Saturday, December 31, 2011

Best Books of 2011

Happy New Year Blogging World!!!

It's almost 2012 here! Yay! Where did the time go? 
I can't believe a full year has passed... goodbye 2011 and WELCOME 2012!! 

Here are my list of best books all read in 2011 !!!

Best Books of 2011 (5-star)

Best Book #1 (Series)

Loved this book, can't wait to read book #2!
Join the giveaway HERE

Best Book Series

Best Book Finale (Series)

Books I want to read/buy in 2012

I really really want to start this series... Fallen wasn't available when I went to our local bookstore so I bought another book #1... I was sooo wrong. Should have waited... promise... this is my next to buy...

2011 Year End Book Review

2011 Year End Book Review Report













Guest Author: Sebastian Gibson

Writing a Political Humor Novel

Writing a book with political humor has been surprisingly easy for me.  I suppose it’s because I look at politics, current events and life in general with amusement and because there is so much great material being given to comedians on a daily basis by politicians and others in the public eye.

It’s unfortunate the country is so politically divided, and for many people, it’s depressing.  Clearly the country needs to find a way to laugh more at the foibles of politicians and the difficult times we’re in, or we’ll all go crazy.  I wrote Nitt Witt Hill to provide people with some comic relief to what they see on the news at night.

The fact that the world seems to be going nuts was also the inspiration for Nitt Witt Hill in which the main character, Mark (a political consultant) and his dog Twain are asked to find out what’s making people in the country so neurotic and why politicians are losing their crackers. In the course of the book, the unlikely team finds the surprising cause of the country's neurosis, but whether they can avert a complete breakdown of society, you’ll have to read the book.

In Nitt Witt Hill, new political parties are springing up all over the place. The Clowns running for office whose slogan is “One more Clown in Congress probably won’t make any difference” attack the Turkeys running for President (“Isn’t it time we had some real Turkeys in office instead of those Clowns?”). 

As these and other political parties gain in popularity, Democrats and Republicans alike flock to the new parties.  But it’s the Nitt Witt Party, telling voters to wait and see what some real Nitt Witts in Washington can do, that really becomes popular.

Now that political parties have started to call each other names like “traitor,” I thought to myself, if people were going to call each other names, they should be funnier. And so, I began to wonder how it would work if politicians took some absolutely foolish names for themselves so that when people called them by these foolish names, they wouldn’t be disparaging them.  Instead they would be calling them by their actual party affiliations, Clowns and Turkeys.” By having such names for the political parties in the book, I wanted to give reader license to laugh at the entire political system and to also expose the silliness of throwing accusations at each other as we see regularly on cable news stations when in the book, the political parties are quite proud of being Clowns or Turkeys.

Nitt Witt Hill thus reflects on the political divisions in our country but puts them in perspective; that perspective is how silly it is for people to become so worked up about their differences when politicians are so funny no matter what party they belong to and when life is meant to be enjoyed.  We’re only on this earth for a short time.  Making each other miserable does no one any good.  Nitt Witt Hill will make you feel good about life and even politics again when you see how amusing it can all be.

The challenge for me of writing a first novel has been learning the ropes of self-publishing.  It’s learning how to have a book formatted for self-publishing, finding the right illustrator for the book cover (the illustrator, Steve Gray who did my cover was fantastic), the right publicist (Julia Drake was a real find), the right formatter who responds to every suggestion (Darlene Swanson has been great) the right copy editor (to find spelling and grammatical errors) and figuring out which of the many sites to use to distribute the book as an eBook and as a paperback that’s the real challenge.

Then you still need to create a book website (for this I used Caldiatech and if you visit you’ll see what a great job they did on the site) and plan other ways to get publicity for your book.  However, once you learn the ropes of how everything interacts and works together, you can’t wait to write your next book and the one after that, which is what I’m doing now.

Nitt Witt Hill will be available everywhere as an eBook and a paperback February 1st, 2012.  I hope you will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.  If you like it, I encourage you to go to the website for the book at and click on the “Contact A Nitt Witt” button to leave your comments.

Thank you for the opportunity to write this guest post on Bookingly Yours. 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Book Review: Tanglewood Plantation by Jocelyn Miller

Tanglewood Plantation

Author: Jocelyn Miller
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Eagletalon Books (July 22, 2011)

Note: I received this book free from the author, Jocelyn Miller. The review posted below is based on my personal thoughts while reading the book.


