Saturday, April 30, 2016

Book Giveaways

For any of you not aware, Goodreads has a giveaway page where authors and publishers offer their books to lucky winners who then leave a review on the Goodreads website. I've won a few and I've even given away a few. The great thing is that once you've signed up for giveaways you just need to click a few places and you're entered to win. Here are some book giveaways going on at Goodreads right now:

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Waxing Poetic

Seriously, how much do you want this bag? William Cowper was a poet in the 18th century and he wrote religious hymns. But you don't need to know that to relate to this quote. Can you imagine carrying this around and sighing pointedly in the midst of your poetic agony? Or get it on a mug and lament over your still unwritten prose. How can you not love it?

Friday, April 22, 2016

Holding Out for a Hero by Victoria Van Tiem
 "Libby London fell in love in with the 80s, came of age in the 90s, and now, in the 21st Century, she's completely falling apart... Her New York City fashion sensibility is more 'vintage tragedy' than 'retro babe' and might just be what's holding her back in all matters of life and love..."

Libby owns a retro 1980s shop. She lives and breathes the '80s, and her friends want that to stop. So they set up an 'Eighties Intervention' wherein they force her to get makeovers and go on dates influenced by the characters in the movie The Breakfast Club.

This all sounds like a funny, campy read. It is, but it isn't. It is because the book is filled with '80s pop references. I mean, they're thick, sometimes forced, but mostly fun and nostalgic.

But Holding Out for a Hero also isn't what it seems. It's much deeper than that. Libby is an imperfect character with frustrating attributes. She's the kind of character I like because we can all relate to being not perfect. Libby also battles depression for which she sees a shrink whose treatment she fights all the way. She doesn't want to change. Is it because her '80s fixation and crazy outfits mask her deeper sadness?

This book surprised me in a lot of ways. At one point I thought, "Okay, I know where this is going." But I was wrong. Van Tiem threw in a twist that blindsided me. And after I finished the book I had to go back and read some chapters again. And that's when I found the true beauty of Libby's story.

Holding Out for a Hero is a must-read--and then must-read-again. This is a book that makes you feel things without even realizing you're feeling them. The silliness and humor draws the reader in only to show an underlying sadness and the raw humanity of its main character.

I'm looking forward to reading more like this from Victoria Van Tiem.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Mubu the Morph by Stephen Nawotniak

Mubu the Morph is a creative and fun children's book by author Stephen Nawotniak. It's colorfully illustrated by Jeffrey Scott Perziak. In fact, I found the pictures to be my favorite part of this book. The glossy cover immediately drew me in.

"Go on a rhyming adventure with Mubu as he learns through trial and error the secret to being his best self"

I received Mubu the Morph in exchange for my review. It came packaged with a bookmark and a coloring book, both of which my daughter was excited to use right away.

Throughout the story I was confused about the message of Mubu. He's a Morph which means he can choose what he wants to be. But he has to find who he truly is. I think. In the end I wasn't sure if he was supposed to be happy with who he was or feel free to be anything he wanted. Either way, he did ultimately discover that the real answer is inside of himself, so he shouldn't go looking for his identity from others.

Regardless of the intended point of the story, my daughter enjoyed the book very much. She studied the colorful pictures even after we'd finished reading. So I'd say Mubu the Morph was a success in the bedtime story department.

Saturday, April 16, 2016


Hey, Peeps! We're now on the tweets. I mean the twitters. We tweet.
But follow us on Twitter @nevthefurth.
Be one of the cool kids.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Upcoming New Release: Hope by Grier Cooper


Indigo Ballet Series
Release Date: April 26, 2016

Perfection. Beauty. Pain. This is life for Indigo Stevens at the famed New York School of Ballet, where there’s no such thing as weakness or privacy and every movement is scrutinized and judged. Indigo hopes she’ll be chosen for the company, but her ballet teachers aren’t talking and their silence is confusing.

When Indigo is singled out for a coveted solo she feels her dreams are finally within reach, until she discovers she’s dancing with Felipe Gonzalez, the school’s smolderingly hot rising star. In the days that follow, Indigo questions everything she thought was true and finds herself making surprising choices. Will she create the life she wants or lose everything?

**If you would like your new release featured on Nevermind the Furthermore, please see Other Submission Guidelines.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Life Lessons from Grandpa and His Chicken Coop by Jacob Paul Patchen

A Playful Journey Through Some Serious Sh*t

When I was asked to review Life Lessons from Grandpa and His Chicken Coop, I hesitated. It's not the kind of book I usually read. I specifically don't read memoirs (I think this is the second time I've mentioned that in a review of a memoir). And I was never a boy growing up on a farm. I was a girl growing up in the city. So I agreed to review Life Lessons because it's not the kind of book I usually read. I wanted to know what these guys and these chickens knew that I didn't know.

Life Lessons is a humorous account of the lessons Patchen learned while growing up next door to his grandpa's farm. I was immediately impressed by Patchen's storytelling and conversational writing style. He has masterfully crafted vivid descriptions of life on a farm. Sometimes they were a little too vivid for lunchtime reading. I mean, there's a lot of chicken sh*t in this book. Other times Patchen's writing gave me goosebumps. After all, not all of his grandpa's life lessons revolved around stealing eggs from chickens.

However, at times it was hard to get past the lack of professional editing for this book. I was easily distracted by Patchen's excessive and sometimes inappropriate use of commas. I believe that a professional edit of Life Lessons from Grandpa and His Chicken Coop is the only thing standing in the way of this memoir becoming a major success.
My Favorite Quote:
"This may or may not also be why I slept with a pocket knife underneath my pillow for the majority of my youth--to keep those psycho chickens from making num-nums out of my nose pickers."

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Diary of a 6th Grade Ninja by Marcus Emerson

Diary of a 6th Grade Ninja is the first in a series of books by self-published author Marcus Emerson. My son, who is in the fourth grade, received the first book for Christmas in 2015. He's already finished six in the series, loaned them to his cousin, and is asking for more. Below is his review of book one:

"It’s a great book with lots of action and fun. Sometimes it’s even funny! The best book from Marcus Emerson is what I’d say. The book is not that long, only 84 pages long. Also, while you’re there, read Secret Agent 6TH Grader from Buchanan school.
Join Chase Cooper, Zoe, Brayden, Faith, Gavin, and the ninja clan as they stop Wyatt, Carlyle, and the red ninjas."
My son's going to be a writer, I'm telling you. He's so smart. I asked him a few questions about the book as well:

What was your favorite part of the book?
I enjoyed the action in the book and the fight scenes.

Were they violent or scary?
Not scary, but there was punching a slapping.

What was the main character like?
Chase was nice but stood up for himself.

Who do you think would like this book?
Kids fourth to sixth grade who are into ninjas.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Secrets of the Throne by CC Rogers

      Eighteen-year-old Lady Sharilyn Dawson yearns to sample the sophistication of the royal court. She recognizes an opportunity to leave her country home when she meets Lord Jonathan Redley, a widower who needs help caring for his young son. Life at the castle, however, is more perilous than she ever imagined.  
      As lords vie for the throne and an assassin stalks the night, Sharilyn must learn to navigate the treacherous waters of politics before they claim her life.

This book started off somewhat promising for me. I don't want to not like a book. I hate giving bad reviews. At first I could tell that it wasn't historically accurate, but it seemed to be leading to a good castle fantasy nonetheless. It began, as many novels do, with a light setup to pull the reader in. Unfortunately, it never got any deeper than that.

I tried to keep an open mind about the writing. I considered that maybe it was geared more toward tweens. That would excuse most of the shortcomings in this book. So I carried on. But then there were a couple brief sex scenes and I realized that it really was meant for young adult readers.

The biggest issue I had was that it was a modern story set in a medieval castle. The language was modern. The characters used modern phrases. They had modern attitudes and modern ideas. Lord Redley didn't care that his new bride did whatever she wanted and ran around with one of the castle guards (who just happened to be a woman). And when Sharilyn stormed into the king's chamber and gave him a piece of her mind he just shrugged it off and then praised her for being a strong, willful woman.

Like I said, Sharilyn is a willful woman with a feminist attitude. That's fine for a character. But in this particular setting it doesn't make sense that it's tolerated. Also, at the beginning of the book she's just turned eighteen and admits that she rarely gets away from the countryside where she's lived all her life with her family. But somehow she has the wisdom and maturity of an older, experienced woman. Through the whole story she's giving political and personal advice to her new, much older husband and he's constantly conceding to her ideas. How these two weak-minded men came to rule anything is the true secret of the throne.

And another thing, I cannot read another book with faultless characters. All of the good guys were so good and felt heavy remorse at the slightest misstep. In fact, Sharilyn and Jonathan spent so much time complementing and reassuring each other that I thought my eyes would roll completely out of my head.

So, there's the romance between the Lord and his new bride who have to get to know each other because they just met. That's a good story. I feel like the writer should have just focused on that. But there's also chapter after chapter of "There's an assassin coming. Who is it? I don't know. Forget it, let's go to a party." And there were wizards that were mentioned so infrequently that I wondered why they were part of the story at all.

Basically, I didn't like this book. Had it been intended for a younger audience I would have a different point of view. But, as a young adult novel, the only thing that would have saved it for me would have been a romantic twist involving Lady Sharilyn and Cora the female guard. I found myself rooting for it to go that way. You know what I mean? Wink.