Saturday, May 31, 2014

Recent Kindle Purchases

Avery Lane is driven to discover the fate of the 117 missing colonists of Roanoke. When she encounters a mysterious group called the Descendants, who are determined to keep the colony’s secret hidden, Avery must choose between her obsession for the past and her own survival. Will solving this mystery cost her everything? Is there more to this secret than what is buried at Roanoke? Haunted by visions of the past, she must find answers before the Descendants stop her and forever banish the truth.

Things are going great for Lexy Baker. She's finally opened her dream bakery, gotten rid of her cheating boyfriend and settled into her grandmothers house with her perky dog Sprinkles at her side.

But her blissful life doesn't last long. When her ex boyfriend is found poisoned with cupcakes from her bakery, Lexy finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation headed up by her hunky neighbor detective Jack Perillo.

With the help of a gang of iPad toting, would-be detective grandmothers, Lexy decides to take it upon herself to find the real murderer in order to clear her name and get her bakery back in business.

As things heat up on the murder trail, in the kitchen and between Lexy and the hunky detective, it's a race against time to put the real murderer behind bars and get back to baking.

Will Lexy get her man? (Includes the recipe for Lexy's famous cupcake tops!)

NEW ENGLAND WITCH CHRONICLES is the first book in the four-book bestselling young adult series. The Salem Witch Trials of 1692 were an embarrassing stain on America’s revered past. Innocent people were persecuted at the hands of a few overzealous Puritans, but what if real witches existed during those colonial hunts? What if there are witches in present day New England? That’s what Alexandria Ramsey’s crazy grandmother believes. Grandma Claudia claims Alex descends from a long line of New England witches.

Modern day witches in Hazel Cove, Massachusetts? Unlikely, but strange things are occurring in the weeks preceding Alex’s seventeenth birthday. Alex is haunted by bizarre recurring nightmares of a man chasing her through the Hazel Cove Cemetery. On a few occasions, when her emotions have spiraled out of control, inanimate objects have shattered around her. But that’s just a coincidence, right? Alex isn’t so sure, especially after a local girl, who supposedly dabbled in witchcraft, was killed in the nearby forest.

Alex knows something strange is happening. With the arrival of a new boy in town, James Van Curen, who is causing problems between Alex and her best friend, Peter, Alex feels like her entire world is on the verge of chaos. Could Alex really be a witch? Is it possible Hazel Cove will become a battleground for modern-day witches and witch hunters?

* The steamy sequel to BREAKING THE STORM by Sedona Venez. *

He’s flawed like a MF, but I want him.

Ryker Alfero
Wolf-Shifter. Tattooed. Dangerous. Off-limits. Everything I crave — and everything I shouldn’t want.

“I would love to see what else your dirty little mouth can do.” With those little words, my body shivered as a surge of energy zipped into my body, unlocking something I didn’t understand. My brain started functioning with a clarity I hadn’t experienced in years. No warring emotions, just calmness.

This shouldn’t be happening, especially not with him. God. This was going to be a rough damn ride.

“I’ll do my best to break you in slowly, submissive,” he hissed, his voice dripping with raw sex.

Is total submission inevitable?

“When I get you under me, it’s going to be slow, hard, and memorable.” ~ Ryker

I have other plans.

“Go find yourself a woman stupid enough to settle for less than you're willing to give. Whose heart you can break without giving a sh*t. This woman is off limits.” ~ Lightning

Friday, May 30, 2014

What's in Your TBR Pile?

Here is a list of newer titles in my TBR Pile:

  • Lonely Planet New England Travel Guide
  • Rebuilding Civilization on the Bible: Proclaiming the Truth on 24 Controversial Issues by Dr. Jay Grimstead
  • Sh*t Rough Drafts: Pop Culture's Favorite Books, Movies, and TV Shows As They Might Have Been by Paul Landiero
  • Four Corners or A Book That Will Tickle Your Intellectual Nipple by Cary Smith
  • Breath of Spring by Charlotte Hubbard
  • The Millionaire Real Estate Agent by Gary Keller

What's in your TBR pile?

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Book Review: The Education of George Washington by Austin Washington

The Education of George Washington is a refreshingly different take on the Father of Our Country.

Austin Washington, great-nephew of George Washington, has written an engaging and lively account of our first president providing insight that can only be gained by a relation and years of research. Debunking long-lived myths and focusing on a little known book that helped to shape the character of an American hero, Washington digs deep into who George Washington was and the influences that made him a great man and natural born leader.

