Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Review: Hereafter by Tara Hudson

Amelia has been drifting in a world that fluctuates between nightmares and nothingness until she sees a boy in the river, drowning.  Suddenly, all she wants is to save him.  Her attempts prove fruitless because she is dead herself.  But then, in a sudden moment, she connects and the boy is saved.  Amelia and Joshua have an unusual bond between them.  Joshua can see and talk to Amelia.  Their bond grows as they try to solve the mysteries surrounding Amelia’s death while keeping their relationship a secret from the world that would view Joshua as crazy and his grandmother who is an exorcist.  But an evil spirit, Eli, is determined to make Amelia his own and take her to his ghost world forever.

Was this a ghost story?  I would say I’m not usually a fan of ghost stories, so I’m thinking this wasn’t really that ghost-ish.  I would call it paranormal with “beings” and more romance.  Maybe it was the romance that I liked the best…

No, it really wasn’t, although I did enjoy that part too.  What I really liked in this book was Amelia’s road to awareness and self discovery.  It had my curiosity levels high.  Amelia goes from this nothingness sort of existence, one nightmare to another, without any real concept of time or place to a gradual awareness of not only herself but others.  It’s like that head of hers starts ticking again and then connects with her heart and BAM, she realizes there is so much more to her existence.  It was a fun journey to begin with her.

Joshua is a good sort, isn’t he?  Very sweet and curious.  He sure takes the whole ghost and seer thing well.  I wasn’t over the moon about Joshua like I have been about some characters I’ve read, but I liked him.  I think there is more to this guy to be discovered though.
The book left me with so many questions unanswered.  I’m hoping for a sequel!  I really enjoyed this read.

There was frequent mild language, for those of you who are concerned with that.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Awesome August Blog Hop

Tristi Pinkston is awesome.  We have her to thank for this fun August blog hop today!  Thanks, Tristi!

I have three different books that you can choose from.
You can read my review on this book here.

This is a MG novel and you can read my review here.

Which I have to admit I haven't read.  I got it free somewhere and I really have no idea what it is even about.

To enter you must be a follower of my blog.  Please.  :) US only this time on shipping.

Next, leave me a comment letting me know which book you would like to win.  You have to choose one. Make sure you leave your email address so I can contact you if you win.

Thanks so much for stopping by!  I love blog hops and I love meeting new people.  If you are a new follower to my blog, let me know and leave your blog addy so I can return the follow.

Blog Hop ends August 31st at midnight. Make sure you check out all the AWESOME blogs participating!

Awesome August Blog Hop Participants

1. Tristi Pinkston, LDS Author
2. Karen Hoover
3. Michael Young
4. Kristy Tate
5. cindy Hogan
6. Julie Bellon
7. Margot Hovley
8. Laurie Lewis
9. Mandi Slack
10. Melanie Jacobson
11. Joyce DiPastena
12. Renae Mackley
13. Debbi Weitzell
14. Donna Hatch
15. Carolyn Frank
16. Marsha Ward
17. Stacy Coles
18. Bonnie Harris
19. Danyelle Ferguson aka Queen of the Clan
20. Diony George
21. Lisa Asanuma
22. Susan Dayley
23. Christine Bryant @ Day Dreamer
24. Stephanie Humphreys
25. Ranee` Clark
26. Tamera Westhoff
27. I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
28. Heather Justesen
29. Rebecca Talley
30. Jennifer Hurst
31. Aimee Brown
32. Cheryl Christensen
33. Rachelle Christensen
34. Imaginary Reads
35. Andrea Pearson

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Torrent by Lisa Bergren

From Goodreads:
Gabi and Lia Betarrini have learned to control their time travel, and they return from medieval Italy to save their father from his tragic death in modern times. But love calls across the centuries, and the girls are determined to return forever—even though they know the Black Plague is advancing across Europe, claiming the lives of one-third of the population. In the suspenseful conclusion of the River of Time series, every decision is about life … and death.

I cannot tell you how excited I was to receive my ARC copy of Torrent in the mail.  It was Christmas in August.  I proudly showed it to my whole family and then HID it from my daughter.  She came in later and asked where it was and I told her that I hid it because I was going to read it first.  (You know she didn't have to wait too long because I finished it the next day.)  

This is the third book in the River of Time series.  I have loved these books since the first time I laid eyes on them.  If you haven't read them yet, you really should.  I found so many things to love all the way through. 

