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29 September, 2014

Three Movies on the Horizon


I love movies, I'll admit. Even when they're not based on books, I enjoy watching movies. With only 3 months left in this year, I thought I'd highlight some of the ones I'm definitely looking forward too at the end of 2014.


#1 - The Book of Life (17 October, 2014)
Rating: PG
Genre: Romance
Summary:

Set in a fantastical, colorful world, The Book of Life is the story of a young man who must face his greatest fears and follow his heart in order to rewrite his destiny. Filled with love, laughter, music and suspense, this big adventure for the whole family will warm the hearts of audiences as it reminds everyone of the importance of honoring the past while embracing the future. (copyright foxmovies.com)
Produced by: 20th Century Fox



A cute little movie that highlights the Dia de los Muertos (literally Day of the Dead), a Mexican holiday that celebrates the life and death of beloved family members. While Movie Insider has an additional note of it being "a Romeo and Juliet style romance set on the Day of the Dead", I think the movie will be a cute piece to go see and it's always exciting to see relatively unusual (at least for the main stream holidays celebrated in America) holiday.



#2 - The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (21 November, 2014)
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Thriller/Action/Adventure
Summary: Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice, but even
though she's made it out of the bloody arena alive, she's still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. President Snow makes it clear that no one is safe either -- not Katniss's family, not her friends and not the people of District 12.
Producer: Lionsgate Films





Fairly certain most people are anticipating this movie. Having read the books, I have to say there are still some things in the differences between the books and movies that rub me the wrong way. The omission of Madge and the significance of the Mockingjay pin for example. Still, the movie adaptations have proven to be fast paced and keeping with a fair amount of emotion and the story-line so there's not a lot of cause to complain. (I mean have you seen Haymitch and Cinna?)  Despite a bit of shaky camera work, I'm excited to see this movie, even if I have to wait to see the end of the series in a year.

#3 - The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies (17 December, 2014)
Rating: Pending (Most likely will be PG-13 like the previous two installments)
Genre: Action/Adventure
Summary: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies brings to an epic conclusion the adventures of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) and the Company of Dwarves. Having reclaimed their homeland from the Dragon Smaug, the Company has unwittingly unleashed a deadly force into the world. Enraged, Smaug rains his fiery wrath down upon the defenseless men, women and children of Lake-town. Obsessed above all else with his reclaimed treasure, Thorin sacrifices friendship and honor to hoard it as Bilbo’s frantic attempts to make him see reason drive the Hobbit towards a desperate and dangerous choice. But there are even greater dangers ahead. Unseen by any but the Wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen), the great enemy Sauron has sent forth legions of Orcs in a stealth attack upon the Lonely Mountain. As darkness converges on their escalating conflict, the races of Dwarves, Elves and Men must decide – unite or be destroyed. Bilbo finds himself fighting for his life and the lives of his friends in the epic Battle of the Five Armies, as the future of Middle-earth hangs in the balance. (from warnerbrothers.com)
Producer: Warner Brothers


Our unlikely little hero, Bilbo Baggins, has truly found himself in a pickle this time. When we left the Desolation of Smaug, Smaug had just taken off from the Lonely Mountain to go after Bree and the people there. A rather large "oops-i-daisy" for our daring dwarf band and their little hobbit thief on the part of letting him wake up and escape. Anyways, the exciting conclusion to our second Tolkien trilogy focuses around the 'battle of five armies'. Given that this is just a small chapter in the original book, I look forward to seeing how it's worked out.

Now where's my Silmarillion movie?


What movies are you looking forward to in the next three months? Share your opinions on these and more in the comments below!

26 September, 2014

Review: The Walled City by Ryan Graudin


Description

There are three rules in the Walled City: Run fast. Trust no one. Always carry your knife. Right now, my life depends completely on the first. Run, run, run.
Jin, Mei Yee, and Dai all live in the Walled City, a lawless labyrinth run by crime lords and overrun by street gangs. Teens there traffic drugs or work in brothels--or, like Jin, hide under the radar. But when Dai offers Jin a chance to find her lost sister, Mei Yee, she begins a breathtaking race against the clock to escape the Walled City itself.
Review
Series: N/A
Release Date: 4 November, 2014
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult
ISBN: 9780316405058
Edition: Advanced Reader eBook Edition
Rating: 
Review Written: 26 September, 2014


25 September, 2014

Feature and Follow Friday #17

Increase Blog Followers 

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it’ll allow us to show off more new blogs!



This Week's Question:

Book character(s) you'd like to see with their own Twitter page - Suggested by A Great Read


Answer:

I think I'd like to see Lord Akeldama and Miss Sophronia Temminnick with their own twitter pages. Both are characters featured in the writings of Gail Carriger's works (Lord Akeldama first appears in the Parasol Protectorate series, then reappears in the Finishing School Series that focuses around Miss Temminnick). 

Given that Lord Akeldama is a very fop-ish kind of Vampire, I imagine his page would be quite a twitter with things like the latest hose in fashion or wig-powder. Probably a fair number of pretty boys too. 

For Miss Temminnick, I think her page would be one of general disuse, that is to say, she'd use it to check in on other people and rarely post herself. If she did it'd probably alternate between fashion (to throw people off of course) and gadgets she finds useful.

Book Tour: The Numarian Chronicles - Escapement by Ciara Knight

Displaying Escapement.jpg

Synopsis book 1 - Escapement:

Ten years after the great war of 2185 the queen’s reign is threatened by uprisings and fear. In celebration of my sixteenth birthday it is my duty as princess to sacrifice a slave to be initiated into the ruling council, solidifying my mother’s empire. When my own erratic powers surface I’m captured and tried for treason. Slaves hate me, my mother wants me executed, and my only chance of survival rests in the hands of a young man, Ryder Arteres, whose sister I sentenced to death.

Synopsis book 2 - Pendulum:

Haunting memories.
Terrifying dreams.
Crippling lies.

Trapped in a world of deception, my sanity rests with the love of Ryder Arteres and our renegade friends. Six months of scouring the ocean floor in a rebel ship fleeing our homeland, delivers us to a possible alliance with the opportunistic European Council. Our only hope is to utilize our forbidden gifts to free our people from slavery, proving our worth. But when a trusted ally turns traitor and a new breed of the queen’s weaponry is revealed, I’m forced to face the terror of my past to save our crumbling future.

Synopsis book 3 - Balance:

Life on a war-ravaged Earth is a dying experience. Finally, after years of tyranny, the rebellion rises. Once I rescue my fiancé Ryder Arteres, I, and the rebel general, will fight to free our people. In a war where alliances shift and friends betray one another, will the final battle prove the truth of the prophecy the queen has so feared—her death—or will I lose everyone I love?


Purchase:



AUTHOR BIO

Displaying Ciara.jpgCiara Knight writes to ‘Defy the Dark’ with her young adult speculative fiction books. Her most recent Amazon best-seller, Escapement, book I of The Neuamrian Chronicles, released to acclaimed reviews securing a Night Owl Top Pick and five stars from InD’Tale Magazine.

When not writing, she enjoys reading all types of fiction. Some great literary influences in her life include Edgar Allen Poe, Shakespeare, Francine Rivers and J K Rowling.

Her first love, besides her family, reading, and writing, is travel. She’s backpacked through Europe, visited orphanages in China, and landed in a helicopter on a glacier in Alaska.

Author links:

Review

Series: The Numarian Chronicles #1
Release Date: 5 February, 2013
Publisher: Defy the Dark Publishing LLC 
GenreDystopia, Science Fiction, Young Adult

ASIN: B00BC1H1I0
Edition: eBook
Rating: 
Review Written: 25 September, 2014


23 September, 2014

Lions, Tigers, and Banned Books, Oh my! Top 5 Banned Books Week Picks


Banned Books Week is not a new invention. Launched in 1982 as a response to a surge of challenges to titles in libraries, schools, and bookshops - Banned Books Week has developed into an annual event to educate students and celebrate our freedom to read. I can't list out all the books that are challenged or banned on my blog (it'd take too long), but you can check out the top 10 books from 2001-2013 here.

