Blog Tour For Not Without my Father: One Woman's 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace by Andra Watkins From January 19, 2015 to April 17, 2015 - Come Join Us!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Hello Everyone! I am extremely happy to announce that Andra Watkins will be touring the blogosphere to promote her Memoir Not Without my Father: One Woman's 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace. This virtual book tour is being hosted by Pump up Your Book and will last from January 19, to April 17, 2015!

Not Without my Father: One Woman's 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace Blog Tour Information:

Meet Andra Watkins

Andra Watkins lives in Charleston, South Carolina. A non-practicing CPA, she has a degree in accounting from Francis Marion University. She’s still mad at her mother for refusing to let her major in musical theater, because her mom was convinced she’d end up starring in porn films. In addition to her writing talent, Andra is an accomplished public speaker. Her acclaimed debut novel To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis was published by Word Hermit Press in 2014.

Her latest book is the memoir, Not Without My Father: One Woman’s 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace.

Connect and Socialize with Andra!

Website * Google+ * Facebook * Twitter * Tumblr * Pinterest * Goodreads

About Not Without my Father: One Woman's 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace:

Can an epic adventure succeed without a hero? Andra Watkins needed a wingman to help her become the first living person to walk the historic 444-mile Natchez Trace as the pioneers did. She planned to walk fifteen miles a day. For thirty-four days.

After striking out with everyone in her life, she was left with her disinterested eighty-year-old father. And his gas. The sleep apnea machine and self-scratching. Sharing a bathroom with a man whose gut obliterated his aim.

As Watkins trudged America’s forgotten highway, she lost herself in despair and pain. Nothing happened according to plan, and her tenuous connection to her father started to unravel. Through arguments an laughter, tears and fried chicken, they fought to rebuild their relationship before it was too late. In Not Without My Father: One Woman’s 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace, Watkins invites readers to join her dysfunctional family adventure in a humorous and heartbreaking memoir that asks if one can really turn I wish I had into I’m glad I did.

Purchase Your Copy From Amazon!

Not Without my Father: One Woman's 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace Book Publicity Tour Schedule


Monday, January 19 - First Chapter Reveal at Pump Up Your Book
Tuesday, January 20 - Interview at PUYB Virtual Book Club
Wednesday, January 21 - Guest Blogging at What Is That Book About
Wednesday, January 21 - Book Featured at Bound 2 Escape
Thursday, January 22 - First Chapter Reveal at Literarily Speaking
Monday, January 26 - Book Featured at Undercover Book Reviews
Tuesday, January 27 - Interview at The Writer’s Life
Wednesday, January 28 - Book Featured at Authors and Readers Book Corner
Thursday, January 29 - Book Featured at Confessions of a Reader
Friday, January 30 - Guest Blogging at Emeraldfire’s Bookmark
Friday, January 30 - Book Featured at Fallen Over Book Reviews
Monday, February 2 - Book Featured at Examiner
Tuesday, February 3 - Book Featured at CBY Book Club
Thursday, February 5 - Guest Blogging at Mommy Adventures with Ravina
Monday, February 9 - Book Review at Emeraldfire’s Bookmark
Tuesday, February 10 - Book Featured at Peeking Between the Pages
Wednesday, February 11 - Book Review at Perfectly Unperfect
Thursday, February 12 - Book Featured at Celtic Lady Reviews
Monday, February 16 - Interview at Fabulous and Fun
Tuesday, February 17 - Guest Blogging at Lori’s Reading Corner
Wednesday, February 18 - Book Featured at 2 Kids and Tired Books
Thursday, February 19 - Book Review at BookNAround
Thursday, February 19 - Guest Blogging at My Life. One Story at a Time.
Monday, February 23 - Book Review at Reccaspieces
Tuesday, February 24 - Guest Blogging at FarmGirl
Wednesday, February 25 - Book Featured at The Book Connection
Friday, February 27 - Book Review at Laura’s Interests
Monday, March 2 - First Chapter Reveal at Review From Here
Tuesday, March 3 - Book Review at The Discerning Reader
Wednesday, March 4 - Book Review and Interview at Our Families Adventure
Thursday, March 5 - Book Featured at StoreyBook Reviews
Monday, March 9 - Guest Blogging at The Busy Mom’s Daily
Tuesday, March 10 - Guest Blogging at Mythical Books
Wednesday, March 11 - Book Featured at The Literary Nook
Thursday, March 12 - Guest Blogging at The Story Behind the Book
Monday, March 16 - Guest Blogging at Carol’s Notebook
Tuesday, March 17 - First Chapter Reveal at Literal Exposure
Thursday, March 19 - Book Featured at Maureen’s Musings
Monday, March 23 - First Chapter Reveal at As the Page Turns
Tuesday, March 24 - Book Featured at My Life, Loves and Passion
Thursday, March 26 - Guest Blogging at My Book Addiction and More
Monday, April 6 - First Chapter Reveal at Read My First Chapter
Tuesday, April 7 - Book Review at Booknerd
Friday, April 10 - Book Review at The Literary Nook
Monday, April 13 - Book Review and Guest Blogging at Chick With Books
Tuesday, April 14 - Book Review at My Book Retreat
Wednesday, April 15 - First Chapter Reveal at I’m Shelf-ish
Thursday, April 16 - Book Review at My Life. One Story at a Time.
Friday, April 17 - Not Without My Father Book Tour Highlights at PUYB Virtual Book Club

May you read well and often

Giving Thanks For Our Many Blessings This Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Graphics
Facebook Graphics, Thanksgiving Graphics at WishAFriend.com

I hope that all my blog readers in the United States have a very happy Thanksgiving! May your Thanksgiving be filled with great food, wonderful friendship and all the family ties that you may wish for. :) So, Mom and I had turkey and gravy, roast potatoes and mashed potatoes; and mom had brussel sprouts while I had canned peaches for dessert. We also had strawberry rhubarb pie and apple pie with custard. After that, we may watch a movie or read books for the entire day! :)

May all of you have a wonderfully safe and blessed Thanksgiving. Be sure to find some quiet time for yourselves and count your blessings today when and if you can. I know that I'm incredibly thankful for my continued health and happiness, my mom's continued health and happiness, that we are both comfortable and love each other as much as we do, and that our family is as well as they are. We are also incredibly thankful for our three kitties - Ruby, Leila and Lollipop.

I also hope that everyone who is away from their families at this time, will know that they are sorely missed, truly loved and deeply appreciated by all! God bless all of you, may you have a very happy and wonderful Thanksgiving! :)

May you read well and often

I Just Joined The Society of Feathers - So Can You - You Can Spread the Word About The Society of Feathers Series by Emma Michaels!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I'm delighted to announce that that the first book of Emma Michaels' Society of Feathers Series - Owlet - will go sale for $0.99 on Amazon from Friday, December 26, to Friday, January 9, 2015! To celebrate this sale, Ms. Michaels tells me that she has created a project on Thunderclap and has named it "Owlet $0.99 Sale!". All that is required is that the supporters of her project buy a copy of Owlet - or get it for free on Kindle Unlimited - and then embed the following message on Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr: “** $0.99 or #Free on #KindleUnlimited ** ~ OWLET ~ Somewhere between falling and flying… there is a girl."

Ms. Michaels hopes to get 100 supporters on board and joining her cause by the time that Owlet goes on sale on Friday, December 26, 2014! I know that she will appreciate your support very much. So now, go forth and spread the word! :)


May you read well and often

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

Saturday, November 15, 2014


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

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

Meet Kimber Leigh Wheaton

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

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

Tortured Souls Blurb:

Sometimes Rest in Peace isn't an option

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

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

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

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


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



May you read well and often

Calling All Book Reviewers!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Well, with Christmas a little over a month and a half away, I thought that I would alert you to some early Christmas gifts - for yourself or someone you love! Kathryn Meyer Griffith would like to offer up for your reading pleasure, her popular horror books A Time of Demons, Dinosaur Lake and Dinosaur Lake II: Dinosaurs Arising; all of which are currently available to download through Amazon or Audible.

You can choose from a variety of spooky characters to read about: from demons determined to bring about Armageddon, all the way to ravenous dinosaurs roaming through Oregon, and everything in between - just take your pick!

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.


Before the End: A Time of Demons by Kathryn Meyer Griffith (2010)
Length: 478 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon and Audible!

Before the End: A Time of Demons Blurb:

Since Cassandra Graystone was a child and her family perished in a fire she knows and sees things other people don’t…when someone will die or that a demon lurks beneath a human skin. She sees phantoms. Yet she craves a simple life singing out with her musician brother, Johnny, and caring for her elderly aunt and uncle; to be with her friends, Sarah, a psychic, and Walter, a clown in a carnival circuit. But when Sarah sees apocalyptic events in her tarot cards and demons are everywhere, Cassandra fears she’s going insane or something terrifying is happening in the world.

Rayner, an ancient blood demon, lodges next door. He becomes obsessed with her. Never having felt pity or affection for a human before he believes he loves her, would die to protect her. The demon realm gathers for the final confrontation between us, Rayner warns. The apocalypse comes. You and your friends must prepare.

Cassandra flees that knowledge until an angelic being, Manasseh, appears. Your powers will grow. You must fight for humanity’s survival after the first wave is taken. Seek out others like you. Persuade them to join the battle. Only these can see and challenge the demons until the end when all eyes see them. She doesn’t want her life to change; doesn’t want to be a nomad who battles demons. Doesn’t want to be anyone’s protector.

Until a tornado flattens Sarah’s house. Johnny’s apartment. There are monsters maiming and killing everywhere. Demons persecute her and those she loves, burn down her home and force her family and friends onto the road, as everywhere cataclysmic weather and signs of the end days make things hellish for humans. Cassandra and her friends can no longer deny their destinies. They must fight…or see the remnants of humanity engulfed in flames.


Dinosaur Lake by Kathryn Meyer Griffith (2012)
Length: 451 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon and Audible!
 
Dinosaur Lake Blurb:

Ex-cop Henry Shore has been Chief Park Ranger at Crater Lake National Park for eight years and he likes his park and his life the way it's been. Safe. Tranquil. Predictable. But he's about to be tested in so many ways. First the earthquakes begin, people begin to go missing, then there's some mysterious water creature that's taken up residence in the caves below Crater Lake and it's not only growing in size, it's aggressive and cunning and very hungry.

And it's decided it likes human beings. To eat.

And it can come up onto land.

So Henry, with the help of his wife, Ann; a young paleontologist named Justin; and a band of brave men, must not only protect his park and his people from the monster but somehow find where it lives and destroy it before it can kill again.

Now Dinosaur Lake by Kathryn Meyer Griffith is a 2014 EPIC EBOOK AWARDS *FINALIST* in their Suspense/Thriller category.


Dinosaur Lake II: Dinosaurs Arising by Kathryn Meyer Griffith (2014)
Length: 248 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon and Audible!

Dinosaur Lake II: Dinosaurs Arising Blurb:

Prehistoric creatures have again invaded Crater Lake National Park…and this time there’s more than one.

Henry Shore has been Chief Park Ranger at Crater Lake National Park for thirteen years now and thought the days when he’d had to fight a rogue dinosaur that lived in the caves below the lake were long over.

Until one of his park rangers, to save a visitor’s life, is in a deadly struggle out in the woods with a new breed of dinosaur worse than the last one. It’s as big as a man, but this one is a young one. And growing.

Then more of the creatures begin to show up everywhere, threatening people and destroying the tranquility and safety of his beloved park.

A tourist trolley filled with fifteen people is snatched up off the crater’s rim by another version of the younger one…but this one has grown into a giant with fangs, claws and a deadly tail. And this one has wings. Ugly Gargoyles, Henry calls them. For this one isn’t alone. They’re flying beyond the park’s boundaries into the neighboring towns.

So Henry, with the help of his son-in-law, a paleontologist named Justin, and a band of brave park rangers, and a few good soldiers, must not only protect his park and his people from monsters once more but find their lair and destroy it and them before the creatures kill again.

May you read well and often

Night Terror's Mama D. Muses on Halloween

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Meet Jeff Gunhus

Jeff Gunhus is the author of both adult thrillers and the Middle Grade/YA series, The Templar Chronicles. The first book, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born. His book Reaching Your Reluctant Reader has helped hundreds of parents create avid readers. As a father of five, he and his wife lead an active lifestyle simply trying to keep up with their kids. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of the City Dock Cafe in Annapolis working on his next novel.

His latest book is the thriller/horror novel, Night Terror.

Connect and Socialize with Jeff!

Website * Facebook * Twitter

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Sequel to the Amazon Bestseller Night Chill.

Ten years after her abduction and near-sacrifice to the Source, Sarah Tremont struggles to be a normal teenager. As much as she’s tried to suppress the power inside of her, it’s grown dangerously strong and has drawn the attention of those who want to possess her power for themselves.

The nightmare that she thought was long over starts again as powerful forces descend upon Prescott City to seek her out. With help from her parents and Joseph Lonetree, Sarah must stand up to an evil much more powerful than the one she faced in the caves a decade earlier. But in the end, she discovers the greatest danger might come from the power living inside of her.
 
Coming to Amazon on 8 September 2014!

I would like to welcome Jeff Gunhus, author of Night Terror to Emeraldfire's Bookmark. Mr. Gunhus was kind enough to allow one of his characters - Mama D. - to write a guest post for me and here it is below in 'her' own words:

'How Much Do I Hate Halloween...Let Me Count the Ways!'
by Jeff Gunhus

Mama D hated Halloween. All of the regular folk, the ones who crossed themselves when the wind howled through trees on a dark night, or turned on all the lights in the house because of a single creaking floorboard, pretended for a night that they enjoyed the macabre. Only they didn’t enjoy it. They mocked it, hoping in their primal brains that such mocking would immunize them from the very real world of terror that lurked in the unlit places ready to reach out, touch them on their bare skin and make them unclean.

Mama D scanned the revelers in the street with her eyes closed. The information she wanted wasn’t the kind reflected light could give her. It was the kind she could feel only using the acute senses she’d been born with, the senses that had enabled her to hunt and to feed for the last century. She breathed in deep as she sensed a pesh with a little bit of the gift inside pass her by. It wasn’t enough though. She thought she could find better so she waited. And she watched.

She knew there were others like her around the country, taking advantage of this night where inhibitions were lowered, where protective parents let their children run wild on a sugar-high up and down streets. Nowadays parents had become increasingly paranoid and usually made feeding more of a challenge. That and law enforcement was better than ever so Mama D and her kind had to be smart. The last thing she wanted was to end up in jail or, more likely, under some scientist’s knife once they realized what she really was.

Mama D shut out those dark thoughts and looked back over the crowd in the street. She sensed a powerful young pesh walking toward her and she felt her hunger rise in her chest. The crush of the crowd would make things easy for her. As she opened her eyes and spotted the young trick-or-treater walking her way she though that maybe she had it all wrong. Maybe Halloween was going to be fun this year after all.

May you read well and often

Jeff Gunhus - Night Terror

54. Night Terror by Jeff Gunhus (2014)
The Night Chill Series Book 2
Length: 382 pages
Genre: Horror
Started: 31 October 2014
Finished: 11 November 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 22 September 2014
Why do I have it? I like horror and Jeff Gunhus is a new author for me.

A decade ago, the residents of Prescott City, Maryland experienced a minor earthquake - as the result of a massive mine collapse and an expansive sinkhole that opened up in the area. Several people had died in the limestone cave-in, and their loved ones still mourned their deaths. At least, this was the official version of what happened.

However, for a select few members of community, the reality of what actually happened so long ago still haunts them. Sixteen-year-old Sarah Tremont and her family's recovery has been very slow; Sarah was abducted ten years ago by a bloodthirsty cult and very nearly sacrificed to an ancient entity known as the Source. For Jack and Lauren Tremont - Sarah's parents - the knowledge that so many of their friends and neighbors were actually child murderers is horrific, but it is also knowledge they are willing to keep to themselves for the sake of the grieving families who were left behind; as revealing such gruesome information would only cause immeasurable anguish to people who knew absolutely nothing about their loved ones murderous and bloodthirsty double lives.

As far as her parents are concerned, Sarah's memories of her kidnapping and near death were mercifully blocked, and she can't remember anything of what happened to her. The truth is that Sarah remembers every last detail of her abduction and knows that she almost died, but since it eases her parents' minds to believe that Sarah has forgotten such a traumatic event, she is glad to give her parents some peace after what they all survived. In reality, her abduction has awakened an immense power within Sarah, one which she struggles to control to the best of her ability.

Determined not to frighten her parents, Sarah keeps her powers to herself and tries to be a normal teenager. However, as much as she has tried to suppress the power inside of her, it has grown dangerously strong and has drawn the attention of those who want to possess her power for themselves. The nightmare that she once believed was over, begins again as powerful forces descend upon Prescott City to seek her out.

Now, with her parents help and the help of an ex-Navy SEAL named Joseph Lonetree - someone who knows all about the evilness that was unleashed by that mine collapse ten years ago - Sarah must stand up to an evil much stronger and infinitely more powerful than the one she faced in the caves a decade earlier. But in the end, she discovers the greatest danger just might come from the power living inside of her.

I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The story was very well-written, although certainly very shocking in some of the imagery that was created. I was completely immersed in the story by the end of the first chapter, and wrapped up in the Tremont family's plight. These characters were so well-developed and I avidly wanted to know what would happen to them next.

Night Terror can be read as a standalone, perhaps, because Night Chill is referenced so strongly; but I think I may have enjoyed reading Night Chill first - although, that's only because I'm a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to reading books in a series. I give Night Terror by Jeff Gunhus a definite A!

A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often

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

Saturday, November 8, 2014

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

Meet Jenny Milchman

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And maybe something even more than that.

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

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

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

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

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

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

May you read well and often

Mike Hartner - I, James

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

53. I, James by Mike Hartner (2014)
The Eternity Series Book 2
Length: 235 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Started: 30 October 2014
Finished: 5 November 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 6 October 2014
Why do I have it? I like historical fiction and have read and enjoyed I, Walter by this author in the past.

Born on September 21, 1613, James Luis Juan Crofter was the second son of English merchant seaman turned ruler of the Iberian Empire, Walter Crofter and his wife, Maria, Princess of Castile. For the next eleven years, young James lived a privileged life as a much-favored prince near the port of San Sabastian on the west coast of Spain. Then on his eleventh birthday, in the year 1624, James is unceremoniously ripped from his family.

Kidnapped and sold into slavery by a ruthless man, who just happens to be his father's estranged brother, James is subsequently shipped off to a tobacco plantation in Africa. For the next five years, James toiled away in enforced servitude, and the prince became a veritable pauper - a stranger living in a strange land. He dreamed of the day when he would be free and be able to return to his loving family. 

As James quietly plots and plans for the day that he will eventually escape; he prepares himself for life beyond the plantation. James secretly promises himself that he will return someday to ensure freedom for the other slaves - people whom James considers to be honorary members of his much missed and longed for family. The question that continually haunts James' thoughts is: Is it possible that nature is stronger than nurture? And even if it is, will James still be able to find the happiness that he so richly desires?

I really enjoyed reading this book. The plot was as engaging as I, Walter and I found myself hoping that James would be able to find his family very soon, and overcome the many obstacles that were in his way. The characters and plot were well-developed, and I could sympathize with so many of the characters. I also hoped that others would receive appropriate justice or punishment. 

I would give I, James by Mike Hartner an A! This is the second book in The Eternity Series, and I look forward to reading the next book in the series, which I think will focus on the life of James' daughter, Mary Crofter.

A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often

Introducing Sceadu by Prashant Pinge!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Hello Everyone! I'm delighted to announce that Prashant Pinge - author of children's fiction, young adult fantasy, historical fiction and romantic comedy - will be hosting an awesome giveaway from December 1, to December 21, 2014 to celebrate the release of his newest young adult fantasy novel Sceadu. Sceadu: Your Shadow Holds a Secret was released just today, so go and grab your own copy as soon as possible!


Sceadu: Your Shadow Holds a Secret by Prashant Pinge (2014)
Length: 227 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon!

Sceadu Blurb:

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

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

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

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

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

May you read well and often

Reading Wrap-up For October at Emeraldfire's Bookmark

Saturday, November 1, 2014


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 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 :))
- A Murder Country: A Novel by Brandon Daily
- The Donor Part Three by Nikki Rae
- Order of the Seers by Cerece Rennie Murphy

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! :))
- I, James by Mike Hartner
- A Glimpse of Forever by Linda O. Johnston
- The Knave and the Maiden by Blythe Gifford
- Seduction by Amanda Quick
- Duchess by Night by Eloisa James
- The Donor: The Full Novella by Nikki Rae
- Owlet by Emma Michaels
- God's Formula by James Lepore and Carlos Davis
- Torch Ginger by Toby Neal
- Blood Orchids by Toby Neal

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
- A Murder Country: A Novel by Brandon Daily
- The Donor Part Three by Nikki Rae
- High Noon by Nora Roberts

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

Books Read: 3
Pages Read: 486
Grade Range: A!

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! :)