Tuesday, January 27, 2015

[Giveaway] Any ebook you want ($10 or under)

Where, oh where did I go?

Anyone who read my latest review of Ferran's Map by T.L. Shreffler may have noticed that I hadn't posted anything in well over a year. If you noticed, you might have wondered where I went. No, I didn't just disappear off the face of the earth. In short my life just plain got in the way. So here's an update on my last year, and what I hope is in the future for Book Nerd Paradise.

In October of 2012 I move to the Quad Cities, which is located along the Mississippi river, straddling the Iowa/Illinois border. I had moved back to the Midwest, where I was born and raised, from Florida to take a job as a copy editor/designer with a local newspaper. Surprisingly, I found that I missed the Midwest and being close to my family and friends. I went from being about 1,200 miles away from my younger brother to just under an hour's drive. It was never easy being that far away from my only sibling. 

A new year, a new do. 
So I moved on to my second job within two years of graduating college. It didn't take me long to realize that two cross-country moves right out of college(on top of student loans), on a journalist's salary was difficult. My budget was so tight I decided the best option was to do nothing other than go to work, sit at home watching my five channels of cable and contributing to my blog. It didn't leave a lot of room for my reading habit either. And as I'm sure almost every one of you will agree, giving up the habit is just not an option. 

I decided I didn't want to live like that anymore. I hadn't made any friends and I wasn't involved in any hobbies or clubs. I couldn't even afford to belong to a gym. For a someone with a restless personality like me, it's pretty soul crushing to not be busy all the time. 

The next step was me getting a second job as a server at a local high-end restaurant. I found that I really enjoyed it, even though it was really stressful. That was over a year ago and I made some lasting friends through the experience and managed to dig my way out of about $17,000 in debt. Yea, you read that right. There's money to be made as a server. Sadly, I still have quite a long way to go. But I'm happy and I've learned a lot of life lessons along the way. 

The unfortunate aspect of this second job was that I worked seven days a week between both jobs. My part time job wasn't really that part time. It was more of a 30 hours a week job, on top of the 40 hours at my day job. So, something had to give and it was my blog that took the hit. I decided to let everything go dark and resume when I was in a better place in my life. 

These two keep me company while I read
and write for Book Nerd Paradise
That brings us to today. I've switched to a different restaurant and cut down my hours way down. Hopefully, I'll be able to quit my second job soon and have more time to dedicate to my own writing projects.

But I still debated whether or not it was a good idea to start up the blog. 

The decision was made for me when T.L. Shreffler contacted me, asking if I would like to participate in her latest blog tour. As the sole author who made me truly appreciate indie authors, I absolutely could not say no. 

Now I'm back in the game, working on my blog and trying not to drown myself in coffee. But as I get back into the swing of things, I wanted to connect with blog readers more and find out what people truly want to see on this blog. Previously, I don't think I did that great of a job interacting with other people on my blog, Twitter and Facebook. 

And that's where this giveaway comes in. Think of it as a bribe for answering all my probing questions. I am giving away an ebook copy of any book ($10 or under) to one lucky winner. All you have to do is answer some questions and follow me on some social sites. I appreciate all of your comments and feedback. 

Happy reading my fellow nerds. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

[Book Blitz & Giveaway] Ever Darkening

Ever Darkening

by Janeal Falor

Release Date: January 28, 2015

Summary from Goodreads:

Perfection. Goodness. Elimination of evil. It's what seventeen-year-old Kaylyn has trained her entire life to achieve. But no one is prepared for the consequences of her actually defeating all evil people on the planet. Finally successful in her mission, Kaylyn faces an unfamiliar world, full of good people doing good things, in which she no longer has purpose.

When the skies grow dark, and a stranger from another village pleads for her help, her instincts roar to life. It turns out their perfect world isn't exactly what it seems. Kaylyn's new quest, harder than any she's been on before, will rip apart her friendships, her life, and her soul more than any evil man ever managed to.

Add to Goodreads

Buy Links:

Amazon | Kobo | Smashwords | Barnes and Noble | CreateSpace

Read an excerpt

"The darkness is filled with a silence so thick and unnatural, I want to draw my sword and slice through it. I don’t want to think what that could mean. But it’s the whole reason we are here. To figure it out, this slimy, oily thing that sticks to my Zophasken like tar. My power burns even as I keep it tightly wrapped inside me. Malryx no longer exist. Except no one told this forest."
** You can check out my review of Janeal Falor's previous work, "You Are Mine."

About the Author

Janeal Falor lives in Utah where she’s finally managed to live in the same house for more than five years without moving. In her spare time she reads books like they’re nuts covered in caramel and chocolate, cooks whatever strikes her fancy, and enjoys the outdoors. Her husband and three children try to keep up with her overactive imagination. Usually they settle for having dinner on the table, even if she’s still going on about the voices in her head.

Author Links:


a Rafflecopter giveaway

A special thanks to YA Book Bound Tours for organizing this blitz.

Friday, January 23, 2015

[Review] Ferran's Map

Ferran's Map (Cat's Eye #4)

by T.L. Shreffler

I don't think it's any secret that I'm a big fan of the Cat's Eye series and it's author. As you might notice, I haven't post a single thing since my review of the third book in the series, Volcrian's Hunt. In short, my life got in the way of me keeping up my blog. However, when the author contacted me asking if I would like to participate in the blog tour for Ferran's Map, I just couldn't say no. I don't think there's a single book out there that could have brought me back to the blogging world. But enough about that, you're all here to see what I have to say about Ferran's Map.

At the end of Volcrian's Hunt, the demise of the evil bloodmage Volcrian was brought about when Sora was able to briefly connect with a secondary cat's eye to take him down. With the bad guy finally defeated, this could have been the end of the series. But as we found out through Ferran and Lorie's point of view, there is still a long way to go in this journey. So the crew heads off to the City of Crowns in search for the Book of the Named. 

Ferran's Map starts off not long after where it's predecessor had finished. It opens with the crew aboard Sila's ship, bound for the City of Crowns. Soon, Sora spots a dying woman on the shore. The woman points them to her village where Sora, Crash and Ferran find the entire village has been wiped out by the sickness. They also find a little more than they bargained for. 

It only makes them realize that things are getting worse and they must stop the Shade as they try to raise their dark god. 

What I found interesting about the progression of this series is that T.L. Shreffler has seamlessly added in more character point of views. Sora's Quest was told almost solely from Sora's view. In Viper's Creed, we see things from the point of view of the assassin (you can read my review of the first two here). Then Volcrian's Hunt slowly adds in the voice of Volcrian (do the see a pattern here?) as well as Lorie and members of the Shade. 

In Ferran's Map we learn more and Ferran and Lorie's past, and I grew to have a new respect for these characters. In the previous books I felt they were background characters who held little interest for me. I had a hard time relating to Lorie's character and Ferran just seemed like a frat boy who never settled down. 

The fourth book brings the added element of a much deeper story. It's not just Sora, Crash and Burn trying to bring down Volcrian and the havoc he created. Instead we have a lesson on the history of Lorie and Ferran and why they are the people they are today. We also learn more about Crash and his personal journey.

But don't worry, there's is plenty of Sora's and Crash to go around. One of the things I love most about this series is the subtle beauty that is Sora and Crash's relationship. I love the way their relationship has oh so slowly started to blossom. There's is no head over heels, I love you on sight moment in this series. Their relationship has been built on the need to trust each other in dire situations. 

I like to think of it like a slowly blooming flower. It's not yet full developed, the petals are still trying to find their way. But at any moment, something could come along to destroy that beautiful flower. 

That something is named Cerastes. Will he succeed in crushing that flower, and the entire world along with it? You'll have to read to find out. 

Rating: This author and this book will probably always get 5 stars from me.

Make sure to click on the links below for more information and also enter the awesome GIVEAWAY!

*I was provided an ARC copy for an honest review

Book summary

Release date: January 20th, 2015 
Title: Ferran's Map (The Cat's Eye Chronicles, Book 4) 
Author: T. L. Shreffler 

The bloodmage Volcrian is dead, but a new enemy lurks in the shadows. The Shade, a fanatical cult of demonic assassins, is trying to resurrect the Dark God and unleash His power back into the world. In their wake, a deadly plague is spreading across the land.  

Only Sora and her companions know the plague’s true source. As the disease spreads, she must journey to the City of Crowns to retrieve The Book of the Named, her only hope of stopping the Shade. She and her companions arrive just in time for the winter solstice festival, a notorious two weeks of fine wines, grand parties and legendary debauchery. She must don the guise of a noblewoman and infiltrate the First Tier nobility to stop the Shade before it’s too late.  

Meanwhile, the assassin Crash is confronted by a ghost from his past. As he uncovers more of the Shade’s plot, he finds himself face-to-face with his old Grandmaster. Can Crash lay to rest his past, or will he succumb to his inner demon and rejoin the man who once made him a killer? 

About the author

T. L. Shreffler lives in Los Angeles, CA. She loves diversity, fantasy, romance, iced tea, long walks, philosophy, and thrift store shopping. She recently graduated with a BA in Badass (Creative Writing) and her poetry has been published consecutively in Eclipse: A Literary Journal and The Northridge Review. She is author of The Cat's Eye Chronicles (YA/Epic Fantasy) and The Wolves of Black River (PN Romance.) 


This giveaway is International...
1 winner ~ Paperback copy of Ferran's Map
1 winner ~ Cat's Eye necklace

a Rafflecopter giveaway