Monday, July 28, 2014

Spreaker ~ Have you tried it?

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Your books

Hello again, everyone, Paul here again today with another post about my publishing journey. This one is a bit off the beaten path as it really doesn't discuss actual publishing. I'm talking about Spreaker today, and how you can use it to market yourself and your work. Have you ever heard of it? Listened to it? Used it?

In case you're not familiar with Spreaker it's a web and mobile app that allows you to broadcast live, record podcasts, listen to talent from all over the world, and more. In their company "About" page they state: "Spreaker sets the stage for artists and hosts, allowing them to broadcast their shows, tracks, and playlists to listeners all over the world." It is a great place to be! My hope is that by using it and having my own show I will be able to increase awareness of me and my books. I believe it will prove to be a valuable marketing tool increasing my exposure on another medium that I haven't used before.

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Spreaker is easy! I did it.

I stumbled upon it and created my own radio show; the Paul R. Hewlett Show. I must admit that I haven't used it too much as life seems to have gotten too busy, but when I have used it I've found it very user friendly and fun. I have little to no knowledge of broadcasting, and I had very little trouble recording my own show. I use the free version, but there is a PRO version. I'm not entirely sure of the difference, but I believe with the free version there is a limit to how many hours you can record. I do know that once you make a recording you have to wait a specified time period before recording again with the free version. I'm not sure if I need the PRO version just yet. I'm going to keep at it using the free version, and I'll keep you posted

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I think I've got it!
I have recorded several chapters of my books on Spreaker. The first two chapters of Lionel's Christmas Adventure can be heard here: Chapter 1 & Chapter 2. I recently got back into using Spreaker as I have a couple of free days between my summer terms and I recorded Chapter 1 of Lionel and the Golden Rule here. I've had a few listens so far so that's exciting. I hope to have a few more and use Spreaker as a tool to help promote myself and my books. We'll see how that works. I also have included a link to my Spreaker show on my website Paul R. Hewlett. Click on my name if you want to see how I did that and what it looks like.

Well, that about wraps up my post. I have really taken a shine to Spreaker and I hope that you get a chance to visit it if you haven't and that it proves to be a useful marketing tool in your journey. Please feel free to leave a comment about your thoughts or experiences with Spreker, or ask a question! Thanks for reading.

Paul R. Hewlett

Friday, July 25, 2014

A. G. Henley Guest Post: Favorite Books & Giveaway

Hi, all. Sher here with a guest post by A. G. Henley about her favorite books. Sometimes, my favorite book is the one I just read, but other times I find a new favorite because of recommendations like these. So get ready to fave! And yes, there's a giveaway!

~~~On with the show, A. G.~~~

I'm occasionally asked by friends, family, and readers for recommendations of YA titles that I loved. I read a lot, so it shouldn't be that hard to come up with a title or two, but for some reason the question throws me. I know I prefer fantasy to contemporary, and I love historical fiction. I adore strong heroines and admire robust writing. But when asked for specific books, I find myself scratching my head, wrinkling my nose, and scrabbling for names. So I decided that here and now I will list five of my favorite YA titles and tell you why they're so great. You might spot a few you've already read, or you might get an idea for your next read. Either way, hopefully I won't come across as a stammering idiot next time I get asked this question!

Soulless_by_Gail_Carriger_1st_edition_cover5. The Parasol Protectorate Series by Gail Carriger

This hilarious series is set in Victorian London and features a crazy cast of vampires and werewolves, steampunk machines, tea-drinking (and, horrors, the occasional American). It had me at the first paragraph, in which the Author describes the Grand Collapse of a foppish vampire who has the bad manners to attempt to suck the smart, headstrong heroine's blood in the middle of a library, during a ball, of all things. (She stabs him with her hairpin.) While reading the five books in the series, I could often be found craving a nice Assam and laughing out loud. I wrote more about the series here.

4. Under the Never Sky series by Veronica Rossi

This dystopian fantasy series definitely caught my attention for its well-imagined world, authentic-feeling characters, and because there were so darn many similarities to my own Brilliant Darkness series. My series, which stands at two novels (The Scourge and The Defiance, plus a novella, The Keeper) with two more novels to come, is about a blind girl who must face a ravaging horde of flesh-eating creatures on her own while learning to trust a boy from a neighboring community that everyone says can't be trusted. UTNS is about a sheltered girl who must learn to navigate the hostile environment of the outside world with the help of a "savage" boy.

The Scourge - AG HenleyBoth dystopian fantasy? Check. Both have fearless heroines and heroes named Peregrine (called Perry in hers and Peree in mine) who wield bows and are (if I do say so myself) pretty captivating? Check. Both have similar themes, and even several of the same character names (Sable, Willow, Bear, among others)? Check. I wonder if Veronica Rossi and I tapped into the same creative flow when we wrote our debut novels (which were even released the same month.) For all their similarities, our series are still distinctly different works in voice, setting, plot and lots of other ways (including that hers was a NYT bestseller : ) But I think it's safe to say if you like one, you'll like the other.

3. A nod to the Indies (A.R. Ivanovich, Katie French, S.K. Falls)

777789_origAs an Indie author, I'd be remiss if I didn't share a few of my favorite series from other Indies. I'm going to cheat, and tell you about three series I love instead of one. I defy you not to take to A.R. Ivanovich's War of the Princes series. It is very well-written fantasy with steampunk elements that just keeps getting better with each book released. Set in the West, the dystopian The Breeders series by Katie French is dark and gritty, fascinating and disturbing in the same stroke. Finally, there's S.K. Falls and her broody, lyrical Glimpsing Stars series. These are Indies at their best and deserve a read. Also check out the author collective I belong to, Infinite Ink, for more.

GraveMercy_final_hres-198x3002. His Fair Assassin series by Robin LaFevers

Young assassin nuns in medieval France. Need I say more? Just in case I do: twisted politics, concealed knives, high court intrigue, throwing stars, forbidden love, poison. Not to mention intricately plotted, hard to put down, and oh-so-well-written. A few of the many reasons why this series (2/3 books released as of now) is outstanding and compelling.

1. Graceling by Kristin Cashore
This might be my favorite YA book of all time. While Katsa is another tough, butt-kicking MC with the special talent of killing, she's also much less in touch with her feelings than most YA heroines. I loved watching her confront her fears (mainly that she is only good at, and capable of, killing) while also learning to love herself and others. Po, the male protag, is as good an example of a non-alpha male main character who is still confident and supportive as I've read. The setting is engrossing and the writing is tight. But it's Katsa's journey to become who she doesn't think she can be that made this a book of my heart.

There you have it! As I look over my list, it's pretty easy to see that I love me some fantasy, adventure, and romance in YA. So it's not all that hard to tell why my Brilliant Darkness series includes all three elements. I hope you'll pick up one of these books and let me know how you like them.


The Brilliant Darkness Series by A.G. Henley

The Scourge (Book 1)

Scourge Ebook Reg

Available at Amazon

Seventeen-year-old Groundling, Fennel, is Sightless. She's never been able to see her lush forest home, but she knows its secrets. She knows how the shadows shift when she passes under a canopy of trees. She knows how to hide in the cool, damp caves when the Scourge comes. She knows how devious and arrogant the Groundlings' tree-dwelling neighbors, the Lofties, can be.

And she's always known this day would come--the day she faces the Scourge alone.

The Sightless, like Fenn, are mysteriously protected from the Scourge, the gruesome creatures roaming the forests, reeking of festering flesh and consuming anything--and anyone--living. A Sightless Groundling must brave the Scourge and bring fresh water to the people of the forest. Today, that task becomes Fenn's.

Fenn will have a Lofty Keeper, Peree, as her companion. Everyone knows the Lofties wouldn't hesitate to shoot an arrow through the back of an unsuspecting Groundling like Fenn, but Peree seems different. A boy with warm, rough hands who smells like summer, he is surprisingly kind and thoughtful. Although Fenn knows his people are treacherous, she finds herself wanting to trust him.

As their forest community teeters on the brink of war, Fenn and Peree must learn to work together to survive the Scourge and ensure their people's survival. But when Fenn uncovers a secret that shatters her truths, she's forced to decide who and what to protect--her people, her growing love for Peree, or the elusive dream of lasting peace in the forest.

A tale of star-crossed lovers, strange creatures, and secretive, feuding factions, THE SCOURGE introduces readers to a rich and exciting new world where nothing is as it seems.

"One of the Best Books I've Ever Read! . . . Buy it, borrow it . . . whatever, just read this book!"
-BookChick, blog review

2013 Next Generation Indie Book Award Finalist in the YA Category

"Looking for a trenchant, imaginative, beautifully written novel to read? Look no further: it's The Scourge, by A.G. Henley."
-- Sarah Cloots, former editor at Greenwillow Books, imprint of HarperCollins Children's Books

"The prose flows smoothly and easily but there are much deeper issues lying beneath the surface of the story that are captivating and will hold the interest of readers of any age . . . I was quickly transported into the world of The Scourge and plummeted breathlessly toward the resolution. This is a very good book and a good look at just what science fiction can achieve when in the hands of a capable writer."
-- Josef Hernandez, Examiner

"From the moment I started reading this book I was hooked . . . The Scourge is not only a story of survival; it is also a story of awakening, love, family devotion."
-- ReadingDiva, blog review

Also available in the Brilliant Darkness series:

A.G. HenleyA.G. Henley is the author of the BRILLIANT DARKNESS series. The first book in the series, THE SCOURGE, was a 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Award Finalist.

A.G. is also a clinical psychologist, which means people either tell her their life stories on airplanes, or avoid her at parties when they've had too much to drink. Neither of which she minds. When she's not writing fiction or shrinking heads, she can be found herding her children and their scruffy dog, Guapo, to various activities while trying to remember whatever she's inevitably forgotten to tell her husband. She lives in Denver, Colorado.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Double Negative by C. Lee McKenzie Cover Reveal, Character Conversation, & Giveaway

Hi, everyone. It's Sher here featuring Double Negative, by C. Lee McKenzie.  Mom always told me not to use such language, and here I am recommending it! If you ask me, Double Negative is a very positive book title. Yes, there's a giveaway, but first here's a character conversation Lee sent me to give you a little flavor:

"While this scene never happens in Double Negative, it could. Hutch is always asking for Nyla’s help. He can barely read and she knows it, but she’s the only one in school that does. Hutch can trust her with his secret because Nyla has no friends, and even if she did, she’d never let Hutch down by telling them about his problem."


     Hutch spots Nyla alone at the back of the cafeteria. He hurries to where she’s sitting and takes the chair across from her. “Yo, Nyla. I’m in a mess.”
     Nyla takes a chocolate kiss from the bag next to her and gives him the look, the one that screams, “What’s new?”
     “Come on. I mean it.” He drops his English book on the table and flops it open to a page he’s bookmarked with a pencil. “Deek the Greek’s got a test up his sleeve for tomorrow, and I got no clue what this,” – he stabs his finger on the page – “says.”
     “Okay. Let me see.” She spins the book to face her. “It’s a poem about love.” She smiles.   “Don’t look that way. I like these kinds of poems. Most of the time poets write about death and ugly things.”
     “Right. So give it to me. What do I need to know about. . .love?”
     “How about everything?”
     “Knock it off, Nyla. Just give me what I need to pass this test, okay?”
     “How much can you remember?”
     Hutch sits back and crosses his arms. “Give me three facts. I’ll memorize them and come back later for more.”
     After she reads the poem more carefully she says, “Your teacher might ask about the allusion to Shakespeare.”
     Hutch sits up and leans over the book. “Huh? Where?”
     “The last line. ‘. . .all’s well.’”
     “I don’t get it.”
     “The allusion or the meaning of those words?”
    “Look, just translate this. . .this poem to me in plain English.”
     Nyla picks up the book and peers over the top at Hutch. “Fact: love doesn’t last long. Fact: love is everything. Fact: you don’t need heaven if you have love.”
     “Oh, man. This is going to be one gnarly test.” Hutch grabs the book and starts to leave. “I’ll be back.”
     “Hope so,” Nyla says as she pops a chocolate kiss into her mouth.


Author Bio:

C. Lee McKenzie is a native Californian who grew up in a lot of different places; then landed in the Santa Cruz Mountains where she lives with her family and miscellaneous pets. She writes most of the time, gardens and hikes and does yoga a lot, and then travels whenever she can.

She takes on modern issues that today's teens face in their daily lives. Her first young adult novel, Sliding on the Edge, which dealt with cutting and suicide was published in 2009. Her second, titled The Princess of Las Pulgas, dealing with a family who loses everything and must rebuild their lives came out in 2010. Her short story, Premeditated Cat, appears in the anthology, The First Time, and her Into the Sea of Dew is part of a collection, Two and Twenty Dark Tales. In 2012, her first middle grade novel, Alligators Overhead, came out. Double Negative is her third young adult novel.


McKenzie’s newest book DOUBLE NEGATIVE, July 2014 


C. Lee McKenzie moved her writing skills from the world of academia to the teen scene. Her newest book Double Negative (July, Evernight Teen.) creates a story about a functionally illiterate teen who struggles to escape his dysfunctional family.

Double Negative centers on Hutchison Mc Queen, a sixteen-year-old screw up, a member of Larkston High’s loser clique, the boy who’s on his way to nowhere—unless juvenile hall counts as a destination. He squeaks through classes with his talent for eavesdropping and memorizing what he hears. When that doesn’t work, he goes to Fat Nyla, the one some mean girls are out to get and a person who’s in on his secret—he can barely read. And then Maggie happens. For twenty-five years she’s saved boys from their own bad choices. But she may not have time to save Hutch. Alzheimer’s disease is steadily stealing her keen mind.

McKenzie published her young adult novels with WestSide books in 2009 and 2010. Sliding on the Edge tackled the issue of cutting and suicide among young people and The Princess of Las Pulgas painted a picture of a family who loses everything and must rebuild their lives together. In her third book she switched to writing for grade school readers. Her book Alligators Overhead (July, Outskirts Press, Inc.) created a fantasy adventure story about two seventh graders who must save a wetlands from developers.


Available from EVERNIGHT TEEN

Available from AMAZON starting July 25

I'd like to thank Lee for guesting today and for the great peek into Hutch's life. Please tell Lee what you think of Double Negative, and don't forget to put it on your TBR list. Then if you have time, please scroll back for other cool books and open giveaways, and come back Friday to meet Aimee Henley and find out her favorite books. Last but not least, thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Flight of the Mite Book Blast and Giveaway

Greetings, my name is Kevin Gerard. I live in San Diego, California, teach statistics, and write fantasy adventure novels for young readers, mostly middle grade. I'll be reviewing MG and YA books for this blog, Sher A Hart: Written Art, beginning very soon. As a matter of fact, I'm almost finished with Dream Warriors, by D. Robert Pease. I can't wait to write the review.

Flight of the Mite

Title: Flight of the Mite | Author: Grayson Smith | Illustrator: Alana Kyle | Publication Date: 2013 | Publisher: Peppermint Toast Publishing: Independent | Pages: 32 | Recommended Ages: 3 to 8 | Reviewed by: Renee and Dominic (Mother and Son)

Information About The Book: A tale of wonder and imagination, Flight of the Mite is a children's read-aloud picture book, written by Grayson Smith and illustrated by Alana Kyle. As a tiny mite stares in wonder at the nighttime stars, she becomes certain that if she were only able to travel to them, she would meet a world of wondrous creatures. She determines to build a flying contraption, and through persistence, ingenuity, and wise counsel, journeys to the nearest star. There she encounters the Others of her dreams and finds herself on an adventure where she learns that her imagination is her most important tool! This story of imagination, courage, and determination is perfect for the little mite in your life! Flight of the Mite is the first book published by the independent small press, Peppermint Toast Publishing, out of New Westminster, British Columbia. Peppermint Toast Publishing strives to work with emerging authors and artists towards the high-quality and environmentally-friendly publication of children's picture books and literature, in profit-sharing partnership with local charitable organizations.


Peppermint Toast Publishing is happy to be contributing $3 from the sales for each copy of Flight of the Mite sold, going to help sick kids get better at BC Children’s Hospital. Visit their Online Store to purchase your copy!

Peppermint Toast Publishing | Amazon (Canada)


The Buzz About the Book

Mother and Son Review by MDBR: "Flight of the Mite is a delightful, rhyming picture book featuring an adorable little mite who dreams big as the main character; a magical story underscoring the importance of imagination in children's development; and absolutely gorgeous and whimsical illustrations. I highly recommend this book to children ages 3 to 8 and I think it would be a great choice for reading aloud to children in a classroom or library setting."

"This is our new favourite story to read and will be a book that we will be keeping to pass down to future member of our family." ~ Raincity Parent
"This wonderful piece of children’s literature is well crafted and appropriate for children and adults, the message is clear, embrace diversity, ones weakness may actually be strength. The most interesting and entertaining part is that there is a consistent rhythm and rhyme to the story, keeping the powerful message light and playful." ~ Active Lee Dadding

" I have read the sweetest story!...The combination of these two talents [i.e., the author and illustrator] working together has left us with a sweet rhyming story about a little mites big imagination." ~ Moments in Mommyland

"I recently received a new children’s book to review called Flight of the Mite. So of course I went to the best critic in the house – my 4 year old son[...]. We sat down to read the story together and discovered a delightful tale about imagination and discovery... The illustrations are delightful and [my son] insisted that we stop to discuss some of them along the way. There was more than one “wow!” over a picture of the mite climbing a dandelion." ~ Prenatal to Parenting


Grayson Smith About the Author: Grayson Smith

Grayson Smith was born in Alberta, but attended a boarding school in Germany for 11 years. After high school, he attended SFU, where he obtained a degree in Criminology and met his beautiful wife, Linda. Throughout university, Grayson wrote stories when he should have been paying attention in class. After completing his degree, he became a police officer, and still enjoys that job thoroughly. As of 2012, Grayson gets to re-envision the world through the eyes of his baby son, Josiah. Writing is a wonderful way for Grayson to express the silliness and vagary that simmers beneath his well-practiced outer layer of respectability and professionalism.    





