Friday, August 22, 2014

Bout of Books Update-Onward to the Weekend!

Bout of Books

I have been horrible at participating this time! I have good reasons, but I still feel bad. I had such high hopes of reading a crap ton and a half! My Dad was in the hospital after having a mini-stroke. He's okay now and after a surgery to remove a blockage, he's at home and resting. We had to pick him up from the hospital at the last minute. He lives about an hour from us and was in a hospital an hour away. I'm glad he's home now. It's been quite a challenge adjusting to not only that, but my son going back to school, and my husband being off on vacation. Quiet time has been very limited and spare time even more so!

But..this weekend is all about some reading! I have my books and snacks and very little actual work to do, so I am ready!

My stats are as follows:
Books Read-1
Pages Read-343

~Love Match by Reggie Thomas~

Book Title: Love Match  Author: Reggie Thomas
Release Date: May 16,2014   Genre: New Adult Romance

Book Synopsis

Harper Reed loves balls. Tennis balls, that is. A tennis ace, Harper earned a full scholarship to a prestigious Philadelphia universi-ty. There, the demure virgin meets her first lover, the gorgeous, rich, connected, football star Wes Wood. Harper thinks Wes is the man of her dreams, but is he? Or will some other lover capture the beauty’s heart, like the exotic surgeon Dr. Raj Sharma or the irresistible actor Cam Carpenter?  Or maybe Harper’s sexy tennis pro, Gabriel Garcia, is Harper’s true love. Read Harper’s account of her wildly enter-taining adventures and find out. The fascinating young woman will instantly captivate you with her re-markable life, straight out of Sex and the City, and leave you yearning for more.


Book Links:Goodreads * Amazon
Author Bio:
Reggie Thomas is a native of the Philadelphia area with a wealth of different life experiences. A spouse and hands-on parent of two teenagers, Reggie has worked as an Atlantic City casino cocktail server, a substitute teacher, and a labor and employment lawyer. Her debut novel, Love Match, is the culmination of a lifelong dream.
Author Links:

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Gifted: An Anthology

Title: Gifted: An Anthology
Author: Sandra Ely
Release Date:  April 26, 2014
Genre: Paranormal Romance

In these four installments we follow four young women as they discover love and their own strength.

My Traitorous Heart: When Miriah Anderson finds a rose on her door, it can only mean one thing- her former lover and once savior has returned; together they must put her demons to rest to ensure not only their lives, but their future together. Nearly two years have passed since Miriah was abducted and tortured at the hands of a demon-beast. Now, after leaving her to face her recovery alone, James is back, begging for her help. Miriah must put her fear aside in order to end her nightmare once and for all now that the hunters have been lead to her door step. Through her eyes we watch as she works with James and realizes the spark of their love is still present. Can she trust him not to leave her in her moment of weakness again?

Whispers on the Wind: The darkness is coming and it's up to Rebecka to stop it before it takes over, destroying the whole town and everyone in it. Tyler knows her secret and is determined to help, whether she wants it or not. With time growing short, he must take aggressive action and inform her of a fate beyond their control. Will Rebecka crumble under the pressure? Or can they find a way to work together to banish the coming of an endless night?

Heart of the Hurricane: After a tragic accident takes the lives of Alyssa's mom and sister, she is left alone to piece her life back together. With the aid of her life coach-Ryan, she has to overcome her fears, if she wants to obtain her heart's desire. Is she strong enough to overcome her past and become the woman she was meant to be?

When the Earth Shakes: Between planning her best friend's wedding, working full time, and dealing with family issues, Lyla needs a vacation. When she's gifted a week long trip to get to know her last remaining grandparent, she has no idea how much her life is about to change. Through Lyla's perspective, we are taken on a journey of self discovery as she falls in love and learns the power of forgiveness.

Barnes and Noble Online:

Authors Bio:

A stay-at-home wife and mother of two incredible boys, Sandra enjoys writing fiction dealing with supernatural aspects. She lives in Missouri, although she has lived in several other states including: Arizona (where she was born), Colorado, Florida, South Dakota, Kansas, Montana, Iowa, California, Ohio and Michigan.

Author's Links:


From My Traitorous Heart (Book One in the Anthology):

    A scarlet rose was taped to my door. This could only mean one thing- he was back. I felt my heart skip a beat as I reached out to take the red rose. I caught my thumb on one of the protruding thorns and immediately put it to my lips. Of course his return would be marked in blood, I thought.

    I opened the door with my free hand. Locking the door had never become a habit of mine. I lived in a relatively safe neighborhood (if any could be considered such anymore) and had my own special set of defenses. Perhaps, though, I would start, if for no other reason than the annoyance it would cause.

    I took the rose straight to the kitchen and got down the smallest vase I had. At 5'2”, it was a reach for me to get to the top shelf , which should show the frequency I have use to display fresh flowers. They'd been gifts from someone I had come to think of as just short of forgotten, which is why I failed to get rid of them.

    I filled the vase with luke-warm water, humming as I went about the unplanned chore. I slid the flower's stem gently into the glass vase. I had no desire to remove the thorns; they would do well to remind me: even the most beautiful creations can be dangerous.

From Whispers on the Wind (Book Two in the Anthology):

    Thinking on her feet had never been one of her strong suits.  As a rule, she didn't give into impulses.  Today she had, and more and more she had come to regret the decision.  “So, you intend to keep secrets, then?”

    He knew she was stalling for time.  A slow smile spread across his face.  “I suppose you have a right to know, but given the circumstances, I think I'll keep my secret for now.  You, though,” he stood now, slowly moving towards the woman who was just shy of cowering in his living room, “Have no secrets.”

    “Don't come any closer,” she warned, some internal alarm tickling her solar plexus.

    “This is my house and I'll go where I please.”  He took a step forward, then another.

    Rebecka's heart was beating furiously in her chest.  She took a deep breath.  “Stay away from me.”
    “Is that what you really want, my little wind sorceress?”

    Focus, she told herself, And breathe.  That was all she'd been taught.  She had no sense of control, but usually her will was accomplished.  Then again, prior attempts had always occurred when her nerves weren't stretched so thin and her mind was relaxed and open.  “Last warning.”  Her cerulean eyes frosted over with a glaze of power.  He continued his pursuit.

    She waved her hand.  The handful of books on the shelf flew off and landed with a loud thud against the wooden floor.  Concentrate, she thought and waved her hand again.  His chestnut hair fluttered in the unnatural breeze, but still he continued his advance.

    “You're going to have to do better than that, sweetheart.” He was upon her now.  “I don't back down easily.”  In one swift movement, he grabbed her hands in his and pinned them above her head.

He bent his head closing the few inches that separated their faces.  “What motivates you?”

    She felt paralyzed as his breath whispered over her skin.  The pressure continued on her wrists as she tried to pull them free and push him away.  And then his lips met hers and she felt something inside herself break.  The flood gates fractured, her power rushed out from her very core and sent the man flying across the room.  She wasn't entirely sure what she was doing, but she let her instincts guide her.

From Heart of the Hurricane (Book Three in the Anthology)

    Sorrow filled Alyssa's deep aqua eyes as she stared at the shallow pool before her. She couldn't give into the memories that always waited just beneath the surface, threatening to consume her.
    “It's all about control,” she let Ryan's velvet voice wash over her, grounding her in the present. “Focus on your breathing.” He took hold of her hand, “We'll do this together.”

    Alyssa didn't speak as they took their first step together into the luke warm pool. The water climbed over her ankle and a tremor of fear ran through her body.

    “Relax, Aly. Clear your mind. Now, let's take another step.”

    She grit her teeth and tightened her grip on his hand. For three weeks she had been meeting with Ryan as they worked together to banish her fear. She had to admit, it was helping. When she first started coming, just the sight of a puddle had sent her into an almost paralyzing fear.... Now, she was standing in water that rose half way up her slender calves.

    “Okay. Now, look down,” he instructed; his voice acting as a shield against the darkness in her mind.

    She did as she was told. After all, this is what she paid him for. For the price he charged, she expected no less than miraculous results. She saw the clear water stretching out in front of her, too deep to classify as a kiddie pool, but Ryan assured her it was the perfect depth for an aquaphobic like her to start in.

    Panic raced through her system; she felt the adrenaline build in her body's natural fight or flight instinct. She had an overwhelming urge to get away, but Ryan's hand in hers kept her in place. Her body trembled and she could swear she saw waves forming in what should have been still water.

From When the Earth Shakes (Book Four in the Anthology)

    “Maybe that's because nobody ever looked at you like I do.” Where'd that come from? “But I think you're wrong. I think my grandmother saw your potential. I didn't know her well, but she never struck me as the type of person to tolerate weakness on any scale.”

    He chuckled, “You'd be right. I always just thought it was because everyone always spent all their time fawning over my sister.”

    “I think you have as much to learn as I do.” I hadn't moved my hand away from his face. Lightly I stroked my fingers over his firm jaw line. The light stubble he had growing was prickly on my fingertips, but the skin beneath was smoother than I anticipated. I thought with all the hours he spent in the sun, his skin would have taken on a more leathery consistency.

    He didn't seem to mind my casual exploration of his features. “Let's do something tomorrow,” he suggested.

    I dropped my hand. What was I getting myself into here? I was definitely attracted, but I'd been attracted to other guys before. Never like this, though, I reminded myself. The intensity I felt when I was with him wasn't just for him, but more like he made all my senses come alive. The sun was brighter, the air sweeter, the world itself was more vibrant. “I don't know,” I hoped my voice wasn't shaking as much as my insides were.

    “Tomorrow,” he spoke as if there was no chance I would say no. How could he know he was the sun and I was but a measly planet trapped in orbit of this insane gravitational pull? Could he be feeling it, too?

    “I'm leaving in a couple days, Rob.”

    The light in his eyes dimmed as if my reminder caught him off guard. “Then,” he continued, a firm resolve in the velvety smooth voice of his, “Give me a chance to show you a night you won't forget.”
    Everything about him seemed cool, calm, confident... Everything except those eyes that seemed to be pleading with me on some base level. Something was telling me he needed me as badly as I needed him. “But Grand-dad,” I started.

    “Will be busy,” he finished for me. “He's got a standing monthly date with a couple of his buddies. They've been getting together like this for years.”

    “Oh.” And just like that, I was all out of his excuses.


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Excerpt: Big Pharma Big Agri Big Conspiracy

Non Fiction

Date Published: June 25, 2014

  Big Pharma’s and Big-Agri’s growing power happens mostly behind the scenes.  For whatever reason, mainstream media leaves these giants alone except in terms of business profit margins.  Before researching the two industries, I knew nothing more than most people-a vague recognition of the terms Big Pharma and Big Agri.   A few magazines articles along with some radio talk show episodes was all it took to ensnare me into obsession. 
As curiosity turned into research, I could not help but speculate that these industries are involved in conspiracy on a global level.  This is a subject that impacts anyone who has ever taken medication, seen a doctor, and/or eaten food.  If you are intrigued about the elite inner circle of these two empires, Big Pharma, Big Agri, and Big Conspiracy is the perfect place to begin your journey in searching for the proverbial man behind the curtain.  This book is an introduction to history, fact, and conspiracy theory of these growing industries.  A follow-up book is currently being outlined.  For the record, I am NOT a doctor, just a nerd who loves to learn new things.
About the author:
Author Dina Rae has four published novels in thriller, horror, and paranormal genres. Her passion for conspiracy theory is obvious as she continues to mix fact into her fiction, leaving readers wondering about the truth. She holds a Master of Arts from Roosevelt University. Ms. Rae continues to guest on multiple conspiracy radio shows, convinced that New World Order looms around the corner.  Big Agri, Big Pharma, and Big Conspiracy is her first nonfiction book.
What is Big Pharma?
Big Pharma is a term that refers to the giants of the pharmaceutical industry. Collectively, they made approximately $690 billion in 2012 and are projected to exceed one trillion in 2014.  That’s more than the GDP of Saudi Arabia and Iraq combined. Because of the immense profitability, many question the ethics involved in research, FDA approval, manufacturing, and prescriptions of the pharmaceuticals.  Big Pharma doesn’t just sell pharmaceuticals; they influence the entire healthcare industry.
Who is Big Pharma?
Generally, Big Pharma consists of the biggest drug companies who make more than three billion dollars each year. Of the top eleven giants, six are headquartered in the U.S.  These companies spend multi-millions of dollars each year to lobby Congress for legislation in their favor.  U.S. pharmaceutical companies reportedly have 1,100 lobbyists who make sure they are represented.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Day 1: Bout of Books

Bout of Books
Today's Books:
Paperback Audiobook (for the gym)

As for challenges:

The main page's challenge is as thus:
"To kick off the read-a-thon, we're doing something a little different. We're hosting an informal challenge. Take a picture of yourself with your reading pile, your reading companions, the Bout of Books tagline (Are you ready to get your read on?), or anything else that will let us get to know YOU! Upload it to any social media site with the #boutofbooks hashtag and CONNECT with other readers!"
I will be doing this one!

Scavenger Hunt
I will do this one sometime today!

Playlist Challenge
I'm still on the fence for this one..but come back later and see if I've done it!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Seventh Friend

Epic Fantasy
Date Published: April 1, 2014

 Hero. Monster. Saviour. Butcher. Madman. Recluse. Wolf Narak, the deadly and charismatic god of wolves, has earned all the names men give him, and since the climactic and bloody final battle of the Great War he has shunned the company of mortal men and withdrawn to his forest home. There he is troubled by dreams of blood and fire, tormented by memories of his own deeds.

But fate has not quite finished with the victor of Afael.
He receives an impossible message, and as he follows the trail a suspicion grows to a certainty within him. War is coming again, and Narak must leave his beloved wolves and once more take up his twin blades. Once again he must become the general of the six kingdoms, the terror of his enemies, a hero, a butcher, the bloodstained god.

My Review:
This is a great read for anyone that loves a good fantasy novel. I expected (and received) at lot of info about the world Narak lives in, since this was the start of something BIG. I can tell that this writer knows exactly what he is doing and has the WHOLE thing mapped out completely from start to finish. There is not a single word that is extraneous , everything means something and that kept me reading! 

I am totally sold on this series already! Loved the story and loved the world that Mr. Stead has built! The story flows, the characters are vivid, and the plot will keep you reading well past your bedtime!

Tim Stead

 Tim Stead was born in the UK, lived in Hong Kong, London, Hampshire, and eventually moved to New Zealand.
He wasted many years not writing, but now has the time to devote to it. He has written six books, three of which are available on Amazon (The Sparrow and the Wolf trilogy). The others will follow, as will editions for Createspace and Smashwords.
He writes fantasy because it is so open to the imagination, which is half the fun, and also because it permits exaggerated explorations of humanity and all its excesses.
He is a former avid scuba diver, a former beekeeper, and a very poor skier, archer and fencer.

Torn between reading and writing, but writing is winning.
He now spends most of his time writing, reading, planting trees, cutting them down, cutting them up, and trying to persuade people to read his books.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

(Melissa takes on Comic Books)..Featuring Chew Vol. 1: Taster's Choice

Just in case you have never heard of this series of comics, here is the blurb.

"Tony Chu is a detective with a secret. A weird secret. Tony Chu is Cibopathic, which means he gets psychic impressions from whatever he eats. It also means he's a hell of a detective, as long as he doesn't mind nibbling on the corpse of a murder victim to figure out whodunit, and why."

Do you see that? He has to EAT things in order to get his visions. This means ANYTHING  and everything. He cannot eat any normal food or else he sees what has happened to it from start til it hits his mouth.

If he eats fruit..he can see where it was picked and what pesticides, vermin, etc. has nibbled on it or been sprayed on it.


It also means he cannot eat meat or else...well you can get the idea.

I consider myself as someone that has a pretty strong stomach, but was thoroughly grossed out by a few of the situations in this comic. Bravo Chew!

Even with the gross element, Chew is a great story. Tony just wants to be normal. He wants to do his job and live his life and exist, but he has this ability and the opportunity to do something with it.

The artwork is gritty and dark. The color scheme seems to lean towards darker shades and really matches the tone of the storyline. There are light-hearted moments though, like when Tony meets a woman that can write about food so vividly that you can taste it. THAT particular scene was pretty gross yet cool all at once.

I liked Chew and plan on getting volume 2 pretty darn soon. I say if you enjoy off beat humor, dark storylines, and unique characters then this is one you should check out.