Thursday, February 28, 2013

"TODAY", FEB 28th is RARE DISEASE DAY 2013! The 30th Anniversary! Check this out!

  To go to this site, please click on THIS LINK:

  Feb 28th, 2013 - The "30th Anniversary!"

Today is "Rare Disease Day, 2013" across the WORLD! A time of CELEBRATION for all of us who have one of these AWFUL THINGS! This celebration does give us HOPE!

You will ALWAYS see this in the left side-column of my blog! You can click on it and learn MORE! OR, donate to help RESEARCH these ORPHAN DISEASES!

I am VERY lucky in that my husband is still with me! I love him VERY much, and he, me. In the beginning, it was NOT easy! As each NEW piece of medical equipment came into the house, he had a HARD time. I didn't because I needed it, but he was NOT happy. This hit me ONLY 4 months after we were married. Surprise, surprise. PLEASE WATCH THIS VIDEO AND SHARE IT! KNOWLEDGE! SPREAD THE WORD!

Why do I say CELEBRATION? Because it is. It brings AWARENESS to these so-called 'orphan' run-away diseases that have NO CURE and no one can figure out. Scientific studies have been done, studies on the diseases have been done, people have volunteered to have studies done on them - (guinea pigs!), and more, and still, NO CURES!
The most important thing of all about these RARE DISEASES is that the number of people they affect. VERY FEW, which is why SO LITTLE RESEARCH OR GRANT MONEY IS GIVEN TO HELP US.
I have Stiff Person Syndrome. Only 1 in 1 MILLION people get this neurological muscle disease, which is also under the category of Movement Disorders. Your Central Nervous System cause the muscles in your body to go rigid/completely stiff, (remember that woman in the Bible who looked back at Sodom and Gomorrah? That's what my body does - becomes extremely hard/stiff, to where I cannot move, then the muscles, since they are not supposed to be like that go into spasms. It affects the ENTIRE BODY, including the face and neck. The arms can be affected, too, but I've only had that every now and then. In my case, my 'core muscles' are affected the most. Our core muscles start in the stomach and wrap around to the back. They are the ones that give us strength. Often I will start to get nauseous, and immediately once that happens, my stomach will start twinging and my back will start pinging in the center over the spine, and the spasms will start. The muscles all contract against and move against each other, all of them going every which way, NOT SPARING ONE MUSCLE. (The WORST for me is over the muscles that cover the kidney area.) This knocks me down, literally. I cannot move. The spasms work their way into the small back, the thighs, calves and into my feet and toes. My neck may even feel tight, as if I'm being strangled. I've never been strangled, but I can only guess that is what it would feel like, and my cheeks start twitching.
There is a video at the end of this post that shows a woman going through the spasms that Stiff Person Syndrome causes. IT IS ALARMING - so I am warning you, it's NOT PRETTY. This is 'me' when the spasms are at their WORST. The ENTIRE time this woman is going through the spasms, you can barely hear her voice grunting, moaning, groaning, crying, etc., because of the oxygen mask. The oxygen mask is needed because we can BARELY BREATHE as the pain is SO SEVERE. "IF" you want to watch it, I urge you to. This IS what I suffer from, exactly like this woman. You'll see when her body curls up into the fetal position, that is when the muscles over the kidney area are spasming at their worst. Again, it is NOT a pretty picture. Later I explain in my post here I start in the recliner, but the spasms take over so bad, I'm practically hanging out of the chair NOT wanting to move back into it because "IF" I move, the spasms come on stronger and worse.
All I can tell you is it is the MOST PAINFUL disease there is. NOTHING takes the pain away of the muscles spasming.
Treatment: Medications/muscle relaxers, that don't work that well. Often I will end up in the hospital needing a couple of bags of muscle relaxer medication in an I/V drip in order to get them to stop. If I stay home, I have to crush the pills into a powder and let them dissolve in my mouth (YUCK!) so they are absorbed quicker. Do they work? No. Not all the time. I cannot do this normally, but when the spasms hit, I am curled up into the fetal position sideways in my recliner, then I end up half in the chair and halfway out 'trying' to get relief. I'm moaning, groaning, crying. They do not stop until they want to.
How often does this happen? Every day. They may not be 'this' strong every day, but they would be if I'm not careful. I am completely unable to control them, but do try with the medications so they don't go full-blown, but it doesn't always work. I must rely on that medication ALWAYS. Without it, I would end up in the hospital, and even with it, I still end up in the hospital. I don't like that because the hospital does not know OR understand what this disease it. (A RARE disease - WHO HAS TIME FOR THAT?) I generally have nurses, or, more commonly it's the ones who come in on the 2nd shift, after I've been on the I/V for one round and the spasms have settled a little by then, but I still need another round of medication. They'll make a remark such as, "Oh, I see here we have a drug addict. Another one." Ewwwwww! That makes me SOOOO angry! I tense up again, and muscle spasms return! They are SO IGNORANT of this disease, all it takes is to look it up on the internet and they could educate themselves. At times I WISH I WERE a drug addict just so it would NOT bother me when they say that! But I am not, and NEVER will be. IF I were to abuse that medication, it would NEVER work, and that is the ONLY thing that keeps me 'somewhat' able to function, and to be able to walk only 7-8 steps, as the rest of the time I must rely on a wheelchair. I cannot roll my own wheelchair, either, because it causes spasms as I'm having to use my core muscles. I need someone to push it. I have a power wheelchair, and need a new one, as the one I have won't hold it's charge for very long anymore, but it gets little jobs done. I need to get that done and get a new one. Another thing I cannot do is sleep in bed. I cannot lie on either side because the spasms put up to 6 TONS OF PRESSURE on your skeletal system, and my back is a train wreck. I have herniated discs galore, spondylolisthesis, facet joint disease, spinal stenosis - the spinal canal narrows and presses on the spinal cord, and many other things ALL caused by the muscle spasms. The ONLY way I can lay in bed is on my back propped up with many pillows and one big one under my knees, BUT, those muscles over the kidneys I was telling you about start to spasm when ANY weight is put on them. When I wake up in bed, with my weight on those muscles, the medication is worn off, and I cannot move and spasms start up. The 'only' way I can sleep is in a recliner. I can disperse my weight so I am not putting pressure on the muscles.
I did come up with a solution to being able to sleep in bed with my husband. My Dad. He is VERY good with woodworking, so I asked him to help build us a headboard that comes out on the sides like a Wing-Back style chair. That way I CAN sleep in bed while sitting up and dispersing my weight OFF the back muscles, but he won't build one. I don't know why? Thanks, Dad! ALL I want to do sometimes is be IN A REAL BED! That will remain a dream. (Not sweet!) We ALL have dreams, hopes and desires! They don't all come true, either, so . . . I was thinking of pushing the bed up against the wall, but then HOW can I get INTO bed? LOL!!!
I refuse to be negative about this disease and to be POSITIVE!
If you would like to learn MORE about Stiff Person Syndrome, you can do so by going here: What in the World is Stiff Person Syndrome It is the BEST paper on this disease. For a more scientific paper about this disease, you can visit
Meanwhile, we have Facebook Groups, Private Groups, Support Groups, and more! Websites that help each other out, people who help each other, we call each other on the phone for support and more! We STICK TOGETHER! Without each other, we have no one.
What helps ME the MOST? My Book Blog! I get to focus on the POSITIVE and read GREAT books, taking my mind OFF of this disease! It can be VERY TOUGH to keep up sometimes, but I TRY! I may not always keep up, but I TRY! I NEVER look at ANYTHING AS A FAILURE, BUT AN ATTEMPT! The mind has a LOT to do with EVERYTHING IN LIFE! Keep a healthy mind and you can go FAR!
Thanks for reading this! I hope you get a chance to read more about this and other Rare Diseases! If you feel like helping money-wise, there are ways to do so at those websites listed above!
Again, thank you for reading this!
Here's the video:

