Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Guest Post on Slayers 2: Friends and Traitors by CJ Hill

This is one of the stops on the Slayers 2 Blog Tour with Fire and Ice as the host!  So, if you want to see what others thought, go there to check out the schedule!

Book Summary: In C.J. Hill's action-packed sequel to Slayers, the group of teens known as Slayers have been betrayed—but they won’t give up without a fight.

Tori’s got a problem. She thought she’d have one more summer to train as a dragon Slayer, but time has run out. When Tori hears the horrifying sound of dragon eggs hatching, she knows the Slayers are in trouble. In less than a year, the dragons will be fully grown and completely lethal. The Slayers are well-prepared, but their group is still not complete, and Tori is determined to track down Ryker—the mysterious missing Slayer.

What Tori doesn’t bargain for, however, is the surprising truth about her powers. She isn’t just a Slayer, she’s part Dragon Lord, too. How can Tori fight to save her friends when half of her is programmed to protect dragons? And with a possible traitor in their midst, the Slayers will be divided in more ways than they ever imagined.

My Thoughts

I was DYING to read this book, because Slayers was fantastic!  It didn't hurt that CJ Hill (her pen name) is one of my favorite authors!  My son and I were both thrilled when it came in the mail!  He got to read it first, since I have a lot more to do than he does, but I still was able to get it pretty fast!  He read it in a few hours and kept trying to tell me about it!  He is bad about spoilers!  So, I won't be!  I LOVE the Tori, Jesse, and Dirk characters deepening (to where you really feel like you know them, their conflicts, what they love, what they don't love, and who they are).  It was amazing seeing things from their eyes!  Once again, I can't wait for the third (and final) book in the series!  It is fantastic how CJ Hill manages to turn what you think is one book into a whole series!  I desperately hope that there will be a movie made of the Slayers series!

About the Author

About the AuthorCJ Hill is a pen name for a YA author who is best known for writing romantic comedies. (Slayers will be her 18th published book.) Her writing has shifted away from the romantic comedy genre, so her editor thought a pen name would be a good idea. (New books will include: dangerous dragons, time travel to dystopian worlds, and flesh-eating beetles.) Since the publisher refused to let her have the pseudonym : The Artist Formerly Referred to as Princess, she chose a name to honor her mother. CJ Hill was her mother's pen name, or at least it would have been if her mother had published. Her mother wrote a few children's books and a middle grade novel but was taken by cancer before she had fully learned the craft.
(Most writers' first novels aren't publishable. CJ Junior's first novel wasn't, but somehow was published anyway. Now, even though it is out of print, it remains forever available on Amazon, where it taunts her with its badness. This was another good reason to use a pen name.)
CJ Hill has five children, three of whom like her on any given day depending on who is in trouble. She has lived in Arizona for the last half of her life, but is still in desert denial and hopes that one day her garden will grow silver bells and cockle shells or maybe just tomatoes

Now for the guest post from CJ Hill!

The Slayers: Who they were and who they’re becoming
One of the challenges of writing a trilogy is that the characters need to grow, not just in one book, but in three. Tori’s growth has probably been the easiest. She didn’t know at an early age, like the other characters, that she was destined to be a Slayer. She saw herself as a socialite—a senator’s daughter who would do her best to represent her father and help him with his campaigning. Things she could do in high heels and designer dresses.
Becoming a superhero puts a big wrench into those plans. In Slayers, she has to put aside her plans, her time, her entire life really, for the good of the country. Despite how comic books portray their heroes, this would be a hard decision for most of us. Who wants a dangerous, unpaid job that would most likely lead to a swift death between the teeth of a dragon?
In Slayers: Friends and Traitors, Tori is committed to being a Slayer, but that doesn’t mean she believes she has to keep all of Dr. B’s rules—like that whole no-romance-between-Slayers rule. She also doesn’t want to be a captain.  She doesn’t want to make the battle decisions that will save some Slayers and sacrifice others. Personally, I wouldn’t want that job either. (When you come right down to it, I would make a lousy heroine.) Unfortunately for Tori, she’s stuck with the job of captain. It puts pressure on her and makes her grow.
Jesse has his own obstacles to overcome. In Slayers, he had to overcome his initial mistrust and dislike of Tori—which he accomplished so well that in the beginning of Slayers: Friends and Traitors he realizes that his feelings for Tori are a liability. It’s hard for him to stay focused on killing dragons when he’s more worried about protecting her. He struggles between wanting to do his duty to the nation and wanting to have a relationship with Tori.
And then there’s Dirk. I don’t want to give any spoilers away to those who haven’t read the first book, but let’s just say Dirk has a lot of internal conflict. His duty to his family puts him at odds with his loyalty to his friends. He struggles to do right by both groups. It’s a struggle that lasts throughout the trilogy. Since the first book took place exclusively at camp, the reader didn’t get to meet Dirk’s family. In Slayers; Friends and Traitors, the reader—and Tori—get a better look at them. I hope readers will understand better why Dirk is so conflicted.
In literature, it’s not the clear cut choices that are the most interesting. It’s those murky choices where there is no right answer. All of my characters must make decisions where there’s no way to untangle what they want, what is right, and what will hurt people they care about. It’s sort of like life sometimes. I guess that’s why we like reading.

You can buy this Slayers book, but if you haven't read the first one, you definitely need to buy that one first!

*Disclosure:  I was sent this book as a review, and was not paid for my thoughts!*

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Scott got a job!

To add to the fun that is the week before Parent Teacher Conferences-Scott got a job!  So, I had to scramble to find a babysitter in this land of strangers.  We found someone and interviewed her on Thursday (on my lunch).  So long as everything goes well, she will continue being the babysitter for five weeks.  That's how long his job is.  I'm hoping this gives him the opportunity to make money and up his self-esteem, along with the kids not being home to mess it up so much (so maybe I'll get more sleep, hey!  I can hope).  I was up until three this morning putting in scores for report cards.  By the end, I was looking at everything crazy, so I was glad to be done!
We're still looking for a house and still nothing in our price and size range (we need at least four bedrooms)!  There's one that's above our price range, so I'm watching to see if they're willing to go down at all.  I check at least once a week, because I know Heavenly Father will help us find a house that will fit all of us in a safe place here!
We didn't do anything super cool.  Mainly because my kiddos have gone Hash-baz and destruction has happened.  Someone cracked the screen of my Kindle (which thankfully still works).  Josh pulled the tv on top of his head and completely broke the tv and HDMI cable (he's fine, the tv weighs less than he does).  Cecilia put vaporub all over our bathroom counter, using Scott's comb.  She also poured paint all over Kira's dresser, the windowsill and the wall.  Cecilia and Leah together poured baby lotion all over my floor and on the foot of my bed.  Leah lost a baby turtle in her room, so I painstakingly searched it for about two hours (I found three loads of dirty clothes under my girls' beds) and she's okay!  Poor turtle!  Then the next day Cecilia took the other turtle out and put him under our bed.  Kira found him without a problem.  So, we've been busy doing less fun things.  Like laundry and dishes and scrubbing walls, and cleaning kids' rooms.  Next weekend is going to be fun though!  We're going to Garden City!  I've got a RS activity and Scott is going to take the kids to the zoo there!  Fun times!
I'm hoping all goes well this next five weeks!  For all of us!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

I am down a size!

I can now wear size 16!  Woohoo!  I've been biking to and from work most days and I started the six week workouts last week.  Sadly, I only did two of the three.  But, I knew going in that it wasn't going to be easy to workout before biking to school!  I still need to get the supplies I need for the workouts!
My kiddos aren't feeling great, but aren't sick!  Phew!  They watched all of conference for the very first time!  I thought they did awesome!  I love my kids!  Which is good considering how often I have to clean up after them!


Picture catch up, woohoo!
All of my family at the Parade for Homecoming.
 Josh was completely confused.  This is it?
 He likes trucks though!
 Riding the "train" at the OzFest.  Very ingeniously made!  It's hand carts with open barrels on top.  Inside the barrel is a little wooden seat.  My kiddos loved it!  They finished their free snow cone son their ride!
 Then we went in the "Land of Oz"

 This was right after Emma was feeling the hand of what she thought was a mannequin (the Tin Man).  He wasn't.  She was surprised.  I just laughed!

 There's no place like home!
 Check out this cool dress!  Kira totally wants me to make her one!
 Ben LOVES the arrowheads!  I see a collection starting!
 In Dorothy's house, made to look like her house in the movie.
 It even includes Toto's wagon bed.
 My kiddos that love sucking their fingers.  We're working on it.
 Ben sifting flour.  "This is loud!"
 Josh never minds "cheese!"
 The egg hatchery.
 One happy lil' man on the swing!
Cecilia had so much fun pushing him!  They were both giggling and it was super sweet!  Ben had pushed Cecilia on the regular swing and she came over to push Josh when she was done!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Blog Tour Stop: Lord Trowbridge's Angel by G.G. Vandegriff

trowbridge tour
trowbridgesLord Trowbridge's Angel
 The very handsome and very bored Lord Trowbridge knows something is missing in his existence. When he is asked by a friend to escort the seemingly quiet Miss Sophie Edwards to her first ball, he has no idea she possesses the key that will unlock him. It is her secret weapon. Once he sees his own inner workings, his life unfolds in a different manner. He will do anything to capture the love of his “angel.” Unfortunately, his old life and the shibboleths of the ton stand in his way. As he wades through these afflictions, Sophie is courted by another man. Who will she choose? How can he possibly show his love for her in a way as original and unique as she is? What are Sophie's feelings for him?  
  Praise for Lord Trowbridge's Angel
 "Vandagriff's recipe for spinning a delightful story with so many unexpected twists and involvements is truly masterful." ~willsand
 "Ms. Vandagriff is a master of description. She understands men and women and the nuances between them." ~ L. Glenn
 "Vandagriff is quickly becoming an esteemed name on the shelves of regency romance. Lord Trowbridge's Angel is sweet, humorous, and of course romantic, and you'll become an instant fan." ~Heather Moore

    gg vandagriff
Author G.G. Vandagriff
 I realize that I am one of those rare people in the world who gets to live a life full of passion, romance, suspense, angst, fulfillment, humor, and mystery. I am a writer. Every day when I sit down at my computer, I enter into a world of my own making. I am in the head of a panoply of characters ranging from a nineteen-year-old Austrian debutante (The Last Waltz) to a raging psychopath (The Arthurian Omen) and four women at once in The Only Way to Paradise. Then there are the feisty heroines of my Regency romances . . . I am a traditionally published,award-winning, best-selling writer who has recently gone Indie. I enjoy genre-hopping, having published a genealogical mystery series, two women's fiction novels, an historical epic, two suspense novels, five Regency romances, and a couple of non-fiction offerings. With a BA from Stanford and an MA from George Washington University in International Relations, I somehow stumbled into finance. But, once my husband was through law school, I never wanted to do anything but write and raise kids. Now the kids are gone, but (even better) there are four grandchildren who provide my rewards for finishing a manuscript. Aside from the grandchildren, my favorite things include: Florence, Italy; snow storms; Oreos; real hot chocolate; sweaters; Sundance Resort; lilacs; and dachshunds.

My Thoughts

I loved this story!  It was a sweet romance, where you knew how it would end up, but you aren't sure how they're going to get there!  It seems he loves her from the beginning and calls her his angel, to realize that she doesn't know him as he really should be!  In this book, he changes in order to become a better man, which leads to some problems, that he has to remedy.  Just know, there is a very happy ending to this sweet romance!  There is mention of a previous (bit of muslin, as it were) woman, but nothing specified and it ends before there's a problem!  I felt like I had gone back to Jane Austen's days,a nd I loved it!  This was a very light hearted read, which I desperately needed!

  Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 10/24/13   Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Super awesome Kindle Fire giveaway!

fall kindle fire This is a joint AUTHOR BLOGGER GIVEAWAY EVENT! Bloggers Authors have joined together and each chipped in a little money towards a Kindle Fire HD 7".
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  Sign up to Sponsor the NOVEMBER Giveaway http://www.iamareader.com/2013/09/november-kindle-fire-giveaway-sign-ups.html   Giveaway Details 1 winner will receive their choice of a Kindle Fire 7" HD (US Only), $199 Amazon Gift Card or $199 in Paypal Cash (International). There is a second separate giveaway for bloggers who post this giveaway on their blog. See details in the rafflecopter on how to enter to win the 2nd Kindle Fire. Ends 10/31/13 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.   a Rafflecopter giveaway