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Friday, August 31, 2012

Character Interview and Giveaway with R.J. Sullivan, author of Haunting Obsession

Hi, everyone!

I am pleased to participate in R.J. Sullivan's Haunting Obsession Blog Tour hosted by Seventh Star Press.

About R.J.:

R. J. Sullivan resides with his family in Heartland Crossing, Indiana. His first novel, Haunting Blue, is an edgy paranormal thriller about punk girl loner Fiona "Blue" Shaefer and her boyfriend Chip Farren. R.J. is hard at work on the next chapter in Fiona's story, Virtual Blue, coming soon from Seventh Star Press. 

R.J. is a member of the Indiana Horror Writers.


Welcome to Darlene's Book Nook, R.J.!

R.J. has written a Character Interview, so I will now turn the floor over to him.

Interview with Loretta Stevens from R.J. Sullivan's Haunting Obsession

RJ: Welcome to day seven of the R.J. Sullivan book tour. As always, thanks to Seventh Star Press for this opportunity, and to Darlene's Book Nook for hosting today's entry, an interview with character Loretta Stevens.

Loretta, thanks for joining us.

L: Well, thanks for finally having me. I'm surprised it only took you seven days.

RJ: You sound a bit upset about that, Loretta, what's on your---

L: ---I guess it's not too surprising, though. Kinda like Pam Dawber.

RJ: I'm sorry, what does Mork and Mindy have to---

L: ---when the show first started, Pam Dawber, who played Mindy, was equal half of a double-bill. But even before the show premiered, everyone gravitated to Robin Williams. It was Robin Williams this, Robin Williams that. All the reporters wanted to talk to Robin Williams. Nobody wanted to interview boring old Pam.

RJ: So, you're saying, you feel a bit like Pam Dawber?

L: Hello? Have you seen the early reviews? Maxine this, Maxine and Daryl that. Maxine, Maxine, Maxine, the sexy ghost, and her over-the-top fan Daryl. Oh, and there's a jilted girlfriend in there someplace.

RJ: So you feel like the emphasis has been uneven?

L: Well, I think it builds up a false expectation when the readers buy the book.

RJ: Fascinating, how so?

L: Well, when the reader finally gets their copy, and sits down to read it, who's the book about? Maxine? Please, she's dead. Not exactly the basis for a great changing character arc. And Daryl? He just makes one dumb mistake after another until he's in way over his head.

RJ: Well, that's a good point. I mean, he's your boyfriend. And he's not exactly James Bond, is he?

L: Of course. He's a geek. He's always been a geek, and nothing but a geek. But he's my geek, and I'm used to him.

RJ: Well, not everything that happens is completely his fault. I mean---

L: ---Why are you defending him during my interview?

RJ: Sorry, you're right.

L: I mean, hello, changing character here. I'm the one who has to find out what my boyfriend has been up to. I'm the one who has to decide if I'm going to be Tammy Wynette or Shania Twain. It's all on me, isn't it? Do I leave him to suffer for being the schmuck he is, or do I rescue him from the clutches of the evil seductress?

RJ: And do you?

L: Well, it's good that somebody cares around here, isn't it!

RJ: Okay, well, that's fair. And you're right. Almost everything about the publicity of this book is about Maxine and Daryl, but when it comes down to it, it's truly your story.

L: Well, thank you. I'm glad someone said it at last.

RJ: But, really, you get it, right? Hollywood icon, ghost from the grave, obsessed fan in over his head...pretty sexy stuff.

L: Yeah, whatever. Oh, and another thing. [shakes hardback book at R.J.] What the hell, a cover and three interior illustrations, and you can't spare my face somewhere?

RJ: Well, that's all the time we have---

L: ---Oh, fine!

RJ: Join us tomorrow for another entry of the Haunting Obsession blog tour. Thanks again to Darlene's Book Nook for hosting this entry.

Thanks so much for joining us today, R.J. and Loretta!!

One lucky winner will win a paperback copy of R.J. Sullivan's paranormal thriller, Haunting Obsession.


“She wants to be loved by you…alone!”

Daryl Beasley collects all things Maxine Marie, whose famous curves and fast lifestyle made her a Hollywood icon for decades after her tragic death. Daryl’s girlfriend, Loretta Stevens, knew about his geeky lifestyle when they started dating, but she loves him, quirks and all.

Then one day Daryl chooses to buy a particularly tacky piece of memorabilia instead of Loretta’s birthday present. Daryl ends up in the doghouse, not only with Loretta, but with Maxine Marie herself. The legendary blonde returns from the dead to give Daryl a piece of her mind—and a haunting obsession he’ll never forget.

The book contains artwork, courtesy of Bonnie Wasson:

To enter the giveaway, please fill out the Rafflecopter entry form below. 

This giveaway is open to Canada/US only until 12:01 AM EST on September 7, 2012.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 27, 2012

Sit Down and Write Write-a-Thon: Wrap-up #sitdownwrite

This is my Wrap-up Post for the Sit Down and Write Write-a-Thon.

My writing goal for the week was to try to tackle some of the reviews that are waiting to be written. I have a list of 23 books that I have finished reading but are awaiting reviews, and I was committed to writing reviews for at least the first three books on my list which are:
  1. The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker 
  2. The Unnaturalists by Tiffany Trent
  3. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
Due to family and health-related stressors, I only managed to get one review posted. However, I was able to draft reviews for the other two books which will be finalized and posted in the next few days. 

 I didn't quite reach my goal, but I am pleased that I was able to at least get draft reviews written for the two that I wasn't able to get posted last week.

Thanks again to the lovely Michelle @ The Story Inside Me for hosting, and I'll be happy to join you in the next one!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Stacking The Shelves - August 26, 2012

This meme is hosted by Tynga over at Tynga's Reviews, which she describes as follows:

"Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process!"

I have no new books to add this week, but I received a very special gift!

I received this handmade bookmark as a R.A.K. (Random Act of Kindness) from Miki at Lecture toute une Aventure.

I feel really lucky, Miki, to receive such a special R.A.K.! And your beautiful letter almost made me cry! So sweet!! You did a beautiful job, and I love it!! Thanks from the bottom of my heart!

What books have you added to your shelves this week? If you are also participating in this meme, please leave me the link to your blog post in the comments so that I can come and drool over all your goodies!

 If anyone has read any of these books, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Gone With the Wind Read-a-Long

Hi, everyone! Time for another 2012 Reading Challenge!!

The challenge is being hosted by Fanda at Fanda Classiclit.

Here are the details copied from Fanda's blog:
Gone With the Wind Read-a-Long

Gone With The Wind is one of the “scariest” novels for me. No, of course it’s not a scary novel, but the total pages did make me think twice before buying it. Will I make it all the 1448 pages of it? However, being the Pulitzer winning price, Margaret Mitchell’s novel Gone With The Wind is certainly a must-read book. Thanks to The Classics Club Project by Jillian, I found that Bzee (book blogger fellow from Indonesia—like me) also put Gone With The Wind in her list. So, I asked her whether we could read this book together. Then…I have a better idea. Why not hosting a read-along? I think there are many of you who haven’t had chance (or courage J) to read Gone With The Wind, yet so eager or curious to read it, or you have read it but want to re-read it. To read it together is going to be fun!

So, this is it..The Gone With The Wind Read-along 2012, which will take place from September 1st to November 7th 2012. I will host it, with Bzee as a co-host. These are the details:

The book

The following data is taken from Pocket Books, June 2008 edition, which I will read, but you are free to choose any edition (paperback or e-book):

Total pages: 1448
Total chapters: 63
Total parts: 5
- Part 1: page 3 - 191
- Part 2: page 195 - 397
- Part 3: page 401 - 717
- Part 4: page 722 - 1180
- Part 5: page 1184 - 1448

The participants

This read-along is opened internationally, anyone is welcomed to join. Participant must sign up via comment box in the participant list page. If you want to post about this read-along in your blog, you can add your post URL in comment box of the participants list page. I will update the list periodically, you may join the read-along anytime (even in the middle of read-along schedule), as long as you can catch up to finish the book by November 7th 2012.

It’s not a must, but I would appreciate if you’d grab and put the Gone With The Wind Read-along button in your post. Or if you don’t write any post, you can put it in your sidebar, linking here, to let your followers know about this read-along.

Oh… and for my dear Indonesian fellow bloggers—before you ask the question—yes, you may post in Bahasa Indonesia, but personally I recommend you to post in English, to make it easier for other participants to read your thoughts and have discussions.

The update posts

To read along together with friends is my main purpose of having this event, so I prefer to have some discussion after finishing each part. Therefore I plan to open an update posts page during the read-along where you can share URL of your own update posts. These posts are not mandatory, you can skip it if you don’t have anything to say.

If you only want to say something brief about certain part but do not feel like writing a post, or else you don’t have a blog, you can just make a comment on the “update posts”. With the “reply” button we can have a discussion there as well.

There will be four update posts, for part one to part four, while nearly at the end of read-along I will publish a “reviews page” (there won’t be update post for part 5, we can directly write a review for the whole book).

The giveaway

This is the best part! For you who post your updates in your blog or in comment box, will be able to join my giveaway! Each update post/comment would be counted as one entry, and at the end of read-along, I will pick one (or—hopefully—more) winner. To anyone who would like to host his/her giveaway during this read-along, please feel free to contact me, so I can post about your giveaway in this blog.

Reading schedule?

There won’t be any strict schedule to read certain pages in certain days, everyone can have their own pace. Just feel free to add your link after you finish certain part, anytime. This way participants can check how others are going, or have discussion about certain parts.

The reviews

Please add the URL of your review in the “reviews page” after finishing the novel. The review post is mandatory, but if you don’t have a blog, you can use comment box to write your opinion.

Starting end of last year, I have a habit to post my classics book reviews on the birthday of the authors. It will work also for Mrs. Mitchell, whose birthday is on November 8th. That means we can finish our reading and write the review anytime, but we will publish it only on November 8th as a ‘special gift’ for Mrs. Mitchell.

So…that’s it..let’s conquer those 1448 pages beginning on September 1st 2012! The Participant List is already opened now, you can sign up from today. Welcome aboard Scarlett O’Hara...  J
This classic has been on my TBR list for a long time! When I saw this read-a-long, I thought it was a great way to finally tackle this epic!

I just bought the audiobook from Audible, and it is currently on sale for only $6.95! It clocks in at 49 hrs and 7 mins, which is the longest audiobook that I have ever listened to!

If you would like to join me in the challenge, just click the challenge badge at the beginning of the post. 

Once I finish the book, I'll link my review below.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Guest Post and Giveaway with Kfir Luzzatto, author of The Evelyn Project

Hi, everyone!

I am pleased to participate in Kfir Luzzatto's The Evelyn Project Virtual Blog Tour hosted by Pump Up Your Book.

About Kfir:

Kfir Luzzatto was born and raised in Italy, and moved to Israel as a teenager. He acquired the love for the English language from his father, a former U.S. soldier, a voracious reader and a prolific writer. Kfir has a PhD in chemical engineering and works as a patent attorney.

He lives in Omer, Israel, with his full-time partner, Esther, their four children, Michal, Lilach, Tamar and Yonatan, and the dog Elvis. He has won numerous awards for his writing.


Welcome to Darlene's Book Nook, Kfir!

Kfir has written a guest post, so I will now turn the floor over to him.

What Inspired Me to Write "The Evelyn Project"
By Kfir Luzzatto

I am always taken by surprise when a story line somehow finds its way into my consciousness and, once settled there, demands to be written. Then I'm stuck with it, whether I like it or not. And, unfortunately, those story ideas don't come equipped with a well thought-out plot; instead, you get this rather fuzzy but nagging image that won't go away until the story is fully developed. This is what happened to me with The Evelyn Project.

Photo provided courtesy of
Kfir Luzzatto

Evelyn (or, rather Evelina, as she was named in my native Italy) was my great aunt. She died of tuberculosis in 1894. She was only 26 years old. My great-grandfather was an influential politician who left no stone unturned to try to save his daughter and got her the best medical care that was available at the turn-of-the-century, among which praying was probably the most effective measure.

Evelyn's studio portrait, which I used in the book cover, hangs on the wall beside my writing desk. My second daughter, Lilach, is her living image and her 26th birthday is approaching fast. That might have been a catalyst for me to write the book, although the sad story of Evelyn's death was always a part of my family's ethos; I must've sucked it in with my milk because I can't remember the first time her name was mentioned. When my parents died I was left with the responsibility to make sure that my family history would not be forgotten. That entailed a lot of reading in books, documents and letters, which brought Evelyn's figure increasingly to life for me. I learned of her warm relation with her father through letters she had written to him, and I discovered more than I already knew about my great-grandfather's devotion to her.

Throughout my reading and learning one persistent thought kept popping up in my head: today her death would have been an unnecessary tragedy; with readily-available antibiotics an otherwise healthy young woman would not have succumbed to her illness. So what if it was possible to go back in time and save her using medical technology commonly available today? It is probable that saving Evelyn's life would not have changed the course of history (contrary to what many science fiction books would predict), but even if it did, preventing her father's private hell would have been well worth the price.

