Tuesday, October 29, 2013

An Elegant Solution

I received a copy of AN ELEGANT SOLUTON by Paul Robertson from Bethany House.  Once again, Bethany House published a winner.  From the first page to the last, you encounter danger and excitement.  Throw in some murder.  Mix in some history.  Add a pinch of scholarly advice (it is a university town, after all).  I should also add a note about the intriguing dedication: “I believe that, if there was no other proof, that because of Mathematics, I would still believe in God.  I’ll let Leonhard tell you why.”

The main character, Leonhard Euler, is a “math prodigy.”  That actually put me off a little at first.  I have always disliked math, so I was afraid some parts might go over my head or cause me to lose interest.  While his being a math wizard does come into play, it only adds a new dimension to make the story more well rounded. 

Basically, the story is about how Leonhard Euler gets to solve a mystery regarding the death of his master’s brother.  I don’t want to say nothing goes right for him, but the story doesn’t dance in a straight line.  Instead, you get to experience the ups and downs, the fear, right along with Leonhard.

As a writer, I enjoyed seeing how Paul Robertson wove realistic dialogue around action and natural characters.  I highly recommend this to murder novel fans.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


I received a copy of A WALK THROUGH THE DARK: HOW MY HUSBAND’S 90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN DEEPENED MY FAITH FOR A LIFETIME by Eva Piper with Cecil Murphy from Thomas Nelson, via BookSneeze.  This book really blew me away.

Eva Piper’s husband, Don Piper, died, but returned to life through prayer.  The story explains what she went through and tells us about what it was like for him.  He also provides a forward, introducing us to the story.  No, I shouldn’t call it a story.  It is more like a thought-provoking glimpse into a family trauma and miracle that will leave you breathless.  They don’t just tell you the facts.  It is written in such a beautiful, spiritual way that you are sucked into it.  You feel as if you are standing beside them as everything enfolds.  I cried with the family, and I cheered with them, too.  They take you step by step, never rushing over anything. 

I highly recommend this book to anyone who doubts the power of prayers.  Although it is a true story, it reads like a novel.  I will be passing it along to family members and friends.  This is definitely a book worth sharing.  

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Which Spellbound Character Would YOU Most Likely Be?

Today bestselling author, Sherry Soule has some exciting news to share with us! All the previously published books in the Spellbound series have been rewritten and republished with more epic romance and suspenseful thrills. The new versions also include exclusive bonus material and brand new scenes. Even additional scenes from charming, bad-boy, Trent Donovan’s point-of-view! To help promote the new editions, she is doing this awesome book tour to share the update with fellow booklovers.

This giveaway is open internationally! So let’s tell the blogging world!
Take this quiz to see which character in the Spellbound universe you’d most likely be similar to, and score an eBook version of the first book in this unforgettable YA series, BEAUTIFULLY BROKEN!
Answer this quiz, then post your results in the comments. Be sure to check the bottom of the post for the details regarding this random giveaway.

1.    What’s your favorite season?

a)    Winter - Cloudy, Chilly, Rainy, Stormy
b)    Fall - Windy, Misty, Foggy, Mild
c)    Summer - Hot, Dry, No Wind, Sunny
d)    Spring – Warm, Breezy, Greenery, Brisk

2.    I detest using labels, but what would others call you at school?

a)    Normal or Jock/ Cheerleader
b)    Preppy/ Student Counsel
c)    Amateur Fashionista
d)    Girlish tomboy

3.    Which of the following best describes your personality?

a)    Snobbish, Eccentric, Perky
b)    Haughty, Moody, Smart
c)    Tough, Snarky, Weird
d)    Playful, Vivacious, Straightforward

4.    Which genre do you read most often?

a)    Urban Fantasy
b)    Horror / Dark YA
c)    Paranormal Romance
d)    Dystopia

5.    You are at school and witness a student bullying someone. What do you do?

a)    Run in the opposite direction before they pick on you
b)    Laugh and join in on the fun
c)    Stop and tell the bully to knock it off or else!
d)    Go tell a teacher what’s going on