Love, loyalty, time travel, action, knights in shining armor and a good history lesson... You just can't ask for more. 

This third book couldn't come fast enough for me.  I was hoping for all kinds of resolution and good things.  I was not disappointed at all.  It felt so good to end the journey with Gabi and crew.  Happily.  :)  The book is well written and the scenes are etched in my mind.

I sure wouldn't mind reading another series starring Lia and Luca.  I sure think there is more of that story to tell!  Well, it could be that while I am utterly satisfied with the ending of Torrent, I still just want more.  

I really don't want to give away the book and the twists so I'm just going to have to tell you to pick up these books, starting with Waterfall and Cascade and ending with Torrent.  They are one of my favorite series.  I will be reading these books again.  I'm also happy to say that these books are clean.  I can recommend these books to all my friends and even my daughter's friends.  To me, that is huge.

My most sincere thanks to Lisa Bergren for writing such great books and letting me read them.  Torrent comes out September 1st!  I love, love, love the River of Time Series!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Supernaturally by Kiersten White

From Goodreads:

Evie finally has the normal life she’s always longed for. But she’s shocked to discover that being ordinary can be . . . kind of boring. Just when Evie starts to long for her days at the International Paranormal Containment Agency, she’s given a chance to work for them again. Desperate for a break from all the normalcy, she agrees.

But as one disastrous mission leads to another, Evie starts to wonder if she made the right choice. And when Evie’s faerie ex-boyfriend Reth appears with devastating revelations about her past, she discovers that there’s a battle brewing between the faerie courts that could throw the whole supernatural world into chaos. The prize in question? Evie herself.

So much for normal.

So, finally I snatched this one up and read it.  I've been waiting to read this since it came out!  It's been sitting on my pile, waiting patiently for me for a few weeks.  My daughter snatched it up first and I think she's read it twice already.  :)

I had fun getting back with Evie, living the normal life.  School, work and homework aren't exactly all it's cracked up to be.  I love how the locker is still the highlight of her high school experience.  I missed the use of tasy in this book.  Poor tasy is left behind way too much...

I love the humor in the book, a little snarky and sarcastic but never vulgar.  I think after reading these books, there should be a sigh chart made along with facial features.  Or maybe it should be an interactive sound sigh book.  Yeah, that would be fun.

One of my favorite parts was when Evie uses memories of the people she loves the most to get her through a tough spot.  She remembers what she is living for and that love gives her strength and direction.  I also appreciate that Evie makes mistakes.  She's not perfect but she is trying to do the right things.  

I really enjoyed this book.  It's always happy to me to find books that I can share with my kids without worrying about content.  It's a fast read, not too heavy, but lots of fun.  I'm really looking forward to the next book to see how Evie's life resolves with all the new revelations in this book.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Follow My Book Blog Friday

Q. If you could write yourself a part in a book, what book would it be and what role would you play in that book?

Well, since I'm a big chicken, it won't be any kind of scary or intense book.  It would probably have to be a romantic kind of book.  Oh, I know.  I'll put myself in one of Marcia McClure's books because there is always lots of hot kissing.  :)  Yup.  Hot men and hot kissing.  In fact, I'll pick the book with Swaggart.  So, that would make me the character of Poppy.  That makes me happy just thinking about it.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Review: Across Eternity by Aris Whittier

From Goodreads:
Born a genius; education, wealth, and prestige came easy to Logan Richards. Actually, there wasn’t much that Logan couldn’t learn or acquire. However, he knew there was more to life than money and power. Logan was determined to find the woman who he'd dreamed of his entire life and know what it was like to love her before he died.

Amber Lewis, a waitress for a five-star restaurant in, Dana Point, California, was overworked, stressed, and wary of life since her sister, Heather, had passed away. Then, one evening while working she fell hopelessly in love with Logan Richards, a chivalrous man who felt deeply familiar.

For Amber, it was the beginning of a voyage of self-discovery and renewal. For Logan, it was the completion of life. For each of them it was the deepest sort of love.

I enjoyed many things about this book. First, I liked the unwavering devotion of Logan. He was a man of strength and determination as well as patience. His persistence in finding his love was touching. While I, myself, do not believe in reincarnation, I do believe that we existed before this earth and that we continue on after this life. I really do believe that love can last an eternity and you are lucky if you can find and make a life of love and devotion with someone that will be fulfilling throughout eternity.

Second, I was very touched by the real emotions towards the end of the book. I cried, and that is saying something because I tend to be pretty good at keeping those emotions in check. It takes a fair amount of talent to bring real and raw emotions across in a book.

I guess I could relate better to Amber as she is a bit confused through most of the book. Because she doesn't have access to the inside track of memories from her lives before with Logan, she feels frustration and sometimes anger. I liked how Amber learned more about herself with Logan. He taught her to have courage and believe in herself. He taught her to live life fully. Of course, it didn't hurt that Logan was filthy rich and could give her anything she wanted.

I sort of wished that because the story was built on reincarnation that we could have had more story before or after the life we were watching. The focus was just on the right now life and I guess I just wish I could have seen more of them together and satisfied in previous or next lives. Gee, I hope that made sense.

This book did have sex and it wasn't behind closed doors. That's not to say it was crass or overly detailed, but it crossed a line that I, personally, have set for myself. It also contained swearing.

My thanks to Aris for sending me her book to read. I wish her the best with her writing efforts as she has much talent to offer the world. :)

You can pick this book up for the Kindle on Amazon for $2.99 here.
You can find out more about Aris Whittier and her books here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Review: Tiger's Quest

From Goodreads:
Kelsey Hayes is no ordinary college freshman. In fact, the eighteen-year-old girl has just returned from India, where she risked her life—and her heart—to rescue a handsome Indian prince from a terrible curse. Back home in Oregon, Kelsey is determined to move on, despite the lingering feelings she has for the man she left behind. She meets Li, a completely average guy who offers the promise of an ordinary, curse-free life. But just when Kelsey is ready to move on, Ren reenters her life, on a quest to reclaim her heart. Danger threatens their newly rekindled love and to save him, Kelsey must journey with someone else—a man who wants her for himself. The saga begun in Tiger’s Curse continues in Tiger’s Quest, as Kelsey finds herself in an epic battle between good and evil. From the shores of the Pacific Northwest to the jungles of India, the mountains of Nepal and Tibet, and the mystical realm of Shangri-la, this suspenseful tale of love, sacrifice, and redemption is not to be missed.

No, no, no.



NOOOOOOOO! This cannot be happening. NOOOOOOOOOOOO! NO NO NO NO NO!

The End.

Slam the book shut.

November is WAY too far away.

I own a severe case of love/hate with this book.

(and that really is my review because saying much more would give it all away. Oh, and I'm still a bit worked up.)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Review: Count Down to Love by Julie N. Ford


Abandoned at the altar, Kelly Grace Pickens finds herself left holding not only the bouquet but also the exorbitant bill for an A-list wedding. Homeless, a once promising singing career floundering, and her life bearing an uncanny resemblance to one of her country music ballads, she reluctantly accepts a last minute offer to appear on a reality TV show akin to the bachelor. Pitted against silicon-enhanced supermodels in four-inch heals, Kelly feels confident that she will be among the first would-be fianc├ęs to be excused. Only, when the mysterious bachelor from New York City, Dillon Black, invites her to stay, Kelly finds herself thrust into the vortex of a game she doesn’t have the first idea how to play. Nursing her hopelessly broken heart while avoiding the foils of her fellow contestants, Kelly is oblivious to Dillon’s affections as she wades through hurt and betrayal to discover, in the end, that she has landed firmly on both feet.
Leaving behind Nashville’s Music Row for the majestic Grand Teton mountains, Count Down To Love takes readers on a journey from duplicity to sincerity as Kelly discovers that being true to oneself is the first step in finding happiness and everlasting love.
Love, love, love, love. Yummy, yummy love
Hum, have I mentioned the word love yet?  Or yummy?  Oh, right.  I have.

Nothing makes me happier than a good romantic comedy with a happily ever after ending.  Count Down to Love had everything I look for in a romance; engaging characters, humor, relatable situations, and some fantastic kissing scenes.

I’m not sure if I’m proud or ashamed to admit this, but I watch the Bachelor.  It’s one of those shows that you can’t help but getting sucked into and sometimes you love it and sometimes you hate it, but you keep watching anyway.  Count Down to Love is like the best of the Bachelor world.  There is some drama but it isn’t overdone and it isn’t the focus of the book.  Instead we get to know Kelly, who is on a journey of self discovery.  Having your heart hurt can do that to a girl.  I love how Kelly begins to realize she can make others happy without losing herself and without giving up on her own dreams. 

