My interview over at The Art and Craft of Writing Creatively is HERE

Purchase my book Images of America: Detroit Lakes HERE

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Keeper's a Keeper (A Gift for You)

Keeper of the Way is now FREE for 5 days,
Feb 28 – Mar 3, on Amazon
Keeper is very special to author Shirin Dubbin and this marks the third edition! 

Ah, and don’t think they’re aren’t any perks to downloading Keeper. There’s the battle of Severin vs. Zan Wynn (aka actors Takeshi Kaneshiro and James Marsters). According the Dubbin, these gentlemen made the book so easy to write. If you haven't read a book from Dubbin, you are in for a treat!

ARC Review: Curses! A F***ed-Up Fairy Tale by J.A. Kazimer

Curses! A F***ed-Up Fairy Tale 
By J.A. Kazimer
Available Now
Publisher: Kensington Books
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher

Once upon a time (about nine minutes and forty-seven seconds ago) in a land far, far away (the corner of West Fairy-Second Street and Sugar Plum Lane, to be precise) stood a beautiful princess, a woman without compare in beauty or sweetness.

Cinderella has been murdered and Rumpelstiltskin, or RJ, is charmed into finding the murderer by Asia, Cindi’s stepsister. Of course RJ, who has recently lost his villain card and is cursed into doing good deeds, obliges. He also falls instantly in lust with Asia. But what will Asia think when she finds out that RJ isn’t a private investigator but an ex-villain.

After arriving in the Kingdom of Maledetto, RJ discovers that there are many suspects in Cindi’s murder, even Asia herself. Meeting many familiar and key characters, including Prince Charming, RJ finds that there is a lot amiss in the Kingdom and is caught in between many domestic disputes (and catches more than a few blows to his face). He also discovers that Asia could be the woman for him, for she is just as evil as he once was.

With a cast of characters that we have all grown up with and loved in our fairy tales but with a demented twist added, the reader is taken on a chaotic journey. At times it was too chaotic and the storyline was hard to follow but I did love the twists Kazimer put on these characters and found myself laughing out loud at times. Curses! is very adult oriented and should not be read by the young reader.


Monday, February 27, 2012

Book Promo: Images of America-Detroit Lakes

So last year I helped write a little book with my friend, Amy Degerstrom. Now all that blood, sweat and tears (and lack of sleep) has paid off and Images of America: Detroit Lakes is out today! Has been an exciting and exhausting process but well worth it because it will benefit the Becker County History Museum. I have worked there for some time and believe whole heartily in keeping our history alive and without museums this would not happen. So please support our local museum by purchasing our book..:D 

If you would like a SIGNED copy (I know the authors, I can do that..LOL) please contact the Becker County History Museum by email: admin AT beckercountyhistory DOT org or by calling 218-847-2938.

We will be having a book launch party at La Barista (800 Washington Ave, Detroit Lakes, Minnesota) from 5:30-7:30pm on March 5, 2012. Stop on by for some refreshments, buy your book and have it signed by us! Everyone is welcome! If you miss us there, we will also be at BookWorld (815 Washington Avenue, Detroit Lakes, Minnesota)  on March 24, 2012 from 11am-1pm!

Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, was incorporated in 1871 as the village of Detroit. Detroit became a boomtown in the late 19th century because of the vast supply of timber that dominated the landscape of northwest Minnesota at the time. The population grew by leaps and bounds, and by 1900 the census recorded 2,060 residents. In 1926, the US Postal Service officially changed the town’s name to Detroit Lakes in order to avoid confusion with Detroit, Michigan. The lush landscape of lakes and rivers created a natural vacation destination, and tourism pioneers like John K. West began to market to the newly moneyed industrialists of the Gilded Age, promising steamboat transportation and boardwalks to the shoreline. Today, Detroit Lakes remains a vibrant city with thriving resort and business communities. It is the heart of lakes country and continues to provide a welcoming atmosphere for visitors and residents alike.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

ARC Review: By a Thread by Jennifer Estep

By a Thread, Elemental Assassins Book 6
By Jennifer Estep
Publication Date: February 28, 2012
Publisher: Pocket Books
Format: e-ARC
Source: Author

**I try not to include spoilers in my reviews but since this is part of a series, some spoilers are unavoidable.**

“You need a vacation.”

Estep is back with her sixth installment of her amazing Elemental Assassin series. Having wet my appetite in her e-novella, Thread of Death, I was highly anticipating seeing where Estep was going to take us devoted Spider fans. I was not let down!

We all know that Gin is not the vacation sort of girl. But now that everyone knows (or assumes) she is the assassin, the Spider, all eyes are on her and every assassin is gunning for her. A vacation doesn’t sound so bad. So together with her sister, Bria, they pack their bags and head to Blue Marsh. Blue Marsh is where Bria grew up and she is pretty excited to see her best friend, Callie, who was like a sister to her. Gin hopes that this vacation will help her and Bria’s relationship but the jealousy that Gin feels for Callie’s closeness to Bria is hard to overcome.

Of course, the boys aren’t too far behind. Finn and Owen join the girls. Just in time too because someone is after Callie’s restaurant and there are bodies showing up. With the reintroduction of Donovan Caine (BOO!) the reader is torn as is Gin. Donovan still is the same, absolutely nothing has changed and that is all that I am saying (GRR)! The scenes with Donovan and Gin are intense and will have you wanting to claw Donovan’s eyes out. I don’t want to give anything away but the last scene with Donovan and Gin had me jumping up and down cheering!

Estep had me again. I felt it all during this installment; anger, jealousy, sadness and happiness. There are some old wounds that heal and some that reopen leaving the reader satisfied but anticipating what will happen next.



Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Review: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Catching Fire (Hunger Games, Bk 2)
By Suzanne Collins
Publish Date: September 1, 2009
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Format: Nook
Source: Personal

 **Spoiler Alert** I try not to include spoilers but unfortunately some are unavoidable.

I clasp the flask between my hands even though the warmth from the teas has long since leached into the frozen air.

In Collins' follow up the The Hunger Games we began where we left off with the return of the victors of the Hunger Games, Katniss and Peeta. A lot has changed back home for Katniss, including her relationship with Gale. A lot has also changed in other Districts too. Unbeknownst to Katniss, she has become the figurehead of a rebellion that is starting up against the Capitol. President Snow knows he must devise a plan to rid himself of Katniss and thanks to the fact that there is a Quarter Quell this year, the President has his chance. This year one female and one male victor of a past Hunger Games from each district must participate.

This devastates the families and the reader! The second installment has you more emotional involved with all the characters that you feel awful when you read that Katniss must endure another game. The love triangle is still very much alive with Peeta , Gale and Katniss. Who will she choose or does she even have a choice? Definitely a strong second book and I look forward to reading the conclusion!


Monday, February 20, 2012

Guest Post: The Madness of Book Writing by Allison Karras

The Madness of Book Writing

Being a writer sometimes means crossing lines of sanity. Sometimes, it means forgetting where those lines are.

That’s what I learned after writing my latest book, Demon Revelation. It’s the second book in The Samantha Carver Saga, and is about a teenage girl who lives on the Oregon coast and is being stalked by demons. The book is also the second book I’ve ever written, and it’s taught me loads about the writing process.

Writing a book isn’t always glamorous or elegant. I always thought it would be, but it’s not.

Writing a book is waking up at 3 o’clock in the morning because you can’t figure out plot details. It’s getting bad shakes because you’ve had too many cups of coffee in an attempt to get you through the next two thousand words. It’s clearing your calendar of all social plans because your characters are expecting you to help tell their story every night.

It’s being a shut-in, a hermit. In short, writing a book makes you feel like you’re losing your mind for a few months.

In writing DemonRevelation, I found myself teetering on the edge a lot. Sometimes it was hard to remember where my characters began and where I left off. Sometimes, out of the blue, they’d start talking to me, telling me about themselves – significant things, and insignificant things alike. One of the characters, Terry -- Sam’s cousin and best friend -- would tell me that even before he was bitten by one of the demons, he’d never felt completely whole, that he’d never completely fit in. Another character, Shane, would tell me things, too. About his motivations, his reasoning. Why he’s helping Samantha. Why she matters so much to him.

Other times, I couldn’t get my characters to talk to me no matter how hard I’d try, and I’d have to spend a frustrating night just trudging through a chapter, like walking uphill in sand. Then I’d worry the characters had abandoned me. That their voices had just disappeared into thin air. That I would never hear them again.

But then, sure enough, they’d start talking again. And I’d be reminded that I needed to have more faith.

I’ve never been so deeply entrenched in anything in my life as this book. I was consumed by it. At night sometimes I’d just be stuck in some sort of halfway dream state where I was still typing away, editing, rereading, proofing. During the day at the office, I’d stare out the window, thinking about these characters and what they were going through.

Towards the end of the process, I’d lost most of my appetite, was completely overloaded on caffeine, and had a laundry pile that was bordering on the ridiculous. I hadn’t been anywhere aside from my job at the newspaper in weeks. I was having trouble remembering things unrelated to the book. I was definitely losing it.

But that’s what I’ve learned about writing after finishing this book. I’ve learned that sometimes, you have to push yourself to that breaking point for the story to come out. You have to give yourself completely to it. Nothing matters more than the book during the time you’re writing it. Nothing.

When Demon Revelation was finally published, I was so happy. I felt like I’d done my characters justice, and that I’d done my best to give them life. I did my best to tell their story. 

You’d think that after going through something as intense as those months of writing that I’d never want to do it again. That’d I’d give up by reason of insanity (or near insanity). But you know what? That’s part of the madness. You finish a book, and you can’t wait to start the next one. At first you think, I’m going to take a long vacation after this. But a few days into vacation, you start itching for the blank page. Because the characters don’t stop speaking just because you’ve finished the book. There’s more of their story to tell.

Writing a book is complete madness – but there’s a place for me in it. And I know that even on the hard days, when I feel like I’m losing my mind, there’s nothing I’d rather be doing. Because the creative process can drive you insane, but there’s nothing that makes you feel quite so alive.

Allison Karras is a young adult horror author who lives in a dusty mountain town in Oregon. She loves everything to do with the horror genre -- books, TV and movies. A fan of the well-known and obscure, she is a pop culture junkie who also enjoys Film Noir, Westerns and Vincent Price movies. When not writing books about zombies in love, she works in the real world as a reporter.
(Samantha Carver Saga, Bk 2)
It’s been almost a year since evil sprung from the dead cemetery soil of Freeport, Oregon.

A year since Samantha Carver, with the help of mysterious stranger Shane Damon and her cousin Terry, picked up her baseball bat and fought the demons stalking her.

It’s been a year of relative peace and quiet and a chance to be a normal teenage girl. But the tides are changing. Once again, Samantha must summon all her strength to fight the impending darkness that is growing stronger by the day.

Sam begins to be plagued by a series of vivid visions. Dreams of dying under a blood-red moon in a faraway place. Of a man whose eyes glow with the fires of hell. Of murderous demons after her flesh.

With Shane's help, Sam begins unlocking the visions, discovering a dark and terrible secret that threatens to do more damage to Sam’s world than the demons ever could.


(Samantha Carver Saga, Bk 1)
(formerly Drowning in Darkness)

Some secrets should stay buried…

Samantha Carver thought she could leave the past behind. After moving to a sleepy town on the Oregon coast, she thought she would finally be free of the darkness that has been plaguing her since she was a child.

When a girl at Samantha’s new high school is brutally murdered, the police suspect her cousin and best friend, Terry, of committing the gruesome act. But Sam knows what her family, the teachers, and the police don’t.

She knows that Terry didn’t kill the girl.

Because a demon did.

Samantha’s dark secret has returned from the grave to stalk her. And it’s come back with a vengeance.


Saturday, February 11, 2012


Hey everyone! Just wanted to let everyone know that I will be MIA the next week for several reasons.

1) going on a little mini vacation (no not somewhere warm but I will be hanging out by the pool!); 
2) life has gotten really busy since starting my Jordan Essentials business and I need time to play catch up; 
3) I have started to become very critical about writing reviews and have not been happy with the last few I have written. I want to take time and make them better!; 
4) I have several reviews to write yet and just need time to sit down and do it!; and
5) We are in the process of selling out house so I want to schedule as many posts ahead of time as possible in case of that dreaded MOVING part happens and I will be without internet!!

It seems that my vacation in December wasn't put to as much use as it should have been! Hope everyone understands and I will be monitoring the site but there won't be any posts until next week!! Thanks to you ALL!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Review: By The King's Design by Christine Trent

By the King’s Design
By Christine Trent
Available Now
Publisher: Kensington Books
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher

“Remember what I told you, brothers. Leave the machines, but shoot the masters.”

Annabelle Stirling, a young craftswoman, finds herself marching towards London in hopes of finding aid from the Prince Regent after her draper shop is destroyed by the Luddites who had help from her now ex-fiancé Clive and her weak-minded brother, Wesley. With no help offered she is befriended by the architect, John Nash and encouraged to open up shop in London. Her brother slinks back into her life and because he is family, she allows him to work in her shop again.

Liking her spunk, the Prince Regent (King George IV) engages her services in decorating his Pavilion. Along the way she meets Putman Boyce, a cabinetmaker who holds promise in thawing Belle’s frozen heart. But due her brother’s inability to think for himself (probably due to his opium addiction) he has now embroiled them in a treasonous plot against the future King that ends him up in jail and Belle an outcast.

Trent throws us right into the riots caused by machines taking over jobs that were done by hand. The Luddites laid siege across the countryside destroying mills and shops that had these machines in them. On top of this there are families starving because they are out of work. Trent does not shy away from describing this misery and in fact makes it hit home for Belle when she stumbles upon her childhood friend and ex-fiancé (now married to each other) in starved condition. We also read about some very interested historical characters that Trent throws in, including Jane Austen who becomes an acquaintance with Belle.

Another piece that is thrown in is the Prince Regent’s tumultuous marriage and his quest for a divorce. He has many mistresses that are all vying for attention. We see the greed and vanity that often comes with being a member of the royal family. My impression on the prince is that he was very spoiled and weak.

Love all the intrigue and I did find it an engaging read. Heavy on historical and light on romance leads this Regency story to contain a lot of information that at times could be overwhelming to follow. But as the story reaches its climax, the reader is fully vested and will not be able to stop reading.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

All Things Kensington (2)

Since I have become a remote reviewer for Kensington Books I have been loving all the book promotions they do. To make you aware of all the fantastic things that Kensington are promoting, I will be doing a post every now and then with all the information! Remember that some of these are available for a very limited time so make sure you read the post right away!!

Available for FREE on Kindle and Nook  
February 8-9 ONLY
Silent Kills
by C.E. Lawrence

Everyone Has What He Wants
The killer picks her up in a Manhattan night club. Another trendy victim of the latest downtown scene. Young. Fresh. Healthy. Perfect. The police find her body in a Bronx park. Pale as a ghost. Peaceful in death. Her life has been drained away. Slowly. Methodically. Brilliantly. . 

No One Survives What He Takes

NYPD profiler Lee Campbell has seen the gruesome handiwork of the most deranged criminal minds. But this is something new. Something unbelievably twisted. A blood-obsessed lunatic who chooses his victims with deadly, loving care--and forces Campbell to confront the demons in his own life. No matter who wins this game, there will be blood. . .

Kindle  /  Nook

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Follower Love Giveaway Hop

It's Follower Love Giveaway time! This giveaway is co-hosted by I Am A Reader Not A Writer and Rachael Renee Anderson. Giveaway runs from February 7th to 14th. This is a THANK YOU to all my followers! Without all of you I would not have been able to do all this and achieve so many goals over the past year.. THANK YOU! After entering my giveaway, hop on over the next one thru the Linky List at the end of this post!

To one lucky follower I am giving a copy of:
The Nightwalkers: Adam
by Jacquelyn Frank

His Dark Bond
by Anne Marsh

Just enter the rafflecopter form below. US Only and must be a FOLLOWER either via GFC or Email.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Now hop on over to the next one!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Light My Fire-Big Kindle Boogie

10 Free Kindle Fires, 75 free ebooks, a $500 library donation. Entries for 10 free Kindle Fires are already underway at On Feb. 1-2, bestselling thriller authors J.A. Konrath, Blake Crouch, Scott Nicholson, Lee Goldberg, and Scott Nicholson are making 75 Kindle books free on Amazon. They are also making a $500 donation to the local library of one Kindle Fire winner. Contest is international, no purchase necessary. You can also join the Facebook party at

Three easy ways to enter:
  1. Use the entry counters at
  2. You can also enter manually by tweeting: 10 free Kindle Fires. 75 free ebooks. #bigkindleboogie RT to enter for a Fire!
  3. You can email ONCE PER DAY with "Boogie entry" as subject line

Good luck!