Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Dystopian Blog Hop

Dystopias are one of my favorite genre making it really difficult to choose one for this giveaway. So I decided to give away two. Up for grabs is my copy of The Libyrinth as well as my copy of The Death Cure (part 3 of The Maze Runner). Enter to win one or both. I enjoyed each of them and hope you do too.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The McKades of Texas: Zane

Genre: Western Contemporary Romance
Book Content: Curse words used throughout entire novel, mild violence and some sexual situations (not recommended for readers under the age of 18)

Kellan Anderson is in hillbilly hell—or at least that’s what it feels like. After enduring endless accounts of abuse from her now ex-boyfriend, Kellan makes a run for her life and finds herself in cowboy country. Leaving her fancy clothes and expensive lifestyle behind her, she trades in her high heels for cowboy boots and changes her name to Andi Ford. With her painful past threatening to catch up with her, hiding out in this small town seems easy enough – until one blonde hair, blue eyed cowboy steps in the picture.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Interview With Author C.M Gray

First let me start by saying that I recently read Shadowland and loved it. Thanks for letting me interview you and offereing such a great giveaway. Up for grabs is 5 copies of Shadowland in your choice of E formats. Just fill out the Rafflecopter following the interview.

Thanks Flora, I’m thrilled you read and enjoyed Shadowland and I’m really happy to be here today.

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

Okay, I’m an Englishman but I’ve actually lived outside of England for far more years

than I lived there. I left when I was just seventeen, off in search of adventure, its all I really wanted to do. I went to France and picked grapes and then Greece and picked olives then lived a year and a half in Israel. Since then I did work for a couple of years in my Native London but the call of the wild was load so I left and went to India and then travelled for several years through Asia. I’ve been a carpenter, I restored Church organs, I renovated houses, built roads and car parks and then in Hong Kong got into sales and marketing. I spent several years as a stock broker, made and lost a million then traveled on.
I now live in Spain, just outside of Barcelona, in a wonderful house in the woods. I raise money and awareness for companies involved in ‘Green’ issues like reforestation and alternative energy, but my love... is writing.

When I’m not writing or trying to save the rainforest I’m being with the two most important people in my life, my daughter Yasmin who is seven and my Son Dylan who has just turned twelve.

Do you have any pets?

I have two dogs, Kipper and Molly who are brother and sister. They are Catalan sheepdogs and we rescued them after they were found abandoned; they’re fantastic, full of energy, chew everything and bring a lot of happiness into our lives. We live in the middle of the forest with no neighbors but the wild boar and a huge amount of rabbits! The dogs go nuts whenever a boar passes crashing by in the night and they still haven’t caught a rabbit, but they have a lot of fun trying!

How long have you been writing and have you always been interested in historical fiction/fantasy and the tales of King Author?

As an Englishman I grew up with tales of Robin Hood and King Arthur, I love those stories of old legend. They aren’t verified true tales, but they aren’t just fanciful stories either because we have a very tantalizing period of history (set between the Romans leaving around the year 410AD and the end of Anglo Saxon England and the Battle of Hastings in 1066AD) known as the Dark Ages. This was a time in Britain when the tribes were fractured and leaderless and the Saxons, Jutes and Angles were raiding and pillaging. It’s known as the Dark Ages because there was nobody writing anything down... for about four hundred years! We know very few facts about this time. I always found this time to be interesting and inspiring. By writing a story set in this period, it could in fact be true!
I didn’t want to do another rewrite of the Arthur tale, however, there is a tantalizing fact regarding Arthur, we may not have any hard evidence that Arthur existed, but there is proof of a man named Uther and in many of the writings he had a son named Arthur. In my tale of Shadowland, it is Uther that fights to become leader of the Britons and becomes the father of Arthur and it is therefore a tale that hadn’t been told before.
However, I didn’t set out to write a factual story just to take a few facts and play with them, and I do love fantasy, so there is a fantasy and magical element in Shadowland, after all, you can’t have Druids without something weird going on, can you?

What inspired you to write the story of Uther Pendragon?

As I mentioned, he is one of the few ‘facts’ that we have from the Dark Ages. A monk named ‘The Venerable Bede’ wrote a very flowery book called 'An Ecclesiastical History of the English People' around 700AD, I say flowery because he tells a lot of very strange tales of kings and queens and the different peoples that lived during these times. Uther Pendragon, according to Bede, was the first king of the British tribes that united to defend against the Saxons invasions, the Viking raids. Most people are pretty sure that Uther wasn’t Arthur... but maybe he was his dad! At least that’s how I figured it and the nice thing is that history can’t prove me wrong... now that had the makings of a great tale!

Is there a certain place that you prefer to write? Or draw inspiration for your writing?

Finding time to write is tough. I have a full working day and two very active children so I tend to write late at night. I write on a laptop so sit wherever I can find a comfortable spot. In the winter that’s by the fire and on summer evenings I sit outside with a glass of wine to help the imagination flow!
Many writers get an idea for a story and then make a plan as to how it is going to go, find some high points and then decide how it will all tie up at the end... and then start writing using that as a plan, at least that’s what I’ve read in some of the ‘how to write a bestseller’ type books. It doesn’t work for me. When I write I do so for my own entertainment. I start with a line that I find draws me and hopefully my reader in and just go from there. In Shadowland I started with an old storyteller gathering a group of listeners around the fire one midwinter’s eve. There is a storm outside and the log fire is crackling. Once I had set the scene I had to work out where the story would go from there. At this point I didn’t realize that I was writing about Uther, that had to wait until I was at least four chapters in and a character named Meryn Link emerged... I still had no real idea where it was going, but it was the dark ages for sure and was definitely a little... Arthurian. I still didn’t know how it would end, until it did. During all this process I was reading anything I could find about the Dark Ages, it was a good job it was such an interesting period!

Do you listen to music when you write?

I love music, I listen to music all the time when I’m cooking or doing anything else but when I’m writing, I need silence. There tends to be enough noise going on inside my head when I’m writing and music just becomes a distraction.

What writers have influenced you?

I have loved to read from a very early age but the author who made me sit up and look at the actual craft of writing and story telling was John Steinbeck. Reading Cannery Row or The Grapes of Wrath was an incredible experience. It was if no word was out of place, it couldn’t have been put down any better than it was, and that’s with the grammar of the 1930’s.
Modern writers that I admire greatly have been the late David Gemmel and his incredible fantasy works, Manda Scott and her historical books about Boudicca and now Rome and just lately I am devouring the books written by fantasy writer Michael J Sullivan. I’m also a great fan of Indie writers Jaq Hawkins and her Steam-punk books and Rod Tyler with his rather scary books for teens.

Please tell us a bit about why your book is called Shadowland.

I picked the title Shadowland for two main reasons. It alludes to the dark ages and the shadows of our knowledge, but in the book one of my characters has to walk the path between life and death, which I refer to as the shadowland.

What kind of research went into this book?

Loads and loads of reading and internet searches to get a feel of the life people were leading at the time, what their homes were like and how the communities were structured. I also had to chase down facts like, did they have chickens back then? I discovered that yes they did but they were brought over by the Romans, interesting eh?
There are a few ‘deliberate’ mistakes or clues that I threw in with the storyteller and the reason only becomes apparent at the end of the book. A few people pulled me up on it and I got one review where the reader said they just couldn’t continue with so many mistakes - they didn’t have lemons in Britain in the dark ages so why was the storyteller drinking lemon water... I know dear reader, finish the story and you will understand. There are several of these clues but it does all make sense in the end, really!

How long did it take to write Shadowland?

From start to finish with all the editing and rewrites it took me about a year, I then gave it to a professional editor who took out all the unnecessary comas, hyphens and ... little dots I had thrown into places where they weren’t needed!

Is this a stand alone book or will you continue the story of King Author? (Fans want more of this story)

At the moment I’m finishing the sequel to my second book which is The Flight of the Griffin and is just pure fantasy - the sequel is called Chaos Storm.
As far as a sequel to Shadowland I’m not planning one at the moment but who knows, I do like the period but I don’t want to write about Arthur, its been done too many times already.

The cover art is beautiful for this book, can you tell us who designed it?

Why thank you so much, I designed it! It is a picture I took while on holiday in Burgundy France at a place called Chateau Neuf. I wanted something dark and moody so I ‘photo-shopped’ it a little and this is what I came up with. There is a large part of Shadowland that is set in the sprawling forests of the time, known as the weald, so the trees are very apt for the story. I did look around for a professional design but really didn’t find anything I was happy with - so far I have had a good response from people.

Do you have any other projects in mind at this time?

As I mentioned I’m in the final chapters of Chaos Storm which I hope to publish in early 2013. I’m then going to start something all new; I have no real plan but lots of ideas. I like the Victorian period as a backdrop, but I am also tempted to write a story set in Britain during the Second World War. I’m looking forward to getting into the next project and finding that perfect first line!

Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Hmmm, how about this. I have read hundreds of books, possibly thousands at this time and for many years had heard that ‘we all have a story inside us.’ It took me a while but late one evening, while watching television, that I realized that television was just a waste of time, so I got up and just sat in front of my laptop... and started writing. It was fantastic. Writing for me is like watching a really good film, combined with reading a great book, mixed with playing a really good computer game. I strongly advise anyone reading this to give it a go, because we all have a book or two inside us, you never know, yours may well be awesome!

Thanks again for letting me do this interview.

Well thanks as well to you Flora, it has been a delight. I hope you also enjoy The Flight of the Griffin and I look forward to coming back here to talk about it another time!

As a reminder to readers all reviews appreciated on Goodreads and Amazon.If you want to know more, check out the following links


Shadowland on US Amazon
Shadowland on UK Amazon

The Flight of the Griffin on US
The Flight of the Griffin on UK

Check out my review of Shadowland here

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Death Cure

The Death Cure (Maze Runner, #3)The Death Cure by James Dashner

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I might stretch this up to 3.5 stars. I had some issues with it but overall I liked it. This is the third and final book in the Maze Runner trilogy. And being such, I expected more answers to questions I had in the first two books (maybe those will be in the prequel I have yet to read).

Friday, October 26, 2012

Style Me Sexy

Release Date - October 26th, 2012
Genre - Short Story, Sweet Romance
Bridget isn't beautiful. At least she doesn't think so. Besides, her ex always told her she wasn't. And she believes him. So when an online romance leads to a blind date, she heads to the salon for a makeover stat.
She's dismayed to discover that her usual stylist isn't available, and she has no choice but to let a man do her hair. Nervousness turns into sexual awareness as the sexy Javier buries his fingers in her tresses.
Javier has been aware of the timid but kind woman for some time and vows to make her see that she's beautiful on the outside as well as on the inside. Will he succeed in keeping his own feelings at bay and style her sexy?

Bridget was grateful to get out from the under the hairdryer. Not only were her eyes beginning to water and tear, but she was looking forward to having Javier wash her hair, to have his soapy fingers massaging her scalp and oh to be at eye level with… Oh, my gawd. He’s gay. He’s not going to want you looking at his… oh, what does it matter? Looking isn’t the same as touching.

Forbidden Forest

Title: The Legends of Regia: Forbidden Forest
Author: Tenaya Jayne
Pages: 236

Genre: YA Fantasy Romance
Book Blurb
Born in shame. Cast from society. Shape Shifter/Elf hybrid, Forest must fight for any respect she can get. Targeted in her youth by a vampire noble who placed an illegal slave mark on her, she is forced to obey him, no matter what.

Slipping the grip of her master and abandoning the prejudice of Regia, her native world, Forest takes a job on Earth, guarding the portal, using her skills as a warrior to enforce Regia's laws. Now, called home for a black ops mission, Forest must put aside her own prejudice to transport the vampire prince, Syrus, through enemy territory in a time of war.

Prince Syrus, mage and master of the Blood Kata, wants Forest more than he's ever wanted anything. In spite of their mutual mistrust, their attraction cannot be denied. Through the danger of their mission, and the secrets they both keep, it doesn't matter what they feel. Forest is forbidden.


Forest pressed her back against the cool concrete wall, wanting to remain aloof from the entity of the crowd. She chose her position in the shadows, out of the paths of the roving, multi-colored spotlights. She closed her eyes and enjoyed the feeling of the undulating human pheromones flying around on the air. At the beginning of every shift, she allowed herself a few minutes of this alien/human experience, though she didn't fully comprehend the combination of dancing, drinking, and ear-breaking sound waves. They loved it, however, and never seemed to deviate from the recipe.

Excerpt From Fate Fixed

I would like to thank author Bonnie Erina Wheeler for letting us be a part of her book tour and for sending us this great excerpt from Fate Fixed.

Title: Fate Fixed
Series: An Erris Coven Novel - Book One
Author: Bonnie Erina Wheeler
Published: Self Published – July 2011
Word Count: 58,000
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

When Lexie Anderson’s mother suddenly announces she is marrying a Romanian immigrant, Lexie willingly leaves behind her busy life in Connecticut for her penance in the "Moose Capital of the World.” Small town living is strange enough, now Lexie must cope with her overbearing stepfamily monitoring her every move. They disappear into the woods at night and keep a strange secret locked in their shed. Her once calm mother is now having violent outbursts and Lexie’s little sister is hearing sinister sounds coming from the forest behind their new home. Lexie’s biggest surprise comes when she discovers the boy she has been dreaming about since her accident is living in Maine. Despite Torin’s questionable reputation, Lexie cannot resist the physical and emotional attraction pulsating between them. Animals and people in town are turning up dead and Lexie learns the strange new world she lives in has real life monsters. Just when she decides she wants to be with Torin forever, she must fight to protect her mother and sister from being harmed by a formidable evil.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Talulla Rising

Talulla RisingTalulla Rising by Glen Duncan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Loved this! as much as the one before it, The Last Werewolf. Talulla Rising doesn't pick up immediately where The Last Werewolf left off. Talulla is almost 8 months pregnant and is starting to have trouble with the pregnancy as well as full moon coming. In the throws of labor she is found by the vampires seeking her blood for the Helios project.

YA Mythology Hop

Up for grabs in this blog hop is my copy of The Mark of Athena. Its in new condition as I read it once to review it. Since this is such a large book this giveaway is for US and Canada only. As always, its not a requirement to be a follower to win but its always appreciated.

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Adding Tension to Your Stories

I would like to thank author Elizabeth Guizzetti for sending us this great guest post.

No matter what the media, an author’s job is to ensure the audience cares about the story. One way to do this is add tension. This is true whether you write a graphic novel, a written novel or a screenplay for a film. Even a poem or a painting must create some sort of drama. As an author of both written and graphic novels, I can tell you that how I create tension in a storyline is actually no different no matter what I am working on.
Stakes: Most importantly, the protagonist’s happiness or even his or her life, depends on the outcome of the book. The protagonist must be weaker internally or externally than whatever it is he or she is facing. The stakes might be linked to outer or inner conflicts.

When I set up the stakes of a story, I like to consider the notion of DEATH OR WORSE.

In my graphic novel series, Faminelands, Lark is a young elf with a crazy father, a dead mother and baby brother, but worse, due to her prowess in battle, she has been promoted high above her peers. Now her people need her to be The Lady Meadowlark Daughter of Lady Nora, Daughter of Elder Matron Aster, but inside she is still just Lark. So she seeks out her elder brother, Orin, to help her. She needs a him to be her brother, friend, and comrade in arms. Unfortunately, Orin is indebted to crime syndicate and tortures people for a living.
In Book 1, The Carp’s Eye, the reader sees she has a plan to free her brother, but if she fails, she might be imprisoned into the gilded cage of Lord Malak’s harem, Orin might choose to kill her, she might fall in battle, or she might even choose to kill herself.
In Book 2, Living Stone, and in the upcoming Mareton’s Curse, the stakes for Lark include being processed by a ghost, torture, and plenty of other less than happy endings. My point is in each book, she will face DEATH OR WORSE, if she fails in during any of her quests. This sets up the tension.

The Zurian Child

Lindsay Beckett longed to be reunited with her first love, Quinn Montgomery, until shelearns the secret that sent him fleeing from her in the first place. He's an alien, a Hemera, and she's half-Hemera herself. As if that wasn't enough to ruin her dreams of a perfect life, when their child is born, they discover she fulfills a prophesy told twenty light years away and many years ago. Lindsay wants to ignore it, until her husband is murdered and suddenly believing becomes a matter of survival.
Lindsay and her young daughter are forced to rely on another Hemera, her husband's partner and best friend, Bryce Beuermann as more and more of the Hemera are slaughtered. Bryce will do anything to help his best friend's widow—including suppressing his own deep feelings for her. But he must prove they can trust him, even pretending he doesn't want her with all his heart.
Buy Links: Silver Publishing (ebook/print) / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / All Romance / more


A block stood between him and the bottom of the mountain, where the Law Enforcement Office greeted Hemera friend and foe. The office signified the beginning of the main city within the mountain, where the quartz miners lived and worked. In the centre of the mountain, an open cavern held seven quartz-powered ships, enough to save the entire Hemera population.
"We are almost there," he said to himself and the baby in his arms.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wanted Ghostbusting Bride

This was such a fun ghost story I decided to make this a giveaway. I will give away 2 Amazon coupons for this book. This giveaway is open to anyone that can use Amazon gift cards.

Wanted: Ghostbusting BrideWanted: Ghostbusting Bride by Margaret Breashears

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a free copy of this book for review.

This was such a fun read! And a perfect Halloween ghost story complete with warring ghosts and an English castle.

Kailyn comes to England thinking she's going to a job interview and finds herself in a competition to be the bride of the next Earl. I will admit, there were times in the begining when Kailyn really got on my nerves. She was not only a skeptic (which isn't so bad) but completely against love and marriage. Like it would be so horrible to fall in love with a sexy wealthy Earl. She acts like if that happens her life will be a disaster. Really? There were a few other things about her that just didn't seem realistic but I won't elaborate due to spoilers.

The story is fast paced and full of crazy antics Kailyn an Spencer come up with to get rid of the ghost. Some of which were so far fetched that you have to wonder how the authors came up with them. Kailyn is a great strong female character who is up against two strong female ghost characters and that makes for a great battle of strength and wits.

Overall a very fun read. Due to a bit of sex toward the end I have to say this is for the over 18 crowd. But, I would recommend this to any adult who likes a good fun ghost story.

View all my reviews

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Headless Horseman

The Headless Horseman (Zombie Fairy Tales #10)The Headless Horseman by Kevin Richey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a free copy of this book for review.

As usual Kevin Richey doesn't disappoint. This retelling of the Headless Horseman zombie style is one of my favorite of the zombie fairytales so far. Its full of the characters that you remember from the Legend of Sleepyhollow but with a twist that you don't see coming.

Ichabod Crane shows up in the village of Sleepyhollow along with the arrival of the Headless Horseman. The mystery of who is committing thsese murders plagues the town as they also fight to keep the horde of living dead at bay.

This was a fun, quick read that anyone that enjoys a good horror mystery will enjoy. It seems like each new Zombie Fairytale is better than the last and this one is one of my favorites so far.

View all my reviews

The Emerald Talisman

The Emerald Talisman Audio Book by Brenda Pandos  

Read by Mary Morgan

You can run from
your destiny, but you can't hide.

If for no other
reason than to help endure the hormonal rush of high school, sixteen-year-old
Julia Parker would trade her ability to feel her fellow students' emotions in a
heartbeat, especially half the boys in class.

When the beguiling Nicholas uses his superhuman strength to rescue Julia from
the edge of a cliff before she's devoured by a bloodthirsty stalker, Julia is
suddenly thrust into an underground world where people and animals are often
one and the same. Fellow high school students disappear and only Julia and
Nicholas know the truth. While Nicholas, a vampire hunter, is out stopping the
ever-growing coven, an old friend entices Julia to join him on the dark side
and a psychic tells Julia she alone is the key to stopping the madness, problem
is it'll require Nicholas' life. 

Author Brenda Pandos:  

Pandos lives in California with her husband and two boys. She attempts to
balance her busy life filled with writing, being a mother and wife, and
spending time with friends and family. Working formerly as an I.T.
Administrator, she never believed her imagination would be put to good use.
After her son was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder her life
completely changed. Writing paranormal romance became something she could do at
home while tending to the new needs of her family, household, and herself.

years later, Brenda now has five books published, The Talisman Trilogy: The
Emerald Talisman, The Sapphire Talisman, and The Onyx Talisman, and Mer Tales: Everblue
and Evergreen. She is currently working on the third book of Mer Tales, Everlost,
coming February 2013.

Website * Blog * Goodreads * Twitter * Facebook 

Audio Book Tour 

are invited to participate in The Emerald Talisman blog tour from 10/26-11/23
hosted by Confessions of a Bookaholic. There will be giveaways, interviews and
a scavenger hunt! 

Book Blast Giveaway Details:
$100 Amazon Gift Card or $100 PayPal Cash from Author Brenda Pandos
Ends 10/30/12

*You need not enter your twitter name for each entry.  Simply enter it when you follow Brenda and leave the others blank.
Open to anyone who can legally enter, receive and use an 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's permission. 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. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Spooktacular Hop

We actually have a dual giveaway for this hop. Up for grabs is 3 ebook copies of Haunting Obsession being given away internationally in your choice of epub or kindle. We also have a giveaway for US and Canada of a single print copy and some swag.

Daryl Beasley collects all things Maxine Marie, whose famous curves and fast lifestyle made her a Hollywood icon for decades after her tragic death. Daryl’s girlfriend, Loretta Stevens, knew about his geeky lifestyle when they started dating, but she loves him, quirks and all.

Then one day Daryl chooses to buy a particularly tacky piece of memorabilia instead of Loretta’s birthday present. Daryl ends up in the doghouse, not only with Loretta, but with Maxine Marie herself. The legendary blonde returns from the dead to give Daryl a piece of her mind—and a haunting obsession he’ll never forget!

You can check out my review here

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Code for the linky:

Something Of A Kind

Author Miranda Wheeler has sent us an excerpt from her book Something of a Kind and she is offering a great giveaway. There are 5 ebook copies up for grabs internationally. We appreciate her stopping by The Cotton Patch on her tour.

As a 17-year-old artist, Alyson Glass had her future mapped – she’d go to art school, study in Paris, and eventually make enough bank to support her single mother. The trouble is, things don’t always go as planned – especially a sneak attack of stage-four ovarian cancer.

Suddenly motherless and court-ordered to move in with her estranged father, Aly’s forced to leave behind her New York hometown for the oddities of Alaska. Ashland seems like cruel and unusual punishment – at least until her dad ditches her at a local restaurant and she crashes into a super-hot, guitar-playing diner-boy with a horrific home life.

Noah Locklear is used to waiting – waiting for his shift to end, waiting until his drunkard parents go to bed, and waiting for the day he can get his sister away from their dysfunctional family. The summer before senior year, the elusive researchers that ruthlessly pry into Ashland’s history shatter a final cord with Noah’s abusive father, one of the town’s elders. Unfortunately, as far as his parents are concerned, the new girl who’s changing everything belongs to the outsiders. With their relationship increasingly forbidden, the struggle of knowing who to trust reveals that nothing is what it seems.

As Aly encourages Noah to investigate the legends he’d always written off as stories, they uncover the one thing their fathers can agree on: there’s something in the woods.


About the Author:
A current high school student, 16-year-old author Miranda Wheeler lives with her

loving family in her hometown of Torrington, Connecticut. An avid reader, she’s been whipping through books and producing novel-length projects (though none published prior to Something Of A Kind) from the early age of eleven. Having previously released short stories, some published in magazines such as TeenInk and others via “indie” mediums, she has many plans of continuing to write, as well as pursuing other passions and an eventual teaching career. While the official cover is a work in progress and the title won’t be released until the promotional media is obtained, several other projects are in the works: a YA steampunk novella, a YA paranormal romance, and a YA sci-fi-series, in addition to unofficial talks of a Something Of A Kind sequel
Amazon Author Page

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Exclusive Tour Excerpt: Something Of A Kind by Miranda Wheeler
Blogger Info: Pages #73-8; Word Count 1,417
Day faded from the sky, leaving a periwinkle residue where the sun dropped below the horizon. As it continued to darken, a crackling fire was the only light in the forest’s pool of black. Between the heat radiating from Noah’s side and the close lick of flames, the night’s unseasonable chill was hardly a menace.
Alyson flinched as a popping knock drew her attention to the trees. She expected Owen or Luke to come running from the shadows laughing, having disappeared again without notice. Instead, they sat across from her, looking confused and alarmed. Noah’s brow furrowed as he stared at them. She assumed he had the same inclination.
The knocks continued, increasingly louder, like someone was throwing boulders at a tree. A sudden silence was quickly pierced with a whooping screech, like an owl. As the boys traded confused stares, Noah shook his head.
“Can’t be.”
“No way. No way, no way!” Owen repeated, his eyes scanning the coniferous silhouettes. His head cocked as he listened harder, like a trained house dog investigating noise.
“Yes, yes!” Luke whispered excitedly, back arching and hand cupped over his ear. A series of foreign howls answered.
Aly shifted with anxiety. “Those are coyotes. It’s getting dark.”
“They’re different though. Listen. Shh,” Luke shushed, face tensing.
“No way,” Owen repeated. “Seriously?”
Aly glanced up, offering a questioning stare.
Noah explained hesitantly, “They think it’s the wood beast.” She frowned, trying to summon the mental image of the monkey-like totem pole. Seeing her concern, he added, “Because they’re idiots.”
“Hey now, don’t hate,” Luke insisted, listening for a second whoop. “It’s the Gigit, man.”
“The what?” Aly asked, pulling her hoodie closer around her. The sound continued, and seemed to summon quiet. It was difficult not to hear, like something big was in pain.
“Wait, wait, wait,” Luke demanded, waving his hands as though he was directing traffic. “You are Greg Glass’s daughter, and you don’t know what the Gigit is?”
“My father and I are not exactly close.” Aly sighed, ignoring the hackles along her spine. She spoke clearly and firm, setting straight a record too warped for her own comprehension.
“Noah would know all about parental issues,” Luke added. “A real ballbuster that one.”
“What’s the guy-geet?”
“The Gigit… like Omah-” Owen began.
“Bigfoot,” Noah chimed.
She laughed, cheered on by another round of howling coyotes. “Sasquatch, hmm?” They grinned, pleased with themselves. “I’m not really getting the Greg reference, but that’s priceless.” She applauded lightly, forcing the discomfort of the noise away, out of her head.
“She’s joking, right?” Luke asked, turning to Owen and Noah for an explanation.
“My father’s a biologist.”
“Researcher,” Owen corrected, suspiciously.
“A biologist,” she repeated, adding, “Not exactly an anthropological-phenomena buff. He sent me a pamphlet about the area for Christmas when I was seven, but I think that’s the extent of his cultural interest. I can’t imagine he’s all that into legends. He pleads science like it’s an amendment.”
Noah bit his lip. Owen and Luke blinked, chuckling nervously, unsure how to gage her seriousness.
What am I missing here?
A thunderous crack sent Owen and Luke to their feet, alarmed. Noah tensed, gently placing a concerned hand on the small of her back.
“Like you said, it’s getting late.” Noah’s eyes moved between Aly, his friends, and the forest’s shifty profiles.
“We should leave,” Owen agreed, nodding emphatically with Luke, who was silent for the first time since Aly met him.
She watched as Owen dumped water on the fire and stomped out the embers, bending his leg backward to inspect his sneakers for melted rubber. Flicking on flashlights and gathering their bags hurriedly, Owen and Luke scrambled, looking increasingly nervous.
Where Noah’s hand rested, he began to trace small circles. She resisted the urge to let her eyes flutter shut; tingles sparked the skin beneath his touched.
When Noah stood, she was reluctant to move, as though her stillness would convince him to sit again. As the howls continued, she shivered. Accepting his offered hand, Aly followed as the others tore down the trail.
“Bizarre,” she murmured, waiting until Luke and Owen had disappeared around a corner. They ran ahead for the quads like a tsunami was about to lap at their ankles.
They say the waters come slow.
“Welcome to Ashland,” Noah laughed. The stress of the situation immediately dissipated. She smiled, her shoulders relaxing as he continued, “So what's your theory?”
“My theory?” She was unsure how to answer. “Is that Luke suffers from Napoleon syndrome.”
“Evil,” he considered, “but justified.”
“You see it?” Aly teased, leaning against his arm. He walked with his hands in the pockets of his jeans. She felt herself mirroring his body language.
It occurred to her the posture wasn’t in her physical vocabulary, and suddenly felt unnatural. Aly eased her fingers out of the pockets of her boot cuts, locking her fists into her elbows, hugging herself.
“I do,” Noah agreed. “They're awful aren't they? Possibly the worst way to convince a pretty girl to stick around.”
She found herself holding her breath again, and slowly exhaled. He smiled to himself, watching her reaction as carefully as she searched his. She let her hair fall across her face, breaking eye contact. Shifting, she forced to shoulders slacken beneath the scrutiny.
I’m being such a freak.
“Not awful,” she corrected. Staring at her wringing fingers, she was unsure how to calm the flutter in her chest. Aly smiled, braving a glance at his eyes.
He squinted across the horizon as they walked, his grin fading in distant thought.
Her gaze traveled the hem along his shoulder, realizing his jacket would have been unseasonable in a Kingsley summer. Even if to escape the plague of black flies, he'd seem peculiar amongst crowds of bare skin and swim shorts. It was unheard of to avoid the lake beaches in June. The water was cherished until tourists invaded mid-July.
A dimple quirked, preceding his growing smile before twisting to an unreadable expression. Pushing up his sleeve, he scratched at his wrist.
She caught a flash of ink. With her fingers outstretched, she traced the curling image of a snake, while pretending not to notice his shiver.
“Is this what Owen was talking about?” Aly asked, endlessly curious. She hoped that removed from the previous conversation, he wouldn’t be so quick to unnerve. The nagging thought was irresistible.
“Yeah,” he said, tugging on the fabric to expose the tattoo. Twisting his wrist, he scrutinized the work like it was a recent discovery. “In a lot of cultures, the snake represents regeneration and revival. Shedding the skin… It’s supposed to be the end of an existence and the beginning of another, in the middle of your life. It’s not the prettiest thing in the world. I don’t think rebirth is supposed to be, though.”
“It’s beautiful,” Aly whispered. The style was tribal, but not native in an Alaskan-indigenous sense. She couldn’t place an origin, only noticing it was more fierce than cartoonish, certainly not grotesque. She didn’t understand what he was thinking. Grinning, she added, “Much more manly than the apron.”
He laughed, wrapping an arm around her shoulders. Pulling her close, he planted a playful kiss on the head. She bit her lip, unable to disguise her smile.
Okay, try not to die.
He watched her for a moment before becoming lost in thought, his thumb tracing the serpent. After a while, she realized he was considering the afternoon’s events.
“He’s a good guy – Tony. He and his wife used to do foster care and stuff before she died. I mean, he drinks, but everyone does. That’s Ashland,” Noah said, finally. “He’s the most lighthearted drinker in town though, strange… goofy, I guess. Not so depressing and sloppy. When my sister, Sarah, was a toddler, he actually saved her from a rip current. You’d think he’d be a hero or something the way the locals talk. People don’t get him, but he’s cool.”
“Why don’t they like him, then?” Aly mused, tucking a curl behind her ear.
“They’re judgmental. What are you going to do?” Releasing a sigh, he bit his lip, shifting his gaze to her again.
Noting that it was rhetorical, Aly stayed silent as he watched her. They shared a snicker when they reached the lean-to, finding the other quads gone. He unlocked a chain from the key-start and ignited the engine.
Taking his hand, Aly was more than happy to join him.

©Miranda Wheeler 2012

Monday, October 22, 2012


We thank author Laura De Luca for sending us this excerpt from her book Phantom and for offering a great giveaway. Check out the rafflecopter following the excerpt.

The “Phantom” was a musical phenomenon that Rebecca had always found enchanting. She

had no idea that her life was about to mirror the play that was her obsession. When her high school drama club chooses “Phantom” as their annual production, Rebecca finds herself in the middle of an unlikely love triangle and the target of a sadistic stalker who uses the lines from the play as their calling card.

Rebecca lands the lead role of Christine, the opera diva, and like her character, she is torn between her two co-stars—Tom the surfer and basketball star who plays the lovable hero, and Justyn, the strangely appealing Goth who is more than realistic in the role of the tortured artist.

Almost immediately after casting, strange things start to happen both on and off the stage. Curtains fall. Mirrors are shattered. People are hurt in true phantom style. They all seem like accidents until Rebecca receives notes and phone calls that hint at something more sinister. Is Justyn bringing to life the twisted character of the phantom? Or in real life are the roles of the hero and the villain reversed? Rebecca doesn’t know who to trust, but she knows she’s running out of time as she gets closer and closer to opening night. Only when the mask is stripped away, will the twenty first century phantom finally be revealed.

Author: Laura De Luca
Publisher: Pagan Writers Press
Pages: 270


It sounded more like a question than an audition call. Miss King looked slightly baffled as she scanned her paperwork and read the last name on her list of male candidates. Once she was certain she had read the name correctly, she called it out once more with a little more confidence. When she received no immediate response, she seemed ready to dismiss the whole thing as a joke. But then a strange black clad figure seemed to materialize in the corner of the stage, and with practiced grace, he moved towards the center of the platform and the waiting microphone.

“That’s Justyn Patko,” Carmen informed Rebecca matter-of-factly. Luckily her best friend was the queen of gossip. “He just moved here this year. From Vegas, I think. He’s in my Calculus class.”

“He’s a little creepy if you ask me,” Debbie whispered.

Creepy he might have been to some, with his black clothes trimmed with silver chains, black hair, and black fingernails. He was obviously Gothic to the core, a fashion statement Rebecca had always thought was secretly a cry for attention. But for Justyn, there seemed no other possibility. She couldn’t imagine the darkly mysterious figure dressed in earth tones or preppy, button-down shirts. They would have clashed with his dark eyes and pale skin. She had seen him in the hallway a few times, but they didn’t share any classes together, so Rebecca had never really taken the time to study him before. Despite his odd style, there was something strangely appealing about Justyn. In his own way, he was just as handsome as Tom.

The orchestra tuned for its virtuoso, and Justyn stood ready. But no one else was ready for the magical performance he began. Beside her, Carmen was rambling on about something mundane. Rebecca elbowed her to silence so she could listen to the perfectly thrilling tenor. As she listened to the song unfold, the world around her started to slip away. Gone was the high school auditorium. Gone were the rowdy teenagers. The Gothic stranger on the stage had become the embodiment of Erik, and Rebecca watched him in all his dark glory, belting out his tormented love through the words of his song. And she was as breathless with wonder as Christine herself must have been when the masked stranger serenaded her in the candlelit labyrinth of the opera house. In that moment, Justyn wasn’t just portraying the phantom. Justyn was the phantom.

“Let the music touch your soul.
Let the darkness make you whole.
Do not fear what is unknown.
Your true path has now been shown.
Listen to the words I sing.
Embrace the peace that night will bring.”

As he continued to sing in his deep but somehow angelic voice, Rebecca found that she couldn’t tear her eyes away from him. With every line, her heart began to beat

faster. She truly felt the arms of night wrapping her in a warm embrace. She could almost feel the hands of the phantom glide along her body as the words poured forth. The music caressed her. It possessed her—mind, body and soul. Each word left her longing, yearning for more.

She was gawking so obviously, it was hardly surprising when Justyn felt her eyes on him and steadily met her gaze. She realized her mouth was hanging open in stunned awe, and she quickly snapped it shut. His lips moved into just a small hint of a smile. He never took his eyes off her while he sang the final verse, making her cheeks flush to the point that she felt almost feverish. But it wasn’t embarrassment but excitement, arousal even, which was sending her mind spinning in so many directions.

When the song was over, and Rebecca had recovered just a hint of her composure, she couldn’t help but burst into a healthy round of applause. A few scattered people joined in, including Debbie and Carmen after she nudged them in the ribs. But only Miss King seemed to truly appreciate the brilliance of his talent as much as Rebecca did.

“That was amazing, Justyn!” the teacher gushed.

“Lord Justyn,” he corrected as he stepped down from the stage.

A few others complimented him as well, but he took in all in stride. In fact, his serious expression never faltered as he stepped down from the stage. He seemed almost bored, like it was all he could do to hold back a yawn, despite the smiles and words of encouragement.

But not everyone in the crowd was pleased as Justyn glided down the aisle, so ethereal in his dark garments that he still resonated the spirit of the Opera Ghost. Miss King might have been excited about the newest male addition to her cast after being limited for many years, but Tom and his group of boisterous companions glared at him as he passed them by. Jay sneered and tossed a balled up piece of paper in Justyn’s direction, but the Goth was quick, and caught it in his hand without missing a beat.

“I think you dropped something,” he said.

His speaking voice was no less melodic than his singing voice, but something about his tone made Rebecca shiver. He tossed the paper back at Jay, who was nowhere near as coordinated as Justyn. He practically fell off his seat in his efforts to catch it.

“Hey vampire,” Tom called when Justyn went to walk away. “Are you sure you can handle the competition?”

Justyn smiled, a cool, sarcastic half-smile, and crossed his arms over his chest. “Are you?”

Miss King didn’t notice the short confrontation, and Justyn vanished from the auditorium as quickly and mysteriously as he had appeared. Only Rebecca had noticed the very real tension between the two boys. She wondered if it was a bad omen for them to start off the production with hard feelings and envy. That could only lead to trouble. The kind of trouble that could end with someone getting hurt. The kind of trouble that Rebecca would do whatever it took to avoid.

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About Laura DeLuca

Laura “Luna” DeLuca lives at the beautiful Jersey shore with her husband and four children. She loves writing in the young adult genre because it keeps her young at heart. In addition to writing fiction, Laura is also the sole author of a popular review blog called New Age Mama. She is an active member of her local pagan community, and has been studying Wicca for close to eight years. Visit her on her websites at hereor here.

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Friday, October 19, 2012


DarkwoodsDarkwoods by Marta Stahlfeld

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a free copy of this book for my honest review.

What a wonderfully vivid world created by author Marta Stahlfield. This is a world full of talking animals embroiled in a war for survival. Foxes, squirrels, mice, otters, and other animals are brought to life in this wonderful book that has a Narnia feel to it but is uniquely its own.

With the death of the fox Oracle Scythe, the other foxes that are under the influence of the Serpent Blight have decided it is time to take over the world of Darkwoods. The other animals are fighting against this. The castle of Pasadagavra seems to be their best hope. Full of characters such as Princess Zuryzel, who is a strong female character, who not only fights for her home and friends but who is also a much respected leader of the Wraith Mice. There are also many other strong female characters on both sides of this war.

There's a lot going on in this book. Its full of all kinds of characters and in the begining its a bit difficult keeping it all straight. And I came to the conclusion that all the animals are about the same size, not like in this world where mice and foxes aren't the same size. There is also much more than just the war going on. There are issues that relate to our own world that are dealt with such as stereotyping and discrimination. There are also a bit of romance woven throughout the book but its not portrayed in such a way that younger readers would be lost.

Throughout the book there is a religious theme woven into it like with Narnia. The Bear King and the Serpent are the opposing deities and told in such a way that younger readers can relate.

Overall, I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to anyone that liked the Chronicles of Narnia or Redwall by Brian Jacques. Its full of well developed animal characters that make it a very fun read.

View all my reviews

Tabou: Patience

Tabou: Patience, Book 1's Summary

Jocelyn Russet and Patience Herrick. Two powerful, British-born American lesbians, fiery heiresses of different generations. Both coming of age at the same time. Are they destined for one another—or starcrossed? Follow their ten-year Odyssey in a sexy romp through the rollicking 1980s and 1990s. Discover how their fate turns on secret histories that bind the Russet and Herrick dynasties in business, politics and espionage. Meet an international cast of supporting characters who must all choose between love and duty in book one of the TABOU quintet.

YouTube Video Book Trailer:

Price: $2.50 ebook
Pages: 463
Publisher: Publish Green
Release: October 11, 2011

Suzanne Stroh's Bio:

Suzanne Stroh is a screenwriter and film producer, author of published case studies on

family business. She grew up in Michigan where her family brewed Stroh’s beer for five generations. She studied art history at Wellesley College and Newnham College, Cambridge then worked in the New York art world before turning to writing. A mountaineer and field medic, she lives with her family in the Virginia countryside. TABOU is her first novel.


My Review

Tabou: Patience (Book 1)Tabou: Patience by Suzanne Stroh

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a free copy of this book for my honest review.

I would rate this 3.5 stars for several reasons but since I can't give half stars on GR I rounded up to 4 because it is well written. However, its not a book for me. I'm not sure what category to put it in, but I would label it a Soap Opera. By the cover, and what I was told when it was offered to me, was that this is an erotica. But that I guess depends on your definition of erotica. There are a few hot sex scenes in this really long book but you could easily take them out and still have the same book.

This is the story of lesbian love, of a girl trying to find her identity, and find that the love of her life is a friend of her aunt. But in the process of weaving this story, there is also political intrigue, nazi war criminal, and secret tribunals. There are also high society drama and international jaunts. There is so much going on that at times it was hard to keep up. However, the story has been carefully woven together so that it does come together quite nicely. It is very well written, the characters are definitely unique and its quite a story. The writing style reminded me a lot of The Great Gatsby, it had a lot of the same qualities.

If you enjoy a good Soap Opera. If you like shows such as All My Children, One Life to Live, General Hospital, etc then this is the book for you. I would suggest this to those over 18 as there are a few sex scenes but they aren't overly graphic. Overall, I thought it was a good book and great for those that enjoy a good drama.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Adventures of a Graveyard Girl

Adventures of a Graveyard Girl Adventures of a Graveyard Girl by Milda Harris

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This is the second book in the Funeral Crashing series and its every bit as good as the first. These books are both fun reads and great read together or each can be stand alone novels. This one picks up immediately where Adventures in Funeral Crashing left off but if you haven't read it that's ok because you get caught up along the way.

Kait is a strong female character who isn't a popular girl in school and she is fine with that. She knows that she is different but is happy with who she is. On her first official date with Ethan, which happens to be homecoming, the festivities are interrupted by murder. She can't resist the sluething bug to find out what happened.

This is a wonderful book full of great characters, sweet love interests, humor, and adventure. Its a mystery full of twists and turns and an ending that I didn't completely see coming. This is a great young adult mystery that I would recommend to anybody that likes a fun read with great characters and a mystery to solve.

View all my reviews

Synopsis of Adventures in Funeral Crashing
(Funeral Crashing #1 – Now available for FREE download !)
Sixteen year old Kait Lenox has a reputation as the weird girl in her high school, mostly because of her ex-best friend turned mean popular girl, Ariel, but maybe it has a little to do with the fact that Kait has a hobby crashing funerals. At one of these, Kait is outted by the most popular guy in school, Ethan Ripley. Yet, instead of humiliating her for all the world to see, he asks for her help, and Kait finds herself entangled in a murder mystery. Not only is the thrill of the mystery exciting, but more importantly Ethan knows her name! A little sleuthing is well worth that!

Book Links:
Adventures of a Graveyard Girl is available from the following retailers:
Amazon ebook
Amazon UK
Barnes and Noble

Author Milda Harris is a Chicago girl who ran off to Hollywood to pursue a screenwriting dream! She has a dog named after a piece of candy (Licorice), was once hit by a tree (seriously), and wears hot pink sunglasses (why not?). Between working in production on television shows like Austin & Ally, Hannah Montana, and That's So Raven and playing with her super cute dog Licorice, she writes young adult murder mystery, horror, paranormal romance, and chick lit novels.
Her ebooks Adventures in Funeral Crashing, Adventures of a Graveyard Girl, The New Girl Who Found a Dead Body, Doppelganger, and Connected (A Paranormal Romance) are for sale now!

Where You Can Find Me:
Facebook - Author
Facebook – Funeral Crashing

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fall Into Fantasy Blog Hop

I would like to thank author Diana Gardner for providing this teaser from her book Deception Peak as well as this great international giveaway. She's providing not only an ecopy of her book in your choice of formats but also a bookmark and magnet with the beautiful cover of her book on it.

-- The first book of a trilogy, Deception Peak is a young adult adventure fantasy about a teenager, Ian Wilson, who follows his father through a portal that magically appears on their computer screen into a deceptively beautiful Realm, where horses run free, the wind sings prophetic melodies, and their computer avatars come to life. But separation from his dad puts Ian in peril as he’s abducted by a tribe of dragon worshipers and forced to find his courage. As he struggles for his freedom and embarks on a perilous search for his father he meets the true peacekeepers of the Realm, and learns of a greater purpose for his being there.


The heavy feeling of being under a mountain made Ian’s heart beat faster. He wasn’t

used to close quarters like this. The sound of men breathing hard from the absence of oxygen, and the hissing of burning wicks as flames flickered were the only noises. The cave itself harbored an eerie quiet that took on a life of its own.-Ian's Realm, Deception Peak

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Dead Perfect

Author P.G. Shriver has stopped by today with an excerpt for the Dead Perfect Blog Tour hosted by Young Adult Novel Reader.

Book Blurb:

My lifelong dreams never included falling in love. Graduating top of the class, going to college somewhere far away and starting a life in a place where my alcoholic mother could never find me were the first three goals on my list. Then the unexpected auto accident with Mother, after her regular doses of vodka, altered all of that. With her gone, my life and my perspective changed forever.

Desperate to find Joanie so I could break free, I returned to my old school. The search led me to her, my Aphrodite, a familiar lost look in her soulful eyes. Fantasies of her forced reasoning from my mind. I had to meet her! Once fallen, would her love for me survive the ghostly secrets haunting us?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Mark of Athena

The Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus, #3)The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the third installment in the Heroes of Olympus series, and altho I really enjoyed it I don't understand how people can rate it without having read it. It seems like that makes the overall rating misleading.

The Mark of Athena picks up immediately where The Son of Neptune left off. I wish that I had gone back and refreshed myself with what happened in the last book because so much carried over that I had forgotten about. Riordan does a good job of reminding you what happened that was important but some points I had forgotten about. It has been a year after all.

Oceans of Red Volume One

Oceans of Red Volume OneOceans of Red Volume One by Willow Cross
Title: Rise Of The Demons: Oceans of Red Volume 1
Author: Willow Cross
Publisher: Self Published
Pages: 67


By 2015 the streets of Los Angeles have been transformed from a thriving metropolis to a hostile world ravaged by demons bent on assimilating the human race. Standing between this total apocalypse of humanity and their chance for survival is 19 year old Remy Martin.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Embracing Ebook Piracy

Thanks to author Michael Cargill for sending us this great guest post.

Literature is something of a latecomer to the digital revolution. In some ways, this is quite surprising, as it predates other forms of entertainment like computer games, film, and TV by several thousand years. Mind you, the older generations are often the slowest to get to grips with anything new. After all, when was the last time you heard your granddad talk about getting an Xbox?
Some of the growing pains for ebooks, have been the same ones that other forms of digital media have gone through, and still are going through. Piracy is one such pain.
The mere mention of the word ‘piracy’ generates quite an angry response from many people, whether they are a writer, or a reader.
To those people, I say you should perhaps step back, and rethink things a bit. I’m an indie author, and I know for a fact that my work is available to download from torrent/pirate websites. I know this to be a fact, as it was me who put them there in

the first place.
Before I go any further, I’ll just mention a few things, to provide some context. Firstly, you won’t see me on any bestseller lists anywhere, not unless that list is based on an otherwise empty shelf. Yes, woe is me, get out the violin and all that.
Secondly, years ago, I used to be something of a profligate pirate myself. My hard drive was chock full of computer games, applications, films, and TV shows. I knew lots of other people who did the same thing as well.
Lastly, I have no formal legal education, or training. This puts me at around about the same level as that bloke in the pub, who insists that it’s perfectly legal to shoot a Welshman with a crossbow, so long as you do it outside the city walls, on a Wednesday afternoon.
Just to be clear, I have no intention of getting involved with the tedious, semantic differences between copyright infringement, and theft. I’m also mainly talking about the financial impact of piracy, rather than the copyright side of things.
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