Dragons Of Dirt By C. C. Hogan Review

Cover of Dragons of Dirt by C. C. Hogan.I loved this book! It is as good or maybe even better than the first book Girls of Dirt.

This one is a continuation of the story. It has a lot more of the Dragons in it. Dragons are everywhere! Very cool dragons they are too.

These dragons are pretty much like people. They like tending gardens, olive groves, fishing, making beer, and drinking beer. Any idea how much beer a dragon can drink?? Lots. They better make it themselves or there won’t be enough.

This book has a lot of fighting going on. The good guys are trying to improve things for everyone. The bad guys only want things to be good for them. Which is pretty much business as usual, even in our world. Too bad we don’t have dragons here, even if they don’t eat people.

Anyway…this second book has lots of adventures, training people to fight, big battles, small battles, a few mysteries, even Romance! It has a bit of everything.

I was really glad that Mistry finally found someone else to love. That was way cool. So has Silvi. Ferret is still a bit shy but maybe she will get there too.

I will be starting on the third book soon and then the reading the first series.  My mom tells me the first series is better than the second series, so I’m really looking forward to that.

If you haven’t read these books yet, you should! The first book in each series is FREE so you don’t have any excuse not to try. None of them cost much and you can buy them here or through the links on the World of Dirt website.

About the Book:

In the hills above Meressa, on the southern coast of Preland and in the ruined town of Ponack, dragons are now returning and setting up small, optimistic communities.

Mistry must now work to put the rest of her centuries-old plan into action, but nothing can happen until they find the descendant of the Cwendrina.

But while Silvi and Ferret travel across Preland with Be-Elin and Mab-Abin, two old enemies are rising across the Yonder Sea in Bind.

Whether or not they are successful in their search, they will have to confront the warring Keffra-See and the memory of the Haftens.

For Silvi Farthing, it will mean a trial by war that will tear her soul in two.

The saga continues with Dragons of Dirt.

“I have done as you and Be-Elin asked and as I promised myself I would do.” He turned to the small women, his eyes bleak. “Why does it hurt so much?”

Mistry took his hands in hers, reached up and wiped the tears from his face. “Good deeds hurt the most, Edver. And good people feel the pain most of all.”

About the Author:

This bit is from the Dirt website-

C.C.  Hogan is addicted to writing and loves telling stories whether that is a fantasy like Dirt, about young people in The Stink or in music and poetry.

He is a Londoner by birth and writes full time.

Find out loads more at his Blog.

This bit is from Goodreads-

One way or another I have spent far too many years playing with words; by too many I mean I am completely addicted now and can’t do anything else.

I have been in the media most of that time, cooked quite a lot of the time and played guitar some of the rest of the time.

I am medium height, not pretty and talk far too much. You will only want me round to dinner if I agree to cook it for you.

I love lovers.

Visit the website for A World Called Dirt, check it out on Goodreads too. While you are at it follow C.C. Hogan on Twitter and Facebook.

The Tick Tock Man By R. M. Clark Blog Tour

The Tick Tock Man Blog Tour.
Cover of The Tick Tock Man by R. M. Clark.
The Tick Tock Man by R.M. Clark

Publication Date: May 2, 2017
Publisher: Month9Books/Tantrum Books

When the clocks in town stop, thirteen-year- old CJ discovers an unusual “clock world”; where most of the citizens are clock parts, tasked with keeping the big clocks running. But soon the seemingly peaceful world is divided between warring factions with CJ instructed to find the only person who can help: the elusive Tick Tock Man.

With the aid of Fuzee, a partly-human girl, he battles gear-headed extremists and razor-sharp pendulums in order to restore order before this world of chimes, springs, and clock people dissolves into a massive time warp, taking CJ’s quiet New England town with it.

Check it out on GoodReads or buy your copy at one of these booksellers:

Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

Guest Post:

Where did you get the idea for the “clock world”? It certainly sounds different.

