Archaeologist Dr. Angela Hunter discovers an ancient codex at a Mississippian Indian dig site in the St. Louis area. Knowing the Mississippians, or Mound Builders, had no written language, she is determined to solve the mystery of the 700-year-old, perfectly preserved codex.
In the early 1300’s, an Aztec family is torn apart. A judge rebelling against the Aztec tradition of human sacrifice is cursed and escapes his enemies with his 12-year-old son. They travel from the Gulf of Mexico up the Mississippi River to settle in the thriving community of Migaduha, modern-day Cahokia Mounds, Illinois.
Angela recognizes the symbols as Aztec pictograms and begins to translate the story. However, other forces also want the codex and will do anything to get it. Can she learn the secrets of the chronicle before the tragic events of the past are repeated today?
~*~*~*~ The Review~*~*~*~
I love to read indie books because they give a new perspective in reading. However, this one was a little more than I had bargained for. And I mean that in the best possible way.
Chronicle of the Mound Builders is a long book filled with a great many historical facts and details about archaeological digs all wrapped up in a complex story.The book is told from two different time perspectives: the early 1300s and present day. The chapters go back and forth, present to past and back to present again all the while building the story of the Aztec-esque urn and the codex it contains.
As a former history major I discovered something about myself while reading this book: ancient history is not my favorite. Not by a long shot. But in all fairness to Elle Marie and the undeniable work she put into this book, I went to amazon and read the reviews there. Unorthodox, I know, but as a reviewer of indie books and an author for a small house, I know what kind of work goes into a novel of this length and I wanted to be as fair as possible. Elle Marie spent her time (and possibly money) to get this book out for others to read. She put her heart out there and that alone deserves commendation.
What discovered is that Chronicle of the Mound Builders is just not my kind of book. That doesn’t mean that it’s not well written, or poorly formatted. It was neither of those things. As I said before, it is very complex,almost too much so for my distracted brain. But…I know a great many people who would fall head first into such a detailed and intricate tale and not emerge until the very last page.
That said, if you love deep books, with involved plots cleverly woven through historyand fact, then this is the book for you!
~*~*~*~ Author Bio ~*~*~*~
A visit to Cahokia Mounds sparked a fascination with the mysterious Mound Builders, about whom so little is known. What was their culture like? How did ordinary people live in the 14th century? What caused the civilization to vanish, seemingly overnight? She put her imagination to work and came up with a story line that put it all together.
By day, Elle works in the information technology field at a large financial services firm. She is a graduate of the Missouri University of Science & Technology and lives in the St. Louis area with her husband. Chronicle of the Mound Builders is her first novel.
~*~*~*~ Connect with Elle ~*~*~*~
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~*~*~*~ Elle Marie on Tour ~*~*~*~
Leah is a young woman who is trying to break free from a strict religious background and pursue her dream as a pianist in the world of show business. While trying to find her independence her heart is held captive by Jason Rowe, a local basketball star who established an organization to help troubled youth. When Jason is found murdered in his home, Leah is determined to get answers from a closed investigation. During her state of emotional turmoil, Leah finds comfort not only in the melody of her music, but in the arms of a married man named Calvin. With her dreams at her fingertips, Leah is tangled in a web of lies and deceit. Despite the fear of learning the truth, Leah has to realize that only the truth can set her free.
A dead lover, with a trail of broken hearts…
A married man, with a double-life…
A dream chaser, with a killer at her heels…
A piano, with eighty-eight keys…
~*~*~*~ The Review ~*~*~*~
The terrible thing about the labels we tag onto books is that according to those succinct little words we form opinions and preconceived notions about the book’s content. Such was the case for me with Eighty-eight Keys by Catherine Lavender. The label said suspense and that’s what I expected. But as far as suspense novels go, Eighty-eight Keys was disappointing. However, if you were to disregard the labels and sit down expecting a book about complex relationships between well-developed yet flawed characters, then Eighty-eight Keys is the book for you.
I loved the play between the characters, the relationships and entanglements both beneficial and unhealthy. And honesty I wish there had been more–more of what had happened between Jason and Leah, more between Calvin and Marla, even more between Mrs. Jacobi and Leah.
But all in all, Eighty-eight Keys is a homerun. This won’t be the last book I read from Catherine Lavender.
And now, a little more from Catherine Lavender:
Have you ever met a person who just seemed to radiate positive energy regardless of what situation they were going through? Even when facing serious life challenges, they were still happy and smiling. This is an example of a person who has learned that having a positive attitude towards life will help overcome any fear and anxiety.
Everyone faces challenges, heartaches, disappointments, and shattered dreams at different points in life. Some people dwell on negative situations and cannot seem to find any peace during these difficult times. They become stressed out, sad, and burden down by negative energy.
Other people adopt a more optimistic perspective when challenges arise. They refuse to allow situations and people to dictate their moods and outlook. They do not allow negative thoughts to control their lives and they surround themselves with positive people. They may also invest in their own spiritual growth by listening to positive people and reading inspiring and motivational literature.
Catherine Pulsifer once said, “Your attitude can take you forward or your attitude can take you down. The choice is always yours!” She understood that our attitude is something that we can learn to have control over regardless of the situation.
Most people who have an optimistic perspective on life believe that valuable lessons can be learned from the obstacles that we face in life. For example, I know a woman who got laid off from a mental health position and instead of complaining and stressing about it; she took the opportunity to begin her own business as a Life Coach. She could have surrounded herself with negativity and complained about how life was unfair but she chose to turn a negative situation into a positive outcome.
If you struggle with negativity, you should try re-training your thought process by observing your thoughts. When a negative thought comes, immediately change it to a positive thought. If the thought, “I’m nothing but a failure” comes, simply change it to, “I’m successful in many areas”. Using positive affirmations daily will help you filter away negative thoughts within time. Remember having a positive attitude will make a huge difference in your life and can help you achieve incredible things.
~*~*~*~ Author Bio ~*~*~*~
Catherine Lavender is from Baltimore, Maryland but now resides in Tampa, Florida with her miniature schnauzer name Ripken. She is an animal activist, as well as a supporter of the organization First Book which helps supply literature for underprivileged children. In her spare time, Catherine enjoys reading classic literature and playing the acoustic guitar.
~*~*~*~ Connect with Catherine ~*~*~*~
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~*~*~*~ Catherine on Tour ~*~*~*~
Kashi proves he cares too much about Daly to let her fade into the background of her own life. After a series of false starts, their quirky romance carries them to India, where Daly must win the approval of Kashi’s family in order to seal their “forever.”
Will these friendships be enough to turn around Daly’s directionless life? Will she move past the hurt and learn to trust again? Or will her mother, once again, ruin everything she’s worked so hard to achieve?
Emlyn Chand emerged from the womb with a fountain pen clutched in her left hand (true story). When she’s not writing, she runs a large book club in Ann Arbor and is the president of author PR firm Novel Publicity. Best known for her Young Adult novels, she is also developing a small, but devoted, following to her children’s book series and is beginning to dabble in other genres as well. Emlyn enjoys connecting with readers and is available via almost every social media site in existence. Visit EmlynChand.com for more info, or connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or GoodReads. Don’t forget to say “hi” to her sun conure Ducky!
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***It hasn’t yet posted to iTunes despite having released in August. We hope it will be there soon!***
Learn more about Torn Together or read the entire first chapter at
~*~*~*~ Emlyn Chand on Tour ~*~*~*~
College junior Alex Abrams scores her dream job at the ripe age of twenty – manager to a successful salon and spa. Thrilled to finally have a real adult job, Alex enthusiastically jumps into the world of schedules, conference calls, and getting a massage when interviewing prospective employees. What she doesn’t expect are the very grown-up issues that comes with a demanding boss. Kevin Dohlman quickly becomes Alex’s worse nightmare – covering up his affairs, dealing with his enormous ego, and trying to protect her female staff from him becomes a full-time job in its own right. Alex has also befriended Kevin’s wife and co-owner, Dani, and is trying to keep Kevin’s secrets hidden from her. The situation only worsens when Kevin starts paying Alex off to make sure she keeps her insider knowledge to herself.
While struggling to keep her wits and stay happy with her new grown-up job, Alex is juggling college courses, a new love interest, and keeping up with her close group of girlfriends. When her roommate and best friend Lila gets offered an opportunity to move to Los Angeles and sign with an agent, Alex realizes her life truly is changing, and everyone around her – including herself – is is growing up. Knowing she is faced with some hard decisions ahead, Alex struggles with keeping her job at Blissful. But does she really want to throw away what she dreamed of as a career – or will the secret-keeping for Kevin become too much to handle? The Green Ticket is a story about morals versus money, and how one young woman navigates the shaky line between the two.
~*~*~*~ The Review ~*~*~*~
Samantha has done it again! Okay, so it’s no secret that I adore Samantha March on many levels, but here it is again: a fabulous novel for young adults about real people, with real problems, in real situations. Samantha expertly takes her sympathetic characters and puts them in situations which are challenging and true to their age and experience yet not so gritty that I feel like I should wash my hands after reading a chapter.
Alex is a college junior who falls into the dream job that may just be the answer to her “what do I want to be when I grow up?” Except…it doesn’t come without costs. Will it be possible to keep up with the demands of her job and school morphs into moral issues concerning the couple who owns the business.
I love how Samantha takes these fabulous young women in her books and puts them in situations that pulls and challenges them to the point that (although they don’t always make the right decisions) they learn and grow as do the others around them.
The market for young “grown-ups is difficult water to navigate…Samantha March has it down to an art!
~*~*~*~ Author Bio ~*~*~*~
Samantha March is an author, editor, publisher, blogger, and all around book lover. She runs the popular book/women’s lifestyle blog ChickLitPlus, which keeps her bookshelf stocked with the latest reads and up to date on all things health, fitness, fashion, and celebrity related. In 2011 she launched her independent publishing company Marching Ink and her debut novel Destined to Fail. When she isn’t reading, writing, or blogging, you can find her cheering for the Green Bay Packers.
~*~*~*~ Connect with Samantha ~*~*~*~
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Barnes and Noble: eBook
Marching Ink: Print
Sparkle by Cara Alwill Leyba ~ A Review
As women, we have become professional self-critics. We’ve become so convinced by society that we need to attain a level of perfection that just isn’t real. Whether it’s trying to get skinnier, look younger, get that promotion, please our parents, get fuller lips or rid ourselves of cellulite — we’re on a never ending mission to change and it always makes us feel like crap.
Instead, why not focus on all the fabulous qualities we already possess? There is so much to celebrate when we look at all of our accomplishments. In this straight-up girlfriend’s guide, lifestylist and wellness coach Cara Alwill Leyba encourages women to discover what makes them sparkle so that they can design the lives they desire and deserve. So raise your glass and toast yourself. You’re about to start shimmering, shining, and dazzling every day. Because isn’t everything better when it sparkles?
~*~*~*~ The Review ~*~*~*~
Absolutely Fabulous! How’s that for a review? But seriously…I got my days mixed up and started Sparkle yesterday. Nothing like a little pressure to get the ol’ heart racing. But Sparkle is extremely easy to read with a conversational tone that smacks (in a good way) of a heart-to-heart with your best friend. And what a great conversation. From dieting advice, tips on self esteem and how to feel utterly fabulous every day of your life, Sparkle has it all. The only problem with reading it in one sitting (and that is totally possible) is that Sparkle is jammed-packed full of great advice. So much so that trying to absorb it all in a couple of hours is impossible. My advice to you is buy the book, read it all at once, then read it a second time a section a day. (That’s my plan) Buy a copy for your closest friends and discuss it on a regular basis. The subtitle on the cover it dead-on. This is “The Girl’s Guide to Living a Deliciously Dazzling, Wildly Effervescent , Kick-Ass Life.” So what are you waiting for? Go out and get a copy now! Sarah Grimm, your copy is in the mail!
~*~*~*~ Author Bio ~*~*~*~
Cara Alwill Leyba is a best selling author, and certified life and wellness coach from New York City who empowers women to live their most effervescent lives and celebrate themselves. She encourages women to indulge in the things that make them happy, and swears that every woman can live a “champagne life,” no matter how busy she is or how tight her budget.
Her blog, The Champagne Diet, boasts a following of thousands of loyal readers and has been featured in Glamour, Shape, Cafe Mom, Daily Mail UK, MSN Australia, AOL UK Lifestyle, and a host of other publications worldwide. Cara’s writing has been featured in The Huffington Post, xJane, Mind Body Green, MTV News, and many other sites.
Cara regularly appears on the “Ask Dr. Fritz” radio show on WWRL New York, where she helps host Dr. Fritz answer questions from callers about love, career, family, relationships and more. She also hosts her own lifestyle and wellness show, “Uncork Your Best Self” on Blog Talk Radio.
Cara’s first book, SPARKLE, became an immediate #1 bestseller on Amazon in both the Happiness and Self-Esteem categories upon hours of its release. She celebrated the release of her book with a book signing in New York City this past fall.
When she’s not popping bubbly, blogging, or working with her coaching clients, Cara spends her days leading a digital advertising team at MTV Networks. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and dog-child. For more on Cara visit www.LiveCreateSparkle.com
~*~*~*~ Connect with Cara ~*~*~*~
Cara’s website: www.LiveCreateSparkle.com
Cara’s blog: www.TheChampagneDiet.com
Want to learn how to sparkle? Join Cara’s “Sparkling Start” workshop next month and kick off 2013 in glittering, shimmering style!http://www.livecreatesparkle.com/group-workshops.html
~*~*~*~ Buy the Book ~*~*~*~
I make it a point to read outside my genre. It helps keep my own work fresh and gives me more insight to the world than if I just read rom-coms and contemporary romances all the time. So when my agency sister Cecy Robson asked to come on my blog with her paranormal novella and upcoming novel, I jumped at the chance. I enjoy sharing my blog with talented authors and Cecy is no exception.
I’m not going to recap the book (I posted the blurb below) but I want to tell you that I don’t often read paranormal and I am not a fan of vampires. But I L-O-V-E the Wird Sisters! They are funny, strong, and have their own distinct personalities. They are fiercely protective of each other emotionally as well as physically. They are everything you could ask for in a sister–and with special powers to boot.
Told exclusively in Celia’s POV, the stories are action packed and laugh out loud funny with quick, witty dialogue and internal thought. I found myself reading “just one more chapter” until it was well past my bedtime.The sexual tension is out of this world and remains through out the entire book. And somehow (IMHO), Cecy makes the vampires (except for the ones with the bloodlust) almost tolerable–LOL. Actually the way the vampires are portrayed even made a vampire “liker” out of me.
In short, you should put these titles on your TBR list and at the very top. You don’t want to let these get by you!
THE WEIRD GIRLS
Celia Wird and her three sisters are just like other 20-something girls—with one tiny exception: they’re products of a backfired curse that has given each of them unique powers that make them, well, a little weird…
The Wird sisters are different from every race on earth—human and supernatural. When human society is no longer an option for them, they move in among the resident vampires, werebeasts, and witches of the Lake Tahoe region. Could this be the true home they’ve longed for? Um, not quite. After the sisters accidentally strip a witch of her powers in a bar brawl, they soon realize the mistake will cost them. Because to take on a witch means to take on her coven. And losing the battle isn’t an option.
SEALED WITH A CURSE
Celia Wird and her three sisters are just like other 20-something girls—with one tiny exception: they’re products of a backfired curse that has given each of them unique powers that make them, well, weird…
The Wird sisters are content to avoid the local vampires, werebeasts, and witches of the Lake Tahoe region—until one of them blows up a vampire in self-defense. Everyone knows vampires aren’t aggressive, and killing one is punishable by death. But soon more bloodlust-fueled attacks occur, and the community wonders: are the vampires of Tahoe cursed with a plague?
Celia reluctantly agrees to help Misha, the handsome leader of an infected vampire family. But Aric, the head of the werewolf pack determined to destroy Misha’s family to keep the region safe, warns Celia to stay out of the fight. Caught between two hot alphas, Celia must find a way to please everyone, save everyone, and oh yeah, not lose her heart to the wrong guy—or die a miserable death. Because now that the evil behind the plague knows who Celia is, it’s coming for her and her sisters. This Wird girl has never had it so tough.
Cecy (pronounced Sessy) Robson is an author with Penguin’s SIGNET ECLIPSE. She attributes her passion for story-telling back to the rough New Jersey neighborhood she was raised in. As a child, she was rarely allowed to leave the safety of her house and passed her time fantasizing about flying, fairies, and things that go bump in the night. Her dad unwittingly encouraged Cecy’s creativity by kissing her goodnight wearing vampire fangs. Gifted and cursed with an overactive imagination, she began writing her Urban Fantasy Romance Series, Weird Girls, in May 2009. THE WEIRD GIRLS: A Novella, debuts December 4, 2012 followed by SEALED WITH A CURSE, December 31, 2012, and A CURSE EMBRACED, July 2, 2013.
Connect with Cecy
Buy the Novella
Includes a preview of the first full-length novel in the Weird Girls series, Sealed with a Curse—as well as introductions to the Weird World, and a letter from the author.
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A Fiscal Thriller Set in Historic Old Town Alexandria, Virginia Stock market meltdown. United States housing bubble. Global financial crisis. Chief executives cooking the books. Who can you trust for financial advice? Gina Van Story, a savvy 40ish investment advisor to the rescue. She can spot a trend on the market and jump on it like a cat. She dreams of grabbing the bull by the horns and is on the hunt for one final big score. Gina and her three best friends from the Bloody Mary Investment Club and come face-to-face with corruption in a David and Goliath struggle when their stock portfolio turns deadly…literally. Over made-to-order Bloody Mary cocktails at historic Gadsby’s Tavern, Gina takes her friends under her wing and teaches them the ins and outs of the stock market. Trouble begins when, following Gina’s bullish advice, they become majority owners in the local bank and then stubbornly turn down a lucrative buyout offer. Not only will money and greed challenge their friendship, they will have to get smart fast and figure out how to turn the tables on the charmingly seductive, yet evil, banker who wants control of their stock by any means necessary – including murder!
Author Debbie Dyke has a fun and unique voice and a definite head for figures. The Bloody Mary Club is a fun read all financial references aside. See, I don’t have a tendency toward investments and hire someone like Gina (her main character) to take care of those things for me. I have to admit that I got a little lost somewhere between the stocks and the bonds, but all in all, I loved this book. The references to her belly dancing, the passion that her instructor has and triangle between her, Johnny and Andrew is fabulous. And the Bloody Mary Club? Well, I think we all should have friends like that. Women who will stick by you (And share a drink) even when things gets tough. So add this one to you TBR pile, it’s a “beach read” with murder and the stock market–who could ask for more?
Before the same happens to Trevor, Caitlin must convince him to sell his art. But armed with only a handful of allies, and little experience of the supernatural, she must proceed with caution against the hellish forces besieging her family. If she succeeds, she will break the ancestral curse. If she fails, she may lose forever the one thing she cares about most: her beloved Trevor.
If you follow any of my reviews, you know that romance is my preferred genre, but I do like to stretch myself a bit and read a variety of works. Such is the case with The Artist’s Inheritance.
It took me a little longer to finish the story because I could only read it during the daylight hours. No, it’s not that scary. I’m just a big wimp like that. But there are paranormal elements that have to be uncovered and deciphered by our heroine, Cait.
See she and her husband Trevor have recently moved into his twin brother’s home in Florida near a fort that was used during the Civil War. Trevor (an artist) becomes obsessed with a chair he is carving while strange things begin to happen all around them. Cait sees apparitions, feels cold spots in the house, and starts to believe that a famous art critic is really an imp. Ooh, and did I mention that Trevor’s twin Gordon committed suicide?
With the help of friends, Cait uncovers just what’s bothering Trevor which reveals family secrets and curses that are over a hundred years old.
Juli D does a great job at setting up the work for future stories. There are a lot of happenings in The Artist’s Inheritance which makes it a quick and interesting read. It’s impossible to know what’s going to happen next. But I can’t wait to find out.
Connect with Juli:
The Artist’s Inheritance–Available at Amazon
on twitter: @juliannewrites
on tumblr: http://jdrevezzo.tumblr.com/
♥♥♥♥♥ You Gotta Read This Book ♥♥♥♥♥
Waking up with a strange man is scary. Realizing you lost fifteen years of your life overnight? That’s terrifying. With her memories from seventeen to thirty-two gone, Kate has no idea who she is and where she belongs. As she begins to fall for the man who found her, she wonders if she forgot those years for a reason. Should she keep trying to retrieve her original self, or start a new life?
Once again I am astounded by the talent that lurks in the self-published industry. Once upon a time, it was only for those writers who couldn’t make it anywhere else. Now, it’s filled with authors who are just looking for alternatives to the norm. And what I’ve found is writing of the same. Blank Slate Kate is a fabulous book, filled with unexpected turns, not in a shocking over the top Hollywood way, but in an “oh my” that could really happen sort of way that leaves the reader wondering, “How would I feel if I woke up and didn’t remember?”
Kate wakes up unable to remember her name and anything past March of her seventeenth year. With the help of Jake, her rescuer who has ghosts of his own, Kate tries to peice together the fifteen years that are missing from her life. Bit by bit as her life unfolds, Kate starts to wonder if she wants to remember at all, and if the people she has to rely on have her best interests in mind.
Blank Slate Kate is a novel of discovery, heartbreak, and second chances. And definitely has a place on my list of You Gotta Read This Book.
I’m so proud to be inclused in Heather’s tour with Blank Slate Kate. For the duration of the toiur, her novel SEVEN EXES ARE EIGHT TOO MANY is a free read (ebook), so be sure to pop over to Amazon and snag your copy of this book before time runs out.
Growing up, I was an avid (rabid?) reader. I am a natural speed reader, regularly clocked at about 1200 wpm (I read Harry Potter 5 in just under three hours).
After careers as a software developer and elementary school computer science teacher, in 2005 I took up the National Novel Writing Month challenge and attempted to write a novel in a month. I succeeded, and the first draft of my first novel “Life, Love, and a Polar Bear Tattoo” was the result. I realized I love writing. I left teaching, and I haven’t looked back since!
Buy the Book!
- Smashwords.com (variety of formats)
- Amazon.com (Kindle)
- Kobo (ePub format)
- Barnes and Noble (for their nook reader)
- Apple’s iBook store on your iPad or iPhone/iPod Touch
“Blank Slate Kate” is also available in paperback at:
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As always, thanks for stopping by!
Lot’s of <3–Amie
Cat Lavoie was born in the small town of Jonquière in Québec, Canada. At the age of nineteen, she packed up her things (mostly books) and moved to the big city of Montreal where she currently lives with her tempestuous cat Abbie—who is both adorable and quite possibly evil.
An incurable Anglophile since her university days where she studied English Literature, she can often be found daydreaming about her next trip to London. Since she’s an expert at the art of procrastination, Cat is easily distracted by cooking and home improvement shows—even though she’s not particularly good at either.
Cat grew up watching soap operas and legal dramas and—had she not decided to be a claims analyst by day and write chick lit by night—she would have probably become a designer suit-wearing lawyer. Or a character on All My Children (which is what she really wanted to be when she was twelve).
Cat is not sure whether she’s a geek or a nerd—and is afraid she might be both. Breaking the Rules is her first novel.
Cat blogs about the writing life and posts adorable pictures of Abbie over at the Catenabi Chronicles. Come say hello at: www.CatLavoie.com and follow @Catenabi on Twitter.
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~*~*~*~*~ Cat On Tour ~*~*~*~*~