2/24/17

The Legion Series Book Tour And $10 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway



We have just discovered the Legion Series by K.C. Finn.  We have a houseful of dystopian novel fans--and I look forward to hearing readers' thoughts on this series!  Learn more about the Legion Series and author K.C. Finn--and enter for a chance to win a gift card in the book tour giveaway at the end of this post!

Legion Lost
By K.C. Finn
Genre: Dystopian



One Underground girl escapes from a soldiers’ raid. Lost and above ground for the very first time, she has only one option to secure her survival: the Legion—a government organization for teenagers with no place left to run. Leave your identity at the gate, and join a life of military service until you reach adulthood. It sounds ideal, but the Underground girl knows that the System won’t stop looking for its female runaway. So, she tells a lie about her gender.
And it will change her forever.
Posing as Raja, a boy-soldier, the Underground girl is thrown into Legion life at its full, brutal speed. Here, she meets Senior Commander Briggs, whose savage authority reigns over the teenage soldiers. Amongst them are a band of oddballs known as the South Tower Rejects, led by Stirling, a tall, savvy stranger with bright copper hair and eyes that shine like oceans. There’s something hiding behind his cocky smile, and Raja wants to know what it is.

Legion Found

The heart-wrenching sequel to Kindle Press's LEGION LOST has arrived. As our heroine Raja suffers with intense grief, her new identity as a Highland rebel soldier is about to be put to the test. As part of an intrepid rescue mission, she and her fellow Highlanders will travel south to infiltrate the System itself, discovering the fresh horrors that Governor Prudell has subjected her people to. Death, destruction and all-out war awaits, and nothing can prepare them for the terror of the truth.


K. C. Finn was born and raised in Cardiff, South Wales, where her love for storytelling grew at a precociously young age. After developing the medical condition M.E. / C.F.S., Kim turned to writing to escape the pressures of disabled living, only to become hooked on the incredible world of publishing.
Kim spends most of her time locked in the writing cave with an obscenely large mug of tea. When not writing, she can be found pursuing her PhD in Linguistics, watching classic British comedy, or concocting evil schemes in the secret laboratory in her attic.
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Check out the fantasy novel,  Shadeborn:  Volume One!

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2/23/17

The University of Corporeal & Ethereal Studies Book Review


The University of Corporeal & Ethereal Studies tour 
As a fan of supernatural and science fiction, I was immediately drawn into this novel by Wolfgang Edwards.  What did I think of the first book in the Students of Madness series?

I received a complimentary e-copy of this book for use in my review.  All opinions are my own.

Quick Summary of The University of Corporeal & Ethereal Studies.  At the University of Corporeal & Ethereal Studies meddling with unknown powers can be dangerous work. Courses in arts and sciences experiment with supernatural forces to solve the mysteries of the universe, but when school projects go awry, the students may discover more than they would like to about the madness of the cosmic 'Beyond'. Eight interwoven stories follow students whose school work, social lives and inner demons crash together, leading to fantastic and horrible experiences, supernatural powers, and a fuller understanding of the dark depths of their world. Classes include subjects such as time travel, alchemy, oneironautics , psychedelic transformation, rogue automatons, cosmic ghosts, reality-warping crystals, and more. Inspired by many authors of science fiction, fantasy and horror, including H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, J.K. Rowling, Neil Gaiman, William Gibson, Kurt Vonnegut and Isaac Asimov.

Readers shouldn't be daunted by the novel's length. The University of Corporeal & Ethereal Studies is a lengthy book.  I joke that I have only the time and attention span for short stories and quick novels.  So--when I saw the length of this book, I was a little worried.  However; I shouldn't have been.  The novel's hundreds of pages are broken into smaller segments as the author tells the individual stories--and then connects them all as the book concludes.  In spite of the length, I had a tough time setting the book aside between stories.  Readers will be drawn into each story--and caught up in the underlying connections through to the end.

The author creates a great series foundation with this book.  The author puts a lot of time into building this first book of the series and into his characters and their individual stories.   Readers are able to understand each of the characters and their roles in the larger story with great depth.  The author then unites these characters toward the end as a means of launching them onto the next stage of the series. 

The University of Corporeal & Ethereal Studies is a bit predictable--yet, still interesting.   I think most readers will be able to guess the outcomes of some of the individual stories--and even foretell the ending as the scenes progress.  However; the book is still an interesting read for fans of science fiction and fantasy novels.  There were moments that brought thoughts of Harry Potter--while others made me envision Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.  The author's writing style blends elements of darkness, human nature and horror into science fiction and fantasy with ease.

