Review (Emotional Rant) ~ Outlander

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The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord…1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

Goodreads * Amazon

My 4.5 Star Review

Just. WOW. I don’t even know where to start with this review…So many thoughts. So many feelings. Emotional overload…

I am really late starting this series, but the fact that this series has lasted this long and has so many fans, speaks for itself. Where do I fall among these fans. Hmm. I’m still not sure. I just honestly don’t know how I feel about this book. It’s horribly amazing really.

I’m going to do things backwards here and start with the negatives. First, I didn’t think the writing was wonderful – grammatically speaking. Two, sometimes I got confused. But, she means for you to be confused and slowly reveals the answers. This just tends to drive me crazy while I’m confused. Third, Claire got on my nerves so bad at times that I wanted to reach in and slap her. Seriously. She drove me crazy! Fourth, I think the horrible scenes outshine the good ones. Now I don’t mean horribly written. I’m talking ***SPOILERISH*** grit, gore, evil, unspeakable horrible vivid rape and murder. Stuff so horrible I wanted to vomit. I still feel sick.

That leads me to what is good, though. Diana is one heck of a storyteller. I just don’t even have words for how amazing. I was bored the first couple of chapters, but then I found myself so engulfed in this story that God help the man that tried to pry my kindle out of my hands. The scenes were so very gripping and dramatic. My pulse was constantly racing, heart constantly pounding. I wonder how many calories I burned off just reading this book. Jamie completely stole my heart. Diana made me fall for him so completely that I am hating her for what she put him through. It’s fear, and hope, and outrage, and hope, and hate and anger and hatred, and then a little more hope. I’m just still drowning in it all. I honestly can’t say that I’ll pick up the next book. I don’t know if I can handle it. Just. UGH!!!!

The good just wasn’t enough to make me forget. To help me cope.

Warnings: If anything disturbs you, I’ll go ahead and say don’t read this book because it’s probably in here.

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S0, for those of you Outlander lovers out there. I’d love to hear your thoughts here. I feel like I’m drowning in it. I feel like I need to pick up a fluffy and shallow romance, and I usually don’t go for those kind of books.

Happy Reading,

Alison

Review ~ Arivaca: Guardians of the Light

Arivaca

Title: ARIVACA: Guardians of the Light

Author: John Poulsen

Publication Date: Dec. 13, 2014

Genre: YA/NA Sci-fi/Thriller/Adventure/Romance

Jesse Ballard’s life is filled with misfortune. His parents are dead, he’s been convicted of a crime, and a dark secret torments his soul. But when he’s incarcerated on a ranch for troubled teens he discovers his troubles have just begun. A Supreme Power has literally hijacked his life, bringing him to the ranch to make him the guardian of a powerful relic that was hidden away 2600 years ago when Solomon’s Temple was destroyed.

Given superhuman powers, Jesse is suddenly thrust into a strange and perilous world of supernal treasures, killers and demons—battling the dark forces who desperately seek the sacred artifact. Thinking he’s on a one man mission, Jesse is shocked to learn that Cedar Lane, a girl who seriously despises him, may have spiritual gifts essential for keeping the relic safe. Without her help, he’s in jeopardy of losing not just the relic, but his life.

As Jesse unravels this secretive and dangerous world he learns the ups and downs of young love, and both the reward and peril of following his divine call.

Goodreads * Amazon

My ***3 Star*** Review

When first meeting Jesse, I felt sorry for him. I even wondered if it would be possible for him to have a big turn around in the story. But then I learned Jesse had a different side to him that didn’t quite fit with the stoner bad boy stuff. I’m not even sure that a person exists out in the real world like him, so it threw me off a little. Then couple that with the fact that the beginning of the story seemed to drag and the conversations seemed a little unnatural, and I just wasn’t feeling this story in the beginning. Oh, and the minor characters all fell flat.
But, I did slowly start seeing more depth to Jesse, and a slow change began happening in him. That seemed realistic. The book slowly started gaining appeal.
After 30% in it finally grabbed my attention. A good romance began to slowly build along with sexual tension. Exciting and dangerous adventures began taking place. There were some gruesome and violent situations that I think would appeal to male readers.
The ending is slightly cliffhangerish. You get the end of a storyline, but are still left hanging in many ways.

Summation and final thoughts ~ It took a while for this book to grab my attention, but ultimately it did and I would read the next book. I enjoyed the slow change in Jesse’s character and the slow romance building. However, I found it strange to be enjoying some sexual tension in a book about saving God’s relics. I didn’t feel like there was enough significance placed on the actual items Jesse was meant to protect. Ultimately it felt like you could have swapped out God’s relics for anything and made very little changes to the story and it would have still made sense. That might have been because I would have expected a stronger presence from God and/or a heart change in Jesse towards God, but those were nonissues in this story.
*I received a copy via NetGalley and Folded Corners in exchange for an honest review.*

Happy Reading,

Alison

Review ~ Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold

Kitty Hawk

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is the thrilling first installment in a new series of adventure mystery stories that are one part travel, one part history and five parts adventure. This first book of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series introduces Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot with her own De Havilland Beaver seaplane and a nose for mystery and intrigue. A cross between Amelia Earhart, Nancy Drew and Pippi Longstocking, Kitty is a quirky young heroine with boundless curiosity and a knack for getting herself into all kinds of precarious situations.

After leaving her home in the western Canadian fishing village of Tofino to spend the summer in Alaska studying humpback whales Kitty finds herself caught up in an unforgettable adventure involving stolen gold, devious criminals, ghostly shipwrecks, and bone-chilling curses. Kitty’s adventure begins with the lingering mystery of a sunken ship called the Clara Nevada and as the plot continues to unfold this spirited story will have armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept along through the history of the Klondike Gold Rush to a suspenseful final climatic chase across the rugged terrain of Canada’s Yukon, the harsh land made famous in the stories and poems of such writers as Jack London, Robert Service and Pierre Berton. It is a riveting tale that brings to glorious life the landscape and history of Alaska’s inside passage and Canada’s Yukon, as Kitty is caught up in an epic mystery set against the backdrop of the scenery of the Klondike Gold Rush.

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is a perfect book to fire the imagination of readers of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history this book will inspire anyone to learn and experience more for themselves as Kitty prepares for her next adventure – flying around the world!

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My ****4.5**** Star Review

Every now and then I like to take on a book for review that I’m not sure will interest me. I don’t like limiting myself to the books that I “typically” read. For me, I tend to like some romance in my books. This book is far from that category. I can’t say that it is completely without any romantic elements, though.

I decided to give this book a try as a read-aloud to two of my kids, ages 7 and 10. I had to lighten a little of the language, but there wasn’t much there. I think I used the word “heck” a whole lot in place of “hell,” but I’d definitely recommend this for early teens. My 10 yr old son absolutely LOVED it! He has requested me to get the rest of the series. We even did some research into the history behind the Yukon Gold Rush, and read the poem, “The Cremation of Sam McGee,” as a result of the book. It was a great educational experience for the three of us!

While I loved the educational side of the book, I’d be lying if I said that was what drew us in. It was the suspenseful adventure! We were right along side of Kitty and experienced everything she did. It was exhilarating! We loved guessing the outcomes and answers to the mysteries. Sometimes we were right, or one of us anyways. Other times all of us were left with our jaws dropping, shouting, “NO WAY!!!” It was an adventure for us! We’re looking forward to the next great experience with Kitty Hawk!

*I received a free copy via Book Publicity Services in exchange for an honest review.*

You can currently pick up the next 3 books in the series!

Happy Reading,

Alison

Review ~ The Princess Bride by William Goldman

The Princess Bride

A tale of true love and high adventure, pirates, princesses, giants, miracles, fencing, and a frightening assortment of wild beasts – The Princess Bride is a modern storytelling classic.

As Florin and Guilder teeter on the verge of war, the reluctant Princess Buttercup is devastated by the loss of her true love, kidnapped by a mercenary and his henchmen, rescued by a pirate, forced to marry Prince Humperdinck, and rescued once again by the very crew who absconded with her in the first place. In the course of this dazzling adventure, she’ll meet Vizzini – the criminal philosopher who’ll do anything for a bag of gold; Fezzik – the gentle giant; Inigo – the Spaniard whose steel thirsts for revenge; and Count Rugen – the evil mastermind behind it all. Foiling all their plans and jumping into their stories is Westley, Princess Buttercup’s one true love and a very good friend of a very dangerous pirate.

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My *****5 Star***** Review

I was barely into the book and laughing hysterically. I read this as part of a book club I’m in. This is one of the books I put into the figurative hat we draw our pick from. I was looking at someone’s “Top 10 Must Read Books List” and saw this on there. I had no idea that this was another book to movie. One of my friends in the book club is in love with the movie. I’ve only seen it in bits and pieces, but wasn’t overly impressed. It’s been a while, though, so I wanted to see it again and from start to finish. Of course, when I realized it was a book, I wanted to read the book before doing so. As I mentioned before I was barely into the book and laughing hysterically. If you’re one for satire, then this book is for you! I kept marking tons of quotes to share with my friends that had me rolling! Here’s just one of the many scenes that had me cracking up ~

“Do you love me, Westley? Is that it?”
He couldn’t believe it. “Do I love you? My God, if your love were a grain of sand, mine would be a universe of beaches. If your love were-”
“I don’t understand that first one yet,” Buttercup interrupted.

Yes, Buttercup is a ditz, and Westley doesn’t mind telling her so, which just adds to the hilarity. I actually look forward to reading this to my kids later. There’s all sorts of adventure mixed in that will appeal to boys, too. There are sword fights, poisonings, and torture, but they are shared in a manner that can be downright comical. Some parts will upset you a little and have you thinking that all things don’t work out fairly. However, that’s the author’s point in the story – that life just isn’t always fair. What a great message!

