Monday, December 31, 2012

Tony Bertauski - Claus: Legend of the Fat Man

8. Claus: Legend of the Fat Man by Tony Bertauski (2012)
The Chronicles of Claus Series Book 1
Length: 326 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Started: 25 December 2012
Finished: 31 December 2012
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Tony Bertauski for sending me a copy of this book to read.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 8 July 2012
Why do I have it? I like fantasy and Tony Bertauski is a new author for me.

In the early 1800's, a family of explorers, Nicholas, Jessica and Jon Santa attempt the first human trek to the North Pole. The family stumbles upon an ancient race of people left over from the Ice Age. They are short, fat and hairy, slide across the ice on scaly soles and carve their homes in the ice that floats on the Arctic Ocean. The elven race has adapted to life in the extreme cold. They are as wise as they are ancient.

Their scientific advancements have yielded many great inventions - time-stopping devices, gravitational spheres that build living snowmen and genetically-modified reindeer that can leap great distances. They've even unlocked the secrets of aging. For 40,000 years, they have lived in peace.

Until now.

An elven known as The Cold One has divided his people. He is tired of their seclusion and wants to conquer the world. Only one elven stands between The Cold One and total chaos - he is white-bearded and red-coated. The Santa family will help him stop The Cold One. They will come to the aid of a legendary eleven known as...Claus.

I have to say that I loved this book! I have been suffering from the flu for about a week and a half and truly haven't been feeling the Christmas spirit for quite a while because I was so ill. I picked up Claus: Legend of the Fat Man on Christmas Day on a whim and was completely drawn in from the first page. This is an unexpected twist on the legend of Santa Claus that I thoroughly enjoyed! I give this book an A+! and am looking forward to reading another book by Tony Bertauski that I have on my TBR pile, The Annihilation of Foreverland as soon as possible.

A+! - (96-100%)

May you read well and often

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

May you all have a Blessed Christmas!

zwani.com myspace graphic comments
Zwani Graphics

I have to be honest with you all, what with all the recent violence that has occurred in the past months, both Mom and I have felt that Christmas sort of sneaked up on us this year. We both usually are filled with the holiday spirit for the entire month of December, but this year we were filled with intense sadness for all the families who lost loved ones in such horrible circumstances.

Added to that sadness, we are both suffering terrible bouts of the flu. Because neither of us could sleep very well, we found ourselves up and about at 4:45 A. M. It was snowing rather heavily, but we were so incredibly happy to have a white Christmas - I don't believe that we had one last year - that we didn't really mind the snow falling.

We opened our gifts at about 5:30 A. M. I asked if we could say a prayer for all the people that were killed in Connecticut and elsewhere before we opened our presents. We spent an hour opening our gifts and then went back to bed for a while. Between us, we received some really amazing gifts, and all in all we enjoyed a quiet Christmas together.

 May you read well and often

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Linda Hays-Gibbs - My Angel, my Light as Darkness Falls

7. My Angel, my Light as Darkness Falls by Linda Hays-Gibbs (2012)
Morovani's Daughters Series Book 1
Length: 166 pages
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Started: 20 December 2012
Finished: 23 December 2012
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Linda for sending me a copy of this book to read.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 31 May 2012
Why do I have it? I like paranormal romance and Linda Hays-Gibbs is a new author for me.

Lady Elizabeth Prudence White - Pru to family and friends - is just about to have her "coming out" by Regency England standards. Her twin brother, Michael David Densington White - the sixth Earl of White - as her only surviving relative has enlisted to fight Napoleon, but Michael assures Pru that nothing will happen to him. At a ball held on the day that Napoleon attacks, Fearghass MacDonald - the Duke of Sumerled - much to Michael's consternation, introduces himself to Pru and asks if he may court her.

Word comes that Napoleon is on the march, and amid the ensuing commotion that this news brings, Fearghass promises Pru that he will protect her brother during the battle. Unfortunately, neither Michael nor Fearghass return. Pru goes to the battlefield to search for them and finds her brother's body as darkness falls. Fearing that she will lose her mind because she is so terrified, Pru believes that she is imagining the warm, strong arms that hold her during that long night.

Pierre Blanchard - a courier for Napoleon's army - realizes that he must return quickly to make his report, however he must first locate his friend's body. He is suddenly drawn to the golden-haired angel, weeping and wailing on the battlefield and, although he knows it's impossible, he loses his heart to her. Pierre promises himself that he will not reveal himself to her, but he knows that he has to see that she is safe.

In the morning, Pru persuades a passing soldier to help her transport her brother's body home, as well as the body of an unknown soldier whose dog wants his master taken with them. Pru and the dog escort the bodies back to England. Pru is destitute, and follows the dog aimlessly until he takes her to a crumbling, run-down castle. There, with the clandestine help of Pierre and the dog she has named Knight, Pru hopes to live in peace for a time.

Under God's protection, and with the protection of an angel sent from her brother, Michael; Pru has no idea that her display of grief had actually interrupted the original plans of something demonic. This presence has now followed Pru home to finish what it started - turning Fearghass MacDonald and Pierre Blanchard into vampires. Bound to this phantom existence by his promise to Pru and by the duties of his title, Fearghass MacDonald must guard this castle until the new Duke of Sumerled - his twin brother - arrives.

Fearghass MacDonald is aware that he was murdered, however it wasn't by the French. Dughlass must be warned that his life is in danger and then the darkness that has invaded Fearghass' home must be vanquished. Then, with God's grace, Pru would be allowed to freely make her choice between Dughlass or Pierre.

Dughlass MacDonald returns home and is totally amazed by the disrepair his home has fallen into. He can see that someone has attempted to clean up, however no one appears to greet him - not even Fearghass, who was supposed to be there. Sable, his brother's loyal dog is there to greet Dughlass, however, the dog appears not to recognize him. Dughlass has no idea what is going on, but he intends to have his answers from the alluring young woman who has just tumbled down the stairs, landing at his feet.

I really enjoyed this book and loved almost all the characters. I found myself laughing and rolling my eyes at some of their actions. There were twists and turns in the plot that grabbed my attention and kept me reading. I give this book an A! and look forward to reading Linda Hays-Gibbs' next book sometime in the very near future.

 A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Jan Fischer-Wade - Veiled Virtues

6. Veiled Virtues by Jan Fischer-Wade (2012)
The Rosetta Guard Series Book 1
Length: 225 pages
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Started: 13 December 2012
Finished: 19 December 2012
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Jan for sending me a copy of this book to read.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 8 February 2012
Why do I have it? I like paranormal romance and Jan Fischer-Wade is a new author for me.

When Paige Stewart left America to house-sit for family friends in England for the summer, her only thoughts were to escape her controlling mother and to have fun. Little did she know that her working holiday would find her hearing eerie voices, experiencing alarming dreams and bleeding from old scars. Although Paige's differences confuse and disgust her, she eventually opens up to the owner of a strange metaphysical store in town, where she finds much more than tarot cards and crystals.

Soon Paige is stalked like prized game, becoming a pawn in the ancient battle that constantly rages between good and evil. Relentlessly pursued, her holiday takes a turn for the eerie and dangerous. Her only saving grace may be the modern-day English knight who sweeps her off her feet and recognizes the hidden virtues that the American teenager unknowingly possesses.

I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book as I always enjoy stories that are full of intrigue and elements of the paranormal and supernatural. I give this book an A+! and am eagerly awaiting the sequel,  Latent Legacy.

A+! - (96-100%)

May you read well and often

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Publishing Hearts Connecticut Online Auction to Benefit the Victims and Families of the Sandy Hook Shooting


On December 18, 2012 I received an email from young adult author, S. R. Johannes - author of the best-selling Nature of Grace series and the tween paranormal, On the Bright Side. She and two very caring and devastated ladies - Miral Sattar and Kate Tilton - have joined forces to host a fundraiser within the publishing industry. The auction began on December 17, 2012 at 9 A. M. EST and all money raised will go to help The Sandy Hook Relief Fund to benefit the victims' families.

As Shelli herself says,
"We are devastated about the tragic events that happened last Friday. As parents, we are horrified. It cut me so deeply I needed to do something with that energy and make it positive. Maybe help in some small way. We understand that money could never replace any lives." 
"But from my perspective - as a parent, mother, I needed to do something to give back. I have children 5 and 8. They attend an elementary school in our neighborhood. We actually went through a lock down last year due to an armed robber in our neighborhood."
"In the end, all the children were fine and there were no events. But, I know the feeling of receiving that robo call about a lock down at the school and the quiet desperation I felt waiting to find out my kids were safe. I cannot imagine how I would feel if things had gone differently. We were obviously the lucky ones.

For more information: 

Check out the list of items
The auction rules
What to expect?

If you do not see any items you need/want, please consider donating directly to the United Way!

If you have any questions, please email me at shelli@srjohannes.com.


The picture used above comes directly from the Publishing Hearts Connecticut website, and no copyright infringement is intended. 

May you read well and often

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Connie Corcoran Wilson - Hellfire and Damnation II

5. Hellfire and Damnation II by Connie Corcoran Wilson (2012)
The Hellfire and Damnation Series Book 2
Length: 170 pages
Genre: Horror
Started: 11 December 2012
Finished: 13 December 2012
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Tracee 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 17 November 2012
Why do I have it? I love Connie Corcoran Wilson as an author and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past.

Hellfire and Damnation II is the sequel to Connie Corcoran Wilson's first book of short stories that she published in 2011. This book is another tour of Dante's 'Nine Circles of Hell' from his Inferno. It features eleven original short stories: from the 132-year-old corpse of Norwegian immigrant Ole Monson seeking revenge against the living for the desecration of his final resting place in 'Cold Corpse Carnival' to the most intimate betrayal suffered between two brothers in 'The Bureau'. Each story highlights its particular Circle in a novel way, but is partially based on fact as explained by the author at the end.

I really enjoyed this book - it was suitably horrific for me. Each story is well-crafted and believable, and I found myself very satisfied with each story's pacing. I give Hellfire and Damnation II an A+! and I look forward to reading more books by Connie Corcoran Wilson in the very near future!

A+! - (96-100%) 

May you read well and often

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Connie Corcoran, Author of The Color of Evil and Hellfire and Damnation II, Talks About the Evolution of Both Books

I would very much like to welcome Connie Corcoran Wilson, author of the two non-fiction titles - It Came From the '70s: From The Godfather to Apocalypse Now and Laughing Through Life, as well as several other books. Ms. Wilson was nice enough to answer some questions for me about her two newest titles: The Color of Evil and Hellfire and Damnation II as well as her future plans. Thank you so much for stopping by Emeraldfire's Bookmark, Ms. Wilson, and I wish you all the best now and in the future!


Meet Connie Corcoran Wilson:

Connie Corcoran Wilson has published 10 books since 2003. Hellfire and Damnation (www.HellfireandDamnationtheBook.com) came out in February, 2010. Her three volumes of true ghost stories of Route 66 (Ghostly Tales of Route 66, www.GhostlyTalesofRoute66.com) are out from Quixote and in E-book format from Quad City Press. Her first book (Training the Teacher as a Champion) was published by PLS Bookstores in 1989. Her sci fi novel Out of Time was published by Lachesis in 2008 and the screenplay written based on the book was a winner in a "Writer's Digest" competition. Her 2 humor collections are Both Sides Now (2003) and Laughing Through Life (2011). Her illustrated children's book, The Christmas Cats in Silly Hats was released at Christmas in 2011.

Hellfire and Damnation II was released July 28, 2012 in E-book format and in paperback shortly after (The Merry Blacksmith Press.) Her nonfiction book showcasing many of the movie reviews written for the Quad City Times between 1970 and 1979 made up the bulk of the book, along with 76 photos, major cast and interactive trivia.

Synopsis of The Color of Evil:


Tad McGreevy has a power that he has never revealed, not even to his life-long best friend, Stevie Scranton. When Tad looks at others, he sees colors. These auras tell Tad whether a person is good or evil. At night, Tad dreams about the evil-doers, reliving their crimes in horrifyingly vivid detail.
But Tad doesn't know if the evil acts he witnesses in his nightmares are happening now, are already over, or are going to occur in the future. He has no control over the horrifying visions. He has been told (by his parents) never to speak of his power. All Tad knows is that he wants to protect those he loves. And he wants the bad dreams to stop. 

At Tad's eighth birthday party (April 1, 1995) in Cedar Falls, Iowa, the clown his parents hire to entertain Tad's third-grade classmates is one of the bad people. Pogo, the Killer Clown (aka Michael Clay) is a serial killer. So begins 53 nights of terror as Tad relives Pogo's crime, awakens screaming, and recites the terrifying details to his disbelieving family. The situation becomes so dire that Tad is hospitalized in a private institution under the care of a psychiatrist--who also does not believe the small boy's stories.

And then the police arrest Pogo, the Killer Clown.

Flash forward to the beginning of Tad's junior year in high school, 8 years later. Tad is 16 and recovered from the spring of his third-grade year. When Michael Clay was caught and imprisoned, the crime spree ended and so did Tad's bad dreams.

Until now, in the year of our Lord 2003, when evil once again stalks the land.

This is a terrifying, intense story of the dark people and places that lurk just beneath the surface of seemingly normal small-town America. As one reviewer says, "Wilson nails the darkness beneath the surface of small-town Midwestern life with an intense story based on fact." 

Tad must wage a silent war against those who would harm the ones he loves. A battle to the death.



Coming to Amazon on January 11, 2012!

Synopsis of Hellfire and Damnation II: 

Hellfire and Damnation II is the sequel to the award-winning short story collection released in 2011 with a framing device of Dante's Inferno and the 9 Circles of Hell and sins/crimes punished at each. (www.HellfireAndDamnationTheBook.com).
The first book won an E-Lit award, plus Silver Feather, NABE and Pinnacle awards. The book is unique in featuring illustrations with each story, and it also has a "From the Author" section that tells what inspired each story. It is 56,000 words long and has a cover by award-winning artist Vincent Chong of the U.K. The stories have variant settings, but it is not necessary to have read the first collection to enjoy the second.


Coming to Amazon on July 28, 2012!


Emeraldfire's Bookmark: After writing two non-fiction books, what interested you to begin writing books in the horror genre?

Connie Corcoran Wilson: I have been writing for over half a century and was hired by Performance Learning Systems, Inc. (of Emerson, NJ) to write their book Training the Teacher As A Champion, which was published by PLS in 1989. My next book, in 2003 (Both Sides Now), followed on the heels of the sale of my 2 businesses. (I had founded and run a Sylvan Learning Center in Bettendorf, IA, and a Prometric Testing Center there from 1987 and 1995, repectively).

When I sold my two businesses, I wanted to fulfill my life-long dream of trying to write "one of everything." I dabbled in humor (Both Sides Now and Laughing Through Life), wrote a Writer's Digest award-winning screenplay based on a sci-fi book in 2007(Out of Time), wrote that science fiction book (Out of Time, published by Lachesis and now out of print), wrote a children's book for my twin granddaughters (The Christmas Cats in Silly Hats) and began writing short stories, which became Hellfire and Damnation. I've always loved Stephen King's book NightShift and the short stories of William F. Nolan (Nightworlds) and other such psychological, supernatural suspenseful thrillers. I wouldn't call what I write "horror" so much as dark suspense or dark thrillers.

I had never written fiction until 2008, when I began collecting and recording the Ghostly Tales of Route 66 while driving cross country on the Mother Road (3 volumes) as "work for hire". That led to short stories, which were first published as Hellfire and Damnation and were framed by Dante's Inferno and the sins or crimes punished at each of the 9 Circles of Hell. Later, I decided there would be a series of these Hellfire and Damnation books, and that is why there is a dedicated website (www.HellfireAndDamnationTheBook.com), as there is for www.GhostlyTalesofRoute66.com. The Color of Evil also has one (www.TheColorOfEvil.com).

Emeraldfire's Bookmark: How did you come up with the plot of "The Color of Evil" series?

Connie Corcoran Wilson: The Color of Evil came from expanding a short story in the first Hellfire and Damnation collection, which featured Tad McGreevy. That story was entitled "Living in Hell." (It was originally titled "Pufferfish," but I changed that title to fit the H and D theme.) I felt bad about leaving Tad in the situation he was in when the story ended; he was in bad shape. I decided to write him out of the corner I had left him in. There will probably be 3 more books in the series, the way the characters are dictating the plot to me. The next book (Red Is for Rage) will take the students to the middle of their senior year, at the end of the first semester. The third book will take them from the end of first semester to the end of the school year. There may be a fourth book taking the characters to freshman year in college. I guess I won't know until I begin writing more of the other books. (I hope to release Red Is for Rage in early 2013.)

Emeraldfire's Bookmark: Having never read Dante's "Inferno" myself, (I know, 'shocked face'! :)) what would interest me as a new reader in "Hellfire and Damnation" I and II?

Connie Corcoran Wilson: The stories stand on their own and do not have to be read in any particular order. You can read "H&D II" before or after "H&D," the first book, although I recommend starting at the beginning if you can. That is one thing I like: there is complete variety to the series as far as plots, settings and writing styles; the stories are all written in different ways, and you do not HAVE to have read the first book to appreciate and enjoy the second. There are no recurring characters, as there are in The Color of Evil. Each story is a stand-alone experience, and readers will have to determine which ones they like best. If it leads them to, at some point, read the classic original book, so much the better.

Emeraldfire's Bookmark: You have said that both books of Hellfire and Damnation are based on Dante's Inferno - Is that through plot construction or writing style?

Connie Corcoran Wilson: The stories needed a "framing" device." When I collected funny essays or stories (for Laughing Through Life) one criticism was that there was no "frame" to hold them together. that was because the humorous essays had appeared in at least 5 different newspapers or online, and there was really no 'frame" that worked. I considered a variety of "framing" options, but the one that I kept returning to was Dante's Inferno. (The 7 deadly sins had been done in 2 movies and the zodiac had been done and various other "framing" ideas were already out there.) I'm quite happy with using the device over and over, because there are so many sins or crimes punished at each of the 9 Circles of Hell. (I had to remind myself of that by checking it out on the Internet.) The two hardest for me to write have been "Gluttony" and "Heresy." As far as writing style, I just write the way I write: it isn't copied from anyone else, (including Dante.)

Emeraldfire's Bookmark: Give me a little 'sneak peek' if you can - How will the characters develop throughout The Color of Evil series?

Connie Corcoran Wilson: They're young people perched at the very beginning of their lives. They are about to graduate and some will go on to college, and some will marry, and some will leave Cedar Falls to go elsewhere to school, if the series goes on into college, as I think now that it will. The characters are in a state of flux at all times, because they are young and there are many things happening to them, including a classic struggle between good and evil in the person of a demented serial killer who is attempting to silence the young boy (Tad McGreevy) that he thinks could "out" him as he is attempting to evade the law There is romance, crime, horror, intrigue, betrayal---all the good stuff that I like to read about, myself and which I hope my readers will like to read. (No vampires or werewolves; just Carrie meets The Fury meets television's The Medium.)

Emeraldfire's Bookmark: What are your possible future plans for your writing career?

Connie Corcoran Wilson: Great question, Mareena! I was not aware I was forging a "career" until I began looking at this as "writing long," which means writing books, rather than simply short articles for newspapers or blogs. I've done that (writing short) for years (57, to be precise). I decided, when the E-book revolution began to really be talked about and become a reality, that I would try to become a publisher of e-books, anyway, and I have. I own all the e-book rights to my last 6 books, although I've had other small, independent print publishers. I see this as the third Chapter of my life:

I taught others how to write for many years (33, to be precise). I raised 2 kids (the youngest is 25). I always wanted to write for a living, and now I can follow that dream in retirement, even if I'm getting a bit of a late start. Writing short is great fun (and, still, more lucrative, for me. than my books. I was named 2008 Content Producer of the Year for Politics by Yahoo, which has 600,000 members), but a short article, of which I have literally thousands online, does not "stay" or hang around for years.

I may be like Philip K. Dick, who was not lauded during his lifetime but only achieved critical success after his death (some reviewers have mentioned us in the same breath, and I am flattered). Or, more famously, Van Gogh, who only sold ONE painting while he was alive. But I try to do the very best I can with the skill and talent God gave me. I hope to leave behind some good books that my children can take down off the shelf and say, "My mother (or grandmother) wrote this." I hope the reaction will be positive and somebody, some day, somewhere, will say, "You know...she really was a good writer."

May you read well and often

Connie Corcoran Wilson - The Color of Evil

4. The Color of Evil by Connie Corcoran Wilson (2012)
The Color of Evil Series Book 1
Length: 279 pages
Genre: Horror
Started: 20 November 2012
Finished: 11 December 2012
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Tracee 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 17 November 2012
Why do I have it? I love Connie Corcoran Wilson as an author and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past.

Tad McGreevy has a secret power that he has never revealed, not even to his best friend Stevie Scranton. When he looks at others, Tad can see their auras - the colors around people that tell Tad if they are good or evil. At night, Tad dreams of the evil-doers, reliving their crimes in graphic and horrifying detail. But Tad never can tell if the crimes in his nightmares are happening right at the moment, have already happened, or will happen in the future.

He has been told by his parents never to speak of his powers. All Tad knows is that he wants to protect the people that he loves. And he desperately wants the nightmares to stop.

At Tad's eighth birthday party, the clown his parents hire to entertain Tad's third-grade classmates is just such an evil person. Michael Clay, masquerading as Pogo the Clown during his day job, is a serial killer. So begins 53 nights of terror for Tad and his family, as Pogo goes on a murder spree, and a distraught Tad relives each murder in gruesome detail, then awakens screaming to recite each murder to his disbelieving family. The situation becomes so dire that Tad is hospitalized in a private institution under the care of a psychiatrist, who also doesn't believe the small boy's stories.

And then, the police arrest Pogo the Killer Clown.

It is eight years later, and Tad is sixteen years old, just entering his junior year in high school. He is fully recovered from the events that happened in the spring of his third-grade year. Michael Clay was arrested and sent to prison for life. His crime spree ended with his incarceration, as did Tad's nightmares. Tad's experiences are nothing more than dim and distant memories to him. Until now, in 2003, when evil once again stalks the night.

I really enjoyed this book and was drawn into the story from the first sentence. I really felt for the characters and look forward to discovering what will happen throughout the next books. I give this book an A+! and am looking forward to reading the next book in this series, Red is For Rage.

A+! - (96-100%)

May you read well and often

Saturday, December 1, 2012

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.

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 :))
- Taken by Norma-Jean Marie Connors

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! :))
- Amanda's Story by Brian O'Grady
- The Prophet by Ethan Cross
- Sweat by Mark Gilleo
- Running With the Train by Kathryn Meyer Griffith
- The Color of Evil by Connie Corcoran Wilson

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
- Taken by Norma-Jean Marie Connors
- The Turn of the Karmic Wheel by Monica M. Brinkman

Well, there it is...the breakdown! All in all, not a very good reading month for me. Here's a further breakdown:

Books Read: 1
Pages Read: 404
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! :)

May you read well and often

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Norma-Jean Marie Connors - Taken

3. Taken by Norma-Jean Marie Connors (2012)
The Hawthorn Series Book 1
Length: 404 pages
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Started: 23 October 2012
Finished: 1 November 2012
Where did it come from? From Amazon
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 6 July 2012
Why do I have it? I like paranormal romance and Norma-Jean Marie Connors is a new author for me.

In a town where everyone knows multimillionaire Victor Hawthorn, his only daughter Victoria mistakenly allows her heart to rule her head and falls in love with Evan Rowan - a charming, but ruthless attorney who desires to win at all costs. When Ria serves Evan with a prenuptial agreement at the behest of her father, he suddenly becomes furious and disappears, abandoning Victoria deep in the woods.

Having unwittingly become a pawn in Evan's devious plan to extort money from her family, Ria finds herself in danger at every turn. She is forever tied to Evan by blood, subject to his every whim, until a powerful stranger intercedes. Mystery surrounds the stranger's every move, but Ria is intrigued by his kindness and honor.

I truly enjoyed this book and was drawn into Ria's story from page one. It was incredibly suspenseful to me and I loved the interactions between all the characters. They became real to me as I read the story, and I look forward to reading more books in the series. I also enjoyed the Native American lore and legends that were woven throughout the story. I give this book an A! and have to say that Norma-Jean Marie Connors is definitely an author that is going on my Wish List.  

A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often

Reading Wrap-up For October 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 October 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 Bookmooch and Paperback Swap and authors.

Let me try to break down the influx for you:

Changes to the TBR pile 

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! :))

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
- Beneath the Silver Lining Trilogy: Secrets of the Black Box by Amanda Wolfe
- Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest by Ann McGovern

Well, there it is...the breakdown! All in all, not a very good reading month for me. Here's a further breakdown:

Books Read: 0
Pages Read: 0
Grade Range: 0

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

May you read well and often

Monday, October 1, 2012

Reading Wrap-up For September 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 September 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 Bookmooch and Paperback Swap and authors.

Let me try to break down the influx for you:

Changes to the TBR pile 

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! :))
- Dinosaur Lake by Kathryn Meyer Griffith
Fruit of my Spirit: Reframing Life in God's Grace by Deanna Nowadnick

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))


Well, there it is...the breakdown! All in all, not a very good reading month for me. Here's a further breakdown:

Books Read: 0
Pages Read: 0
Grade Range: 0

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

May you read well and often

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Reading Wrap-up For August 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 August 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 Bookmooch and Paperback Swap and authors.

Let me try to break down the influx for you:

Changes to the TBR pile 

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! :))
25 Years in the Rearview Mirror: 52 Authors Look Back by Stacy Juba

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))

Well, there it is...the breakdown! All in all, not a very good reading month for me. Here's a further breakdown:

Books Read: 0
Pages Read: 0
Grade Range: 0

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

May you read well and often

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Reading Wrap-up For July 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 July 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 Bookmooch, Paperback Swap, Amazon and authors.

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 :))
- The Mother Road by Jennifer AlLee

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! :))
- The Five O'Clock Follies: What's a Woman Doing Here, Anyway? by Theasa Tuohy
- Taken by Norma-Jean Marie Connors
- Claus: Legend of the Fat Man by Tony Bertauski
- Reckless Magic by Rachel Higginson
- Don't Look Back, Agnes and In This House by Kathryn Meyer Griffith
- Highlander's Curse by Melissa Mayhue
- The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
- Bonds of Justice by Nalini Singh
- Born of Fire by Sherrilyn Kenyon
- Bound by Sin by Jenna Maclaine
- Branded by Fire by Nalini Singh
- The Bride Wore Scarlet by Liz Carlyle
- Caressed by Ice by Nalini Singh
- Cast in Shadow by Michelle Sagara
- Crescent Moon by Lori Handeland
- The Capture of the Earl of Glencrae by Liz Carlyle (2 copies)
- The Dangerous Book For Demon Slayers by Angie Fox
- The Dark Highlander by Karen Marie Moning
- Dark Knight by Donna Kauffman
- Dead After Dark by Dianna Love, Susan Squires, J. R. Ward and Sherrilyn Kenyon
- Defiant by Kris Kennedy
- The Dream-Hunter by Sherrilyn Kenyon
- Four Great Comedies: The Taming of the Shrew/A Midsummer Night's Dream/Twelfth Night/The Tempest by William Shakespeare
- Here Comes the Bride by Pamela Morsi
- Hostage to Pleasure by Nalini Singh
- Lure of the Wicked by Karina Cooper
- Mask of a Hunter by Sylvie Kurtz
- The McClintock Proposal by Carol Ericson
- Not Without You by Janelle Taylor
- Play of Passion by Nalini Singh
- The Rake by Mary Jo Putney
- Redemption Alley by Lilith Saintcrow
- Rory by Ruth Langan
- The Ultimate Dragon by Byron Preiss
- Until the Knight Comes by Sue-Ellen Welfonder
- Visions of Heat by Nalini Singh
- Warrior by Zoe Archer
- Sins of the Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon
- Sizzling Sixteen by Janet Evanovich
- Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire
- Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife: Pride and Prejudice Continues by Linda Berdoll
Jezebel by Gordon Kessler
Heart of Glass by Jill Marie Landis
- Only the Strongest Survive by Ian Fox
- Promise me Eternity by Ian Fox
- Unspeakable by S. R. Johannes
- The Story of Cupid and Psyche by Sarah Coghill
- Sebastian Cupid by J. J. Martin
- Destined by Jessie Harrell
- Painted Blind by Michelle Hansen
- Untraceable by S. R. Johannes
- Merlyn and the Mortal's Curse by Otis Farmer
- Defiant Victim by Otis Farmer
- Porter House by J. J. Martin

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
- The Capture of the Earl of Glencrae by Stephanie Laurens
- Angel's Blood by Nalini Singh

Well, there it is...the breakdown! All in all, not a very good reading month for me. Here's a further breakdown:

Books Read: 1
Pages Read: 224
Grade Range: A!

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

May you read well and often

Friday, July 20, 2012

Our Library Visit For July

Hello Everyone! How are you on this fine Friday? I'm doing just fine. :) So, for the first time this year Mom and I went to our local library and bought books at the library book sale. :) I think we both went slightly nuts! :) We wound up buying three boxes of books and had to have them wheeled out to our friend's car on a hand truck! :)

Neither of us had been to the library in seven months because we had instituted a voluntary book buying ban on ourselves in an effort to whittle our separate TBR piles to more manageable levels. It was working out very well for both of us until today. :) We went to the library at 12:00 P. M. and spent an hour and a half there. We loved it! :)

We bought 51 hardcovers and 39 paperbacks between us and spent $70 altogether. Now the only problem is that I can't decide which book to start reading.

May you read well and often

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Jennifer AlLee - The Mother Road

2. The Mother Road by Jennifer AlLee (2012)
Length: 224 pages
Genre: Christian Fiction
Started: 27 June 2012
Finished: 7 July 2012
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Tracee 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 23 April 2012
Why do I have it? I enjoy Christian Fiction that has a suspenseful plot and Jennifer AlLee is a new author for me.

Within a week, best-selling author and marriage expert, Natalie Marino is dumped by her husband, receives a desperate phone call from her father and discovers that her estranged sister, Lindsay, is pregnant. A trip down Route 66 to visit their parents, may not be the most ideal bonding experience for the sisters, but it surely couldn't hurt either of them. Or so Natalie thinks, until their car and belongings are stolen and Lindsay's boyfriend begins to stalk them.

Will their trip down The Mother Road bring the sisters closer together, or will their next destination turn out ultimately to be their last? I truly enjoyed this book and found it to be very suspenseful but ultimately uplifting. It definitely struck a chord within me, as I have recently discovered that two close relatives are suffering from the beginnings of Alzheimer's Disease and dementia. I cried throughout this novel but I loved it! I give this book an A!

A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Reading Wrap-up For June 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 June 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 Bookmooch and Paperback Swap and authors.

Let me try to break down the influx for you:

Changes to the TBR pile 

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! :))
- Conquering Your Goliaths: A Parable of the Five Stones by Kathryn Elizabeth Jones
- Wait Until Midnight by Amanda Quick
- Swear by the Moon by Shirlee Busbee

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
- Imprint by Annie Frame
- Spirit by Andrew Feder

Well, there it is...the breakdown! All in all, not a very good reading month for me. Here's a further breakdown:

Books Read: 0
Pages Read: 0
Grade Range: 0

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

May you read well and often

Friday, June 1, 2012

Reading Wrap-up For May 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 May 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 Bookmooch and Paperback Swap and authors.

Let me try to break down the influx for you:

Changes to the TBR pile 

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! :))
My Angel, my Light as Darkness Falls by Linda Hays-Gibbs

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
- Blue by Lou Aronica

Well, there it is...the breakdown! All in all, not a very good reading month for me. Here's a further breakdown:

Books Read: 0
Pages Read: 0
Grade Range: 0

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

May you read well and often

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Reading Wrap-up For April 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 March with about two hundred unread books lying around the house and ended the month with...umm...uncountable amounts of books unread. I didn't acquire any books at all this month and was in a reading slump for most of the month - I hope it's better next month! :(

Let me try to break down the influx for you:

Changes to the TBR pile 


Added to my TBR pile (Oh well, you win some and you lose some! :))
- The Mother Road by Jennifer Allee

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
- Raiders of the Lost Ark by Campbell Black
- Full Tilt by Creston Mapes

Well, there it is...the breakdown! All in all, not a very good reading month for me. Here's a further breakdown:

Books Read: 0
Pages Read: 0
Grade Range: 0

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

May you read well and often

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

James Conroy's Literally Dead - Free For Download From Amazon Stores Worldwide

Hello everyone! For those of you who may be interested - I know that I am - James Conroy's latest novel Literally Dead is available as a free download from Amazon for only a short period of time - from Thursday, May 24th to Saturday, May 26th, you can download a copy of Mr. Conroy's novel for your enjoyment. Below is an author's biography and a brief synopsis of the book:

Meet James Conroy

James Conroy is a former business executive currently self-employed in logistics consulting. He also writes full-time and tutors in English literature, basic composition and creative writing. His poetry and short fiction have appeared in over one hundred internationally respected literary journals.

A collection of his poems was published in 1997 and two novels in 2001 and 2007 respectively. After living in New York and Chicago, Conroy currently resides with his wife in Newport, Rhode Island.

He is a frequent contributor to local publications and an active community volunteer.

 
Literally Dead by James Conroy (2011)
Length: 344 pages
Available for Free Download Through Amazon and Amazon UK this Thursday through Saturday!!

In the midst of the Great Depression, one man must do battle against corruption with nothing but his wits and a host of great literary figures. Amos Jansen is merely a clerk. He is not a crime fighter, the next great writer, or a man of privilege. He is the humble employee of a Chicago literary society. That is, until he is arrested for murder. The scapegoat of a perfidious lieutenant, Jansen stands wrongly accused while his idols rally around him. Literary personalities the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Carl Sandburg, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Nelson Algren, and H.L. Mencken, as well as civil liberties war-horse Clarence Darrow, join Amos in his search for the real murderer of both the society's vice-chairman and his own father. Will the pen prove mightier than the sword? Will mercenary police, politicians and money-barons meet with justice? Or will Jansen fail to solve the mystery and wind up literally dead?

Download Your Copy Today!!

May you read well and often 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Reading Wrap-up for March 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 March 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 Bookmooch and Paperback Swap and authors.

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 :))
Full Tilt by Creston Mapes

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! :))
- The Journals of Eleanor Druse: My Investigation of the Kingdom Hospital Incident by Richard Dooling (writing as Eleanor Druse)
- The Scorpio Rising Boxed Set by Monique Domovitch
- Dark Fire by Christine Feehan
- Dark Melody by Christine Feehan
- Capturing Annie by Patricia Wynn
- Turtle Moon by Alice Hoffman

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
- The Avengers by Julie Kaewert

Well, there it is...the breakdown! All in all, not a very good reading month for me. Here's a further breakdown:

Books Read: 1
Pages Read: 403
Grade Range: A!

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

May you read well and often

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Have a happy St. Patrick's Day!

St. Patrick's Day Graphics

I hope that everyone; old and new friends, online and offline friends, and family from all over, have a wonderful and much blessed St. Patrick's Day. I am truly honored and blessed to have you all in my life! :)

May you read well and often

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Creston Mapes - Full Tilt

1. Full Tilt by Creston Mapes (2006)
Rock Star Chronicles Book 2
Length: 403 pages
Genre: Christian Fiction
Started: 21 February 2012
Finished: 1 March 2012
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Cheryl at Media Guests for sending me a copy of this book to read.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 14 December 2011
Why do I have it? I had read the first book and the concept intrigued me.

In the sequel to Dark Star: Confessions of a Rock Idol, Everett Lester is eager to share the redeeming peace of Christ's love through music. Acquitted of murder and newly married, he is trying to get a new tour off the ground. But while his life is on the upswing, Everett's new life as a Christian is threatened, as always, by Satan and his minions.

Everett's older brother, Eddie, is in deep with the mob for Eddie's steep gambling debts and as much as Everett tries to be there for his brother, Eddie's deteriorating  family becomes suspicious and disdainful of his attempts to share the good news. Meanwhile, Everett's young nephew, Wesley, blames his uncle for his younger brother's death. Wesley has recently taken to smoking meth and falls in with psychotic Tony Badino, and the two Antichrists will stop at nothing to bring down Everett Lester and secure his demise.

I really enjoyed this sequel. It was wonderful that this book is still so suspenseful even for Christian fiction. I give this book an A! and look forward to perhaps another book in the series.

A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often

Reading Wrap-up for February 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 February 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 Bookmooch

Let me try to break down the influx for you:

Changes to the TBR pile 

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! :))
- Camelot's Destiny by Cynthia Breeding
- Rider in the Mist by Caroline Burnes
- The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stephenson
- Hot Blooded by Christine Feehan, Maggie Shayne, Emma Holly and Angela Knight
- Ugly to Start With by John Michael Cummings
- On the Bright Side by S. R. Johannes
- Love Thy Neighbor by Mark Gilleo
- Veiled Virtues by Jan Fischer-Wade
- Blood Oath by T. L. Clarke
- Three Dreams Deep by D. F. Lamont
- The Annihilation of Foreverland by Tony Bertauski
- Blood Forge by Kathryn Meyer Griffith
- Evolussion by Kathy Bell

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


May you read well and often

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Reading Wrap-up for January 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 January 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 Bookmooch and Paperback Swap and authors.

Let me try to break down the influx for you:

Changes to the TBR pile 

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! :))
- The Forever King by Molly Cochran and Warren Murphy
- Hollywood's Irish Rose by Nora Bernard
- The Prodigal Prince's Seduction by Olivia Gates
- The Cat Who Lived High by Lilian Jackson Braun
- Dark Demon by Christine Feehan
- Dark Possession by Christine Feehan
- Parsival, or a Knight's Tale by Richard Monaco
- Personality of the Cat by Brandt Aymar
- The Broken Sword by Molly Cochrane and Warren Murphy
- Deeper Than the Night by Amanda Ashley
- The Warrior by Kathleen Nance
- The Forest House by Marion Zimmer Bradley
- Fairest by Gail Carson Levine
- Gods and Fathers by James LePore
- Days of Vengeance by Tim Kizer
- Don't Look Back, Agnes and In This House by Kathryn Meyer Griffith
- The Mediator by Michael Abayomi
- In the Shadow of the Moonlight: The Awakening by J. J. Bidell

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
- The Heiress Bride by Catherine Coulter
- Dark Star: Confessions of a Rock Idol by Creston Mapes

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


May you read well and often

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Introducing On the Bright Side by S. R. Johannes!

Meet S. R. Johannes

When Shelli was younger, she spent all her time outdoors, hiking, camping and living the Girl Scout Way.

Somewhere along the way, she got away from nature and earned an MBA in Marketing, kicking off an 18-year marketing career in Corporate America.

Eventually, Shelli traded in her expensive suits, high heels, and corporate lingo for a family, flip-flops, and her love of writing. She started her own marketing & communications business, www.bilaninc.com, where she worked with Spanx, Goody Hair Products, Chick Filet, and the Boys & Girls Club of America.

In addition to juggling nap schedules and client meetings, Shelli focuses on her writing. She is a frequent speaker on marketing and book publicity at SCBWI conferences across the U.S, and runs a popular book marketing blog, Market My Words (www.faeriality.blogspot.com).

In her spare time (yeah right!) and if the kids allow (yeah right!), Shelli obsesses over movies, reads children’s books (over and over), and still dreams of sleeping in on the weekends. But most importantly, she is finally getting back to her roots by running her own Girl Scout Troop in Atlanta, helping girls get back to nature.

She currently lives in Atlanta with her dog (Charley), British-accented husband, and the huge imaginations of their little prince and princess that someday will change the world.

Synopsis from Goodreads: As if the devil’s food cake at her wake and the white fat pants she’s stuck wearing for eternity weren’t bad enough, fourteen year-old Gabby is quick to discover that Cirrus, the main rung of Heaven, is a far cry from the Pearly Gates. Here, SkyFones and InnerNets are all the rage. At her first Bright ceremony, G.O.D., the automated assignment system, spits out Angela Black, Gabby’s arch nemesis and longtime fencing rival. As a Bright, Gabby has to protect Angela, her assigned mortal, in order to move up through the training levels of heaven. 

Back on earth, Angela starts hitting on Michael, Gabby’s crush and should-have-been boyfriend. Gabby’s pranks to quell the love are harmless at first until the school dance sabotage gets completely out of control. Then, Celestial Sky Agent, Lawrence, who happens to have anger management issues of his own, steps into reveal that Angela has big problems, and what she really needs is Gabby’s help.
Determined to right her wrong and ease her mother’s grief, Gabby steals an ancient artifact that allows her to return to earth for just one day. But if Gabby’s not careful, her well-meaning mission just might shift the very foundation of Heaven, Earth, and every place in between, causing the danger of the dark side to roam free.


Coming to Amazon 31 January 2011!

May you read well and often

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Daree Allen, Author of What's Wrong With Me?: A Girl's Book of Lessons Learned, Inspiration and Advice Chats About How People Stay True to Themselves

Meet Daree Allen

Daree Allen is an authorpreneur, young adult esteem advocate, speaker, and goal-getter in Atlanta, GA. She has published articles on a variety of topics as a freelance writer and blogger, and is the author of the new teen mentoring book entitled, "What's Wrong With Me?" in which she discusses her own childhood dealing with self-esteem, premarital sex, family and personal relationships. Find out more about her work at www.dareesinsights.wordpress.com and www.DareeAllen.com.


Synopsis from Goodreads

Premarital sex. Drugs. Dating violence. Dropping out of school. So many choices, good and bad, are available for youth in America today, and girls continue to be especially vulnerable. They often blame themselves for things that go wrong in their lives, even when it s not their fault. They ask, What's wrong with me?, or they hear, What's wrong with you?! and brace themselves for the denigrating comments to follow. 

It's a timeless theme: girls grow up in every generation struggling with self-esteem, confidence, body image issues, uncertainty about dating, and insecurity about their identities. Where do they turn for answers or role models? Friends and peers don t make for such great influences and mentors when they are floundering themselves. Images of women of color in the media (TV and music videos) reinforce an impossible ideal and lack of self-esteem. 

How do girls today make decisions that will positively impact their future and not become victims of their surroundings? How can they affirm their Christianity proudly and not succumb to the deteriorating values of modern society? In this empowering Christian self-help book, Allen weaves her memoir from 20 years of journaling with lessons that still ring true for girls today, about such topics as accepting their identity, adopting a healthy body image, dating relationships, dealing with toxic friends and family members, avoiding or delaying premarital sex, building self-esteem, developing a positive attitude, dressing for success, setting goals, spending money wisely, handling anger and depression, and embracing their singleness, discovering their life purpose, and keeping God first. 

I would like to welcome Daree Allen, author of What's Wrong With Me?: A Girl's Book of Lessons Learned, Inspiration and Advice  to Emeraldfire's Bookmark. Ms. Allen was kind enough to write a guest post for me and here it is below in her own words:

Staying True to You

The concepts of "fitting in," peer pressure and groupthink are proven psychological phenomenons. However, they don't end with high school.

As adults we also can fall victim to these things if we're not careful.

Many industries operate with a kind of "formula" for success that says if you do this, please this group of people, you'll get success. Sometimes this involves taking shortcuts or compromising your values.

But at what expense?


Political Correctness

Our nation claims to be "One Nation Under God" as is stated in our pledge of Allegiance to the American flag, and our currency bears the statement, "In God We Trust." But our culture really does neither.

As the years go by, there are more and more attempts to kick God out of our schools, our of our communities, and out of our lives. For example, in December we say "Happy Holidays" to avoid offending non-Christians. In public some refer to God as "higher power" or "the universe." Girls Scouts USA has even changed references to God in their official Girl Scout promise and elsewhere to be printed like this: "God*" with an explanation that girls can define God however they like:

"Girl Scout policy states that the word "God" may be interpreted depending on individual spiritual beliefs. When reciting the Girl Scout Promise, "God" may be substituted with the word dictated by those beliefs."

Not a Sell-Out

My first two books, "What's Wrong With Me?" and the "What's Wrong With Me? Reflections Journal," are a response to the desperate need for self-esteem and empowerment resources for teens and young adults--especially those who are not impoverished, but considered "good" or "average" and supposedly don't need help. When girls finish reading my book, I want them to understand themselves better, feel more assertive, make better choices, and be on their way to discovering and living in their purposes and destinies. They will realize that they're not alone in the way they feel, that they don't need approval from others to validate their worth, and the importance of a personal relationship with God.

I recently met with a trusted colleague and she recommended that I change my book (or create another version of it) that contains no scripture references or mentions of God or the Bible. I came to the conclusion that although she meant well in giving me this advice, it would have hurt my brand--and my spirit--to take her advice. Some may think that removing the references is "selling out," while some say it's just an effort to market to a wider audience, not in any way trying to negate my beliefs. But every successful book has a specific market--a specific niche.

Although there may be "unchurched" kids who need the mentoring content in my book, there is not such an overwhelming emphasis on "God this, God that" that would beat them over the head as they read it to the point where they cannot get those positive messages.

In the end, staying true to myself keeps my conscious clear, and honors my relationship with God. Regardless of your beliefs, staying true to yourself will keep you from losing your way. Not all will agree with your choices and convictions, but a person who cannot respect them is not a person you need in your life.

- Daree Allen, MS, Author of What's Wrong With Me?: A Girl's Book of Lessons Learned, Inspiration and Advice

- Visit my website: http://dareeallen.com

May you read well and often

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Yearly Reading Wrap-up at Emeraldfire's Bookmark

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

Anyway, I started out January 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 year came from BookmoochPaperback Swap, authors and Library Book Sales. Quite a number of my books that I read this month left my house to go to new homes so that's something I guess. :)

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 :))
- Dark Star: Confessions of a Rock Idol by Creston Mapes
- Laughing Through Life by Connie Corcoran Wilson
- Demi and the Dolphins: A Lesson in Ecology by Alyssa K. Harrell and Marlene Siegal, DVM
- Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest by Ann McGovern
- Say Not What If by Andrew Friedman
- The Heart of the Rose by Kathryn Meyer Griffith
- Sorghaghtani of Mongolia by Shirin Yim Bridges
- Artemisia of Caria by Shirin Yim Bridges
- It Came From the '70s: From The Godfather to Apocalypse Now by Connie Corcoran Wilson
- Prince Etcheon and the Secret of the Ancient by Jo Ann Arnold
- Hatshepsut of Egypt by Shirin Yim Bridges
- Skin Thief by Sonnet O'Dell
- Stilettos and Scoundrels by Laina Turner-Molaski
- Inklings: Very Short Stories and Other Babies Born of Ink by Aparna Warrier
- Redemption by Laurel Dewey
- Davi by Roy C. Booth and Brian Woods 
- Always and Forever by Kathryn Meyer Griffith
- The Ice Princess by Camilla Lackberg
- Grayton Beach Affair by James Harvey
Deed So by Katharine A. Russell
- Blue by Lou Aronica
Anyone Can Die by James LePore
- The Nameless One by Kathryn Meyer Griffith
- The Radleys by Matt Haig
- Cry of the Fallen by Joel M. Andre
- Anyia: Dream of a Warrior by Jacquitta A. McManus
- A Pointed Death by Kath Russell
- The Green Man by Lee Mather

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! :))


Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))

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

Books Read: 28
Pages Read: 5,475
Grade Range: A+! to B+!

So, there you go! The reading year that was 2011! I hope that you all had an equally good reading year; if not a little better. :) See you all next year! :)

May you read well and often

Reading Wrap-up For December 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 a reinstatement of my personal reading blog. I originally posted my reviews on my old Blogger blog Emeraldfire's Bookmark but am now in the process of transporting all my old reviews over from Shelfari.

Anyway, I started out December 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 BookmoochPaperback Swap  or the authors and publishers for review. I have bought several new books as ebooks as well.

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 think?)
Laughing Through Life by Connie Corcoran Wilson
Dark Star: Confessions of a Rock Idol by Creston Mapes

Added to my TBR pile (Wait! Didn't I just clear a space over there? What are more books doing there - oh yeah, I'm a reviewer! :))
- Treasure Me by Christine Nolfi
The Dome by Nova Sparks
The Domerevelation by Nova Sparks
The Wish by Gail Carson Levine
- The Discovery of Jeanne Baret: A Story of Science, the High Seas, and the First Woman to Circumnavigate the Globe by Glynis Ridley
Matching Wits With Venus by Therese Gilardi
The Magi by Kevin M. Turner
Shadow Cay by Leona Bodie
The New Death and Others by James Hutchings
In Leah's Wake by Terri Guiliano Long
The Chronicles of Kerrigan Book 1: Rae of Hope by W. J. May
- The Elf Queen of Shannara by Terry Brooks
Cupid Calling by Stacy Brown, Karen L. King and Patricia Waddell
Catching the Eagle by Karen Charlton
Harald Hardrada: The Last Viking by Michael Burr
Literally Dead by James Conroy
Of Faith and Fidelity: Geoffrey Hotspur and the War For St. Peter's Throne by Evan Ostryzniuk
The Hermetica of Elysium by Annmarie Banks
The Eighth Scroll by Dr. Laurence B. Brown
Full Tilt by Creston Mapes
The Thirteenth Chime by Emma Michaels
- Anasazi by Emma Michaels
The Morning Afterlife by Sonnet O'Dell
The Summoner by Layton Green
The Egyptian by Layton Green
Cheat the Hangman by Gloria Ferris
- Red-Robed Priestess by Elizabeth Cunningham
- War For the Oaks by Emma Bull
- Happy Birthday to Me by Brian Rowe
- Happy Birthday to me Again by Brian Rowe
- The Sexiest Time of the Year: Erotic Encounters at the Yule Season edited by Sascha Illyvich

Well, there it is...the breakdown. Holy Mackerel! I need to read more next month. Here's a further (shaming) break down:

Books Read: 2
Pages Read: 518
Grade Range: A+!


So, there you go! The month that was December. All in all, a terrible reading month for me. I hope that you all had a better reading month than I did. Maybe a whole lot better! See you next month. :)

May you read well and often