The book's format is a little different.  I was immediately drawn to the first story of the book.  As that story seemed to end; I struggled just a bit to settle into the next story--and found myself needing to resettle as each character's story was presented.  The individual stories are rather long and detailed. This writing style builds a very well done foundation to the series--but, it takes a bit of adjustment for the reader to transition from character to character.  Toward the end of the book, the transitions between characters happened a little more quickly and were easier to flow through. 

Would I recommend The University of Corporeal & Ethereal Studies.  I really liked this book and I really look forward to continuing to read the series.  The author creates a lot of background, develops a number of characters, and really devotes a lot of time toward drawing the readers into the series.  There is something for fantasy fans, supernatural fans, science fiction fans--and even for dark, human nature realists--in this book.  I would recommend this book to fans of any of these genre--and even to short story fans as the authors writing style tends to build one novel from short story like segments. 


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Meet the Author:
Wolfgang Edwards was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1987. He has been an aspiring writer since he was a child and intends to keep writing the rest of his life.

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Sweet Southern Hearts Book Spotlight Tour and Giveaway


Sweet Southern Hearts continues the Willow Hill series from author Susan Schild.  While I have not read any of the books from this series; they are all receiving wonderful reviews from women's fiction readers.  Check out Sweet Southern Hearts, learn a bit about the author and enter for a chance to win a prize in the book tour giveaway at the end of this post!

Sweet Southern Hearts
Author: Susan Schild
Publisher: Lyrical Press

Genre: Contemporary Women's Fiction


Susan Schild welcomes you back to the offbeat Southern town of Willow Hill, North Carolina, for a humorous, heartwarming story of new beginnings, do-overs, and self-discovery…

When it comes to marriage, third time’s the charm for Linny Taylor. She’s thrilled to be on her honeymoon with Jack Avery, Willow Hill’s handsome veterinarian. But just like the hair-raising white water rafting trip Jack persuades her to take, newlywed life has plenty of dips and bumps.

Jack’s twelve-year-old son is resisting all Linny’s efforts to be the perfect stepmother, while her own mother, Dottie, begs her to tag along on the first week of a free-wheeling RV adventure. Who knew women “of a certain age” could drum up so much trouble? No sooner is Linny sighing with relief at being back home than she’s helping her frazzled sister with a new baby…and dealing with an unexpected legacy from her late ex. Life is fuller—and richer—than she ever imagined, but if there’s one thing Linny’s learned by now, it’s that there’s always room for another sweet surprise…







Susan has an undergraduate degree from James Madison University and a master’s degree (MSW) from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has used her professional background as a psychotherapist and corporate trainer to add authenticity to her characters.

Susan is a wife, a stepmother, and a dog lover. She and her family live near Raleigh, North Carolina where she is busy finishing up the third novel in the Willow Hill Series.







2/22/17

Contemporary Travel Tips for the Modern Day Traveler


No matter if you travel for business or leisure, frequently or infrequently, everyone can benefit from a bit of advice when it comes to navigating the ever changing landscape at airports around the globe. From knowing how to pack effectively and efficiently to getting through security with your sanity in check, it seems that there is much more to travel these days than in the past. Recent data does indicate that people are traveling away from home with increasing frequency. With so many people all vying for the same limited space on planes, trains, and busses it is important to separate yourself from the rest as much as possible. With that in mind, consider the following contemporary travel trips for the modern day traveler.

Take Advantage of Travel Programs and Loyalty Programs.
If you go through airports a number of times every year, it is common to grow frustrated with the amount of time you waste going through security. It has required you to get to the airport extra early, which means that you sacrifice time with your family or at the office. You can help to alleviate the pain of airport security to some degree by applying for an expedited traveler status. There are several such programs in place throughout the United States. If you primarily travel within the United States, the TSA Pre-Check is a great program that will get you through security and on your way in less time than you are used to. If you do quite a bit of international travel, you can look in the Nexus, Sentri, or Global Entry programs designed to help facilitate international travel. All of these programs take some time to get into, and there is a fee, but once you are all set up the time savings and convenience alone make it all worthwhile.

If possible, you will also want to focus on flying just one or two major airlines in order to maximize the advantages your receive with their loyalty programs. The more you fly with one particular airline, the faster you earn more rewards. In addition, as you gain status you will being to accumulate certain valuable perks. Depending on the airline, these can amount to free upgrades, expedited boarding, and a free checked baggage allowance. The same goes for hotel loyalty programs. You will be better off by focusing on just one or two major chains and making use of them whenever you travel, for either leisure or traveling purpose.

Packing Makes All the Difference.  Luggage today has really been perfected as an art form. Focus on how you pack, and that begins with your choice of luggage. You want something that is light and easy to carry around. Get used to packing as minimally as possible. Remember that you are the one that will be carrying all those bags around with you as your travel from place to place, so you will be happy when you follow this advice.

It is also helpful to bring a change of clothes in your carry on luggage. This is useful for several reasons. If you were to get separated from your checked baggage for any length of time, you will be happy that you have a set of fresh clothes to get you through the interim. As you travel, also make sure that you are nice to those that are working around you. Many of your fellow travelers give staff a hard time, so go out of your way to make their day by giving them a smile and a break.

Focus on Healthy Living.  Just because you are traveling does not mean you can neglect your attempts at a healthy lifestyle. Because of the exposure to a variety of environmental agents that you are not used to, it is more important than ever to engage in healthy habits while traveling. Remember to eat well, drink lots of water, and engage in physical activity whenever possible.

These few travel tips will go a long way towards helping your travel experiences go much more smoothly. The modern era has many conveniences, so work to take advantage of those as much as possible.

2/21/17

Modern Decor Can Complement Any Home Renovation


No matter the age of your home, a renovation can prove a great way to enhance the quality and comfort level that you experience. From complete kitchen remodels to bathroom overhauls, and virtually everything in between, the sky is truly the limit when embarking down this path. No matter if you are taking over an existing home whose look and feel does not jive with your personality, or you simply have grown tired of your existing layout, a new design could be just what the home doctor has ordered. Consider the following ways that modern decor can complement any home renovation.

Construction You Can Count On.  As you set out to do any remodeling project, you want to ensure that the contractor you select is reliable and does top quality work. If you do this, not only will you sleep better at night, you will also enjoy a host of benefits that come along with it. There are many reasons why you should consider a renovation, and not all of them have to with simple aesthetics. Remodeling a home can substantially increase the overall value of a commercial or residential property. Working on the exterior of building, for example, can enhance the curb appeal and enable you to stand out from others in the area.

Naturally, you might have no inclination to sell your home anytime in the near future. That is fine, as an increase in home value has other benefits as well. You may find that you qualify for an increased line of credit, and the bottom line of your portfolio will increase as well. Home renovation companies Markham can help you with a design that you will be most pleased with. The construction alone will leave you more than impressed, and you will not have to worry about costly repairs that come with shoddy materials. Make sure you go with the best, and you will be sure to save a great deal of money and heartache in the long run.

Kitchens and Bathrooms Made Extra Special.  No matter if you have a lot of space, or room is at a premium in your property, kitchens and bathrooms can be remodeled to your exact specifications. This means that you can take advantage of the latest in building materials, appliances, and equipment in an effort to bring you into the modern era. You can even complete a remodeling project while maintaining the traditional look of an older property. This will give you the advantage of having a bright and airy feel to the place, while still keep the properties heritage in check.

Just think of the many things you can do with a kitchen today. Rip out your old cabinets and replace them with ones that are custom made to fit your space. It is also helpful to consider new countertops, particularly to enhance the overall and look feel of the kitchen. Sinks and faucets now come in a variety of designs, as do appliances and flooring. As you consider the redesign of your kitchen or bathroom, dream big. Have a 3D floor plan of the area generated and play around with it until you have everything just right. This will help you get the finished product that you have been envisioning all this time.

Upgrade Old Electrical and Building Materials. Home renovations are also helpful to upgrade electrical components to bring them more in line with current standards. Older homes especially could benefit from a complete overhaul in order to avoid future issues. There is also a range of plumbing and HVAC related issues that should be worked on from time to time. These items might not be seen, but they will greatly enhance your quality of life within the home itself.

While you are at it, look to upgrade the paint or wallpaper and give a new look and feel to the entire property. You might walk away from the project feeling that you have purchased an entirely new home, and that is exactly the point. Get creative and have fun with it. Get the family involved and give everyone a say. In the end, you will have the new fixtures and environment that you have been waiting for.
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