Spoiler Alert!!! ~ The best part of the whole story for me, though, came after I finished reading the whole story. I started to do a little online research and discovered that despite Goldman saying that this is an abridged version, he actually wrote the whole thing, and his little personal comments are all just a part of the story! He made them all up! I was completely suckered!!!! I thought it was genius!

Recommendations ~ I recommend this to everyone! I’m looking forward to watching the movie now after having read the book. I imagine I’ll appreciate it a whole lot more. Since Goldman wrote his own screenplay, I hope not to be disappointed!

About the Author ~ William Goldman

William Goldman
Goldman grew up in a Jewish family in Highland Park, Illinois, a Chicago suburb, and obtained a BA degree at Oberlin College in 1952 and an MA degree at Columbia University in 1956.His brother was the late James Goldman, author and playwright.

William Goldman had published five novels and had three plays produced on Broadway before he began to write screenplays. Several of his novels he later used as the foundation for his screenplays. In the 1980s he wrote a series of memoirs looking at his professional life on Broadway and in Hollywood (in one of these he famously remarked that “Nobody knows anything”). He then returned to writing novels. He then adapted his novel The Princess Bride to the screen, which marked his re-entry into screenwriting.
Goldman has won two Academy Awards: an Academy Award for Writing Original Screenplay for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and an Academy Award for Writing Adapted Screenplay for All the President’s Men. He has also won two Edgar Awards, from the Mystery Writers of America, for Best Motion Picture Screenplay: for Harper in 1967, and for Magic (adapted from his own 1976 novel) in 1979.

Happy Reading,

Alison

Review ~ The Kraken King (Part 1)

Kraken King Part 1

Title: The Kraken King Part I: The Kraken King and the Scribbling Spinster (Iron Seas #4.1)


Author: Meljean Brook


Date Published: April 15, 2014


Publisher: PENGUIN GROUP Berkley, NAL / Signet Romance, DAW: InterMix


Genre: Sci-Fi/Steampunk, Romance, Fantasy, Adventure

Blurb

A former smuggler and thief, Ariq—better known as the Kraken King—doesn’t know what to make of the clever, mysterious woman he rescues from an airship besieged by marauders. Unsure if she’s a spy or a pawn in someone else’s game, Ariq isn’t about to let her out of his sight until he finds out…After escaping her fourth kidnapping attempt in a year, Zenobia Fox has learned to vigilantly guard her identity. While her brother Archimedes is notorious for his exploits, Zenobia has had no adventures to call her own—besides the stories she writes.But when she jumps at the chance to escape to the wilds of Australia and acquire research for her next story, Zenobia quickly discovers that the voyage will be far more adventurous than any fiction she could put to paper…

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My ****4 Star****Review

First let me describe how this book is laid out. This is actually just the first part of an 8 part novel, which will later be released as one complete novel if I’m understanding correctly. I didn’t realize when I first received the book for review that it would be so short and incomplete, so this threw me off at the end. I don’t want you to pick this up not realizing what you’re getting. To be more thorough in this explanation, The Kraken King in it’s entirety, is the 4th book in the Iron Seas series. I haven’t previously read the first 3 books in the series, so I can say it works as a stand alone. I couldn’t comment on how it relates to the previous 3 novels.

Okay, so first let me say that I really thought the steampunk fantasy world was quite intriguing. This was such a unique story. It blended aspects of our past with what could only be considered futuristic ideas. I thought the descriptions were wonderful, and I could easily picture the events in my head.

As far as the characters went, I would have to say that I didn’t agree with their judgment calls on a lot of things. There were times that some of the characters were rude, selfish and immature. However, I was still so greatly intrigued. Plus there were some very admirable qualities, such as the way the Kraken King took care of the people in his area and was self-sacrificing.

Unfortunately this was so short that I don’t have a whole lot to say on it. While I found it quite interesting and unique, I don’t think I would pay $1.99 for this little book – or more accurately what would amount to a few chapters. That would be $16 after spending that on all 8 parts. I’m curious to see what the price will be when the book is complete.

I’ll have to go with 4 low stars. I think if I had a complete story then I would probably rate it 4 strong stars, but that remains to be seen. Who would I recommend this to? Steampunk/Romance fans that don’t mind gritty, naughty characters!

Warnings: some strong language, sexual banter
*I received a copy via NetGalley and InterMix in exchange for an honest review.*

About the Author ~ Meljean Brook

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Meljean was raised in the middle of the woods, and hid under her blankets at night with fairy tales, comic books, and romances. She left the forest and went on a misguided tour through the world of accounting before focusing on her first loves, reading and writing–and she realized that monsters, superheroes, and happily-ever-afters are easily found between the covers, as well as under them, so she set out to make her own.

Meljean lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and daughter.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authormeljeanbrook
Twitter: https://twitter.com/meljean
Website: http://meljeanbrook.com/

Happy Reading,

Alison

Book Blitz ~ Net Riders (Virtual Life Adventures)

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adventure/science fiction novel for middle graders.

