Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A to Z Blogging Challenge April 2012

It is being hosted by a whole bunch of bloggers:

Tossing It Out (Arlee Bird)

Amlokiblogs (Damyanti Biswas)

Alex J. Cavanaugh (Alex J. Cavanaugh)

Life is Good (Tina Downey)

Cruising Altitude 2.0 (DL Hammons)

Retro-Zombie (Jeremy Hawkins)

The Warrior Muse (Shannon Lawrence)

The QQQE (Matthew MacNish)

Author Elizabeth Mueller(Elizabeth Mueller)

Pearson Report (Jenny Pearson)

No Thought 2 Small (Konstanz Silverbow)

Breakthrough Blogs (Stephen Tremp)

Coming Down The Mountain(Karen Jones Gowen)

So this year I decided to participate in this challenge.   It starts Sunday and I am almost done all my posts.  (almost, I know I'm a procrastinator)  I have seen recently that a lot of the other participants have themes.  Themes?!? I was suppose to have a theme!!!???!!! Oh lord, well it's a bit late for that now.   So I'm going to stretch the theme idea a little.   My theme will be:


Yeah I know that's not exactly a theme.  But please humor me.  The posts will be random.  Some will be about books, some will be about things I like or things I do.  Some are even guest posts. (not sure if this is completely allowed, but people wanted to help and I love seeing what other people write)   

I hope you enjoy my alphabetical posts.  I already have ideas for next years A to Z Challenge, and I even have a possible theme.  But by the time I thought it up, it was already a bit too late this year.  So please feel free to get to know me a little through my posts.  Let me know what number you are on the list so I can check out your posts too!  I will be trying to visit all the blogs on the list but it might take awhile.

If you want to read a blog where the posts are a little more related please feel free to check out my other blog, How Can You Help?.  The theme there is schools and I would love to find out your opinions on some of the things I have written there.  

Thanks again for reading!   


Here is a link of all the other entrants in this challenge.  There's A LOT! (I'm #'s 299 and 300, how I got that high up I have noooo idea)   But be sure to check out the other blogs. I'm sure you'll find some other amazing bloggers out there, and what a fun way to find them.

The Bully Project

So I heard about this new movie when I was listening to KIIS-FM 102.7
The Bully Project
Directed by Lee Hirsch, it is a documentary following 5 kids and their families during a school year.  It let's you see into the various facets of their lives.
The movie sound interesting, and as an added bonus for every person that visits the page and views the trailer Care.com will make a donation to anti-bullying initiatives through FacingHistory.org.
Go check out the trailer for The Bully Project. 
So what are you waiting for go! 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Young Adult Paranormal Activity Giveaway Hop Winner!

Time to announce the winner of The Young Adult Paranormal Giveaway Hop:

The winner has already been contacted and responded.  I hope the enjoy their copy of Fairy Metal Thunder by J. L. Bryan.  Thanks to everyone who entered and don't forget to check out my other contests and giveaways!

Manga/Graphic Novel/Video Game Novel Challenge 2012 March 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 March for the Manga/Graphic Novel/Video Game Novel Challenge 2012.   (It's been a crazy two months so I was only able to get this done, promise I'll have more next month!)

Good As Lily
By: Derek Kirk Kim, Jesse Hamm (Illustrator)

Summery from Amazon:

 A strange mishap on her eighteenth birthday causes Grace Kwon to be confronted with herself at three different periods in her life--ages six, twenty-nine, and seventy--while she and her friends struggle to save a crumbling school play.

I was fortunate enough to win a $10 book of choice from Michelle's Book Blog. (It was the prize for her post in the  Shameless Giveaway Hop.)  Since I was looking for more books to help me complete the challenge I decided to pick Good As Lily to help further me in reaching my goal.

My review:

*sigh* I really wanted to enjoy this book more than I actually did.  It wasn't that it was bad, it's just that it wasn't as good as I expected it to be.

The story itself was decent.  There were some funny parts, and some really sweet parts and even some emotional parts.   I did actually start to care what happened to Grace and her other selves.  The artwork was decent.  Not as detailed as I would have liked, but not horrible. My favorite character in the whole book was Grace's oldest other self.  She was funny throughout the whole story.   But there were little things about the story that just bothered me.
For instance, the title of the story is "Good As Lily", but I didn't feel it really applied to the story.  Lily is Grace's sister who passed away when Grace was a small child.  One of Grace's issues is that she feels her parents don't think she is 'as good as' Lily was.  But first of all this isn't Graces or her other selves only problems.  Second the problem with her parents....click here to read the rest of my review.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Excerpt from Curb CheK - Reload By: Zach Fortier

CurbCheK - Reload
By: Zach Fortier

It's to be released sometime in April 2012!  And we have an excerpt courtesy of Mr. Fortier himself!  Click here to find out more! So here you go!:

I was working central city again, day shift, and finally had an in-progress call.  It was just a domestic, but still, at least it was in progress.  The caller said that he was walking past a house in central city and could hear a woman and man fighting in the upstairs apartment.  He said that he actually saw the man punch the woman in the face while he stood on the sidewalk outside the building.  The caller then hung up, not wanting to be involved any further.  I arrived at the house, and all was quiet.  My back up was a few minutes out, and I went in.  The house was one of the older and larger homes that had been bought by one of the city’s many slumlords.  It had been renovated and was comprised now of several small apartments being let out at prices that drew the poor, elderly, and underachievers.  I entered the front door and listened.  Nothing; not a sound.  Then a door opened upstairs, and an elderly woman looked out at me.  She pointed at the apartment across the hall from her, nodded, then closed the door.  I advised my back up that the fight was in the apartment upstairs on the right, then quietly walked up the darkened stairs.
  I waited outside the apartment, and I could hear people talking inside; several voices, no anger, just conversation between several voices.  I knocked on the door, and a voice said, “Come in.”  I opened the door and found I was in the living room of the apartment.  There were three couples sitting on the two couches in the living room, three men and three women.  One guy had his arm around a woman who was bleeding heavily from her nose.  The blood was really flowing down her face and shirt as she sat there, her head down, and his arm was gently brushing her hair back out of her face.  The tension in the room was thick as I watched the others for their reaction.  No one acted like anything was wrong with the situation; they just kept on talking as if this were normal.  I asked the woman what had happened, and she didn’t reply.  I asked the man stroking her hair what had happened, and he said, “She fell down.”  I asked her to get up and speak to me in the other room.  She did this and told me that he was her husband and that he had regularly beat her.  She was afraid because he had threatened to kill her this afternoon when she told him she was leaving.  She said that he told her he would never let her leave.  Never.
I asked her if there were any weapons in the house, and she said that there were none but that all the people in the room were his family members, his cousins and their wives.  She was afraid of what would happen if I tried to arrest him.  I told her to let me worry about that and to stay in the back room while I talked to him.  I went back into the living room, and the guy was gone.  The other couples were still there, talking as if nothing had happened.  I heard a noise in the bathroom and forced the door open; the guy was trying to force his fat ass out of a 1x1 window in the bathroom.  No way that was gonna happen - he was way too big.  I stopped and watched while he tried and tried.  I noticed he had a tattoo on the back of his neck that said “Cold Hearted Snake.”  I finally said, “Hey, man, you aren’t gonna ever get out that window.  Just give up.”  He stopped and climbed out of the window and stepped out of the bathtub.  Then he tried to push past me; bad idea.  The fight was on right there in the hallway.  I had him in a chokehold pretty quick and told him to stop or I’d choke him out.  He stopped fighting but started yelling in Spanish to his cousins to come in and kill me.  Things were getting interesting.  He wasn’t gonna go without a fight.  One of his cousins appeared in the hallway, and they had a conversation in Spanish.  The Cold Hearted Snake was telling his cousin that they could kill me and dump me in the alleyway behind the house.  No one would know or tell on them.  I was alone, and they could take me out.  I clamped down on the chokehold and told him to shut the fuck up.  I spoke directly to the cousin and told him I knew who he was and asked how his uncle Maldo was doing.  I told him that he’d better think it over before he decided to enter into this fight.  He disappeared back into the living room.  I figured that was a bad thing and that I had only a few seconds to get ready.  I had the Snake almost unconscious by then, and I dropped him to the floor, gagging and coughing.  I cuffed him fast, then drew my gun and faced the direction the cousin had left.  He immediately reappeared, this time with a large knife in his hand.  I was calmer by now; this kind of combat was becoming the norm for me.  I talked to the cousin, calling him by his name.  “Remo, you need to think this over, ese.  You know me, and you know I know you; no way you walk out of here alive if you take one more fucking step.”  As I aimed at his head, he made eye contact with me and paused.

***Want to win a copy of Curb CheK?  The first book by Zach Fortier?  He is being kind enough to offer a signed print copy to one lucky follower of my blog! PLUS this giveaway will be open INTERNATIONALLY! So no matter what country you are in be sure to come back between March 17th through March 22nd to enter this awesome giveaway!***

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Excerpt from Street Creds

You know how you hear about bangers always talking shit about “bustin’ caps in some fool’s ass”?  Well, sometimes they mean it!
Doughboy from St. Pauls 13 had just come home on a home visit.  He’d been in a Proctor home in San Marcos by court order, and he was allowed to go home on rare occasions to see his mom.  He’d been home in the city less than 24 hours when this shooting happened (it’s also noteworthy that while he was in San Marcos, they had numerous drive-by shootings and gang activity increased noticeably...hmm...wonder why that was?).
Anyway, Doughboy met up with Roberto Vega, another SP-13 gang member that had been in another “rehab program” back east.  They hung out at Vega’s house, playing video games for a while, then decided go for a walk to another friend’s house.  Both Vega and Doughboy had been out of the city for several months, so they went out walking in their old neighborhoods, talking about the girls they’d met during the time they’d been gone and comparing notes on their latest sexual conquests. Suddenly, they ran into several South Side 18th Street gang members, Neto Arredondo and his cousins.
Arredondo was South Side 18th Street and had it tattooed on his chest.  He was very proud of his gang membership, but his parents hoped it was a phase that he would soon outgrow.  This particular day, his family was having a wedding.  His sister was getting married, and he and his cousins had come to the house to get wedding decorations.  They were standing in the front yard of Arredondo’s house, taking a smoke break from loading their truck.  As Doughboy and Vega walked by, the two groups exchanged words.  It started out with “Whatchu claim, man?”, then went downhill fast from there.  They were sworn rivals that hated each other by their gang affiliations.
Doughboy was a huge kid; at 16, he looked like a 35-year-old man.  He was 5’8” and easily 250 lbs. – and he feared no one on the streets.  He was one of only two Black kids that claimed St. Pauls 13 at the time; the other was already in prison for a shooting.  Black kids in St. Pauls 13 were rare since it was a Hispanic gang homegrown and unique to St. Pauls.
Most Black gang members in the city ended up as Crips or Bloods; Dough, however, had grown up hanging out with the homegrown Hispanics and felt an allegiance both to them and the Blacks in the city.  He was a very unique guy in a lot of ways.
Anyway, Doughboy jumped the small fence in the front of the house and called the Arredondos out to fight.  St. Pauls 13 called the 18th Street gang members “in-betweeners” and sometimes “sewer rats”; 18th Street, on the other hand, called the SP-13 members “Chochas”, “Dirtheads”, or “Fakers.”  So, Doughboy challenged the “sewer rats” to a fight.  The South Side 18th Street members outnumbered him, but he was huge – and he could fight.
The 18th Street members kept talking shit to him as they backed away, telling him to get the fuck off their property and get the fuck out of there.  Meanwhile, Arredondo went around the back of the house and went inside to get his father’s 44 mag.  He then came out the front door of the house and confronted Dough, telling him to “get the fuck off of his property” or he’d kill him.  Doughboy called his bluff and stood his ground, talking shit back to Arredondo and telling him that he was going to kick his ass for trying to scare him with some fake ass gun.
That was a huge mistake - because Arredondo wasn’t bluffing.  He shot one round at Doughboy’s head, narrowly missing it; the round ended up burying itself deep into the telephone pole behind Doughboy and to his left.  At that point, Doughboy quickly realized that maybe it was time to leave, so he turned and tried to run, jumping the short fence with Arredondo in pursuit.  Doughboy took a couple steps, and Arredondo shot again; this time, he hit Dough right in the ass, the bullet driving deep into the muscle of his right ass cheek.  The bullet’s impact was so forceful, it knocked Dough right out of his shoes.  Still, he continued running as fast as he could, limping now and bleeding.  Arredondo shot one more round at Dough as he ran past another telephone pole, again narrowly missing his head; the third round also got buried in the telephone pole.
Meanwhile, Vega was in high-speed “get the hell out of Dodge mode,” running as fast as he could from the area.  He wanted nothing to do with the fight; he was on probation and nowhere near the soldier that Doughboy was on the street.  Vega never looked back, leaving Doughboy wounded, bleeding, and running for his life.  Asshole and elbows was all Doughboy saw; Vega was gone, leaving him to live or die on his own.

***Want to win a copy of Curb CheK?  The first book by Zach Fortier? He is being kind enough to offer a signed print copy to one lucky follower of my blog! PLUS this giveaway will be open INTERNATIONALLY! So no matter what country you are in be sure to come back between March 17th through March 22nd to enter this awesome giveaway!***

Monday, March 19, 2012

Street Creds By: Zach Fortier

Street Creds
By: Zach Fortier

Summery from Amazon:

StreetCreds is a look inside the world of street gangs and the cops that work them. I had worked the street for many years before I entered the Gang Task Force. I entered it with an idea that I could rise to the level of violence of any banger I encountered, a really stupid idea. I wanted to “earn back” the respect of the citizens for the police. I left the unit 2 years later severely broken, edgy and dangerously damaged. Street Creds is the story of how all that came to be.

***Want to win a copy of Curb CheK? The first book from Zach Fortier?  He is being kind enough to offer a signed print copy to one lucky follower of my blog! PLUS this giveaway will be open INTERNATIONALLY! So no matter what country you are in be sure to come back between March 17th through March 22nd to enter this awesome giveaway!***

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Happy Release Day!

Book 3 in the Songs of Magic series!
By: J. L. Bryan


With their first single shooting up the Billboard charts, the Zebras hit the road as the opening band for an epic stadium tour across America. The future looks bright for the band, if they can survive the rioting fans, Queen Mab of Faerie, the dullahan, and the evil teddy bears.

Aoide the Lutist and Liadan the banshee wolf cross into man-world on the trail of the stolen fairy instruments. Aoide is shocked at the strangeness of life among the humans, but she also learns about a thrilling new kind of music never heard in Faerie...rock and roll.

Happy Release Day to J. L. Bryan! The third book in his Songs of Magic series had just been released! Click here to get your copy today!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop

First let me say thank you to I am a Reader, Not a Writer,  Books Complete Me and Author Cindy Thomas for co-hosting this wonderful hop!

Now onto the prize up for grabs!

Okay I have TWO (yes two!) great prizes for this hop:

A signed print copy of Curb CheK  and a signed print copy of Street Creds  both by Zach Fortier.


it is open internationally!!! YAY!!!! So it doesn't matter what country you're in you can win!  (Awesome huh?) If you have extra time be sure to stop by my interview with Zach and say hi!

Summery from Amazon:
Zach Fortier has experience as a Military Policeman, Deputy Sheriff, and Police Officer. Serving on two SWAT teams. He has held positions as a K-9 handler, gang unit detective, sex crimes investigator, domestic violence crimes investigator, bike patrol officer, school resource officer and has been assigned to the COPS section (community oriented policing). He was diagnosed with acute PTSD in 2003. Currently living in Denver Colorado. He has three adult children, and is married to an amazing woman. Hobbies include photography, weightlifting, and hiking.

Summery from Amazon:
StreetCreds is a look inside the world of street gangs and the cops that work them. I had worked the street for many years before I entered the Gang Task Force. I entered it with an idea that I could rise to the level of violence of any banger I encountered, a really stupid idea. I wanted to “earn back” the respect of the citizens for the police. I left the unit 2 years later severely broken, edgy and dangerously damaged. Street Creds is the story of how all that came to be.

All you have to do to enter:

-Be follower of this blog-either via GFC, Linky, or Networked Blogs


-Leave a comment stating how you follow, your name you follow with and an email address I can reach you at.

I'm also offering an extra entry this time...

-To get a second entry in the giveaway all you need to do is go to Zach's blog here and follow his blog, either via Networked Blogs or GFC.  Then just leave a comment here letting me know that you did and how you are following his blog.

So that's it a total of two possible entries. Then you can go on to the next blog in the hop!
If the linky doesn't load just click here to go back to the list at I am a Reader, Not a Writer.

Want to find out more about Zach Fortier? Check out his interview here! Click here for my review of CurbCheK and here for my review of Street Creds!

Excerpt from Curb CheK

Another hard lesson learned came when I was still with the county but in one of the bigger cities.  There was a large auditorium in one of the civic centers that the managers were trying to make profitable by renting it out.  Normally, this wouldn’t be our problem; we were county cops, and this was in the city.  One night, however, one of our guys had been poaching in the city, trying to get drunken driving arrests.
He came upon a large riot in progress at the civic center as a large wedding in the auditorium had ended, spilling out onto the grounds.  When he called for help, I responded.  The scene was a chaotic mess with people running everywhere, swinging bats, sticks, and chains, and one group was beating the hell out of a guy on the ground.  That’s where the other deputy was when I arrived; he was trying to break up the group kicking the hell out of the guy.
I pulled up fast, high beams and overheads on, and hit the siren.  The group scattered, then the other deputy yelled at me to chase a specific guy - as he had a knife and had been stabbing the victim.  I was out of the car and running after him.  He took off behind the building, and I was right behind him; once again, like a dumbass I was caught up in the chase.
The area was all rail yards and gravel, and we ran all across tracks and around boxcars.  Finally he gave out, and I landed on top of him, cuffed him, then caught my breath.  I never found the knife.
For a few minutes, we just lay there, both of us breathing hard - then we heard his friends; the same ones who had been kicking the shit out of the guy on the ground were now looking for us.  We were in the pitch dark, and they were trying to find him.
They were all around us, calling out to him.  He yelled back once, then they started running around, frantically trying to locate where the sound came from.
“Let us know where you’re at, holmes” they said, “and we’ll get you out of here!” I heard one guy say, 
“We’ll fuck that cop up!  He’s alone...we’ll get you out of here.  Where are you?”
Then I heard, “Here piggy, piggy, piggy.  We’re gonna fuck you up, bitch!”
I grabbed my suspect by the throat and clamped down until he started to gag.  I then said to him in as violent a whisper as I could, “One fucking word, and I will crush your fucking throat. You will have an accident: you got hurt when you fell down.  Understand, motherfucker?”  He managed to gasp, “Ya.”
We lay there for a while, listening to his friends running around in the gravel, trying desperately to find him while calling to each other and making threats to me.  Finally, some city cops showed up and shined flashlights into the rail yards, looking for us; this scared off his friends.  When it was safe, we got up and walked back the deputy who’d sent me off on this little chase.
I was pretty proud of myself; I’d caught the guy and got off with no injuries.  I walked over to the deputy and tried to give the bad guy over to him, as this was part of his case.
He refused to take him, though.  I was confused.  “What’s up, man?  You told me to chase him.  He was supposed to have a knife, remember?  You said he stabbed your guy?”
He looked me straight in the eye and said, “Well, I never saw any of that.  I didn’t think you’d be able to catch him, and I can’t identify him from the group.  Besides, I don’t want to write a report on this.  Just book him for intoxication, and let’s go.”
I couldn’t believe this shit!  I was hot - really fucking hot.  I checked, and the guy did have warrants, so I booked him on the warrants as well.  The city cops wouldn’t even look at him as a suspect.  Their exact words were, “One Mexican stabbed another Mexican.  Happens all the time!  We don’t fucking care.  He’s yours.”  I did some more checking, and I found out that he was a gang member out of California hanging out with a local gang family in the city.
The whole night had been surreal.  I’d done it again: got caught up in someone else’s call, caught up in the moment and the emotion, and put myself in danger again for nothing.  My fellow deputy and I were no longer on speaking terms after that.  He had the balls to tell everyone that I’d gone after the guy for no reason and didn’t let anyone know where I was going. He also told them that I was careless and unsafe and to be careful around me.
I was learning.

***Want to win a copy of Curb CheK?  Zach is being kind enough to offer a signed print copy to one lucky follower of my blog! PLUS this giveaway will be open INTERNATIONALLY! So no matter what country you are in be sure to come back between March 17th through March 22nd to enter this awesome giveaway!***

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Curb CheK By: Zach Fortier

Curb CheK
By: Zach Fortier

Curbchek is the story of a damaged cop, Zach Fortier. Fortier worked in the police department for the city where he grew up. One foot in the world of the cops, courts and legal system. The other in the world of gangs, drugs, thugs and street violence. Where the laws and rules are made by the strongest, the schemers and the most brutal. Read about the transformation of Fortier from a green rookie to a damaged paranoid veteran seeing danger in every situation. Follow along as he walks this tight rope. Trying to make difference, breaking the laws he promised to enforce. This is a story of law and order uncensored.

***Want to win a copy of Curb CheK?  Zach is being kind enough to offer a signed print copy to one lucky follower of my blog! PLUS this giveaway will be open INTERNATIONALLY! So no matter what country you are in be sure to come back between March 17th through March 22nd to enter this awesome giveaway!***

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Interview with Zach Fortier

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 town I worked in.  That town is a blue collar, crime infested city that has been internally broken since WWII.  That is the culture that I was raised in. It shaped who I am and how I see the world.  The realities of growing up in that city made me want to make a difference and come back to be a cop there.  I have since moved to Colorado and I really like it here.  There is no place like Colorado.  I have been very fortunate.  I am finally married to an amazing and patient woman who makes all the difference in my life.

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

I had very low expectations.  I had done quite a bit of research and I had no illusions about how difficult it was to self publish, and then promote your own writing.  I was expecting a lot of criticism, and a lot of backlash.  I am really surprised at the positive response to the books and their rate of sales.

What is your biggest pet peeve ?

My biggest pet peeve(s)? …being late, being lazy and being around racism. All three make me pissed off beyond belief.

Your first two books have been about your time on the police force, and your third as well.  In your second book, you start to really delve into how your job got to you.  (to put it mildly) Have you found it cathartic to write about your experiences?  

Initially it was not cathartic at all.  Picture shaking up a carbonated drink and trying to open it carefully, slowly and not make a mess. Pretty much impossible to do and you can see that there is no way to contain it.  That is what it was like at first.  Once I started to write about the years I spent on the street as a cop.  I could not stop and I could not contain it.  I wrote, cried and paced the room, angry at the things I remembered and the price I had paid personally for choosing to work this job.  The memories were definitely under pressure and came out at a frightening pace.  Now a year and a half later; three books later.  I do see that it has helped me a lot.  I think clearer, write clearer and I am less angry.  Not to say I am not angry.  I am still angry, just less angry.

Also you don't always portray your fellow co-workers in a very positive light.  Have you gotten backlash from any of your former colleagues regarding this? I know that you use fake names but they have to realize they are being written about. 

The funny thing to me is I have had people who are not in the book at all accuse me of painting them in a negative light.  I guess they have something they have done that bothers them.  I did not write about anyone to slam them or paint them in a negative light.  I just wrote how they were and how I was, neither of us is painted in a positive light.  Nothing about this job is pretty, ever.  It is brutal and ugly.  You see the worst that people can be and do to each other and it affects you.

Do you feel that modern technological advancements aside, have the general perceptions of members of law enforcement changed any since your time there? 

The perceptions of cops and police work change almost daily now.  The reality is technology has changed police work in ways the public cannot grasp.  I think the changes are for the most part for the worse.  The reality is the more technology advances police work the less cops are in touch with the people and the street.  This job is all about people-- all people.  Your work is to enforce laws written by people for people.  You need to learn talk to people and more importantly listen to people.  That is lost by the “bean counters” that have infested the profession trying to come in and make you more efficient.  Efficiency in police work is not measured in numbers produced, in crime rate drops or ticket quotas.  That is an easy gauge for the small minded to use, to show they have the magic answer to crime.  Reality is there is no magic answer.  Cops have very little affect on crime rates.  We are rarely proactive in this job. We are reactive 99% of the time.  Now the culture is to call the cops, call 911, and expect an answer to all your problems.  It is not realistic to expect a cop to come into a situation and resolve it; making choices that are going to undo anything that has taken years to develop; do anything meaningful.  It takes years for the conditions that create a murder to occur.  How does a cop change that?  Yet on TV that is what people are shown.  Cops are shown to solve all of societies ills in an hour or less and people love it.  Very Stupid Idea! 

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

I like to write what I know.  It is gritty and shocking to those who are not aware of the street.  For those who are, they nod and acknowledge the reality of the experience.  It rings true for all of us who have been there.
 I prefer to read Sci Fi and Biographies… Greg Bear is my favorite Sci Fi author.  I prefer Bios that get you into the person’s head that the book is about. I want to learn what makes them tick, their dark side, their motivations.  The skeletons in their closet.  The good and the bad.

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

My latest project is a dark look at meth addiction and crime.  It is told from the perspective of a woman I know who has been through a lot; sexual abuse as a child, dysfunctional family, broken marriages, a health issue that caused her to gain weight, the frustration with dealing with her doctors concerning the weight gain made her desperate.  She turned to meth and spiraled out of control.  Meth use, manufacturing and distribution; crimes she committed and the entire life style surrounding drug culture will all be looked at.  She ran with motorcycle gangs and ended up a convicted felon, doing prison time.  She is now trying to rebuild her life one day at a time.  It will be a look at crime and drugs from the other side…  The inside.  I am really excited about this book.  Showing the inside of a culture that very few people have survived.  It should be fascinating to write.  I hope I can do it justice.

Just because I can, will you be wearing green on St. Patty's day?

I hate the color green.  I will not be wearing green!  I love St Patrick’s day but I hate green anything.

Want to find out more about Zach? You can find him here:

***Want to win a copy of Curb CheK?  Zach is being kind enough to offer a signed print copy to one lucky follower of my blog! PLUS this giveaway will be open INTERNATIONALLY! So no matter what country you are in be sure to come back between March 17th through March 22nd to enter this awesome giveaway!***

Monday, March 12, 2012

Spotlight on Zach Fortier

So I'm turning the spotlight on:
(drum roll please)

His current works:

Soon to be released!:

***Want to win a copy of Curb CheK?  Zach is being kind enough to offer a signed print copy to one lucky follower of my blog! PLUS this giveaway will be open INTERNATIONALLY! So no matter what country you are in be sure to come back between March 17th through March 22nd to enter this awesome giveaway!***

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Review of 77 Shadow Street by: Dean Koontz

77 Shadow Street
By: Dean Koontz

Summery from Amazon:

I am the One, the all and the only. I live in the Pendleton as surely as I live everywhere. I am the Pendleton's history and its destiny. The building is my place of conception, my monument, my killing ground. . . . 
The Pendleton stands on the summit of Shadow Hill at the highest point of an old heartland city, a Gilded Age palace built in the late 1800s as a tycoon’s dream home. Almost from the beginning, its grandeur has been scarred by episodes of  madness, suicide, mass murder, and whispers of things far worse. But since its rechristening in the 1970s as a luxury apartment building, the Pendleton has been at peace. For its fortunate residents—among them a successful songwriter and her young son, a disgraced ex-senator, a widowed attorney, and a driven money manager—the Pendleton’s magnificent quarters are a sanctuary, its dark past all but forgotten.
But now inexplicable shadows caper across walls, security cameras relay impossible images, phantom voices mutter in strange tongues, not-quite-human figures lurk in the basement, elevators plunge  into unknown depths. With each passing hour, a terrifying certainty grows: Whatever drove the Pendleton’s past occupants to their unspeakable fates is at work again. Soon, all those within its boundaries will be engulfed by a dark tide from which few have escaped.
Dean Koontz transcends all expectations as he takes readers on a gripping journey to a place where nightmare visions become real—and where a group of singular individuals hold the key to humanity’s destiny. Welcome to 77 Shadow Street.

My Review:

Soo I have been so looking forward to reading this! I literally squeeled when I found out that I had won an early copy.

I did enjoy the book.  The details and descriptions were amazing, and the mystery gradually unfolds in such a way that keeps you guessing, and hooked even after the One and the truth about Shadow Hill are finally revealed.
There were so many times in the story that I thought I had it figured out, only to turn the page to find that I was soooo off. Then I'd come up with another conclusion, and couldn't wait to see if I was right or not!  

While it's been a while since I've read anything by Koontz, I still looked forward to his newest novel.  I think I kinda psyched myself up a little too much though.   It wasn't AS scary as I thought it would be.  There are definitely some spooky and twisted parts, but no real omg, leave the light on, look over my shoulder parts. But despite that I still think the story was really good.    

I enjoyed seeing the different characters points of view.  Though I really had to wonder what the point was of Chapter 28.  It gave some insight into Mickey Dime's mother, and into how the One could have come into existence with so little resistance from the rest of humanity.  But we never hear from the characters in chapter 28 again in the story.  *shrug* It doesn't detract from the story itself, so it's not really an issue.

I did enjoy the book, and even if you aren't an avid Koontz reader I think you would enjoy it immensely.

****In compliance with FTC guidelines, I'm disclosing that I received this book for free through GoodReads First Reads. ****
(I recommend everybody should go check out all the awesome first read giveaways they have!)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Gone Reading & Discount Code!

So have you heard of this awesome site?  Gone Reading sells really cool book related items (t-shirts, journals, bookmarks,etc) and donate 100% of their after-tax profits to funding libraries and reading centered non-profits.  (like Read Global and Ethiopia Reads)  

My favorite items are their awesome bookmarks:

I mean theses are seriously CUTE!!!

They have some more traditional book marks too:

Although I really should pick up a new book light!  

I like this one!

They've got tons of other cool stuff too:

They even have some special stuff for all my Jane Austen fans out there:
(below are just a few)

Trivia Game

Book Mark


As a special treat they have given me a coupon code to share with all my readers!  It's :  AIMEES25

It's good for 25% off of any purchase at Gone Reading! (except bookends) It's good until April 8th so be sure to hurry and check out what they have to offer!  

So again that code is:  


Also, again, it's good 'til April 8th and it's good on everything except the bookends! Feel free to come back and share your favorite items, and thanks for reading my blog!  

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Pay It Forward 2012 Challenge

So I have finished and given out my first Pay It Forward item!    So for my first homemade prezzie I decided to do...

(Yes food does count as long as it is homemade and not something pre-made that you bought at the store)  

So I decided to go with mini-cupcakes for a few reasons.  
Reason 1- The person I was making something for loves cakes and cupcakes. (especially chocolate!)

Reason 2- She also loves snow.  We recently had our once a year snow fall, which of course was gone the next day! And I  had these awesome mini-cupcake cups that I picked up earlier this year.  So I figured I would combined her love of snow with her love of chocolate!

Reason 3-  I have had mini-cupcake pans FOREVER and I have been dying for a reason to try them out!

So I made her two dozen devil's food chocolate mini cupcakes.  I iced them with homemade butter cream icing, and topped them with Hershey kisses. Some were dark chocolate kisses and some were the limited edition cordial cherry kisses.

 I then put them on a beautiful tray I picked up, and wrapped them in plastic decorating foil.

The really funny part is I didn't realize that mini-cupcakes were soooo much smaller than actual cupcakes!! (I know this should have been obvious since the pans are obviously so much different in size)  So I ended up with a few more cupcakes than I had originally anticipated! Fortunetly I love chocolate too so this wasn't a bad thing!

Interested in how you can find out about participating in the Pay It Forward 2012 Challenge?  Click here to see the original post to find out how! Also find out how to enter the contest to win a goody bag at the end of the year!  Be sure to check out the links below to see what other people are doing for the challenge! Thanks again to my awesome friend Jen over at Writer's Toybox  for the Pay It Forward idea!

The Glassheart Chronicles

The Glassheart Chronicles
By: various authors

The Glassheart Chronicles is a short story anthology written by a talented cast of Paranormal YA authors. 

Fisher Amelie (author of The Leaving series), J.L. Bryan (author of the Paranormals series), Courtney Cole (author of The Bloodstone Saga), Wren Emerson (author of the Witches of Desire series), Amy Maurer-Jones (author of The Soul Quest trilogy), Tiffany King (author of the Saving Angels series) and Nicole Williams (author of the Eden Trilogy) come together in this captivating anthology to each write a short story about a character from their already existing novels. 

This lively group of authors shine in this anthology. If you enjoyed the following books: 
Jenny Pox (J.L. Bryan)
The Understorey (Fisher Amelie) 
Fated (Courtney Cole) 
I Wish...(Wren Emerson) 
Soul Quest (Amy Maurer-Jones) 
Meant To Be (Tiffany King) 
Eternal Eden (Nicole Williams)

Then you will love these short stories, each of which provides a further look at the characters you have already grown to love. 

The authors of The Glassheart Chronicles will be donating their profits from this anthology to Save The Children, an amazing organization that strives every day to help impoverished children in over 120 countries, including the United States.