Red Clay and Roses Proceeds to go to The Russell Home for Atypical Children


I am humbled by Susan’s generosity – by buying her book you are putting towards a great cause.

Originally posted on S.K. Nicholls:

All future proceeds from book sales of Red Clay and Roses will be donated to The Russell Home for Atypical Children. Most of my readers know that my mother died when I was age eight, I lived in foster homes, and then The Ethel Harpst Home for Children and Youth in Cedartown, GA.

For several weeks, I searched the Orlando area for a similar type children’s group home and found none. There is a thrift store run by The Russell Home near my daughter’s house. We shop there and always buy our Christmas trees from them. I got information from them and toured the facility last week.

Ideally, atypical children are best served in their own homes. I worked pediatric extended care for eight years as a registered nurse and know that there are some situations when that simply is not possible. Foster Homes for children with special needs are…

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Nadia’s Tears (Devya’s Children: Volume 2) by Julie C. Gilbert

Nadia's Tears (Devya's Children: Volume 2) by Julie C. GilbertBlurb

Jillian must enter Nadia’s dreams to wake her from a mysterious coma. In Nadia’s dreams, Jillian meets several versions of her sister, including the elegant Queen Elena, fierce Naidine, and heartbroken Nadie. Meanwhile, Danielle must save her friend Christy from making choices that could get them both killed.

My Perspective

This is the second book in the Devya’s Children series, Ashlynn’s Dreams being the first.

Jillian and Danielle have returned home safely and are trying to settle back in to a normal life again. However Jillian is concerned for the safety of her other siblings who are still under the supervision of Dr Devya. Able to keep in contact with them through her dreams, she becomes extremely worried when Nadia becomes silent. When she finds out Nadia is in a coma and the scientists are unable to wake her, Jillian decides to return to Dr Devya to help save Nadia even if it means she might never return.

Nadia’s Tears follows closely on from Ashlynn’s Dreams. I found this book a little slower to start off with however there was a lot more suspense and buildup throughout.

Jillian is learning more and more about her ‘gift’ and she is continually putting others first before herself. You can’t help but like her. Unlike the previous book, Danielle really stood out more than Jillian. She has grown, become a lot stronger person and I really admire her character.

Again the story was written as many letters and journal entries compiled together as case evidence to the Devya’s Children project. It’s an unusual style however it’s clever and it works well within the parameters of the story. It flowed well and I was accustomed to the format due to reading the first book.

There were some parts of the story that I found to be a stretch in being believable however as it comes under Sci Fi, really anything is possible.

Nadia’s Tears is a great sequel that really builds on from Ashlynn’s Dreams. YA Sci Fi is not a genre I would usually pick however the Devya’s Children series is starting to change my mind.

I would definitely recommend this book if you like YA and/or YA Sci Fi however it’s probably best for you to read Volume 1 first (Ashylnn’s Dreams) as it will give a greater understanding and depth to Nadia’s Tears.

This review is based on a digital copy provided by the author.


Ashlynn’s Dreams (Devya’s Children: Volume 1) by Julie C. Gilbert

Ashlynn's Dreams (Devya's Children: Volume 1) by Julie C. GilbertBlurb

Before she was kidnapped, Jillian Marie Antel Blairington was just an average bright, brave, headstrong child. She was excited for life in a new house with her Momma and new Daddy. Afterward, she’s all that … and so much more.

Held in a scientific facility, Jillian discovers her past-a family she never knew and a power she doesn’t understand. With her ability now activated, she can enter and even shape a person’s dreams. Jillian’s been kidnapped, and her Gift has been triggered, so she can locate and save Benjamin Connelly, a brother she never even knew she had. She’d better master this strange ability quickly, though, because her life isn’t the only one at stake. Her babysitter, Danielle Matheson, is being held as a hostage to ensure Jillian’s full cooperation. Slowly, Jillian begins to learn more about her captor and the other genetically altered children held at the facility.

Join Jillian as she tries to survive the training being forced upon her, find her unknown brother, escape with Danielle, and work her way back to a normal life once more.

My Perspective

Ashlynn’s Dreams is about a twelve year old girl, Jillian, who is kidnapped along with her babysitter, Danielle. They are taken to a facility where Jillian learns that she is not who she thought she was. Created to shape dreams, her captors have tasked her with finding Benny, the twin she never knew she had.

Being a YA Sci Fi, i wouldn’t generally be interested in reading this kind of book, however i found i quite enjoyed it. I would almost call it a YA Psychological Sci Fi.

The story was very cleverly written. Instead of your usual format, it was many letters and journal entries compiled together as case evidence to the kidnapping. At first it was a little discombobulating however i soon got used to it. It was really interesting and made it seem almost like a true story. You were dribbled information throughout, making you want to read more and more so you understood what was going on.

Jillian is extremely likeable and you really get to know and understand her. I also liked Danielle, however i felt sorry for her more than i did Jillian. I felt that Jillian was a stronger character and would be able to make it through her ordeal whether Danielle seemed more like she could tip off the edge. The other characters fascinated me however some you wouldn’t say were likeable.

The essence of this story is one that many ponder, the fine line between morality and tampering with people to help the greater good. I think the story was quite unbiased in giving both sides of the story. It was slightly horrifying in some parts however and it does make you wonder what really goes on in the world.

I did find that Jillian’s accent changed – it was quite a heavy Southern accent at the beginning and then not so much throughout. I think though that the author meant to write it like that to clearly portray the “before” Jillian and the “after” Jillian and how she was quite a different person because of what she went through.

Overall i found this a really interesting book, especially considering it’s one that i would not probably read. I would definitely recommend it to YA readers.

This review is based on a digital copy provided by the author.


I’d Go Halfway Around the World to Meet a Reader


It was such a privilege to meet both Andra and MTM. I thoroughly enjoyed the night and if you haven’t already read Andra’s book – what are you waiting for?!

Originally posted on The Accidental Cootchie Mama:

What’s the best thing about writing to you, Dear Reader? Is it getting great comments on your blogs? Having people praise your prose? Achieving mind blowing stats or sales? Getting great reviews for your efforts, fiction or non?

For me, it’s meeting readers.

Because I work hard to maintain a reader community. Readers are a mirror, a reflection of who we are. They help me know myself, to better understand who I am.

In Australia, we drove from Melbourne to Bermagui to meet Laura Gillies. For geographical perspective, that’s like driving from Charleston to Nashville. Or Charleston to Philadelphia. Maybe even Charleston to Miami.

melbourne to bermagui

It was a long day in the car.

But I wanted to hug the Australian woman who connected with Meriwether Lewis. On a wet winter night, we met at an upstairs pub, and we wiled the night away over Australian wines and cheeses. Just like every person…

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Inheritance (Inheritance Cycle Series: Book 4) by Christopher Paolini

Inheritance (Inheritance Cycle Series: Book 4) by Christopher PaoliniBlurb

It began with Eragon . . . It ends with Inheritance.

Not so very long ago, Eragon – Shadeslayer, Dragon Rider – was nothing more than a poor farm boy, and his dragon, Saphira, only a blue stone in the forest. Now, the fate of an entire civilization rests on their shoulders.

Long months of training and battle have brought victories and hope, but they have also brought heartbreaking loss. And still the real battle lies ahead: they must confront Galbatorix. When they do, they will have to be strong enough to defeat him. And if they cannot, no one can. There will be no second chances.

The Rider and his dragon have come farther than anyone dared to hope. But can they topple the evil king and restore justice to Alagaësia? And if so, at what cost?

My Perspective

Inheritance is the last book in the Inheritance Cycle Series; Eragon being the first, Eldest being the second and Brisingr being the third.

The story starts straight on from where it left off in Brisingr. Eragon knows he is not strong enough to defeat Galbatorix however he has no idea what he can do that will aid him. Little does he know that both he and Saphira must discover more about themselves than they ever realised to find the key that will defeat the tyrant king.

As the story starts straight on from where it left off in the last book, you are placed right in the middle of the action. At first I found my head spinning slightly because of this but then it was alright.

This book was long. The other three were around the three hundred to four hundred page mark so I expected the last book in the series to be maybe five hundred. Try over seven hundred and fifty!!! That didn’t stop me from reading it in just over a day however I was seriously doubting that there was going to be the content to justify that many pages.

In my review of Brisingr, I said that I was going to reserve my judgement about whether I thought it was necessary for the last book to be split into two books until I had read the entire series. Having now read it, I think that it was wise to split the last book into two books however i feel that some of the content from Inheritance could have been put into Brisingr. Both the books could have been heavily edited with a lot of unnecessary text taken out, which would then reduce both books to around the three hundred to four hundred page mark.

Eragon has grown so much throughout the series. He’s learnt and matured and I love the person he has become. If I was his parent then I would be so proud of him. The other characters grew a little more in this book and I enjoyed getting to know Nasuada a bit more. Overall they are a really great bunch of well written characters.

The resolution of the story left me a little disillusioned. I was kind of like, huh? Is that it? Seriously? It just seemed too…easy. I was also VERY disappointed in the outcomes of some various other situations, which I don’t want to say too much about because I will spoil it. Lets just say that although there is resolution for the story and the characters, it doesn’t mean it’s all happy ever after. Sigh.

I really enjoyed the story however i found that each book became a little less tighter than the first.

Overall the book (and the whole series) was a very enjoyable read that I found hard to put down. I would definitely recommend it to fantasy lovers. I also look forward to other adventures about Alagaësia as it is a fascinating place and I also hope that the author decides to tie up some loose ends!


Summertime Sale: Red Clay and Roses


Grab yourself a copy for only 99c!

Originally posted on S.K. Nicholls:

I have been planning a summertime sale of Red Clay and Roses for over a month now and wanted it to coincide with a promotional I am doing with Ereader News Today. It took a while to reschedule with them because I was out of town the last time they approved a promo and missed their email, so it was cancelled.

download (1)The sale officially begins tomorrow, but the sale price has already been set!  Red Clay and Roses is on sale for 99 cents! This sale will last a week, but ENT gets a cut on the first two days of the sale. With a 35% royalty and ENT getting a cut, I don’t plan on buying a new car with the proceeds, or anything like that, but I did want to let you know about the sale in case you have an interest in picking up the book.

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