Synopsis: When Zane and Megan crack the Secnet, they stumble across Project Net Rider. It’s an awesome Cyber Warfare program with a virtual netbike to infiltrate any computer in the new global network. But the software is dangerous—and in the wrong hands—capable of unlimited destruction. So when the notorious Haxta steals a copy, the entire world is threatened. And the two hackers have to risk everything to stop him.

iTunes | GoodReads | Amazon | Kindle

Giorgio Marino

Giorgio Marino has degrees in Engineering and Business and has worked in Technical, Sales and Marketing roles all over Australia. He has travelled extensively around the world to research his novels, and now lives in Adelaide, South Australia with his wife and two young children. His main interests are reading, writing, movies, illustrating, web design, travel and of course, exploring playgrounds. He writes full time and when not running after children, is working on a new novel. Net Riders is his first published book.

Website | Amazon | GoodReads

Happy Reading,

Alison

Book Blast ~ Deadly Eyes by Michael Meyer

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Deadly Eyes
by Michael Meyer
Romantic Suspense
Categories: Action/Adventure, Mystery/Thriller
Publisher: Pacific Books
Release Date: March 8, 2012
Heat Level: Sensual
Length: 314 pages

Available At: Amazon * B&N * Smashwords * Sony

Description

James Cuffy, better known as Cuff, is living in paradise with his girlfriend, on the small Caribbean island of St. Croix, where the sky is as blue as Cuff’s eyes, the ocean as pretty as Rosie’s cheeks, where the gentle lapping of the waves is a lullaby, and the swaying of the palm trees is a dance. The sandy beaches are as white as sugar, and the horizon is a world away. St. Croix indeed is paradise, the perfect place for living, laughing, and loving.

But the sandy beaches and the turquoise sea can provide no cover from the deadly eyes of the unknown stalker pursuing Cuff. Murder leads to murder as he attempts to untangle the terrible web in which he has suddenly become entangled.

The twists and turns are relentless, the roads of the fast action leading in all directions, but time is running out, and Cuff, his faithful Rosie at his side, knows it.

Book Trailer

Excerpt

These were not naked eyes, for the distance between these eyes and the beach bar at Cathy’s Fancy was too great for the naked eye to discern who was who. No, these eyes had planned meticulously. The eyes were glued to a pair of terribly expensive and unbelievably powerful Swarovski Optik binoculars. The balcony on which they now worked, taking in the scene before them, was the perfect place to see but not be seen. The powerful binoculars saw to that.

The distance, the palm trees, and the rays of the sun all helped. The position had been hand picked, after careful consideration. Every angle had been considered, and, one by one, they had all been discarded for one reason or another until this very spot, the perfect place to observe while not being observed, had been selected.

Yes, the eyes had seen it all. The eyes had seen precisely what they had hoped to see. They were like a master puppeteer. They planned, controlled, and observed, but from a safe distance. They did not miss a trick.

The eyes. The deadly eyes of St. Croix.

About the Author

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I have resided in and have visited many places in the world, all of which have contributed in some way to my own published writing. I have literally traveled throughout the world, on numerous occasions. I have lived in Finland, Germany, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, on the island of St. Croix, where DEADLY EYES is set. I gained the wanderlust to see the world, to experience other cultures, at an early age, and this desire has never left me. If anything, it has only gained in intensity as I have aged. I try to travel internationally at least once a year. In the interim, I spend lots of time traveling around both my home state of California and other nearby states.

I spent my early years in the small town of Lone Pine, California, the home of almost every western movie, in addition to a wide variety of other genres, made in the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s. In fact, Hollywood still films parts of big-time movies there today. My dad, the town’s lifeguard at the time, personally knew John Wayne, Lloyd Bridges, and Lee Marvin, all of whom came to the town’s pool, the Memorial Plunge, at times to cool off after a hectic day of working in the sun. I was even an extra in a movie filmed there in 1957, MONOLITH MONSTERS, a B-cult favorite even today. I was ten years old at the time. Even though I resided in a small town hours from the big city, I was exposed to the excitement of action and heroes at a formative age, and, thus, my interest in writing novels of suspense such as DEADLY EYES was born.

As a recent retiree from a forty-year career as a professor of writing, I now live in Southern California wine country with my wife, Kitty, and our two other cats.

Connect with Mike Myers
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MichaelMeyersWritingLife/app_191387770912394
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/674626.Mike_Meyer
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/temmike/
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Michael-Meyer/e/B005E7M8CW/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Happy Reading,

Alison

Hostages by Terrence Crimmins Tour

Hostages

Action/Adventure/Drama

Date Published: Sept 2013

A young man who has just graduated from Georgetown is finishing up his part time job delivering pizza and ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time and is taken hostage by a Middle Eastern terrorist. After he survives this adventure he goes on a media tour around the country with another former hostage, amidst lingering international intrigue.

