Friday, January 31, 2014

Eleven Left ...

Before retiring this 4x8 bookmark design, I'd like to give away the last eleven that I have.


The left image is the front of the bookmark, the right image is the back.

Want a chance to receive one, signed? All you have to do is purchase a copy of Fat Chance from Amazon and email/forward your proof of purchase to authorbrandikennedy@gmail.com. Don't forget to include your mailing address in your email, and I'll send you a signed bookmark!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Review: 'Hell's Gift' by K. S. Haigwood

*About The Book*
Depression consumes the guardian angel, Rhyan, after his human charge chooses her soulmate over him. Filled with anger and despair, he lashes out. And when his hate-filled words land neck-deep in Hell, he realizes he's gone too far. He expects trouble, but not to discover his own soulmate in the fiery depths.

Abigail is there with good reason, but she's done her time, and in order to save them both, Rhyan must strike a deal with the Devil. The stakes are higher than ever before, with his soul, his friends and even the fate of the Heaven and Earth in jeopardy. If he fails, Rhyan stands to lose more than he ever feared.

Will true love be denied? It will take everything he's got to break down the traps Lucifer puts in his way. New lines are drawn and old scores are settled, and Rhyan is in for the fight of his life. With Abigail as the prize, and humanity in the balance, he will stop at nothing to claim ... Hell's Gift.

This novel contains explicit content of violence, descriptive sexual scenes and strong language not suitable for anyone under the age of 18.

*My Review*
I have to start by saying that I wasn't as wildly enamored with this book as I was the first, because there was a hint of BDSM between the lines, which is generally a turn-off for me. Also, the conversational style of the story-telling went more casual even than 'Save My Soul'. On the plus side, K. S. Haigwood writes in such a personal way that as you're reading, you feel as if you're quite literally listening to the inner monologue of the characters.

That being said, I have to also express how incredibly detailed this story was, with several entirely different worlds all wrapped up in the incredible simplicity of Rhyan's journey. This story traces Rhyan's descent into hell, and his struggle to escape a deal he probably never should have made. He's thrown a pity party for way too long, and now he's paying a heavy price for his negativity. And now, it just might cost him everything.

Then again, there's something Hell has that Rhyan doesn't, and it's something he's been craving in the back of his mind for centuries - his soulmate. Tasked with the challenge of saving Abigail from the clutches of Lucifer, Rhyan is now forced to make his way through the sydes of Hell, modeled after the list of the Bible's seven deadly sins. Facing extreme temperatures and even more extreme temptations, Rhyan sets out to wage his war against the enemy. At times, he's forced to the edge of sanity, but with the help of some truly unexpected friends, he just may be able to pull is off.

Oh, and did I mention that the very balance of the world is at stake? As you can imagine, on this journey, Rhyan, Abigail, and their friends learn more about their own personal strengths than they ever might have guessed!

This book brings us the promise of new love. It introduces an entirely new group of supporting characters to fall in love with, while allowing us to visit comfortably with the beloved cast of 'Save My Soul.' And I am dying to see what happens next in the series.

4 stars.
If you've taken me up on my recommendation to read book one (Save My Soul, see my review here), and now you'd like to read the second book in K. S. Haigwood's 'Save My Soul' series, you can one-click it easily on Amazon.

*More About K. S. Haigwood*
Facebook / Amazon / Twitter / Blog

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Review: 'Save My Soul' by K. S. Haigwood

*About The Book*
Kendra Larkin had everything going in the right direction. Her life was seemingly perfect, and she wouldn't have changed a thing about it. Unfortunately, the course of her life was about to be forever altered. A tragic rappelling accident lands her on Dr. Adam Chamberlain's operating table.

She agrees to a deal proposed by a guardian angel to help save the soul of the man who is both her doctor and soulmate. If she is successful, she gets to keep her life. However, she later learns that it isn't just her life that's in jeopardy, but her soul as well.

Even with the help of her handsome guardian angel, Rhyan, it seems there is no happy ending in sight. Torn between her newly discovered love of Rhyan, and the undeniable attraction she has for Adam, Kendra finds herself at a crossroad. With Adam's steadfast rejection of God, and his guardian demon conspiring against her, she fears her soul may already be lost.

Will she find a way to overcome the evil her life is suddenly burdened with? Or will Adam's guardian demon win both their souls and make Kendra his own personal puppet in Hell?

