Waiting on Wednesday–Destiny, Rewritten by Kathryn Fitzmaurice

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

I love me a good Middle Grade book, and Destiny, Rewritten by Kathryn Fitzmaurice looks promising.  Plus, the cover is adorable!  In stores February 2013.

 

Des·tin·y: |destin?/

(noun) The hidden power believed to control what will happen in the future; fate.

Eleven-year-old Emily Elizabeth Davis has been told for her entire life that her destiny is to become a poet, just like her famous namesake, Emily Dickinson. But Emily doesn’t even really like poetry, and she has a secret career ambition that she suspects her English-professor mother will frown on. Then a seeming tragedy strikes: just after discovering that it contains an important family secret, she accidentally loses the special copy of Emily Dickinson’s poetry that was given to her at birth. As Emily and her friends search for the lost book in used bookstores and thrift shops all across town, Emily’s understanding of destiny begins to unravel and then rewrite itself in a marvelous new way.

In her third novel, Kathryn Fitzmaurice again weaves a richly textured and delightful story about unexpected connections, about the ways that friends can help us see ourselves for who we truly are, and about the most perfect kinds of happy endings: those that happen just on time.

What are you waiting on?

Excerpt: The Four Realms by Adrian Faulkner and Giveaway!!

Adrian Faulkner and his publisher, Anarchy Books want to share an excerpt from The Four Realms with you.  After the excerpt, enter to win the entire Anarchy Books catalog – digital books and albums – on a CD!  What an awesome giveaway!  That will keep you busy for quite a while!

Excerpt: The Four Realms by Adrian Faulkner

It was snowing in New York. The thick storm clouds overhead had turned afternoon into evening and filled the streets and avenues with their cargo. On news of the storm’s approach, most of the city had emptied, workers leaving their offices before the journey home became impassable.

Broadway was practically empty. The clothing sellers who normally crowded the sidewalk were gone, having shut up and left hours ago, leaving a solitary figure making his way south through the shin deep snow. He seemed unprepared for the weather. His trousers were a size too big for him and his shirt was partly untucked.

Winds whipped around the city blocks like a serpent, striking from every direction with icy blasts, causing Mr West to draw his jacket ever tighter and vow to couple his plans with the weather forecast next time.

There were much easier ways to get from New Jersey to the meeting place in the heart of New York City. However, Mr West had ‘chosen’ to take the Transit in, and walk, rather than take a cab, down from Penn Station. It had seemed like a good idea at the time. "Know your enemy," the training programs had told him, and he felt that by experiencing choice, he better understood the inhabitants of this world.

Choice was abhorrent to him. Yes, he told himself, decisions often needed to be made, but that should only be done by those whose job function it was to make them for individuals, and then only after careful analysis and consultation. Otherwise, you had what you had here… a chaotic system.

Of course the humans and dwarves, and even the elves would argue that without choice there was no freedom, but what use was freedom when all that was stopping people killing you or stealing from you was a thinly guised code of moral conduct. With choice, it gave people the right to do bad things to others. Where was the freedom from crime, the freedom of job security, the freedom of not having to worry about the course of your life?

No, Mr West told himself, the amount of choice here was bad. Even worse it was so unproductive. It made their enemies unpredictable and irrational, something that the data models still needed to take into account.

He stepped off the sidewalk to cross 27th street and jarred himself as the drop, hidden in snow, was more than he expected. The snow soaked his trouser leg up to above the knee. He hated New York, even their sidewalks weren’t uniform. No wonder they needed so many lawyers.

He was surprised to see that the Pizza restaurant was still open, and despite feeling slightly uncomfortable about it, ‘chose’ to stop and buy a slice. If there was one redeeming feature of New York, and indeed, the whole of this realm, it was Pizza. Since the start of the operation here, he had tried just about every variety. He ignored his logic which told him he did not need to eat and ordered a slice of pepperoni. Pizza heated and bagged to go, Mr West left the relative warmth of the parlour and stepped out into the snow once again.

He didn’t have far to go. The awning of the next building marked his destination. The shivering doorman saw him, swung into action, opening the door, and upon noticing the pizza, asked Mr West: "You get that from next door?"

Mr West nodded.

"Best Pizza in the city," the doorman exclaimed as Mr West shook himself off and stamped the snow from his feet. He walked up the narrow passageway toward the lobby and elevator. A member of cleaning staff was busy fighting a losing battle trying to mop the floor of melted snow the guests had brought in.

Mr West took the elevator to the twelfth floor, and knocked on door 1203. He was expected and the door opened almost instantaneously. Three men dressed immaculately in black suits and white shirts stood on the other side; so alike in every such way that it would be easy to confuse them for identical triplets. They looked slightly nervous as Mr West entered. The one who had answered the door closed it quickly behind West, whilst the other two stood up from the twin beds they had been sitting on. Mr West grabbed the chair from the writing desk and sat down to face the huge window that looked out over the city. Standing in front of it was a fourth man, much older than the other three but similarly dressed. His cropped hair and beard were as white as the snow outside and his face was etched with a scowl as deep as his wrinkles.

"You’re late, Mr West," the older man growled.

"Sorry," West replied nonchalantly, beginning to eat his pizza slice. "Traffic was terrible."


If you enjoyed the excerpt, you can order The Four Realms by clicking the cover below:

GIVEAWAY TIME!

Ready for a chance to win The Four Realms and the ENTIRE Anarchy Books catalog – digital books and albums – on a CD? Fill out the widget below! Earn extra entries for following.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves–December 23rd Edition

The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba of The Caffeinated Book Reviewer. This is a weekly meme where we can share news of the week and highlight new books received.

Yesterday, the puppies had their first vet appointment since they moved in.  They went in for boosters and a general checkup.  Both are gaining weight (Bumble is 25 lbs and Poppy is 20), but I think they still look a little too lean.  I took them separately, and they were both on their best behavior.  They are good puppies!

Check out my current contests! See the Contest Widget on the Sidebar to enter!

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews to share new additions to our library. Click here to learn more about it.

New Arrivals at the Café:

Lots of great stuff this week.  Those Amazon Daily Deals keep rolling out, too!

Blood Winter by Diana Pharaoh Francis

A Red Sun Also Rises by Mark Hodder (finished copy)

The Steam Mole by Dave Freer (finished copy)

Good-Bye Geist by Ryo Hanada

Legend by Marie Lu

Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren

Living Violet by Jaime Reed

Vampire Knight Vol 14 by Matsuri Hino (From Viz Manga store)

I also purchased a Kindle Fire HD 8.9” when it was discounted $50.  I’ll have a review soon – I just started playing around with it yesterday.

A great big thanks to the publishers for their continued support!

What did you get? Please leave links and share!

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Firmoo Glasses Review

At the beginning of November, I received an email from Firmoo, offering me a pair of glasses to review.  I was skeptical when I read the email; how could a pair of glasses priced under a hundred bucks be a quality pair of eyewear?  I have horrible vision; I am nearsighted, and my lenses resemble coke bottles.  The last pair that I purchased set me back several hundred dollars, most of that due to the cost of the lenses.  I wanted them ultra thin and ultra light.  While they were very expensive, I have enjoyed my old glasses for years, but it was time for another pair because my vision had changed, so the Firmoo email couldn’t have come at a better time.

Ordering the glasses was a breeze, and the only setback was trying to figure out my pupillary distance.  Dean and I kept missing each other because of our heavy work schedules, so I didn’t have anyone to help me measure the distance.  Finally the stars lined up and we were both home the same weekend!  After sending off my order form, I just had to wait for my new eyewear to be delivered.  But of course life got in the way of writing this review; we went on Thanksgiving vacation to Disney, we both were extremely ill when we got home, and I had so much to catch up on at work!  Then the puppies moved in, and finding a moment to do anything became a chore, but finally! here we are!

This is the pair that I choose – http://www.firmoo.com/eyeglasses-p-1955.html

I picked the purple pair, but I think it is sold out because I don’t see them on the page anymore.

When I received the glasses, I found that all of my fears were unfounded.  This is a nice pair of glasses!  The lenses are thin and light, and now that I have the correct prescription, I can see so much better!  I like that Firmoo included a cleaning cloth and a set of extra screws and nose pads, as well as a tiny screw driver.  The glasses were shipped in a sturdy hard case, so they arrived damage free.

Are you a little leery about purchasing a pair of glasses online? Don’t be! Firmoo has interactive tools to help you discover the perfect pair.  You can even upload your picture and try the frames on your virtual self.  Customer Satisfaction  is their goal, so if you have any problems with your order, just contact their customer service department and they will do their best to make things right for you.

Firmoo has a First Pair Free program.  You can receive a free pair of glasses!  All you pay is the shipping.  Here’s what they have to say about their First Pair Free program:

The old opinion that glasses are only necessities for people with vision problems has already gone. Glasses are increasingly becoming a fad and must-have accessories for celebs and fashionistas. Everyday we can spot millions of non prescription glasses wearers and we are constantly fascinated by many noted film stars’ signature non prescription glasses.They instantly upgrade your look of modern,sexy, vintage or geek by wearing different styles of frames.

Any hot glasses/sunglasses /goggles frames you want can be found on Firmoo, and all are available for both prescription lenses and non-prescription lenses. Are you desperate to have a new look? Now here is the chance, Firmoo has launched a First Pair Free Program to people worldwide. You will absolutely fall in love with the excellent quality, affordable prices, fashionable designs, fast delivery and the good service after trying them with paying shipping only! You even can get a refund/exchange if you are not satisfied with them. It’s totally Risk free, so why not have a try?

Click here (http://www.firmoo.com/free-glasses.html) to get your free glasses now!

 

I like my glasses so much that I am planning on purchasing another pair!

About Firmoo.co.

Firmoo (www.firmoo.com)is the most popular online eyeglasses store worldwide. Years of expertise in optical industry enable firmoo.com to offer varieties of prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses in a frugal way and to be the ultimate fashion events guide. We have always been committed ourselves to offering customers the best quality products at the most affordable prices, 85% – 90% lower than that in the brick-and-mortar optical stores. Moreover, all our glasses are free for first-time customers  (http://www.firmoo.com/free-glasses.html).Since the establishment of our company, we have served over 300,000+ customers and now we also have 500,000+ fans on facebook(http://www.facebook.com/FirmooGlasses), and have cooperated successfully with 10,000+ bloggers from all over the world.

Excerpt: The Billionaire’s Christmas Baby by Victoria James

Entangled Publishing and Victoria James wanted to share an excerpt from Victoria’s holiday romance The Billionaire’s Christmas Baby.  Enjoy!

Excerpt: The Billionaire’s Christmas Baby by Victoria James

Jackson poked the logs in the fire a little too harshly and muffled his cough as a cloud of smoke engulfed his face. He tried to appear calm and natural even though he felt like he’d been backed against a wall by letting this woman and the baby into his home. How had he gotten into this mess? He could tell Hannah was trying to figure him out, and the look in her eyes was unsettling, like she was pleased when he told her about Charlie being a stray. He glanced over at her as she pulled off her red hat and a mass of caramel colored hair came tumbling out. He didn’t want to notice how shiny and soft it looked. He turned his attention to the fireplace again, but watched from the corner of his eye as Hannah straightened out her clothing.

Hannah was definitely beautiful—not in a made up, high-maintenance sort of way. She had high cheekbones and full, rosy lips. And even though he didn’t want to notice, her eyes were like dark emeralds, large and almond shaped, with impossibly thick black eyelashes. Even more perplexing than their indisputable beauty was the emotion and the warmth they held in them. They weren’t vacant, they weren’t flirty, and they weren’t the eyes of someone who had been friends with his sister. They were clear and sharp, not hollow like someone who was stoned all the time. No, she was too pulled together to have been friends with Louise. So then who the hell was she?

He willed himself not to look lower than her chin. Dammit. Too late. She was curvy and slender in all the right places. He felt himself fighting back a surge of complete and total unwanted desire that gripped him out of nowhere. What was going on with him? Must be a natural reaction to a woman who wasn’t thinner than a twig. The last woman he’d slept with had been so skinny he wondered if she had ever eaten a carb in her entire life. But this Hannah woman was off-limits. He didn’t date women with children or people associated with his family. And even though there wasn’t a wedding band on her hand, she was probably with some guy. Not that it mattered. Not in the least, because he wanted nothing to do with her. Anyone connected to his family was the enemy.

“Look, I really am sorry for barging in like this.” She folded her hands in front of her and bit gently on her lower lip. Why were her lips to appealing? Focus buddy, focus. He shrugged, dragging his eyes away from her mouth. “Don’t worry about it.”

“I really wasn’t planning on getting here so late—”

“How did you know I was going to be here? No one knows about this place except my business partner and PA.” He saw the exact moment that her embarrassment turned to discomfort.

She waved a hand dismissively, but her voice sounded forced. “Oh, you can find anything online these days.”

He crossed his arms in front of him. She wasn’t looking so confident now. “No, you can’t. You can’t find anything about this cabin online.”

She averted her eyes. “It wasn’t her fault. I was probably a tad dramatic.” Maybe it was the sudden change in tone or the softening of her expression that made him get defensive.

Jackson narrowed his eyes. “Whose fault?”

“I think her name was Ann,” she said, biting her lip and looking away. Jackson tried to hide his shock. In all the years Ann had worked for him, she’d never released any personal details about him.

“What did you tell her?” He was genuinely interested in knowing how the hell this woman had managed to get the address of his cabin.

“I may have said it was a matter of life or death.”

He rolled his eyes. He was surprised Ann fell for that. “You seem to use that line as a catch-all, don’t you?”

“Well, I really did need to find you. And she was quite concerned when I mentioned the death part,” she said, lifting her chin. Something about the way she stood, the way she wouldn’t stop looking at him made him uneasy.

But no matter what, he knew she was here to tell him something he didn’t want to know. Not that it should matter. Nothing she could tell him would make him change his mind about his family. He turned his back to her, focusing on the fire that didn’t need his attention at all. He heard her shuffling around and then the quiet padding of her feet across the wood floor.

“I’m sorry to bombard you with this.”

He ignored her attempt to open up the conversation. He turned to look at her, eyeing her snow-soaked pants. “Do you want to take off your jeans?”

Her green eyes grew comically large. “Pardon me?”

He almost laughed out loud at her expression. “I mean, you’re soaked. I can get you a blanket or something and you can put your jeans in the dryer.”

“Uh, no, I’ll stand here for a few minutes. I’m sure they’ll dry quickly by the fire.” Her face was still red as she moved closer to the fire.

Why should he care if she wanted to stay in wet jeans all night? “Why don’t I show you and uh—” He motioned to the baby with his chin. “—the baby your room?”


You can learn more about Victoria by visiting the following:

Visit Victoria James: www.victoriajames.ca

Twitter: @vicjames101

Facebook Page – www.facebook.com/pages/Victoria-James/412431258807271

You can learn more about Entangled by visiting their website.

If you enjoyed the excerpt, you can order The Billionaire’s Christmas Baby from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the cover below

 

About The Billionaire’s Christmas Baby:

Jackson Pierce didn’t make his fortune entertaining every half-cocked idea, especially one involving diaper changes. Not even the cute brunette who links him to the baby in her arms can crack his icy heart.

A baby on the doorsteps is the least of Hannah Woods problems–she has to find the baby’s uncle, or the child will end up in foster care. She sleuths her way to the reclusive CEO’s doorstep only to find six feet of holiday sexy–and a door slammed in her face. But when Jackson comes around, and urges they marry for little Emily’s sake, Hannah finds herself falling for the jaded billionaire and wishing for a holiday miracle of their own…

About Victoria James:

Victoria James is a romance writer living near Toronto, Canada. Victoria is a mother to two young children, and one very disorderly feline. Victoria attended Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario and graduated with a degree in English Literature, where she met and then later married, her own hero. After Queen’s, Victoria earned a degree in Interior Design. After the birth of her first child she began pursuing her life-long passion of writing. Her dream of being a published romance author was realized last February, 2012, when Entangled Publishing bought her manuscript. Victoria is living her dream-staying home with her children and conjuring up happy endings for her characters.

Interview with Sarah Gilman, Author of Wings of Redemption and Giveaway!

Sarah Gilman dropped by the virtual offices to chat about her latest release, Wings of Redemption.  After the interview, enter for your chance to win a digital copy of her new book!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Sarah Gilman] A paranormal romance author with a thing for wings.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Wings of Redemption?

[Sarah Gilman] Wings of Redemption is a story about two enemies redeeming themselves and finding a Happily Ever After with each other. The novella is set in a contemporary world with a paranormal twist: demons and fallen angels live in secluded colonies, hunted by poachers. A fallen archangel hero falls for the human daughter of a man who hires poachers and collects archangel feathers.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Sarah Gilman] These characters grew organically from the existing series that revolves around fallen archangels and poachers. As a reader, I’m a mega fan of enemies-to-lovers romances and have wanted to write this sort of plotline from the get-go.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Saffron?

[Sarah Gilman] Brave. Loyal. Adaptable.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Kestrel had a theme song, what would it be?

[Sarah Gilman] Ooo, tough choice. He deserves some bad-*ss tunes, but I choose “Your Winter” by Sister Hazel. (I am a certifiable “Hazelnut.”) That entire song speaks particularly to Kestrel’s mindset after the story’s black moment.

The chorus:

“I won’t be your winter

I won’t be anyone’s excuse to cry

We can be forgiven

I will be here.”

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Saffron won’t leave the house without.

[Sarah Gilman] Her tactical flashlight. It’s the perfect self-defense tool; every woman should have one with her. They’re so bright, they’ll knock an attacker to their knees.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Kestrel’s pockets?

[Sarah Gilman] Weapons – he’s trained in hand-fighting and has a highly skilled, deadly bodyguard.

Sweets – he doesn’t even like sugar in his coffee. His only exception is maple syrup.

Money – the colonies don’t use human money except to interact with some human businesses.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Saffron’s greatest regret?

[Sarah Gilman] Letting her sister go into the woods alone with poachers.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Sarah Gilman] Romance novels, music, and anime/manga—my husband introduced me to the later. Some of the most epic stories and characters I’ve ever encountered have been in anime or manga. Music sets my mood and provides me with character ideas. Whenever I’m stuck while writing, a little reading always gets me back in my rhythm.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Sarah Gilman] Music or silence—anything in between, such as my neighbor’s car alarm, is anathema.

Tea or coffee

My laptop—I cannot type at a regular computer and keyboard to save my life.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Sarah Gilman] I just finished Must Love Santa by Nina Bruhns. I don’t read much outside of the paranormal genre, but when I do, it’s romantic suspense. This novella was cute and fun and a great holiday read.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Sarah Gilman] Myst, by Miller, Miller, and Wingrove. I read it in junior high. Found a hardcover copy in college. I still take it out and read it now and then. What do you see, Atrus?

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Sarah Gilman] I like to cook. Lately, my mission has been to bake the perfect loaf of bread.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Sarah Gilman] Twitter: @Gilman_Sarah https://twitter.com/Gilman_Sarah

Blog: www.sarahgilmanbooks.blogspot.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4971675.Sarah_Gilman

[Manga Maniac Cafe]  Thank you!

GIVEAWAY TIME!

You can enter for a chance to win a digital copy of Wings of Redemption, courtesy of Entangled Publishing!  Just fill out the widget below to enter.  Earn extra entries for following.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Didn’t win? You can purchase Wings of Redemption from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the cover below:

About Sarah:

Sarah Gilman started her first novel in third grade. She never finished that story, but never gave up the dream. Her fascination with wings also began at that age, when images of the ancient Egyptian goddess Isis captured her imagination and never let go. Now a paranormal romance writer, she employs her love of writing to bring the allure of winged creatures to the pages of her novels. Sarah lives in Vermont with her supportive husband and two spoiled cats.

Wings of Redemption Blurb:

Enemies by birth, lovers by choice…

Humans and archangels don’t mix on the best occasions. When Saffron Morin goes to the gates of the demon colony, Eden, in search of her sister, she meets an archangel who is curious one minute and hostile the next, and she ends up the colony’s “guest” against her will.

Kestrel’s archangel psychic talent tells him the human woman’s life is in danger. Despite her family’s association with poachers who hunt archangels for their valuable feathers, he vows to save her life. Enemies by birth, lovers by choice, they give in to growing attraction as days pass.

Even if he succeeds in saving her life, he must hurt her to protect others of his kind, and he may not be able to live with himself after a betrayal he has no choice but to commit. In order to find redemption, the Collector’s daughter and an archangel must first find each other.

To learn more about the book or to order from B&N or Kobo, please visit the links below.

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16126047-wings-of-redemption

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wings-of-redemption-sarah-gilman/1113881946?ean=2940015797053&isbn=2940015797053

Kobo: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Wings-of-Redemption/book-mRSORiWECUOD_Q1Mc7UbeA/page1.html?s=jPAMpr9Gr0i5vN413Yf0Gg&r=2

Mid-Winters Eve Blog Hop–Win Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

Welcome to my Mid-Winters Eve Blog Hop,  hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and  co-hosted by Oasis for YA.  This hop runs from December 21 – December 27, and you can win lots of new reads.   Click here for a complete list of blogs participating in the hop.

I am giving away a paperback copy of Jeaniene Frost’s Halfway to the Grave.  This is the first book in her Night Huntress series.

 

Half-vampire Catherine Crawfield is going after the undead with a vengeance, hoping that one of these deadbeats is her father–the one responsible for ruining her mother’s life. Then she’s captured by Bones, a vampire bounty hunter, and is forced into an unholy partnership.

In exchange for finding her father, Cat agrees to train with the sexy night stalker until her battle reflexes are as sharp as his fangs. She’s amazed she doesn’t end up as his dinner–are there actually "good" vampires? Pretty soon Bones will have her convinced that being half-dead doesn’t have to be all bad. But before she can enjoy her newfound status as kick-ass demon hunter, Cat and Bones are pursued by a group of killers. Now Cat will have to choose a side . . . and Bones is turning out to be as tempting as any man with a heartbeat.

Entering is easy! Just fill out the widget below. Earn extra entries for following! US addresses only, please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway