Monday, November 26, 2012

Book Spotlight: Blair Richmond's THE GHOST RUNNER

The Ghost Runner
The Lithia Trilogy, Book 2

Author: Blair Richmond 
Publisher: Ashland Creek Press 
Pages: 268
Amazon link

Out of Breath The Lithia Trilogy, Book 1 
Amazon Link


In The Ghost Runner, Kat is still in Lithia, trying not to see Roman’s face everywhere she looks. It’s not easy, but she tries to move on: She starts taking classes at the local college, keeps up with her job at the running store, and is beginning a relationship with Alex.

Yet Kat’s past is never far behind, and as old ghosts begin to catch up with her, she finds herself fighting to defend the things she believes in, from the hope of a new family to the deeply wooded forests that she has begun to call home. As her relationship with Alex begins to crumble, a new secret from her past emerges, and she is once again torn between those she loves as she struggles to reconcile her dark past with her hopes for a brighter future.

The Ghost Runner, continuing Kat's adventures in Out of Breath, brings us further into the mysterious town of Lithia, where the old traditions of logging and gold mining—and the new traditions of development—collide with conservation. Meanwhile, the spirits of the town keep watch over everything—and occasionally find it necessary to intervene…

The Lithia Trilogy, which blends adventure and the paranormal with environmental awareness and Shakespeare, offers an exciting new series in young adult fiction.

Chapter One

In a small town, you’re always bumping into people you know. Normally, that’s a good thing: It’s nice to walk down Main Street and see friendly faces, share a few pleasantries, maybeeven exchange the latest gossip.
But what if there’s someone you’d rather not see, someoneyou’re hoping to avoid?
Someone you never want to see again?
In a small town like Lithia, the more you try to avoid someone,the more likely you are to see that person everywhere you turn. Like Roman.

I see him everywhere.

I see him browsing in the bookstore, sitting at outdoor cafés, walking through the town square with his fellow actors. I see him driving through town in his black BMW, its windows tinted so I can never tell whether he’s looking at me or at the road.

And though I can’t prove it, sometimes I sense that he’s watching me, studying me from a distance. I never actually catchhim in the act, which makes me feel as though it’s all in my head. I worry that what I had first wished for months ago—his absence from my life—has instead fueled an obsession. That, by trying not to see him all over town, I end up seeing him even where he is not. Every day, I find myself glancing over my shoulder at people I think might be Roman, only to make eye contact with strangers.

The other day, as I worked the register at Lithia Runners, I saw Roman standing out on the sidewalk, staring in through the windows. For once, it was actually him, and I thought he was looking at me. I waited for him to enter the store—to say something, anything, even though I’d told him never to speak to me again. I turned away for a moment, to hand a receipt to a customer, and when I looked back, he was gone.

In a small town, just because a guy never speaks to you again doesn’t mean you won’t ever see him again. And again. And again. Even on the days I don’t see Roman—not in the flesh, that is—I still see his face. He appears on dozens of posters advertising the Lithia Theater Company’s new season of plays: his perfectly sculpted face, eyes of deep sapphire, an expression that doesn’t need to smile to attract attention, including mine. As the theater’s star performer, Roman gazes out at us—at me—from storefront windows and from banners on light posts. I am surrounded byimages of him.
And, in a sense, I am tortured by him.
It didn’t used to be that way.

Eight months ago, before I won Cloudline—that brutal trailrace to the top of Mount Lithia—I thought I was in love with Roman. I was a runaway who had been fortunate enough to land in this town, to find a job at Lithia Runners and a cottage to rentbehind my boss’s house, all thanks to my boss’s fiancée, Stacey. She took pity on me, talked David into hiring me, gave me an opportunity to build a life here. And before I knew it, I’d not only started a new life but fallen in love. Or so I thought.

Nothing in Lithia is what it seems. The two men I thought I loved have one similarity—they are both vampires—but otherwise they couldn’t be more different. Roman is dark and stoic, an actor who carries more than a century of pain on his broad shoulders and who hides himself within his latest role, whatever it may be. And Alex is bright and optimistic; he has given up on violence, on drinking blood, instead thriving on the sap of trees and nuts and berries—a vegan, like me, a vampire who is, ironically, more like me than most humans I meet.