Without further ado, here are my Top 5 Banned Books containing both single books and series.

#5 - The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
Reasons for challenges: Religious Overtones and unsuited for age group.

Taken as part of the highly popular Dystopian future setting, The Hunger Games focuses on the story of Katniss Everdeen, a young woman in a desolate version of what once was America, renamed Panem. Throughout the series, the reader's swept along with some of Katniss's very questionable choices, challenges of what a Utopian society looks like from the lower levels of society, and presents the idea of children killing children. It's a story of growth and how happy endings aren't always easy, definitely a good read.

#4 The Giver by Lois Lowry
Reason for challenge:  violent and sexual scenes, infanticide, euthanasia, and “sexual awakening.”

Perhaps one of the most well known Utopian/Dystopian novels around, The Giver introduces readers to the world where everything is 'the same'. There's no colours, no music, everything is regulated by the government. At the age of twelve you're given your life assignment and set to train for it, the very young and very old are 'sent elsewhere' to spare the needs of the community. It's not a very happy place, but emotions aren't exactly there to know any different. It's a challenging book, making the readers question everything about the books and one of perhaps the most influential things I read from the time I was in middle school onward.


#3 His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman
Reasons: political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, and violence

The world where the His Dark Materials trilogy takes place is a parallel world to our own, though with the key addition of Dæmons - a physical form of one's conscience. Originally Published as Northern Lights in Europe, the first book introduces readers to Lyra, a rebellious child left in the care of scholars while her parents go gallivanting around on their own thing. Mostly wild, Lyra seems to have a knack for getting herself into trouble. The series gets darker as it goes along, pulling in elements from this world and that, but don't let that stop you from reading it. This series is one of my favorites, set up as a fantasy world and I'll admit, I've always wondered what form my dæmon would have settled on.


#2  Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Reasons: Occultism/Satanism, offensive language, disrespect to adults, violence, and 'intense fantasy'

A fantastic tale of childhood imagination, the Bridge to Terabithia focuses on the friendship of Jess Aarons and Leslie Burke, two children who are a little off the beaten path of life. They create a vivid fantasy life outside of school to deal with many of their childhood fears and issues. However when a tragedy strikes, make sure you have tissues to deal with the fall out of things that happen. I love this book, and yes, it does make me cry every time I read it.

#1 Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
Reasons: Occultism, Witchcraft, Violence, Anti-Family, Satanism

The story that built a generation, and yes I'm very much part of that generation. Undoubtedly one of the biggest hits in the past 30 years, Harry Potter is the incredibly coming of age story of a boy who comes from a impossible family life to becoming a man of his own making. Captivated in seven books and several not quite direct spin-offs, Harry Potter teaches the meaning of friendship, shows hardship, and even gives a bit of a historical lesson (if one squints and tries to read more in the lines). Definitely one of my favorite series to reread over and over.

19 September, 2014

Review: Lore: Tales of Myth and Legend Retold

Displaying Lore.jpg

Synopsis:
A collection of six folklore retellings that will twist your mind and claim your heart.

SHIMMER: A heartbroken boy rescues a mermaid… but is it too late to save her?

BETWEEN is about a girl, a genie, and a ton of bad decisions.

SUNSET MOON: Eloise doesn’t believe in Native American magic–until the dreamcatcher spiders spin her down an unknown path.

THE MAKER: An incapacitated young man bent on revenge builds a creature to do it for him.

A BEAUTIFUL MOURNING: The story of a Maya goddess torn between duty and love, and the ultimate sacrifice she must make to achieve true happiness.

THE BARRICADES: When a human girl risks everything to save the life of an Eternal prince, will their feelings for each other change the world they know, or tear it apart?

Review:

Series: N/A
Release Date: 21 March, 2014
Publisher: Sweet Biscuit Publishing, LLC
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Mythology
ASIN: B00J6064O6
Edition: eBook
Rating: 
Review Written: 19 September, 2014

18 September, 2014

Feature and Follow Friday #16

Increase Blog Followers 

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it’ll allow us to show off more new blogs!

This Week's Question:

Blogger pet peeves? (Like when I've drafted an entire post, ready to publish it, and I see somewhere I've left out a html code... When I didn't even do my post in html) - Suggested byTake Me Away…


I guess my biggest peeve is clutter (ironic if you look at my blog I have nothing but clutter). I also dislike blogs that don't feature a contact page or a good tagging system. Ah and one final peeve is when I'm hosting a tour and it's written into the coding to make each section title it's own heading due to the nature of my blog layout, it puts it in a brown header box and that just bothers me inside the post. I tend to try and go in to remove that element if at all possible before posting.

16 September, 2014

Review: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon


Summary:

In 1946, after WWII, a young Englishwoman named Claire Beauchamp Randall goes to the Scottish Highlands with her husband, Frank. She’s an ex-combat nurse, he’s been in the army as well, they’ve been separated for the last six years, and this is a second honeymoon; they’re getting re-acquainted with each other, thinking of starting a family. But one day Claire goes out walking by herself, and comes across a circle of standing stones—such circles are in fact common all over northern Britain.  She walks through a cleft stone in the circle….and disappears. Back into 1743, where the first person she meets is a gentleman in an 18th-century army officer’s uniform. This gentleman, Jack Randall, looks just like her husband Frank—and proves to be Frank’s six-times-great-grandfather. 

Unfortunately, he also proves to be a sadistic bisexual pervert, and while trying to escape from him, Claire falls into the hands of a gang of Highland Scots, who are also trying to get away from Black Jack Randall—though for other reasons. In order to avoid being handed over to Captain Randall, Claire is obliged to marry one of the young clansmen. So she finds herself trying to escape from Castle Leoch and her Scottish captors, trying to get back to her husband Frank, trying to avoid being recaptured by Captain Randall—and falling in love with Jamie Fraser, the young man she’s been forced to marry. The story rolls on from there… (from Diana Gabaldon's website)

Review:


Series: Outlander #1
Release Date: 1 January, 1991 (original print)
Publisher: Dell Publishing Company
GenreLiterature, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical NON-fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery, Romance, Military History, Gay and Lesbian Fiction, and Horror.
ISBN:  9780440212560
Edition: Paperback
Rating: 
Review Written: 15 September, 2014

12 September, 2014

Book Tour: Edwin High King of Britain by Edoardo Albert

02_Edwin High King of Britain





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Debut historical fiction series vividly recreating the rise of the Christian kings of Northumbria, England.



In 604 AD, Edwin, the deposed king of Northumbria, seeks refuge at the court of King Raedwald of East Anglia. But Raedwald is urged to kill his guest by Aethelfrith, Edwin's usurper. As Edwin walks by the shore, alone and at bay, he is confronted by a mysterious figure--the missionary Paulinus-- who prophesies that he will become High King of Britain. It is a turning point.



Through battles and astute political alliances Edwin rises to power, in the process marrying the Kentish princess Aethelburh. As part of the marriage contract the princess is allowed to retain her Christian faith. But, in these times, to be a king is not a recipe for a long life.



This turbulent and tormented period in British history sees the conversion of the Anglo-Saxon settlers who have forced their way on to British shores over previous centuries, arriving first to pillage, then to farm and trade--and to come to terms with the faith of the Celtic tribes they have driven out.



The dramatic story of Northumbria's Christian kings helped give birth to England as a nation, English as a language, and the adoption of Christianity as the faith of the English.


Praise for Edwin: High King of Britain

"In the first installment of the Northumbrian Thrones, a new historical fiction series, Albert launches readers into the tumultuous world of 7th century Northumbria. Edwin, the deposed king of the region, forges political alliances, is betrayed, and fights critical battles that form the arc of his rise and fall as High King of Britain. As he ages, he fears for the future of his kingdom, and war has simply become a necessary evil. His shifting worldview leads to conversion to the Christian faith - a slow process given special attention by Albert. But it is not a clear path, and sometimes Edwin and his subordinates doubt the validity and the power of the Christian God, as opposed to the pagan deities they have left behind. Albert?s focus on the religious element does not detract from the political and dramatic aspects of the history he is portraying. Rather, it lends an extra dimension of psychological turmoil, because characters must deal with the problem of not only individual identity but also the beginnings of a national identity related to religion. Albert's offering is a highly entertaining and refreshing work of historical fiction thanks to his emphasis on the precarious intersection of religion and identity." - Publishers Weekly



"A splendid novel that leaves the reader wanting more." - Bernard Cornwell, New York Times bestselling author




"A fast-paced and gripping tale of the great Northumbrian King Edwin, reclaiming one of our great national figures from the shadows of history."  - Justin Hill, author of Shieldwall


Buy the Book

About the Author

03_Edoardo Albert
Edoardo Albert is a writer of Sri Lankan and Italian extraction based in London. The best response to his writing was when he reduced a friend to helpless, hysterical, rolling-on-the-floor-holding-his-stomach laughter. Unfortunately, the writing in question was a lonely hearts ad. He hopes to produce similar results in readers, without inadvertently acquiring another wife.




For more information, please visit Edoardo Albert's website. You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.




Review

Series: The Northumbrian Thrones #1
Release Date: 1 April, 2014
Publisher: Lion Fiction
Genre: Historical Fiction
ISBN:  9781782640332
Edition: Paperback
Rating: 
Review Written: 12 September, 2014

04 September, 2014

Book Tour: The Golden Pathway by Donna McDine

The Golden Pathway

Written By: Donna McDine
Illustrated by: K.C. Snider

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Be transported through time to the Underground Railroad, where high-pitched screams echo each night. David’s cruel Pa always chooses the same victim. Despite the circumstances during slavery, David uncovers the courage to defy his Pa.

Raised in a hostile environment where abuse occurs daily, David attempts to break the mold and befriends the slave, Jenkins, owned by his Pa. Fighting against extraordinary times and beliefs, David attempts to lead Jenkins to freedom with no regard for his own safety and possible consequences dealt out by his Pa.

Suggested age range for readers: 8-12. Free Educator Guides Available.

Praise for The Golden Pathway

“The Golden Pathway is a tale of compassion and courage. This book earns the Children's Literary Classics Seal of Approval, a designation reserved for those books which uphold the rigorous criteria set forth by the Children's Literary Classics review committee, a team comprised of individuals with backgrounds in publishing, editing, writing, illustration and graphic design.” –Literary Classics Book Awards & Reviews

“The Golden Pathway is written specifically for children 8-12 years old and is written perfectly to their level of understanding. It is easy to comprehend and the plot flows smoothly. The illustrations are beautifully depicted and complement the wording immensely. I found this story to be powerful, inspiring and something that will provide children with a valuable lesson about slavery and freedom as part of American History. I can see this book also providing a valuable tool for children to ask questions and bring about important conversation. I feel strongly that this book is a must read for all children ages 8 and up.” –Rita V., Readers Favorite

“This story by author Donna M. McDine, with full-page, full-color illustrations by K. C. Snider, is an attention-grabbing way to introduce students to the fact that slavery once existed in this country and also illustrate how the “Underground Railroad” helped slaves to escape north so that they might gain their freedom. It is a great book.” –Wayne S. Walker, Home School Book Review

“Donna M. McDine is an award winning children's author and it comes through in the book. The way she has handled such a delicate and emotional subject is really good. She has given a good twist to the tale in the end. The story imparts an important message to the children, of being courageous and yet compassionate towards fellow human beings. At the same time the story makes the children realize the plight people went through in those times.” -Benu Bali, Zealot Readers

Buy the Book

About the Author

Donna McDine HeadshotDonna McDine is a multiple award-winning children's author, Honorable Mention in the 77th and two Honorable Mentions in the 78th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competitions, A Sandy Grave ~ Story Monster Approved and Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, The Golden Pathway ~ Literary Classics Silver Award & Seal of Approval Recipient Picture Book Early Reader, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention, Global eBook Awards Finalist Children's Picture Book Fiction, and Preditors & Editors Readers Poll 2010 Top Ten Children's Books.

Her interest in ocean life resulted in writing and publishing A Sandy Grave (January 2014). Other books by McDine, Powder Monkey (May 2013), Hockey Agony (January 2013) and The Golden Pathway (August 2010). A fifth book is in the publishing pipeline with Guardian Angel Publishing. She writes and moms from her home in the historical hamlet Tappan, NY. McDine is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators.

For more information please visit Donna McDine's website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and Goodreads.


03 September, 2014

Cover Reveal: The Tapestry by Nancy Bilyeau

Displaying 01_The Tapestry.jpg

Publication Date: March 24, 2015 
Touchstone Publishing 
Formats: eBook, Hardcover 
Pages: 390
Genre: Historical Mystery 
Series: Joanna Stafford, Book Three

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In THE CROWN, Sister Joanna Stafford searched for a Dark Ages relic that could save her priory from Cromwell's advancing army of destruction. In THE CHALICE, Joanna was drawn into an international conspiracy against Henry VIII himself as she struggled to learn the truth behind a prophecy of his destruction. 

Now, in THE TAPESTRY, Joanna Stafford finally chooses her own destiny. 

After her Dominican priory in Dartford closed forever-collateral damage in tyrannical King Henry VIII's quest to overthrow the Catholic Church-Joanna resolves to live a quiet and honorable life weaving tapestries, shunning dangerous quests and conspiracies. Until she is summoned to Whitehall Palace, where her tapestry weaving has drawn the King's attention. 

Joanna is uncomfortable serving the King, and fears for her life in a court bursting with hidden agendas and a casual disregard for the virtues she holds dear. Her suspicions are confirmed when an assassin attempts to kill her moments after arriving at Whitehall. 

Struggling to stay ahead of her most formidable enemy yet, an unknown one, she becomes entangled in dangerous court politics. Her dear friend Catherine Howard is rumored to be the King's mistress. Joanna is determined to protect young, beautiful, naive Catherine from becoming the King's next wife and, possibly, victim.

Set in a world of royal banquets and feasts, tournament jousts, ship voyages, and Tower Hill executions, this thrilling tale finds Joanna in her most dangerous situation yet, as she attempts to decide the life she wants to live: nun or wife, spy or subject, rebel or courtier. Joanna Stafford must finally choose.

Pre-Order the Book

About the Author

Displaying Nancy Bilyeau.JPGNancy Bilyeau has worked on the staffs of InStyle, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, and Ladies Home Journal. She is currently the executive editor of DuJour magazine. Her screenplays have placed in several prominent industry competitions. Two scripts reached the semi-finalist round of the Nicholl Fellowships of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Her screenplay "Zenobia" placed with the American Zoetrope competition, and "Loving Marys" reached the finalist stage of Scriptapalooza. A native of the Midwest, she earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan. THE CROWN, her first novel, was published in 2012; the sequel, THE CHALICE, followed in 2013. THE TAPESTRY will be released in March 2015. 

Nancy lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Stay in touch with her on Twitter at @tudorscribe. For more information please visit Nancy Bilyeau's website.

02 September, 2014

Book Tour: To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis by Andra Watkins

Displaying 02_To Live Forever.jpg

Is remembrance immortality? Nobody wants to be forgotten, least of all the famous.

Meriwether Lewis lived a memorable life. He and William Clark were the first white men to reach the Pacific in their failed attempt to discover a Northwest Passage. Much celebrated upon their return, Lewis was appointed governor of the vast Upper Louisiana Territory and began preparing his eagerly-anticipated journals for publication. But his re-entry into society proved as challenging as his journey. Battling financial and psychological demons and faced with mounting pressure from Washington, Lewis set out on a pivotal trip to the nation’s capital in September 1809. His mission: to publish his journals and salvage his political career. He never made it. He died in a roadside inn on the Natchez Trace in Tennessee from one gunshot to the head and another to the abdomen.

Was it suicide or murder? His mysterious death tainted his legacy and his fame quickly faded. Merry’s own memory of his death is fuzzy at best. All he knows is he’s fallen into Nowhere, where his only shot at redemption lies in the fate of rescuing another. An ill-suited “guardian angel,” Merry comes to in the same New Orleans bar after twelve straight failures. Now, with one drink and a two-dollar bill he is sent on his last assignment, his final shot at escape from the purgatory in which he’s been dwelling for almost 200 years. Merry still believes he can reverse his forgotten fortunes.

Nine-year-old Emmaline Cagney is the daughter of French Quarter madam and a Dixieland bass player. When her mother wins custody in a bitter divorce, Emmaline carves out her childhood among the ladies of Bourbon Street. Bounced between innocence and immorality, she struggles to find her safe haven, even while her mother makes her open her dress and serve tea to grown men.

It isn’t until Emmaline finds the strange cards hidden in her mother’s desk that she realizes why these men are visiting: her mother has offered to sell her to the highest bidder. To escape a life of prostitution, she slips away during a police raid on her mother’s bordello, desperate to find her father in Nashville.

Merry’s fateful two-dollar bill leads him to Emmaline as she is being chased by the winner of her mother’s sick card game: The Judge. A dangerous Nowhere Man convinced that Emmaline is the reincarnation of his long dead wife, Judge Wilkinson is determined to possess her, to tease out his wife’s spirit and marry her when she is ready. That Emmaline is now guarded by Meriwether Lewis, his bitter rival in life, further stokes his obsessive rage.

To elude the Judge, Em and Merry navigate the Mississippi River to Natchez. They set off on an adventure along the storied Natchez Trace, where they meet Cajun bird watchers, Elvis-crooning Siamese twins, War of 1812 re-enactors, Spanish wild boar hunters and ancient mound dwellers. Are these people their allies? Or pawns of the perverted, powerful Judge?

After a bloody confrontation with the Judge at Lewis’s grave, Merry and Em limp into Nashville and discover her father at the Parthenon. Just as Merry wrestles with the specter of success in his mission to deliver Em, The Judge intercedes with renewed determination to win Emmaline, waging a final battle for her soul. Merry vanquishes the Judge and earns his redemption. As his spirit fuses with the body of Em’s living father, Merry discovers that immortality lives within the salvation of another, not the remembrance of the multitude.

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About the Author

Hey. I’m Andra Watkins. I’m a native of Tennessee, but I’m lucky to call Charleston, South Carolina, home for 23 years. I’m the author of ‘To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis’, coming March 1, 2014. It’s a mishmash of historical fiction, paranormal fiction and suspense that follows Meriwether Lewis (of Lewis & Clark fame) after his mysterious death on the Natchez Trace in 1809.

Displaying 03_Andra Watkins.jpgI like:
hiking

eating (A lot; Italian food is my favorite.)
traveling (I never met a destination I didn’t like.)
reading (My favorite book is The Count of Monte Cristo.)
coffee (the caffeinated version) and COFFEE (sex)
performing (theater, singing, public speaking, playing piano)
time with my friends
Sirius XM Chill
yoga (No, I can’t stand on my head.)
writing in bed
candlelight


I don’t like:
getting up in the morning

cilantro (It is the devil weed.)
surprises (For me or for anyone else.)
house cleaning
cooking

Author Links

Natchez Trace Walk

The Natchez Trace is a 10,000-year-old road that runs from Natchez, Mississippi toNashville, Tennessee. Thousands of years ago, animals used its natural ridge line as a migratory route from points in the Ohio River Valley to the salt licks in Mississippi. It was logical for the first Native Americans to settle along the Trace tofollow part of their migrating food supply. When the Kaintucks settled west of the Appalachians, they had to sell their goods at ports in New Orleans or Natchez, but before steam power, they had to walk home. The Trace became one of the busiest roads in North America.
trace-map

To launch To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis, I am the first living person to walk the 444-mile Natchez Trace as the pioneers did since the rise of steam power in the 1820′s. From March 1, 2014 to April 3, 2014, I walked fifteen miles a day. Six days a week. One rest day per week. I spent each night in the modern-day equivalent of stands, places much like Grinder’s Stand, where Meriwether Lewis died from two gunshot wounds on October 11, 1809.

Review

Series: N/A
Release Date: 1 March, 2014
Publisher: World Hermit Press
Genre: General Fiction/Paranormal
ISBN:  9780615937472
Edition: Paperback
Rating: 
Review Written: 2 September, 2014
 
 
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