Sunday, April 24, 2016

April #UpperCaseBox


So, I was wondering how many of you subscribe to a Book box "club".  

I have researched many of them, and have found that UpperCase is the one for me.  This is my second month so far, and I absolutely love it.  You receive a YA book, either signed or with a signed book plate, and bookish items...and it all comes in this cute little pouch.  This month, the book was Scarlett Epstein  Hates It Here by Anna Breslaw.  This book is signed, and came with adorable Harry Potter themes book marks, A Potions journal, I Read YA pin and some stickers.

It's really worth it for those book nerds who like to get a surprise book in the mail!!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Spotlight: The Blood on My Hands by Shannon O'Leary


The Blood on My Hands is an autobiography by Shannon O’Leary. It was published in Feburary 2016 and is available for sale on Amazon.

Set in 1960s and ‘70s Australia, The Blood on My Hands is the dramatic tale of Shannon O’Leary's childhood years, growing up with an abusive father, who was a serial killer. No one, not even the authorities, would help O’Leary and her family. The responses of those whom O’Leary and her immediate family reached out to for help are almost as disturbing as the crimes of her violent father. Relatives were afraid to bring disgrace to the family’s good name, nuns condemned the child’s objections as disobedience and noncompliance, and laws at the time prevented the police from interfering unless someone was killed. 

The Blood on My Hands is a heartbreaking—yet riveting—narrative of a childhood spent in pain and terror, betrayed by the people who are supposed to provide safety and understanding. The strength and courageous resilience it took for O’Leary to not just survive and escape from her father, but to flourish, thrive, and triumph over the unimaginable trauma she endured as a child is both powerful and moving. 

Praise:

"The confusion, uncertainty, and sickening foreboding ring true and offer vital insights into the experience of abuse, including the fact that victims had few options, especially in the 1960s."  - Kirkus Reviews

"The work is crisp and painfully honest, moving from scene to scene both artfully and factually. Both the mundane and the impossible are treated with equal care, masterfully knitting together the various pieces of O’Leary’s tormented past.” - Red City Review

"The Blood on My Hands is a powerful, dark memoir… This is a story that is going to remain in my mind for a long time.” - 4 Stars, Readers’ Favorite

“Once I picked this up I could not put it down, I needed to see how they got away from the monster who called himself their father, who called himself a husband.”Sarah on Goodreads
                                               
 “I thoroughly enjoyed this book despite the subject matter and hope it manages to help at least one child know that it gets better, life gets better.” – 5 Stars, Sarah Purdy

About the Author:

Shannon O’Leary is a prolific writer and performer. She is the author of several books of poetry and children’s stories, and she has won many awards for song-writing.

Shannon has acted and directed on the stage and on Australian national TV, and she runs her own production company.

She has numerous graduate and post-graduate degrees in education, music, and science. She is a teacher and academic, has five children with her deceased former husband, and lives with her longtime partner in Sydney, Australia.

Her memoir The Blood on My Hands was published in February 2016 and is available for sale on Amazon and Createspace.

Readers can connect with Shannon on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads.


 Back Cover

EXCERPT

Prologue
I have felt the cold steel of a gun in my mouth and against my temple.I have tasted warm blood on my lips and witnessed horrific scenes of mutilation, where nameless people took their last breaths. In my life, I have experienced poverty, met people who had plenty, and lived through fire, floods, and drought. I have befriended the intellectually challenged and physically impaired and have known the mentally ill and misfits who were geniuses. I also assumed anonymity with my mother and brothers without people realizing we had disappeared.
In my youth I was exposed to many facets of raw emotion.
I’ve seen a living heart, beating and pulsating for its last time; seen broken fingers tossed in the wind; and watched a severed head dance. Tormented by recurring memories, I have chosen to write this book and put these ghosts to rest.
I first contemplated suicide at the age of four.
I devised my death plan down to the very last detail but never had the courage to see it through to completion. Instead, my mother’s face would keep interceding, begging me to stay alive. Faced with the fact that I could not inflict my death upon her, I’d pray for miraculous intervention. During hysterical bouts of entreaty, I would beg Jesus to strike us dead at exactly the same moment so that neither of us would feel the pain of enforced separation or the prolonged agony of death.
As a child, I dreamed of better things to come and lived in spiritualistic hope that one day my world would change. I thought my trauma was normal and didn’t know what other families experienced. I thought fear, sad- ness, and horror were just the by-products of a barely tolerable childhood. My self-esteem was nonexistent, and after a while I sought approval through the creative arts. I loved to sing, and as my voice was strong, I sang to cover my feelings of inadequacy and desolation. To me, music represented true happiness, a make-believe world where I could cling to melodious sounds instead of the tortured screaming of my nightmares.
As an adult, I have felt exhilaration when audiences clapped and called my name. At the same time, I have felt myself torn in two, experiencing the immobilizing fear of personal exposure when not protected by the proscenium arch of a stage. When I present myself without camouflage or without a scripted character to protect me, my gut wrenches itself into a catatonic knot, an all-enveloping state of fear. If I feel I am being examined on a personal level, my arms and legs become frozen, and I feel my soul moving toward automatic pilot. I smile and behave in the correct manner, but I’m mentally blank and devoid of all feeling.
I know what it’s like to be branded, to be labeled, and to work within the confines of a title. As a child I was called brilliant, genius, a child prodigy, and a precocious little troublemaker. I was also called an actress, liar, and evil. My teachers admitted they didn’t understand me and often left me to myself. As an adult, I experienced national fame as a children’s TV personality. I have brought joy to thousands of children by teaching them the elements of performance.
It brings me great fulfillment to see children experiencing happiness. It puts my own life in perspective.
I cannot find the words to describe my childhood. Words such as “passionately naive,” “emotionally lacerated,” and “holistically experiential” all pale in significance, in the shadow of living itself. My childhood was so creatively textured that it carried into adulthood without allowing me to become consumed by the insanity playing havoc around me. I am sane and strong, and for that I am eternally grateful. I have felt and seen extreme emotion. I have smelled my own flesh burning. I know what it feels like to have baby snakes wriggle across my body, to smell decay, and to see an eyeball popped between someone’s fingers. Alone, I have spent what seemed like hours in a blackened hole, a makeshift grave with a steel curtain, waiting for death.
Through all this, I stayed courageous and strong.
I treasure the power of love and the absurdity of shock, and I deal with these emotions on a day-to-day basis.
This is the story of my childhood. 

Rainbows and Raindrops Release Day Blitz



Rainbows and Raindrops by Lynn and Morris
RELEASE DAY BLITZ
4/18/16

Rainbowsecover




Before… They are the Musketeers–one for all and all for Rain, or however that saying goes.   


Now that Rain's sixteen, freedom is at her fingertips. Cliff jumping at the lake. Rain’s first tattoo. Spence finally asking her out. With her friends by her side, there’s no reason Rain can’t be happy in a world that constantly tries to extinguish her addictive, carefree spirit.  

  After… It’s just Rain. No misfits and no Musketeers.   Until Rain pulls up to her new summer job and discovers the two people she’s been hiding from–Spence and Landon– are her new cabin mates. Landon’s determined to help Rain overcome her guilt and remember what once was.

As they become closer, he awakens a part of her soul she never thought she’d feel again.   Making Rain wonder if, despite all the mistakes she’s made, it’s worth trying to get back to the girl she used to be.

~*~ABOUT THE AUTHORS~*~

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Kelley Lynn

YA author with genre commitment issues.

Eventually the day came when the voices in Kelley Lynn's head were more insistent then her engineering professor's. So instead of turning to her Thermodynamics book, Kelley brought up a blank page on her computer and wrote. Somewhere along the way she became a Young Adult author.

Kelley's enjoyed working with traditional publishers as well as publishing work on her own.

Feel free to hang out with Kelley at her Facebook Page or see what she's tweeting about. (@KelleyLynn1) She loves to get feedback on her work through authorkelleylynn@gmail.com.

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I'm a working wife and mother. Lover of music, avid reader by day and writer/ninja by night. I love almost anything geek related, and I may have a Kdrama addiction.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Spotlight: The Prelapsarians by John Gaiserich

The Prelapsarians
By John Gaiserich


What is the cost of compassion in a dark and deadly world?
EPIC FANTASY, PHILOSOPHY & POST-APOCALYPTIC ACTION COLLIDE IN “AGGRESSIVELY CAPTIVATING” DYSTOPIAN DEBUT 
Pray for revenge, and God will turn a deaf ear.
– Russian proverb 
            If one commits an act of vengeance, are they ever justified? Or have they, by adopting their offender’s tactics in retaliation, become just as vile?
The full-length debut from emerging American novelist John Gaiserich, The Prelapsarians, is a gripping examination of human morality when comfort and security are stretched to their breaking points – and poses important questions that will resonate with readers long after they’ve turned the last page.
            Set twenty-five years after the eruption of the Yellowstone super volcano and the world war that followed, The Prelapsarians follows the scattered, dwindling remnants of the human race as they struggle to eke out a primordial existence under the thumb of a group of greedy Oligarchs. For those born before the disaster -- called the Prelapsarians -- the future looks hopeless. But there are some who choose to resist.
            In the south of Russia, a band of retired mercenaries -- led by the formidable, cold, morally ambiguous Andrei Evgenyevich Myshkin -- seek to undermine the Oligarchs' power. Their ardor is invigorated when they join forces with Ani Ohanyan, a headstrong, idealistic young smuggler with dreams of a brighter future and a penchant for getting herself into trouble. Together, their quest takes them across the Caucasus Mountains, through the ruins of once-prosperous cities, and to the shores of the Caspian Sea… along the way facing backroom intrigue, fierce battles, and brewing tensions that threaten to turn them against one another. But amidst their trials, the greatest struggles they face may be against their own demons.

“Early on in the story, one of my characters muses on how much easier charity and compassion were in the old world, when people knew they had a life of luxury waiting for them when they went home at night,” says Gaiserich. “In the aftermath of a worldwide catastrophe, I ask: would humans continue to show benevolence, or would they revert to a Darwinian ‘might is right’ way of life?”
            Heralded by IndieReader.com as “an aggressively captivating meditation on faith and morality as civilization collapses, rebuilds, and threatens to fall once more,” The Prelapsarians introduces Gaiserich as a new and notable voice in the dystopian fiction arena – and is not-to-be-missed by any lover of character-driven, action-packed, philosophically significant storytelling.

About the Author:

Hailing from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, John Gaiserich began writing fiction in 2009. His debut novel, The Prelapsarians, draws heavily on his interest in Russian history and culture, and is influenced by the films of Andrei Tarkovsky. In addition to writing, John works as an aviation professional and takes a great interest in the aerospace industry. 
Connect with John Gaiserich on FacebookTwitterFlickr and at www.JohnGaiserich.com.

The Prelapsarians is available in both paperback and e-book formats via Amazon.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Spotlight: One Flew Over the Banyan Tree by Alan Jansen

One Flew over the Banyan Tree
By Alan Jansen



1960s Post-Colonial Nostalgia Collides with Quirky Characters in Historical Fiction Debut
A LIGHT-HEARTED COMING OF AGE TALE OF ADVENTURE AND TRANSFORMATION
"One Flew over the Banyan Tree is rich with meticulous detail and digression,
and the payoff for the many escapades is worth the wait."
-- Clarion Review  

How does a young boy find his way after his father loses a critical job and abandons his family in a small island town? In Alan Jansen’s stunning historical fiction debut, One Flew over the Banyan Tree, clever eleven-year-old Rohan grapples with this loss as he finds himself navigating a new world among a cast of colorful characters.
Set on the fictitious island of Victoria (resembling Post-Colonial Sri Lanka),

One Flew over the Banyan Tree takes readers through a panoramic journey of life in the 1960s.

Centered on young Rohan through a memorable stay at his Grandmummy’s house in Jellicoe Junction, in One Flew Over the Banyan Tree readers meet loveable and unforgettable characters like Bellakay, the walking encyclopedia; Salgado, a droll glutton; Sonny, owner of the illegal dilapidated restaurant called Nameless; “breakfast-eaters” who enjoy a good session of camaraderie and banter at the illicit eatery; an anthropomorphic canine who ruminates on the human race; headless ghosts who hover above the town’s beloved banyan tree; and many other captivating personalities.

No longer belonging to a functional family, Rohan must come to terms with his transformation into an independent young boy during his surreal stay in impoverished Jellicoe Junction, a lively hub in the island’s capital city – Portopo. After experiencing many perspectives and personalities, will he learn to forgive and transcend — or will he blend into the pauperized place he’s found himself situated in?

The past comes alive in One Flew over the Banyan Tree as generational and class conflicts intensify in the wake of 1960’s counterculture. With great heart and humor, Jansen’s debut is a gripping exposition of the far-reaching impact of British colonization, the ongoing disparities of destitution, and one young boy’s navigation of divided loyalties and decisions that will change the course of his life forever.

In One Flew over the Banyan Tree, Jansen draws inspiration from the wit of O. Henry, the clandestine world-building of Roald Dahl, and the comical storytelling of P.G Wodehouse. This book is a delight for fans of historic fiction, those who enjoy deep character development, and anyone spellbound by the characteristics of post-colonialism.

About the Author:

Alan Jansen was born and raised in British Colonial Ceylon (later Sri Lanka). He studied at the renowned St. Joseph's College in Colombo and currently lives in Stockholm, Sweden after emigrating there as a young man. Giving up a long-time senior position in a Swedish telecom company, Alan decided to concentrate on a writing career. One Flew over the Banyan Tree is his first novel. 

One Flew over the Banyan Tree [iUniverse] paperback is available at most online booksellers including AmazoniUniverseAdlibrisBarnes & NobleKobo, (Bowker),  ScribdChapters Indigo ca, etc, as of September 24, 2015. The e-book is also available at most of these and other online booksellers.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Release Day Blitz: Trial by Fired by Chris Cannon


Trial By Fire by Chris Cannon
RELEASE DAY BLITZ
April 4, 2016


Bryn’s hopes for a peaceful new semester at school go up in smoke when someone tries to kill her—again. She’s not sure which is scarier, facing the radicals who want to sacrifice her for their cause, or her impending nightmare of a Directorate-arranged marriage to her nemesis, Jaxon.
The one bright spot in her life is Valmont, her smoking-hot knight who is assigned to watch over her twenty-four hours a day. Is what she feels for him real or just a side effect of the dragon-knight bond? At this point, stopping the impending civil war might be easier than figuring out her love life.
She may have to live in their world, but she doesn’t have to play by their rules.

~*~ABOUT CHRIS~*~


Award winning author Chris Cannon lives in Southern Illinois with her husband and her three dogs, Pete the shih tzu who sleeps on her desk while she writes, Molly the ever-shedding yellow lab, and Tyson the sandwich-stealing German Shepherd Beagle. She believes coffee is the Elixir of Life. Most evenings after work, you can find her sucking down caffeine and writing fire-breathing paranormal adventures and snarky contemporary romance.



Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Release Day Blitz: SUMMERLOST by Ally Condie and GIveaway



Summerlost by Ally Condie

Release Day!!


Hosted by: Word Spelunking and Penguin Kids


@WordSpelunker ; https://twitter.com/WordSpelunker


@PenguinKids ; https://twitter.com/penguinkids

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Praise:

A Spring 2016 Kids' Indie Next List Top 10 Pick!

Named one of Publishers Weekly’s Most Anticipated Children’s and YA Books of Spring 2016

« “Condie (Matched) strikes a deep emotional chord with this coming-of-age story.” – Publishers Weekly, starred review

« “Multiple, seemingly random details, including a family of turkey vultures that now roost outside Cedar’s window, an absurd soap opera narrative of a woman buried alive, and Leo’s quest for a trip with his father, coalesce into metaphors that help Cedar make sense of her grief and the life she now has to look forward to. Thoughtful, poetic chapter endings guide readers new to psychological depth toward meaningful connections between plot events and thematic reflections.” – BCCB

“A moving tale of friendship and loss. I loved these characters—I wish we could have been friends when I was a kid.” –Brandon Mull, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Fablehaven and Five Kingdoms series

“Ally Condie’s first middle grade book might also be my favorite out of ALL her books to date. Summerlost is a story packed with nostalgia, heart, and gorgeous prose.” – The Novel Novice

“A nuanced portrait of grief deeply grounded in the middle-school mind-set.” – Booklist

“Honest, lovely, and sad.” – Kirkus Reviews

“A sweet, heartfelt story.” – School Library Journal

“Achingly good.” – Summer Laurie, Books Inc.


Letter from Ally:

Dear Readers,

I think most of us have had our hearts broken. Sometimes we can see it coming, and sometimes it comes down with the unexpected force of a sudden gale of wind or a rising of waters that we thought were still and safe. Loss is universal to human experience, but the way we each feel and recover is one of the most personal things we do.

In Summerlost, Cedar is dealing with the loss of her father and younger brother. And my intent was to show how hard their deaths are for her. But this is also a book about the healing power of friendship. Most of us have been broken-hearted; I hope that most of us have also discovered the miracle of friendships that were just what we needed. Cedar and Leo’s friendship is based on someone I met when I was twelve. Like Leo, my friend was fun and liked to enlist me in crazy adventures (although we never gave a secret guided tour of our town the way they do in Summerlost). And, like Leo, he thought I was wonderful and of worth at a time when I needed it most.

SUMMERLOST is my attempt to pay tribute both to the pain we feel and the friendships that save us. Thank you so much for supporting this book, and for your willingness to give Cedar’s story a try. I hope it makes you think of a wonderful friend of your own, whether that is someone you met in the pages of a favorite book or outside, in the world where it is often hard and beautiful to live.

Best wishes and happy reading always,
Ally Condie

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Links:

You can buy Summerlost at the places below:

Amazon


Check out more of the book on Goodreads


a Rafflecopter giveaway