But even as I turned my back on Roman for Alex—I wanted to surround myself with good, and Alex was all things good— my heart was still pulled toward Roman. I can’t explain it, even to myself: Maybe it was my desire to convert him, to lead him on the path toward a nonviolent life. Or maybe it was his darkly handsome presence, his mansion up on the hill. I wasn’t the first to be drawn in by his good looks and mysterious past.

The day I ran Cloudline changed everything. I was determined to win that day, running in memory of Stacey, who couldn’t run the race herself. She’d introduced me to the running trails, taken me to my first Shakespeare play, given me a new pair of running shoes. She was supposed to have been running with me, to have been planning her wedding to David. But one day, when she and I were high above Lithia, running on the Lost Mine Trail in training for Cloudline, a bear took her life.

At least, that’s what everyone believed.

Well, almost everyone.

By the time I crossed the finish line at the top of Mount Lithia, the pleasure of winning the race for Stacey came with the terrifying realization that it had not been a bear who killed her after all. It had been Roman.

I confronted him, and he confessed. He said he was sorry, and I believed him. I did. He asked me to forgive him—but I couldn’t. That I could not do.

I also realized something else during that time: My mother, who died when I was a girl—also believed to have been attacked by a bear—had been killed by Roman, too. He denied it, but how could I believe him? Whatever trust we’d had between us, if we ever did, was gone.
There was nothing I could do to punish Roman—he was beyond the law, even if I could find someone who believed me. I wanted him to suffer as I’d suffered all those years, growing up without a mother, with a father who didn’t want me. But Roman was untouchable—except for one thing.

Me. He still loved me.

And the only way I knew how to hurt him was never to see him again.

And so that was my plan.
Unfortunately, in this town, that’s easier said than done. During the cold and rainy winter months after Cloudline,the theater was closed, the streets empty—and it was easy to avoid Roman. It helped that I turned my attention to Alex. We jogged together in the evenings. We shared lunches at the Lithia Food Co-Op during our work breaks. I felt safe with him as we wandered through the foggy forests in the dying light of evening,and I felt connected to him as we shopped for groceries together. Alex and I have too much in common not to be together.

It wasn’t until a couple of months ago that I noticed how much time had passed without any bear attacks in the hills, without any tourists or passersby going missing. I knew Roman’s friend Victor was gone, and for a while I thought perhaps Roman was, too. Entire days would pass when I could forget that there were vampires in Lithia, that my boyfriend was one of them, that there were dangers in the hills far worse than any bear or cougar could deliver. In other words, my life started to feel normal again.

Until now.

The envelope arrives on a midsummer day at the store. It’s July, and the town is bustling with tourists, most of them visiting for the theater. In addition to the two indoor stages, a large outdoor stage is now open nightly, seating more than a thousand eager fans. Others come to Lithia for the hiking, the river rafting, the smells and sounds of the forests that surround us.

The warm weather seems to cheer everyone, particularly the locals, who have endured a long, gloomy winter and spring. But I’ve had trouble smiling ever since the posters started going up around town, reminding me of Roman. Every time I see his face, I find myself reliving the painful mistakes I’ve made, not only here in Lithia but long before that.

It’s David who gives me the envelope. I think he can tell something’s been bothering me lately, but he doesn’t ask, which is fine with me. I’m used to dealing with things on my own, and quietly, and this is one of the reasons I enjoy working for David. He gives me my space, and I give him his. We work closely together but in our own separate worlds; he stoically grieves the loss ofStacey while I quietly carry the guilt over the knowledge of why she’s gone. 

I can never tell David that Roman killed Stacey—it would only ease my pain while doubling his, and he has suffered too much already. Me, I can handle pain. I’ve developed a high threshold, perhaps the only benefit of losing a mother as a child and surviving an angry, alcoholic father. That’s why I won Cloudline, I tell myself. Because I can handle pain. And that’s why I know I can avoid Roman forever, despite having a heart that feels differently.
I’m in the back, cleaning up the mess David has made of the shoes in the storage room, when he calls me to the front. He hands me an envelope with my name on it.

“What’s this?” I ask.

“I just found it here on the counter,” he says. “Someone must’ve left it for you. I didn’t even hear the doorbell go off.”

I study the envelope. My name is handwritten in calligraphy, with a fountain pen. There’s nothing else on it, no clue as to where it came from. I shove the envelope into my pocket as if it’s nothing and return to the storage room.

Once there, I open the envelope. Inside is a ticket to that evening’s performance of Othello. Nothing else. Just one ticket.

Later, when I return to the front of the store, David asks me what was in the envelope.

“Oh, nothing.”

Not only is David unaware of what Roman did, he is unaware of Lithia’s vampires altogether. So it’s best to say nothing at all.

I assume the ticket is from Roman, as he’s playing the role of Othello this season—but I can’t be certain. I remember last fall, the first night I saw him, back when he was playing Hamlet. Helooked out into the audience and held my gaze—or at least I’d thought so at the time.
Now, I imagine he remembers that, too. That he’s thinking of doing the same thing. Using his leading role to win himself a second chance with me.

That night, as we close the store, I give the ticket to David. 

“What’s this?” he asks.

“A friend had an extra ticket to Othello tonight, and I can’t go.” 

“That’s quite a friend you have,” he says when he sees that it’sa front-row center seat. “Thank you.”

I lock up after David leaves, and I walk home feeling unusuallycalm and relaxed. I know that when the curtain goes up, there is only one place Roman can be—onstage—and that for the next few hours I am free.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

ARC Book Review: The Trajectory of Dreams by Nicole Wolverton

The Trajectory of Dreams

Author: Nicole Wolverton
Publisher: Bitingduck Press 
Release Date: March 1, 2013

Note: I received a review copy of this book free from Nicole Wolverton. The review posted below is based on my personal thoughts while reading the book.

Ratings: ★ ★ ★ ★ 

My thoughts:

The Trajectory of Dreams focuses on Lela White, a hard working woman whose main goal in life is to protect all the astronauts while in space. She believes by studying the sleep patterns of astronauts, she is helping NASA to achieve a successful program for all their space missions. When Zory Korchagin, a Russian cosmonaut, sees Lela for the first time, he immediately falls in love with her. Something his grandmother has predicted before going to the U.S. for NASA's space program. I loved Zory. He is nice and very sweet. Oh I love Russian men. I thought Russian men are sexy and very nice to look at. And the accent! Hmm yummy! The author also wrote about Russian beliefs, superstitions and traditions which I thoroughly enjoyed reading.   

The Trajectory of Dreams is not your typical psychological thriller book. Lela, the main character is suffering from a mental disorder but she looks normal to the people around her. The plot and Lela's character is definitely intriguing, I was hooked from the beginning until the end of the story. I find it interesting to see how a person with mental illness is able to fool "normal" people and even cover up her crimes. 

You can never stop once you start reading. You really have to pay attention or else, you'd be confused as the book has an extremely complicated storyline. Reaching the last 50+ pages, everything is revealed with too many shocking twists, found myself re-reading some parts of the book as I missed something important in the story. 

Definitely a 5-star for me. Readers and bloggers, you shouldn't miss this one.  

About the book: 

For Lela White, a Houston sleep lab technician, sleep doesn’t come easy—there’s a price to be paid for a poor night’s sleep, and she’s the judge, jury, and executioner.

Everyone around Lela considers her a private woman with a passion for her lab work. But nighttime reveals her for what she is: a woman on a critical secret mission. Lela lives in the grip of a mental disorder that compels her to break into astronauts’ homes to ensure they can sleep well and believes that by doing so, she keeps the revitalized U.S. space program safe from fatal accidents. What began at the age of ten when her mother confessed to blowing up the space shuttle has evolved into Lela’s life’s work. She dreads the day when an astronaut doesn’t pass her testing, but she’s prepared to kill for the greater good.

When Zory Korchagin, a Russian cosmonaut on loan to the U.S. shuttle program, finds himself drawn to Lela, he puts her carefully-constructed world at risk of an explosion as surely as he does his own upcoming launch. As Lela’s universe 
unravels, no one is safe.

About the author:

Nicole Wolverton is a freelance writer and novelist living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her debut novel, The Trajectory of Dreams, will be available in March 2013 from Bitingduck Press.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Giveaway Winner: MyMemories Digital Scrapbooking Software


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Reading Eggs is a unique online world where children learn to read. It supports each child’s learning by offering individual, one-on-one lessons that allow children to progress at their own rate.

Thursday Trailer: The Zombie Room by R.D. Ronald

The Zombie Room
by R.D. Ronald

Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Book Guild Publishing (July 1, 2012)
Language: English
Amazon Links Hardcover Kindle

About the book:

A series of wrong turns sees three men from very different backgrounds serving time together in prison. An unlikely bond is forged during their incarceration which endures following their release. After failed attempts to go straight, they embark on a criminal enterprise causing them to stumble across a sophisticated sex-trafficking operation. The disappearance of a family member and the murder of a friend lead the three to delve deeper into a world of violence and deception, in a quest for freedom, retribution and justice, but with their lives on the line and no-where else to turn, will they be prepared to pay the ultimate price?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Guest Author: Mark Fadden

Author’s latest thriller asks a timely, horrific question

What if the presidential candidates were assassinated? That’s the question that author Mark Fadden asks in his latest thriller, The Campaign. The story takes place over a 48-hour period during which all three of the presidential candidates in the race for the White House are killed. The hero is Dallas Police Chief Scott Turner, who must lead the investigation into the deaths while trying to cope with losing his mother, who is only days away from dying of cancer.

“I first thought about the plot several years ago. In fact, I wrote the first version of The Campaign back in 2006 and went so far as to narrate an audiobook version, hoping to market it during the 2008 presidential campaign,” said Fadden, who is an award-winning author and freelance writer. “But the funny thing was, after hearing myself read it out loud, it didn’t have the suspense and flow that I thought it should. The main character was someone that readers couldn’t root for, he wasn’t sympathetic enough. So I shelved it.” But after Fadden began caring for his mother, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and came to live with him and his family while she received hospice care before she passed, he knew that he would need to write about that experience to deal with it. “As most writers will tell you, writing is cathartic. As I cared for mom, I would write down everything, from her daily medication amounts to the wonderful moments we shared recalling the good times and bad. After she passed, I reflected on how best to honor her memory, this woman who had been there for me every day. As she was a lifelong book lover, I thought there would be no better way than to base a character on her and to show readers the kind of tough, yet relentlessly loving person she was. Plus having never cared for someone in hospice before, I also wanted to include that experience in case readers wanted to get a glimpse of how hospice really works.” 

Fadden’s call to shelve the book and then work in his own painful experience seems to have been the right one. Reader reviews have been strong and Kirkus Reviews called the novel, “exciting and fast-paced, this is a satisfying political thriller with heart.”

Fadden has two previously published books, Five Days in Dallas and The Brink. He’s been called “the next Dan Brown,” and has garnered awards for The Brink, as well as accolades from some big names in the book business. A Writer’s Digest reviewer called him, “a masterful storyteller,” and bestselling author Sandra Brown said, “The Brink was a hell of a read.”

The Campaign is available as an eBook for $0.99 at Click here to get your copy. 

by Mark Fadden

Kindle Edition

File Size: 359 KB
Print Length: 226 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Booktango (May 5, 2012)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
Amazon Link

About the book:

Three Candidates are left in the race for the White House.
Within 48 hours, all three will be dead...

About the author:

A native Texan, Mark Fadden is a freelance writer and has published three novels: Five Days in Dallas, The Brink, and The Campaign. After recently reading The Brink, best-selling author Sandra Brown called it "a hell of a read." Visit his website at

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Book Spotlight: R.A. Swart's VICTOR AND TRISTAN

by R.A. Swart

Paperback: 314 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 1, 2012)
Amazon Link


Having enough of a life investing money and brokering deals, John Smith retires to a quiet suburb in which he hopes nothing particularly interesting ever happens and where he can be left at peace with his philosophical musings. However, when the movers vacate the house across the cul de sac from his own, leaving behind the requisite odds, ends, and family, John finds his retirement and solitude upset by Victor and Tristan, the bookish son and fanciful daughter of the staid Mr. and Mrs. Ratling. From his first encounter with the pair and their strange views, John realizes that something unusual has come into his life.