 About the Illustrator: Alana Kyle

Alana Kyle, IllustratorAlana Kyle was born and raised in the Lower Mainland. As a small child, she was sweet, quiet, and frequently lost inside her own head. Ever since she was young, she was motivated by her love of artistic creativity and attention to detail, and remains captivated by storybooks and imagination. Alana attended and graduated from Emily Carr University of Art + Design with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, and also obtained a three-year diploma of Illustration and Design from Capilano University. She works as an illustrator and graphic designer, and lives in Coquitlam.  



Links to More Information


Peppermint Toast Publishing | Twitter | Goodreads

Facebook (Peppermint Toast Publishing) | Facebook (Flight of the Mite)


* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon 25 gift card 

 Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice) Contest ends: August 19, 11:59 pm, 2014 Open: Internationally How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Grayson Smith and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

MDBR Book Promotion Services

Guess I'll be seeing you soon. I hope my reviews will help you select great books for the readers in your family.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Christmas in July Hop ~ #Giveaway of #Childrensbook Lionel's Christmas Adventure

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Ho, ho, ho, everyone, and welcome to the Christmas in July Hop hosted by I Am A Reader Not A Writer & Laurie Here. Paul here, and I'd like to give a special thanks to Kathy and Laurie for hosting and doing such a great job for readers and writers everywhere. Today we're talking about Christmas! When you're done here make sure to check out the linky at the bottom of the page and click on the links to "hop" on over to other great blogs for some more Christmas and family friendly giveaways.

I'm featuring my very own Christmas book: Lionel's Christmas Adventure: Lionel Learns the True Meaning of Christmas. I'll be giving away an ebook to one lucky winner. This is book two in the Lionel's Grand Adventure series and this time around Lionel has a new best friend but loses the true Christmas spirit. Lucky for him his magical charm hasn't and with it's help he might just get it back.

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Click here to go to
Here's the blurb:

Have you ever wanted something you couldn't have? Meet Lionel, a lovable bully-magnet who desperately wants a new sled and will do anything to get it. This fun Christmas book follows Lionel from Larrystown to the North Pole. His magical Three-Toed-Potbellied Walbaun foot is back and is as unpredictable as ever. Whether Lionel's sledding, ice skating, or in a life-sized gingerbread village, it takes him on some grand adventures. Filled with great Christmas imagery, this book is perfect for young readers and family story time. This holiday, be careful what you wish for; you never know what might happen!


I had a lot of fun writing this book and hope you have as much fun reading it. If you want to learn more about me or the Lionel's Grand Adventure series head on over to You can check out my other book, my book trailers, my radio show, and also order paperbacks (they make great gifts!) of my books with free standard shipping to the U. S.

Here's the book video for Lionel's Christmas Adventure, enjoy!

Thanks again, everyone! I hope you enjoyed Lionel's Christmas Adventure as well as Christmas in July! Make sure to follow the linky to "hop" over to other great sites for more great giveaways. Merry Christmas!

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Soulless by Crystal Collier: Cover Reveal

Hi, all, it's Sher here. I'm happy today to help with a cover reveal for Crystal Collier. The latest in her Maiden of Time series. She's got a giveaway too. Cool beans! So let's get to the good stuff.

Have you met the Soulless and Passionate? In the world of 1770 where supernatural beings mix with humanity, Alexia is playing a deadly game.


Book 2 in the Maiden of Time trilogy

Alexia manipulated time to save the man of her dreams, and lost her best friend to red-eyed wraiths. Still grieving, she struggles to reconcile her loss with what was gained: her impending marriage. But when her wedding is destroyed by the Soulless—who then steal the only protection her people have—she's forced to unleash her true power.

And risk losing everything.

What people are saying about this series:

"With a completely unique plot that keeps you guessing and interested, it brings you close to the characters, sympathizing with them and understanding their trials and tribulations." --SC, Amazon reviewer

"It's clean, classy and supernaturally packed with suspense, longing, intrigue and magic." --Jill Jennings, TX

"SWOON." --Sherlyn, Mermaid with a Book Reviewer

Crystal Collier is a young adult author who pens dark fantasy, historical, and romance hybrids. She can be found practicing her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, three littles, and “friend†(a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese. You can find her on her blog and Facebook, or follow her on Twitter.

COMING October 13, 2014

PREORDER your print copy


Sign up for Crystal Collier's newsletter to receive release news and freebies.

I'm excited for Crystal. Maybe by October I'll have my mom's picture book published, but I'm not near as far along in the process. To me, this is epic pre-planning.

Oh, almost forgot. If you have time, please scroll back for other open giveaways. There's a kindle fire up for grabs and the Tuttle Twins tour giveaway is still open, plus maybe a couple of book blasts. As always, thanks for visiting! And please tell Crystal what you think about her cover. Awesome!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Kindle Fire HDX or $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 Paypal Cash! ~ Hosted by I Am A Reader Not A Writer

Hello, everyone, Paul here today with a great chance to win! I don't usually post these giveaways, but I've been so eager to get back to reading my Kindle (Summer classes are keeping me from it) I just had to give all of our great readers a chance to win one of their very own. 

I took an overnight trip over the 4th of July to Chicago with my wife. We haven't had the 4th off in seven years so we thought why not see what the rest of the world does on the holiday. Well, it was CROWDED! We fought crowds at the hotel, Navy Pier, walking down the street, you name it. I didn't mind the crowds, but I hated waiting in line.

I did get a chance to read a book-yes, a book!-that I wanted to read rather than a text book when we lounged by the rooftop pool. I read 5 chapters of the Da Vinci Code and loved it! The only problem is the rest of the book will have to wait for three weeks until I'm finished with my summer class. Enough about me let's get to the giveaway shall we?

 Enter to win 1 of 2 great prizes both values at $229. Winner’s choice of a Kindle Fire HDX or $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 Paypal Cash! The first prize is available via the rafflecopter below. The 2nd is available only to bloggers who post about this giveaway. You can find info on how to enter the 2nd giveaway in the rafflecopter.

July Kindle

Win a Kindle Fire HDX, Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash ($229 value)

The winner will have the option of receiving a 7" Kindle Fire HDX (US Only - $229 Value)

Or $229 Gift Card (International)

  Or $229 in Paypal Cash (International)

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 Sign up to sponsor the next Kindle Giveaway here:   

  Giveaway Details 1 winner will receive their choice of an all new Kindle Fire 7" HDX (US Only - $229 value), $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 in Paypal Cash (International). There is a second separate giveaway for bloggers who post this giveaway on their blog. See details in the rafflecopter on how to enter to win the 2nd Kindle Fire HDX 7", $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 in Paypal Cash. Ends 7/31/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Floppy the Mystery Dog and the New Kid - Review

Angie here. I just read Floppy The Mystery Dog and the New Kid. This book was a lot of fun. It is a children's chapter book done by a couple of independent authors.This is the first book they have released, but they already have another Floppy story in the works that is due to come out later this year.

Promo Blurb:

Stunning new children's book series highlights the classic tale of the new kid on the block, with the added bonus of a mystery homeless dog. Why is this filthy, floppy-eared homeless dog a mystery? Children want to know!

The book is the first in a series aimed at teaching compassion and acceptance to children, not only of the human condition, but also our furry counterparts. The second book in the series, centering on a neglected child, is already written and due out in early October, 2014.

In addition to educating children about life situations, Denise Bloomfield and Diana Starr, the homeschooling authors, are hoping to connect with community animal shelters in the Los Angeles area to help bring awareness to the need of supporting animal adoption. The character of Floppy has already gained a Facebook following and is linking to adoption agencies in the area.

Meet Floppy

Denise and Diana share a passion for early childhood education and look forward to sharing more of their writing with the public. You can find more about them, and their wonderful character, Floppy, at his website,



This quick little read, good for new readers, was written very conversationally. As a kid, I hated reading books that had confusing language. I always thought, "no-one talks like that." I was, of course, right. Though I understand beautiful language better now, I still prefer books with a conversational feel. The story was about a new kid who had just moved to a new place and didn't have any friends when he meets Floppy. Now, I liked the idea of Floppy and his mysterious nature, and his personality. However, I didn't feel his personality came across very clearly. I still liked him, but wasn't sure what personality I was supposed to be getting from him. Still, he was a very likable character.

I believe the book took place over the course of just one day. PLENTY happens in that one day, but it did leave me wanting more. I think that was part of the plan though, because there is another book coming out later this year. I liked the simple illustrations too. It was a good balance between pictures and words for kids that would be reading. It's always hard to make the transition from picture books to novels. This type of book is great for the transition.You still get pictures, but the reading is being done in paragraph form, and once again the conversational feel of the paragraphs really makes it easy to read. I'm sure new readers will really enjoy the story.

Overall the book was done really well for the age-group intended. The personalities of the characters are simple and entertaining. The book was silly while talking about a very relatable subject. A lot of kids move to new places and it's good to talk about the difficulties without making it emotional. This book did a great job of that. I think you'll enjoy Floppy the Mystery Dog and the New Kid.

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Tuttle Twins Learn About the Law book review & giveaway.

Hi, all, it's Sher today with a book review and giveaway for the blog tour of The Tuttle Twins Learn About the Law, written by Connor Boyak and illustrated by Elijah Stanfield. The timing worked out very well because I went to my hubby's family reunion and asked my niece to read the book to her little brother and cousins, ages eight, nine, and ten. They even helped me rate the book, so woo-hoo! The author will want to cheer too.

The Tuttle Twins Learn About The Law


Tuttle Twins, #1
by Connor Boyack
Paperback, 62 pages
Published April 23rd 2014
by Libertas Press
ISBN 9780989291


Children are often taught that government protects our life, liberty, and property, but could it be true that some laws actually allow people to hurt us and take our things? Join Ethan and Emily Tuttle as they learn about property, pirates, and plunder. With the help of their neighbor Fred, the twins will need to figure out what they can do to stop the bad guys in government!

Now for my review:

The Tuttle Twins Learn About The Law (Tuttle Twins, #1)The Tuttle Twins Learn About The Law by Connor Boyack

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book far more than I expected given my distaste for politics, mainly because of corruption. If more children grew up believing the ideas promoted in this book, governmental corruption such as “redistributing” taxes paid by workers to those who won’t work would become a thing of the past. Giving would be the province of individuals and charitable organizations with better means to determine whether a need is real. I was alone while reading, but I wanted to shout, “Yes! Truth for youth!” And for adults.

I liked the characters, especially Fred, and I loved how he interacted and taught the twins in a fun way. The twins seemed a little idealized but not enough to detract from the story. If their enthusiasm was infectious to me, I think it will infect children even more. A potentially boring subject became an adventure to me. Most of all, I liked the author’s demonstration of the twins’ learning how charity should work, nothing forced about it. The illustrations made a nice focal point for each idea.

I wrote the above paragraph before my nephew, grand-niece, and grand-nephew listened to my oldest niece read the book. I kept quiet so as not to influence their opinions. When I asked each of them to rate the book from one to five, both boys gave it a five. The girl was shy. She just said she liked it. The boy I had time to ask for a favorite part said he liked the scene where the twins showed what they learned by giving. To gauge the strength of the text, this boy wasn’t even sitting where he could see the illustrations, yet he listened the whole fifteen minutes without distraction.

My own beliefs coincide with the author’s because of personal experience. Long ago, I learned how much a person’s sense of self-worth plummets if he or she doesn’t give back. I witnessed events that taught me everyone has something to give and give back, even if it’s only time and talents like social interaction or mental skills. The government does a lousy job of encouraging return giving, and their redistribution shouldn’t be allowed anyway. So this review is my way of shouting from the rooftops, “Read this book to your children!” But don’t wait until they’re grown to apply the lessons to real life.

The Tuttle Twins Learn about the Law should be part of every elementary curriculum from about fourth grade up. If third-graders have a good attention span, some might understand and apply the knowledge too. A must read for those who value their freedom. I was provided a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews

connor_boyackAbout The Author

Connor Boyack is president of Libertas Institute, a public policy think tank in Utah. He is the author of several books on politics and religion, along with hundreds of columns and articles championing individual liberty. His work has been featured on international, national, and local TV, radio, and other forms of media. A California native and Brigham Young University graduate, Connor currently resides in Lehi, Utah, with his wife and two children.

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Book blitz on July 4th.

Both include a rafflecopter $100 giveaway!

Week One
6/30/2014- My Book a Day- Review
7/1/2014- Doodles Doodles Everywhere- Guest Post
7/2-2014- I Am A Reader- Tens List
7/3/2014- Deal Sharing Aunt- Interview
7/4/2014- Book Blitz
7/7/2014- Dorine White- Review
7/8/2014- Little Red Reads- Review

Week Two
7/14/2014-The Joy of Homemaking- Review
7/15/2014- Libby's Library- Guest Post
7/16/2014-CBY Book Club- Interview
7/17/2014-Chocolate on my Cranium- Guest Post
7/18/2014-Brooke Blogs- Review
7/21/2014- Sher A Hart: Written Art- Review
7/24/2014- The Book Stalker -Guest Post
7/24/2014-The Canticle- Review

The Giveaway

$100 Paypal cash or Amazon Giftcard.
Must be 18 or older. Void where prohibited by law.
Open internationally. Ends 7/26/2104

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Friday, July 11, 2014

Charity Bradford Author Interview & Giveaway

Hi, everyone, it's Sher here with an author interview for Charity Bradford. I took part in her blog tour back in February this year, and I wanted to host her again. She did a couple of unusual things that made me want to read her book, The Magic Wakes. Take a peek.



Since childhood, scientist Talia Zaryn has been haunted by recurring dreams, visions of an alien attack on her planet, Sendek. Each time it ends abruptly with her death in the capital city Joharadin, a city she has spent her life desperately avoiding. Talia keeps these dreams a secret, hoping they are nothing more than childish nightmares. But when she is unexpectedly transferred to Joharadin, she is convinced that the conflict, and her own death, is at hand.

As Talia’s nightmares occur with increasing frequency, they reveal the imminent invasion of a half-dragon, half-human race called Dragumon, bent on the annihilation of her world.

On Sendek, magic is dead and science rules, forcing Talia to keep another secret, one that could cost her everything if it were known. Now, in order to save her planet, Talia must awaken the powers within her and rely at last on the magic that is her true inheritance.


Sher again. See what I mean? Little did I know then that writing helped Charity in the same way it helped me long ago. So on with the show (interview):

Why did you write this book (as opposed to another)?

Talia came to me at a time I needed someone other than myself to focus on. Her story helped me fight my way out of depression. If she could fight for her life, so could I. In a way this story opened the floodgates of my imagination by helping me find myself again. Self-indulgent? Maybe, but for those reasons I'll always have a special spot in my heart for Talia and her world Sendek.

Do you have any regrets with this book?

I think as authors we always have regrets. If I had waited for more feedback from agents perhaps I could have improved the story before it was set free in the world. I'll always want to rewrite it, but I've had to accept this story as a learning experience. My only goal now is to make each and every future book even better.

What makes your book unique or more interesting than others in the genre?

This story is a mash up of science fiction, fantasy, romance and adventure. I didn't stick strictly to the rules for any one genre, but allowed myself the freedom to just write the story.

What are your main character's greatest hopes, biggest fears, or both?

Talia doesn't have many hopes at the beginning of her story, but lots of fears. She's dreamed about the invasion of her world and her death since infancy. The tiniest hope that she can find a way to survive the reality of her nightmares is what drives her research with the SEF (Space Exploration Foundation). If she can find proof of life outside her solar system, she can convince the Royalists to prepare for the invasion. Her biggest fear is easy--death at the hands of the creatures from her visions.

What would you like readers to know about your book?

The most important thing to know (because it isn't written anywhere on the book) is that this is the first book in a planned four book series. It resolves but there are many unanswered questions for a reason. The second book is in the revision stage.

What do you have planned for the future novel wise?

My first YA novel is currently going the query route. The sequel to The Magic Wakes is undergoing revisions, and I have two shiny new ideas I'm busy plotting out. Although I'm taking the summer off of blogging to spend time with my kids, you can follow my progress at My Writing Journey.

Other than writing, what have you been doing the last few months?

Being a wife, mom, friend, the normal stuff. Perhaps the biggest news of my last few months is that I took the plunge and started planning a dream. This fall I'm launching a short story contest for high school students in the US. Please check out the website and start spreading the news. I'll especially need help in August getting the word out to high school English teachers. Thanks!




“Bradford writes rock-solid science fantasy in the Leigh Brackett tradition.”
Matthew Graybosch, Science Fiction Author of Starbreaker

“Charity Bradford is one of the best new voices in science fiction.”
~Michael Offutt, Science Fiction Author of Slipstream and Occulus.

“In the tradition of Avatar and Star Wars, [Charity Bradford] builds interesting alien worlds with advanced technology which finds itself inadequate when The Magic Wakes.”
~James Wymore, Science Fiction Author, Theocracide.

“Charity Bradford creates a hybrid book, weaving science-fiction and fantasy into a unique vision.”
~Liz Gruder, YA Science Fiction Author, Starseed

“Charity Bradford offers. . . a very good mixture of Science Fiction meets Fantasy meets Romance, and it was blended beautifully.”
~Alicia Rivoli, MG fantasy Author, Mere Enchantment

Pinterest Board for TMW

Author Bio:

Charity Bradford has been a voracious reader ever since her 5th grade teacher introduced her to the world of books with Where the Red Fern Grows and Summer of the Monkeys. She’s the mother of four kids that keep her on her toes, constantly reminding her that imagination still makes the world go round. Her preferred writing genre consists of a mix of science fiction, fantasy, adventure and romance.


I'd like to thank Charity for the interview. I learned some interesting things and some awesome things--like the writing contest! Please take time to enter the giveaway below. If you decide to follow my blog, it's not this one. I'm moving to Wordpress soon, so the subscription form is on the right sidebar at

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Please leave a comment for Charity because all authors need encouragement, and I'm anxious to see her keep writing. And yes, please scroll through the last few posts if you have time. We have other open giveaways, and you might win! Thanks for visiting.

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