Friday, November 30, 2012

All Fall Down Review and Giveaway

 All Fall Down by Julie Coulter Bellon
"Ring around the rosy, a pocket full of posies, ashes, ashes we all fall down . . . That simple rhyme turns negotiator Claire Michaels’ current hostage situation into an international incident. Claire just wants to help get everyone out safely, but as the crisis escalates she realizes she’s dealing with an al-Qaeda operative who has the means to become another bin Laden---with the potential to attack America.
Claire has her own personal reasons for wanting to stop al-Qaeda, but time is slipping away as negotiations break down. Can she overcome her scars of the past in order to get the hostage out alive and possibly stop an assault on U.S. national security? Navy SEAL Rafe Kelly is on leave to recover from a knee injury he suffered during his tour in Afghanistan and he doesn’t expect to be fighting terrorists on his home turf. But when he is taken hostage and his brother is kidnapped, Rafe teams up with a hostage negotiator in order to stay alive and get his brother back. The terrorist is always one step ahead of them, however, and the situation quickly turns from desperate to deadly. Will Rafe be able to save himself and his country without anyone he loves getting caught in the crossfire?"  (back cover summary)
All Fall Down is a book that sucks you in immediately in the first chapter and makes you want to keep reading. Rafe, an off duty Navy SEAL, is held hostage by his former team member, Gary. Yet Gary is just as much a hostage as Rafe is, an unknown villain is trying to manipulate them both into revealing an encryption code for a file that has information crucial to national security.  Claire, a hostage negotiation officer is sent to help them both out. When Gary loses his life both Rafe and Claire are determined to find the person responsible for this crime. Espeically since he has snagged Rafe's brother in the confusion and will only return him in exchange for the encription code.

 So, I really enjoyed reading All Fall Down and found the plot compelling, fast-paced, and full of twists and turns. I really thought Claire was a strong and very brave character, but I would have like to see her skills displayed a bit more. Her hostage negotiation skills don’t really get her anywhere good in this book. So I was left to wonder if she was good at her job or bad. I would have really enjoyed seeing her use more strategic thinking that emphasized her training and knowledge in her career. Despite that fact I really did admire her determination to get justice for Gary and help Rafe to get his brother back. In the end I found it refreshing to read an action-packed contemporary romance that tied into the Afghanistan conflict.

Visit Julie's Blog

Since this review is a part of the All Fall Down blog tour there is a give away!
Julie is generously offering 7, yes 7 awesome giveaways for the tour!! (I want to win them myself!) That means you have 7 chances at winning! (Pretty good odds, huh?!)
The prizes include:
  • (2) "Book Lovers'" baskets which include a copy of All Fall Down, a hand tied lap blanket, Julie's favorite hot chocolate mix, and a copy of Janice Sperry's Christmas novella, The Candy Cane Queen
  • (3) Print copies of All Fall Down
  • (2) Ebook copies of All Fall Down
To enter to win these prizes, simply fill out the Rafflecopter form provided. (Each tour stop will have the same Rafflecopter form).
  • Open from November 12 to December 7.
  • Must be 13+ years of age to enter
  • US mailing addresses only
Earn entries by doing any/all of the following:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

LDSPBP: Richard Paul Evans

Richard Paul Evans is the New York Times Bestselling Author of The Christmas Box. He has written numerous novels several of which have been made into movies. He is the founder the the Christmas Box House, which was created to serve abused and neglected children.

The Dance  by Richard Paul Evans

A father watches his girl grow up and loves watching her dance as she grows. When she comes and visits him before he dies he asks her to dance for him before he goes.

A tender story about a father’s love for his daghter.  

          The Christmas Candle by Richard Paul Evans
Thomas walks to the candle makers shop on Christmas Eve to buy some candles. He ignores the woman begging outside the door, though he has money to spare and insults the shopkeeper for making fancy candles that are only made to burn. The shopkeeper sells him a candle in hopes that it will open his eyes. As Thomas makes his way home by the light of the candle he runs into his family members that all need something from him. He gives his cloak, his bag, and all his belongings, yet when he arrives home he finds all of his family safe and sound. Thomas realizes that the candle has tricked him into thinking that strangers were his family. Instead of making him angry he learns the lesson of services to others.
The Light of Christmas by Richad Paul Evans

Alexander lives in the beautiful town of Noel. Each year the town of Noel lights a torch to mark the celebration of Christmas. The Keeper of the Flame chooses the person who gives him the best gift to light the torch each year. Alexander thinks that he has nothing to offer, but when he gives service to a stranger when everyone is too busy celebrating, he gives the best gift of all.

A classic Christmas story that not only warms your heart but helps you remember the true meaning of Christmas. The beautiful illustrations and text made this story feel like magical fairy-tale.
Other picture books by Richard Paul Evans

The Tower: A story of Humility

The Spyglass: A story about Faith

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Super fantabulous holiday e-book steals and deals

Rachel Ann Nunes has some great deals coming up November 22-24

A Greater Love is Free
The Problem with Spaceships, Zero G is Free

A Bid for Love is Free
Tell Me No Lies is on sale $5.99

The Captain of Her Heart by Anita Stansfield on sale for $3.99

Star Wanderers Part I: Outlander is Free

Bird Speak by Emily Debenham free on Smashwords 

My Story Christmas Cars is Free on Smashwords

The True Adventures of Hector Kingsley on sale for .99 cents.

Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo by Obert Skye on Sale for $3.99

  Jars of Clay by Lee Strauss is Free
YA novel described as Romeo and Juliet in Ancient Rome
Swirl by Swirl on sale for $3.99 ebook
beautiful and award winning book

  Becoming Bayley by Susan Auten on sale for $7.99
  The Wanted Child by Aneeka Richins on sale for $2.99
The Keys of Kilenya by Andrea Pearson is Free

Friday, November 16, 2012

Star Climber by Kenneth Oppel

Okay, I admit. I have a prejudice against space elevators. I read a space elevator book in fourth grade and found it dumb and boring and completely foreign to anything I had real experience with. So I had declared for a long time since then that I liked books that happened on planet earth. Then my husband starting writing science fiction and they didn’t take place on Earth. So, I had to be a bit more open minded, so I could be supportive and read his books, some of them multiple times. Cause that is what a good wife does.  Surprise, surprise, I really  liked Wolfhound.  So, I started reading more “doesn’t take place on Earth stories.”

So, I am sort of proud of myself for continuing on with this book because inside the front cover there is a large, although cool, sketch of a space elevator. Skeptical, I read on because I really enjoyed Skybreaker and because I’m married to a science fiction writer, right? So, I have some kind of obligation to get over these prejudices.  

To make the long story short I really enjoyed StarClimber and thought it was an excellent novel. After their adventure aboard the Hyperion Matt and Kate go back to business as usual. Except mankind is now determined to reach space. France is building a huge tower up into the atmosphere so they can be the first to claim that they reached space. Canada however has choses a different tactic. As Canada is both Kate and Matt’s home they are both invited to join the space program. Kate is automatically accepted as their zoologist expert, to see if there is really life in space. Matt however is merely accepted for the training program. He has to compete with dozens of candidates in order to be accepted on the space crew. The competition is extremely tough and the first half of the book is about the training regimen that Matt and his fellow astralnauts have to go through. This is actually pretty entertaining stuff seeing how they have to pass impossible tasks and be pushed to the limit.
The second half of the book deals with the space trip and the adventures there. Matt and Kate find that there are some type of strange creatures in space. When  unexpected circumstance place the entire crew in an emergency situation and it will take the entire crew’s mental and physical talents to return to earth alive. This one is an excellent space adventure.  

Author's Website