Sunday, January 30, 2011

Something Different at The Barn

I've been having trouble getting pictures to post to my blog but I hope the problem is resolved because today I'm bringing you something COMPLETELY different than my normal posts.

For those of you who don't know - my father owns a bar called The Barn.  It truly is an old barn that was converted into a small town, happy little bar.

He got a wild hair and talked a lot of our patrons into doing a Murder Mystery game last night.  He also asked me to attend to take pictures and help out here and there.  I have to say, everyone who came really went all out with their costumes!  Also, they played their characters as if they were really those people.

We live about 37 miles from the famous town of Deadwood (if you follow the interstate and highway)  However, as the crow flies, I'd GUESS we are only about fifteen miles from Deadwood.  It seemed fitting that the mystery my dad chose would be Murder at the Deadwood Saloon. 

I have antiqued these pictures to give it more of an authentic feel.

I want to thank everyone who came to the party and hope everyone had as much fun as I did!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Recently Read - Mockingjay

I apologize for letting some of my posts run several days this week.  Actually, when I do this, it's usually a good sign.  I've either been writing other things or getting caught up in other book related activities.  However, this time it has been because my whole family came down with something. 

Three kids, all running fevers is NOT fun, especially when you don't feel good either.  My sweet brothers came to my rescue yesterday and fed us pulled pork sandwiches for dinner.  What a sad life I'd live if I didn't have my brothers and Dad!

Now, I'm going to try to write a quick Recently Read post for Mockingjay, the last book in the Hunger Games series.  Please bear with me as my mind is still semi-muddled from the cold medicine, not to mention the constant muddling I deal with daily.

Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games)

I've read all kinds of good comments about this series over the past months but the description for The Hunger Games had me thinking "meh."  I've even had this exact conversation with a Facebook friend recently.  However, since it was receiving good reviews and my daughter and I had Amazon gift card money to play with, I thought I'd buy the first one for her.  I truly had no intentions of reading the series.  

However, I'd finished a book and was confronted with my huge TBR list on my Kindle.  My thought, when I clicked on The Hunger Games was, I suppose I should know what I'm going to allow my ten-year-old to read.  So, I opened it with intentions of quickly scanning it.  

I will admit the tense these books are written in really threw me off for the first few pages, but the STORY was so good I barely noticed why and when I was stopping to re-read something.  By the time I bought and opened up Catching Fire I'd become accustomed to reading in a different tense than I am used to.  

I have nothing but good to say about this series.  I finished the full series in about a week because the books were so compelling and I had a hard time putting them down.  I did wait a short amount of time between The Hunger Games and Catching Fire but immediately went to Mockingjay as soon as I finished the second one. 

Suzanne Collins did a wonderful job with ending the first two books as if it were just the beginning of the story.  And, actually, they were.  However, I was pleased with the ending of Mockingjay and felt it was a good conclusion.  I was sad to have the adventure come to an end but at least I wasn't left wondering how things turned out.  These books are some that I will recommend to anyone who enjoys to read.  If Ms. Collins were to write a follow up to this series with new characters, I'd jump to buy the first book!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Featured - My Perfect Wedding

My Perfect Wedding
Sibel Hodge 

My Perfect Wedding (Romantic Comedy)

Book description:
Helen Grey is finally getting everything she wants. She’s about to have the perfect dream wedding and begin an exciting new life abroad on the sunny Mediterranean island of Cyprus. But living the dream isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

After a mix-up at the airport, Helen finds herself drawn into the midst of an elaborate plot to steal an ancient statue and assassinate a local businessman. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, her wedding dress is AWOL, the statue seems to be cursed, and Helen is wanted by the police.

With the big day rapidly approaching, a roller-coaster of mishaps, misunderstandings, and disasters threatens to turn the newlyweds into nearlyweds.

Can Helen prevent an assassination, save the statue, and have the perfect wedding? Or will the day to remember turn into one she’d rather forget?
Author bio:
Sibel Hodge has dual British/Turkish Cypriot nationality and divides her time between Hertfordshire and North Cyprus. Her first romantic-comedy novel, Fourteen Days Later, was shortlisted for the Harry Bowling Prize 2008 and received a Highly Commended by the Yeovil Literary Prize 2009.

Her second novel, The Fashion Police, is a hilarious comedy-mystery novel, the first in the series featuring feisty, larger-than-life, Amber Fox. It was runner-up in the Chapter One Promotions Novel Competition 2010.

My Perfect Wedding is her third novel and is the sequel to Fourteen Days Later.

Connect with the Sibel Hodge:

Buy your copy!


Buy from Amazon in the UK

Buy from Smashwords

Saturday, January 22, 2011

BLOG TOUR - Dragon Academy by Diane Nelson

I have the honor to be the first stop in a blog tour for...

Dragon Academy
Diane Nelson

If you'd like to follow this tour, here are the dates and places to be:
January 22 - Featured on J.C. Phelps's Blogspot
 January 23 - Featured on Two Ends of the Pen 
January 24 - Featured on Kindle Geeks
January 26 - Featured on Hot Gossip, Hot Reviews
January 27 - Featured on Karly Kirkpatrick's Blogspot 
January 28 - Review at Breakout Books

To kick it off for Diane Nelson and her book, Dragon Academy I am going to do a simple feature of said book.

With high school finished for the summer, Nick looks forward to visiting his aunt and uncle in New Jersey. What awaits him is a heat wave like no other - and the last two Greywings on the planet. Nick has an innate ability to train horses but will he be able to translate his amazing skill to these teenage dragons?