BONUS SCENE FOR "Hopeless" by Colleen Hoover!

This was originally a Christmas present to the Reader's on Colleen Hoover's blog to us! Thanks, Colleen!
The entire book, Hopeless, is from Sky's point of view, and now we get to read a short story from Holder's point of view, which is amazing! It shed even more light onto the story!
I'm sure this will be incorporated into the 3rd book, eventually, which is what Colleen Hoover is working on right now! This book will be from Holder's 'POV', which is super because it's NOT often we get to read the POV from the guy! I enjoyed it tremendously! Also, it's not often you get this kind of inside scoop!
(Read her blog! There are ALL KINDS of goodies there! ALWAYS!) It's a super simple address which is
Thanks, Colleen, for giving this to us!

GUESS WHAT?? Want to read this? YOU CAN!!! GO HERE!

About the Author:

I love music. LOVE music. Namely The Avett Brothers, Lumineers, Pink, Eminem. I have eclectic taste? If you have any recommendations, send them my way!

I'm addicted to diet pepsi and could tell you in a taste-test which restaurant it came from. It's a serious addiction, I tell you. 

I get stoked whenever I get a message from goodreads saying I have a new friend request me, dangit! 

If you want to know when I have new books out or just want to be inundated by random, pointless blog posts, follow me at 

Avoid my Twitter at all cost. It's propaganda. 

(Her Twitter handle is @ColleenHoover - follow! It's GREAT!)

Pre-Event FESTIVITY with a Guest Post by Claude Bouchard as we get ready for 7 NEW KILLER THRILLERS event for March 5th to the 7th!

Click here on this LINK: to go to the ABOVE for MORE info! See below, too, after the Guest Post!

BUT FIRST, read on! One of the authors from one of the books has a Guest Post for us! Not only this, but I will have another on March 3rd, and two more on the first 2 days of the event! Make sure to bookmark this blog or mark your calendars to come back to catch these amazing Authors' Guest Posts! So here is our first one!

Claude Bouchard - Guest Post

Coincidence or Conspiracy?

I've always been a stickler for accuracy in details and this certainly applies when I write. A realist by nature, even though I deal in fiction, if it exists, I don't make it up. If it can't be done, don't expect any of my characters to do it. That said, roughly six months ago, while working on the seventh thriller of my Vigilante series entitled Femme Fatale, I wrote the following sentence:

The Boeing 777-300 came to a halt at Gate B59 of Roissy-Charles de Gaulle Airport’s Terminal 2A at 8:14 a.m. and Air Canada flight AC870 had arrived, sixteen minutes ahead of schedule.

The flight referred to in that sentence exists and the plane is really that particular model. Even the gate and terminal information are accurate. The sixteen minute thing, I made up just for fun.

By now, some of you are probably saying, "Whoop-Dee-Do. What’s your point?" To that, I say, "Hang on a second. That wasn't the weird part. It's coming. Chill." Moving along…

About two months ago, friends from Australia informed me they would be vacationing in Vietnam come spring and suggested we might do the same and hook up with them. My wife and I found this to be a terrific idea and started looking into flight possibilities. From past experience, I knew that flights to Asia from Montreal generally involve connecting in NYC, Chicago or Vancouver then heading west for twelve to fourteen hours over the Pacific. The weird part is getting closer.

After looking at possible flights, effectively going through Vancouver to either Seoul or Tokyo then on to Hanoi, we decided to contact a travel agent to see what she could come up with in terms of flight plans and price. To our surprise, the agent proposed heading east, connecting with our flight to Vietnam in Europe. Flying time would be about the same but we would be waiting a lot less between flights and leaving home a half day later. The price was the same so we went ahead and booked our trip. Now for the weird part…

Recently, while working through a final edit run of Femme Fatale before its release in March, I came upon the above-mentioned sentence and felt a sudden chill… I realized my wife and I would be on Air Canada flight AC870 to Paris in May, on our way to Vietnam…

Coincidence or conspiracy? I’m going for coincidence for now, but when I get on that plane, if I see a gorgeous redhead in a second row Executive First Suite, I’m going to freak…

~ ~ ~ ~

About me:
I was born in Montreal, Canada, where I still reside with my spouse, Joanne. I completed my studies in human resources, accounting and management at McGill University and worked in various management capacities in the fields of HR and finance for a handful of firms for what seemed like decades, because it was. I should also mention I love pizza, but who doesn't and, in my opinion, nothing rocks more than cooking on the grill.
My first stab at writing was in 1995, the result being my first novel, Vigilante. This was subsequently followed by The Consultant (1996) and Mind Games (1997), all of the same series. Professional obligations and other creative interests led me away from writing for a number of years but I found myself busy at the keyboard in 2009 with The Homeless Killer after having finally published my first three novels. I then followed up with 6 Hours 42 Minutes in 2011, also part of the Vigilante series born from Vigilante. In July 2011, I released ASYLUM, my first stand-alone novel and Discreet Activities, my sixth Vigilante crime thriller was published in January 2012. In October 2012, I penned and released Something’s Cooking, a faux-erotica parody and cookbook under the pseudonyms Réal E. Hotte and Dasha Sugah. I think I'm really starting to like this writing thing. My eighth novel and seventh installment of the Vigilante series, Femme Fatale, has just been released.
Besides writing, editing and promoting my work, I also spend some artistic energy with my five guitars, oil paints and watercolours. Other passions include cooking (big time with fine wine to go with it, of course), reading, traveling and working out just enough to stay fit. It should also be noted that following several years of practice, I now excel at being cat furniture for Krystalle and Midnight, or so they tell me.

Drop by for a visit anytime at

SPECIAL THANKS to Claude Bouchard! Wow! Besides writing, he sounds like a lot of fun, too! He has a lot of fun and unique interests! I LOVE getting to know authors, don't you?

Come back on March 3rd for another Guest Post!

Thanks for coming by, everyone! Leave a comment if you would like to!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Leap Into Books Giveaway Hop! Feb 28th to March 7th, 2013! Come on over and HOP blog to blog!

Thanks to our Sponsors of this Hop, I Am A Reader, Not a Writer and Jinky is Reading


If you would like to see what I'm giving away and enter this Hop, then
It will take you to where you need to go!
Have fun!


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

BOOK BLAST! $50 Amazon GC OR $50 PayPal CASH Giveaway for "Fields of Elysium" by A B Whelan!

Fields of Elysium by A.B. Whelan

How can love mend a heart full of hate?

Small town girl, Molly Bennett, moves to Los Angeles where she becomes an outsider while attending Beverly Hills High School. It seems life cannot be any more dreadful. Then one day after school, something magical happens. On a secluded hike in the Hollywood Hills, Molly chases her disobedient mutt and only friend into a hidden cavern. She stumbles upon a strange glimmering gateway that transports her to Arkana, a planet that is the cradle of an advanced human race. There, teenagers navigate amazing flying vehicles, compete in perilous games for glory, and possess supernatural powers. While Molly tries to wrap her mind around this unbelievable discovery, she meets the alluring and mysterious Victor Sorren. He is a Sentinel Apprentice, whose hatred toward people from Earth is beyond understanding. Yet every time Victor unpredictably saves Molly's life, his heart draws closer to hers, no matter how much he tries to fight against it. It further complicates things that their growing friendship is strictly forbidden. Earth people are prohibited in Arkana, yet Molly continues to cross through the portal to Arkana to see Victor. Torn between their double lives, they go down a dangerous path, from where there is no return and multiple endings.

Fields of Elysium is a suspenseful, romantic tale full of forbidden secrets, unimaginable danger, deception, and the never-ending fight for true love.


"The novel's take on otherworldly travel is a compelling one, and the romantic plot will likely appeal to Twilight fans." - Kirkus Reviews

"I expected a good love story with a paranormal twist. I got so much more. I think you should take the chance and read it. Let this book take you on the adventure, fall in love." - Young Adult and Teen Readers

"Fields of Elysium is a fabulous read. ... Whelan paints her faith into the fabric of her story with deft, light brushstrokes, making her work accessible to all, no matter their spiritual beliefs or background." - Readers Favorite

"I escaped into this fantasy world, author, A.B.Whelan, created and I didn’t want Molly to go. From detailed descriptions, to sweet romance, and to all the twist and turns in the story, it had me captivated from page one." - Mary Ting, author of the Crossroads Saga

"Whelan's writing is very vivid and descriptive. It's more formal than the average YA novel, but I enjoyed the lyrical and mesmerizing quality to it. I thought the overall story read like a fairy tale--very sweet." - Megan Thomason, author of Daynight

Author A.B. Whelan

A.B.Whelan is a Hungarian born, American writer. She currently lives with her husband and two children in Southern California.

While growing up in a wealthy Eastern European family, she had a chance to travel Europe. Later as an adult, she visited Africa and the Middle East and lived in Ecuador and in Crete.

Tour Schedule

$50 Book Blast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash plus a gift bag of one signed copy of Fields of Elysium, a scrabble-tile pendant with a butterfly image on a chain necklace, and a fridge magnet.

Ends 3/11/13

Gift Bag open to US only.  If winner is international they will receive only the gift card or paypal cash.

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The New York Times "FICTION" Top 15 Best Sellers for the week ending February 24th, 2013

Welcome!! To this week's edition of the BEST OF THE BEST! Did you see my recent post from The Huffington Post? Yes! THREE brick and mortar bookstores are taking Amazon and the Big 6 Publishing houses to COURT over the monopoly Amazon and these publishers have over ebooks AND THEIR PRICING!
In my opinion, it's only RIGHT!
The issue is this: Amazon has DRM protected files NOT allowing YOU to purchase an Android device and download the LIBRARY OF BOOKS YOU HAVE PURCHASED onto that NEW DEVICE! Many of you already know this, and it probably ticks you off that you paid GOOD MONEY to obtain these books, BUT CANNOT READ THEM UNLESS you have an Amazon Kindle OR APP. Ticks you off, huh! Darned right! It also ticks off these stores, and ALL brick and mortar stores. It's NOT fair, nor right.
The lawsuit will be just like the one that was for the I-tunes DRM protected files back in 09. Well, if you want to know ALL about it, Read it HERE!
Essentially, Amazon and these publishers ALL together, with the ebooks, are pretty much putting the brick and mortar bookstores OUT OF BUSINESS! The news reporter, Andrew Losowsky wrote an EXCELLENT ARTICLE ALL ABOUT IT! Please go read it, link to his page, and you can read the ENTIRE lawsuit in his article!
I REALLY HOPE this goes through! It's about time that Amazon does NOT have the monopoly on ebooks! I am hoping the DRM protection DOES get REVOKED! I don't see this lawsuit settling, but going in front of a Judge to make the final decision, which is the way it should be.
In my article, I suggested Amazon should have a set-up similar to Smashwords. Do you know about Go there and check it out! Independent Authors use it to publish their books, and you just might find some for FREE you like! You can USE ANY DEVICE TO PURCHASE FROM SMASHWORDS! Their files are NOT DRM protected! HA! At least I am HOPING it works out like this!
The same would end up going for Barnes and Noble, I'm sure. Their books are DRM protected as well. Then we won't have Kindle files, EPUB files, and more! I''m HOPING!
What do you think? Leave a comment!

Okay! Let's get to the books!


1. Safe Haven by +Nicholas Sparks 
Print Book: $10.19
Ebook:        $  5.98


 2. A Week in Winter by Muave Binchy
Print Book: $14.32
Ebook:        $12.99


3. Guilt: An Alex Delaware Novel by Jonathan Kellerman
Print Book: $18.48
Ebook:        $12.99


 4. Gone Girl: A Novel by Gillian Flynn
Print Book: $13.75
Ebook:        $12.99


5. Wait For Me: Romantic Suspense by Elisabeth Naughton
Print Book: $11.99
Ebook:        $    .99


 6. Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy by +E L James 
Print Book: $8.77
Ebook:        $9.99


7. Rush (The Breathless Trilogy) by Maya Banks
Print Book: $8.98
Ebook:        $7.99


 8. Touch and Go by Lisa GardnerPrint Book: $14.44
Ebook:        $12.99


9. Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren 
Print Book: $8.98
Ebook:        $7.59


10. Private Berlin by James Patterson and Michael Sullivan
Print Book: $18.47
Ebook:        $10.99


11. Fifty Shades Freed: Book Three of the Fifty Shades Trilogy by +E L James 
Print Book: $8.77
Ebook:        $9.99

12. The Silver Linings Playbook [movie tie-in edition]: A Novel by Matthew Quick
Print Book: $10.20
Ebook:        $  9.99


13. Fifty Shades Darker: Book Two of the Fifty Shades Trilogy by +E L James
Print Book: $8.77
Ebook:        $9.99


14. If You Stay by Courtenay Cole
Print Book: Not available at this time/This may have been bought out by a publisher and be available at a later date?
Ebook: $3.99


15. The Power Trip by Jackie Collins
Print Book: $18.47
Ebook:        $13.49

INTRODUCING A "NEW RELEASE"! By one of my favorite authors, author of 3 previous books you may well know, allow me to introduce:

Traces of Kara (A Thriller) by +Melissa Foster 
Print Book: $11.98
Ebook:        $  4.99

You can catch my REVIEW of this book "HERE!"

There we have it! Our Top 15 Best Sellers for this previous week!
What are YOU reading? Leave it in the COMMENTS below! We'd ALL LOVE to know!
I'm currently reading "A Cold and Lonely Place" by Sara J Henry, just released on February 5th, 2013! Another GREAT Psychological Thriller that takes place in the Adirondack Mountains! I just finished "Cover of Snow" by +Jenny Milchman. You can catch my review of that book "HERE!"  and both take place there! It's Winter in the books, and Winter here! I'm SOOOO cold!!! Brrrr! GREAT books!

Don't forget!! Leave your comment telling us what YOU are reading!
Thanks for coming!

Friday, February 22, 2013

NEW RELEASE! "Traces of Kara" by Melissa Foster - REVIEW

Goodreads Synopsis:
Kara Knight can't wait to leave her hometown for the promise of nursing school and a fresh start on her future--leaving behind an over protective mother, a broken heart and painful memories. However, twenty-five miles away, the brother she doesn't know is determined to be reunited with the sister he cannot forget. 

Kara is abducted and thrown into her obsessive captor's delusional world. As the past she thought she knew unravels around her, Kara struggles to make sense of the memories that come creeping back, threatening her sanity and her safety. Meanwhile, Kara's mother races against time to save the daughter she fears she will lose when a long-held secret is revealed. The hours tick away as Roland plays out his plan--to take Kara with him into death at the exact moment of their birth, never to be separated again. 

TRACES OF KARA is an action packed, pulse pounding psychological thriller/suspense novel that features a determined killer who slowly loses his grip on reality as his carefully detailed plan starts to fall apart and a heroine determined to move forward with her life who now must reconcile everything she believed to be true about her family with the reality of their tragic past.

My Take:
5 Stars!

When Melissa Foster asked me to read and review this new book she had just finished, "Traces of Kara", of course I JUMPED at the opportunity! I've read and reviewed her last three books, (ALL of her books, including this new one, are all stand-alone books) and they are all pure excellence! Now, having read this fourth book, it, too, is pure excellence! I LOVE her writing!
I've been waiting (impatiently!) for this, her next book which is her fourth, which felt like forever between books this time, and finally, here it is! (No, it hasn't been that long, it just felt like it to me because I LOVE her writing!) Yes, like her other books, this book, as well, does not disappoint! In fact, I believe this one is the BEST yet! I would put her writing of this book up against any other Psychological Thriller author and believe me when I say she will outshine ANY of them with this book!
I started reading this book only knowing that it was supposed to be a lot darker than her others, but that was all I knew. I had no idea what to expect, no details, not even the genre. In my opinion, when you have a favorite author you love to read, there is nothing like going into their new book not knowing what to expect! This is a thrill itself! This book is a different genre than her other books, but one of my favorites! A Psychological Thriller! I happen to love this genre of books, and I was in my glory!
This book starts off with a deranged man named Roland. He says one thing - Marissa, and that they will be reunited. He repeats this name over and over again, obsessively. He wants Marissa and looks forward to their 'reunion' on their birthday. He happens to have an old photo of her as a young girl. He rubs his thumb over and over the image of her in this photo, so much so, that the image is almost invisible now. He's been stalking a young woman for a while, as his goal is to be reunited with Marissa. He is stalking a woman, and has in his head this woman is Marissa.
We meet a young woman whose name is Kara, (not Marissa). Kara lives with her mother, and her step-father Ted, and she is getting ready to go into Nursing School, which is her dream.
Things drastically change for her.
So how does 'Marissa' fit in all of this?
This is just the very beginning of the story! Hold on! You've got a long ride ahead of you full of twists and turns so unexpected, you'll never know what's coming, or what hit you!
Melissa Foster pens this 'intense' Psychological Thriller leaving you on the edge of your seat flipping the pages as fast as you can. (Many people will say this about a lot of books, but please believe me when I say that about this book as I really 'do' mean it.) You cannot second-guess Foster's writing as to what's going to happen next, where Roland will pop up next, what he's going to do, nor can you guess where the plot is headed. I learned this in her book, "Come Back to Me". I knew I was not going to be able to second-guess what was going to happen. I just read and read, and read, and read!
The suspense is so profound, the next time you find yourself having to go outside at 2:00am to get your dog because her leash got stuck, and you are home alone because your husband works afternoons and they are on 12-hour shifts, and the dog is crying for you, YES! You'll find yourself NOT wanting to go out alone, even having the dog with you! LOL! You go to get her, but find yourself looking over your shoulder and all around, and you cannot get back into the house fast enough, nor lock that door behind you quick enough either! Then you worry if the deadbolt is strong enough!
Melissa Foster is the 'ONLY' author who has been able to break through and reach my emotions. I really did cry in her previous books, or in this book (several times) it made me jump and/or look over my shoulder inside and outside of my own home, and I am NOT one to scare easily! (You never knew where Roland is/was, or where he's going to pop up next!) This just does not happen to me, and no other author has been able to do this to me from any book, except for Melissa's writing! She has a special talent with her writing, because it is so real and believable. This really 'can' happen.
Her writing is also very meticulous as every "i" is dotted, and every "t" is crossed. The plot is thought out from start to finish and you do not doubt what is happening and will not be able to guess what will happen next in her books as they are so realistic.
This is one book you will NOT soon forget. It will stay with you, especially If you enjoy Psychological Thrillers, I HIGHLY recommend this book for you.
I received this book for FREE directly from the author, Melissa Foster, in exchange to read and write a review about it. It is NOT required for this review to be either positive or negative, but of my own honest opinion. “Free” means I was provided with ZERO MONIES to read this book nor to write this review, but to enjoy the pure pleasure of reading it. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255,
Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

This book is a book I've been DYING to read! It's going into my "Just for Fun Reading Challenge - 2013" for the month of February!

Traces of Kara (A Thriller) by +Melissa Foster 
Print Book: $11.98
Ebook:       $  4.99

"Three Sisters" (Emily Castles Mysteries) by Helen Smith - REVIEW

               You can find the Tour Schedule HERE!

Goodreads Synopsis:
Twenty-six-year-old Londoner Emily Castles has been invited to a party in the big house at the end of her street. How could she know, as she left her house that evening, that she was making an appointment with death?

This 70-page comic mystery novella will appeal to fans of M C Beaton and Alexander McCall Smith.

“Fast-paced, funny, and mysterious.” Socrates’ Book Reviews

“It grips you from the very beginning.” Babs Books Bistro

“Bright, colourful and full of surprises.” Vine Reviewer

“Fast-paced and unusual, I highly recommend this one.” Eva’s Sanctuary

My Take:
I happened to LOVE this short story! I found it as entertaining as Emily Castle, our protagonist did! Things never ceased to entertain her in this short story, as well as myself. Helen Smith did a great job engaging us with Emily Castle in this short story. This is Book One of Two in this series, and I think the best of the two. 
Emily is invited to a new neighbors party, a Bonfire, in honor of Bonfire night (Halloween), also in honor of Diwali, a Hindu festival of light involving a lot of Fireworks, and Guy Fawkes night, a British holiday and another reason for the Fireworks. (The book has much more detail about these holidays, which take place in England and seem to be all rolled into one big one.) 
She gets to the party, meets her new, overtly extravagant neighbors, and essentially finds out these are very quirky people who more or less just moved into this house, and as they called it, moved in to decorate and take care of this big, neglected empty home, decorating it to celebrate it with art and more before they move on home back to Hungary. It did indeed been renovated for the better by these people, overly so, but good as it gave this distressed house some life back to it. (Essentially, these people are house squatters!) 
They had a huge party in honor of all the previous celebrations I just mentioned, dressed up as all types of different, crazy, zany  characters. One of them was acting as a DJ, and they even had a show planned as well. This show involved sisters doing a knife show,   kind of like in a circus. 
As this performance takes place, a sisters ends up with a knife landing in the center of her chest/a fake knife. It killed her, or at least Emily thinks it might have, but it's all part of the act, right? This turns into a mystery as Emily thinks a murder has taken place. She knows what she saw, but is talked out of it. She discusses this with a friend, Dr. Muriel, and together, this starts them on an investigation to find a 'supposed' murdered sister. 
Helen Smith's writing is SO entertaining in this story, a mystery, and yet a light-hearted comedy at times, too! All of her books are very entertaining, humorous, and hold your attention till the very end! 
I really enjoy reading her writing! She is British, so we stumble upon some words at times that are not used here quite as much, so I've found myself looking them up online at times, out of curiosity because I 'have' to know what they mean! Other times, the British just have words for things that we don't, which makes her writing enjoyable again, and there I go again, back on the internet trying to find out what a 'whatever' is! 
Truly, this was a very entertaining book that I think anyone could sit down for a few hours and enjoy immensely. Well worth taking the time to read this one! I received this book for FREE from the author, and Book Blast Promotions, in exchange to read and write a review about it. It is NOT required for this review to be either positive or negative, but of my own honest opinion. “Free” means I was provided with ZERO MONIES to read this book nor to write this review, but to enjoy the pure pleasure of reading it. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255,
Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Tour Schedule

Baked Alaska by Josi S. Kilpack

An Alaskan cruise is the setting for amateur detective Sadie Hoffmillers latest adventure. Sadie plans to spend time relaxing with her two grown children, Breanna and Shawn, and her boyfriend, Pete, while enjoying the luxury and cuisine of an elegant cruise ship and helping to plan her daughters upcoming wedding. But even as the crew prepares to leave port, Sadie has suspicions about the voyage ahead and the relationship between her normally easygoing son and a mysterious female passenger he obviously knows but refuses to discuss. When the woman is discovered unconscious during the second night at sea, Sadies apprehension escalates. Over the last few years, Sadie has developed an extreme dislike for secrets and it would seem her son is keeping one from her. *Includes eight new mouthwatering recipes, tested and approved by the official bakers of Sadies Virtual Test Kitchen.

Praise for Baked Alaska

Josi Kilpack has done it again. You would think that all these events that occur in Sadie's life wouldn't be natural, but Josi Kilpack has a way of making you believe that it just "happens" and it is normal. I have grown to love Sadie's character, even if she is a busybody, you can't help but cheer for her as she attempts to solve a mystery or crime. One of my favorite series. :)

~Goodreads Reviewer Lacey McNeill

Author Josi S. Kilpack

Josi S. Kilpack grew up hating to read until she was thirteen and her mother handed her a copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond. From that day forward, she read everything she could get her hands on and credits her writing “education” to the many novels she has “studied” since then. She began her first novel in 1998 and hasn’t stopped since. Her seventh novel, Sheep’s Clothing, won the 2007 Whitney Award for Mystery/Suspense, and Lemon Tart, her ninth novel, was a 2009 Whitney Award Finalist. Josi was the Best in State winner in literature for 2012 and currently has two books (Banana Split and Tres Leches Cupcakes) as finalists in the 2012 Whitney awards. Josi currently lives in Willard, Utah, with her family.

Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 3/20/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

"BREAKING NEWS" from Huffington Post! LINKS provided - 3 Independent Brick and Mortar Bookstores are taking Amazon and the so-called Big 6 Publishers to Court OVER DRM Protected EBOOK files!


Time to level the playing field here! 3 Brick and Mortar Bookstores are taking Amazon AND the Big 6 Publishers to court in an ebook lawsuit suing against DRM lock on ebooks monopolizing the market for the KINDLE ONLY with the intent on putting the Brick and Mortar Bookstores OUT OF BUSINESS!
About time, I say!

This article below has been COPIED AND PASTED FROM THE HUFFINGTON POST written by Andrew Losowsky, AND BOTH the original article AND  Lawsuit can be accessed at this link provided:

I ask you PLEASE VISIT THIS LINK provided and follow Andrew Losowsky via Twitter, and on The Huffington Post under Books. That is an excellent source of information about books! I love following books there!

I want to share this article with ALL of you, and I have my own thoughts written AFTER this copied and pasted article. To read the FULL LAWSUIT, please go to the link. Here's what Andrew Losowsky wrote:

Three independent bookstores are taking Amazon and the so-called Big Six publishers (Random House, Penguin, Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster and Macmillan) to court in an attempt to level the playing field for book retailers. If successful, the lawsuit could completely change how ebooks are sold.
The class-action complaint, filed in New York on Feb 15., claims that by entering into confidential agreements with the Big Six publishers, who control approximately 60 percent of print book revenue in the U.S., Amazon has created a monopoly in the marketplace that is designed to control prices and destroy independent booksellers.
The complaint centers on digital rights management, or DRM, the technological lock that prevents consumers from transferring any ebook they buy on an Amazon Kindle onto, say, a Nook or Kobo ereader.
DRM comes with all ebooks sold by the major publishers, with the exception of Macmillian's Tor and Forge imprints, and it means that if a consumer decides to switch to another company's ereading device, he or she would lose access to any already purchased ebooks. DRM used to be a feature of digital music sold on iTunes, until Apple abandoned the practice in 2009.
The bookstores making the complaint are the Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, based in Albany, N.Y., Fiction Addiction in Greenville, S.C., and Posman Books of New York City, though the suit states that these stores are suing on behalf of "all independent brick-and-mortar bookstores who sell e-books."
Alyson Decker of Blecher & Collins PC, lead counsel acting for the bookstores, described DRM as "a problem that affects many independent bookstores." She said the complaint is still in the process of being served to Amazon and the publishers and declined to state how it came about or whether other bookstores had been approached to be party to the suit.
"We are seeking relief for independent brick-and-mortar bookstores so that they would be able to sell open-source and DRM-free books that could be used on the Kindle or other electronic ereaders," Decker explained to The Huffington Post by telephone.
Such a move would lead to a reduction in Amazon's dominant market position, and completely reshape the ebook marketplace.
A spokesman for Fiction Addiction declined to comment as legal proceedings are ongoing. The other plaintiffs and Amazon did not respond to a request for comment. Update: A spokesman for Amazon said that they do not comment on active litigation.
The case comes against a backdrop of a Department of Justice lawsuit against Apple and five of the Big Six publishers over ebook price-fixing, a move that was widely seen as benefiting Amazon's dominant position among ebook retailers. Four of the publishers in that case have since settled with the Justice Department.
Though the independent booksellers' complaint is likely to be popular among many who follow the book industry, the three plaintiffs face a huge battle against such major players. Still, Decker said, "We wouldn't have filed it if we weren't hopeful [of winning]."
A copy of the class-action complaint is embedded below:

To read the Lawsuit that was filed, please click on the top LINK I have provided. The ENTIRE lawsuit is on that page.

To be honest, I've been waiting for something like this to happen! FINALLY! 
Yes, if we want to purchase a DIFFERENT reading device, we LOSE OUR BOOKS we have already purchased, (and HOW MUCH MONEY have we spent at Amazon? IF you own a Kindle or Kindle Fire) unless we keep that device, too, or use an APP designed to read OUR Amazons' purchased books. Once we purchase from Amazon, that is the ONLY device we can read our books on. There is NO switching back and forth between ANY OTHER E-READING DEVICE, which is wrong! That keeps us OWNED BY AMAZON! As a matter of fact, I have told many people that "Amazon owns me!" They do! My entire ebook library is there, then I end up shopping for other things out of convenience AND SHIPPING COSTS which have just increased, too!

In MY opinion, another reason they keep these books as a DRM is SO YOU "DO SHOP AT AMAZON", to KEEP us a customer of theirs, and theirs alone. They can set the price of ebooks of what WE "MUST" PAY, which is NOT cheap. MOST ebooks are selling at $12.99 OR HIGHER. Amazon and the Publishers have been reluctant to go OVER that amount, but DID FLIRT WITH IT FOR A WHILE until the PREVIOUS LAWSUIT ABOUT PRICE SETTING was taken to court with 3 Publishers, and the final 4 Publishers that had not YET been taken to court at that time has 'just' been settled, which I found out on Saturday, February 17th, 2013. Please watch your email associated with Amazon in the event you receive a refund of monies resulting from that lawsuit. The last lawsuit that went through, I received an email telling me I had a CREDIT! I did. It happened to be $12.99 from any and all ebooks that I had purchased from those 3 Publishers. Since then, I HAVE seen Amazon reluctant to go OVER $12.99, BUT THEY DO NOW! I should clear this up - the books that DO seem to go OVER that price-point are the OTHER Publishers that are now being taken to court. They want $14.99 PER EBOOK! (Sometimes the ebook costs MORE than the physical book! I REFUSE to purchase a digital file when it costs MORE than the physical book!) I have seen prices up to $19.99 for an ebook, specifically J K Rowlings for "The Casual Vacancy"! Currently, the NEW going rate seems to be going up to $14.99 for an ebook. I HAD to draw the line!

Personally, in MY own purchasing of ebooks, I will NOT go over $9.99. I do not feel ANY computer file is WORTH ANY AMOUNT OVER $10. That cuts out a LOT of Best Sellers, New Releases, popular books, the list goes on! Almost EVERY book you see on every post I do every Sunday of the NYT Top 15 Best Sellers are ALL $12.99 OR MORE, unless Self-Published by an Independent Author, or if the Publisher has not priced it extremely high, (who seem to be the Publishers that have already gone to court) which is NOT OFTEN. I think the pricing of ebooks is and ALWAYS has been RIDICULOUS! I've complained about this over and over in my article I post on Sundays. 

Once purchased, then, as the article states, and as you ALL KNOW, we are stuck with using Amazon's provided hardware or APPS to read them on. I never thought this was fair. 

WE have spent OUR MONEY for a book, shouldn't we be able to read it anywhere? On ANY device we want to? If we bought the physical copy of the book, we CAN read it ANYWHERE! I've HAD to give in to the fact that this is what comes with ebook territory, but maybe NOT any longer after this lawsuit goes to court, OR if they settle OUT of court.

I foresee this lawsuit WINNING, in MY opinion! I don't see how it could not. 

Amazon is going to have a LOT of work to do in making ALL the ebooks available to ALL ereading devices once this lawsuit goes through. The Kindle IS the #1 ereading device, as it almost HAS to be IF you want the latest and greatest of Independent Authors, especially! ONLY Amazon, which reaches SO MANY CONSUMERS, MORE SO THAN ANY OTHER E-SELLING Bookstore, has the ability to self-publish and sell Indie Authors' works, besides Smashwords, and how many people know about them? Not many at all.

SMASHWORDS, in my opinion, is the PERFECT EXAMPLE of how an ebook should be sold! It offers EVERY reading device download available! Bloggers have seen this site, as MANY Independent Authors use this site to first publish and sell their work, then eventually move on to Amazon as they are the ONLY place available for Self-Published books to be sold . If there are Readers out there that are not familiar with Smashwords, here is the LINK to go there: Check it out. There is a very long list of ALL ereading devices available today to choose to download your book onto. Then, in the future, if you go back to that site, in the event you have purchased a DIFFERENT EREADER, YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THAT BOOK AGAIN! That is the BEST example "I" think Amazon should follow suit on!

Anyway, we'll have to watch how this lawsuit progresses! I'm SURE they'll most likely settle out of court, unless it is pushed further to make ebooks available for ALL devices, then I believe it WILL go to a judge. We'll see. 

Hope I informed you well. Any comments?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Bridge by Karen Kingsbury - REVIEW

Goodreads Synopsis:
Molly Allen lives alone in Portland, but her heart is back in Franklin, Tennessee, where five years ago she walked away from a man she cannot forget, a rare sort of love she hasn't found since.
Ryan Kelly lives in Franklin and spends plenty of time at The Bridge-the oldest bookstore in historic downtown Franklin-remembering the long hours he and Kelly once spent there.
Now, Ryan and Molly's favorite bookstore is in trouble. For thirty years, Charlie and Donna Barton have run The Bridge, providing the people of middle Tennessee with coffee, conversation, and shelves of good books-even through dismal book sales and the rise of eBooks. Then in May a flood tore through Franklin and destroyed nearly every book in the store. By Christmastime, the bank threatens to pull the lease on The Bridge and is about to take the Bartons' house as well. Despondent, Charlie considers ending his life. And in the face of tragedy, miracles begin to unfold.

My Take:
2 Stars
This book was a disappointment to me because Karen Kingsbury is known for writing Life Changing Christian Fiction, and this book was not written in that manner, nor was there any reference in this book that it was that type of book. I felt this book was written more for the “mainstream public” to generate sales for this last holiday season, and sales alone.
This book also put the ebook down for taking sales away from physical books in this bookstore, which every bookstore now has the ability to sell ebooks, so this was not believable for me. If any bookstore wants to compete in the market, they MUST keep up with things such as the ebook, and they all know this. In fact, news of the 2012 sales for physical books has just been released, the date I saw these numbers was on February 17th, 2013. They only declined a half percent over the previous year. This tells me the ebook is NOT taking away sales of physical books, and quite frankly, never will. In fact, the ebook is generating additional sales for these very same books! This very miniscule decline has been demonstrated for the last 4 years in a row, and you also must remember we have gone through a huge recession during this time as well. Who is to say if it was the ebook or the recession that people still have not recovered from completely that physical books ONLY declined in sales this previous year by a half percent? A half percent is nothing!
I thought this was a sly move to add this into the her book,  appealing to the public more or less about ebooks taking away from physical books. This actually quite upset me that Karen Kingsbury would write this into one of her books!
Some people have mentioned this will become a Christmas Classic, but in my opinion, no. This book is not strong enough to stand the test of time to survive as a Christmas Classic with the mainstream public OR with KK’s fans. There is too much missing from this book. Details, story line, relationships, and especially for what she is known for most, and that is scripture, the ‘Life Changing Christian Fiction’. Although, as long as there are KK fans out there, and they missed the omission of Bible verses, references to God, etc., it will be a classic for them because they love anything KK writes.
Yet even the general public and some of her fans were not happy with the way this book was written, either. They detected something was missing from this book, and it was the omission of references to God and the scripture that she usually always puts into her books. This book also only skimmed the surface of things, never getting too deep. When KK writes, her books are generally hefty stories. This book is about less than half the size of her usual writing, so you knew right there it would not go too deep into things, and it did not. There were parts that were very sketchy. Why not take that other ebook and combine it with this book, probably how KK had written it in the first place? I’m confused about the way they did this, although, having not read the other book, I cannot give a statement of fact (my opinion) as to why the books seemed split.
Why was the Christian Fiction omitted, or left out? My guess is the mainstream public would not purchase a book with her usual writing, and in my opinion, this book was written for sales to the general mainstream public, and not just her fans. Why else would there have been so much advertising in the entire last 23% of this book about all her other books? In my opinion, it was in order to be able to introduce “NEW” readers (the mainstream public who would have bought this beautiful Christmas book had it been full of her usual writing) to her books, thus generating more sales for her books. It’s not like she really needs to advertise this much, by making the ‘purchaser of this book’ PAY for her advertisements. This is essentially what she did. We ALL were fooled and shocked as we were reading along and it ended at 77%!
Why did this story did not work for me? It is unbelievable.
The story was nice, but only in the face of tragedy does the community come together to help Charlie, and his wife Donna, owners of The Bridge Bookstore that had their bookstore wiped completely out of books by the 100 year flood. “If” the community cared more, then Ryan and Molly, both former customers and friends of the owners, back to this town for this holiday season, neither knowing the other would be there, would not have had to form a rally to get the public to donate books to ‘restock this store’ completely with books given to them from the community so the owner’s would not lose it. Again, this only happened after Charlie had a tragedy happen to him, and Ryan formed a rally for the public to donate books.
My question is: would this have happened in real life? No. Would the community have been able to restock the shelves of this bookstore from top to bottom ‘completely’? No. It’s a nice idea, but in reality it would never happen to the extent it did in this book.
Molly and Ryan are another story. They both come back to town for Christmas, here to the town where they went to college together and studied in this bookstore’s loft as close friends that could have become more, but they decided to end their friendship and go their separate ways after college was over. This ends happily for them in this book, but there is a whole other “ebook” dedicated to their relationship (funny it’s in an ebook ‘only’ format since this book seemed to put ebooks down for taking away sales of physical books). Do I want to read that other book (called “The Beginning”) and learn all the nitty-gritty after now knowing now how Molly and Ryan’s relationship ends? No. Why would the author give the ending away to another book she has written? Where was the editing for this book? Yes, she’s a famous, well-known author, but that does not mean it doesn’t need editing.
I thought this story might be predictable as most of KK’s books seem to be anymore, and it was. This is one thing I don’t like about an author – predictability. A lot of people LOVE and NEED predictability, and it seems KK delivers this just fine, no matter what the story is about. This book did deliver on that subject, thus making her fans happy.
The other thing that did not work ‘me’ is I need a novel that is deeper than what this one was. One that does more than skim the surface of things like this one did. (So add another 100 pages of writing if need be. This book was only 228 pages.) I need believable things to happen.
For instance, this town expected a flood every 50 to 100 years. Knowing this, they would have had Flood Insurance. Nothing was mentioned about this. What was mentioned was the sad story about the loss of the entire inventory of every book in this store, thus driving the tragedy. You could almost feel it coming. Realistically, and in other novels, this couple would have had flood insurance and everything could have gone back to normal soon, thus no tragedy. Maybe it would not have covered everything, but the books would have been the merchandise, and that would most likely have been covered. Perhaps the general public does not know that stores can purchase flood insurance? That is what did it for me, the knowledge that flood insurance is available, and no, they did not mention a word about it. Had she added that into the book, as I said above, it would not have provided a means for a tragedy to happen, so predictability, yes.
This book, since it was meant for the mainstream public, did have one thing that was missing from it as compared to her other books she has written, and that is the scripture and talk of God.
This book felt like it was intended to be written as one large novel, including the relationship between Molly and Ryan, yet it was cut in half to serve as an avenue for Christmas sales for one, and then an ebook for the people who know there is one about Molly and Ryan’s relationship while in college. I’ll be willing to bet the ebook is more like KK’s usual writing. Not everyone may know about this ebook, either.
This book, to me, was not written as KK’s Life Changing Christian Fiction, as the rest of her books are known for. It seemed to leave the reader feeling like something was missing from this story, (the Christian parts) but implied, in a way without saying anything about God), but showing the kindness of the community.
Again, the one thing that really got me was how this story ended at 77%. Out of the blue! The rest of the 23% were ALL ADS for her other books! People paid for her FREE advertising!
I received this book for FREE from Howard Books, through NetGalley, in exchange to read and write a review about it. It is NOT required for this review to be either positive or negative, but of my own honest opinion. “Free” means I was NOT provided with ANY MONIES to read this book nor to write this review, but to enjoy the pure pleasure of reading it. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255,
Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

The Bridge: A Novel by Karen Kingsbury
Print Book: $10.86
Ebook:       $ 7.99