Wednesday, October 9, 2013


I have a new author facebook page I would love to get more followers on.  I am planning on reserving my book release stuff to that page and keep this blog for only book tours and reviews.  Check it out and CLICK LIKE.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

My First Author interview

I gave my first Authors Interview!  Yippee!!  It can be found at
Thanks Vincent for the interview.

Friday, March 15, 2013

GIRL, STOLEN by April Henry

This was another of my bonus point books from my classroom Scholastic orders and I am happy to say it was good.  Since it was an actual book I was not able to take it to the gym with me so I will not be giving it any Barbell rating.  Girl, Stolen is the story of a girl, Cheyenne, who has lost her sight and while sleeping in the back of her step mom's car while she is off getting antibiotics, is accidently kidnapped during a car jacking.  The writing was sharp and concise and the dialogue was believable.  The dialogue between Griffin, the teenage boy who accidently kidnapped her and Cheyenne, is natural while still giving us background information to their lives.   When Griffin begins to sympathize with her and his dad gets the idea to ransom her off things start getting strained and Cheyenne isn't sure she's going to make it out alive.  I enjoyed the book and think it would be a good recommendation for MG to YA.  I give it 4 stars.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Lucky!!!  I have to count my blessings lately because I have read one great book after another for the last couple of weeks.  I absolutely loved this book...and again give it 5 barbells for getting me up and to the gym...although I admit I crawled into bed and read for two hours one night because I was so engrossed with these characters I didn't want them to go.  First I have to say besides the incredible writing and dialogue (those of you who follow me know I am a sucker for dialogue) this book also took place in the 80's!  I was in high school at the same time a these characters and felt so connected to the music references and the struggle with identity.  Park, one of the main characters is of korean and american decent and struggles with who he actually is.  While Eleanor is a red headed, "big" girl (at least that is what she calls herself) She feels ugly and her home life is a mess!  But somehow while riding the school bus Park and Eleanor form a connection and fall in love. They try to help each other with acceptance of who they are and learn how to not let go of the good things because of the bad. This is a sweet and sometimes heart breaking book but one I know will stay with me until I am able to be immersed in another good book.  Sure fire 5 stars.

Monday, March 11, 2013

What I Didn't Say by Keary Taylor

Loved this book!  Definitly a 5 barbell rating.  I especially appreciated this book because it was set in the Pacific Northwest, where I was raised and on Orcas Island, where my husband and I spent our first year Anniversary.  Yeah!  This book grabs you from the get go.  Although the chapter time line was a bit confusing in the beginning but I got the hang of it.  Jake is the main character and after a horrific accident he loses his vocal cords.  The story takes you through his trials trying to communicate with his peers as well as the strange way people feel comfertable telling him things since he can never repeat it.  I thought the author did an excellent job of communicating for him through written notebooks.  I personally felt his frustration at writing so much and wanted to scream for him to learn sign language faster.  I can't imagine having to write everything down.  Jake's love interest, Sam, has her own issues to deal with and the story does a good job of teaching us that everyone has there trials and each impacts their life at a variety of before you get too depressed remember someone else could be worse off.  Really enjoyed the writing and the story.  Fell in love with Jake and his family.  Big 5 star recommendation. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Devoured Series by Emily Snow