The steaming soup of mid-summer heats up tempers and tests resolve as Nick vies with fellow trainers, Keith and Maxie, for mastery over their new charges. The dragons, Nikita and Michael, typical teenagers themselves, have other ideas.

Nick treads a torturous path through a minefield of competing demands: the expectations of his aunt and uncle, recalcitrant horses, the Academy’s female students and the overwhelming egos of Nikita and Michael. One small mistake erupts into a conflagration that hurls everyone into a race against time and forces of nature.

Diane has a smooth writing style that blends fantasy and reality into a believable story. "Dragon Academy" would make a great film. It would also make a wonderful present for anyone who likes Harry Potter or Eragon...

--Mandy Ward

It's one of those rare gems you come across and have to share. --SCAVOLA

As a teacher, I would definitely recommend my students read this book. --LM DeWalt

I finished reading Dragon Academy and sat smiling to myself for a while. It captured my imagination and took me on a marvelous journey. --Suzanna Burke

Action, humor, teenage angst, and, of course, plenty of dragons--this one has it all.  And, like a classic action yarn, Dragon Academy isn't just for teens; it will appeal just as much to adult readers.  --Mark Marker 

Buy your copy!



Friday, January 21, 2011

Current Giveaways, January 21st, 2011

To submit to my blog for giveaways, contests and sales please check out my Submissions page for more information.

Blog Giveaways!
Click on the blog name to be redirected to that blog to enter. 

Mr. Hamric is giving away ANOTHER Kindle WiFi on January 31st!  I believe this makes three.  Actually, he's giving away a $139 Amazon gift card so you can buy your own Kindle from Amazon.  All you need to do is share his giveaway on Facebook (worth 1 entry), buy a copy of Blank Slate (worth 5 entries), buy a copy of Crescent Rising (worth 5 entries), or leave a review for one of his books (worth 5 entries per review), then send him an email at:  to let him know of your entries.

Author AdvenTours
Win an Amazon Gift Card. Up to $50 in prizes!

Here's how it works: Purchase any of the books shown below during the month of January and you will be entered in our gift card drawing. One entry for each book purchase. Already purchased all of them? Why not gift one to someone you love? Forward your reciept to breakoutbooks (at) gmail (dot)  com to be entered. (Subject Line: January Blog Tour Giveaway)

Participating Sponsors:
 Reining In (The Network)  The Royal Dragoneers (The Dragoneers Saga)  Color Me Grey (Book One of the Alexis Stanton Chronicles)  Dragon Academy  The Butcher's Boy
Author AdvenTours

Win a Kindle or a Nook!

Now through March 2011, I’m accepting entries into a contest to win a brand new Kindle 3 or Nook e-reader! That’s right, kids, just for being cool and commenting on this here blog you could win almost $200 worth of swanky electronic toys! And to make it better, I’ll load my books onto the device for you, so you don’t have to do anything but take it out of the box and start to enjoy it! This contest will run through the end of March, 2011, and here’s a sweetener for those of you who already own e-readers - if you win and decide you don’t want a Kindle or a Nook, let me know and I’ll send you a $200 Amazon gift certificate! So no matter what, you can get some cool stuff!

How to enter:
1) No Purchase is necessary. You may earn an entry into the contest by simply commenting on this blog post. You will earn one entry for commenting here. You will not earn multiple entries for multiple comments.
2) You can earn multiple entries, and this is how you do that. You earn two entries for each copy of my books you buy, no max. Just send me an email with the Amazon/Apple/BN order confirmation and your name. Please block out confidential information like where you live.
3) You can earn multiple entries by answering trivia questions about the books, and those will be posted below. You get one entry for each correct answer. Please don’t share the answers, the whole point is to generate readers. That said, if you borrow the book from someone, you can still get all the entries for the correct answers.
4) You can get two entries for posting a review on Amazon, regardless of whether you liked the book or not. If you hate it and give it a review (must be at least 100 words, and no bs like “I hated it” 34 times) I’ll give you two entries. That’s two entries per book reviewed, so the more reviews you write, the more entries you get. Obviously you can only review each book once, because to do anything else skews the review process. And I really do want honest responses, so if you think it’s crap, don’t be afraid to tell me. I’ll just curl up under my keyboard any cry, that’s all.
5) You can win extra entries by donating to 24 Hours of Booty on my page. This is a bike ride to raise money for cancer that I participate in with some folks from work. For every $10 you donate, you get one entry!

Please visit the site for the trivia questions.

Laura Vosika is offering a giveaway of an electronic copy of her book through smashwords, from now until January 31.  Details here:
Ami Blackwelder is offering up a .pdf copy of The Shifters of 2040 to two lucky winners.  All you need to do to enter this one is click the link above or below and enter your email address in the comment section.  Good luck!


Smashwords Giveaways

The Yellowstone Caldera has erupted once every 600,000 years. We’re 40,000 years overdue. Lava flows stretch for hundreds of miles. A cloud of ash billows east, burying the Midwest, destroying crops, and falling upon the Pacific Coast like a warm, dead snow. The remnants of the United States flees south as the global temperatures plummet. These are the stories of the survivors.
Jacob Cox is 18 and finds himself running his family's new business, a dilapidated bar in a forgotten seaside town. Jacob longs to escape his family of villains, liars and psychopaths. Could the bar be his last chance to make money and get away from everyone he despises? Is his family really that bad or is he actually worse than all of them put together? A screwball comedy about family.