Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Haunted Ebook by J. L. Bryan

The Haunted Ebook
By: J. L. Bryan

Dee escapes her dreary librarian job and unfaithful boyfriend by reading romance and fantasy on her Kindle. She tries The Haunted E-book, the story of a 19th century tramp printer whose ghost awakens whenever someone reads a book he created. The ghost stalks his readers and threatens them with death if they stop reading the book. Though she doesn’t usually like ghost stories, Dee can’t stop herself from reading it. Then Dee learns the stories in the books are true, the malevolent ghost is real, and Dee might be the next character to die.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Paranormals Series

The Paranormals Series

Jenny Pox
Book One of The Paranormals
By: J. L. Bryan

Jenny's touch spreads a deadly supernatural plague. She can't control her power, so she devotes her life to avoiding contact with other people in her small Southern town.  Her senior year of high school, she meets the one boy she can touch...but if she's going to be with him, Jenny must learn to use the "Jenny pox" inside her to survive his devious, manipulative girlfriend, who secretly wields the most dangerous power of all.

Tommy Nightmare
Book Two of The Paranormals
By: J. L. Bryan

While Fallen Oak recovers from the Jenny pox, someone new is hunting Jenny. Like Jenny, Ashleigh Goodling belonged to a pair of opposites with powers that mirror each other. Now Jenny and Seth must face the opposite of love...

Alexander Death
Book Three of The Paranormals
By: J. L. Bryan

While Seth searches for Jenny, Dr. Heather Reynard of the CDC unravels Seth and Jenny's secrets. Alexander opens Jenny's mind to her deep past, and to the full horrific extent of her powers. Torn between her feelings for Alexander and Seth, and between her past lives and her present, Jenny must prepare to face her enemies in the final, catastrophic battle...

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Excerpt from Fairystruck

So J. L. Bryan was kind enough to let me get an excerpt from his third book in The Songs of Magic series to share with you guys!!!   ***Squee*** (Thank you soooo much!!!)  No cover yet, but the book is suppose to be released spring of 2012.

(The band, having signed a major record contract and made a CD and a video, see their completed music video for the first time):

“Wow,” Erin said. “They figured out how to make the song even worse.”

The video cut back to the castle ruins.  It had taken an extra day of shooting to get the video completed, since the first night was interrupted by a gang of evil fairies, or darkfae, who wanted to swipe the band’s magic instruments for their own purposes.  The video ended with Erin stepping out of the ruins, pulling up her red hood, and descending the stairs alone into a quiet night, as if nothing at all had happened while she was there.

“I guess it could be worse,” Erin said.

“It’s great!” Mitch said. “Filmed on location at Dracula’s castle, with magical special effects...what’s not to love?  I think it’s quite flash.”

Dred gave him an annoyed look—though they’d only been in Ireland a few weeks, Mitch had started to develop an accent.  Not even an Irish accent, but a bad imitation of an English one.

“I suppose you’re unhappy with it as well, Erin?” Mitch asked.

“I actually don’t care,” Erin said. “It was always a bad song, and it’s still a bad song.  They couldn’t make it worse if they tried.”

“Anyway, it’s out there now!” Mitch said with a grin. “They’re playing the single and the video all over America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand today, too.  And soon we’ll be on tour.  Time to see how the world likes the song!”

“Ugh.” Erin lay back on the couch in Mitch’s room and closed her eyes. “I don’t even want to think about it.”

***Want a chance to win a copy of Fairy Metal Thunder, the first book in the series?  Be sure to check my Young Adult Paranormal Activity Hop post before the 28th to get that chance!***

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Excerpt from Fairy Blues

Aoide was unhappy to hear the knock on her front door.  It was an unhappy knock, a gruff open-up-now sort of knock.  She opened the porthole and looked out through the smoked glass.  Two stout, rough-looking dwarves with thick beards stood outside.  They looked like identical twins.
Aoide raised the smoked-glass window.
“Can I help you, gentledwarves?” Aoide asked.
“Rifgrid Brothers,” one said. “Collections and Repossessions.”
“We collect so you don’t have to,” the other said.
“Well, thank you for that,” Aoide said. “Unfortunately, I don’t need any collections or repossessions today.  I’ll be sure to magic-mirror you if I do.  Thanks for stopping by!”
“You’re welcome,” the first dwarf said.
Aoide closed the window.  She only retreated a few steps from her door when the pounding knock sounded again.  She returned and raised the glass.
“We’re not here to collect for you,” the second dwarf said. “We have to collect from you.”
“Collect from me?  But I didn’t request any collections,” Aoide said.
“It’s not up to you,” the first dwarf said. “Because of your many unpaid bills, we have to liquido...liquify...take your stuff and sell it off.”
“Well, that’s no good,” Aoide said. “What are my other options?”
“You could pay us twenty silver pieces,” the second dwarf said. “That’ll stave off the bill collectors for a month.”
“I don’t have twenty silver pieces!” Aoide said. “You see, I’m a musician, and my lute was stolen.  Our whole band was robbed of our instruments.  The Queensguard is helping us find them.  So if you can just wait a little while—”
“I’m afraid not, miss,” the first dwarf said. “We have to take your money or your stuff today.”
“Unfortunately, I’m not home today.” Aoide lowered the glass and locked it into place.  She ran through her apartment to her sleeping-room, thinking she would hop off the rear balcony and fly away somewhere until the dwarves left.

***Want a chance to win a copy of Fairy Metal Thunder, the first book in the series?  Be sure to check out my post Young Adult Paranormal Giveaway Hop before the 28th to get that chance!***

Friday, February 24, 2012

Excerpt from Fairy Metal Thunder

The door opened onto a cobblestone road curving through a dark forest.  A number of the trees beside the road had little doors built into them.  Jason turned and saw that he'd just emerged from a tree himself.  He looked up along the trunk and saw it branched out into little limbs overhead, like a normal tree.  Impossible.  How could it be connected to the tree in Mrs. Dullahan's yard?
It was nighttime, but the forest was illuminated by swarms of fireflies, which glowed in a bright spectrum of winking colors—shimmering gold, fire-red, sunset orange.  
He stepped onto the road, and a wooden cart came clattering around the bend.  It was drawn by a pair of shaggy blue goats, and driven by what looked like a small girl with long sapphire blue hair that streamed out behind her like a cape.
“Out of the way, road-troll!” she shouted, and Jason scrambled back off the road.  As she rocketed past, he thought he saw a pair of waxy, gossamer wings protruding from her shoulder blades.  Little glass bottles full of frothy blue milk gleamed in the cart behind her, packed into place with golden hay.

***Want a chance to win a copy of Fairy Metal Thunder?  Be sure to check back out my Young Adult Paranormal Giveaway Hop post before the 28th to get that chance!***

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Young Adult Paranormal Activity Giveaway Hop

First let me say thank you to Vvb32Reads and I am a Reader, Not a Writer for hosting this hop!

Now on to the giveaway!  

As with the last hop, there will be two contests with this one, One for US/Canada and one for International. So be sure to leave in the comments which one you are going to enter! Also be sure to check the list of things you must do to enter the contest! (just scroll down, you can't miss the red!)  It's not a long list and the only thing different then my usual requirement for entries is that I need to know which contest you are entering.

For the US/Canada contest:

I was lucky enough to have J.L. Bryan agree to give away a print copy of his book Fairy Metal Thunder!

Jason plays guitar in a teenage garage band called the Assorted Zebras, but they have no fans and no gigs, and they're going nowhere. Even worse, Jason has a crush on the lead singer, but she already has a near-perfect boyfriend.

One night, Jason steals enchanted instruments from the fairy world. Suddenly (with a little help from YouTube) every kid in the Midwest is crazy about the Assorted Zebras.

The fairy instruments drive the crowds wild, but the new gear is brimming with dangerous and destructive magic. The band struggles to gain control of their instruments and avoid the supernatural bounty hunters sent by Queen Mab of Faerie to track them down, all while trying to finally land their first gig.

For the International contest:
(anyone not located in the US or Canada)

J.L.Bryan will be offering an e-copy of Fairy Metal Thunder

If you would like to find out more about J.L. Bryan check out his interview! Want to find out more about the book? Check  here for my review and read an excerpt here!  

To Enter:

Things you MUST do:

-Follow Reviews From My First Reads Shelf- This can be either via GFC or Networked Blogs or Linky (they are all on the right side bar). 

-Leave a Comment on this Post with how you follow, your follower name, an email address so I can contact you, and whether you are International or US/Canada (so I know which contest to enter you in)
MUST have these items in the comment for me to enter you in the contest! Please!! Thank you!  

See easy, nothing complicated and now you can hop on to the next blog on the list! Good Luck!

If the list doesn't appear just click here to go back to the original list at I am a Reader, Not a Writer.

Songs of Magic Series

The Songs of Magic Series

Fairy Metal Thunder
Book One in The Songs of Magic Series
By: J. L. Bryan

Jason plays guitar in a teenage garage band called the Assorted Zebras, but they have no fans and no gigs, and they're going nowhere. Even worse, Jason has a crush on the lead singer, but she already has a near-perfect boyfriend.

One night, Jason steals enchanted instruments from the fairy world. Suddenly (with a little help from YouTube) every kid in the Midwest is crazy about the Assorted Zebras.

The fairy instruments drive the crowds wild, but the new gear is brimming with dangerous and destructive magic. The band struggles to gain control of their instruments and avoid the supernatural bounty hunters sent by Queen Mab of Faerie to track them down, all while trying to finally land their first gig.

Fairy Blues
Book Two in The Songs of Magic Series
By: J. L. Bryan

With their enchanted instruments charming the crowds, the Assorted Zebras attract interest from record producers, and soon they're off to cut their first album and music video. Jason and his friends don't know they've just become pawns in a sinister plot by a cabal of evil fairies...

Meanwhile, Aoide and her band pursue a new strategy for regaining their stolen instruments, one that will take them into the most haunted region in Faerie.

***Want a chance to win a copy of Fairy Metal Thunder?  Be sure to check back between the 24th and the 28th to get that chance!***

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Interview with J. L. Bryan

Tell us a little about yourself, where you are from, do you feel where you live influences how or what you write?

I grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta, and other than a brief exile in California, I’ve always lived in Georgia.  My dad’s side of the family has a big farm in South Carolina, in the same region where I placed the fictional town of Fallen Oak for the Jenny Pox books.  So that clearly had a huge influence on those books.  In my new Songs of Magic series, the main characters are from Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, which is where my wife is from.

What sort of expectations did you have when being published was on the horizon?

I didn’t have very solid expectations about anything.  I started focusing on indie publishing about eighteen months ago, at a time when most people were making a few hundred dollars from it on a good month, and just a few people were making thousands a month.  I thought it would help pay a few bills.  I did not realize that I would be writing full-time by 2012!  It’s turned out well because I get to spend a lot of time with my son, who’s eight months old.

What is your biggest pet peeve ?

Onions.  They put those nasty little demon vegetables in everything, spoiling all kinds of otherwise delicious meals.

You have published quite a few books and have been in a few anthologies. Is there a difference in mind frame writing a stand alone novel and in writing a story for an anthology? 

What I like about short stories is that they can be kind of bizarre and experimental.  You can take ideas that are a little too odd for a full-length novel and just play with them.  Also, you don’t need to worry about any kind of happy ending, because the reader hasn’t invested enough in the characters and story to really need that kind of closure.  Some stories don’t have closure at all, you’re just exploring a single event or a single moment.  

With a novel, it’s a longer-term commitment, so you have to think—is this an idea rich enough that I can keep writing it for the next several months?  You’re almost more conservative with novels, because you want something that will satisfy a reader who spends hours with the story.

Is there a genre you prefer to write? What about to read?

I like to write speculative fiction in general.  I like fantasy, horror, science fiction.  I read pretty omnivorously—I like those genres, obviously, but I like just about anything.  I read a lot more nonfiction now than when I was younger.  I go through phases of studying different subjects—genetics, economics.  In recent months I’ve been reading a lot of rock biographies because of the series I’m writing, where the main characters use stolen fairy instruments to become rock stars.  And of course I’ve been reading all the fairy lore I can find.  Fun stuff.  

Care to give us a peek at what your latest writing project is?

I’m working on the third book in my Songs of Magic series.  Having gained a huge fan base and a big record contract with their stolen fairy instruments, the band goes on tour...unfortunately for them, all the promotion makes it very easy for the fairies and Queen Mab’s assorted supernatural bounty hunters to track them down...

It's Happy Heart Day time...any special plans?
(ok well this interview WAS originally planned to go up around V-day, my fault entirely that it didn't)

We might do something really wild, like get a babysitter for a few hours so we can go out.  We’ve yet to have a babysitter—one or both of us has been with the baby every moment since he was born!

You can also fine J. L. Bryan here:

J. L. Bryan Books

***Want a chance to win a copy of Fairy Metal Thunder?  Be sure to check back between the 24th and the 28th to get that chance!***

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Spotlight on: J. L. Bryan

So I'm turning the spotlight on:
(Drum Roll Please)

His current works include:
The Paranormals:

Songs of Magic

Other Works:

***Want a chance to win a copy of Fairy Metal Thunder?  Be sure to check back between the 24th and the 28th to get that chance!***

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Manga/Graphic Novel/Video Game Novel Challenge 2012-February Round Up!

This challenge is being hosted by Mother/Gamer/Writer.
 For more details on the challenge such as levels, guidelines, PRIZES!!!, just click here.

This post is to  link to all reviews of the books I've read for this challenge this month. To check out  books for this month read by other readers that are taking part in this challenge click here! 

So here's my round up of reviews for February for the Manga/Graphic Novel/Video Game Novel Challenge 2012.  This month I focused on Manga and read Volumes 1-4 of the MeruPuri series By: Matsuri Hino

Volume 1:

On the way to school one morning, Airi loses her mirror - one that had been passed down to her through generations - and suddenly finds herself in a bizarre situation. Never in her wildest dreams did she expect Aram, a little boy from a magical kingdom, to have emerged from the mirror in the short time it took her to track it down!

I haven't read manga in a REALLY long time.  So it took me a minute to get back into the reading the book backwards.  I wasn't sure where I wanted to start, there are sooo many great mangas, new and old, out there. I ended up reading MeruPuri because I had told my daughters (huge manga fans) that I need to find some to read for a challenge I signed up for.  Next thing I know there's a pile of books next to my computer.  They can be very helpful when they want to be. :)

I have to say I really enjoyed MeruPuri.  The story was cute and sweet, with just enough craziness thrown in to make it interesting.  It had those cutting snarky comments that would pop up out of nowhere and have me giggling.  The story itself is about Airi.  She has an obsession with being on time to school.  She is convinced that the better her record of arriving on time, the better a boyfriend she will end up with.  Click here to read the rest of my review!

Volume 2:

After Aram's elder brother Jeile fails to lift the spell on him, Aram is forced to stay with Airi. Meanwhile, an unsuspecting Airi recites Aram's full name in front of the mirror and is magically transported to Astale! But to Airi's dismay, the citizens of Aram's kingdom give her the cold shoulder. What do they know about her secret bloodline...?

Still loving MeruPuri!  I think Aram is adorable in both his little and big form.  Airi is still addicted to "Tales of Marriage on the Plains" and Aram is still hooked on "Sparkle Rangers" Still loving the artwork too, as well as the little bonus bits and side notes that the author has added in the sidelines.  There's even one that says the seven-sided mirror Airi carries will be on sale at Animates in Japan.  I know this was published a while back, so if the author wasn't teasing....I SO WANT ONE!!! I know, I know it's not really gonna take me to a magical kingdom, but the mirror itself looks really cool!.
Click here to read the rest of my review!

  Volume 3:

While on a seaside field trip, the little boy Aram and Airi find themselves in the middle of a blackout at a public bath. Frazzled to no end, Airi drags Aram inside a closet, but someone walks in on them. Will Aram's secret be blown so soon? Meanwhile, Aram's former fiancee Mariabel shows up at school. What evil schemes does she have in store for Aram and Airi?

So this one picks up right where the second one left off, with Aram and Airi in a closet.

Ok. so I still have some issues with how different Aram acts when he is big compared with when he is little. Sigh, but maybe it is because his big body has more hormones? *shrug*
Click here to read the rest of my review!

   Volume 4:

All high-school freshman Airi Hoshina ever wanted was to someday live in a cozy home with a loving husband, and find joy in the little things in life. As a result, she makes it her daily mission to get to school on time because school legend has it that the longer one's non-tardy streak is, the better boyfriend one will find. But just when her daily routine is working like clockwork, an occurrence of fairytale proportions threatens to disrupt her grand plan.

Ok, there wasn't much of a summery on Amazon for this one. So here goes.  Airi is still stuck in Astale, and Aram STILL doesn't remember her! To make matters worse Raz has trapped her in The Deserted House.

***Spoiler Alert*** There's gonna be some spoilerage throughout this review so I'm just letting you all know now! ***End alert, but not necessarily the spoiling***  (Also I LOVE happy endings, and this book is suppose to be the final one in the series and it has one! So I am very happy about that)
Click here to read the rest of my review!

Thursday, February 16, 2012



Just a  note to all my readers and friends out there.   Sorry I just stopped posting.  I actually had plans for posts to go up this week.  I was going to set them up to auto-post and such over the weekend.

Yeah. As you can see that didn't happen. The first of the month I was just trying to catch up on some reading and reviews.  Then last Friday happened...

My day started out normal. Although I don't even remember if I checked my email or not in the morning. I assume I did, since I normally try to check it every morning. By mid afternoon though I was in the midst of trying to run some errands and I had just picked up some stuff from Wally-world and was headed back out to take my father-in-law to an emergency Dr.'s appointment.  Yeah that's when hell broke loose in my own little world.  I was backing out of the driveway and somehow my cat, Harvey, was behind my car....

I'll spare the gory details, if only because I still need to finish other important things today and I don't want to curl up in a ball and blow off the rest of the day.  But it wasn't pretty. The worst part was he didn't make it.  The second to worst part was that I saw what I did to him....

Thank God for my neighbors. Specifically Whitney. She saw it happen and rushed out immediately.  She took over and got me off the ground and took care of what needed to be done.

Though she, nor my other neighbor Irving might never read this, I want to again say thank you to them, and to God for them being there at the time.   I am ashamed to say I don't know what I would have done, and I don't think I would have been able to do anything more than scream.

I know to people who don't have deep connections to their pets that it's hard to understand how they become friends and part of the family.  But the fact that I was the one who did what happened to him....well, yeah. This past week has been horrible.

Thank God also for my family and my boyfriend who have given me support through it all.  The worst part still is that when I don't keep myself busy, or I close my eyes for too long I still see it.

I loved my Harvey. I had had him since he was about 3 weeks old. (someone had abandoned him)  My ex and I bottle fed him and he was always around.

I had just recently gotten him chipped, since he insisted on going outside and picking up people.  (he actually had gone into a local Walgreens a few months back and made quite a few new friends. I'm tearing up now thinking about it, yet still his antics bring a smile to my face.)

Even that morning he had me running to get him, cause he had made a new friend who was concerned since he had just been standing in the street, as if he expected her to stop and give him a ride. (which she did)  I never got the women's name. But even she fell in love with him.   Even going so far as to take a pic of him to take home to show her kids.

I loved him, and I know he loved me, and he loved pretty much everyone he came in contact with.  I will miss him and I'm sorry. I know it was an accident, a horrible, horrible accident, but still....


Thank you all in advance for your understanding about late posts, and if I made a commitment to any of you I still plan to honor it, I've just been on auto-pilot the past week.....

Harvey Hayes