Thursday, July 31, 2014

Julian Rosado-Machain - Guardians Inc.: The Cypher

42. Guardians Inc.: The Cypher by Julian Rosado-Machain (2010)
The Guardians Incorporated Series Book 1
Length: 222 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Started: 27 July 2014
Finished: 31 July 2014
Where did it come from? I originally downloaded a copy of this book for free from Amazon; although, 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 21 June 2013 as an ebook; Since 31 May 2014 as a physical book
Why do I have it? I like fantasy and Julian Rosado-Machain is a new author for me.

Guardians Incorporated is a mysterious multinational company that has a substantial stake in almost every area of society. To the general public, the company's mission statement is relatively innocuous. However, in reality, Guardians Inc. is the oldest of secret societies, one that spans close to seven thousand years of existence, weaving in and out of history, guiding and protecting humanity from creatures and forces that most of us believe exist only in mythology and fairy tales.   

Thomas Byrne is just your average fifteen-almost-sixteen-year-old teenager. Newly arrived to Carlsbad, California eight months after his parents disappeared while on a cruise, he is now living with his grandfather while going to high school. For the most part, Thomas does well in school - for the new kid, the routine is pretty simple: do your work, stay out of trouble, and whatever you do, don't cross the radar of Vice Principal Khanna - code name: Killjoy.

Thomas Byrne is a young man suddenly thrust into a secret world he shouldn't be aware of, facing dangers of which he should not have any knowledge. But, he ultimately will face such dangers, for he is a Cypher. The only one who can steer humanity's future into the light.

The ultimate conspiracy theory is that Magic is real. Oh, it's kept in check by technology, that's true, but every five hundred years the balance can shift and, if it does, technology will ultimately fail and all those creatures we've driven into the realms of myth will come back with a vengeance. In order to protect the present, Guardians Incorporated must know what lies in the future.    

I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I was quickly caught up in the story, and found the characters extremely likeable and sympathetic. I would give this first book of the Guardians Inc. Series a definite A+! It was certainly an excellent start to this series, and I can't wait to find out where the story goes next.

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

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Marc Shapiro - Total Titanic: The Most Up-to-Date Guide to the Disaster of the Century

41. Total Titanic: The Most Up-to-Date Guide to the Disaster of the Century by Marc Shapiro (1998)
Length: 190 pages
Genre: Non-Fiction
Started: 19 July 2014
Finished: 29 July 2014
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 2 February 2013
Why do I have it? I like non-fiction and Marc Shapiro is a new author for me.

On April 14, 1912 at 11:40 p.m. the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic. It was her maiden voyage. Just under three hours later - at 2:20 a.m. on April 15, 1912 - the last visible section of the Titanic slipped beneath the waves. More than 1,500 souls perished, with just over 700 passengers surviving what is perhaps the most well-known maritime disaster of the early twentieth-century. This book seeks to separate fiction from fact, reporting on what actually happened.

I have to say that I've always been interested in the sinking of the Titanic. And yes, I've seen the 1997 movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslett twice. As I read this book, I was repeatedly struck by the number of personal histories that were cut short, but that I wanted to know more about.

I suppose that the story of the two children who became known as the 'Titanic Orphans' is already known to history buffs, and I knew a little about their story myself, but it was very interesting for me to discover what happened to both the brothers later on in their lives. I give this book an A! and look forward to reading more from Marc Shapiro in the future.

A! - (90-95%)
        
May you read well and often

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Calling All Book Reviewers!

Hello everyone! :) I hope that you are all having a wonderful day today. I know that I am! ;) Anyway, I recently saw on Facebook that author Kathryn Meyer Griffith is looking for more reviews for her books, and because I think she is such a remarkable writer, I thought that I would make a request of all the readers of Emeraldfire's Bookmark.

Like so many authors out there, Ms. Griffith is always on the look out for more reviewers for her books - most specifically her Four Spooky Short Stories. All that is required from these potential reviewers, is a willingness to read the book, and also to write a fair and honest review of what you read. As I've said before, this is just a request of all the readers of my blog - but if you do decide to review any of the books in Four Spooky Short Stories, I would appreciate it very much! And I know that Ms. Griffith would as well. ;)

Meet Kathryn Meyer Griffith

Since childhood I’ve been an artist and worked as a graphic designer in the corporate world and for newspapers for twenty-three years before I quit to write full time. But I’d already begun writing novels at 21, over forty-two years ago now, and have had twenty (ten romantic horror, two horror novels, two romantic SF horror, one romantic suspense, one romantic time travel, one historical romance and three murder mysteries) previous novels, two novellas and twelve short stories published from Zebra Books, Leisure Books, Avalon Books, The Wild Rose Press, Damnation Books/Eternal Press; and I’ve self-published my last five novels with Amazon Kindle Direct and my dinosaur novels are my best-sellers.

I’ve been married to Russell for thirty-six years; have a son, James, and two grandchildren, Joshua and Caitlyn, and I live in a small quaint town in Illinois, which is right across the JB Bridge from St. Louis, Mo. We have three quirky cats, ghost cat Sasha and Cleo, and live cat Sasha (Too), and the five of us live happily in an old house in the heart of town. Though I’ve been an artist, and a folk singer in my youth with my brother Jim, writing has always been my greatest passion, my butterfly stage, and I’ll probably write stories until the day I die…or until my memory goes.

2012 EPIC EBOOK AWARDS *FINALIST* for my horror novel The Last Vampire - Revised Author’s Edition ~ 2014 EPIC EBOOK AWARDS *FINALIST* for my thriller novel Dinosaur Lake.


Four Spooky Short Stories by Kathryn Meyer Griffith (2013)
Length: 103 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon!

Four Spooky Short Stories Blurb:

Four contemporary spooky short stories:

Ghost Brother

So what happens after you die? Do you go to heaven, or hell? Or do you go to a special place fashioned just for you based on the life you’d lived in the real world? Based on how you treated people? What you did to them?

And do ghosts exist? Do they roam the earth and plague the living, persuade them to do things they shouldn’t do?

Two brothers and their tale follow; their journey through life and death.

Do you believe in ghosts? Some do.


Running with the Train

Sarah has always been lonely. Searching for a love she’s begun to believe will never come. Her family and friends depend, need her…but they can’t give her what she wants. True, eternal love. Like the wolves have.

So she goes on an adventure of a lifetime to the Grand Canyon; rides the train from Williams to the South Rim and sees these huge wolves running alongside in the evening twilight; scurrying unbelievably below on the Canyon’s ledges among the trees. She’s told there are no wolves but she hears their haunting cries. No one else sees or hears them. Just her.

Has her loneliness made her crazy?


The Banshee and the Witch

What would you do to live forever, stay young forever? To find true love again?

And if you were a white witch with the magical powers to make it happen…and the secret of how to do it, would you?

So when the banshee comes calling for you one rainy dark night you’ll do what you have to do to get what you desire the most. More time.


Too Close to the Edge

Artist Penelope had been looking forward to going with her husband, sister and brother-in-law to see the Grand Canyon…even though she was terrified of heights and, when she got there, couldn’t bear to get too close to the edge. She watched people balancing on one foot, acting foolish, taking photos, oblivious of the death waiting below them. It scared her.

Especially when a woman relates a story of a small child that fell into the Canyon the day before. Over the edge.

Then she sees a young girl go over the rim and no one will believe her.

For there was no child that had died - that day anyway.

Was she seeing things that weren’t there, or was there another explanation?


May you read well and often

Friday, July 25, 2014

Christine Amsden, Author of Stolen Dreams, the Conclusion of the Cassie Scot Series Tells us Where the Characters Are Now

Meet Christine Amsden

Christine Amsden has been writing fantasy and science fiction for as long as she can remember. She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories. Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and relationships, and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone.

At the age of 16, Christine was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, a condition that effects the retina and causes a loss of central vision. She is now legally blind, but has not let this slow her down or get in the way of her dreams. (You can learn more here.)

In addition to writing, Christine teaches workshops on writing at Savvy Authors. She also does some freelance editing work.

Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. They have two beautiful children.

Connect and Socialize with Christine!


Synopsis from Goodreads

Edward Scot and Victor Blackwood have despised one another for nearly a quarter of a century, but now their simmering hatred is about to erupt.

When Cassie Scot returns home from her sojourn in Pennsylvania, she finds that her family has taken a hostage. Desperate to end the fighting before someone dies, Cassie seeks help from local seer Abigail Hastings, Evan Blackwood's grandmother. But Abigail has seen her own death, and when it comes at the hand of Cassie's father, Victor Blackwood kills Edward Scot.

But things may not be precisely as they appear.

Evan persuades Cassie to help him learn the truth, teaming them up once again in their darkest hour. New revelations about Evan and his family make it difficult for Cassie to cling to a shield of anger, but can Evan and Cassie stop a feud that has taken on a life of its own? Conclusion to the Cassie Scot series.

Coming to Amazon and Barnes and Noble on 25 June 2014!

I would like to welcome Christine Amsden, author of the Cassie Scot Series to Emeraldfire's Bookmark. Ms. Amsden was kind enough to write a guest post for me and here it is below in her own words:

'Eagle Rock, 2014'
by Christine Amsden

Do you ever wonder what happened to your favorite characters after the dust settles? I know I do!

The four books in the Cassie Scot series takes place between June 2010 and April 2011. That's when I started writing them … it takes time to get these things published! So by now, even though Stolen Dreams just came out, it's three years later in Eagle Rock. So let me catch you up on a few of the most notable characters from the series:

SPOILER ALERT (If you haven't read Stolen Dreams, just about everything I have to say here is a spoiler.)

Cassie and Evan are still married and doing okay. They had a daughter in December 2011, Anastasia (Anna), a powerful young healer like her Aunt Juliana. But “happily ever after” is a bit misleading. I've never believed that the work of falling or being in love ends with magic words – either “I love you” or “I do.” That's one of the reasons I had Cassie and Evan get the “I love you” part out of the way in book two. It wasn't enough. In Stolen Dreams they each made sacrifices for the other, but life still moves and changes. 

The big problem between these two right now is that Evan still grieves for the loss of his father, a father Cassie hated so much that he hides his mourning from her. In other words, he's never had a chance to get over it properly. He knows his father was a terrible person in many ways, but it doesn't change what he feels. 

Cassie, meanwhile, is paralyzed when it comes to having another child. Her dreaming ability is growing, but she keeps dreaming about the might-be children she could have, depending upon when she conceives. In her dreams she's seen dozens of children and has fallen in love with all of them; she doesn't know how to choose one and nobody else really understands how real each and every one has become to her in her dreams. (Note: It is *possible* that this becomes the basis for another Cassie Scot story. But if so, what you read is as far as I've gotten with it and I'd really like to start another series first.)

Madison Carter has a spin-off sequel of her own coming out in 2015, so read that to find out what happens to her. It takes place about a year after the Cassie Scot series.

Kaitlin Meyer also has a spin-off sequel, but it's still being written. It also takes place about a year after the Cassie Scot series, and will help you understand what happened to Jason, Alexander DuPris, and Matthew Blair.

Cassie's family:

Sheila Scot, Cassie's mom, went into a deep depression after the death of her husband and is honestly still not whole again. Her family fears she never will be. They've had several empathic healers try to help, but they say it's as if she wants to follow her husband into the grave.

Nicolas finished his magical apprenticeship and decided to join The White Guard as a combat sorcerer at the urging of his mentor, Clark Eagle. After the death of his father, he had to step in as head of the family (because of his mother's depression), a role he takes very seriously and one that has forced him to grow up faster than he would have otherwise.

Juliana is apprenticing with Linda Eagle at the moment. It wasn't her first choice – midwifery isn't really what she wants to do – but she couldn't bring herself to leave Eagle Rock to learn from the healer of her choice. Juliana has been more of a mother to the twins than anyone else and she won't leave them.

Isaac does have a gift. He's a hunter, like his cousin Jason, with the strength and speed to kill vampires. Most hunter gifts manifest with puberty (Kaitlin's baby being a rare exception).

Elena still can't speak to the dead, which is a mixed blessing and curse. She does pay more attention to the living now, but she's sick at heart. And she's never gotten over her crush on Barry Eagle, who hasn't spoken to her since the day her father cursed him.

Adam is an adorable, charming ten-year-old. I expect the other ten-year-old girls had better watch out in a few years!

Christina is an outgoing six-year-old. Only time will tell what kind of person she'll grow up to be.

There's something weird going on with the three-year-old twins, Michael and Maya. Maya is kind of blind …but she seems to be able to see whatever Michael is seeing. Not sure what that's about yet.

If there's any other character you'd like to know more about, just ask! There are dozens of secondary and minor characters in this series. I probably know what's going on in all of their lives.

May you read well and often

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Eliot Baker - The Last Ancient

40. The Last Ancient by Eliot Baker (2013)
Length: 312 pages
Genre: Contemporary Mystery
Started: 20 July 2014
Finished: 22 July 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 10 May 2014
Why do I have it? I like contemporary mysteries and Eliot Baker is a new author for me.

Simon Stephenson is a well-known reporter; long estranged from his alleged arms-dealing father because of a hard-hitting story that he wrote which had exposed Preston Stephenson's shady business dealings to the world. He lives a relatively quiet existence on Nantucket Island, working as an environmental reporter for the local newspaper, and is blissfully engaged to a beautiful young socialite.

Around Nantucket Island, a series of particularly grisly animal slayings is linked to a viral epidemic which could reach Biblical proportions if it isn't contained and eliminated as soon as possible. When the various crime scenes begin to involve human victims, ritualistically murdered and peppered with ancient coins, Simon is the only man able to unlock their meaning. But Simon wonders what the coins could possibly have to do with the murders? And just what type of creature - human or inhuman - might have left them?

His search for answers leads reporter Simon Stephenson on a journey through ancient mythology, numismatics, and the occult. Not to mention his own past - which turns out to be even darker than he'd realized; his murdered father was secretly studying alchemy, among other arcane subjects. Along the way, Simon battles panic attacks and a host of nasty characters - some natural, others less so. Meanwhile, Simon's heiress fiancee turns into 'bridezilla-on-a-rampage', and a gorgeous rival television reporter seduces him - concealing her true intentions.

I really enjoyed this book. The plot was unusual, and I must say that some of the elements of it were slightly difficult for me to fully understand. The study of alchemy has always seemed to me to be more fantastical than based in reality. I thoroughly appreciated the humaness and humanity of the characters, despite the seemingly super-heroic acts they performed. I give The Last Ancient by Eliot Baker a definite A! and will certainly keep my eyes open for more books by this author in the future. 

A! - (90-95%)       

May you read well and often

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Blog Tour For The Donor Part Two by Nikki Rae From August 4, 2014 to August 25, 2014 - Come Join Us!

Hello Everyone! I am extremely happy to announce that Nikki Rae will be touring the blogosphere to promote the second part of her horror novella The Donor. This virtual book tour is being hosted by the author herself and will last from August 4, to August 25, 2014!

Ms. Rae is also doing an awesome giveaway - she is giving away an ebook of The Donor Part One (Just a friendly reminder: this is a serial novella told in parts. Each part is rather short, i. e. 20-30 pages in Word, but all three add up to a novella length) and a $10 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky winner at the end of her Blog Tour. Be sure to fill out the Rafflecopter form below, and I wish you all the very best of good luck in taking part!

The Donor Part Two Blog Tour Information:


Meet Nikki Rae

Nikki Rae is a writer who lives in New Jersey. As an independent author, she has appeared numerously on Amazon Best Seller lists and she concentrates on making her imaginary characters as real as possible. Nikki writes mainly dark, scary, romantic tales, but she’ll try anything once. When she is not writing, reading, or thinking, you can find her spending time with animals, drawing in a quiet corner, or studying people. Closely.

Connect and Socialize with Nikki!



About The Donor Part Two:

When Casey joined MyTrueMatch.com, she never imagined she would meet a man who not only helps her pay the bills, but has been nothing but a gentleman.

As the nose bleeds make way for worse symptoms, Casey can’t help the feelings she has for Jonah, despite how he may never return them. And he’s been keeping things from her. Big things. How does he make his money, and who is that girl in the picture? With the clock ticking, can she find the answers she’s looking for?

Blog Tour Giveaway of The Donor Part Two and a $10 Amazon Gift Card Ends August 25, 2014.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Donor Part Two Book Publicity Tour Schedule:


Monday, August 4: Maureen's Books
Sunday, August 10: Emeraldfire's Bookmark
Sunday, August 10: Maureen's Books
Saturday, August 16: Lost in a Good Book
Sunday, August 17: All in One Place
Sunday, August 17: Kayla's Place
Wednesday, August 20: The Bookie Monster
Thursday, August 21: What's Beyond Forks?
Friday, August 22: (Release Day Blitz!!!): ALL THE BLOGS
Sunday, August 24: Pure Jonel

May you read well and often

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Michael Matson - The Dancing Boy

39. The Dancing Boy by Michael Matson (2013)
The Treat Mikkelson Mysteries Series Book 1
Length: 245 pages
Genre: Contemporary Mystery
Started: 14 July 2014
Finished: 17 July 2014
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Kathleen 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 12 June 2014
Why do I have it? I like contemporary mysteries and Michael Matson is a new author for me.

All Treat Mikkelson desires in his life these days is peace, quiet and a bumper cache of clams. After a lifetime spent investigating crimes and analyzing the criminal mind, Treat is now enjoying the well-earned solitude living on a private island in Puget Sound. Life truly couldn't get any better.

The death of eighty-seven year old Margaret Neillsen - a reclusive millionaire who made her money buying and selling real estate - really shouldn't bother Treat in any way. He didn't know Margaret, and despite feeling a certain sadness at her passing, the fact that she died falling downstairs doesn't strike Treat as suspicious or in any way murderous. She was elderly and infirm; it was to be expected.

However, according to Cassie McLaren - a friend of Margaret's - she was spry even at the ripe age of eighty-seven, and could never have tripped and fallen downstairs, because she knew the layout of her house like the back of her own hand. Cassie is convinced that Margaret Neillsen's death is actually murder and begs Treat to investigate it further; promising to try to accept her friend's death as natural if the coroner's report comes back clear. Cassie's request is one Treat cannot deny, even as his subsequent investigation exposes all manner of crime: from fraud to the horrific underbelly of child exploitation.

The Dancing Boy by Michael Matson dealt with some serious, tough, dark issues, and may not be appropriate for all readers. I, myself, found this a difficult book to read and I must say that I wasn't all that certain whether I liked the character of Treat Mikkelson that much at first. I found that Treat grew on me as I read, though. I enjoyed this mystery and am curious to know whether there will be more mysteries featuring Treat Mikkelson - I certainly hope so. I give this book an A! and will keep my eyes open for more books by Michael Matson.

A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often

Introducing The Dancing Boy by Michael Matson!

Meet Michael Matson

Michael Matson was born in Helena, Montana, and was immediately issued a 10-gallon Stetson and a pair of snakeskin boots. After formative years spent in New Jersey, North Carolina, New York, California, Hawaii and Japan, Michael earned a journalism degree from the University of Washington in Seattle. Following a brief military stint in Oklahoma, where he first encountered red, sticky mud, heavy rain and tarantulas, he returned to Seattle and worked as an advertising agency copywriter, creative director and video producer.

In 2007 he (regretfully) left Seattle for Mexico to have time to write and has since published The Diamond Tree, a fairytale for all ages; Bareback Rider, an inspirational adventure for children; and Takeshi’s Choice, a mystery novel. His short story “Gato” was selected for inclusion in Short Story America’s 2014 anthology. His second mystery novel: The Dancing Boy, was released by Dark Oak Mysteries, a division of Oak Tree Press in April 2014.

He lives with his wife María Guadalupe (Tai), in Morelia, the colonial capital city of Michoacán, where, despite all the bad publicity given the area by U.S. news media, he has never seen a narcotraficante.


The Dancing Boy by Michael Matson (2013)
Length: 256 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon and Barnes and Noble!

The Dancing Boy Blurb:

Treat Mikkelson is not exactly a burnt-out case but he’s grown tired of his life as a criminologist, weary of memories of a marriage gone wrong and of his time in Vietnam. Trying to burn the bridges to his past, he finds and remodels a cabin on a small Pacific Northwest Island, settles down to enjoy fishing, setting his crab pot, digging for clams and documenting the lives of his island neighbors.

When an elderly woman in the nearby tourist town of La Conner is found dead however, the victim of what appears to be an accidental fall, Mikkelson is persuaded to look into her death. The discovery that it was murder leads to something even more shocking: the human trafficking of young boys brought into the US and Canada.

May you read well and often

Monday, July 14, 2014

Introducing The Donor by Nikki Rae!

Meet Nikki Rae

Nikki Rae is a writer who lives in New Jersey. As an independent author, she has appeared numerously on Amazon Best Seller lists and she concentrates on making her imaginary characters as real as possible. Nikki writes mainly dark, scary, romantic tales, but she’ll try anything once. When she is not writing, reading, or thinking, you can find her spending time with animals, drawing in a quiet corner, or studying people. Closely.


The Donor by Nikki Rae (2014)
Length: 31 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon!

The Donor Blurb: 

Casey Williams and her family are poor. Her parents work non-stop and so does she, just so they can keep the trailer roof from leaking. 

They’re getting by fine enough when the headaches start. Then there’s the nosebleeds. And the inevitable doctor’s bills. 

Fortunately for Casey, there’s MyTrueMatch.com: an exclusive, quick, and almost easy way to pay it all back before her parents even have to know. 

All she has to do is give a man she’s never met whatever he wants from her body.
Inside or out.

[Disclaimer: This is a serial novella that will be told in parts about the length of a short story (20-30 pages).]


The Donor Series
Book 1: Available on Amazon on July 14, 2014! - Grab your own copy today!!
Book 2: Available on Amazon on August 22, 2014! - Grab your own copy today!!
Book 3: Available on Amazon on September 30, 2014! - Grab your own copy today!!
The Donor: The Full Novella: Available on Amazon on October 30, 2014! - Grab your own copy today!!

May you read well and often

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Nikki Rae - The Donor

38. The Donor by Nikki Rae (2014)
The Donor Series Book 1
Length: 21 pages
Genre: Short Story
Started/Finished: 11 July 2014
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Nikki Rae for sending me a copy of this book to read.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 11 June 2014
Why do I have it? I like short stories and Nikki Rae is a new author for me.

Casey Williams is a recent high school graduate still living at home with her parents. Her family is as poor as church mice but both her parents and Casey work non-stop, trying to keep a roof over all of their heads. They're just about making ends meet - barely - but they're still managing to pay the bills each month.

Then the headaches start. And the inexplicable nosebleeds. And the inevitable doctor's bills. Casey needs help, and she needs it fast.

Fortunately for Casey, there is the website MyTrueMatch.com: an exclusive, quick, and relatively simple way to pay her own medical bills, and her parents wouldn't even have to know. All she has to do is meet with Jonah Black - MyTrueMatch's local representative - he would certainly be able to assist her.

I must say that my senses were on high alert right from the start of this story that something bad would happen to Casey - the entire situation was creepy to me, but I couldn't quite pinpoint what it was that made me so uneasy. I'm interested to discover how this novella will develop, but it certainly is an eye-opening start - I give The Donor Part One by Nikki Rae an A!

A! - (90-95%)
       
May you read well and often

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Karl Drinkwater - If That Looking Glass Gets Broken

37. If That Looking Glass Gets Broken by Karl Drinkwater (2014)
Length: 5 pages
Genre: Short Story
Started/Finished: 10 July 2014
Where did it come from? From Smashwords
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 18 February 2014
Why do I have it? I like short stories and Karl Drinkwater is a new author for me.
The old woman's marriage to her husband hadn't necessarily always been the best, she reflected. They had weathered their share of storms, to be sure, but now both husband and wife were content to view their tribulations as tempests in a teapot. Besides, the old woman thought fondly, her husband was a grumpy old sourpuss at times, but she loved him nonetheless.

And, as always, there was her son to think of. Such a polite, well-behaved, handsome, bright boy! She had considered him the "best of all her sons" - secretly, of course - it would never do for her husband to discover she was harboring favorites, now would it? He would be upset with her.

However, enough day-dreaming. Her son needed to be fed. Her husband was right: soup was so nourishing; and her son was such a good boy to let his mother feed him.

I read this story in one night. This was certainly a very suspenseful story, but the ending was much more shocking than I expected. As this was such a short story, I appreciated the suspenseful build-up and that is what made the ending all the more shocking to me.

This was the first story by Karl Drinkwater that I've read, so I'm not sure if this is his typical writing style, however this first story earned a B+! from me. I will certainly be keeping my eyes open for more from Karl Drinkwater in the future.

B+! - (89-94%) 

May you read well and often

Monday, July 7, 2014

Blog Tour For Two Empty Thrones by C. H. MacLean From August 4, 2014 to October 31, 2014 - Come Join Us!

Hello Everyone! I am extremely happy to announce that C. H. MacLean will be touring the blogosphere to promote his young adult fantasy, Two Empty Thrones. This virtual book tour is being hosted by Pump up Your Book and will last from August 4, to October 31, 2014!

Two Empty Thrones Blog Tour Information:

Meet C. H. MacLean

To young C. H. MacLean, books were everything: mind-food, friends, and fun. They gave the shy middle child’s life color and energy. Amazingly, not everyone saw them that way. Seeing a laundry hamper full of books approach her, the librarian scolded C. H. for trying to check them all out. “You’ll never read that many before they expire!” C. H. was surprised, having shown great restraint only by keeping a list of books to check out next time. Thoroughly abashed, C. H. waited three whole days after finishing that lot before going back for more.

With an internal world more vivid than the real one, C. H. was chastised for reading in the library instead of going to class. “Neurotic, needs medical help,” the teacher diagnosed. C. H.’s father, a psychologist, just laughed when he heard. “She’s just upset because those books are more challenging than her class.” C. H. realized making up stories was just as fun as reading, and harder to get caught doing. So for a while, C. H. crafted stories and characters out of wisps and trinkets, with every toy growing an elaborate personality.

But toys were not mature, and stories weren’t respectable for a family of doctors. So C. H. grew up and learned to read serious books and study hard, shelving foolish fantasies for serious work.

Years passed in a black and white blur. Then, unpredictably falling in love all the way to a magical marriage rattled C. H.’s orderly world. A crazy idea slipped in a resulting crack and wouldn’t leave. “Write the book you want to read,” it said. “Write? As in, a fantasy novel? But I’m not creative,” C. H. protested. The idea, and C. H.’s spouse, rolled their eyes.

So one day, C. H. started writing. Just to try it, not that it would go anywhere. Big mistake. Decades of pent-up passion started pouring out, making a mess of an orderly life. It only got worse. Soon, stories popped up everywhere- in dreams, while exercising, or out of spite, in the middle of a work meeting. “But it’s not important work,” C. H. pleaded weakly. “They are not food, or friends, or…” But it was too late. C. H. had re-discovered that, like books, life should be fun too. Now, writing is a compulsion, and a calling.

C. H. lives in a Pacific Northwest forest with five cats, two kids, one spouse, and absolutely no dragons or elves, faeries, or demons… that are willing to be named, at least.

His latest book is the YA fantasy, Two Empty Thrones.

Connect and Socialize with C. H.!


About Two Empty Thrones:

With her powers growing every day, fourteen-year-old Haylwen Rightad thinks she’s safe in the magical forest. And now that she finally has the friends she always wanted, what is there to be afraid of?

But she’s not out of the woods yet. Old enemies rip through her beloved forest, threatening to haul Haylwen and her new-found friends away. Their safety shattered, Haylwen and her friends are suddenly at each other’s throats. Is the friendship she worked so hard for already ruined, or is there another, unseen enemy at work?

Haylwen and her brother must unmask this mysterious enemy before they can fight it off. But even if all their enemies are destroyed, the King of the magic users will stop at nothing to ensure he’s still in power when the dragons take over the world. And he’s hidden an enemy where Haylwen would never think to look.

If no one is what they seem, who can she trust?

Purchase Your Copy From Amazon and Barnes and Noble!

Two Empty Thrones Book Publicity Tour Schedule:



Monday, August 4 - Interview at PUYB Virtual Book Club
Tuesday, August 5 - Interview at As the Page Turns
Wednesday, August 6 - Book Featured at What Is That Book About
Friday, August 8 - Book Featured at Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews
Monday, August 11 - First Chapter Reveal at The Writer’s Life
Tuesday, August 12 - Guest Blogging at I’m Shelf-ish
Wednesday, August 13 - Interview at Lori’s Reading Corner
Thursday, August 14 - Book Featured at Mom With a Kindle
Monday, August 18 - First Chapter Reveal at Literarily Speaking
Tuesday, August 19 - Book Review and Interview at Book Club Sisters
Wednesday, August 20 - Interview at The Dark Phantom
Thursday, August 21 - Book Featured at My Guilty Obsession
Monday, August 25 - First Chapter Reveal at The Book Rack
Tuesday, August 26 - Guest Blogging at The Book Faery Reviews
Friday, August 29 - Book Review at Deal Sharing Aunt
Tuesday, September 2 - Book Featured at Fallen Over Book Reviews
Wednesday, September 3 - Character Guest Post at As the Pages Turn
Thursday, September 4 - Interview at Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection
Monday, September 8 - First Chapter Reveal at Read My First Chapter
Tuesday, September 9 - Interview at Beyond the Books
Wednesday, September 10 - Interview at Review From Here
Thursday, September 11 - Interview at Keep Calm and Write On
Monday, September 15 - Interview at Straight From the Author’s Mouth
Tuesday, September 16 - Book Review at Through the Open Book
Wednesday, September 17 -
Guest Blogging at Bea’s Book Nook
Wednesday, September 17 -
Book Review at My Life, Loves and Passion
Thursday, September 18 -
Book Review at Blooming with Books
Monday, September 22 -
Interview at Digital Pubbing
Tuesday, September 23 -
Book Review at Ashley’s Bookshelf
Wednesday, September 24 -
Book Review at Mary’s Cup of Tea
Thursday, September 25 - Book Review at Books, Reviews, ETC
Friday, September 26 - Character Interview at The Literary Nook
Monday, October 6 - Guest Blogging at The Story Behind the Book
Tuesday, October 7 - Book Review at CBY Book Club
Wednesday, October 8 - Book Review at Our Families Adventure
Thursday, October 9 - Book Review at Emeraldfire’s Bookmark
Monday, October 13 -
Interview at The Writer’s Life
Tuesday, October 14 -
Book Review at Rhiannon H. Morris’ Blog
Wednesday, October 15 - Book Review at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Thursday, October 16 - Interview at The Book Rack
Monday, October 20 - Interview at Allvoices
Tuesday, October 21 - Book Review at My Tangled Skeins Book Reviews
Wednesday, October 22 - Interview at Between the Covers
Thursday, October 23 - Interview at Blogcritics
Monday, October 27 - Interview at Literarily Speaking
Tuesday, October 28 - Book Review at Brooke Blogs
Wednesday, October 29 - First Chapter Reveal at She Writes
Friday, October 31 - Book Tour Highlights at PUYB Virtual Book Club

May you read well and often

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Blog Tour For Stolen Dreams - Book 4 of the Cassie Scot Series - by Christine Amsden From July 16, 2014 to October 15, 2014 - Come Join Us!

Hello Everyone! I am extremely happy to announce that Christine Amsden will be touring the blogosphere to promote her young adult Paranormal Mystery Stolen Dreams - Book 4 in her Cassie Scot Series. This virtual book tour is being hosted by the author herself and will last from July 16, to October 15, 2014!

Ms. Amsden is also doing an awesome giveaway - she is giving away a $100 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky winner at the end of her Blog Tour. Be sure to fill out the Rafflecopter form below, and I wish you all the very best of good luck in taking part!

Stolen Dreams Blog Tour Information:

Meet Christine Amsden

Christine Amsden has been writing fantasy and science fiction for as long as she can remember. She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories. Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and relationships, and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone.

At the age of 16, Christine was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, a condition that effects the retina and causes a loss of central vision. She is now legally blind, but has not let this slow her down or get in the way of her dreams. (You can learn more here.)

In addition to writing, Christine teaches workshops on writing at Savvy Authors. She also does some freelance editing work.

Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. They have two beautiful children.

Connect and Socialize with Christine!


About Stolen Dreams:

Edward Scot and Victor Blackwood have despised one another for nearly a quarter of a century, but now their simmering hatred is about to erupt.

When Cassie Scot returns home from her sojourn in Pennsylvania, she finds that her family has taken a hostage. Desperate to end the fighting before someone dies, Cassie seeks help from local seer Abigail Hastings, Evan Blackwood’s grandmother. But Abigail has seen her own death, and when it comes at the hand of Cassie’s father, Victor Blackwood kills Edward Scot.

But things may not be precisely as they appear.

Evan persuades Cassie to help him learn the truth, teaming them up once again in their darkest hour. New revelations about Evan and his family make it difficult for Cassie to cling to a shield of anger, but can Evan and Cassie stop a feud that has taken on a life of its own? Conclusion to the Cassie Scot Series.

Purchase Your Copy From Amazon and Barnes and Noble!

Christine Amsden is giving away an Awesome $100 Amazon Giftcard!





Stolen Dreams Book Publicity Tour Schedule:


Wednesday, July 16 - Book Review at Cassandra Lost in Books
Wednesday, July 16 - Guest Post “Thirty-Six Point Font” at The Reading Addict
Thursday, July 17 - Book Review at Miki’s Hope
Thursday, July 17 - Guest Post “What’s Next” at Cassandra Lost in Books
Friday, July 18 - Book Review at D. E. Haggerty
Friday, July 18 - Guest Post “A Universe of Possibility” at The Avid Reader
Monday, July 21 - Special Feature at Miki’s Hope
Monday, July 21 - LIVE! Blogtalk Radio at Other Worlds of Romance
Tuesday, July 22 - Special Feature at Lissette E. Manning
Wednesday, July 23 - Book Review at Wall-to-wall books
Tuesday, July 23 - Book Review at Books, Books, and More Books
Thursday, July 24 - Special Feature at Cruising Susan Book Reviews
Friday, July 25 - Book Review at Cruising Susan Book Reviews
Friday, July 25 - Special Feature at Emeraldfire’s Bookmark
Monday, July 28 - Special Feature at Chapter Break
Tuesday, July 29 - Book Review at KT Book Reviews
Wednesday, July 30 - Book Review at The Book Review
Thursday, July 31 - Special Feature at Murder By 4
Friday, August 1 - Book Review at Once Upon a YA Book
Friday, August 1 - Book Review at The Insane Ramblings of a Crazed Writer
Monday, August 4 - Book Review at Pink Fluffy Hearts
Tuesday, August 5 - Book Review at Genuine Jen
Tuesday, August 5 - Special Feature at RhythemPoets
Wednesday, August 6 - Character Interview at Genuine Jen
Wednesday, August 6 - Special Feature at Offbeat Vagabond
Thursday, August 7 - Book Review at Books Are Love
Friday, August 8 - Special Feature at Books Are Love
Monday, August 11 - Book Review at The Book Junkie
Tuesday, August 12 - Book Review at Pure Jonel Book Reviews
Wednesday, August 13 - Special Feature at KT Book Reviews
Thursday, August 14 - Book Review at Read Books and Live Green
Thursday, August 14 - Special Feature at The Book Review
Friday, August 15 - Book Review at L. Avery Brown
Monday, August 18 - Book Review at Biblio Belles
Tuesday, August 19 - Book Review at Zili in the Sky
Tuesday, August 19 - Special Feature at Zili in the Sky
Wednesday, August 20 - Book Review at Sapphyria’s Book Reviews
Wednesday, August 20 - Special Feature at Sapphyria’s Book Reviews
Thursday, August 21 - Special Feature at Dora Machado
Friday, August 22 - Special Feature at Maria DeVivo
Monday, August 25 - Book Review at RhythemPoets
Tuesday, August 26 - Special Feature at Shah Wharton
Wednesday, August 27 - Book Review at The Avid Reader
Thursday, August 28 - Mind Games Audio Review at A Little Bit of R and R
Friday, August 29 - Book Review at Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews
Tuesday, September 2 - Book Review at The Reading Addict
Wednesday, September 3 - Book Review at Short and Sweet Reviews
Thursday, September 4 - Book Review at Lovely Reads
Friday, September 5 - Special Feature at Dalene’s Book Reviews
Monday, September 8 - Book Review at Chapter Break
Tuesday, September 9 - Book Review at Hide the Matches
Tuesday, September 9 - Book Review at Rogue Reviews
Wednesday, September 10 - Interview at Pure Jonel Book Reviews
Thursday, September 11 - Book Review at Sara’s Organized Chaos
Friday, September 12 - Book Review at Lissette E. Manning
Monday, September 15 - Book Review at The Real World According To Sam
Monday, September 15 - Special Feature at Little Miss Drama Queen
Tuesday, September 16 - Book Review at Mary’s Cup of Tea
Wednesday, September 17 - Book Review at The Story of a Writer
Wednesday, September 17 - Special Feature at The Real World According To Sam
Thursday, September 18 - Book Review at All In One Place
Friday, September 19 - Book Review at Little Miss Drama Queen
Monday, September 22 - Book Review at Tanya’s Book Nook
Tuesday, September 23 - Book Review at Laura’s ramblins and reviews
Wednesday, September 24 - Special Feature at Interstellar Woman of Mystery
Thursday, September 25 - Book Review at Emeraldfire’s Bookmark
Friday, September 26 - Book Review at The Canon
Monday, September 29 - Special Feature at All In One Place
Tuesday, September 30 - Book Review at D’eBook Sharing Book Reviews
Wednesday, October 1 - Book Review at Bound 4 Escape
Thursday, October 2 - Book Review at Brooke Blogs
Friday, October 3 - Book Review at The Alaskan Book Cafe
Monday, October 6 - Special Feature at The Alaskan Book Cafe
Tuesday, October 7 - Book Review at Ashley’s Bookshelf
Tuesday, October 7 - Special Feature at Pure Jonel Book Reviews
Wednesday, October 8 - Book Review at Literally Jen
Thursday, October 9 - Book Review at Offbeat Vagabond
Friday, October 10 - Book Review at A Little Bit of R and R
Monday, October 13 - Book Review at Fallen Over Books Review
Monday, October 13 - Special Feature at Brooke Blogs
Tuesday, October 14 - Book Review at Dalene’s Book Reviews
Tuesday, October 14 - Special Feature at Sheila Deeth
Wednesday, October 15 - Book Review at Sheila Deeth

May you read well and often

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Introducing Four Spooky Short Stories by Kathryn Meyer Griffith!

Hello everyone! So, Amazon will host a free download for Kathryn Meyer Griffith's Four Spooky Short Stories from Friday, August 1, 2014 to Tuesday, August 5, 2014! I had the pleasure of reading all four spooky stories by Kathryn Meyer Griffith - separately, of course - over three days in January of 2013! Here are my reviews of Ghost Brother, The Banshee and the Witch, Too Close to the Edge and Running With the Train. Well, now is your chance to own all four stories together in one volume - I say go for it! :)


Meet Kathryn Meyer Griffith

Kathryn Meyer Griffith is a wife of almost 35 years (husband, Russell), mother (one son, James) and grandmother (two grandchildren, Caitlyn and Joshua). She was a graphic designer in the corporate world for 23 years; and has published with Dorchester, Kensington, Avalon Books, The Wild Rose Press, Amazon Kindle Direct, Damnation Books and Eternal Press, and Amazon Publishing. Six years ago Kathryn crossed over into e-books as well as paperbacks and now all her old/new books are in ebooks...and soon to be in Audio Books from ACX.

She loves cats and nature, classic rock and country music (her brother, J. S. Meyer www.jsmeyermusic.com, is a singer/songwriter and does the songs for all her self-made book trailers that are on her websites). Kathryn loves to interact with her readers, so visit her at either of the following websites: www.myspace.com/kathrynmeyergriffithwww.bebo.com/kathrynmeyerG or www.authorsden.com/kathrynmeyergriffith to see all of her book covers and trailers.

Four Spooky Short Stories by Kathryn Meyer Griffith (2013)
Length: 103 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon!

Four Spooky Short Stories Blurb:

Four contemporary spooky short stories:

Ghost Brother

So what happens after you die? Do you go to heaven, or hell? Or do you go to a special place fashioned just for you based on the life you’d lived in the real world? Based on how you treated people? What you did to them?

And do ghosts exist? Do they roam the earth and plague the living, persuade them to do things they shouldn’t do?

Two brothers and their tale follow; their journey through life and death.

Do you believe in ghosts? Some do.


Running with the Train

Sarah has always been lonely. Searching for a love she’s begun to believe will never come. Her family and friends depend, need her…but they can’t give her what she wants. True, eternal love. Like the wolves have.

So she goes on an adventure of a lifetime to the Grand Canyon; rides the train from Williams to the South Rim and sees these huge wolves running alongside in the evening twilight; scurrying unbelievably below on the Canyon’s ledges among the trees. She’s told there are no wolves but she hears their haunting cries. No one else sees or hears them. Just her.

Has her loneliness made her crazy?


The Banshee and the Witch

What would you do to live forever, stay young forever? To find true love again?

And if you were a white witch with the magical powers to make it happen…and the secret of how to do it, would you?

So when the banshee comes calling for you one rainy dark night you’ll do what you have to do to get what you desire the most. More time.


Too Close to the Edge

Artist Penelope had been looking forward to going with her husband, sister and brother-in-law to see the Grand Canyon…even though she was terrified of heights and, when she got there, couldn’t bear to get too close to the edge. She watched people balancing on one foot, acting foolish, taking photos, oblivious of the death waiting below them. It scared her.

Especially when a woman relates a story of a small child that fell into the Canyon the day before. Over the edge.

Then she sees a young girl go over the rim and no one will believe her.

For there was no child that had died - that day anyway.

Was she seeing things that weren’t there, or was there another explanation?


May you read well and often

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

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 authors, Bookmooch and Amazon.

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 Education of George Washington: How a Forgotten Book Shaped the Character of a Hero by Austin Washington
- War of the Gods by Justine, Juan and Marco Borrego
- Schism: The Battle For Darracia by Michael Phillip Cash
- Mind Games by Christine Amsden

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! :))
- Mortom by Erik Therme
- Guardians Inc.: Thundersword by Julian Rosado-Machain
- Chasers by H. W. Vivian
- Traceless by Joanne Clancy
- The Dancing Boy by Michael Matson
- The Donor by Nikki Rae
- Tortured Souls by Kimber Leigh Wheaton
- Divine Sanctuary by Cheryl Kaye Tardif
- Rowena and the Viking Warlord by Melodie Campbell
- What it Was Like by Peter Seth
- Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast by Robin McKinley
- The Unholy by Paul DeBlassie III
- Me, on the Floor Bleeding by Jenny Jagerfeld

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
- Aquamarine by Alice Hoffman
- Pixie Tricks: The Wicked Wizard by Tracey West
- War of the Gods by Justine, Juan and Marco Borrego
- The Education of George Washington: How a Forgotten Book Shaped the Character of a Hero by Austin Washington

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

Books Read: 4
Pages Read: 874
Grade Range: A+! to A!

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