Monday, August 10, 2015

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

Book blurb from Amazon:
Winner of the 2013 Newbery Medal and a #1 New York Times bestseller, this stirring and unforgettable novel from renowned author Katherine Applegate celebrates the transformative power of unexpected friendship. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this illustrated novel is told from the point of view of Ivan himself.
Having spent twenty-seven years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall, Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him. He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle. Instead, Ivan occupies himself with television, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting. But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, he is forced to see their home, and his art, through new eyes.

My thoughts:
Wow!  I am not entirely sure where to start.  
I received this book from a young boy.  We were chatting one day and I asked him if he was a reader and if so what his favorite book was; his reply was immediate - 
"The One and Only Ivan.  Have you read it?" 
I replied that I had heard of it, but not read it, although I had a copy in a box at home.  He told me he would bring me his copy so I didn't have to look through boxes and I could read it right away.  This was a Thursday and I didn't see him again until the following Monday.  As soon as he saw me on Monday, he called out to me and took the book out of his backpack, he told me I could have it.  He had remembered  - I had forgotten he was planning to bring me the book.  
I absolutely loved this book.  It will go in my stack of "Must reads" for all the children in my world.  I found myself totally absorbed in the story - laughing aloud at times, and crying tears of both sadness and joy.
I will always be thankful that a young boy from a poor neighborhood cared enough about this story to give me his book - it is inspirational, heartbreaking, heartwarming and wonderful. Truly a book that should be read by everyone.

Biography (from Amazon)
Katherine was inspired to write The One and Only Ivan after reading about the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, the "Shopping Mall Gorilla." The real Ivan lived alone in a tiny cage for twenty-seven years at a shopping mall before being moved to Zoo Atlanta after a public outcry. He was a beloved celebrity at the zoo, which houses the nation's largest collection of western lowland gorillas, and was well known for his paintings, which he "signed" with a thumb-print.

Katherine Applegate's many books include the Roscoe Riley Rules chapter book series, a picture book entitled The Buffalo Storm, and the award-winning novel, Home of the Brave. With her husband, Michael Grant, she wrote the hugely popular series Animorphs, which has sold more than 35 million copies worldwide.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Yearly Duluth trip ~always a huge success!

Every summer, I go to Duluth for a few days to hang out with my friend Kathy.  We have been doing this for a number of years now - it is my favorite part of summer.  

This is me at Splitrock Lighthouse - standing by the anchor from The Madeira, the ship that was the inspiration for building the lighthouse.

Couldn't resist sharing a picture of the middle falls at Gooseberry Falls.

The glory of the north shore - it's beautiful!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Veil: A Devil's Isle Novel (Book 1) by Chloe Neill

Book blurb (from Amazon):
A brand new series from New York Times bestselling author Chloe Neill.  
Seven years ago, the Veil that separates humanity from what lies beyond was torn apart, and New Orleans was engulfed in a supernatural war. Now, those with paranormal powers have been confined in a walled community that humans call the District. Those who live there call it Devil's Isle.

Claire Connolly is a good girl with a dangerous secret: she’s a Sensitive, a human endowed with magic that seeped through the Veil. Claire knows that revealing her skills would mean being confined to Devil’s Isle. Unfortunately, hiding her power has left her untrained and unfocused.

Liam Quinn knows from experience that magic makes monsters of the weak, and he has no time for a Sensitive with no control of her own strength. But when he sees Claire using her powers to save a human under attack—in full view of the French Quarter—Liam decides to bring her to Devil’s Isle and the teacher she needs, even though getting her out of his way isn’t the same as keeping her out of his head.

As more and more Sensitives fall prey to their magic, and unleash their hunger on the city, Claire and Liam must work together to save New Orleans, or else the city will burn…

(I am a Chloe Neill fan, so I was thrilled to find a new series. I was fortunate and won a signed ARC from Chloe Neill (I am so luckY!!!) and so I was able to read it right away.
The release date just happened to fall during my vacation, so it was perfect.)