I was also so excited to see Hurricane in the book.  I lived in Hurricane, UT when I was young- we moved from there to CA when I was eight.  My mom always tells how I would get so mad at people when they pronounced Hurricane like the storm with a long A sound instead of Hurr-a-cun like it is supposed to be.  J  It was a small connection moment between me and the book.

In the book, Kelly is a singer/songwriter.  During the process, she is writing a song that becomes a self revelation.  I love music and I love when it is incorporated into a book.  Julie Ford has done just that and I hopped over to her website and listened to the song.  It's really good.  What can I say?  Audio and visual makes for a greater connection.  I felt like I knew Kelly a little bit more.

Count Down to Love is a fabulous book.  I finished the book feeling happy, with a smile on my face.  I enjoyed every minute reading it and now that I’m thinking about it, maybe I’ll go back and read it again.  

You can find out more about Julie Ford here.
You can buy Count Down to Love here.
You can find Kelly's song, Who I Am here.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Review: Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari

After the plague sweeps through the population of the greater New York City area, Lucy finds herself alone, devastated by the loss of her family, friends and life as she knew it.  Survival is a day to day struggle with never enough food.  One day Aidan shows up, saving her from the dogs that seem determined to catch her, and leaving her longing for human contact again.  When a tsunami pummels her makeshift home, Lucy scrambles to escape and ends up finding Aiden and the tattered group of people he lives with. 

Sweepers keep attacking and taking people away, never to be seen again.  Lucy is frustrated by the group’s lack of action, wanting to find out why people are being taken and where they are going.  When a girl escapes the sweepers and returns back to the group, Aiden and Lucy decide the time has come to find some answers, setting off a chain of events that nobody could imagine.  The answers, it seems, are in Lucy's blood.

I first have to say that I'm really enjoying so many of the books coming out in the Dystopian genre.  This was no exception.

I thought Lucy was a strong character.  Life had forced cruelties upon her but she survives.  She sets her mind to the task and does what needs to be done.  Lucy also has a sense of loyalty which I really liked.  

The author does a good job of creating characters.  I felt like I could picture them in my head.  They seemed real and tangible.  The premise of the book was interesting and incorporated so many of the things that I think as a society we fear happening.  Massive virus or infection that sweeps across population, devastating everyone, government propaganda leaving us confused as to the truth... yeah, scary stuff.

The one problem I had with the book was the ending.  Here I am, in the middle of this intense escape scene, running for my life, trying to get away, and then Aidan pulls Lucy over and kisses her.  THE END.  Huh?   Okay, so I'm as happy as the next gal that Aidan and Lucy finally connect that way but I really felt like I was escaping with them, running with adrenaline and then BAM, I turn around and everyone is gone.  There is an Epilogue which provides some after the fact answers, but still.  That ending.  I don't know.

Everything else was good though.  I enjoyed the read and I'm looking forward to the next book.  At least, I hope there is a next book!  :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Winners of Derrolyn's books!

Congrats to Cristina and Michele who random.org so generously pulled out of my hat.  :)  I hope you enjoy Derrolyn's books as much as I did.  And of course, my great thanks to Derrolyn Anderson for putting her books out there to share.  

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

New Summer Giveaway Hop Winner!

Well, bad news and good news...  The first winner random.org picked didn't respond in 48 hours so he had to pick a new winner.  So, for Ana, that is very good news!  She is the new random pick.  :)  Congrats, Ana.  (I really hope you respond!!)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My Two E-book Giveaway Ends Tomorrow!

Don't miss out on Derrolyn Anderson's fabulous giveaways that end Wednesday.  She is giving TWO sets of her TWO ebooks in the Marina's Tales series.  Between the Land and the Sea and The Moon and the Tide.  I really enjoyed these books!  You can find the giveaway details here or by clicking the link on the side bar.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Summer Giveaway Hop Winner!

