Friday, December 30, 2016

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Timmy's Review of Lost Tales From Foster High by John Goode!

At first I was worried about reviewing this book because I thought it wasn’t going to be published. But have no worries! Mr. Goode assures me it will be published. Even better, maybe today! Yay! It’s always awesome to hear there is a new Goode book out! (Ha! See what I did there? It’s a gift!) Because this book is actually an anthology, it makes it harder to review. So here’s how I’ma do this. I will review the whole book as one, then I will go through and do a very small review for each story. By the end, you will be totally jealous that I have read it already, and you wait endless days until Mr. Goode has it for sale (which I hear is in a week or so. But it will feel endless to the hardcore Foster High fans!)

Lost Tales from Foster High overall review:

Lost Tales from Foster High is one of the best anthologies I have read. Some of that is because I love the whole Foster High cast, and some of that is due to the author. I have not met a character in this series who I didn’t want to know more about. Even the “bad guys” have a story to tell. So it was neat to hear a few stories or updates on characters you didn’t think you’d hear about again. I also really liked that each and every story had an introduction, because that helped me see where we were in the books and, in some cases, what we missed due to editing. Without those small intros, I would have been confused. So thanks for that, Mr. Goode!

The book I received is not the finished edited version, but I was informed that all the stories would remain the same. I also promised Mr. Goode that I would not pick on any proofing typos that would be caught in edits. So I will hold to that. But for those of you who got this version, I bet the small errors didn’t even matter. Right? I was able to enjoy every story, and any errors there were did not take away from the truly awesome writing in these stories. And because this was a complaint in my last Goode review, I would like to thank the author for not making me yell the first few words in a new chapter! (In the last book, the first few words of each chapter were all caps. Just threw me off a bit, but didn’t ruin the story in the least.) There is only one complaint I have in the book in general and I hope by saying something, Mr. Goode may try not to do this in future books (‘cause it really does throw me off). In the stories, it is not always clear who is talking. A question is asked and answered in the same paragraph by two different characters and is not always clear who is speaking. I’m going to give an example, and I found one that does not give away spoilers.

“But I’m not hot?” He looked me up and down. “Kinda I guess. But very cute.”
“I am going to the bathroom, I’ll be right back.”

See? It is not very clear who said what and who is talking when it is run together like that. Cody calls these dialogue tags. So make those dialogue tag things, Mr. Goode! But other then that, this anthology is golden! Now I will review the stories! YAY!

A Place Called Home:

This was a very good setup to another book, but we may need to talk Mr. Goode into writing it. According to the intro, he doesn’t think he will. This is a bit of story on Aaron, the Navy guy who stands up for Brad at the school board meeting. It was really goode! And I obviously want to read more, so I could use a little help talkin’ him into that. Please? Aaron has a funny personality on the inside, though on the outside he is a quiet stand-to-the-side kinda guy. I can’t tell much more without giving away spoilers, so just read it, enjoy it, beg for more! (Really, please do beg.)

You Will Rise:

I actually can’t say anything about this short story without giving it all away. (Thanks for making my job hard, Mr. Goode!) But I will say that it was written for a good cause and it actually made me feel good about myself. If you ask me, that is all the praise a story needs. Read it.

Last Friday Night:

This was a part of one of the original novels that was changed, and part was edited out before the book was released. It’s about a character who was edited out of the published book, and I really wonder why that decision was made? I’m a little mad cause now I want to read the pre-edited version of this book! But it was neat to see how the story changed from the original writing of it.

Unused Opening for 151 Days:

So, I looked up a few things and asked my friend Cody about this ‘cause I had no clue Foster was a real town in Texas. So, now I’m wondering, what do the people of Foster think about the Foster High books? And is any of the stuff we read based on real life events? Was this mentioned somewhere and I missed it? Anyway, what brought that up is this opening was a history lesson. The history of Foster, Texas. So I was thinking, how could he make up a town and it have such an involved history? It turns out he didn’t make it up and I need to learn that there is more to the world than the towns I have been to. :D Not sure I would have used this opening either, but not because it is bad. I like history, and it was interesting to me, but I could see many people reading it thinking “When is the story going to start?” Not that Mr. Goode asked my opinion or even cares, but I say Goode call not using this opening.

Five Dates and a Hookup:

Ever wonder what happened to Brad and Kyle during the 4 years Brad was in the Navy? Well, Mr. Goode wants us to know that it was boring! ‘No book there!’ he says, then he writes this! It was funny and seriously makes you wonder how they lived apart. I, for one, want more but would settle for a few flashbacks in the future books. I’m feeling a little mean today, so I’m not gonna say one thing about this story. I want you to read the title then go buy this book just to see who’s butt needs to be kicked—or if Mr. Goode is playin’ games with us. :P

If Only In My Dreams:

Aww… This story made me so proud of Kyle. And then he went and kicked us out at the end! But still an awesome read.

Regret:

This is a bit of info on Jeremy. You remember him right? Pointed a gun at my Kyle! *swears* But this is a good story because it is important to know that not everyone is going to be the same as how they started out in the series. People change. Some for better, some for worse.

The Beginning is the End is the Beginning:

Mr. Goode is a diabolical man! He planned this book well. I have to give him huge props for that. Now, this last story takes place right before the first story in the series, so by the time you finish it, guess what you want to do? That’s right. I will be busy for the next few weeks rereading the Foster High books. Sigh…. Smart man. Just saying….

Conclusion:

I hope everyone reads this book, and if they haven’t read the others (shakes head at those who haven’t), I would again recommend the whole series. Please, you are only hurting yourself by not reading these. I’d even be willing to buddy read the whole series if y’all need encouragement. :) Of course, I offer this out of the kindness of my heart, not at all because I want an excuse to reread the books. *wink* I give this book 4 Marbles. What’s next, Mr. Goode?~Timmy


Lost Tales from Foster High is available NOW
from John Goode and at Amazon

Find John Goode on his Harmony Ink Author PageGoodreads, his Goodreads blog
on Facebook, on Twitter @FosterHigh, and on Tumblr

About Lost Tales from Foster High

THERE ARE ALWAYS MORE TALES TO TELL...

A COLLECTION OF EIGHT DIFFERENT UNPUBLISHED STORIES FROM THE FOSTERVERSE ARE CONTAINED WITHIN RANGING FROM UNUSED DRAFTS OF PUBLISHED STORIES TO ALL NEW TALES NEVER BEFORE OFFERED TO THE PUBLIC.

Lost Tales from Foster High is available NOW
from John Goode and Amazon
To Wish for Impossible Things 
(a lost tale from The Tales from Foster High) 
Dear God 
(a lost chapter from The End of Innocence)

Find John Goode on his Harmony Ink Author PageGoodreads, his Goodreads blog
on Facebook, on Twitter @FosterHigh, and on Tumblr

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Timmy's Review of Wraith Queen's Veil, Book Two in the Sun Child Chronicles, by Lou Hoffmann!

Hey, y’all! Back again so soon! I think a trend is starting! :) So, as you know, I haven’t been doing many reviews lately. That’s for two reasons. One, I’m super busy this year at school and with school things. Second, I am reviewing and beta reading for people who have requested it of me. If you would like me to review or beta read a book, there are instructions and an email address on Cody’s blog to send me requests. Above all, I really want to thank the authors who have asked me to review and beta read their books. It’s an honor and a privilege that I don’t take lightly. I also want to thank this author, Ms. Hoffman, for being so patient with me. This review took awhile because I have been so busy. But it was well worth the wait for me to read and review for her because it was an awesome book!

I decided to reread the first book to get a good feel for the characters before reading this one. If you haven’t read Key of Behliseth yet, then you need to read it before reading this book. It is not a stand-alone book, and it will not make a lot of sense without reading the first. In the first book we learn a lot about the world that this book takes place in.

First, I want to say thank you to Ms. Hoffmann, because whether it was done on purpose or not, she took my advice from the first review. This book was a much easier read. It was still descriptive and I could close my eyes and picture what she had written, but I did not get lost in the descriptions. I did not have to reread parts. I was able to fully immerse myself in the world she created. (Wow, that sounded really professional! :D) So for those readers who are unsure whether they want to read the second book because of that happening in the first, let me say, it is not a problem here. Please don’t cheat yourself out of an awesome read.

Now, the characters: Ms. Hoffmann did an awesome job building the characters in the first book, but in this book, you really get into their heads. Literally! I really enjoyed getting to know them so well. They aren’t as you might expect, and they often make mistakes. The big powerful wizard is a normal person who doesn’t have all the answers! I like that! I like that there is no perfect person in this book, because it helps it feel real to me. That’s very important in a fantasy story. Also, you see how the experiences in the first book have changed the characters. How the experiences made them view the world, and how to deal with the results. That is a great thing in a book as well because it also makes me feel like this could be real. People change due to what happens in their lives. Their attitudes change and sometimes their personalities change too.

The book itself is a little harder to review because there is no great reveal, and yet there are many! Let me explain the best I can without spoilers. For me, the second book felt like Thárros and Elpída—it was originally one huge book cut in the middle to make two books. So this first part was a lot of build-up for what will happen next. We are just waiting now for the second half of the book. That is why I say there was no big reveal. There is no doubt that the book is not finished. Though not really a cliffhanger, you are left to wonder what will happen with all the little subplots the author has touched on in this book. However, you do find out very important things in this book. Who the “bad guy” really is, but not how it will unfold. Also, there are many other things going on that were left open, so I don’t know if they are all something different, or if they will all connect later in the third book.

This book is a journey. It takes you through many places and times, and you watch the characters grow as people and find out who they were meant to be. I enjoyed every minute of Wraith Queen's Veil and I would recommend it to every reader who is into fantasy. Also, because it is what I would call a “clean” story (no sex), it is great for all ages! There is some exploring of sexuality, but it is done in such away that it makes it a safe book for younger kids. So, I would say 10 years or older, though an even younger good reader could read it as well. I give this book 4 marbles, and am excited to read the next part of Lucky’s adventure.~Timmy

P.S. This cover should win awards! So beautiful! It fits the story so well! Awesome job to Catt Ford!

P.S.S. Dragons!!!! Need I say more???

P.S.S.S. (Just in case) A flying horse!!! If I still need to say more, you're a lost cause! :D LOL

Wraith Queen’s Veil is available from Harmony Ink Press!
Also available from 

About Wraith Queen's Veil

When Lucky arrives in Ethra, the world of his birth and destiny, he expects a joyful reunion, but the first thing he notices when he reaches the Sisterhold—his home—is something false behind his mother’s smile. In a matter of weeks, the Sisterhold becomes agitated with worries and war plans. People he trusts—like the wizard Thurlock—frequently can’t be found. His mother seems angry, especially with Lucky. Even Han Shieth, the warrior uncle he has come to rely on and love above all others, maintains a sullen silence toward him.

When Lucky’s resentment builds to the breaking point, his bad decisions put him and his friends, L’Aria and Zhevi, in unthinkable danger. Han arrives to help, but he can’t claim invulnerability to the hazards and evils that threaten at every turn. Events launch Lucky, alone, on a quest for he knows not what, but every step brings him closer to his identity and full strength. Self-knowledge, trust, and strength lead to smarter choices, but even his best efforts might not render his world truly safe, now or for the future.
Wraith Queen’s Veil is available from Harmony Ink Press!
Also available from 



About Lou Hoffmann

Lou Hoffmann has carried on her love affair with books for decades, yet she hasn’t even made a dent in the list of books she’d love to read—at least partly because the list keeps growing. She reads factual things—books about physics and history and fractal chaos, but when she wants truth, she looks for it in quality fiction. She loves all sorts of wonderful things: music and silence, laughter and tears, youth and age, sunshine and storms, forests and fields, flora and fauna, rivers and seas. Even good movies and popcorn! Those things help her breathe, and everyone she knows helps her write. (Special mention goes to (1) George the Lady Cat and (2) readers.) She writes for readers who find themselves anywhere on the spectrums of age and gender, aiming to create characters that live not only in their stories, but always in your imagination and your heart. 

She blogs at Queerly YA, is on facebook, is @Lou_Hoffmann on Twitter, and loves to hear from readers at louhoffmannbooks (at)gmail(dot)com. She believes in love, believes in you, and believes in the magic of a good book.

Find Lou on her Website, Facebook, Twitter @Lou_Hoffmann, 

Friday, December 9, 2016

#Giveaway Welcome to Divine Magazine's Christmas Blog Hop!

A very special thank you to Anders and all the wonderful folks at Divine Magazine for our awesome holiday blog hop! This blog hop is to get us all in Christmas mood. Get hopping and read all the posts as the common theme is, well, Christmas!🎄 Don't forget to scroll down to the bottom and enter the giveaway!

As you know, I write young adult works for Dreamspinner’s Harmony Ink Press label. I have a unique writing background in a number of ways and have written in multiple mainstream venues for years, and spent way too much time on movie sets as a kid watching films come to life for the silver screen. Though I write for Harmony Ink Press and have spent the past four years concentrating on young adult works, I write primarily for adults—surprise! I have all kinds of books releasing in 2017 and I hope you'll join me in celebrating them!

The Holiday Season means a lot to me because it's a time of love and laughter. Those of you who know me, know that I love to share and spread laughter. My most precious holiday memory was my very first Christmas gift. I was raised by my grandfather, a prolific author, and began writing at the age of seven. That year, my grandfather gave me two dictionaries, the Oxford Dictionary, and Webster's New International Dictionary. (c. 1943) Best gifts ever! Try lifting all 3,194 pages from a shelf to your desk! My grandfather and I spent the next year or so reading the Websters dictionary. I kid you not. I still have both dictionaries and, in spite of our internet information age, I often find myself perusing these wonderful reference books.


My favorite holiday recipes have to do with mice. Not joshin'. You remember A Visit from St. Nicholas. Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse and all that? Of course you do. Well, leave it to my overactive imagination to fixate on the mouse. I know! I know! I first began making them out of strawberries and chocolate kisses. Easily bored, I expanded my horizons, and now make almost every sort of creature one can make out of strawberries and chocolate. But every holiday, without fail, I create the mice. I kid you not. It's a plight. You can find recipes for these small Christmas creations all over the net! 

Thank you for joining me for the Divine Magazine Christmas Blog Hop! Have a wonderful Holiday Season and Happy New Year! 
  

Here are some Santas, ladybugs, and owls too.

      


Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house 
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; 
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, 
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there; 
The children were nestled all snug in their beds; 
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads; 
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap, 
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap, 
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, 
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter. 
Away to the window I flew like a flash, 
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash. 
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow, 
Gave a lustre of midday to objects below, 
When what to my wondering eyes did appear, 
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer, 
With a little old driver so lively and quick, 
I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick. 
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, 
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name: 
"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen! 
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen! 
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall! 
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!" 
As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, 
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky; 
So up to the housetop the coursers they flew 
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too— 
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof 
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof. 
As I drew in my head, and was turning around, 
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound. 
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, 
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot; 
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back, 
And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack. 
His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry! 
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! 
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, 
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow; 
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, 
And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath; 
He had a broad face and a little round belly 
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly. 
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, 
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself; 
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head 
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread; 
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, 
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk, 
And laying his finger aside of his nose, 
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose; 
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, 
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle. 
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight— 

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”
Source: The Random House Book of Poetry for Children (Random House Inc., 1983)

FOLLOW THE BLOG HOP AND ENTER TO WIN!














Monday, November 28, 2016

You Can Play Project & Pride Tape to Support #LGBTQ Athletes in Sports!

LGBTQ Athletes. Allies. Teaming up for Respect.

You Can Play is dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

You Can Play works to guarantee that athletes are given a fair opportunity to compete, judged by other athletes and fans alike, and only by what they contribute to the sport or their team’s success.

You Can Play seeks to challenge the culture of locker rooms and spectator areas by focusing only on an athlete’s skills, work ethic and competitive spirit.

PRIDE TAPE
Stop Homophobia in Hockey. One Roll at a Time.


Pride Tape is a badge of support from teammates, coaches, parents and pros to young LGBTQ players. It shows every player that they belong on the ice. That we’re all on the same team. And with the support of over 1,000 Kickstarter backers, it’s now a reality.


Buying Pride Tape will help support LGBTQ youth outreach initiatives, such as You Can Play and the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services. That means every roll of tape will make an impact on and off the ice.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving from me to you!

Walk outside, 
stand there, 
in silence, 
look up at the sky, 
and contemplate how amazing life is.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Timmy's Review of John Goode's "What About Everything?", Book 9 in the Foster High Series!

Hi y’all! I’ve missed you guys! Ok! I’m back with a review that makes me happy to write! Do you know why? BECAUSE the book is from John Goode! Anyone who follows my reviews knows I love everything Goode! The Foster High Books are among my very fave books written, and John Goode is in my top 5 fave authors. So YAYAY!

This book has a few things that I want to talk about. First, as always Mr. Goode has written an awesome book, with awesome characters. None of the characters are new, so if you have been following the series you will know all the peeps! If not, go read the other books! One of the things I love best about Mr. Goode’s books is that the characters are so real! They are funny and full of heart, and a bit messed up! There is not a full-on HEA in this book, but there is REAL LIFE! I like that! That is not to say his characters don’t have HEA or HUNB (Happy Until Next Book), but they feel so real! They are messed up, they do stupid things, they say funny inappropriate things, and they cry! Most of all, they love. I truly love reading a love story about normal messed up people!

Now, I have a few problems with it. They’re all minor, but the most minor one—I need to whine a bit—is that every time we change point of view, the first two words start as CAPS. OMG! Stop that, Mr. Goode! Every time we changed, it took my brain a few seconds to realize I didn’t need to start the sentence yelling in my head! Like… HI, HOW are you today? Kk, so no more please and thank you. :)

Next, I think I was too young to get the plot. Let me tell you, you will probably NEVER hear that from me again! I’m forever saying that kids can read adult books, and understand what they are saying and doing. But not this time, this book confused me. I got the gist of what was going on and I totally followed the story, but Matt and Tyler confused the heck outta me because there was all this drama! I know conflict helps make a good story, but seriously? Adults are so hard to figure out sometimes!

I hate giving spoilers, so I can’t explain in detail, but I’ma just say Matt came off as a bit bratty. I don’t think that was what was intended because everyone in the book agreed with him, so I’ma guess it is just me. Please feel free to come back here and explain why I’m wrong after you read it, because I’m not sure I would have worked so hard to keep someone who wasn’t grateful for what I had to offer him. I got the idea that what Matt really wanted was Prince Charming and he felt he was cheated somehow. Now, Tyler apparently agreed because he made it right in the end. But I want to say, you shouldn’t go into a relationship (friends or lovers) thinking you need to fix or change the other person so you can have your Prince Charming. Again, I may be a bit young for the drama plot here. I think everyone can better themselves, but no one should better you. That’s your job.

So, as I was rereading this, I think that is kinda what happened in the end, but again I’m not positive. Because there was waaaay too much drama here. Y’all? Please do not tell me I need to be this dramatic when I’m an adult!

I give this Book 4 Marbles. Sex is off-page, but there is some swearing. I want all of you to go get it and read it because I like it and that’s how we keep our fave authors writing books! And because I want y’all to come back and tell me what you think of the plot. PLEASE! I need help here! The drama was too much! ~Timmy


What About Everything? is available 
Find John Goode on his Harmony Ink Author PageGoodreads, his Goodreads blog
on Facebook, on Twitter @FosterHigh, and on Tumblr

About What About Everything?

When an accident ruins Matt’s parents’ anniversary party, Tyler and Matt decide a vacation is in order, and they book a gay Disney cruise with Robbie and Sebastian. It’ll be the perfect place to relax and do some much-needed soul-searching. A couple of years have passed since they met, but Tyler and Matt are no closer to getting married. They must take a long, hard look at their relationship and decide if they’re happy with the way things are, or if they want more—and if they can find the courage to take the next step. A difficult choice is made even harder when two people they thought they’d left behind show up to complicate the issue and turn the whole cruise upside down.
What About Everything? is available 
To Wish for Impossible Things 
(a lost tale from The Tales from Foster High) 
Dear God 
(a lost chapter from The End of Innocence)

Find John Goode on his Harmony Ink Author PageGoodreads, his Goodreads blog
on Facebook, on Twitter @FosterHigh, and on Tumblr