Wednesday, July 18, 2012


I have another blog, which I share with my friend Stephanie.  One of my critique partners read a post about a book I ranted about on there, and suggested I share it here.  Normally, I review books given to me by a publisher for the purpose of writing about them on my blog.  I try to be professional then, pointing out the good and bad aspects.   For this book, however, I ranted, so I apologize if it offends anyone:

 Years ago, my family moved into a new house. It belongs to my grandmother and is attached to her farm. We rented the house while building our new one. I found a box of “destroyed” books (covers ripped off) in the attic. These books included novels from the OZ series and FOREVER by Judy Blume. I read them, and was deeply disgusted by FOREVER. It’s fine as an adult novel, but young adult? No. I ended up giving it to my adult cousin, after she saw me reading it.

Jump forward to college. I had to read the book again for my Children’s Literature class. All of us, including the teacher, were disturbed by the novel. Now, here it is in my grasp again, and…well, let me start with the first paragraph. “Sybil Davidson has a genius I. Q. and has been laid by at least six different guys.” Yup, and the book sticks with that same theme throughout.

Quite a few random moments made me blink. The babysitter smells Dad’s things because she has a thing for him. Grandma is described as being busy with Planned Parenthood. Erica, the friend, wants to get laid before college. She also wants to do it with every guy in school, including the teachers. The parents have loud sex, and Katherine listens. Erica’s love interest fears he might be gay – but instead, he’s just impotent. Katherine discusses her period with Michael (then, even though she has her period, he still tries to touch her, and she’s only upset because his sister is nearby). Michael’s sister and her husband offer them a joint. Michael names his penis Ralph. He teaches Katherine how to make him come using her hand. Mom only wants her to apply to 3 schools…she does it through her high school and needs parental permission. Mom makes her read an article about how every relationship ends – very depressing idea.

Michael is the male love interest. He wears glasses, which is mentioned a lot. He calls Katherine quite a bit, which is nice, and something that happens in healthy relationships. Oh, and this one time toward the start of their “affair,” they make-out on the couch and he asks her if she’s a virgin. Maybe that’s part of being in a healthy relationship, too, but if a guy asked me that, I’d think he only wanted one thing – which, oh yeah, he does. He slept with a girl twice before, and got “VD” from her.

Katherine is the main character. She can’t decide if she’s ready or not. I had trouble really understanding her character, because the book seemed to be happening around her, not with her. She reacted, without really acting.

So, to their first time, which is the point of the book – they go to his sister’s apartment. Katherine worries about bleeding, so he gets a towel. He doesn’t want to use a condom since she just had her period, but they do anyway. He comes almost instantaneously.

Friday, July 13, 2012


I received a copy of JACKSON: THE IRON-WILLED COMMANDER by Paul S. Vickey, PhD, from Thomas Nelson, via BookSneeze.  It is from The Generals, a series edited by Stephen Mansfield.  I have been interested in President Andrew Jackson since my student teaching assignment in a fifth grade classroom.  The students were learning about him and needed to write a poem, so I knew some tidbits, but this book took him into a new light.   From school, I had developed a dislike for him.  The fifth-grade textbook portrayed him as a man who drove the Native Americans off their land.  This biography made him out to be much more than that. 

The biography reads easily, like a novel, and spans his birth through his death.  I was disappointed in how few pictures were included, but otherwise discovered delight in the chapters.  President Jackson became a breathing man for me, rather than a distant figure in history.  Dr. Vickey shows both his good and bad sides, well-rounding him to the reader.  I enjoyed the usage of quotes and descriptions, as well as citations, reminding me of how it is fact and not fiction.  I highly recommend this to anyone interested in learning more about Andrew Jackson’s life, as well as to any history buff. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

MOONLIGHT MAYHEM - Blog Book Tour and Book Giveaway

This giveaway is open internationally! So let’s tell the blogging world!


