Tag Archives: Fiction

Win a Copy “The Host” from Stephenie Meyer

the host

Would you like to win a copy of “The Host” byStephenie Meyer? Well, of course you do!  If you don’t know what this book is about, here is some info about it:

The author of the Twilight series of # 1 bestsellers delivers her brilliant first novel for adults: a gripping story of love and betrayal in a future with the fate of humanity at stake.

Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of their human hosts while leaving their bodies intact, and most of humanity has succumbed.

Wanderer, the invading “soul” who has been given Melanie’s body, knew about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the too vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn’t expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

Melanie fills Wanderer’s thoughts with visions of the man Melanie loves-Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body’s desires, Wanderer yearns for a man she’s never met. As outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off to search for the man they both love.

Featuring what may be the first love triangle involving only two bodies, THE HOST is a riveting and unforgettable novel that will bring a vast new readership to one of the most compelling writers of our time.

I will be giving away 3 copies of this book. Unfortunately winners are limited to the US and Canada…sorry about that. I will be drawing the winners on June 29 so make sure to leave a comment.

Want to earn a chance for some extra entries?  Here’s how:

Blog about this on your blog and send me a link – 2 extra entries
Subscribe to my blog – 3 extra entries
Submit a recipe for one of my other blogs with a story behind it – 5 extra entries

To contact me see the link at the top of the blog.  Thanks so much and good luck!

***Please remember to have a valid email address so I know where to contact you and thanks!

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God Only Knows by Xavier Knight

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Julia Turner, an ambitious educator in her mid-thirties, leaves a high-profile job in Chicago to return to Dayton, Ohio to serve as superintendent of Christian Light, the K-12 private school system from which she graduated two decades earlier. A single mother with an ugly divorce and a complex childhood in her rearview mirror, Julia views her mission as a chance to contribute to her hometown and conquer the demons from her past. But she never expects to confront the one sin she and her childhood friends agree to bury as teens-the accident that left Eddie Walker hospitalized and incapacitated.

Meanwhile, Detective Peter Whitlock, Eddie Walker’s older bother, is still determined to find the person(s) responsible for his brother’s condition. As an unrelated investigation leads to another woman who is involved in the accident, the responsible parties must decide whether they will keep their dark secrets, or tell the truth and let God decide the outcome. 

 

This book centers around a racially charged crime.  Four black girls (Julia, Toya, Cassie, and Teri) meet when they attend Christian Light School in Ohio.  They are truly the minority as the school consists of almost all white students.  One fateful night their lives change – one of them is attacked and with help they are able to fend off the attacker, debilitating him in the process.

Each of the girls has moved on, and more than two decades later has gained success in their lives.  But, the memory of what happened all those years ago continues to haunt them.  

Julia Turner is raising her niece, and after an ugly divorce and tarnished childhood she agrees to go back to Christian Light and act as superintendent.  This might be her one chance to prove that she has what it takes and put all of her demons behind her.  What she doesn’t count on is Police Detective Peter Whitlock, the brother of the boy who was debilitated years earlier, still investigating his brothers crime, determined to bring the people responsible to justice.

This was a very believable tale – I could see how four girls could bond over a terrible tragedy and agree to keep a secret that would haunt them for the rest of their lives.  I really enjoyed how the characters interacted and how the author wove the story between the past and present.  A very good read!

  

Xavier Knight, pseudonym for C. Kelly Robinson, is Essence bestselling author of NOT ALL DOGS, BETWEEN BROTHERS, NO MORE MR. NICE GUY, THE STRONG SILENT TYPE, and THE PERFECT BLEND. Xavier is currently in Dayton, Ohio with his wife Kyra, busy at work on his next novel.

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Win a Copy of “The Turnaround” by George Pelecanos

the-turnaround

Would you like to win a copy of “The Turnaround” by George Pelecanos?  Here is some info about the book:

On a hot summer afternoon in 1972, three teenagers drove into an unfamiliar neighborhood and six lives were altered forever.

Thirty five years later, one survivor of that day reaches out to another, opening a door that could lead to salvation. But another survivor is now out of prison, looking for reparation in any form he can find it.

THE TURNAROUND takes us on a journey from the rock-and-soul streets of the ’70s to the changing neighborhoods of D.C. today, from the diners and auto garages of the city to the inside of Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital, where wounded men and women have returned to the world in a time of war. A novel of fathers and sons, wives and husbands, loss, victory and violent redemption,

THE TURNAROUND is another compelling, highly charged novel from George Pelecanos, “the best crime novelist in America.” -Oregonian

I will be giving away 5 copies of this book. Unfortunately winners are limited to the US and Canada…sorry about that. I will be drawing the winners on April 30 so make sure to leave a comment. Please remember to have a valid email address so I know where to contact you and thanks!
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Saffron Dreams by Shaila Abdullah

saffron-dreams

Join Shaila Abdullah, author of the novel, Saffron Dreams (Modern History Press), as she virtually tours the blogosphere in March on her first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion!

From the darkest hour of American history emerges a mesmerizing tale of tender love, a life interrupted, and faith recovered. Arissa Illahi, a Muslim artist and writer, discovers in a single moment that no matter how carefully you map your life, it is life itself that chooses your destiny.

After her husband’s death in the collapse of the World Trade Center, the discovery of his manuscript marks Arissa’s reconnection to life. Her unborn son and the unfinished novel fuse in her mind into one life-defining project that becomes, at once, the struggle for her emotional survival and the redemption of her race.

Saffron Dreams is a novel about our ever evolving identities and the events and places that shape them. It reminds us that in the midst of tragedy, our dreams can become a lasting legacy.

MY REVIEW:

I had a hard time putting this book down.  Shaila Abdullah’s “Saffron Dreams” is a book that will tug at your heartstrings and won’t let go.  Arissa Illahi marries the man of her dreams, a man she meets by chance and then meets again years later through a matchmaker, an age old tradition she despises but this time the matchmaker really did get it right.  Truly a marriage that was meant to be.

She has everything she could ask for: a strong marriage, the freedom to pursue her career without worrying about financial issues, and a child on the way.  Her husband’s dream of being a successful writer is still in the works so for the meantime he works in the World Trade Center.  And, on the morning of 9/11 she watches in horror as the planes strike not once but twice, changing her world and shaking her to her core.

She has so many decisions to make but the hardest part is going to be raising her child without a father.  She struggles with her feelings and even contemplates ending her life to try and end the pain that she feels.  But, she becomes a wonderful parent of a child that has some disabilities that require his dependance on his mother.  She also discovers a manuscript her husband had written and uses its contents to shape the life she intends to lead.

This is one of the most poignant books that I have read.  I think all Americans can remember where they were when the attack on the World Trade Center occured, but this author sheds a different light on it.  The writing is excellent and this book was very hard to put down.


Shaila Abdullah is an award-winning author and designer, based in Austin, Texas. Her creative work focuses on the strengths and weaknesses of Pakistani women and their often unconventional choices in life. Her debut book, Beyond the Cayenne Wall, is a collection of stories about Pakistani women struggling to find their individualities despite the barriers imposed by society.

Among other accolades, the book won the Norumbega Jury Prize for Outstanding Fiction and the DIY Festival Award. Abdullah received a grant from the Hobson Foundation for her new novel, Saffron Dreams which is about the trials and tribulations of a 9/11 Muslim widow.

Abdullah has written several short stories, articles, and personal essays for various publications, such as Dallas Child, Web Guru, About Families, Sulekha, Women’s Own, She, Fashion Collection and a magazine of the Daily Dawn newspaper called Tuesday Review, etc. She is a member of the Texas Writers’ League.

A Pakistani-American, Abdullah is also a seasoned print, web, and multimedia designer as well. See a complete bio at http://www.shailaabdullah.com/bio.html

SAFFRON DREAMS VIRTUAL BLOG TOUR ’09 will officially begin on March 2 and end on March 27. You can visit Shaila’s blog stops at www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com in March to find out more about this talented author!

As a special promotion for all our authors, Pump Up Your Book Promotion is giving away a FREE virtual book tour to a published author or a $50 Amazon gift certificate to those not published who comments on our authors’ blog stops. More prizes will be announced as they become available.

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The Girl She Used to Be by David Cristofano

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When Melody Grace McCartney was six years old, she and her parents witnessed an act of violence so brutal that it changed their lives forever.  The federal government lured them into the Witness Protection Program with the promise of safety, and they went gratefully.  But the program took Melody’s name, her home, her innocence, and, ultimately her family.  She’s been May Adams, Karen Smith, Anne Johnson, and countless others–everyone but the one person she longs to be: herself.  So when the feds spirit her off to begin yet another new life in  another town, she’s stunned when a man confronts her and calls her by her real name.  Jonathan Bovaro, the mafioso sent to hunt her down, knows her, the real her, and it’s a dangerous thrill that Melody can’t resist.  He’s insistent that she’s just a pawn in the government’s war against the Bovaro faimly.  But can trust her life and her identity to this vicious stranger whose acts of violence are legendary?

“All farewells should be sudden, when forever.”  This quote by Lord Byron is an appropriate lead into a very exciting, dramatic, and at times heartfelt journey of a young woman trying to become herself…literally.

Melody Grace McCartney has been anything but herself since the day, at the age of sic, she and her family were witness to a brutal mob hit and became part of the Federal Witness Protection Program.  What follows is a brief and at time heartbreaking account of what it is like to lose oneself.  And when Melody, a.k.a. Sandra Clarke, places the fateful call to the Feds saying she feels threatened, mostly out of boredom, she has no idea how truely threatened she really is.

I found this book hard to put down.  I thought that the characters were very believable and well written.  I also thought the premise for the story was intriguing and thanks to the great writing by the author, made the story jump off the pages.

And finally, the twist at the end lets the story end the way it needed to.  Suddenly.  As the reason for Lord Byron’s quote in the beginning of the book become very apparent. 

This was a great debut for the author and I can’t wait to see what’s next. Bravo!

David Cristofano has earned degrees in Government and Politics and Computer Science from the University of Maryland at College Park and has worked for different branches of the Federal Government for over a decade.  His short works have been published by Like Water Burning and McSweeneysHe currently works in the Washington D.C. area where he lives with his wife, son and daughter.  THE GIRL SHE USED TO BE  is his first novel.

 

Thanks so much to Miriam Parker of Hachette Book Group for sending this ARC to me for review!

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The Family Bones by Kimberly Raiser

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A New Home, A Loving Family, A Dark Secret 

 

Will they stay? Will they survive? The Weavers have inherited family property in Astral, Pennsylvania, a town so small that Mrs. Weaver can find no mention of it on the Internet, save for a tiny spot on Google Earth. Hoping for a simpler, small-town existence for their young family, Steven and Tara eagerly head to Astral to see what they hope will be their dream house. As they explore their potential new home, the Weavers begin to discover secret passageways, secret rooms, and long buried family truths; some difficult truths are revealed and no longer kept in the far reaches of the closet. There are reasons for everything, and sometimes the explanations are so simple. But sometimes, simple can also be horrifying.

With two little ones at home it is hard for me to fit time in for reading sometimes.  Sorry kids, but The Family Bones was a book I was literally unable to put down!

I have read a lot of books along these lines, horror and suspense being my favorite.  One of the things I enjoyed most about this book is that even though the events lead you to believe that some of this is not plausible, she somehow finds a way to make you believe that they could happen. 

This book is about the Weaver family.  After being willed an old farmhouse in Pennsylvania, they are looking forward to starting a life in a small town.  Upon exploring the house they find more than they bargained for: hidden rooms, secret passageways, and an encounter with a relative that they didn’t expect to be on the property.  

This is not your average suspense story.  The author has done a fabulous job of providing twists and turns that even the most seasoned suspense reader will delight in trying to figure out.  This is the first book by this author and I am anxious to read what else she has up her sleeve.  Great job! 

kimberly-raiser

Kimberly Raiser has led an interesting life so far. Her writings started with lots and lots of poetry. It wasn’t until Kimberly turned thirty that she decided to actually attempt to get published. Of course, it is rare that money can be made from being a published poet, and in order to write really thought provoking poetry her life needed to be in a general pit of despair, but along came this wonderful man who made her joyously happy! Low and behold, the fiction writer came out, and the poetry rested in the dusty pages of her past.Born and raised in New Jersey Kimberly always loved Science Fiction and Adventure. This would be real adventures, from firefighting to chasing down shoplifters, to up and moving to center city Philadelphia just for the experience!

 Now, residing in the Oldest City of our Nation, St. Augustine, Florida, Kimberly’s passion for adventure can be found on the pages of her prose turned stories. After a lengthy attempt at trying to finish the great novel she decided to focus on writing short stories to break into print.
 
After two years of gathering enough published short stories her collection of warped and witty thoughts are gathered together in “Stranded: Stories from the edge of infinity…”Kimberly has managed to drive both of her children and her loving husband insane with constant moments of, “Let me read this to you!”, or the all too famous, “Read this, it’s only a page!” Of course, her daughter always begs her to please read without doing the voices.
 
Kimberly did not have a third grade teacher by the name of Stephen King, but alas, here is something more exciting, her grandfather , Henry Kunicki (google it!) grew up with the famous physicist David Bohm  (Who worked with Albert Einstein, you’ve heard of him)!!! They used to fantasize about space travel together! This made for a family heavily influenced by Science Fiction!!! Now that is pretty cool.
 
The next book you will see on the shelves will be the Sci-Fi Thriller “The Family Bones”, Kimberly’s first full length novel. This is due to be released in October of 2008!!!
 
Also in the works is “Warped Factor of One” A collectin of really warped stuff!!! 
For more information about the book or the author please visit http://www.kimberlyraiser.vpweb.com
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The Bishop’s Daughter by Tiffany L. Warren

the-bishops-daughter 

Darrin Bainbridge is your typical playboy in need of love, but not yet ready. He is a freelance journalist trying to break his big story. After a visit from his mother, Darrin gets an idea. He has heard all kinds of stories about “Hollywood” ministers who hold their church services on television, live in nice houses, drive nice cars, and have lots of money and women. Darrin is disgusted by it all especially when his mother Priscilla starts shouting praises for Atlanta Bishop Kumal Prentiss. Darrin decides to go to Atlanta, become a member of the bishop’s church, and expose him for the hustling fraud that he believes he is. He just never planned on falling in love with the Bishop’s daughter.

Darrin suddenly finds himself torn between his new found friend and his possible big break. 

Darrin Bainbridge is a writer, and has been looking for his big break for quite some time.  Even though he is living off of  a trust fund, he feels he really needs to prove something to himself, and everyone else who doubts him.  He knows he’s got it in him, and when he sees Bishop Prentiss on the television a lightbulb goes off.  What preacher out there doesn’t have a few skeletons in their closet and how big would he be if he could expose them?

In order to get the details for his “expose”, Darrin moves to Atlanta and actually joins the church the Bishop is in charge of – Freedom of Life.  He never expects to be so enthralled by the Bishop’s delivery, and becomes and active member of the church.  He begins to wonder if this is one holy man that doesn’t have any secrets.  Is it possible, or will he find out some information that could make his career soar but take down the career of someone he has come to admire?

Tiffany L. Warren is a technology manager who lives in suburban Cleveland, Ohio with her husband and four children. She is also the author of the critically acclaimed novel, Farther Than I Meant to Go, Longer Than I Meant to Stay

Thanks so much to Miriam Parker of Hachette Book Group for sending this ARC to me for review!

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