Friday, September 19, 2014

Tour Blast/Giveaway!!  Yakimali's Gift, by Linda Covella (MythBehaving Book Tours)

Welcome to this stop in the 
Yakimali's Gift Blog Tour,
sponsored by 

Yakimali's Gift
Linda Covella
Kindle Edition, 206 pages
Astraea Press Publishing, LLC
July 28, 2014
Historical Fiction, Romance, 
Young Adult Fiction

It’s 1775 in Mexico, New Spain, and 15-year-old Fernanda Marquina, half Pima Indian and half Spanish, can’t seem to live up to her mother’s expectations or fit into the limited female roles of her culture. While she tends her garden, matches wits with buyers and sellers at the weekly market, and avoids Mama’s lectures and the demands of Nicolas, the handsome soldier pursuing her, Fernanda grabs any opportunity to ride the horses she loves, racing across the desert, dreaming of adventure in faraway lands.

But when a tragic accident presents her with the adventure she longed for, it’s at a greater cost than she could have ever imagined. With her family, Fernanda joins Juan Bautista de Anza’s historic colonization expedition to California.

On the arduous four-month journey, Fernanda makes friends with Feliciana, the young widow Fernanda can entrust with her deepest thoughts; Gloria, who becomes the sister Fernanda always wished for; and Gloria’s handsome brother Miguel, gentle one moment, angry the next and, like Fernanda, a mestizo–half Indian and half Spanish. As Fernanda penetrates Miguel’s layers of hidden feelings, she’s torn between him and Nicolas, who has joined the journey in the ranks of Anza’s soldiers and whose plans include marrying Fernanda when they reach California.

But propelling Fernanda along the journey is her search for Mama’s Pima Indian past, a past Mama refused to talk about, a past with secrets that Fernanda is determined to learn. The truths she discovers will change the way she sees her ancestry, her family, and herself.


Fernanda noticed a young man and girl who’d been listening to Feliciana, the girl smiling, the man scowling. They rode beautiful horses with strong limbs, shiny coats, and silky manes and sat on skillfully tooled saddles. Then she realized they were the ones she’d seen riding past her home, and the memory of the young man’s look rippled through her body.

Fernanda thought he might be eighteen or nineteen. Even though he was dressed casually, it was obvious his clothes were of the highest quality. The majority of men, in spite of the heat, wore either jackets or mantles, capes saved for formal occasions or traveling. This man’s scarlet jacket was bundled and tucked into a saddlebag. The finely woven cotton of his blue shirt, free from grime and sweat, settled softly over the breadth of his shoulders and muscled biceps. The collar lay open, exposing small beads of sweat on his broad chest. The material of his breeches wasn’t the thick, practical plush common in Tubac. Instead, though the fabric appeared durable, it was thinner and showed off the thick muscles of his thighs, the same way his stockings clung to his toned calves.

The girl, close to Luis’s age, was also richly dressed. She wore a white silk rebozo, woven with red flowers and threads of gold and silver. Her skirt, the color of burnished silver, was also silk, and a red ribbon with the same gold and silver embroidery as her shawl decorated the end of her braid.

 Why were they on this expedition? Certainly poverty hadn’t prompted them to join. Their looks made it clear they were brother and sister. Where were their parents? As Fernanda passed them, the girl shyly waved to her. Both she and her brother had dark eyes, hers open and friendly, his hard and hostile. She remembered his eyes that had held such a mixture of emotion—surprise, sadness…desire?—she hadn’t been able to look away. Now, they held only anger.

Linda Covella's varied job experience and education (associate degrees in Art, Business, and Mechanical Drafting & Design, plus a BS degree in Manufacturing Management) have led her down many paths and enriched her life experiences. But one thing she never strayed from was her love of writing.

A writer for over 30 years, her first official publication was a restaurant review column in a local newspaper, and as a freelance writer, she continued to publish numerous articles in a variety of publications. But when she published articles for children's magazines ("Games and Toys in Ancient Rome" and "Traveling the Tokaido in 17th-century Japan", in Learning Through History magazine, and "Barry's Very Grown-Up Day", in Zootles magazine), she realized she'd found her niche: writing for children. She wants to share with kids and teens her love of books: the worlds they open, the things they teach, the feelings they express.

Yakimali's Gift, a historical novel for young adults published by Astraea Press, and the middle-grade paranormal, The Castle Blues Quake, published by Beau Coup Publishing, are her first novels.

