Sunday, April 28, 2013

Happy 80th Birthday, Grandma!

What an amazing experience my grandmother's (Mami, as I call her) 80th birthday was.

Her birthday celebration was a surprise, so my mom and aunt did things on the hush hush.

It all started with my trip to Puerto Rico. Mami didn't know that my brother and I were coming. I waited 3 long hours at the airport for him so that we could arrive together to surprise Mami. That worked out wonderfully. She was happy to have seen my brother and meet his wife and wonderful boys.

When Mami saw me, she looked at me, hugged me and was pleasantly surprised to see me. However, she didn't recognize me for who I was. She thought I was a cousin of mines, too sweet. My mom asked her "Mami, sabes quien es?" (Do you know who she is?). Mami looked at me again and her eyes grew bigger as the true recognition set in, she realized it was me. She gave me the tightest hug she could have given me. Tears flowed down me eyes. I was overcome with joy to have seen her. After all, the last time I saw my grandmother was when my oldest, who is now 9 years old, was born. She was there, in the delivery room and got to see her great grandson being born into this world. I will never forget that, nor did she. She made sure she reminded me of the last time I saw her.

It was great being back in the house where I spent countless summers when little. The house remained the same, except for a few changes here and there. I remember thinking to myself when I walked through the house how, as a child when you see things or experience things, they tend to be bigger in your mind. Like larger than life. My grandmother's house is like that. I remember it being huge. I still describe it as having this long hallway, big, bright bathrooms, huge kitchen, spacious porch and a feeling of being in a palace. I hang on to those memories. However, the house wasn't as huge as I remember it but it was still a home away from home. Now, I hang on to that feeling.

The day of my grandmother's birthday, she was awaken with a serenade. What a beautiful and magical thing to see and experience. I honestly felt like I was transported back to an era where friends were welcomed into your home at early hours in the morning and you shared in the joyous moments of life. It was such a simple gesture yet held so much. I was able to capture it all on video and take some pictures. All the while I was watching, I was mesmerized and of course crying cause that's just what I do.

These were the gentlemen who serenaded Mami. 

My grandmother is a late sleeper. She wasn't immediately awaken my the music but had to be awaken by her son. When she realized and came out, she was overjoyed. I could see it in her face and her emotions.

Here's the first part of the serenade. 

Here's the second part of the serenade.

The evening of her birthday, we surprised her with a little party at her son's beach bar/restaurant. There was a live band playing, food was being served and the drinks were flowing, not freely but still flowing. :-) We sang happy birthday to her and it was a good time to be had by all around.

My brother's birthday was the day after, so we celebrated his birthday and sang to him at midnight as well. It's great to share in birthday celebrations with those you love.

Thank you for reading and for celebrating in memories that will never be forgotten.

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Great High School Love Game Review

There's always a first time for everything. It seems that lately I've been having lots of firsts. 

I vacillated between doing a review for this story or not. In the end, I decided to go ahead and do a review, after all, I pride myself in giving honest reviews on how a book makes me feel. No negative reviews will ever be given, just my honest opinion. 

Love is like a game - but not everyone can win the game of hearts... Put together four high school students, intrigue, jealousy and the result - it's all in the name of love... 

Title: The Great Love High School Game
Author: Marcia Carrington
Publisher: Marcia Carrington (June 10, 2012)
Format: Mobi; ePub; PDF
Genre: Young Adult
Location(s) Available: AmazonSmashwords

The Great High School Love Game was well written. Marcia's writing style is descriptive in nature. She creates an environment for the reader where we are right there with the character. Her characters are well developed and are growing into their own. You can see them develop as the story goes on. 

I do have to say that I didn't finish The Great Love High School Game. While the story line was good and the direction it seemed it was going in was interesting, the story just wasn't for me though I enjoy Young Adult fiction. I've been so used to reading YA that are more mature in nature. This story is truly a book for teenagers. I'm just not the targeted audience for this book. 

This story is more for young teenagers who are just beginning to figure out who they are and what it means to "fall in love" or really, really, really like someone. We've all been there. It's definitely a game where the characters were trying to figure out who like who, what was going on with their sudden change in behavior and how to get them to like each other, more than friends. 

Do I recommend this book? Even though I didn't finish it, I do recommend it for any young teenager. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

La Isla del Encanto - Puerto Rico

About a week and a half ago, I had the absolute and immense pleasure of visiting Puerto Rico. The main reason for my visit was to celebrate my grandmother's, Mami as I affectionately call her, 80th birthday. My younger brother visited along with his wife and 3 boys. My mom was there and other family members who flew to Puerto Rico to celebrate. I will be making a separate blog post about that.

Puerto Rico is a home away from home, sort of. I grew up on St. Croix, just a hop and a skip away from Puerto Rico BUT I have vivid memories of spending loads of summers on Puerto Rico. My mom would send me over every summer along with my younger brother. Those were the days. 

I have memories of visiting Old San Juan, Rio Piedras, Plaza Las Carolinas, Plaza Las Americas, going to the beach and just playing around in the neighborhood with the other kids who became my summer friends. So, it was wonderful going back to Puerto Rico after 13 years or so. I'm guesstimating there. The point is, it was a very long time since I last was in Puerto Rico. Oh, and you can't count 1/2 hour to 1 hour layovers at the airport. 

Even though, I've spent countless summers in Puerto Rico, when I visited a few weeks ago, I was in tourist mode. It was an experience that I will never forget. 

First of all, the driving in Puerto Rico is ridiculously crazy. The people drive like there's no tomorrow and there are no road rules but you can get used to that. What was horrible was trying to find our way to different places. We got "turned around" (a nice term for getting lost) so many times! The whole time I was yelling "I'm not every coming back to Puerto Rico!" It was fun, full of adventure yet frustrating. While I will always remember this, this certainly was not the highlight of my trip. 

The highlight of my trip was celebrating my grandmother's and my brother's birthday. We celebrated my brother's birthday by going around to different places, window shopping and sight seeing. My brother was insistent on going to Viejo San Juan - Old San Juan. El Viejo San Juan is such an idyllic place. Though it was busy and the streets were lined with tourists going in and out of shops, the city held an old world charm. The atmosphere still held airs of the past. You could see it in the architecture, the cobble stone lined streets and the monuments erected to celebrate local heroes. 

We visited El Parque de las Palomas while in Viejo San Juan. We went there more for the children but found  ourselves pleasantly surprised with what we discovered. Along the pavement of this park, there were old, bronzed and cemented shoes that belonged to folks. 

As I walked along finding all these shoes and their placement, I began wondering who these people were. Why did they leave their shoes behind? Did they visit the park often? Was the park their sanctuary? Who were they? I suspect we'll never really know but knowing that a piece of them was left behind is enough to deepen the mystery and keep visitors intrigued. 

This was the most interesting piece of the park, to me. 

Of course, I had to find out what the shoes meant. I couldn't just leave it at that. I'm intrigued by mysterious things such as these. There are two versions to the story.

In the first one, I was told that the first bronzed shoes were those of a grandfather and his grandson who would visit the park often to feed the birds. The rest of the shoes were put there because patrons of the park didn't want the government to get rid of it, so they started leaving the shoes as a way saying please keep the park. 

In the second version, the shoes were ordered to be placed there by a former female mayor of San Juan to honor the first female mayor of San Juan and a former governor. Both of the honorees worked to help the poor and would provide shoes for those who couldn't afford them. The shoes were placed at the park to honor both mayor and governor and to serve as a reminder of their work for the poor. 

I like both versions but the grandfather and grandson is much sweeter. In my mind, I could see a grandfather so in love with his little grandson and taking him on Sunday strolls to the park, feeding the birds and talking about life. Very idyllic sounding. 

Another intriguing attraction that I saw was the Capilla del Santo Cristo de la Salud - Chapel of Christ the Savior. It was just tucked right next to el Parque de las Palomas, open to the public. I find it fascinating how in the midst of a busy street and park, there's a little area that's sacred and serves as a respite for a weary soul. When I entered, there was a sense of calm and peace that came over me. I love little chapels like that and treat them with reverence and respect. My brother found it very creepy looking though. lol 

I took some pictures of some other things but they didn't turn out well. However, I did manage to snag a photo of one of my favorite treats on the island, el helado. I don't know what it's called in English. The only thing I can say it's like is gelato. It's not ice cream but it's a cold treat on a hot summer day. I remember eating these as a child and they were oh so yummy. My favorite has always been the coconut flavored one. Mmmm... 

Of course, you can't visit a city as old and cultural as el Viejo San Juan without bumping into a sax player. He sounded great too. 

Oh and I decided to take a picture with me and some guy. Look, he even offered me flowers, how sweet. :-) 

All in all, I had a wonderful time in Puerto Rico. It was a much needed vacation. I missed my boys, all four of them but was happy to have had that time away for myself. 

BTW, if you managed to make it to the end of this blog post, a big fat 


for reading it all the way through and a big fat 


I know that I can be long winded when telling a story or sharing something, lol

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Cover Reveal - Choices by Sydney Lane

I am certainly enjoying sharing reviews, hosting book tours and now I'm hosting a cover reveal!

Check out the cover for Choices by Sydney Lane.

Choices is a Mature Young Adult fiction meant for anyone over 17+ years old. I've read some teasers here and there and it sounds intriguing. 

See for yourself!


Fate brought her here, but will her choices destroy her dream? 

Quincy Priest made all he right choices in her small town, black and white life. But being perfect is tiring. So. Very. Tiring.

Wanting desperately to step out of her sister's shadow, Quincy jumps at the opportunity to attend college with her best friend. The quiet bookworm with family secrets comes out of her shell. But... when Quincy meets not one, but two perfect guys, she has to make a choice. In doing so, she might forfeit the relationship she secretly longed for. 

Declan. Sweet, handsome, and perfect. He makes her feel cherished for the first time in her life. 

Brody. Sexy, hot and irresistible. He could tear down her carefully, built walls. 

Before she can become the woman she wants to be, Quincy will make mistakes. And suffer one unimaginable loss. 

Here's a teaser of Choices:

Just as I get to my car, a hand wraps around mine. I swing around, only to find Brody looking down at me. "Did you think of an answer to my question, Quince? Are you with Declan or not?"

I'm not sure why it matters to him. He's not interested in me like that anyway. "I'm not with anyone, Brody.... I've only known him a week. That's not long enough to know anything about anyone."

"Oh, I don't know about that. I know enough about you that I want to get to know you better." His voice lowers, and he leans down just close enough that I can feel his breath on my cheek. "I know enough to know that I'd like to kiss you right now. To know that if I do, it won't be nearly enough." His lips graze my face, just enough to let me know they are there. "I know you want to kiss me like I want to kiss you. I just don't know the answer to my question." If I just moved an inch, his mouth would be on mine. And I want it.


If you want to know more about the characters and read some more teasers, check out Sydney Lane's page on Facebook. 

About the author - Sydney Lane:

Sydney Lane lives in Nashville, TN with her husband and children. Growing up in Smalltown, USA, Sydney dreamed of being a writer. 

After spending an outrageous amount of money to go to college, Sydney finally decided to follow her heart. With her babies in bed and husband neglected, she worked by the light of her laptop and wrote Choices. 

Sydney is very active in charity work for anti-bullying and depression awareness groups. 

Leave a comment below for Sydney Lane letting her know what you think! 

Thanks for stopping by. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Me, Busy? Whew...

I need to wipe the sweat off my brow!

I have been busy, busy, busy reading, crocheting, keeping house, not really, but just doing things in general (or I'd like to think so).

Being busy gives me some sort of accomplishment even though it can be overwhelming. I love it when my plate is full; when my mind is thinking of the many things I need to get done or want to get done.

I have several blog posts lined up to be posted live. My brain has been categorizing my thoughts and organizing them, sort of, so I can get them down on "paper". It has been a wonderful feeling knowing that my thoughts matter to someone, anyone.

During the thought process, I struggled with a decision that I had to make. I made it but I'm second guessing that decision. I shouldn't but that's just how I process things. In the end, it'll be okay. I got some great feedback from other readers, bloggers and authors and that helped.

I've also been crocheting, which is something I also enjoy doing. Creating something from yarn, made by my very own hands, is such an incredible feat to accomplish that I revel in my creations. I can say, "I made this!" I am participating in #AprCAL in the Crochet Along on Google+ community. It is my first time participating and I've enjoyed it. I've actually finished my piece, it's just in the process of being blocked right now. Listen t me, talking crochet speak. :-)

I also went on a trip to Puerto Rico recently. I've been organizing my pictures and making them pretty using PicMonkey and have been having fun doing that. I will soon be making one or two blog posts about my trip. Probably two.

I've also been hosting book tours and doing reviews. I've just finished two novellas in just a matter of days! I needed that refresher so badly after my struggling decision. I will soon be making a review.

Well, that's it for now. I'm sure there's something I forgot to share. I'm famous for forgetting, Mommy Brain and all that.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Whisper Book Review

In continuing with the second day of hosting a book tour of Whisper by Michael Bray, here is my review. I enjoyed writing this one, as it is my first horror review.

It was supposed to be a fresh start, a place for Steve & Melody Samson to start their new life together away from the noise and crime of the city. However, their new home - an idyllic cottage nestled deep within the dense solitude of Oakwell Forest has a disturbing history, hidden for generations by the local villagers, who are desperate to keep their sleepy town free from potential media attention. As Steve and Melody begin to notice the strange and bizarre things that are happening to them, they begin to unravel the complex web of lies and deceit perpetrated by the locals. 

Told both in a modern day narrative and flashbacks to the building's construction in the 1800's, we learn of the terrible things that reside within Hope House, and the reasons for the history of murders, suicide and insanity for the previous owners of the house.  

As Steve and Melody delve ever deeper, they are plagued not only by the malevolent forces that reside within the house but also the very real attention of the increasingly unstable realtor Donovan, who has horrific secretes of his own that he will go to any lengths to keep a secret.

Title: Whisper
Author: Michael Bray
Publisher: Michael Bray (April 19, 2013)
Format: Mobi; ePub; Paperback
Genre: Horror; Supernatural; Paranormal
Location(s) Available: AmazonBarnes and NobleSmashwordsKobo

Talk about scary! Shivering in my boots! Looking at every shadow from the corner of my eye! Sleeping with the lights on! Oh boy, this book is horror, in every sense of the word. Michael Bray creates such an intriguing story from the beginning to the end. He grips you, gets into your mind and doesn't let go.

I love stories that have flashback to the past. I enjoy learning more about the why's and how's of a story when there's so much to tell. Michael does a wonderful job of going back and forth to the past and present. Michael leaves nothing out for the reader. He gives us all the detail we need in order to understand what is happening. His characters, all of them, are well developed. You get to know who they are and why they got to where they are. Let me tell you, he's got some really creepy characters in the book.

*WARNING: May contain spoilers from here on out*

When I first read the prologue, I already knew that I was in for a fright. The premise of the story was created and I wanted more. I wanted to know who this tribe was and what they had to do with story.

Michael teases us with tidbits of history surrounding two of the main characters of the story, Hope House and Oakwell Forest. Hope House and Oakwell Forest were very much who/what the story was about. When Steve and Melody first saw the house, Steve knew something was up. Melody was so oblivious to what was going on that I wanted to yell at her! When a book makes me want to interact with the character in any way, it makes for an incredible story. I wanted to protect them both because I knew it was just gonna get worse from there on out. And it did!

Not only did Steve and Melody had to deal with the supernatural beings that haunted them and their home but also with the very real, physical presence of a human being. I couldn't decide who was scarier or more sinister, the evil spirits or the evil man.

I loved how Steve and Melody went through emotional and physical transformations through out the story. We got to see sides of them that we'd never see under normal circumstances. They were pushed beyond their limits and you wondered whether they'd make it through to the end.

This story had me grabbing my sheets and wringing them. I couldn't cover my eyes, as I would when watching a scary movie because then I wouldn't be able to read but if I could, I would. I remember at one point while reading, the house was all quiet. The kids were in bed and I started hearing some noises. I'm used to that because the house "settles" but my heart started beating fast and I got scared. I even had scary dreams. My overactive mind tends to reenact in my dreams what I read or see, especially if it is really good.

I've always told my husband that while I like the idea of living in the country near isolation, that is just not for me. Whisper reinforces that notion.

Supernatural/paranormal is one of my favorite genres. I normally would read paranormal romance or urban fantasy. However, horror is fast becoming one of my favorites too. I've read loads of horror stories but only some have stood out for me in that they truly are spine tingling, bone chilling, nail biting and blood curdling horror. Whisper is such a story and will certainly be at the top of my favorite horror stories. Michael Bray is certainly a talented writer. I enjoyed this book to the point that while I was scared, I couldn't read fast enough. I wanted to know it all and take it all in.

Do I recommend this book? Hell yeah, I do!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Excerpt of Whisper by Michael Bray

Please join me on my first book tour ever with the book 
Whisper by Michael Bray. 
Exciting stuff!

I teamed up with Book-Tour  in order to share amazing literature with everyone we can. 

Read on to find out more about Whisper by Michael Bray. 

Also, when you reach the end you'll be in for a bonus. ;-)



THE SMELL OF DEATH hung heavy in the morning air. The child ran through the forest, snatching quick glances over her shoulder as the Gogoku elder followed, crashing through the undergrowth in pursuit. She veered to the left, ducking under a gnarled, overhanging branch, and hopped over a protruding root as she tried to put some distance between herself and the elder. Her bare feet were bleeding, but in her fear, the child barely noticed. Her only concern was her pursuer, and ensuring that he didn’t catch her. She angled back towards the village, her instincts driving her back toward her home, even though she knew it was now a place for the dead. The elder was closer now; she could hear him grunting as he drew closer. She snatched another quick look over her shoulder, and as she did, her foot twisted under her, sending her sprawling to the ground. The pain from her twisted ankle was explosive, and although the child tried to scramble to her feet, it was too late.

He had found her.

The Gogoku elder stood above her, breathing heavily, and streaked with the blood of his fellow people. His eyes glared with fury from behind his painted face. The frightened child scrambled backwards, for the time being, the agonising pain in her ankle forgotten, her eyes were instead fixated on the spiked club held in the muscular Elder’s hand, which was matted with sinewy clumps of flesh and slick with blood.
He followed her gaze and unleashed a bloody grin, his yellowed teeth filed to points as was customary for Gogoku elders. They were supposed to be the village protectors, guardians and hunters, but something had gone horribly, horribly wrong. A shallow breeze pushed through the trees and the elder blinked, casting his eyes to the dense canopy, his brow furrowed as he listened.
The child also looked, the fear within her for the time being replaced with curiosity at the absolute silence which had fallen over the forest. She glanced back to the elder, her brown eyes full of fear, horror and betrayal. The elder looked back, and smiled.
He had done as they had asked of him, and now all apart from this one child were now dead. Another breeze moved the trees, and this time, both child and Elder heard it. The trembling child closed her eyes and waited, as the elder reared back and brought the club down hard with a guttural roar of rage.

1.  HOPE

THE HOUSE WAS CALLED Hope, and Melody loved it as soon as she saw it. She threw her arms around Steve’s neck, in the way she always did when there was something she really, really wanted. He smiled awkwardly as she released her grip and grinned at him.
“It’s perfect. It’s exactly what we were looking for,” she said, turning back towards the building.
Steve was not convinced. He wrinkled his nose, and gave the place a cautious once-over.  The agents had said the house was early eighteenth century, and to Steve, it appeared that it hadn’t been repaired or renovated since. It stood like a faded white slab against a backdrop of orange and brown autumn leaves, which had left the surrounding trees looking bare and gnarled. The house looked tired and grubby, and Steve wondered when it was last given a bit of TLC..
The single lane private road which led to the house snaked through the trees, and as it winded its way deeper into the depths of Oakwell Forest, it narrowed so that eventually the overhanging canopy was close enough to brush against the roof of their blue Passat.
As they neared their destination, the road had opened up and gave into a driveway of sorts, which in turn opened to the front yard area of the property.
The house was set a little further back behind an overgrown garden abundant with weeds, which like the house itself looked tired, unloved, and in some way forgotten. At the periphery of where the forest and the boundaries of their property began stood a rickety awning which was somehow still standing despite its dilapidated appearance. A sign hung limply from its underside and bore just a singular word carved in an old, swirling script.


Steve’s hope—as he eyed the sagging, patchy roof and rotten window frames—was that it wouldn’t cost a fortune to cover the repairs and to keep the place warm in the winter months— if they decided to make an offer on it at all. He supposed he could do a lot of the work himself, but by the state of apparent disrepair (evident even from some distance away), he could see it being more trouble than it was worth and perhaps now understood why the asking price had been so low.
A gust of wind made the trees whisper in unison, and he shuddered involuntarily. It was certainly a unique selling point— a house in the middle of the forest— but as a city boy through and through he wasn’t quite sure that he was ready to make such a huge leap from the concrete jungle to the literal one. The trees continued to sway in unison, leaving mottles of diffused mid-morning sunlight skittering across the ground. Melody turned to Steve and grinned, and he knew then by the excitement which shone in her eyes that he would be fighting an uphill battle to talk her out of making an offer on the place right there on the spot. He felt a pang of discomfort, a strange unease that stirred him as he looked beyond the house at the dense tangle of oaks and birches, which seemed to stretch ever upwards in their quest for sunlight. He suddenly felt very small and insignificant.
The Estate agent, a greasy, bird-like fellow by the name of Donovan saw Steve’s discomfort and with the graceful ease of a serpent, slithered his way over and leaned in close, invading Steve’s personal space.
            “Don’t worry about the trees. They just take a bit of getting used to,” he said, nodding towards where Steve was staring, “The last couple who lived here were in this house for many happy years before they decided to sell up and move to Australia.” He flashed his wide, salesman grin.
Steve didn’t like Donovan, and only hid his contempt for the horrible little man for the sake of Melody, who he loved more than anything.  He chose not to respond for fear of putting the gangly idiot in his place, and without missing a beat; Donovan saw this as his signal to continue his pitch.
“It has everything a young couple could need, Mr. Samson. And of course, needless to say you won’t have any noise from the neighbours”  
Donovan said it with a chuckle, which he quickly killed when he saw that Steve wasn’t joining in. He cleared his throat and reverted to what he knew, which appeared to be grinning at Steve with a mouth which seemed to contain too many teeth.  Melody called out from behind the house; her disembodied voice carried on the wind towards them.
“Steve, come take a look at this.” She yelled excitedly.
Donovan rolled his eyes in a clumsy attempt to build some rapport. Two guys together, best pals to the end. Steve's disdain for the man grew a little more as he walked towards the back of the house to look for his wife.
The rear of the house was bathed in blazing sunshine, causing him to squint as he rounded the corner. Donovan had produced some cheap looking sunglasses from the pocket of his even cheaper looking suit, which only served to add to the general ridiculousness of his appearance. Steve saw the reason for Melody’s excitement and felt a dull gnawing in his gut which he couldn’t quite explain. Maybe it was just anxiety or the fact that he was out of his comfort zone. He couldn’t quite put his finger on what it was.  Melody would have laughed at him and called it the heebie jeebies, which was as good a description as any that he could muster up. Although he hadn’t been able to tell as they approached by car due to the impenetrable density of the trees, it was now clear that Hope House sat on the lip of a gentle sloping hill. The back of the house  led on to a long, narrow garden at the end of which was a wide, gently flowing stream which cut directly across the bottom of the boundary to the property. The view from the house was stunning, giving the three of them a beautiful panorama of the immense forest which seemed to have swallowed the house some years ago as it had spread outwards. Steve was not one to be easily impressed, but even he couldn’t help but draw breath at the view.
“Beautiful isn’t it?” Donovan said as he removed his idiotic sunglasses and slipped them into his breast pocket. Steve chose not to reply, but Melody could barely contain herself.
“I love it!” she said, as Donovan flashed his salesman’s grin at her. Steve also noticed that their slimy host helped himself to a quick glance at her chest before continuing with his pitch.
“Your wife has impeccable taste Mr. Samson,” Donovan said around the grin that seemed glued to his face.
And lovely tits,

Steve imagined the smarmy salesman adding, but Donovan said nothing. Instead, he helped himself to a second lingering glance at Melody’s tight T-shirt.
“We haven’t even seen the inside of the house yet.” Steve said, for the time being, content to ignore Donovan’s ogling.
“It will be perfect. I just know it!” Melody said over her shoulder as she walked down the garden towards the stream for a closer look.
“You hear that Steve," said Donovan, clapping his hands together. “It seems your lovely wife approves.”
Steve nodded, noting that Donovan seemed to think they had now switched to first-name terms.
He smells the sale. Steve thought to himself as he watched his wife explore the garden.  He had a sudden desire to take her in his arms and hold her close. To protect her from— from what? Donovan? No. Donovan was an asshole all right, but he was harmless and certainly not Melody’s type. He couldn’t place it but something bristled within him to shield her, to protect her. He watched as she brushed her hair away from her face, and he knew without doubt that she wanted the house, and if that was the case, he would go with it. Not because she would kick up a fuss if he didn’t—he knew that she wouldn’t force him into the decision—he would agree to it because she wanted it more than anything, and if he could give her something that made her so happy, then he would do it without question. As if reading Steve’s thoughts, Donovan leaned close.
“How about we go and see the rest of the house and fill out some paperwork?” he said smugly, walking away before Steve could protest.
Steve glanced up at the house and couldn’t shake the feeling that it was watching him. Shrugging it off, he waited for Melody to join him. Then arm in arm they followed Donovan as he led them to see the inside of the house.


September 16th, 1813

WIND AND RAIN HAD been assaulting Hope House all afternoon and into the evening. The fire was now no more than softly glowing embers in the huge stone hearth, and although it was cold, the man still did not move. Upstairs his wife toiled with the pains of childbearing. He could hear her calling to him to attend her in her need, and yet he didn’t move.
He was a good man and proud, and knew that he should be assisting her in her time of need, but he couldn’t. Not yet. The man scratched his orange beard with a massive, calloused hand and tried to block out the screams of his wife, who he loved dearly.
 He listened instead to the other sound, the one that was subtle; carried on the edge of the wind, and relayed by the house as it swayed and creaked and moaned.

It was speaking to him.

He had not been certain at first, but the longer his hearing attuned itself to those subtle creaks and whispers, the more he understood. Sometimes the words were soothing and sweet and loving and kept him company as he cut wood for the fire. But on other occasions, like today the whispers were cruel and dark, saying things which were twisted and frighteningly explicit.
His wife screamed for him again, and he knew that he should go to her, and he would—just as soon as he had heard what the house was trying to tell him.
He felt a sharp stab of rage towards her for her incessant screams, which made the task of listening to those subtle voices harder even than it was before. Concentrating all of his efforts on blocking out all but the noise of the house, he began to hear snatches of words as he sat in the rocker by the fire. Words that told him what he needed to do.
More screams rolled from the upstairs bedroom, and his half lidded eyes flicked to the staircase. He concentrated all of his efforts into listening to those words but his concentration was repeatedly broken by the noise from upstairs. Anger surged through him, and the whispers of the house encouraged him and coaxed him, telling him what to do and how to do it. And he nodded, for they were right. He would be able to hear them better if his wife would silence her screams.
Even though he was a big man, he was very quiet, any noise that he made masked by the raging storm as it barraged the house.
Still the voices spoke, soothed, and coaxed him. They told him that they could speak to him more clearly if only they could make themselves heard.
As if to prove their point, a second sound had joined his wife’s from upstairs, this time the cries of their newborn child. He shook his head, wondering how he could ever hear himself think when he was constantly surrounded with such noise.
Encouraged by the whispers, he moved to the staircase, pausing only to pick up his axe. He had freshly sharpened it earlier in the day, and was sure that it would do the job of at least affording him a little quiet time to allow him to decipher those secret whispers of the house. He quietly ascended the stairs as the storm raged and the house continued to whisper and creak in the wind.

Wow! You can also check out the trailer for Whisper. Watching the trailer along with reading the excerpt is enough to capture my attention. I hope you enjoy it.

What do you think? Intriguing isn't it? This is really a great story. 

Come back tomorrow April, 21st to read my review on Whisper... oooohhhh... 

So what's this bonus, you say? 

If you share your thoughts and leave a comment on this blog post your name will be placed in a drawing (awesome stuff, huh) for a chance to win an eBook copy of Michael Bray's novella, Meat. The random drawing will take place on Monday, April 22nd. 

Here's a link to the book: Meat by Michael Bray.  
Click on the highlighted link above to get access to this book and learn more about it. 

Thanks for joining us on the first day of the book tour for Whisper!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Metaphysical Gravity Book Review

"Love is metaphysical gravity." R. Buckminster Fuller

A force beyond reason and the laws of nature, love draws us together in many ways. In these four short stories, four authors explore the essence of love, from practical to magical. 

"In Her Hands," by +Angela Amman , explores the moment in which a woman weighs the choice between expectations and the lasting passion she craves. 

A shy librarian offers her beautiful best friend a shot at the English teacher she secretly desires, in +Mandy Dawson  "Home." But what is beauty isn't all he needs in a lover? 

+Cameron Garriepy  eponymous "Valentine" is a young woman whose fairytale is sidetracked by tricksters loose in the streets of New Orleans. 

In "Elephants in the Atmosphere" by Kameko Murakami, a young woman in extraordinary circumstances finds love in an unexpected place and against all odds. Is a happy ending even possible?

Title: Metaphysical Gravity
Author(s): Angela Amman; Mandy Dawson; Cameron D. Garriepy; Kameko Murakami
Publisher: Bannerwing Books (February 13, 2013)
Format: eBook (57 pages)
Genre: Romance
Location Available: Amazon

Metaphysical Gravity is a collection of four short stories whose major theme is LOVE. Who doesn't like sweet stories about finding love and overcoming obstacles involving love?

When I started reading Metaphysical Gravity I said I would read one story just to start off. By the time I looked up, I realized I was finishing up the 3rd story. The stories were engrossing even though they were short. I like how it progresses from the natural to the supernatural - magic.

The stories reminded me of a collection of Chicken Soup for the Soul stories. Though fiction, the theme of love is nothing but. The stories made me smile and feel warm inside.

In Her Hands presented us with the choices we have to make when choosing love. Do we settle because we think that is what we should do? Or, do we let go and go on that journey to seek what we truly deserve? While reading this story, I was rooting for Lainey to chose for herself and not be influenced. Through her grandmother, she was shown what she meant to get in love. A very bittersweet story that will make you happy for the heroine.

I enjoyed the story Home because it shows us that to be lucky in love, we just have to be ourselves and stay true to our nature. Anyone can get the guy, even if he's a hunk.

I liked Valentine a lot. It was funny and full of mystery. If you believe in magic and love at first sight, you will enjoy this story. I do hope that this story is made into a full length novel. I could see it going in so many directions. I wanted more and that's a great thing.

Elephants in the Atmosphere was quite different than the rest. While it was a love story, it had a sci-fi element to it. I like sci-fi, some, but this was really interesting. All the while I was reading, I was wondering how the story was going to be resolved. This is another story that should be made in a novel. There was so much going on that I wanted to have the answers to it all.

Do I recommend this book? I do, I really do. If you want to smile. If you believe in magic. If you believe in the power of love overcoming anything and everything, I do. Just know that when you sit to read this book with your brew of choice, you will have finished reading before finishing your brew. It is a very quick read that will capture your attention and won't let go until you're done.


Monday, April 8, 2013

Shattered. Whole. Again.

Shattered. Broken. Irreparable.

Hollow. Empty. Nothing.

No stranger to pain. No stranger to being put down. No stranger to feeling nothing.

Yet never having felt anything like this.

How can that be?

How can she have this vast emptiness inside her and have a searing hot blade penetrate her heart burning away everything she’s ever known?

It happened. When she least expected it, it happened.

Against her better judgement, she allowed him in.

Against her better judgement, she shared with him.

Against her better judgement, she gave him the best she ever had.

Against her better judgement, she gave him the best she ever will be.

Like trash, he threw her away.

Like tobacco, he chewed her up and spit her away.

Like filth, he swatted her away.

Like nothing, she no longer existed.

She vowed never to love again.

Shattered. Broken. Irreparable... or so she thought.

Just as how the Pheonix rises from the ashes, so did she.

She quietly picked up her pieces. One by one, she mended them.

Day by day, she forged together.

Week by week, she grew stronger.

Month by month, she became whole again.

She smiled again. She laughed again. She loved again.

What?! How can that be?

Once thinking that love was lost to her forever, it caught her by surprise.

Love so unconditional.

Love so strong.

Love so cemented and rooted deep within her, nothing can tear it away.

Let anyone try, she won’t cave in.

Let anyone try, she won’t back down.

Let anyone try, she will fight to that person’s death.

Let anyone try, she will die for that love.

That love, oh that sweet, everlasting love saved her.

Saved her from misery.

Saved her from depression.

Saved her from herself.

How can this be? She vowed never to love again. How can it be?!

When this love came into her life. She accepted. She embraced it. She welcomed it.

She was blessed. Oh yes, she was blessed. Blessed three times over with this warm, tender love.

Love - when she first held them in her arms.

Love - when she first looked into their eyes.

Love - when she nurtured them from her bosom.

Love - when she she lets them go for the first time on their own.

Love - The love for her children. The best thing that has ever happened her.

Love for her children. The strongest there ever is. The strongest there ever will be.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Buck's Landing Book Review

Sofia Buck escaped Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, ten years ago with no intentions of returning, but her father's death forces her to come back for the summer to deal with Buck's Landing, the family business he left behind. Sofia has one goal, to keep the business running until it's sold. What she doesn't count on is falling in love. 

Silas Wilde walked away from an unsatisfying legal career in Manhattan. Relying on instinct and serendipity, he finds himself running a seaside market and gift shop on Hampton Beach's Ocean Boulevard. He's content in his new life and livelihood, until a chance encounter with his new next-door neighbor awakens him to the one thing he's missing. Her. 

Threatened by Sofia and Silas's very different dreams, can their love survive the summer's end? 

Buck's Landing is +Cameron Garriepy  debut romance, and the first in the New England Seacoast Romance series. 

Title: Buck's Landing
Series: New England Seacoast Romance
Author: Cameron D. Garriepy
Publisher: Bannerwing Books (October 21, 2012)
Format: eBook (94 pages); paperback (204 pages)
Genre: Romance

Buck's Landing was short summer romance where two individuals cross paths and begin a scorching love affair. 

Sofia is a very strong willed and independent woman. She left her only home behind and created a new life away from her hurtful past. She was forced to return and face the ghosts of her past. In dealing with those, she found love where she never thought she would, the one place where love left her a long time ago. She is definitely one feisty character. Silas is the perfect match for her as he is her cooling water, just like the ocean. 

Silas was the perfect man. He definitely was created to be the man in every woman's dream. He's had a great yet exhausting career. He makes a risky move that pays off for him in the end. Silas knows exactly what he wants and he goes after it. 

I enjoyed the story though by the end of it, I was wishing it was longer. I wanted to know more about the budding romance between Sofia and Silas. I wanted to know more about her parents. This is a story that you can read in one sitting and enjoy the love that endured between two individuals who were seeking different things in life. All in all, it was a good story. I could certainly see Cameron writing beautiful love stories about the coastal life. 

Do I recommend this book? I do, if you are looking for something quick to read that will leave you smiling in end and in love. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

First Time for Everything - Book Tour Host

For the past few weeks (it's almost a month now) I've been doing book reviews on my blog, among sharing some things. This has proven to be loads of fun for me.

During this time, though, some things have occurred. One of the major things being my return to Facebook. As I've mentioned before, I did miss the relationships I developed with strangers and renewed friendships from my past. I also missed out on the interaction with my family. The major deciding factor for my return, and I'm not going to lie, was to share my blog and the reviews I do. I'm happy to have decided this because if it weren't for my blog, I would have continued to miss out on those relationships. So, in a way, it's a win win situation. For the most part, my return was welcomed. I appreciate it and thank those who welcomed me back so warmly from the bottom of my heart.

Also, reading has always been a passion of mines but adding book reviews has given me a purpose. If that makes sense. It feels good to help new and seasoned authors promote their work. Why not? It's a great way to share good books that brings you warmth, comfort or gives you the chills.

I have been ecstatic and truly happy doing this. I feel lighter and happier. I've found something that I truly enjoy doing that is for me while helping others.

In returning to Facebook and creating a page Same DiNamics Book Review Blog, I was able to meet new folks in the writing and blogging world. What a delight.

One of these folks that I met sent me a private message and asked if I was interested in joining her Book-Tour site where they also help to promote authors and their works. I was taken aback by this. I was humbled, in fact. I felt like I was given a chance to continue doing something I love. Naturally, I said yes. I wanted to join her site.

Sylvia has been patient with me as she's answered my questions on what all this entails. She's been great.

So this will be my first time where I will be hosting, if I'm using the blog term correctly, a book for an author. I have selected to do an excerpt of the book and a review of the book. These will be shared on my blog on two separate dates, April 20th and April 21st, respectively. The book I chose to review is called Whisper by Michael Bray. The blurb alone got me excited.

I hope that you will join me on April 20th and April 21st as I share an excerpt of the book and my review. In the meantime, check out the trailer of Whisper and judge for yourself.

Whisper by Michael Bray Book Trailer 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Sword of Sighs Book Review

Well, what can I say. What a ride! What a journey!

The next book I had the pleasure of reading was The Sword of Sighs by +Greg James.

Sarah Bean lives a quiet life in Okeechobee, Florida until the day when she is transported from our world to the fantastic realm of Seythe. She meets a wayfaring wizard called Ossen who saves her from the dreaded black riders, servants of a being known only as the Fallen One. Together, they will have to undertake a treacherous journey to the far-away Fellhorn mountain where Sarah must find the one weapon that can save them from the black riders pursuing them - The Sword of Sighs. 

NB: This novel is recommended for mature young adults as it contains occasional bad language and occasional scenes of graphic nature.  

Title: The Sword of Sighs
Series: The Age of the Flame: Book One
Author: Greg James
Publisher: Manderghast Press (February 11, 2013)
Format: ePub; Mobi (172 pages); Print pending through Amazon Createspace
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Locations Available: AmazonKobo; Apple (pending)

Greg James has done it again. He's a phenomenal author who guarantees to take you on a journey. I've had the pleasure of reading his Vetala Cycle books under the pen name G.R. Yeates. His words create a poetic atmosphere that captures you and doesn't let go. He brings you in with such vivid imagery that as you read you see the world he creates playing in your mind like a movie.

The Sword of Sighs was such a book. From the cover of the book, to the synopsis, to the prologue, he grabbed a hold of me and didn't let go. Nice! The story had a Lord of the Rings feel to it in that the story was a grand and epic adventure. I've read stories before where there's action and adventure but none to the scale of what James created with The Sword of Sighs.

*Warning: May contain spoilers from here onward.*

The story revolves around Sarah Bean. She's just an ordinary girl who was chosen to be the savior of the world of Seythe. One minute she's hiding from her foes and the next, poof, she's gone. I was sad for Sarah and felt her loss and anguish as she was just taken from the world she knew into this foreign world that was alien to her in every sense of the word. It was good to know that she meets someone who takes her in and cares for her.

Friendship, love and bonds were formed through out Sarah's time in Seythe. She learns that she has to either place her trust in individuals or be alone and face the monsters in this world. And were they monsters!

As with any epic story that is told, treachery and betrayal is an integral part. Power play is being made as well as bold face lies. As I was reading, I was gasping in disbelief of what my eyes had just read. There were times where I just wanted to protect Sarah and times where I wanted to yell at her asking what the heck she was doing.

Towards the end of the book, I was on edge. My eyes couldn't read fast enough because I wanted to know whether or not Sarah would succeed in her quest. I wanted to know what would happen to her.

*End of spoiler warning.*

I am happy to know that this book is part of a series as I would like to know more about Sarah's life in our world. I would like to know how come she was the one chosen for this quest and why. I would like to know how her story continues in the world of Seythe.

I have to say that while this is a young adult fantasy, it certainly is different than any I've read. Some young adult fantasy I've read have the lead female character in love with her male counterpart. This is usually what defines her, not the fact that she has the potential to become something greater. This is certainly not the case with Sarah Bean. We see her grow as a person through out the story and start becoming who she was chosen to be.

Do I recommend this book? Heck yeah I do! If you want to dive into a fantastical and epic journey of good vs evil, then this book is for you.