Excerpt

This was the moment André had been looking forward to for many years.
André Armoceeda had grown up in Lebanon and was not unaccustomed to chaos. He reveled in anarchy in fact, and a history of past successes in that dramatic part of the world had helped to place him on that balcony, flanked by two steely-eyed Iranian stalwarts. The Iranians were standing at attention and they too had Uzis, which were clutched upright with the barrels in front of their noses. André’s gun moved casually about as he spoke, as though he might like to shoot a few bystanders for the fun of it.
André had been born a Christian in Beirut in 1948, in what was then a rising metropolis by Western standards. It was fast becoming a playground for the rich, or a place for the display of western vices, depending on your point of view. His father was for a time fortunate in economic matters. As a young entrepreneur in what was then a tourist Mecca, he owned three hotels before they were demolished by Moslems in 1964; at this time André was kidnapped by the occupying vandals and taken away to Syria. He never learned what had happened to his parents, which was probably for the best. They’d been gunned down on their knees while his father’s flagship hotel was burning down.
André was taken to the western part of Syria, which had just been cleansed of the Christians and their large private farming enterprises. Here he had a change in vocation. Instead of head bellboy he became latrine cleaner, then pig tender, wheat planter and gradually supervisor as he worked his way up the ladder. And the Syrians were impressed. Here was evidence of the advance of Allah, where a young man who was formerly a tool of the barbarians was rapidly becoming a soldier in the army of His justice. (And his last name was changed to Abdul, a far more fitting name for a soldier in the army of Islamic Justice.)
But André was drawing further into himself, which might be expected under such a difficult transition. He was, like his father, a strong willed man; but also, like his father, he was accustomed to adapt to circumstances.
And so it was not to help Allah when André joined the Syrian Army when he turned 18, but to obtain a higher form of servitude. Gradually rising through the ranks before an Israeli bullet removed the two small fingers of his left hand during the war of 1967, André Abdul had become a hero.
But he did not consider himself a hero, for he thought that the Syrians were cowards. They’d lost battles where they’d outnumbered the Israelis three to one. The Syrian infantry, formerly accustomed to bare feet, had on several occasions slashed off their boot strings with razors so that they might retreat more in a manner to which they were accustomed. Cowards! And as they were fleeing, the Israelis were firing on them with the same Russian tanks they’d just abandoned. Cut off your boots, get shot with your own weapons, and you call yourself soldiers?
But it was only in his own soul that André reminisced in this manner, for his main goal was to insulate himself from what he’d come to consider a world full of fools. So there was a basic irony in his character during his advance in the Syrian armed forces. The promotion to lieutenant colonel and the purchase of a house in Damascus did not satisfy him, as might be expected of one who had been diverted from upper class to serfdom. Andre wanted and expected to feel himself a part of the ruling class again.
So he resigned his position in 1982, and went back to Beirut, this time with the other team, as it were.
Here André was again successful. His brash demeanor and military connections stood him well in this chaotic environment, and even attained him the adoration of Iran’s Party of God, as well as certain of the Ayatollah’s chieftains. They considered him a great asset in their undeniable goal: the humiliation of spoiled and sinful Western decadence by the mighty hand of Allah.
His leadership and charisma were very noticeable in helping them gain a strong foothold on the Moslem side of the Green Line in East Beirut, where André Abdul was able to open a Swiss bank account with profits from the heavy arms trade there. Eventually, as his presence in Beirut became more well known, the financiers of Islam grew to respect him enough to let him plan and lead this essential mission.
So André was quite satisfied by the view that day from the balcony, the yellow POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS tape, the jeeps, the silent soldiers, and most of all, the cameras. He smiled benignly at these signs of crisis in the Western world of fools.
And he rose to the occasion for propaganda which might even increase his stature in that other Middle Eastern world of fools. The tools were certainly at his command. Hostages. A worldwide audience. Washington, DC, the center of power. But most of all he appreciated that last minute gift of fortune, that perfect vehicle of propaganda, the Pizza Boy.
“We have inside this building twenty hostages who shall not be released until our demands are met. I will not state these conditions now, but shall give them to you in writing through an intermediary.
“Now I would like to speak to you about the intermediary. He is an American citizen who was delivering pizza to the spies who work here; yes spies, do not bother to deny it. He is one of your own kind American people, a hard working individual who is crushed under the merciless heel of your capitalist pigs. How could we be more honest than through negotiations with one of your own downtrodden? Allow me to show him to you.”
Tom was inside the glass doors trembling during this little speech. His captors had re-costumed him for the presentation, replacing his ban lon shirt with a ribbed undershirt, his cotton blend slacks with a pair of sweat pants, and his penny loafers with a pair of Converse Sneakers which, unfortunately, were a size too small.
It was difficult for Tom as he was pushed roughly through the doorway by Allah’s servants in the tight and unfamiliar sneakers. But André was in his glory, rising far above this world of the mediocre. He raised Tom up to a firmer stance. There he stood, eyes squinting at the camera lights, his hands clad in plastic handcuffs, slightly chilled by the spring breeze on his new attire, as André introduced him.
“Here you are America, take a look at your Pizza boy.”