*My Review*
I was completely hooked with this book within the first four chapters. Other than a few errors that slipped past the editing stage, the beginning of this book was completely spot-on for me. I loved Kendra, I didn't like Adam, I felt sorry for Sherri, and I was thoroughly charmed by Mason. Once the excitement of the first chapters had passed, though, the feel of the book switched to a more casual conversational/inner-dialogue style, which was hard for me to adjust to. Still, I loved the story, the whole idea of it, and the characters wrapped up in it, even when bits of the writing weren't quite perfectly edited.

And then when Adam said, "Tell me why I can't stop looking at you," I seriously felt my features rearrange themselves into the face girls make right before they can't stop themselves from saying, "Awwww!" In that moment, I started really wanting things to work out for him, in the same way that I had already wanted things to work out for Mason - that is, until Mason made me hate him a little. Which made me like Rhyan so much more. Have I mentioned that I love this story?

There were twists and turns, there were moments of suspense, and for most of the book, I literally wasn't sure which guy Kendra would end up with. There were parts of this story that had me laughing out loud, and there were parts that completely wrecked me. I read it in one sitting, and I intend to read the sequel, 'Hell's Gift', immediately. I can't wait to see what happens next.

5 stars.
If you'd like to read this first book in K. S. Haigwood's 'Save My Soul' series, you can one-click it easily on Amazon.

*More of my Favorite Quotes From The Book*
"He was also a friend with benefits, and for those of you who aren't up to date on the terminology, it means that we have sex with each other. We date other people, but having a friend with benefits means we don't have to sleep with the people we date, hence not adding anymore notches to our headboards, and if you don't know what that means, well ... it doesn't matter anyway."

"I put my hand on the back of his neck. He closed his eyes and his breathing shuddered nervously again. I rose up on my toes and pulled his mouth down to mine. He didn't pop anywhere."

Honestly, there were several more, but by the time I'd finished the first half of the book, I couldn't be bothered to stop and take note of the rest. See, look. The review is up there, this isn't even part of it, and I can't stop raving. The intent and the emotion behind this story? Flawless.

*More About K. S. Haigwood*
Facebook / Amazon / Twitter / Blog

Thursday, January 23, 2014

You Can Now Order Signed Paperbacks!

On a few occasions over the course of the last year, I've offered signed paperbacks as contest prizes, in contests of my own and as donations to contests for other people. I've even had a few people contact me to ask how they could purchase signed paperbacks of their own, sometimes because they didn't win, and other times simply because they wanted to.

And now, it's possible to order signed paperbacks of my books!

The books are $20 each, plus the cost of shipping, which can be ordered by filling out a simple form. Once the form is submitted, I'll email you a secure  invoice through paypal, which you can pay using your paypal account, your regular credit card, or your bank's check card. After your invoice is paid in full, I'll begin the process of ordering and shipping your book, and although the shipping process may take a few weeks, I'll keep you updated through the entire process, as follows:

  • I'll send you an email notification when I've received your payment and ordered your books.
  • I'll send a second email when your books arrive at my home, at this time, you can be assured that your books will be packaged and shipped as soon as possible.
  • I'll send one last email once your books have left my hands and entered the possession of the United States Postal Service. At this time, I will also post a "shoutout" on my facebook author page, letting you know that you can expect mail. If you are a facebook user, you can "like" or "share" your shoutout post to let me know you've seen it, or feel free to reply to any of my emails.

This last step isn't necessary, but would certainly be appreciated: once your books have arrived, please send an email to let me know your shipment arrived safely.

Ready to order your books?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Missed Connections.

For any of you that have been following this blog - or me, as an author - you're fully and perhaps even painfully aware of how social I can be. I'm all over the internet, here and there. I flit about like a psychotic butterfly; some months I'm more present here on this blog, other times I'm more active on Facebook, other times I tweet like a birdie in the springtime. I even ran a bi-weekly newsletter for a while, with some success.

But it was a lot to manage, and eventually, the blog suffered, facebook suffered, twitter suffered, and the newsletter suffered. While trying to keep writing regularly, I simply ran out of things to say on all of the different social mediums, and in the midst of being overwhelmed, I suffered.

Well, now, that dilemma has grown into old news, and in some ways it's obsolete. I don't need to worry about keeping my facebook inventive and engaging anymore, because facebook hardly ever shows my posts to even 10% of my facebook following, and there is only rare interaction on other sites like twitter. Also, due to the conflict of trying to keep a blog and a newsletter current, I've decided to let the subscription newsletter go in favor of the more publicly visible blog venue.

But there is one other part of this dilemma,
and I'd honestly love to hear your opinions on it in the comments below.

What's my question, you ask?

Well, hold on, there's really more to it than a simple question. In the most simplified way possible, I could just ask you: Do I need a street team? And if I set one up, would you join it? And if you did, would you truly participate? But see, then it isn't really so simple after all.

So let's approach it like this.

Motive -- A street team (for me) would be a facebook group, a set of people simply wishing to help market me and my work, in exchange for occasional giveaways, first look at snippets and blurbs from my work, first look at new book covers, and inside information. You'd know where to find me if I was planning an appearance, probably long before the appearance became public news. You'd likely receive gifted copies of my books on occasion, in exchange for an honest review within a certain time period. The purpose of the group would be to boost interaction and create a sense of community.

I have been told several times, by several different people, from several different backgrounds, that a street team is essential and I need one, ASAP. But then ...

Drawbacks -- Of course there would have to be some sort of rules, wouldn't there? In exchange for the early information, games, prizes, and whatnot, I'd be really asking people who joined the group to actively participate. I'd be asking members to converse with each other, and with me. I'd ask for ideas and suggestions sometimes, and I wouldn't find it worth all the effort if no one seemed interested. So then, I'd likely have some sort of rules in place or something.

I have been told just as many times, by just as many people, from just as many backgrounds, that a street team is an unnecessary burden on fans, that it feels like a requirement, and that it would be an annoyance and I shouldn't bother with it.

See now, my dilemma.

I want a friendly connection with my fans that seems next to impossible to achieve through the general means. I look at people who follow my work as friends, in a way. Maybe not privy to my everyday thoughts and happenings, but still in some way, a friend to me and my family, through the support shown to me. And I'd like to feel as if I'm giving back in some way. So, because it's a team effort, I'd really love to know what you all think about it.

Feel free to comment below.
(And if you're using google chrome and find commenting on blogger blogs to be nearly impossible,
I can say that it works fine on internet explorer. Or at least, it did the last time I tried it.)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Review: 'The Three Kitties Who Saved My Life' by Michael Meyer

*About The Book*
"An uplifting true story of love - from love and loss to love renewed."

Losing loved ones is an awful fact of life; losing one's loving spouse, one's day-to-day partner through life, especially in the prime of life, is one of the most unbearable tolls that we humans are forced to endure. This is the true story of my journey from grieving widower, not caring if I lived or died, to the once-again happily married man I am today, a man who both loves and cherishes life. My three kitties have given me a new zest for living.

Equally inspiring and entertaining, my story begins with loss and tears, but it ends with lots of love and laughter. I think that you will find yourself moved by my journey.

*My Review*
This book is touted as "a feel-good read," and it is. It's slightly heavy on the feel-good, and at times it may even cross the border into actual cheesiness, but it really is a remarkable story for anyone struggling with grief or the loss of a loved one.

Admittedly, this pleasantly short inspirational contains a few errors that slipped past proofreading, as mentioned in the lower-rated reviews posted to Amazon. However, I found myself so entwined in the emotion of the tale that I hardly noticed many errors at all as I was reading. There were places in the story where I caught myself frowning in sympathy, or laughing out loud. I'm not a cat person myself, but because I am an animal lover, I did relate to the amazing ability that a pet can have in repairing broken emotion.

I've never lost a spouse, but I have suffered a broken heart, and I have had people that I loved with all my heart disappear from my life. I have suffered the loss of a loved one, and I have experienced the pain of losing someone close to me to the darkness of death. I have experienced grief.

Perhaps because of those experiences, I was able to relate to this emotional story in a way that I didn't expect, and once I'd finished reading, I couldn't help recommending the story to a few other people that I know. I so love how this story traces the author's personal growth and healing after the loss of his first wife, crediting much of this growth to the loyal presence and unstoppable energy of a cat named Coco and his kitty brother, Pom Pom. But for me personally, the most healing touch with the most impact likely came from the third Kitty ... but I'll leave you to meet that darling within the book.

Five stars.
It's available pretty much anywhere, but you can one-click it here for immediate Kindle inspiration.

*My Favorite Quote From The Book*
"I'm not scared. I trust you with my life. I have complete faith that you will be good to me and my life is going to be so much better from here on out."

*More About Michael Meyer*
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REAL CHARACTERS. HONEST LOVE. BRANDI KENNEDY BOOKS.