I was sitting in a parking lot one day and I noticed that the large, analog clock on the tower of the building across the street had stopped and I wondered why. Driving home, I noticed another big clock had stopped. Hmmmm, I thought. Very strange. That night, I conceived an imaginary world of citizens who are tasked with keeping all the clocks in town running and also a reason for the clocks to stop. Just to be different, I gave the “clock world” German in origin and made the towns in it look like German villages like you would see on top of a fancy cuckoo clock. I was fortunate that real clock parts like fuzee, ratchet, strike, verge, and hammer made for excellent character names, and real German geographic names like Furtwangen, Kinzig, Murg and Enz easily fell into place for this story.

I added some conflict, a little adventure and, just like that, The Tick Tock Man came to life.

So why did all the clocks stop? You’ll have to read The Tick Tock Man to find out!

About the Author:

Promo picture of author R. M. Clark.R. M. Clark is a computer scientist for the Dept. of Navy by day and children’s book writer by night. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife and two sons.

 

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Be sure to enter the Giveaway! The prize is this cool looking watch. Any kid would love to have this. Even grown up kids like me. :)

One (1) winner will receive this kid’s watch (INT)
Pictue of the kids watch you could win in the Tick Tock Man Giveaway.
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Girls Of Dirt By C. C. Hogan

Girls of Dirt cover.Girls of Dirt by C. C. Hogan is a wonderful adventure! I loved this book! I started reading it right after breakfast the day before yesterday. I ended up not doing much of anything at all besides reading. All day!

The animals are lucky I remembered to feed them. I had to stop when the kindle quit. I had forgotten to charge it. Ticked me off.

Of course I couldn’t have done that if the hubby wasn’t out of town. He would have been fussing at me. It was a great day lol.

Now keep in mind this is a BIG book. I love big books. If they are good. Because I never want the story to end. In this case there are two more books in this series to read. So I’m happy about that.

This one is about girls. Well one of them is a girl. Not yet eighteen when the story starts. The others are more grown up, but still seem pretty girlish which is about right. I still feel like a girl most of the time and really have no intention of growing up. So there! :p

AND!! AND!! There be DRAGONS! Yea Dragons. I love dragons. Especially these dragons. They are not grown up either lol. And some of them are smart alecks.  All of them are good people (dragons?). I liked them.

The girls and the dragons end up trying to save the world from jerks. Which I’m all for. Wish they could come here. That would be way cool. I would love to ride a dragon.

It isn’t all sweetness and light. There is an attempted rape scene, some bloody battle scenes, and some really bad people to deal with.

Very good read! You will laugh, you will cry, you will cheer them on. You WILL want to read the other books in the series. They don’t cost much though and you can buy them here or through the links on the World of Dirt website.

About the Book:

It is five hundred years since the end of the great wars, and Pree and Farthing’s hopes of a new world are in tatters. The dragons are nothing more than children’s tales, the population of Dirt is smaller, tiny countries are ruled by greedy kings and humans are poorer and struggling.

But on the Isle of Hope, the weather is warm, the life is good and Silvi Farthing, the seventeen-year-old descendant of Johnson and Mistry, is making cheese and keeping goats.

But her little dream of independence is about to be turned upside down by her misogynistic and violent brothers, and she is not convinced that her rescuer is not actually worse!

So begins a new chapter in the story of Dirt as Silvi, Be-Elin, Mab-Abin and the Ancient Ferret, Weasel’s daughter, work to bring back the dragons, and look for a country where they will be accepted by the people and can help build a better future for all of Dirt.

Includes a recap of Series One.

About the Author:

This bit is from the Dirt website-

C.C.  Hogan is addicted to writing and loves telling stories whether that is a fantasy like Dirt, about young people in The Stink or in music and poetry.

He is a Londoner by birth and writes full time.

Find out loads more at his Blog.

This bit is from Goodreads-

One way or another I have spent far too many years playing with words; by too many I mean I am completely addicted now and can’t do anything else.

I have been in the media most of that time, cooked quite a lot of the time and played guitar some of the rest of the time.

I am medium height, not pretty and talk far too much. You will only want me round to dinner if I agree to cook it for you.

I love lovers.

Sounds like my kind of author. I don’t care if they are pretty or not. Just saying.

Visit the website for A World Called Dirt, check it out on Goodreads too. While you are at it follow C.C. Hogan on Twitter and Facebook.

Wheels Of Wisdom By Tim And Debbie Bishop

Cover of Wheels of Wisdom by Tim and Debbie Bishop.Wheels of Wisdom by Tim & Debbie Bishop is full of common sense, adventure, and yes wisdom.

The authors write about the trips they took across the country on bicycles. The book is sectioned into 52 lessons, and they are great for when you don’t have too much time to read. You can read each section seperatly, and go back a week later and not be lost.

Reading this is a wonderful way to travel the country without actually going anywhere. I could not imagine riding across the country before reading this.

If you are thinking about making a cross-country bike ride for the first time, there are lots of helpful tips and good advice in this book.

Most of the “lessons” apply to anyone, anywhere.  The book is well written and easy to read. I like it.

About the book:

After three tours totaling over 10,000 miles, Tim and Debbie Bishop have discovered wisdom and truth from the seat of a bicycle. In Wheels of Wisdom, the authors share the life lessons they learned on the open road.

When you’re looking for enlightenment, you can find it almost anywhere, be it from watching two herons saunter across a Florida road, pedaling to a dead-end in a Kentucky tobacco field, or observing eagles flying overhead in Montana. In each lesson of this book, you’ll find practical insights, inspiration, and encouragement—along with personal reflection questions that will help you:

– Adopt the right mind-set
– Conquer fear, worry, and inaction
– Overcome obstacles
– Relish life’s journey

Certain principles are universal whether you are bicycling across America or chasing your own lifelong dream.

You may be continuing your education, connecting with new people, looking to change jobs, or simply wondering about your future. Wherever you are in life, Wheels of Wisdom will give you a fresh perspective and new motivation for your own adventure. Not only will you encounter meaningful truth as you travel vicariously to new places and meet new people, you’ll also experience some genuine “God moments” and have some fun on the way.

So, pack up your dreams and passions and come along for the ride. It’s time to learn on the open road!

Read more about it on Goodreads, or buy you own copy on Barnes & Noble, or Amazon.com .

About the Authors:

Tim and Debbie Bishop have coauthored four books about their midlife launch into marriage, cross-country bicycle touring, and other matters of faith and inspiration. Two Are Better: Midlife Newlyweds Bicycle Coast to Coast captures the story behind the stories, while Bicycle Touring How-To: What We Learned shares their knowledge with bicycle touring wannabes. More recently, Wheels of Wisdom: Life Lessons for the Restless Spirit conveys some deeper truths that apply to virtually any life pursuit. Metaphors in Motion: Wisdom from the Open Road is an e-book containing more lessons like those found in Wheels of Wisdom.

The Bishops serve as volunteer Hope Coaches for TheHopeLine, a nonprofit organization that seeks to reach, rescue, and restore hurting teens and young adults. They are available for speaking engagements about their touring and life experiences. They reside in Thompson’s Station, Tennessee, and blog periodically at this Open Road Press website.

In addition to consulting for small businesses, Tim Bishop has written Hedging Commodity Price Risk: A Small Business Perspective, an e-book that explains hedging concepts in easy-to-understand language with practical examples. He has over thirty years of business experience and blogs on hedging at http://hedging.openroadpress.com. Tim is a native of Houlton, Maine.

Debbie Bishop has taught for over twenty-eight years. She has a passion for reading and seeing that young people do it well. She also has a strong interest in recovery issues and encouraging others with her own triumphs over such struggles earlier in her life. She is a featured author in Love is Out There by Melissa Williams-Pope, in which she relates her own story of finding love later than most. Debbie volunteers as a facilitator for FINDINGbalance, an online support group dedicated to helping women who are struggling with eating disorders. Debbie is also a native New Englander.

 

I received a free ARC to review.

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Song And Shadow By Annie Oldham Book Blast

possessionThese look to be good reads and you can get the first book free! I love getting free books.
Possession (Book 1 in the Song & Shadow trilogy):

Constance Jerome wants nothing more than to make it through her senior year of high school without being noticed. But when her mother drops the world’s biggest bombshell, flying under the radar just isn’t in the cards. It turns out Constance is a necromancer—one of the few who can travel the realms of the dead. Apparently it runs in the family. And now there’s a threat coming: another necromancer with plans to disturb the living and the dead, and Constance and her mother are the only ones who can stop him. If only they knew who he was. Or what exactly he was up to. A quiet senior year isn’t an option, and Constance must race to stop a high school apocalypse before the balance between the living and the dead is overturned.

Sign up for Annie’s Newsletter to get a FREE ebook copy of Possession!

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illusion
Illusion (Book 2 in the Song & Shadow trilogy):

Constance Jerome has survived a vampire attack, a team of possessed football players, and her first trip to Limbo. Now she has to prove that Mr Ransom is the dark necromancer before he topples the rules of the living and the dead. But then she discovers there is something else haunting the halls of Milltown High School, something with a sadistic side, something that has placed Constance’s best friend at the center of its unwanted affection. To save those she cares about, Constance must forge her own path as a necromancer and embrace the shadows that have plagued her. But will it be enough?

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add to goodreads

Excerpt from Illusion

The faint, watery light filtered down through the gap between buildings above them, casting wavering shadows around them, and one of them reached out a long, narrow finger. The nail was long and beginning to curve, and the knuckle was knobby. Constance realized they had that strange pearly translucency about them, the same as the rest of the spirits. Why weren’t these spirits in line with the others? She almost took a step forward when one of them looked up at her.

“Alive,” it whispered in a soft voice that sounded like the drone of bees.

“Alive?” came another whisper, this one urgent.

“Yes, alive.” There was a hunger in the voice that chilled Constance, and she found her legs were leaden. As her heart began to pump frantically, one of the figures laughed.

“Do you hear that, brothers? Do hear that glorious sound?”

“A heart.”

“Yes, a beating heart.”

“It is music.”

“Sweet, sweet music.”

Life leeches. Wasn’t that the name her mother had used? Spirits that refused to line up and be sorted and instead hid in the shadows and the alleys, using the last life lingering around new spirits to try to escape a fate that they all must eventually face. Her own pulsing life must seem like an all-you-can-eat buffet to them. Wasn’t it her job as a necromancer to put them where they belonged? But where did they belong? Could she sing and compel them all to follow her like some deathly Pied Piper and then bring them to stand before the Book of Days? She had to, or they would be on her in a moment. She licked her lips—they were cold and tasted of dust. She would need to sing, but her throat felt coated in dust, and there was a hollow pit starting in her heart right where she felt coldest.

One of the spirits inched toward her, his footsteps nothing more than a hush hush on the pavement. She couldn’t tell how tall he was with the way his shoulders curled in on themselves. His lank hair covered his features and his hands hung limp at his sides, but still he glided toward her, pulled to her like a moth that finds a flame irresistible, and she couldn’t look away.

 

annieAuthor Annie Oldham
I adore writing and reading YA novels. I grew up with an insatiable desire to read and then came the insatiable desire to write. I’ve been blessed to have both of those in my life. Away from my writing, I am the mother of the most adorable girls in the world, I have the best husband in the world, and I live in the most beautiful place in the world–along Utah’s Wasatch mountains.
I love to cook, sing, quilt, and play the piano.

Website * Facebook * Twitter

 

amazon or paypal$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 11/27/16

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com 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 and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Seven Sparks Book Blast & Giveaway

Picture of the Seven Sparks book collection.This collection sure has some interesting books in it. They all sound like good reads. The only problem is they are all the first book of a series, and you know very well you won’t be able to read just one. Not if you are anything like me. The first book will get your hooked and you are down for the count.

On the bright side that should keep you in good reads for a while.  :)

Spark: Seven Fantastic First-in-Series Novels

A collection of seven fabulous first-in-series novels from the Seven Sparks author collective. Dive into these adventurous, fantastical, romantic stories with strong heroines and plenty of action. Seven Sparks books are all compelling reads without explicit descriptions or swearing, making these books perfect for YA readers or anyone in the mood for a marvelous adventure! This multi-author bundle contains more than 2,200 pages of great reading.
Combined, these books have over 800 *5-star reviews* on Amazon, with an average ranking of 4.4 stars.

ABOUT THE BOOKS IN THE BUNDLE:

RUNES – USA Today Bestselling author Ednah Walters (Norse Mythology/Paranormal Romance/Angels & Demons/Clean Romance)

Seventeen-year-old Raine Cooper has enough on her plate dealing with her father’s disappearance, her mother’s erratic behavior and the possibility of her boyfriend relocating. The last thing she needs is Torin St. James—a mysterious new neighbor with a wicked smile and uncanny way of reading her.

FEYLAND: THE DARK REALM – USA Today bestselling author Anthea Sharp (Urban Fantasy/Science Fiction/YA Romance/Fae Adventure/Fairytales)

What if a high-tech computer game was actually a gateway to the Realm of Faerie? Jennet Carter soon finds herself battling the Dark Queen, falling for the perfect hero, and trying to save her own world from unspeakable danger!

STARSTRUCK – USA Today bestselling author Brenda Hiatt (Science Fiction/Sweet Romance/Coming of Age)

The middle of nowhere gets a lot more interesting for an orphaned astronomy geek when the hot new quarterback inexplicably befriends her and strange things start to happen: her acne clears up, her eyesight improves, and when they touch, sparks fly—literally! The incredible truth will change her mundane life forever—if she survives!

THE GATEKEEPER’S SONS – Bestselling author Eva Pohler (Greek Myths & Legends/Teen Fantasy/Paranormal Romance)

Fifteen-year-old Therese Mills is heading home in the car with her parents when someone begins shooting at them, sending their car into a lake. She finds the strength to escape, and winds up in the coma that introduces her to the twin sons of Hades… and plunges her into the center of a war brewing between the Gods on Mount Olympus.

SWORN TO RAISE – New York Times bestselling author Terah Edun (High Fantasy/Sword & Sorcery/Coming of Age/Action Adventure)

When peasant girl Ciardis is chosen for a position at court, she travels across the empire to begin a new life. To survive, she’ll need to master intrigue, befriend a crown prince, and learn to control magical abilities she never knew existed.

ATLANTIS RIPTIDE – Bestselling author Allie Burton (Mermaids/Clean Romance/Sci-Fi Fantasy/Genetic Engineering)

Pearl ran away from the circus, tired of her adoptive parents’ abuse of her special skills. Unknownst to her, a battle rages under the ocean and each side wants to use her powers for their cause. As Pearl discovers her talents she must choose her destiny – ignore the churning seas or swim into battle.

SAVING MARS – Bestselling author Cidney Swanson (Science Fiction/Teen Romance/Action Adventure)

Jessamyn pilots a ship to Earth to steal food for the Mars Colony at a time when Earth-Mars relations couldn’t be worse. Breaking rules of no contact, Jess falls for Pavel, nephew to Earth’s Chancellor, but when Jess’s brother is captured, she must choose: rescue her brother or her planet?

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$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

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Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com 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 and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Stone Cold Case By Catherine Dilts Review

Stone Cold Case by Catherine Dilts cover.Stone Cold Case: A Rock Shop Mystery by Catherine Dilts was a really interesting book.  I liked all the background information about rocks, rock shops, and small towns in the rocky mountains.

The story is a mystery, but it also has some adventure, an escape artist mule, a rescue dog, and lots and lots of rocks.

I really liked most of the characters, especially the main character Morgan. She seems a lot like me in fact. There should be more books about older women.

Most of the other characters are interesting too, I would like to find out more about the old fellow that helps with the rock shop.  There is a lot of material there for more books. I’m looking forward to reading them too (hopefully soon).

I want to find out what is up with Morgans brother, and how everything works out for her.

About the book:

Rock shop owner Morgan Iverson’s discovery of human remains reopens a cold case and unhealed wounds in a Colorado mountain town, while her find of a rare gemstone sparks a dangerous treasure hunt.

Sixteen years ago, prom queen Carlee Kruger vanished. When Carlee’s mother asks Morgan to investigate her death, the clues seem as convoluted as the coils on a fossilized ammonite. The hunt for the truth heats up as the local newspaper editor helps Morgan uncover the past. The rock shop’s mascot donkeys and an elderly cowboy chase after a Sasquatch look-alike who may hold the key to Carlee’s death. Whoever knows what happened to Carlee will do anything to keep the truth buried.

In book two of the Rock Shop Mystery series, amateur sleuth Morgan Iverson digs into gemstone prospecting to solve a Stone Cold Case.

About the Author:

Author Catherine DiltsTo Catherine Dilts, rock shops are like geodes – both contain amazing treasures hidden inside their plain-as-dirt exteriors. Catherine caught mountain fever after a childhood vacation in Rocky Mountain National Park. Determined to give up her flat–lander ways, she moved from Oklahoma to Colorado. Her husband, a Colorado native, proposed to her as they hiked Barr Trail on Pikes Peak. Catherine works as an environmental scientist, and plays at heirloom vegetable gardening, camping, and fishing. Her short stories appear in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. In her spare time, she attempts to lure wild donkeys to her property in the mountains.

You can visit Catherine on her website and on Goodreads.

Stone Cold Case Book Tour Badge.

I received a free book to review.

Escape From The Past By Annette Oppenlander Review

Escape From The Past cover picture.Escape From the Past: The Duke’s Wrath is a pretty good Young Adult Historical novel.

It really is historical. Down to the dirt, sewage, and disregard for life. I love how realistic it is.

Lots of novels try to hide the bad stuff in historical stories. This one has it right out in your face. Which is a good thing. Most folks forget just how good we have it nowadays.

This story also gets you thinking about games too. I would totally freak out if one my games got that realistic. It made for a really excellent adventure, so long as I was only reading about it.

I bet some teachers would love to have a game like this. If kids were convinced they might get stuck somewhere in the past, they would probably study more.

Then again you can learn a lot just from reading a book. This book!

About the book:

When fifteen-year-old nerd and gamer Max Anderson thinks he’s sneaking a preview of an unpublished video game, he doesn’t realize that 1) He’s been chosen as a beta, an experimental test player. 2) He’s playing the ultimate history game, transporting him into the actual past: anywhere and anytime. And 3) Survival is optional: to return home he must decipher the game’s rules and complete its missions—if he lives long enough. To fail means to stay in the past—forever. Now Max is trapped in medieval Germany, unprepared and clueless. It is 1471 and he quickly learns that being an outcast may cost him his head. Especially after rescuing a beautiful peasant girl from a deadly infection and thus provoking sinister wannabe Duke Ott. Overnight he is dragged into a hornets’ nest of feuding lords who will stop at nothing to bring down the conjuring stranger in their midst.

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Kobo * The Book Depository

Praise for the Book

“Fast-paced compelling YA debut.”
Giselle Green, #1 bestselling author of A Sister’s Gift”

“A wonderfully crafted romp to the time of lords, ladies, and knights.”
Lee Ann Ward, author and former Senior Editor of Champagne Books

“Escape from the Past is chock-full of the tiny details that make a story feel realistic and immersive, from the leather ribbons used to fasten shoes to the slimy gruel that formed the bulk of the peasants’ diet….those who love historical fiction or medieval fantasy will certainly enjoy Escape from the Past.”
Mike Mullin, author of the Ashfall trilogy

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Excerpt

Chapter 1
It was exactly 9:32 p.m. when I settled into my favorite chair, the one with the ripped Mexican blanket that serves as a cushion. Little did I know I’d be gone within the hour. I mean gone as in disappeared.
Powering up my high-speed Cyber Xtreme and 32-inch monitor, a guilt gift from my dad and the only valuable thing I own, I stared at the blank disc in my hand. According to my friend, Jimmy, it contained some secret new game his father had invented. Jimmy said his dad thought the game was faulty and I wondered why his dad would have given it to him.
Most people consider Jimmy the lucky one. He lives in a mansion because his father runs some ginormous tech company. My mom and me share space with a thousand spiders in a two-bedroom cottage with a thatched roof. Who in the twenty-first century lives in a house covered with a bunch of straw?
Anyway, I digress. The tower purred as it swallowed the disc, the best sound in the world. It took a long time to boot which should’ve given me the first clue something was wrong. If there’s one thing that drives me crazy it’s slow processors and I knew it wasn’t my equipment. I’ve been gaming since I was six and consider myself pretty good. Especially when it comes to debugging stuff. I was stoked to figure it out, maybe make a few bucks in the process. I’m still American enough to think of dollars instead of Euros because we’ve only lived in Germany for two years.
I was scrounging for a candy bar in my desk when a flame shot across the screen, burning yellow, red and blue. Not that I smoke, but it looked real enough to light a cigarette. In slow motion the fire edged letters into the screen. EarthRider. Cool name. Of course I didn’t get it then. Stupid me.
Below the fire appeared a globe, the kind librarians have on their desks. The thing rotated slowly, zooming closer and closer like Google Earth. Jimmy was right, this was the coolest thing I’d ever seen, the graphics as realistic as if I’d been standing there.
Bornhagen, the place we live, was marked with a front door.
Enter here flashed below.
I was pretty fed up waiting, my fingers twitching to hit the keys. First it took ages to load, then it showed a map? But I didn’t have much else to do except review a few algebra problems— unlike Jimmy I’ve got no trouble with math—so I clicked.
On the screen giant boulders shaped themselves into a gate, opening onto a bunch of hills and a shadowy forest. In the distance, high on the mountain, I saw a castle with two towers, a pale banner fluttering limply on top. It looked vaguely familiar, but at the time I didn’t really think much about it. An ox cart moved slowly across a country road toward the castle.
I sniffed. Something reeked like boiled manure. I looked around to find the source when I noticed a man on the screen scurrying along a bumpy trail. He wheezed, dragging his bare feet. He was obviously injured, the filthy rags on his right shoulder dark with blood. The screen zoomed to follow as the man darted into the woods. Giant oaks swallowed the sun, a patchwork of shadows and light in the undergrowth.
At the time I remember thinking how lame this game was despite the graphics—no dragons, no monsters, nothing exciting whatsoever. Besides, I was slightly worried my mom would come in. The whiskey she likes usually puts her to sleep on the couch, but you never know. Luckily, most of the time, she doesn’t know when I pull an all-nighter.
Horse gallop thudded out of nowhere. Visibly trembling the grimy-looking man hesitated for a moment before thrashing his way through bushes and undergrowth. At the edge of the forest three riders in chainmail and helmets came into view, their chestnut horses whinnying and covered in sweat. The clang of metal sliced the air as the men drew swords.
At that moment my cell rang.

About the Author:

oppenlander
Annette Oppenlander writes historical fiction for teens. Whenshe isn’t in front of her computer, she loves indulging her dog, Mocha, and traveling around the U.S. and Europe to discover amazing histories.

“Nearly every place holds some kind of secret, something that makes history come alive. When we scrutinize people and places closely, history is no longer a number, it turns into a story.”

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$25 Blog Tour giveaway

$25 Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon eGift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 9/25/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com eGift Card 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 and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

 

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Escape from the Past (1)Blog Tour Schedule

Nature Of Grace Book Blast

nature of graceAll these books sound like good reads and getting the set is a great deal, since you won’t have to worry about not having the next book in the series, and you get a short story, as well other extras. Have you read these books yet? They have been added to my to-read list.

Nature of Grace Boxed Set by S.R. Johannes

The NATURE OF GRACE books have hit many of the top young adult/teen and thriller best seller lists including: Best Debut, Movers and Shakers, Top 100 in Thrillers, and the Top 100 in Teen Action Adventure books.

This new “Nature of Grace” Exclusive Box set is for readers who love wilderness thrillers. 16 year old Grace grew up in the woods determined to make a difference in the North Carolina wilderness. When she comes across conservation threats, she uses her survival and wilderness skills to stop them, no matter what the cost. In addition to being a thriller/mystery – other book themes include conservation, nature, animals, survival, wilderness, endangered animals.

The box set includes all 3 books in the Nature of Grace (Untraceable, Uncontrollable, and Unstoppable). It also includes an exclusive short story, Unspeakable from Mo’s perspective) as well as the original Untraceable before it was changed.

The box set also includes a large section of Special Extras that include interviews with the author, characters, and additional information on the nature and animal conservation the books support.

Untraceable (Book 1) – When Grace’s forest ranger dad disappears on patrol, she fights town authorities, tribal officials, & nature to prove he’s alive. Torn between a hot boy and cute ex, she heads into the wilderness to find her dad. Soon, she is caught in a web of conspiracy, deception, and murder.

Uncontrollable (Book 2) – When Grace enters the Red Wolf Reintroduction Program. When wolves start showing up dead, Grace must work through her fears and hunt down clues to find out who is sabotaging the wolf program and why. Little does she know, she is being hunting too.

Unstoppable (Book 3) – When Grace moves to the Everglades to live with her grandmother, Birdie, she makes new friends with Dylan and his girlfriend, fellow animal activist, Sadie. After finding an injured Florida Panther, she stumbles upon a large roadside zoo illegally filled with a variety of endangered and exotic animals. There, she and her friends are kidnapped by the ruthless owner and dragged deep into the Everglades for a hunting challenge. Only this time, Grace is the prey.

Unspeakable (Short Story from Mo’s perspective) – When Mo sees a strange girl in the woods, he follows her. He soon realizes they are both in a dangerous position and may not get out alive.
Untraceable’s Original Ending – Never released before!

Exclusive Extras – including author interviews, character interviews, insider scoop on the series, and additional animal and nature conservation information on the issues covered in the series.

Sale!! From now until August 16 the complete box set is only $0.99.

Amazon

Praise for the books:

“A Modern Day Katniss” -Reel Life with Jane

“A suspense-filled mystery with surprises that keep you guessing all the way to the end.”- IndieReader

Kirkus Reviews called this teen series “a dramatic entanglement of mystery, deception and teen romance”!

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SR JohannesAuthor S. R. Johannes

S.R. Johannes is the award-winning author of the Amazon bestselling Nature of Grace thriller series (Untraceable, Uncontrollable, and Unstoppable). She is a winner of the IndieReader Discovery Award in YA, an IPPY a Silver Medalist for YA Fiction, a Finalist in The Kindle Book Review’s Best Young Adult Fiction, and a Finalist in US Book News Best YA Book.
Since leaving Corporate America, she has followed her passion for writing and conservation by working with The Dolphin Project, the Atlanta Zoo, other animal rescue organizations, and by weaving conservation themes into her books.

Currently, she lives in Atlanta, GA with her two Doodles, English-accented husband, and the huge imaginations of their prince and princess, which she hopes- someday- will change the world.

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100_Amazon_Paypal

$100 Book Blast Giveaway

$100 Amazon eGift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 8/31/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com eGift Card 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 and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Put A Relaxing Hammock In Your Backyard

Parachute Nylon Hammock from Grand Trunk Goods.The best thing about having a hammock is that you can enjoy it just about anywhere.

The Double Parachute Nylon Hammock from Grand Truck Goods that they sent me for a review can be used in lots of different places.

We put it up in our backyard. I could have done it myself (it is that easy). The ropes that come with it wrap around a tree, or a post, or anything strong enough to hold it. Just make sure that whatever you attach it to is strong enough to hold at least one 200lb (or so) human, and possibly a dog or two, depending on your own situation.

We could probably get it up on our porch too, but the hubby wasn’t too keen on that. I think he was afraid that I would end up sleeping all day if we put it there. It would be awful tempting.

I would have liked to go on a short trip to try out the hammock, but haven’t managed it yet. Hopefully that will happen before the summer is over.

This is a really well made hammock too. It is triple stitched, and looks like it will last for years.

It comes with the little sack sewed to it, that you store it in. Double Parachute Nylon Hammock in the storage bag. I really like that. If the storage sack wasn’t attached to the hammock it would get lost.

We did not manage to get it back in the sack as neatly as they had it, but it did all fit.

It comes with the ropes and everything you need to attach it to the trees.  The ropes will not fit all trees though. Some of the trees in our yard are too big around. If you are planning to use the hammock in an area with large trees, you might want to buy some longer ropes, but most folks probably won’t need to do that.

We really like this hammock, and it will be really nice to have around during the summer.

 

I received a free product to review.

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