Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Kacie Ramsey, Teenage Psychic and Paranormal Investigator With the Orion Circle, Opens up to Kimber Leigh Wheaton and to Emeraldfire's Bookmark About the Recent Changes in Her Life

I would very much like to welcome both Kimber Leigh Wheaton, author of the young adult Paranormal Thriller, Tortured Souls and Kacie Ramsey, a Paranormal Investigator with the illustrious Orion Circle, to Emeraldfire's Bookmark. The Orion Circle plays a major role in Ms. Wheaton's latest young adult paranormal novel Tortured Souls and with the author's permission, Kacie was nice enough to answer some questions for me about her life before and after joining the Orion Circle. Thank you so much for stopping by Emeraldfire's Bookmark, Ms. Wheaton and Ms. Ramsey, and I wish you all the best now and in the future!


Meet Kimber Leigh Wheaton

Kimber Leigh Wheaton is a bestselling YA/NA author with a soft spot for sweet roance. She is married to her soul mate, has a teenage son, and shares her home with three dogs, four cats, and lots of dragons. No, she doesn’t live on a farm, she just loves animals. Kimber Leigh is addicted to romance, videogames, superheroes, villains, and chocolate - not necessarily in that order. (If she has to choose, she’ll take a chocolate covered superhero!) She currently lives in San Antonio, Texas but has been somewhat a rolling stone in life, having resided in several different cities and states.

Synopsis of Tortured Souls:

Sometimes Rest in Peace isn't an option.

Kacie Ramsey sees ghosts - and it's ruining her life. Her mother left, her father blames her, and no matter how hard she tries, she can't keep the ghosts away. Now a new power has emerged. Nightly visions of grisly murders and a relentless predator draw her to the brink of insanity.

When the phantom appears at a party, Kacie's longtime crush, Logan, saves her. He invites her to join the Orion Circle, a group of supernatural hunters with chapters in schools all over the country. Through the Circle, Kacie learns to embrace her spiritual powers, and for the first time in her life she feels in control rather than a victim.

But the Foxblood Demon will not give up so easily. A demented serial killer in life who trapped the souls of the thirteen children he murdered, imprisoning them within the walls of his mansion. Now in death, he plots his return while drawing power from the pure souls of the children. He recognizes something in Kacie he's never seen before - a medium powerful enough to provide a vessel for his tainted soul.

Kacie can't ignore the tortured souls of the children crying out to her every night. With Logan at her side, she will fight the Foxblood Demon. But can they banish this powerful phantom, or will Kacie lose not only her body, but her eternal soul to the monster.

Coming to Amazon on June 28, 2014!

Meet Kassandra 'Kacie' Ramsey


I’d like to introduce Kacie Ramsey, the main character in Tortured Souls. Kacie is a physical medium and has been communicating with spirits her entire life. Welcome to Emeraldfire's Bookmark, Kacie!

Emeraldfire's Bookmark: So, Kacie, what was it like to finally find a group of people who understood and embraced your powers?

Kacie Ramsey: Heaven on Earth? Yeah, pretty close. It’s really hard going through life hiding who you really are from everyone. There were times in the recent past that I had to do a double take to make sure the person I was about to talk to was real and not a spirit -‘cause sometimes they appear almost alive. I can think of little worse than talking to a spirit only I can see in the middle of the school cafeteria…

Emeraldfire's Bookmark: Has that ever happened?

Kacie Ramsey: Not since I was a lot younger. At first I didn’t realize the spirits weren’t supposed to be there - that most people didn’t see them. I’d have long conversations with spirits. Looking back, I must have appeared crazy, talking to myself. Now that I’m older, I can tell spirits from people much easier. The spirits are always accompanied by a cool breeze - like someone cranked up the A/C. I prefer the spirits who look like ghosts should, you know transparent.

Emeraldfire's Bookmark: What was it like to be different from others around you?

Kacie Ramsey: In most instances, I say flaunt your differences. Those differences are what makes you interesting. However, since my difference could land me in a loony bin, I had no choice but to hide it. It was awful. Like the longer I held the spirits at bay, the more determined they became. I had no one to talk to. My best friend, Celia, believed in ghosts and even experienced a haunting, but she has no idea how minor that was compared to what I feel and see on a daily basis.

Emeraldfire's Bookmark: What about now? How is the Orion Circle helping you?