There are two books in this series, All Over You and Devoured (with a third coming out soon)  This series begins like so many where the MC is a girl who lacks a bit of confidence and comes from a bad family background and is trying to do better.  I say that as if there is something wrong with that story line, but I LOVE IT.  I find the pattern an easy read.  I am not sure whether to classify this as New Adult, but I think I will.  These books start with the MC Sienna, working on a video shoot for a rock band.  Now I also find that these books tend to have musician types.  Helps with the broodiness I guess.  Sienna is in charge of wardrobe and of course Lucas the protagonist sees her as his easy target.  Kind of a little Fifty Shades with him seeing the weak lamb and thinking he can over power and dominate her.  And all seems to be going as planned until she ends up at his house and he tells her to put handcuffs on and she says (as everyone should)  Yeah!  NO!  So he kicks her out.  Moving to book two...of course Lucas can not get her out of his head because she turned him down and decides to move to Tennessee, where she is from, to write music.  He finds a house in foreclosure and decides to buy it and it turns out it is Sienna's grandma's house.  So long story short, Lucas gets Sienna to work as his assistant for ten days and if she can get through it he will give her the house again.  Sparks fly and all seems well until Sam, the mysterious ex-wife shows her ugly head and Lucas turns Sienna away.  We don't know what Sam holds over Lucas but it must be bad.  I am waiting for the next book to find out.  I have to say this book, although follows a formula I am familiar with, is a great read and drew me into the characters and I have to say Lucas is on my list of book crushes.  I loved the epilogue at the end of Devoured and think it is super romantic.  The dialogue and character development is good and although back story is sprinkled through I didn't find any information dumps and the pace kept me reading.  4 Stars for sure and a recommended read for the February Month of Romance.

Find You In The Dark by A Meredith Walters

This is a YA contemporary.   It stars Maggie a reliable and middle of the road popular senior who is kind of bored with her life.  She had two best friends that she has known for her entire life and feels like she is in a rut.  What I really liked about this book is she has two normal, loving parents.  Maggie's life is slowly turned upside down as Clay comes into it.  Clay is a transfer student from far away and is broody and mysterious.  What Maggie doesn't know at first is that the reason he is all broody is because he suffers from Bipolar Disorder.  I loved this story as it followed Clay's struggle to deal with the medication, wanting to feel normal but unable to embrace normal when the meds rob him of his emotions and energy.  I see this in my classroom so many times.  Where a parent has to decide which is better; a child that can sit still in a coma and hopefully learn or a kid bouncing off the walls and struggling with emotional ups and downs, while hopefully learning.  I can't say which is best but in this case Clay's emotional roller coaster not only puts him at risk but also Maggie.  I love how this book takes us through her downward spiral as she tries to be the support she thinks he needs.  Tries to be enough for him to get well.  When eventually she figures out she can't.  I thought the character development, dialogue, and most of all the realistic depiction of the characters was spot on.  I felt so connected to Clay and his struggles.  I have to say my only complaint is that I want to read the next book and although a teaser is placed at the end of the book I can not find any reference to it being available nor a date of release.  Frustrating...the teaser just kills me and I need, NEED to see how Clay turns out.  Please finish it if it is not done and if it is I would love to read it for a review.
4 1/2 stars

Friday, February 1, 2013

World Building Post 4

This is an easy one to show.  The culture of the Navajo is very rich and they are a beautiful people.

This is my main character, Solomon.  *sigh*

A turning point in my story is when the boys take the MC to a Pow Wow and dance for her.

Porcupine quills are a popular addition to their colorful dress.

Monument Valley, where the boys originate from.

The Skinwalkers chosen form...a Raven.

This is Josiah,  one of the Holy Ones and Solomon's angsty brother.  He tends to have a bad attitude.

Solomon in hus dressed best!

And the bad guy.  Luke a.k.a Raven.  Kind of looks like Tonto from the new Lone ranger movie but I think they just found the same picture as me.  Hee Hee

World Building Post 3 Religion

My entire story revolved around the religious belief of the Navajo and the Holy People.  Here is a little blurb about them.  There are four Holy people, each representing a direction on the compass and each possessing powers derived from the elements.  Sort of like the Avatar, Air bender cartoon.  In Native American culture they believe the number four is spiritual.
Holy People: The Navajo believed in good and evil. They believed that everything in the universe had a purpose - be it good or evil. It was important that the universe remained in balance. If not, evil could take over. Their ceremonies were designed to restore harmony. 
Their Holy People were supernatural beings with the power to hurt or help the Navajo people. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

World Building Post 2

Much of my story stems from Native Amercan Legend and the fact that research was required to write my book just made it that much more fun.  Many of the Native American tribes share the same belief systems of creation.  I took the legend and changed it to meet the needs of my story in small ways.  The legend of the skin walker was a huge influence in my story as the antagonist is one.  Here is a bit of history as to what and who they are and just one of the many articles I used to develop the world my MC has come to know.

