Thursday, July 19, 2012

REVIEW: Thank My Lucky Scars by Ward Foley

RATING: ✭✭✭✭✭

Ward Foley, aka “Scarman”, survived decades of disfigurement, pain, and suffering. But it was through the death of a close friend that he learned a profound lesson and discovered a secret that changed his life forever. This is a story about finding what you want most, in the most unlikely places, and usually right under your nose. Share the joy of seeing your own life–and everything around you–in bold new ways.

Have you ever woken up and complained about a crick in your neck or a pain in your back that you know will go away after taking a pill? Well what if you had to live with that pain all of your life and no pill could make it better?

Ward Foley shares his experience of being born with multiple birth defects and growing up different. Simple tasks like brushing his teeth are an every day challenge for him. After enduring decades of surgery, he's learned not to complain, even when life hands him more lemons than he needs. I suppose it's very difficult for Mr. Foley to make lemonade with his physical limitations, when even holding a brush to his mouth is a task. When most of us would have thrown in the towel, Ward Foley only pushes harder.

Admirably, Mr. Foley uses both the bad and good experiences to make a difference in people's lives. In his book, he details accounts of unexplainable blessings and the darkest of times he's endured. Thank My Lucky Scars is written as if it were a close friend telling you his life story. As I laughed, cried and empathized with Mr. Foley, I found in his words wisdom and lessons that I shall never forget. Thank you, Ward Foley, for gifting me your book. As I look at the first page where you've dedicated it to me, I realize how writing those words was nothing short of a feat for you. I will treasure your book always.

Ward Foley is a Goodreads Author
I have authored two books, the most recent being, Thank My Lucky Scars, which I published in 2006. In my efforts to help others, I have learned that giving to others is the greatest gift I can give to myself: a gift I unwrap and cherish daily. Thank My Lucky Scars has reached more people than I could’ve ever dreamed. To my surprise, while I initially wrote this book to help people with myriad disabilities, I have been constantly surprised (and humbled) by the responses from so many others: families who have lost children, families in hospice, recovering addicts and those who have lost hope the most, no matter what their personal story might be.

We are not given a good life or bad life, we are given life and it is up to us to make it good or bad.

Visit Ward Foley on his Website

Find him on Facebook

Buy Thank My Lucky Stars on Amazon

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Blog Tour: Joseph Devon Guest Post + Giveaway

Hello and welcome to this stop in the 
Persistent Illusions by Joseph Devon blog tour.

Welcome Joseph! Can you tell us a little about your learning experience, while writing Persistent Illusions?

Doing research for a book is always a strange process. You go out and learn so much by doing or reading or talking with people. Then, though, budding over with excitement of your new knowledge, you have to learn how to take a deep breath and step back from it. And, finally, there’s the act of putting it into your work.

Take for example one of the things I researched while writing Persistent Illusions: cell phones. At one point my characters wanted to influence the phone calls between two people, so I had to go and do all this research about how cell phones actually work, which was really interesting. See, even though I writing in a fantastical genre, I still like to get the rules of our universe right. I do a lot of reading on physics and technology so that I can get a better grasp of how my supernatural characters might interact with our world. I try not to say, “It’s magic,” and leave it at that. So I read up on the waves transmitted by cell phones and how varying the frequency or amplitude of these waves can give bursts of “one’s and zero’s.” That’s what FM and AM stand for, frequency modulation and amplitude modulation. I never new that.

However, while writing these scenes another truth emerged: nobody cares how much research I’ve done. Oh sure, it’s interesting to learn something new from a book, like a glimpse of how cell phones actually function, but I don’t think many readers of fiction ever put a book down and say, “Boy I wish that author had shoved more of his research into that story.” There’s a proper amount of research to utilize, enough to shore up what you’re trying to get across, enough to sound like you have an easy understanding of the subject, but that’s it. Any more than that and you can start to sound desperate. You either sound like you’re trying to show off your knowledge, or that since you did so much work on your research, that you’re going to force the reader sit through a lecture about it. But you shouldn’t do that. You know you’re weaving the right amount of your research into your book when you feel like you have much much more to share. When you start looking for new places to maybe slip some fascinating tidbits about cell phones into a side scene, then it’s time to stop and acknowledge that your goal isn’t to prove yourself a leading expert in cell phone technology. Your goal is to tell a story. It’s best to keep that in mind.
And that was the third thing I learned when I set out to insert cell phones into my book. Well, maybe I’ve learned this before, but it’s a lesson that bears repeating. In the real world, as I’ve come to know it, people simultaneously know many things and know nothing. Experts get things wrong. Knowledge gets transmitted with flaws. People learn slowly. So after doing all of my cell phone research, and then holding myself back from writing thick, textbook-like paragraphs showing off my knowledge, I then had to step even further back for the integrity of my characters and let them get things wrong. Because it just wouldn’t be real if all of them understood everything perfectly, and that meant I had to let them learn poorly or fail at their attempts, as much as this hurt my pride as a budding cell phone expert. I had to act like this knowledge was being learned and utilizes in their reality. And it turned into one of my favorite sequences of the book.
Instead of having them stand around showing off my research, I ended up with a set of scenes where my immortals began visualizing cell phone transmissions as incoming waves that they tried to smash apart using baseball or cricket bats. It’s a delightful image, and I can still see Bartleby overswinging as a text message flies past him towards a cell tower, and one that would never have come about if I hadn’t researched my subject cold, and then stepped back from my research twice.
That’s the most simple three-step process I can put together for doing research. First I learned about cell phones, then I forgot what I had learned about cell phones, then I taught it to my characters again from inside their world.
    -Joseph Devon

Joseph Devon was born in New Jersey and currently lives in New York. He’s been a student, a nanny, worked at the Ground Zero recovery project after 9/11, and of all the things he’s created he is probably most proud of the character Kyo. He writes a blog, enjoys photography and he’s also at flickr, and tumblr, and twitter — sometimes he thinks that he might have one too many social networking outlets. Joseph’s Annual Fan Art Contest has a lot of great prizes to choose from for simply submitting art based on his books — check it out at:

 Follow Joseph Devon:


In book one of Joseph Devon’s urban fantasy series, Probability Angels, we were introduced to the world of Matthew and Epp. Back then, Matthew thought he had his hands full just learning how to be an undead tester of humanity, but then Hector staged an uprising and everything Matthew thought he could take for granted fell apart.
Yet, over the past few months, a strained peace has settled over his world and Matthew is starting to feel like he can finally get back to training at his usual New York haunts.
However, things are more fragile than they appear. Nobody can see the stress lines already clawing away at the new peace. Nobody has guessed the toll that was taken on those at the forefront of their war. And, when a new tester wakes up with the power to possibly unravel the universe…well that’s when things really start to get interesting.
Come see how a zombie can protect and serve, a photographic memory can earn you a permanent place on Mount Everest, and a teenage drug addict can hold everyone’s fate in her nail-bitten fingers.

G  I  V  E  A  W  A  Y !

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Persistent Illusions by Joseph Devon – NURTURE Book Tour Schedule:

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Day in the Life of A. Jacob Sweeny (and Giveaway)

Hello and welcome to "A Day in the Life of..."©, a featured guest post exclusive to my blog that's published on Mondays and sometimes, on Thursdays. On these two days, a spotlight guest will share a normal day in their lives, giving us insight on their thoughts, projects, interests, obsessions and more. Occasionally, and if we're lucky, they'll even throw in a giveaway.

And now, on with the show...

Today, it's my pleasure to welcome A. J. Sweeny, author of The Pulse Myths and Pulse Historia Series.   A.J. lives in San Francisco, California, where she shares her home with her two adorable cats and Pug and pursues a Master's Degree in Archeology.

A.J. Sweeny is a Goodreads Author
I have been writing and storytelling ever since I was able to hold a pen. When I spent time working as a teacher with children of varying ages I was fascinated by the awesome power of words to excite and inspire the young mind. 

*The art of Storytelling is what makes a good teacher great.

*My degree in History with an emphasis on Ancient Near East, and my personal interest in world myths, combined with my fieldwork in archaeology have inspired my research and development of many elements in the story.

*I also remember what it was like to be a girl myself and have often wanted to share my own thoughts, fears and dreams during that age with others. I read many books during my teenage years and some of them were essential in helping me make it through that time, and helping me become the satisfied person that I am today. I want to be able to return that favor to all the readers out there.


8:30 AM:
Get woken up by my talking cat Mia. She meows straight into my face until I tell her to “Go Away!” “No!” She actually listens but by then it’s too late. She knows I’m only half asleep and returns about 15 minutes later. If she doesn’t wake me, my other cat Catmosis The First will gently climb on my chest and put his paw on my cheek while purring like a tractor. If I don’t wake to his needs he might take out one nail and gently urge me to open my eyes.  My pug is a good sleeping buddy-if I’m o bed she’s in bed. Stumble out of bed, feed the cats and open their cat door. If I’m feeling good I turn on the espresso machine and make a nice Italian roast latte. If I’m in the middle of writing/editing I will do so while drinking my coffee, and at the same time check social networks and emails. Got to stay connected to y’all.

 9:30 AM:
My Review
 Decide that I can’t stay in PJ’s any longer no matter how cute they are. If I’m headed to school I shower and dress nice. If I’m working at home I might head to the gym first, then  eat either protein only- or a healthy smoothie, then shower, get dressed in my going out Pajamas= nice comfy cottony clothes.  Always takes me a little though because I have to find a matching pair of undergarments. Yup I do every time.
10:15 AM (Depending on the day it is):
A) I drive to school –takes me about 45 minutes to reach the JC and about half an hour to reach UC Berkeley. Parking at Berkeley and getting to my class takes an hour on its own.

B) Begin work. As I am doing right now. If I’m not writing my novels, I am writing guest blogs, (like right now) or doing interviews, promoting, running contests, contacting editors/artists/book reviewers. I am also doing constant research for my novels- which takes hour as they include a lot of history. I spend time developing my characters too-wondering how would they act in certain situations.
I might deal with E-book upload problems. Taking orders, making merchandise and packaging it. You name it I do it. In between all of this I probably have Facebook going in the background as it is my only social escape when I work at home and I miss y’all. I have to check in. I also have numerous text- conversations going on with my regulars and you know who you are ;) I might have music blasting if I’m writing as it helps keep me inspired. I play it all, classical to heavy metal!

*In-between hours of work I also get numerous phone calls asking me if I’m busy, if I can do this and that. I might be also arranging travel plans if I’m touring my books. Takes so many hours.

*My cats also bug me and want to play or yell if their food dish is empty even if they aren’t hungry.

1:30 PM:
I start keeping an eye on the outside. UPS man is my favorite. He brings me things that I’m waiting for. Postman is sometimes cold and sometimes hot. Once in a while between the regular mountains of bills I get a paycheck. And I even get fan mail :D These things keep me going many times when I think that I’m doing all this for nothing.

2:30 PM:
The first signs of low sugar attack me. I realize that it’s almost 3 o’clock and I have yet to eat.  I eat something light or munch on what I’m cooking. If I actually sit down to eat I might turn on a movie I’ve been trying to watch for days, sometimes weeks. You know your life is busy when you don’t have time to see a movie.

*This is the time I do housework too. Laundry, dishes, cleaning. If I have a garden going then I might be out there. Shopping is usually done around this time.

4:00 PM:
Go back to work

4:45 PM:
Feed my screaming cats/pug their dinner. Return to work/homework.

6:00 PM:
 If I didn’t work out in the morning I might do it now. Either head to the gym or meet up with a friend for a hike /walk/run/ anything that will get me sweating ;)

8:30 PM:
Realize that they day is done, but there is still so much to do. Might eat a little of what I cooked, or snack.

9:30 PM:
Either be social with other night owls or just try and finish that movie one more time. I might be trying to play my guitar, or even read someone else’s book.

10:30 PM:
Get back into cute PJ’s. Yell at the cats to shut up because they are sitting by my bedroom door meowing at me to go to bed.

12:00 Midnight:
Wonder if I’m going to have writer’s insomnia, or… well, that part I keep to myself.

Thank you for sharing your day with us, A.J., and thank you, my dear readers, for stopping by. I hope that you've enjoyed "A Day in the Life of.."

Tune in next week when my featured guest will be
Author Sara Humphreys !

 Scroll down to enter the giveaway!

Check out A.J. Sweeny's novels on

For more information, including excerpts, visit 

Find the Heroes on Facebook

(This giveaway is open to the residents of the U.S.)
 Read My Review of Pulse of Heroes

“Throughout all those years, nothing had changed when it came to beauty. Everyone craved it. Elliot wondered if that craving was more than just wanting to find a healthy, suitable partner. Perhaps somewhere in the human sub-consciousness everyone was searching for their maker,
 the image of perfection.” 

-Pulse of Heroes

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What Critics are Saying about 
Pulse of Heroes:

"Sometimes I will come across a novel which I classify as a rare jewel: a book that captivates me from beginning to end… an amazing story that it is impossible for it to not capture my heart, and Pulse Of Heroes is a rare jewel."

-Alishia, Treasured Tales For Young Adults Blog

"I love this book! Move over Edward and Bella, a new power couple has hit the scene! Michelle and Elliot from Pulse of Heroes by A. Jacob Sweeny will give Stephanie Meyer's characters a run for their money! I have read so many books, and it takes a lot to knock my socks off but A. Jacob Sweeny did just that! With her original storyline and unforgettable characters she has an award winning series in the making."

-Dawn Hagan, I love Books Blog

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Review: Untouched by Sara Humphreys

                                       ABOUT THE BOOK:
RATING: ✭✭✭✭✭
Kerry Smithson's modeling career ensures that she will be admired from afar, which is essential since mere human touch sparks blinding pain and terrifying visions.
Dante Coltari is hired to protect Kerry from those who know who she is—or more importantly what she is—and want her dead because of it. Nothing could have prepared him for the challenge of keeping her safe. But, strangely, his lightest touch brings her exquisite pleasure rather than pain, and Dante and Kerry have an otherwordly connection that might just pull them through.

Kerry Smithson is a supermodel with womanly curves that captures the eye of a body guard, Dante Coltari, hired by her friends to protect her while in the city of New Orleans. Dante is completely entranced with the plus-size supermodel, but quickly finds that having her requite his feelings will be quite the task to accomplish. All of her life Kerry has avoided every person's touch, and if she can help it, Dante, although beautiful and exhilarating, won't be the exception. Inexplicably, and much to Kerry's surprise, she finds herself eager to touch him. Kerry also finds that a secret that she's kept her entire life is easy to reveal to Dante, and while romance blooms between the two, little do they know that danger lurks in "The Big Easy". 

Kerry feels that she needs the support of her best friend, Samantha, to give her answers to changes with which Samantha has also had to deal, yet is hesitant to contact her. But when an anonymous note is left at the front desk for Kerry, she sends a pleading call to Sam for help. The pace of the story quickens as they try to figure out who could be threatening the lovely Kerry. Dante will not stand to lose her, but it's out of his hands when "The Punisher" outsmarts them all. Who will save the Amoveo now? 

In the second book of Sara Humphreys' series, "The Amoveo Legend", the author has again weaved an exciting paranormal romance and mystery in the exciting world of shape shifters. The feel of the French-Cajun environment is so realistically portrayed in Humphreys' descriptive scenes that you'll want to hop the first plane to New Orleans. The story is filled with clever quips and an unexpected ending that will leave you wondering which other characters in Sara Humphreys' series are privy to their true Amoveo dynasty.  

Untouched is a passionate story of love and need for the soulmate of which we all dream. 

Buy The Amoveo Legend Series:


Sara is a Goodreads Author
Unleashed, Sara’s first published novel and the first book in The Amoveo Legend series, recently won Best Book of 2011 in the Grave Tells Reader’s Choice Awards, beating out JR Ward for the top honor. Untouched (AL #2) is being released by Sourcebooks in April of 2012 and will be followed by three more books in the series.
Dead in the City, Sara’s urban fantasy vampire series was recently sold to Sourcebooks in another five book deal, with the first book slated for release in 2013.
Sara is a graduate of Marist College, with a B.A. Degree in English Literature & Theater. Her initial career path after college was as a professional actress. Some of her television credits include, A&E Biography, Guiding Light, Another World, As the World Turns and Rescue Me.
Sara is the President of Taney Speaker Training, which specializes in public speaking, presentation development and communication skills training. She has trained executives at Verizon, Bristol-Meyer Squibb, Westchester County and the United States Navy.  Her speaking career began with Monster’s Making It Count programs, speaking in high schools and colleges around the United States to thousands of students.
Sara has been a lover of both the paranormal and romance novels for years. Her sci-fi/fantasy/romance obsession began years ago with the TV Series STAR TREK and an enormous crush on Captain Kirk. That sci-fi obsession soon evolved into the love of all types of fantasy/paranormal; vampires, ghosts, werewolves, and of course shape shifters. Sara is married to her college sweetheart, Will. They live in Bronxville, New York with their 4 boys and 2 insanely loud dogs. Life is busy but never dull.

Connect with Sara: