I can’t believe this is the last book in the Cassie Scot new adult paranormal mystery series! I really have enjoyed this series a lot.
If you’re new to the series, I advise you to pick up the books in order:
Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective
Secrets and Lies (Cassie Scot #2)
Mind Games (Cassie Scot #3)
Stolen Dreams (Cassie Scot #4)
In this the final installment, talented author Christine Amsden brings the infamous Scot vs. Blackwood family feud to a close, but not without filling her story with enough intrigue, mystery, twists and surprises to keep you thinking about the characters for a long time.
And this is, really, the biggest draw in these stories, the characters, especially Cassie and Evan. Cassie has been such a likable protagonist throughout the series, smart and strong and opinionated, yet caring and warm-hearted. Evan –yes, arrogant, condescending and overprotective Evan — has also been the perfect hero. They were school sweethearts…until Evan’s father stole her powers from her and gave them to Evan, thus starting a conflict between them that brought them to the depths of despair, especially for Cassie.
There are many subplots in this book, but the main problem happens when Cassie’s father is killed and she and her family think that Evan’s dad is the one responsible. The primary storyline has to do with finding out if this is true or not and, if not, then who, in fact, is responsible.
There are many surprises in Stolen Dreams, and I enjoyed all of them. Fans of romance will especially enjoy the focus on Cassie and Evan’s relationship. I loved the ending. In sum, this was a wonderful series, and the author delivered a satisfying closure. I wonder what she will come up next? I’m certainly going to be on the lookout for her future books.
My review was previously published in Blogcritics Magazine.
Young Adult Author, Emerald Barnes, is releasing her latest novel, Entertaining Angels, today. It's a Young Adult Christian romance that faces the issues of self-esteem and weight in teens. It's a story that will hopefully grab the attention of girls - and boys alike - and help them understand that no matter what they are beautiful.
About Entertaining Angels
"I've read many books that tackle the issue of spiritual warfare, but I especially loved this one. Mads was alive and real and jumped off the page! Her character is so strong, she needed strong characters to balance her, and Barnes certainly provided that in the characters of Chase and Zach." - Author Precarious Yates
"This story is beautiful and so profound." - Author Sylvia Stein
"I would recommend Entertaining Angels as a graceful stepping stone to self-acceptance and self-love." - Author Christine Cunningham
Madison Andrews can’t face her reflection in the mirror. All she sees is a big, fat nobody. Yet, deep inside she longs for something more, something that’s not skin deep.Along comes Zach, the new guy in school. He’s smoking hot and totally out of her league. She somehow catches his eye, and he makes her feel beautiful for once. But just as she gets close to Zach, her nerdy best friend, Chase, won’t let Madison doubt her true beauty, no matter how many meals she skips. Even as Madison begins to realize that she is more than what she thinks, darker forces are at work, darker than the lies and mocking from her peers, stopping her from amounting to her full potential. Can Madison find true happiness in her own skin?
A Word from the AuthorEntertaining Angels is near and dear to my heart. Essentially, it's my story. I have struggled with my weight issues for many years, and I remember clearly the very first day I fell victim to the word fat I am more than that label. I am a Child of God, and He wanted me to see that. Making a long story short here, I have began to realize that although I am overweight, it's not who I am. I am so much more, and He wanted me to share that story with everyone else, especially young adults and woman who need to be reminded just how beautiful they are. If you do buy Entertaining Angels, I hope that it shows you just how beautiful, or handsome if you're a guy, you are.
Giveaway Time!Enter to win this autographed (by Emerald) tote bag with the Bible Verse Psalm 91:11 on it, and this notebook that says "God Makes Beautiful Things." (US Only please. If you're international, Emerald will send you an e-book and choose another winner.)
Where can you purchase Entertaining Angels?
I still have a hard time calling myself a writer. I have had the dream for so long that it’s hard to believe that publication has become a reality. It’s also hard for me to consider myself a writer because I have a day job that keeps me at work for nine hours each day. Looking at a computer all day deters me from wanting to get on one when I get home.
Finding time to write comes piecemeal, the day determines the outcome. I know that is totally opposite of what everyone tells you to do and sometimes I am hard on myself when my day takes away from my writing. But I try not to stress over my schedule and write when I make the time. Most times that would be on a weekend when I can be alone and uninterrupted.
I have found out that I am a workshop junkie, I love taking online workshops. I don’t think we should ever stop learning. My favorite are character development and plotting. It is so interesting to learn from different people and learn how many different ways others create and what works for them.
I like meeting (creating) characters and learning about them. Some of them haven’t told me their story yet so they are waiting patiently to escape my idea notebook. When they are ready, I hear from them loud and clear.
One of the hardest things I am having to learn is promotion. I am the biggest introvert that I know, I abhor talking about myself. That’s another reason I love creating characters, some of them are wonderful talkers and some I can’t shut up, they can talk for me.
So, as I have become a new published author, I am still learning as I go and soaking up all that I can. Hopefully with more books for children to enjoy!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Anita Banks harbored her secret of writing since she was in junior high school where the desire took seed in a creative writing class. She still journaling, reading, running and traveling, but nothing compares to playing with her grandchildren.
Tanner is determined to build a tower with his blocks. Despite the distractions of the garden’s various animals and losing his blocks on the way, Tanner joyfully shows determination and perseverance.
Title: Tanner Builds a Block Tower
Genre: Children’s Picture Book
Author: Anita Banks
Publisher: Wee Creek Press
Purchase on Amazon
I’ve been receiving some advice lately—unsolicited, and from non-writers—on how to sell my books.
The persons offering this counsel mean well. They wish me financial success so that I can continue writing without having to having to keep my day job.
I consider myself fortunate to have friends who care enough about me to share their wisdom.
And what has been particularly touching, at least in my eyes, is that these individuals have been triumphant in business, having fared far better monetarily than I can ever hope to do.
And writing, to them, is like any other business.
I have to agree.
The problem is that I am still struggling to understand the financial part of the craft—I’ve been too busy just learning how to write, which, in all truthfulness, is difficult enough. But recently, thanks to several books my wife gave me, I’ve been researching the subject of how to better promote my work. The irony is that while I’ve helped make the writers of these books-about-selling-books successful, I’ve discovered that I really don’t have much time to peddle my work.
I’m too busy teaching and writing.
I’d be dishonest if I said that I wouldn’t embrace making enough money from my efforts to allow me to stay home and devote the rest of my life to writing. Nothing would please me more. At present I have more ideas for books than I have years left in which to write them. But the truth is that I’ll have to do the best I can with the snippets of time I manage carve out during teaching hiatuses (and teaching, incidentally, is something that I also love doing).
So, if not for financial gain, why do I write?
I’ve reached a point in my life where I’m mature enough not to crave fame and fortune—although, again, a little of each would be most welcomed.
And I don’t write out of compulsion, as many writers claim to do. I envy their obsession because, from what I understand, writing, to them, is as important as breathing. But I’m afraid that type of creative fixation is beyond me.
One reason I write is because with each new project I learn something new about the craft; and, in the process, I discover what I think and believe about the subject at hand and, in doing so, I learn more about myself than by doing anything else.
But the most important reason I write was expressed with succinct eloquence by the Spanish novelist, essayist, philosopher, poet, and rector of the Universidad de Salamanca, Miguel de Unamuno, who said: “I write so that people don’t forget that I was here.”
To write, then, for me—as it apparently was for Unamuno—is an attempt to remain a presence beyond my mortal years.
When I was a doctoral student, I remember several instances in which I came across the names of writers—that few people would remember today—who in spite of the lack of recognition made a small contribution to the literature of their times. And although their legacies are now confined to brief mentions in books that sit idly on the shelves of huge libraries, gathering dust, for the few moments I held the book in my hand and read about them, they came alive again.
That tiny whisper of immortality would be enough for me.
What’s comforting is that, at present, I’m assured of one thing: with the publication of Bernardo and the Virgin, Meet Me under the Ceiba, and now The Saint of Santa Fe, my name is guaranteed to survive in the occasional footnote as the first Nicaraguan-American to have novels, written in English, appear in print in the United States. At worst, then, I’m destined to be an obscure trivia question among literary nerds of future generations.
And this makes the hardships, the sacrifices, and the lack of financial success worthwhile.
I know I can never, even in my loftiest dreams, aspire to make a contribution as significant as Miguel de Unamuno’s. And I’m resigned to never becoming well known. But I do know that, someday, many years from now, a student of literature will take a book off of the library shelf and, for one glorious instant, bring me back to life.
Find out more about Sirias' latest novel, The Saint of Santa Fe, on Amazon
Silvio Sirias is the author of Bernardo and the Virgin (2005) and Meet Me under the Ceiba (2009), winner of the Chicano/Latino Literary Prize for Best Novel, and most recently The Saint of Santa Fe. A native of Los Angeles, he spent his adolescence in Nicaragua and currently lives in Panama. In 2010, Silvio was named one of the “Top Ten New Latino Authors to Watch (and Read).” He has a doctorate in Spanish from the University of Arizona. He has also published academic books on Julia Alvarez, Rudolfo Anaya, and the poet Salomon de la Selva. In addition, he has a collection of essays titled Love Made Visible: Reflections on Writing, Teaching, and Other Distractions. The Routledge Companion to Latino/a Literature lists him among the handful of authors who are introducing Central American themes into the U.S. literary landscape. For more information, visit his website at www.silviosirias.com.
https://www.facebook.com/silviofans / Twitter: @silviosirias
Many writers who start out on the journey toward publication aren’t fully prepared for what that journey entails. It can be tough – you can face a lot of rejection along the way. You also might find that you have to revise, redraft, and re-envision your work many times before you finally land on something that works both for you and potential readers and publishers.
The writing life involves walking that fine line between staying true to yourself and staying open to the feedback of initial readers, editors, and publishers. Sometimes we work so hard on something and we’re sure it’s “right,” and we feel defensive when a reader points out things that don’t work. I find it’s helpful to have more than one trusted reader who generally shares your sensibilities as a writer or offers feedback that you can relate to and understand. You won’t choose to follow every reader’s suggestion, but you want to be careful not to become so attached to the text as you’ve written it – whether it’s a sentence, a paragraph, or an entire essay or chapter – that you close yourself off to advice that will make it better.
Publishing and promotion are not unlike writing. You have to be persistent and hopeful, and to accept rejection gracefully. You have to work at it – both finding a publisher and then promoting a new book can involve a tremendous amount of work, more than you expect. You’ll be asked to do interviews (spoken or written), write guest blog posts, reach out to readers to ask for online reviews, approach reviewers about looking at your work. As with writing, you have to stick with it – at the same time, it helps to remember your real reasons for being a writer. Unless your sole reason is to publish and find financial success (which only a small percentage of writers do), it’s important to focus on the fulfillment you get from writing, the pleasure of having a book published, and the way your work touches other people’s lives – whether that’s a few hundred readers or a few thousand, or more. Don’t let your self-esteem as a writer be attached to anything but your own hard work at accomplishing your goals. That’s the only part that’s really in your control.
Purchase Faye’s memoir, Message from a Blue Jay, on AMAZON
About the Author
Faye Rapoport DesPres is the author of the new memoir-in-essays, Message from a Blue Jay. She earned her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the Solstice MFA Program at Pine Manor College. Her essays, fiction, poetry, and reviews have appeared in Ascent, International Gymnast Magazine, Platte Valley Review, Superstition Review, In the Arts, Fourth Genre, TheWhistling Fire, the Writer’s Chronicle, and other journals and magazines. Faye was born in New York City and has lived in England, Israel, and Colorado. She currently lives in the Boston area with her husband, Jean-Paul Des Pres, and their cats.
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