Welcome to Book Lovers Paradise

Welcome to my attempt at blogging. I am a true to heart bibliophile. Here I will discuss and review books as I read them. You are welcome to do the same. The only rules are no profanity, no politics, no religion, and have fun!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Today's guest post is from Graham J. Sharpe, author of PURPLE.

but first, a little bit about the book


After a purple storm sweeps around Planet Earth, stealing millions of people, four teenagers struggle to make it alone in London.

Drawn together by a series of bizarre coincidences, Ellie, Midge, Scott and Marty soon find themselves entangled with a bunch of interfering pensioners. Among the cast of players are flamboyant hairdresser Mr Rupert, Pearl the loud-mouthed tea lady, and June, a psychic, who travels the world on her motorbike.

As the tranquillizing effects of the Purple diminish, greed and the lust for power take hold. Penny Treasure, leader of the Decision Makers Council, dreams up an idea that could destroy the world forever.

In a desperate hunt to find the missing, clues are pieced together and some shocking secrets come tumbling out of the closet

my thoughts

I enjoyed reading PURPLE.  It took me a while to figure out what was happening.  Imagine a Purple cloud storm that removes everyone aged 18-65.  Hmmm, no one to nag you, or tell you to clean your room.  No one to tuck you in at night, or make chicken soup for you when you're feeling badly.

We traverse this world (mainly in London) 6 months after the storm.  We see things through Ellie's eyes.  Ellie is just 15 years old, but forced through these bizarre circumstances to act more like a grown up.  All the children have to suddenly grow up and literally run the world.  We see Ellie and her friends grow up very quickly.  They face a very adult world.  Ellie has the benefit of meeting a bizarre group of people.  You, as the reader, will love some of these characters.  

Mr. Sharpe is an amazing writer.  He has managed to make these characters believable and lovable. The social issues faced by these kids are masterfully described by Mr. Sharpe.  You will laugh, love and cry with these characters.

I recommend PURPLE for kids of all ages.  

about Graham:

At the age of twelve Graham regularly danced around the lounge to Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights. Now forty five, he still hasn't decided what he'll do when he grows up.
So far, he's worked in an ice cream shop, trained as a hairdresser, studied sociology and psychology, written for and performed with a touring theatre company, and backpacked across far-flung countries with loose change in his pocket.
Graham now combines travelling with writing and he completed his first novel 'Purple' during the sleepless, jet-lagged hours spent in hotel rooms around the world.
You can read the full story at http://www.grahamjsharpe.com/about-me/  
(bio from Mr. Sharpe's Goodreads page)

And now for our guest post from Mr. Sharpe

Graham Blog Post
Topic: Bullying

Today, it seems like every time we turn on a talk show or listen to the news someone is talking about bullying and how it’s affecting young people of all ages. While I was writing Purple there were always these moments when I would read articles in the news about bullying and think, “Now would be the perfect time to publish my book.” What I can’t figure out is why it’s just now becoming a major topic of interest. As far as I’m concerned, bullying has always been an issue that needs to be addressed. 

When I began writing Purple I wanted to write a story that reflected my life in some way. While trying to accomplish that goal, I touched on a number of different themes that I believe everyday people can relate to. 

Bullying, whether it’s physical, verbal, or mental, happens to a lot of people and maybe one of the reasons it’s suddenly become a hot topic is the emergence of cyber bullying. To be bullied at school is bad enough, but to be subjected to it at home via the computer or phone must be unbearable. There’s a part in Purple where one of the characters is bullied; his name is Marty and he’s made fun of because he’s black and has an American accent. I was bullied in school, and this was my way of writing a bit of myself into one of my characters. 

I know from personal experience that being bullied is a very embarrassing thing to talk about. No one wants to categorize themselves as a victim. Putting it into words makes the whole situation feel, and sound, a lot worse. I imagine lots of kids pretend it isn’t happening. They don’t tell their parents or teachers and that is actually the worst thing to do in my opinion. Young people need some kind of outlet, some kind of escape. 

When I’m not writing I work as a flight attendant, and because of my job I travel all over the world. I meet people from many different countries. I’ve come to learn that despite our differences in language or colour or the things that we believe, we’re all the same. The vast majority of us on Planet Earth celebrate individuality and a kind gesture or a smile goes a long way no matter where you come from.  

Thank you Mr. Sharpe for stopping by.   

Again, I encourage everyone to read PURPLE.  It's a great book!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

review and giveaway!!!!!

Today I would like to introduce a wonderful book by a fantastic author.  

about the book:
from Goodreads

Fifteen year-old Jonah Levine is practically invisible at Applecrest High. His Facebook page is pathetic, his baseball skills are mediocre at best, and his IQ seems to drop 50 points when talking to girls. But everything changes when his rock band, Hitstreak, becomes the hottest teen sensation in the country. And now they’re about to perform in front of 15,000 screaming fans.

So why isn’t he jumping for joy?

Well, for starters, that hit on the radio wasn’t really recorded by his band. In fact, six months ago, he and his friends could barely play a note between them. And now they’re about to perform in front of 15,000 screaming fans. What begins as a mindless prank quickly spins out of control, involving his father’s secret past as a 70’s rocker, a high school bully who wants in on the action, and a powerful, ruthless, media mogul who will stop at nothing to claim the band as his own. Will Jonah prevail? Or will he and his band go down in flames and become the biggest farce in pop music history?

 my thoughts

I LOVED this book!!!

Hal Eisenberg did an amazing job of creating a believable teenage world. The main character of the story is young Jonah. A wanna be musician with a band named HitStreak. Inadvertently, a song is sent to a radio station, a song entitled "Every Little Bit Hurts". This song gets some airtime and voila...overnight sensation. Only, the song is not done by HitStreak but by Jonah's dad's old band. OOPS! 

As you can imagine, some fun and some not so fun things happen. But Jonah's family is always there for him. The book is very well written and easy to read. I found it interesting that I liked all the major characters, not something that usually happens when I read a book. 

I think it will appeal more to boys than girls. 

Also, check out the website at http://www.hal-eisenberg.com/contest  to hear the actual song "Every Little Bit Hurts".

and now for the

I have one copy of OVERNIGHT SENSATION, paperback, with swag to give.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Salem VI - Rebecca's Rising

Today we are featuring a perfect Halloween time book.

Salem VI: Rebecca’s Rising
by Jack Heath and John Thompson
Release Dates: July 19, 2012 (eBook)
September 28, 2012 (print)

Book Title: Salem VI: Rebecca’s Rising 
Author Names: Jack Heath and John Thompson 
Name of series. Salem VI. First book in the trilogy. 
Genre: Fiction/historical/paranormal 
Publisher: Pressque Publishing 

Book Description: Former primetime television reporter John Andrews thought he’d lost everything when his wife died but as timeless bloodlines, first crafted during the Salem witch trials, are redrawn he realizes he has more at stake. Salem, Mass isn’t what it used to be—or is it?

Having stepped off the fast track of primetime network television news, John Andrews has chosen a quieter life as editor of The Salem News, a small paper in a quiet New England town. Life is perfect until Andrews’ wife is killed in a tragic accident. After several years of trying to numb the pain with alcohol, Andrews is visited by the spirit of a long dead ancestor who opens a door to a shocking family history. After he experiences a surreal glimpse into the past, Andrews must confront the question of whether he is losing his mind or whether for several hundred years his ancestors have been engaged in a secret battle with a coven that worships Satan. Fueled by the need to understand whether his wife's death was an accident, as he had always believed, or something far more sinister, Andrews, along with his beautiful assistant editor, risk everything to discover a truth so horrifying it threatens to destroy everything and everyone he knows and loves.

My thoughts on this Halloween Day

I loved this book.  I've been a lifelong New Englander.  I grew up with stories of Rebecca Nurse and the Salem Witch Trials.  Each summer our family visited Salem and learned more about it's history.  To read a book written by an actual descendant of Rebecca Nurse was a treat.  

This is a fabulous story.  The characters seem real to me.  John Andrews is a wonderful protagonist.  You will laugh with him, feel his pain, and cry with him.  You will root for him and feel hope for his future.  At the beginning of the book, I was a little spooked by the ghost of Rebecca Nurse, but by the end, I loved her as a character.  

This is a perfect book to read in one sitting.  I highly recommend this book.  As a lover of history, I was thrilled to read this story. I literally could not put it down.  That doesn't happen too often with me.   This is the first of a trilogy and I look forward to the further adventures of John Andrews.  

I give this book a resounding 5/5 stars.  (or pumpkins as it IS Halloween).

By the way, this book would make a fabulous movie.....

about the authors:

Jack Heath 
Jack Heath is the host of NH Today, New Hampshire’s only live afternoon radio talk show, and cohost of Sport Legends of New England with Bob Lobel, which can be seen throughout New England on Comcast Spotlight. A direct descendant of Rebecca Nurse, the last person to be tried and hanged during the Salem Witch Trials, and Ann R. Putnam, one of her accusers, his first novel, Salem VI, is an altogether modern take on Arthur Miller’s The Crucible

John Thompson 
John Thompson spent twenty-five years as an investment banker in New York before retiring to write full time. He is the author of the Brent Lucas trilogy, The Girl from Felony Bay, and coauthor of Salem VI. He lives with his wife and daughter and divides his time between Charleston, South Carolina and Hawley, Pennsylvania.

And now, our interview with Jack Heath

How did Salem VI: Rebecca’s Rising, come to life?

I always had in my mind growing up a story about the Salem Witch Trials, I just wasn’t sure what angle to write from. Ever since I was a child, I heard from my grandfather Heath stories about old Salem and Rebecca Nurse whom we were related to. I think he liked to scare me a bit about the Puritanical past of Salem and how rigid society was. Then a few years ago when I was on vacation in No. Myrtle Beach, SC, with my family, the idea for Salem VI literally popped into my head when I asked myself the question, “What if the Judges in the Salem Witch Trials were the witches and what if they had formed a pact with Satan and fabricated the whole thing to frame God’s innocent children and offer them as a sacrifices to the devil, their new God?” From there the story came to life in my head, then I asked, “what if the witch trials never ended and are still going on underground 320 years later?” The rest is this book that John and I collaborated on and brought to life…I cannot wait to finish Book 2 as John Andrews fights on… 

What can you tell us about the next two books in this Salem Witch trilogy?

Book 2 carries on directly from the end of the first book. John Andrews continues to wrestle with new forces changing his being and world while he tries to battle the coven and evil forces. It is a struggle and Book 2 continues unraveling the neat history Salem and we have our twists along the way. Like the first Book, we like action and suspense being the underlying mood along with a lot that starts to take us more international out beyond Salem. Book 3 takes us on a global chase which ties together broader good vs. evil plots and characters, but all tying back to the late 1600’s and why evil took root in Salem. But readers will be amazed when they see how that evil has roots and havens elsewhere and still does. You will have to wait until the spring of 2013 to read more. But Book 2 has more fun with Salem’s history and people will like a new version of Hawthorne’s House of Seven Gables, where more evil lies underneath than anyone ever suspected.

Do you believe in ghosts?

I actually do, especially when someone dies a violent death or in a house where their spirit never was able to go free. I don’t believe these ghosts or spirits are necessarily bad or a threat but I believe there is a very thin line between this physical life as we know it and a spiritual journey that awaits us all. In fact, Rebecca Nurse was alive in my head long before I wrote this book.

Why do you write? Is it something you’ve always done, or always wanted to do?

It’s funny, I wanted to write a novel almost 20 years ago during my first TV reporting job in Maine. I was covering a few really strange murders in rural areas that impressed me in how bizarre they were. Then, once my news career starting to grow to larger markets, I lost time and focus to write a story about some of the homicide cases I covered as a reporter. Then a few years ago when I thought of the plot for this book, I just started to write like I was possessed in a good way. The story just came out faster than I could hit the computer keys. My wife Patty reminded me recently that I have a box in the basement of stories I stared to write but never finished. This story just ripped through my mind and formed in my head more than others.

Are there any writers who inspire your own work?

Ironically, I liked Nathaniel Hawthorne’s works and his love for Salem, Massachusetts and the history, which I share from growing up in the next town. I also loved F. Scott Fitzgerald growing up and the Great Gatsby. More recently I like a bunch of suspense writers who write in the Robert Ludlum fashion of story-telling and character development.

Who is your favorite Salem VI character?

In writing the book initially, it was Abigail. I got a real sense of her and what made her tick. But Rebecca was really a driving force and I like how she rises and John really got a sense of this too. I like how when she gets really pissed off you can feel her rise within John Andrews to get him to do what she wants him to do.


For someone who has never read any of your books, how would you describe your writing?

My writing flows in a very readable style. It’s full of plot elements for suspense, strong characters and action. Also, my style is very visual.

Have you got the whole series planned out, and do you take reader feedback into consideration?

Salem VI is planned as the first of a three book series, and while Jack and I have some very definite ideas about where we would like to take the next two books in the series, we will definitely take reader feedback into consideration as John and Amy dig deeper into the terrible threat posed by the Coven.

What can you tell us about the next two books in this Salem Witch trilogy?

The first book is set in Salem, but the Coven is bigger than just one city. As John and Amy discover the true reach and power of the Coven, they also uncover its ultimate objective. They realize they must stop the Coven before all of mankind is threatened.

What excited you about this Salem Witch project?

Salem VI has all the elements of a great occult thriller, and even better my co-author, Jack Heath, is actually descended from Rebecca Nurse, whose ghost plays a major part in our story. By all the elements I mean we have the perfect setting for an occult novel, great characters and a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat

For more information, please visit www.salemwitchtrilogy.com.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Haunting Book to add to our Halloween collection
The Bar Code Prophecy

by Suzanne Weyn

published by Scholastic Inc.

Frightening and amazing at the same time.  Frightening because something like this could happen.  Amazing because the author did a great job writing this story.  

An apocalyptic tale for school age children.  The bar code reminded me of the "mark of the devil' foretold in the Book of Revelations.  The asteroid/space stations are the perfect answer to Wormwood.  

I enjoyed the manner in which the author made the Native Americans a major part of this book.  Even now, we are inundated with information from the Hopi about the 'end of days'.    The author does a great job of introducing this idea into the story.  

I'm not certain we will so easily differentiate between the good and the evil, but our future could be hauntingly similar to the one so skillfully created in this series.

A wonderful series by a fabulous author. 

5/5 cups of tea

as we prepare for HALLOWEEN, I would like to re-introduce two fantastically halloweeny (is that even a word?) books.......

Fourteen-year-old Eve Hallows lives in a monster-inhabited place where everything is horrible, which in her world means wonderful, but things are about to become wonderful (horrible) when she must move to the human world.

my thoughts:
WOW! What an absolutely horrible book (horrible meaning fantastic!) Think The Munster's from the viewpoint of Marilyn- remember her? The only strange and bizarre human in a family of perfect monsters!
Well, Eve's life is somewhat like that. Mom is a Gorgon, Dad is a shapeshifter and brother Sam is a ghoul. Even the family pet Wolf is a werepig. This book was laugh out loud funny. I loved when Mom accidentally turned people to stone. Dad's crazy attempts at running a pizza store were just hysterical.
Trouble began when the mysterious SOURCE started killing monsters and trying to steal the BOOK OF SHRIEKS. Eve and her human friends had to help save the day. I don't think the adventures are over for Eve and her buddies. Looking forward to the next book in the series. A wonderful book and we both recommend it to kids who love Halloween and funny/ghoulish stories.

My favorite laugh out loud quote from the book:::
"Zombies are the rudest, most annoying creatures. And that whole brain-eating thing? I don't care where you live, that's just poor manners.

Ever since encountering The Source and its minions on Halloween, Eve Hallows has found life surprisingly quiet … not to mention adorably boring! So when Dad receives a Ouija message that she must return to Gravesville, Eve couldn't be happier—at least until she discovers the Director of URNS, also known as the Grim Reaper, has a special job for Eve … one that will lead her to New York City and to the true identity of The Source. 

With The Book of Shrieks offering zero help and a new URNS agent driving the school boys—and Eve!—crazy, Eve's beginning to realize this whole saving-the-world nonsense isn't what it's cracked up to be. 

All this and she still has to find The Book of Shadows.

my thoughts
Even better than the first book!!!!!!

If one lives in our world, as I do, this book is fabulous. If one lives in Gravesville, it was horrible- horrible and ten more horribles!

I love the characters in this story. Eve reminds me of human Marilyn living amoung the Munsters. She's different but pays no attention to the differences. Mom is a snake headed, petrifying gorgon. Dad is a shapeshifter and brother Sam is a ghoul....The family is a tight unit. You can palpate the love they feel for each other.

Due to recent events, Eve is made to feel 'unwelcome' in her hometown of Gravesville. Why? Well, she's human and not a monster. Humans are scary, they are trying to kill the monsters. Strange things are happening in Gravesville and Eve must fix them, along with her 'human' friends. We meet a few new characters, including a succubus.

We also learn more about how Eve came to live in Gravesville. 

This is a perfect combination of YA, Horror, Paranormal and Fun! 

I give it 5/5 stars (or 5 teacups) and eagerly look forward to the next book in the series.

That's a hint Mr. Gray...please keep me in mind when looking for reviewers for the next book!!

Thank you Mr. Robert Gray for these fantastic books!  Adults and kids alike will enjoy these books.  Perfect for a halloween time read!!