Friday, January 31, 2014

Review - Ruined: An Ethan Frost Novel by Tracy Wolff

Ruined:  An Ethan Frost Novel by Tracy Wolff
Blurb from Goodreads:
Fans of Fifty Shades of Grey, Bared to You, and Release Me will be hooked on Ruined, an electrifying journey of emotional and sexual discovery that pushes two damaged souls to their breaking point—and beyond.
He’s the last man Chloe Girard should love . . . but the first she ever could.
Ethan Frost is a visionary, a genius, every woman’s deepest, darkest fantasy—even mine. And, somehow, I am his.

He stole into my life like a dream. Turned my reality upside down and made my every desire come true—especially those I never knew I had. He demanded everything I had to give and gave me everything of himself in return.

But dreams don’t last forever, and ours is no exception. Because my nightmares are darker, and my wounds deeper, than I could ever reveal. And as much as Ethan wants to protect me, the secrets we we share will only tear us apart.

Two words.....totally awesome!

Before starting Ruined by Tracey Wolff, I had read that it was being compared to Fifty Shades of Gray.....I have to strongly disagree with this comparison.  Although I read Fifty Shades, and thought it was was nothing spectacular.  Yes, there is a extremely hot, sexy CEO of a company (Ethan) and a really pretty, smart, sexy college intern (Chloe), but that is where the similarities end. I can promise you that there is no constant biting of the lower lip in this one....except where it matters the most!    This story is so much better! Ms. Wolff has done an excellent job with letting the reader connect with the characters.  Although there are some sexual scenes in the book, they do not overpower the story whatsoever.  

Chloe is looking to make her way in the world by doing something she loves, working in Intellectual Property Law. She wants  to desperately to move on from her horrible past and move forward.   For the summer, she gets an intern position at a prestigious and highly competitive company, owned by Ethan Frost. Ethan is a self-made millionaire who started the company from the ground up. He’s gorgeous, smart, funny and super charming. The chemistry ignites from the very first meeting of these two and never lets up.

This story is so well-written, you will not want to stop reading until you get to the very end.  The epilogue ends in a gut-wrenching, jaw-dropping cliff-hanger that will make you scream in frustration, because now there are questions that need to be answered.  Will I read book 2 when it comes out in June?  Absolutely YES!!!   

5 out of 5 stars for this awesome book! 

You can purchase your copy here from Amazon.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Review - The End by G. Michael Hopf

From Goodreads:
What would you do to survive?

Young Gordon Van Zandt valued duty and loyalty to country above all, so after 9/11, he dropped out of college and joined the Marine Corps. This idealism vanished one fateful day in a war-torn city in Iraq. Ten years later, he is still struggling with the ghosts of his past when a new reality is thrust upon him and his family: North America, Europe and the Far East have all suffered a devastating Super-EMP attack, which causes catastrophic damage to the nation’s power grid and essential infrastructures. Everything from cell phones to cars to computers cease to function, putting society at a standstill.
With civilization in chaos, Gordon must fight for the limited and fast dwindling resources. He knows survival requires action and cooperation with his neighbors, but as the days wear on, so does all sense of civility within his community—and so he must make some of the most difficult decisions of his life in order to ensure his family’s safety.

The premise of this book was simple….a devastating  super EMP attack strikes havoc on the United States which knocks out most everything electronic.  Americans die from dehydration, starvation, lack of medicine, disease and violence.  

There are multiple story lines which give the reader more insight and perspective to what was going on in different parts of the States, but there is so much military dialogue, I found myself skipping pages just to get past those parts.  

I was really looking forward to reading this book as I love anything and everything post-apocalyptic, but this one really let me down.   Character development was lacking and there were some editing issues that made for confusing reading at times.  The premise of the story was good, it just fell flat.

 2 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Review ~ One word.....terrifying! The Haunting Season by Michelle Muto

In The Haunting Season, Michelle Muto has crafted an absolutely riveting masterpiece that is so intensely scary you might just have nightmares after reading it.  I will never pass by a mirror again without having the chills.  With a great cast of characters and a writing style that flows effortlessly, mixed with just the right amount of suspense, paranormal, and romance, it was difficult to put this book down once I started it. 

Blurb from Goodreads:
Be careful what you let in…

Siler House has stood silent beneath Savannah’s moss-draped oaks for decades. Notoriously haunted, it has remained empty until college-bound Jess Perry and three of her peers gather to take part in a month-long study on the paranormal. Jess, who talks to ghosts, quickly bonds with her fellow test subjects. One is a girl possessed. Another just wants to forget. The third is a guy who really knows how to turn up the August heat, not to mention Jess’s heart rate…when he’s not resurrecting the dead.

The study soon turns into something far more sinister when they discover that Siler House and the dark forces within are determined to keep them forever. In order to escape, Jess and the others will have to open themselves up to the true horror of Siler House and channel the very evil that has welcomed them all.

Find it here on Amazon.

Review ~ Action packed adventure awaits...Fugitives from Northwoods by Chris Bostic

Set in a dreary future, the U.S. economy has collapsed and everything of value has been seized by the government for ‘good of the public’.  People in the city have lost their homes and now live in rundown, government managed tenements.  People in the country are removed from their property to make way for wind turbine farms, solar panel arrays, or mining rights.  If the farmers that remain aren’t able to produce enough grain to meet the government quota, they are forcibly relocated and their property seized.  If the government needs it, they take it under the pretense of keeping people housed, fed and employed.  When a child turns fourteen, they are forced to work in labor camps.  Education is all but put on the back-burner.

With careful planning, Penn and his friends escape under the cover of darkness from their labor camp in the Northwoods in an attempt to cross the border to freedom.   They struggle to survive in the unforgiving wilderness trying to stay ahead of the Recovery Team and certain death.  But is the price of freedom worth renouncing your country, never able to return again?

Mr. Bostic gives the reader very vivid descriptions of the terrain the group has to deal with and the character development is very good.  This is an awesome story of loyalty and friendship and the will to find a better life.   If you like to read action-packed dystopian novels, then you should definitely read this one.  This is a brilliant adventure story that is suitable for all age groups.   

I was provided a copy of this book by the author for a honest review.

You can find it here at Amazon.

Monday, January 27, 2014

20 banned books that may surprise you

I came across something the other day that stated that the book "Little Red Riding Hood" has been classified as a "banned' book in schools and libraries.  Why, you ask?  Because in one of the pictures, it shows a bottle of wine in Little Red Riding Hoods basket.  No, she is not DRINKING the wine, simply carrying it for her grandmother.  I just think this is a little over of the top.  I doubt most children even noticed the bottle in the picture.

So on that note, I found an article on "20 banned books that may surprise you" originally posted on

Please feel free to let me know your thoughts.....

20 banned books that may surprise you

Why do books get banned from schools and libraries?Even readers who disagree with the practice of banning can comprehend that books heavy on sex and/or violence can polarize decision-makers when it comes to young readers. But there are other books – titles like "Where's Waldo?"or "Sylvester and the Magic Pebble" – whose presence on a banned book list seems completely mysterious. The following 20 books seem innocent to many,but they have nonetheless raised reader objections at one time or another.

- Molly Driscoll, Staff Writer

1. "The Witches," by Roald Dahl
The story by "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" author Roald Dahl about a boy who discovers witches are real was banned by some libraries in England because of perceived misogyny. The reason? Dahl says that witches can only be women. "I do not wish to speak badly about women," the author writes. "Most women are lovely. But the fact remains that all witches are women. There is no such thing as a male witch. On the other hand, a ghoul is always a male... both are dangerous.  But neither of them is half as dangerous as a REAL WITCH."

2. "To Kill a Mockingbird," by Harper Lee
The story of a Southern family that confronts racismin their town may seem like an inspirational tale that's appropriate for everyone, but it was banned by one school in Minnesota for in appropriate language, seen when the heroine Scout swears, and by a school in Texas because it "conflicted with the values of the community."

3. The "Harry Potter" series, by J.K.Rowling
Some see J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" books as wonderful stories that teach that love is the most powerful magic of all and that it's always right to stand up for your friends. Others, however, see aseries marred by a depiction of sorcery and witchcraft that are in appropriate for Christian readers. The "Harry Potter" series was banned by, among others, a Catholic school in Massachusetts.

4. "Twelfth Night," by William Shakespeare
The classic play about a girl who washes ashore after a shipwreck and disguises herself as a boy was banned in a New Hampshire school system by a rule titled "prohibition of alternative lifestyle instruction," which means that teachers in the district are forbidden from discussing homosexuality in the classroom. The plotline in which Viola, dressed as a boy, falls in love with Duke Orsino was deemed inappropriate.

5. "Gone with the Wind," by Margaret Mitchell
The Civil War epic which is often cited as one of the most beloved novels of all time was banned by a California school district for the book's portrayal of slaves in the antebellum South and for the immoral behavior of its heroine, Scarlett O'Hara.

6. "Little Red Riding Hood," by Charles Perrault
The fairy tale of a little girl who is led astray by a wolf while on the way to her grandmother's house was banned by two California school districts because one of the refreshments for her grandmother thatLittle Red Riding Hood carried in her basket was wine.

7. "James and the Giant Peach," by Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl's story of a boy who leaves home to travel on a giant fruit with several insects was banned because it contains magical elements and references to drugs and alcohol.

8. The "Where's Waldo?" series by Martin Hanford
Martin Hanford's children's book series – which invites readers to hunt for Waldo, the man in a red-and white-striped shirt,wherever he may go – met with controversy in schools when readers objected to some of the characters in depicted in crowds, including a topless woman on a beach.

9. "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer," by MarkTwain
That other Twain novel about Huck Finn has faced a raftload of controversy ever since the day it was first published. But"The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" was also banned when librarians said they found Mr. Sawyer to be a "questionable" protagonist in terms of his moral character.

10. "Sylvester and the Magic Pebble," byWilliam Steig
William Steig's children's story about a donkey whogets into mishaps because of a magic pebble he found may seem pretty harmless.But it faced trouble because the book's illustrations of animals in clothes include images of pigs dressed as policemen.

11. "Harriet the Spy," by Louise Fitzhugh
Louise Fitzhugh's well-loved tale of a girl who spies on her friends and has to face the consequences was banned because it set a badexample for children, supposedly encouraging them to spy, lie, and swear.

12. "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," by L. Frank Baum
Frank L. Baum's classic story about a girl and her friends traveling through the mystical land of Oz came under fire for its perceived socialist values, but it was also banned because it described witches as good – as in Glinda, the Good Witch of the South.

13. The dictionary
The dictionary as banned book – really? Yes. The dictionary has been banned from libraries because it includes sexual definitions.

14. "Grimm's Fairy Tales," by Jacob Ludwig Karl Grimm and Wilhelm Karl Grimm
At first glance, banning fairy tales may seem absurd.But on closer inspection, parental concern is less surprising. In these versions of "Grimm's Fairy Tales" Snow White almost gets killed by a corset and Cinderella's stepsisters cut off parts of their own feet.

15. "A Light in the Attic," by Shel Silverstein
Shel Silverstein's book of poems – considered a classic by many readers – has been banned because in the eyes of other readers it promotes violence and disrespect.

16. "A Wrinkle in Time," by Madeline L'Engle
Madeline L'Engle's Newbery Medal-winning story of Meg and Charles Murry, a sister and brother who go to find their father with their friend Calvin, was banned because some parents thought the story's face-off between good and evil reflected badly on religion.

17. "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See," by Bill Martin Jr.
The classic children's book was banned by the State Board of Education in Texas in 2010 due to a simple mistake. A board member mixed up Martin with another author named Bill Martin who had written a book for adults titled "Ethical Marxism: The Categorical Imperative of Liberation."

18. "The Grapes of Wrath," by John Steinbeck
Steinbeck's novel was banned soon after its release in various areas, including Kansas, for indecent content. "Wrath" was also banned in Kern County, Calif., one of the areas depicted in the novel, for libelous content, when one county board member found the portraits of some(fictional) Kern County residents in Steinbeck's book to be none too flattering.

19. 'The Diary of A Young Girl' by Anne Frank
The diary of a young girl who was killed in the Holocaust ran afoul of a Virginia school district in 2010 due to sexual content after schools began using the unedited version of the diary. When Anne's father Otto Frank first published the diary, he removed some passages, but they were later reinstated for the definitive edition published for the 50th anniversary.The Virginia school district eventually decided to use the earlier, edited diary in its classrooms. However, an Alabama school board did attempt to challenge the book in 1983 because, according to the board's records, it was"a real downer."

20. 'Bridge to Terabithia,' by Katherine Paterson
Paterson's book about two children who pretend to visit a fantasy country has been banned by various schools for offensive language (the main character, a boy named Jess, occasionally uses what some view as the Lord's name in vain) and the themes of mortality in the book, which includes the sudden death of a main character.

Original article can be found at:

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Book Review ~ One Second After by William R. Forstchen

One Second After
by William R. Forstchen

New York Times best selling author William R. Forstchen now brings us a story which can be all too terrifyingly real...a story in which one man struggles to save his family and his small North Carolina town after America loses a war, in one second, a war that will send America back to the Dark Ages...A war based upon a weapon, an Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP).  A weapon that may already be in the hands of our enemies.

Months before publication, One Second After has already been cited on the floor of Congress as a book all Americans should read, a book already being discussed in the corridors of the Pentagon as a truly realistic look at a weapon and its awesome power to destroy the entire United States, literally within one second. It is a weapon that the Wall Street Journal warns could shatter America. In the tradition of On the Beach, Fail Safe and Testament, this book, set in a typical American town, is a dire warning of what might be our future...and our end.

As a nation, we have begun to take so much for granted. Things that make our lives easier. We don't even think about what would happen if one day we no longer could hop in our vehicles, go to the store for either food, clothing, basic necessities, or to a movie....we just get in and go. But what if one day, everything just stopped working. No cars, no phones, no televisions or radios........everything just stops working. What if you could not get your life-saving medication? What if your neighbors wanted to kill you for your food and belongings? What would you do to protect your family? 

In One Second After, William R. Forstchen has given us a terrifying glimpse at this very real future possibility and let me tell you, it is very frightening. In one second, the United States basically stops after being attacked by an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) weapon. EMP occurs when a nuclear bomb is detonated above the atmosphere, causing every single thing in its range containing anything electronic to fail. Cars, planes, pacemakers, electricity, you name it, it's gone forever. The country is immediately plunged into the dark ages, the population far too large to be supported by 18th century technology. Different parts of the country fare better or worse depending on their locations to urban areas. Gangs roam the land, bringing death and destruction to any remaining survivors.

The author concentrates on the impact on one man who struggles to save his family and his small town after America loses a war that sends our nation back to the Dark Ages. The struggles of rationing food, taking care of the sick with the dwindling medical supplies and training the young to protect their town is described in such a way, the reader is left wondering "what would I do in that situation?"

Make sure that you have nothing pressing to do before reading this book, because once you start, you will not want to put it down. After you read it, you will start to really look at the world around you and realize how much we depend on the things we take for granted. Am I scared....Hell yes! This book will definitely make you want to prepare for this sobering and frightening possibility. Oh, and have a box of tissues nearby as you read chapter is a definite a tear-jerker. 

"It is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when."

My Rating:  4 out of 5 stars

William R. Forstchen (born 1950) is an American author who began publishing in 1983 with the novel Ice Prophet. He is a Professor of History and Faculty Fellow at Montreat College, in Montreat, North Carolina. He received his doctorate from Purdue University with specializations in Military History, the American Civil War and the History of Technology.

Forstchen is the author of more than forty books, including the award winning We Look Like Men of War, a young adult novel about an African-American regiment that fought at the Battle of the Crater, which is based upon his doctoral dissertation, The 28th USCTs: Indiana’s African-Americans go to War, 1863-1865 and the "Lost Regiment" series which has been optioned by both Tom Cruise and M. Night Shyamalan.

Forstchen’s writing efforts have, in recent years, shifted towards historical fiction and non fiction. In 2002 he started the “Gettysburg” trilogy with Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich; the trilogy consists of Gettysburg: A Novel of the Civil War, Grant Comes East, and Never Call Retreat: Lee and Grant - The Final Victory. More recently, they have have published two works on the events leading up to Pearl Harbor and immediately after that attack Pearl Harbor, and Days of Infamy.

In March 2009, Forstchen’s latest work, One Second After, (Forge/St. Martin’s books) was released. Based upon several years of intensive research and interviews, it examines what might happen in a “typical” American town in the wake of an attack on the United States with “electro-magnetic pulse” (EMP) weapons. Similar in plotting to books such as On the Beach and Alas Babylon, One Second After, is set in a small college town in western North Carolina and is a cautionary tale of the collapse of social order in the wake of an EMP strike. The book has been optioned by Warner Bros. and currently is in development as a feature film. The book was cited on the floor of Congress and before the House Armed Services Committee by Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (R.-MD), chair of the House Committee tasked to evaluate EMP weapons, as a realistical portrayal of the potential damage rendered by an EMP attack on the continental United States.

Forstchen resides near Asheville, North Carolina with his daughter Meghan. His other interests include archaeology, and he has participated in several expeditions to Mongolia and Russia. He is a pilot and co owns an original 1943 Aeronca L-3B recon plane used in World War II.

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