Hi everybody, I’m author, Sherry Soule—waving from the SF Bay Area, where it can get pretty foggy. And I can’t believe that summer’s finally here, and even with the fog burning off by afternoon, I’m cranking the air conditioner and chatting on Twitter about my love of reading.

Thanks for letting me visit today as part of my epic Moonlight Mayhem Blog Tour. It’s an honor to be a guest and meet all of these awesome booklovers—like me!

Thus far, my tour has been a blast for me and the readers that participated. It is nice seeing familiar names in the comments at each stop. For those of you who haven’t heard of my super fun blog tour it’s not too late to join!

To celebrate the release of author, Sherry Soule’s new paranormal novel, MOONLIGHT MAYHEM, take this super fun quiz to see how savvy you are about the first two books in this unforgettable YA series, and score a Kindle or Nook version of the first book in the series, BEAUTIFULLY BROKEN! (Hint: you can most of these answers on the Spellbound Universe blog and Sherry’s blog.)

Now, let’s see how well you think you know this series (even if you’ve never read the books, you can find all the answers online) and be sure to check the bottom of the post for the details regarding this random giveaway.

1.     In the Moonlight Mayhem book trailer what is Shiloh’s epic problem?

a.      Ferocious wolves

b.      Deadly necromancers

c.      Shambling zombies

d.      Fear of the dark

2.    Where did Shiloh and Trent first see each other?

a.      At school

b.      In the gym

c.      Luna Pizza

d.      At church

3.    What remote coastal town is the series located?

a.      Castro Valley

b.      Larkspur

c.      Madrone Woodlands

d.      Whispering Pines

4.    Which paranormal(s) tormented Shiloh in the first book?

a.      Wraith

b.      Shades

c.      Shadow People (demon)

d.      a, b, and c

5.    What is Shiloh’s freakishness?

a.      She has a severe limp

b.      She is missing an ear

c.      She has six toes on her right foot

d.      She has a jagged scar on her wrist

6.   Which fictional demon hunter(s) does Shiloh must admire?

a.     Sam Winchester

b.     Salvatore brothers

c.      Buffy

d.     Charmed Ones

7.    What is Shiloh’s heritage?

a.      Heritage Witch

b.      Half Asian and Half Caucasian

c.      Hispanic

d.      Half American Indian and half French

8.    What type of magick does Shiloh’s mother, Jillian practice?

a.      White Magick

b.      Voodoo

c.      Wiccan

d.      Dark Arts

9.   What is a Sheol ? (*Hint: Google Sheol for the answer)

a.      A ride at Disneyland

b.      A town in Marin County

c.      A contagious rash

d.      A gateway to the Underworld

10. What are Shiloh’s supernatural pet(s)?

a.      Phoenix (exotic bird)

b.      Siamese cat (familiar)

c.      Fairies

d.      Shades

11.  What type of paranormal is Mrs. Baylock?

a.     Vampire

b.     Necromancer

c.     Witch

d.     Ghost

12.  Who was the first owner of Ravenhurst Manor? (*Hint: Google Owner of Ravenhurst for the answer)

a.      Michele Broussard

b.      Wealthy unknown family

c.      Maxwell Donavon

d.      Rowan Broussard

13.  What significance does the number “13” have in the series?

a.      Nothing it’s just a stupid number

b.      It’s the number of rooms in Ravenhurst Manor

c.      It’s the number of times that Shiloh sees a ghost

d.      It is part of an ancient prophecy foretelling of a girl who will break a curse

If you answered...

Mostly a's: You need to reread BEAUTIFULLY BROKEN and MOONLIGHT MAYHEM

Mostly b's: You should become a follower of the Spellbound Universe blog

Mostly c's: You need to recheck your facts, and then retake this quiz

Mostly d's: Congrats! You’re an impressive expert on all things Spellbound!


Otherworldly Creatures. Dazzling Magic. Fiery Romance.

Shiloh Ravenwolf thought she was getting used to the strange events in Whispering Pines, until the full moon brings another surge of supernatural threats to her coastal town. Ferocious wolves, deadly necromancers, and shambling zombies have descended upon the neighborhood, so Shiloh needs to gain control of her magical abilities—fast!

It sucks that she has a crippling fear of the dark, which for a demon hunter can be an epic problem.

When her classmates are attacked by a mysterious creature and her father is murdered, Shiloh vows vengeance. Forcing her phobias aside, she forms an unlikely coven of supernaturally gifted teens to help her eradicate this menace. Except that's not all Shiloh has to worry about. She’s battling a different monster within herself and struggling not to become the very thing she fights: evil.

But with demon blood inside her—anything can happen…

Moonlight Mayhem is the second novel in the unforgettably epic Spellbound series

By Sherry Soule

Twitter hashtag #MMBlogTour

Places you can cyberstalk Sherry Soule:

Official Spellbound Series Universe:

Twitter @WriterSherry:

Awesome Book Trailers/YouTube:

A random US winner will be picked on August 4, 2012 and be posted at the top of this quiz, please check back on that day to find out if you’re the lucky winner.

Giveaway details for an eBook of BEAUTIFULLY BROKEN:

1.) You must comment with your quiz results

2.) Be a follower of the Spellbound Series Universe Blog

3.) Be a follower of this blog

4.) Follow on Twitter @WriterSherry

Good luck!

Friday, July 6, 2012


I received a copy of LOVE IN DISGUISE by Carol Cox from Bethany House. Not only is the front cover intriguing, but the back cover hooked me from the first sentence: “Can she solve the crime before they uncover her true identity?” I started reading at lunch and couldn’t wait to get home to finish the novel. It really is one you can’t put down, and fast-paced enough to read in one day.

   The novel begins in Chicago in 1881, where Ellie works as an actress’s assistant. The actress, however, moves to Europe. Without her, Ellie doesn’t have a job. She wrangles her way into Pinkerton’s Detective Agency (a favorite topic of mine to read about) and is sent to Arizona. There, someone has been stealing from a mine. Ellie must pretend to be a widowed aunt and another detective will be her niece. That other experienced detective decides not to go, though, so Ellie decides to play both parts. So many places had me laughing out loud (which caused quite a few stairs in the cafeteria).

  I loved the characters – each unique and realistic. Major events in the story seemed a bit too coincidental and predictable, but overall I enjoyed the book. The romance left me smiling. This is truly a feel-good novel. I hope to read more novels by this author.

Monday, July 2, 2012


I received a copy of LEGACY ROAD by Graham Garrison, from Kregel.  Normally, I love Kregel books.  This one, not so much.  It was good, but not a favorite.   The story centers on three main characters – Wes, his girlfriend Emmy, and his dad, Ron. 

Wes’s parents divorced when he was young, and he’s never been close with his dad.  His dad has been in and out of jail for various reasons, and Wes sees him as a horrible person.  Ron knows he’s done wretched things, but he still cares about his son.  He recognizes his mistakes, but has trouble righting them, and he also struggles to stay on the correct side of the law.  In the past, Ron sent his son letters, and some are shown in the story as Wes analyzes his feelings for his father. 

Wes needs to work on an assignment for a history graduate course and Ron decides to help them, so they grow closer, while Wes struggles to deal with his mother’s declining health.  In the meantime, Wes hopes to propose to his girlfriend, Emmy.  She works in the medical field and is being sent to Afghanistan soon.  Although she cares for Wes, a secret in her past keeps her from saying yes. 

I never got a strong sense of the characters.  I couldn’t tell ages, and no one was strongly described.  Most of the secrets were revealed suddenly at the end, making it feel rushed.  I would have liked to see them come out a little at a time through the entire novel. 
I did like how history tried in with today, and I enjoyed reading the different perspectives of the main characters.  I love it when chapters explore varying point of views.  The end brought tears and a smile.  Overall, the book is an interesting family drama.