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Month: September 2015

#TT – A Creepy Kid and a Two-Edged Mystery

#TT – A Creepy Kid and a Two-Edged Mystery

IMG_0683I woke up this morning covered in sweat and sniffing back tears. I’d had a nightmare. Trying to return my heart rate to normal, I mentally went over the details of the thing. It was my familiar life at first, cozy and warm, but soon the surface of it crackled with terror. The fates of the people I love were distorted slowly at first, and then twisted to the point I couldn’t recognize them anymore. I woke up weeping, but I won’t soon forget the dream. In fact, you may see it in an upcoming short story.

You see, my writing comes from nightmares and softer terrors that have happened to me in real life. My new book is no different.

Here’s a Little about Me (squirm! cringe!)

lmMQa3hYRaised across the river from the Hanford Nuclear Reactor, I grew up looking at the world a little differently. I was the kid no family member wanted to share a bed with when we came to town because I woke up screaming in terror. I use that same imagination now to write the Josie Jameson series and illustrate for talented authors, preferably with a cat on my lap or dog at my feet.

I love living in rainy Seattle, volunteering in my kids’ schools and raising funds for Providence Hospice of Seattle.

Sure, you may not love rain, but when the skies turn gray over Seattle, I nestle into my art loft to write and draw pictures. If you walk past my house, look up and smile! I just might sketch you!

314-pez-dispenser
From mapsaboutnothing.com

Something you might now know about me: I’ve collected Pex dispensers for 30 years. When the Seinfeld episode about the Tweety bird Pez aired, I was worried collecting Pez would become trendy.

I’m on Twitter @JenniferLHotes.

 

 

 

Josie Jameson and the Stone Witch

Front CoverIn author Jennifer L. Hotes’ YA thriller novel, Josie Jameson and the Stone Witch, readers meet a teen that’s been struggling since childhood to fill the shoes of her dead mother. Josie is a caregiver to her little brother, a confidante to her grieving dad, and the backbone of her tight-knit group of friends. But always being the strong, responsible one has taken its toll on Josie, now fourteen. After stumbling upon the grave of a witch, she’s been plagued with nightmares, dark visions, and fainting spells that leave her feeling like a freak. And then suddenly her faulty heart gives out and for 5.4 seconds Josie is technically dead. Hoping the life-saving surgery will finally transform her into a regular girl, Josie’s about to discover the witches have other plans. As she struggles to accept the foreign object now regulating her heartbeat, Josie begins to dream the life of a headstrong teen in 1820s England who, along with 11 other girls, is devoted to empowering women in their strict society. The second book in the Stone Witch series takes readers along with Josie who, with the help of her friends and clinging to the final memories of her mother, must face the challenges of her future as the past battles for her soul. Will she be strong enough to face her fate?

 

Kirkus Reviews Reads Josie Jameson and the Stone Witch

Back Camera
Watercolor of the Stone Heart

“Secrets, lies, and teenage angst abound in Hotes’ (Josie Jameson and the Fourth Tombstone, 2015, etc.) second installment of a supernatural YA series.

Josie Jameson is not your typical 14-year-old. After losing her mother at 8, she grows up fast, shouldering most of the household burden while her father drowns in grief. The loss hardens and matures her but also leaves many unanswered questions. Surrounded by a group of childhood friends, Josie searches for the truth about her mother and finds more than she expected. After a fainting spell lands her in the hospital, she wakes up with a pacemaker implanted, and Josie begins to experience strange, vivid dreams. Asleep, Josie is transported to 1800s London through the eyes of Agatha, an Irish missionary. Upon realizing that Agatha’s adventures are strikingly similar to actual historical events—like the push for women to take more active roles in the church—Josie plans to learn the truth behind the dreams. Fresh, modern, and inventive, the novel alternates between Josie’s and Agatha’s worlds. Each chapter reveals pieces to the overall puzzle of how and why Agatha and Josie are connected. Agatha’s chapters unveil a world where a secret sisterhood works to glorify God by clinging to the ideas in the “lost Book of Mary.” They yearn to be martyrs and leaders in a patriarchal religion. Josie’s narrative includes hashtags and relationship drama, making her seem authentic and contemporary. Hotes carefully layers Agatha’s tale and hints provocatively at what makes Josie so special. Certain key moments, however, such as a character’s struggle with depression and the ultimate big reveal, resolve without the same care and attention given in the novel’s ascent. But Josie—loyal, determined, and vulnerable—is a character readers will want to know better.

A delicious supernatural mystery that spans centuries. 

 

What Readers Are Saying

From Teresa Miller’s review, “Recommended to those who believe in ghosts, witches, and lost souls and who are curious about how mysterious, often evil forces can alter and control our actions, thoughts, and feelings.”

