Thursday, April 30, 2015

Book Review ~ Where Freedom Rings: A Tale of the Underground Railroad by Steven Donahue

Where Freedom Rings: A Tale of the Underground Railroad
by Steven Donahue
Published January 28th 2015

The thrilling story of four slaves who try to escape to the northern area of the United States along the Underground Railroad in 1853.

Kelsa Colver leads her husband and two young sons on the dangerous trek after a fellow slave is murdered by a vindictive slave owner. Along the way, the Colvers are assisted by various abolitionists, including a neighboring farmer, a progressive priest, a sympathetic lawman, and notable figures Harriet Tubman and William Still. However, their efforts are impeded by a dark family secret, and the interventions of a corrupt clergyman, vicious outlaws and greedy slave hunters.

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Let me start off by saying that Historical Fiction really isn't my forte.  Actually, historical facts seem to vanish from my memory bank as soon as I hear them.  But I have heard of the Underground Railroad and have some if not a little knowledge of this time in history.  Let me also let you know that when Mr. Donahue asked if I wanted to review his book, I was slightly leery and hesitant to accept the request because, well, the history thing.   I also was hesitant because of the cover.  Don't get me wrong - I'm as patriotic as they come, but the cover just didn't grab me.  I felt like I was about to attend a history class with a boring professor.  But  Where Freedom Rings is one of those books where the old adage, 'you can't judge a book by its cover' applies - seriously.  Once I got past all these obstacles and read the synopsis, I knew that this was a story that needed to be read.  I am seriously glad that I did have the opportunity to read this story because it is one that kept me interested throughout.   Matter of fact, it was dang good!

The main characters are amazing people and I was cheering them on with every turn of the page.  When I wasn't cheering, I was sobbing.  This story was not only a thrilling one, it was a very emotional one.  The journey I took with Kelsa, Wade and their boys was full of turmoil, pain and suffering.  But despite all the hardships, this family unit remained strong and the hope of a better life was always getting them through bad things life was throwing at them.  Kelsa was a very strong woman who really was the glue that kept the family together.  My most favorite character though was Diamond.  He is your typical boy - always into mischief and telling things like they are.  Kids say the darndest things, and this is true of Diamond - he was just too freaking cute!

Even though this is a work of fiction, the struggles were real during this time period and Mr. Donahue was able to portray it in way that was intriguing and enlightening - even to this history phobic reader.  Where Freedom Rings  is definitely a book I would recommend  and is well worth the time invested.  Check it won't be disappointed!

4 stars

Steven Donahue was a copywriter for TV Guide magazine for 14 years. His first novel, Amanda Rio, was published in 2004. He released three novels in 2013: The Manila Strangler (Rainstorm Press), Amy the Astronaut and the Flight for Freedom (Hydra Publications), and Comet and Cupid’s Christmas Adventure (Createspace). His fifth novel, Chasing Bigfoot (Createspace) was published in 2014, and his short story Grit was also included in the anthology Hero’s Best Friend by Seventh Star Press in 2014. In 2015, he published his sixth book, Where Freedom Rings: A Tale of the Underground Railroad (Createspace).

M9B Two for Thursday Book Blitz - Dead Jed: Adventures of A Middle School Zombie and Dead Jed 2: Dawn of the Jed by Scott Craven with Giveaway #T4T

Hello and welcome to this week’s Two for Thursday Book Blitz #T4T
presented by Month9books/Tantrum Books!
Today, we will be showcasing two titles that may tickle your fancy,
and we’ll share what readers have to say about these titles!
You just might find your next read!
This week, #T4T presents to you the Dead Jed series by Scott Craven:
Dead Jed: Adventures of A Middle School Zombie
Dead Jed 2: Dawn of the Jed!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Dead Jed is Shaun of the Dead meets Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Jed’s not your typical junior high geek. He is, to use the politically-correct term, cardiovascularly-challenged. And while his parents have attempted to shield him from the implications of being ‘different’ for as long as they could (Jed was 8 and at a friend’s sister’s birthday party when he blew his lips off onto the cake in front of everyone, finally prompting the “Big Talk” from his parents and an emergency SuperGlue repair by his dad), 7th grade at Pine Hollow Middle School as a target of Robbie the supreme school bully and his pack of moronic toadies is rapidly becoming unbearable. 

From being stuffed in a filled trash can as “dead meat” and into a trophy case as the bully’s “prize,” to literally having his hand pulled off in the boys’ room (Jed’s always losing body parts. Luckily, a good stapler and some duct tape and he’s back in the action) and a cigarette put in it and try to frame him for the recent reports of smoking in the school, Jed’s had enough and is ready to plan his revenge. Besides, it’s awesome what you can do when you’re already dead!
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Available for Purchase:

DEAD JED is amazing. It takes true talent to write a book that’s witty and has such clever humor. That’s exactly what DEAD JED has.” – Courtney, Author

 ” I’m entirely convinced this series is going to be as big and popular as the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, if not more. It might be aimed at middle grade readers, but I will highly and happily recommend it to readers aged 9 to 99!” Angie, Books4Tomorrow

“Middle Grade humor at its finest.” – S.A. Larsen, Author

The first part of seventh grade was rough on Jed, but things are looking up now that Christmas is almost here. As with past Christmases, Jed asks for the one thing he’s always wanted–a dog–and again, his parents tell him they’re not ready. But fate has a different plan when Jed sees a dog get run over by a car. Then, it happens. Jed suddenly has a pet, Tread, a zombie dog bearing his namesake–a tire tread down his back. Jed may have gained a dog, but he loses his best friend Luke, who fears the way Jed created his undead pet. 
When Jed returns to school, he finds a mysterious group called the No Zombies Now Network spreading rumors of the dangers the undead pose to normal people. Forced to disprove Hollywood stereotypes, Jed has his work cut out for him as stories of a zombie dog begin to circulate. Jed could be expelled if he can’t expose the NZN Network as a fraud. Jed needs help from his kind of girlfriend Anna, especially after he discovers Luke has joined the shadowy group. 

Once again navigating the treacherous waters of middle school, Jed does his best to stay in one piece. Only this time he’ll need even more duct tape and staples than usual.
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Available for Purchase:

“Like its predecessor Dead Jed, Dead Jed 2: Dawn of the Jed is an incredibly cute and fun read!”  Angie, Books4Tomorrow

“This is a fun story, which was written very well for the age group. I can imagine the series being a huge hit, especially with zombies being so popular at the moment.”  Bri, Natural Bri – Pursuits of Life

“…just read it, you will love it and it sooooo funny” – Michelle, Because Reading


Scott Craven
Proud graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, have one son who will turn 18 in March 2013, now a features writer for The Arizona Republic.

Connect with the Author:  

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Book Review ~ Amusement (Carnival #2) by K.B. Nelson

(Carnival #2)
by K.B. Nelson

Love isn’t easy. 

Charlie Scott is homesick and tired. She misses the town and the people she left behind. Living a life on the run hasn’t been easy for her, and she’s ready to face the consequences, even if it means leaving the love of her life, Blue, behind. 

Home is where the heart is. 

Eight months after returning home, Charlie’s life is finally in order. She has a job she loves and her relationship with her father has never been better. But underneath the image of her perfect life, trouble bubbles to the surface. 

You can’t escape your past. 

Torn between a normal life and the life she left behind, Charlie remains steadfast in her resolve to create a better tomorrow for herself and for her friends. But life has a way of throwing curveballs, and this next one hits her right in the face—Blue returns to Lakeview a changed man. 

Second chances are rare.. 

There are two things Charlie knows for certain; she loves Blue, and he’s not good for her. Charlie must come to terms with her past and her present. She must determine if she could possibly have a future with the man she threw her life away for. She has a second chance at love, but is it worth the risk when her future could hang in the balance? 

Don’t miss the exciting, heartfelt final chapter in the epic love story between two lost souls fumbling their way through life and love. Not suitable for those under the age of 18.

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“The world will break your heart in every way it can.  And after your heart is torn into pieces, and the blood quits flowing, the world will laugh on in amusement.”

This review will be short and sweet, because quite frankly, the reader will need to experience every single word that this story has to offer and I don’t want to take away from this truly awe-inspiring love story.

In the long awaited conclusion of the Carnival Series, readers are in for an exciting, nail-biting ride of EPIC proportions.  Once again K. B. Nelson has left me utterly speechless and in complete awe.   The writing is simply beautiful and the story absolutely amazing.  Amusement is so powerful, so intense and so raw it will leave you breathless as you wonder how this story will end.   This captivating story is a quick read, but one that you will want to take your time with because you will not want it to end. 

Charlie and Blue’s story is one that will remain in my heart for quite some time and I will forever treasure the time that I spent with them on this crazy ‘Carnival’ ride.  Thank you K.B. for giving us, the readers and fans of this series, a truly wonderful and at times, heart-wrenching reading experience! 

If you haven’t had a chance to witness first-hand the amazing writing ability of the talented K.B. Nelson, then I highly recommend this series – you will not be disappointed.

5 stars

I grew up on a farm in Ohio, but that's not very interesting, is it? When I'm not writing you can find me doing one of two things; getting lost on highways or getting lost in the lives of fictional characters. If my heart had two feet, one foot would be in romance and the other solidly in geekdom. I hope you'll all follow me on my journey through this carnival they call life.I promise there will be a happy ending. 


Book Blitz & Giveaway ~ Darkest Reaches (Spiritual Discord, #3) by Brandy Nacole

Welcome to the DARKEST REACHES release event!

Darkest Reaches
(Spiritual Discord, #3)
Release Date: April 30th, 2015

Kayson and the other fallen angels have risked their lives to keep Sabrina safe as she recovered from a Hell hound’s bite. Just when she began to improve, Hell was unleashed as the hounds attacked, and kidnapped Sabrina.

Now, only days after the fight between the fallen and the hounds, Kayson is determined to find Sabrina and bring her back from Hell. The only thing standing in his way is a dangerous fallen angel named Iraja. Iraja has the means to find Sabrina, but he doesn’t do favors without a price.

Sabrina is now facing the nightmare she’s been running from since being turned into a vampire a century ago: her eternal condemnation to Hell. Knowing her only chance of survival may rest by playing nice and turning Hell hound Falon against Lucifer, Sabrina gives into the bitter darkness and now has to fight to remember the good soul she truly is. But when she discovers the role her and the innocent human Emma are forced to play, will her fear get the better of her, and will she be lost forever?

In the third installment of the Spiritual Discord series, the will to survive is tested, worst fears become a reality, and for one, betrayal becomes the only option.

Brandy Nacole resides in Arkansas where her imagination runs wild. Her obsession is reading but her passion is writing. She put her dream of becoming a writer on the back burner and went to college to become a psychologist. Three years after endless classes in a field she only felt half satisfied with, Brandy picked up her pen once again and wrote the outline to Uniquely Unwelcome. She finished out her degree in psychology, but traded her dream of writing for the degree and put psychology on the back burner. 

Whenever she’s not reading or writing, Brandy is spending time with her family and friends, throwing around crazy ideas, teaching , and singing like a rock star at a concert for no one else but herself. She loves plants, but unfortunately is a killer of anything that requires water but can’t voice (scream) their needs. 

Blitz Giveaway (INT):

Win (1) of (3) Spiritual Discord series swag bag, a $10 Amazon GC, and a ecopy of Broken Faith

Release Day Launch & Giveaway ~ SAVOR (The Empire Chronicles #4) by Alyssa Rose Ivy

Savor RDL Banner
   We are absolutely thrilled to bring you the Release Day Launch for Alyssa Rose Ivy's SAVOR! SAVOR is a New Adult Paranormal Romance and the fourth book in The Empire Chronicles Series.
Grab your copy today!
Savor - Cover
Jared is Vera's perfect man—until he opens his mouth. An incredible body and set of wings can only go so far when everything he says seems designed to make her mad. Still, she can't deny her intense attraction or the fact that he is the closest thing she has to a friend.

Jared doesn't go for bear shifters, especially ones that are related to his ex, but he can't resist Vera's charm or the way she understands him better than anyone else.

As suspicions build and loyalties are tested, Vera and Jared realize that they may not be able to trust anyone but each other.

    Savor (The Empire Chronicles #4)
Alyssa Rose Ivy
 “I’m glad you don’t want me dead.” He smirked. Even his smirk was sexy.
“I’d be on my own if you were.” I put my hands behind my head.
“And you don’t like being alone?” He studied me in the darkness. Sometimes I wished neither of us had night vision. It left you so naked, never having an opportunity to hide.
“I do most of the time.”
“But not always?” His eyes raked over my body. The fact that he could make such a platonic conversation feel sexual gave me even more reason to resist him.
“Why does it matter?” Often the best way to avoid a question is to ask your own.
“It matters because I asked it.” And there went his mouth again.
My annoyance gave me back my will power. “Put a shirt on.”
“Why?” He grinned. “Am I distracting you?”
“No, but we should go. The sun will be up soon enough.”
“Maybe I shouldn’t go with you.” He sat up, swinging his legs off the side of the bed.
“No way.” I moved to standing. “You’re not backing out.”
“Why do you care?” He stood with his back to me. “You can do this alone.”
“Of course I can.”
He turned to me. “Then why does it matter if I go my own way?” He pulled on his t-shirt, and a little part of me missed the view.
“Because we agreed to help each other out. I stick to my promises.” That was one of my good traits. The not so good traits weren’t worth reflecting on.
“Maybe I don’t.”
“You do.” I put a hand on my hip. I didn’t have time for Jared’s games.
“How do you know?”
“I just do.”
“You’re infuriating.”
I groaned. “And what are you?”
If I’d had liquid in my mouth I would have spit it out. “Not exactly the word I’d use to describe you.”
“Says the girl begging me to stay with her.”
“I never begged.” I crossed my arms over my chest.
“Would you beg?” His grin was his undoing.
“Is that how you like it, Jared? With your women begging?”
“I wasn’t talking about how I like my women.”
“Are you sure about that?” I grabbed my backpack and headed into the cabin’s small bathroom.
“Where are you going?”
I paused with my hand on the door. “To shower.”

 Savor - Teaser


Alyssa Rose Ivy- Author Photo
Alyssa Rose Ivy is a New Adult and Young Adult author who loves to weave stories with romance and a southern setting. Although raised in the New York area, she fell in love with the South after moving to New Orleans for college. After years as a perpetual student, she turned back to her creative side and decided to write. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and two young children, and she can usually be found with a cup of coffee in her hand.