If you are looking for a dull and dry academic biography on America's first president, you won't find it in The Education of George Washington. What you will find is a book that entices even those not truly interested in reading about history to pick up a biography on one of America's most influential historical figures. The author spends a good deal of time putting George Washington's life and actions in the context of the world in which he lived: how Washington's life was impacted by the death of his father; how living in rural Virginia led him to develop a certain mindset and talents; and what living in America during those early years was like. The book captures the everyday dangers of Colonial America that modern readers can tend to forget.

A unique aspect to The Education of George Washington is that the author connects the reader to the Father of Our Country by talking about how Washington's character developed and how the reader can also develop an equally fine character. In essence, this is not only a biography, it's to some degree a self-help book.

Washington's love of history shines through on every page. And though his style is more witty and clever than one might expect from someone with a masters degree and who has performed postgraduate research that focused on Colonial America, it is exactly his ability to connect with modern readers that makes this a winning book worth every penny spent on it. I would read it again in a heartbeat if I had the time.

Highly recommended.

File Size: 5744 KB
Print Length: 354 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1621572056
Publisher: Regnery History (February 10, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English

I received a copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

I read this book for the following challenge:

Tactics, Trends, & Traits of the Enemy Book Blitz - Win $25 Amazon Gift Card

Title: Tactics, Trends, & Traits of the Enemy
Author: Jermaine Gadson
Genre: Spiritual
Publisher: Crossbooks – Division of LifeWay (June 2014)
ISBN: 9781462736362—Hard Cover
ISBN: 9781462736355—Soft Cover
ISBN: 9781462736348—eBook

Pre-order at:

Tactics, Trends, & Traits of the Enemy by author Jermaine Gadson is a must have resource for believers who want to be well equipped to be victorious against the strategies of the devil. The devil is cunning and deceptive, and he will stop at nothing to keep God's people from reaching their potential in Christ. In this book, Pastor Gadson discusses how the enemy uses temptation, seduction, fear, isolation, guilt, shame, and other such things in order to steal and destroy a person's life. Satan works tirelessly through various means and mechanisms to keep sinners from hearing and being receptive of the Word of God, in order to prevent them from being saved. If you have family or friends who are not born-again, this resource will help you to identify schemes that the enemy may be using to keep your loved ones from being saved. This book is intended to equip the Body of Christ to wage a good warfare against the strategies of the enemy. It is not God's will for His people to be taken advantage of by the enemy because of ignorance. This book exposes who the enemy is, what he has done, what he is doing, and what he will try to do in the future, as an enemy of God's people. This book is written for the everyday believer to be able to understand and use. However, it is also a helpful tool for Christian leaders to be able to identify specific ways in which the enemy desires to attack them in order to steal their influence, kill their destiny, and destroy their reputation and ministries. In this regard, it is an encouragement to the Body of Christ to guard and protect their spiritual leaders.


Know Your Enemy
Before engaging in battle of any kind, it is very important to be familiar with the opposition. The more you know about your enemy, the greater you will be equipped to fight against them and be victorious. Knowing your enemy includes being knowledgeable of their strengths, weaknesses, habits, origin, and the like. When you are knowledgeable about your adversary, you become empowered to develop a plan of action or strategy to adequately defend against their opposition, overcome their threats and defensive mechanisms, and ultimately defeat them.

Athletes and those who follow sports are familiar and acquainted with this principle. Coaches and players spend hours upon hours viewing video recordings of not only their own team, but of their upcoming opponents as well. They view recordings to evaluate their own strengths and weaknesses as revealed by previous games, and they do the same to identify strengths and weaknesses of the next team they have to face.
This principle is certainly pertinent in the area of the military as well. No military general, or top ranking official who has authority over military personnel will in their right mind authorize the use of military force without adequate information concerning the enemy to be attacked. Right decisions require right information. This is especially true if you want to come out victorious and on top.

Now that we can see the importance of this principle from a natural standpoint, it makes sense that this would also apply spiritually in relation to how we are to do battle with our spiritual enemy. As you read this book, I hope that you will be able to see the importance of this material in helping you towards this very end. The reason this book is so important is because the person reading it is like a ballplayer looking at tape of his or her opponent or a military general gathering intelligence on a terrorist organization.
When you know where your enemy came from, what your enemy has done in the past, and what your enemy is presently capable of, you are more readily prepared to wage a good warfare and defeat him in any present or future encounters you may have.


Jermaine Gadson is the Senior Pastor of Faith Ministries, Inc., a non-traditional church located in
Birmingham, AL. Prior to starting Faith Ministries, he served as an associate minister, youth minister, and pastor for local churches and ministries in the greater Birmingham area. While, growing up in the Baptist church, he gave his life to Christ at an early age, and is a third generation minister of the Gospel.

He holds a B.A. in Religion with a Concentration in Congregational Studies and a Minor in Classics from Samford University, and a Master of Divinity from Beeson Divinity School of Samford University. He is currently a Doctor of Ministry student at Beeson Divinity School.

Gadson enjoys reading, writing, sports, outdoors, movies, and spending time with his family. He is happily married to his wife Kristy and they have one beautiful daughter, Khloe.

Visit Pastor Gadson online at

Pump Up Your Book and Jermaine are teaming up to give away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!
Terms & Conditions:

  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive each of the prizes
  • This giveaway begins May 19 and ends on May 31, 2014.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on June 2, 2014.
  • Winner has 72 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tactics, Trends, & Traits of the Enemy Book Blitz Schedule

May 19

May 20

May 21

May 22

May 23

May 26

May 27

May 28

May 29

May 30

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Interview with Deirdre Thurston, Author of Caught

I’ve been an observer of people my whole life, always intrigued by the unfolding of everyday events and what those events take on in the eyes and lives of ordinary people.
As well as seeing — and feeling — the angst and the pain, the fragile hopes and dreams, the joys and the frustrations that make up the human condition, I’ve also always been able to see the funny side.

My vantage points have been from the perspective of a daughter, a sister, a wife and a mother, an aunt, a friend and a confidante — I’ve looked at life through many lenses, yet always my own observations have been enriched by the points of view of the other players in those unfolding dramas.

And always inside of me, from the time I was five years old, has lurked a writer — framing my observations and cataloguing them. Storing them up until I was ready to capture them on paper.

At 57, I began crafting my lifetime of observations into sketches and vignettes. Two years later I knew it was time to start sharing my stories with the world.

Visit Deirdre online at

Where did you grow up?

In Auckland, New Zealand

When did you begin writing?

I always loved writing essays at school and scribbled in journals. I began writing seriously about three years ago.

Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

I prefer writing in the early morning when it is quiet and still.

What is this book about?

Here's the blurb: A collection of short stories, literary sketches and vignettes each capturing a moment in the life of someone a lot like you. Each story delves into human themes: expectation, desire, hope, loss, fear, joy, peace, suffering, redemption. The narrative is filled with subtle irony, humour and touching observations. The stories highlight our era of increasing social disconnection, in which technology is replacing intimacy and life occurs at a pace that challenges people’s ability to stop, observe and interpret their own existence and its relationship with those around them.

It highlights the everyday moment and provides nourishment for the harried soul. The overriding message in Caught is: that any moment in every life can be viewed as worthy of treasuring. Whether that moment is filled with despair or joy; they provide entertaining relief and nourishing benefits.

What inspired you to write it?

Writing is something I have always wanted to do. There came a time in my life that it felt "right" to begin. I love words and language. It can transport us in a second.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Book Depository.

Do you have a video trailer to promote your book? If yes, where can readers find it?

I am having one filmed for YouTube next week. It should be available soon. I will post it to my website.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?

Just write. Don't try and please others or think about anything else but sitting down and writing.

What is up next for you?

Writing, writing, writing. And I have itchy feet so a trip somewhere beautiful – perhaps Southern Italy or Paris or…

W...W...W...Wednesdays - May 28

This meme was created by MizB at Should Be Reading. To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

In Austin Washington’s new book--The Education of George Washington--readers will learn all about President Washington’s true model of conduct, honor, and leadership, including the actual historic document that President Washington used to transform his life from a poorly educated child of a widowed mother, to the historic, curious, highly influential and awe inspiring figure he became and remains today.

I'm loving this book. The author has an excellent style that would make even one not interested in history want to pick up the book and browse through it.

What did you recently finish reading?

Indian nationalist leader Mahatma Gandhi has been quoted as saying “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” This is a sad indictment of the Christian community as a whole. Is it true? Are believers in Christ the reason people keep their distance from Judeo-Christian beliefs and the God we embrace? I feel there’s no question that we’re partially to blame. In this book I touch on a wide variety of topics, but in the end call out Christians to immerse themselves in a time of reassessment as we all strive to be more genuine and consistent in our faith.

This is a client's book. It makes you ponder the questions, "Do Christians treat non-believers differently? and "Does the behavior of some Christians turn people away from the faith?"

What do you think you’ll read next?

Rick and Abby grew up together, became best friends, and ultimately fell in love. Circumstance tore them apart in their early teens, though, and they went on to lives less idyllic than they dreamed about in those early days. Rick has had a very successful career, but his marriage flat-lined. Abby has a magical daughter, Paige, but Paige's father nearly destroyed Abby's spirit.