My thoughts: 
I liked the beginning so I was all in from the start.  
The characters are wonderful; well created and realistic.  The relationships between the characters are  interesting and believable.  I found myself invested in them and their lives right away, on the edge of my seat with worry, anticipation and hope.
The plot is creative, clever and has a depth that was surprisingly multifaceted (not that I should have been surprised, it is Chloe Neill after all).
The story is packed with emotions; family, loyalty, mixed loyalties, betrayal, belief, friendship, trust and of course love.
I enjoyed the story, it was both interesting and entertaining.  I was sad to reach the last page and felt like I wanted more, so I will be anxiously awaiting the next book in this newest series.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Defensive Magic by Kate Baray

Welcome to The Wormhole
I am pleased to feature Kate Baray and Defensive Magic - book 3 from her Lost Library series.

After an exhausting trip to Europe, Lizzie and John come home wanting nothing more than peace and quiet. Instead, Lizzie finds a death threat on her pillow, and John must fight a challenger to his position as Texas Pack Alpha--and in his backyard. What will the neighbors think? 
Soon Lizzie and John find themselves fighting for their lives. But who is masterminding the attacks? Is it Lizzie's old arch-rival Worth? Or an even greater threat? 
And where is Lizzie and John's relationship headed now? 

Defensive Magic is third in the Lost Library (Paranormal Urban Fantasy) series, but can be enjoyed as a standalone novel. 

My thoughts:
I truly enjoyed this story.  This was not my first Kate Baray read so I was expecting good things - I am thrilled to say it met and exceeded my expectations.  It is book 3 in the Lost Library series but it easily stands alone.  I suggest reading the series from the start - you will be pleased that you did.

The characters are wonderful.  The best part of any story, for me, is the characters.  Kate Baray does a fantastic job creating a wide range of characters for her books.  She makes you feel something about each of them, "good guys"and "bad".  It was easy to invest in all of them - regardless of how big a part they played.  John is great, but Lizzy was my favorite (if I had to choose just one to be a favorite).  She grows into her own in this story.  She deals with a variety of situations that challenge her beliefs - in the people in her life, in her mate, in herself, in her past, present, and future.  
I liked that we got a more in-depth look into John's world and his past, gives a little more understanding about the person he is and the way he lives his life.
The storyline keeps you reading and on the edge of your seat as the twising plot unfolds.  I found myself holding my breath, calling out "bad form!" as well as cheering when things went the way I wanted them too.
I recieved this book at no charge in exchange for an honest review.  I will be buying the next book, Witch's Diary, as soon as it comes out on April 20, 2015.  (Click HERE to preorder on Amazon).  

 Bio Blurb:
Kate Baray writes paranormal and urban fantasy, frequently with a romantic twist. She writes and lives in Austin, Texas with her pack of pointers and a bloodhound. Kate has worked as an attorney, a manager, a tractor sales person, and a dog trainer, but writing is her passion. When she’s not writing, she volunteers with a search and rescue team, sweeps up hairy dust bunnies, and watches British mysteries.

Defensive Magic Links:

***Other Works by Kate Baray***


Lizzie & John's Trilogy

Book 1: Lost Library

Book 2: Spirited Legacy

Book 3: Defensive Magic

Kenna & Max

Book 4: Witch's Diary


Clara & Logan

Story 1: Rage

Story 2: Forgiveness

Story 3: Love


Story 4: Revealed

***Find Urban Fantasy Romance Author Kate Baray Online.***

Kate's web site:
Kate's newsletter:

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Blog Tour: Quantum Deception by Denver Acey

Welcome to The Wormhole and my stop on the tour.
I am pleased to feature 
Denver Acey and The Quantum Deception.

Few people understand the terrifying, yet realistic threat of computer hacking like Denver Acey. Denver has spent his entire professional career in the information technology industry where he has witnessed and even thwarted actual cybercrime. From his top-secret job working for the US government to securing computer networks at Fortune 500 companies, Denver is personally familiar with hackers and their unscrupulous activities. 

But over the years, Denver has become increasingly frustrated with Hollywood's inaccurate portrayal of cybercrime. Hackers are more intelligent and more sophisticated than simple teenagers, who guzzle down Mountain Dew while playing WOW (World of Warcraft). Cybercrime is a billion-dollar business that encompasses organized crime and foreign governments. For these elite hackers, the fruits of success are iconic trademarks, innovative patents, or government secrets. 

