of her move from England to America and I was honored to be invited to participate with all of the fine folks of New Market, and Jefferson City.

So Let Me Share a Little About Frances Hodgson Burnett (FHB)

Now that you’re in my inner reading circle we’ll always refer to Frances as FHB. So reading friend I have to share with you that FHB was a most remarkable woman. At the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century, FHB was accomplished woman. She started writing to support her family who had just immigrated to the United States. From the moment she penned and published her first word, she was never turned down by a publisher. At the time of her death she had over 1000 magazine articles, 55 books, and several plays.

Frances Hodgson Burnett

In her lifetime she was very well-known and admired as a writer as well as very wealthy. She was an adventurer crossing the Atlantic ocean round-trip 33 times. We owe a lot of thanks to FHB because she is the person who established copyright laws. Another writer tried to steal her story Little Lord Fauntleroy by turning it into a play. FHB wasn’t having any of that, she rewrote her own story into a theater piece and opened up directly across the street from the man who had stolen her story. She ended up running him out of business. Because of this she said that nobody should be allowed to steal another person’s work and so she established the preliminary copyright laws we now hold very dear. At the bottom of that statue are the signatures of some of the most famous writers of the time in the United States.

Frances Hodgson Burnett

 

Penny Deupree in her presentation also shared somethings that wouldn’t be considered good about her great grand mother such as she smoked, drank, and swore. She also suffered the death of one of her sons which left a huge hole in the family. The story has continued thru her great grand-daughter and now her great great grand-daughter who is writing a book about FHB.

During our time together I gave a copy of my book A Year in the Secret Garden to Penny and her family and they just loved it and were so moved. I have to share that I felt FHB was shining down on me and giving her two thumbs up. It was totally an affirmation. Since our time together in November I have felt her on a couple of occasions, like the idea of building a Secret Garden in the city where I live. I’m so glad that inspiration has led me into the Secret Garden and filled it with a lifetime of memories.

Frances Hodgson Burnett

(Photo of Penny Deupree and her grandfather Viven Burnett.)

I wish the very same for you. If you sign-up for our Read Kid’s Classic Challenge, this month I’ve prepared a beautiful Secret Garden PDF with loads of activities. It’s completely free.

What’s the Read Kid’s Classic Challenge ?

Every month during our Read Kids Classic Challenge we are going to present one classic that we can’t live without. We’d like you to join as well.

#ReadKidsClassics

 

To Participate:We’d like you to share one kids classic that you can’t live without every month. Share it on your blog, vlog and social media using the hashtag #readkidsclassics once a month to let us know what you’ve been reading.

If you should choose to post about your kids classic choice, please let us know the following within your blog post:

  • WHEN  did you Discover This Classic?
  • WHY did you Chose to Read It with your Family?
  • WHAT Makes It A Classic?
  • WHAT did you Think of This Classic?

Here’s how I classify classics as old or new (this isn’t an official classification it’s just sort of the way I think of it):

Old Kid’s Classics are those books written before 1950. New Kid’s Classics are those books written after 1950.

But that’s not all

When you sign up for the 2016 Read Kid Classics Challenge every month you will get a PDF that you can download which will have loads of activities on the particular book we’ve chosen to share at Jump into a Book. Each edition of Read the Kids Classics will highlight the story, have good things to eat in our kitchen called Table of Contents, give behind the scenes gossip about the author, easy crafts that kids can do on their own in our craftiness section, questions for the curious, explorations into the world of our featured books, as well as further connections via books like this one and topic booklists so you can find more good reads and finally a visit to the word wizard for some word play.

And Still There’s More-Free Books!

Sign up and join Jump Into A Book’s #ReadKidClassics Challenge to participate in our monthly adventure of sharing personal classic children’s favorites and activities.

On the last day of every month, JIAB will go on a book adventure; an adventure that will put participants in the running to win a bundle of book classics to fill your shelves with. This adventure could be in the form of a Instagram scavenger hunt or as easy as commenting here on JIAB. We just want participants to have fun and earn free books!

As part of this fun book-ish adventure, I will be creating free monthly PDFs of a #ReadKidClassics book and book extensions to give to all participants for their own family reading and fun.

We’re so excited about our challenge. Sign up below and we’ll see you there :)

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The post Read Kid’s Classics Challenge: March’s Selection (#readkidsclassics) appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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44. Into the Fire Cover Reveal!

You know when you see a book cover and it brings tears to your eyes because it's just so perfect? Well, that's how I felt when Limitless Publishing sent me the cover of Into the Fire. Deranged Doctor blew me away. I mean this is Cara. Right down to the freaky red streaks she has in her hair and her sapphire eyes. And that Phoenix emblem! Oh wait…you haven't seen it yet! ;)

Okay, check out the GORGEOUS new cover!




In one month’s time, seventeen-year-old Cara Tillman will die and be reborn from her own ashes…

Her life of secrecy has never been easy. She’s watched her younger brother, Jeremy, burn and rise again in a coming-of-age process called rebirth. And just like her brother, when her time comes, she won’t remember anything from her first life other than she’s a Phoenix—a member of a small group of people descended from the mythical Phoenix bird.

The last thing she needs to worry about is falling for the new guy in town—Logan Schmidt.

Cara is drawn to Logan in a way she can’t explain, but she’s not exactly complaining. Everything is perfect…except it’s not. Once she’s reborn, she’ll forget Logan. And to make things worse, a Phoenix Hunter is on the loose, and Cara’s involvement with Logan is bringing out her Phoenix qualities—the very qualities that will draw the Hunter right to her.

Desperate times call for desperate measures…

Afraid of hurting Logan, Cara breaks it off for good. But her attraction to him runs deeper than a typical high school crush. She wants him—needs him. And if he proves willing to stay by her side, their love might destroy them both.


Can Cara hide from the Phoenix Hunters long enough to survive her rebirth? And if so, will it mean a new beginning with Logan—or the beginning of the end?


So, what do you think? I can't tell you how much time I've spent staring at this cover. The book is now up on Goodreads, so you can add it to your shelf here. Want the book to arrive on your Kindle on release day? Preorder it here NOW.

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45. How Do You Manage?

So here’s a question for you because I am always curious about how readers organize their reading and their time. We all read books but I know, if you are reading this, you also spend time on the interwebs and you probably spend time reading blogs but I also know you spend time reading other things online too. At least I am assuming you do because I know I do. I’m not talking about news, but longer stuff. Let’s call it long-from internet writing whether it is a long book review essay at the Los Angeles Review of Books (if you don’t read LARB by the way you are missing out I actually tend to like them better than NYRB because they have more variety and are less pretentious and know the world does not revolve around New York or Los Angeles) or maybe an article at Slate or The New Yorker or Bicycle Magazine or any number of the many places you like to visit on your internet rounds.

I’m going to bet that you are also like me in that you often find interesting long-form writing but gosh darn, just don’t have the time or brain power when you come upon it to read it right then and there. So you save it for later.

First question: Where/How do you save your read laters?

Since I am asking you, I will reciprocate and tell you that if something comes up in my feed reader (Feedly) I will save it for later there. I have a Mac and use the Safari browser that has a handy “read it later” feature where it will save articles in the browser but not as bookmarks. It’s hard to explain, but it is a useful feature for anything I come across through channels other than my feed reader. I have tried other methods like Delicious and Reddit but those are so out-of-sight, out-of-mind that I forget about them. Plus, no offense, but I really don’t care about the social aspects of those sites — what everyone else is reading, nor am I particularly interested in sharing what I am reading (or saving for later as the case may be).

Inevitably, the number of items I save for later pile up because I never have enough time later to catch up with them all. Just like books piling up on my reading table, I think I have more time and opportunity to read everything I want to read than I actually do.

Second question: What do you do with all your saved for later reading when you realize that later is not going to come?

Sometimes I might unsave an article or two but most of the time when I scan my lists I still want to read what I have saved so I end up hardly ever deleting anything unless I actually read it which, as I mentioned, is not as often as I expect. And then of course the saved things end up becoming a big, unwieldy mess. When that happens I am tempted to just delete it all and start fresh but then I see all kinds of things I still want to read and, well, you can guess what happens then, or doesn’t happen is more like it.

Eventually, like now, I start to feel overwhelmed by it all and I hold extensive debates with myself over what I should do. Before I allow myself to get sucked into another one my pointless internal debates, I thought I would ask you my two questions. So lay it on me, share your wisdom. How do you manage it all? Or maybe, like me, you don’t, and that’s okay too. I’ll be happy to know that I have company.


Filed under: Books, Reading Tagged: online reading, organization, time time I need more time

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46. Friday Feature: Frog Hollow


I'm really happy to feature my fellow Limitless author, Savannah Blevins. First, look how gorgeous the cover of Frog Hollow is!


It's a sign. No one is safe.

At just twenty-two years old, Wilhelmina Daniels inherits a house, a family of eclectic witches, and a death sentence on the same day. As revealed by Reid Thomas, her shy but smoldering neighbor, Wilhelmina is a descendent of the Innocent--a line of gifted women who are to be admired, feared, and above all else, protected. 

Death, mayhem, and The Haunted...

The murder of Wilhelmina's mother--the family matriarch--sends the small town's rumor-mill into a frenzy. Suspicions fall on The Haunted, a rival force with dual personalities, one of them being Julien Cote.It's difficult to believe the charming boy has a sexual deviant with a hankering for violence lurking inside.Rumor has it Julien can seduce an angel out of her wings. Wilhelmina doesn't have wings, but if he calls her cheri d'amour one more time, she's liable to lose something of equal importance--her heart. But with Reid hailing from her clan, will she stay close to her own, or venture into the unknown?
Even a powerful spell can't seal Julien's fate

Julien knows an incantation that just might help Wilhelmina to solve her mother's death, but when an unidentified stalker is spotted spying in her house, her family is certain it's Julien's dangerous alter ego come out to play.Wilhelmina must decide--is risking her life worth the possible heartbreak of discovering the truth about Julien's fate and her mother's death? Or will she cast aside her desire for Julien and vow her love to Reid. 

Leaving her past forever buried in the murky depth of...Frog Hollow

And doesn't the book sound amazing? I need to read this one. Grab your copy hereOh, and if you have Kindle Unlimited, you can grab this book for FREE! 

Savannah was born in Hyden, Kentucky. She received her M.S in Speech Language Pathology from The University of Mississippi in 2009. She's been writing since the early age of nine when she begged her parents for a type writer for Christmas.

She now lives in Corbin, Ky with her husband of eight years, John, and their two wonderful daughters, Delilah and Gracie.

When she isn't working, or running after her kids, she spends her free time traveling the country with her husband. There is nothing better than a day of football in the grove, a late night of basketball at Rupp Arena or slapping the glass to celebrate another Washington Capitals goal.

She is a strong believer that with enough hard work and determination you can accomplish anything.

*Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.

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47. Encounters with Non-Readers

No reviews or memes or exciting links today. I just feel like babbling a little if that’s okay with you. If it isn’t, I presume you know how to take yourself elsewhere, not that I want you to go elsewhere, but you know what I mean.

So, read any good books lately? Heh. Do you hate it when non-readers ask you that? I do. I don’t know what they are expecting me to say. If I say yes then they ask me for titles and I kind of cringe inside because I know they are not interested in reading any of the titles I might rattle off. Sometimes I try to name books I think they might like in the hope that maybe they really are looking for a book suggestion. But mostly no matter what I say I get a blank but polite stare.

Now and then the non-reader might recognize a title or author and bark out commentary like, I read that and hated it. How am I supposed to respond to that? Or they’ll say, Virginia Woolf? Are you taking a literature class or something? And I will say no and they will be all astonished and say you read Woolf for fun? And then I get embarrassed because I can see the look in their eyes which is then followed by accusations of me being a super smart genius (um no) or a big weirdo (maybe?) but either way I am clearly not normal.

Then there is the follow up question, how many books do you read in a year? When a non-reader asks you this you know anything more than one or two is going to seem like a lot so when I stammer out that I read 67 books last year the person’s eyes get big and round and then they say something like, you must read really fast. Implying of course that if I don’t read fast then I really am weird because no normal person would actually spend so much time with books.

The conversation usually ends with the other person wondering how I manage to have so much time to read when they themselves are so busy there is not a minute in their day to sit down with a book. And I know this is a veiled accusation that I am somehow lazy and spend a lot of time doing nothing because reading, to a non-reading person, is nothing. The person walks away feeling superior and I am left to be the freak I so obviously am.

This is why I love the internet and book blogs. Because you all are my tribe. Among you I am completely normal and it is the non-readers who are freaks. We can babble on and on endlessly about all the books we are reading and want to read, about being excited over so-and-so publishing a new book or going to hear a favorite author read or the treasures we found at the used bookstore or the library. It feels good to be among you and not feel embarrassed or weird or accused. It’s home.