It's going to be a happy Monday for Anne!  She just won my summer hop giveaway!  Congrats, Anne.  And as always, my thanks to everyone who stopped by and took the time to enter.  Giveaway hops are such fun!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Review: Your Child's Writing Life by Pam Allyn

From Press Release:
In YOUR CHILD’S WRITING LIFE: How to Inspire Your Child’s Confidence, Creativity, and Skill at Every Age (Avery, Paperback Original, August 2011, $16.00), award-winning educator, literacy expert and author of What to Read When: The Books and Stories to Read With Your Child and All the Best Times to Read Them, Pam Allyn empowers parents to make writing, as much as reading, a part of life at home. Allyn teaches us that every child has the capability to write, and that writing is a fundamental part of self-discovery and is a skill essential to success later in life. After writing the go-to book on reading, Allyn’s mission is to encourage all children to define themselves as writers too—confident in their ability to communicate with the world through words. 

I agreed to read and review this book because a couple of my kids love to write and one absolutely does not.  One of my kids wants to write books and is working on his first novel.  He attends teen writer's conferences and has really enjoyed learning more about writing.  He is my oldest.  My youngest says she hates reading and writing.  I always wonder what I did wrong with her to make her say that.  I'm not sure.  So, I was interested in what Pam Allyn had to say about writing and reading in her new book.

I took a page full of notes!  Obviously as a book blogger, I love to read and I love to write about what I read.  The first section of this book had so many great quotes.  Here are a few that I loved.

"Reading is like breathing in, writing is like breathing out."  Ooh, how great is that?!

"Of all you can do for your child, instilling in him/her a writing life is one of the best, cheapest, most lasting ways you can make a tremendous difference in the overall academic experience and outcomes your child will have."

"There is a power in being able to say exactly what you mean."

I love all the ideas in this book.  Pam Allyn literally takes you through the years, from birth to older teenagers, giving you ideas for helping kids to write.  Why is writing so important?  Ours is a world of words.  If kids learn to write, they learn to express themselves.  They learn creativity.  Allyn says test scores at school will improve because writing teaches kids to think and increases their mental stamina.

First, Pam urges parents to establish “The Five Keys” to WRITE: Word Power, Ritual, Independence, Time, Environment.  She gives ideas of how to do these things with each stage of your child's life.  A couple of the ideas I really liked were having a word jar where you pull out a new word to learn each day, and having your child draw a picture and then tell you the story that goes along with that picture.  I like that she recommends expanding your children's reading to all kinds of books.  Fiction, non-fiction, poetry and so forth.

In the next chapter was full of great information on the stages of writing development.  Again, Allyn takes us through the years and gives us ideas.  At the end of each stage, we are given three different helps.  Writing elements you will see, writing activities for that particular stage and great books that will also help your kids.  There is so much great information in this section.

I particularly enjoyed the chapter that calls in the "Writing Dr.".  It helps you find ways to help that child who may be resistant to writing, or a child who struggles with writing.  I found ways to encourage my children and compliment their writing.

There is a whole section on writing prompts to help get your kids thinking and writing.  It was so fun reading through those ideas.  I wanted to start writing about some of them myself.  Some of these things my kids do, like write restaurant menu's and make words with their spaghetti-o's.  I wanted to start writing about a message in a bottle and I wanted to act on the idea of creating a new character Facebook profile for somebody I dream up.  Such fun ideas.

I think this is a great book, full of help and ideas for everyone to get writing. 

For me, writing is a way of preserving memories and ideas.  It charts growth and helps promote understanding.  I am glad to have read this book and would encourage you to pick it up too!  A love of writing is a great gift to give to your children.

You can find out more about Pam Allyn here:

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Emerson knows she is different.   Not everyone can see ghosts from the past and make them pop by punching them.  It’s freaky.  After losing her parents in a crash, Emerson’s life turns inside out.  She is hospitalized for ghostly claims and becomes so depressed she can hardly see the way out.  But within Emerson lies an inner strength to fight against the darkness and make her way back to the light, and her brother, the only family she has left.

Thomas loves his sister and wants to protect and help her.  Michael is his newest attempt.  Michael works for secret organization called Hourglass, a place devoted to helping people understand their unusual “gifts”.  Emerson decides that talking to Michael might be a good idea because her ghostly sightings are increasing and she doesn’t know how to handle it. 

Michael seems to be the perfect person for Emerson to relate to.  He can also see ghosts and believes everything she tells him.  It doesn’t hurt that he’s also drop dead gorgeous.  The electricity between Michael and Emerson is literally palpable.  Emerson doesn’t understand the crazy connection the two of them share but she knows that Michael is someone she wants to trust and love.

