Wednesday, March 21, 2018

About the Book:

Three years in the making, Vices and Virtues was a passion project by Ashley Franz Holzmann. The goal was to write a themed anthology with original content.

Every story in this anthology is an exclusive publication, and each story is based on either a vice or a virtue from the history of humanity—some are based off of the Roman virtues, while other are rooted in Christianity, and some take their inspiration from Hinduism.

Since beginning this project, many of the writers have begun to find their own successes. C.K. Walker has now become a writer for an upcoming Netflix show. And Christopher Bloodworth has become a full-time writer and recently launched an interactive podcast titled Rover Red.

Three of the authors: Ashley Franz Holzmann, Kristopher J. Patten, and Rafael Marmol have launched their own publishing company called -30- Press, LLC

Get your copy here.

About the Author:

Ashley Franz Holzmann was born in Okinawa, Japan and raised in a variety of countries while his parents served in the Air Force. He considered attending art school, but is instead a graduate of West Point, where he enjoyed intramural grappling and studying systems engineering and military history. He majored in sociology and is currently a captain in the Army. Ashley speaks Korean, enjoys backpacking, and is the cook in his family. He currently lives in North Carolina with his wife, two sons, daughter, and their two dogs.

For more information on Vices and Virtues visit the As For Class website:

Wednesday Spotlight | Vices and Virtues: A Horror Anthology by Ashley Franz Holzmann

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

About the Book:

Three inmates break out of a maximum-security prison in Texas, one of them Danny Marsh, a suburban kid in his twenties who landed in jail because of a crime he never intended to commit. An American Cage  follows Danny and his two escape partners over a twenty-four-hour period as they struggle to cross Texas to freedom in Mexico. On this dangerous journey, Danny has to evade the rabid Texas authorities, and even worse, the schemes of one of his closest allies, who isn't who he seems.

Get you copy here.

About the Author:

Ted Galdi entered the world of novel writing in 2014 with the publication of bestselling  Elixir, winner of a  Reader Views  Reviewers Choice Award and a Silver Medal in the Readers' Favorite Book Awards.

His second novel, An American Cage, was released in October 2017 to glowing reviews from Kirkus and other distinguished organizations.

He is currently giving out free copies of his third book, Lion on Fire, and offering his first short story, A Road to Nowhere, for just ninety-nine cents.   

Ted is a graduate of Duke University, a major in Political Science with a Certificate of Achievement in Film, Video, and Digital Media Studies. He's been featured by ABC and FOX television, iHeart Radio, and many other media outlets.Check out his interviews if you'd like. 

​If you want to schedule an interview with Ted, or talk to him about anything at all, email him. He loves receiving messages from readers and responds to everyone who contacts him.

Find him here.

Wednesday Spotlight | An American Cage by Ted Galdi

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Black Bullet (The Order of the Senary #2) by L.D. Rose

About the Book: 

Fledgling vampire Jonathan Kerr has just met his match.

Not even his past life as a former marine and FBI agent could prepare him for the battle against the monster inside him, struggling to take hold. After an old nemesis of the Senary surfaces in Brooklyn, unleashing chaos and terror in the battered borough, Jon sets out to take him down. Instead, he ends up with far more than he bargained for when he clashes with the beautiful half-vampire hybrid, Lawan Knight.

After escaping near death and suffering unspeakable horror at the hands of vampires, Lawan trusts no one, regardless of species. In between bouts of drunken stupor, her only goal is to exterminate all those who've wronged her, including every member of Jon's vampire bloodline. But Jon's soulful eyes and quick smile crawls under her skin, transforming her black and white world into a hazy shade of gray.

As the days rapidly grow darker, Jon and Lawan turn to one another, but their inner demons threaten to tear them apart. The only way either of them will survive is if they overcome their greatest fear--


Get your copy here.

About the Author:

L.D. Rose is a neurotic physician by day, crazed writer by night, and all around wannabe superhero. She writes award-winning dark paranormal fiction and she’s a PAN member of the RWA and FF&P. She currently lives in Rhode Island with her studly hubby, her hyperactive Boxer, and her two devious cats.

Find her here.

Wednesday Spotlight | Black Bullet (The Order of the Senary #2) by L.D. Rose

Friday, March 2, 2018

   Where I shamelessly fangirl for Hero at the Fall.
March 6th 2018 
Viking Books for Young Readers
The breathless finale to the New York Times bestselling Rebel of the Sands series will have you on the edge of your seat until the dust from the final battle clears!

When gunslinging Amani Al'Hiza escaped her dead-end town, she never imagined she'd join a revolution, let alone lead one. But after the bloodthirsty Sultan of Miraji imprisoned the Rebel Prince Ahmed in the mythical city of Eremot, she doesn't have a choice. Armed with only her revolver, her wits, and her untameable Demdji powers, Amani must rally her skeleton crew of rebels for a rescue mission through the unforgiving desert to a place that, according to maps, doesn't exist. As she watches those she loves most lay their lives on the line against ghouls and enemy soldiers, Amani questions whether she can be the leader they need or if she is leading them all to their deaths.

I fall into the habit of reading sequels so far apart. The longest, it took me eight years to read the sequel. I read REBELS OF THE SAND (Book #1) April of last year. That’s why I was so happy that TFG’s genre for February was Fantasy, giving me the opportunity to finish the next two books in the trilogy in quick succession. (Yay, self!)

HERO AT THE FALL started where TRAITOR TO THE THRONE left off. Like the first two books, there is no downtime or slacking moments here, everything moved along fluidly. It’s my heart, actually, that needed keeping up. Highlights and action sequences were both given ample emphasis. I really admire how Amani and Jin’s relationship, incredible as it is, never overshadowed the storyline.

Since we are in the subject of relationship, I like how the characters meld together, while holding on to their identities and intended purpose. They were all developed nicely, good or bad, they were very convincing. Amani, indeed, came a long way – a rebellious young girl who wanted to escape out, into a fully-realized rebel fighting for the survival of her world.

And yes, heroes do fall along the way. I knew that I was really deep into the series, when I held onto every page of the book, fearing that the next page may be another goodbye for a character. Miss Hamilton is no fickle in killing off characters. Maybe, she’s related to GRRM? It made this series even more compelling, because I held onto the notion that their death will not be for naught... that there will be a very rewarding ending. Overly dramatic? Of course, this series can turn any reader into one. We are speaking of Djinn and Demdji powers here.

And lastly, I am in awe of the worldbuilding. The seamless mapping of the place was so vivid. I never imagined falling for an imagined world, but I did fell for Miraji and its people. I even fell for Dustwalk, that remote town at the end of the desert. Did I mention Djinn and Demdji powers?

Stories. Some stories turn into legends. In some, details were impregnated as they were told along, down generations. But that is how stories endure. These stories will remain with me for a long time. Someday, I may have to reread them.

Congratulations, Alwyn Hamilton. Job well done.

*BTW, Is it just me? 'Cause I really want to see a graphic version of this series. I want to see all the characters in their various glorious colors.

Book details:
Publication: March 6th 2018 by Viking Books for Young Readers
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Rating: ★★★★★

Book Review | HERO AT THE FALL by Alwyn Hamilton

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

 Around the World in 80 Tales by Dave Tomlinson
About the Book:

80 Stories, 25 Countries, 5 Continents, One Heck of a Ride! A journey of captivating true travel stories from that will inspire, amuse and amaze. This fascinating kaleidoscope of people, places, food and culture brings to life the colourful experiences of travelling the world on a budget!

Get your copy here.

About the Author:

Dave Tomlinson is originally from beautiful New Zealand and now live in Brisbane Australia. His passion is for travel, outdoor adventure and cultural understanding. He explored over 50 countries across 5 continents of the world. Apart from photography, he used his love of travel to create his own website and wrote two books. There is plenty more information about him and his adventures on his website. 

You can find him here.

Wednesday Spotlight | Around the World in 80 Tales by Dave Tomlinson

Monday, February 26, 2018

With Guest Book Reviewer | Alexa Sienes

I've seen people constantly recommending Sarah Dessen books in my Goodreads feed for years now (most of the ladies in my book club have read at least one, I'm sure), and I always see her books in bookshops as well, but for some reason, I've never really been compelled to read any of them. I'd say perhaps I judged the books based on their cover, but I've read (more than) enough "trashy" books to know that isn't the case. At any rate, I've always found some other book to read other than Sarah Dessen's books. Until now.

It was pretty funny how it started, actually. We were challenged by our book moderator of the month at The Filipino Group, Maria, to read a YA book and post a review, and since this was one of the books I had on hand (I didn't say I didn't have copies, only that I never actually got around to reading them), I might as well read it, seeing as I didn't have the time to look for anything else.

Long story short, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I expected a tired romance plot with cliche characters that I've seen millions of times, but I'm happy to report that no, that's not really the case. Beyond Macy's development from a timid and mousy pushover to a strong and almost-fearless woman, I genuinely enjoyed her relationships with the other characters - her control freak mother, her daring sister Caroline, and especially the endearing Wish team: scatter-brained Delia, confident Kristy, "sa-woon"-worthy Wes, Bert who always looks at the dark side of life, and even half-robot Monica.

It wasn't a mystery, the way the story ended. It's something you can kind of expect from the beginning, but what I liked about this book was the process of how Macy started moving on. I liked seeing how she changed for the better, because even if at the start I was pretty frustrated with her life choices, I really couldn't help wishing the best for her. When she finally got to do what she had to do, I practically swelled with pride, even though it was inevitable anyway, which just goes to show how great Sarah Dessen is with her characters.

Beyond the sweet romance with Wes that I expected (which I got slow-burn style, just the way I liked it), I also got a story that dealt with loss, relationships, moving on, and the truth about forever with more depth and heart than I imagined. If the rest of Sarah Dessen's books are like this, then I can clearly see why there would always be people reading and reviewing them in my feed. I'm already one of them, after publishing this review. Who knows, this might not even be the last.

About Alexa:

Alexa is one of my TFG babies. I cannot tell you enough how much I am proud of her. She is very lively, talented, and a bad-ass doctor-in-the-making. And it's her birthday month.

TPW:  What is your favorite genre?
Alexa:   I love sci-fi and young/new adult. One brings me out of this world and the other helps me understand myself and my world better!

TPW:  How do you define yourself as a reader?
Alexa:  I'm a polygamist reader! I can't just stick to reading one book at a time, because I get antsy reading about the same thing after a while (unless the book is something I really can't put down). I always make it a point to finish everything I start though!

TPW:  Yes, I do say you are a finisher. You never back down from a challenge. Thank you for sharing your review and Godspeed to your studies. Happy birthday, again, baby!
Alexa:  Thanks so much for inviting me as well! :)

Say It With A Book #11 | The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Good Dictator by Gonçalo J. Nunes Dias

About the Book:

An unidentified object parked on the moon - and no one seems to know where it came from. Gustavo, a middle-aged computer programmer with a comfortable and grey life, decides to make a list of what he would need to survive a hypothetical attack. He becomes obsessed with the list, spends a fortune, robs a drugstore: his own family thinks he is going insane. However, after the attack, it’s the insane who are well prepared for a new era in society. First book of a trilogy.  

Get your copy here.

About the Author:

Gonçalo JN Dias was born in Lisbon in 1977, and graduated from the Polytechnic Institute of Castelo Branco with a degree in Environmental Engineering and Natural Resources. The Good Dictator is his first novel and the first in a planned trilogy, named The Birth of An Empire.  Today, he lives in the Basque Country, Spain.

Find him here.

Wednesday Spotlight | The Good Dictator by Gonçalo J. Nunes Dias

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

June 5, 2018
Disney Hyperion

Cliff Hubbard is a huge loser. Literally. His nickname at Happy Valley High School is Neanderthal because he's so enormous-6'6" and 250 pounds to be exact. He has no one at school and life in his trailer park home has gone from bad to worse ever since his older brother's suicide.

There's no one Cliff hates more than the nauseatingly cool quarterback, Aaron Zimmerman. Then Aaron returns to school after a near-death experience with a bizarre claim: while he was unconscious he saw God, who gave him a list of things to do to make Happy Valley High suck less. And God said there's only one person who can help: Neanderthal.

To his own surprise, Cliff says he's in. As he and Aaron make their way through the List, which involves a vindictive English teacher, a mysterious computer hacker, a decidedly unchristian cult of Jesus Teens, the local drug dealers, and the meanest bully at HVHS--Cliff feels like he's part of something for the first time since losing his brother. But fixing a broken school isn't as simple as it seems, and just when Cliff thinks they've completed the List, he realizes their mission hits closer to home than he ever imagined. 

NEANDERTHAL OPENS THE DOOR TO THE UNIVERSE covers plenty of components prevailing high school dramas nowadays. It will pull you in different directions. But high school is not high school without its dramas. And I love how Preston Norton held it all together and accomplished a profound deliberation. He drew all the right punches and they all connected. There are plenty of raw emotions, and I truly believe many will benefit from reading this, whether they believe in God, or not.

Cliff is such a remarkable character. Neanderthal. Everything about him is huge, including his compassionate heart and quick-witted brain. There is balance in him (Luke Skywalker would be so proud) not many people notice. But there is also pain and guilt in him. Many times I wanted to hug this giant and tell him that his heart is in the right place.

This book is amazingly moving and funny. I may have snuffled and snickered in some places, both at the same time. I spent highlighting several passages; I cannot get enough of Norton’s wit. He assembled an array of curious characters and addressed vital issues, BIAS foremost among them. A big issue comprised of many things, making life unbearable for most people, especially for our youth.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. For the sensitive folks, be advised that there are plenty of swearing. But also know that life isn’t real without them.

We're all gonna die. And we only have so many fucks we can give in a lifetime. 
So give a fuck about the things that matter most.

Book details:
Author:  PrestonNorton
Publication:  Disney Hyperion; June 5, 2018
Genre:  Young Adult
Rating:  ★★★★★

*Thank you Disney Hyperion and Netgalley for the galley, in exchange for this unbiased review.
*Contains quote from an uncorrected galley proof.