Thursday, October 31, 2013

Author Take Over: Jodie Pierce

Hi guys!!
Today it's Author Take Over here at my blog, and I'm happy to tell you that Jodie Pierce is visiting!
And, boy does she has a lot to tell you!!! So... Let's start with introducing this wonderful lady, shall we?
I am thirty-seven years old and live with my hubby, John in Cleveland, Ohio along with four beautiful step-children. I have had a fascination with vampires since they were introduced to me as a child and has had a long history with them. I have been writing since high school, keeping my love stories secret. It wasn't until I started reading Anne Rice books, at the age of 19, that I was inspired. I realized I wanted to write about vampires. I was an exchange student in Brasil in high school so you will find some of my experiences from there in my stories. I also enjoy research and many of the places outside of the USA have been researched so the places, activities, attractions and food are actually real. I am inspired by music and enjoy all genres but something has to be playing in the background as I write. All of my books can be found on I have several short stories that I still work on and I'm always busy with the next great vampire story as my mind is non-stop and even plagues my dreams. I wake up at 3am sometimes and just have to write. In my spare time. I enjoy spending time with family, music, reading, Reiki and all things metaphysical.
You can find Jodie here:

Author Take Over: Jodie Pierce - The Vampire Queen

The Vampire Queen has a sub-theme of bisexual love and hate woven within the storyline. Sure, it briefly explains the turning of The Count. The Countess was in love with him at one the time and wanted to save his life after he was brutally mugged and left within an inch of his life, something she didn’t remember this awakening. It was one of many things she had to relearn. She is awoken every one-hundred years to live for as long as she sees fit or until she gets bored (more like the latter). She is very strong-willed and is often a challenge for The Count each time she arises with amnesia.

                             This time around, The Count enlisted the help of a beautiful bodyguard, Kendra. She dressed like a “warrior woman” according to The Countess, though she was striking with long, straight black hair, big green eyes and peach-kissed lips. They did not, however, start things off on the right foot. The Countess did not like being told what she could or could not do and definitely not by someone beneath her. She did everything in her power to make Kendra feel uncomfortable, unwelcome and unappreciated. She even went so far as to throw temper-tantrums.

                             One day, The Countess softened and saw Kendra for the woman she was after much training and spending one-on-one time with her. She decided to have a “girls’ night out” and went shopping. They didn’t tell The Count, bought lots of clothes, had a pajama party and slept in the same bed that night though nothing sexual happened. The Count was none too pleased and started to worry incessantly. He brought in a sexy Latin man who swept Kendra away for two days and in that time, The Countess’ castle was attacked by ‘The Others’, the evil vampires. For centuries, they have been trying to get The Countess to come over to their side so they can create Armies to control the world. The invaded every event The Countess attended and attempted to make life difficult for her. The Count deduced that Kendra was the mole that reported The Countess’ actions to ‘The Others’. He had a panic room built for her without Kendra’s knowledge. The Countess, however, refused to believe it as she had started to fall in love with Kendra. Once The Count pieced it together for her, The Countess was devastated. Enraged she placed Kendra in the castle with a spell that trapped her there with a constant food supply for the rest of her immortal life. 

The Countess and The Count moved across the sea but she was unhappy. She finally decided to make amends with Kendra, if she’d have her. When she found Kendra, she looked like a wild beast and the castle was torn to shreds. After many hours of talking, the two women made up and decided to go to Venice where a young coven was looking for a leader…

Author Take Over: Jodie Pierce, fascination for Vampires

I’ve been fascinated by vampires since the early 1980’s as a child. There’s nothing like a childhood memory of yourself curled up in bed on a hot summer night in as few clothes as possible, no covers and the fan on as you drip sweat from your brow and try to sleep. However, you make sure you have your trusty sheet wrapped around your neck so the ‘vampire’ couldn’t come get you (like that could stop him, you later find out and feel awfully silly…lol). You try to watch vampire movies but your parents tell you that you are too young and you’ll have nightmares. Now you’re really curious.

 In high school, you can get books out from the library on the subject. They even discuss Vlad and Romania in History class and the excitement about vampires builds. You start to dress like the nocturnal anomaly because the long black hair, pale white face, black clothes, red lipstick and fangs are really cool, man! When I was in high school, there were four sterotypes of students.

·         Jocks-the athletic kids that played the sports but were dumb in the classrooms. Most times they were passed based on their athletic performances.

·         Preps/Preppy-the kids who had money and usually the kids with the brains. They were the popular and the geeks…a daring combination…one I’m sure I never saw much of during those four years.

·         Stoners-the kids who hung out just barely off school grounds, smoked whatever and listened to Heavy Metal music/80’s hair bands.

·         Freaks-the kids that dressed in all black, spiked their hair, wore pale pancake makeup with black lipstick…and that was the guys! I believe this group was our generations “vampire years”.

 In college you start to explore your own sexuality so it was only a matter of time that the sexuality of vampires would come into play as well. If anyone tells you vampires don’t have a sultry sexuality about them and are gross…watch out for them and check your local sex offender lists for their pictures. The best reference of sexuality in vampires is depicted in Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” which was published in 1897. The three vampire brides in the castle, controlling Jonathan Harker’s mind, performing lewd sexual acts with each other to keep his attention away from Dracula and Mina is very prominent in the gothic and gay world. A “good girl” Lucy Westerna is “plagued” by these dreams and desires and acts like no proper Southern Woman should during her transformation. She acts like a sex crazed, unladylike creature after being bitten by Dracula. The story of  “Carmilla” by Sheridan Le Fanu was, in a way, an attempt to rewrite “Christabel” (1816) by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. They both discuss vampires who are found in the woods near a noble family’s castle and are invited in. In both stories the vampires attack the prominent character in the story. Both works have been seen as the icons of sexual exploration within the vampire realm. Finally, blood has been used over the decades as something sexual. It is part of a transformation and bonds the vampires together for life. Also, the taking of blood from another can seem very sensual in nature, synonymous with foreplay in humans .

After college and partying, you start to settle down and you actually start to sit down and read books for enjoyment. This is when you pick an Author you really like and read EVERYTHING they ever wrote, scouring bookstores and ebay for new material AND/OR you just start reading everything you like and you one day look around you and you have 45 books about vampires J. Now you’re a little more than curious, you have a baseline knowledge and want to know more about these beautiful creatures we call vampires. You’ve read all the information about folklore and evolution of the vampire. You’ve continued watching movies and reading more books because now tens of thousands of books are popping up on shelves everywhere with vampires as their popular topic.

We’ve moved, as generations, from the ghastly Nosferatu to the sexy Lost Boys, the exquisite Vampire Lestat (both Tom Cruise and Stuart Townsend) and to Team Edward of today’s Twilight Saga. Vampire merchandise has gone through the roof and just about everybody from the young to the old”er” own something vampire related. Kids or ‘Twihards’ as they are called are picking up books and actually reading them outside of classroom assigned material. I thought we were going to lose a generation of readers but the upsurge of vampire novels has proved otherwise. It’s like an epidemic that plagues you and you’re either part of it whole-heartedly or want nothing to do with it. I’m a vampire writer and my mother is the later. Go figure.

Happy Reading All!

Jodie Pierce

Author Take Over: Jodie Pierce - Vampires and movies

Vampires exude sensuality just like a great marriage. The vampires’ bite can equal a human kiss or simple touch by the right person that sends electricity through their bodies. A supposedly forever binding moment is then shared between humans called a wedding. Between vampires I call it the “transformation”. Both humans and vampires are linked to each other for all eternity at that point. They are also marked…vampires by bite marks and humans by their wedding rings (unless you’re bad and take them off for the wrong purposes…shame on you…LOL). Vampires have been the epitome of sexuality in movies since the silent films of the 1920’s Dracula to the present day Twilight. Vampires over the years have made movies seductively enticing to watch.                           



Once the movie came on (and she was right, the boys were hot!) I had nothing to worry about. With a cast like Jason Patrick, Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Haim, Corey Feldman, Alex Winters (Bill and Ted’s dude!), Billy Zane, Diane Weist and Jamie Gertz…how could you go wrong? This movie went on to become an iconic movie in vampire history and one in which I compare all other vampire movies. It was a battle of good and evil with a realistic portrayal of teen life with divorced parents and in a new town. My favorite was the grandpa who provided the most humor in the movie with such great quotes as:

“Lucy, you’re the only woman I ever knew that didn’t improve her situation by getting divorced”.-Grandpa

“Well, now, let me put it this way. If all the corpses buried around here were to stand up all at once, we’d have one hell of a population problem”.-Grandpa

“Death by stereo.”-  Sam.

“You’re one of them Mike. My own brother! A god-damn blood drinking shit sucking vampire. You wait ‘till mom finds out!” –Sam.

Even the every quirky “Frog brothers” get a good one in:

“I think I should warn you all, when a vampire bites it, it’s never a pretty sight. Some yell and scream, some go quietly, some explode, some implode, but all will try to take you with them”.-Edgar Frog.

“Great! The blood sucking Brady Bunch!”-Edgar Frog.

And I can’t leave ya without one that sums it all up from our favorite, David:

“Now you know what we are, now you know what you are. You’ll never grow old and you’ll never die, but you must feed.”


                             The next vampire movie I saw was Bram Stoker’s Dracula with Gary Oldman in 1992. Irish born Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula published originally in 1897. Stokers work has been thought of as the original interest in vampires in a publically positive light. The story has survived over many decades and is still highly popular today. It’s a well known tale of love, seduction, evil, horror and adventure. For it’s time in the 1990’s, it was just the beginning of sexuality on tv and in taking on such a huge role in movies. There was raw, unadulterated sex between Lucy and what was Dracula. There was sexual tension between Mina and the “Prince”. There was lesbianism between the vampire women at Dracula’s castle and sex between them and Jonathan Harker. However, if you weren’t paying attention, it was very subtle and you could miss most of it. The cast of characters, Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins and of course the aforementioned Gary Oldman as Dracula/Prince. Of course I’m liking this quotes section so here’s a couple more:

“Absinthe is the aphrodisiac of the self. The green fairy who wants your soul. But you are safe with me.”-Dracula

“I am the monster that breathing men would kill. I am Dracula!”-guess who?                   


                             Another vampire movie I saw early on (and that’s on my list) that greatly influenced me was Interview with A Vampire in 1994. When it was first published that Tom Cruise was playing a blonde Lestat, I too was like Anne Rice and was going to boycott the movie. However, after her full page retraction I reluctantly agreed to see it and he was fantastic. Brad Pitt and Kirsten Dunst have also performed their best roles for me in this movie. I’m sure you’ve all seen it but here’s the basic rundown. It’s an epic tragedy about love, loss, guilt, death, conscious, evolution and coming to terms with the narrator Louis’ own immortality. He is given a “gift” by a stranger in a much needed time in his life. Lestat, a vampire had big plans for Louis. They traveled as companions until Louis longed for more. Lestat created a child vampire as another “gift” to Louis. The two revolted against Lestat and left him a broken, nearly destroyed vampire.  The journey that moviegoers were taken on was very much like the book and was phenomenal. I am so glad I agreed to see it and it set a precedence for me in my life that I should try things before judging them. It really hit home for me. More quotes I enjoyed from this movie were:

“Claudia! What have we told you?” Lestat demanded. “Never in the house? “ she responded innocently as she bled the seamstress devoid of blood.

“Your body’s dying. Pay no attention. It happens to us all.”-Lestat.

“Merciful death. How you love your precious guilt.” Lestat.


                             A movie I saw much later in life as it never appealed to me was From Dusk Till Dawn, 1996. With stars like George Clooney, Cheech Marin, Quentin Tarantino and Danny Trejo, it wasn’t until I found out that Salma Hayek was in it and a little coaxing from hubby that I decided to watch it. I’m more into the pretty vampires and this movie sure did not fill that category for me (that’s why I didn’t want to watch it in the first place people-lol). Anyway, the plot was very comedic…what plot there was and the attack scene at the end was good and bloody. Now, on to the good stuff and the only reason to watch this movie. It’s a well known fact (if you like Salma Hayek) that she is deathly afraid of snakes. However, she does a scantly clad dance with this albino snake wrapped around her that is so sensuous she’d have all the men in the room drooling and the women in the room either drooling too or envious. Again with the quotes:

“Has anybody here read a real book about vampires or are we just remembering what a movie said? I mean a real book.”

“Well, it’s been one long goddamn hot miserable shit-ass fuckin’ day every inch of the way.”-Earl


                             Now, for the first of the Blade movie to be revealed in 1998 with Blade II in 2002 and Blade Trinity in 2004 (all on my list). Wesley Snipes should have made a killing (get it? A ‘killing’? lol) at these movies. All but the second one did really well and the second one did semi-well because people wanted to see the follow up to the first one that kicked butt. People were more cautious about the third one but with the cast and word of mouth after it came out it became a success. Cast members like Kris Kristofferson, Stephen Dorff, Ron Pearlman, Jessica, Biel, Ryan Reynolds, Parker Posey, Triple H and Dominic Purcell all helped push the movies to stardom. The Blade movies were also the first movies with a black vampire superhero that actually. Come on people, don’t even go there and say “Blackula” ‘cause you know it sucked. These movies were about one vampire hybrids quest to exterminate the ‘bad’ vampires in town. He worked alone as a haunted, solemn being  until the third movie when he got help whether he wanted it or not. There was actually humor in the third movie which had been lacking in the other two but with a character like Hannibal, you’re bound to have some fun. Some of my favorite quotes by him are:

“God! See, one of the cool things you fuckheads need to know about us Nightstalkers is that when you join our little club, you get all sorts of groovy little door prizes. One of them is this nifty little tracking node surgically implanted in your body.”-Hannibal King

“…and unlike typical vampires, her fangs are located in her vagina.”-Hannibal King

“You’re human.”-Blade. “Barely. I’m a lawyer.”-Kounen

“You give Frost a message from me. You tell him it’s open season on all suckheads.”-Blade


                             Following that is Dracula 2000 with Gerard Butler. The plot is simple and not on my list of favorites or movies to see but worth a mention for the violence.  Van Helsing and his apprentice in training pose as antique dealers. Dracula then kidnaps Van Helsings’ daughter. The two men spring into action and hunt Dracula from continent to continent. This was supposed to be the “Millenium Dracula” but for me it fell short. The only up side for me was that it was done by Wes Craven so it had that dark side that suits him so well.


                             Next we have a somber and sensual “Queen of the Damned” from 2002 (on my list) and unfortunately it was Aaliyah’s last movie. It was her first starring role, as she’d played bit parts in a few other movies. She was sadly taken from us in an airplane accident when it crashed with her aboard. However, her role in this movie with never be forgotten. This is a story of loyalty, pride, moral ethics and self discovery.  Lestat slumbers in his tomb for decades as the world above him changes. He is drawn out by music and finds he has a temptous voice. He decides to reveal himself as a Rock God and a vampire to the world. A sentence of death by other vampires but the attention of an ‘ancient’ vampire is caught and she keeps him safe. After he realizes her plans to populate the world with only vampires, he breaks his loyalty to her and helps the other vampires destroy her for all eternity. With Stuart Townsend we see more of a sensual Lestat than a controlling Lestat like we did in Interview with A Vampire. He’s very smooth, composed and debonair yet very tormented as well. This movie was also based on one of the fabulous Anne Rice books with the same title. A few favorite quotes:

“With all my black little heart.”-Lestat

“My children! It warms my blood to see you all gathered plotting against me.”-the Queen


                             Next comes the Underworld series (also on my list). The first Underworld came out in 2003 which was followed by Evolution in 2006 and Rise of the Lycans in 2009. The first movie goes into some detail about this beautiful vampire warrior woman who was saved by the ruler but she’s a little rebellious. She meets up with a man that’s part werewolf and she falls in love as she fights the very thing she’s fallen in love with. In Evolution, both Selene and Michael from the first movie are trying to track down their bloodlines. They are in a rush to do this as they are being chased for Selene’s killing of the ruler, his first brother has awakened from his tomb and is awakening his second brother and if he’s done and the information is not to them in time they will destroy everyone and everything. In Rise of the Lycans, it goes back to before the first Underworld and gives the back story. It explains who Lucian is and how he became a Lycan, how the race was started, the beginning of the feud between the bloodlines between the vampires and the Lycans who were once the protectors of the vampires during the day. These are definitely good movies to watch (hence they are on my list) but though they bounce around, watch them in the order they were put out. Don’t screw around with it and try to watch the last one first. It’s nice to have it all tied up in a pretty bow at the end for you. With a cast of Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Michael Sheen, Bill Nighy, Tony Curran and Rhona Mitra, it’s a must see.


                             Next, we have Daybreakers in 2009 with Ethan Hawke and Sam Neill. It was kind of an odd movie and went to DVD sort of quickly but I enjoyed their different point of view. It was a vampire world and humans were only there as blood supply and they were running out. The movie talked about what would happen, the Science that was taking place to fix the problem and the Government that didn’t want the problem fixed. The vampires looked all too real in this movie, just like humans and I think brought it a little too close to home for many so that’s why it didn’t do well. I just thought it moved too slowly (I like action movies) so I was a little bored.


                             Finally, we have what all the Twihards have been waiting for…The Twilight Saga. Ok. Show of hands. How many actually sat down and read the books? I guessed as much. Probably only us adults so we know how much better the books really are and how sensationalized the movies were. It looks like each movie came out a year apart and the last movie is being split in two, a year apart as well. I think the casting was done very well…very hip and fresh which made the characters identifiable with today’s youth since that’s who the producers decided to make their target audience. For the most part, the movie stayed somewhat close to the book, it’s just that they pulled out the innocence and sensuality and mixed in some humor and action in an attempt to accommodate everyone. I dragged my hubby to see all of them and he actually liked the third one, Eclipse the best. I have a bunch of quotes I like from the movies:

“Well, I am hotter than you.” Jacob to Edward

“Does it own a shirt?” Edward

“So the lion fell in love with the lamb.” “What a stupid lamb.” “What a sick, masochistic lion.”-Edward and Bella

“You know, your mood swings are kinda giving me whiplash.” Bella

“Wait! You’re not leaving, you’re coming back right?” “As soon as you put the dog out.” Bella and Alice

“What is that god-awful wet dog smell?” Alice

“Bella, would you please stop trying to take your clothes off?” Edward

Cover Reveal: The Kingdom by Emily Walker

Hi Guys!!
I'm so happy that I'm able to share this with you today; the cover for Emily Walker's Horror story; The Kingdom!

Have you heard of Emily Walker before? No? Then listen closely, and I'll tell you a little about her, and where you can find her:

Emily Walker loves creating worlds and stumbling around in them. She writes under her name and the pen name Lyra Mcken. Lyra writes zombies, Emily writes everything! She is constantly losing her chap-stick, and has an obsession with the color pink. Currently a resident of the mountains and loving the view she writes mostly paranormal fiction, and horror, although a contemporary romance or two sneaks in every once in a while. Her small family consists of her red bearded other half, a rat terrier named Rebel, and a cat called Mr. Creepy.

Find Emily here:

Want to know a little about the book? Hmm, sure. Here you go - the blurb:

What happens when Mother Nature is pushed too far....

She becomes a real bitch.

For centuries, man has been the predator over the animal kingdom, until today...

What happens when the deer kills the hunter and pets turn on their masters? Is it evolution or something far more sinister?

And now.... Here's the cover!!! What do you think? Like/dislike? Anything that works well for you? Let me know!!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Book Review: The Doll Maker by Majanka Verstraete (Weirdville #1)

Blurb: Derek’s little sister wants one of those creepy-looking dolls, staring at him from the strange new doll shop in town, and what his sister wants, she gets. Now they’re stuck with a doll that looks so human, it gives Derek the creeps.

When Derek tells his friends, Martin and Jamie, about the new shop with creepy human-like dolls, they want to see for themselves. That has “bad idea” written all over it, but he takes his friends there anyway.

They meet the mysterious doll maker, who reminds Derek of Dr. Frankenstein, and who brainwashes Martin into buying one of those scary dolls. Derek and Jamie push and pull Martin out of the shop, but something isn’t right with their friend. He’s shivering all over, and he has no memory of what happened in the shop.

Martin’s condition worsens every day, and Derek’s sister grows more and more obsessed with her new doll. Derek and Jamie have to find out what’s going on, and fast, because...

...the doll maker seems linked to a bunch of mysterious disappearances, and the last thing Derek wants is his sister, or his friend, being next on the doll maker’s list.

My Thoughts: I was given a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I have read The Doll Maker for myself, but am currently reading it for my (almost) 7 year old son.

As an adult, this book wasn’t scary, but an amazingly good read. The plot was different, the building of the story, using the small boys POV to tell the story, the villain… everything was masterly done for me.

To my son? He loves it. This book holds many of the things he likes; it’s scary, there are BOYS in it, they have a mystery to solve (yes, he loves Scooby Doo –so does my daughter, and she’s turning 3), and he is so hooked into the story, he’s begging me to keep reading, because he wants to know what happens! (I have NOOO idea where he gets that from!! *whistles*)

So, if you like a good book to read as an adult, or you have a kid that likes to read, or like to hear scary bedtimes stories – make sure to check out The Doll Maker. Loved it!!

About Majanka:
I'm an avid book reader and author. My interests include young adult, paranormal romance, fantasy, horror, thrillers, historical fiction and young adult contemporary romance. I'm a big fan of true haunting stories as well.

My debut novel, FRACTURED, will be published by InkSpell Publishing in September 2013. My picture book, Valentina and The Haunted Mansion, will be published by Evolved Publishing on May 21st 2013.
You can find Majanka here:

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Parent's Playbook for Learning: Author Interview


Today I'm jumping a bit out of my own realm, and trying on something different. I read a non-fiction book. There. (nods solemnly) See? I survived! ROFL.
No seriously though. I read Jen Lilienstein's book; A Parent's Playbook for Learning, and although it's not my "normal" reading material, it was fun to see if I could apply this to myself and my son, who just started school in August this year. I was fortunate enough to be able to ask Jen some questions, so settle in, and let's see how it went:

Sabina: Hi Jen, and thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few questions.

S: First, would you please tell my readers a little about yourself?

By morning and evening, I am a parent. By day, I am a marketing consultant. By night, I devour education and personality type research. I don’t sleep much, but I really enjoy all the facets I’ve brought into my life. I keep hoping science will figure out a way to keep 365 days in the year, but squeeze out 30 hours a day!

S: Why did you write A Parent’s Playbook for learning?
I really wanted to make sure my kids LOVED learning. For me, education isn’t so much about what you can stuff in, but how you inspire kids to learn and connect the dots on their own. I wasn’t doing a very good job of it on my own even though I’d done extremely well in school  and am definitely modeling life-long learning. Once I started employing personality type techniques, things started to click for my kids. I think inspiring a lifelong love of learning in your kids is one of your most important tasks on a parenting to-do list. With 20-30 kids in a classroom during the school day, teachers need backup.

S: Reading your book, I found it hard to put both my son (who just started school this year), but even myself into the different “boxes”. Finding out if we were introverts or extraverts were fairly easy, but finding out if we were a Judger or perceiver, turned out to be a bit more difficult, even harder to find out what kind of judger/perceiver we were.  Do you experience this often? And what do you recommend?

It’s important to remember that it’s more of a continuum than a box. To which side do you lean when you’re NOT under stress? (Many people find they flip sides or the pendulum swings when under stress.) If you enjoy crossing things off a to-do list and prefer more order and schedule in your life, you are probably a judger.  If you tend to leave things until the last minute because that’s when you do your best work and prefer to stay in the “what if…” stage as long as humanly possible, you are probably a perceiver.

S: What do you think is the biggest challenge for a parent who is an introvert/extravert, when the child is the opposite?
Definitely how to tackle homework. Introverts need to do homework first and then talk through their thinking. Extraverts need the opposite—they need to talk through the assignment first and then get down to business.

S: What kind of Learner are you?
Introverted feeler.

S: What are you working on right now? (Or your next project?)
My next project is to take the nearly 40,000 profiles that have been completed on and see what kinds of parallels can be drawn between the different preferences. Which ones work in tandem more often? How does/should that impact the ways in which we engage and motivate students?

S: Do you have a piece of advice for parents whose kids just started school?
Make sure both you AND their teachers see your kids’ Kidzmet profiles. It’s a free service and can give both teachers and parents a toolbox from which to draw if your child has trouble in the classroom. (And you might not even know your child is having issues until after the first report card!)
Thank you Jen, for answering my questions! If you want to know a little more about Jen, here's her bio:

Jen completed her undergraduate senior thesis on Howard Gardner's theory of Multiple Intelligence and its effect on self-esteem, attendance rates and love of learning in 1994 and in the years prior to founding Kidzmet, she worked in the education industry in various capacities including brand and product management for JumpStart educational software and in marketing for a non-traditional post-secondary certification. Once she became a parent, she started seeing just how differently her kids learned than she did...and was reminded how critical it is that teachers and parents “get” how each unique student likes to learn in order for kids to become engaged, enthusiastic learners. She also started to realize how many parents didn’t know personality-based techniques and strategies that could help their kids learn how to learn better.

Ms. Lilienstein currently serves on the Editorial Board of the National Afterschool Association, the Publications and Platform Committees of the NAA, the Quality Committee of the CA Afterschool Network, and advocates for Afterschool for All with the Afterschool Alliance. She is also a member of BOOST and ASCD. Ms. Lilienstein is also a weekly contributor on the Total Education Network, which is syndicated on 80+ networks and heard by more than a million people in 180 countries around the world.

At home, Jen is Mom to an extraverted seven year-old daughter--who has already dabbled in music, swimming, gymnastics, ballet, nature, yoga and art--and an introverted four year-old son who loves to do puzzles, build with LEGOs, examine the lives of animals and insects, and admire anything with an engine.
You can find Jen Lilienstein here:

You can buy A Parent's Playbook for Learning here:

Monday, October 28, 2013

Book Review: Engaging Kennewick by Sarah J. Carr ( a JackRabbit7 prequel)

When I read the first prequel (pRevealing Hamilton), I was fascinated by Molly’s story. After reading the novel Revealing Hamilton, I knew I wanted to get their story. Engaging Kennewick gives us a little about Molly and Dane’s story, and it is GOOD!!!

I got caught by Sarah’s story in pRevealing Hamilton, and I know that when I sit down with one of Sarah’s books, I’m unable to close the book until I’ve read the last page. Engaging Kennewick isn’t any different from the other books – I was hooked from beginning to end, and left with more questions than answers. I really need to read Embracing Hamilton. *eyes kindle on the table* I just have to finish some things first…. I hate to rush with my reading.

Anyways, back to topic. Engaging Kennewick is a short and quick read, filled with old hurt, fear, panic, action and of course love. I loved being able to get to know Molly and Dane a little better. We also get to see Nick from a very different side than we usually know him. Which was quite the eye opener for me, and actually explains a lot regarding his behavior later in life.

So… If you’re new to the JackRabbit7 series – please start with the prequel pRevealing Hamilton. If you want to read this one afterwards, or the novel Revealing Hamilton – your choice. But do NOT miss out on this series, I’m telling you; it will make you laugh, cry, and give you goosebumps. I’m not even going to warn you about the nightmares. You can’t avoid them! As a reader, I'm in awe over Sarah's writing style, the easy way she tags and bags you - without realizing it, you're hooked deep into this series, and can't put it down. Now proceed on your own peril! :-P
About the book:
Molly Kennewick is involved in a long-distance relationship with a secretive IA employee named Dane Pascall. A prior breakup gone wrong with a resident bad boy leaves a bad taste in Molly’s mouth and also leaves her on edge. A significant amount of time has passed since Axel vanished from her life, but he’s been reminding her of his presence in peculiar ways. A weekend getaway is what Molly believes she needs to clear her head, but history is waiting with bated breath to repeat itself. Can Molly resolve her past and present before her future goes up in flames?
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Meet the Author:
Sarah Jayne Carr is a novelist who can be found most evenings with a cup of tea in-hand and her imagination racing from plot to plot. When away from her work, part of her mind is constantly brainstorming her next story and she always has writing paraphernalia within reach.

She wrote stories as a child, but became more serious about her passion during her twenties. In her spare time, she likes to read, splash in mud puddles, smell bookstores and eat Honeycrisp apples. Yearly, she participates in NaNoWriMo and has mentored others through the program. Due to her dedication to National Novel Writing Month, she is part of an amazing writing group.

Born and raised in Washington State, Sarah still resides in the area. Her life is richly filled with her supportive, yet swashbuckling husband and their golden Nugget.
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Spotlight: Devil's Play by Kenya Carlton

Devil's Play -Blurb:
Snuggled within the warm embrace of marital bliss, biologically altered army Captain Drake Devilin and his supernatural bride Sienna face their biggest challenge to date. Called back for duty in World War II, Drake must leave his amazing life behind and join his troop to fight the Nazis.  Although he’s certain his new mission is merely a rouse to obtain his most precious commodity, his wife, Drake leaves, but not before giving Sienna a magical necklace in the hope it will protect her against unknown enemies.
Lured from her prosperous island by a sorcerer who is convinced she was always meant to be his bride. Sienna is challenged to play three magical games to ensure her husband’s safe return. In each game, a limited time is given to Sienna to immerse herself into a new world, situation, and persona; find Drake; and have him acknowledge her by name. And she can’t use her powers to make it happen.
Everything dear to Sienna’s heart is put in jeopardy. Willing to fight for the love of her life and her happiness, Sienna takes on the sorcerer in his own game of cat and mouse.

About Kenya Carlton:

Native of Chicago Illinois, Kenya worked in the Network operation Center for PBS and TLN television stations. Executive producer of her own production company Black R.O.K Productions Kenya produced a pilot for travel series Destination Everywhere, Independent short film Dawn shown at the Chicago Latino film Festival, and wrote and directed the documentary Our Africa. Writing titles available; Jaded, Sweet as Sin, Brazil re-issueDevil’s Play, and Remember This.
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Spotlight: Remember This by Kenya Carlton

Remember This Blurb:
Ex-ballerina turned rehab designer Cece Newman competes in a reality show that could give her fledgling company the boost that it needs. Assigned a relic of a house in a renovation challenge, Cece soon becomes suspicious of the producer’s intentions.  When she finds the house is one of many properties her ex-fiancĂ© and baby daddy Brock Thorn owns, Cece is convinced that she is being set up for failure.  Ready to drop the project and what’s left of her career, Cece has to find a way to ignore the handsome athlete while she navigates around his kooky family.  Cece must also convince their daughter that mommy and daddy won’t be getting back together again, a job easier said than done—especially when the attraction between the two is hotter than ever.

The biggest hit Brock Thorn took on or off the field occurred when Cece Newman left him at the altar. Five years later, Brock is more determined than ever to get answers from his baby’s momma. Even in regards to joint custody of their daughter, Brock’s only form of contact with Cece is through her loving, protective sister Lily. Brock packs up his high profile life and digs his heels in at the crappy house he’s inherited—the very one Cece is set to renovate.  As he dodges cameras and uninvited family members, Brock must get to the bottom of his failed romance with Cece—especially if he has any chance of getting back the life that was lost when Cece left.

About Kenya Carlton:

Native of Chicago Illinois, Kenya worked in the Network operation Center for PBS and TLN television stations. Executive producer of her own production company Black R.O.K Productions Kenya produced a pilot for travel series Destination Everywhere, Independent short film Dawn shown at the Chicago Latino film Festival, and wrote and directed the documentary Our Africa. Writing titles available; Jaded, Sweet as Sin, Brazil re-issueDevil’s Play, and Remember This.

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