Now fate has thrown Rick and Abby together again. In their early thirties, they are more world-weary than they were as kids. But their relationship still shimmers, and they're hungry to make up for lost time. However, Paige, now nine, is not nearly as enthusiastic. She's very protective of the life she's made with her mother and not open to the duo becoming a trio. Meanwhile, Rick has very little experience dealing with kids and doesn't know how to handle Paige. This leaves Abby caught between the two people who matter the most to her. What happens when the life you've dreamed of remains just inches from your grasp?

PRESSED PENNIES is a nuanced, intensely romantic, deeply heartfelt story of love it its many incarnations, relationships in their many guises, and family in its many meanings. It is the most accomplished and moving novel yet from a truly great storyteller of the heart.

I'm reading this for the author's virtual book tour. Not sure if I will be able to read it in time, but I'm going to try.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Interview with Christa Hoffman, Author of Invitation

Christina Hoffman was born in London, England. She moved with her family throughout Canada and the US, and has finally put down her suitcase, for now, in San Francisco.

She believes that everyone has the right to feel both smart and sexy. We don't have to be one or the other! She writes stories about characters who live in the real world and who, somehow, still believe in love.
She's starting a mini-revolution. She writes sexy stories, but hasn't lost the romance from her Romances. Enough with whips -- back to lips!

She hopes you enjoy her stories and see yourself in her characters. After all, they are based on smart and sexy people, just like you.

Christina’s latest book is the contemporary romance, Invitation.

Visit her website at

Thank you for this interview, Christina. Can you tell us a little about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

Hello, and thanks so much for having me. I was born in England, and travelled around a lot as a young person. Right now I’m in San Francisco, and I love it (apart from the seagulls, and the cold weather – I thought California would be warmer!)

I’ve written on and off for a while, but this is my first attempt at a romance novel.

Can you tell us briefly what your book is about?

This book came to me one evening. Madison just popped into my mind. She is a young woman who used to be full of life and passion. Something really awful happened a couple of years ago and she is damaged and afraid. But, at the beginning of the book, she is finally tired of feeling afraid all the time, and wants to get back into life. She’s not sure how to do it, but then Liam shows up and makes her an offer she can’t refuse.

Why did you choose your particular genre?

Two reasons, really. The first is that all my research told me that romance readers are the greatest readers on the planet. They’re intelligent, they read a lot of books, and they’re loyal to the authors they love. Of course I wanted to be part of that world.

The other answer is that this story needed to be told as a contemporary romance. I knew it would have a happy ending, and I knew there needed to be a lot of physical passion and love. The story decided what it needed to be.

What was your greatest challenge writing this book?

I was as going to say that the greatest challenge was making time in a busy life – I haven’t read a book or watched TV in 2 months…

But, really, the hardest part was just starting. I had to tell myself that it was all right to try and fail. I can be really hard on myself, so I had to shut that nasty voice inside up for a while. THAT was hard!

Are you published by a traditional house, small press or are you self-published?

I chose self-publishing because I didn’t want to wait years to hear back from agents and publishers. I wanted to have the control to decide when to publish, what the cover would be…all that stuff.

Was it the right choice for you?

I’m not sure. The processes of writing and publishing have been great. But, getting the book noticed, getting it into the hands of people who will buy it and like it – that has been incredibly challenging. I have spent almost as much time on “promotion” as I did writing it, which is frustrating. I can see the appeal now of just handing your finished manuscript over to the publisher and getting right back to work on writing the next book!

Thankfully, there are bloggers and readers who are willing to go out of their way to find and support new books. So, a big shout out to all of you! This couldn’t work without you.

How are you promoting your book thus far?

Oh, the list is long… I’m just starting with a book tour which I think (hope) will end up being the most productive way to promote.

I’ve been on Facebook, twitter, Google +, I’ve made a website. I have an Amazon author page (in each country that has its own author page). I have a Goodreads page and a Smashwords page. I’ve made paperback copies to use for the Goodreads giveaways I’ve done. I’ve paid a small amount to be on World Literary Café and Bargain Booksy. And, of course, I’m working with Dorothy at Pump Up Your Book.

If you could give one book promotion tip to new authors, what would that be?

This is a bit tricky because I don’t know yet what will work. I’ll just say that I spent $40 “boosting” my post on Facebook. Supposedly it reached 20,000 people interested in romance novels, but it resulted in ZERO sales! If you have a little bit of money, I would check out smaller websites like World Literary Café or Bargain Booksy. They seem to be better use of your money.

Oh! And get really great cover. You can’t skimp on this one.

What’s next for you?

Hopefully more books. People are already asking for more Liam and Madison, which is really exciting because I love them and would love to tell more of their story.

The next book I have planned is about a big-city cellist who is supposed to get a spot at a prestigious musicians’ retreat in the mountains, but is beaten out by another woman (who is sleeping with the prof.) So, she gets to attend the conference, but has to stay at a rugged ranch instead of the fancy resort. Of course there’s a gorgeous man working at the ranch. They hate each other at first, but…

Thank you for this interview, Christina. Can you tell us where we can find you on the web?

Of course! Here goes…

Facebook Author Page:
Goodreads Author Page:
Google Plus:
Amazon Author Page:

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Surprisingly Enjoyed

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All they ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

This is a freebie week, so we get to choose what our Top Ten Tuesday list will be. I decided to blog about the Top Ten Books I Surprisingly Enjoyed. Sometimes you pick up a book not thinking it will wow you, but it does. Here's my list of books that left me pleasantly surprised.


I never considered myself much for a time travel lover. I'm also not a fan of fractured family stories for young people. But I had to admit that the appeal of Charlie for me was because he was so unnoticeable that his own mother can't remember his name. This ended up being a gripping story with tons of action. 


I never intended to read The Hunger Games. Having been forced to read some dystopian fiction in high school, I swore I would never do it again. When my daughter received a copy of this book from her teacher as a Christmas gift, I said she could only read it if we read it together. We both loved it and quickly moved on to the next two books in the trilogy. 


Futuristic stories are another no-no in my world. I simply can't get into all those different worlds with their odd characters and crazy technology. So I was totally floored when I loved Cinder. This one proves a well-told story will pull you in even if you don't care for the setting.


Zombies are so not my thing. I find all that talk about undead stuff kind of gruesome. I did, however, really like The Caldecott Chronicles No. 1. The humor in it made it a great read. I just found out there is a second book in this series, so I'll be reading that one as soon as I can.


Fantasy is another genre I don't dabble in often. This epic battle of good versus evil in a world of shape-shifting spirits, deception, and powerful forces was my favorite YA read of 2011. I wasn't fond of the third person omniscient point of view, but otherwise, it was perfect.


I truly wasn't sure what to think about this one when I decided to review it. We've got a dragon detective, his mage partner, and a bunch of magical beings at a Mensa convention. Bare minimum, you have to appreciate the creative mind that can come up with such a thing. I ended up being hooked from the very first word. 


Not really one for vampire stories lately, I was thrilled with how much I enjoyed The Kensei. Fast-paced and exciting, it is set in Japan and the States. The best part: tall, dark and handsome Lawson who is a wise-cracking vampire charged with protecting the Balance between vampires and humans.


Speculative fiction remains a mystery to me. I never quite know what qualifies and what doesn't. I'm also not much into mysticism. The main character, Grace Johnson, takes a bullet to save the life of a Ku Klux Klansman who might have killed her father. The Ancestor spirits insist Grace bear witness to her town's violent racial history, so that all involved might transcend it. I thoroughly enjoyed this one. It's a book you won't quickly forget.


This book was not what I expected at all. Not much of a fan of sci-fi or new worlds (I like mine just fine), I approached this one with trepidation. It's got a lot of action--which I like. I totally got wrapped up in this one. War Correspondent Dax Rigby accepts an assignment on the savage planet of Arcadia. His job--to investigate and report on the Western Alliance mission there. He is quickly thrust into a battle to save two alien species from extinction and rescue a human outpost plagued by a mysterious disease.


Now, I like historical fiction; but I haven't read much about Vikings since high school. I wasn't quite sure I would like this one. The author's detailed research added a great deal to this novel. He also included an historical perspective at the beginning and a glossary at the end, which were very helpful. 

Have you picked up any books that ended up pleasantly surprising you?

Monday, May 26, 2014

Musing Mondays - May 26

This is a weekly meme run by Miz B of Should be Reading.

Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…

• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it!
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

My Musing:

It's been a while since I participated in this blog meme. My reading time is seriously down lately. I have a book review due on Thursday and not sure I'll make it in time. I blame menopause. It has totally messed up my sleeping habits, which has led to less reading time. I thought menopause was supposed to give you insomnia, not make you so exhausted you can barely keep your eyes open past 10:30. I'm sleeping better and more than I ever have--which should be wonderful.  But it isn't. I read in the tub at night. It's when I get most of my reading done. But I can count on one hand the times I've relaxed in the tub before bed the last two months.

Do you ever feel the pressure of trying to stay caught up on reading? What do you do about it?

Interview with Victoria Warren Jackson, Author of Untraditional Love in the Dark

Victoria Warren Jackson was born in Milledgeville, Georgia. She was raised in Milledgeville, Georgia and Miami, Florida and attended Miami Norland Senior High School. She distinguished herself as an excellent student in high school and received numerous honors.

After graduating from high school, Victoria earned an Associate in Arts Degree in Broadcasting Journalism from Miami Dade College. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature and a Bachelor’s Degree in Dietetics from Oakwood University. She earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University and an Educational Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University. Victoria is FCCPC Certified and has a CDA National.

Victoria has been an educator for sixteen years and began writing her first novel while teaching middle grade students. Victoria soon realized that writing is therapy and continues to write daily. She is the author of three books, Can You Feel Me? Intimate Poetry, Not Just Us, and Untraditional Love In The Dark.

Victoria is passionate about helping children become their best. She remains busy writing, teaching full-time, and volunteering in her community. She currently lives in Florida.

You can visit Victoria Warren Jackson’s website at: or connect with her at Twitter.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I started writing as a child. I always loved to read books, and this pastime led me to writing. I have written three books and am currently working on my fourth book, which is a novel. I live in Florida with my husband. I am also a teacher.

When did you begin writing?

I was a young girl when I started writing poems and songs.

Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

I typically like to write early in the morning or late at night. I work during the day.

What is this book about?

Untraditional Love In The Dark is about a young woman who meets Mr. Right only to discover he is Mr. Wrong. She rushes into marriage and ends up discovering he wants the best of both worlds. This horrible secret sends her over the edge and almost causes her to end it all.

What inspired you to write it?

I was inspired to write this book because there are so many women who marry bisexual or gay men and do not even realize what they have gotten themselves into.

Who is your biggest supporter?

My mom is my biggest supporter along with my husband.

Are you a member of a critique group? If no, who provides feedback on your work?

I am not a member of a critique group. Teachers provide feedback on my work.

Who is your favorite author?

Maya Angelou.

Do you have an agent or are you looking for one?

I am looking for an agent. I recently sent out seventy-five e-query letters. I am still getting responses and sending any requested information.

Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?

It was most definitely a bumpy, depressing road. It is not easy, and it gets very discouraging when agents, publishers and some readers do not believe in me.

If you knew then, what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently?

Yes. I would have started this journey earlier. I would never have quit. I would have focused more on book marketing and publicity sooner.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

Barnes & and

Do you have a video trailer to promote your book? If yes, where can readers find it?

I have four video trailers. They are all located on You Tube.

What is up next for you?

I am planning to participate in more local Open Mic events.

Is there anything you would like to add?

I love being a part of the book industry. It is a dream come true for me.

Remembering Their Sacrifices...

Friday, May 23, 2014

Book Review: Man's Rejection of God: Who's Responsible? by RL Keller

Man's Rejection of God: Who's Responsible? by RL Keller poses an interesting question. "Is there a problem with the way Christians are portraying the gospel to the unsaved today?"

It's tough to think our behavior is pushing people away from Christ instead of drawing them in, but I'm certain I'm guilty of it at times. At first, I thought Keller's book would be an accusatory look at today's Christians. It's not.

Though there are definitely stories--some real, some fictitious--about Christians behaving badly, Man's Rejection of God: Who's Responsible? goes so much deeper by explaining how important it is for us to assess and reassess our relationship with God to be sure our actions aren't turning people away.

The author discusses atheists, agnostics, and cults. He compares Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam to Christianity. This is one of the areas where I learned a great deal. Keller tackles the hot topic of homosexuality and the often difficult task of forgiving those who treat us poorly. The book also talks about our words and how we use them, referring to portions of the Books of James and Proverbs for insight.

There is so much to be learned in Man's Rejection of God: Who's Responsible?. I feel it has been a blessing to me and will also bless others. Most importantly, it is a layman's book, not one filled with theological terms that are hard to understand. With his conversational style, Keller makes the subject matter approachable to everyone. He also willingly admits that he struggles with many of the things he talks about in the book.

If you are looking to revitalize your relationship with God and learn how you can more effectively draw others to Him, Man's Rejection of God: Who's Responsible? is a book you should take a look at.

Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: WestBowPress (January 22, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1490821481
ISBN-13: 978-1490821481

I was paid a free to promote this book with a virtual book tour through Pump Up Your Book. This fee did not include a review. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

I read this book for the following challenge:

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Book Review: Directory of Federal Prisons by Christopher Zoukis and Dr. Randall Radic

Directory of Federal Prisons by Christopher Zoukis and Dr. Randall Radic is a helpful reference book for anyone who knows or needs to know anyone in a federal prison: family members, friends, attorneys, and journalists covering the prison or criminal justice beat.

Zoukis is incarcerated at FCI Petersburg, a medium-security federal prison in Petersburg, Virginia. His experience in the federal prison system allowed him to see a need for this information and for prison reform in general. He has thrown himself into social justice advocacy and has written articles on these issues, in addition to publishing a book titled, Education Behind Bars: A Win-Win Strategy for Maximum Security (Sunbury Press, 2012. His co-author, Dr. Randall Radic, is the author of several non-fiction books and the Senior Editor and Chief Operating Officer of Middle Street Publishing (MSP)--South Carolina non-profit dedicated to social justice, where he superintends and, and manages all of MSP’s print and online endeavors. Together they have created this helpful resource to keep you in touch with those in the federal prison system.

Directory of Federal Prisons is set up geographically by specific areas of the country. It also includes a chapter with contact information for private prisons housing federal inmates. Contact information for regional offices start out each chapter, along with a map. Various appendices list these federal prisons by: region, alphabetical order, those housing female inmates, security level, and satellite prison camps. The final appendix includes other important Bureau of Prisons contact information.

A lot of thought has gone into the design of this book to make it quick and easy to find what you're looking for. I applaud the authors' passion for improving the criminal justice system.

File Size: 1468 KB
Print Length: 179 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Middle Street Publishing (February 13, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English

Purchase here!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

First Chapter Review: The Last Confession of the Vampire Judas Iscariot by David B. Vermont

David B. Vermont is on tour this month with Pump Up Your Book sharing his urban fantasy/historical religious novel, The Last Confession of the Vampire Judas Iscariot. I requested to review this first chapter through his tour coordinator because the book blurb intrigued me.

BLURB:  Of all the people who ever lived, surely Judas Iscariot, history’s most notorious betrayer, must be in hell. Or maybe not.

After watching the crucifixion of Jesus, Judas despairs over what he has done and fumes that the Messiah he put his trust in has turned out to be just another pretender like all the rest. The toxic mix of emotions is too much for him to bear and Judas commits suicide by hanging himself.

He is restored to life by the Devil and made into a vampire apostle. The Devil teaches Judas to manipulate men and history. He becomes a king, a general, a teacher and a blacksmith, whatever is needed to effect the outcome of history and move it towards the goal of his new master.

Each time he is ready to move on to his next incarnation he must drink the blood of an innocent victim to be restored to his youthful vigor. But despite his many powers and abilities Judas knows there is one thing he desires and cannot have. Finally Judas meets a laicized priest, Raymond Breviary, and tries to steal from him what he was denied two thousand years before.

COVER: Very nicely done. The coins go back to Judas betraying Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. The dark shadows over the coins and the burgundy color of the cloth are a nice contrast. Love the detail of the blood smears on the top coin.

FIRST CHAPTER: The story opens in Ars, France in 1830. Father John Vianney has completed his hours long ritual of hearing confessions before heading home. He hopes for a restful night, but the evil that visits him is certain to make that impossible.

KEEP READING: Absolutely. As I mentioned above, I wanted to review this first chapter simply because the blurb intrigued me. I will sheepishly admit, however, that I didn't have high hopes for the book. The blurb, while intriguing, seemed long-winded and didn't end with a punch. I quickly discovered my folly as I was immediately drawn into the story of Father Vianney and his fight against the darkest evil in his small backwater town. Not wanting to give too much away--you simply need to experience this one for yourself--The Last Confession of the Vampire Judas Iscariot has an Exorcist feel to it, but it's much more than that. I'm not a fan of the omniscient point of view, but because of the nature of the plot it works well here. I definitely want to make time to read the rest of this novel.

Paperback: 242 pages
Publisher: Koehler Books (April 15, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1938467922
ISBN-13: 978-1938467929
You can read the first chapter of this novel for yourself at the author's website:

This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Interview and Giveaway with Richard Hacker, Author of Chain Reaction

Richard Hacker is the author of CHAIN REACTION, the third installment in the Nick Sibelius crime series. Champagne Books released DIRTY WATER, the next novel in the Nick Sibelius series after TOXIC RELATIONSHIP, in June, 2013. His first novel, TOXIC RELATIONSHIP, released August, 2012 by Champagne Books was a 2011 Writer’s League of Texas (WLT) finalist, where in addition, SHAPER EMERGENCE won best novel in the Science Fiction category. He is a member of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association.

After living many years in Austin, Texas where he worked as a leadership coach, public speaker and management trainer, he moved with his high school sweetheart to Seattle. While he misses the big skies of Texas, Richard has grown fond of the Pacific Northwest. His writing partner, a springer spaniel named Jazz, helps with proofreading and ball fetching.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I currently live in Seattle with my wife, Sidney, and a Springer Spaniel named Jazz. We moved here about five years ago for Sid’s work. Before the move, Austin, Texas was home for many years. We actually met in high school in Austin, raised a family there and have many great friends and memories of the city.

Where did you grow up?

I was born in Westchester, PA, moved to Birmingham, AL in the late 60’s, then went to Jr. Hi and High School in Austin, TX.

What is your fondest childhood memory?

Fishing with my Dad. He loved fishing and we had many great times on various lakes in Alabama (I think it was Lake Perdy) and on Lake Travis in TX. He would plop a lure in the water and say, “Fishy, fishy in the brook, come and take my little hook.” Fishing is also where I learned to drink coffee at any early age.

When did you begin writing?

I used to write short stories to take to ‘show and tell’ in my third grade class. So I’ve been a story teller for awhile now. I continued writing after college, but family responsibilities required I actually make some money, so I went into management consulting for many years. When we moved to Seattle, Sidney encouraged me to focus on the writing, which has been such a wonderful gift.

Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

I write, revise or research Monday-Friday 4-6 hours. I leave the weekends free to rest and play.

What is this book about?

CHAIN REACTION is the third book in a series featuring a private investigator, Nick Sibelius. When Nick and his partner in love and business, Theresa, take a client caught in a grudge between competitive bass fisherman, they soon discover he has unknowingly entangled himself in a plot by healthcare magnate, Bruce Reynolds, to take over Texas and secede from the Union. Hoping to pass the case to the Texas Rangers, Nick is instead recruited to head the Governor’s special task force. He learns Governor Fran Adamson’s major campaign contributor and secret lover, Reynolds, has a plan to resurrect the Republic of Texas. Faced with Reynolds’ hit woman killing enemies of the Republic and a remotely controlled drone air force destroying strategic targets across the state, Nick and Theresa make a desperate attempt to prevent civil war, the destruction of the Governor’s political career, and Dillon’s murder, while keeping their love intact. In his scheme for glory, Bruce Reynolds didn’t plan on Nick Sibelius, who wants the wannabe secessionist to know, when he says don’t screw with Texas, he damned well means it.

What inspired you to write it?

I wanted to continue with Nick Sibelius’ story and I had a few ideas swirling. Gov. Rick Perry had called for Texas to secede from the Union—it was all bluster and politics, but what if someone was serious about secession and had resources? Drones were also in the news, so a drone air force didn’t seem too far fetched. And my serial killer hit woman, well I have no idea where she came from, but I do love her. I wouldn’t want to know her or be anywhere near her, but I love her.

Who is your biggest supporter?

My wife. Always.

Are you a member of a critique group? If no, who provides feedback on your work?

Yes, I’ve got a great community of writers who meet regularly and we’re pretty good at giving straight up honest feedback. I also get feedback from my publisher and editor.

Who is your favorite author?

Tough. There’s so many! I’ll stick with the living. William Gibson, Carl Hiaasen, Elmore Leonard, Barbara Kinsovler, Umberto Eco, Gabrial Garcia Marquez, Alan Furst. I could go on, but I’ll stop there.

Do you have an agent or are you looking for one?

I didn’t have an agent for the Nick Sibelius books having pitched directly to a publisher. I do have an agent I’m working with for a future fantasy novel.

Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?

I made a decision five years ago to hone my craft and create my art regardless of the marketplace. There are many artists in many fields who don’t find financial success and many who only get discovered after they’ve died. Market success is not the measure of creative success. I don’t know if the two correlate, but it seemed like the moment I let go of using publication as a verification of my validity as an artist, opportunities opened up for me.

If you knew then, what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently?

The publishing world is a mess right now for writers and readers. I think the best we can do is not let the chaos paralyze us. I chose a small press focused on ebooks. In the future I may look for opportunities with big publishing houses and I might self-publish.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

Your favorite digital bookseller including Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kobo.

Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?

You can find my website and blog at
You can also like me on Facebook at

What is up next for you?

I’m working on a fantasy which combines elements of sci fi, speculative fiction, and historical fiction. It should be a real page turner. I’ll be sharing more about the work on my website as it gets closer to completion.

Is there anything you would like to add?

Thank you for the interview. I love talking with readers, so please come by the website, blog or Facebook and drop a comment!


Richard Hacker is giving away (2) 3 ebook sets of his Nick Sibelius series!
• By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
• Two winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter.
• This giveaway begins May 5 and ends May 31.
• Winner will be contacted via email on Monday, June 2.
• Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway