Feature Follow Friday (May 30)

Alison Can Read Feature & FollowIt is the Friday Feature Follow! I have successfully added the Sunday Post and WWW Wednesdays to Girl of 1000 Wonders and I’m on roll with it, so I thought it was time to step it up! FF was the first weekly meme post I think I ever saw, but as a new blogger I was too intimidated to even figure it out. A year and a half later, look at me!

This is a weekly blog meme hosted by Parajunkee’s View and Alison Can Read.

Here are the general rules to Follow Friday:
1. Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts (links above) and any one else you want to follow on the list
2. Follow our Featured Bloggers
3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.
4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments
5. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can
6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love…and the followers
7. If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!
8. If your new to the follow Friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!


This week’s question:

How important is good writing to you? In an ideal world, a book would be beautifully written AND have great character development, plot, etc. But in the real world, which do you prefer:

  1. Great characters and plot with lousy writing OR
  2.  Middling character development and plot but gorgeous writing?

My Answer: 

This is really hard to answer. If only we had an ideal world! Good writing is important to me – I want to see all of those literary elements that I loved to discuss in literature classes, even if it was adolescent literature and we were reading YA. Not knowing how to use commas appropriately is a BIG negative in my book.

I don’t want to use the cop-out response that it’s dependent on the author, but in honesty, sometimes it is, so I’ll take this from the perspective of an author I am new to reading. Lately I’ve been doing this very thing, and I can say I have seen a few works with incredible writing, but they’ve also had mediocre characters with no development or growth, and an average (or below average!) plot. On the flip side, I’ve also seen the opposite lately: stellar characters and/or plot, but lousy and lame writing.

In the end, I take the writing with mediocre development. I can live with that.

What about you? Do you prefer gorgeous writing or strong characters with a well developed plot? Leave me a comment with your response and your Friday Follow.

Next Week’s Question:What are your non-book guilty pleasures? Like TV shows, food, websites, hobbies, etc.

A New Discovery!

I just discovered something last week. It was an odd fate of chance because I stumbled across it while just perusing the ever-changing make-up of Netflix for a movie that wouldn’t bore me to death. I’ve complained on more than one occasion to D that I can never find anything on Netflix but TV shows, most of which I think are idiotic. Now, I am silently praising Netflix for this stellar find, and praying that it doesn’t disappear.

When I was a pre-teen, all of a sudden this book series called Heartland by Lauren Brooke became a rage at the Scholastic book fairs at my school. Each time I’d get my mom to buy me a few. I loved them. I think in the end I owned the first 15 books or so. I could connect with Amy, the main character, who is set on continuing her deceased mother’s therapy and care for abused horses on her family’s ranch in Virginia. She works alongside her grandfather and older sister.

Much to my surprise I discovered that Heartland (2007) was made into a TV series! I have since been watching at least an episode or two each day. I particularly LOVE the theme song (below) and often the show uses musical transitions that grab my attention. In all honesty, I want to listen to the theme song over and over. It just has that musical quality that soothes me.

It is a nice recreation of the book, and although I can’t remember all of the plot and story lines from the series, there are some key differences that I immediately noticed:

  • The book series is set in Virginia. Since the show debuted in Canada on the CBC network, the actors are Canadian (when they say sorry, about, or progress it is very noticeable). The show is set around the area of Hudson County. Hudson County does exist, as a county in New Jersey, which I doubt is where the show is set. It seems Hudson County is a fictionalized location, so it is unclear where the series is set, because there is a reference to “the crown” (King or Queen), but there is vast land available (complete with snow) and lots of potential oil available for drilling, making me think the US or Canada. At first I thought it was set in Canada, but I’m still undecided. IMDB lists the show’s setting as Alberta, Canada.
  • In the book, Amy’s older sister Lou is married, has a child and has a British accent, which throws people off. In the series, she is not married, has no children and does not have a British accent. Although, I’m still in season two, so Lou still has time to get married (and it was to another well-known character to Heartland). In the show, Lou is almost terrified of horses due to witnessing her father’s riding accident. Not so much in the book, as I recall. She just didn’t want to get her hand’s dirtied when she could be working the business end of the ranch (which is also true for the show).
  • In the book, Amy and Lou’s dad, Tim, is paralyzed and in a wheelchair after a riding accident. He left Amy, Lou and wife Marion not long after the accident, but comes to visit after Marion’s death. He is also remarried and has a third daughter. In the show none of this is true. He was injured in an accident (which causes Lou to be all of a sudden afraid of horses) but not paralyzed. In the show, he works at the ranch next door (and secretly since he left Marion) and tries to come back into Lou and Amy’s lives shortly after their mother’s death. Also in the show, the girls discover a letter he sent long ago to Marion wanting to make things right and become a family again.
  • In the book, grandfather Jack is supportive of Tim coming back into the girls’ lives, but in the book he is vehemently against it, even lying to the girls’ about him coming around asking and trying to run him off. There is indeed some hostility between the two, but eventually it evens out.
  • In the book, Ty dropped out of school and wants to work at Heartland. In the show, he does drop out (explained by his “criminal” behavior) and is sentenced to community service at Heartland.
  • In the book, one of Amy’s closest friends is Matt, who is the younger brother of the veterinarian (Scott) that services Heartland. In the show, there is no Matt. 😦
  • Ashley Grant (Ashley Stanton in the show) is the snobby rich girl from Green Briar (Briar Ridge in the show). Green Briar/Briar Ridge is Heartland’s rival, and Ashley is Amy’s nemesis. She is an ugly person, pressured by her high-stakes parents in the books. In the show, Briar Ridge is run by her mother alone. It’s unclear what the explanation is for her father, but Ashley makes a comment that without her mother, she’d be all alone, leading me to believe that her father is deceased.
  • In the books there is a boy named Daniel, who works as a stable hand at Nick Halliwell’s barn, and is a good friend to Amy. He now owns Storm, which used to be Amy’s horse. In the show, there is no Daniel, but Amy did have a horse named Storm that she jumped, but had to sell.
  • On the show, there is this pesky next-door-neighbor girl named Mallory. She’s really a sweetheart, and practically lives at Heartland. At times she really does. In the show, her parents are away all the time and send her to boarding school. She does not exist in the books.
  • Lisa is Ben’s aunt, and in the show she and Jack become romantically involved. I don’t recall that from the book, but I do believe that in the book she was Ben’s aunt as well.
  • Also on the show is a second stable hand named Caleb, who works at Heartland. He lives off-site and is a romantic swinging pendulum between Amy and Ashley.
  • Other minor details are changed: Ty’s last name in the book is Baldwin, on the show it is Borden; Soraya’s last name in the book is Martin, on the show it is Duval; Scott’s last name in the book is Trewin, on the show it is Cardinal.

L-R: Scott, Jack, Lou, Amy, Ty, Tim, Mallory, Caleb

Despite these differences and minor details, the show brings together only some of the essence of the book. The connection of family, friends and loyalty is definitely present and reinforced in every episode. In almost every episode, there is a scene of the family and select friends around the dinner table. Family is the focal point of the show. At first, there were several scenes about the therapy practices at Heartland, or scenes showing Amy using them. The more I’ve watched the show, the less I see this intimate connection between Amy and the horses. More often, she has a halter and lead rope on them and is standing in a round pen talking to them. I feel the horses and Marion and Amy’s cause has taken a backseat, and the romances and rivalries (and the subtle and not-so subtle story lines about them) are at the forefront.

The series seems to still be running, with new episodes and seasons being made (currently airing season 8), so I’ve got a lot to look forward to. I’m just hoping I don’t get too comfortable, settle in for the long haul, and realize there aren’t many episodes left. Don’t you hate when you realize the end is near for a good thing?

What is your favorite book-made-into-a-show/movie series? Share the differences that most annoyed you, and the similarities that endeared you! 

WWW Wednesdays (May 28)


This is a weekly meme hosted by MizB @ Should Be Reading. To join in, click on the image above, and answer these three questions: 

What are you currently reading?

The Trickster's Totem (Relics of Mysticus, #2)Last week I talked about how I’m OCD when it comes to book series. Is anyone else my flavor of series readers, or is it just me? Anyway, I just got my fingers on H.B. Bolton’s second book in the Relics of Mysticus series. This one’s title has consonance: The Trickster’s Totem. All three Ts. I don’t have much to say except that Evan and Claire have returned in this book, and they are now “back to normal” at school, until a mysterious creature shows up. I’m holding out that this creature is the Dobie-like character from the first book. 🙂

What did you recently finish reading?

The Serpent's Ring (Relics of Mysticus, #1)I just finished the first book in H.B. Bolton’s Relics of Mysticus series, The Serpent’s Ring This is a middle grades book, and it’s recommended for those who liked the Percy Jackson series. I’ve never read the Percy Jackson series, but this book starts off like Night at the Museum meets Harry Potter (or rather, Dobie from Harry Potter – AND Voldemort’s horcruxes!) meets Norse gods meets Little Mermaid meets fantasy land mash-up, all packed with adventure. It’s a fast-paced read with a sibling duo that must work together to solve the central conflict in the book.

What do you think you’ll read next?

The Dragon's Egg (Relics of Mysticus, #3)Most definitely on my list next is H.B. Bolton’s most recent book in the Relics of Mysticus series, The Dragon’s Egg. In this book, Evan must battle his own inner demons – his very own nightmares in the Dungeon of Dreadful Dreams while keeping a dragon at bay. Seems like a devious duo stole this dragon’s egg, and now have a heist planned for Atlantis’ very own Siren’s Pearl. Evan and Claire traverse through Medieveal Legends, the Dungeon of Dreadful Dreams, Avalon and Atlantis.

How about you? Have you read any of these? What are you reading this week? Please leave a comment with either the link to your own WWW Wednesday post, or share your answers in the comments here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks! 🙂


Blast + Giveaway for A is for Abstinence

$100 Book Blast Giveaway!

A is for Abstinence by Kelly Oram

perf5.250x8.000.inddSix-time Grammy Award wining musician Kyle Hamilton has it all—money, fame, talent, good looks, and a job he loves. His only regret in life: walking away from a certain notorious virgin because he was too prideful, stubborn, and even afraid to give her the only thing she asked of him—his abstinence.

Four years and a broken heart later, Kyle realizes that sex isn’t everything, and he suddenly can’t stop thinking about the girl that got away. Virgin Val Jensen got under is skin like no one else ever has. He wasn’t ready for her then, but things are different now. He’s grown up, he’s learned a few things, and he’s finally figured out exactly what he wants, or, rather, who he wants.

Kyle Hamilton wants a do-over, and this time he’s willing to do—or not do—whatever it takes.

Find the book: Website | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Val studied me for a moment, and her nerves melted away. Giving her the chance to say no had apparently been what she needed to say yes. “It’s okay, Kyle, I don’t mind staying.”

She sounded much more confident, but I still asked, “You sure?”

“I’m sure,” she promised. A smile crept over her face, reaching all the way up into her eyes and she said, “I can’t let you go out there alone. Who knows what kinds of rumors you’d start. I’d probably wake up tomorrow and learn that I’d been hospitalized after going into severe shock when you kissed me backstage.”

Surprised, I burst into laughter. “That does sound like something you’d do,” I teased.

She laughed with me and we headed back to the main studio and our waiting fans. “It may have been four years, Kyle, but that doesn’t mean I don’t remember how you operate.”

I snatched her hand as she reached to open the door to the studio. I wasn’t ready to end this moment alone with her. “You don’t think I’ve learned a few things since then?”

She smirked and shook her head. “New tricks. Same dog.”

It was impossible not to take her words as a challenge. I pushed her back until she was pinned against the door and leaned in close enough that our breaths mingled. Her eyes snapped wide the same way they always had whenever I’d invaded her personal space, and I watched, satisfied, as she sucked in a lung full of air and held it.

“That mentality will be your downfall this time around, Val.” I leaned in, letting my lips linger at her jawline for a moment too long before bringing them to her ear. “Same old tricks,” I whispered. “New man.”

With that, I kissed her cheek and breezed past her into the studio, leaving her flustered and in need of another moment to collect herself all over again.

KellyAbout the Author

Kelly Oram wrote her first novel at age fifteen–a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which family and friends still tease her. She’s obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and loves to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and four children.

Find the author: Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 Blast Giveaway

book blast button$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 6/16/19

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Go enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

Book Review: The Prophecy of Arcadia

The Prophecy of Arcadia (Arcadian Wars, #1)Title: The Prophecy of Arcadia
Author: M.H. Soars
Publisher: Createspace
Release Date: January 2014
Length: 430 pages
Series?: Arcadian Wars #1
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Format: e-book
Source: author

Find the book: Website | Goodreads | Amazon 


Being a teenager is tough, especially when you have to pretend to be something you’re not, and you’re in love with someone you shouldn’t. 115 years ago, a small planet called Arcadia was invaded by a vicious alien race and nearly destroyed. Cut off from their resources, the Arcadians turned to Earth for help. A group of Arcadian explorers discovered a Prophecy that claimed their salvation lay in the hands of two children from Earth. To ensure their safety, the Arcadian Council sent their most gifted youngsters to Earth to act as protectors. Samantha is one of them.

To succeed in her mission she must learn to control her Arcadian powers and keep her true identity from her best friend, and the girl she swore to protect, Alexia. But Samantha will soon realize that nothing is as it seems. Someone is trying to prevent the Prophecy from taking place and the prophecy boy hasn’t been found yet. There is also a new drug circulating at school that is turning students into freakishly strong menaces.

To make matters worse, distractions keep getting in her way. Such as her love/hate relationship with her “cousin” Matthew. Or her confused feelings toward popular and mysterious Julian. She wants nothing more than to be free to live her life. But the survival of Arcadia depends on her and her friends. Free will is not an option.


This book is all kinds of hot mess! Arcadia is a planet separate from Earth, but Arcadians look and function exactly like Earthlings (humans on Earth). Arcadia believes in a thing called the Prophecy. One flaw I saw in the book was that it wasn’t made very clear what the Prophecy would do long-term for the Arcadians; it was just a thing that was destined to happen.

In fact, the Arcadian Council, responsible for making all the decisions for Arcadia, is so bent on the Prophecy being fulfilled that they have assigned six teenagers and one adult to be Alexia’s protectors in disguise. Alexia is the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter. Eventually, Alexia, the Promised girl, will be drawn to the Promised boy (the seventh son of a seventh son) like moth to a flame and nothing will compare to their destiny as the Promised Ones. Except…the Promised boy can’t be located. 

Alexia lives in Santa Fe with her dad, but her uncle Gary and all her cousins live in Santa Barbara. Alexia goes to visit them every summer. Gary is known for his goofiness; he seems to be a scatterbrained hairball. Gary is only father to two of the cousins, the others he has taken guardianship over. A long time back, two other aunt/uncle couples and Gary’s wife died in a boating accident, and he took in all the kiddos. Of course, this is just a cover for them acting as Arcadian operatives. Things get dicey when a couple of them are required to go back to Arcadia for training, and lies must be made up to keep Alexia from knowing the truth.

When I first started reading I thought the novel would would center around Alexia, since she’s a Promised One and the center of the entire Arcadian world, essentially. Wrong! The novel seemed to revolve predominately over Samantha and Matt, “first cousins.” They are both twins, and Matthew’s twin has been sent back to Arcadia. Sam and her twin act nothing like twins, they are not close in the least. Meeting Sam and Matt started off very rocky – there is some definite back-story from seven years past, some event that took place on Arcadia – but all of their memories have been wiped away. All that’s left is this feeling – a hostile feeling. And overcoming that is one of the main themes throughout the book.

And the second is discovering that some things are not quite right with the Arcadian Council. Remember I said the Arcadian Council is so bent on the Prophecy being fulfilled? Well, so much so that there is a special operative secretly assigned to oversee the entire Alexia operation, who has his own secret spies infiltrate the cousins’ school, where Alexia will now attend for her senior year. This adds a dystopian element to the book. 

Alexia develops this romance with wheelchair-bound Ethan, former football star, and Samantha and Matt have unfinished business, and Samantha develops a fast and furious fling with Julian, a hotshot rich kid whose parents are never to be found. Then a new kid comes to school, Lucas, and he’s very strange. Then, a second new kid comes to school, Henry, and the cousins are informed he is the Promised One. Gary starts acting strangely, and Alexia and Ethan must be broken up.

Julian throws extravagantly insane parties…where someone is pushing an insane drug. A drug that allows the alien race that almost eradicated Arcadians to inhibit and possess Earthlings — with superhero strengths and powers. Things start going wrong, and the cousins are not buying the story Durgin and Gary are feeding them. They suspect something is going on with the Council, who seem to try to be forcing the Prophecy to be fulfilled. They start their own investigations and discover some very shocking things about Arcadia, the Council, the Promised Ones…and there are a few murders on the way.

This book is part of a series, which I knew when I started. Within chapters, the point of view switched between characters: Alexia, Samantha and Matthew. At times, this became confusing because I would forget whose POV it was from, especially when one of the three characters was not in the scene, and even more when the cousins are debriefing and plotting.

About 40% of the way into the book, things were on a roll. After that, I thought it started falling apart a little bit. The focus switched from Alexia and Sam to Sam and Matt, which drug on. The further and further into the book, there were fewer scenes that Alexia owned. About halfway through the book I realized there were some fishing things going on, before the cousins let on. When they realized what was up, they all started plotting. At first they thought there was a snitch in their midst, but then I realized there was a snitch at large – somewhere between them, Gary, Durgin and the secret spies, one of which is always right there when one of the murders happens and the cousins are investigating.

Besides the reason for the Prophecy, there are three other items left unexplained by the end of the book that I predict will continue and/or come to light in the second book:

  • Julian: there are comments over and over that he is acting strangely and there is no resolution or discovery made.

For example, he gives Alexia a necklace to give to Sam (but to say it’s an old birthday present and not from Julian), and when he sees Sam wearing it he flips out on her about where she got it.

  • Lucas: at the end of the novel he seems to have crossed a few people, and is deeply involved in the cousins investigations, but there is still a strange, uncertain quality about him.
  • The Drug Dealer: the cousins discover who the distrubuter from the source is, but realize he can’t be the dealer. Whenever they get close to discovering, a catastrophe happens. The dealer is still at large – with an unknown amount of the drug, Big A – at the end of the novel.

This book does contain some adult content with language choice and sexual steam scenes. I would recommend for mature readers or 18 and up.

About the Author

M.H. SoarsI like to call myself a United Nations child. I was born in the United States but grew up in several different countries which gave me a broader perspective of life. I’ve always been passionate about books and stories and at a certain point had a comic book series going. With a background in fashion design I always thought I was going to follow that path. But the characters in my head kept begging to be set free. So I decided to write their stories. A couple of years and a baby later, the first installment of my Arcadian Wars series is finally done. I currently reside in New Mexico with my husband and baby daughter. I love to read novels in the YA, PNR, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, and Chick Lit genres. When not devouring said novels, you may find me shopping online (I’m an expert), blogging about fashion, or trying to teach my daughter to walk (even though she’s too young for that).

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Blast + Giveaway for Unstoppable

$100 Book Blast Giveaway!


UnstoppableUnstoppable by S.R. Johannes:

After everything that has happened, Grace goes to the Everglades to live with her grandmother, Birdee. Even though she is now home-schooled by her bird-obsessed grandmother, the move gives Grace time to relax. She learns to scuba dive and starts boating with old man Rex, Birdee’s casual friend/boyfriend.
One day while out in the marshes of the Everglades, Grace rescues an abused Florida panther, currently on the endangered list. The more she dives into the animal’s horrific condition, the more she ventures into the underground world of the roadside zoos that run rampant in Florida with a total disregard for the law. Eventually, she stumbles upon one large roadside zoo filled with a variety of endangered and illegal animals.
Before she can gather evidence and report her findings to the authorities, she is kidnapped by the ruthless owner and dragged deep into the Everglades for a hunting challenge. Only this time, Grace is the prey.
During a sick game of cat and mouse, Grace is offered one chance at survival. With a one-hour head start and very little supplies, time and skill are now all that stands between the hunter and the hunted.
Find the book: Website | Goodreads | Amazon

SR JohannesAbout the Author

S.R. Johannes is the award-winning author of the Amazon bestselling thriller series, the Nature of Grace (Untraceable and Uncontrollable). Unstoppable (book 3) is scheduled for May/June 2014. S.R. Johannes is currently repped by Lara Perkins at ABLA. For foreign rights on the Nature of Grace series, contact Jennifer Custer at AM Heath (London).
S.R. Johannes is the YA advisor of ALLi and a winner of the 2012 IndieReader Discovery Awards (Young Adult category) as well as a Silver medalist (2nd place) in the IPPY awards for YA Fiction. She was also nominated for 2012 Georgia Author of the Year (Young Adult category), a Finalist in The Kindle Book Review’s Best Young Adult of 2012, and a YA Finalist in the US Book News Best Book of 2012.
After earning an MBA and working in corporate America doing marketing for over 15 years (Spanx and Good hair Products were my fav because of the perks :), S.R. Johannes traded in her expensive suits, high heels, and corporate lingo for a family, flip-flops, and her love of writing. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her dog, English-accented husband, and the huge imaginations of their little prince and princess, which she hopes- someday- will change the world.
Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

book blast buttonBlast Giveaway

$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 6/16/19

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Go enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

Sunday Post (May 25)

Sunday PostThe Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news, a post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things received, and share news about what is coming up on the blog for the week ahead. To get in on the Sunday funday, see the rules here: Sunday Post Meme. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Last Week on G1000W

Review: I’m Going to Be Famous by Tom Birdseye

Review: Banished Love by Ramona Flightner

Blast: The Duchess by Nicolette Andrews

WWW Wednesdays (May 21)

This Week on G1000W

Blast + Giveaway for UNSTOPPABLE

Review: Prophecy of Arcadia

Blast + Giveaway for A is for Abstinence

Around Town in the Spotlight

I know last week was a little sparse, but this week there are several things I want to shed the spotlight on!

Faye’s review of Searching for Sky, which shook her to the core. 

Lisa shared new YA releases.

Meredith’s review of Girl Stolen, with a strong, resilient female character…who’s also blind. 

Emily J. shared her top ten classic novels for teenage boys.

Tara mourns the oncoming John Green fatigue.

Tara also shared her top ten books about friendship.

Bookmammal shared her top ten books about friendship.

Valerie talked best chick flicks of all time.

Brooke hosted the cover artist for The Summer Sacrifice, complete with the cover creation process!

Vickie got creepily close to Adolf Hitler for this review.

Katie shared the books she’d bit for at BEA!

Charlene talks genre-limiting and equal opportunity reading. There is a survey – go fill it out!

See Jie Yi dreamed about a Russian read.

Carrie asked readers what the next supernatural creature trend would be.

Giveaways All Around!

Cover Reveal + Giveaway for Reign of Shadows – $25 Amazon GC

Review + Giveaway for Easy to Say First Words – print copy

Review + Giveaway for Rebel – annotated copy from the author

Review + Contest for Operation Sheba

Review + Giveaway for Stubborn – $20 Amazon GC

Ten List + Giveaway for The Eighth Guardian

Blitz + Giveaway for A Dangerous Madness – various print copies

Guest Post + Giveaway for Miss Armistead Makes Her Choice – $50 Amazon GC and copy

Blast + Giveaway for Goddess Born – $100 Amazon GC or PayPal Cash

Guest Post + Giveaway for All Lined Up – 5 signed copies

Review + Giveaway for The Smart Girl’s Guide to God, Guys and the Galaxy – 3 print copies, $10 Amazon GC

Spotlight + Giveaway for The Art of Lainey – 2 copies, SWAG by Paula Stokes

Review + Excerpt + Giveaway for Protostar – 1 paperback, 1 ebook

Excerpt + Giveaway for An Absent Mind – $50 Amazon or B&N GC

Blitz + Giveaway for Not Quite Dead – ebook

Review + Giveaway for The Only Boy – $50 Amazon GC or PayPal Cash

Excerpt +Giveaway for Airel – $25 Amazon GC or PayPal Cash

Review + Giveaway for A Matter of Forever – tote bag with signed Fate series set and 1 Forever necklace in rose gold

Blitz + Giveaway for Mind Games – $100 Amazon GC

Giveaway – $200 Amazon GC

Blitz + Giveaway for The Milestone Tapes – one-of-a-kind Milestone Tapes book bag, digital copy of Calamari series

Promo + Giveaway for Seven Minutes – signed copy

Follower Giveaway – 6″ Kindle OR $69 Amazon GC or PayPal Cash

Review + Giveaway for Only With You – $50 Amazon, B&N or iTunes GC, print copy

Review + Giveaway for London Bound – ebook copy

Excerpt + Giveaway for Transformed – $10 Amazon or B&N GC

Excerpt + Giveaway for A Little Blackmail – $20 Amazon GC and paperbacks of Run Run Runaway, A Little Blackmail, and Moving Too Fast, $20 Amazon GC and ebook copies, 2 other sets of ebooks

Blitz + Giveaway for Heart Shaped Rock – $50 Amazon or B&N GC

Blitz + Giveaway for Shadows and Light – $50 GC, 2 ebook copies

Blitz + Giveaway for The Eye-Dancers – $25 Amazon GC

New Covers + Giveaway for The Children & The Blood Trilogy – $30 Amazon GC

Review + Giveaway for Taking Angels – $25 Amazon GC

Cover Reveal + Giveaway for Predator – $10 Amazon GC and ebook

Review + Giveaway for The Citadels of Fire – 3 signed ARCs

Blitz + Giveaway for Perfect Opposite – $50 Amazon GC

Blast + Giveaway for No Hard Feelings – $25 Amazon GC

Review + Giveaway for Prejudice Meets Pride – $25 Amazon GC or PayPal Cash

Spotlight + Giveaway for A is for Abstinence – $100 Amazon GC or PayPal Cash

Blitz + Giveaway for TRUE Blue – $10 Amazon GC

Excerpt + Giveaway for Catch a Wolf – $50 Amazon coupon, $30 Amazon coupon

Interview + Giveaway for Tiger’s Promise – 4 ecopies

Review + Giveaway for The Offering – necklace

Cover Reveal + Giveaway for After Star – bracelet and pocket mirror, ARC

New Arrivals to Land of 1000 Wonder

I’ve noticed two particular trends in these books: crime and soul-searching. I also am making a vested interest in finding more middle grades books.

SwanA Path Toward Home Where There's Smoke Far Horizons (The Emigrants Trilogy, #1) Samara: A Kilenya Romance The Secret Sisters Club: A Ginnie West Adventure Wake Up! How starting your day at 5 a.m. will change your life To Sleep No More: A Dalton & Dalton Preternatural Romantic Mystery (Dalton & Dalton Preternatural Mysteries) An Innocent Client Come Monday The Universe is a Very Big Place Unmending the Veil Twisted A Beautiful Heist (Agency of Burglary & Theft) Amish Valentine (Amish Hearts #4) Maid for Me Princess Interrupted (The Prophecies Series) The Soul of the Rose 17790107 Balancer The Seventh Pillar (The Project, #3) The Quill Pen Cruelest Month Shoveling Snow The Baron and the Bluestocking Wrangled A View to Die For The Earth Painter (Painter #1) Bread N' Butter: Private Rye The Miting Grace's Pictures The Wishing Well (Paradan Tales, #1) No Hard Feelings (A Kate Stanton Mystery) Ramblings of a Mad Southern Woman: A Collection of Short Stories and Poetry on Life, Love, Loss and Longing Slow Curve on the Coquihalla (A Hunter Rayne Highway Mystery, #1) Tattoos: A Novel Winter Birds Love Lives On A Christmas Peril (The Teacup Novellas #5) A Fairy's Guide to Disaster (Away From Whipplethorn, #1) The Gypsy Pearl: Book 1: Caren Pearl UnEnchanted (An Unfortunate Fairy Tale, #1) Cornerstone (Cornerstone, #1) In Your Eyes Where Love Once Lived Sunset's Dawn (Christian Romance) (Sunset Series) One Last Great Wickedness The Enemy (The Enemy #1) The Poisoned Rose (The Gin Palace Trilogy, #1) The Pride of the King The Bone Church: A Novel Watch Me Disappear The Last Page This Doesn't Happen In The Movies (Reed Ferguson mystery series #1) Gnit-Wit Gnipper and the Perilous Plague (Rosehaven: The Hidden City) To Know Me Lust (Pure Passion Series)

WWW Wednesdays (May 21)


This is a weekly meme hosted by MizB. To join in, click on the image above.

All you have to do is answer these three questions:

What are you currently reading?

The Serpent's Ring (Relics of Mysticus, #1)I just started in on the first few pages of The Serpent’s Ring by H.B. Bolton. This is a middle grades book, and it’s recommended for those who liked the Percy Jackson series. The first sentence makes me think of the film Night at the Museum (featuring Ben Stiller), except with two young teens.

Evan and Claire Jones are typical teenagers, forced to go with their parents to yet another boring museum … that is, until something extraordinary happens to make their day a little more than interesting. 

What did you recently finish reading?

The Almond TreeI just finished reading The Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen Corasanti. It is an extraordinary read that gives voice to a population that I don’t see reflected in mainstream fiction. Corasanti describes the pain and heartbreak resulting from the pain and hatred within Israel that consumes the Hamid family and many of the nations of Africa and Southwest Asia. Ahmed is a bright young man, gifted intellectually in the math and science areas. He has an opportunity to overcome the oppression in Israel, and support his family, but in doing so he will   A very insightful read!

What do you think you’ll read next?

The Trickster's Totem (Relics of Mysticus, #2)I don’t like to read a series out of order. I’m kind of book OCD like that, so if it’s available, I try to read straight through the series. You know, like binge watching a new show on Netflix. Naturally, starting H.B. Bolton’s Relics of Mysticus series requires me (in my mind at least) to carry on to the next book, The Trickster’s Totem. Life has returned to normal, or so they say, in this book, until a mysterious creature shows up at Evan and Claire’s school. Sounds a little Harry Potter-ish. 😉

How about you? Have you read any of these? What are you reading this week? Please leave a comment with either the link to your own WWW Wednesday post, or share your answers in the comments here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks! 🙂


Blast + Giveaway: The Duchess by Nicolette Andrews

Title: Duchess (A Novella)
Author: Nicolette Andrews
Release Date: TBD
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Source: Masquerade Book Tours

Find the book: 

WebsiteAmazon  |  Barnes & Noble 

I have seen the cover probably about ten times now from the email sign ups, checking out things at Masquerade, and prepping this post, but I just noticed the dagger in her hand….Duchess Damara don’t play!


When Damara, the Duchess of Florett, received a missive from the palace, she knew it could only mean one thing. Her husband was dead. She had prepared herself for this moment ever since he marched off to war. Following the news of her husband’s death, she comes face to face with her husband’s sister, the Queen. She has come to Damara with a request from beyond the grave. Writ on the aging vellum her husband left her instructions and a confession. He was not as he seemed. He was the king’s spy and he died to keep the king’s secrets. In his final letter to Damara, he asks her to find his killer and take his place as a palace spy. Only Damara can unravel the clues her husband left behind in order to find his killer and bring them to justice. 

About the Author

Nicolette Andrews lives in beautiful Southern California with her husband and two daughters. She is the author of the Diviner’s Trilogy and other works of fantasy. She’s beenknow to often escape into world of fantasy and has happily been playing make-believe her entire life. When she is not writing, she enjoys gardening, spending time with her family and numerous outdoor activities, including hiking and camping. 

Find the author: 

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

Go enter the giveaway! $25 Amazon/B&N Giftcard or a Book Depository shopping spree. Open Internationally. Ends 5/30.

Book Review: Banished Love

Banished Love (Banished Saga, #1)Title: Banished Love
Author: Ramona Flightner
Publisher: Grizzly Damsel Publishing
Release Date: January 2014
Length: 290 pages
Series?: Banished Saga #1
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Format: e-book
Source: author

Find the book: Website | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble



Clarissa Sullivan dreams for more from life than sipping tepid tea in stifling parlors in Victorian Boston. She defies her family’s wishes, continuing to teach poor immigrant children in Boston’s West End, finding a much-needed purpose to her life.


As a suffragette, Clarissa is considered a firebrand radical no man would desire. For why should women want the vote when men have sheltered women from the distasteful aspects of politics and law?


When love blossoms between Clarissa and Gabriel McLeod, a struggling cabinetmaker, her family objects. Clarissa’s love and determination will be tested as she faces class prejudices, manipulative family members and social convention in order to live the life she desires with the man she loves.

Will she yield to expectations, or follow her heart on a journey of self-discovery as she learns what she cannot live without?


The year is 1900; the place is Boston, where high society still has a lasting impact on gossip and reputations. Clarissa is a young woman who caused quite a stir a few years prior to the novel starting, through no fault of her own whatsoever, but ugly gossip and remarks have made Clarissa out to be the one at fault, along with her continued insistence that she teach school in a poorer area of town.

Clarissa is also very clumsy, and known for it. She accidentally knocks a man from a ladder coming out of her uncle’s store, causing him serious injury. She ensures that he is well cared for, and discovers that he is a carpenter her uncle has hired – and he hires Gabriel to build Clarissa bookshelves for her school. Despite Clarissa’s clumsiness, a romance is budding between the two.

Clarissa teaches because it gives her life a sense of purpose. She enjoys it, and it grants her a certain amount of freedom, but a freedom she soon discovers is not so free at all. She is once again subjected to the rumor mill and gossips of society – including her very own stepmother, who is stirring that roiling pot, and simpering to her father when confronted with her wrongdoings. However, sometimes the damage is too great to be undone.

An unexpected and unwelcome ghost of Clarissa’s past shows back up in town and stalks her at every opportunity. Clarissa must eventually be escorted home from her school, but her stepmother is trying to play matchmaker, knowing fully how this ghost from Clarissa’s past has hurt her, and is tarnishing Gabriel’s reputation.

All the while, Clarissa is foiled against her cousin, Savannah, who is soon to marry a snobbish, well-to-do “gentleman” who at every opportunity reminds Clarissa exactly who she is and what she is in the most horrible way. Clarissa brings up a time or two the rift that is fast growing between the two cousins, especially after Savannah’s drastic retreat from The Cause.

Clarissa wants more from her life – and winds up the friend of an old, high society woman who has so much money nothing said can ruin her. Mrs. Chickering is an adamant suffragist, from the old days of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. She becomes a mentor to Clarissa in so many ways.

Clarissa’s family is an obstacle in this book in so many ways. Her aunts and uncles, cousins and brothers love her, but her aunts hold to the traditional notion that a woman belongs in the home. Her brothers love and support her to no end. Her uncle adores her. Her grandparents detest her, her father and brothers because her mother “married down.” Savannah is the exalted granddaughter doing everything right. But there is one unlikely relative who surprised me in support of Clarissa’s choices and new love interest.

This book explores the deep patriarchal society structure of the time, and the vast complexities of the nature of genteel society. It gives context to a time when women as a collective were changing in their needs and wants of life. Indeed, it provided historical context from the original suffragist days through Mrs. Chickering, and the new suffragist agenda, which is vastly different and barely scratches the surface of a movement. This is a time when a person’s word could be taken at face value as truth, and many took advantage of that to manipulate situations, especially the character and reputation of others, as is made clear on more than one occasion in this novel. Clarissa is pitted against these ideas within her own family, which is a hard thing to face. She also falls in love with someone below her status in society, and again faces all of the complexities and ugliness that human nature can bring.

Clarissa experiences growth as a character, as do most of those involved. I was disappointed that her friend and fellow teaching colleague disappeared after a point in the book, and the focus was on the development of the plot and conflict regarding Clarissa and Gabriel. Mrs. Smythe, Clarissa’s stepmother, truly grows in character to the opposite end of the spectrum. Even after being chided, reprimanded and scolded by her husband, she won’t stop her personal efforts to hurt Clarissa. In fact, it seems to only serve to make her more grandiose in her efforts and schemes.

In essence, this is a Romeo and Juliet novel, with an unfinished ending in that as readers we don’t get satisfaction. The book ends on a definitive cliffhanger that has me pondering several things:

    • Florence Butler, Clarissa’s fellow teacher, will resurface in a subsequent book (and perhaps her love issues will be solved)
    • The second book will follow Gabriel instead of Clarissa
    • Clarissa’s ghost will reappear, and her stepmother will continue to push and push until something completely drastic and unfixable occurs
    • Clarissa become more involved in the suffragist movement
    • Secretly (knowing it won’t happen) that Clarissa’s father divorces Mrs. Smythe

I loved this book. It was a wonderful read with several historical constructs, during a time that for women was very important. I fully intend on getting my hands on Ramona’s follow-up novel, which may be released sooner than expected! 🙂

About the Author

Ramona FlightnerRamona Flightner is a native of Missoula, Montana. After graduating from Tufts University with a B.A. in Spanish, she earned a Masters degree in Spanish Literature from the University of Montana. Her Master’s thesis, Chilean Testimonial Literature: the collective suffering of a people, highlighted her continued interest in the stories of those who were at risk of being forgotten or silenced.

She studied nursing at the University of Pennsylvania and graduated with a Master’s in Nursing as a Family Nurse Practitioner. She has worked for ten years as a family nurse practitioner providing care to the poor and under insured at two community health centers, first in Wilmington, Delaware and now in Boston, Massachusetts.

An avid reader, she began writing three years ago. She enjoys the demands of research and relishes the small discoveries that give historical detail to her books.

Ramona is an avid flyfisher and hiker who enjoys nothing better than spending a day on a remote Montana river, far from a city. She enjoys research, travel, storytelling, learning about new cultures and discovering new ways of looking at the world. Though she resides in Boston, Massachusetts, Ramona remains a Montanan at heart. 

Her dreams are to see the plains of East Africa, marvel at the wonder of Petra in Jordan, soak in the seas of the South Pacific, and to continue to spend as much time as possible with her family. 

Banished Love is her first novel and is the first in the forthcoming Banished Saga.

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads