April 29, 2010

Giveaway: The Galilean Secret by Evan Drake Howard


The Galilean Secret is a new thriller that combines Da Vinci Code-style intrigue with a fresh perspective on the teachings of Jesus such as millions of readers embraced in The Shack.  Publishers Weekly calls it  "...unique and fascinating..." 

The relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene has long fascinated scholars and intrigued nearly all believers. What was the nature of their relationship and how has it influenced Christianity since the first millennium? With compelling storytelling in the style of Dan Brown coupled with years of exhaustive study, Evan Drake Howard has created a magisterial novel that asks, and attempts to illuminate, enduring questions on the nature of love.

In first-century Jerusalem, the faithful Judith finds herself caught in a web of romantic betrayal and intrigue. She must reconcile her faith with her conflicting feelings for two brothers, one the Zealot Dismas and his brother, the sensitive merchant Gabriel. A letter written by an insightful Galilean rabbi changes their lives forever and sets each on a new path of discovery, humanity and love.

In modern-day Israel, amidst the war-torn countryside, Karim, a young Palestinian, finds himself with a similar struggle. Caught between his brother’s relentless ambition for martyrdom and his powerful love for a woman he cannot have, his life seems an endless journey of rage and despair. Until one day, while seeking refuge in the long-forgotten caves of Qumran, he discovers a crumbling scroll with a mysterious text. Still legible after two millennia, Karim reads a message that indeed changes his life forever. But will the cost be worth his newfound knowledge?

Evan Drake Howard  holds a master of divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a doctorate in theology from Boston University. He pastors Community Church of Providence in Rhode Island, where he lives with his wife and two sons.

For your chance to win one of five copies of this book, visit the book's website using the link above and tell one thing that interested you about the website or book. Please be sure to include your email address in your comment or profile. 

For extra entries, Tweet this giveaway using the "ShareThis" gadget at the end of this post or your own message and leave me the link to your tweet in a separate comment. Tweet entries can be done once a day.

This giveaway is open until May 10th and is open to US residents aged 18 and over only. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to the winning email or a new winner will be selected. 

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April 26, 2010

Review: The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three-Quarters by Barbara Silkstone

Real Estate broker Alice Harte has got her hands full. In the mall parking lot on her way to buy a jar of wrinkle cream, she gets accosted by a thug named Marc Hare who she dubs "Sunglasses". Marc believes his brother, Jug, was murdered (by beheading) by Alice's boss, Leslie Archer.

Just when she's decided to quit working for Archer, even though she knows he will sue her for breach of contract, she's forced to stay on and gather evidence against him for Sunglasses.

To escape the madness and alleviate some of the stress Alice searches a home swap website with dreams of finding a quaint cottage in England to runaway to. What she finds is her very own Prince Charming. But little does she know Nigel Channing is nothing but a lying cheater who will take her further down the rabbit hole.

With a title like The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three-Quarters you know this has got to be on kooky adventure and boy was it. Poor Alice went through a roller coaster of emotions all in one book. She's thrown into one maddening situation after another but strangely they are all very realistic and hilarious at the same time.

This book was laugh out loud funny and a quick read. I highly recommend it for anyone who would love a quirky take on a classic tale.

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April 19, 2010

Giveaway: 100 Brochures from Brochures Printing Online


It's time for another great giveaway from my awesome blog sponsors. I can't praise them enough. Besides the fact that they are very generous with their giveaways they always provide great quality products, excellent customer service and an incredibly fast turn around time. What more could you ask for from a printing company?

For this giveaway one winner receive 100 double sided, 4 color, 8.5 x 11 brochures  in their choice of folds: half fold, tri-fold/letter fold, Z-fold, accordion or roll fold (see samples using this link). The paper is high quality 100 lb gloss text paper and the winner will receive FREE UPS Ground Shipping.

The brochures are great for all kinds of business promotion but immediately the first thing I thought about when I was offered this giveaway was a wedding program. How beautiful would that be and with the traditional wedding month, June,  just around the corner this is the perfect time for this fun giveaway.

For your chance to win just let me know how you would use the brochures if you were selected as the winner. Please be sure to include your email address in your comment or profile. 

For extra entries, Tweet this giveaway using the "ShareThis" gadget at the end of this post or your own message and leave me the link to your tweet in a separate comment. Tweet entries can be done once a day.

This giveaway is open until April 28th and is open to US residents aged 18 and over only. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to the winning email or a new winner will be selected. 

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Review: Blood Oath by Christopher Farnsworth

Blood Oath

Since 1867 Nathaniel Cade has been the ultimate secret weapon in service of The President of the United States. He is a vampire sent on special missions in the care of a handler. When his latest handler's cancer comes back Cade is assigned a new handler.

Twenty-five year old Zach Barrows successfully helped the current president win his senate race and delivered 3 states during the presidential campaign. Cocky and sure of himself he has no clue what his next assignment will be. The shock of meeting Cade is enough for him to wet his pants.

But soon the pair have a new assignment and it's one that includes reanimated soldiers who are almost impossible to kill...again.

Wowee! This was a non-stop page turner. The premise is awesome. A presidential vampire that goes on secret missions to save the world. Genius! Zach is funny and loveable all at once and Cade is just like an onion with layer upon layer of mystery to be unraveled.

Part paranormal and part suspense thriller, Blood Oath is the beginning of what I feel will be a long series of books featuring Cade and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves a great action book.

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April 16, 2010

Review: Flirting with Forever by Gwyn Cready

Flirting with Forever

Famed 17th century painter Peter Lely is sent from his cozy existence in the Afterlife to deal with a pesky problem back in the London of 1673. There he is to intercept the person who unlawfully traveled back in time to dig for details on the life of another great painter, Anthony Van Dyck. Prior to the intervention, Campbell Stratford had learned enough salacious details about Van Dyck to write an embarrassingly accurate “fictography” that scandalized the Executive Guild into sending Peter back in time.

While purchasing an obscure book to be used as research for her own book, art historian Cam Stratford was accidently whisked through time to 1673. Intent on getting the goods on Van Dyck she spends some time with Peter Lely. During their brief encounter Cam thinks she hit a gold mine of information but when she returns to the present she realizes that her project was sabotaged by Peter and to get even she turns her book into an expose on Peter’s life ignites his anger… and his passion.

First of all DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT Google Peter Lely before reading this book. Or even after if you can help yourself, LOL. The Peter in the book is dashing and good-looking and the Peter on Google is let’s just say “not so much”. Pushing that out of my mind I say Flirting with Forever is a cute time travel romance.

I really enjoyed the romance but the time travel and the Executive Guild aspects of the story are a bit jumbled. There’s no back story or “this is how it works” instruction so I kind of felt a little lost for some of the beginning. Once I finished the book I even went back and re-read the beginning so it made more sense and as a result I give this one 3 stars. If there was just a teeny bit more explanation I would have given the book 5 stars because it’s a really fun romp through time with a believable happy ending.

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April 15, 2010

Giveaway: Win a book from the experts at Snubbr.com

WINNER: Nanci in Pennsylvania

Visit Snubbr.com for gift ideas and recommendations

Q. What the heck is Snubbr.com?

A. Snubbr recommends products you'll love from consumer electronics to gift ideas. They're like Yahoo Answers for shopping advice. Let's say you want to buy a new digital camera. Instead of spending hours reading reviews, you can just ask our experts, and They'll recommend the best cameras for you. They'll do all the research and work, saving you time and stress.

For your chance to win one of the five historical fiction books listed here simply visit this page on Snubbr and tell me which one you would like to win.

For an extra entry simply ask the experts a question and post the link to your question in a comment. Easy right?

Giveaway open to US and Canada only. Please, no PO Boxes. Winner will be selected April 25th and will have 48 hours to respond to the winning email. Please be sure to leave me an email address in your comment if it's not in your profile or your post using anonymous.

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April 11, 2010

Review: Murder Has a Sweet Tooth by Miranda Bliss

Murder Has a Sweet Tooth (A Cooking Class Mystery)

Book five of the Cooking Class Mystery series has Annie in the middle of a murder investigation at the same time as planning her wedding.

When her fiancé Jim's cousin Alex gets arrested for a murder he didn't commit Jim and Alex don't even have to ask. Annie gladly puts aside her wedding planning to help Alex out. By throwing herself right into the middle of the investigation, Annie's best friend Eve takes over as wedding planner and Eve has big plans for including her dog Doctor Masakazu in the ceremony and making the wedding as over the top as it can be.

I think it's awesome that there is no beating around the bush about why Annie is investigating this murder. In most cozies there's always someone asking the lead character not to poke her nose into the investigation and to leave it to the cops but of course they never listen and solve the murder, putting themselves in danger.

With Murder Has a Sweet Tooth, Annie prides herself as an investigator who has already solved 4 crimes and who everyone turns to when Alex is arrested. For that alone I love this book. Throw in Eve who wants to have her dog as ring boy and wants to wear a dress flashier than a Vegas costume and you have a perfectly hilarious cozy mystery where you're guaranteed that Annie is going to get her man (or woman), save Alex and pull off the perfect wedding to the man of her dreams. I highly recommend this series for anyone who loves cozy mysteries.

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April 5, 2010

Review: Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart by Beth Pattillo

Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart: A Novel

On her own and taking care of her little sister from the age of 18, Claire Prescott has never been one to believe in fairy tales. Yet when she has to present a paper at a Pride and Prejudice seminar as an emergency substitution for her sister, Claire finds her self caught up in the beauty of Oxford. And when handsome and aristocratic James walks into the room she feels an immediate spark. She slowly begins to think that for once the fairy tale can be hers... if she can overlook the fact that she has a negligent, sports nut of a boyfriend back at home in the states.

To complicate matters further, she meets a dotty older woman who invites her back to her storybook cottage. There Harriet swears Claire to secrecy and shows her a partial manuscript First Impressions by Jane Austen which was later re-written as Price and Prejudice. In First Impressions, Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy's relationship has a very different outcome. Due to this fact there is more than one person out to keep Claire and Harriet apart.

Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart is a sweet romantic tale. It was kind of like reading two books in one. You have Claire and her relationships with James, her boyfriend Neil and her sister plus you have the additional story within a story regarding First Impressions. I really enjoyed the way the two weave together in one delightful read. I recommend this one to anyone who loves contemporary fiction or is a Jane Austen fan.

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Exciting Announcement - Please join me at I Just Finished.com

Last October I started working part time for the website I Just Finished.com as a media liaison and review coordinator. My responsibilities include booking authors for the weekly Coffee with an Author interviews and week long Q&A sessions called Featured Author. I also request review books from publishers and distribute them to our Featured Reviewers in exchange for a review. It has been fun working with the IJF team and I've made many more contacts in the publishing industry plus I've interacted with a ton of great authors. 

Today, Monday April 5th is the 2 year anniversary of I Just Finished and to celebrate we have a fresh, new design and format. During this re-launch we also have two weeks of Special Guests on Coffee with an Author. Here is the line up:

One hour live interview - call in number (646) 716-9724 
4/5 at 10:00am CST - Stephanie Cowell
4/12 at 10:00am CST - Paul West

Half hour pre-recorded interviews

4/6 - Jim Butcher 
4/10 - Laura Childs
4/13 - Steve Berry
4/15 - JoAnna Carl

We have a lot more content to add in the next few weeks including the ability to discuss books with other readers. I hope you will join us in the celebration relaunch, register as a user and keep checking back to see the changes we're making!

Once you start submitting reviews to I Just Finished, you'll be invited become a Featured Reviewer which gives you access to our review inventory where you can select free books to review for I Just Finished.

If there is a book you would like to add a review to and it's not on the site yet, please add the title and ISBN below and we'll add the book within a few hours.

April 2, 2010

Giveaway: Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith on Unabridged Audio


While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for saving a Union and freeing millions of slaves, his valiant fight against the forces of the undead has remained in the shadows for hundreds of years. That is, until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon The Secret Journal of Abraham Lincoln, and became the first living person to lay eyes on it in more than 140 years.

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Join the Undead Book Club

To enter to win one of three copies, tell me the name of the book you are most looking forward to reading from the list found on the Undead Book Club Facebook page. The list can be found on the left hand side under the profile photo.
For extra entries Tweet about the giveaway using the "ShareThis" link at the end of this post or Tweet your own message. Twitter entries can be done once a day, just be sure to leave me the link to your Tweet each time you do.

Giveaway open to US and Canada only. Please, no PO Boxes. Winners will be selected April 20th and will have 48 hours to respond to the winning email. Please be sure to leave me an email address in your comment if it's not in your profile or your post using anonymous.

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April 1, 2010

Review: My Soul To Save by Rachel Vincent

My Soul to Save (Harlequin Teen)

In book two of the Soul Screamers series (excluding the short story prequel) Kaylee is learning more about her abilities as a bean sidhe (banshee) from her boyfriend Nash's mom, Harmony. During a concert where they scored back stage passes Kaylee and Nash learn that both of the pop stars they just watched, Addison and Eden, sold their sold to the devil for fame and fortune. When Eden dies on stage, Nash's brother Tod begs them to save Addison. But to save Addison, Kaylee has to make some difficult choices including one that will get her grounded and make it almost impossible for her to help.

I seriously enjoyed this installment more than My Soul to Take. Since now we know exactly how Kaylee's ability works along side Nash's there is more room for drama in the story. I also love the way the relationship between Nash and Kaylee is growing yet still hasn't crossed over into sex like some YA books do which makes me crazy. Also Kaylee learns how to cross over into the Netherworld where this are strange indeed. This is a must read if you love paranormal YA books.

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