Monday, February 13, 2012

Prank Wars by LDS author Stephanie Fowers

Prank Wars is a new novel by veteran LDS (Mormon) author Stephanie Fowers.

Book Blurb: All war. No love. Madeleine’s been hurt too many times in the dating scene to let Byron beat her in some huge prank war. They’ve had their deserters, their POWS, their casualties, but no one can risk losing the battle of the sexes.
Except now something strange is happening at the college...and it’s not just the students. Buried deep beneath the pranks is real danger, and the only other person who suspects is Byron. Should Mad join sides with him or does that mean forfeiting her heart to the enemy?

 My Take:
Stephanie Fowers hits another home run. I confess, I am not surprised. I thoroughly enjoyed Fowers first two books, Meet your Match and Rules of Engagement.

In Prank Wars, the heroine, Madeleine, is strong and hilarious, as is Byron, her male counter-part. I liked that a real man was not intimated by a strong woman. The way these two played off each other made for great amusement, and I found myself missing Bryan when he wasn't in a scene.

And the pranks! FUN! I picked up a lot of great ideas;} Thank you!

This novel was infused with playful LDS/Mormon inside jokes; I loved this! It reminded me of the humor in the movie "The RM." Bed of MRE's anyone? Fowers had me laughing out loud more than once.

What I didn't expect was the ending. As a matter of fact, I was a good way! Kudos to Fowers for that! I kept wait for...Sorry, I HATE spoilers! Guess you'll have to read it for yourself.

But what I loved most about Prank Wars was the fact that me and my daughters could enjoy this novel together. It wasn't full of inappropriate material, and yet it was entertaining enough for adults to enjoy!

I highly recommend this novel! If you take delight in laughter and love, you'll enjoy Prank Wars! Thanks Ms. Fowers! 

I give this book 5 stars!

 My exclusive interview with Stephanie!!

Okay Stephanie, spill your guts...figuratively only please!

When did you decide you wanted to become a writer?

I always loved to talk and tell stories, but I was a spacey, daydreamer kind of kid, so it took me a while to learn how to write. I just thought the alphabet was busy work, and so I decided that I wouldn’t bother learning it. I didn’t really get the correlation between the alphabet and reading at first. My kindergarten teacher threatened to flunk me (which everyone in the class knew, but me because—like I said—I was kind of spacey). So, my mom got a call from a concerned neighbor whose son burst into tears when he got home because of my sad plight. My neighbor asked my mom if I really was going to flunk. It was news to her, and news to me. I promptly dismissed the gravity of it because I had no idea what ‘flunk’ really meant anyway, but my mom did. She promptly called the school and they set up all sorts of appointments to prove that I was really a messed up kid, namely because when I drew people, I didn’t draw their feet and I made up words like am’nt, so obviously there was something wrong with me. They threw me in a special reading class, and my mom sat me down and asked me if I wanted to learn how to read and write. I told her yes, of course, what a silly question. She then told me that in order to do that I had to learn the alphabet. So I learned the alphabet in two weeks; it also helped that she made the alphabet into pictures for me—like ‘D’ looked like a daddy with a big tummy (I later taught all of my younger sisters to read this way…and a few kids in some special-Ed programs).  Learning the alphabet was the first obstacle to becoming a writer, but really as soon as I learned to read, I was reading all the time. Probably too much. I hid my books under my textbooks and in my desks until my teachers called me on it (then I had to content myself with staring out the window and daydreaming—which they called me on too). I shot from the bottom reading group to the top in a matter of months, and then my mom got calls from my teachers to put me forward a grade, which my mom still wouldn’t let me do—that would mean she would lose me sooner to college, plus to be honest, I was pretty bad at math (still am). Too make a long story, short, I became the miracle kid, which meant that my teachers really encouraged me to succeed. They entered me into young author’s contests without my knowledge, and then I would win and go to the conferences. I also had a writing rivalry thing going with a kid named Nomi and a girl named Jackie in second grade; it was our goal to get our teachers to fall off their chairs with laughter at our stories…and it usually worked (sometimes on accident when I mispronounced something, but if it made for a better joke, rewrites were soon follow). I would then go home and read my stories out loud to my family. My mom was never sure if it was the actual story that was funny or the dramatic way I read it aloud. I didn’t care as long as I got a laugh.

Have you based any of your characters on someone you know, or real events in your own life?

Yes…BECAUSE the people around me are wonderful and so much fun, and my life is so funny (at least to me). Laugh so you don’t cry, right? Besides, I feel it is impossible to write a character that doesn’t start to remind you of someone you know the more you write them—so even if I don’t mean to base a character on someone I know in the beginning, sometimes, it just kind of happens. I think that’s a good sign that my character is becoming more realistic. I always name my characters after siblings, and nieces and nephews and friends (by popular demand). Also, being a single girl who writes books about single girls, it would be impossible not to use my real life experiences. I want to share about real life issues that happen in the dating world, and offer my piece of advice on how to enjoy life now and not to become embittered by whatever stage of life you are in. My latest book, “Prank Wars” has TONS of real life pranks that either happened to me, or one of my friends shared them with me. On a side note: I love pranks, but only if they are not crude or destructive, and the person you’re pranking knows you love them, AND you’re just trying to get them to laugh. 

Do you have plans for a new book?  


With a Kiss: a Faery Tale book with faeries and wolves and evil witches and queens. It sounds lame, but I PROMISE it isn’t, haha. It’s about how faery tales are actually a book of prophecies that are becoming real. It’s written in basically the same chick lit fashion of my other published books with lots of romance and humor. I wrote it about six years ago for my nieces, and now I’m going to fix it up and publish it (and write a sequel because they read it aloud to the kids during recess and now they’re all mad because they want more; but I wasn’t going to write a sequel if I couldn’t publish it—but now because of modern conveniences of ebook and such, I can get it out there, so I will).

As for Romantic Comedy, I have: The Mouth of Babes, and Chronicles of a Cynic. These are the same style of my other romantic comedy books, they’re LDS genre, but this time they deal with mid-singles (which is ME now!).

I’m also working on a five book series that reminds me of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. It isn’t written in the chick lit style at all; in fact, it’s third person, but it stems from my love of BBC Bonnet movies.

And I’m working on H.A.W.K.E. Prophecies; it’s a genetically enhanced science fiction, a bit darker than the others, and reminds me of Hunger Games a bit. It was a book I wrote in high school and I’m fixing it up to be more modern.

And I have a TON more of other books that I’ve written and need to fix up. One is a Vampire book that completely makes fun of vampires being romantic.

 Who designed the cover of your book? My younger sister Jacqueline (Fowers) designed the cover (she’s brilliant by the way). My friend Kristi Linton took the photos (we always do photoshoots together), and my friends Alex Nitz and Hilary Hornberger were my legs (Alex—we always force to be in our movies, and Hilary is the composer for the musical The Raven’ that we’re working on). And of course, I stood behind the scenes, and posed my little models and gave them random  props. It’s funny that the prop we ended up using was the cheapest prop—toilet paper (that was inspired by my friend Larissa Villers, who got toilet papered once on her way home from school—PS: she loved it).

What is the best advice that you have ever been given when it comes to writing?

Don’t give up! And don’t stop loving it! Forget the idea that it will ever make you money, and do it because you want to share with others your stories. Run your stories past lots of people and get lots of advice, smooth it out to be the best that it can be, but remember that you are the one in charge of it in the end and it still needs to fit your creative vision. It’s also work, and like any other job—you’ll get tired of it, frustrated, whatever—but if you treat it like a job and know there will be downsides then that will help you to be able to emotionally divorce yourself from it and be able to pick it up again later. Don’t be discouraged if someone doesn’t like your style of writing. Remember your favorite movie and how someone out there gave it a bad review (maybe a lot of bad reviews). And that’s okay. It’s all about reaching those who appreciate what you have to say or just likes your style. I love Bonnet movies. My brother hates them (I was going to say my dad, but that would be lying, he loves Bonnet movies too). My brother loves war movies where everybody dies in the end. I like some of my brother’s movies, but not ALL; I even think some of them are really dumb, but he doesn’t. That teaches me that you can NOT please everyone, and you shouldn’t even try.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing? I do my writing all over my apartment. I’ve made a schedule around my ‘day job’ and I try to be dedicated. I force my friends to be my ‘writing whips.’ In other words, I tell them to break my fingers if I don’t give them a chapter by a certain date. I, in turn, will break their fingers if they don’t give me their chapters by a certain date. It’s kind of a give/ give situation. I treat it like an exercise program or like I’m going to school and I’ll break down the process of writing a novel and assign myself homework to get it done. 

What is your favorite part of writing? What is your least favorite part?

Well, I absolutely HATE the first draft, I LOVE going through the first draft and rewriting. I love editing (until I’ve gone through the book more than fifty times and I don’t want to see it ever again). But my favorite part is dreaming up the concept. I love casting my characters with my favorite actors. I love giving them color code tests, and seeing how they’d interact with each other, and what sort of insane adventures they’d get into with each other. It’s like playing house or dolls really.

How long does it take you to write a novel? It depends on how much time I have and how dedicated I am to it. If I am SUPER SUPER dedicated; the first draft will take a month to three months. The next drafts and editing will take about six to eight months after that (depending on what sort of feedback I get from my friends about the book)—it could be a shorter amount of time if I’m SUPER dedicated and have no life.

Do you need silence to write or do you prefer noise? I’m a TERRIBLE multi-tasker. If there’s a party happening around me, NO WAY! A movie? Nope. And if my sister tries to talk to me, I can’t hear her and I can’t write either—my brain just all turns off. That’s when I have to push my laptop away and ask, “What?” I can’t serve two masters—unless I really hate one of them. She, on the other hand? She’ll text, instant message, watch a movie on Netflix, AND do her film homework without missing a beat, so she doesn’t quite understand my brain (and vice versa). 

Music or no music while writing…If yes, what kind?

Pandora all the way. I just choose a station on the internet radio that fits the mood that I’m trying to write, and I can listen to music the whole time. I like the Epic soundtracks channel for action adventure sequences, I like Florence and the Machine channel for romantic sequences, and I like Paramore and Lily Allen for quirky, debating dialogue moments.

Fowers Trivia:

What (or who) is your:

·       All-time favorite movie? I HAVE so many!!! Pride and Prejudice (six hour version)

·       All-time favorite book. It seems funny because of the books that I write, but James Herriot: All Creatures Great and Small (I adopted two Labrador/ pit bull mixes in high school, and almost became a rancher/ Veterinarian because I read that—never mind that I’m terrible at math).

·       Favorite song? Paramore, Brick by Boring Brick

·       Favorite/Hottest male actor? Imran Kahn (I hate luv Storys)

·       Favorite writer?  I have so many, I’ll pick one: Georgette Heyer

Tell us something about yourself NO ONE knows…don't worry, I won't tell anyone;}

Haha, that’s hard because I share everything…unless I forget. So, what have I forgotten lately? Or haven’t had a chance to share? Well, I almost ran into a lady at temple square this morning with my bike (that I wasn’t riding because I got a flat tire), but I was running. And then I missed trax and was fifteen minutes late for work. 

Things people might not know if they haven’t met me: My coworkers keep me from getting scurvy because I forget to buy fruit and so they bring me Clementines and bananas and hot chocolate (don’t know why hot chocolate).  I have a hard time getting scared during scary movies unless I have something weighing on my mind, I threatened to kill (and then chased after) a guy who tried to attack me a year-and-a-half ago, I love making movies (one of my favorites was a bloody Macbeth that my brother directed and I wrote; I played Lady Macbeth), and I’m addicted to Bollywood and BBC movies—which is why I can never get rid of Netflix. 

 Prank Wars is available on  Paperback OR Ebook 

It's also available on Nook and other formats, so if you look on her website, the links are also there.

TO WIN AN ECOPY you must do 3 things.

ONE: Become a follower of my blog(above)

TWO: Like Stephanie's Amazon page: Prank Wars

THREE: Comment Below: leave me your email address so we can send you the book! This contest twill end at midnight, NY time on February 22th, 2012

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Great review by Lacey

Wonderful review from Lacey Shoelaces Book Blog! 

First Thoughts:

An emotional thriller that had me literally reading late up into the night. Once this story had its hooks in me it never let go; it pulled me into its depths and opened my eyes to a world unlike mine and taught me that everything is not always what it seems and danger lurks around every corner and perhaps behind many doors. This is one I’ll never forget, the connection from the reader to the story and the characters themselves helped tell a story that many are afraid to write.


It was laid out perfectly, there were plenty of suspense and thriller scenes, there were enough of those slow scenes where they gave the reader time to think over the previous actions and soak in the beautiful writing. The sub-plots were tied perfectly to the main plot and I wasn’t once left confused or disappointed. The pace was just right, I loved that it was really well balanced; I didn’t feel whiplashed or fighting to continue reading. This one is definitely a book that answered most of the questions and left you hungry for more.


To say they were strong would only be an understatement. I felt such a strong connect to the main protagonist and also the antagonist. Each and every character had their own spark that instantly connected you to them. I felt that each and every one stayed true to their “character”, the actions and decisions they chose did not in any way stray out to unbelievable. Every person in “real” life is different and how they react to real life situations is based upon them; not the “Norm”. I hate when people group everyone into categories, were not cattle, were real, living, breathing beings, we don’t have to fit the norm of our category, we have the chance to be our own category; to take as long as we need to pass into the next. So when reading this book I felt each character created their own category, whether they were snails or speedsters in moving to the next stage was up to them and their needs; I loved it.

Transformation of the Character:

There was definitely some transformations that took place in this story; some subtle and some not so much. Seth and Maggie’s were both enjoyable and inspiring. I loved that Maggie’s transformation was nothing like what I had imagined; I just love when a character can wrap you around their pinky and surprise you with something you thought you knew. Her transformation (I won’t talk about it too much; it spoil the book) was so different, yet something I am in the end satisfied with, the author was witty and connected with Maggie, that you can tell from page one all the way to the end. As for Seth’s transformation, his wasn’t so obvious but if you pay close enough attention you’ll see it and be so proud that you spotted it, he is definitely a character I fell in love with; I just wish there were more Seth’s out there! As for the rest of the characters some changed, some tried to change and some didn’t but in the end I felt very satisfied in this aspect.


I wouldn’t say there was a ton of description, actually there was more dialogue than description but for this book it was perfect. The author chose to reveal some of the description through dialogue which left this book both unique and creative. There were some parts of the story where the description overtook the dialogue which allowed the reader to get a great view of the scene and store it in their memory for further references. But overall I thought the description was just right.


I loved this author’s style, she chose the right moments to switch POV’s. It was always in the best interest to the reader, it was like the author knew exactly when I wished I could be in that person’s mind; it was mind blowing! Also I loved that the author chose to arrange the scenes the way she did, there could have been different ways to get this story across but the way she worded things and chose to end some scenes the way she did, really made me enjoy this book even more.

Quote of the book:

“I had allowed myself to fall in love with someone who didn’t return my feelings, who would never return my feelings. My mother was right. I am unlovable. I am nothing.”

Goodreads Summary:

Port Fare, New York, has fallen into the clutches of true evil. The Dreser brothers have arrived with a scheme to increase drug sales in the area by whatever means possible. Seth Prescott is part of MET (Mobile Enforcement Teams) a branch of the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration). He's been assigned to work undercover at Port Fare High, and things aren't going very well, until senior Maggie Brown enters the equation. He's harbored a secret crush on her from day one, and now that she is in the center of the case, he's trying to stay clear and objective while walking the line between business and unrequited love.

 Maggie is truly the poster child for Heroin Chic, complete with jutting bones and dark-ringed eyes, but is she an addict, or is there another reason for her appearance? She struggles with her feelings for Seth, fearing he is just another person who will eventually let her down, as everyone in her life has done thus far.

 Maggie has spent her life caring for her alcoholic mother, a task that has left her heavily burdened and alone. Before long, her mother's health takes a turn for the worst, sending Maggie's life into a tale-spin.

 While Seth works relentlessly to inject fear into the dealers and flush them out into the open, Maggie fights to stay alive as the hunt turns deadly.

 Seth and Maggie's romantic journey is one of humor, heartbreak, and self-discovery.

Last Thoughts:

I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys reading realistic and inspiring books. I would also recommend this to anyone who has little knowledge of what goes on behind closed doors; this will literally open your eyes. I wouldn’t however recommend this if you don’t enjoy romance (yes even this story can have it). And I wouldn’t recommend this if you look for more description, though I felt that it was adequate and perfect not all readers will. This is a book that will open your eyes and rip open your heart (I highly recommend that you grab some tissue to sit beside you). I simply loved this author’s story and writing and I cannot even begin to express how much I can’t wait to read the next book in the series “Unbelievable”.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Winners of the YA Blog hop!

And the winners are:


Kathryn ...ebook

I have contacted the winners and I would like to THANK everyone for entering! Keep reading!!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Hi everyone! Today I am pleased to have a guess post by Linda Weaver Clarke. Not only has she written a special post for us, but she is offering a FREE copy of her latest novel:Anasazi Intrigue!

This contest will end at 4pm New York time tomorrow (2/7/12). I have asked Linda one of the most asked questions of a writer...Why do you write?

Why do I write?

Simple! It all started when I began writing my own ancestor’s stories. Their experiences were so interesting to me and it was in a time period that I was intrigued by. I believe it’s very important to teach our children their heritage. We are the people we are because of our ancestors. Our traits, our genes, our beliefs, our courage, and our temperaments! Where did we get that red hair? Why am I so tall? Why is music part of my life? Did I inherit these traits from my grandparents? Each of us has a story from our ancestors or even our own story to tell. It’s up to us to write these experiences down. After writing about my ancestors, I couldn’t stop writing, so I turned to historical fiction. After writing five historical “sweet” romances, I turned to mystery/adventure for a difference.

This mystery series was inspired by one of my favorite TV shows long ago called Hart to Hart, which featured a married couple investigating and solving crimes staring Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers. The couple was madly in love–you laughed at the humor and sighed at the romance. I wanted to create something similar with a little suspense and adventure. In this series Julia is a reporter for a daily newspaper and John is a professional knife maker. Just like Hart to Hart, because of her curiosity, Julia gets herself into a bunch of trouble. Before long, she finds herself and her husband up to their necks in danger and running for their lives. There is one difference. John and Julia Evans have three college age daughters. I feel this makes the couple have more appeal to a larger audience.

Some people wonder if I put real experiences in my novels.

Yes, all the time! I feel this adds a bit of reality to my characters and I always tell my readers what is true in the Author’s Notes at the back of the book. In this new series, I’ve added a few comical experiences that happened to my husband. He’s okay with it. He just smiles, knowing it will bring a bit of humor to my story. He good-naturedly says, “My life in being displayed to the world.”

Was it hard to switch from historical romance to mystery?

Oh my! Yes! The writing process between romance and mystery is quite a change with a completely different mind set. With romance, you plan out the plot around the meeting of a couple. As you write, you develop some sort of charisma between the characters, making the reader feel excited that one day they're going to hit it off and fall in love. You, as the reader, know the outcome.

But with a mystery, the reader is in the dark. The author has to come up with a plot that no one knows about until towards the end of the story and hope they haven’t figured it out. In a mystery, you may or may not allow your reader to know who the bad guys are, according to whether it’s just a mystery or mystery suspense. In a mystery, the reader doesn’t know who the bad guys are until the end of the book. With mystery suspense, the reader knows who they are and it makes for a more suspenseful outcome.

Why am I having an ebook giveaway?

Because I would like to introduce my books to new people. Whoever wins my ebook can spread the word to their friends and write reviews about it. So that’s why I’m having a giveaway. To win an ebook of Anasazi Intrigue, leave a comment on this blog and Sherry Gammon will pick a winner.

Anasazi Intrigue
The Adventures of John and Julia Evans

Stolen artifacts, a devastating flood, a snoopy newspaper reporter, and mysterious events begin to unfold in this mystery adventure novel. When a devastating flood takes out several homes in a small town, Julia realizes the story and investigation are much bigger than she thought! Julia and her husband find themselves on the run trying to save their lives while finishing the story of a lifetime. She never realized that being a reporter could be so dangerous. Socrates Great Book Alert Award!

Socrates Book Review: “This is the first book I’ve read by Linda Weaver Clarke and I’m already hooked. The first pages grab you right in and grab at your heartstrings as you read about the destruction caused by the flood. When Julia and John fight for their lives, readers will be on the edge of their seats for this one. There’s also romance in the mix. John and Julia’s marriage is strong and they are quite supportive of each other. Even when they have their ups and downs, it’s not for long and they get right back into each other’s arms. It’s nice to see a relationship portrayed this way. Very realistic and believable. In fact, all the characters are portrayed realistically including their three daughters. Socrates Great Book Alert Award!”

Melanie Ski, Homesteading Review: “Mystery and suspense intertwined with fascinating facts about the Anasazi culture! The thing I absolutely loved most about this book was the relationship dynamics between John and Julia. Their relationship with each other symbolized to me a model of what faithful Christian marriages can look like, even 20 years after the ‘newness’ wears off. I loved how Linda Weaver Clarke used descriptions in each chapter of the ebb and flow of John and Julia’s relationship, the physical love for each other, the respect, and the learning to bear one another’s burdens. Historical suspenseful fiction, the best of the best!! Add in a strong Christian family and you have a super fantastic story!”

Book Trailer

Links to Linda!
"A room without books is like a body without a soul." -- Cicero

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Friday, February 3, 2012

*SPOILER ALERT* Would Maggie have?

Would Maggie have?

Someone recently complained to me about Unlovable, claiming my main character Maggie would not have done some of the things she did.

I beg to differ. I can say wholeheartedly, she would have. Maggie is very typical of an (emotionally) abused person. She was based on two girls I knew growing up, and Maggie acts exactly as they did. Now, I do agree that not everyone will react as she did, but many do.

They willingly accepted the abuse heaped upon them by others, mostly because they were used to it. The abuse seemed to "rolled off their backs," if you will. Although personally, I believe it sank deep inside them, reinforcing how they viewed themselves.

Another reason they accepted the harshness of others was because they felt they deserve to be treated cruelly. Isn't that what they were told daily?

To an abused person, kindness is often viewed as suspicious. "Why would someone (insert adjective here; popular...or whatever) be nice to me?" They "lie in wait" for the insult, the verbal punch to hit, because rest assured, in their minds it will.

Sadly, there are many Maggie's (and her male counterparts) in the world. I wish there weren't. Maybe we as a people should stop looking inward as much as we do and start looking outward. We will not have to look far. It may be within our own families: an aunt, a cousin, or a sibling. It may be a neighbor or a classmate or someone at work. Usually it is obvious who needs a friend, or a compassionate ear, but not always. If you are earnestly seeking to help others, you'll know. A feeling will spark inside you, an overheard conversation will catch your ear, something will let you know.

Bullying of any kind has no place in this world. Those who believe in God, have no right to judge those who don't. Those who don't believe in God, have no right to bully those who do. Bullying someone because they are fat, thin, short, tall, gay, straight, the "wrong color" (this holds true for ALL races, African-American, Caucasian, Hispanic, Asian and whomever else) is wrong. I am Caucasian, my youngest son is part African-American part Puerto Rican (we adopted him), and my daughter-in-law is a Chinese-Malaysian, and I love them all equally. Not that I'm setting myself up as the perfect role model, I too have my prejudices. For one, I really hate stupid people who work at phone-in help centers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But I digress;}

We can make a difference. There will always be Maggie's out there, but they don't have to be alone. They don't have to "fight the good fight" all by themselves. And WE will be all the better for helping them.

Now, back to writing book 2-Unbelievable. Poor Cole!