Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Castle Premiere

I have been waiting for the Castle premiere for what seems like forever.  I put the kids to bed early, made sure everyone knew not to call, I was set.


It starts off where we left off, with Kate in her wedding dress looking at the burning wreckage of Castle's car.  The devastation and desperation on her face is gut-wrenching.  There were so many great shots of the water putting out the fire, getting on Kate's face like they were tears, it was amazing.

Kate goes to change and the boys start investigating immediately.  There was also a helpful Hampton cop who was there right along with Espo and Ryan, putting the clues together.  Taillight on the road. Drag marks going away from the car.  Castle was obviously kidnapped.  They interview a fruit stand guy who saw a black Escalade hurrying away.  The hunt is on.

Ryan thinks to ask the FBI to reactivate Castle's phone and that leads them to a junkyard, just as the black Escalade is being crushed.  Kate and the boys chase the crusher guy down and Kate does this AWESOME tackle to get him on the ground. Love her.  She gets him in interrogation and she means business.  She tangles him in the handcuff chain and nearly breaks his fingers.  She is close to crossing the line when Espo and Gates try to back her down a bit.  One of the saddest points of the whole show is when Kate is at her desk, staring at Castle's chair, and Espo gets her some coffee and hands it to her over her shoulder.  For just two seconds you can see the hope on her face as she turns around that Castle is back.  But he isn't.  Sigh.

Gates brings in the FBI and they follow some promising leads.  Until the money trail leads them to Vinny Cardano, the mobster from Murder, She Wrote, that was one of Castle's sort of friends.  Vinny admits that he got rid of the car and got paid $10,000 to do it.  They go to the money drop off point and who does surveillance show dropped off the money? Castle himself.

Dun, dun, dun.

The FBI agent wastes no time in pointing out to Beckett that maybe Castle has faked his own disappearance and maybe he was overwhelmed or had a secret life. He does mention that Castle knew Vinny, knew that he could make the car disappear, and the money that was withdrawn from Castle's account for his honeymoon, actually matched the bills Vinny was given for the car disappearance. It is not looking good for Castle.  Beckett just looks so lost and confused, I tell you, if there was an Emmy for Best Acting With Facial Expressions alone, Stana Katic would win hands down.  So incredibly emotional.

The show fast forwards two months with Kate running down every lead, every maybe lead, pinning newspaper articles to her board, everything she can think of to keep going, to find him.  And then, one day, the Coast Guard finds Castle floating in a dinghy in the middle of the ocean.  Kate rushes to his side, but he's unconscious and very sunburned, poor guy.  She listens to the doctor talk to Martha and Alexis, but wants Lanie to look him over, too, just to see if they can find any clues as to where he's been.

Lanie finds some very interesting tidbits from Castle's clothing that create more questions.  He has a key with a 38 on it sewn into his pants.  He's been exposed to Denghe fever.  And he has a gunshot wound that is healing from being grazed probably a few weeks back.  Hmmm...very interesting.

At the hospital, Ryan and Espo are talking about where Castle could have been and Espo expresses his anger at Castle for pulling off his own disappearance and leaving them all hanging like that.  Ryan says, hey, after all the time we've spent with this guy, let's give him the benefit of the doubt.  I was nodding my head through that whole scene, go Ryan! We don't know what happened yet.  But the evidence is mounting.

The boys investigate the sky blue dinghy Castle was found in and trace it to a private beachfront property.  They go question the owner, scaring the daylights out of him while he's taking out his trash.  He claims he saw a camper down by the beach, but since it's public land, he didn't think too much about it.  He also identifies Castle as the camper.  Espo and Beckett go check it out and find a tent with Castle's shoes, watch, and wedding tuxedo, along with food and supplies.  There's also newspaper clipping about his disappearance and it's confirmed that Castle's fingerprints and DNA are all over the tent.  After that, even Ryan gives in and says he believes Castle was involved in his own disappearance somehow. So sad and kind of disappointing, but the evidence was pretty overwhelming and cops deal in evidence.

Castle wakes up at this point and has no memory of what happened. For him, it's like he was in the crash, then woke up in the hospital, that's it.  Kate needs answers and he doesn't have any to give. He tells her he wouldn't just leave and I agree, he wouldn't just leave  not only Kate, but also his daughter.  The strain between them was palpable as Castle insisted she take him to his supposed campsite.  Once he looks it over, he tells her it's just not possible that he camped there because he wouldn't set up so close to the water since he has a fear of tsunamis.  (After he did research for a book. I can relate to research scaring an author! haha)

Kate isn't sure what to believe so they go to talk to the owner again who ID'd Castle the day before and when the owner comes to the door, he's a different guy! Castle has been framed. I have to say, Kate does looked relieved at that, in a way.

Back at home, Castle is talking about untangling the conspiracy around his disappearance before he drinks to homecomings and the people he loves.  Awww.  As Kate and Castle get ready for bed, Castle says he knows they just can't pick up where they left off, so he asks her how she didn't give up hope for two months.  She confesses that she stared at his picture on the murder board and felt like if she did that long enough, it would keep him alive.  He puts his arm around her and says he knows one thing, that he missed her terribly. Because there's no way he wouldn't have.  *sniff*

I loved the kickoff to the season.  (It sort of reminded me of Season 3 of Alias when Sydney comes back with no memory and spends a large chunk of the season figuring out what happened to her.) But will Castle's amnesia and whatever he went through make him different somehow?  Who was behind it all?  How will this affect him and Kate?  And do the boys feel bad about doubting one of their best friends?  I cannot wait for next week.

Did you watch? What did you think?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Book Review: How Do I Know If I Know?

I apologize for posting so late today. Blogger and I have this thing where about once a month it doesn't want to let me sign in for some reason. Obviously I need to bring it some chocolate or something as a peace offering.

Today I am reviewing John Bytheway's book, How Do I Know If I Know?  I love John Bytheway's style because he is so easy to read and conversational in tone, yet the topics are presented in such a way that important principles are taught.  This book is no different.

He begins by discussing how our testimony of truth is like a dimmer switch.  We can gradually add light and burn bright with what we do know.  He tells several anecdotal stories that really illustrate what he's trying to teach and ties it up nicely with FEEL.  We can know how we know through our Feelings, Experiences, Evidences, and Logic.  Each "line" adds to the whole in answering the question of the book title.  I found myself nodding my head several times as the author presented ideas that I had thought of, but couldn't adequately express.  I loved this book and recommend it to anyone, teen or adult, who wants to evaluate where their testimony is at and where it could be strengthened.

Here is the back copy:

It's spiritual gut-check time! The mission age has been lowered, and now more than ever, young people are asking themselves important questions:

*How do I know if I really have a testimony?
*Am I ready to serve a mission?

*What does the Spirit feel like?

John Bytheway suggests that we "F.E.E.L." the truthfulness of the gospel through our feelings, our experiences, the many evidences we encounter, and our logical conclusions about how a loving God interacts with His children on the earth. Like gradually turning up a dimmer switch, understanding all the ways we F.E.E.L. our testimony will help it grow brighter.

As you read, you may discover that your testimony is stronger than you thought, and you'll also become more excited and motivated to let your light shine!

If this sounds like a book you might be interested in click here to download it.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Hawaii Five-O Premiere--Not What I Expected

I was anxious to see the Hawaii Five-O premiere last night because I've been a loyal fan of this show since it started and was anticipating the new season.  My husband and I both watched, but at the end of the show, all I could say was, "hmmm...I feel disappointed."

That's a tough thing to swallow for me because there is so much potential on this show and it feels off somehow.

Maybe let's start with what I liked about the episode.
  • I thought the premise was good, having drones attacking the island, and a guy selling national secrets trying to get off the island.  (But the execution of said premise was just . . .not good. Sigh.  Muddled and rushed are the words that come to mind.)
  • I also liked all the scenery shots.  Hawaii, I am going to visit you someday.  So incredibly beautiful.
  • I also liked Steve in his blue shirt. He looks really good in blue.
  • I also liked the introduction of the new M.E.  She looks competent and if she truly is to be Danny's new love interest, I can see them together more than the gas station girl they tried to shove him with last year. Gas Station Girl and Danny had absolutely no chemistry at all.  At least M.E. girl looks like she has potential.
  • The drone was cool, especially the chase scene with it on the streets.
  • Kono punching the bad guy was good.
  • I liked the flashback of how Steve and Danny met. 

Now for the things that disappointed me.
  • Ian Anthony Dale being reduced to Kono's arm candy, begging for her to marry him. He's had some pretty awesome storylines in the past, trying to reconcile family loyalties with who he's trying to become.  Last night just seemed . . . sad somehow.
  • Chin having ANOTHER storyline of IA being after him for money he didn't take. All I could think of when I saw that was really? Did the writers need to recycle old scripts for Chin Ho or something? Chin is one of the most underused characters on the show. When he was "helping" Grover (who probably had more lines than Chin Ho) all I could do was shake my head.  
  • The other underused character is Kono.  She's been the team info dumper for quite some time, but last night, even her info-dumping sounded stilted and wooden.  No one talks like that. Let Grace Park use some of her talent and give the woman something else to do besides info dump. Especially since she's the ONLY woman left on this show that we know.  (Thankfully she was out in the field for a bit last night and got in a good punch.) I really want the writers to write something decent for a woman on this show that doesn't show them as flakes or liars or bumblers. (Or info dumpers!)  They started to write some great stuff for Catherine and Kono at the beginning of last season, but that quickly died and other than that? Yeah, I've been waiting for some good consistent female writing for so long. 
  • The cast is bloated with unneeded characters.  Seriously, why do we need Jerry? Are they replacing Kamekona with him? Sure seems like it.  And Kamekona has been reduced to cameo status from the looks of things.  Ugh. (And why is Danny so mean to Jerry all the time by openly mocking the guy? Ouch.) They also added Grover to the team, which is okay, but again, they barely use Chin, why add someone else? I say use who you already have and give Chin something to do.  (And give us a well-written woman, please, whether it's Kono, or the new M.E., or bringing Catherine back. Or all three, but then you'd have to cut down on some of the men. But a strong well-written female character (or characters) is worth it in my book.)
  • The "counseling" session with Danny and Steve wasn't believable. I know they were trying to be funny, but it fell flat for me.  First of all, that's not how psych evals work in law enforcement that I've ever seen or heard. It's always one on one. (Frankly, I would have liked to have seen Steve in therapy for all the crap he was put through last year.  He probably needs to be talking to someone.  But I digress.)  The thing of it was, there was no continuity with the things brought up in their session. Steve says that he gets carsick if he doesn't drive, yet when he's in the passenger seat after being shot, there's no carsickness shown.  Nothing is even mentioned about it.  It was like they just inserted that counseling scene for no reason at all except to try and get some laughs.  (And Danny just seemed to mock everyone last night, including Steve, which came across as unprofessional and hard to like.) But, on the bright side, we got Steve in a nice blue shirt, so there's that.
  • The airplane landing on the road didn't look real, (why not land on a freeway with no buildings around?) and Jerry making a homemade remote that can hack military grade drones? Um, yeah. Not to mention the people just leaving their stuff in lobbies and on the beach, even leaving their cars with the doors open on the road seemed unrealistic. This show has always required a suspension of disbelief, but last night was a bit too much.

So, as I said in the beginning, the premise was good, the execution just seemed rushed and muddled. Too many characters trying to be shoe-horned in, extra scenes that didn't further the storyline and put in just for laughs, cast regulars with barely anything to do and lines that were stilted.

I still love the show and will watch next week, but this was my show that I never missed, that I made sure I was home for, and last night was underwhelming.  I hope this season will get better as time goes on.

Did you watch? What did you think?

Friday, September 26, 2014

Winner of My Giveaway and And Two Awesome Friday Freebies!

I am so excited to announce the winner of the Stuck In A Good Book Survival Kit is . . .

*drum roll*

Jaime Lynn Lester!!

Congratulations, Jaime! I have emailed you with details.

Today's first Friday Freebie is a book by Brandon Mull called Spirit Animals Book One: Wild Born.  We love Brandon Mull books at our house, so I was excited to get this one for free!

Here's the back copy:

#1 New York Times bestseller Brandon Mull launches Scholastic's wildly popular multiplatform phenomenon.

Four children separated by vast distances all undergo the same ritual, watched by cloaked strangers. Four flashes of light erupt, and from them emerge the unmistakable shapes of incredible beasts -- a wolf, a leopard, a panda, a falcon. Suddenly the paths of these children -- and the world -- have been changed forever.

Enter the world of Erdas, where every child who comes of age must discover if they have a spirit animal, a rare bond between human and beast that bestows great powers to both. A dark force has risen from distant and long-forgotten lands, and has begun an onslaught that will ravage the world. Now the fate of Erdas has fallen on the shoulders of four young strangers . . . and on you.

Part engrossing book series, part action role-playing game -- discover your spirit animal and join the adventure.

If it sounds interesting to you, click here to download your free Kindle copy!

The second Friday Freebie is The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson.  This is a ginormous book at 1009 pages, but I've heard good things about it, so I downloaded it.  Here's the back copy:

In The Way of Kings, #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson introduces readers to the fascinating world of Roshar, a world of stone and storms.

It has been centuries since the fall of the Knights Radiant, but their mystical swords and armor remain, transforming ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for them. Wars are fought for them and won by them.

One such war rages on the Shattered Plains where Kaladin, son of a surgeon, has been reduced to slavery, and Dalinar, commander of the armies, is plagued by dreams of ancient times, doubting his own sanity.

Across the ocean, Shallan, a naïve but brave and brilliant young woman, plans a daring theft to save her impoverished noble house from ruin.

The result of over ten years of planning, writing, and world-building, The Way of Kings is Book 1 of The Stormlight Archive, an epic fantasy masterpiece in the making.

If this sounds interesting to you, click here to download your free Kindle copy!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Writing Retreat, Novella, And Other Random Ramblings

What a day this has been! I've been working hard on my novella and am making some real progress. I'm surprised that this is a little more romantic than my novels have been. There's still some suspense, though.  I'm anxious to see how my readers react to this one.

I was invited to go to a writer's retreat in October!  I'm so excited about this because I've never been to a real writer's retreat before. I think this will be a great time to hammer out a good chunk of my new novel.  It makes me nervous, but so excited! Two and a half full days of writing! I've never done it before. Can I do it? What if I'm so used to writing in snatches of time that I can't write in chunks? (That sounds weird if you say it fast, haha!)

Today is the last day to enter the Stuck in a Good Book Giveaway for a survival kit.  If you want to get in on the giveaways, the link is in the sidebar.

I'm going to be canning homemade applesauce this weekend. I'm sort of excited to try this out! I've never done it before.  I'm just doing all sorts of things lately that I've never done before.

What about you? Have you done something you've never done before lately? What was it?  Or give me your random thought of the day in the comments.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Word Count Wednesday---The Novella

Today I am SO HAPPY to tell you that I have a word count!  Woohoo! It's been a while and I wrote a thousand words this week!

As you all know, I was working on a novella that I had to put aside for the last few months. I'm back to it and really working hard.  I need to have fifteen more pages written by tomorrow, so you can imagine how excited I am to see the words finally flowing onto the page!

This novella picks up Colby and Sophia's story from Ashes, Ashes, so it's been fun to revisit them again. I had forgotten how much I loved them!  I hope you'll like this little glimpse into their happily ever after as well.  And I'll need you all to keep me accountable in finishing this project by Oct 5th. It will be a little crazy, but I think I can do it!

How did you do this week?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Anatomy Of Back Cover Copy

So, most of you know, I help authors write their back cover copy for a reasonable fee.  Some have asked how I do it, and today one of the authors I work with blogged about her experience with me.
(It was so much fun working with Joyce DiPastena and I can't wait to read her book now!)

You can see her post here 

Basically, this is what happens when you hire me to write your back cover copy.  I will ask you to write me a two page, double-spaced summary of your book.  I will give you a preliminary blurb so you can tell me what works for you and what doesn't.  I take your feedback and give you another blurb and we go back and forth until it is perfect and you love it.

Back cover copy just jumps out at me.  Whenever I see a bad one, I immediately think of ways that I would have improved it.  Weird, I know.  (And I'm stunned at how many indie authors have horrible back cover copy when that is the one thing besides the cover that should be perfect.  If you stink at it, for pity's sake, hire it out! Good back cover copy is a must.)

But after I blogged about how to write good back cover copy (you can read that blog here) I had an author ask me to help her with hers, and it went from there, with word of mouth recommendations filling my inbox.  Obviously I can't help everyone who asks because of my large family and my own writing career, but I try to fit in as many as I can.

It's fun to help authors, and I've been privileged to help quite a few now.  I love reading the newly created back cover copy and seeing the excitement from others over reading the book.  It's awesome to see hard work help someone else.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Book Review: Thirty-Two Going On Spinster & A Giveaway

Spinster Tour

thirty two

Today I'm happy to be part of the Thirty-Two Going On Spinster blog tour.  This was probably one of the funniest books I've read all year.

Julia is a thirty-two year old spinster who works at this nerdy tech company called SpectralTech. She lives in her parents' basement and has for ten years.  She sort of wants to change, but doesn't really know where to start. Applying for a new job within her company is where she decides to start, but then this totally hot guy named Jared stole her new job.  And the way she meets Jared is so funny. Hiding under a conference table.  I'm laughing again just thinking about it.

Of course Julia has a gorgeous best friend at the company that tries to help her out of her spinster ways and to help her when she realizes that Julia has as crush on the new guy.  For example, she tells Julia she has hair on her upper lip and needs to get it waxed.  But getting rid of her "man lip" goes horribly wrong.  The scene with Julia and her parents had me laughing like a crazy person.  In public. Seriously so funny.

I loved all the main characters in this book. They were all very realistic and are someone you can identify with---either it's you or someone you know, seriously.  The thing that makes this book stand out however, is the voice. Julia was awesome.  The author brings to life all her quirks by not just telling us about them, but letting us LIVE them, with Julia.  It was really refreshing and fun, and the romance was clean.

So, if you want a fun afternoon read with lots of humor, this is the book for you.

Here's the back copy:

Thirty-Two Going on Spinster by Becky Monson

Julia Dorning is a spinster, or at least on the road to becoming one. She has no social life, hates her job, and lives in her parent’s basement with her cat, Charlie.

With the arrival of Jared Moody, the new hire at work, Julia’s mundane life is suddenly turned upside down. Her instant (and totally ridiculous) crush on the new guy causes Julia to finally make some long-overdue changes, in hopes to find a life that includes more than baking and hanging out with Charlie.

But when the biggest and most unexpected change comes, will the new and improved Julia be able to overcome it? Or will she go back to her spinster ways?

Purchase your copy for just $2.99!!

  Praise for Thirty-Two Going on... Spinster   "Oh my, oh my. I have just finished wiping the tears of laughter from my eyes. This is seriously funny." ~Julie Darley (Never judge a Book by its Movie)

"This was a refreshing change of pace for me to read. Some good clean romance was found in it’s pages and that is a rare find these days. It was some great chick-lit. I would not have thought this was Becky’s debut book, it was so well done." ~Liberty Ann (SnifferWalkBooks)

Becky Monson

Author Becky Monson By day, Becky Monson is a mother of three young children, and a wife. By night, she escapes with reading books and writing. In her debut novel, Becky uses humor and true-life experiences to bring her characters to life. She loves all things chick-lit (movies, books, etc), and wishes she had a British accent. She has recently given up Diet Coke for the fiftieth time and is hopeful time will last... But it probably won't. Becky runs a large book club on Facebook called "This Chick Reads".  

    Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 10/12/14 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.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Stuck In A Good Book Giveaway Hop

I am excited to be part of the Stuck In A Good Book Giveaway Hop.  I haven't done one of these in a while, and I forgot how fun they are!

I am the type of reader that when a book hooks me, I want to read it all in one sitting, even if it means staying up all night, or reading when I should be doing something else, like eating or whatnot.  I just HAVE to see how it's all going to end.  You know what I mean?

So, here's the deal.  I am giving away a . . . drum roll . . .

Stuck In A Good Book Survival Kit which includes:

  • THREE of my Hostage Negotiation Team novels, 
  • A fuzzy, soft, new blanket
  • and some gourmet hot chocolate.  

Sound good? What else could you need, right? (Offer open to continental U.S. and Canada only.) And don't forget to scroll all the way down to see what other prizes are being offered on this hop!

(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. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hop on over to the next blog!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Two Friday Freebies Today!

Today I have TWO Friday freebies for you and TWO books on sale for 99 cents! A steal for sure!

The first free one is by Janette Rallison, Life, Love and the Pursuit of Free Throws.

Here's the back copy:

Josie loves hottie Ethan Lancaster, the captain of the basketball team, but she never can do or say the right thing in front of him. So how can it be fair that Ethan is only interested in her best friend, Cami, when Cami isn’t even trying for his affection? Or is she?

Cami dreams of winning her basketball team’s coveted MVP award, and earning the chance to take the court during a special halftime demonstration with WNBA star Rebecca Lobo, but her best friend, Josie, is a better player. So how can it be fair that Josie is a shoo-in for the honor if she is barely interested in basketball in the first place and isn’t even trying to be the best? Or is she?

Told from two points of view, this novel of freshman life, love, and the pursuit of free throws displays the same delightful humor as Janette Rallison's other comedies

If this sounds like a book you'd enjoy, click here to download your free Kindle copy!

The second one in The Change by Teyla Branton

Here's the back copy:

Death, Life, or Love—Unbounded Always Play for Keeps

There are only two ways to kill Unbounded, and fire isn’t one of them—as law school dropout Erin Radkey learns the hard way. By fluke of a recessive gene, she has become Unbounded, a nearly immortal being with paranormal abilities.

Erin’s Change separates her from her loved ones and alters everything she believes to be true. A week earlier she was considering a marriage proposal; now she contemplates the best way to stay alive. Caught in a battle between two Unbounded groups, the Emporium and the Renegades, she is also hunted by a secret mortal society sworn to eradicate the Unbounded gene.

As Erin plunges into this dangerous new life, she must carve out her own place in the madness, protect her mortal family, and decide which group she should join. Her unique ability is vital to both groups in the race to secure an identification software that spells death for all Unbounded—or enslavement for the entire mortal world. Some will stop at nothing to use Erin as one more pawn in a battle that has spanned centuries. Erin’s undeniable attraction to Ritter Langton, whose family was massacred by opposing Unbounded two hundred and forty years ago, complicates her choices. There are no second chances. Death, life, or love—Unbounded always play for keeps.

Non-stop action, terrifying consequences, and powerful romance make The Change an exciting addition to the world of romantic urban fantasy.

I really enjoyed this book, even though I'm not a huge fantasy reader.  If you think you might want to read this one, click here to download your free Kindle copy!

There's also a sale going on right now for Prejudice Meets Pride by Rachael Anderson. I haven't read this one, but enjoyed her novel, The Reluctant Bachelorette so I downloaded it.

Here's the back copy:

After years of pinching pennies and struggling to get through art school, Emma Makie’s hard work finally pays off with the offer of a dream job. But when tragedy strikes, she has no choice but to make a cross-country move to Colorado Springs to take temporary custody of her two nieces. She has no money, no job prospects, and no idea how to be a mother to two little girls, but she isn’t about to let that stop her. Nor is she about to accept the help of Kevin Grantham, her handsome neighbor, who seems to think she’s incapable of doing anything on her own.

Prejudice Meets Pride is the story of a guy who thinks he has it all figured out and a girl who isn't afraid to show him that he doesn't. It’s about learning what it means to trust, figuring out how to give and to take, and realizing that not everyone gets to pick the person they fall in love with. Sometimes, love picks them.

If this sounds like something you'd like, click here to buy!

Your Eyes Don't Lie by Rachel Branton is also on sale, I noticed.  

Here's the back copy:

Sometimes Survival Isn’t Enough . . . 

Years of living on the street and fending for herself have made Makay Greyson tough and resourceful, if a bit disillusioned. She’s come a long way from sleeping in parks and scavenging for food. Her entire focus is on providing a better life for her young brother, one without fear of loss and neglect.

That certainly doesn’t leave time for Harrison Matthews, who from their first meeting sends fire through her veins and upsets all her carefully laid plans.

Makay has done things she isn’t proud of to survive, and those choices now threaten the small amount of security she’s created—and any chance of a future with Harrison. They’ve been raised in two very different worlds, and the secrets they both hide can only lead to disaster.

There is only one chance to make it right, and one misstep could be fatal.

Your Eyes Don’t Lie is a story about facing fears, sacrificing for those you love, and about a girl who thinks she isn’t worth loving and a guy who knows she is.

Sound like something you're interested in? Click here to buy.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sometimes Life Is Overwhelming

This has been a super busy week for me.  I've been running people around to various activities, trying to make sure everyone is where they need to be, while doing my own to do lists, and trying to can a bushel of tomatoes.  (I haven't even touched the apples yet, but they are sitting there waiting to be made into applesauce.)

Every day my to do list seems to grow longer, in spite of my best efforts to shorten it, and I admit, I've been feeling a bit overwhelmed.  Monday night I was so exhausted after I'd finished helping my daughter with homework, that all I could think about was climbing into my bed.  My little girl was busy doing one more thing, and I saw her tape something to my door.  It was this:

Honestly, that little note made me tear up because I needed it.  Being a mom is hard sometimes, but notes like this make it worth it.

Then, today, my older daughter shared this video with me.  It's a little long, but oh so worth it.

It was just what I needed to hear.  My efforts aren't in vain.  Even though I don't get to every item on my to do list, hopefully I'm getting to the important ones.

If you've ever felt overwhelmed, or maybe like you were a failure, this is definitely the video for you.  

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Instead Of Writing (Recipe Included!)

So, this is what I've been doing instead of writing.

I was given a bushel of tomatoes and so I made the most amazing chili sauce you've ever tasted. My house smelled so wonderful!

I am definitely feeling the writing bug again, though, and I have my critique group coming over tomorrow night, so I'll definitely be motivated for a word count!  How did you do this week?

And if you are interested, here's my recipe.

Super Awesome Super Easy Chili Sauce

24-30 ripe tomatoes--skinned
8 large onions, chopped
3 green peppers, chopped
3 cups vinegar
3 tsp. salt
3 cups sugar
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. cinnamon

Boil all together until as thick as desired.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Winners of the Giveaway Announced! (And Another Chance to Win!)

I am so excited to announce the winners of the Ring Around the Rosie Blog Tour Giveaway!

*** drum roll ***

Amanda Sakovitz won the $30 Amazon gift card

NaDell Ransom won the Booklovers Basket


Arena Thompson won the four book set from the Hostage Negotiation Team series!

Woohoo!  Congratulations!

If you weren't one of the winners, you can still win an ebook of Ring Around the Rosie by commenting on Linda Weaver Clarke's blog here (ends Sept. 18th)


You can go to the New LDS Fiction website here for a chance to win an ebook of Ring Around the Rosie and several others! Click here

Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who entered. You are awesome!

Monday, September 15, 2014

News, A Double Review, And An Interview!

Today is the last day to enter my giveaway. If you've been waiting until the last minute, it's here! Go enter! (Link on the sidebar)

I got two new reviews this past weekend.  Fay Klingler said my characters seemed so real, she was "expecting to read about them in the daily newspaper."  You can read more about what she said, (and her interview with me!) here

Emily Clawson also reviewed Ring Around the Rosie and said it was "great suspense with delicious romance." I loved that line.  You can read more about what she thought here

Today's reviews are of LuAnn Staheli's new novel, Temporary Bridesmaid and Strike of the Sweepers (Book 4 in the Janitors series) by Tyler Whitesides.  (Loved!)  As a bonus, I was also privileged to interview Ms. Staheli.  So this post will be long, but oh, so worth it!

In Temporary Bridesmaid we meet Jenny Grant, who is in her mid-thirties and unmarried.  Her last friend is getting married and she's been chosen to be the maid of honor.  This throws her into a tailspin of contemplation on why she isn't married and the very real possibility that she might never be married.  Just when she decides she's happy being single and is giving up on men, she meets a stranger in a rainstorm, a gentleman who holds an umbrella over her head, and she can't stop thinking about him.

Our hero, James Cox, has given up a lucrative career in California and moved to Utah. He starts work at a tech firm, and runs across an intriguing young woman.  He can't stop thinking about her until she accuses him of stealing her wallet.  Things get interesting really fast after that with all the twists and turns this love story takes.  There's a ton of misunderstandings that had me turning pages to find out how it all would be resolved.

There is a secondary storyline of Stephie and her husband, Phil.  They are newlyweds, but marriage isn't what Stephie thought it would be at all.  Her husband is suddenly more preoccupied with gaming rather than being a husband and things spiral really fast.  I found myself drawn to this story and the emotions the author evokes with her descriptions of Stephie's predicament.  Staheli's subtle style really shines in this storyline.

As mentioned, I was able to interview Ms. Staheli and found out some really interesting tidbits about what makes her tick!

1.  What is your daily schedule like?

School librarian by day; mom and author by night. This is my third year as librarian at Payson Jr. High, where I taught English 7-9 for 30 years. At the end of the school day, I come home and check in with my youngest, who is a 9th grader this year but at a different school. If there is nothing pressing with him and no major errands to run, I can usually spend the next two hours writing or editing. My husband often works in Los Angeles, and we live in Utah, so this schedule works out pretty well.

2.  What type of writer are you? Do you plan ahead/plot or do you simply fly by the seat of your pants?

I’m probably more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants author, although I always have a fair idea of exactly where I’m going to end up; it’s just the getting there that can sometimes cause a problem. I write both fiction and non-fiction, and when I’m doing the latter, I will start chapters and dump ideas, research, and drafted passages into the right section of the book, then sort them all out later when I’m focused on finishing a draft. In my fiction I’ve been known to write in a linear fashion, from beginning to end, but I’ve also started in the middle and written my way out. Often, when writing a magazine article, I write the beginning and the end then fill in the missing parts in the middle.

3. How do you choose your characters' names?

I tend to like names that are simple, both easy to remember and to pronounce. If I have someone in mind that I plan to loosely basic a character on I will probably start their fictional name with the same letter to help me keep it all sorted out. The rest of the time, I’ll try out names, pulling ideas from the stack of videos lining the wall by my computer, running through the names of friends and neighbors, and search for combinations that seem to “fit.”

4. How do you handle life interruptions?

Although I grew up telling my mother I had a life ambition to be a “bum,” I somehow turned into a work-a-holic. I’m sort of always writing, and notepad and its little microphone on my cell phone have been the greatest discoveries ever. I can now write anywhere. When I was a columnist for two different newspapers and had small children running around my office and my house, I learned to write in short bursts. I guess I’ve carried that skill over to writing both fiction and non-fiction which are much longer. The past month, while I was in the hospital recovering from surgery, I outlined four new non-fiction books on my phone. Now that I’m home and still in recovery, I’ve published Temporary Bridesmaid, revised a novella for the Timeless Romance Silver Bells Anthology, and planned the next two books I hope to release. Life has a way of throwing some crazy things our way, but we can’t sit around and wait for the bad to happen. We have to tackle it head on and make the good things also happen that are the richest parts of our life.

5. Do you write to music? If so, with lyrics or only instrumentals?

No, I write best to silence. I’m always amazed by the extensive playlists authors assemble as they write their books, but the lyrics would totally distract me (I love to sing my favorite songs quite loudly. How could I possibly write to that?). Even instrumentals distract me.

6. What food or snack keeps the words flowing?

I keep a bottle of water on my desk. Does that count? I think there are some Lifesavers packs there as well, left over from our Christmas critique party. I’ve never noticed a positive correlation between food/snacks and my writing, and since I don’t need the calories, I’m happy to not keep them anywhere near my work space.

7. What one thing do you like most about writing? Least?

The one thing I like most about writing is being able to tell a story and having someone else tell me they liked it. I want my books to touch people. I hope they walk away from my non-fiction having learned something, and maybe feel inspired to go and learn something more. Many of my novels have events from my own life—or the lives of my family—woven into them. I hope those moments of truth resonate with other readers, that they see a little of themselves there as well, and recognize ways they too can deal in a positive manner with adversity. Or perhaps, simply enjoy the moments of love I’ve allowed my characters to share.

What I like least? When J. Scott Savage tells me “there’s just one big thing,” and I see Annette Lyon bleeding red ink all over my pages (I’m an English teacher, for Heaven’s sake! Why didn’t I catch all those grammatical errors on my own?) Then Sarah Eden, Heather Moore, and Michele Holmes demand “more romance here!” when I think I’m describing exactly it happened or how I felt at the time, proving once again, I may not be a true romantic at heart. But then, Robison Wells comes to the rescue and gives me a F –for fantasic! Somehow, the opposite meaning blows my teacher-trained mind. But in the end, they are right and it’s time to let the revisions begin and hope that next time, I do better.

8. Tell us about your new book

Temporary Bridesmaid started out to be my story. Mike and I met when he was a substitute teacher at Payson Jr. High—a temp. We were the same ages as Jenny and James when we married. But, like most great books, fiction starts with only a kernel of reality then the characters themselves take over. That’s what happened with Jenny Grant and James Cox. Here’s the blurb about their story:

Jenny Grant has given up on men, and therefore her dream of ever getting married. But when James Cox comes to work in her building as a temp, she has to convince herself to stay true to her new conviction. All around her, everything is falling apart in her life. She’s been asked to be the Maid of Honor for her best friend’s wedding—leaving Jenny the last single in her group—her mother’s forgetfulness has progressed to a level that might prove dangerous, and the raise and promotion Jenny longs for may not be within her reach. When a man who looks like James steals her wallet her distrust of men rests on his shoulders.

James Cox has no idea why he has given up his position as a California CEO to move to Salt Lake City, but he’s certain it isn’t to find a bride. When the call comes for a temp position at a computer programming company, he figures this must be why. But his co-workers are not always easy to get along with, especially the fiery-tempered woman named Jenny Grant. If he didn’t find her so beautiful and interesting, it might not matter. Except that it does.

9. What is your next project?

As I mentioned, I have a novella slated to be in the Timeless Romance Silver Bells Anthology due for release in October. I’m also finalizing a memoir titled Living in an Osmond World, which is about my days as a fan, friend, and employee of the Osmond family. After that, there is a companion book in the works for Temporary Bridesmaid, and a sequel floating around in my head, plus a million other ideas and projects in various stages of development.

10. What is your advice for other writers?

Don’t wait until you have the time. You have to make the time. You never know what tomorrow will bring, and if writing is truly a part of who you are, you don’t want to miss your chance. Whether you are writing for a public audience, or simply for yourself, get the words down. Let your family know where to find them.

Please list your other published works.

Men of Destiny: Abraham Lincoln and the Prophet Joseph Smith (Walnut Springs Press)

The Explorers: Tides Across the Sea

Small Town U.S.A. series: Just Like Elizabeth Taylor; A Note Worth Taking; Leona & Me, Helen Marie

When Hearts Conjoin: The True Story of Utah’s Conjoined Twins

You can click here to buy Temporary Bridesmaid

Lu Ann Brobst Staheli got her start as a celebrity paparazzi-stalker-chick, which led to her award-winning career as a ghostwriter for celebrity memoirs. A masochist at heart, she taught junior high school English for 33 years and then moved to the school library. She once spent two weeks summer vacation backpacking through Europe with 15 of her students. She has won three Best of State Medals--two for writing and one for teaching--but refuses to wear them all at the same time because she'd hate to be known as a show-off.

The second book I wanted to tell you about today is Strike of the Sweepers, Book 4 in the Janitors series by Tyler Whitesides.  If you have middle grade children you want to RUN out and get this series. It is so funny and has great characters with an original storyline that keeps my kids asking to read one more chapter when we've already read until far past bedtime!  I love it because it's something we can read as a family and I've even gotten attached to the characters. This book is really well done, and the entire series is well worth your time, especially if you have kids and enjoy an awesome story!

In this installment, Spencer and Daisy are fighting against even deadlier enemies as they try to summon the Founding Witches so they can put an end to Mr. Clean once and for all! But can they do it? And if they do, will the Founding Witches help or hurt? Seriously, go and buy this series. It is so good! Click here to buy.

Here's the back copy:

The stakes have never been higher, and you’ve never seen squeegees do this before! It is a wild and slightly unsanitary ride as Spencer, Daisy, and the rebels find themselves chased by Mr. Clean’s new and terrifying breed of toxite—the Sweepers. Time is short. With the fabled Manualis Custodem in hand, Spencer must figure out how to summon the founding witches if they ever hope to mop up and save education.

What critics are saying about Janitors:

“ Action-packed and surprising! Readers will become convinced of the value of telling the truth, while having a lot of fun along the way.” —Publishers Weekly

“An entertaining ruckus.” —Kirkus Reviews

“ Entertaining . . . with plenty of twists and turns.” —Brandon Mull, author of Fablehaven and Beyonders series

“An enormously entertaining book.” —Orson Scott Card

Friday, September 12, 2014

Freebie Friday: Homecoming: Identity

First of all, I wanted to tell you about another review I received yesterday from Mel's Shelves.  She said,"I had a difficult time putting this book down until I was finished. I love the dialog and the plot pacing. It's never slow and I was curious to see how they would get out of the tight spots they were in."  You can see what she thought of Ron and Sarah and the rest of the series by reading her entire review here.

Today's Freebie Friday is Homecoming: Identity by Heather Justesen.  I've read one other book by her (Family by Design) and really enjoyed it, so I was happy to see this one come up for free. It's downloaded and in my reading queue!

Here's the back copy:

Hank’s twin brother Bo returns from Iraq during a difficult time for the whole family. Their sister, Karissa, recently found love after a messy divorce, but two new women in town may prove more than these brothers can handle. Love is in the air again in Juniper Ridge, but considering some of the secrets being kept under wraps, it also comes with complications.

It's currently #50 in Romance, with several great reviews. I'm excited to read it.  If this sounds like something you're interested in reading, you can download your free Kindle copy here.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Lives Can Change In An Instant

photo credit: Scott Hudson * via photopin cc 

Today, I was thinking about the events of 9/11 and how instantly so many lives were changed.  As we were driving home yesterday from the grocery store, I thought to myself, how many people were just going about, doing their normal routine things on September 10, 2001?  No one could have predicted how the world would change just twenty-four hours later.

As I tucked my kids in bed last night, I thought about all the parents who weren't able to tuck their children in ever again.  And all those parents who were holding their children close, trying to comfort them while searching for the words to explain what had happened.

This morning, while I ate breakfast with my little ones, I thought about how I would change my goodbye as they went out the door, if I knew that was the last time we'd be together.

If nothing else, today's date reminds me that my life isn't a guarantee.  Being with my family isn't a given. Life can change in an instant.  Hold it close.  Hold those you love close and tell them what they mean to you.

Never forget the lessons of 9/11.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Head-Hopping--Don't Give Your Readers Whiplash

Today's stop on the blog tour is at I Love to Read and Review Books. They have a Ten Fun Things to Know About Julie Coulter Bellon.  Some of those things are definitely trivia facts! (You can read them here!) As for Fun Fact #3, do any of you even remember Bryan Adams?  Just curious.

photo credit: piccalilli days via photopin cc 

Since I don't have a word count to report, I want to talk to you today about head-hopping, or changing point of view in the story.  So, for example, we could be reading the thoughts of the hero, and then we change to being inside the head of the heroine.  Make sense?

The book I'm reading now (which I won't name because I'm using it as an example) has a TON of head-hopping. The bad guy, the guards who guard the bad guy, the kid, the hero, the heroine, her dead husband's best friend, the maid, the innkeeper, EVERYONE has a point of view in this story. It is driving me crazy to read it because I can't keep all the points of view straight and I've had to go back a paragraph or two every time we switch to see whose thoughts I'm reading. (Because there is NO warning that we've switched. Ever.)  So confusing.

Not only is this difficult for a reader, it also distances the reader from truly experiencing the story.  I can't get close to the heroine's thoughts and identify with her because I only get a paragraph or two of her before we're thrown into her maid's thoughts and then the villain's thoughts.  I really want to get to know her and her reactions to the conflict and I can't do that with a paragraph here and a paragraph there.

It also makes it difficult to go beyond surface emotions when the hero and heroine aren't given top billing.  How can the hero express any real emotion or turmoil when he's barely given two or three minutes on the page?  It doesn't do the story justice.  (And this particular book has a good story, but a terrible delivery because of the head-hopping.)

So, my soapbox today to writers is, please don't head-hop to every Tom, Dick, and Harry in your book. Give yourself time to explore the hero and heroine's feelings, emotions, and reactions.  Don't shortchange yourself or your story by trying to cram everyone's point of view into the book.  Stay with the ones who matter so your readers can come to care about your characters and what they're going through.  You don't want your story to feel like you're trying to tell your best friend what's going on in your life, only to have fifty interruptions until you finally give up.

Point of view is integral to a good story. Use it wisely with only those who need to have it to tell your story in its best light.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Blog Tour Update & Ebook Giveaway!

We're right in the middle of Ring Around the Rosie's blog tour and I'm so thrilled with all the great reviews the book has gotten so far!

Debra Erfert said, among other things, it was "an exciting, action-packed journey written by a talented storyteller."  You can read the rest of the review here.

Marsha Ward featured me on her Fresh Book Friday and I was so glad she did! You can visit her blog here to learn more about her western novels.

Getting Your Read On started their review like this, "Being a reviewer sort of has its ups and downs. Sometimes you read books you don't love and it's really hard to get through them. But most days it's the most awesome job ever." I was shaking in my boots to read the rest of the review, wondering if my book was one that was hard to get through or not.  You'll have to click here to see what it said!

Literary Time Out talked about Sarah's quirks and how they identified with Ron.  They called it an "enjoyable ride." You can see what they thought of the bad guy and second chances by clicking here.

Jordan McCollum said that Ring Around the Rosie was "a fantastic capstone" to the Hostage Negotiation series.  You can visit her blog here.  (And if you've never been to her blog you are missing out! She has awesome helps for writers that are must reads!)

I am so grateful to everyone who has reviewed the book and entered the giveaway. You still have a chance to win the $30 Amazon gift card, the Booklovers basket, or a four book set of the Hostage Negotiation series.  Click here if you want to enter to win those prizes!

Easy Chance to Win a Free Ebook of Ring Around the Rosie!

Linda Weaver Clarke interviewed me for the blog tour and I got to talk about my inspiration for the Hostage Negotiation series. She's offering a prize of an ecopy of Ring Around the Rosie and all you have to do is comment on her blog to be entered! Click here to go comment!


Monday, September 8, 2014

Book Review: Girls Who Choose God

Lately, when I've been studying the scriptures, I've been looking specifically for when women are mentioned and how their lives and examples might apply to me.  I think the women of the Bible are so interesting because there's such a wide diversity of positions with queens mentioned, all the way down to slaves.  There are mothers, women who long to be mothers, sisters, cousins, and friends. The women of the Bible are truly worthy of study.  

The new book, Girls Who Choose God, Stories of Courageous Women From the Bible is an illustrated book of selected women from the Bible. It gives a brief summary of their life and a choice they were faced with. You turn the page to find out what choice they made.  

I liked the simple way it was presented and read it with my younger children. They were fascinated by the illustrations because they are quite unusual. There were several things to discuss from the illustrations alone! I liked the way once the choices were revealed, that there was a little question at the end to spark a discussion on what you would do if faced with such a choice.  It's a great book for anyone with children who want to learn more about the women of the Bible. Could also be easily used in a Family Home Evening setting.

It's a hardcover book, 48 pages long, and published by Deseret Book. 

Here is the back copy:

From Eve to Esther, from the Samaritan woman at the well to the widow with her two mites, many women in the Bible have made courageous choices. All through the ages, women have chosen to help, to solve problems, to stand up for others, to strengthen families, and to follow God no matter what. Girls Who Choose God invites young readers (and those who love them) to make important choices of their own, following the examples of great women in the scriptures. With breathtaking illustrations, beautifully told stories, and insightful discussion questions, this delightful book is perfect for sharing, reading aloud, and drawing children into the scriptures.

The book is $16.14 on Amazon.  Click  here to buy.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Freebie Friday---Behind the Mask

Today's Friday Freebie is the introductory book in the Horstberg series by Elizabeth Michaels.  And this is a large series since this book is nearly three hundred pages long!

Here's the back copy:

When You’re Hiding For Your Life, What Do You Live For?

Abbi has the gift of dreams. But her uncanny ability to see glimpses of the future has no apparent purpose or meaning until a dream leads her to a man on the brink of despair and destruction.

Cameron is a man without a name and without a country, framed for a crime he didn't commit. Long ago forced into exile and believed dead, the passing of years have defaced him of all hope.

The country of Horstberg suffers beneath the weight of tyranny, and only Cameron holds the secret that could see her ruler undone and restore the people to peace and prosperity. While revolution brews and whispers of treason threaten all that is dear to Abbi, she remains unaware of her own ability to answer a nation’s prayers.

Trusting only her heart and the power of her dreams, Abbi gives all that she has to lead Cameron back into a civilized world, where love is real and freedom comes only in facing what hides behind the mask.

If this sounds like something you're interested in click here to download your free Kindle copy!

And if you want Book 1 for $5.99 (It's 792 pages, just FYI. Definitely getting your money's worth on that one!) here's the back copy:

Abbi has the gift of dreams. But her uncanny ability to see glimpses of the future has no apparent purpose or meaning until a dream leads her to a man on the brink of despair and destruction.

Cameron is a man without a name and without a country, framed for a crime he didn’t commit. Long ago forced into exile and believed dead, the passing of years have defaced him of all hope.

The country of Horstberg suffers beneath the weight of tyranny, and only Cameron holds the secret that could see her ruler undone and restore the people to peace and prosperity. While revolution brews and whispers of treason threaten all that is dear to Abbi, she remains unaware of her own ability to answer a nation’s prayers.

Trusting only her heart and the power of her dreams, Abbi gives all that she has to lead Cameron back into a civilized world, where love is real and freedom comes only in facing what hides behind the mask.

If you're interested, you can click here to buy!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Book Review: The Unbounded Series


The Reckoning

Today's review is the Unbounded series by Teyla Branton.  I just have to say how surprised I am by how much I love this series.  I came in late, though, and read the second, third, and fourth books, and had missed reading the first.  It didn't seem to matter at first, as I had no trouble understanding those last three, but when I finally read the first book, everything I'd read in the others really had more of a foundation, and details I didn't really understand suddenly made perfect sense.  So, so good.

The first book, The Change, introduces us to the cast of characters and what Unbounded people really are. I love the character of Erin. Her bewilderment and then acceptance was so realistic. There are some great plot twists that kept me up for several nights to see how it would be resolved.  I mean, who's betraying who, will Erin reconcile with her mortal boyfriend, will the Emporium lure her to their side, it was all so exciting. There are some great action scenes and the writing was stellar. The plot was original, the characters believable, and the tension high throughout. And this one is free currently, so hurry and go pick it up!

Book #1 The Change is FREE.

“Surprising plot twists” -Publishers Weekly

Grab your FREE copy today!

I reviewed the second book, The Cure, last year. You can see what I thought here.

The Escape continued where The Cure left off and really rounded out the love triangle that was starting in The Cure. I admit, I had my favorite for who I wanted Erin to be with and that sucked me into the plot. Erin is such a multi-faceted character, it was so easy to cheer for her and shake my head when she did things that I knew weren't going to turn out well in the end.  I love how she's trying to overcome her issues and makes mistakes and how the people around her have really become her family. The secondary characters are fantastic and every one of them could easily have their own stories that I know readers would line up to buy. Tons of action in this book and deep emotion.

The Reckoning finally gives us the resolution we've been waiting for.  Erin will face the Triad and the enemy who has dogged her steps for the entire series.  The book revolves around a plot the Renegades have uncovered that would plunge the world into a bloody and costly war. They are doing everything they can to prevent it from happening, but the odds are really stacked against them. As always.  Erin is in even more danger than ever before and the man she loves will do anything to save her.  It's such a delicate balance of an action story and love story, with family themes and a foundation of love and friendship.  It was definitely a satisfying ending to the series.  I wish there was one more book!  Really well done all the way through.

Even if you aren't a fan of the urban fantasy genre, this series will really pull you in with how realistic it is and all the nuances and details of the Unbounded world.  I highly recommend it.

Here's the back copy and information on the giveaway:

 The Reckoning Only One Can Survive The Reckoning

 Erin Radkey has always known the day would come when she would have to personally confront the Triad leader of the power-hungry Emporium. But she never thought it would be with a snake in her head that feeds on her energy. Or that she’d be in the company of an uncertain ally who might turn on her at any moment. The stakes are high as new intel uncovers a startling Emporium plot that will catapult the entire world into war. Erin is determined to save not only the mortals but also her friends—even if it means sacrificing herself and her newfound love for Ritter Langton. Ritter is just as determined to save Erin and prevent what would usher in the most bloody century the world has ever known, but even he might not recognize the person she becomes. Every day the enemy grows stronger. There will be no second chance.

  Praise for The Reckoning:  
 I just loved the whole Saga! Well-written, completely addictive, keeps you on the edge, wanting to know what comes next!
 I really think the author should consider a movie or a TV series for the whole four books!
For not being a SF fan, I just can say that this was AWESOME!  
 The fourth instalment in the Unbounded series definitely lives up to the action packed books preceding it. I love the strength of Erin's character, and the novel made for compelling reading.  
 The Unbounded world is a fascinating place to visit! I would recommend this series to anyone, women, men, young adults.
Not overly complicated yet the author weaves an amazing tail. I can hardly wait to see what is next for the Unbounded!


Author Teyla Rachel Branton Teyla Rachel Branton grew up avidly reading science fiction and fantasy and watching Star Trek reruns with her large family. They lived on a little farm where she loved to visit the solitary cow and collect (and juggle) the eggs, usually making it back to the house with most of them intact. On that same farm she once owned thirty-three gerbils and eighteen cats, not a good mix, as it turns out. Teyla always had her nose in a book and daydreamed about someday creating her own worlds. She is now married, mostly grown up, and has seven kids, including a two-year-old, so life at her house can be very interesting (and loud), but writing keeps her sane. She thrives on the energy and daily amusement offered by her children, the semi-ordered chaos giving her a constant source of writing material. Grabbing any snatch of free time from her hectic life, Teyla writes novels, often with a child on her lap. She warns her children that if they don’t behave, they just might find themselves in her next book! She’s been known to wear pajamas all day when working on a deadline, and is often distracted enough to burn dinner. (Okay, pretty much 90% of the time.) A sign on her office door reads: DANGER. WRITER AT WORK. ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK. She loves writing fiction and traveling, and she hopes to write and travel a lot more. She also loves shooting guns, martial arts, and belly dancing. She has worked in the publishing business for over twenty years.

    Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 9/18/14 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 publisher. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.