Filed under: Books, Reading

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48. Classroom Library: 5 Things to Consider

“Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are.”– Mason Cooley13089CT01.tif

Mason Cooley took the words right out of my mouth. As an avid reader, I have experienced the beauty of finding myself lost in another world within the pages of a book. Unfortunately, not all students may have had this type of opportunity. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the first step to creating a well-rounded classroom library should not only intrigue and motivate students to want to open a book but also meet their diverse learning needs.

Here are my top 5 ways to build a classroom library:classroom lib 1

  1. Create a classroom library without breaking the bank. Check all of your resources before heading to the closest department bookstore or even the school book fair. You can find gems while visiting local garage and yard sales, as well as thrift shops. Ask for donations from your family and friends. Look into your school’s policies in terms of grants or donors, and explore resources like Donors Choose to request materials for your classroom and First Book for discounted books.

2. Listen to and know your students. Think back to your favorite book, author, or series that you loved at your students’ age. Even though you ate them up, these types of books may or may not be as relevant to your group of students. If you want to have books in your library that students want to read, you need to ask them and get to know your students. Reading conferences can serve as a time to discuss books that students are currently reading or topics that they would be interested in learning more about. Readers notebooks can also provide insight into the reading patterns of your students. Have students record how often they read and the title and author of each book to open up your library to books you may have not considered.

3. Be thoughtful about your classroom community. The books in your classroom library need to not only reflect the topics and interests of your students but your students themselves. Can your students see themselves in these books? Do the characters and stories build understanding of diverse cultures and experiences? Reading books with diverse characters and content not only builds self-confidence through making personal cultural connections but also promotes empathy and understanding. A truly culturally responsive library does involve awareness and research. For more information, check out 8 Steps to Creating a Diverse Book Collection.

4. Consider the more formal aspects of a library. In addition to finding books that fit classroom lib 2.pngstudent interest, it is important to consider the accessibility of your books. Having a variety of books that cover a range of genres from graphic novels to biographies to poetry allows students to not only read for personal interest but supplement grade-level content learning in the classroom. So organizing books by not only theme but also level is also important to support students when selecting independent books within an appropriately challenging range. This includes having books both below and above grade level. But this doesn’t mean you should discourage a child from picking up a book just because it is not necessarily at his or her level, as their interest and motivation in the book’s topic plays a significant factor in overall comprehension.

5. Overcome the bumps with inspiration. “Reading is SO boring.” “There is nothing here that I want to read.” “I will never finish a book.” “I HATE reading.” Resistance and frustration are sometimes unfortunate parts of the process, but if met with a student-driven effort to identify each reluctant reader’s obstacles and ways to overcome them, negative attitudes toward reading can be turned around. Besides assessing your students’ reading levels and stocking your library with a wide range of interests, sometimes it is worth the time investment to go beyond the classroom for a little added spark. For example, inviting authors and illustrators to your classroom to share their writing or drawing processes can be a game changer for students. Many students have never met an author or illustrator before, and meeting the minds behind the books they’ve read is an inspiring experience for students.

Authentic reading experiences beyond your classroom, such as class trips to the local public library or bookstore, can help get your kids excited about reading. It’s important to provide students with experiences that show them that reading isn’t just an activity done in school. Personally, the best field trip I have attended so far was to Belmont Library in Bronx, NY. M class was able to have free reign of the library for nearly two hours and browse the selection to find their “just right” books. The highlight of the day was a student walking toward me with an armful of books asking, “How many books can I check out, Ms. Panko?” Giving students the opportunity to explore with your support gives them the freedom to internalize a love of reading.

PankoBioPictureLindsay is a recent graduate from Mount Saint Mary College and is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Literacy Education. She currently holds New York State certifications for childhood (1-6) and students with disabilities (1-6). Lindsay is a first year teacher in the Bronx working as a sixth grade special education teacher. She enjoys hiking throughout the Hudson Valley and baking during her free time.

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49. Which of My Books to Read First

This post is so I have somewhere to send people when they ask me which book of mine they should read first. Click on the links to learn more about each book.

WARNING: If you consider knowing whether a book has a happy or a sad ending to be a spoiler do not read this:

Novels with unambiguously happy endings:

How To Ditch Your Fairy
Team Human

Novels with endings that might make you tear your hair out:

Liar
Razorhurst
My Sister Rosa
“Thinner than Water” in Love is Hell (though I consider this novella to have a happy ending many readers disagree with me)

Novels with endings that might make you cry in a sad way:

Razorhurst
My Sister Rosa
“Thinner than Water” in Love is Hell (Beats me why, but many readers have reported crying.)

Novels that just end with no resolution and WHY DID YOU DO THAT, JUSTINE?!

Liar

Fantasies:

Magic or Madness trilogy (contemporary with magic)1
How to Ditch Your Fairy (contemporary, different world, very mild superpowers)2
Liar (contemporary [redacted] because it might be a lie)
“Thinner than Water” in Love is Hell (contemporary with faerie)
Zombies v Unicorns (self-explanatory)
Team Human (contemporary, vampires and zombies)
Razorhurst (historical, ghosts)

Realist novels:

Liar
My Sister Rosa (Though I could mount a strong argument that psychopaths are monsters.)

Historicals:

Razorhurst (1932 Sydney)

Thrillers:

Liar (psychological)
Razorhurst (gangsters and cops trying to kill protags)
My Sister Rosa (psychological)

Anthologies/Short stories:

Daughters of Earth (I edited this collection of 20th century feminist science fiction with accompanying essays by feminist scholars)
Zombies v Unicorns (I edited this one with Holly Black)
“Thinner than Water” in Love is Hell
“Little Red Suit” in Eat the Sky, Drink the Ocean

Non-fiction:
Battle of the Sexes in Science Fiction
Daughters of Earth

Novels with sex:

Magic or Madness trilogy
Liar
Razorhurst (very little)
My Sister Rosa

Novels without sex:
How To Ditch Your Fairy
Team Human

Humorous Books:

How To Ditch Your Fairy
Team Human
Zombies v Unicorns (Mine and Holly Black’s bantering in between the short stories is funny and so are some of the stories.)

  1. Out of print. I include the trilogy to be complete and who knows one day it might be back in print.
  2. I can also make an argument that this one is science fiction. Most readers disagree

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50. Friday Feature: Cheerleading Can Be Murder Cover Reveal


|||||| COVER REVEAL ||||||
CHEERLEADING CAN BE MURDER
Horror High Series #1 by Carissa Ann Lynch
Coming April 5th from Limitless Publishing!

||| SYNOPSIS |||
Getting on the cheerleading squad is hard enough without a psycho on the loose…

For Harrow High freshman Dakota Densford, life should be easy. All she has to worry about is talking to cute boys and remembering her locker combination. But when cheerleading tryouts draw near, she learns the cards are stacked against her—spots on the varsity team are limited. Dakota faces her competition head-on, but when her life is threatened, that takes the competition to a whole new level.

High school is never easy, and freshman year is off to a rough start…

Between Dakota’s uniform being ripped up and masked vandals trashing another girl’s house, everyone is suspect. To complicate matters further, Dakota has a thing for Andy McGraw, but she finds him locking lips with another girl.

The harassment continues, and when Dakota finds suspicious flyers inside her best friend’s locker, she doesn’t know what to think. The principal’s unfeeling, overachiever daughter, Brittani Barlow, will do anything to secure her place on the team. But Dakota’s neighbor, on the other hand, definitely fits the profile of a sociopath.

Cheerleading has become a game of life and death.

 ||| COVER DESIGNER |||


||| CARISSA ANN LYNCH |||
Besides my family, my greatest love in life is books. Reading them, writing them, holding them, smelling them…well, you get the idea. I’ve always loved to read, and some of my earliest childhood memories are me, tucked away in my room, lost in a good book. I received a five dollar allowance each week, and I always — always — spent it on books. My love affair with writing started early, but it mostly involved journaling and writing silly poems. Several years ago, I didn’t have a book to read so I decided on a whim to write my own story, something I’d like to read. It turned out to be harder than I thought, but from that point on I was hooked. My first and second books were released by Sarah Book Publishing: This Is Not About Love and Grayson’s Ridge. I’m a total genre-hopper. Basically, I like to write what I like to read: a little bit of everything! I reside in Floyds Knobs, Indiana with my husband, three children, and massive collection of books. I have a degree in psychology and worked as a counselor.

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1MFqBf9

*Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.

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