Navajo Skinwalker Legend

The Navajo skinwalker legend is one of the more complex and terrifying stories, steeped in mystery and evil intent.
navajo skinwalker legend Many Navajos believe firmly in the existence of skinwalkers and refuse to discuss them publicly for fear of retribution. They believe skinwalkers walk freely among the tribe and secretly transform under the cover of night.
The term yee naaldooshii literally translates to “with it, he goes on all fours.” According to Navajo legend, a skinwalker is a medicine man or which who has attained the highest level of priesthood in the tribe, but chose to use his or her power for evil by taking the form of an animal to inflict pain and suffering on others.
To become a skinwalker requires the most evil of deeds, the killing of a close family member. They literally become humans who have acquired immense supernatural power, including the ability to transform into animals and other people.
According to the Navajo skinwalker legend, these evil witches are typically seen in the form of a coyote, owl, fox, wolf or crow – although they do have the ability to turn into any animal they choose.
Because it is believed that skinwalkers wear the skins of the animals they transform into, it is considered taboo to wear the pelt of any animal. In fact, the Navajo are only known to wear two hides, sheepskin and buckskin, both of which are only used for ceremonial purposes.
Those who have talked of their encounters with these evil beings describe a number of ways in which a skinwalker will try to inflict harm. Some describe hearing knocks on the window or banging on the walls.
Others have spotted an animal-like figure peering in through a window. According to Navajo skinwalker legend, they are seldom caught. Those who do track a skinwalker and learn of their true identity must pronounce the name of the evil one in full. Once this happens, the skinwalker will get sick or die for the wrongs they have inflicted against others.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Word Building Blogfest Day 1

Today we are suppose to look at what inspires us to use descriptive words to bring the reader into out worlds.
My book takes place in a location where I actually grew up and one where I vacationed.  Grayland, Washington is a costal fishing/loggin community.  It is named Grayland due to the constant gray weather and heavy rain, although there are some sunny days sprinkled in during the summer.  Tokeland is a small town near by which borders the Shoalwater Reservation where the "boys" in the story live.  I used these pictures to make a story book to use for aiding in my descriptive writing or when I needed some inspiration.

This is a cranberry bog where Emma is attacked by a Raven.

The community hall where Emma goes to the Cranberry festival dance.

Beach where Solomon and Emma have their heart to heart talk.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

18 Things by Jamie Ayres

I was excited to get this book and support a fellow new author and put it on my kindle on its day of release.  The book is listed as YA Paranormal.  Having that title I read the majority of the book guessing when something paranormal was actually going to happen.  When I was at 88% read...finally the paranormal aspect came in.  It was a good twist, one I will not spoil here, but I found it distracting that it waited so long to come into play.  The theme of the story was interesting, come up with a list of 18 Things to do the year you turn 18 in a way to deal with the death of a friend.  I liked how the supporting characters moved through the main characters list and supported her.  My biggest compliment for this book is that I found the prologue and the first chapter very well written.  They totally pulled me in.  However, the pull of the book wained for me after that.  Being the mom of an 18 year old and a 16 year old I found the language the characters used immature. More middle school than high school.  I read some of the dialogue to my boys and they agreed.  There were many literary references in the book, I know the author is a teacher and can guess she probubly teaches English.  I had a hard time connecting to some of the references and wonder if younger readers may be at a loss as well.  The author chose to have the characters be huge Star Wars fans, which reminded me of the guys from Big Bang Theory.  I didn't mind that the characters were suppose to be geeky but there were a lot of references that I missed out on as I am not a big fan myself.  At the end of the book the MC gives a long speech that refers back to many aspects of Star Wars and I got a bit lost in reading it. Overall I thought the message was positive.  I kept waiting for a bit more spirituality and felt like the author was going to go for it and then pulled back.  I was confused as to where this book actually falls in the genre world.  My favorite line in the book is when a Dr. tells Olga, the MC that kids these days have it wrong when they text YOLO, You only live once.  They instead should text YODO, you only die once.  You live every day of your life but only die one day.  I would give this book three stars and would recommend it to a younger reader.  The next book in her series is sneak peeked at the end of this one and I have to say I give the author props for writing killer beginnings.  Not sure I will read the next book but the teaser makes me think I want to.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

L.A. Fiore: Beautiful Damaged

This book is a combination of Fifty Shades and a few other books that have reached the for front of the book stores lately.  Using the format of the damaged man and the meek girl that tries to save them.  This one is definitly tamer than the Fifty books and leaves the mature content to a minimum.  What I really liked about this book is a mystery aspect that comes through after the romance is solidified.  They discover that they have a past that is intertwined and a future that is uncertain until they figure out the past.  I thought the writing for the most part was strong and I thought the author did a good job of giving the female character, Ember a back bone when standing up for herself.  I appreciated that Ember didn't down grade herself as not being good enough for Trace and didn't constantly go on about being afraid of losing him.  She was aware of his past but put the potential of them drifting apart on Trace and not her short comings. 

Is there such thing as too many fingers in the pot?

Yes!  I think there is.  Since I started writing I have struggled with finding a beta reader that is willing to stick with me through a manuscript so I have had to find other ways to get opinions of my writing.  In doing so I have joined many blog hops and taken every opportunity to get my first pages looked at.  I don't change everything that is mentioned, but I do take common complaints into account and change what I feel will make my writing better.  Over the last six months I have improved my piece and I think I have improved my own writing by helping others with theirs.  But when does it become too many opinions?  What do you do when you finally have a piece that overall is getting good feedback, but then a few agents look at it and complain about the very things you changed and wish it had more of what you edited out?  The pendulum swings to the right and then swings to the left.  Do I go back and put the ideas back in or do I trust the help I got and wait for an agent that likes what I have.  When does the piece stop even being mine and turns into just a lesson on revision?  When is it time to put it on the shelf and accept the fact that this manuscript isn't ever going to get there? 

Friday, January 18, 2013

My Opinion: Stop reading gif you are looking for a review

I was sifting through my technological links yesterday....twitter, Facebook, the blogs I follow...and I saw an author post a comment about a number of books she had recently read that had Rape as the antagonist for the main character.  I also have noticed many books that have abusive situations or near abuse at the forefront of the book.  It made me wonder... is it an easy way to show the "guy" as a hero?  Is it an easy way to show angst?  Or is it an excuse for the character to act the way they do?  I don't know.  What I worry is that this may reflect the plight of our YA readers.  Are the people who are using this as a thread in the story survivors of this violence?  Do they know someone who is?  Is this so prevalent in our society that we are seeing it pop up again and again in the books of today?  I don't know but I worry that either we are taking the easy way out to find flaw and tension in our characters or there is a need for a greater awareness to violence against woman.

Sometimes Never By: Cheryl McIntyre

I have to say again I simply love the way my new kindle puts a scroll bar of "If you liked that book you might like this one" at the bottom of the page.  So that is how I found this one.  Sometimes Never is told in alternating view points, which although I sometimes get confused and have to go back to see who is actually talking, I am beginning to really like.  I especially enjoy seeing the other point of view when it is a guys.  This story follows Hope and Mason.  Two characters I liked from the get go.  Hope lost her mom and never really had a dad.  Her mom was a pretty cruddy mom and she had some disturbing experiences with the men that frequented the house.  So she is a pretty flawed character who uses cutting to cope.  She has a great support system with either an aunt or uncle or foster parents, I was kind of confide on what exactly they were.  Anyway the teenage boy, Guy that lives with them is great.  He is written as a gay man but that is just a tidbit of info that never drives the story but does explain how he could be so close to Hope without the other boys freaking out.  Mason, although he seems to have a somewhat stable home life, has moved a lot since his Dad was murdered.  He uses sex as a coping method until he finds Hope.  f I could make one compliant, although at no the did I feel it hindered the story, but I would have liked to have gone deeper into Mason's issues.  HAve your father murdered is huge and although it was clear he was promiscuous it could have entered into a more conflicted character and might have supported the way he felt like he wasn't enough for Hope when they faced her cutting.  Although I loved the characters I have to say my true love was for Chase a secondary character who in my opinion had the best lines in the book.  I love boy bickering!  I think the way men communicate is fascinating and love good dialogue that shows that.  This book delivered.  It was a quick read and I was enthralled the entire time.  I hope the author continues to write.I give it 4 stars!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Call for Blogger's on Katie's Blog

This is copied from Katie's Blog

If your interested head on over and check it out!



We Want You...To Be Part of "The List"

I love waterfalls. :-)
Calling all bloggers!

Calling all bloggers!

Entangled needs you! *points at you*

Be part of The List.

Here's what you need to know:

One of my awesome publicists at Entangled is compiling a list of bloggers.

Here are the requirements:

Do you have a blog?

Do you love to review books?

Do you want access to books before they release?

If your answers to these questions is a resounding "YES" then you're the right blogger for the job.

We want you! Now's a great time to join The List.

If you want to be a part of The List, here's what you have to do:

1. Add Til Death to your Goodreads TBR pile:


2. Leave the following in the comments section:

a. Your Name

b. Your Blog URL

c. Your Goodreads Name

d. Your Email Address

Thursday, January 10, 2013

I don't usually do this...

So I make it a habit to not post negative comments of books I read.  I just pretend I didn't read them and let others make their own opinion.  I mean really...there are so many books out there that everyone's taste and interest can be meant.  Doesn't mean I have to like it.  But the book I am reading is hitting a nerve with me and I just couldn't hold back.  I won't tell you the title or author but this book is bugging me so much that I went on the web looking for who in the world agreed to publish it.  Looks like it may be a self-publish so that answered that question.  Then I searched the author.  Then surfed for some other reviews, all luke warm.  And I discovered this is one of three books in a series.  I am almost, ALMOST, tempted to read another just to see if there is something better coming.
Anyway, to all the want to be authors, (me included) lets come up with something new.  This book has the same story line as Twilight except with a shape shifter wolf like thing.  However you don't really know anything about the shifter until you are more than half way through the book.  The first half is just this sad, depressed girl.  each chapter takes us through her school day, class by class and even discusses the lessons she does.  Ugh.  It just drags.  I keep reading hoping it gets better.  My other peeve is that a guy wrote it from a girls pov. Now I don't have a problem with that except that his take on girls if off.  We are not as pathetic as he makes us.  I find this book a good example of what agents say when they tell us they do not sympathize or like our characters.  I don't like her and kind of wish the wolf like thing would eat her.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


I was reading an author's description of her novel and she said it was Historical Fiction because it took place in the 1970's.  When did the 70's become historical?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Just Remember to Breathe by Charles Sheehan-Miles

So lately I am a total sucker for anything Contemporary Romance...and I love it even more if the actual story is great and the romance just adds to the overall greatness.  I felt that this book fell into the catagory.  I especially appreciated the dual points of view that told the story.  Dylan and Alex are the main characters.  They met while still in high school, during a school trip.  In a not so cliche' way Dylan is the boy from the bad background that is trying to better himself and Alex is the girl that seems to have it all but in reality really only has controlling parents.  What I liked about this book was the driving force of Dylan's story.  An injured vetran of the Afghanistan war.  The two characters, sfter the initial meeting try and keep a long distance relationship going..but we all know how hard that can be.  So they end up moving apart (although there is more to it than that but let's not be a spoiler)  The book takes us through how they grow and change as people as well as how life sometimes throws us a curve that means we have to pull up our big boy pants and face life and just deal.  This was a quick read with endearing characters and I loved that the PTS of a soldier and rehab was brought in to show the depth of the struggle a man must go through when returning to a world very different from the war.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Where You Are: by J.H. Trumble

After finishing Don't Let Me Go by the same author I immediately downloaded the second book.  Which by the way I loved.  I can't say if I prefered either one over the other, they were both great.  Again I can't express enough appreciation for the character development and dialogue that the author has, in my opinion perfected.  Such a smooth read and never a line that pulls you out of the story.  This story has two male Main characters in which the author gives us both points of view in the story.  That is a very difficult feat to pull off in a manuscript so kudos to you.  It is the story of a second year high school math teacher and a senior student.  I have to say that I did have an itch in the back of my mind while reading the book, about the love interest.  My being a teacher made the scenario a little close to home.  But for those aspiring writers out there if ever you wanted some steamy, against the grain subject matter for a book go no further than your local school.  Chaos ensues behind the staff room doors.  Anyway back to my review.  Seeing as I teach elementary, I seemed to have to keep reminding myself that the senior was mature and not some little kid.  The dialogue was mature and I am not sure why I kept slipping back to thinking he was too young. My issue not the writers.  Robert, the senior is dealing with a lot of personal turmoil, with a dad who is dying but never really a part of his life to begin with and Aunts that have invaded his home.  I wanted someone to wrap their arms around him and tell him it wasn't his fault. I enjoyed that aspect of the book a lot.  Andrew, the teacher, begins as a support for Robert and then their mentor/student relationship grows to another level.  The tension that they are going to get caught is well written and kept me reading.  I especially liked that the author pulled in characters from the previous book so it was like seeing how an old friend was doing.  As I said when I reviewed an early book with male characters, this author has a way of telling a story that makes the gender of the characters secondary.  It is the story I loved and the characters I felt for.  It didn't matter what the gender.  Great Read. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Don't Let Me Go by J.H. Trumble

Reading this book was a step out of my normal genre of interests.  I am a sucker for a good contemporary romance and lean towards these titles whenever I get a good reccomendation, however this cont. romance dealt with homosexuality.  Not an area I lean towards in my reading.  This book was recommended to me by one of my Goodreads friends, thanks Helene!  Having some trepidation about the topic I read her review, then went onto amazon to get a better idea of what I was stepping into.  I admit I have read my share of erotica but wasn't sure I was ready for it in this format.  The reviews raved about the book and I jumped in and started reading yesterday morning and thank the lucky stars it was New Years Eve and I have an excuse to stay up all night to finish reading it.  I have to say it was/ is one of the best books I have read.  This is the story of two young men and their developing relationship, the ups and downs of thier feelings for each other as one graduates and moves to New York while the other remains behind as a senior in high school.  It is not, and I repeat NOT a book with blantant sexuality. Although it is implied and discussed, as with any romance, it is not the focal point of the story.  I love good characters and dialogue and this book delivers!  While reading it I didn't even think about the gender of the characters, I just loved them both and wanted them to figure out how to be together.  Many of the books I have read lately have moments of drag while they try to fill in back stroy and sometimes the characters are stiff and say things that make me go Hmmmm.  This book does none of that.  The dialogue is realistic and funny.  The situations are realistic and relatable.  It tackles some tough issues of how each of the characters came out to their family and friends, it touches gently upon a hate crime commited against one of the boys, but mostly it focuses us on how hard two individuals are trying to figure out who they are as individuals while trying to keep their relationship.  It is primarily told from Nate's point of view, with the help of some understanding friends.  I wish I had friends that were so great in high school.  While tough topics are discussed in this book it is done in a smooth and easy way that just makes it a part of the story.  My heart strings were pulled again and again as they went through the trials of a long distance relationship and i root for them the entire time.  I highly recommend this book for its power of good story telling.  When the writing is so good it takes you out of your own head and into theirs.  Thank you for giving such a wonderful voice to a tricky topic.