She's a member of Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). No matter what new paths she may travel down, she sees her writing as a lifelong joy and commitment.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please check out the other hosts on the tour for chances to enter the giveaway!!

For more information 
about MythBehaving Book Tours,
just click on the banner below!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday #114: Visitors, by Orson Scott Card

This is a weekly event hosted by
It showcases future releases which
we book bloggers
are eagerly anticipating!!

Here's my choice for this week!

(Pathfinder, #3)
Hardcover, 608 pages
Simon Pulse
November 4, 2014
Fantasy, Science Fiction, YA Fiction

From the internationally bestselling author of Ender’s Game comes the riveting finale to the story of Rigg, a teenager who possesses a secret talent that allows him to see the paths of people’s pasts.

In Pathfinder, Rigg joined forces with another teen with special talents on a quest to find Rigg’s sister and discover the true depth and significance of their powers. Then Rigg’s story continued in Ruins as he was tasked to decipher the paths of the past before the arrival of a destructive force with deadly intentions. Now, in Visitors, Rigg’s journey comes to an epic and explosive conclusion as everything that has been building up finally comes to pass, and Rigg is forced to put his powers to the test in order to save his world and end the war once and for all.

Amazon US/Amazon UK
Amazon CA
Barnes & Noble
The Book Depository

Why I'm waiting on this one!

The very awesome Mr. Card just
keeps releasing great, exciting books!!
This one sounds just as great
as its predecessors,
with its interesting mix of fantasy
and science fiction, which
includes time travel!
I'm adding this wonderful trilogy
to my Amazon wish list,
as well as to my Goodreads TBR lis!!

You can see the two previous 
books HERE.

What do you think of my 
choice this week?
Please leave your link in the 
comments so I can come over and
check out your  WOW!!


Monday, September 15, 2014

Tour/Author Interview: Cade, by V.A. Dold (Bewitching Book Tours)

Welcome to this stop in the 
Cade Blog Tour,
sponsored by

V.A. Dold

Maria: You've been known as a book promoter and marketer for a long time. What prompted you to become a writer? Or did you always want to be one?

V.A.: My writing is a complete accident. I had a book in my head and no one else wanted to write it. After goofing around writing it I found, after 10,000 words, I could write it myself.

Maria: The title of this book series is "The Le Beau Brothers". "Le Beau" means "The Handsome", or "The Beautiful", in French. In what ways are Cade and Simon  uniquely beautiful?

V.A.: Wow, didn't know that! Lol. Both are extremely handsome, but they are also beautiful in their souls. Cade is very protective and supportive of his mate, while Simon is very sensitive and understanding.

Maria: Is the novel Cade set in New Orleans? If so, how did this setting contribute to the story?

V.A.: Both Cade, the first novel, and Simon, the second one, are set in New Orleans and the Bayou. If you visit the French Quarter, you can actually visit the locations, and order the exact food in the novels.

Maria: Are wolves your favorite shapeshifter animals? If so, why?

V.A.: YES!! No idea why; I just love them!

Maria: What unique challenges do you feel are part of writing for the paranormal romance genre?

V.A.: The most important challenge is keeping your world's rules standard across each book written. I love the freedom to create any rules I want in my paranormal world.

Maria: What advice would you give to aspiring writers who want to transition to writing full-time?

V.A.: Attend a few writing-heavy conventions in order to learn your craft.

Maria: Which writers inspire you?

V.A.: Oh, my gosh, there are so many! To name a few: J.R. Ward, Christine Feehan, Sherrilyn Kenyon,  Quinn Loftis, Donna Michaels, and on and on, lol.

Maria: What's your favorite way of plotting a book?

V.A.: Very loosely. I go in knowing the beginning and end; the rest writes itself as I go along.

Maria: Do you have a set writing routine, or do you prefer to write when inspiration strikes?

V.A.: I write as inspiration hits. I can't write on command.

Maria: What project(s) are you planning or currently working on? I hope more Le Beau Brothers books are coming!!

V.A.: There will be at least 12 Le Beau books, perhaps more (wink). I will also have a contemporary cowboy series spinoff of Lucas, Book 5 of the Le Beau Series, set in Texas.

Thank you for having me! Happy reading!

Maria: You're very welcome! Thanks for visiting A Night's Dream of Books to discuss your writing!    

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Shelf Candy Saturday #128: Witchrise, by Victoria Lamb

Welcome to Shelf Candy Saturday!!

This is my weekly feature
showcasing beautiful book covers!
It also provides information,
if available, on their very talented creators!

For more information
about Shelf Candy Saturday,
just click HERE.

This week, I'm contrasting two different covers for the same book!

Paperback, 384 pages
Corgi Books
(Random House Children's Publishers UK)
July 31, 2014
Fantasy, Historical Fiction,
Paranormal Fiction, YA Fiction

Why do I love this cover?

This is the perfect cover for someone who loves both historical and paranormal fiction! It has the right combination of elements from each genre. 

There's the obvious historical reference in the young woman's gown, which is exquisitely detailed; the meticulously sewn patterns on her bodice are just gorgeous, as are the light, flowing sleeves.

The paranormal reference is equally obvious in the cover's background; the moon is gloriously full, and glowing with a ghostly light, while mysterious birds -- perhaps ravens -- wheel and soar before it. I get the feeling of a spooky October night. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Book Lover's Den #4: In Defense of One Much-Maligned Contemporary Author

Welcome to my new Friday feature!

In each bi-weekly post, I will be 
exploring my thoughts on several 
book-related topics.  

I first encountered Twilight, the first book in The Twilight Saga, on Amazon sometime in 2006. When I opened the Amazon reader and dove in, I was immediately hooked! Fast forward to 2008, when I attended the midnight party for Breaking Dawn, in a local bookstore, even though I had already bought the novel.

It's more than obvious from the above that I have had "Twilight fever" since 2006, and I love this series as much today as when I first began to read it.

In light of all this, it really hurts and puzzles me to see Stephenie Meyer's writing, especially her prose style, being criticized. Most fans are aware of the vitriol with which author Stephen King has unfairly attacked her.

I find it hard to understand these criticisms. For instance, I have heard about her prose style being described as 'simplistic'. This charge is leveled by those who state that Meyer doesn't use 'advanced vocabulary' in these books. Well, I beg to differ. 

There's a series of four books whose sole aim is to help high school students acquire vocabulary in preparation for several important exams, such as the SAT, ACT (these two are college entrance exams), GED, and SSAT. The first of these books is titled Defining Twilight. The series was authored by Brian Leaf, M.A., who is currently Director of the New Leaf Learning Center in Massachusetts.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday #113: The Future Falls, by Tanya Huff

This is a weekly event hosted by
It showcases future releases which
we book bloggers
are eagerly anticipating!!

Here's my choice for this week!

 The Future Falls
(Enchantment Emporium, #3)
Tanya Huff
Trade Paperback, 400 pages
Titan Books, Ltd.
November 21, 2014
Fantasy, Urban Fantasy

Book Synopsis

When Auntie Catherine warns the family of an approaching asteroid, the Gales scramble to keep humans from going the way of the dinosaurs. Fortunately for the world, they're wielding a guitar and a dragon.

The Gale family can change the world with the charms they cast, which has caused some supernaturally complicated family shenanigans in the past. So when NASA and Doomsday Dan confirm Auntie Catherine's dire prediction, Charlotte "Charlie" Gale turns to the family for help.

But Allie is unavailable because the universe seems determined to have her produce the seventh son of a seventh son of a seventh son of a Gale.  And the Aunties can't help because they're tied to the earth – although they are happy to provide their delicious, trademark pies.  And in the end, all Charlie has is a guitar...

...and Jack. The Dragon Prince, and a Sorcerer.

But Charlie might like Jack just a little too much, and Jack might like Charlie a little too much in return. Actually, between Allie's hormones, the Aunties trying to force her and Jack into ritual, the Courts having way too much fun at the end of days, and Jack's sudden desire to sacrifice himself for the good of the many, Charlie's fairly certain that the asteroid is the least of her problems.

The Gales are going to need more than pie to save the world from an incoming asteroid. But together there isn't anything they can't deal with – except possibly each other.

Why I'm waiting on this one!

I've never heard of this series before,
and am so glad to have discovered it!!!
It sure looks like a ton of fun,
what with magical shenanigans and
other interesting activities,
such as an impending apocalypse!
I think I will be laughing a lot
while reading it, once it releases!!

What do you think of my choice?
Please leave your blog link
in the comments so I can visit you
and see what you're waiting on!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The 2014 Jane Eyre Read-Along/Giveaway!! (A Night's Dream of Books & Babbling Books)

The 2014 Jane Eyre Read-Along 
& Giveaway are brought to you
by the blogs
A Night's Dream of Books

For some time now, Brian @ Babbling Books and I have been discussing the possibility of jointly hosting a read-along. After some logistical planning, due to our hectic schedules, we decided on a book to read -- the great classic, Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte! For me, this will be my second time enjoying this novel; I originally read it in high school. For Brian, it will be his first reading.

I'm very happy to be co-hosting this event with Brian, whose blog, Babbling Books, I have long admired, due to its highly interesting and well-thought out posts on classics, literary fiction, and nonfiction. If you're not familiar with his site, I encourage you to drop by and sample his intellectually stimulating posts! 

I'm really looking forward to sharing my thoughts with Brian and the rest of the read-along participants!!

Please sign up in the Linky widget below in order to participate!  Only read-along participants 
will be able to enter the giveaway.
There will be plenty of time to discuss the novel, 
as this event will last for two months.  
For the first post, there will only be three general questions:

What do you know about this novel
and its author?
Have you ever read it before, or
is this your first reading?
Have you seen any of the TV 
or movie versions?

There will be six discussion questions each week 
of the read-along, to be alternately posted 
by each of the hosting blogs.
You can select three of these questions,
or answer all six of them.

On Nov. 21st, which is the last day
of the read-along, reviews will
be posted by all participants, and
giveaway winners will also be announced.

Jane Eyre
Hardcover, 656 pages
Everyman's Library
(Everyman Edition, Reprint)
February 8, 2011
(first published 1847)
Classics, Gothic Fiction, Historical Fiction,
Literary Fiction, Romance

Purchase Links for this Edition

Book Synopsis

Jane Eyre, a penniless orphan, is engaged as governess at Thornfield Hall by the mysterious Mr Rochester. Her integrity and independence are tested to the limit as their love for each other grows, and the secrets of Mr. Rochester's past are revealed.

Charlotte Brontë’s novel about the passionate love between Jane Eyre, a young girl alone in the world, and the rich, brilliant, domineering Rochester has, ever since its publication in 1847, enthralled every kind of reader, from the most critical and cultivated to the youngest and most unabashedly romantic. It lives as one of the great triumphs of storytelling and as a moving affirmation of the prerogatives of the heart in the face of disappointment and misfortune.

Jane Eyre has enjoyed huge popularity since first publication, and its success owes much to its exceptional emotional power.

Other Editions of Jane Eyre

Printed Editions

Goodreads/Amazon US 
Barnes & Noble
The Book Depository


Ebook Editions

Goodreads/Barnes & Noble

Goodreads/Amazon US
Amazon UK/Amazon CA

Post & Reading Schedule

Announcement/Signup Post
Sept. 9th
A Night's Dream of Books
Babbling Books

Week 1: Sept. 22nd

Reading: Chapters 1 - 5
Thoughts on Reading Jane Eyre 
Discussion Questions for Next Week:
A Night's Dream of Books

Week 2: Sept. 29th

Reading: Chapters 6 -10
Discussion Questions: Chapters 1 - 5
Discussion Questions for Next Week:
Babbling Books

Week 3: Oct. 6th

Reading: Chapters 11 - 14
Discussion Questions: Chapters 6 - 10
Discussion Questions for Next Week:
A Night's Dream of Books

Week 4: Oct. 13th

Reading: Chapters 15 - 19
Discussion Questions: Chapters 11 - 14
Discussion Questions for Next Week:
Babbling Books

Week 5: Oct. 20th

Reading: Chapters 20 - 23
Discussion Questions: Chapters 15 - 19
Discussion Questions for Next Week:
A Night's Dream of Books

Week 6: Oct. 27th

Reading: Chapters 24 - 28
Discussion Questions: Chapters 20 - 23
Discussion Questions for Next Week:
Babbling Books

Week 7: Nov. 3rd

Reading: Chapters 29 - 33
Discussion Questions: Chapters 24 - 28
Discussion Question for Next Week:
A Night's Dream of Books

Week 8: Nov. 10th

Reading: Chapters 34 - 38
Discussion Questions: Chapters 29 - 33
Discussion Questions for Next Week:
Babbling Books

Week 9: Nov. 17th

Discussion Questions, Chapters 34 - 38
Giveaway Ends

Week 9: Nov. 21st

Book Reviews Posted
Giveaway Winners Announced

Be sure to sign up in the
Linky Widget below, so you
can enter the giveaway!!