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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Author-Book Profile with Interview: Ichabod Temperance

Please welcome Ichabod Temperance. Let's get to know him and his book, A Matter of Temperance ..which by the way is on a promotional sale, FREE on Amazon Kindle until 6/30! 

[Helping authors promote their books.  Being profiled does not necessarily mean I recommend the book.]

Forty-nine-year old Native Alabama Birminghamster. Punk rock drummer, construction worker, sushi chef, Martial Arts enthusiast, Professional Wrestling referee and accidental author. With a nod towards Doyles Holmes, I am now embracing a new career as a Consulting Protagonist.

When and why did you start writing?
I did a little stunt work on an independent film. "Engines of Destiny'. The cast and crew turned me onto steampunk as a genre in film and book, and directed me to a website, "The Steampunk Empire". Here you are encouraged to create a character for yourself. From a character, a backstory comes into being. I wrote a blog adventure to support the character I was stepping into. From that the novel just sort of happened accidently. But a writing bug, that I never would have dreamed had been lying dormant, was awakened.

Is there any writer that influenced you?
I take a bit of advice from an old movie, "I remember Mama." In it, a young girl wants to be a writer. Her Mama seeks out a professional writer and asks her for advice. She said to "Write what you know."

I have chosen to follow that advice. I create a situation, and then put myself in it.

Other than that, I would have to admit to being influenced by Neal Stephenson, and Terry Pratchett. Not on purpose, it just kind of came out that way.

Which of the characters is most like you and why?
I totally picture myself as the (unlikely) hero, and my girlfriend as the heroine (Miss Persephone Plumtartt.) I often create a terrible mess for my heroes and then have to figure a way out. That is, I look around with my mind's eye and see what I have at hand to effect an escape. Or some such thing. I find it easier to just put myself in the book. I know how I would react, so I put that in the book.

Do you have a writing style?
When I set out, I wanted to write an adventure novel. But a style developed as I went. I found myself including less violence, and more humor. I also found that I wanted the kindness of my character to come through.

What has been the best part of writing this book?
I include many of my friends in cameos and small parts. I get a lot of satisfaction from that. But one of the things I most enjoyed, was bringing out some tear jerker scenes. Not by being cruel, and killing off a loved character to make you cry. But make you cry from a sweet and poignant moment. Like the movie, "I Remember Mama."

If there is something you could change about this book, what would it be?
This book was written as a stand alone novel. But I have since written a follow up. In it, I have a better grasp of my style. I am more consistent throughout. No violence. Lots of humor. A bit more innuendo. I also am fond of animals and this comes through in the books also. The one thing I would change about the first book would be to have less violence, even though there is almost none to begin with!

Thank you Mr. Temperance for chillin' with us for a bit.  I'll have to check out that "I Remember Mama" movie.  Glad you stumbled into writing.  Hmm, I don't think I've read a steampunk book but I'll give it a shot!  Thank you for the freebie and much success to you!

In a past that never was...
The year is 1869. Earth experiences the close pass of a comet never before seen. In its wake, many of Terra's inhabitants find themselves changed. Among men, prodigies rise in unprecedented numbers, while many ordinary adults suddenly find themselves possessed of preternatural genius. Likewise, non-hominid animals become self-aware and intelligent.
Fast forward to 1875. A young “comet prodigy” from humble beginnings, Ichabod Temperance, has become the world's foremost inventor. He travels to England to deliver his latest brilliant invention to a famous explorer, until Fate intervenes. Meanwhile, a lovely young Bluestocking, Miss Persephone Plumtartt, survives an experimental accident only to find herself imbued with a power she can neither understand nor control, while dark forces and malevolent creatures pursue her, leaving a gruesome wake of death.
Yet, worse is to come. The naïve young inventor and the lovely intellectual find themselves fighting not only to save their own lives, but to prevent the destruction of all life on Earth.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Review: The Newcomer by Robyn Carr

The Newcomer (Thunder Point #2) by Robyn Carr, AF, 2013, 400p, Rating=2.5
Source: provided by publicist/author through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Adult content: language and sex
Mild SPOILER at end of review

Single dad and Thunder Point's deputy sheriff "Mac" McCain has worked hard to keep everyone safe and happy. Now he's found his own happiness with Gina James. The longtime friends have always shared the challenges and rewards of raising their adolescent daughters. With an unexpected romance growing between them, they're feeling like teenagers themselves-suddenly they can't get enough of one another.

And just when things are really taking off, their lives are suddenly thrown into chaos. When Mac's long-lost-and not missed-ex-wife shows up in town, drama takes on a whole new meaning. They're wondering if their new feelings for each other can withstand the pressure...but they are not going down without a fight.

This installment didn't enthrall me as much as the first book in the series.  There was too much going on and was overall not balanced even though everything ironed out by book's end.  For example, the process to get to the answer to Sarah's dilemma in the beginning of the book seemed to promise a great anticipatory romance resolution.  There was a solution but before getting there, we had to read through the heavy subject of Ashley's emotional dealings with sexting, the arrivals of exes and their baggage, more new characters, and yes, definitely chaos as the blurb stated.  I see the concept of giving more details on characters for background and depth.  I just felt that the emphasis went to the wrong people and not enough for others.  It made for a stressful read.  Also, the cursing, however minimal, bothered me this time.

Yet with all the chaos, I still enjoyed the Thunder Point arena of towns people and find myself interested in their lives.  You know why?  Because they came alive in my head.  Life does throw us fastballs, screwballs, and curveballs so it was interesting to see how they would play out.  Hence, beyond nitpicking the incongruence of character page time, you find most of these small town residences going through challenges of substance.  Plus the romance department was generally satisfyingly hot and the budding ones cute.  I still have enough love for Thunder Point to see it through to the very end. 

Oh, my favorite character this time around was Lou.  She was the glue.

(SPOILER ALERT starts here) I do have a qualm about the title.  It can very well be the alternate title for book one but not the perfect fit for this installment in that it didn't align with all that was going on in the book.  Haha, I suggest, "The Chaos".   However, knowing who "the newcomer" is gives me an assumption that Ms Carr was theming the title to characterize the same person throughout the series and so the hero in the next book will be none other than ******!  I'll have to see if my assumption pans out in the next book. (SPOILER ALERT ends here)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Nook Book Freebie Alert

I was alerted by the author herself, Julia Dweck, of a couple of her books being free (until 6/28) at Barnes & Noble Nook Store.  Looks like fun reads for the little munchkins in our lives.

Feel free to spread the news! 



Guest Post: Kickstarter for A Boat Made of Bone by Nicole Grotepas

~Post below was composed by Burgandy Ice @Colorimetry~

I am very happy to announce this fun KICKSTARTER by Nicole Grotepas!!  Supporting her new release gets me a copy, which is UBER-exciting, but... there's more!!  Sharing this announcement enters me in a giveaway for $100!!

YEA!  It's like... getting chocolate and eating it, too!!  Or having a tea party and discovering we all love the same book!  Support awesome author... get copy of the book... and entered to win $100!!  (Too many exclamation point? I do like them.)

Please welcome Nicole, who says it much better than me:

Hey everyone! The Kickstarter for my next novel, A Boat Made of Bone, has launched! Watch the video above and go here to reserve your copy (digital, paperback, or hardback) now! Share the news to enter to win $100 - details below.

For those of you curious about WHAT this book is about, there's a link posted on the Kickstarter page that will allow you to read the first chapter. More chapters will be unlocked when funding is met and if we can reach stretch goals. See all the stretch rewards at the bottom of the Kickstarter info page. 

I'm so excited to be doing this. I love Kickstarter and have found myself nearly ADDICTED to it. Seriously, I have to rein myself in or else I'd back every cool projecting happening ALL THE FREAKING TIME.

I'd be broke. But I'd be happy. And projects would be funded. Right? 

As the campaign progresses, I'll also be posting teasers from deeper in the book, which will reveal delicious details about where the story is headed. So once you're hooked, I hope you stay tuned for more sweet delectable tidbits from my next book. 

In fact, while we're talking about it, here's one now. 

Will closes his eyes, unfolds his arms, and takes a deep breath. When he opens his eyes again, the intensity of his gaze sears me. “You’re right. That is what I’m doing, Kat. I’m sorry. Because—because what I was once, when I was alive, doesn’t matter to me anymore. What matters to me now is you. I find it difficult to know that you have a life that I’m not a part of.” He steps toward me and takes hold of my upper arms. His grip is tight, but not uncomfortably so. “I regretted everything I did, everything I was, until I found you. It’s a second chance, and I don’t even know why I’ve been given one. Only, I’m not real. I’m dead. And I can’t even touch you, your flesh, the real you.” 
Aaaaand scene. 

Well, there it is. I hope you’ve enjoyed that little foray into the depths of A Boat Made of Bone. There’s more where that came from if you stick around. Heh heh.

Remember to share this Kickstarter to enter to win a $100 gift card from Amazon or Paypal cash. The drawing will happen when the campaign reaches it’s funding goal. I can't wait to give someone a hundred dollars!


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Guest Post: Summer Book Crush 99¢ event

Hot sun, hot sand, cool drinks, dark tans. Ahhhh. But your summer won’t be complete until you land a new BOOK BOYFRIEND, right? Lucky for you, we’ve got you covered!

color banner

SUMMER BOOK CRUSH offers 50+ titles in many genres. This means 50+ chances to (fictitiously) fall in love. And the best part? Each of these gems is only 99¢, but for a limited time only. The SUMMER BOOK CRUSH event starts on June 26th and ends (yes, even the best things in life end at some point) on June 28th. So don't wait up! Mingle with our BOOK BOYFRIENDS and invite all your friends to participate too. There are plenty of BOOK BOYS to share!

Button_who is your book crush

Find your summer’s fling between the pages of a book. And don't stop on one - after all we have many BOOK BOYFRIENDS for you to mingle with.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Author-Book Profile with Interview: Derek the Ghost

[Helping authors promote their books.  Being profiled does not necessarily mean I recommend the book.]

We're in for a treat because Derek the Ghost, aka Derek Taylor Kent, is here for a visit!  His book The Northern Frights (Scary School #3) came out TODAY!  My son if you recall reviewed book #1 here last year and highly recommended it.  He since have read book #2 (loved it as well) and awaiting his pre-ordered copy of this book #3, oddly enough due to arrive next week :(.  He loves the series so he's most excited that Derek the Ghost is here with us today.

Let's take a moment to get to know him a bit.  Oh, don't forget to comment about how sharp he's looking for us this morning too! :)

When and why did you begin writing?
Ever since I was seven years old I remember being the "writer" of my class. I looked forward to all the creative writing time and always wrote the longest stories because I never wanted to stop. I was also the weird kid who, during 'free reading' time, would actually sit there and read the dictionary. That continued through school. I was always very shy, so writing was my outlet to connect with my classmates. I could always make them laugh with my silly stories.

I began seriously writing children's books and thinking it would probably be my career when I was 15 years old and took a creative writing class in high school. The teacher was a bit flabbergasted when I was the only one writing Dr. Seuss-style books for assignments. The Harry Potter series, which I started reading in college, was what really kicked me in the butt to start writing novels because I so loved the unique world she created and wanted to do that as well.

What is your favorite chapter or part and why?
My favorite chapter of Scary School #1 is the chapter about Petunia. She's a young girl who's completely purple from head to foot, like a petunia. Her hair also makes its own pollen, so she's constantly surrounded by bees and wasps that like to collect it. The way she feels about her herself is similar to how I felt about myself at her age. She feels like an outsider and is very lonely. The bugs that fly around her head are her best friends. Because of her loneliness, she loves to read more than anything else, so she becomes Derek the Ghost's biggest fan, because she loves to read his writing. I get more into this in Scary School Book 2 and she plays a big role in Scary School #3 as well.

How would you describe your current writing environment?
I do write every day, though I wouldn't say I write all day. Aside from the books, I'm also a screenwriter and a songwriter, so I'm usually focusing on one or the other each day. Writing is the thing I enjoy most in the world, so when I'm writing it's like my leisure time. It's hard to think of it as work. I also love to cook, so I'll usually spend some time making myself a really good lunch, and then I'll write in the afternoon if it's open, otherwise, I'll do my writing after dinner. I do still have a day job (though it's a flexible day job), so I have to schedule my writing time around my unpredictable work schedule. Hopefully soon I'll be able to fully dedicate myself to writing and my output will soar! I don't like any distractions when I'm writing, so I usually sit alone in my room with no music or anything else going on so I can be completely focused. Then I can usually get a lot done in a short amount of time.

What are you reading now?
I just finished Dan Brown's The Inferno... I keep starting to read Game of Thrones, but then I stop myself because I don't want to spoil the TV show... I can't decide!

Is there any particular writer that influenced you?
Yes, there are several: Kurt Vonnegut, JK Rowling, Louis Sachar, Art Spiegelman, and Stephen King.

What are some of your hobbies?
I love cooking and eating good food. I love playing basketball, playing guitar, and playing ping pong. I also love hiking with my dog, watching movies, and writing crazy stories. I guess writing crazy stories is more of a profession, but it's so fun it feels like a hobby.

Can you tell us about your next book?
Next year I have a bi-lingual Spanish/English picture book coming out called El Perro in Sombrero. I also have a couple other picture book projects in development and a top secret YA adventure book in the vein of Ready Player One and The Da Vinci Code that I am just starting on.

Which do you prefer, Facebook or Twitter?
I prefer Facebook, but I'm still trying to keep it old school by having a really fun website for kids. I run the website ( myself and it was designed by Jett MG (, so I'm very much involved in everything. I wanted the website to really give the visitor a feel for what it's like to be a student at Scary School and spend hours having fun. You can meet the students and faculty, tour the school grounds and classrooms, and watch some funny videos. Plus there are so many hidden Easter eggs and secret links I can barely keep count! My favorite part is probably the video game you can play. If you win, you will receive the weirdest trophy ever and get the secret passcode to gain priority admission into Scary School!

Are you a morning person or night owl?
I used to always be a night owl, but ever since I got my new puppy who wants to go for a walk at 6 am every morning, I am reluctantly turning into a morning person.

What is one of your guilty pleasures?
Chocolate bar doughnuts and Million Dollar Listing


Thank you for spending some time with us Mr. Kent!  You're a down-to-earth and fascinating man. I like to hear that you enjoy writing that it feels like a hobby.  I also like that you're stretching yourself by working on a bilingual picture book and a top secret YA adventure.  Much success on those and I'll be sure to keep my eye out for them.

Until the next time, happy writing!  We love your work!

In The Northern Frights, the third book in the spooky Scary School series, Charles “New Kid” Nukid and his friends, including Lattie, a girl ninja, must fight an epic battle with an ice dragon to save their school. But first they must survive going to Scream Academy as exchange students. And that may be hard, because the Academy has an abominable snowman for a principal, a Headless Horseman as one of the teachers, and the students are yetis, trolls, and ogres!

Will Charles survive to make an ancient prophecy come to pass and save everyone? The illustrated Scary School trilogy by Derek the Ghost, with its mix of humor, scares, and adventure, is a perfect pick for middle-grade readers of the Wayside School series and the Zach Files books.

Why did you feel you had to tell this story?
I had to change schools when I was 11 years old after being with the same group of kids my whole life. I had a really hard time adjusting, so both books of Scary School and Rudy and the Beast deal with kids starting a new school and figuring out how make new friends. I enjoy writing about problems like this. Experiences that every kid has to go through at some point in their life, but told against the backdrop of a fantastical or supernatural story that kids love.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Review + Giveaway: Bedtime Math by Laura Overdeck

BEDTIME MATH: A Fun Excuse To Stay Up Late by Laura Overdeck, Jim Paillot (Illustrator), YR, 2013, Hardcover, 86p, Rating=5
Source: provided by Goodman Media/author in exchange for an honest review

Our mission: to make math a fun part of kids’ everyday lives.

We all know it’s wonderful to read bedtime stories to kids, but what about doing math? Many generations of Americans are uncomfortable with math and numbers, and too often we hear the phrase, "I’m just not good at math!" For decades, this attitude has trickled down from parents to their kids, and we now have a culture that finds math dry, intimidating, and just not cool.

Bedtime Math wants to change all that. Inside this book, families will find fun, mischief-making math problems to tackle—math that isn’t just kid-friendly, but actually kid-appealing. With over 100 math riddles on topics from jalapeños and submarines to roller coasters and flamingos, this book bursts with math that looks nothing like school. And with three different levels of challenge (wee ones, little kids, and big kids), there’s something for everyone. We can make numbers fun, and change the world, one Bedtime Math puzzle at a time.
In this new book, Overdeck pairs more than one hundred kid-friendly stories with age-appropriate math problems, providing the groundwork for a new bedtime ritual that will make math fun and accessible for both children and parents.

My Review

This was an instant hit with my children and me.  Because what do you know, math really does apply to real life!  This book illustrated that fact in a fun way that got my children excited about math.  The story topics were fact based and presented in kid entertaining appeal and illustrations.  For example, in the "Tipping the Scales" narrative (pg22-23), it compared the biggest animal on land and sea .."African elephant weighs around 8,000 pounds, a blue whale weighs about 160 tons.  A ton is 2,000 pounds, so that's over 300,000 pounds... Not that the difference matters much: If you had both animals as pets, you wouldn't want either one to sit on you" and you'll find a picture of an elephant sitting on a pickup truck and a huge whale too big for a human weighing scale.  Moreover, after each tale came the math problems in three levels, easiest to hardest, Wee ones, Little kids, and Big kids.  To give you an idea of the math problems, in this story Wee ones asked, "If an elephant weighs 8,000 pounds, an your car weighs 3,000 pounds, how much more does the elephant weigh?"; Little kids, "A ton is 2,000 pounds.  If an elephant weighs 8,000 pounds, how many tons is that?; and Big kids, "If you have a pet whale that weighs 160 tons, how many 4-ton elephants would you need to math the weight of whale?".  Hence, this book had chock full of fun and interesting narratives that is making our bedtime story time thrilling and I'm confident that it will do the same for you!

Amusing stories, clever illustrations, and challenging math problems.  Bedtime now is even more fun and building confidence!

Oh, I asked my kids what they would rate this book from a scale of 1 to 5 and with resounding yells came,  Five!; No, Eleven!; No, a Thousand!  There you have it.

Oh, oh, oh, that's not the end of it!  When we turned the light off, we had a wonderful surprise.  The stars and moon on the cover page glowed in the dark!  Oh my, the oohs, the aahs, and "cool"-s that came was priceless.  Ms Overdeck thought of everything!!

My 6 year old especially loves this book.  During the day, she'll sneak the book to her room and tries to solve the problems.  Another priceless moment.  I tell ya, I'm one happy mama.  Thanks Bedtime Math!

About Author & the Bedtime Math Organization

Bedtime Math is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to make nightly math problems as common as the bedtime story. Founded by mother of three Laura Overdeck, a trained astrophysicist who launched the program to encourage her own children’s interest in math, Bedtime Math’s nightly nationwide subscriber list tops 30,000 and its social media presence on Facebook and Twitter has grown exponentially. More information about Bedtime Math can be found online at their website.  In addition to its upcoming book, the first of three to be published by Macmillan, the organization has received national attention for its work from The New York Times, TIME magazine, and on NPR in the past year.

On a related note: In honor of the book launch, bookstores, museums and libraries nationwide will host Bedtime Math National Pajama Party Week events from June 24-29, giving families a chance to take part in the national movement to make math fun, relevant, and an enjoyable part of everyday life. These free, family-friendly events are aimed at children ages 3-8 year and their parents, and will include a variety of math-inspired games and activities. Children are encouraged to come dressed in their pajamas and be ready to play. 

Go HERE to see if there's a party in your area.

Thanks to Goodman Media/author, one of my readers will win a copy of this lovely book!

To Enter:
  • Must be at least 13 years old
  • USA address only
  • Fill in the rafflcopter below

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Deal Alert + Mitch Albom's New Book

Here are today's deal finds ...

Free ebook!  Go HERE

Mind Games $1.99

Oh, and don't forget to get this week's free audiobook by Sync:

Once by Morris Gleitzman


And by the way, Mitch Albom has a new book coming in November!  AAAAHHHH!!!! ~This going on my wish list because I'm poor! ;)

The First Phone Call From Heaven: A Novel

Friday, June 21, 2013

Book Loot Giddy 6/21

Look what came in the mail today.  The Wedding Letters by Jason F. Wright, sequel to The Wednesday Letters that I loved (review here)!  Aahh!!!  This has been on my top wish list for 3 years!!  It finally went on sale at Deseret Books.  It went for $6.99 so I secured a copy and it came today.  Woot woot!!  ~I hope it's great. :)

The Wedding Letters (Wednesday Letters)

I also got these in the mail today.  The first book I purchased and the second I received for review.  Look for my spotlight and giveaway on Bedtime Math next week ..I took a peek and my kids and I are loving it already!!

In the Dark Streets Shineth: A 1941 Christmas Eve Story mine came with DVD
Bedtime Math

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