SPOTLIGHT: Sinners & Saints: A Patriot’s Manifesto by Kristina Garlick

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Today, I have a unique book for my lovely readers. This is Kristina Garlick and her post-apocalyptic zombie novel, Sinners & Saints: A Patriot’s Manifesto.

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BACK COVER BLURB

My name is Zoey Major and I live in Fort Star, New Jersey. I am also a survivor in the zombie apocalypse. Seems very cut and dry but I have been hiding something- like really huge. My secret is game changing. I am not like the others… I know, what a surprise twist! Unfortunately, I can’t tell you why I am different. If you really want to know, you have to figure it out. Hey, even in these dark times, a girl needs her secrets.

 

EXCERPT – Sinners & Saints: A Patriot’s Manifest

(Eryn’s note, profanity is not edited in the novel) 

United we… united we… we were supposed to stand together as a society but it did not work out like that. The United States and much of the world, actually went to sh*t for a little bit when the zombies came. Perhaps the only saving grace was the fact that man learns to adapt. We always do. A prime example would be the invention of the wheel, the television or even a toaster pastry because why the f*ck not eat something bad for you?

For you see, if man has a want or desire, it may take years, but he’ll invent it. One thing I am still waiting on is that damn time machine. I am looking at you, Doc Brown. Ha! However, not all inventions should ever leave the paper. Sometimes an idea is just an idea as biological weapons rarely ever make anything better. Yeah, perhaps not every weapon should be tested or even used, as the results can’t always be contained. United we… united we… we were supposed to stand together.

Present Day, June 30, 10:25 pm

Catey: “So is it cool that I sign you up for speed dating?”

Zoey: “What? No, f*ck no.”

Catey: “Why not?”

Zoey: “There should be no speed dating in the zombie apocalypse.”

Catey: “It’s post apocalypse so get it right.”

Zoey: “For now.”

Catey: “And this is why you are single. You are so negative.”

Zoey: “Huh, I didn’t know that was the reason. I just thought it was because every eligible bachelor who isn’t a toad has been either taken or eaten but hey, maybe I am wrong.”

Catey: “I think it’s because you put up a wall.”

Zoey: “Stop analyzing me, or at the very least give me a Rorschach test or at the very least a crossword puzzle to pass the time then.”

 

MY REVIEW

Eryn's Reading

This was a difficult one to review, as I have mixed feelings. First of all, what you read above are the opening paragraphs, down to the play-like character and colon off-set for the dialogue. The author calls it Diary/Play format. It’s interesting and makes for quick reading. I had to get used to this though, as the whole book is set up like this. Now, for one, I applaud the author for being different and unique. It’s bold and daring to write a book like this, but it’s also easy, and bland. There’s no action or thought process as the character is speaking. I’m one of those people who when I read a book, I want to get into it. Give me the meat. I want to know what these people look like, smell like, sound like, what are they doing while they talk. I want real-life actions. I want to know what the girl is thinking when the other person is telling her something. I want emotions and feeling. There is very little of this throughout, especially not while they are talking.

Subject wise, again, daring and unique. I liked the idea of this woman fighting for America against zombies. It’s fun and reminds me of the movie Independence Day where the world had to rally together and fight aliens. I can see this as a series in the same realm as Hunger Games. But before it becomes Hunger Games, it needs to punch up it’s editing, and character development. In fact, when I read The Hunger Games and heard it was being made into a movie, I wondered how they were going to do such a thing, since a huge majority of the book is told through Katniss’ silent thoughts, her inner dialogue. It is the opposite here. This would be a great movie, but for a book you don’t get the juicy middle that you expect when reading a great novel.

Overall, I’d give this book a middle of the line rating – 3-Stars. It’s good a surface story, but don’t expect to get deeply into it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Kristina Garlick lives in Warren County, New Jersey. She holds a Masters in Parks & Resource Management from Slippery Rock University. While she loves the outdoors and has many hobbies such as soap making, writing has always been her passion. Kristina wrote her first full length fantasy story at ten and had her first book published when she was fourteen. She has a unique style of writing, which she calls Diary-Play format. Kristina is also available for book signings, panels, discussion groups and other special functions.

 

LINKS

Kristina’s Website: www.kristinagarlick.com

To Email Kristina, contact her here: authorkristinagarlick@yahoo.com

Her books are available on her website or here at Amazon 

Like her on her Amazon Author page

Follow her on Twitter @KristinaGarlick

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SPOTLIGHT: Loves of Our Lives by A.C. Chenier

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Today I welcome author A.C. Chenier and her lovely book, Loves of Our Lives to my blog.

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BACK COVER BLURB

A rich and compelling novel exploring romances past and present, Loves of Our Lives centers on Katie Benjamin, a happily married woman whose interest in the theory of past lives changes her understanding of herself and the world around her forever.

Along with her best friend, Maria, whose terminal cancer has given her an entirely new perspective on life, she embarks on past-life regression therapy. Here, Katie learns of the lives of Elinor Davenport and Catherine Buchanan and the people they both loved.  In the process of finding these two women who once shared her soul she discovers a sense of completeness she never thought possible.

“The same souls come back to us many times and interact with us. This is the way we can understand our souls go on for eternity. These bodies may fail, but our souls do continue on to reunite with our loved ones many times.”

EXCERPT – Loves of our Lives

1864 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

“I had this commissioned for you to have. I want you to wear it close to your heart and know my heart is now and will always be yours.” He opened the case and displayed a gold locket. She gasped at the beautiful locket within the case. It was a white cameo in a pale pink background.

“Turn it over,” he said.

She did and read the words he had engraved on the back. Forever in my heart, forever in my soul.

She felt tears running down her face as she looked at the beautiful words and then into Jonathon’s eyes. She looked deep into his eyes and felt her own soul connecting directly to Jonathon. He said to her, “Forever in my heart, forever in my soul. I will find you again.” He then wrapped his arms around her and took her lips in a passionate kiss. Her heart was hammering in her throat as she kissed him back. To her it felt a bit like a good-bye kiss, but a kiss filled with the promise of reuniting in time.

 

MY REVIEW

Eryn's Reading

 

Loves our Lives was quite an interesting story, beginning with the life of Katie and Ward, a husband and wife who seemed happily married. When they were apart, they couldn’t wait to be back in each other’s arms. I awed and was excited to read a story where a husband and wife were together and in love. Usually married couples in stories get the shaft. Well, I didn’t have to wait to long for that to happen, and the more Katie became interested in her study of past lives and a stranger on a train, Ward became the man both Katie and I didn’t want him to be.
Sure we find that her past lives show something incredibly different, and reveal another true love, but I still wished the opening chapters and back cover didn’t start off telling me this couple was awesome together and then drive a wedge between them. Other than that though, it was an interesting story, weaved with history, hypnosis, and past lives.  I loved the history and how it’s weaved into the book, but overall I would give this three-star read because of how the blurb misled me to believe the story would be different.  Now that these readers are aware, though, please enjoy the story with the open mind that relationships that seem perfect do change.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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AC Chenier is the author of the Past Lives series of books. The novels explore the fascinating spiritual world and the concept that we are all souls who have lived before, and that we reunite with our loved ones through time. The novels allow her to couple her long standing interest in the romance and fantasy genres with a passion for writing. When she’s not busy typing away at her computer, you can find her with her horses or golf clubs.

Follow, visit, LIKE her on her social media links:

A.C.’s Website: www.acchenier.com

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An Angel Unaware

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It is said that, 1) Angels are all around us, even though we don’t know it. And 2) Everyone has a twin…. or in the case of this story, a triplet!

I lost my Nana, Kathleen Browning, just before my son’s second birthday, so almost eight years ago. It was sudden and I never got a chance to make my way back to her to say good bye. In fact, I had phoned her about two weeks before and she was fine. Little did I know it was the last phone call I was going to make to her, but I will forever hold it’s details in my heart.

Fast forward to last night – July 19, around 8 pm CST, I was on Facebook chatting with my aunt about quotes Nana used often, like, “Oh for Heaven’s sake…” in her high pitched native, Boston accent when something was a surprise or very interesting to her. Being a life long Catholic, another one of her favorite sayings was, “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,” when something startled her or she was flabbergasted. In turn, my sisters and I would yell back, “Where??” and she’d always laugh. There were so many more as the night went on and my cousins had joined in the conversation. Laughs were all around, and memories flowed like a trickling waterfall through my mind, leaving me missing Nana, and sad that I can’t see her anymore.

Now, I don’t know if God somehow heard all these sillies memories and said, “Hey Kathleen, come on over here and listen to what you’re family is saying.” Or gave her a free pass to the realm of Earth for the afternoon, but as I was taking my son to the community pool there was this woman swimming with her daughter and grandchildren who looked very familiar. Immediately my head echoed, “Nana?”

She had a short hair cut, thicker on top, in a chestnut brown with some natural sun kissed, red highlights, a round face, slender nose that had a lift at the nostrils, and coral lipstick on her lips. She was even buxom and curvy like my tall, and full-figured nana.

She caught me staring, and I said, “I’m sorry, you look just like my Nana.”

To which she laughed and said, “Oh for Heaven’s sake!”

I stopped dead in my tracks, to which she noticed, and I told her how my aunt and cousins were just talking about Nana quotes and that was one she said all the time, not to mentioned she said it just the way this woman did. She laughed again and we chatted for quite a while, mostly about Nana, what her life was like, where she came from and so on. Her daughter joined in, too, and I found out she’s just a little younger than me, and her husband’s good friend works with my husband! Small, small world! And it only gets smaller still…. so small, in fact, this is why I opened my blog mentioning angels and twins–err triplets (my Nana was a twin).

A break in conversation, I finally said, “My name is Eryn, by the way.” The daughter introduced herself as Kristin (uhh my sister’s name – and spelling) and Nana’s look-a-like said, “I’m Kathy.” My jaw dropped, face probably went pale too.

She said, “Don’t tell me your Nana’s name was Kathy?”

I said, “Not quite. It was Kathleen.”

Kristin and Kathy’s jaws dropped then, both tumbling over each other’s words to say, “Her/My full name is Kathleen.”

Chills. I got pure chills on a 90 degree day, to the point that I started to cry. I was completely shocked.

Later on I texted my aunt telling her this story, and she said that I had to ask if I could take her picture. Kathy joyfully agreed and I took a picture to mark the day I met my Nana’s angel on earth. Maybe she was guided to me for an extra special mark of the memories still twinkling about in my head from the night before, or maybe God or Nana knew I needed one more chance to say hello and spend a few hours with her again. Who knows? But I know I had to go and write down this moment the instant I got home. Whoever doesn’t believe that people aren’t supposed to meet…better change your thinking because after today, I firmly believe we are supposed to find people who are meant to change our lives.

 

Thank you Kathy

    I love you Nana!

 

 

Fresh Off The Page

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I love encouraging new writers, especially those who are passionate about writing and write amazing works. I don’t care if they are poems or fan fiction or full novels, if the writer has the desire to write and just needs that kick to make their craft excellent – I will help encourage.

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Anyone who knows me, knows I am a fan girl through and through. I love my Superman and Once Upon a Time. And through these interests I have met friends that I truly love. One of those is Emily Kitchen, who I have been helping her smooth out her fan fictions. In just the few months I’ve been working with her, she has greatly improved. Take a moment, if you’d like, and read her first fan fiction that we have worked on together. It was a diamond in the rough and now shines like a faceted beauty.

 

If you enjoy Once Upon a Time (the television show) or just love a good racy story about a woman who travels back in time with the man who she’s unsure about giving her heart to, only to find that there isn’t one, but two of him in the past both vying for her attention and what she decides to do with double the amount of Jones’ men, then please give Emily’s short story a read.

Congratulations Emily!

Click here for the link

Double The Jones

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SPOTLIGHT: From Fake to Forever by Jennifer Shirk

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Please help me welcome to my blog today, Jennifer Shirk and her wonderful book, From Fake to Forever. 

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Sandra Moyer’s preschool is struggling, so she reluctantly agrees to let super-famous actor Ben Capshaw research a role there. Ben’s always joking around, never serious, but there’s something about the buttoned-up, beautiful Sandra and her young daughter that makes him want to take life more seriously. But Sandra won’t trust him—what if it’s all an act, research for the role? As the lines between make-believe and reality blur, Ben will have to decide if love is worth casting aside the role of his life for a new role…that could last a lifetime.

 

AN EXCERPT TO FROM FAKE TO FOREVER

From the corner of her eye, Sandra Moyer noticed a tall, bearded man leaning against the playground fence and automatically tensed. Because she was a single mom and alone, her paranoid nature already labeled him a felon, although technically he was doing nothing wrong. In fact, come to think of it, he had a pretty nice body with those real-life Hulk arms and broad chest. She didn’t know what that made her for noticing something like that about a man she assumed was on some Family Watchdog list, but the phrase “cheap and desperate” came to mind.

Since when did I start ogling the physiques of strange men?

Her shoulders wilted as she brooded over that question. She obviously needed to get out more. She needed to just get out. The problem was she didn’t see herself doing that any time soon. Her self-esteem had hit rock bottom and hadn’t been able to locate its way back up since the day she’d found Steve cheating on her with one of his costars.

An unpleasant picture of her ex-husband lip-locked with a Julianne Moore–type redhead popped into her mind, and she shuddered.

Actors. Did their profession ever mesh with reality?

The answer to that was a resounding no. Unfortunately, she’d learned that one the hard way. Steve had even thought she’d understand the main reason he had the affair was for the publicity and what it could do for his career and income. Like that was supposed to make her feel so much better about it.

“Mommy, I want to play in the sandbox.”

Her daughter’s voice pulled her from those depressing thoughts, and she gratefully looked down. “Okay, honey. Just five more minutes, though.”

Hannah squealed and dashed through the playground as fast as her little legs could run. Sandra couldn’t help but smile. Life was so simple when you were four. The little things kept you happy. And why not? Four-year-olds didn’t think about paying the rent or overdue bills. Things that were constantly on her mind ever since she’d opened the preschool with her sister. No, the only thing you worried about at that age was whether Mommy would give you ice cream if you didn’t eat your string beans.

She’d kill for that kind of stress again.

Unfortunately, the thought of homicide had her eyes traveling back to the well-built man she’d been ogling earlier. He was tossing around a football with a young boy now. Nothing illegal, but something was off. She had a sixth sense when it came to protecting her daughter, and right now it was telling her something big. Like he’d just gotten out of prison. It must have been a whopper of a sentence, too, judging from the long, scraggly hair and the kind of beard and mustache Santa Claus would envy. She never made a habit of associating with men who looked liked convicts, but there was something familiar about him…

She doubted he had a child enrolled in her preschool. Story time at the public library? She highly doubted that, too. He didn’t exactly look like the loving Father Knows Best type, considering that fire-breathing skull on his calf wasn’t designed to instill tenderness. At least he was out spending time with his son, which was a lot more than what her daughter was getting from her own father.

As if her thoughts had been telepathically sent out, the man in question cast a lingering gaze over in her direction. And he smiled.

Oh. My. Goodness.

Oh, no, don’t even think about it. Don’t you dare come over here. She fumbled to put her sunglasses back on and almost punched out a lens. Please stay where you are. He’d better be a jolly person being his usual overly friendly self and not just leering at her. But she laid odds on the latter.

What was it with her? She could attract a creep from the next state over without even trying. A talent she’d gladly relinquish.

She flopped down on a bench. Opening her purse, she yanked out a book and hid her face behind it. If she pretended to be engrossed in reading, maybe the man would reconsider trying to strike up a conversation. Yeah, that’s all she needed—some ex-con cozying up to her.

Confident her glasses hid her eyes, she lowered the book a half inch and sneaked another peek. Tall, Dark, and Scraggly had his back to her now. Relief enveloped her. Thank goodness, she thought, slowly letting out a breath.

One deadbeat per lifetime was enough.

 

MY REVIEW

Eryn's Reading

From Fake to Forever was such a cute story. Cute isn’t even the right word. It was sexy and sweet and real. I could be Sandra. I related to her as a mother and occasional caretaker of children. Luckily for me I don’t have deadbeat ex like she did but Ben certainly made up for him. I really enjoyed it and so will other readers. It’s a real feel-good story perfect for a quick rainy day read or day at the beach.

Pick this one up and you’ll put it down with a smile and “aww” upon your lips.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jennifer Shirk

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Jennifer Shirk has a bachelor degree in pharmacy-which has in NO WAY at all helped her with her writing career. But she likes to point it out, since it shows romantic-at-hearts come in all shapes, sizes, and mind-numbing educations.

She writes sweet (and sometimes even funny) romances for Samhain Publishing, Avalon Books/Montlake Romance and now Entangled Publishing. She won third place in the RWA 2006 NYC’s Kathryn Hayes Love and Laughter Contest with her first book, THE ROLE OF A LIFETIME. Recently, her novel SUNNY DAYS FOR SAM won the 2013 Golden Quill Published Authors Contest for Best Traditional Romance.

Lately she’s been on a serious exercise kick. But don’t hold that against her.

Follow, visit, LIKE her on her social media links:

Author Website: www.jennifershirk.com

Author Blog: http://jennifershirk.blogspot.com/

Author Newsletter 

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To purchase From Fake to Forever, click HERE

 

 

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RELEASE DAY: Falling for Phoenix

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It’s here! It’s here! It’s here! I’m SO excited for today. I love every book I write and I connect with all the characters, but this time–all by his own self– the character Rhys took me for a ride. I thrilled writing for him everyday and despite not always getting the chance to write on a daily basis due to a full time nanny job, Rhys was always on my mind, telling me his story.

From the moment I started Falling for Shock, I knew I wanted Oliver Hannel to have a handful of brothers. I didn’t know it at the very beginning that each would have their own book, but the more these characters took shape I knew they needed their own story as well. Oliver was fun, Edward is the caring one–the protector, and Rhys is my charmer. So when I began plotting for Falling for Phoenix I knew I didn’t want to do another white noise, alpha male, rich playboy guy… in fact, I despise those stereotypical characters. In actuality I’ve always wanted to tear those types down to the bare bones and really get to the meat of the person. So I did. I created Rhys.

Rhys is a hot-shot, almost douchebag stockbroker who has a very bad day at work, right in the beginning. The only people who truly care for him are his family members, and even then they spend most of the time rolling their eyes at him for his snarky comments and constant innuendos. They know he’s more than the persona he shows to the public, but Rhys never lets his soft side show. It takes a true implosion to break him and make him want to change for the better. Unfortunately that comes at the price of losing everything including his health.

Mae, on the other hand, is already broken. She comes from a dysfunctional family and has seen a world of trouble in her short twenty-two years. Leaving China, for her birth country of America, she recreates herself as Gracen Phoenix, a metaphoric name representing the mythical Phoenix reborn from the ashes and flames that tore him down.ph bird

Both Rhys and Gracen –on their own– build theirselves back up to a newer, brighter version of themselves, and then find this commonality of rebirth that brings along more than a simple friendship.

The cool thing that I did get to keep of Rhys’ past personality is his charm – he just uses his roguishness for good rather than juicy, meaningless exploits.

 

 

I hope  all my readers will love this book as much as I do and as much as I loved writing it. Please enjoy! Read – Leave a review – Tell others. You are the reason I can keep writing more and more wonderful stories.

EXCLUSIVE: Throwback Thursday-Alternate Scene from the Blue Lute

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As a Throwback Thursday treat, I thought I’d let you read an alternative version to a scene in The Blue Lute. In the beginning, Blue Lute was about 800 pages long–No kidding. It was long and complex, and I went through the daunting task of editing that thing to pieces. But some of my favorite scenes were excluded, because in order to edit something that big, plot lines had to be change. This scene is one of them. Its set after Brandon and Lilly’s first romantic night together, before Brandon was going to return to 1928. Enjoy!

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(UNEDITED)

The next morning Lilly stretched, waking to the sound of a soft guitar playing. Sitting up, she found Brandon on the window seat wearing only pajama pants, strumming his guitar in the glowing sunlight. She cleared her throat catching his attention. Brandon turned away from the strings, beaming. “Good morning.”

“Good morning,” she replied and climbed off the bed. The flannel shirt Brandon wore the day before was lying on the ground. She slid, rolling up the sleeves and crossed over to him. Brandon moved the instrument aside so she could sit between his legs, then brought the guitar back around in front of them both. Lilly giggled as he kissed her neck and continued playing.

His fingers moved up the fingerboard, pinching the strings with one hand while strumming the lower strings at the same time. She was fascinated by the movement, realizing she could never be that coordinated and have it sound half as good as he did.

Smiling at her interest, Brandon handed her the neck. “Here, you try?”

Lilly protested. “No, no, no, I can’t play.”

“I’ll teach you,” he said and held her hand, forming it to the wood and metallic strings. Aligning her fingers on the correct strings, he then took hold of her other hand and strummed it across the lower strings playing a chord. He did the same for the next few chords. It almost sounded like a song. “See, you can do it.”

“I guess I can,” she leaned over her shoulder. “It must be the teacher.”

Brandon pressed her lips to hers. “Mmm must be.”

When he started playing again, Lilly quieted, listening to Brandon hum and softly sing. She closed her eyes, letting the music fill her. The rumble of his voice in his chest against her back vibrated between them, soothing her soul like a kind of massage. No sooner did she lean her weight into him did Brandon stop singing. His lips touched the side of her neck, trailing kisses from her collarbone up to that sensitive spot just beneath her ear. Her body tingled from head to toe as he whispered in her ear.

“Mmm,” she sighed. Lilly barely knew her own name let alone heard what he said as he started gliding his lips back down to her shoulder again.

“Did you hear what I said?” he asked between heady breaths.

Lilly shook her head; her eyes closed in bliss feeling his breath on her skin.

“I said I’m not going back.”

She heard him that time. Her eyes flew open. “What?”

Brandon set the guitar down. Lilly faced him, hoping for an explanation. “I can’t go now. I can’t leave you.”

“You can’t do that because of me.”

He gathered her hands. “Lilly I’ve lost a love before. I know how it feels. I don’t want to feel that way about you. And I don’t want to fall in love again with anyone else. I’m done.” He cupped her cheek. “I want to stay here and grow old with you.”

She knew she should convince him to go, but nothing could make her form those words. She was just as lonely as he was and needed him as much as he needed her. Never again could she give her heart to anyone else after he left. She wouldn’t be able to handle it. Lilly leaned into his hand. “Are you sure?”

Taking a deep breath, he drew her in for a kiss. “Yes.”

“Oh Brandon. I love you.”

She wrapped her arms around his neck and Brandon fumbled with buttons on her shirt. “I love you too, Lilly. Forever.

If you haven’t read The Blue Lute and would like to, the ebook is on sale at Amazon for the everyday low price of $1.99 or Barnes & Noble for the paperback. Click the title below.

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