Saturday, September 13, 2014

FrightFall Read-a-Thon - Time to Sign Up! #FrightFall


I'm so very excited that it's almost officially Fall again (although I always kick off Fall personally on September 1...haha)! The FrightFall Read-a-Thon is only two weeks away! Official dates are September 29 through October 5. I hope you're ready to get your scary on! Guidelines for the read-a-thon can be found HERE or you can access in the tab at the top of the blog. Any information you need about the read-a-thon can be found there. We will have one Twitter chat. I will announce the date and time in the starting post. Please do be sure to check the guidelines, as I've made changes regarding signing up and the starting line. Our Twitter hashtag is #FrightFall

Just remember...the one main "rule" of FrightFall is that you must read ONE scary book (which can be a thriller, mystery, Gothic novel, or similar for those who are faint of heart). 

Sign up in the linky below. Be sure to grab the button at the top of this post (there's also a grab code below the button in the sidebar). 
I am looking for prize donations so if anyone would like to contribute, let me know. Authors, this is a great way to promote your book! Contact me via the contact form link just below the header.

Thanks for signing up!

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Friday, August 1, 2014

High Summer Read-a-Thon - Reminder about wrap-ups #HSreadathon

I'm going to keep the linky open for another day or two in case you forgot to link up or if you'd still like to post your wrap-up. We only have 13 wrap-ups so far and 27 prizes so I'd like to see more of a pool of people to pick from.

Add your link to the wrap-up post

Also, while I have your attention...

have you heard about my new Anne Rice Challenge? I'm super excited about it. You can read all about it by clicking the image below.



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Monday, July 28, 2014

High Summer Read-a-Thon - Wrap Up #HSreadathon


I am extremely late with this wrap-up. So sorry! Busy weekend which also means I didn't get much reading done. 

I hope everyone enjoyed this year's High Summer! I'd like to thank everyone who participated and also the authors (and blogger) who generously donated prizes. Be watching for sign-ups in the next couple of months for FrightFall, September 29 through October 5. This scary event is a big hit every year. I'll be posting a save the date soon along with some other exciting events I have planned for Castle Macabre this Fall AND an exciting new long term reading challenge I have in the works. The FrightFall button is in the sidebar and I'll be adding a grab code soon.

Be sure to add your wrap-up link below and please double check that you were signed up HERE so you will be eligible for the giveaway. You have until Tuesday, July 29 at 11:59pm CST to add your wrap-up link. I will draw giveaway winners on Wednesday (please note the new system of drawing winners in the giveaway details on the prize page). 

Good luck in the giveaway to all!!! And thanks again for joining me for the read-a-thon!

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Friday, July 25, 2014

High Summer Read-a-Thon - "Little Past Midpoint" Check-In #HSreadathon


I meant to post this yesterday, but real life reared its ugly head. You know how it is.

So, how's it going for you this week? Please share any updates in the comments. You can leave a link so I can stop by or just tell us what you've accomplished in your comment.

Have you checked out the prize page yet? We have a TON of prizes this time. I forgot to put a page link at the top of the blog for easy access. I'll do that now.

Reminder about the Twitter chat. It is tonight at 8:00pm CST/9:00pm EST. Hashtag #HSreadathon

I have an update on my reading over at my blog. You can read all about it HERE.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

High Summer Read-a-Thon - Prize Promotion Page #HSreadathon


This is the prize promotion page for all the prizes being given away for the read-a-thon. We have a ton of amazing book prizes donated from some very generous authors and bloggers! At the end of this post, you will find details regarding how the prizes will be awarded at the conclusion of the read-a-thon.

Note: These fine authors who so generously donated their books would greatly appreciate a review, if you win, on your blog and/or on Goodreads and Amazon. Thank you!





(WINNER - ELLE)
The Fictional 100 by Lucy Pollard-Gott (One paperback copy -- US or Canada)
Some of the most influential and interesting people in the world are fictional. Sherlock Holmes, Huck Finn, Pinocchio, Anna Karenina, Cinderella, and Superman, to name a few, may not have walked the Earth (or flown, in Superman's case), but they certainly stride into our lives. They influence us personally: as childhood friends, catalysts to our dreams, or even fantasy lovers. Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa, for one, confessed to a lifelong passion for Flaubert's Madame Bovary. Characters can change the world. Witness the impact of Solzhenitsyn's Ivan Denisovich, in exposing the conditions of the Soviet Gulag, or Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom, in arousing anti-slavery feeling in America. Words such as quixotic, oedipal, and herculean show how fictional characters permeate our language.

