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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Dead Man's Drive by Michael Panush- Awesome Zombie Novel!

Today's review is a wildly entertaining and humorous zombie story. I don't know about you but I love zombies, and most supernatural phenomena so this book was right up my alley.

I highly recommend Dead Man's Drive by Michael Panush to all zombie lovers everywhere. One of the most humorous, entertaining zombie books I have ever read. Roscoe, the zombie, is something of a hero as he along with the Captain and the rest of the Donovan Motors crew attempt to save La Cruz from the evil villain Strickland, and his vile gang of thugs. Roscoe is not the typical brainless walking dead guy. He does have some memory deficiencies from his life before death that sort themselves out in the novel. He doesn't eat brains or flesh either, ordinary food keeps his body repaired. Roscoe isn't the only unique creature in this book there is a baby yeti, skeleton soldiers, a werewolf, vampires and even other zombies, less 'alive' than Roscoe.

Dead Man's Drive pushes the limits of the imagination and explores the possibilities all the while keeping the mind alert as the action plows onward from start to finish ending with a powerful climax. The Donovan Motors crew fights the dark forces that creep forward becoming ever stronger, seeking to take over La Cruz. Roscoe is the only one who can save them, but flashes of his past make themselves alive in his brain, and keep him second guessing his actions. Is a humble hero or a dead beat?


This book is #1 in the Rot Rods series. Hopefully more are coming soon!

Find Michael Panush and his many stories here at Amazon.
Curiosity Quills

Happy Reading!

FREEBIES for you :-)

Free days have ended for now but I want to thank everyone for their support, hundreds of books were downloaded internationally! I even got another 5 star review, shown below. If you missed out they are available regular price for .99.

My goal of course is to get 1000's of download from around the globe, tons of reviews, and introduce the world to Baby Girl. Whether any of that happens the books are free and I want all my viewers to be aware so you can download the books and share with your friends. Don't forget they can be gifted as well.

I love free downloads. In fact I have so many on my tablet I'm not sure when I'll get them all read, but so far they have all been great books. 

Here is the schedule: Click the links go directly to Amazon.

Baby Girl Book 1: In the Beginning - Saturday April 26 & Sunday April 27

Brand new review:
This is a great short story that leaves the reader wanting more. When the young girl in the story's mother leaves her abandoned she has to try and make it out on the streets. She finds friends to help and who name her Cleo, a tragedy forces Cleo to move on and become Justine. So as not to spoil the story I won't disclose what happened. but it is a great story and I eagerly anticipate more!
Read it on Amazon

Baby Girl Book 2: Moonlighting in Paris - Sunday April 27 & Monday April 28

Your reviews are welcome. I love to hear honest opinions of what readers think. Have a great weekend!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

T.C. Slonaker Virtual Book Your

I'm pleased to be part of T.C. Slonaker Virtual Tour. She is inspiring Christian Series with a very real message for everyone adults included.

Author Bio:

After finishing a career as a teacher to stay at home raising children, T.C. Slonaker found herself with many hours of to fill with thoughts and books. She began filling those hours by running
outside on the trail with books on her iPod. After completing the Chronicles of Narnia books, she was determined to also give light to God’s story through allegorical writing about curious creatures. The idea came to her to start a series about the Nephilim to show a story of God’s redemption.

When she’s not writing, T.C. enjoys sports such as baseball and football, riding her bike and running, and spending time with her husband and three kids at their home in South Central Pennsylvania. And if any of that could be done on the beach at the Jersey shore with a bowl of ice cream, so much the better.

The Angelmen Series chronicles, the discovery of four leaders of the long forgotten race of the Nephilim who have just been identified by the enemy. Satan wants to activate his army of old to boost his chances in the final battle against all that is God. God is determined to rescue his people, who, although originally propagated by the meeting of demons and women, became more human than angelic other than a few latent powers activated in the presence of one another. God will not save them without the obedience of a sacrifice. Will the leaders work together to save their race from Satan’s regime? Who will be the sacrifice?

Amity of the Angelmen

Amity David is the first angelman to learn of her new heritage. As a pastor’s daughter, this seventeen-year-old student doesn’t think there is much she has not already learned about God and His plans. Her own personal angel has come to tell her she’s wrong. The mission she is given flies in the face of her quiet life and can only be sorted out with the help of the young priest, Mackenzie Abel, who wants to help Amity solve her identity crisis to avoid his own. Mackenzie sends Amity on her way to complete her mission, not knowing how much more God will ask of him in this war as well.

Amity of the Angelmen :
Paperback: 242 pages
Publisher: Martin Sisters Publishing (December 30, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1937273857
ISBN-13: 978-1937273859

Asher of the Angelmen

Nothing could stop Asher Andrews. The high school football and track star was on his way to stardom as a professional athlete. One day in October, however, his life made an interesting twist as he
was told by an angel that he’s only partly human. His new life as an angelman would involve finding Amity, finding love, and protecting the Cause. Realizing how lonely his fame had made him, Asher was ready to accept his mission. However, demons were sent to bring the angelman down before he could complete his mission.
Nothing could stop Asher Andrews… but the forces of Satan would surely try.

Asher of the Angelmen :
Paperback: 228 pages
Publisher: Martin Sisters Publishing (January 31, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 162553065X
ISBN-13: 978-1625530653

Where to Find T.C. Slonaker and her books
Amazon T.C. Slonaker

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Holli Anderson the Five series

Through Curiosity Quills I was given the opportunity to read Five Out of the Dark and it's sequel Five Out of the Pit, now I'm hooked and can't wait for the next book in this series! Below is my review for each book.

Five Out of the Dark by Holli Anderson is a fast paced urban-fantasy thrill ride. Paige, a teenager realizes she has special abilities. When her parents witness these abilities they overreact and Paige is forced to run. She meets Johnathan who like her has the same abilities, then one by one three more teens with the same abilities enter the picture. The Five survive and grow, learning more about controlling their powers through the help of a couple of adults. Soon they find themselves patrolling, fighting evil, and infiltrating a high school that is experiencing a series of unexplainable suicides within the student body.

As a veteran teacher, I was most impressed by Holli Anderson's remarkable capacity for maintaining the book's content at a young adult level, while still making the reading enjoyable for adults. Her voice as the author is both relatable, and humorous with an ability to seize the realistic thoughts, and actions of teens. Chapter length and size of the novel also make it a sure win amongst the junior high and high school crowd. The plot is creative, and action packed as the teens move from one life threatening event to the next. With so many supernatural and urban fantasy books available on the market the plot she develops is unique, and interest peaking. She establishes characters that are loathsome, lovable, despicable, and downright gross (in some cases).

Not only did Five Out of the Dark hold my interest, but I found myself buried within the book until the last page was turned. I'm now anxiously waiting for an entire day I can devote, no interruptions, to reading the sequel Five Out of the Pit.

One of the finest, intriguing young adult novels I have ever read!

Five Out of the Pit   by Holli Anderson is a first class sequel.  The Five with their parental figure Joe jump into new adventures, meeting enemies whilst their old enemies lurk in the shadows. As part of their training they‘ve learned new spells, healing, fighting skills along with the ability to portal or travel quickly to any destination in which they have previously been. The saga begins where Out of the Dark left off. Paige is blind and they have travelled with Joe their guardian to Moab, Utah, where they have made a home within the rocks. No time is wasted in this sequel as suspense and action move right in as Paige is tormented by an incubus, a creature of incomprehensible sexual attraction whom has an odd connection to one of The Five.  It is this connection that lands them a new home and sends them spiraling into another adventure which terminates with a bombshell leaving the reader hankering for the next novel in the series.

Holli’s vivid imagination makes this book a playful, humorous, and a suspenseful read. She adds just enough details to leave the reader hanging on each word and unable to put the book down. She captures the essence of the teenage spirit through their dialogue, thoughts, actions and wittiness of the characters bringing them to life.  The  creatures she constructs I found myself cringing at their ugliness and chuckling at her use of descriptive language as she does an incredible job giving them flavor and soul. There are some new beasts such as an imp, the incubus as well as demons from their past, and a few types of creatures The Five were unable to identify, although colorful descriptions are provided. The playful tone of Five Out of the Pit makes it an entertaining read that you don’t want to miss.

Five Out of the Pit is a clever young adult novel that is truly fun for all ages.

Holli Anderson at Amazon

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Technology Woes and Solutions- My New Website

Several months ago with little knowledge of building a website I jumped in, got my feet wet, and learned the website provider/builder I choose was a pain.

My original website was not user friendly. I had little to no experience building a website so I learned as I went. Thanks to a great friend of mine who taught me a few technology tips before he passed away in 2013 I was able to construct an okay site but hated working with it. Once I created this blog I rarely messed with the website at all; it was too much of a hassle.

My new website is not only user friendly but a pleasure to work with. I went with weebly and absolutely reccomend it especially if your technology abilities are limited. It's still a work in progress but looks fantastic!

Here is a tip I learned from my techie friend when adding buttons facebook, twitter, etc. Once you get the code paste it into a notepad file and save this, makes it easy to cut and paste onto each page and edit for future use.

Code was my biggest problem. Weebly uses Iframe, not sure the difference between html and Iframe. Blogger works with html unless it's added through a link on layout page then it accepts Iframe. The dilemna with this is not all code is interchangeable, sometimes you have the option and can pick and choose but not always. Weebly using Iframe makes it easier since it seems most code comes in Iframe. If your a techie I would love to know the difference, although in "code for dummies language".

Back to my website: http://elleklass.weebly.com  I have a page for each of my books and invite you to take a look. I also have autographed novels As Snow Falls for sale using paypal (love paypal) as well as info about my stories and me.

Have a fantastic Easter!

Transplant- Modern Day Frankenstein

Being a freelance book reviewer/ blogger has its benefits. Recently, I was given the opportunity to read a novel not yet released, a feeling equivalent to opening Christmas presents early. Transplant is now available!

Transplant by John Reinhard Dizon is a shocker from the get go as the story opens with a grotesque scene in Harlem. Victims are found alive, permanently mutilated, their limbs severed and replaced with mechanical robotic extensions. Four doctors are found within the structure in a safe house claiming innocence and pointing their fingers at an elusive Dr. Cyclops.

John Reinhard Dizon has once again created a riveting, fast paced novel with intense characters and plot, keeping the reader on the edge of their seat begging for more. As two police officers attempt to piece together the nightmare that took place the reader gets a look inside each character's mind, revealing another piece to the puzzle, and giving depth and quality to each persona. The plot twists and turns as each piece of the jigsaw is unveiled. Through dialogue and compelling narration Transplant is an intense, engrossing novel.

Transplant is reminiscent of a modern day Frankenstein; experimental medicine gone horribly wrong, creating monsters. With scientific developments as they are today, and questionable ethics the novel is entirely believable, and made of our nightmares.

For the horror, suspense enthusiast Transplant is a must read!

Where to find Transplant in May, and John's many other novels.

Where to find John

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Lessons My Father Taught Me by Alan Cohen: Be prepared to smile :-)

Introducing one of the most beautiful, inspirational, and smile provoking short books I have read, Lessons My Father Taught Me by Alan Cohen. 

Book Review:

Lessons My Father Taught Me by Alan R. Cohen is a guide to living a happy, positive life through the eyes of the author taught to him through his father.  The short book is a dedication the Alan’s father while at the same time sharing a legacy in which his spirit and positive attitude can live on through Alan and all others who
practice these simple cheerful ideals.

The book is short and structured through a lesson per chapter.
There are plenty of examples within the short text to give the reader a more upbeat look at life. I would even suggest reading a lesson each day to start off the day in a positive manner. Happiness is infectious which seems to me to be the point of this book. Think good thoughts, made good choices and spread the joy. One’s life can be improved simply by improving one’s outlook on life no matter what obstacles a person is up against.

A book that will leave the reader with a smile across their face.

Meet Alan:

Elle:   Tell us a little about yourself?

Alan: I make my living as a technical writer writing about software and computer security. I also do some part time referral marketing for Melaleuca.com to enhance the lives of those I come in contact with by helping them reach their goals. Like my dad, I enjoy making people laugh and doing random acts of kindness.

Elle:   What gave you the idea to write Lessons My Father Taught me?

Alan: One reason was to honor my dad who had a great influence in my life and was my best friend. My dad taught my brother and I simple lessons that have helped us enjoy life. I thought these simple lessons could help others. 

Elle:  In three words how would you describe the book?

Alan: Enjoy life now.

Elle:  How can people work the positive ideas from lessons My Father taught Me into their daily life?

Alan: Every day when you wake up, you get to choose if you are going to see life in a positive way or a negative way. It's your choice. The key is to believe that you want to live life in a more positive manner and begin changing how you view and act toward things that occur in your life. It takes time as does any behavioral change, but the choice is always yours.

Elle:  What was your favorite chapter and why?

Alan: Give them the roses while they can smell them. It is easy to say thank you when someone does you a favor or to compliment someone when he or she deserves it. It is the easiest lesson in the book. Every one loves to be thanked or complimented.

Elle:  Do you have any writing plans for the future?

Alan: Yes. I have a few technical-related books that I want to write plus I want to continue with positive books like "Lessons My Father Taught Me."

Elle:  Do you have any past publications?

Alan: No.

Elle:  Where can people find Lessons My Father Taught me?

Where to find Alan: 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Liebster Award

Thank you Jai & K  for nominating me for the Liebster Award, an award given in recognition to new blogs. I'm very honored.

The rules are:

Link back and thank the blogger who nominated you in your post.

List 11 facts about yourself.

Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.

Pick 5-10 new bloggers (must have less than 200 followers) to nominate and ask them 11 new questions. Do not renominate the blogger that nominated you.

Go to each new blogger’s site and inform them of their nomination.

Here Goes:

11 facts about me...
1. I have 2 daughters.
2. I was born in Redwood City, Ca.
3. I have 1 published novel, As Snow Falls.
4. I love pizza.
5. My parents had three girls, I'm in the middle.
6. One of my all time favorite movies is Pitch Perfect.
7. I love pink, the color any shade.
8. I have taught junior high scienc for 11 years.
9. I live with my best friend.
10.I lived in California, near San Francisco during the 1989 quake.

11.My nickname is Margarita Lisa.

11 Questions asked to me and my responses...
1. If I could live inside a book for a week I think it would be Dead Until Dark because I have lived in the South for 14 years now and would love to see the looks on the people's faces when vampires come out of the closet so to speak.

2.Three songs I can't live without Van Halen You Really Got Me, Aerosmith Angel, and Journey When The Lights Go Down in The City.

3.Yes, I believe in ghosts. People are bundles of energy when we die our energy goes somewhere.

4. If I could choose to spend a day with an author I would choose Stephen King because I would love to get a glimpse at how his mind works.

5. I would rather have dreadlocks over tattoos because I can undo the dreads if I don't like them a tattoo is forever.

6. I prefer a book over a movie, although I almost equally enjoy a good movie, depends on my mood.

7. My dream job would be to blog, write, and publish full time.

8. I like "just keep swimming," from Dorie in Finding Nemo. We all keep swimming to get through life. If you stop you sink.

9. Something I like that might surprise people is I love horror, bloody, gory, suspense ridden horror movies. The bloodier the better.

10.My favorite blog is my own but I don't think that is what the question is really asking. I have a few blogs I follow that I really like and I find it too difficult to choose one as my favorite.

11.My favorite book this is a tough question as well. If a fiction book I would have to say My Sweet Audrina because it had such a huge effect on me the first time I read it.

My 11 questions for the bloggers I nominate...
1. What are three verbs that describe you?
2. What is your favorite book gone big screen movie?
3. Did you read the above book first or watch the movie?
4. What is a silly personality quirk about you?
5. What is your worst pet peeve?
6. If you won a billion dollars what would you do with it?
7. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
8. What do you consider the worst job is, that someone could have?
9. How did you get into blogging?
10. Are you a morning person or night owl?
11. What is the strangest color you have died your hair?

Blogs I nominated

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Ahh...How do I covert pdf files to my ereader?

How can you convert a pdf file to epub or mobi so it can be read on your ereading device? It's easy!

Recently, I was posed with having to convert the pdf for one of my books into an epub and a mobi file, so what did I do? I googled of course. I found tons of online resources for converting files. 

The first website I found was http://ebook.online-convert.com/convert-to-epub. It will only convert to epub but you don't have to use a pdf you can also use a word document. The instructions are simple and the conversion takes seconds. You can then choose to upload to google docs or dropbox. Within a couple of minutes total I had a word document of my book converted to an epub (used for IPad) and saved to my dropbox!

The second website I found was http://www.zamzar.com/convert/pdf-to-epub/. I used this to convert a pdf to a mobi (kindle) file, again the onscreen instructions are self explanatory and took seconds. I had to complete a couple extra steps myself to save the file to my dropbox but that wasn't difficult. Once the file was downloaded, I went to downloads and saved from there. This website converts more than mobi files they also convert epub and almost any file you want. There is plethora of options.

The best thing is these online tools are FREE! 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Reviews: To Pay or not to Pay

As a freelance book reviewer, and author I am in a unique position to discuss the topic of whether an author should pay for a book review or not. These are my opinions.

As an author the value of getting reviews for your novel, and decent reviews, are of the utmost importance. A consumer doesn't generally want to buy a product without getting someone else's opinion, word of mouth, in this case reviews. Below is my advice for "free" reviews: (note the quotations, free reviews are not really free)

1. If you don't have an author support group, find one. Facebook, Linkedin, and Google+ are great places to get started. My support group started with my sister/ author and since has grown to a group of several authors. We support each other, and in many cases promote each other as well as honest reviews and criticism. 

2. Friends and family can be a support as well, although I have found other authors are a cornerstone for me. My friends and family mostly support my endeavors until I get so caught in writing they feel I'm ignoring them. Sound familiar to any other authors out there? Be mindful, to give is to receive.

3. Check out various blogs, not every reviewer charges a monetary fee. Be willing to give them the book free and swap reviews or promotion. If you are an Indie author this is crucial. Network.

This takes us to paid reviews:

A topic in which everyone has an opinion. I have read quite a bit that says "Steer Clear" of paying for a book review in bold flashing neon letters, and before I started doing reviews I felt the same way. There are people who assume if a review is paid for, it will come out as a 5 star glowing review. That assumption is an assumption and not always true. I'm sure there are companies and reviewers require that but not all do.

As a reviewer, my name is attached and I don't want to give a glowing review to a book with flat characters, horrible grammar and typos, aided by a non existent plot. If I come across a book that stinks really bad, I find I can't read it. I need to be intrigued. I also like a wide variety of genre's. When I complete a book review I look for the following:

Editing- a handful of slight grammatical errors or typos is allowable as most books, indie or publisher, have them. Editing is a grueling process that takes a team to make it happen.

Plot- Is my interest peaked, do I look forward to picking the book up again and reading? Do I sneak time in when I should be doing something else to read the next chapter? Can I put the book down or does it own me until the last page is turned?

Characters- Do they have depth? Do I feel for them such as love, despise, wish I could beam them over the head with a two by four to knock some sense into them. 

Description- I am a visual person who seeks great visual detail when I read. Not everybody is visual but a story needs to appeal to the readers 5 senses.

Flow and readability- What is the novels target audience? The book should be appropriate for that audience. A 700 page suspense novel should have some complex text while a 150 page young adult novel should be limited in complexity, a few big words here and there.

Author's Voice- It doesn't matter whether the book is first person, third person or a combination (combinations need to be structured giving clues to the reader of the coming change). The voice needs to be relatable, appealing, and thought provoking.

To sum everything up if you decide to pay for a review it's not a bad choice nor should you be scorned for it, do be careful though. Check out the website, blog, e magazine , or where ever first. What do their reviews look like? How do they promote the review? Understand you are responsible for the promotion piece as well.
It's your money spend it wisely. Do they pair up reviewers who prefer the genre of your book? If not, the results are many times disastrous. There is nothing worse, well almost nothing worse, than reading a book in a genre you don't like. Don't be shy, research and ask questions. Think of it this way: when you need to take your car in for major work, do you pick the closest mechanic to your house? Maybe the cheapest? Or do you ask around, maybe get an estimate or two before making your decision.

Take the effort and time to finding the appropriate reviewers for your book. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Horse Tales for the Soul Volume Seven- Bonnie Marlewski

Horse Tales, there are several volumes, are a testament to the positive impact horses can have on our lives. I have to say I am extremely impressed with the idea behind the Horse Tales Volumes. They aren't just fantastic stories but proceeds are used to assist in non-profit horse related organizations.
Horse Tales for the Soul Volume Seven by Bonnie Marlewski and the many contributors is a combination of inspirational stories from horse lovers all over the world. These stories include the benefits of therapeutic riding to the friendship between horse and human. These animals provide such a comfort to others. I was amazed through my tears and laughter at the encouraging stories these people had to share. It has been said that dogs are man's best friend, but after reading horse tales I'm thinking they were wrong and should be replaced with horses. The tales inside this novel were nothing short of spectacular. 

The novel is arranged in a cozy flow with plenty of pictures and even poems throughout. Each story can be read alone, a story a day, or for the moment, or the entire book can be read in one sitting. I found myself reading the entire book within a few hours, unable to put it down. The stories are testaments to life little lessons, and how we learn and grow from those lessons. There aren't enough words to describe what a delightful treat Horse Tales for the Soul Volume Seven is. I encourage others to give it a read, along with the many other Horse Tales Volumes as I suspect they are every bit as much a pleasure to read.

Every authors’ story is a heartwarming piece of themselves they chose to share with the world.

To read my interview with Bonnie from 3/3 click here.

Where to find Bonnie and Horse Tales
http://horsetalesforthesoul.com/- autographed copies available here for $19.95
Here at Thetroubledoyster Must Read Book Store