Friday, October 30, 2015

All Goodies for Halloween

Do you like blog hops with a theme? Care to visit some spooky posts and some blogs with free book treats? Have we got the order of the day for you!

First up is a link to my very own short fiction story. Second, we have a list of interesting spooky stories from some of our favorite bloggers and sites. Next in this Halloween Roundup is a blog hop full of spooky stories, art, and books. Finally, it is the blog hop where you trick or treat for free books.  Check out the links below for a fun filled special day.

Treats From
The Candy Store
Halloween Hoot Owls
For our give away, Bent Briar Publishing is offering their latest book, The Candy Store, in e-book form AND a chance to receive an ARC of a ghost story/mystery to be released early next summer. All you need to do is go to their Facebook page, like the page, and leave a private message saying you are trick or treating. Also mention if you want to be part of the drawing for the ARC next summer.

Now on to the FUN!

Short fiction! The Perfect Man - a Halloween Tale

Interesting Halloween fitting links:

Actor Mechelle Lassiter 
A Haunted Dollhouse?  Enjoy a scary, short movie, too!


Haunted Roads throughout the world.

Ghost Stories to thrill you.

Halloween History? Can you believe how fast traditions come and go?

Share a Scare participants:

1.Share A Scare 2015 - Sign Up and Rules @ Wittegen Press2.Wittegen Press Blog
3.Tasha's Thinkings4.Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles
5.Bristol Book Blog6.Drae Box Books
7.Mina Burrows8.Madness of a Modern Writer
9.Stories I Found in the Closet10.Angeline Trevena
11.Not Now...Mommy's Reading12.Salonika Vale
13.Scarlett Van Dijk - A Writer's Tale14.Tanya Miranda
15.BookwormBridgette's World16.Patricia Lynne
17.Faith McKay18.Tamara Narayan
19.N. R. Williams20.Laura Clipson
21.Yolanda Renee

22.Traveling Cats


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Calling All Bloggers And Two Book Giveaways!

Calling all bloggers. 

A Book A Day Reviews is participating in a blog tour for Michele Poague's newest book, The Candy Store.  The good news is bloggers can win prizes for the best blogs and the most comments.  Our readers can win gifts as well through a raffle. The bad news is there are not enough participants to make a good tour. So, if you have a blog and you have a slot open sometime near the end of October or the first two weeks of November where you can put an interview, a guest post, or a fun quiz, drop a comment. or send me a note at SundaySterling at aol d0t com.  Who knows, you might find yourself $50 richer!

Today I have two books giveaways:

How lucky we are to have two books up for grabs! Actually we have three since  Poague is celebrating the release of her new book by giving away two copies of her very first novel and Karla Tipton is passing along one of hers.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Interview with Karla Tipton

It has been awhile since we've done an author interview. Today we are welcoming Karla Tipton, author of the Dangerous Reflections, a time travel mystery involving a modern-day college graduate student, who stumbles into a world of magic mirrors, evil wizards, and English alchemy and discovers love along the way.

     Set in in present-day Pennsylvania and Edwardian London, Dangerous Reflections tells the story of Martie Harris, a university graduate student in psychology who inherits a magic wand and seeks to solve a mystery left in a letter by her dying grandmother. With the help of her former Ph.D. advisor, the dark wizard Marcus Cirksena, Martie time travels through the aid of magic and mirrors to London in 1910, where she attempts to save her grandmother by stealing the Philosopher’s Stone and its life-giving elixir from a handsome wizard named Alastor.

      A fast-paced romantic adventure packed with alchemy, illusion and family secrets, Dangerous Reflections explores relationships and illustrates how our perception of others changes what we see, and ultimately feel, about them. The novel builds around a number of intriguing characters, whose motives are slowly revealed against the turbulent setting of magic and mysticism in turn-of-the-century England. Tipton develops a story notable for its dramatic descriptions and finely nuanced atmosphere and surrounds the reader in the world she has created, keeping the tension perfectly balanced all the way to the novel’s climactic finish.Dangerous Reflections
by Karla Tipton

ISBN 978-1502812377

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Run-Away Couple

Reading books set in different places and by authors from other countries allows the reader to experience language and slang that is wholly new. Even if your native language lies within the covers of those books and the author speaks her native English, new ways of speech and idioms pop out.  I enjoyed this about Maggie Tideswell's novella - the little language surprises.  Tideswell's tight and colorful writing creates an air of being in South Africa

Most of my readers know that I don't read Romance or Erotica but if you do, take a peek at The Run-Away Couple. There is more than one surprise in this sweet tale. And there is plenty of passion, ghosts, and scary passages for everyone.

A snippet for you:

Lightning flashed through the tiny leaded windows, followed a few moments later by rumbling thunder. That musty, earthy smell of old buildings hung in the air. That must be what the inside of a grave smelled like. Goosebumps covered Piper's arms. There was no railing, leaving a pit around which the stairs curved. Piper leaned against the stone wall until the wave of nausea eased. It was eerily quiet. Piper heard slow footsteps on the stairs below her. Somebody real was in the stairwell with her. Piper ran up the last few steps to her floor. About to rush for her door, she staggered half a step back when it creaked open and a woman came out of her room. The woman had a basket in one hand like a chambermaid but cleaning rooms at this time of night? The woman wore a long black cloak, the hoody of which had been pulled up over her hair and face. Who was she? "Hello, can I help you?" Piper said. The woman partially turned her head and peered at Piper past the hoody with a very clear blue eye. When she heard something behind her, Piper spun around and screamed.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

I'll admit it.  I wanted to see the movie, Before I Go To Sleep, but just didn't get to it.  Thank goodness the book  remains available. This involved but uncomplicated tale wrapped me up and kept me until it was finished. Some books contain great characters, in some books the language paints scenes with graceful lines, and still other books offer unique and intricate plots. S. J. Watson's book gives us a unique plot with an interesting main character defect.

 Christine, the main character, is fully fleshed out, though the other characters are not. Some of this exists because the story is told by Christine, and, well, she can't remember. None of the people in her current life exist outside of today. Watson's excellent writing drives the reader deep into Christine's world, letting them experience Christine's emotions and her sense that all the people around her are somewhat wooden.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Time, Caverns, héros and Hounds

Many things contribute to writing a good book.  An interesting plot, true to life characters with understandable motives, and an error free manuscript all help. Sometimes a little tweak of a good book can move it from good to great. A truly good editor knows how to find those tweaks. Self-published authors often work without the benefit of a good editor but even trade published authors fail to obtain a good editor occasionally.  Writers need to recognize some of the easier pitfalls and avoid them.

I recently read two juvenile books, The Time Cavern by Todd A. Fonseca and Heroes & Hounds by Bill Miller. Both contained good plots and I loved all the characters. The books contained no errors that halted me in my reading.  One was easy to read, the words flying off the page, the story surrounding me, fairly dragging me into the story. The other was hard to read, and I never fully integrated into the story, making it easy to set the book aside. 

The difference, you ask? Syntax! Tense usage! An overabundance of being verbs!  Awareness of both tense usage and how to convert being verbs into action verbs helps the new writer move his manuscript from okay to good; from good to great.  Converting being verbs actually increases the book/ reader bonding by limiting the distance the reader feels. It gives the writer a larger pool of words to use in the story, making the story more varied and interesting. Using fewer being verbs creates a more dynamic read with exceptionally descriptive passages.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

America 3.0

America 3.0
Rebooting American prosperity in the 21st century -- Why America's greatest days are yet to come.
by James C. Bennett and Michael J Lotus
Publisher:  Encounter Books (June 2013)

Available at Amazon

Sometimes when we're trying to sort out our history, (how things came to be), or our future (what will affect how our lives will be lived in the coming years given the trends of the present), we look at lots of big changes.  New technology, shifts in attitudes and economics, and a host of other obvious changes that appear in our lives, seem to be the elements that will shape the future.  Bennett and Lotus, however, have a new take on how Americans shape their future.  After all, every country is affected by new technology, economics, etc., but they don't all make the same choices Americans make.  The authors maintain that the critical element, the one we're so familiar with we almost don't recognize it anymore, is the American nuclear family.

They ask some interesting questions:  What difference does it make that American marriages are the result of individuals choosing their mates, rather than having them chosen by their family or clan?  Does the nuclear family provide a different environment from extended families or arranged marriages that makes Americans different?  Is it important that "making it" in America has a different meaning here than elsewhere: getting a home of one's own with some land rather than living with family or in large groups?

To answer these questions, they go back in our history to look at the influences that formed the personalities of the American colonists.  German and British heritage play a role in how the first Americans saw their lives, what they considered appropriate, and years later, what we consider "normal" American life.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Prophecy's Queen; A prequel

Timonthy Bond has once again penned an entertaining work with this new addition to The Triadine Saga.  Prophecy's Queen is engaging with interesting characters. When reading this tale, the words seem to glide by almost like listening to a tale as spun aloud by a narrator. I must say that it took me several weeks to get to this book but I inhaled it in less than two days.

The biggest problem I had in writing this review was I wanted to give the book full credit for how good it is but also point out some minor flaws. There are really two different kinds of readers, I think. After reviewing books for this blog and reading other reviews, I've come to realize some readers need constant tension and conflict.  If the main character isn't in danger in every chapter, if there isn't something on the line all the time, if the main conflict is not always at the forefront, some readers judge the book to be 'bad'. There are other readers who, though they like a good conflict and resolution, prefer a book that reads smoothly with characters and scenes that pop. For these readers the quiet conflict of doing the right thing, the internal conflict of what should be done verses what one wants to do are often enough.

Prophecy's Queen is very much like that, containing a strong internal conflict but one that doesn't take over the story. The reader understands what the conflict is for the Queen without Bond dwelling on it.

  • File Size: 975 KB
  • Print Length: 162 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: myOstrich Press; 1 edition (April 27, 2015)
  • Publication Date: April 27, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00WS5648M

From Amazon:
In this prequel to the epic fantasy series The Triadine Saga, we follow the Elven Princess Rozlynn as she struggles with her role in The Prophecy and what she must do to keep the world from falling into darkness. 
This is a story of love and conflict, personal growth, and freedom to choose your own destiny. The world of Elves, Dwarves, and humans, is inexorably tied to magic, wizards, and dragons, as the battle of good versus evil, light versus darkness, wages on. 
Will Rozlynn make the sacrifices and the choices necessary to ensure that The Prophecy stays on the right path? Will her sister, the Elven Queen, prevent her from making her own choice? Will Rozlynn's love for an Elven Hunter betray her and lead her astray? 

So, in this well written tale, there are no battles and sword fights; there are no life and death moments. Instead there is the constant conflict of doing what needs to be done even if it means one's life in the end. For many of us, that conflict is much closer to own our lives, that conflict of doing the right thing though the outcome is harmful to ourselves.

I believe anyone would enjoy this book. The writing is smooth, the story interesting.

Monday, June 29, 2015

A Children's Story that is Not for Children

  • Sometimes books are not quite what they seem on the opening pages. Hidden deep inside the book, squirreled away, is some deeper meaning or story. Sometimes a book switches gears, much like movies that start out in what a person thinks is one genre to have it actually be another entirely.  Then there are books that tell two stories that seem so far apart but in the end begin to blend until there is only one true story.  Robert A. Krueger tells just such a story in his book The Children's Story About Good and Evil. From the beginning you expect one thing only to find that is a small part of what the author is conveying.

  • From Amazon:
  • The novel is a mix of fantasy and reality. It defines different forms of evil and contrasts them with goodness and innocence in a format that is both serious and funny. One morning young teen sisters decide to go for a walk, not realizing that this outing will change them forever. They become trapped in a strange land where the outrageous and bizarre seem normal.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Huck and Sawyer and even Molly by Golly!

Author Andrew Joyce has kindly given me copies of two of his covers to share with you which is wonderful because I am researching what makes a great cover.  The one for Redemption: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer  is so perfect. I am beginning to think my new favorite color is orange. It catches my eye so often when I look at book covers.

One thing you learn, hopefully, when designing your own covers is that each cover makes a promise, gives a clue, or shows what the reader can expect inside. There is no doubt what these books have in store for the reader. The colors on Redemption also gives a feeling of riding off into the sunset. Can it be that we will hear the last of Hunk and Tom?

  • Print Length: 231 pages
  • Publisher: Andrew Joyce; 1 edition (January 2, 2014)
  • Publication Date: January 2, 2014

Andrew has a story about the publishing of Redemption which I will let him tell you in his own words.

Meanwhile, Joyce's new book,  Molly Lee, has the same western feel to it.  The cover is still giving a book browser clues to what is in store for them when they read the book. Why is that important? An author wants to attract an audience who will enjoy their book and share it with others. If you write a book for a science fiction fan, while you would like others to pick it up, you want to be sure the book reaches its target audience, the readers of your genre. With the wrong cover it is quite possible that a reader of Romance would pick up the book and while the sale of a book is never bad, your target audience might slide right by your book, causing you to miss hundreds of sales.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Tuesdays with Morrie and other thoughts

I know people who seem to get three times as much work done in a day than any normal person would. My sister is one of those people.  I used to be one of those people. Author Eri Nelsen is a fine example. What gives these people the energy and wherewith all to accomplish so much? Some say it is organization but that can't be it. My sister is highly organized while I have a desk that looks like Einstein's did. Oh, I try to get organized but it lasts about five minutes.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Lexicon: Words are Weapons

Lexicon:  A Novel 
Words are Weapons
by Max Barry
Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (April 1, 2014)
ISBN-10: 0143125427
ISBN-13: 978-0143125426

Available at Amazon

Emily Ruff thought she'd found a quick way to get off the streets and get ahead in the world when the chance at a new life was presented.  She needed the challenge, a chance to learn to focus instead of living by her wits, and she wanted the opportunity, but she never expected to become one of the most dangerous people on the planet, the holder of a power so enormous that no human should be allowed to have it, a power that others would kill, again and again, to possess.

Friday, March 13, 2015

A.I.s - Are they the top of the intelligence chain?


What's new in the science fiction anthologies venue? How about this one launching today? "The A.I. Chronicles" takes on the fascinating idea of what happens when A.I.s actually become, well, A.I.s. While I haven't read this yet, I can't wait to do so since it's an area of science fiction that piques my interest.

Someone once said that computers that can think for themselves will become the death of our civilization because the A.I.s will figure out their makers are the only ones who can 'turn them off'. This always reminds me of an old television series called My Living Doll. Will they learn to outsmart us or will they simply destroy us?

For a thought experiment think of the reason intelligences from other planets haven't contacted us - could it be because humans are not the top of the intelligence chain? Could it be that other A.I.s on other worlds are waiting until the  day A.I.s rule this world. Just a thought…

Take a look at this new read available on Amazon Kindle full of different stories about the coming A. Is. And while you are at it, don't forget to enter the raffle!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Tenth Chamber -- Digging for the truth

The Tenth Chamber
by Glenn Cooper

Glenn Cooper Books, 2014
ISBN: 0692225137
ISBN-13: 9780692225134
Available from Amazon

Luc Simard is getting really frustrated, and his dislike for small towns is growing by the minute.  You'd think the folks in Ruac would be happy to know that nearby there was an archaeological site that went well beyond anything that had been previously found, that they were about to become famous and the world would rush in breathlessly to see their great treasure, and give the community a huge economic boost, but no, all these surly provincials seem determined to keep him and his team from studying it.

It seemed a straightforward matter at first when his friend Hugo got a call to restore the old Abbey after a fire, and found an ancient book in a primitive cypher code, and told the Abbot that he, Luc, might be able to help get it translated.  But in it, there was one thing that needed no translation -- a map to a cave.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Blackout - When the lights go out.

 I find it interesting when two books have the same or similar title. This new one is by Madeleine Henry and should not be confused with Connie Willis's story.

Available everywhere!
I do not like books with stories that don't end within the book. I want each and every book to have a story arc complete with introduction, crises, climax, and conclusion. Not that everything in the book must be solved within that book.  A trilogy or series does not lend itself to answering all questions to all things. I do enjoy trilogies or even series. I loved The Lord of the Rings, for instance, but I don't like books that simply cut the story off. Connie Willis, an author I love and respect, did this with one of her recent book duos, Blackout and All Clear.  I was so angry I almost threw the book across the room. This is something many writers do nowadays but it feels like a cheat, a way to sell one story twice or more. The Hungry Games is a good example of how stories can be a trilogy but still have a story arc for each book. Another example are most TV series. There is the background, overall story, but each episode has a story that usually finishes within that episode. Exceptions, of coarse, are Soap Operas and shows meant to be like Soaps. Harry Potter series had a plot, a crisis. a climax, and a conclusion in each of the seven books. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Johnny Graphic and the Attack of the Zombies

Johnny Graphic and the Attack of the Zombies is the second book in a young adult (Y/A) book series. It follows the adventures of Johnny Graphic, a boy photographer. The setting is the 1930s, but it's not the same 193os we all know about. In this author's version of the 1930s, ghosts co-exist with the living, but only some of the living can see them. Those who can are called etherists. Johnny's sister, Melanie Graphic, is an etherist, and she belongs to a group who is dedicated to understanding how ghosts interact with the world of the living and how the ether (the area where the ghosts exist) works.

In the first book of the series, we were introduced to Percy Rathbone, who had a plot to create and set off etheric bombs. Percy happened to be the son of Dame Honoria, a friend of Johnny and Melanie's family. In the second book, Percy is at it again. In book two he is out to create an army of bog zombies, and they're kidnapping children under the cover of a mysterious fog that has descended upon the countryside. Johnny, Melanie, and their old friends set out to stop him.

Soon, it becomes clear that Johnny and his friends have to split their efforts. While Melanie and Dame Honoria try to research the problem and figure out what Percy is trying to do, Johnny and his friend Nina set off to rescue the children. Along the way they meet some new human and ghost friends that try to help them in their quest. But as some questions about what Percy is doing are answered, others arise, especially questions regarding the disappearance of Johnny's parents, who have been missing and presumed dead since the start of book one, and how their disappearance tied into Percy's plans.

It's important to note that I knew this was book two in the series before I read it. In fact, I had already read and reviewed book one. You can see my review of that book here Since I had that knowledge, I went into reading the book with a sequel/middle book mentality. I was already familiar with the characters and already somewhat knew what to expect in terms of writing style. This book definitely did not disappoint. I found it to be written just as well as the first.

One of the things that I really enjoy about D. R. Martin's writing style is that it is descriptive, but in a plain, uncomplicated way. It's written so that the target (Y/A) audience can easily understand it. However, many Y/A novels are written in such a simplistic style that they are boring. This book actually held my attention so well, as did the first in the series, that I didn't want to put it down at times, and I'm a full-grown adult. Yet, it's written in a way that a younger audience should be able to not only understand it, but enjoy it. It's full of adventure, excitement, action, and suspense.

Another thing that I like about both Johnny Graphic books is that, in my opinion, they aren't one-time reads. I've happily added them to my permanent library. I expect the Johnny Graphic novels to become like familiar old friends that I reach for when the mood strikes me, much like Anne of Green Gables or Harry Potter.

I give Johnny Graphic and the Attack of the Zombies 5 out of 5 stars. It's fun, exciting, and attention grabbing, while still being a light, easy read that can be enjoyed almost anywhere from bed to crowded airport terminals. However, I would caution readers to start with the first book, not the second. Many important concepts and characters are introduced in the first book. The second book does not work well as a stand alone novel.

As of January 2015, there is no third book in the series yet, but I hope that there will be soon. Although the book two story feels well-rounded, there are definitely some loose ends, which leave plenty of room for series expansion.

Book: Johnny Graphic and the Attack of the Zombies (Book 2 in Series)
By: D.R. Martin
Publisher: Conger Road Press
Length: 318 pages
Genre: Young Adult (Y/A)
ISBN: 978-0985019631
Available on as a paperback or for Kindle