Having got emotionally involved in her story I realized that I had to do more than just sit there and shake my head in sorrow. I couldn't just let Evelyn fade away in those yellowing papers. I had to do right by her (whatever that meant). My investigation of Evelyn's misfortune allowed me to put myself in my great-grandfather's shoes, to feel the emotions that he must have felt (he was approximately my age when Evelyn died) and to test the length to which a father would go in an attempt, no matter how futile, to save his child.

Overall, writing this book turned out to be an exceptionally emotional journey for me. Sometimes I felt ashamed that I was enjoying writing it. Instead of dishing out a uniformly gloomy piece I was writing a fast-paced thriller that, beside the suspense, also has its hilarious moments.

This is not the first time that inspiration has come to me like an assignment from above without any real control from my side. I have learned not to fight the impulse and, instead, to embrace it and to allow myself to be taken on an emotional roller coaster ride without a clear vision of where the journey is likely to end.

I don't believe in stereotyping ghosts, so I won't say that I recognize Evelyn's hand or my great-grandfather's stick behind my urge to write the story. It is true, however, that now I feel much closer to them than I did before; they have assumed characters and a presence so real that at times it feels as if we had actually met. I often wondered whether they would have grudged me the use I made of their characters in a commercial book, but something tells me that if they can see us they understand that this is my way to give Evelyn some of the life she has been denied, even if only on paper.

But this is not only about Evelyn. My great-grandfather was no less of a victim to her disease than she was. The Evelyn Project is my tribute to them both.

Thanks so much for joining us today, Kfir!

One lucky winner will win a paperback copy of Kfir's latest paranormal suspense novel, The Evelyn Project.

Evelyn's father did everything in his power to save his dying daughter, black magic included. But when a century later his plea for help gets into the wrong hands, all hell breaks loose.

Caught in the slippery battlefield between the Vatican and a cult that wants to change the past, a young Italian professor and a beautiful French actress are too busy running away from murder and conspiracy to let physical attraction develop into love.

And it further complicates things when Her Majesty's Secret Service decides to take an interest in what everyone else is doing to pull some strings of its own.

Love that lasts through the veils of time, a mystery, and a race to end a conspiracy, The Evelyn Project is a story that will stir both your heart and your intellect.
To enter the giveaway, please fill out the Rafflecopter entry form below.

This giveaway is open to Canada/US addresses only until 12:01 AM EST on August 31, 2012.

Tour Participants

Monday, July 2nd
Spotlight & Giveaway at Blood Hounds
Thursday, July 5th
Interview at The Writer’s Life
Friday, July 6th
Interview at Literarily Speaking
Tuesday, July 10th
Guest Post at Writing Daze
Wednesday, July 11th
Review at Far From Reality
Thursday, July 12th
Tuesday, July 17th
Wednesday, July 18th
Review & Giveaway at Rivers I Have Known
Thursday, July 19th
Interview at Reviews and Interviews
Friday, July 20th
Sunday, July 22nd
Review & Giveaway at A Bookish Libraria
Monday, July 23rd
Guest Post at The Housework Can Wait
Tuesday, July 24th
Guest Post and Giveaway at The Bookish Babe
Wednesday, July 25th
Guest Post at Review From Here
Tuesday, July 31st
Guest Post & Giveaway at Reading Lark

August Tours
Thursday, August 2nd
Friday, August 3rd
Interview and Giveaway at The Book Loving Busy Mom’s Daily
Tuesday, August 7th
Interview at Literarily Speaking
Friday, August 10th
Guest Post and Giveaway at The Book Faery Reviews
Monday, August 13th
Review, Giveaway, Spotlight and Guest Post at Babs Book Bistro
Spotlight Review at Paperback Writer
Tuesday, August 14th
Review and Giveaway at Mary Tenarri
Wednesday, August 15th
Review and Interview at MK McClintock
Thursday, August 16th
Guest Post and Giveaway at Little Library Muse
Friday, August 17th
Spotlight w/review, Interview and Giveaway at Dana On the Broomstick
Monday, August 20th
Tuesday, August 21st
Review and Giveaway at Lovey Dovey Books
Wednesday, August 22nd
Review, Guest Post and Giveaway at Hazel the Witch
Friday, August 24th
Guest Post and Giveaway at Darlene’s Book Nook
Monday, August 27th
Review and Giveaway at Popcorn Reads
Wednesday, August 29th
Review and Giveaway at The Red Headed Bookworm
Thursday, August 30th
Review at Laurie Here
Friday, August 31st
Review and Giveaway at Celtic Lady’s Reviews
Guest Post at Book Luvrs Haven
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