Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Joyland Review, Doctor Sleep preview

In honor of Halloween . . .

I loved Stephen King's Joyland, it was a place I wanted to return every time I had to close the book and go away.  It isn't horror.  It is a ghost story.  It is, in my opinion, a character driven ghost story, my favorite kind of tale.  Don't believe me?  Just read my ghost stories starring Jase and Stevie-girl.

Doctor Sleep arrived the day after I finished Joyland (yes, I'm a one-click addict with no plans for rehab), and the moment I read the inscription -- to Warren Zevon -- I knew I was going to like the book.  What I didn't count on was how the very reintroduction of Dick Halloran and Danny Torrance would immediately transport me back to my youth.  (Sidenote here,  thanks to Kimmie Orr, my hubby's cuz, I was able to attend a speech given by Stephen King at George Mason University a while back.  He was receiving an award, but he was also talking about Doctor Sleep, and I will admit, when he described the RV people, I really wondered how they could relate to little Danny Torrance, but guess what?  It all makes sense.  In a twisted, horror-story kind of way, which is the best way, of course).

I was a newlywed ~ 34 years ago ~ when someone gave me The Shining.  I read it almost nonstop in my little Freight Company office amidst the dust motes and cobwebs when I should have been cleaning and typing up way bills on the old Royal typewriter.  But I couldn't tear myself away from The Overlook Hotel, it was just too creepy, too intriguing, and too darn scary.  When the woman in Room 217 grabbed little Danny, I could've sworn the branches scratching on the old corrugated tin siding of the freight dock were her fingernails . . .

Now, back to the long-toothed woman in Doctor Sleep (yes, I could've easily been finished by now, but I'm pacing myself.  In other words, I don't want it to end).  On the other hand, I understand Dean Koontz is joining the .99 club.  I'll be checking out that bargain, too.

Went to see the movie Rush.  Let me just say, I loved Opie, I loved Richie Cunningham, now I love Ron Howard.  We sort of almost grew up together, didn't we?  And in my humble opinion, he knows how to make an honest film.  He doesn't beat us about the head and shoulders with ideals.  He doesn't feel the need to change our politics. He tells stories.  That's why I will always go to a Ron Howard film.  Just like Stephen King, I simply love the way he tells a story.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Books-a-Fire October Blaze Days ~ 46 books on sale for .99 each!

Happy October ~ we love Fall ~ here's another sale to celebrate.  Every book on the page is only .99
You can pick up all 3 Phantom Tales and many, many more.

46 books in all ~ something for everyone!

Don't forget to scroll down on this blog to enter an October giveaway, too!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Wow! Kindle Fire or Amazon Gift Cards ~ What a Giveaway!

Short and Sweet!

We're giving away a Kindle Fire 7" HD and $200 in Amazon Gift Cards Oct. 15 - 31. There is absolutely NO purchase necessary. Just go to The Kindle Book Review or Digital Book Today and register. It's really easy. Maybe you'll get some early Christmas shopping done before Halloween! How's that for awesome!

Go here to win ~

Good luck!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Just in Time for Halloween ~ New Release ~ The Phantom Series ~ All Three Books in One Volume

Are you like me, do you love a ghost story, especially at Halloween?  One of my favorite memories of teaching 5th and 6th graders was choosing the class novels -- especially at Halloween.  RL Stine was always in demand!  That's probably why I wrote these ghost stories.  Because I love reading them.
Just for the record, I still love ghost stories.  Joyland, by Stephen King, was quite a treat.  Now, I'm on Doctor Sleep (and loving it).  And aside from reading about them, writing about Stevie's ghosts was a blast.  Scary?  Yep, sometimes -- check out the first meeting with the Phantom Pilot in book one, or the little mirror-phantom in book two.  Better yet, crawl in the tent with Stevie and the babydoll in book three -- if you're feeling brave!  What have you got to lose, except for a few hours reading time, and maybe a loss of sleep . . . and when you've finished the trio, send me an email.  Tell me which ghost was your favorite.

A trio of ghostly tales all in one book ~ The Phantom Series ~ just in time for Halloween  $2.99

 OR if you've already read one or more of the tales, you can pick up the others for only .99 each ~ links below!

Title: The Phantom Series (3 books)
Author: Ann Swann
Genre(s): Ghost stories, MG, YA, mystery

Book One: Stevie-girl and the Phantom Pilot

No matter who dares you, no matter what lures you, do not go in the spooky old house…

When a small planes crashes behind Jase's rural home, strange things begin to happen. But no one believes him. After all, there's no such thing as a ghost, right?  Then he sees his pretty, quiet schoolmate, Stevie-girl, about to enter the legendary haunted house, and he knows if anyone can help him solve the mystery, she's the one.  
Book Two: Stevie-girl and the Phantom Student

Bullies, freaks, and phantoms inhabit the abandoned elementary school.  Would you go inside to help out a friend?

Stevie asks Jase to help her find out why the ghost of a girl keeps appearing in her mirror. They think it has something to do with the new student at their school, a boy who has Tourette syndrome.  Both the new kid and the new phantom seem to need some kind of help. When the new kid falls prey to the school bullies, Stevie knows they must act. But will they be too late, or will a tragic moment in their school's history be repeated on Halloween night?
Book Three: Stevie-girl and the Phantom of Crybaby Bridge

Stevie-girl and her best friend, Jase, are phantom magnets. Whenever they are together, the doorway between this world and the next swings slightly open.

The summer his parents treat them to a camping trip in New Mexico, the two friends can’t wait to visit the legendary Crybaby Bridge.  Right away, they hear the crying baby.  Is it a phantom, or is someone playing tricks on them?

As the two friends scour the campgrounds for answers, they discover that phantoms are not the only secrets the nearby town has kept hidden for over 60 years.  They also discover things about each other, and about Stevie’s family history, that will force their relationship to a whole new level—a level from which there may be no return.

The Interview

1. I got the idea for this book late one night when a small plane flew over my house and then went silent.  I jumped up from the computer and ran outside to see if it had crashed.  It had not.  I didn’t see a thing.  But I dashed back inside and wrote a short story, which I called The Escort.  It won several awards for short fiction, and then I turned it into a novella, which is now Stevie-girl and the Phantom Pilot.  The short story is included in the novella—except now, it belongs to Jase.

2. I wrote the story in one evening.  Then, when it became successful, I went back and lengthened it in just a few days.  The thing seemed to write itself.  Appropriate for a ghost story, wouldn’t you say?  Books two and three went almost as fast.  It seems that Stevie girl isn’t through with me yet.  I pretty sure there will be a book four, and possibly more.

3. When I wrote the short story, I had no target audience.  It just came out onto the page.  Later, when I wrote the rest of the story, I intentionally aimed it at tweens because I taught that age group for many years—and I know how they love anything spooky!

4. A couple of different reviewers have compared this series to The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew mysteries. I’m quite flattered by the comparisons!  In truth though, I’ve tried to incorporate a bit of reality into the books.  In book one, for example, there is the underlying theme of loneliness.  In book two, school bullying and being different takes center stage, and in book three, jealousy is examined.  Furthermore, due to the 1960s-1970s time period, the Vietnam War wraps around the entire series like an invisible blanket.

5. Is there anyone in the book like me?  Well, yes.  Stevie is my idealistic self.  I only wish I were half as brave!  I will admit that her hometown is based on the one where I grew up.  Even the brick streets are the same—and the music store?  It was my home away from home. 

Stevie-girl and the Phantom Pilot (Book One)

“ A touching tale with just enough fright!”

Ann Swann took me back in time! The characters were so easy to identify with. As a retired Jr high reading teacher, I would have loved using The Phantom Pilot as a class novel. So many teaching and learning activities could be used with this novel. I loved it and cannot wait for the sequel.”

“I loved this book and so did my daughter!”

Stevie-girl and the Phantom Student (Book Two)

“A must read sequel!”

“A captivating series . . .”

“Ann Swann does it again. Rarely does a sequel measure up to the first, but The Phantom Student is a gleaming exception!”

Stevie-girl and the Phantom of Crybaby Bridge (Book Three)

“An enchanting mystery!”

“Book #3 is as good as the rest.  Bring on #4!”

“Teenage ghost hunters!”

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Love Songs ~ The Keller Family Series Book Six by best selling author, Bernadette Marie

Warner Wright is looking for that big break into countrymusic, but the reputation of his ex-stepmother is getting doors slammed in his face. But when he hears the angelic voice of Clara Keller—he knows she’ll be his ticket.

When the talented Clara Keller and the sometimes awkward Warner Wright get together there is a spark even bigger than Nashville. Opportunity is going to knock on their door, but fame can be a tricky bedfellow.

Making beautiful music will be the easy part.  FacingWarner’s past might corrupt them both.

Download Love Songs
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