Thursday, February 28, 2013

Review Day: Dirty Rice

It's Review Day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Title: Dirty Rice
Author: Dorothy K. Morris
My Rating: 4 stars

Book Blurb:
DIRTY RICE, a novel set in the early 18th Century in the Low-Country of the early South Carolina Colony, tells of love, passion, adventure and cruelty with totally believable characters. It is the first prequel to the four books of the Mockingbird Hill Series. The early 18th Century saw vast expansion into the New World from England, the European Continent and from Africa, and the establishment of rice plantations in the coastal regions of South Carolina and Georgia. Set against this background DIRTY RICE sweeps us away to a bygone era of adventure, romance and brutal reality. This is the story of African rice and African people, their knowledge, expertise and their forced labor that made the Carolina Colony the wealthiest colony in colonial America. It takes us from the plush parlors of aristocratic English absentee land owners, who set policy in the Colony to maximize profit, to the swampy shores of Carolina amid the mud and muck of rice fields, where people kidnapped from West Africa because of their knowledge and expertise in the growing of rice, were forced to work to fill the coffers of the landowners with wealth. It is a story of exploitation by some and compassion from others. In this, as in her four previous novels, Morris' emphasis is on the people who lived and were forced to cope with what life sent their way. This saga will continue into the next novel, TALLY'S NOOK.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

ANSA: Andy Gavin!

Welcome back to another week of ANSA!  Meet Andy Gavin everyone!!  He is currently on tour all over blogs.  Catch the other stops here.

Andy Gavin is a fantasy author, owner of Mascherato, and founder of Naughty Dog, Inc - a popular video game company who created the Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter franchises.  Andy graduated with a Ph.D. from MIT and worked with Cliff Nielsen and Dave Phillips to create his latest novel Untimed.

Andy's writing began with doodles in a notebook of a SciFi/Fantasy based world.  "I’m a lifelong creator and explorer of worlds. As far back as first grade I remember spending most of the school day in one day dream or another. I had a huge notebook stuffed with drawings, story bits, and concepts for an elaborate Sci-Fi/Fantasy world I cobbled together from bits of Star Wars, Narnia, and Battlestar Galactica. By fourth or fifth grade not only was I losing myself in every fantasy or Sci-Fi novel I could, but I was building Dungeons & Dragons castles and caverns on paper. Then from 1980 on the computer.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

ANSA: HilyBee!

Hey guys!  I did a poll on Twitter and Facebook recently asking who you would like to see featured on ANSA.  Well, an overwhelming number of people said me.. for some crazy reason I can't explain.  After debating if I even wanted to write all about myself... I decided it might be fun.  With that said, I am not a cocky, ego driven person who likes talking about herself all the time, so this is very uhm... weird. heh.  But... here goes nothing right?!

HilyBee is my online user name, my real name is Hilary.  "HilyBee" is the nickname I was given in real life by my boyfriend and best friend Zach.  Yes, I like bumblebees, but only the non-stinging kind.  You know, the cute little cartoons that are stinger-less and not going to come after me.

Cazic and Sera - Best Friends!
I work for a shoe company called Tradehome Shoes full time as the assistant manager.  I currently live in Kentucky with Zach and my cat Sera (short for Serendipity).  We did have a dachshund named Cazic (Kaz-ik) but he recently passed away from an immune disease called IMT.  It's a nasty genetic disease that I hope that you/your animals never have to ever go through.  We now have a mini dachshund named Yosuke (Yos-Kay).  I lived in Ohio for the first 18 years of my life, then moved to Kentucky for college and just haven't left.

I have two degrees from Sullivan University in Kentucky.  My first degree is in Baking and Pastry Arts - yes that means exactly what you think.  I am a Pastry Chef in disguise.  My second degree is a B.S. in business management and administration.  I completed both degrees in early 2012.  I absolutely loved going to college at a private, small classroom University.  It really made a huge difference in my learning.

Me in my Chef uniform
"eating" brownie burbon balls
In Sept. of 2011, I began writing Novel d'Tales just for fun.  I absolutely love books, reading and my Kindle.  This blog has taught me so much it's ridiculous.  I have met some of my dearest friends through this blog and read some of the most incredible books.  If you are considering blogging, even if it is just a daily journal blog, I say give it a try.  I never would have started this blog if it weren't for Zach and Sidney.  They have both supported my blogging in many ways.

No, I won't tell you my favorite book genres.  I have too many favorite authors to count or even begin listing.  I've enjoyed writing papers since I was in third grade, and have loved reading since I knew how to.  I am considered a "book blogger" but I call myself an ebook blogger.  I don't necessarily have a major inspiration for writing.. I just write whatever comes to my mind or for certain events.  This blog is not published, but I hope it can be some day!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Review Day: Amber's Destiny!

It's Review Day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Title: Amber's Destiny
Author: Eliza B. Hart
Rating: 3.5 stars

Book Blurb:

Who is Amber Raine?
Amber herself doesn’t know, but someone does…

When Amber finds herself in the sleepy village of Canten on the Well with no memory of who she is or how she got there, she believes her biggest challenge will be to uncover her lost past. But, when an act of heroism draws the attention of two rival companies, uncovering her memories becomes the least of her worries as she begins to discover that her new life is anything but ordinary. 

She is left with a choice and as she embarks on her new job she uncovers many surprising truths, not only about herself, but also about her colleagues and their rivals. 
As the task of protecting her clients leads to new and unexpected revelations, she is drawn to the inevitable conclusion; In order to understand her past, she must embrace her destiny.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

ANSA: Sarah Pleydell

WELCOME to the Cologne blog tour and another meeting of ANSA!!  I would like to introduce miss Sarah Pleydell.  Keep reading to hear all about her, and her amazing novel!

Sarah Pleydell is a literary master who teaches writing and literature at the University of Maryland, College Park.  She currently lives in London, England where she acts, writes plays and teaches children drama.  Her work has been published with Fuze Publishing.  Sarah began writing at a young age with romance... "I have been writing stories since I was a young girl. (Mainly romance stories based on girlish versions of Charles Dickens’ A tale of two Cities) However, I really got going during high school where I had an inspiring teacher who instilled a confidence in my unique voice and vision. I did not write again for many years until I began an MFA at the University of Maryland. I worked with the writer, Joyce Kornblatt, who like my first mentor encouraged me to write in my own style and from my own core. Looking back that was such a blessing."

Sarah's writing is deeply inspired by her homeland, England. "After living for twenty years in the United States, I developed an overwhelming nostalgia for England, the country of my birth, a longing for the consolation of native not adoptive soil. I loved the United States but felt in my bones that these were not my lands, mountains, rivers or streams. I think this is true for many expatriates. As I journalled and reflected, I realized that Kew Gardens, the affluent London suburb where I grew up, presented the perfect setting for a novel. It had a beguiling beauty and melancholia than was distinctively British but also fertile soil for more universal themes."

Monday, February 18, 2013

It's Game Time!!

Welcome to the It's Game Time Somewhere blog tour!!  Author Tim Forbes is here with a guest post, bio, book blurb and video trailer.  Have fun!

About Tim Forbes's:
Alternately blessed and cursed by the notion that everyone should do what they love for a living, Tim Forbes creates and writes about the games that people play.

Tim grew up in the farmlands of northern Connecticut, and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Ithaca College—where he played Division III basketball in front of literally tens of people. He received an MBA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and an Associate’s Degree at the Professional Golfers Career College in Temecula, CA. Yes, in that order.

After 15 years spent meandering about in Corporate America, Tim went on to work for three professional golf tours: the Symetra Futures Tour, the LPGA Tour, and the PGA Tour. He also served as general manager for golf clubs in Nashville, Tennessee and Orlando, Florida. In 2009, he founded Outside the Mode, a sports marketing and production company based in his adopted home of Los Angeles.

Tim lives in Redondo Beach, California with a perennially underachieving fish named Halo, a cat, and a wife he fondly calls Bird.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Review Day: The Elementals

It's Review Day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Title: The Elementals
Author: Troy Jackson
My Rating: 4 stars

Book Blurb:
Upon unifying the seven warring states under one banner, the First Emperor of China began solidifying power for what he envisioned as a thousand-year reign. Using those he conquered, the Emperor began a series of arduous projects, including the first Great Wall, the Linqu Canal, and a national system of highways. Ignoring the physical and emotional toll exacted upon the people, his insatiable desire to further his own power has led to a growing, and secretive insurgency. One such organization is the Dragon's Spite who wishes to usurp control of the throne by nearly any means. But first they must marshal their forces strewn throughout the kingdom. More importantly they seek out three extraordinary girls who hold vast supernatural powers that can tip the balance in their favor. But do these unknowing heroines realize the talents that they possess? Will the Dragon's Spite reach them before the agents of the Emperor?

My Review:
Incredible!  I learned more about Chinese ancient history in this novel than I ever have in history classes.  The background included in the novel is so extensive it just blew my mind!  I loved reading a novel that was chocked full of real history and fictional characters.  Troy Jackson did an excellent job of mixing in the characters with their period of time, location, and point in history.  I loved getting to know each one.  The  rich backstories he created are impeccable.  I couldn't get enough!  The characters just jumped off the pages and came to life.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

ANSA: Robert Pielke

Welcome to another week of ANSA!!  This week Robert Pielke has stopped by during one of his book blog tours.  Check out the rest of the tour stops here or here.

Robert Pielke is a self-published, adult fiction author with a Type-A personality.  He lived in Baltimore, Maryland and just released book 2 in his current trilogy, A New Birth of Freedom.  He began writing after his passion for Cowboy and Indian films grew into creating his own version.  "As soon as I could use a pencil, I’ve been writing.  I recall in elementary school trying to construct humorous examples for the use of adjectives and adverbs for my homework, and I enjoyed reading them to the class!  It was during this time that I began – and finished my first “book”!  As a kid, I went to the movies every weekend to see whatever was showing.  It didn’t matter what it was, I’d be there.  And I’d always wind up ‘playing a role” from the movie– in my mind if not in reality – until the next weekend’s film.  And it usually wasn’t a role from the film, it was “me” being in the reality portrayed in film.  But when it came to “cowboys and Indians” in these movies I gradually became disturbed by the fact that the Indians were always “bad” and the cowboys were always “good.”  There were a very few films – not many, to be sure -- that had a different take on this.  Well, in the absence of any other films to speak of, I began imagining new scenarios for cowboys and Indians and played out these roles in my mind – and with the other kids I hung out with.  After I learned how to write and how to use my mother’s Remington typewriter, I wrote a story, White Cloud, about an Indian who united all the Plains tribes along with all the Eastern tribes in the early seventeenth century to resist the European invasion.  (It was 3 pages long, one paragraph and single spaced.) I was in the fourth or fifth grade."

His favorite authors include Ambrose Bierce, Jack Kerouac, John Steinbeck, Charles Bukowski, Robert Heinlein, C. Clark, Bram Stoker, and H.G.Wells.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Coming Soon...Odd Men Out!

In July 2013... a post-Civil War America will be overrun, by zombies.

Odd Men Out by Matt Betts
Cover Artist: Bradley Sharp
Book Blurb:
Fighting for survival in a post-Civil War America overrun by zombies, Cyrus and Lucinda join a military group called the Odd Men Out, and together they face a terrorist army from the North in a showdown over a weapon of enormous power.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

ANSA: Frank Nappi

WELCOME to this week's ANSA everyone!  The talented Frank Nappi is back with us today for even more fun!  He recently released yet another novel, Echoes from the Infantry  Read Frank's first interview here.

Frank Nappi is not an author of just one genre, but many.  "While many writers remain faithful to one genre, mostly because they possess an affinity for that type of writing, my inspiration comes from a true penchant for exploring that about which I am most passionate.  However, what binds them together is that same basic element that really defines who I am as a writer - someone who is moved by the human struggle."  His professional writing career began in 2005, but he began writing at a very young age.  "I can remember writing a story when I was very young - maybe five or six years old. It was about a king who rescues a girl and makes her his queen. Not really sure where the idea came from, or even how good it was. I just remember my mom typing it for me when I was finished and that image always makes me smile."

Frank has been teaching high school English and Creative Writing for almost twenty five years.  He lives on Long Island with his wife and their two sons.  He won a silver medal for outstanding fiction from MWSA for Echoes fom the Infantry and has a movie adaptation to his novel The Legend of Mickey Tussler.  Frank just released his first thriller, Nobody has to Know, which received endorsement from NY Times #1 best selling author Nelson DeMille.  He is now working on the third and final installment in the Mickey Tussler series.

After so many successful novels, we all have to in the world does he come up with it all?  "My motivation for writing anything has always been simply a genuine interest in the human condition -- more specifically, what makes us act and react in the manner that we do. Human beings are so very complex and are often immersed in situations that result in a struggle of sorts. This sort iof drama exists all around us. Whenever I observe a facet of this condition or struggle, I am intrigued and ultimately compelled to explore it further through fiction.  Again, this has caused me to become very versatile in my literary endeavors. While many writers remain faithful to one genre, mostly because they possess an affinity for that type of writing, my inspiration comes from a true penchant for exploring that about which I am most passionate."

Monday, February 4, 2013

Summer Spirit

Welcome to the Summer Spirit blog tour!  G. Jay is giving away an ebook copy to one of my readers, so read until the end!  Enjoy the tour stop!

Summer Spirit Book Summary:
Ryan Kinkaid, a successful gay Manhattan antique dealer has had it with life in New York City, especially his random love life. Ryan has what most New Yorkers want — his own successful business, and a mortgage-free brownstone on West 71st Street. However, at age forty-one he discovers he is lacking one very important thing in his life: a meaningful and loving relationship. With summer just around the corner, the approaching heat and his restlessness are reasons for his escape from the city. A four-month rental in historic and picturesque Portsmouth, New Hampshire, with his best friend Lauren was the answer.

Renting a house built in 1810, kindred spirit Nicholas reaches out for contact, and Ryan finds himself wanting to know about the past. However, Nicholas is not the only one wanting Ryan’s attention. Ty, a handsome local man, also has strong desires for Ryan.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Review Day: Murders, Bikers And A Meteor!

It's Review Day!!!!!!!!!

Title: Murders, Bikers And A Meteor!
Author: K.J. Klimasz
Rating: 4 stars

Book Blurb:
Murders, Bikers, and a Meteor! Is a collection of four dark tales ranging in genre from crime drama to science fiction and horror.

Join a young couple in the 1950s as they investigate a mysterious meteor crash in Arizona’s Sonora desert, and an extraterrestrial encounter leaves one of the kids with a whole different view of life and death. Or take a ride with a notorious motorcycle gang as their path crosses with an unsuspecting small town sheriff on a hot and humid Ozark Mountain day. See what happens when an innocent man answers his phone and finds himself thrust into the dysfunctional world of his drug addict roommate, and a prostitute. Take a late night road trip under a full moon with a high school student down a desolate highway that his parents had warned him not to take … He should have listened to his mom and dad.