From Kate Erickson’s review, “The book ends—like all good mystery series—with a cliffhanger. I can hardly wait for the next installment.”

From The Book Junkie, “I knew almost from the start that I would be finishing it in one sitting.

From VMC on Amazon, “The book is just a touch creepy, in an intriguing and compelling way. A great read, especially if you like history, folklore, and ghost stories woven together.

 

Finally, Did You Know?

Yellow Car Lady
Not the best picture, but it was snapped from my car. The lady in the yellow car is real.

There’s a character in the new book that lives in the periphery for the first half. She’s an old lady that drives a ragged yellow car. The back windshield is covered in posterboard, which are riddled with her words written in a crude hand. Things about God and radiation and pain and safety. She wears a foil-covered hat.

She’s real.

I was working out a storyline kink as I drove my daughter to fencing, when she rolled up next to me at a stop sign. The hair on my arms stood up. Later that same day, miles away from there, she parked in front of the Starbucks where me and my daughters were having a snack. The third time I crossed paths with her, I knew she was supposed to be in the book. She would be the one to first recognize Josie for what she had become and feel the need to watch her.

#MondayBlogs – A Mystery Plucked from Real Life

#MondayBlogs – A Mystery Plucked from Real Life

As a delicate rain mists my parched Seattle garden, I can’t help but breathe a sign of relief. My favorite season is here, autumn. Not for the pumpkin-spiced everything or the return of school for my kids. No, it’s because the pace of life slows a tad. Once again, I find time to snuggle in with a good book. And I’ve finished yet another one I’m excited to share with you.

Meet JT Twissel

janToday, I’d like to share one of my favorite authors with you, JT Twissel. If she were a man with a quasi-British last name, movies would be made out of all her books. But, for now, she writes for the sheer love of the craft and for the readers that pester her to give them more dammit, more! (I may be one of those prodding fans. Okay, cripes. I am.)

JT Twissel (Jan) was born in a small town in Massachusetts and raised primarily in Reno Nevada, leaving home at eighteen to see the world. Eventually she settled down, living first in Chicago and then in the San Francisco Bay area where she obtained a degree in English from UC Berkeley. She worked as a newsletter editor, a process analyst, project manager and technical documentation manager before becoming a full time writer. Aside from her children, she’s most proud of the years she spent as a Make-A-Wish volunteer, interviewing children with life-threatening conditions and helping arrange their wishes.

Via Twitter:  @jttwissel
Via Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/jttwissel

 

Willful Avoidance

imagesInspired by a true story. . .

Maya Bethany awakes as though from a seventeen-year coma to find herself in bed with a stranger—her husband—who is on a course that will ruin not only her life but those of her children as well unless she does something. But what and how and who will help her? Certainly not the flirtatious millionaire she works for. Nor the jaded lawyer who urges her again and again to compromise with the tax man. No, they only complicate her life at a time when she’s just trying to survive. There will be no white knights to save her. She has to do it herself.

Willful Avoidance is a term in the tax man’s lexicon that refers to the refusal of a spouse to obtain knowledge which he or she needs in order to competently cosign income tax returns.

JT Twissel spent fourteen years fighting the franchise tax board, ultimately appealing to the highest tax court in the state of California, the Board of Equalization. The charge against her: willful avoidance. She wrote this fictionalized version of the story as a cautionary tale. If you think what happened to her can’t happen to you, think again.

My Review:

413 Fir Color
An old lady from NoCal I drew last year.

As an author myself, I know how much time and love it takes to craft a novel which makes me feel all the worse for wolfing down JT Twissel’s latest book in a matter of hours. Within the first chapters I came to care about Maya and her uphill battle against a horrible ex-husband and the IRS. Grounded in reality, her story was dramatic, funny, tragic and wonderful.

What I appreciated most is that Twissel didn’t write what the readers wanted to read, but instead wrote the organic journey of Maya with all her ups and downs. The result is a book with a story you could chew on and with twists that kept me reading late into the night! An added bonus of this book was coming away with a rudimentary understanding of our tax laws. Twissel, you’re a sneaky one. Have you ever thought about teaching the subject at the university?

Willful Avoidance spans multiple genres. Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Legal, Women’s Fiction, Humor, Literature & Fiction, Contemporary Women, and Political – there’s something to entice every reader. Why not suggest it for your next book club read?

 

Like Me and Want More from JT Twissel?

In her own words:

“The battle for Innocent Spouse Relief, which is at the core of Willful Avoidance, is based on my own fun and games with the taxman.  Before the release of the book I wrote a largely satirical, five-part series on my blog on the subject.  If you’re interested, here are the links:

Five Deadly Sins in the Eyes of the Taxman: http://jttwissel.com/2014/12/04/five-deadly-sins-in-the-eyes-of-the-taxman
Language in the tax code that might surprise you. Especially if you don’t understand financial documents your spouse insists you sign.

The Three Easy Pieces:  http://jttwissel.com/2014/12/11/the-three-easy-pieces
The minimum requirements for Innocent Spouse Relief if your spouse’s financial fandangos leave you in the crosshairs of the IRS.

Secrets of a Kick Ass Tax Woman:  http;//jttwissel.com/2015/01/21/secrets-of-a-kick-ass-tax-woman You can fight the taxman.

Off to See the Wizard: http://jttwissel.com/2015/01/27/off-to-see-the-wizard Facts about the court of last appeal.

Confronting the BOE:  http://jttwissel.com/2015/03/25/confronting-the-boe  The scene insist the courtroom as final, final tax appeals are being heard.

Haunted by an Unrealized Dream

Haunted by an Unrealized Dream

Today, I’d like to introduce you to author, Mary Rowen.

Meet Mary Rowen

1546052_250009598490616_1231911253_n-1Mary Rowen is a Boston area mother and a music lover. All of her novels focus on women of various ages growing up, or at least becoming comfortable with themselves. Her essays have been anthologized and/or published on multiple blogs. Mary grew up in the Massachusetts Merrimack Valley, is a graduate of Providence College, and has worked as a teacher, writer, salesperson, and political canvasser. She firmly believes that all of those jobs provide good preparation for an aspiring writer.

Please visit her blog at: http://www.maryrowen.com.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mary-Rowen-Author/128709923953918.

Twitter: @maryjrowen.

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6925267.Mary_Rowen.

Living by Ear

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What happens when the world you love doesn’t press pause when you do? Singer-songwriter Christine Daley hit the streets of Boston and became a minor celebrity—with a local radio hit—in the 90s, but a “short” career break to marry and have kids changed everything. Now, sixteen years later, she’s a frustrated suburban housewife, struggling to find her place in life.

After filing for divorce, she learns that her attempts to reestablish her own rhythms—both in music and in love—are more complicated than she’d anticipated. Her two teenagers are desperate for their mom, and her soon-to-be-ex-husband is throwing every obstacle he can in her way. Adding to the stress is the progress in technology, which has not only changed the music industry, but also the dating world. Is there room in the mix for Chris?

My Review

Fender
Ignoring a dream comes with a heavy toll.

Mary Rowen’s novel, Living by Ear, is a work of literary fiction, but like all the best books, resonates with authenticity and heart. Anybody that has ever had to put aside their hopes and ambitions to take care of someone else will be struck deeply by Rowen’s protagonist, Christine.

On the verge of breaking into a national career, Boston busker (or street musician), Christine puts her musical ambitions on hold to marry and have children. Though she aches to tend to her dried up ambitions, Christine is discouraged, held back and maybe even sabotaged by people she trusts until her dream withers and nearly dies. Though she puts on a strong face for her kids, I call it fake-happy, she’ll pay a price for ignoring her passion  – and she’ll pay it in the very marrow of her bones.

Rowen’s beautifully flawed characters and relatable story were delicious and hard to put down. I can’t wait to sink my teeth into another of her books soon. She definitely earned five stars from this reader!

Do You Believe in Soul Mates?

Do You Believe in Soul Mates?

If you smell the faint scent of smoke issuing off my website, it’s my smouldering Kindle. I’ve been reading overtime to find you some new authors for your autumn reading.

Meet A.M. Willard

A.M.-WillardToday, I’d like to introduce you to A.M. Willard. She is a true believer of soul mates, and happy ever afters. She enjoys reading, sailing, and of course writing contemporary romance with some saucy scenes. Releasing her first novella of the One Night Series on April 12, 2014 has sent her on a new journey in life.

A.M.’s passion for writing started at a young age, but with the love and support from her husband of eighteen years pushed her to follow her dreams. Once she hit that first publish button, she hasn’t looked back. She is a proud member of the Romance Writers of America organization.

A.M. Willard was born and raised in the Panhandle of Florida, but resides in Savannah GA with her husband, son, two cats, one rotten dog, and her six chickens. Yes, we said chickens…

You can connect with A.M. Willard on her hot looking website at www.amwillard.com or on Twitter @AMWilliard1.

Fading Memories51hm6PpP9pL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_

In this Mature Contemporary Romance, A.M. Willard brings you Fading Memories—a story about love, grief, and memories that slowly fade with time.

Isabel Nichols’s life changed in more ways than one through the years. As a young child, she experienced a loss that devastated her. It wasn’t until she was an adult that the universe around her shattered. In a twenty-four-hour time frame, she lost what she’d thought was her world. What followed was a year of mourning, a year of grieving, a year of darkness. Now, there’s one man who can show her the light.

Dakota Jackson left his life behind on a whim, moving to a beach cottage away from the big city where he grew up. He sees through Izzie’s clouds as he gets to know her, with the drive to be everything that she’s ever needed. The only problem is, Dakota holds the key to a secret that could ruin both of their hopes and dreams.

Passion isn’t always enough to heal a broken heart; love isn’t always enough to guide you through the darkness.

This is about two souls that were meant to be together from the day they were born. Two people who have to figure out a way to look past the memories. It’s the now; it’s living your life as you’re meant to, loving the one your heart craves. It’s about letting go of the grieving, learning to be who you are, and accepting life for what it is.

Can love cure all things despite its hardships?

What Readers Are Saying

plates on wallJessie on Amazon.com gave Fading Memories five stars. Here’s what Jessie wrote:

“LOVE LOVE LOVE! Not only a wonderful story, but great characters. A great story of heart break and finding love again after terrible pain and loss. It’s really a deep and touching story that is full of emotion, and of course romance. The character pairing is perfect, they all work great together and make the story flawless. Truly a great story!”

Fading Memories is fresh off the presses. I encourage all the romance fans out there to download it and enjoy. If you love it like Jessie did, post a review on your favorite site.

That’s all for today, but join me tomorrow when I introduce you to another fabulous author – and maybe your new favorite book!

Entertaining Angels by Emerald Barnes

Entertaining Angels by Emerald Barnes

A1vvhLeXzVL._UX250_Emerald Barnes is my featured author today. She’s an avid blogger, a Whovian, a little bit of a nerd (her words – not mine!), a reader, a writer, and a family-oriented person. God is number one in her life, and she thanks Him continuously for His love and favor.She resides in a small town in Mississippi and has the accent to prove it.

Find her blogs at emeraldbarnes.blogspot.com and ebarnes23.wordpress.com which takes up more of her time than she anticipates but loves it so very much!

She loves to stay in touch with her readers and to hear their stories about her work! Feel free to connect with her. If you’re a tweep like me, find her on Twitter @EmeraldBarnes.

Entertaining Angels

finalcoverHere’s the lowdown:

Madison Andrews can’t face her reflection in the mirror. All she sees is a big, fat nobody. Yet, deep inside she longs for something more, something that’s not skin deep. Along comes Zach, the new guy in high school. He’s smoking hot and totally out of her league. She somehow catches his eye, and he makes her feel beautiful for once. But just as she gets close to Zach, her nerdy best friend, Chase, won’t let Madison doubt her true beauty, no matter how many meals she skips. Dark forces are at work, darker than the lies and mocking from her peers, stopping her from amounting to her full potential. With her newfound Christian faith, can Madison find true happiness in her own skin amidst the battle of angels and demons?

Listed on Amazon.com under the genres, YA, Teens, Literature & Fiction, Religious, Christian, and Social Issues.

What Readers Are Saying

This 5-star review on Amazon from Kara Grant was enough to persuade me to download the novel!

easterKara begins her review with Barnes’ dedication and makes a note that she reread the novel and wished she could give it another five stars. 🙂

Dedication from the book-

“To all the girls in the world:
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.
Don’t let the world tell you otherwise.”

 

Now, Kara’s comments:
“Wow, oh wow, how I WISH this book had been available when I was in high school. However, I’m utterly grateful to have read it at this point in my adulthood as well. This story had my full attention from the beginning and I just had to know what happened to Madison “Mads.” She’s not your typical teenager, but she suffers way too much emotionally from low self-esteem no matter how many times her best friend, Chase, tells her how amazing she is. That’s not surprising though because sometimes an outsider’s perspective can help tremendously.

Enter Zach Taylor, the new kid in school and instantly noticed because he’s a hunk. Madison hasn’t even spoken to him, but she immediately wishes she could catch the attention of a guy like that and believing this to be impossible she starts feeling low again. So when he seeks her out and pursues her friendship, no one is more surprised than she is at his sudden interest in her. It’s just too good to be true! Instead of allowing herself to hope, she ignores the guy and even convinces herself that it’s some cruel joke for him to like her. Little does she know the incredible plan God has for her.

Before I even read the story, I noticed the dedication of the book and felt like this story was for me (LOVED the dedication). I never believed myself to be pretty or knew my worth in high school so when I heard about this book, I knew it was for me. Any other girls reading this review ever dealt with low self-esteem? We ALL have and I truly believe this book will have a huge impact on the females who pick this up. It DEFINITELY affected me deeply!

Even though Madison is WAY too hard on herself and MOST of the time (even when not being mocked or laughed at) it’s in her head that something is wrong with her. She also makes the mistake of comparing herself to ALL the girls around her including her mom, which convinces her further of being inadequate. She annoyed me a few times in the book about lies she believed and misunderstandings with Chase. But again, I’ve been guilty of the same issues.

Despite this book being a Christian YA book, I didn’t see it as preachy at all. Madison has no idea how much God loves her and once she discovers this reality, it changes everything she knows. Her heart is already incredible, but she is a slave to thoughts of ugliness and unworthiness. When a person doesn’t understand God’s love for them, this can be a problem. No matter how much you’re told how beautiful you are, it’s a revelation that must come from God or you’ll never believe it/never understand the truth of it/start to doubt it.

It was really cool how the author implemented that doubting God, feeling ugly, feeling worthless, and even depression from those thoughts are part of spiritual warfare. No matter what others say, only what God says should be important and focused on. Everyone relates to peer pressure and wanting to fit in, but knowing who you are in Christ is the best way to knowing joy and being free from negative comments from others (even a certain little brother who was just spiteful throughout the book).

It was sooooo easy to hate Ashley’s character in this book, but we do learn why she’s so cruel and it makes sense. Zach is also not who he seems to be, but I really enjoyed his character. Some of the dialogue from Zach had my eyes go wide more than once.

I was able to figure out what was going on from the beginning, but it made the story no less exciting for me as I waited for Madison to overcome her torment. I also enjoyed how she got a job at a coffee place and her boss was an enhancement to the story.

Barnes writes spiritual warfare in such a tangible way, I considered her as talented as Frank Peretti (one of my fave Christian authors and a genius at writing spiritual warfare in fiction). I thought that God went through so much trouble to get His message across to Madison and to break through to her, I just couldn’t believe what it took for her to understand. However, God pursues EACH of us this way and He definitely has spent years working on my heart to understand the same message. He loves us, He fights for us, He’s relentless to make us understand who He is, He will never stop, and He’s determined to show us our worth because even though He’s already make the ultimate sacrifice, He still goes out of His way to show us how beautiful we are to Him.

Madison finally learns this crucial lesson and it changes her in magical ways. I connected with this story and it was much deeper than I anticipated. I hurt with Madison, I wanted to stand with her against lies and cruelty, I was happy for her, and I rejoiced for her when she overcame! What a great book, a definite jewel that shines for God and His beautiful creation……US!! 🙂

At the end of the story there are two bonus short stories that I simply loved on top of this great book!! One is from Zach’s perspective and one is from Chase’s perspective, brilliantly done and very special.

I want to thank the author from the bottom of my heart for the review copy provided. I was not required to write a positive review, but books like this one make it easy to do so. The opinions expressed are my own.”

Read by the Seat of Your Pants!

Read by the Seat of Your Pants!

635711350966973188-1822444232_psl-090413-tbvThis morning I woke up to find fog on my car windows. I dressed my daughters in layers, knowing the gray Seattle morning would morph into sunshine before lunchtime and nudged them out the door towards school.

Yes, hoodie sweatshirts coming back into the wardrobe cycle and the trending of Starbucks #PSL on Instagram can only mean one thing. Fall is here.

With the shorter days, I hope you (like me) are finding time to curl up with books again. If you don’t have the next read figured out yet, look no further.

Meet Donelle Knudsen

Author-Donelle-KnudsenToday, I’m delighted to introduce you to author, Donelle Knudsen. Her hometown is Portland, Oregon, the beautiful “Rose City” of the Pacific Northwest, but has lived in Eastern Washington since 1988. She earned a B.S. in Arts & Letters from Portland State University and is a four-time finalist in Pacific Northwest Writers Association’s Literary contest in the memoir category.
She owes her love of books and the craft of writing to her late father, who was never too busy to read her stories or make visits to the “Big” library every Saturday. Her memoir, “Through the Tunnel of Love, A Mother’s and Daughter’s Journey with Anorexia” was published in 2011. Her first novel, Between Heartbeats is available now.
I love that author, Donelle Knudsen, happens to collects books, stuffed animals, books, and purses. 🙂

Between Heartbeats

Between-Heartbeats-by-Donelle-Knudsen-e1440735918672Her first novel, Between Heartbeats, fits into a few genres including – YA, Romance, and Literature & Fiction, but I’d also define it as a thriller because of its breathless pace and seat-of-your-pants story line.

From the back cover, here’s a nice overview:

Can life change between heartbeats? Diana awakens on her seventeenth birthday in a joyful mood. But at breakfast she is told, during a heated argument with her mother, that the man she has loved as her father is not her father at all. Diana decides to unravel the mystery of her childhood and the reason for their secrets and travels across the country to visit her step-father. And so, Diana begins a journey where she discovers shocking truths hidden just beneath the surface.
To further complicate her summer, she meets Kevin Wright, a college junior. When Kevin vanishes without a trace, Diana learns family is more than shared DNA and discovers who will help her when it appears all hope is gone. In Donelle Knudsen’s Young Adult novel, Between Heartbeats, a young woman’s quest to find her roots enables her to discover love and the power of forgiveness.

What Readers Are Saying

Between-Heartbeats-TeaserWell, normally I feature some Amazon reviews in my book posts. But, all the reviews for this relatively new release contained spoilers. I don’t want to ruin your experience by revealing too much here, so I’m not quoting them. But, the readers do agree that Between Heartbeats is a worthwhile read, full of twists and emotion. I encourage you to check it out!

 

 

Zeus Is Dead, A Monstrously Inconvenient Adventure

Zeus Is Dead, A Monstrously Inconvenient Adventure

In perfect time for the Halloween season, but entertaining any time of the year, I want to introduce you to author, Michael G. Munz.

About Michael G. Munz

61fUBlhunuL._UX250_An award-winning writer of speculative fiction, Michael G. Munz was born in Pennsylvania but moved to Washington State at the age of three. Unable to escape the state’s gravity, he has spent most of his life there and studied writing at the University of Washington.

Michael developed his creative bug in college, writing and filming four exceedingly amateur films before setting his sights on becoming a novelist. Driving this goal is the desire to tell entertaining stories that give to others the same pleasure as other writers have given to him. He enjoys writing tales that combine the modern world with the futuristic or fantastic.

Michael has traveled to three continents and has an interest in Celtic and Classical mythology. He also possesses what most “normal” people would likely deem far too much familiarity with a wide range of geek culture, though Michael prefers the term geek-bard: a jack of all geek-trades, but master of none–except possibly Farscape and Twin Peaks.

Michael dwells in Seattle where he continues his quest to write the most entertaining novel known to humankind and find a really fantastic clam linguine.

With 100+ Reviews, Zeus Is Dead Has Readers Talking

22457276THE GODS ARE BACK. DID YOU MYTH THEM?

You probably saw the press conference. Nine months ago, Zeus’s murder catapulted the Greek gods back into our world. Now they revel in their new temples, casinos, and media empires–well, all except Apollo. A compulsive overachiever with a bursting portfolio of godly duties, the amount of email alone that he receives from rapacious mortals turns each of his days into a living hell.

Yet there may be hope, if only he can return Zeus to life! With the aid of Thalia, the muse of comedy and science fiction, Apollo will risk his very godhood to help sarcastic TV producer Tracy Wallace and a gamer-geek named Leif–two mortals who hold the key to Zeus’s resurrection. (Well, probably. Prophecies are tricky buggers.)

Soon an overflowing inbox will be the least of Apollo’s troubles. Whoever murdered Zeus will certainly kill again to prevent his return, and avoiding them would be far easier if Apollo could possibly figure out who they are.

Even worse, the muse is starting to get cranky.

Discover a world where reality TV heroes slay actual monsters and the gods have their own Twitter feeds: Zeus Is Dead: A Monstrously Inconvenient Adventure!

A Reader Review of Zeus Is Dead

jlh logoFive-star review from Cain S. Latrani  on Amazon.com:

“These days, it often seems as if comedy is a grossly misunderstood genre. The clever wordplay of Abbot & Costello, the slick yet frantic visual jokes of Monty Python, and the absurd humor of Benny Hill have been replaced with over the top send ups of popular ideas, and basement budget attempts at quick one off fart jokes.

Michael Munz fixes all of that with one of the funniest things I’ve ever read.

When the Greek God Zeus is murdered, his edict of non-interaction with mortals goes up in smoke, allowing the Gods to return, hold a press conference, and start making the world a more interesting, or at least, less sane, place to live. Everything familiar about the world is turned on its ear as the Gods scramble to be worshiped again, with varying degrees of success.

Cuddly balls of adorable horrifying death, monster hunting reality shows, secret ninja orders, rambling Muses, random abstract concepts, and more both aid and harry the last group of people you would ever want for heroes as they try to find out who killed Zeus, and save the world from imminent destruction at the hands of idiots.

Ridiculous, hysterical, and strange, Zeus Is Dead is a wonderful read, both well written and imaginative. Hands down, one of the best books I’ve picked up in a long time.”

BONUS TIME///Amazon Giveaway for YA and Mystery-Lovers!

If you’ve got slightly older readers in your house, enter to win this giveaway on Amazon.com for my YA mystery. It’s live now and winners will be picked this week! Good luck and see you back here tomorrow for more book gossip. <3 Jennifer

Another Fantastic Read for Fall

Another Fantastic Read for Fall

Are you fitting more pleasure reading into your evenings yet? That’s the blessing of autumn, isn’t it? If you’re looking for another good book to read, I’d like to introduce you to S.L. Stacker.

Meet S.L. Stacker

51xNtHbHb4L._UX250_S.L. Stacker is a romantic suspense author and novelist with Booktrope publishing. She has written and published three books in the Macyn McIntyre series. Her current projects include several fiction novels, but her focus is the Sisters of Summit Bay series–to be published in 2015/2016. When she isn’t throwing her readers for a loop and leaving them wanting more, she can be found relaxing and hanging with her husband, children, and dog. You can visit her at http://www.slstacker.com

Macyn’s Letter

51fZkJEYJyL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_A near-death experience at the hands of her husband would cause any woman to cling to her crippling trust issues and dating phobia, and Macyn McIntyre is no exception. Falling into the lap of a sexy stranger may persuade her to change her mind, but before Macyn realizes what’s happening, a second potential love interest is vying for her affections.

When a threatening letter turns up in her mailbox, Macyn realizes choosing between two guys is the least of her worries. Abduction, violence, and rescue by an elite squad change the course of her life forever. When she seeks revenge on those who hurt her, she has to decide if she can trust the ones who vow they love her.

Will Macyn be able to overcome her past and use their aid in her vendetta, or will she take matters into her own hands?

What Readers Are Saying

Five-star review from Michael on Amazon.com. Here’s what he wrote:

“Macyn’s Letter by S. L. Stacker is a cozy story of a woman betrayed, trying to regain her perspective on living. Her work life is dangerous which allows the excitement of life to channel through her job at the expensive of her emotional self. Macyn’s Letter is well-written, and the story moves quickly. The abrupt ending sets the reader up for the next installment, which is currently available. The characters are believable, and there is an undercurrent that makes me want to find out their real stories. If you like series, Macyn’s Letter is the kickoff. The rest of the game is still to come.”

 

Kelly Hall – An Author You Need to Meet

Kelly Hall – An Author You Need to Meet

Meet Author, Kelly Hall

kelly-hall-author-photo-1Dream. Create. Inspire.

Those words have always held special meaning to author, Kelly Hall. In her words:

“I’ve always loved to dream of different worlds and as a child would often create houses and towns for my dolls. I spent hours drawing pictures of characters and by the time I was done with them, they each had names, personalities, and a back story. I also love to read and have found countless hours of escape in the pages of various genres, though my favorites have always had a touch of paranormal.

Throughout my life I’ve always had some varying artistic hobby. I consider myself a dabbler, having taught myself many different arts and crafts from crochet to cake decorating. What I haven’t taught myself, I’ve learned from my talented mother who is always an inspiration to me.

When I’m not being a wife and mother or elbow deep in ink and icing, I’m writing and taking all those things I dream about to create something that I hope is an inspiration to my readers.”

Learn more about Kelly at authorkellyhall.com  and follow her on Twitter @authorkellyhall.

 

The Light Keeper Series

 

thumbnailbook1LLKThe Legend of the Light Keeper (Book 1)

After a hurricane destroys her home, Lily Jordan is ready for life to get back to normal. That would be easy if her mother’s recent engagement hadn’t landed her in a house along Southeast Texas’ most haunted ghost road. The secluded scenic road is steeped in rich history and legends, but when Lily is given an old diary on her birthday, will she find that those legends hold more for her future than she’s bargained for? With the help of new friends, Hunter and Owen, and forbidden love, Talon, will she uncover dark secrets from the past and find the key to her own gifts? Is it fate or circumstance that brought Lily to her new home? Normal gives way to the paranormal in book one of the Light Keeper series where mystery and suspense keeps you guessing until the very last page.

Thumbnailbook2SSWThe Secret of Strange Waters (Book 2)

Unfortunately for Lily Jordan, being a Light Keeper doesn’t come with an instruction manual, but neither does being sixteen. While learning to use her powers, she’s confronted with unforeseen obstacles and forced to break her own rules in order to save her circle of friends. With her mom’s wedding on the horizon, will misinterpreted visions create new enemies who could threaten Lily’s exposure? Will death and heartache ruin the big day? For Lily, the answers only lead to impossible decisions. Does she embrace her powers or abandon them for false normalcy? Kelly Hall’s second book, The Secret of Strange Waters, proves paranormal powers aren’t always a blessing.

 

What Readers Are Saying

The Legend of the Light Keeper (Book 1)

From Chrissy from Amazon.com:

“What can I say? I loved this book. To put it simply, it was engrossing, smart, and entertaining.

The author definitely knows how to write for a YA audience; it was very easy for me to get wrapped up in Lily’s world. I couldn’t and wouldn’t stop until I finished! I loved this character almost immediately and after reading the book, I almost feel like I know her. Honestly, for a few minutes it made me miss being 15.

I loved that there were the perfect amount of humor sprinkled throughout; I smiled and laughed a lot while reading this.

Also, the amount of detail is just right. You can easily imagine how the characters are positioned, as well as the scenery, but the author never spends more time on these details than necessary.

The writing style of the diary could have been altered a bit more to reflect the slightly different speech style of 100 years ago. However, the only real complaint I have is that I want more, so hopefully there will be a sequel soon!

Kelly Hall is a very skilled writer and I am definitely a fan.”

 

The Secret of Strange Waters (Book 2)

From Amber on Amazon.com:

“I have no idea how to start this because my mind is all over the place and my heart is still racing. I’m in awe. This book was straight up mind blowing! Kelly Hall has hella talent! When I started this book, I could NOT stop. I laughed my butt off and I cried… a lot. The Secret of Strange Waters was so much more emotional than the first book. I love how even though it picks up a little later than the first book left off, it still flows perfectly and you don’t feel lost. 100% worth the read! I think if someone asked me “Name at least one thing that could make this book better”.. I couldn’t answer it.

I am absolutely fascinated by Lily’s character and the adventures she is drawn to. I’ve always found the other or supernatural world fascinating and even more so people that can communicate with that world so I am jealous of and adore her character.

I didn’t want this book to end, when I saw I was getting closer to the end, I was so upset (haha). I want to know what happens,dang it! Book Three? YES! NOOOWWWW! Please? Lol UGH! That ending though!!! Right in the feels! I gotta know what happens next! It’s killing me.”

A Final Note

I’m chomping at the bit to read Hall’s series. It hits a sweet spot for me, YA paranormal is my favorite genre! I’d love to hear your thoughts, too. Until tomorrow, read fast and then review to thank your favorite authors!
Get Your Book Series Fix with Andrea Murray

Get Your Book Series Fix with Andrea Murray

If you visited my blog yesterday, then you know I adore book series. Maybe I love them so because as I devour one book, I take comfort knowing that another is waiting for me after, “The End.” Well, Murray’s Vivid Trilogy is no different.

Meet Andrea Murray

61wne6xdUxL._UX250_Andrea Murray has been a teacher for seventeen years and has taught just about every possible English class, including elementary reading groups and introductory college courses. She is a proud member of Mensa and lives in a teensy town in Arkansas with her high school sweetheart and husband of seventeen years. They have two children, who keep their lives very interesting and very busy.

Find additional information as well as Andrea’s website http://byandreamurray.com/.

 

Two Fantastic Series

51GN4KfTi-L._UY250_The Vivid Trilogy – Vivid, Book 1 – Her entire life she has feared her power and its connection to her mother’s murder. When Vivian Cartwright was five years old, she witnessed her mother’s death. Now, sixteen-year-old Vivian only wants a normal life, hard to accomplish when you possess the power to control energy. She has kept her ability a secret from everyone except her guardian, Charlotte, who has hidden Vivian from the man responsible for her mother’s murder. Her secret is safe until Vivian defends herself at school using her power. After this first use of her gift in many years, Vivian’s power seems to take on a mind of its own, increasing in strength and demanding to be used. This increase in power also brings dreams of her mother’s death and the mysterious man associated with it. In her desire to unlock her past, Vivian is forced to use her supernatural gift over and over. With each use, Vivian fears she is losing control and discovers her powers are growing—maybe too much—bringing her unknowingly closer to the man who murdered her mother.

51S0u9QBKuL._UY250_The Omni Duology (Book 1) – They will risk everything, even challenging the all-seeing eye of the Omni government. But will the prize be worth the cost?

Seventeen-year-old Pierce is a Drudge, the lowest social stratum in society. For over two years, he’s hoped—prayed—that his upcoming aptitude test will finally free him from his virtual slavery and give him a chance at a better existence. When he rescues Harmony, an Artist and member of the most successful stratum, his life takes an unbelievable twist.

With his gallant act and good looks, he becomes a media sensation. Every stratum in society seeks his membership for their publicity, but as he becomes closer to Harmony, Pierce realizes what fame in Omni is truly like. His choices will not only affect him but Harmony as well. The life Pierce thought he wanted may not be worth the cost to either of them.

What Readers Are Saying

They are fangirling over Murray on Amazon.com. Here’s what one reviewer had to say:

By Kim on December 16, 2011

Format: Kindle Edition

“Wow! Vivid is an AWESOME read! It captivated me from the very beginning. It is one of those books that you don’t want to put down once you start reading it. The main character, Vivian, has a powerful gift that anyone would welcome at some point in their life – as long as it could be controlled. Her sense of humor reminds me of my best friend. This book contains action/adventure, mystery, romance, humor, the supernatural – it has it all. It’s really hard to believe that Vivid is this author’s first book! A sequel is a MUST!

Murray hit my sweet spot – she has a female protagonist that feels unworthy of her natural gifts who comes to own her strength and power. I found the first book of The Vivid Trilogy to be fantastically readable, the characters authentic and instantly likeable and the storyline devourable. Five-stars from me for Book 1. Book 2, here I come. Okay, maybe I’ll have to wait until October, but I’m already looking forward to it.”

See you tomorrow when the spotlight shines on another indie author!