Kacie Ramsey: Well, first and foremost, they are teaching me how to channel my abilities in a more productive manner. Oh, and how to shield myself and block out spirits when I need to. Just the fact that I get to use my powers to help people makes a huge difference in how I feel about myself. I always thought my abilities were a curse, but now I can see them more as a gift. Through the Orion Circle, I’ve learned there are some bad things out there. I like being on the frontlines, investigating hauntings and other supernatural cases.

Emeraldfire's Bookmark: What does the future hold?

Kacie Ramsey: Hmm…I found out that my mother plans to visit for my sixteenth birthday in a couple months. I’m not sure how I feel about seeing her again. She has some kind of reconciliation planned, but I just don’t see it. Other than that, there’s never a dull moment being part of the Orion Circle. If it’s not ghosts, it’s a new coven of vampires, or an evil witch. Oh, and our new member, Blake, is stirring up all kinds of trouble with my friend, Raven. Things should be interesting.

May you read well and often

Friday, December 12, 2014

Erik Therme - Mortom: A Novel

56. Mortom: A Novel by Erik Therme (2014)
Length: 293 pages
Genre: Contemporary Mystery
Started: 7 December 2014
Finished: 12 December 2014
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Erik Therme for sending me a copy of this book to read.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 2 June 2014
Why do I have it? I like contemporary mysteries and Erik Therme is a new author for me.

There was never much love lost between Andy Crowl and his cousin Craig Moore. Even as children, the boys had shared little beyond an innate and fiercely competitive streak; building up to a mutually self-imposed estrangement that lasted well into their adulthood. Since the two hadn't spoken in years; what happens next leaves Andy utterly mystified.

On the outskirts of the tiny town of Mortom - population 986 - thirty-three-year-old Craig Moore is found drowned in the lake. Considered by many to be a loner and the town eccentric, few attend his funeral. One week later Andy and his sister Kate arrive in Mortom, still stunned by their cousin's death and wanting to pay their respects to Craig's mother Mary. What surprises Andy the most is the revelation of what is in Craig's will: everything - all of Craig's worldly possessions - have been left to Andy.

However, Craig has hardly done him a favor. "All my worldly possessions" amounts to little more than a drained bank account and a property which is overridden with junk. All in all, this is a ramshackle and practically destitute estate...Craig was apparently barely living above subsistence level.

When Andy finds a dead rat under the refrigerator with a key in its mouth, he reaches his breaking point. He's convinced that this is all some sort of sick joke. Then he finds the letter left by Craig, written two days before his death...detailing the rules of "the game."

I must say that I really enjoyed reading this book. It certainly was quite an interesting plot; and while there weren't that many sympathetic characters in the story - I don't think there were supposed to be that many - I felt sorry for exactly three characters: Andy's sister Kate, his aunt Mary, and Craig's boss' granddaughter Debbie. Overall, I would give Mortom: A Novel by Erik Therme an A! I will certainly keep my eyes open for more books by this author to read in the future.

A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Book Blast and Giveaway For Tortured Souls by Kimber Leigh Wheaton - Come Join Us!


Hello Everyone! I was delighted to learn recently that Tortured Souls by Kimber Leigh Wheaton will be free to download from Amazon - at least for a short time! Yes, from Monday, December 15, 2014 until Friday December 19, 2014, Kimber Leigh Wheaton's supernatural young adult book Tortured Souls - Book 1 of her Orion Circle Series - will be available to download for free from Amazon.

Ms. Wheaton will also be hosting two awesome giveaways - she will be giving away a $20 Amazon gift card in a main giveaway. There will also be a host-only giveaway for a $20 Amazon gift card as a thanks to all participants. More information will be provided sometime on or before Thursday, December 11, 2014!

Meet Kimber Leigh Wheaton

Kimber Leigh Wheaton is a bestselling YA/NA author with a soft spot for sweet roance. She is married to her soul mate, has a teenage son, and shares her home with three dogs, four cats, and lots of dragons. No, she doesn’t live on a farm, she just loves animals. Kimber Leigh is addicted to romance, videogames, superheroes, villains, and chocolate - not necessarily in that order. (If she has to choose, she’ll take a chocolate covered superhero!) She currently lives in San Antonio, Texas but has been somewhat a rolling stone in life, having resided in several different cities and states.

 Tortured Souls by Kimber Leigh Wheaton (2014)
Length: 227 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon!

Tortured Souls Blurb:

Sometimes Rest in Peace isn't an option

Kacie Ramsey sees ghosts - and it's ruining her life. Her mother left, her father blames her, and no matter how hard she tries, she can't keep the ghosts away. Now a new power has emerged. Nightly visions of grisly murders and a relentless predator draw her to the brink of insanity.

When the phantom appears at a party, Kacie's longtime crush, Logan, saves her. He invites her to join the Orion Circle, a group of supernatural hunters with chapters in schools all over the country. Through the Circle, Kacie learns to embrace her spiritual powers, and for the first time in her life she feels in control rather than a victim.

But the Foxblood Demon will not give up so easily. A demented serial killer in life who trapped the souls of the thirteen children he murdered, imprisoning them within the walls of his mansion. Now in death, he plots his return while drawing power from the pure souls of the children. He recognizes something in Kacie he's never seen before - a medium powerful enough to provide a vessel for his tainted soul.

Kacie can't ignore the tortured souls of the children crying out to her every night. With Logan at her side, she will fight the Foxblood Demon. But can they banish this powerful phantom, or will Kacie lose not only her body, but her eternal soul to the monster.


Kimber Leigh Wheaton wants to give you a chance to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!



May you read well and often

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

C. H. MacLean - One is Come

55. One is Come by C. H. MacLean (2014)
The Five in Circle Series Book 1
Length: 231 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Started: 22 November 2014
Finished: 2 December 2014
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Dorothy at Pump up Your Book for sending me a copy of this book to read.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 2 September 2014
Why do I have it? I like fantasy and C. H. MacLean is a new author for me.


For fourteen-year-old Haylwen Rightad life is harsh. Beyond harsh, if truth be told. First of all, there's her annoying sixteen-year-old brother Cadarn, who delights in endlessly teasing her. Then there are her parents, who apparently have completely forgotten just how unfair life can be when you are always the new kid in school. In her entire life, Haylwen can't ever remember a time when she has stayed in one place long enough to make even one friend, so she doesn't understand why she's currently sitting in Principal Johansen's office being disciplined for something she didn't do.

Haylwen doesn't care who actually blew up the wall of the school library, all she knows is that it wasn't her fault. However, with the principal threatening suspension, Haylwen's sure of one thing: if the principal suspends her, her parents will have to move again. And Haylwen will miss another chance to finally make some real friends. 

Her parents, forced to keep their own magical past silent, are shocked to learn that their daughter is indeed a magic user. That's just not possible; especially when she tested negative. Twice! Desperate to hide Haylwen from the King of magic users, they flee, but their efforts ultimately put them all in mortal danger.

Haylwen's parents don't know anything about the prophecy of 'The One'; or that the only one who doesn't suspect that Haylwen is an extremely powerful magic user is Haylwen herself. As the King schemes with the dragon clans to remake the world, and the dragon clans quietly set their own ulterior motives in motion, the time of 'The One' draws near. And as Haylwen struggles with her feelings of loneliness and unworthiness due to her inability to make a friend, little does she realize that the fate of the entire world rests on her choices. Will she learn about her magic and true friendship in time to save her life and hopefully the rest of the world?

Despite being seriously delayed in my reading, and having to postpone my review of Two Empty Thrones for about a month - I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I thought that the characters were well-developed and sympathetic, and the story is fast-paced and engaging. I also appreciated that there was a little bit of a back story provided about Abrennin and Crystyn Rightad; and their secretive magical pasts. I found these characters extremely likeable and completely believable as people. 

In my opinion, the story flowed along easily and naturally - fire-breathing dragons, magical portals and ancient prophecies didn't seem out of place at all within the plot. One is Come by C. H. MacLean was an intriguing start to a new series. I give this book an A+! and am looking forward to starting the next book in the series: Two Empty Thrones.

A+! - (96-100%)
       
May you read well and often

Monday, December 1, 2014

Reading Wrap-up For November at Emeraldfire's Bookmark


Hello everyone out there and I hope that you all had a terrific reading month for yourselves. I am known as Emeraldfire around the Internet and this is my new personal reading blog.

Anyway, I started out November with about two hundred unread books lying around the house and ended the month with...umm...uncountable amounts of books unread. All of the books that I acquired this month came from authors, Amazon and Paperback Swap.

Let me try to break down the influx for you:

Changes to the TBR pile

Read from my TBR pile (Yes! I am a reading machine :))
- I, James by Mike Hartner
- Night Terror by Jeff Gunhus

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! :))
- Love Begins by Teresa Slack
- Treasure Me by Christine Nolfi
- Sceadu: Your Shadow Holds a Secret by Prashant Pinge
- Wandering in Exile by Peter Murphy
- What Lies Beneath by Anne Stuart, Joanna Wayne and Caroline Burnes
- The Old Willis Place by Mary Downing Hahn
- Wildwood Road by Christopher Golden

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
- There's a Ghost in the Boys' Bathroom by Tom B. Stone
- Fantastic Stories: Tales of the Weird and Wondrous by James E. Gunn, Martin H. Greenberg and Patrick L. Price

Well, there it is...the breakdown! All in all, a very good reading month for me, considering. Here's a further breakdown:

Books Read: 2
Pages Read: 617
Grade Range: A!

So, there you go! The reading month that was November. I hope that you all had an equally good reading month; if not a little better. :) See you all next month! :)

Giveaway For Prashant Pinge's Young Adult Fantasy Sceadu From December 1, 2014 to December 21, 2014 - Come Join Us!

Hello Everyone! I am extremely happy to announce that Prashant Pinge will be running an awesome giveaway to celebrate the release of his young adult Fantasy Sceadu. This giveaway will be hosted by the author himself and will last from December 1, to December 21, 2014!

Mr. Pinge is giving away 10 Amazon Gift Cards worth $10 each and 15 e-copies of Sceadu (available in EPUB, MOBI and PDF formats) to twenty-five lucky winners at the end of his Giveaway. Be sure to fill out the Rafflecopter form below, and I wish you all the very best of good luck in taking part!


Meet Prashant Pinge

Prashant Pinge is a published author of short stories and books in the genres of children’s fiction and young adult fantasy fiction. He also writes historical fiction and romantic comedies. His book, Raja and the Giant Donut, was shortlisted for the Economist Crossword Book Awards in the Children’s Writing category in 2011.

Prashant lives in Mumbai, India, with his wife, Avantika, and son, Arjun.

Connect and Socialize with Prashant!

Website * Facebook * 'Sceadu' on Facebook * Twitter * Google + * Goodreads

Watch the Sceadu Book Trailer at YouTube!

About Sceadu:

"All this while, Matilda’s shadow had been growing larger and larger. Suddenly, it lunged out of the ground and swallowed her, like a python does its unsuspecting prey."

Nine year old Matilda ends up with a century old book through a series of strange coincidences. And disappears. Her brother and cousins are forced to suspend their hostilities and pursue her to Sceadu, a land inside the human shadow. Once there, the reluctant visitors find themselves chased by the vicious Hefigans, creatures of Sceadu. However, everything changes with the revelation of an ancient prophecy that foretells the doom of the world they left behind.

With the stakes suddenly raised, the children must now navigate the dangerous terrain, overcome grave challenges, and unlock the secrets of the shadow. But can they do it in time to thwart the plans of the treacherous Hefigans? Or will they succumb to the guile of a ruthless enemy who is equally determined to destroy mankind?

Sceadu is a fast-paced adventure which blurs the boundary between the physical and the psychological, the real and the mythical.

"Well-crafted and executed, this is a book that is worthy of belonging to the time-honoured fantasy genre." ~ Himanjali Sankar, Editor at Bloomsbury India

Purchase Your Copy From Amazon!


Prashant Pinge wants to give you a chance to win 10 Amazon Gift Cards ($10 each) and 15 e-copies of Sceadu (available in EPUB, MOBI and PDF formats)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


May you read well and often

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Get Ready to Celebrate 'Take Your Child to a Bookstore' Day!

Well, something that I just learned is that this Saturday, December 6th is the fifth annual 'Take Your Child to a Bookstore' Day! With many thanks to Samantha Lien who let me know all about it, I'd like to introduce you all to the creator of such an exciting day, mystery/thriller author and proud mom, Jenny Milchman

Meet Jenny Milchman

Jenny Milchman is a suspense writer from the Hudson Valley of New York State, who lived for seven months on the road with her family on what Shelf Awareness called "the world's longest book tour."

Jenny's debut novel, Cover of Snow, was published by Ballantine/Random House in January 2013, earned starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist, as well as praise from the New York Times, San Francisco Journal of Books, the AP, and many other publications. It was an Indie Next and Target pick, won the Mary Higgins Clark Award for best suspense novel of 2013, and has also been nominated for the 2013 Macavity and Barry Awards for best first novel.

Ruin Falls, Jenny's second novel, also an Indie Next Pick, was published by Ballantine in April 2014 to starred reviews from Booklist and Library Journal, and is available online and at your local bookstore.

Jenny is Vice President of Author Programming for International Thriller Writers, and the founder of Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day, which was celebrated by over 700 bookstores in all 50 states and four foreign countries in 2013.

Jenny's short story 'The Closet' was published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine in November 2012. Another short story, 'The Very Old Man', was published by Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine in the July 2014 issue, and the short work 'Black Sun on Tupper Lake' appeared in the anthology Adirondack Mysteries II.

On her blog, Jenny hosts the Made It Moments forum, which has featured more than 300 international bestsellers, Edgar winners, and indie authors. She also founded the literary series Writing Matters, which attracted guests coast-to-coast and received national media attention, and teaches writing and publishing for New York Writers Workshop.


You can find Jenny Milchman's books at Amazon, Indiebound or at your local bookstore!  

I would like to welcome Jenny Milchman, author of Cover of Snow and Ruin Falls to Emeraldfire's Bookmark. Ms. Milchman was kind enough to write a guest post for me and here it is below in her own words:

'Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day A.K.A. How to Build Literacy, Support Community, and Make Magic Happen All in One Day'
by Jenny Milchman

In 2010 I had two young children whom I was bringing to story hour at our local bookstore almost every week. After all, what better activity to do with kids? It was enriching, fun, even relaxing. I didn’t have to feel guilty when I drank that 700 calorie butterscotch latte from the coffee bar. I was running back and forth between adult fiction and the flower-flocked children’s section - working off the calories for sure.

My kids probably didn’t realize it was as much of a treat for me as for them. Which started me thinking - were other parents in on this secret? How many children knew the pleasure of spending time in a bookstore?

I frequent the mystery listserv, DorothyL, and a more avid group of readers you couldn’t hope to find. When I floated the idea for Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day, bloggers on the listserv spread the word. My husband designed a poster, a website, and bookmarks, and we designated the first Saturday in December as Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day. This would coincide with holiday gift giving, hopefully giving people the idea that books make great presents. Just two weeks later, 80 bookstores were celebrating.

That summer my husband and I loaded the kids into the car and drove cross-country, visiting more than fifty bookstores. (You can tell he’s a supportive guy). In 2011, the second annual Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day found over 350 bookstores celebrating in all 50 states. Some planned special celebrations - children’s book authors, puppet makers, singers, even a baker who led kids in a gingerbread cookie decorating activity - while others simply hung a poster in the window. When 2013 came around, and the number had risen to over 600 independent bookstores, and one major chain, we knew that word was getting out. Kids + bookstores = magic.

And maybe something even more than that.

There’s a cultural wave behind Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day. The word locavore isn’t just for a Dr. Seuss story anymore. Supporting your local community and the resurgence of Main Street are goals that more and more people recognize as important to build strong citizens as well as strong readers.

You know that old ad campaign, “Orange juice isn’t just for breakfast anymore”? I hear that now as, “Bookstores aren’t just for reading anymore.”
And by that I mean more than the fact that you can also buy toys, cards, gifts, or have your butterscotch latte at a bookstore. Bookstores are places where people come together over ideas and engage in a cultural conversation. That concept is so important I have to say it again. They are places where people come together. And booksellers are a group who know how to zig while others are zagging, so impassioned are they by their life’s pursuit. Their stores are places of physical interaction in an increasingly virtual world.

When you take a child to a bookstore, you stimulate his mind and all five senses. (If taste seems a stretch, just let her have the whipped cream on your latte). There’s a tactile dimension to the experience that seems rare these days. You also make that child a crucial part of the place where he lives, supporting it and helping it grow.

Best of all, these things happen in a guise that to the child is sheer magic. On the shelves of a bookstore sit gateways into whole new worlds. Children go into bookstores - but they come back out having journeyed somewhere else entirely.

This Saturday, December 6, 2014 is the fifth annual Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day. Whether you take your own child, a child you know, or the child inside yourself to a bookstore, together let’s build literacy, support community, and make magic happen.

- Jenny Milchman is a suspense novelist and mom from the Hudson River Valley who once drove past Disney with her children en route to the nearest bookstore.

May you read well and often