★ ★ ★  

My thoughts:

Summer Woodfield left her job in the city right after receiving the news of her inheritance, the Tanglewood Plantation, from her Aunt Ada. From the old photos she saw back when her father was still alive, it was a very beautiful plantation. However, Summer's dreams fall apart when she sees the town of Bluebell and the plantation. She expects the plantation to be old but not that old, the plantation is now one big dilapidated house and surely, it needs to be renovated but she doesn't have the money to bring it back to livable condition.  The first time she spends her night at the house, she sees an old man hanging by the neck from the fountain. The following day, she can hear someone moaning at the fountain. After seeing and hearing the ghosts of the house, she is thinking of going back to the city but according to the will, she needs to stay at the plantation for a period of one year for her to inherit the plantation and all her Aunt Ada's money. So she has to stay and deal with the ghosts of the plantation.

The book had a good storyline. Summer is transported back to the past and she was Evaline, one of her ancestors. Evaline is the daughter of Charles and a slave named Jamaica. She saw everything and discovered all the secrets of her ancestors. I enjoyed reading the story and I liked the way the story of the slaves is told. I now have an idea what it feels like to be a slave. Reading this book is like watching a Spanish telenovela. I wanted to slap and drag Elizabeth, Charles wife, by the hair many times. She is so mean to Evaline and to all other slaves.

While I liked the story, there were some parts of the book I had to skim. I was pretty annoyed with the slang dialogue of the slaves. I found myself reading them slowly and back again to understand them.  Overall, if you want a good horror book and do not mind the slang dialogue, pick up this book. 

About the book:

Chicagoan, Summer Woodfield, is in for the surprise of her life when she inherits the family estate in Georgia. Not only is the antebellum plantation a dilapidated relic, but comes complete with a haunting cast of characters--characters long dead! Convinced by the estate lawyer to fulfill the requirements of her inheritance, she reluctantly sets up house in the haunted mansion. An investigative trip into the attic leads to the discovery of mid-19th century love letters written by the son of the overseer to Evaline, a mulatto slave on the plantation. Summer is drawn to the mystery of Evaline, and taunted by a thumbprint purposely placed on one of the letters by its author. When she touches the thumbprint, she is whisked back in time to the Civil War, not as the mistress of the manor, but as a slave--a servant to her own ancestors! Trapped in a time warp, she experiences the horror of the Civil War as a slave, while the secret of her inheritance is exposed, awakening a forbidden love story lost in the annals of time.

About the author:

Jocelyn Miller has traveled extensively throughout Europe, Canada, Mexico, the Yucatan, the Caribbean, and the United States. Her early childhood opened the door to the diversity of the human race, spending her primary years learning to read and write in Spanish while living with her family in Puerto Rico, and then St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, absorbing the colorful and rich history of the Caribbean. In contrast to island life, her teen years were spent in the Scottsdale, Arizona desert, amidst the intermingled cultures of Hispanic Mexico, Native Americans of the southwest, and the cowboys and ranchers of the vanishing desert vistas. An interest in genealogy and early American history catapulted Jocelyn to her present-day vocation; to write of the lives of women of all class and cultures throughout the early centuries of civilized America. An avid student of colonial, frontier and Victorian history, Jocelyn has dedicated many hours and travels to the research of historical facts and details pertaining to the lives of women of these eras. Born to talented and artistic parents, Jocelyn was encouraged from an early age to pursue creative endeavors. Her artistic abilities blossomed in the form of writing, modeling, drawing, poetry, and creative costuming, at which she spent several years creating award-winning costumes for an east coast dance company. Jocelyn, Co-Regional Coordinator of the Eastern Shore Writers Association, has published in History Magazine, and Heritage of the Toe River Valley, Avery, Mitchell and Yancey Counties N.C. Jocelyn writes from Sanibel, Florida, and from Chesapeake Bay on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, where she lives with her husband of thirty-three years, two Yorkie rascals, and a very loud parrot.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Giveaway: Pride's Run by Cat Kalen

I’ve been writing adult romance for many years and after I had kids I really wanted to write something that they’d enjoy reading. So a year ago I sat down and tried my hand at first Young Adult novel, Pride’s Run.

Wow, what an experience that was for me.  I found the whole process of writing for teens exhilarating and pleasurable and it reminded me of why I write in the first place.  I couldn’t wait to get to the computer in the morning and had to drag myself away when the kids got home from school.  I’ve never, ever had a character speak to me the way Pride did.  I lived her life for six months and felt her every emotion.  I laughed with her, cried with her, ached for her and in the process, I became her.

The one thing readers keep telling me about Pride’s Run is that they were there with her during her journey, smelling what she smelled, tasting what she tasted and feeling what she felt.  This couldn't make me happier because I didn’t want my readers sitting back reading a book, I wanted them to be a part of the adventure.

Pride’s Run is an upper Young Adult story with crossover appeal to adults.  So not only will your teens want to read it, you’ll want to read it too.

I just finished writing Pride Unleashed, the second story is this trilogy and I must say Pride has made me so proud of her.

About the book:

Seventeen year old Pride is a tracker—a werewolf with a hunger for blood. Taught to trick and to lure, she is the perfect killing machine.

Kept leashed in the cellar by a master who is as ruthless as he is powerful, Pride dreams of freedom, of living a normal life, but escape from the compound is near impossible and disobedience comes with a price.

When she learns her master intends to breed her she knows she has to run.

Pride soon learns if she is to survive in the wild, she must trust in the boy who promises her freedom, the same boy she was sent to hunt.

With life and death hanging in the balance the two find themselves on the run from the Paranormal Task Force—officers who shoot first and ask questions later—as well as her master’s handlers.

Can Pride flee the man who has held her captive since birth and find sanctuary in the arms of a boy who has captured her heart? Or will her master find her first?


The author, Cat Kalen is giving away a paperback copy of Pride's Run. This giveaway is open for US/Canada only. 

To join the giveaway, just follow Bookingly Yours (book review 5-star), leave a comment with your email or comment and email me at with the subject "Cat Kalen giveaway". This give away will end on January 7 and the winner will be announced on January 8.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Guest Author: C.G. Bauer

My Wife, My Muse, My Confession

My new novel, not the one you see here, is about reincarnation and what might happen if a person came back to where she was needed the most. The title doesn’t matter; not yet at least. It’s a paranormal/urban fantasy still looking for a publisher. What does matter is my wife inspired two of its characters: a co-protagonist who is the potential love interest for the male co-protagonist, and the co-protagonist’s comatose wife. The associations are un-hideable. And yet, because my wife never reads any of what I write, she may never learn this. Not unless someone tells her. To add to this: The character’s co-protagonist, the novel’s main character, shares a small measure of this author’s history. So there you have it. She’s in there, I’m in there. If she reads the novel, she’ll see herself. She’ll see me. Yes, write what you know. We’re approaching our fourth decade together. No matter. She’ll never read it.

I chalk up the disinterest to her being too serious a person. Much, much, much too serious. Fiction, other pleasure reading? Just not her thing. She’s a family crisis intervention social worker. In itself, that says a lot, and she’s good at what she does. A woman on a mission, trying to change the lives of the disadvantaged, the abused, the threatened, the helpless. The novel’s characters are modeled after her social worker persona. Its dedication will be to her, and through this dedication, to social workers everywhere. Someone should tell her. It won’t be me.

She’s seen some horrible things, even though her clients live in an affluent area outside Philadelphia. I know only a smattering of what she sees, this because she rarely shares, and she never names names. It makes me wonder, a lot, about the life of a social worker. I can only imagine what social workers in inner cities like Philly see.

Two incidents you need to know about. She once had to be pulled behind a police car barricade after exiting a client’s house where an extended family of mother, son, and grandfather lived. The grandfather had become severely agitated—mental health issues—with my wife still inside, along with his guns. His many, many guns. He was a “collector.” Sure. Whatever. Her whispered 911 call brought the cavalry. They’d stationed themselves at a safe distance, waiting for her exit. She slipped out the front door of the house after the son did the same out the back. When she reached the barricade, they pulled her to cover. The grandfather eventually surrendered. No shots were fired, no one was hurt, not physically at least. She came home, had dinner, sat in front of the TV with me. When we got through our second, maybe third sit-com rerun—laughter relaxes her—she told me what had happened. Her telling of the event was preemptive, in case the news at eleven had a story on it. In case I’d see her in the footage. One station ran the story; I didn’t see it. Then, later, or ever. She learned soon enough that she wasn’t named in the newscast, nor was she in any of the video. This made her happy. Also made her pissed that she’d mentioned it to me, because in retrospect, she hadn’t needed to.

She’s seen the worst. Things I’ll never know about. A suicide. Tragic accidents. Some of the agency’s child clients have died. But sometimes she sees the best. One case in particular. A family of four, a teen and a tween among them, the mother agoraphobic; she hadn’t left the house in years. The kids were having trouble dealing with Mom’s illness—just not something your average selfish daughter wants to come home to from school. The father worked in NYC, came home on weekends only. Family stress was manifesting itself. My wife guided them through the agency’s twelve week program, gave them coping skills, helped them access mental health services. The mother was improving, ready to take positive steps. At my wife’s final visit the tween daughter tearfully presented her with a gift. A light jacket. Inexpensive, a very bright red, and not the right size; it was something my wife was never able to wear. A trivial offering? No. The girl bought it with her own money. From a K-Mart four miles away from their home. She walked.

Writing this new novel was cathartic. It has a paranormal, apocalyptic bend to it that may mask the love stories it contains. I do hope it gets published, but for more reasons than one. I also hope someone tells my wife about it. And I hope she reads it.

My wife has seen things. Horrible things. Good things. My wife, my muse, my hero. She makes a difference in people’s lives every day.

She still has the jacket.

C.G. (Chris) Bauer
Scars on the Face of God: The Devil’s Bible

Monday, December 26, 2011

Giveaway: Immortalis Omnibus by Katie Salidas

Becoming a vampire is easy. Living with the condition... that's the hard part.

Join Alyssa as she stumbles through the world of the "Unnatural" in the first three books in the Immortalis series.

Book 1: Immortalis Carpe Noctem

Rescued from a brutal mugging on the college campus of UNLV, 25 year old Alyssa is initiated into a frightening, eternally dark world she never knew existed. The world of the vampire.

Stricken with cravings of blood, and forced leave behind all she knew, Alyssa struggles with the change. And Lysander, her sexy but aloof sire, is the only one who can help guide her.

There's no turning back now. It's either, Carpe Noctem, or final death.

Book 2: Hunters & Prey

Rule number one: humans and vampires don't co-exist. 

One is the hunter and one is the prey. Simple, right? Not for newly-turned vampire Alyssa. A surprise confrontation with Santino Vitale, the Acta Sanctorum's most fearsome hunter, sends her fleeing back to the world she once knew, and Fallon, the human friend she's missed more than anything. 

Now she has some explaining to do. However, that will have to wait. With the Acta Sanctorum hot on their heels, staying alive is more important than educating a human on the finer points of bloodlust.

Book 3: Pandora's Box

After a few months as a vampire, Alyssa thought she'd learned all she needed to know about the supernatural world. But her confidence is shattered by the delivery of a mysterious package - a Pandora's Box.

Seemingly innocuous, the box is in reality an ancient prison, generated by a magic more powerful than anyone in her clan has ever known. But what manner of evil could need such force to contain it?

When the box is opened, the sinister creature within is released, and only supernatural blood will satiate its thirst. The clan soon learns how it feels when the hunter becomes the hunted.


The author, Katie Salidas is giving away an electronic copy of the Immortalis Omnibus: Books 1-3 (Immortalis Carpe Noctem, Hunters and Prey, and Pandora's Box). 

This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL!! ;)

All you have to do is follow me, leave a comment with your email or comment and email me at with the subject "Katie Salidas giveaway". This give away will end on December 31 and the winner will be announced on January 1.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Yay!! It's Christmas!!! (Giveaway winners)

So it's Christmas time once again and can you believe it, six more days before 2012?! 

Found these very very BEARY cute Christmas trees while surfing the net. 
Love these trees sooo muchyyy ;) 

May your days be


this holiday season!!

And now for the giveaways ;)

by William Esmont

Congratulations to:

2. THE WICKED WIVES by Gus Pelagatti

Congratulations to:


I will be sending you guys confirmation email in a while. 
Thank you to William Esmont and Gus Pelagatti for the book giveaways!! 
I will be posting some more giveaways this week... 
for the lovers of the  Paranormal Romance genre.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Blog Hop Hop Hop

It's time for the weekly hop!! If you want to join the fun,
visit Alison Can Read  or Parajunkee for the link.

Question of the Week: 
If you had to spend eternity inside the pages of a book which book would you choose and why?

A. I want to be in the Middle-earth and live with the elves. Of course without the orcs and Sauron. I would also want to be in Vampire Academy minus the Strigoi, I want to be married to Dimitri Belikov yay!! I'm re-reading the Last Sacrifice and OMG, I can't stop thinking about Dimitri. ;)

Give aways Give aways Give aways
The Wicked Wives by Gus Pelagatti (5-star) Murder/Mystery
The Patriot Paradox and Pressed (5-star) Action/Thriller
Until 24 December 2011

Book Review: Stealing Jenny by Ellen Gable

Stealing Jenny

Author: Ellen Gable
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Full Quiver Publishing; First Edition (September 15, 2011)
Amazon Link

Note: I received this book free from the author, Ellen Gable. The review posted below is based on my personal thoughts while reading the book.


★ ★ ★ ★ 

My thoughts:

Stealing Jenny is a Christian novel and I'm surprised that I didn't have any problem reading it. I have read some Christian novels in the past and I didn't like most of them because they're too focused on the moral values, you know those books teaching you what's right and wrong, I'm not really comfortable reading Christian novels that are too "clean". Stealing Jenny in my opinion is not overly religious book, I actually enjoyed reading it. 

I liked the characters especially Jenny and Tom Callahan. They're both religious but they are not perfect.  I enjoyed reading the flashbacks of Jenny and Tom's relationship, back when they were still dating. They have had some mistakes in the past and I liked the way they handled it.

I liked the suspense in the story, I know what it feels like to have a sensitive pregnancy and I was wondering the whole time I was reading the book what I would do if I was in Jenny's situation. What I would do if somebody stole my baby? The story is well-written, if you are into suspense story, you might want to pick up this book.

About the book:

After three heartbreaking miscarriages, Tom and Jenny Callahan are happily anticipating the birth of their sixth child. Their neighbor, however, is secretly hatching a sinister plot which will find Jenny and her unborn baby fighting for their lives.

About the author:

Ellen Gable Hrkach lives with her husband and their five children in Pakenham, Ontario. This is her third novel. Her second novel, In Name Only, won a Gold medal for Religious Fiction in the 2010 Independent Publisher (IPPY) Book Awards. She and her husband create the Family Life cartoon which currently appears in Family Foundations magazine.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Guest Author: Phyllis & Jerry (PJ) Campagna

The Journey To Timeout!
By Phyllis & Jerry (PJ) Campagna

When PJ (that’s us, Phyllis & Jerry!) took our first timeout to retreat review & renew over 15 years ago we had no idea that it would later result in a book about our annual getaway to plan our personal/ professional goals, reconnect as a couple—and even resolve such monumental marital issues as which way the toilet paper should be rolled (you’ll have to read the book for our resolution to that one!).

We were motivated to write the book, Timeout! To Retreat Review & Renew, based on requests from many of our friends and family who were curious to know what we did on this annual week long break-away from the daily grind (it started out as a 3-day sojourn)—sans kids, dogs and very limited access to internet/phones (in the beginning, we didn’t have a choice as there were no cell towers or internet connections in the remote cabin we stayed in). 

Even the process of writing the book was a journey unto itself, as we made a commitment that every word and concept presented had to be 100% agreeable to both us—WOW, talk about having plenty of opportunities to test drive the communication tools presented in the book! 

And even the book’s title Timeout! To Retreat, Review & Renew assisted us in staying on task by constantly coming back to the stage of clearing our minds (Retreat), reflect on the previous content we had written (Review) and revise with a sense of greater commitment to our goals and each other (Renew).  We hope you enjoy reading and benefiting from the Timeout! process as much as we did in writing it.

Wishing You & Yours A Happily Ever After!   -PJ

About The Authors
Phyllis and Jerry Campagna (“PJ”) melded their lives in 1996 and have journeyed forth from their annual timeouts with renewed focus, joy and commitment ever since. Phyllis is a pioneer in the emerging profession of business coaching, having coached businesses and individuals for over twenty years. Jerry is the president of The MOST Inc.; a change management consulting firm.

To Connect with PJ
Follow them on Face book at
Email them at
Or visit their website at

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