6.    What’s your hairstyle?

a)    Short and sassy
b)    Long and straight
c)    Medium with highlights
d)    Curly or wavy

7.    What’s your typical breakfast?
a)    Eggs and bacon
b)    Oatmeal and orange juice
c)    Coffee and a Pop tart
d)    Heaping bowl of my fav cereal

8.    What type of pet would you like to have or do you own?
a)    Hamster
b)    Small Dog
c)    Shade
d)    Cat

9.    How often do you shop or hit the mall?
a) Only on sale days
b) Once or twice a month
c) Every week—duh
d) Hardly ever

If you answered...

Mostly a's: You and Kayla are a lot alike! You both love a good sale on shoes, and you’re energetic and sassy.
Mostly b's: Ashley and you could be sisters. You each enjoy autumn days, hanging at the mall, and you’re more of a leader than a follower.
Mostly c's: Shiloh and you could be besties! You both love to shop for the newest trends, enjoy reading paranormal romance novels, and you even have a snarky-side.
Mostly d's: Sounds like you and Ariana have a lot in common. You each love to read YA books, adore cats, and can often be straightforward and super fun.

Random winner will be picked on December 21st . Please check back on that day to find out if you’re the lucky winner. Your eBook will be delivered via email to download to your e-Reader. (If you're unsure how to, let Sherry know, she'll help you.)

Those who enter must have an eReader to redeem this prize. All prizes will be electronically delivered. Please review all terms & conditions before entering.  

Mandatory giveaway details:
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 us both on Twitter - @WriterSherry & INSERT TWITTER ID
5.) Tweet about this giveaway and include link
That's it! Good luck!

Places you can cyberstalk Sherry Soule:
Official Spellbound Series blog: http://thespellboundseries.blogspot.com
Twitter @WriterSherry: http://twitter.com/writersherry

Deadly Witchcraft. Ghostly Threats. Doomed Romance.
They say every town has its secrets, but that doesn’t even begin to describe Fallen Oaks. The townsfolk are a superstitious lot and the mystical disappearance of a local teen has everyone murmuring about a centuries old witch’s curse.
When sixteen-year-old Shiloh Trudell takes a summer job at Craven Manor, she discovers a ghost with an agenda. That’s where she meets the new town hottie, Trent Donovan, and immediately becomes enchanted by his charms.
Finally, Shiloh’s met someone who is supercute and totally into her, but Trent is immersed in the cunning deception that surrounds the mysterious Craven Manor. So much so that he may lose sight of what is truly important to him. And she can’t decide whether she wants to shake him or kiss him. Yet neither one of them can deny the immediate, passionate connection growing between them.
But underlying everything is the fear that Trent may be the next victim on a supernatural hit list, and Shiloh is the only person with the power to save him…
With cryptic messages from a pesky wraith, Shiloh will finally begin to understand the mysterious significance of the strange mark branded on her wrist and decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice to protect the other teenagers in town.
Unfortunately, for Shiloh, not all ghosts want help crossing over. Some want vengeance.
ISBN: 978-0976180425
Amazon Paperback: http://amzn.to/18NB8CG

Monday, October 14, 2013

Reichenbach Problem

I received a copy of THE REICHENBACK PROBLEM, book one of the Reichenback Trilogy, by Martin Allison Booth from Lion Fiction via Kregel.  The book is, in one word, a treat.  Think murder mystery meets history.   The story follows the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as he tries, in a way, to escape from Mr. Sherlock Holmes, his own fame.  He goes to Reichenbach Falls in Switzerland, where he encounters the murder of a tourist, rather than the soul redeeming peace he’d craved.  I love stories that mix history with fiction, and I’ve never read a book about Conan Doyle before. 

Conan Doyle wrote the famous Sherlock Holmes, but can he solve a mystery himself?  The stakes raise when the people think he did the murder.  Whenever I read a mystery, I can never figure out who did it until the answer is revealed at the end.  The same thing happened with this book, but it made it a fast page-turner.  The writing contained Old World elegance that reminded me of the real Sherlock Holmes novels, which I read with my mother years ago back in high school.  I passed this book onto her now that I’m done with it.

I highly recommend this to fans of mysteries, histories, and, of course, Sherlock Holmes fanatics!  No true love of Sherlock Holmes can be complete without delving into the creator’s mind.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

13 Haunting Tales

I would like to introduce a newcomer to the blog – Jeremy Mortis.  Insert enthusiastic clapping here.  Jeremy and I are both members of the Utica Writers Club, and we both have short stories published in 13 Haunting Tales, a ghost story anthology edited by Terri Karsten.  It is available through Wagonbridge Publishing and on Amazon, http://www.amazon.com/13-Haunting-Tales-Terri-Karsten/dp/0982855230/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1381282134&sr=8-1&keywords=13+haunting+tales.  You can also ask us for a copy.   Jeremy’s short story is entitled SIMON AND THE GHOST, and mine are AMITY, CANDLESTICK GUILT, and YANKEE INN. 

To celebrate the anxiously anticipated release of the anthology, one of my critique partners came up with questions for Jeremy and me.  If you think of any other questions you’d like to pose, feel free to leave them as a comment for Jeremy, me, or for both of us. 

Favorite part of writing:
               Jeremy – There are two things. The first brainstorming session and reading it out loud. 
Jordan - My favorite part of writing is bringing people into a new world.  I get to lose myself in the setting and allow the characters to possess the story.  I also get to visit places I want to go to in real life through my writing.  For example, I would love to eat at a restaurant where they employees dressed in Civil War-era clothing (see YANKEE INN).  I also find it peaceful and enlightening to visit cemeteries, so I would love to be able to talk with one of the deceased (see AMITY). 

Favorite place to write:
               Jeremy – My bedroom. I'm surrounded by think that inspire me.
Jordan - I have to write alone!  If I’m around other people, I feel self-conscious.  See, I don’t write “normally.”  I cross my legs or sit on them; I pick at my face or push back my cuticles.  I swing around in my chair.  Sometimes I guzzle a drink.  I don’t want anyone to disrupt that and lose my train of thought.  Choo choo – I want to let the words flow. 

What do you want people to take away from your writing?: 
               Jeremy – That anyone can be a hero. Anytime, anywhere. You just have to be willing to do 
Jordan - Enjoyment.  I write so that after you read it, you get to experience an emotion: happiness, horror, sadness, excitement.  I don’t want you to feel as if you wasted your time.  Experience something new.  Those are the types of stories that I present with five stars, so I want my writing to have the same effect.

What are your plans for your copies?:
               Jeremy – I wiant to take copy and hide it. Make sure nothing happens to it. Treat it 
like a collector's item. The other I am going to show to everyone.
Jordan - One copy will go to my agent.  I’ll keep the others for now; at least until the thrill wears off a bit.  It will never entirely leave, but at first I’ll want to hug them to me.  Eventually I’ll give some copies away to family and friends.  Eventually – if you want one sooner, you can order it yourself and I’ll gladly sign it for you.  Wink wink.

Who is the first person you told about being published in the anthology?:
            Jeremy – My friend Jordan. She told me about the anthology to begin with, so she should 
get a large portion of the credit for this story getting published.
Jordan - My boyfriend.  After that, my parents.  Then, my critique partners.  Lastly, the Utica Writers Club.  No, I shouldn’t say lastly, since I’m still telling people about it.

Best writing resource:
               Jeremy – I would to say the world around me. Everyday something happens and I say "This 
is going into the book.

Jordan - I love writing websites.  My favorite is critiquecircle.com.  I’ve found some of the greatest critique partners there and gained some of the most valuable advice.  You earn credits when you critique someone else’s work and once you have enough credits, you get to post something of yours.  I like that method, since it almost guarantees someone will comment on your work.  The website also specifies word guidelines, so you have to comment with at least 300 words in order to get a credit.