Victor and Tristan follows the pragmatic John Smith through his reality-expanding journey from the mundane into the fantastic. Travelling from the hills near his home to the plains of a distant world with Tristan, Victor, the frank Mrs. Grummings, the irreverent Iridan, the enigmatic Cassandra, and the alchemical android Janus, John comes to terms with the existence of magic, alchemy, alternate realities, and even the possibility of eternal life. However, the strange, once encountered, can never be shut neatly away: all who embrace the improbable are forever changed. Can John, Victor, and most importantly, Tristan retain their own ideals and identities when encountering people and events who defy the simple monikers of “good” and “evil”? 

Chapter 13

The third discovery that day was the aroma of sweet bacon and the sound of sizzling fat in the pan. None too surprisingly, I was the first to notice the scent and sound. Following the smell, we were soon led off the main path onto a side route we had never before seen. The route shortly opened onto a clearing in which someone had made camp. Towards the north of the clearing was a brown pup tent, worn, but regularly patched. The tent rested beneath a large poplar, which at the moment was serving as a drying line for laundry, having been adorned with all manner of inappropriate accoutrements, or at least, inappropriate for a tree. A washbasin leaned against it so as to allow its burnished form to dry in the noonday sun. Opposite the tree, on the other side of the tent, was a large pack stuffed with all forms of large and small digging implements. The largest of which seemed enough to hew at great boulders, the smallest of which could do no more than chisel away at fist-sized stones. Surrounded by it all, squatting before a cook fire, was a man, brawny and tall.

“Good morning,” he said without looking up. “Want breakfast?”

I felt rather abashed at interrupting a man’s meal unexpectedly, but I could see that my two companions had no such compunctions.

“We wouldn’t want to inconvenience you friend,” I offered, hoping to head off my young companions’ impending faux pas.

“No inconvenience; I don’t get much company, most days I don’t want it or need it. But today I’m in a talking sort of way, so if you’ll join me, you’ll be doing me a kindness.” His voice was fluid and easy, a river rolling lazily through trees and between banks that had seen many days of water easing by.

As we approached, the form turned towards us. Two amber eyes regarded us languidly; those inlets of sight and outlets of soul were set within a mocha face, smooth and young with a high forehead and strong chin. He nodded his acceptance of our company as we walked across the clearing. As the figure rose from his meal, his body caught the morning sunlight streaming through the poplar and oak about us; the light danced and glittered of his arms and face. The figure’s hands twinkled in the sunlight, as if they held all the night’s constellations in their grasp. I wondered at the trick of light or spell that created such a vision. When he moved, the glitter moved with him, a golden halo surrounded the man, adding to the surreal scene into which we had stumbled. When I had drawn closer, the origin of that glow revealed itself to be a fine layer of gold dust upon his body. I knew then this man to be a gold miner, a profession that any rational person would have thought long out of the hands of solitary people.

“Name’s Thursday. Don’t mind the goat, he don’t hurt anything.” I had failed to notice the small goat grazing nearby. Tristan immediately ran to play with the vivacious creature upon being made aware of its presence.

“It is a pleasure to meet you,” I responded. “My name is John, this is Victor, and the young lady disturbing your goat is Tristan.” He looked up at me when I mentioned Tristan.

“Tristan? I always thought that was a man’s name.”  He laughed good naturedly, reassuring us that though unusual he found it not at all inappropriate.

“I had always known it to be, but it is her name nonetheless.”

“Good name if you ask me. How do you folks like your eggs?”  His warmth and manner set us at ease, dispelling the strangeness of the meeting.

“Scrambled till they bounce,” replied Tristan before returning to her newfound friend.

“Over easy, if it’s not too much trouble,” said Victor.

“No trouble. I like mine that way.” He smiled at Victor, the signal of a kindred spirit.

I did not wish to make any demands on a person who was not expecting us, so I simply offered to take whatever is was easiest.

As Thursday cooked, he alternately whistled and talked to us in his baritone.

“I don’t normally see anybody come up here. I try to stay in places where others don’t go.  World’s a damn nuisance, as my mother would say.  So I choose not to bother with it most days.”

Tristan and the goat had calmed themselves and were now content merely to stand with each other. Having the time to look about her, Tristan’s curiosity began to take her about the camp, inciting her to inspect tools and wonder at Thursday’s odd implements.

“I’m a gold miner, as I’m sure you have guessed. Been in these hills pulling out gold for a while now.”  He spoke as if finding a miner in these hills was entirely expected, as if he was no more than a postal worker or street sweeper going about his appointed business.

“If you’ll forgive me, I didn’t think there were any places for a lone gold miner to mine.” I considered his comfortable, if rustic, camp as I spoke.

“There are a few of us left.” He turned to where Tristan was reaching out towards one of his pickaxes. “Careful with that axe, Sugar. It’ll bite you just as easily as it bites the earth.” She quickly withdrew her hand.

“What keeps you doing this?” Victor seemed fascinated by the man’s anachronistic profession.

“A body has to get by somehow in this world, and we all live by taking something from others. There are two kinds of takers: the kind that take from people and the kind that take from the land: bankers take money from people; farmers take food from the land. When I was younger, I got to thinking about which I wanted to do: take from people or take from the land. Neither seemed pleasing, but I thought it better to live off the land,” he placed a couple of finished eggs underneath a cloth next to the ready bacon to keep warm while he worked on Tristan’s scrambled. His talk was scented by this morning meal. “I was never a good farmer: couldn’t get a thing to grow, so I took to mining, coal at first, back in Virginia. I was good at mining: a pick just felt right in my hand. But, I saw what years of mining did to a miner, listened to the old timers and their hacking speech. Didn’t want any part of that, so I headed west, eventually I ended up here, in these hills, prospecting for gold.”

Victor took his plate of eggs and bacon gratefully and asked, “How? Why? The gold rush was over years ago.”

Thursday laughed, a solid laugh, the hard biting sound of a pickaxe against granite. “Sure the rush was over. I knew that, we all know that. But the end of the rush didn’t mean it was the end of the gold. Just meant the gold took a little more work to find, a little more patience to uncover. Only a fool goes looking for something when twenty-thousand others are looking for it at the same time. Odds are against you ever finding it. But if you are the only one looking, you are bound to find what you are looking for; it’s all just a matter of time.” To illustrate his point, he stood from his fire, moving over to a nearby large canvas bag he had. From within its fold he grabbed something and brought it to us. What he set before us on the ground, I still have difficulty believing: a gold nugget the size of my fist. That man was rich, rich beyond what most of us would ever know, for I could see the bag held more than just this single bit of ore he had placed before us.

“I’m the only one looking around here, so I’ve found what I’ve searched for.” He finished, allowing us to eat our meals and consider his words. When the meal was done, Tristan and Victor were sent off with the dishes to a nearby stream to clean up. While they were gone, Thursday talked to me, or more precisely talked at me. He seemed enthralled, entranced by something beyond my sight. He simply stared off and spoke.

“People are always taking: from each other, the land, the sky, from anything worth taking from.  I’ve seen lots of taking in my time, too much taking. I take from these mountains, but I can’t give nothing back to them. Don’t matter really: they don’t want anything I have. Or, maybe they do. Maybe they just want someone to crawl around them, pick at them, feel them, know them, walk about them all day and see the sun rise on them and set on them. Watch the rains wash them slowly away, know them before there’s nothing left of them. Every valley is made of long dead mountains, peaks washed away in the storms. I look out sometimes at that valley you live in down there; I can see those dead mountains you live on. Maybe they’re buried under houses, but I can still see them, hear them, know that they rose above us and the land long before there was anybody around to see them. Things change; the ground moves, settles, rises up; people move, settle, rise up.  All things happen in time.” His goat wandered over and licked his hand, interrupting his thoughts. Thursday raised himself up, looked about as if the seeing of things was new to him. He looked at me, considered me.

“Keep an eye on that little girl; there’s something about her that I don’t see much.”

“What do you see in her?” I never received my answer, for Victor and Tristan returned before I received my reply.

“Well, my two kitchen helpers did a fine job. Thank you both. Now, if you three will excuse me, it’s time for me to go to work. I’ve got a fresh vein that I’m working on, and I’d like to get a little more out today.”  Though dismissed, I never felt he was dismissing us.

“Thank you for breakfast,” Tristan said while patting the goat.

“Of course, anytime.” In gratitude, Tristan quickly hugged Thursday, who only returned the embrace after recovering from his momentary shock. I imagine a man so alone would not expect spontaneous affection.

“Goodbye, Thursday,” she said. “I’ll miss you and your goat.” We gathered ourselves up, said our last goodbyes, and turned away from our friend. The path home was one of silent contemplation, a time to consider the strange events of the day.

In the years since, I have thought much about Thursday, his words, and his warning. It was little surprise to me that we never saw him again, but it certainly wasn’t for lack of trying. A few days later, the three of us returned to the clearing: the miner had left not a trace of himself anywhere, not so much as a burn mark from his fire. I know that Tristan and Victor scoured those hills from one end to the other, but they never found even a print of the prospector. However, Tristan worried over the man; she said she noticed he had little in the way of warmth, so that Christmas, she left a blanket for him in the clearing. A couple of days later it was gone; in its place was a thimble-sized nugget made into a necklace. Once Tristan put it on, I never knew her to be without Thursday’s gift.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Book Review: Dead Religion by David Beers

Dead Religion

Author: David Beers
Paperback: 210 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 7, 2012)
Amazon Link

Kindle Edition
File Size: 333 KB
Print Length: 210 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
Amazon Link

Note: I received a review copy of this book free from David Beers. The review posted below is based on my personal thoughts while reading the book.

Ratings: ★ ★ ★ 

My thoughts:

The story started out great. Past the 50+ pages I stopped reading due to some paperworks I had to finish. Reading Dead Religion the second time, I found myself confused and lost with the story and characters. It was hard to remember things. 

I have to admit that I rarely finish a book in one sitting since I work full time, school, kids, hobbies, etc. So I need a book that I can easily connect with, without refreshing my memory every time I picked it up. You know something like a tv series. And sadly, Dead Religion is not that book. It was annoying that I can't tell who's who and I end up flipping back to the earlier pages to be connected with the characters and story again. I soon lost interest reading only 5-10 pages a day. I couldn't even recognize the main characters anymore and I think it was mainly because of the alternating point of views of all the characters in the story. 

Overall, story/plot wise, it's something original for me, Dead Religion tells the story about ancient Aztec gods, how the "new people" are connected with these ancient gods. If you are into those ancient history things and do not mind the alternating POV's, then you might want to read this. 

To read positive reviews, click here.

About the book: 

A hotel explodes in Mexico City, and all available evidence points to an American citizen, Alex Valdez, as the terrorist. The FBI is desperate to find the truth before the Mexican government can. Dead Religion follows the trail of FBI agent James Allison, who leaves his family and journeys to Mexico in order to find what secrets lay behind the destroyed hotel and all the lives lost with it. To do that though, Alex Valdez’s life must be laid bare—the blood rite his parents left him and the ‘God’ they felt had been unleashed on the world. Agent Allison races to find the truth in Mexico City, to uncover Valdez’s life, before he finds himself face to face with the same terror.

About the author: 

David Beers is in his mid twenties. He blogs at He is currently finishing up his MBA, and working on his second novel--tentatively titled End Times.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Happy Friday!!

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

Q: Books are turned into movies all the time! Turn it around. What movie would make a great book?

Yay, The Wedding Singer by Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore! It was such a very funny and romantic movie! Problem is, I think I'm the only one who knew that movie. . . . whenever I mention it to friends, they were all clueless about it and I always end up disappointed. . . . ;( Do you know/remember that movie??

Another romantic movie that I want to be turned into a book, probably a book series, is My Best friend's Wedding by Julia Roberts and Dermot Mulroney. Oh I still cry every time I watch that movie... wondering if they would consider a follow-up movie on that one... like maybe 10 years after? I really would love to see them together....  puullleeez!

How about you? Happy Friday!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Guest Author: Laura Gallier

Hi guys!  Laura Gallier here. Thanks for including me in your online community.

If you would have told me one year ago I’d be releasing a fiction, I would have laughed.  I’m the epitome of a non-fiction writer—or so I thought. I was getting ready to write another non-fiction book when a seemingly preposterous idea hit me: you know, this concept would translate into a thrilling fictitious storyline. 

After several days of wrestling with the idea, the plot developed in my mind to the point that I had to begin writing. And that’s when my love affair with fiction began. What a blast!

After a professional review, a series of heavy edits, and hours upon hours of re-reads and tweaks, The Delusion was ready just in time—the week of Halloween. This holiday presents an ideal opportunity to ask a highly debated question.

Do spiritual forces of evil actually exist, or is such thinking delusional? 

According to Barna’s research, even churchgoers are divided on the issue, with a slight majority concluding that satanic powers and demons are mere spiritual symbols as opposed to active unseen forces at work in and among humanity. No matter which side of the fence we personally occupy, one thing is certain: as it pertains to believers and skeptics, logic demands that one group is enlightened and the other, deceived. 

And therein lies a real life dilemma, one that confronts my protagonist Owen Edmonds . . . 

When Owen begins experiencing horrifying hallucinations, he struggles to keep it together while frantically searching for a cure. His mission to reclaim his sanity takes a devastating turn for the worse, however, when his delusions become even more shocking and sinister.

Owen’s relentless quest for logical answers leads him to a mind-bending conclusion—he’s not merely imagining forces of evil at work. Everyone else is blind to the evil that is. 

He has to warn others—to find a way to rescue them—despite their disbelief.

Experience life through Owen Edmonds’ eyes and decide for yourself: Is he deceived or are we?

Watch the book trailer video at

The Delusion
by Laura Gallier

Paperback: 360 pages
Publisher: Housetop Publishers (October 29, 2012)
Amazon Link

Kindle EditionFile Size: 506 KB
Print Length: 360 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Housetop Publishers (October 27, 2012)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English

Amazon Link

About the Author

Author and speaker Laura Gallier delights in writing books that inspire readers to consider the spiritual realities of good and evil. This is her first fiction work, making The Delusion her debut novel. Laura and her husband Patrick have a busy home life in Cyprus, Texas, with their four children.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Book Review: Like A Suicide by John J. Archer

Like A Suicide

Author: John J. Archer
File Size: 410 KB (Kindle Edition)
Print Length: 269 pages
Publisher: Nazarite Limited Publishing (September 29, 2012)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
Amazon Link

Note: I received a review copy of this book free from John J. Archer. The review posted below is based on my personal thoughts while reading the book.

Ratings: ★ ★ ★ ★ 

My thoughts:

Like A Suicide started out slow. Describing the killer's profile is not much of a story for me. I thought it was overly done for my taste. I was also bothered by the goriness and violence of the scenes depicted in the story so I had to stop reading from time to time.

The third or fourth time I picked up this book, I thought I had it all figured out. Well, I was wrong. The twists in the story surely enticed me to continue reading. Every chapter read is giving me doubts on who the real killer is. The last part of the book made sense. Now I understand why the author had to write much on the killer's life as it is - well, needed to grasp the whole psycho thing. The only problem I had in this book was the investigator handling the case. I believe Detective Sweeny failed to cover everything and that one thing (sorry - spoiler!) is very important to solving this case. So I'm not buying that part with Detective Sweeny.

Overall, the author is definitely skillful at wielding a great psychological thriller story.  It was beautifully written, even found myself doing a lot of research after reading this book. I look forward to reading more from this author, John J. Archer.

Note: The review might seem vague to you my dear readers because each time I try to write something about the story, it always ends up with spoilers so I had to re-write everything and make a "general" review.

About the book

"Like A Suicide" is a psychological thriller/suspense about 'Wraith' who is a serial killer. He believes proper order can only be brought about in the world via chaos. Most of his kills make sense in that way. It just happens that this time someone has the nerve to bring chaos into his world by stealing money from him. 

After tracking down the perpetrator James and confronting him Wraith concludes that he is either a genius or an idiot after the man denies knowing anything about the stolen money in a convincing manner. 

Wraith concludes James must die but decides to take his time and find out if this is the guy that might provide the challenging kill he has been looking for all along. He has to do all this with Detective Sweeney, the local superstar detective hot on his trail.

As he gets ready to go for the kill Wraith can sense that something is wrong. It's just that this time this kill seems 'Like A Suicide', which makes it much more difficult than previous kills.

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