About the Author

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Terrence Crimmins

I grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as the youngest of nine children, eight boys and one girl. The thing we lived by was Irish Catholic sarcasm, in a family that always found a joke to circumvent any upcoming tension. A student at Catholic schools just after they stopped corporal punishment, I learned in the old fashioned methods that did not involve group work or student centered classrooms. My greatest achievement in grade school might have been writing the class play in sixth grade, based on Around the World in Eighty Days, by Jules Verne. I enjoyed high school, though I was kicked out of the honors classes when I spent all my time campaigning for George McGovern to beat Richard Nixon. The other change that I made was quitting sports, football, diving and baseball, to be in plays, which was a fortunate decision, including meeting a lot more girls. I skipped my senior year to go to Boston College, a fine Jesuit school.

There I learned how to drink beer, play rugby and read 600 page history books in small print. I really enjoyed the academics of college, and professors inspired me. They seemed to be on another level of consciousness, and I really enjoyed history and philosophy classes, which were my double major. I wrote a senior thesis about the legacy of Walt Whitman, based on two semesters of independent study with my mentor, Alan Lawson. Near graduation he cautioned me on the tale of the sorcerer’s apprentice, and the image of the Disney cartoon with Mickey Mouse flying around the sorcerer’s chamber screwing things up came to haunt me. In time, it seemed, that I was more the artist than the straight and organized academic with the blue blazer, grey slacks, oxford shirt and red and grey striped tie. On another front I took a class in Soviet Philosophy and wrote a paper making fun of my being in the class, having myself as a man who’d been kicked out of the Federal Writer’s Project for not cracking down on the Communists and sent to England for a seminar on Soviet Philosophy led by Nikolai Nastuschen, who was a model of the professor, the late Peter Blakely. At that time he was one of the editors of Studies in Soviet Thought, where he published my paper.

On graduation, when I wanted to do graduate work, the professors counseled me that I’d done a lot quickly, and that I should take a break for a while. So I became a bohemian. Back in the sixties, people used to talk about not selling out and leading the life as an artist, but if you actually did it they thought you were a lunatic. Well, I was that lunatic. I worked in restaurants for ten years, waiting on tables and tending bar. There I met a lot of people from other countries, some of whom were the inspiration for characters in my novels. I worked for a time in a restaurant that was managed by a man who was a veteran of the Special Forces of the Israeli Army, and a restaurant down the block was Middle Eastern, and owned by people from Lebanon. Later I worked in a restaurant that had waiters who were natives of Chile, and I learned a lot about that country. These were very interesting people, and I’m grateful that I met them.

In time I took up another profession that allowed time for reading, and that was driving a cab. It was great, if you liked to read, and I did, where I got to explore all kinds of fiction and biographies. I also met a lot of interesting people. The majority of people who take cabs are the very poor and the moderately wealthy. The very rich have limos, and the rest of us drive cars. I drove a lot of poor people who rode at government expense, and it was interesting getting a take on that. Most of these were medical fares, or from an emergency medical center where people were taken when they were found in the dark of night with delirium tremens, etc. I also drove a lot of veterans, mostly from World War II, on medical fares, and they were very interesting to talk to. Eventually I was doing a lot of Kosher Food deliveries, and got so much that I didn’t have to lease a cab anymore and did well using my own car. But I had to get a real job eventually, so I went back to Boston College to get a Masters degree to become a teacher.

I really found it interesting to go back to my alma mater and see the changes that had taken place in the history department. Most of the major domos I had studied under previously were being put out to pasture, and there were new professors running the show. I revisited my thesis about Whitman, and did two more semesters of independent study with new professors, and studied pedagogical movements that started to answer the challenge that Whitman put to America in his essay Democratic Vistas, where he posited that American might be a materialistic bonanza but a cultural disaster if there were not a democratic cultural revolution to accompany the political one. Once again I enjoyed my time in academia, though, a little older, I wasn’t distracted by keg parties and rugby games. (I had moved on to camping trips and fly fishing in New Hampshire and Vermont.)

Since that degree I’ve been teaching in Baltimore for seven years, which is a bit of a trip, to say the least. It has been quite interesting to see this unique American sub-culture, where they are many interesting characters.

Facebook: Terrence Crimmins

Twitter: TerryCrimmins

Blog: In development

BUY LINKS

Will be available upon release

Happy Reading,

Alison

Sweet Lenora (Anton & Lenora #1) Tour

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Sweet Lenora (Anton & Lenora #1)
by Ute Carbone
Historical Romance
Categories: Action/Adventure
Publisher: Champagne Books
Release Date: July 1, 2013
Heat Level: Sensual
Word Count/Length: 20,000 words/54 pages

Description

Lenora Brewer’s family owns the largest shipyard in Salem Massachusetts and Lenora, as her father’s only living child, is given free rein to learn the business. When Lenora’s father is killed in a carriage accident, her relatives arrange a marriage to a wealthy investor who is rumored to have beaten his first wife to death.

Lenora devises a scheme to stowaway on The Sweet Lenora, a ship named for her.

The last thing Anton Boudreaux needs is a naïve young woman stowing away on his ship. The dark and daring captain has secrets of his own to protect.

When Sweet Lenora encounters a dangerous storm off the coast of Brazil, Lenora and Anton find in each other the courage and tenacity to brave the elements. As their love for one another grows it becomes a force to be reckoned with—and it will be sorely tested.

Excerpt

On the day of my father’s funeral, the gray October sky opened and shed copious tears. It was good that the sky was so willing to cry as I could not find my own sorrow. It seemed I buried it upon learning of his death.

We stood around the gravesite as he was laid next to the mother I had never known. My Aunt Louise looked up now and again from under the awning of her black umbrella to insure herself that I had not jumped in after the coffin or run off into the rain. To Aunt Louise, I was a spoiled and fractious child, not a young woman of twenty with a mind of my own.

“High time you found her a husband,” she had said to Father on more occasions than I cared to count. “It will not do to let her run wild.”

Father hardly let me run wild. I suppose he was indulgent after his own way. My mother died giving me life. My only brother, Edward, eight years older than I, had sailed on the MaryAnne five years before and we’d had no word of him since. As I was left sole heir, Father had deemed it necessary that I know about the shipyard. He allowed me free run of the yard’s books. I learned firsthand how the ribs are covered with planks, how to caulk to make the ship watertight and seaworthy.

My father and my Uncle John ran the largest shipyard in all of Salem. They had shipping interests throughout the seven seas, clipper ships that sailed to the ends of the earth and came back deep laden with China silk and India spice.

Despite whatever Aunt Louise may have thought, there were suitors aplenty. Letters of introduction forever filled the salver. I wished them all away. I knew well enough that marriage meant an

end to my days at the shipyard. Once married, I would not be able to read as I pleased from Father’s library or walk as I pleased about the town. My days would be filled with endless calls to ladies sitting in dim parlors. In short, I would be as miserable as my Aunt Louise.

The young men came by despite my wishing. They took my handkerchiefs and kissed my hand. They danced me over the floor and promenaded me through the rose garden. I knew they would never love me for the woman I was. When they looked at me, they saw a dowry kindly wrapped in a pretty package.

Father felt differently. He did love me for myself. He taught me about ships so I could someday know enough to run the business if need be. He was not so anxious to sell me to the highest bidder. I felt blessed by such an arrangement. Until Father died, quite suddenly, when his carriage overturned.

After the burial, I went to my room. I stared into the mirror at my reflection, a green-eyed girl with red-gold hair and a pale face, and I wondered why my countenance refused to crumple into grief.

What was wrong with me that I had not broken under the weight of my father’s death?

Perhaps it was because Father had taught me to be strong. I would need to be now that he was no longer there to champion me. I knew full well what would happen. I hadn’t expected it to happen so quickly.

I had supposed, to my error, that I would be given a full six months to grieve my loss. Not so! Barely a fortnight had passed since Father’s death when Aunt Louise called me to the parlor. After asking the state of my health and reminding me that I needed to eat to keep up my strength, she came to the reason for her concern.

“These are difficult times, Lenora. You are left without parents. Your uncle and I will see to the necessaries, of course. It is our duty as Christians and kinsmen. But you must marry. And soon.”

She drew a handkerchief from her pocket and wiped her brow as though the speech had taken some assertion on her part. “We are in luck. George Settle has asked for your hand.”

I knew Mr. Settle as a man of means who often invested in Uncle’s ventures. He and Uncle were of like mind in the latest, to build a clipper that would sail round the Horn to San Francisco in record time. The record stood at one hundred and two days, made by the Spitfire out of Boston two years earlier. Uncle obsessed over speed of sail and I spied him with Mr. Settle in the parlor, the two of them with brandy, their heads bent over maps and blueprints.

It was also well known that George Settle was a widower with five children. His wife fell down the stairs and broke her neck the year before my own dear father died. The rumors about town said that Settle was a cruel man. And I had seen for myself the purple markings blooming like cold lilies on Mrs. Settle’s arm as she sat in church with her husband and their five offspring. It was, to the minds of some in the congregation, no travesty to discipline a wife as one might a child. Yet when the news of Mrs. Settle’s death came, the gossips’ tongues wagged that she had been pushed and that Mr.Settle had gone far afield of what was allowed a husband.

Book Trailer

About the Author

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Ute (who pronounces her name Oooh-tah) Carbone is a multi-published author of women’s fiction and romance. Her romantic comedy, The P-Town Queen, was selected as Champagne Books novel of the year for 2012. She and her husband reside in Nashua, NH. They have two grown sons.

Connect with Ute Carbone
Website – http://www.utecarbone.com/
Blog – http://ute-carbone.blogspot.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ute-Carbone/234417796596443
Twitter – https://twitter.com/Wildwords2
Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5114798.Ute_Carbone
Amazon Author Page – http://www.amazon.com/Ute-Carbone/e/B005G7U8RM/
Telling Stories (available daily via Paper Li) – http://paper.li/Wildwords2/1355247882

Happy Reading,

Alison

Mimi Jean Pamfiloff’s “Fate Book” Tour

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Fate Book
by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff
New Adult Romance
Categories: Action/Adventure, Comedy, Mystery/Thriller
Publisher: Mimi Jean Pamfiloff
Release Date: August 15, 2013
Heat Level: Steamy
Length: 60,000

Available at: Amazon (US) * Amazon (UK) * Amazon (Print) * B&N * Kobo

Description

Dakota Dane is about to tell a lie she’ll wish she hadn’t. Because her lie is dangerous, sexy, and just showed up on campus, angry as hell and looking for her…

Ugly duckling Dakota Dane has a new boyfriend. He’s male-model gorgeous, built to perfection, wealthy, and smart. He is also a lie. As in, 100% fabricated. Does it matter that Dakota has a perfectly good reason for making him up? Not really. Not when Dakota’s made-up boyfriend shows up on campus in the flesh.

So is she crazy? All signs point to maybe. But the walking, talking enigma with the deadly vibe isn’t about to give her any answers or let her out of his sight. And with college just around the corner, Dakota fears her dreams of a bright future have just collided with a dark rabbit hole…

Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 as it contains adult sexual situations and/or adult language, and may be considered offensive to some readers.

Excerpt

Lord. Whoever had been on the other end of that phone was coming to my room. I had to get out of there. Because as much as I loved believing in miracles, those didn’t exist, which meant this guy was some psychopathic stalker, some frigging lunatic who’d convinced everyone he was my boyfriend.

I slipped from the covers and immediately had to brace myself on the edge of the hospital bed. My head pulsed with painful, dizzying jabs. I slowly stood upright and willed myself steady. My ribs and hip were sore, but I’d survive. That was, if I got the heck out there.

I blew out a breath and wobbled to the clear plastic bag hanging on the wall with my belongings. I had to find my mother. I had to warn her. What if this guy showed up and tried something?

I slipped on my jeans, sweatshirt, and sneakers, not bothering with the other stuff. I grabbed my phone and purse and tiptoed to the door.

I poked my head out, hoping to spot my mother doing rounds, but instead I saw—

The breath whooshed from my lungs. Santiago?

Cue slow motion and avalanche of conflicting, irrational thoughts accompanied by an imminent panic attack.

My stomach and heart squeezed into a brick and then dropped through the center of my body.

Lord, help me.

Because the man I’d invented—correction—the gorgeous man I’d stolen a picture of, stood twenty feet away, speaking to my mother, wearing low-slung faded jeans and a fitted white, button-down shirt.

I stared in wonderment while my eyes infused with his image and branded itself on my brain. He was lust, rock star, tough guy, jock, Prince Charming, and misfit rolled into one dangerous, rugged, well-groomed package. He sent my female brain into a tailspin.

I’ve lost my mind. That gorgeous man is not standing there. That’s not possible!

I willed my heavy feet to move, but my eyes remained glued to him. He was tall—around six three or six four—and, just like in his photo, built like a lean, mean predatory animal with broad shoulders and powerful-looking…everything. Especially those arms. And those legs. And those…yep. Everything. To boot, he stood with the sort of confidence that gave me the distinct impression he really might be deadly. And ate his meat raw. Possibly still squealing.

Santiago, who towered over my mother, leaned down and hugged her. Then my mother said something, and they laughed like old friends.

What? He hugged my mother? What was happening? Did she know him? Was the universe punishing me for lying? If it was, it was totally working. I’d never, ever lie again.

About the Author

Before taking up a permanent residence in the San Francisco Bay Area, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Mimi Jean Pamfiloff spent time living near NYC (became a shopaholic), in Mexico City (developed a taste for very spicy food), and Arizona (now hates jumping chollas but pines for sherbet sunsets). Her love of pre-Hispanic culture, big cities, and romance inspires her to write when she’s not busy with kids, hubby, work, and life…or getting sucked into a juicy novel. Or hosting the Man Candy Show on Radioslot.com! (Be very afraid!). She hopes that someday, leather pants for men will make a big comeback and that her writing might make you laugh (or give you a mini-vacay) when you need it most.

Connect with Mimi Jean Pamfiloff
Website – http://www.mimijean.net
Twitter – https://twitter.com/MimiJeanRomance
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/MimiJeanPamfiloff
Man Candy Show – http://www.radioslot.com/show/man-candy-show

Giveaway Time!!!

Prize is 2 “Fate Book” Prize Packs (1 each to 2 winners). Each pack contains an autographed print copy of “Fate Book”, a leather journal, and a sexy “Vampires Need Not Apply” and “Fate Book” bookmark from Mimi Jean Pamfiloff (prize image attached). Contest is tour-wide and ends Sept 21. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.
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Happy Reading,

Alison