Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Only In Her Dreams Blog Tour, Giveaway and Book Review!

Only in Her Dreams
Book One of the Oneiroi Series
Christina McKnight
Release date: September 30, 2012


When Lucessa Sarcona awakes from a recurring dream, she has no idea her life is about to be turned upside down. A stranger, familiar to her dreams, shows up in the flesh, and Lucessa knows she’s either crazy or experiencing something not of this world.

A war ensues between three demigod brothers. One, trained to rule Erebos, is violently replaced. One forced to return to his homeland and lead the dream-gods of the Oneiroi. And one is charged with the impossible task of protecting Lucessa. How is she linked to the Oneiroi? Why do two brothers seek to keep her hidden and protected? And how does another plan to use her against the two demigods who love her?

Will Lucessa’s dream man have the courage to claim her as his own or will he bow to the command of another, forsaking the one he loves?
Only in Her Dreams is a modern spin on a Greek legend--the new direction of Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance, moving from angels, demons, vampires, and witches and toward the realm of demigods.

Chapter One

Lucessa stared at her bed. It was time to sleep again, but it was getting harder to succumb to it. She started to think the day would never come when she could abandon herself to sleep without the feeling of being watched. He was always there--haunting her dreams. Her dreams hadn’t been her own in such a long time.
He was always there. Never talking but always watching. Intently. As if he knew her. Security, even in sleep, eluded her.
She’d lost her father and her husband. Her mother was slipping away, battling a memory loss that was progressing daily. Her dreams were the only place she could remember a family, someone who cared. But he insisted on intruding. Every happy memory and every nightmare included his presence. Why did he always show up? How could she get rid of him?
Lucessa tried for the millionth time to find a solution as she climbed under the covers. Who am I kidding? There was nothing she could do. He was a dream! A figment of her imagination. She sighed and resigned herself to another restless night.

Lucessa was a child again. The cold, pine-scented wind tangled her hair as she descended the mountain path in front of her parents. Her family’s annual summer camping trip to Yosemite National Park was in its third day, and that meant they’d conquered Half Dome for the third year straight. Ever since her parents deemed her old and skilled enough for the challenge, they hiked it together. As a family.
She looked back at her smiling parents as they held hands and strolled down the path after her. Her mother, Marie, looked casual in her jeans and the blue “Keep Lake Tahoe Blue” shirt that hugged her frame. Her father wore a San Francisco Giants baseball cap, a wisp of salt and pepper hair showing through. They looked like a couple out of the travel magazine that Lucessa had seen in her father’s study weeks ago.
Dear, watch where you’re going!”
Lucessa turned back to the trail, nearly colliding with a man lounging against a tree just off the path. Dressed in a thigh-hugging pair of dark pants and a billowy tunic that had to be from at least a century ago, he pushed off the tree trunk and tipped his hat. His blue eyes sparkled with mischief in the evening twilight, letting off a faint glow. The man looked eerily recognizable.
She looked back to reassure her mother that she was okay. Lucessa scanned the woods behind her.
But they were gone. Only the familiar stranger remained.

Author Bio:

Christina McKnight is a book lover turned writer. From a young age, her mother encouraged her to tell her own stories. She’s been writing ever since.

In college, Christina took many courses to help develop and enhance her writing skills. She completed a seventy-page dissertation on the need for community policing in American society. Now, she focuses on Historical Romance, Urban Fantasy, and Paranormal Romance. Her debut Urban Fantasy novel, Only in Her Dreams, will be released on December 15, 2012.

Christina lives in Northern California with her husband, daughter, two boxers, two cats, and a Beta fish named Marmaduke. If she’s not behind a computer screen or book, she’s busy leading her daughter’s Girl Scout troop. She is very active in several writing groups and a local book group.

My Thoughts and Review:
This book confused me at first. It jumps back and forth so much between so many different people, I felt a little lost.

I wasn't quite sure who the good guys were, who the bad guys were and who was completely indifferent to it all.

The story starts a year earlier with the death of Lucessa's husband Greg and then jumps to the present with Lucessa seeing a man that has been in her dreams before, watching over her. And two other men, also stalking her, but for very different reasons.

One wants to hurt her, one wants to protect her and one just might be in love with her, all of them brothers.

Thankfully my confusion was quickly cleared up after a few chapters and I didn't feel so lost and was able to enjoy the rest of the story as it unfolded.

I love Greek mythology and while I love it, I have to admit that my knowledge about the Oneiroi is very limited. I only knew a handful of things about them. That they are part of the dream world and can enter into the dreams of humans as they sleep at night. Making those dreams good or bad.

So it was fun to have this retelling of a Greek myth and to learn a little more about them as well.

The three brothers, Maxim, Guy and Darius are in a battle to either save Erebos or to destroy it. New loyalties and allegiances must be made, hearts must be broken, and lives will be doomed and nothing will ever be the same again.

Lucessa was a fun character. She was a little fierce and has been through a lot in her lifetime already. She was a pretty strong character that was easy to relate to.

Maxim was great too. I couldn't help but like how sincere and loyal he was to all those he cared about while still trying to protect and watch out for everyone, even those that he shouldn't.

I think this will be a fun series, one that is very different form the usual paranormal filled with vampires and witches and weres.

I think this will be one to watch for sure.

I give this one 3.5 to 4 Stars!


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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Owlet by Emma Michaels Blog Tour Read-a-long, Giveaway and Book Review!

I always love doing book tours with Tribute Books because I know that I will be reading and reviewing some pretty spectacular books and this latest blog tour is no exception, although this one also happens to be something a little different. This one also happens to be a read-along tour as well!

For a full list of all the participants please check out the list at the end of the post.

Today I get to bring you, Owlet (Society of Feathers #1) by Emma Michaels.

Somewhere between falling and flying… there is a girl.

Iris has a secret. She lost her memory eight years ago and never told a living soul. After an asthma attack one night she finds out that her dreams of a strange house on a snowy island may be a memory resurfacing but the more she learns about the past the more she realizes the life she has been living is a lie. As the façade her father has built starts to crumble around her she will have to decide which means more to her; the truth or her life.

Book Excerpt: 
 “I think that is another question for your father to answer. He will definitely be able to come in the next two weeks so it won’t be too long of a wait.”

Maybe it is better that I get these two weeks before I know. What if it will change the way I feel about my Never-Never? Or even my mother? What if she really isn’t the person I imagine her to be? Could I accept that? The thoughts rolled over and over in her mind as Iris heard Diana’s voice grow soft.

“She used to sit there and stare outside for hours. She had the garden made for birds. Every part of it is made to attract them.” She knew Diana was changing the subject but if it meant finding out more about her mother she certainly didn’t mind.

“It is beautiful. I love it,” Iris said, staring at the magnificent garden.

There was a pond in the middle of the garden with paths on both sides. An abundance of flowers that Iris didn’t recognize, lined by trees she also could not name, made the land burst with color. Looking closer, Iris realized that there was one type of flower and one tree she could name, as she took in the irises that lined the far edge of the pond with apple trees growing up behind them.

 Emma Michaels' Bio:

Emma Michaels is the author of the ‘A Sense of Truth’ and ‘Society of Feathers’ series. Her goal with her latest YA novel 'Owlet' is to give others what she did not have growing up; a strong female protagonist with asthma.  While her previous aspiration was to be a lady knight she realized that not being able to run more than a few feet might become a hindrance so turned to writing instead. Her day jobs include being a cover artist, marketing consultant and silk screen designer.

As the founder of The Writers Voice blog ( she loves to connect authors and readers. As a book blogger turned author, she was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, until she moved at eighteen to Washington State. Suddenly, the world was a new place filled with tall green trees that reached further for the sky with every moment, making her want to do the same. Ever since, she has tried to make her life something new and different from what it was before, pursuing her future career, setting high goals and reaching for them. With the support of her fiancé, Chihuahua, and her amazing blog followers and fellow bloggers, she wants to prove to the world that anything is possible and help inspire fellow literary lovers to reach for their dreams.

My Thoughts and Review:
I have to start off by saying that this book has a fantastic cover. It is just gorgeous and definitely draws you in and begs to be looked at.

I liked this story. It was more than I thought it was going to be, more than a story about a girl who is a shape shifter of some sort. It was part mystery and part romance too. In fact, it had a very sweet romance to it. I just loved Falcon! The storyline was a fun one, very different from what I have been reading lately and that was a nice change and a nice surprise.

But, (yes sadly, there is a but) and this is something I don't normally find myself saying, in fact I can't remember when I said it last about a book, but, I felt like this story moved a little too fast during the first half. So much happened within the first few chapters that I kind of felt lost. I didn't get a real feel for the characters like I wanted to. It was almost like because the storyline moved so quickly it ended up taking some of the depth out of the story, something that I really think the story needed. Or maybe it was just something I needed so I could feel a better connection to the characters and to their world.

I did like Iris though and I did feel bad for her. She had a lot of secrets that were kept from her and while her dad and aunt were trying to protect her, I think they only ended up hurting her more in the end. They kept what and who she really was from her (and her dad and aunt seemed like they even kept secrets from each other too, which really didn't help anyone).

Things did start to make a little more sense as the story went on. By the second half I felt like things started to slow down as Iris and Falcon's story was told. Things started to be revealed and I finally started to feel a connection to them. They started to feel more real to me. I was really afraid that I was going to have all of these questions that I had left unanswered and I am so glad that wasn't the case.

Overall this was a quick read and once I got pass the feeling of being a little overwhelmed with how quickly everything moved, I really enjoyed it and would definitely continue with the series.

I give this one 3.5 to 4 Stars!

ISBN: 9780985792213
ISBN: 9781476473338
Pages: 170
Release: October 13, 2012

Buy links go live on October 13, 2012.  PDF buy link is live and available for pre-orders.

Kindle buy link - $2.99

Nook buy link - $4.95

iBookstore buy link - $4.99

Smashwords buy link - $4.99

PDF buy link - $4.95


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Author Interview: Lesley Phillips and Her Book The Midas Tree

Today I have a very special interview with author Lesley Phillips about her book The Midas Tree.

Joshua lives in the Garden Of Color and Light, an idyllic paradise where he is always playing and having fun. Each day is like any other, until he finds a magical golden acorn that enraptures him and propels him on an incredible adventure.

After being guided to chase the acorn as it flies through the garden, Joshua discovers a door at the base of a tree; and once he enters his life changes for ever.

Now it is time for you to go on a journey.
You may forget the garden for a while.
Follow this golden acorn wherever it takes you.”

Joshua is transported into a mysterious realm within “The Midas Tree.”

Desperate to return home, he sets about exploring this unfamiliar environment. He encounters sticky situations and meets wily characters along the way. Fortunately he does not have to face them alone. His guides are the mystical creatures that live inside the tree, called Devas. They are keepers of ancient secrets that can help Joshua to cope with the obstacles he encounters and the challenges he meets.

Joshua learns from the Devas that if he wishes to return home, he must first transform himself – and “The Midas Tree”.

The Devas are fairylike nature spirits, who love “The Midas Tree” and live to keep it happy and healthy. Each Deva presides over a different realm within the tree and lovingly passes on their knowledge of their territory and the mysteries it holds.

Joshua’s quest is to uncover the spiritual secrets of the tree, overcome challenging situations and oust his inner turmoil to finally fulfill his destiny. He is taught different techniques and skills that help him cope with the trials he encounters. The processes that the Devas expose him to begin a path of revelation where he learns the truth about himself.

This spellbinding story overflows with challenges, magical creatures and mystical superpowers, which you too will discover along the way.

The Midas Tree” is a spiritual adventure novel aimed at a middle grade to Young Adult audience; although all the adults who have read it like it too.

The more mature readers that have read the book say it reminds them of “Illusions” by Richard Bach, or “The Celestine Prophesy” by Michael Redfield, but with the flavor of a fairy tale.

Children who have read The Midas Tree say it is reminiscent of “Alice in Wonderland” and other well known children’s books. They enjoy all the funny characters, which include talking animals and insects, and each selects a favorite deva.

The Midas Tree has many teachings. It is an adventure story, a guidebook for personal spiritual unfolding and even includes lessons about biology and nature.

It is a book that parents can enjoy reading with their children or that teachers can share with their classes to introduce them to internal self awareness.

The Midas Tree is a book of light that offers techniques that can help all people cope when they are going through difficult times in their lives; as well as illuminating the path to personal enlightenment in a fun and entertaining way.

About the Author:
Dr Lesley Phillips is a speaker, author, workshop leader, spiritual and meditation teacher based in Vancouver BC, Canada. Her book “The Midas Tree” will be published on November 11th 2012. She can be reached at:-
Twitter: @DrLesleyP

Author Interview:

MGO: In 20 words or less tell us a little about your book.

Lesley: The Midas Tree is a spiritual adventure story set inside a magical tree. It teaches a path to spiritual enlightenment.

MGO: Are any of your characters based off of people that you know in real life?
Lesley: No, except I did name one of the characters after someone who is very special to me.

The hero Joshua is each and every one of us as we walk our personal spiritual journey.

Each of the deva characters was developed to embody a spiritual teaching and to represent an aspect of nature. For example Devadne is the deva of the roots in The Midas Tree. She teaches how the roots anchor the tree to the earth and she also teaches a meditation technique called grounding.
The animal characters in the book are also teachers. They actually show how everything we encounter has something to teach us. For example, the bees teach us how to believe in ourselves and how to accomplish the impossible. It is a miracle of nature how these creatures are able to fly because the body is so much larger than the wings.

MGO: What is the one thing you have learned that has impacted your life while writing this novel?

Lesley: There are so many, including what is really important to me. Although, I guess a major learning was about how I want to use my intellect and how I choose to use my intuition.

I have a Ph.D. and a keen intellect, during my spiritual training my intellect often got in my way. It took many years of dedication to my meditation practices to overcome this intense level of intellectual training.

The book was written completely from my intuition; it was a spiritual download. I could see the story with my spiritual sight, and literally watched it unfold before my eyes. I just wrote down what I saw, and hit play and pause whenever I wanted.

The intellectual part of correcting the spelling and grammar and sentence construction came later, after the first draft of the book had been written. I believe if I had engaged my intellect the material could not have come through. As I would have got bogged down in perfecting the details.

Now that the book is about to be published, my intellect comes in handy. As I am spending a lot of time promoting the book. This includes writing guest blog articles, where I aim to align my article with the focus of the site I’m writing for. I am also being interviewed on radio and TV and finding I have a great gift to explain spiritual information to people in terms of reference that the listeners can understand.

MGO: When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?
Lesley: I have known for a long time that I am a spiritual messenger and have been focused intensively on this spiritual mission for the last fifteen years. In the beginning, I took classes to reawaken my spiritual senses and then later trained to be a meditation teacher. Writing a book is a natural progression to get my message to a wider audience.

When I was at University, I was spiritually curious and explored spirituality by going to see presentations by other spiritual teachers. I was told many times by individuals who did not know me and did not know each other that I was going to write a book that would be very successful. At the time I could not imagine what that would look like. I wrote my Ph.D thesis which was like writing a book, but somehow I knew that wasn’t it.

There came a moment where I just intuitively knew that I was ready. I switched my meditation focus to clearing blocks to writing and to bringing the information that I was to write about through. That night was an explosion of creativity and by the morning I had a full outline for the book. From there, writing was like taking notes from a movie I was watching.

MGO: What did you want to be growing up?

Lesley: I wanted to be a doctor, a lawyer and an airline pilot. I ended up being a business negotiator in the pharmaceutical industry with a doctorate that regularly travelled throughout Europe and North America on business.

To me this is a testament of the power of manifestation!

This is one of the spiritual truths that Joshua, the hero of “The Midas Tree’ Learns about.

At school, I also loved the arts. I enjoyed painting and creating stories and poetry, but the programming around me was that this was not a serious career choice. So I focused on science. Later on as I opened my intuition, my creative side naturally re-emerged. Now I have my book “The Midas Tree” and an intuitive deck, created from my own paintings, called “Portico, Soul Essence Cards.”

MGO: Do you have anything else in the works?
Lesley: I am currently focused on marketing this book. I have an idea for a meditation workbook that will accompany the novel and which can be used by teachers to help their students learn the meditation techniques in the book.

If “The Midas Tree” is successful I have ideas for 7 more novels.

I also have a half finished novel about a psychic who works in the biotechnology industry. I haven’t decided yet whether I will finish and publish it though.

MGO: Thank you for being here today and sharing a little bit about yourself and introducing us to your novel The Midas Tree

Monday, October 29, 2012

Review: The White Forest by Adam McOmber

Title: The White Forest
Author: Adam McOmber
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Touchstone (Sept. 11, 2012)
Source: Copy Provided By The Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: 3.5 to 4 Stars!

Goodreads Description:
 Young Jane Silverlake lives with her father in a crumbling family estate on the edge of Hampstead Heath. Jane has a secret—an unexplainable gift that allows her to see the souls of man-made objects—and this talent isolates her from the outside world. Her greatest joy is wandering the wild heath with her neighbors, Madeline and Nathan.

But as the friends come of age, their idyll is shattered by the feelings both girls develop for Nathan, and by Nathan’s interest in a cult led by Ariston Day, a charismatic mystic popular with London’s elite. Day encourages his followers to explore dream manipulation with the goal of discovering a strange hidden world, a place he calls the Empyrean.

A year later, Nathan has vanished, and the famed Inspector Vidocq arrives in London to untangle the events that led up to Nathan’s disappearance. As a sinister truth emerges, Jane realizes she must discover the origins of her talent, and use it to find Nathan herself, before it’s too late.

My Review: 
  It is no secret that I love the nineteenth century, especially set in England. I think my summer of reading Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters forever ingrained that love into my heart.

I love the idea of men being gentlemen and ladies being ladies. The beautiful speech and proper manners. The manner of dress. Everything.

So of course this book would appeal to me. I loved that I was going to get a little paranormal/fantasy thrown into all the greatness that was the nineteenth century England.

This does have a very dark goth feel to it. It is beautifully told and intrigued me greatly. There is no real action in this story but it does flow nicely, although it jumps back and forth from the past (through memories) to the present which could be a little disconcerting at times.

I loved the friendship between the three friends. Two girls and one boy just screams conflict to me. Take three very different people that are thrown together because of their differences and strangeness, throw in petty girl jealousies over one cute boy and you just know this will be an interesting read.

There wasn't a love triangle surprisingly, in fact there was very little romance in this at all (which was a little disappointing) but there is a lot of mystery and such unique ideas and concepts of another dimension that it will have you thinking and pondering about it days after you have finished the story.

I can't say I connected with any of the characters, to be honest I didn't even like them much. Jane was strange and sometimes downright cruel to those around her. Nathan was obsessive and a little manipulative and to be honest, I think he used both girls to get the things that he wanted with no real thought for them. He was easily persuaded into harms way and only had his own interest and desires at the forefront of his mind. I never got the impression that he truly felt for anyone other than himself.

Maddy was petty, selfish and seemed to judge others too harshly. I wanted to feel sorry for her at times because of her family's downfall but just couldn't muster enough emotion for her to do so.

This was a complex tale that at times was a little confusing and definitely made me think. The ending left me reeling a little. Not because it wasn't conclusive but just because of all the things that came together and transpired. Of how it all ended.

This is definitely a unique read that I really think anyone who enjoys fantasy will love. I think the author did a great job getting details about the era out there and told from a female perspective (being male himself) was fabulous and I applaud him for it. I don't imagine it was any easy feat.

I think this will be an author that we can expect some more great, unusual things from in the future.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Review: The Gathering Darkness by Lisa Collicutt

Title: The Gathering Darkness
Author: Lisa Collicutt
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Curiosity Quills (Sept. 22, 2012)
Source: Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: Ya Fantasy/Paranormal
My Rating: 4.5 Stars!

Goodreads Description:
 They say "third time's the charm", and for sixteen-year-old Brooke Day, they had better be right. She’s been here before, twice in fact, and an evil demon-witch wants her dead a third time.

When Brooke is forced to leave Boston for the small town of Deadwich, she thinks her life is over. Before long, her new friends start acting strange—downright evil. But worse than that, nightmares she’s had her whole life become reality.

Enter Marcus Knight; popular, hot, and the only person Brooke can trust. Not to mention, they’ve shared the same nightmares.

With the discovery of an ancient Celtic amulet, Brooke and Marcus unravel the secrets of her past, which reveals the key to her future.

As the equinox approaches:

Darkness and light merge for the first time in a century.

Soul-mates reunite.

Magic awakens.

My Review:
I knew I wanted to read this one after reading the synopsis and I had a feeling it was going to be a bit mysterious and maybe even a but creepy but I had no idea just how creepy it was going to be!

I made the mistake of starting this right before bed. I thought I would just open it up and read the first chapter real quick and get it started.

Yeah, not a good idea. Not only was it dark outside but then I couldn't just read one chapter, not after that creeptastic scene at the Inn! Seriously, maybe I am a big chicken or something but that scene was pretty fantastic and made me want to look over my shoulder to make sure no one was watching me while I was reading, which they were by the way. But thankfully it wasn't some blood sucking witch beast but just my husband smirking at me as he watched the expression on my face turn from calm and serene to slightly horrified. I am sure it wasn't pretty.

And then of course I got to see the two hotties, Evan and Marcus that entered the scene and I couldn't just stop reading there! I mean in two chapters, I got a huge creep factor and then hotties. Who cares if it is late and I have to get up early in the morning? I sure didn't, at least not until the next morning when I had to drag my sorry self half asleep out of bed, but, it was worth it!

I loved this story. Not only did it have witches (which is by far my fav) but this was a sweet love story as well. One about reincarnation. In fact it just might be my favorite reincarnation story I have read yet.

There were so many twists and turns in this one that I sometimes felt like I was on a roller coaster or at the very least on a merry-go-round as my mind was left spinning with all the new discoveries there were chapter after chapter.

I can't believe this was a debt novel for Ms. Collicutt. It was so well crafted and played out. The characters were all likeable (and some very unlikeable) and fabulous and the storyline was very well developed and kept me turning the pages. One minute I was swooning at the incredible love story and sweet emotions between Brooke and Marcus and the next completely creeped out by the darkness and evil doings of the witches.

It is obvious from this novel that Collicutt is a very talented writer and one that I will be keeping an eye on for sure.

I give this one a very much deserved 4.5 Stars!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Review: Magick by Trish Milburn

Title: Magick
Author: Trish Milburn
Series: Book Three in The Coven Trilogy
Published By: Bell Bridge Books (Oct. 27, 2012)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Paranormal
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Goodreads Description:
 The covens are coming for her.

But is she a White Witch or a Dark Witch? In a war for control of the witch world, the answer will save-or doom-everyone she loves.

In White Witch, Jax gained friends she'd die for and a staggering power that threatens them all.

In Bane, Jax did the unthinkable and killed a supernatural hunter to protect her friends. She found herself lost in darkness and prisoner to the Bane, a secret society of witches sworn to prevent the use of the dark magic.

Now, in Magick, the powers of Jax and her friend Egan have been magically bound by the Bane. She must convince the Bane she can learn to control her power and become a White Witch in truth. She's their only hope now that the dark covens have called a Conclave with one purpose-to kill this generation's White Witch and anyone who has ever stood with her. If Jax can't amass an army of her own, rebuild the trust of her friends and boyfriend, and find the White Witch's elusive weapon against the dark, it may be too late.

My Review:   
I have enjoyed this series from the very first book, witches are my absolute favorite paranormal beings to read about and I can never get enough of them. This series is just one of those really fun series that also happens to be chucked full of action, mystery and a little romance thrown in for good measure.

This is going to sound bad, but I forgot just how much I love this series until I started this one. I read so many books and series it is easy to forget sometimes how much I really enjoy a certain series until I get immersed into the story once again.

Jax is a great character and I have loved watching her grow into her own along the way. She doesn't always make the best or even the right choices but she does always try to do and be the best that she can be. She sometimes loses her way but always manages to find herself back on the right path in the end. It helps that she has some pretty kick butt friends to help her out and guide her along the way as well.

