Book Blitz With #Giveaway : Dead Lines: Grace Hamiton

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Dead Lines
By Grace Hamilton
Genre: Science Fiction/ Post-Apoc

Book Description

911 operator Jim Parker wants—more than anything—to be useful again. When a catastrophic EMP strikes, and he’s the last person a kidnapped girl speaks to before the lines go dead, he knows he can’t let her down. Especially when the circumstances are so similar to his own daughter’s disappearance. With the world falling apart around him, he wants to do nothing more than retreat to his prepper cabin. But with a fresh lead on his daughter, and another innocent girl’s life on the line, the disgraced cop will do everything in his power to track them down.

Finn Meyers has lost Ava, her best, and only, friend in the world, but she knows where the
missing young woman might be—and perhaps Parker’s long lost daughter. Now, Parker must form an uneasy alliance and tackle his own internal demons as the two begin a perilous journey that will take them to the headquarters of a mysterious cult in Indiana.
But what they find along the way will shatter all their preconceptions—and threaten the world as they know it. Can a has-been and a has-not save the innocent, and stop a disaster from happening?

Author Bio

Grace Hamilton wasn’t always a prepper. But after being stuck in a mountain cabin for 6 days following a flash flood, she decided she never wanted to feel so powerless or have to send her kids to bed hungry again. Now she lives the prepper lifestyle and knows that if SHTF or TEOTWAWKI, she’ll be ready to help protect and provide for her family.

Combine this survivalist mentality with a vivid imagination (as well as a slightly unhealthy day dreaming habit) and you get a prepper fiction author. Grace spends her days thinking about the worst possible survival situations that a person could be thrown into, then throwing her characters into these nightmares while trying to figure out “What SHOULD you do in this situation”

It’s her wish that through her characters, you will get to experience what life will be like and
essentially learn from their mistakes and experiences.

Grace is a proud momma-bear to four kids and wife to a wonderful husband.

On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorGraceHamilton
Website: http://www.gracehamiltonbooks.com
On Amazon https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B077RKF2WB
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Excerpt

Southern Indiana, 2306 hours
Countdown: 25 seconds until Event.
James Parker rubbed the sandy grit out of his eyes and stared at the monitors in front of him. Three screens—low light, supposedly easy on the eyes—sat at his station along with a computer, telephone, and emergency communications radio. But he was suffering from a hangover headache pounding dully behind his temples, and it hurt to use his eyes, even in such dim lighting.
His hand, big and calloused, massaged a five o’clock shadow rapidly heading towards full-on homeless scruff. He wanted another Vicodin, but had promised himself not to take too many at work. Mostly, he kept that promise. Mostly.
The light in the room was muted, more a soft ambience with the illumination designed to be easy on an operator’s eyes, and the soft glow of computers reflected like silvered mirrors from each station. From all around him, the white noise of the call center was a light murmur of background conversations punctuated by the alerts of incoming calls. Parker leaned back in his comfortable chair and eyed the clock.
Fifteen minutes to quitting time.
He lifted a hand to Kevin Oaks in a lazy gesture of greeting as the man, his relief, came in through the door of the “vault” and meandered towards the coffee maker on the table in the corner.
Right behind him, though, Parker’s supervisor Annie Klein burst through the door, resembling a squat lead ball fired from a musket. An old, not well taken care of musket. Her arms, pudgy bowling pins topped by raptor claws of fingers, clutched her iPhone and a thick pile of official manila folders.
Avoiding eye contact, Parker sat up and spun around to more fully face his row of monitors. His conversations with the indefatigable Ms. Klein inevitably ended in a poor fashion. He’d already earned two written warnings for insubordination, and HR had informed the union that he was currently under investigation. Yay.
He couldn’t afford to lose another job. His pension and retirement benefits were closely tied to his employment with the city. After how he’d left the department, getting fired from this job would vastly reduce his options. Besides, when the factories had closed down and moved to Mexico, they’d taken the greater part of employment options with them. Try as he might, he couldn’t see himself working as a barista, jumping to fetch absurd coffees for uppity IT techs half his age.
He sighed. “Because I’m old,” he muttered.
An indicator light blinked on. He moved his foot and nudged the pedal, opening the line.
“911,” he said into his headset mic. “What is the nature of your emergency?”
“Please help!” a young woman’s voice cried into the line. “Please help, something horrible is going to happen!”
“Calm down, miss,” he said. “Let me help you.” He’d taken enough calls by now to know whether it was the real thing or not. This felt real.
Automatically, his voice went down a register, sliding from gravely baritone to an almost basso profundo. It was a habit left over from working domestic disputes and suicide interventions as a law enforcement officer. It helped in his new career.
He went on, “I need your name, ma’am.”
His eyes went to his screen and he quietly cursed. She was on a cell; the caller locator software had the 812 area code, but that was it so far. He could have figured that much out on his own by her southern Indiana accent alone. Go Hoosiers, he thought.
“They’re going to do something at Stapleton Mall, the Church!” the girl half-sobbed.
He winced internally at the location, the reminder of his daughter, but pushed the feeling away quickly. He possessed an instinct, a residue left over from working patrol. This girl was fighting to hold it together; he could hear it in the timbre of her voice. She wanted to be brave, she was fighting to be brave, but she was utterly terrified.
“They’ve already killed a girl… I guess you’d call them a cult,” she went on. “But the Church kidnapped me, and Casey, Jesus, they killed Casey!” The words burned through the signal into his ear and he heard the raw anguish and terror in her voice.
Parker’s stomach clenched. This was no hoax.
He eyed the caller ID screen—nothing. Goddamn satellites. He frowned. He inhaled through his nose, calming himself. Since Sara had disappeared, such actions were only effective at work. Outside of the call center, it took Ativan, 4mgs at a time, to calm him. Usually with a Steel City Lager chaser. Sometimes something stronger.
“Tell me your name,” he repeated. His voice remained steady, calm. He might be all this girl had until he could dispatch officers to her 20. He didn’t want to fail her. Didn’t want to fail another girl the way he’d failed Sara.
“It’s Ava,” she choked out. “It’s Ava Tablot—”
The line went dead.

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Book Spotlight: 2017: A Novel of Political Intrigue: E A Stillwell


SYNOPSIS:It is 2010 as Congresswoman Barbara Pellegrino and her chief of staff enjoy another passionate tryst together in what they believe is a secure love nest. But what they do not know is that Michael Middleton and Harry Reason, friends of the newly elected rogue president, are in the midst of conducting electronic surveillance that they hope will destroy Barbara’s political dreams and eventually make Reason’s single daughter, Candy, the first female president instead. But first, Candy must be appointed as the president’s national security adviser—and find a suitable mate.

After the president agrees to play cupid for Candy and Princeton professor Brad Jenkins, a nongovernmental entity to fight terrorism is formed. When two women working for Middleton accidentally enter the back door of a terrorist website, he seeks help from Jenkins, a Middle East expert. When their collaboration leads to the discovery of a secret plot to make Pellegrino the president and a vast conspiracy by five billionaires to radically transform the country, Middleton and Jenkins reluctantly join forces to stop the dark mission. Now the unthinkable must be performed without the American public ever knowing—and it must be completed in 2017.

MY THOUGHTS: From the synopsis, I was excited to read this one. It started out well enough. The novel quickly lost its luster for me. A number of issues cause it. For starters, there are so many characters that it’s mind-boggling. The main characters are obvious. However, the individual bit players are too numerous to count. It was intensely distracting.
The switches between each chapter from one character to the next is tricky. While Stillwell seemed to have it mastered, after the first few chapters, it didn’t run smoothly. It seemed to hiccup a bit. Concentrating on one or two characters may have helped this.
Another major distraction was the amount of sex. I understand that the Congresswoman’s sex life had a major part in the story. But, these people are like the Energizer bunny (sorry, Energizer). It occupied a major portion of the novel’s first half. For me, it was a turn-off.
E.A. Stillwell is too talented an author to let these missteps ruin a god plot. But, it did. Less ‘physical activity’ & fewer characters would have bumped up the rating. It seemed like an easy way out. Add in some steamy scenes and then an author doesn’t have to spend extra time advancing the plot. What a shame! I give it a generous 3 stars.

About the author
E.A. Stillwell first caught the writing bug in college, but realized he could not write about life if he had not lived it. After a lengthy career as an architect, Stillwell is happy to be nurturing his passion for writing, once again. He and his wife are avid travelers, who divide their time between homes in Mexico and Florida. This is his fourth book. To learn more about the author and his books please visit, http://www.eastillwell.com.
*Synopsis, Pic, & Author info belong Solely to the author/publisher.
**I received a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.

Book Spotlight: Audrey Hepburn (Little People, Big Dreams):Amaia Arrazola, Isabel Sanchez Vegara

SYNOPSIS: “New in the Little People, Big Dreams series, this inspiring and informative little biography follows the colourful life of iconic actress Audrey Hepburn, from her early life during World War Two, to ballet school, her acting career and UNICEF work. With stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, this empowering series celebrates the important life stories of wonderful women of the world. From designers and artists to scientists, all of them went on to achieve incredible things, yet all of them began life as a little child with a dream. These books make the lives of these role models accessible for children, providing a powerful message to inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world!”

MY THOUGHTS:I absolutely ADORE this series. It is such a refreshing take on biographies! Introducing younger readers to iconic, historical people gives them a tremendous advantage as they move through school. This installment of the series was every bit as delightful as the Rosa Parks biography that I reviewed prior.
Audrey Hepburn is a name that is quite familiar to those of us age 40 and over, but, unfortunately, probably not known to the younger set. Now, they can gain insight into why she was so popular and why so many women did (& still do) aspire to be just like her. She truly was more than just a pretty face.
I love that this book will spark teachable moments via children asking their parents & grandparents more about her. It hand delivers a cross-generational conversation starter. Another huge plus are the illustrations. They are just so darn cute! An adorable ‘Audrey’ graces the cover and her caricature throughout the book is simply perfect.
I continue to recommend the series and have seen that they will all be 5 star books. They’re a must for home & school libraries.

Book Spotlight: The Trial of Mother Goose: Ricky Kennison


‘The Trial of Mother Goose’ would be best suited for readers up to third grade. Using well-known, identifiable characters gives the author an edge in introducing an educational component. By utilizing the Humpty Dumpty rhyme that children are sure to know, he gently gives them a peek at the American Justice System.

Being that every other news story is about a legal matter, most children will have heard of judges, juries, suspects, etc. What they may not have grasped are the true definitions of these words. For that, I think the book offers a fresh and original approach.

However, I was dumbfounded when I got to the end. Why in the world it became a Thanksgiving story is beyond me. The author had a good pace and logic flowing. But, it is completely upended with an ending that isn’t exactly relevant.

My fear is that children will have the same issue. At this reading level, throwing them a curve ball is probably not the best idea. Their focus then does a 180 to Thanksgiving instead of focusing on the civics lesson they’ve just learned.

I give the book 3 stars. Should the author pen more, and he should, I humbly suggest that he ‘stick to the facts’ with fiction that’s teaching a lesson.

Book Spotlight: Death At The Diogenes Club: Anna Elliott and Charles Veley

SYNOPSIS: Book #6 in the Sherlock Holmes/Lucy James Mysteries; “Lucy James and Sherlock Holmes must solve a mysterious locked-room murder at London’s exclusive Diogenes Club. But Lucy is still coping with the traumatic after-effects of their last case, and her romantic relationship with a handsome young police detective is growing more complex. Emotions intensify and the dangers become life-threatening as they find themselves drawn into lethal conflict with the most ruthless gang leader in London.”

MY THOUGHTS: I l-o-v-e the series! All six books have been amazing. The best attribute, for all 6, is that they are clean-no sex or violence-with fabulous plots. Our author duo prove that a clean series can be effectively written with action, intrigue, and strong characters without all the gore and profanity that some many books are laced with today.
Lucy is an ideal heroine for the pre-teen/teen set to read and admire. Her never-say-die attitude and keen mind keep her character exciting to follow. She never let’s gender stereotypes define her. As for her father, Sherlock, readers of all ages know of his infamous crime-solving abilities. Without today’s technology, he uses his own common sense and intellect to chase down the dregs of society and save the day. He, too, is a good example to today’s youth. One doesn’t always need Google to find answers.
In ‘Diogenes’, we have an added element of romance, but, again the key word is ‘romance’. Too many authors confuse sex with romance. There’s a big difference. Thankfully, our authors ‘get it’ and provide the emotion without the seediness.
Well-written from start to finish, I can’t recommend this enough. This is THE series to read and share with your middle/high school readers. Five Stars!
*Pic & Synopsis belong solely to the author & publisher.
**I received a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.

2017 Reflections

I’ll go on record saying that 2017 was awful. It’s difficult to bring to mind anything truly good that happened this year. But, I’ll try.
We’ll start with my boys turning 15, 20, and 24 respectively. I hit the big 4-0 and the hubs hit the big 5-0. Two age-related milestones, for sure. Our youngest, the only one still home, is now a high schooler. Whew!

Our blog has had a long-standing collaboration with Beauty Box 5. Unfortunately, that ended this year. The company was decimated by the hurricanes that rocked the country in 2017. They weren’t able to reach out to really anyone beforehand and we still haven’t heard a peep. Because the blogger universe is as big & connected as it is, I was able to hear that their warehouse had been destroyed and there was, essentially, nothing left. It’s a shame and I wish them the best. We’re still here if they need us!

We accomplished a cost-effective yet much-needed home remodel. It was more a fix-up than a transformation. Kitchen, hallway, entryway, and living room all got new floors and paint. We were blessed to be able to do new living room furniture on a budget. It took a lot of effort from my husband. But, the pay off was beautiful.

Our biggest unfortunate event came when Buster got hurt. His surgery was the most emotionally draining thing I’ve encountered in a long time. Thankfully, he’s back in action as if it never occurred. However, the financial repercussions of his vet bills were staggering. He bounced back better than I thought possible and was thrilled we were able to take him on his first boating trip a few weeks after the accident.

Buster was also the inspiration for my first attempt at writing. ‘Buster the Pippett’ was published in October, right before my 40th birthday, by Kindle Publishing as an ebook. It details Buster’s great adventure from when he slipped hs collar and went willy nilly into the world.

I’m embarrassed to sy, but that about sums up ’17. Here’s to 2018…a better year?

Book Spotlight: Super Science Girls!: Ellen Langas


SERIES SYNOPSIS:“The Girls Know How® book series is dedicated to encouraging girls ages 7 to 12 to explore careers and develop the skills and attitudes that will support them as they grow. The newest book, Super Science Girls! introduces STEM careers. Other books in the series introduce journalism, construction and teaching. Starting at $4.95, books are available at book stores, qvc.com (exclusive set with author autograph), bn.com and girlsknowhow.com. Girls Know How books include a Girls Want to Know interview and activities at the end of each book, plus classroom study guides that are free at girlsknowhow.com. Other books in the series introduce journalism, construction and teaching. Recommended for ages 7 – 12, the books retail between $4.95 and $7.95 and are available at book stores, qvc.com (exclusive set with the author’s autograph), bn.com and girlsknowhow.com. ”

For this review, we’ll focus on ‘Super Science Girls’.
MY THOUGHTS: When I was approached about this series, my first reaction was YES! Finally, a girl series about awesome girls defying stereotypes and gender inequality! So much emphasis is being applied to STEM related careers nowadays. The only drawback has been that these careers are predominantly filled by males.
No one knows this better than the author. She broke the ‘rules’ and launched an enviable career. Her goal now is to impart her wisdom and ambition on the next generation. I love when women pass the torch, willingly, to youth.

As fabulous as the thought behind the series is, the books have to be entertaining and engaging in order for tweens to read them. Thankfully, they are all that and more. The characters are charismatic and tween girls will definitely be able to relate to them. They are ‘real-world’ characters that any reader could encounter daily. They are well-written and fun to read. The books are ‘clean’ and focus on encouraging young women to excel.

In ‘Super Science Girls’, Sylia is based on of Sylvia Todd, the mind behind the popular online Sylvia’s Super-Awesome Maker Show. Another character is based on of Pat Woody Reeves, the former chief engineer of the U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center. Amazing women! As parents, these are the types of fiction books we want our children engrossed in reading. They need role models who aren’t all about nail polish & boys.

My aunt, a biochemist, knows how hard it is to achieve academic and profession successes in science. She, too, was thrilled with this series. Perhaps the books will inspire a girl you know to look into a profession she hadn’t thought of before. Pick up all 4 books in the series for the girls in your family, church group, etc. Definitely 5 stars all the way!
*Pic & Synopsis belong solely to the author/publisher.
**I received a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.