Because of his unique background, Denver decided to pen a book to dispel hacking myths while highlighting the tenacity of cybercriminals. Utilizing actual hacking concepts and scenarios he experienced firsthand, Denver illustrates -- in a simple way for even the non-techie to understand -- how vulnerable we all are to cybercrime.

Denver can be followed on Facebook, Twitter, or emailed at He'd love to hear your comments or questions on his books.

The FBI Suburban was already waiting for Tanner in the parking lot. He ran up to it just as the rear passenger door opened from the inside. Tanner jumped in and closed the door before realizing the woman sitting next to him wasn’t Agent Heywood. It was Reina, dressed in a blonde wig and wearing Sara’s clothes. 

It took Tanner a moment to realize that he was being kidnapped. 

Reformed cyber hacker Tanner Stone has been living a peaceful life in Utah. But all that changes when a plane mysteriously crashes into the mountains and Tanner links the “accident” to an ingenious Chinese computer virus. 

Now it’s up to him to prevent that same virus from destroying the financial data of everyone in America! But with stakes so high, he’s not the only one searching for answers. And some will stop at nothing to find out what Tanner knows. 

My thoughts:  Denver Acey has crafted a frighteningly realistic, well written story filled with intrigue and suspense. He has filled that story with characters which are carefully created and easy to invest in. 
I found the story fast, interesting and sometimes chilling in its theme.  The plot keeps the pages turning as it twists around keeping you on the edge of your seat.
I was pleased to read a book that was so well rounded that I could offer it to anyone (a wide range of ages can read and enjoy this book).

You can buy a copy of Quantum Deception by clicking HERE.

Tanner Zane is a Mormon with a secret criminal past. Nobody suspects that before his religious conversion he had hacked into thousands of computer networks across the globe. But Tanner’s guarded past is exposed when he’s kidnapped and forced to hack into an impossible target—Los Alamos National Labs. 

Inside is a prototype quantum computer powerful enough to crack the digital safeguards of the Internet. When Tanner learns that cyber-terrorists will use it for massive identify theft and corporate espionage around the world, he deliberately engages in an intellectual battle with his captors to prevent them from obtaining the device. 

The Quantum Breach makes you wonder just what you would be willing to sacrifice in order to save the world.

You can buy a copy of Quantum Breach (currently $.99) by clicking HERE.

At a newly finished, top-secret data center in Salt Lake City, Utah, Tanner Stone (Zane) investigates a mystery. Working as a cyber-spy for the National Security Agency, Tanner unlocks digital secrets as they travel across the Internet. But Tanner’s recent discovery of an ingenious computer virus created by the Chinese government is beyond anything that he has seen at his covert job or in his former life as a computer hacker. When Tanner realizes the Chinese computer virus will wipe out the financial data for every person in the United States, he implements a dangerous and daunting strategy to prevent the virus from executing.

 Utah Code Breaker ~check it out HERE.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Guest Post: Sherry Soule

Guest post by author Sherry Soule

Today author, Sherry Soule has some exciting news to share with us! The next book in the epic Spellbound series, DESTINY DISRUPTED (Older YA paranormal romance) will be published in November 2014.
To help promote these thrilling serial novels, Sherry is doing this guest post to share the news with fellow booklovers.
She has put together four unknown facts about her popular YA series, Spellbound. In this fun post, you can learn more about the intriguing, supernatural mythology that makeup the eerie world of Fallen Oaks….

Fun Fact #1

Shadow People are usually vague human shapes, completely black or dark in color, with no discernible facial features. Sometimes they appear as mere silhouettes, generally lacking any characteristics of gender.
However, there are many types of shadow beings; there are hooded shadows, cloaked ones, solid or wispy, and even smoky shapes. They dart into corners, through walls, into closets, or behind bushes, and buildings. Sometimes they simply fade into the dark recesses of the night. Lacking in the description is one common denominator unifying the many different types of Shadow People that enter our world—they are all thought to be “intensely dark.” 
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines paranormal as an adjective meaning “not scientifically explainable.”
In the Spellbound books, Shadow People are ominous creatures that were once slaves of a band of fallen angels. When they rebelled, the Fallen hexed these creatures to spend eternity in a hell dimension. A few have found a way to slip through the gateway. The real worry is—what happens if they ALL escape?
So, do you believe in Shadow People?

Fun Fact #2

One of my inspirations for the ├╝ber spooky town in my YA series was the video game, “Silent Hill.” Readers of the Spellbound series have often wondered if the town had a real-life counterpart, and if there was a particular town that inspired the haunted area, we’ve come to know and fear in the books…
Actually, there have been many speculations, and now here’s a place you can actually visit for REAL...
So, while researching the different elements of Fallen Oaks and looking for a foggy and woodland area, I came across Marin County in California. The popular SF Bay Area tourist spot planted the seed for what developed into what we’ve come to know as, Fallen Oaks. The coastal town is actually located in the Madrone Woodlands near Larkspur, California neighboring Muir Woods. (You need to use a Bing map to locate the region.) It was the ideal spot for the many different paranormals that populate this town…
Echoes of the tragic disappearances still plague the town. When the season passes and all the tourists leave, the haunting memory of past events once again shatter the peace of the inhabitants of Fallen Oaks...
Have you ever been to the coastal towns of Marin County?

Fun Fact #3
Werewolves and Lycans (shortened form of the word lycanthrope, which means shape-changer) are two completely different species. The terms are definitely NOT synonymous. The werewolf can only transform on a full moon, and they represent more of witchcraft and curse, unlike the lycan who can transform into a wolf at will. The lycan species are also considered shapeshifters, but can ONLY shift into wolves—not into other animals. Lycans are also capable of walking on their hindquarters, and are much more muscular than werewolves. Lycans and werewolves do share these qualities; they both have enhanced physical attributes, enhanced strength, reflexes, coordination, speed, and regenerative abilities. However, these traits seem to apply to lycans, even when in human form.
Furthermore, lycans can retain their human intelligence and personalities while transformed, whereas werewolves become pure animal, devoid of any memory regarding their actions once they shift. Silver is the lycans only weakness, as they seem to be violently allergic to it.
In MOONLIGHT MAYHEM, (third book in the series), the story hinges on a terrible secret guarded by some of the town’s residents as one-by-one teens are attacked by a mysterious creature.
Do you think it’s a lycan or a werewolf stalking the kids in Fallen Oaks?

Fun Fact #4

A Grimoire, or in some cases it’s called a Book of Shadows (BoS), is used to store magical information, like a textbook of magic spells, rituals, supernatural-related data, and invocations. Some grimoires can even be a sort of magical journal that keeps a record of a witch’s magical experiments and exploits.
Overall, a grimoire is used predominantly by Wiccans; however, this does not mean that those outside of Wicca can’t use a grimoire. Nor do you have to be in a coven, like the Blood Rose Circle or Generation Hex.
I used the grimoire concept in a different way in my YA series about a teenage witch, where the magical book is used more like that of a diary and contains prophecies, a demon index, and spells, which was written by her ancestors and passed down through the generations.
Do you have a grimoire or personal journal?

Places you can cyberstalk author, Sherry Soule:
Spellbound Series Universe:
Twitter @SherrySoule:

Thank you so much for letting me chat up my new YA series with all of you. It’s been an honor to share the eerie urban legends associated with the Spellbound series. If you haven’t seized your copy of my books yet, please do so. Thrilling and extraordinary adventures await you!

Hunting Demons is One Thing…Dating Them is Another.
Life sucks for Shiloh Trudell. And being a demon hunter who’s in love with a cocky half-demon makes things even suckier.
Especially when she discovers that Trent, her sinfully hot boyfriend, is hiding a few dangerous secrets. Like the fact that he’s losing his humanity.
To complicate matters, witches from the local coven are mysteriously turning up dead, and as Shiloh searches for answers, she confronts her worst nightmare…Trent is being blackmailed into becoming the next leader of the Underworld.
But Shiloh is still convinced that she can save him, even after the impossibly gorgeous, fallen angel Raze tells her that a relationship with Trent is forbidden now. Warned to stay away from the only boy she’s ever loved, she can’t ignore the sizzling attraction that ignites whenever they’re around one another. Especially after a swoon-inducing night of stolen passion.
As Shiloh’s world begins to unravel around her, it soon becomes obvious that her destiny lies in one of two choices: vanquish Trent or join him in the Underworld.
Pre-Order your copy today and get it delivered to your reading device on November 28th!