Emerson begins to learn of a new world and a new way of life with Michael; a place where she feels normal and relaxed.  People with unusual gifts have a tendency to attract the wrong kind of people though, people who would exploit those gifts for power and money.  Emerson finds herself thrown into a complex problem that requires traveling to prevent a death that never should have happened.  It’s risky, even deadly.  The consequences of failure could change Emerson’s past as well as her future.

Hourglass is a well written, engaging story combining the paranormal world with time travel.  The pages just flew by.  I loved the connection between Michael, Emerson and Kaleb.  There were so many yummy, tension filled moments.  MichaeI is the classic good guy, putting aside his desires for the greater good.  His classic good looks along with his hero saving role makes for a character easy to drool over.  Kaleb, on the other hand, has the bad boy cover that you just know is really just a good guy, broken and waiting for the right girl to come along and make him whole.  It’s hard for a girl to ignore those kinds of guys. 

I also really enjoyed the relationship between Emerson and her brother.  I appreciated the way he trusted her and believed what she told him.  He was a guardian as well as a supporter.  He was the true feeling of family to me.

The whole concept of time travel always makes my head whirl.  Somewhere in Time has always been a favorite movie of mine, but I just can’t think about it too much.  Or how about the TV show Dr. Who?  Head whirling!  It will be so interesting to see how this story plays out.  I just know there is some fun time traveling twists to come!

The book ended way too soon for me and definitely left the door wide open for a sequel.   Ooh, and I love the cover! 

The only real drawback for me was the swearing.  Man, it was all over and I wished the whole time that it wasn’t there.  It was just full of mild obscenities, so much that I had a hard time reading it.  In my own perfect world, I would take out the swearing and have a perfect book.  

Monday, August 1, 2011

Giveaway, Review AND Author Interview!

Marina has spent most of her life traveling the world with her scientist dad.  Life has been good and Marina has no complaints until her father tells her she is going to stay with her aunt and attend a public school for the first time in her life while he leaves for a year to work on his own.  Aptos, California is a beach town full of surfers and sunshine.  Marina has no idea how this move will change her whole life.  After nearly drowning, not once, but twice, Marina takes swimming and surfing lessons from Ethan, the hottest guy in town.  Marina feels herself drawn to the ocean and to Ethan.  One grounds her and makes her feel safe, the other torments her, even in her dreams.

If you love paranormal romance with a bit of action thrown in, this could just be the book for you!  If you love mermaid tales, this is a must read!  I wouldn’t say I’m a paranormal romance junkie or a mermaid lover either, but I who doesn’t love a book that can pull you in and entertain you?  That’s what this book was for me. It took me a bit to get into this book, but when I did, it was sure hard to pull me out.  I didn’t want to stop reading.  That is a very good thing.

I’m so glad Derrolyn contacted me and asked me to read and review her books.  
The Moon and the Tide (Marina’s Tales, book 2)
Just when Marina thinks she has a handle on her mermaid life, she is thrown for another loop.  Or two!   An unfortunate accident forces Marina to expose herself as a mermaid and although she tries hard to keep the secret under wraps, the information leaks out to the evil forces who are conspiring against her.  Secrets long kept begin to surface and Marina is caught in a web of lies and betrayal.  As Marina feels her life spiraling out of control, she seeks comfort in the waves of the ocean.  Surfing becomes an obsession, a need.  Her connections to the mermaids increase bringing with it a greater awareness of her special abilities and powers.  When Marina realizes the mermaids are in danger her instinct is to try to save them.  But the attempt could just be the end of everything Marina has dreamed of.

I was so happy to have the second book to delve right into after finishing the first book of this series.  I found myself wanting to know what was going to happen next for Marina and Ethan and instant gratification should never be under-rated.  J  This book was a real page turner for me.  It had romance, action and mystery.  The twists and turns were fun, the characters engaging.  I enjoyed getting to know the characters even more in this second book.

I, personally, love the way Marina gets caught up in the feelings of the ocean while surfing.  I just happened to be home, in CA while reading these books and we took a day trip to the beach.  The sounds and smells that day really brought the book to life for me.  I love the ocean but I would say I have a healthy respect (maybe a bit of fear, too) of its power and dangers.  Unlike Marina, who was a part of the ocean and the world of mermaids.  For me, Marina was a great balance of strength and weakness.  I love her loyalty to those she cares about.

Ethan is one of my favorite characters.  He is strong and steady.  His insecurities come out in this book, but it only made me enjoy him more.  I love how he “grounds” Marina., keeps her steady and safe.  He is a great character.

No love triangle in this series, guys.  It’s just one guy and one girl with some bumps along the way.  It’s honestly a relief to not have to pick a team and feel bad for one or the other all through the book.  J 

I seriously cannot wait to read the next book in the series.  (Here’s where the instant gratification thing isn’t working.)  Derrolyn has done a fabulous job at creating a compelling, romantic story of mermaids and love.

*There is frequent profanity and mild obscenities.  A couple uses of the “B” word.  There are some sexual references and some violence. (in both books)
We are all so lucky today because Derrolyn has agreed to do a little interview and GIVEAWAY!  How fabulous is that?!

Derrolyn, thank you so much for letting me read your books and for doing this awesome giveaway. 
It’s absolutely my pleasure!

What was the inspiration for these books?  Where did the idea start for you?
I have three teenage daughters, and after reading some of their great YA fiction I was inspired to try my hand at creating my own stories. Outside of college essays, I’d never written very much, so it was a difficult challenge that rapidly morphed into something of an obsession! Now I can barely keep away from my laptop, and I find writing fiction to be one of the most satisfying things I’ve ever done.
I spent the first ten years of my marriage living in the idyllic little seaside neighborhood in Aptos that the books take place in, and I wrote it very much as I remember it. It’s located within the ginormous Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, so there’s an abundance of sea life, and I can imagine mermaids being right at home there. There really is a wrecked cement ship with a pier leading out to it!

So many of the characters in your book surf.  I loved the powerful need you created in Marina that drew her to the ocean to seek the thrill of the surf.  Do you surf?
I had so much fun dreaming up the extreme surfing scenes in book #2! Let me just say that I like to imagine I’m a lot better at many things than I truly am!

You have some great characters in your books.  Who was your favorite to write?
That’s a tough one to answer. I have a soft spot for Abby and Cruz, and Aunt Evie is such an over the top fairy godmother-ish type it was great fun putting words into her mouth! I’m currently having a blast writing Shayla’s dialog in book #3 – big things in store for that girl!
I worked nights as an airport hotel bartender while studying art, and I experienced enough characters in those days to keep me writing for years!

I learned from your website that you are also an artist.  You have done some incredible work.  What made you want to change gears to writing?

Thank you for the kind words! I can’t really say for sure what triggered me to start writing, but I’ve always been a “creative” type, both in the good and bad sense of the word. I have a home-based business that involves a whole lot of mindless assembly work, and I find that writing helps to keep my monkey-mind occupied!

When can we expect the next book in the Marina’s Tales series?  Soon I hope?
I’ve plunged right in on the third installment of Marina’s tales, “The Fate Of The Muse”, and it’s coming along swimmingly! I hope to have it ready to launch by the end of August. So... enough with the bad oceanic puns, and back to writing!

Derrolyn is so generously offering TWO sets of her TWO books to TWO lucky winners.  I love it!  These books are only available as ebooks (for now!) so keep that in mind when entering.  To enter, leave a comment on this review telling me why you’d like to win, along with your email address so we can contact you if you do win.  Winner will be sent coupon codes for Smashwords to download in the format of choice.    

You can find out more about Derrolyn Anderson and her books at http://www.derrolyn.com/Site/Home.html

You can find her books at Amazon for kindle
Between Land and Sea is .99 cents!  And The Moon and The Tide is 2.99!
You can also pick them up at Smashwords. http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/50600

Summer Giveaway Hop!

Happy Summer Everyone!  So happy to be a part of this awesome giveaway hop.

I really like things to be simple and easy.  Since I hop around these too, I know how much time it can take.  So, let's make it nice and easy so we can get back to enjoying our sunshine and summer!

I'm giving away a book of your choice, $12.00 or less from:

 If the Book Depository ships to your country, you can enter.  

To enter, leave me a happy comment with your email address included.  You must be a follower of my blog to enter.  If you want an extra entry, leave a new comment on any review I have done.  Then let me know in a separate comment which review you commented on.  That's it!  

Have fun hoppin' through the many, many blogs on the list!  (314?  Are you kidding me?!)