Although not of flesh and blood, fictional characters have a life and history of their own. The Fictional 100 ranks the most influential fictional persons in world literature and legend, ranging from Shakespeare's Hamlet [1] to Toni Morrison's Beloved [100]. Each short, lively chapter traces a character’s origins, development, and varied incarnations in literature, art, music, and films. From the brash Hercules to the troubled Holden Caulfield, from the misguided schemes of Emma Woodhouse to the menacing plots of Medea, from Don Juan to Don Quixote, The Fictional 100 runs the gamut of heroes and villains, young and old, saints and sinners. It explores their deeper resonances and the diverse reasons for their enduring influence.

"A strongly recommended read and fine addition to any literary studies collection." ~Midwest Book Review

ISBN: 978-1440154393
496 pages; illustrated
Paperback, ebook

Amazon US
Barnes & Noble


About the Author
Lucy Pollard-Gott has a PhD in psychology from Princeton University, where she specialized in the psychology of the arts. She has published her studies in literature, including articles on the structure of fairy tales, the psychology of readers’ interactions with fictional characters, and the poetry of Wallace Stevens. She shares the latest news and reviews about the Fictional 100 characters at her blog, on Twitter, and on Facebook. She especially likes to read what others are writing about books they like, stories that move them, or characters who have changed their lives.


(WINNER - MELISSA)
The Golden Dice by Elisabeth Storrs (One digital copy -- International)
During a ten year siege between two age-old enemies, three women follow very different paths to survive:

Caecilia, a young Roman woman, forsakes her city by marrying the Etruscan Vel Mastarna, exposing herself to the enmity of his people and the hatred of the Romans who consider her a traitoress…

Semni, a reckless Etruscan girl, becomes a servant in the House of Mastarna, embroiling herself in schemes that threaten Caecilia's children and her own chance for romance…

Pinna, a tomb whore, uses blackmail to escape her grim life and gain the attention of Rome's greatest general, choosing between her love for him and her loyalty to another…

Historical Fiction at its best, The Golden Dice explores the lives of women in war while giving a glimpse into the sexuality, religion, and politics of Roman and Etruscan cultures, two great civilizations of ancient history.
The Golden Dice was named as a top memorable read of 2013 by Sara Johnson, the reviews editor for the Historical Novels Review.”


(WINNER - KRISTEN)
The Wedding Shroud by Elisabeth Storrs (one digital copy -- International)
‘All the drama and sensuality expected of an historical romance, plus a sensitivity to the realities of life in a very different time and world…’ Ursula Le Guin

In 406 BC, to seal a tenuous truce, the young Roman Caecilia is wedded to Vel Mastarna, an Etruscan nobleman from the city of Veii. The fledgling Republic lies only twelve miles across the Tiber from its neighbor, but the cities are from opposing worlds so different are their customs and beliefs. Leaving behind a righteous Rome, Caecilia is determined to remain true to Roman virtues while living among the sinful Etruscans. Instead she finds herself tempted by a hedonistic culture which offers pleasure and independence to women as well as an ancient religion that gives her a chance to delay her destiny. Yet Mastarna and his people also hold dark secrets and, as war looms, Caecilia discovers that Fate is not so easy to control and that she must finally choose where her allegiance lies.

Exploring themes of sexuality, destiny versus self-determination and tolerance versus prejudice, The Wedding Shroud is historical fiction at its best which vividly brings Ancient Rome and Etruria to life while accenting the lives of women in ancient history. It is the first book in the Tales of Ancient Rome series and was judged runner-up in the 2012 Sharp Writ Books Award for general fiction and was a finalist in the 2013 Kindle Book Review Best Indie Book of the Year in literary fiction.

About the author
Elisabeth Storrs has long had a passion for the history, myths and legends of the ancient world. She is an Australian author and graduated from the University of Sydney in Arts Law, having studied Classics. Over the years she has worked as a solicitor, corporate lawyer, governance consultant and business writer.


(WINNER - CAROL)
A Tainted Dawn by B.N. Peacock (one copy, Kindle or print - International)



Amazon


About the author
B. N. Peacock has had a life-long passion for history. Her childhood hero was Lord Nelson. Her second passion was writing, which equally early on won her an honorable mention in a national Read Magazine contest for a short story about Bunker Hill as told from a British correspondent’s view. She majored in Classical languages as an undergraduate, and went on to get graduate degrees in International Relations and
Agricultural Economics respectively. After college, she worked for USDA’s Economic Research Service and wrote for their Situation and Outlook Reports.

She returned to her love for history and writing when, as sandwich generation mother caring for children and elderly parent, she came up with the idea of writing about history from different perspectives. This was the start of A Tainted Dawn and the Great War (French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars) series. She lives in Manassas, Virginia, close to the Bull Run battlefield, with her husband and family, where she is working on Army of Citizens, the next book in the Great Wars series.


(WINNERS - MANDY, JULIE, JANET)
Blueberry Hill by Bette Lee Crosby (3  2  1 eBook copies -- International)
CAN LOVE SAVE A SISTER FROM SELF-DESTRUCTION?

From the USA Today Bestselling Author of Spare Change comes the heartwarming story Blueberry Hill, a Sister’s Story.

Based on the realities of her own family, Crosby calls this a memoir of sorts. Traveling back to a time when the sisters were young enough to feel invincible and foolish enough to believe it would last forever, Crosby has bared her soul in a story of regrettable decisions and inevitable outcomes.

Blueberry Hill is a tale of family relationships, love and tragedy. It is a story that will touch your heart and stay with you long after you have closed the book.
(WINNERS - BONNIE, JULIE, LINDSEY )
Spare Change by Bette Lee Crosby (3  2  1 print copies -- US only)
Reviewer's Choice 2012 Award Winner! In a story that's been compared to John Grisham's The Client, eleven year-old Ethan Allen Doyle has witnessed a brutal murder and now the boy is running for his life. In the time-tested tradition of Southern Fiction, Crosby unveils the darkest side of human nature and then rewards her readers with a beautiful tale of love, loss and unexpected gifts.

Olivia Westerly is the only person Ethan Allen can trust, and he's not too sure he can trust her. She's got no love of children and a truckload of superstitions--one of them is the belief that eleven is the unluckiest number on earth. Olivia avoided marriage for almost forty years. But when Charlie Doyle happened along, he was simply too wonderful to resist. Now she's a widow with an eleven-year-old boy claiming to be her grandson.

With a foul mouth, dark secrets and heavily guarded emotions, Ethan Allen Doyle is not an easy child to like. He was counting on the grandpa he'd never met for a place to hide, but now that plan is shot to blazes because the grandpa's dead too. He's got seven dollars and twenty-six cents, his mama's will for staying alive, and Dog. But none of those things are gonna help if Scooter Cobb finds him.

Winner of Five Literary Awards,BookBundlz Finalist, Voted Goodreads Best Unknown Fiction, FPA President's Book Award Gold Medal Finalist

About the author
USA Today Bestselling and Award-winning novelist Bette Lee Crosby brings the wit and wisdom of her Southern Mama to works of fiction--the result is a delightful blend of humor, mystery and romance along with a cast of quirky charters who will steal your heart away.

Born in Detroit and raised in a plethora of states scattered across the South and Northeast, Crosby originally studied art and began her career as a packaging designer. When asked to write a few lines of copy for the back of a pantyhose package, she discovered a love for words that was irrepressible. After years of writing for business, she turned to works of fiction and never looked back. "Storytelling is in my blood," Crosby laughingly admits, "My mom was not a writer, but she was a captivating storyteller, so I find myself using bits and pieces of her voice in most everything I write."

Crosby's work was first recognized in 2006 when she received The National League of American Pen Women Award for a then unpublished manuscript. Since that, she has gone on to win several more awards, including another NLAPW award, Royal Palm Literary Awards, the FPA President's Book Award Gold Medal and Reviewer's Choice Award and Reader's View Southeast Fiction Literary Award.

Her published works to date are: Blueberry Hill (2014), Previously Loved Treasures (2014), Jubilee's Journey (2013), What Matters Most (2013), The Twelfth Child (2012), Cupid's Christmas (2012), Cracks in the Sidewalk (2011), Spare Change (2011), and Life in the Land of IS (2012). Life in the Land of IS is a memoir written for Lani Deauville, a woman the Guinness Book of Records lists as the world's longest living quadriplegic.

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BOOKS BY JOHN PAUL ALLEN (one digital copy of each book, 5 winners -- International)



(WINNER - CAROL) Dark Blessings: A Collection of Shorts
Dark Blessings is a collection of stories that takes the reader down paths only author John Paul Allen could imagine...Sinister notes from a secret neighbor...a soul gets a second chance...a road trip to hell...a child with an unusual appetite...death cries on an answering machine...a child's reluctant salvation...and a closet lover with deadly intentions...A look beyond reason and sanity and into the mind of madness.


(WINNER - GINA)
Gifted Trust-Revised Edition 
In 1930 Max Belote, a Dallas literary agent, heard the voice of Virago. “Tell her, just be good,” it whispered and he’d repeat before mutilating or killing his victim. Wanting to stop the evil entity inside him, Max ended his life. In 1970 convicted serial murderer Jeffrey Michael Roberts also heard the words, and until his execution he fulfilled its desires. In 2003 Virago spoke to Edward Paine, a high school teacher, who sought help to destroy the creature within. One soul, three lives, and the evil entity that commands them.

- from the author of Dark Blessings, Monkey Love, Weeping Mary and House Guest, John Paul Allen shares his most frightening tale updated with extra chapters and more material.

Death is not the end... It’s a brief interruption.


(WINNER - NAILA)
Monkey Love (novella)
When Professor Sandra Rixx lost her husband in a terrorist bombing, she turned toward her work for salvation. When Richard kept his vow and returned three years later, she learned to mix business with pleasure. Some times we can't help who we love. Sometimes we can't help what we love. 


(WINNER - CAROL)
Fresh Blood Old Bones (an anthology) 
Fresh Blood, Old Bones showcases the work of new and established writers in horror, fantasy, and science fiction (with bizarre thrown in for good measure). Enjoy eighteen tales as true masters of the genre (including Joe R. Lansdale, Nancy Collins, and Neal Barrett Jr.) combine their talents with stories from up-and-comers (including Tim Bryant, Monica J. O'Rourke, John Paul Allen, and many others) in this unique and exciting anthology.


(WINNER - ANGELA V. 'avantaknits')
Tales from The Lake Vol 1 (an anthology)
Dive into fourteen tales of non-themed horror, with short stories and dark poems by some of the best horror writers in the world, including the master himself, Graham Masterton.

Allow the very first instalment of Tales From the Lake to transport you to lakeside terror in Lover, Come Back to Me, Lady of Lost Lake, and Game On; journey to the basement of your local pet store in Dead Pull and your neighbourhood pub in O’Halloran’s; visit the apocalypse in Devil’s Night; travel to Africa in Witch-Compass and The Reunion; spend time with the talking dolls in Don’t Look at Me; experience drug addiction from close up in Junksick; and climb a ladder to the heavens in Perrollo’s Ladder.

Tales From the Lake Vol.1 includes the winning stories from the 2013 Tales From the Lake Horror Writing Competition: a nautical tale in Jenn Loring’s The Art of Wrecking; a bizarre story of strange addictions in J. Daniel Stone’s Alternative Muses; and a cult horror story in the jungles of South America in William Ritchey’s Las Maquinas.

Welcome to Crystal Lake.


About the author
John Paul Allen refers to himself as a Semi-Complete Unknown. That said, his popularity seems to be growing. "It's all material." Allen says when asked where his ideas come from. "Life is the best source, and nothing is off limits."

What He Writes: Stories without borders. John Paul Allen is known for crossing lines and warns readers, "Nothing is off limits, if it edifies a story. If you want safe, there's a lot of that being offered. I expect my readers to go beyond the content, in order to enjoy the story."

John Paul Allen is originally from Michigan, but served in the US Navy in Cuba and on board the USS Brownson, USS Wainwright, USS Frank Cable and USS Dewert. He's lived in Florida, South Carolina, Virginia, Texas and now Tennessee. He lives near Nashville where he spends his time with his girlfriend enjoying being Paw Paw to one-year-old Makenzie and his new born granddaughter, Zoe.

Learn more about John Paul Allen at:  http://www.johnpaulallen.com

(WINNER - LUCY)
THE TIGER AND THE DOVER SERIES, BOOKS 1 AND 2 BY REBECCA HAZELL
(Kindle copies, one winner -- International) NOTE: THIS IS A TWO BOOK PRIZE!


The Grip of God
The Grip of God is the first novel in an epic historical trilogy, The Tiger and the Dove. The saga’s heroine, Sofia, is a young princess of Kievan Rus who recounts her capture in battle and life of slavery to a young army captain in the Mongol hordes that are flooding Europe. Not only is her life shattered, it is haunted by a prophecy that catalyzes bitter rivalries in her new master's powerful family and shadowed by the leader of the Mongol invasion, Genghis Khan's grandson. How will she learn to survive in a world of total war, much less rediscover the love she once took for granted? Always seeking to escape and menaced by outer enemies and inner turmoil, where can she find safe haven even if she can break free? Clear eyed and intelligent, Sofia refuses to believe that life is solely about the strong dominating the weak or about taking endless revenge. Her story is based on actual historical events, which determine much of her destiny. But as she matures, she learns to reflect on her times--and to transcend their fetters. In doing so, she recreates a lost era for us, her readers. Readers will delight in this very personal and engaging tale from a time that set the stage for many of the conflicts of today's world.


Solomon's Bride
Solomon's Bride is the dramatic sequel to The Grip of God. Sofia, the heroine, a former princess from Kievan Rus' was enslaved by a Mongol nobleman and then taken as a concubine by the leader of the Mongol invasions, Batu Khan, grandson of Genghis Khan. Now, having fled the Mongols with a price on her head, Sofia escapes into Persia and what she believes will be safety, only to fall into the clutches of the Assassins, who seek to disrupt the Mongol empire. In a world at war, both outer and inner, the second phase of her adventures unfolds. Can she ever find safe haven, much less the lost love and family that was almost destroyed by the Mongols?

The novel is available both in paperback and Kindle versions and through your local bookstore by special order. The third book in the trilogy, Consolamentum, will be released soon.





About the author
Rebecca Hazell is a an award winning artist, author and educator. She has written, illustrated and published four non-fiction children’s books, created best selling educational filmstrips, designed educational craft kits for children and even created award winning needlepoint canvases.

She is a senior teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage, and she holds an honours BA from the University of California at Santa Cruz in Russian and Chinese history.

Rebecca lived for many years in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1988 she and her family moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and in 2006 she and her husband moved to Vancouver Island. They live near their two adult children in the beautiful Cowichan Valley.

Visit Rebecca:


(WINNER - SARAH)
Elizabeth: The Virgin Queen and the Men Who Loved Her by Robert Stephen Parry 
(one copy, Kindle or print -- International)

The Elizabethan golden age was peopled by a court of flamboyant and devoted men - each one unique, ambitious and talented. At its centre was a woman, Elizabeth, the Tudor princess who succeeded to the throne of England in 1558 and who vowed to her Parliament to remain unwed and a Virgin Queen for the rest of her life. How did such a diverse group of red-blooded men view their ?Gloriana?? What were their aims and intentions? What were their dreams? And just how did Elizabeth manage to control and manipulate them? A unique blend of fact and fiction brings the Elizabethan court and its inhabitants to life in an evocative series of biographical sketches that will inform and entertain in equal measure. 


About the author
Robert Stephen Parry is a UK writer of historical fiction with special interests in Tudor, Elizabethan and Georgian England; Victorian Gothic and Pre-Raphaelite art. A fresh and original voice in historical fiction, his work combines reality, mystery and imagination within a well-researched and vivid historical setting. Publications to date include:

2014 'ELIZABETH - The Virgin Queen and the Men who Loved Her.'
2013 'WILDISH - A Story Concerning Different Kinds of Love'
2011 'THE ARROW CHEST - A Victorian Mystery'
2009 'VIRGIN AND THE CRAB - Sketches, Fables and Mysteries from the Early Life of John Dee and Elizabeth Tudor'

https://robertstephenparry.wordpress.com
https://elizabethsmen.wordpress.com


(WINNERS - LINDSEY, MANDY, SARAH, ANGELA V. ELSI)
Miss Taken by Cleo Scornavacca (5  4  3  2  1 eBook copies -- International)

Love........................The Ultimate Loss of Control

Rain and Raven Medici are identical twins. Although they come from a loving close-knit family their childhoods couldn’t have been more different. Raven went to school and was exposed freely to the outside world. Rain on the other hand was born with a blood disorder and denied many normal childhood experiences.

Once grown, Raven becomes a lawyer at their dad’s firm Kane & Medici in NYC. Rain along with her only childhood friend Tommy Conte, builds a very successful business as professional photographers. Traveling between Europe and Manhattan, and enjoying a world that was kept from her, Rain vows never to be controlled again.

Dominick Kane is a product of his upbringing. He’s powerful, self-assured and knows he can achieve anything he desires. Nothing gets in his way. There is only one
thing he has ever failed at. A relationship with his father Vincent Kane. Upon his father’s death, Dominick vows revenge. The events he sets in motion put him on a
collision course he himself will be unable to control.

In a bizarre twist of fate, Dominick kidnaps Raven as part of his plan for revenge. Only to discover afterward, he has taken Rain by mistake. Rain knows she can never survive being confined again. So she strikes a bargain with the devil and agrees to help Dominick get back what he feels rightly belongs to him. His father’s share of Kane & Medici.

Dominick decides to use the strong attraction growing between Rain and himself to control her in every way imaginable. Too bad no one ever taught Dominick you can’t control the heart. Nothing could have prepared him for the effect Rain would have on his.

Will this plan of revenge turn into unconditional love? Or will Dominick and Rain’s need for control ultimately destroy them and any possible chance for a real future
together…………...


About the author
As far back as I can remember, I've loved books. I love reading them and finally, I've admitted to myself that I love to write them.

Since the day I started to write Rain and Dominick's story, I've never looked back, nor do I regret one single moment of it.

When I write, much of the time the story plays in my head as a movie and sometimes even includes background music. We can all use a little background music.

I try to add elements of things I love. And share them with the readers. I'll continue to create characters and stories that you can laugh, cry, love, hate and even become slightly crazy about.

Let's face it, we can all use some crazy every now and then.

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(WINNER - MELISSA)
Bathing Beauties, Booze And Bullets by Ellen Mansoor Collier (one eBook -- International)

"Midnight in Paris" meets Miss Universe in 1927 Galveston, Texas—the “Sin City of the Southwest.” Jasmine (“Jazz”) Cross is an ambitious 21-year-old society reporter for the Galveston Gazette who tries to be taken seriously by the good-old-boy staff, but the editors only assign her fluffy puff pieces, like writing profiles of bathing beauties. The last thing Jazz wants to do is compare make-up tips with ditzy dames competing in the Miss Universe contest, known as the “International Pageant of Pulchritude and Bathing Girl Revue.”

She’d rather help solve the murders of young prostitutes who turn up all over town, but city officials insist on burying the stories during Splash Day festivities. After Jazz gets to know the bathing beauties, she realizes there’s a lot more to them than just pretty faces and figures. Jazz becomes suspicious when she finds out the contest is also sponsored by the Maceos, aspiring Beach Gang leaders and co-owners of the Hollywood Dinner Club, where the girls will perform before the parade and pageant.

Worse, her half-brother Sammy Cook, owner of the Oasis, a speakeasy on a rival gang’s turf, asks her to call in a favor from handsome Prohibition Agent James Burton: He wants Agent Burton to raid the Hollywood Club during the bathing beauties dance routine--or risk revenge from the Downtown Gang leader. Her loyalties torn, Jazz is faced with an impossible task that could compromise both of their jobs and budding romance. Meanwhile, Jazz fends off advances from Colin Ferris, an attractive but dangerous gangster who threatens Sammy as well as Burton. In the end, she must risk it all to save her friends from a violent killer hell-bent on revenge. Inspired by actual events.


About the author
Ellen Mansoor Collier is a Houston-based freelance magazine writer and editor whose articles and essays have been published in several national magazines, including: FAMILY CIRCLE, MODERN BRIDE, GLAMOUR, BIOGRAPHY, COSMO, PLAYGIRL, etc. Several of her short stories have appeared in WOMAN'S WORLD. A flapper at heart, she’s the owner of DECODAME, specializing in Deco to retro vintage items.

Formerly she's worked as a magazine editor, and in advertising and public relations (plus endured a hectic semester as a substitute teacher). She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Magazine Journalism. FLAPPERS, FLASKS AND FOUL PLAY is her first novel, published in 2012, followed by the sequel, BATHING BEAUTIES, BOOZE AND BULLETS, released in May 2013. She lives in Houston with her husband and Chow mutts, and visits Galveston whenever possible.
"When you grow up in Houston, Galveston becomes like a second home. I had no idea this sleepy beach town had such a wild and colorful past until I began doing research, and became fascinated by the legends and stories of the 1920s. Finally I had to stop researching and start writing, trying to imagine a flapper's life in Galveston during Prohibition."

Visit her on Goodreads and at her Website


(WINNER - NAILA)
The Reindeer Keeper by Barbara Briggs Ward (one print copy -- International)

Abbey senses something special about the little man tending to the reindeer who, along with a century-old farmhouse, a barn full of animals, and fields abounding in woods and pasture, was a gift to Abbey from a stranger. Abbey and her husband, Steve, move in just before the holidays. They have been together since the '60s, eloping when Steve returned from Vietnam. Now with Abbey's cancer in remission, they're looking forward to their boys coming home for Christmas.

Turns out this Christmas proves to be more magical than anticipated as Abbey realizes an understanding never thought possible through the rekindling of a belief rooted in childhood. Of course it's who delivers this gift on Christmas Eve that gives Abbey and Steve the strength to face their greatest challenge.


(WINNER - JANE)
The Snowman Maker by Barbara Briggs Ward (one print copy -- International)

Over the years Ben and Ellie never had a problem communicating. So when Ben seems distant, Ellie's confused. Her instinct tells her it has something to do with the contents of an old cardboard box his father insisted Ben take before he passed away. With the children grown, Ben's evasiveness adds to Ellie wishing the holidays were over.

But it's Christmas-the season of hope and love rekindled-especially when going back to a wondrous place on a winter's night in the old sleigh decorated in pine boughs and silver bells-the very sleigh that carried a little boy and that cardboard box on a Christmas Eve journey so long ago.

About the author
Barbara Briggs Ward grew up in the country surrounded by relatives and a backdrop made for inspiring a young imagination. Barbara and her cousins were constantly playing in their chicken coop clubhouse filled with the remains of an abandoned one-room schoolhouse. It was in that clubhouse where Barbara read her favorite authors including Louisa May Alcott and Laura Ingalls Wilder - and began writing her own little stories. When her grandfather made her "most favorite Christmas present ever" - a simple pine desk with a single drawer which held a pad of lined paper and a #2 pencil - Barbara knew she wanted to be a writer.

Barbara began writing for children, having been published in Highlights for Children andwww.storiesforchildrenmagazine.org. She is the author/illustrator of the Snarly Sally picture book series.

Barbara's writing took a turn in October, 2010 when she published, "The Reindeer Keeper", a heartwarming story of Family & Christmas chosen by both Yahoo's Christmas Book Club Group and Yonker's Riverfront Library Book Club as their 2012 December Book of the month.

Barbara's story, "In Anticipation of Doll Beds" was published in the Chicken Soup for the Soul book, "Christmas Magic" October, 2010. In March, 2012 her short story, "A Brown Boy of Our Own" was included in the Chicken Soup for the Soul book, "Family Caregivers."

In October, 2012, Barbara released her first work of Amish fiction, "A Robin's Snow" on Kindle. The book was recommended reading by Amazon September, 2013. Barbara's second work of Christmas fiction, "The Snowman Maker," was released October, 2013. June, 2014: Short story, "The Great Berry Pie Cook-Off" featured as a First Friday Fiction piece on TheSaturday Evening Post website.

Visit Barbara at her WEBSITE.

PRIZES FROM KRISTEN AT THE BOOK MONSTERS


(WINNER - LAURA)
Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre (one ARC copy -- US only)

Revenge is a dish best served cold.

Edie Kramer has a score to settle with the beautiful people at Blackbriar Academy. Their cruelty drove her to the brink of despair, and four months ago, she couldn't imagine being strong enough to face her senior year. But thanks to a Faustian compact with the enigmatic Kian, she has the power to make the bullies pay. She's not supposed to think about Kian once the deal is done, but devastating pain burns behind his unearthly beauty, and he's impossible to forget.

In one short summer, her entire life changes, and she sweeps through Blackbriar, prepped to take the beautiful people down from the inside. A whisper here, a look there, and suddenly... bad things are happening. It's a heady rush, seeing her tormentors get what they deserve, but things that seem too good to be true usually are, and soon, the pranks and payback turns from delicious to deadly. Edie is alone in a world teeming with secrets and fiends lurking in the shadows. In this murky morass of devil's bargains, she isn't sure who—or what--she can trust. Not even her own mind...


(WINNER - TIF)
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson (one paperback copy -- US only)


Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.

Elisa is the chosen one.

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can't see how she ever will.

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he's not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people's savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.

About Book Monster Kristen
Kristen is an Elementary School Library Media Specialist in the Chicago suburbs who loves reading. Why else would she be a librarian? Kristen’s library services over 900 students from Early Childhood to 5th grade. She has a lovely husband who also enjoys reading. She mainly reads Young Adult and Middle Grade fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction and (sometimes) contemporary realistic fiction.

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GIVEAWAY DETAILS 

This is a read-a-thon participant only giveaway. To be eligible, you must have signed up, participated and completed a wrap-up post at the end and link it here at Seasons of Reading at the official read-a-thon wrap-up post (I will give everyone until Tuesday (7/29) at 11:59pm CST to complete their wrap-up posts). We have a total of 27 prizes. This means there will be 27 winners. I'm going to do things a bit differently this time and this is only because it takes so long the way I was doing it previously. I'm going to award prizes as they do during Dewey's Read-a-Thon. That means first come, first servedI will draw the 27 winners with random.org and email all 27 at the same time. The first person who emails me back with their choice gets that prize. I will mark off the prizes as they are taken. All eBook prizes will be sent to winner via email so please specify what format you require in your email. Winners will be chosen after the wrap-up post deadline (see above). 

Good luck and thanks for joining me for the read-a-thon!

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Monday, July 21, 2014

High Summer Read-a-Thon...Here we go! #HSreadathon


It's time to start the read-a-thon. Yay! I hope everyone is ready to get their read on. I know I am. Just hoping I can find the time this week.

You guys are not going to believe how many prizes I have this time! It was amazing how many authors and bloggers offered donations. Thank you so much to all of them. The prize page will be up by Tuesday at the latest so stay tuned.

If you have any questions about how things work, check out the guidelines tab above or the sign up post, or you can always leave me a comment. The linky below is the same one as the sign up linky. If you do a starting line/goal post, just add your link again, but be sure to put "goal post" beside your name, i.e. Michelle/The True Book Addict (goal post).

I want to do one Twitter chat this time, instead of three. I know that I will have to schedule it at night, probably after 7:00pm central time. Please let me know in the comments what night of the week and time would work for you. I will go with the majority out of who votes in the comments.

Remember, our hashtag for the read-a-thon is #HSreadathon

I think that about covers it. Enjoy the week and Happy Reading!

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Monday, July 7, 2014

High Summer Read-a-Thon - Time to Sign-Up!!! #HighSummerRAT


Wow! Time really got away from me. Only two weeks until the read-a-thon starts. So sorry for the delay in posting the sign-ups.

I'm not going to go into much detail here, as I've streamlined things by adding a "Guidelines" tab at the top of the blog. Any information you need about the read-a-thon you can find there. Dates are Monday, July 21 at 12:00am CST through Sunday, July 27 at 11:59pm CST. We will probably only have one Twitter chat this time. I will announce the date and time in the starting post. Also, check the guidelines because I've made changes regarding signing up and the starting line. Our Twitter hashtag is #HSreadathon (sorry about the earlier mistake with the hashtag. This is the correct one).

Sign up in the linky below. Be sure to grab the button at the top of this post (there's also a grab code below the button in the sidebar). 
I am looking for prize donations so if anyone would like to contribute, let me know. Authors, this is a great way to promote your book! Contact me via the contact form link just below the header.

Thanks for signing up!


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