Wednesday, November 28, 2012

First Time: The Legend of Garison Fitch Blog Tour

First Time: The Legend of Garison Fitch

"What if history didn't happen that way ... the first time?"

Garison Fitch was one of the most revered scientists in the Soviet Americas until he left fame behind to work on a secret project in his log cabin in the mountains of Marx.

But something went wrong. Instead of traveling interdimentionally, Garison has traveled through time ... twice.

Now, he's in something called "The United States of America" and a woman he's never met before is calling herself his wife. It it a hoax? Or, has he somehow changed history? 

If so, can he return the world to what he believes is "normal", or must he live in this strange world he created?



"Sam continues to weave his magic as a storyteller. I always find myself anxious to find out what will happen next and what kind of twist will befall the adventurers. It helps to be familiar with the places that the heroines go, which adds to the story."
~Labdaddy, Texas

"I've had a few very unproductive but enjoyable days thanks to Samuel Ben White. If you haven't read Sam's books you have been missing a treat. These were funny, suspenseful, spiritual and kept you turning the pages."
~Karen S.

"Just wanted to say how much I have enjoyed your books. I have a Kindle and I have purchased all of the Garison Fitch novels. I am in Saudi Arabia and your books have really helped take me away from here."
~Scott, Saudi Arabia

Also Part of the Series:

Saving Time

Two years ago Garison Fitch traveled through time and rewrote history. An accident in the eighteenth century created a whole new world, and even gave Garison a wife he had never met before. Now, he’s got a daughter and he’s coming to enjoy this world he created. Until he’s attacked by men masquerading as Indians, and a funeral procession from out of the past enlists his help, and a tree grows from sappling to full-grown in a matter of minutes, threatening his daughter’s very life. Time itself is unraveling and Garison’s trips through time seem to be the cause. Garison must go back in time once again and keep himself from making the original trip that started the problem. But he can’t use his time machine to go back. How does one sew up a rip in time?

Lost Time

Jason Kerrigan and Brownwyn Dalmouth are pilots with the Republic of Texas Army Air Corps. A world war is going on and bombs have just brought an end to Crockett Air Field in south Texas. Jason and Bronwyn, though, are called away from the battle to be test pilots for a new aircraft that-they're told-will bring the war to an end. The experimental craft lives up to expectations in early tests, but then it lands them somewhere it never should have sent them. Another place? Another time? Another dimension? Somehow, they've taken a trip to the future and changed the past. Or did they? The answer to their change of reality may be known to a Justice of the Peace in Colorado named Garison Fitch. To figure it out, though, Garison may have to team up with his least favorite person: Bat Garrett.


Author Samuel Ben White

Samuel Ben White (“Sam” to his friends) is the author of the national newspaper comic strip “Tuttle’s” (found at and the on-line comic book “Burt & the I.L.S.” (found at He is married and has two sons. He serves his community as both a minister at a small church and a chaplain with hospice. In addition to his time travel stories, Sam has also written and published detective novels, a western, three fantasy novels and four works of Christian fiction.


Tour Schedule

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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Twelve Months ~ Steven Manchester

Twelve MonthsTwelve Months by Steven Manchester
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I don't usually read true to life dramas. For me reading is usually about a good fantasy. Even with that in mind I decided to review Twelve Months anyways. I have recently lost three close relatives two of which was to cancer. I often wonder how anyone faces a Doctor telling them their time is short. In Steven Manchesters novel the reader is taken first hand through one mans journey to the end of his life.

Summary: Don DiMarco has a very good life – a family he loves, a comfortable lifestyle, passions and interests that keep him amused. He also thought he had time, but that turned out not to be the case. Faced with news that might have immediately felled most, Don now wonders if he has time enough. Time enough to show his wife the romance he didn’t always lavish on her. Time enough to live out his most ambitious fantasies. Time enough to close the circle on some of his most aching unresolved relationships. Summoning an inner strength he barely realized he possessed, Don sets off to prove that twelve months is time enough to live a life in full.

My Take: Don is the kind of man who refuses to just give up and lock himself away to the end. Instead he embarks on a journey of new experiences and long forgotten dreams. Along the way he has time to reflect on his life as a whole, often remembering important pieces of his life for the reader to enjoy.

Although the premise is sad this novel is more one of inspiration. The writing is beautiful and flowing in an almost poetic way. This is surely a novel not to be missed!

To find out more about Steven Manchester's novels be sure to check out his website

Monday, November 19, 2012

Daemon's Mark ~Caitlin Kittredge

Daemon's Mark (Nocturne City, #5)Daemon's Mark by Caitlin Kittredge
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This series is one that I have luckily read in order. I'm not saying you would be totally lost if you read this one without the others first, but it would probably be harder. 
As an interesting sidebar I picked up this book without ever looking at the back. I knew it was book 5 of the series so why bother I just bought it and left. Then this week someone was asking me what the book I was reading was about. Since I usually go into lengthy descriptions I decided to flip the book over and read the description. Wasn't I surpiresed when half way through the summary I realized, hey thats the summary to book 4 not five! Oops looks like a publishing error there. I hope too many people weren't disappointed. Anyways on to the actual summary.

When the Dubois investigation turns up an unexpected connection to the Russian mob, Luna finds herself heading down a terrifying path of no return. Soon she is held captive by the very evil she hunts—one that reaches far across the borders of Nocturne City to the seedy brothels of Europe and beyond. Now, with street smarts, seduction, and a sixth-sense for danger as her only weapons, Luna will enlist the help of her former lover Dmitri—who has his own reasons for bringing down this crime ring—and risk it all in the ultimate showdown.

My Take: This book revealed the "softer" side of Luna. I almost felt like I had missed something between book 4 and book 5. She's still a rough around the edges cop and mostly a major, well you know. But in this book she seems more human. Her decisions are a little more rational, at least a tiny bit.

Having Will in her life has been a good influence. She may not realize it but she is growing as a person. Even if she feels like the animal inside is trying to dig its way out. She also seems like she has gotten over Dimitri. There is no mooning over him, at least to start.

As usual Luna finds herself way over her head and potentially trapped in a dangerous situation. Forced to confront both her past and her monster Luna must fight tooth and claw to get home and reclaim her life.

If you liked the first four I think you will enjoy this one. Maybe you can even snag a copy with the wrong summary on the back. I'm added it to my shelf or signed books and special additions. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Earth Childs Handbook ~ Brigid Ashwood

The Earth Child’s Handbook - Crafts and Inspiration for the Spiritual Child 
Books 1 & 2
Brigid Ashwood

Genre: Pagan Parenting, Pagan Kids           

Book 1
ISBN-10: 1479265519
ISBN-13: 978-1479265510

Book 2
ISBN-10: 147927108X
ISBN-13: 978-1479271085

Book Description:
The Earth Child's Handbook is a primer, reference, craft and activity book series for families that follow Pagan, Wiccan and Earth Based spiritual paths.  Designed to appeal to all age groups (and grown-ups too!), the books address common Pagan beliefs and practices, explaining the principles and traditions behind them. 
Each chapter features:
           Instructional craft projects
           Coloring pages, mazes and word searches
           Color, cut and assemble projects
Younger children will delight in the coloring pages and paper crafts. Older children will find educational fun with word searches, mazes, connect-the-dots and instructional crafts. And parents might find it a lifesaver with easy recipe ideas and inspiration for teaching and building Pagan traditions.

The Earth Child's Handbook - Book 1 features chapters on the joy of family and diversity, honoring the earth and the principles of the four elements, the universe and Pagan beliefs regarding the Sun and the Moon, explanation of Deities, and an introduction to Magick and Ritual with simple spells and exercises.

Special topics include Shapeshifting, Runes, Book of Shadows, Animal Guides, Chakras, Meditation, Astrological Signs, The Elements, Cycles of the Moon, Magickal Correspondences, Sun Deities, Moon Deities, Triple Goddess and Triple God, The Four Quarters and Casting a Circle.

Featured activities include making a Chakra shirt, rain stick, homemade face paints, herbal infusions, bath salts, a moon phase wheel, moon cake recipe,  a complete "color, cut and assemble" paper altar and much, MUCH  more.

The Earth Child's Handbook - Book 2 features chapters on the Seasons, the 8 Pagan Sabbats and the Wheel of the Year. Each Sabbat chapter includes facts, traditions, correspondences and information about that holiday as well as recipes, altar decorating ideas, rituals and crafts, coloring pages, mazes and word searches.

Special topics include Seasonal Altars, Solstice Sabbats, Equinox Sabbats, Quarters and Cross Quarters.

Featured activities include cinnamon ornaments, Yule wrapping paper, Brigid's cross weaving, handmade paper, flower beads necklace, Beltaine masks, prayer flag, magickal broom and much, MUCH more.

My Take: As a pagan parent I loved this book. It can be hard to find activities and crafts designed with the pagan way of life in mind. Especially as we move towards Yule I have to put a lot of focus on how I phrase things around my son so he begins to understand what it is to be pagan. 
There are enough projects and coloring pages in these books to keep your kids busy for hours on end. The sections are clearly done and well thought out. I enjoyed how each holiday has a breakdown with not only the key points about it but also interesting facts like when the holiday is in the Southern Hemisphere. Until reading this book it never even occurred to me that pagans in different parts of the world would be celebrating holidays opposite of the US. It of course makes perfect sense but still I just never thought about it.
These books gave me a bunch of great ideas for fun stuff to do with my son. Now hopefully I can get him to stop asking me if I can turn his cousins into frogs!

About the Author:
Brigid Ashwood is an artist, illustrator, blogger and author of various and sundry titles such as The Earth Child's Handbook (Books 1 & 2), Oracle of the Tarot Deck and more.

She is a core contributor to Wired's GeekMom Blog and creates freebies for Geeky Kids with her monthly Printable Fun feature.

Her artwork ranges from New Brow contemporary, Pop Surrealism, Steampunk, Fantasy and Fairy illustration, Celtic Knotwork, Witchy Pin-up to New Age, Pagan and Goddess imagery.

Facebook page for book:
Art & Blog

Wired Blogger author Page

Excerpt from The Earth Child's Handbook – Book 2

Fall/Winter – Samhain

Other Names: Third Harvest, Day of the Dead, Old Hallowmas, Shadowfest, All Hallow’s Eve, Martinmas, Witch’s New Year, Halloween.

Northern Hemisphere: October 31st November 1

Southern Hemisphere: April 30 -May 1

Herbs: Mugwort, Allspice, Broom, Catnip, Oak leaves, Sage, Straw, Rosemary, sunflower, pumpkin seeds, pine needles, garlic

Incense: cinnamon, sage, mint, nutmeg, rosemary

Colors: black, orange, white, silver, gold, brown, rust

Decorations: gourds, apples, cats, Jack-O-Lanterns, brooms, pumpkins.

Foods: apples, nuts, cider, squash, corn, soup, pumpkin

Gods: Herne, The Hunter, Anubis, The Sage

Goddesses: The Crone, Hecate

Spirit: Family, remembrance of the dead, introspection

Samhain is sometimes celebrated as the Pagan New Year. It is considered a night when the veil between the world of the living and the world of the dead is thinnest. This doesn’t have to be a scary thing. In fact there are many Samhain traditions that are a lovely way of remembering those we love that have passed on. Some families set a dinner plate at the table for every loved one that has passed over. They set out pictures and photos albums of them and tell stories remembering the ones they miss.

This holiday, much like Yule, is a great time for resolutions. Write down what you hope to accomplish in the new year and put it in a bowl on your Samhain altar. Afterwards keep the slip of paper in a safe place, check it often to remind yourself of your goals.

Samhain is a wonderful Sabbat in its own right, but perhaps is even more popular because of its close association with Halloween. Many Pagans celebrate both holidays. Some have separate celebrations for each, dividing the serious topics from the lighthearted; others incorporate the two together for a fun and inspiring celebration. Whatever you choose I hope you have a fun and safe time.

Enjoy yourself by decorating and making costumes but don’t neglect to consider the more serious side of Samhain, and take a moment to remember those who have gone before. Even if you have not lost anyone close to you, we can all find brave and worthy people throughout history and in our local communities who deserve a moment of quiet remembrance in honor of their good works.

Samhain Altar

The Samhain altar is an altar bursting with texture and color. For this holiday you may want to drag out the full altar set up. If you have a cauldron display it proudly. Fill it with candy, or floating candles.

Drape rich fabrics in gold and black across your table. Prints with stars and moons echo the dark decoration of the Samhain night sky. Witches on brooms are no stranger to Halloween decorations, but maybe you can draw a portrait of one you know personally and display them at your table. Set up framed pictures of loved ones, living and deceased. Pumpkins, and gourds make great decorations. Carve a pumpkin in a fabulous design and set them up indoors as well as out. Sprinkle flour around to give your table a dusty spooky look, and set your broom up in the corner.

Samhain Recipe – Pumpkin Bread

Make a delicious bread to share from one of the best treats of the season!

3 cups canned pumpkin
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
4 cups sugar
6 eggs
4 3/4 cups flour (all-purpose)
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
1 1/2 tsps baking soda
1 1/2 tsps salt
1 1/2 tsps cinnamon
2 regular size bread loaf pans or muffin tins with muffin cup liners.

Have an adult preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease your bread loaf pans or spray them with oil spray.

In a large bowl mix the pumpkin, sugar, eggs, and oil together. In another bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Stir this mixture into the pumpkin mixture bowl and stir everything well. Pour the batter into the two loaf pans being sure to divide it up evenly. Bake the loaves for about 45 minutes to an hour and have an adult check them to see when they are done.

If you are making muffins you will bake them for only 30 minutes. You can add raisins, nuts, chocolate chips or white chocolate chips to your loaves if you like. Wrap your loaves in plastic wrap to store them.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Cephrael's Hand ~ Melissa McPhail

Cephrael's Hand: A Pattern of Shadow & Light Book OneCephrael's Hand: A Pattern of Shadow & Light Book One by Melissa McPhail
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I say this book is the begining of an epic series, I'm not joking. When it arrived in the mail I thought there were two books in the envelope it was so thick. Think Game of Thrones.

"All things are composed of patterns..." And within the pattern of the realm of Alorin, three strands must cross:

In Alorin...three hundred years after the genocidal Adept Wars, the realm is dying, and the blessed Adept race dies with it. One man holds the secret to reverting this decline: Bjorn van Gelderan, a dangerous and enigmatic man whose shocking betrayal three centuries past earned him a traitor's brand. It is the Adept Vestal Raine D'Lacourte's mission to learn what Bjorn knows in the hope of salvaging his race. But first he'll have to find him...

In the kingdom of Dannym...the young Prince Ean val Lorian faces a tenuous future as the last living heir to the coveted Eagle Throne. When his blood-brother is slain during a failed assassination, Ean embarks on a desperate hunt for the man responsible. Yet his advisors have their own agendas, and his quest for vengeance leads him ever deeper into a sinuous plot masterminded by a mysterious and powerful man, the one they call First Lord...

In the Nadori desert...tormented by the missing pieces of his life, a soldier named Trell heads off to uncover the truth of his shadowed past. But when disaster places him in the debt of Wildlings sworn to the First Lord, Trell begins to suspect a deadlier, darker secret motivating them.

My take:

If you enjoy lengthy fantasies this is a great one for you. The storyline is fantastic. Melissa McPhail has crafted an intricate world all her own. By three or four chapters in I knew it was going to be great. My only complaint as with all fantasy novels I seem to end up reading is that we have to wait for the next installment. Even though the story is told from multiple perspectives I never felt lost or confused. 

Overall this was an imaginative and magical land. Not one I would personally want to livein but I did enjoy reading about.

Author BIO:
Melissa McPhail is a classically trained pianist, violinist and composer, a Vinyasa yoga instructor, and an avid Fantasy reader. A long-time student of philosophy, she is passionate about the Fantasy genre because of its inherent philosophical explorations.
Ms. McPhail lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, their twin daughters and two very large cats. Cephrael's Hand is the multiple award-winning first novel in her series A Pattern of Shadow and Light.
·       Website
·       Blog
·       Facebook
·       Twitter @melissagmcphail
·       Goodreads

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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Pretty Witches in a Row ~ Lisa Olsen

Pretty Witches All in a RowPretty Witches All in a Row by Lisa Olsen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I scored this one as a free download from Amazon a few months ago. Since it was getting close to Halloween I figured it was time to read this one. 

Summary:Someone is picking off a coven of witches one by one. Can Sgt. Nick Gibson and his team of detectives catch the killer before he loses the pretty witch who's got him under her spell?

Nick must cast aside his disbelief and delve into the world of the supernatural to solve the case. On hand to help is Annaliese, a member of the coven who claims to have had a prophetic dream at the exact time of each victim's death, offering clues to the identity of the killer. Can he accept the 'proof' offered by unconventional means or is she deliberately leading him astray to hide her own secrets? To cloud the issue, a local evangelist is telling anyone who asks that the victims had it coming. Is religious mania the motive for murder, or is it something more personal?

My Take: 
Overall I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this novel. I'm not a huge fan of typical cop dramas. This one though had a nice occult flair. The mystery itself was easy to figure out but the story was fun nonetheless.
I found the Sargent to be both cocky and nice depending on the moment. What I really enjoyed though was the way the author didn't make the witches in the novel totally unbelievable. All the way up to the end she kept the magic minimal. This for me helps the believability.
When the magic does make its appearance it doesn't distract from the story. This one is worth the read.