This book picks up right where Bane left off. Jax has done the unthinkable, she let her dark side take a hold of her and now she doesn't know what will happen, where her friends are, if they are still even alive and what will come of her and them next. Have the coven found her? Are they on their way? If her friends are still alive will they even forgive her for what she has done?

Even though Jax has grown a lot in the last two books, she still has a really long way to go. She has to learn to harness her white witch and trust me, that isn't going to be an easy feat.

I don't want to give anything away but I will say that I love Egan even more after reading this. He is just made of awesome.

Keller is just perfect for Jax and I am so glad that she has him. They really are awesome together. Toni, Rule, Adele, really this book is chalked full of amazing supporting characters. Some of my favorites in fact.

I really liked the direction this one took. With Jax trying to come into her white witch powers and all the transpired.

This was a perfect ending to the series and I admit, I am a little sad to see it end. I really have come to love all of the characters and will miss them.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Blog Tour, Guest Post, Giveaway and Book Review: At First Touch by Mattie Dunman

At First Touch
First Touch Series, book 1
Mattie Dunman

Genre: YA/Paranormal
Number of pages: 267
Cover Artist: Deirdre Robertson

Book Description:

Liz Hannigan has been on the run since she was twelve years old.

Her mother is dead. Her father has lost his job. And thanks to an experimental procedure, Liz is now able to ‘download’ the contents of every brain around her with a simple touch. Forced to hide from both the federal government and a darkling group of morally deficient scientists known as the Coalition determined to exploit her abilities, she moves with her father to the bucolic coal town of Pound, West Virginia.

But the hunt for Liz and her abilities hasn’t ended, and her hopes for peace are shattered when she inadvertently downloads the enigmatic Carey Drake, whose unusual good looks and charm conceal a secret as shocking as her own. Stunned by the knowledge that she has found someone else who has extraordinary abilities, Liz finds herself drawn to Carey, discovering a deep attraction, and dares to hope for the first time she might find love.

But when an agent of the Coalition begins stalking her, Liz must find a way to work with the government agency she most mistrusts as she strives to build a longed-for normal life and take down the agent who has tracked her down. Caught up in a struggle to save herself and those she loves, the girl who sees all is blind to true danger until it is too late. 

Short Excerpt:
I was out on the main road and about twenty minutes into my run when I heard the sound of a motor gunning and the beep of a horn. I slowed my pace and turned around to see Preston’s truck chugging along about two hundred yards behind me. His head was out of the window and he was screaming at me; I couldn’t understand what he was saying, but I felt pretty confident that it wasn’t complimentary.
I came to a stop, wondering if I should do something. I wasn’t really concerned; it wasn’t as though he would run me over or anything, but the blind hatred on his face made me a little nervous. Finally, I decided to ignore him and let him get his fill of throwing abuse my way and then drive on past. Picking up the pace again, I resolutely faced forward, pretending that the continued screeching behind me was a trick of the wind.
Suddenly the engine gave an almighty roar and I heard the unwelcome sound of squealing tires. With only a second to register that I had vastly underestimated Preston’s anger and mental instability, I swirled around in time to see the grille of the truck just a few feet from my face. I made to jump out of the way, but all my knowledge and stolen tricks didn’t make me fly, or move faster, or be any less breakable than any other human being. I knew in that moment how useless my ability really was. In the face of the giant metal monster brimming with torque, my mind was of no matter, it just screamed out with the desire to live, to keep going.
There was a blow like a train hitting me, but strangely there was no pain, and I was moving faster than I could have imagined away from the truck and into the field next to the road. I was sure that the truck had hit me and I was just flying through the air to my death, by some fortunate stroke lucky enough to be spared the pain of impact. In another instant the movement had stopped and I realized I was being held in a pair of strong arms against a rock-hard chest.
Carey looked down at me, his eyes frantic. “Are you alright? He didn’t hit you, did he?”
“N-no,” I stuttered. Having downloaded Carey I was aware of his incredible speed, but there’s something very different about knowing something theoretically and experiencing it firsthand.
He put me down gently in the grass and I just sat there, too dumbfounded to speak. Even as he anxiously surveyed me for damage, we heard the rending scream of out of control tires and the heavy metal sound of Preston’s truck crashing into something. 
“I’ll be right back,” Carey said and then I blinked and he was gone.

Guest Post:
What if we were all telepathic...

When I sat down to write At First Touch, I wasn’t thinking about developing a character who could read minds. I was creating someone who had seen the worst of people and was still fighting. As the story developed, it became clear that Liz’s ability to ‘download’ the minds of those around her wasn’t the main problem; it was how people in power perceived her and sought to use her for their own purposes.

But it got me thinking. There are so many books, movies, etc. about people who can read minds or other variations on the theme. What is it about knowing the thoughts of everyone around us that is so fascinating?

When I was a lowly undergraduate, I majored in Psychology. I’m one of those people who can be standing in line at a grocery store and have the person behind me tap my shoulder and tell me their life story, and the thought of pursuing that odd knack as a career was tempting for a while. It certainly gave me lots of inspiration as a writer; but I think the real draw was that elusive idea that learning about the brain would make it easier to read people, understand the way they think, why they behave the way they do. In short, I wanted to be a mind-reader.

Everyone is a bit of a mind-reader. It’s how we know to stop asking the boss for a raise when he gets a certain tone in his voice, why we recognize when our significant other is about to end things, or how we know the time is right to ask our parents for that raise in allowance. We base our reactions on a lifetime of memories and precedence, and most of the time we’re right.

So why do we dream about more?

I recently read an article about developments in ‘synthetic telepathy,’ which is intended to create a connection between our thoughts and technology. So eventually, this area of research hopes to produce the ability to send a text or email with a thought, to give commands on a video game telepathically, along with other, more practical implementations. Can you imagine if covert military operatives were able to communicate brain to brain instead of relying on whispers or signals? Or individuals suffering from strokes, ALS, or other debilitating conditions that prevent speech being able to hold conversations in their heads? The implications are staggering.

Of course, I wasn’t thinking about any of this when I created Liz; I just wanted to see what it would be like if she were burdened by knowing everything about anyone she came in contact with, and how that would change her as a person. And I’ve come to the conclusion that even if mind-reading technology comes along in the near future, I want to stick with the old-fashioned kind and just try to gauge the mood of whoever I’m talking to by using facial expressions and tone of voice.
After what I’ve put poor Liz through, I don’t know how much of a ‘gift’ mind-reading really is.

About the Author:
Mattie Dunman is a lifelong resident of "Wild & Wonderful" West Virginia, and has dreamed of being a writer since she first held a pen in hand.
Mattie has pursued several useless degrees to support this dream, and presently enjoys teaching (or tormenting, as the case may be) college students the dying art of public speaking. She spends most of her free time writing, but also indulges in reading and traveling.
She is the proud owner of an adorably insane American Eskimo named Finn, and a tyrant cat named Bella, who take up more of her attention than they probably should.
Please visit Mattie's website at

My Thoughts and Review:
While the idea of this story isn't unique, a girl with the ability to read minds, the idea and actual storyline is.

A girl that not only reads minds, but downloads all their life history, thoughts memories, desires, you name it, she gets it. And not only does she have this ability by simply touching someone, she doesn't want it and refuses to use it.

I have to say, I really liked Liz. She was a pretty terrific character. She was strong and stood up for what was right and she was even a little kick butt. She had some truly horrific things happen to her because of her ability and she didn't let them rule her. She didn't let those things change who she was. She still managed to be caring and kind and loving.

Carey was a good match for her. Not only was he not what he seemed to be too, but he cared for Liz and helped her and was there for her when it really mattered. They were both a little lost and lonely until they meet each other.

V.J., Liz's dad and Nurse Nora were all great secondary characters that helped make this book the fun action packed read it was.

I love that we got all the details about Liz, her life before her abilities, how she got them and about her life on the run. Nothing really was left out and all my questions were answered. It seems like lately I can't say that about all the books I read so I really appreciated not being left in the dark for once and having everything out there in the open.

If you are looking for something a little bit different and not your typical mind reading action packed story, then this is a read that you really should give a try to. It was very well written and the ending wasn't a cliffhanger yet it did leave it open for a sequel, something that I am hoping there will be.

I give this one a very solid 4 Stars! 

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