Sunday, June 29, 2014

Review: Storybound (Storybound #1)

Title: Storybound (Storybound #1)
Author: Marissa Burt
Page Count: 416
My Rating:4.5 TURTLES: A really great read, I highly recommend!

In the land of Story, children go to school to learn to be characters: a perfect Hero, a trusty Sidekick, even the most dastardly Villain. They take classes on Outdoor Experiential Questing and Backstory, while adults search for full-time character work in stories written just for them. 

In our world, twelve-year-old Una Fairchild has always felt invisible. But all that changes when she stumbles upon a mysterious book buried deep in the basement of her school library, opens the cover, and suddenly finds herself transported to the magical land of Story.

But Story is not a perfect fairy tale. Una’s new friend Peter warns her about the grave danger she could face if anyone discovers her true identity. The devious Tale Keeper watches her every move. And there are whispers of a deadly secret that seems to revolve around Una herself....

What a charming g novel! I may generally read books geared toward older audiences, but when it is done right there are few things I enjoy more than Middle Grade Fantasy. Storybound is wonderfully written, the characters are delightful and interesting, the plot is exciting, and it left me wanting more.

If Storybound were written for a young adult audience or older I might complain about a few holes in the world-building, or point out some tired tropes. This seems a bit ridiculous though, seeing as the group of people the author is writing for generally either doesn't know or care about these things. The story is set up in a fairytale-like manner anyway, so these elements are entirely appropriate given the circumstances.

This book is wonderful and can be enjoyed by readers of just about any age. If you have a child in your life, I recommend you pick up a copy for them. And then one for yourself! I know I will be continuing on with the sequel.

Check out Storybound on Amazon

Friday, June 27, 2014

I have a Tumblr!

Hey everyone! Just wanted to give you a years up that I have a tumblr account now! I'm still figuring everything out, but if you want to keep in touch through that media site, click on the button at the top right of the blog. I hope you are all enjoying the first few weeks of summer!

~ Larissa

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Guest Post by Author Shay West + Giveaway!

There are many things associated with that word: fear, disbelief, incredulity, fear, awkward, hormones, angst, angry, peer-pressure.
These years are tense and awkward for both the teen and their parents. I often hear parents speak of wanting to put off these years for as long as possible. It doesn’t even necessarily mean they have older kids and have gone through the teen years. Parents KNOW what the teen years will be like because they’ve gone through it. And regardless of the decade, being a teen is pretty much the same.
They are trying to figure out who they are while trying to be someone else to please everyone around them. Talk about stressful! But it’s true. Teens tend to latch onto whoever (or whatever) is popular at a given moment and they try like hell to become that or to buy it. Most often the people are the cheerleaders/football players and the things really depend on the decade. I went to high school in the 80’s (AWESOME by the way!) so the cool kids had the pagers and LA Gear or Converse. I admit, I had two pairs of Converse sneakers and felt so awesome! And in the 80’s, popularity was also measured in cans of Aqua Net hair spray!
LOL Not really, but if it were I would have won hands down! 

That’s me on the far right
There’s no “best” way to get through these years. And contrary to popular belief, no one gets through these years unscathed. Even the kids we think are perfect have dealt with tough times. We just never notice because we are dealing with our own crap.
YA/coming of age books/fantasy often have teens dealing with many of the common issues that all teens deal with, plus maybe throwing in something even more dramatic. In the Adventures of Alexis Davenport series, Alex deals with bullying, first crush (he doesn’t even know she exists), and feeling out of place. She also has to contend with a deadbeat dad who left and her and her mom penniless and living with an aunt in another town.
Oh, and she sees the reflections of strange girls in mirrors.
I know, right??!!?? Talk about stressful! Not only that, she travels back in time and inhabits the bodies of these girls. She finds out that she must protect the time line from an evil bastard trying to change the past.
Poor kid! But Alex is tough and she’s smart! Had a knack for history that will give her the edge she needs to beat the bad guy. And what she learns along the way will help her cope with issues in her regular teen life.

How did you/are you dealing with tough teen issues? A random commenter will win an e-book copy of Dangerous Reflections!

Back Blurb:
Alexis Davenport wants to go home. She hates her new school, her mother for moving her away from her friends, and her father for walking out.
To make matters worse, Alex is haunted by images of strange girls reflected in her mirror. It’s bad enough juggling homework, a relentless bully, boys, and a deadbeat dad; now, she must save the world from an evil presence hell-bent on changing the past – and our futures. Who knew her A+ in history was going to be this important?

Author Bio:
Shay West was born in Longmont, CO and earned a doctorate degree in Human Medical Genetics from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical. Dr. West currently lives in Grand Junction, CO with her two cats. When not writing novels, she plays with plushie microbes and teaches biology classes at Colorado Mesa University. She is the author of the Portals of Destiny series and the Adventures of Alexis Davenport series. She has also been published in several anthologies: Battlespace (military scifi), Orange Karen: Tribute to a Warrior (fundraiser), and Ancient New (steampunk/fantasy).
You can find Dr. West and more of her work at

Social Media Links:

Interview with Dr. Shay West

At what point in your life did you realize that you wanted to be a writer?
I actually never set out to be a writer LOL I wrote as a kid and in high school but never really took it seriously. I figured it would be too difficult to make it as a writer so focused on my passion for biology and went to graduate school. I ended up having a dream I couldn’t shake and that led me to start writing again (Portals of Destiny series). And I’ve been writing ever since!

Who is your favorite character in Dangerous Reflections?  And why? I’d have to say the main character, Alex. There’s so  much of me in her J

Alex travels back in time to a few different locations in Dangerous Reflections.  Pick one of those places and time that you would like to travel to. I’d have to say Ireland! I’ve always wanted to go there and why not back in medieval times? I just hope I don’t get the plague...

Where did you get the idea to write Dangerous Reflections? I was getting ready for work one day and thought about how cool it would be to have the reflection change to someone else. The story just sort of evolved from there!

If Dangerous Reflections gets made into a movie, who would you like to see play Alex? I picture her as Alyson Stone (Suite Life of Zach and Cody).

Where are we most likely to find you writing? I am usually at home on the couch with my cats snuggled next to me. Every once and awhile I will write at work but it’s usually too distracting.

What’s the most discouraging thing that happened while trying to write/publish, and how did you get over it? Being turned down by literally hundreds of agents between the Portals series and the Alexis series. I kept on writing those query letters and researched self-publishing, to give myself a way to get my stories into the hands of readers. And one of those readers happened to be the owner/CEO of Booktrope, where I am now published!

Any advice for aspiring writers? Practice, practice, and practice some more! I can definitely tell a difference in my writing between my first series and the Alexis series. If you have the means and the time, attend writers conferences. Reach out to other writers as they will often be an amazing source of support. Write what you know and love. DON’T write something just because you think it’s trendy or a genre that’s hot right now. Your heart won’t be in it and your readers will know.

What’s your favorite book? I’d have to say the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Who’s your favorite author? Tolkein J

Do you listen to music while writing, or do you need silence? Neither one LOL I have tried to listen to music but it’s distracting. I have something on TV that I don’t need to pay attention to, something I’ve seen a hundred times, just as long as it’s background noise.

What do you like to do when not writing? I’m a biology professor by day and I absolutely love my job! It’s so rewarding to be able to share my love of all things science with my students. I enjoy reading, camping, hunting, hanging with family and friends.

What’s your favorite dinner…..and dessert? My mom’s homemade spaghetti and strawberry shortcake! I get them every year for my birthday :D

If you had to pick one movie or tv show to watch for the rest of your life, what would it be? Doctor Who, hands down

If you could spend a day with any one person from the past, who would it be? Jesus of Nazareth

Lastly, any other books that you are working on that we should look out for? There are two other books in the Alexis series (Twisted Reflections and Desperate Reflections) that will launch later this summer. The book I’m currently writing is an urban fantasy about people from another world coming to Earth to steal organs. The working title is The Harvesters. I’ve been known to change titles so it *could* change but it’s really growing on me so it will probably stay.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Release announcement: Taming Fate


Alpena, MI (June 24, 2014) – World Weaver Press (Eileen Wiedbrauk, Editor-in-Chief) has announced Taming Fate byAmalia Dillin, a novella in the “Fate of the Gods” series, and previously featured in A Winter’s Enchantment is available in trade paperback and ebook today, Tuesday, June 24, 2014.

Praise for Forged by Fate (“Fate of the Gods” Book 1):

“You won’t be able to deny that Miss Dillin is a genius … This story was absolutely amazing. It’s like nothing I’ve read before … a complete game changer.”
— Parajunkee

“An amazing fantasy world which succeeds in cleverly incorporating history, mythology and biblical figures. The seamless integration of Norse and Greek gods was inspired and I can’t wait to see where this series heads next.”
— Book Chick City

“One of the more fascinating and haunting books I’ve read in quite some time.”
— JC Andrijeski,Allie’s War

“A beautiful, sweeping story that puts on display the power of every interpretation of love, and the truth of what can be accomplished when people choose peace over strife. I couldn’t put it out of my mind for days.”
— Trisha Leigh, The Last Year

For the first time in her many lives, Eve would rather be anywhere but home. In 15th Century France, Eve would have burned as a witch if it hadn’t been for the too-timely arrival of the Marquis DeLeon to save her skin. But Eve didn’t ask to be rescued, and their hasty marriage is off to anything but a smooth start. As tensions in the town grow and plague threatens, Ryam DeLeon knows if he and Eve cannot find common ground, their first Christmas may be their last.

Taming Fate is available in trade paperback and ebook via,, and other online retailers, and for wholesale through Ingram. You can also find Taming Fate onGoodreads.
Amalia Dillin began as a Biology major before taking Latin and falling in love with old heroes and older gods. After that, she couldn't stop writing about them, with the occasional break for more contemporary subjects. Her short stories have been published by Daily Science Fiction and Birdville magazine, and she's also the author of the “Fate of the Gods” series and Honor Among Orcs, the first book in the Orc Saga. Amalia lives in upstate New York with her husband, and dreams of the day when she will own goats — to pull her chariot through the sky, of course.
World Weaver Press is an independently owned publisher of fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction. We believe in great storytelling.

Publication Date: June 24 • Romance

$9.95 trade paperback, 280 pages  • $3.99 ebook

ISBN: 978-0692232750



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Friday, June 20, 2014

Spotlight: The Truth

Growing up is tough. Adults don’t always understand you (even though they were once kids), and children today face increasing pressure to be, look, or act a certain way. Written in the voice of a girl on the cusp of becoming a teenager, The Truth provides young girls with an opportunity to see how a girl, who is in many ways like themselves, handles her toughest problems and most personal thoughts. Each new page brings forth a discussion to help girls handle everyday problems: How do you survive a bully? How do you handle a crush on a boy? What can you do about relentless teasing by your peers? What really matters as you grow older?

In a positive and supportive diary-entry format, Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein encourages tween girls to carry the most precious parts of themselves into adulthood. A great book for mothers and daughters to read together, The Truth is aimed to improve communication, understanding, and self-esteem for young girls as they enter the rocky road of teenager-dom.

About the Author:
I have been a positive psychologist in private practice for the past twenty five years. In the course of working with my clients, I originated the idea of THE ENCHANTED SELF(R), a positive psychology therapy where I teach people how to recognize and utilize their strengths, talents, skills and even lost potential. I have developed a number of methods, including using our memories to rediscover what is right about ourselves and our lives, rather than what went wrong, helping people to overcome adversity, experience positive emotions and live the good life!

Since developing this concept, I've been able to use many tools to bring the Enchanted Self to everyone, particularly women and girls. I've written many books on the topic, starting with THE ENCHANTED SELF, A Positive Therapy, and then Recipes for Enchantment, The Secret Ingredient is YOU! All my books are available on Amazon. Very popular is my fictional diary for girls, The Truth (I'm a girl, I'm smart and I know everything). Most recently, my newest novel is a romantic mystery titled Next Year in Jerusalem! Romance, Mystery & Spiritual Awakenings, Part 1.

I really love to teach and educate about happiness and how to benefit from positive psychology in ways that let us lead lives of meaning and happiness. You can find me all over the place on the web. In particular,,, and on You Tube. Just look for me on You Tube via Barbara Becker Holstein.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

World Weaver Press: new logo and submissions!

new logo


Alpena, MI (June 17, 2014– World Weaver Press (Eileen Wiedbrauk, Editor-in-Chief) is celebrating a new phase of the company with the unveiling of their updated website and logo, now live! The new site can be found at

Not only have we streamlined content, but we now have the capability to take online orders directly through our site, including ebook orders with instant digital delivery,” commented Wiedbrauk. “We’re on track to make the leap from “small press” to “mid-size press” in 2014We continue to grow, to mature as a press, as editors and publishers. We’re watching our authors grow, and we’re so impressed with what they’re doing and the direction their novels and series are going. We’re bringing those books to you as fast as we can, and I hope you’re enjoying reading them as much as I am.
The new website offers readers the ability to purchase direct from the publisher for pre-orders and paperbacks, as well as ebooks with instant digital-download ability. 
World Weaver Press is now open to unsolicited queries for novels, novellas, serialized fiction, anthology proposals, and single author collections. World Weaver is open to submissions every February, June, and September. Full guidelines can be found at:
In addition, World Weaver is planning two forthcoming anthology calls for 2014. Corvidae and Scarecrow will be edited by Niteblade Magazine editor Rhonda Parrish, whose anthology FAE will be released by World Weaver Press on July 22, 2014. Both anthologies will be open to submissions from July 1 – October 31, 2014. Full guidelines can be found at:
World Weaver Press recently announced the launch of their new imprint, Red Moon Romance. Red Moon is now accepting submissions to three big, sexy anthologies Too Alpha to Handle, Sexy Secret Santa, and Demons, Imps, and Incubi. For full submission guidelines and details,

World Weaver Press is a publisher of fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction, dedicated to producing quality works. We believe in great storytelling.

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Monday, June 16, 2014

Guest Post: Amalia Dillin

When Eve Hits the 15th Century, The 15th Century Hits Back

Eve has lived countless lives: Yocheved, mother of Moses; Helen of Troy; Olympias, Queen of Epirus; Mary, mother of Jesus; and  hundreds of lives in between.  She is Spartan and Amazon, Princess, Queen, Slave and Pauper. And in 15th Century France, she is Anessa, the daughter of a poor Baron, betrayed by the sister she loved and accused of heresy by the Church.

I’ll be honest, I kind of hate the 15th Century. I hate the clothes and the utter nonsense and complete corruption of the Church. I hate the mad kings and the senseless bloodshed. I hate the burning of Joan of Arc and the witch hunts – not for witches, necessarily, but for heretics. The whole period feels incredibly stifling all the way around, not to mention lacking in awesome myths and gods and heroes.

For Eve, I can only imagine how much more frustrating it would have been. Everyone around her is worshipping a god she knows is dead, and the Church is profiting off their faith and their backs, taking lives in God’s name when, to her mind, they had no right to use it at all. Making matters worse, as a noblewoman of that time, she had no real freedom of her own, and that’s before she’s locked up in the Palace of the Popes to await interrogation by an inquisitor.

But Eve isn’t afraid. The Church can burn her, but they can’t kill her. And this is France! Home to her House of Lions, the family she founded with her first husband. Even if Avignon is a long way from them, when the right opportunity presents itself, she can always go home.

Of course, she didn’t count on her Lions finding her first. Or the fact that the Marquis DeLeon, for all his kind words and good-intentions,  is still just a product of his time.

If Eve thought being accused of heresy was the worst this lifetime had to offer, in TAMING FATE, she’s about to learn her 15th Century problems are only just beginning.

Also By Amalia Dillin: