Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sunday Review: American Sniper by Chris Kyle , Scott McEwen, Jim DeFelice

Title: American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Writers Coffee Shop Presents: Guest Post: Shadows Have Gone by Lissa Bryan

Shadows Have Gone

Book 3 of End of All Things Series
by Lissa Bryan
Release Date: March 26 , 2015
Genre: FICTION / Dystopian/ Romance / General  ISBN e-book:    978-1-61213-375-1
Available from: Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and TWCS PH

Carly Daniels knows what it is to suffer loss. She knows what it is to sacrifice. In the two years since a pandemic virus—known only as the Infection—decimated humanity, she’s made choices she never could have imagined. She’s condoned violence in the name of peace and done the unthinkable in the name of mercy. But with Justin at her side, she’s also learned there’s nothing she can’t face and nothing she wouldn’t do to protect those she loves.
But now another threat has arrived in the form of a uniformed man driving an army truck, claiming to represent the remnant of the United States military. Someone has set their sights on their community . . . and on Justin. The struggle to defend their little homeland is far from over, and the visitors may have brought more danger with them than just their weapons.
The shadows are closing in. Carly has to find out whether she has the strength to stand on her own when all of her support has fallen away. What remains when the shadows have gone?


You’ve chosen to write a Dystopian Series, did you draw inspiration from any existing authors or novels? If so which ones and what do you think drew you to them in the first instance?

I love to read stories about ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, and dystopian novels fit that bill perfectly.
The End of All Things series owes some of its genesis to Stephen King’s The Stand, one of my favorite dystopian novels. It, too, is about a pandemic virus and a journey toward a new home, though my novel is without the paranormal elements.
King’s novel was originally set in the 1970s, and today we’re even more reliant on technology. We take so many things for granted … clean, fresh water at the tap of a lever — hot or cold, depending on preference … central heating … instant communication via cell phone or computer … fast, safe travel … medical assistance if we’re ill or hurt … My characters suddenly inhabit a world where none of these things exist anymore and they have to learn to improvise.
One thing I always felt missing from dystopian novels was the emotional trauma that would happen to all of the survivors. Watching the death of everyone they knew and the collapse of civilization would be a horrific trauma that the survivors would be dealing with for years to come. I wanted to explore how it would affect different people, as well.
I was striving for realism in the novels, because it’s always irked me when I see things like the cars still operating in The Walking Dead over a year after the disaster happened, or the electricity still being on in Zombieland. I wanted to try to avoid those kind of blunders, so it took a lot of research — which led me down some interesting paths. I now know how to skin a ‘gator, in case that situation ever comes up.
“There’s other news,” Justin said. “We made contact with a man driving an army truck.”
“The army?”
“Someone with the army?”
“There’s an army?”
“Whose army?” Pete’s voice rang above the excited babble.
“That’s the right question,” Justin said. “Whose army? He might have been wearing a uniform and claiming affiliation, but I have my doubts.”
“He claimed to be from the US Army?”
Claimed,” Justin said, stressing the word hard. “And his claim had a few inconsistencies. I was in the Army, and I know. Whatever this guy is a part of, it’s not the army as we knew it.”
“What did he want?”
“Said he was out scouting and saw the smoke. He agreed to leave a message outside of Clayton if his people want to get in contact with us again. And I would imagine they will.”
“Last thing we need is another fight,” Grady said. He took off his hat and wiped the sweat from his forehead. “You think they know where we are?”
“General area. We wouldn’t be that hard to find if someone was really searching for us. If they’re really army, then yes, they know exactly where we are as we speak. But as I said, I have my doubts.”
“Think it will come to a fight?” Pete asked.
Justin scratched his chin. “I really can’t say. What I can say is that we always need to be prepared for it, prepared to defend what is ours.”
“What if they really are the army? Would we be America again?”
“Wait. When did we stop being America?”
“America is dead.” This came from David, his voice as blunt as a dropped stone. “We all saw it die two years ago. I don’t know what we are now, but the Constitution sure ain’t in effect anymore. There’s no government. There’s no social contract holding us together. That’s what America was, you know—a collective agreement of the people. Now we’re just—” He sliced a hand through the air.
“If the army is still active, that would mean there is a government, which would make this still America,” Grady said. “They’d be the government’s representatives, establishing order.”
Justin shook his head. “You’re thinking way too far ahead. Even if they are US Army—and that’s a very big if—they don’t have control of the whole country. There is no centralized government, no law enforcement. They’re not coming to rescue us.”
Lissa Bryan is an astronaut, renowned Kabuki actress, Olympic pole vault gold medalist, Iron Chef champion, and scientist who recently discovered the cure for athlete's foot...though only in her head. Real life isn't so interesting, which is why she spends most of her time writing.
She is the author of four other novels, Ghostwriter, The End of All Things, its sequel, The Land of the Shadows, and Under These Restless Skies.
2010.10.26_Giveaway-01 a Rafflecopter giveaway
Praise for Shadows Have Gone
"I laughed, I cried, I was gently amused, but what could I expect? Times are tough, no one is trustworthy and yet there is a sweet innocence about some characters that hit you right between the eyes; they are always so positive and wanting to see the best in others. Once again, Lissa Bryan has taken the handoff from a previous book and run with it at breakneck speeds with barely a misstep in sight!"  - Dianne
After a terrible virus ravages the planet, Carly Daniels, one of the few survivors, hides in her apartment in Juneau trying to survive the best she can with only occasional forays to gather food. With her is Sam, a wolf puppy she found starving on the streets. He becomes her companion and a reason to continue when giving up sometimes seems like the more attractive option. Still dazed with shock and grief, she hopes for the world to go back to normal soon.
She is discovered by Justin, an ex-soldier who is intent on making his way to Florida before the winter sets in. Justin coaxes her out of her hiding place and convinces her to join him on his journey, because a warmer climate will be their best chance against the extremes of Mother Nature.
Together, they begin a perilous journey through a nation laid to waste by the disaster. Challenges abound along the way. The weather, injury, and shortage of supplies all help to slow them down. In time, they discover that they aren’t the only survivors. Some are friendly but some have had their minds destroyed by the high fever. Then there are those who simply take what they want, leaving Carly and Justin with no choice but to defend what is theirs.
But their journey is not without joy and love. Together, they face every struggle, including an unplanned pregnancy. Despite the perils of bringing a child into a world of chaos, their baby is a new beginning for themselves and a symbol of hope for the other survivors they find along the way.
This is the story of their journey to find a place to begin a new life, and a home in each other.
Tales from the End Book 1.5

The Horsemen

L.A.'s mayor has declared quarantine to try to halt the spread of the Infection. Pearl sets off across the city to buy supplies, but already the world is changing. Something strange is in the air. The Horsemen are coming ...Veronica
When Veronica's mother doesn't come home from work and no one answers the phone when she calls for help, a nine-year-old girl is thrown into the chaos of a world coming to an end. Veronica decides it's up to her to find her family. "Veronica" is the story of a little girl's courage in the face of the end of all things."I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud"
They called her Shadowfax-- the mare Carly and Justin found on their travels. But before she was found by Carly, the retired dressage horse was known as Cloud. An unusual tale of the end, told through the eyes of a confused and lonely horse, left in her pasture.Birthday
(A previously-published bonus story.) Carly knows Justin has never celebrated his birthday, and after society crumbled, no one knows what date it is, anyway. But she wants to do something special for him. Celebrating the little things helps them keep hope alive, and as a blizzard rages outside, a small gesture of love warms their home.
Tales of courage, tales of survival... Tales from the End.
The Land of The Shadow Book 2
After surviving the Infection and a perilous journey through the wasteland that was once the United States, Carly and Justin have found a safe home in the isolated town of Colby.Even so, balancing the duties of survival and a growing family isn’t easy. As they emerge as leaders, they face difficult questions about justice in a lawless land, basic human rights, and freedom in a world where strength defines worth. More than ever, they have to rely on one another for strength and support during the darkest of times.
The Crisis is far from over. Their fences won’t keep the world out forever, and a new threat is emerging—a gang of predators who see the town as easy pickings. When danger looms over Colby, Carly must decide how far she’ll go to protect those she loves.
It’s a journey down the long and broken road through The Land of the Shadow.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Monday Night Randomness

Warning ... this post might contain things that you disagree with ... this is of course simply my opinion....

The other day I was talking with an author friend and its really gotten me to think. It started as a simple, have you ever noticed something or other about historical and paranormal romance book covers and it sparked into something more.

I don't understand feminism. Merriam-Webster's definition is "The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities" or "Organized activity in support of women's rights and interest."

This I understand. That makes sense. Equality.

So what is going on in this world today where everyone is up in arms whenever a woman chooses something that others deem 'less?'

When TWILIGHT hit in popularity I remember reading comments and articles about how this book set women back decades. And how other "vampire" books do that as well. I keep asking myself, "Why, why is this setting women back?" Then as an author I'm thinking "Am I contributing to the regression of my gender?"

The answer is no. Because true feminism is about equality. Men are allowed to pick and choose what they like, what they want, what their preferences are. So why can't women?

According to the RWA (Romance Writers of America) the top book genres contain Erotica, Paranormal and Historical Romance. Do you know what those genres have in common? Strong male leads.

Pick up any historical romance and tell me there's a strong female shouting out orders and commanding the man of the house, telling him what to do. You won't find it. Yes, women tend to do their little tricks and command men in their own ways, but its subtle.

Try an erotic novel, who is the dominating factor there? The man. Sure, you have the stories with women who are the dominants and what not, but I would have to argue that's more of a sub-genre of erotica, not a general theme of erotica.

Also look at any popular PNR novel, again strong alpha males. Look at the top authors in that field, J. R. Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Karen Marie Moning ... do any of them have women who command the men as the strong alpha? No.

Now these genres all have strong women. But not women who dominate the roles. So why are women who choose to read these novels, or the authors who write them, being told they are hurting feminism?

If by definition feminism is the ability to choose whatever someone wishes, isn't that actually supporting feminism?

I even heard someone I work with say that this whole "BDSM craze is bad for women because it means we're being controlled." I told that co-worker that means she truly didn't understand what the BDSM concept was. Because anyone who actually studies it as a lifestyle or researches it for personal reasons (writing for me) would tell you the reality is, women who submit have all the power.

But back to my conversation with my friend. I'm still confused, what is so bad about a chivalrous guy? I tell you what, I love with my husband opens the door for me. When he waits on me for whatever reason. And I love it more when he dominates me. And I don't mean that sexually. I mean when he says "we are doing this or that." Do you know why? That's just one less decision I have to make. It's one less thing I have to worry about.

And that's why I think these genres are so popular now. Because women have so much pressure because of feminism. We are being forced to carry a lot of burden and at the end of the day, we just want to be taken care of.

I know this is all pretty random and kinda out of nowhere but ever since Amy and I talked about it that's what I've been thinking about. I went into Walgreens on Saturday and was looking at book covers. She was right, she told me the PNR or historical fiction predominately had an image of a man either larger than the woman, in a protective stance, or in a controlling position. And she was right.

Women just love an alpha. I also think it is why we love the 'bad boy' because they are going to be more likely to do these 'things' we all want. Unlike the good sweet boy next door guy.

So take it for what you want. Leave your opinion. I'm very curious as to what others think. Thanks for reading and have a happy Monday night :)

Interview Catherine MacDonald


Purchase AMAZON


Francesca Bernard is a vintner in the Sonoma Valley who just can't seem to perfect her wine, her finances, and her love life. She finds herself torn between the man she lives with and the man she loves. A letter arrives from a long-lost cousin encouraging her to travel to Italy to uncover the secret to her wine and her heart. Tension is tight around the vineyard, so she leaps at the chance. Once in Italy, her cousin notices Francesca's torment and convinces her to visit the local seer, who is known to help lost souls. The old woman propels Francesca back through time on a heart-pounding quest where she visits three lives where her survival was in jeopardy. Armed with the secrets and truths, she finally understands how the love, lust, and revenge they have endured for centuries holds the answers to their present survival. 
Magna gathered Francesca's hands into her own cool gnarled ones and stroked them lightly. "Listen dearie. No one is allowing you to remain innocent and stuck on the wheel of life and death for eternity, but yourself. Even though the mind forgets, the soul remembers. Hopefully by examining these lifetimes you will understand the truth. You are responsible for the life you have--no one else." 
From Sonoma, Italy, and the Middle Ages Francesca travels to uncover the truth of the wine and the two men who have fought over her for centuries. Romancing the Vines is the sweeping romance of Francesca, Enrico, and Giancarlo and the secret to the wine that has been eluding her for centuries.


1)      Tell us about your book and why you chose to write it. Romancing the Vines is the sequel to Seasons of the Vineyard. I’ve never written a sequel before, but I was asked by several people: What happened to Giancarlo? (He was the very bad boy in Seasons.) Did Francesca and Enrico get married? What happened to the vineyard? I started asking myself these questions and the book flowed. I really had no idea she would travel to the past for the answers, but after visiting France, the plot just came, and the secret to the grapes surfaced. In Seasons, Francesca is a frustrated vintner. She really didn’t want to be a vintner, but her father became ill and she returned home to a vineyard in chaos. She becomes determined to save the vineyard and uncover the secret to the wine, which was buried with her mother. When she meets the bad boy of Sonoma, Giancarlo, she falls fast and the tension between her and Enrico escalates. Fast forward to Romancing the Vines. There is strain between Enrico and Francesca’s relationship. She has not married him like she promised. The grapes are not plump. The vineyard is failing, and she receives a letter from a long lost cousin in Italy. In typical Francesca-style, she decides to abandon the vineyard and her responsibility. In Italy she meets a seer who propels her back through time on a quest where she visits three lives in which her survival and the grapes were in jeopardy. Armed with the secrets and the truths, she finally understands how the love, lust, and revenge the three of them have endured for centuries holds the answers to her present survival and the survival of the grapes.

2) If you could be one character inside of your book who would it be and why? Giancarlo, because I have a very naughty streak inside.

3) Who is your favorite author and what is your favorite books? That’s like asking a vintner what’s your favorite wine! Usually, it’s the one you’re crafting at the moment. So usually, it’s the book I’m reading at the moment. My favorite authors include Madeline L’Engle, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Alice Hoffman, Sue Miller, Anne Rivers Siddons. My favorite book of all time: The Wizard of Oz because there is no place like home.

4) What made you start writing? The nuns kept beating my hands with a ruler because I couldn’t stop talking. Writing made perfect sense and kept my hands free from pain.

5) Who is the one person that has inspired you the most in your writing? My dog (s). Some of them have passed on, but I know I will see them again someday and we will run through the fields together. Currently, my doodle, Lulu, listens intently, and snores by my side.

6) Is there some place in the world that you just HAVE to go to and write about? Yes. I have to go back to France because I know I lived there in a past life.

7) Who is your book boyfriend? Matthew Clairmont, the handsome vampire from Deborah Harkness’ All Souls Trilogy. To be that sexy after fifteen hundred years!

8) If you could have one person read the book for audio purposes who would be your star celebrity? My book? Shirley Maclaine—she gets the past life theory.

9) What do you have coming down the pipe in the future? The Era of Desire: set in 1923 in a speakeasy. The Buddha and the Bear: a current day fable.

10) What is your favorite movie? Eat, Love, Pray

11) Do you have any rituals you partake in while writing? Show up on the page.

12) Who inspires you? My grandchildren!

13) Any last words before the lightening round begins? No

Fast 10 – 
Hot or Cold: hot
Black or White: black
Mountain or Beach: mountain
Romance or Mystery: romance
Book or Movie: book
New Release or Classic: classic
Coke or Pepsi: neither—don’t drink soda. But I’ll add one: Wine
PJ’s or Birthday Suit: pj’s
Dogs or Cats: dogs
Sunny Day or Rainy Day: sunny day

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sunday Review: Shadows Have Gone by Lissa Bryan

Author: Lissa Bryan
Source: Given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review
Purchase Link: Amazon


Carly Daniels knows what it is to suffer loss. She knows what it is to sacrifice. In the two years since a pandemic virus—known only as the Infection—decimated humanity, she’s made choices she never could have imagined. She’s condoned violence in the name of peace and done the unthinkable in the name of mercy. But with Justin at her side, she’s also learned there’s nothing she can’t face and nothing she wouldn’t do to protect those she loves.

But now another threat has arrived in the form of a uniformed man driving an army truck, claiming to represent the remnant of the United States military. Someone has set their sights on their community . . . and on Justin. The struggle to defend their little homeland is far from over, and the visitors may have brought more danger with them than just their weapons.

The shadows are closing in. Carly has to find out whether she has the strength to stand on her own when all of her support has fallen away. What remains when the shadows have gone?


This was an extremely easy book to follow through. You really couldn't even tell it was book 3 in a series. I didn't feel lost at all while reading it.

The story started out very strong. I really thought as I started reading this was going to be a 5 star knock out. But something happened about 60% into it and it started to trail off.

I'm not sure what it was exactly but something started to diminish, and I think it was that things started to feel rushed.

I get that the world has pretty much come to a halt and life sucks and now Carly has to help rebuild the civilization with Justin. But that doesn't mean you have to speed through everything. And then with the predictable ending, when so much hadn't been predictable, was disappointing.

All that being said I still really enjoyed the story. I liked the characters, I liked the personalities of everyone. I would deff read another book by Ms. Bryan, and I am curious as to what the first two books of this series were about.

So since I wouldn't mind going back to the beginning and reading the start of this series, even though I know the ending, I'm giving this a 4 star. Because any book that makes me want to go back and start over, even with knowing the ending means something there was worth while and I gotta show it respect.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

HEA Book Tours Presents: Cover Reveal: Change Rein by Anne Jolin








Author: Anne Jolin
Series: Willow Bay Stables #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance & Sports Equestrian Romance
London Daniels is returning home to Willow Bay, Alberta, on the heels of a televised loss. She blew her shot at the Summer Olympics and cost Canada the gold medal in dressage. 

During her years of training abroad, her family's stable has fallen on hard times, and thus, they’ve accepted an offer to board the racehorses of Branson Tucker, the infamous tycoon, for the winter.

London lacks conviction after her ill-fated fall. And as if returning to her hometown to watch her epic failure replay on everyone's big screen isn't torture enough, she’s expected to cater to a man with an ego bigger than her hundred-acre farm just to earn a dime.

Is London saddling up for another ride that will leave both her heart and her ass in the dirt? Or could the handsome, unwanted guest at Willow Bay Stables be her second chance to go for gold?

~ Cover Model ~ 
Carmen Mateo Delgado 

~ Photographer ~

~ Cover Designer ~ 


~ Other books by Anne Jolin ~
Rock Falls Series
Chasing Rhodes, Book 1:
Choosing Henley, Book 2:
Breaking Bennett, Book 3:
Keeping King, Book #4:


Hey y’all, 
I was born and raised in Ladner, a small farm town just outside Vancouver, Canada. I grew up riding horses, shooting guns, and driving in trucks. 

I never expected to be an author. A massage therapist? Yes. Take over the family construction company? Yes. But an author? No. Writing was something that snuck up on me and rooted itself into my life. It was beautiful to discover that love, and I’m truly grateful to say I’ve found my passion. 

Since I’ve always been a creative person, it feels amazing to harness all of that energy and use it to tell a story I love. I enjoy incorporating bits of my real life into the stories I write. What parts are true? Hah. I’ll never tell—what would be the fun in that? 

If I could leave y’all with one thing, it’s that life’s far too short to not live it out loud. Drown in your passions, hold on tight to the things that inspire you, and chase your dreams relentlessly. I can promise you without a doubt that you won’t regret it. I know I don’t. 

Mad love, 
Anne Jolin 

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Review: Sage Blog Tours Presents: The Leviathan Chronicles: The Last Stand at Aeprion by James Mascia

Title: The Leviathan Chronicles: The Last Stand at Aeprion
Author: James Mascia
Source: Given to me by the author for an honest review
Purchase Link: AMAZON


Still reeling from his wife's murder, Joel tries to escape the alien hunter and fulfill a promise he made to her. Years of searching for the fabled planet, Aeprion, has left the space freighter captain torn between giving up the search or giving himself up to Kraxem, the alien hunter.

When Kraxem and his minions attack Joel's ship again, he is forced into the nebula, where he'll have to do repairs. Once their, his thoughts revert back to the final day of Kate's life and the promises that were made. Learning to come to terms with her loss and release the guilt that he feels will be a hard battle to fight, but giving up will prove to be even more difficult and, perhaps, deadly.

Steeling his resolve to forge on, Joel vows to find the fabled living planet before guilt devours his soul.


I wasn't exactly sure what to expect when I read the blurb and looked at the cover, but I trusted the blog touring company that recommended me to this book. So I dove in. This novella was very easy to get through. Sometimes in Sci-Fi novels they make you cringe with unrealistic story lines. This isn't the case at all with this book, and that was a relief!

The story kept me entertained. It didn't necessarily make me HAVE to finish the book, but listening to it on my Kindle while driving to and from work kept me very happy.

I liked the main character. His only flaw was the love of a woman. Isn't that the truth in any good love story? I also really liked the computer system that was kind of like KIT from NightRider.

This story had a very Star Trek feel to it, which was perfect since I am a total fan.

If you like an easy novella with good writing and a decent story and don't mind a bit of space travel, this is the story for you!

About The Author

He fights evil across the known universe and crushes them between his fingers (at least, he does this with his words). 
James Mascia is an accomplished writer with a bestselling series, High School Heroes, as well as a bestselling graphic novel, The Poe Murders. He has always been a fan of sci-fi, and is glad to be delving back into the galaxy once again.
James teaches in Maryland, where he also writes. He has a lovely wife and a tiny terror (a two-year-old) driving him mad, but making him laugh.

Check out some of his other work below:

The author is giving away an ebook copy of his book to 5 lucky readers!
 a Rafflecopter giveaway