The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon

24040551

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I had read Jennifer’s book, The Winter People and absolutely loved it.  The Night Sister had me excited to read more of McMahon’s work!

The Tower Motel used to be a thriving attraction for the likes of all sorts located in rural Vermont.  There was never a vacant room.  Unfortunately it now stands in disrepair after the highway was built, visitors became sparse.  Holding many memories there is Amy, Piper and Margot.  The three friends played there often, skating the empty pool.  One day, the girls discover a dark secret about Amy’s family.  Something the girls will never speak, that ruined their friendship forever.

As much as they want to forget, the past comes back to haunt them when Amy’s family is discovered in the old motel, a crime that Amy is being blamed for.  Piper and Margot are forced to remember what they had found that summer so long ago.  They know exactly what happened and what must be done.

What horrible secrets have been lurking in the Tower Motel all of these years?  What is Amy’s family hiding from the world?  Something truly monstrous that cannot be tamed.

I read this book in two days!  I was blown away again by McMahon’s work and her ability to ensnare my mind in her stories.  This is a must read, no doubt about it!

Is your library a Carnegie? What is a Carnegie Library anyway?

Holdrege Public Library – Nebraska

holdrege1907 holdrege2013outside

Decorative_Line_1

aa_carnegie_phil_1_e

Andrew Carnegie, Philanthropist

Can you imagine becoming the richest person in the world and then giving your money away? That’s exactly what Andrew Carnegie did. After retiring in 1901 at the age of 66 as the world’s richest man, Andrew Carnegie wanted to become a philanthropist, a person who gives money to good causes. He believed in the “Gospel of Wealth,” which meant that wealthy people were morally obligated to give their money back to others in society.

Carnegie had made some charitable donations before 1901, but after that time, giving his money away became his new occupation. In 1902 he founded the Carnegie Institution to fund scientific research and established a pension fund for teachers with a $10 million donation. Do you know of any other causes that Carnegie funded?

Throughout his life, Andrew Carnegie loved to read. So it made sense that he wanted to give money to support education and reading. When Carnegie was a young man he lived near Colonel James Anderson, a rich man who allowed any working boy to use his personal library for free. In those days, America did not have a system of free public libraries.

Carnegie never forgot Colonel Anderson’s generosity. As a result, Carnegie supported education; he gave money to towns and cities to build more than 2,000 public libraries. He also gave $125 million to a foundation called the Carnegie Corporation to aid colleges and other schools. What else did Carnegie believe in?

World peace was another cause Carnegie believed in. He established the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and funded the building of the Hague Palace of Peace, which houses the World Court, in the Netherlands. By 1911, Carnegie had given away a huge amount of money — 90 percent of his fortune.

The Dogs by Allan Stratton

25496559

Out of the corner of my eye, I catch something moving by the barn.

When I look, it disappears. Wait. There it is again, at the cornfield.

Some movement, some thing.

Mom and I have been on the run for years. Every time he catches up with us, we move to a new place and start over.

But this place is different.

This place is full of secrets. And they won’t leave me alone.

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I stumbled upon this book in an e-mail that provided the first few chapters of this book.  I was hooked so I had to find out what was going to happen next!

The Dogs is an amazing paranormal thriller that will have you turning pages fast!  Cameron and his mom have been on the run for several years from his dad.  Always keep themselves ‘off the grid’ so he can’t ‘hunt’ them down but somehow he always finds them.

They finally settle in an isolated farmhouse where Cameron starts to see and hear things that aren’t possible. Soon he’s questioning everything he thought he knew and even thinking he is becoming crazy like his dad.  The kids at school have been telling Cameron stories about murders and a pack of wild dogs that have lived in the farm house.  Is this why he is seeing the ghost of a boy?  Is this why he is hearing dogs howling in the woods? Is he truly going crazy?

This book will give you chills.  The authors writing was excellent!  I would love to read more from Allan Stratton, he has a true talent of making your blood run cold with excitement and mystery!  This is a highly recommended read!

Check out my interview with author Allan Stratton here:

author-interview

*Author Interview with Andy Peloquin*

1510981_230208343850114_2007166947_n

Wow, there’s so much to know! I’ll give you a few facts that will help you understand pretty much everything there is to know:

  • Height: 6′ 6″ (wife’s height: 5′ 3″)
  • Occupations: novelist, fiction writer extraordinaire, daydreamer, step-father, full time chauffeur, video game/comic book enthusiast
  • Favorite things: hot wings, Deadpool, any Marvel movie/TV show, sleeping, a good book

I think that says enough.

Sierra:  When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

Andy: I started writing at the age of 15, but I didn’t take it seriously until the age of 18. I began work on In the Days: A Tale of the Forgotten Continent, and worked on it until the age of 20, when life conspired to fill my time with caring for four children. I re-discovered my love of writing at 25, and finished the novel in 2014. From there, I was hooked!

Sierra:  Tell us a little bit about your first book or the first book in the series.

Andy: This new book is the first in a dark fantasy/grimdark series. (For those who don’t know, dark fantasy combines elements of horror with traditional fantasy themes). The main character is a half-demon assassin who has very few memories of his past. It’s all about his growth as a character (who knew assassins could be good people?), as well as his discovery of what it means to be a descendant of demon. He also has a cursed dagger that drives him to kill–sort of like the “inner voice” we all have.

Really, it’s all about what people are willing to do to achieve their ends. It’s even a quote I use in one of the later books: “There is no evil; there is only desire, and what you will do to achieve it.”

Sierra: How did you choose the genre you write in?

Andy: I’m a huge fan of the TV show Criminal Minds, which takes a look at what people are capable of. I wanted to write a story that looked at the darker side of human nature, thus I created this character. Dark fantasy seemed like the right genre because it’s expected that the stories are dark–with none of that “happy ending” bull***t that you get from a lot of epic or urban fantasy stories. There is no happy ending to my stories–a satisfying ending, but never happy.

Sierra: What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write?

Andy: This is something I’m hesitant to admit, but I wrote one of the chapters near the end (the climax) while on strong substances. The experience was one I loved, but not one I choose to replicate often. The encounter between the primary villain and the main character was a treat to write!

Sierra:  Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

Andy: You mean did I draw on my days as an assassin to tell this story? Heh. The Hunter does have a couple of characteristics of mine, but I try to keep “myself” out of the book. However, a lot of the frustration, anger, and emotions that I had were poured into the writing.
Sierra: Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

Andy: Sherlock Holmes addicted me to reading, John Carter of Mars opened my eyes to the wonders of science fiction, and the Dragonlance books got me hooked on fantasy. The Lies of Locke Lamora helped me realize the importance of great characters as well as plot, and Brandon Sanderson’s works are what I use as the “gold standard” for grammar and structure. His characters are also amazing!

Sierra: Do you ever experience writers block?

Andy: Never, a fact for which I’m very thankful! By the time I sit down to write, I’ve mapped out enough that I can start writing without worrying about what comes next. The blank page holds no terror for me; instead, I see it as a challenge!

Sierra: Is there an author that you would really like to meet?

Andy: I would love to meet/be friends with Scott Lynch or Matt Inman (from The Oatmeal webcomic). Both of them seem like fascinating people to hang around.

Sierra: Will you have a new book coming out soon? If so, can you tell us about it?

Andy: This new book has just launched August 21st! Here’s what you need to know:

The Last Bucelarii (Book 1): Blade of the Destroyer

The Hunter of Voramis is the perfect assassin: ruthless, unrelenting, immortal. Haunted by lost memories, he is bonded to a cursed dagger that feeds him power but denies him peace of mind. Within him rages an unquenchable need for blood and death.

When he accepts a contract to avenge the stolen innocence of a girl, the Hunter becomes the prey. The death of a seemingly random target sends him hurtling toward destruction, yet could his path also lead to the truth of his buried past?

Sierra: If you could go back and do it all over again, is there any aspect of your first novel or getting it published that you would change?

Andy: I would probably get more feedback from beta readers. I wrote the book and submitted it to an editor, but without really getting thoughts and opinions from many others. It was a great experience, and I still stand by the quality of the book. Sure, I know its flaws and weaknesses, but it’s a rollicking fun time! Thanks to the lessons I learned from writing that first book, I’ve made this new book a thing of beauty.

Sierra: Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

Andy: Avoid “yes men” and only deal with people who will tell you the truth about your writing. The best beta readers/critiquers are the people who don’t care what you think, but only care about their opinion. They will help you immeasurably–far more than the people who tell you “OMG, your work is amazing!”

Sierra: Is there anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?

Andy: Yes, actually! I’m giving away free copies of my first novel In the Days: A Tale of the Forgotten Continent on my website. Here’s the book blurb:

The Empire of Atlantis: the most powerful nation in the world. Peace reigns across the continent, and an age of prosperity and enlightenment has made the Empire the center of the globe.
But, beneath the peaceful façade of life in the Imperial City, trouble is brewing. Assassins lurk in the shadows, intrigue abounds in the court of the Empress. Will political ambitions topple the House of Tah, or could the threat be one much more sinister in nature? Dark forces threaten the land, and the future of the Empire is at stake.
Could a vision of the future change the destiny of Atlantis? Can Deucalion prevent the total annihilation of the continent, or is he doomed to share the fate of the rest of the world as he knows it?
From out of the land forgotten by time comes an epic thriller–the story of the final days of the Empire of Atlantis.

Getting your hands on the book is EASY! All you have to do is visit my website–AndyPeloquin.com–and you can find out everything you need to know.

*New Release!* Blade of the Destroyer: The Last Bucelarii Book I by Andy Peloquin

41ET731HiEL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Andy Peloquin brings us a unique story about “The Hunter”.  The Hunter is a ruthless contract killer, who always finishes his tasks and always demands payment.  I sure wouldn’t want to double cross him, that’s for sure!  Rumors of his deadliness have spread far and wide, creating the idea that he is invincible.  After he finishes an assassination of a high-ranking lord, The Hunter’s trust invincibility is tested.

The book is very well written with interesting characters with an original story line.  I love how even though The Hunter seems like a ruthless killer, he does happen to have a heart.  We see that he does care about the people under his ‘protection.’  Party mystery, fantasy and thriller brings together a perfect beginning for a series.

Andy Peloquin’s writing skills have me seeing him go far.  His characters were well thought out and the extensive research he must have done, shows he is serious about his talent as a writer.  I hope you all enjoy this book as much as I did!  Check out this new author and his release of “Blade of the Destroyer: The Last Bucelarii Book I”!

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

23363928

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

The cover of the book and the fact that ‘library’ was in the title is what drew me into this book.  I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  Now that I’m finished, I still don’t know what I got myself into!  This has got to be the most unique, intriguing and original story I have ever read.

“Adoption Day” is pretty much the last memory the Carolyn and her friends have.  The day several children found themselves being raised by a man they now call “Father”.  Father does some very strange things, like raise the dead for example.  If you disobeyed him, you were likely to suffer extreme consequences.

Carolyn hasn’t gotten out much. Instead, she and her adopted siblings have been raised according to Father’s ancient Pelapi customs. They’ve studied the books in his library and learned some of the secrets behind his equally ancient power. These children wondered if “Father” wasn’t actually “God”.  I was wondering the whole time that they might be right.  Some ‘sort’ of God that is.

Father has now gone missing and they aren’t sure if he’s alive or dead.  The only thing that is on their minds is who will inherit his library and with it, power over all of creation.  Carolyn is sure she can win, most people underestimate her anyways.

There is so much awesomeness that goes on in this book, I cannot even begin to explain it all.  This is a must read, best book of the year so far!  I’m telling you, if you are looking for a book that will completely turn your mind, here it is!  Amazing.

Seven Dog Days of Summer Books

10563170_10152875353161479_9144577666403129766_n 11009997_10152936711801479_4100388039612597050_n 11753731_10152937385811479_6169784465466357312_n

I am quite bias when it comes to dogs.  Of course my dogs are the cutest, best dogs there are!  Someday I will write a book about them!  Here are some “Dog” Days of summer books for you to revisit and read!

Decorative_Line_1

9780140340341

The Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith

By beloved author and playwright Dodie Smith, this is the original tale of the Dearly’s dalmatians, Pongo and Missis, and their fifteen pups stolen for Cruella de Vil’s coat couture. On Pongo and Missis way to rescue their litter from being skinned alive (literally), they meet Perdita and Prince whose puppies have also been pinched. Much more than Disney’s “Kanine Krunchies” jingle, this novel is 101 percent heart and fur.

Available at
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A Million | iBooks | IndieBound |Target | Walmart

9780765330345

A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

From the humorous author of 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, this book chronicles a dog’s life through multiple reincarnations. He searches for his purpose while leaving everlasting paw prints on his human family members. After reading this book, you’ll never look at a dog again without seriously contemplating the divine nature of the canine spirit.

Available at
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A Million | iBooks | IndieBound |Target | Walmart

51xO8uRDaGL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

Because of Winn-Dixieby Kate DiCamillo

Disheartened ten-year-old Opal moves to Naomi, Florida, with her father after her mother’s abandonment. She finds a misfit dog at Winn-Dixie supermarket and promptly adopts him. Because of Winn-Dixie, Opal meets new friends and discovers ten things about her absent mother. Because of Winn-Dixie, she learns that she is not defined by her sad past, and that finding love begins by giving it. This took home a Newberry Medal for a reason: it’s a winner.

Available at
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A Million | IndieBound | Walmart

9781250059796

One Good Dog by Susan Wilson

Boston millionaire Adam March loses his job for slapping his assistant and is sentenced to community service at a homeless shelter where he meets Chance, a pit-bull mix escaping a brutal past of illegal dogfighting. Together, man and man’s best friend rebuild broken trusts and forge new lives. A salute to second chances, and who doesn’t love that!

Available at
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A Million | iBooks | IndieBound |Target | Walmart

arr_pb_600x900-198x300

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

Enzo, a shep-terr-oodle mix, has studied his master Denny’s racecar driving and his rocky relationships with his wife and daughter. As a dog, Enzo ponders the philosophical horizons of life in silent reflection, and he’s ready to be reincarnated as a man. It’s the eve of his death, and he’s giving us his tell-all. A poignant reflection of humanity as only a dog could convey. This book will have you counting your blessings—including opposable thumbs.

Available at
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A Million | iBooks | IndieBound |Target | Walmart

9780440413240

The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford

Burnford contends that she wrote this book for adults despite its children’s literature fame. Animal devotion is an ageless theme. In the novel, the Hunter family’s three pets travel three hundred miles through the wilderness searching for their cherished masters who have temporarily gone to England. I’m devoted to stories of man (and man’s best friends) traversing nature’s wilds and coming through triumphant. Isn’t that why we read—to vicariously live incredible journeys?

Available at
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A Million | iBooks | IndieBound |Target | Walmart

9780141321110

White Fang by Jack London

We all know London’s acclaimed The Call of the Wild,but I argue his White Fangsurpasses the original wolf-dog tale. Told from the perspective of White Fang, the novel examines the mirrored violence of the animal and human kingdoms. Set against the treacherous beauty of Canada during the Klondike Gold Rush, the book is an homage to an adventurous corner of history told through the impartial eyes of a savage with a heart of gold.

Available at
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A Million | IndieBound | Target |Walmart

small-in-memory

29315_393714296478_3543130_n

Sebastian-designstyle-birthday-m