Monday, June 24, 2013

The Finer Edge Review and Giveaway

An innovative collection of 40 stitch and 12 garment patterns from best-selling author Kristin Omdahl, The Finer Edge demonstrates various techniques, construction methods, and versatile applications for crochet edgings.

While crochet edgings are customarily used to trim or finish blankets and garments, designer Kristin Omdahl treats you to both traditional and novel new ways to expand your use of edgings. You will learn how edging patterns can be used to create entire fabrics, reformatted to make individual decorative motifs, reverse-engineered from existing fabrics, and even used to create three-dimensional designs. Focusing on construction techniques for edgings, The Finer Edge is divided into separate sections based on top-down, sideways, and bottom-up methods to help guide the reader.

Though there are 12 project patterns that highlight the edgings, you'll be inspired to creatively mix and match within each edging’s section. Also included in this gorgeous book are charts, illustrations, and photographs of crochet swatches and a pattern collection that includes multiple sizes, including plus sizes.

Discover innovation at its finest with The Finer Edge.



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Please welcome the wonderful and amazing Kristin Omdahl as she joins us today for a glimpse into her newest book, The Finer Edge. Filled with edgings that can be used as edgings or as projects in themselves. There are projects using the edgings given but I felt really drawn to the edgings themselves.  The combination of the written instruction and the charts were very helpful. 

The biggest thing that caught my eye was the possibility of using some of these patterns for a pretty headband, or perhaps an edging for a dishcloth gift- something small where you can learn a new stitch and not want to pass out from terror looking at unreadable instructions. I love that! (not passing out-readable instructions in both formats. lol)

The pictures in the book are colorful and really illustrate the wide variety of styles and functions.  The Birka Car Coat was a lovely piece, as was the Ephesus Cowl and the Pompeii Mobius.  

This book has a lot of great patterns that can be used in many ways. Many thanks to the publisher for sending a copy my way for review. My fingers are itching to pick up a hook and get a couple of headbands going.


1. Who was the main influence in your life that got you interested in crocheting/knitting?
It was my son, before he was born. When I was pregnant I was overwhelmed with the urge to learn how to knit and crochet to make things for him. 

2. What was the hardest project you have ever done and why?
The hardest project I ever worked on was a wool and mohair blanket I had to crochet in August outside at my son's football camp. It was over 90 degrees outside and I was almost finished, so I had a large wool blanket in my lap in the heat. That was difficult. But it was a job with a deadline, so I had to push through.

3. In your book, what pattern/project is your favorite and why?
I'm very excited about the 3-dimensional projects in the pattern collection because I wanted to know if it could be done: making 3-D fabric from edging. And it has allowed inspiration to explode ever since. Since writing the book, I keep thinking of other things I can make with this concept!

4. Favorite books to read when you are not knitting/crocheting?
I am an avid reader. I've been reading daily my whole life. Over the years, I have turned to non-fiction from fiction, but my all-time favorites are mostly fiction, still. These books I have read multiple times: Mayfair Witches Chronicles by Anne Rice, The Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, The Stand by Stephen King, The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo, and The New Earth by Eckhart Tolle.

5. Chocolate cake or angel food?
I'm not much of a cake person! But one square of deep, dark chocolate with a nice cup of tea or coffee is wonderful.

6. Beach vacation or a trip to the mountains…
I live near the beach, and I always love going to the beach. I would never turn down a beach vacation, but I would like to try a mountain vacation. I'd REALLY like to go to Alaska and go salmon fishing.

7. What is one tip you would give to someone just learning how to knit/crochet? 
Breathe, relax and have fun! Tension is one of the hardest parts to achieve when you begin. And stressing about it will only make your tension tighter. 

8. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Chocolate or coconut. I don't like vanilla ice cream or even ice cream with a vanilla base. But it's because I despise artificial flavorings, especially artificial vanilla and almond flavorings.

9. What are some of the projects you are most proud of? (pictures and book links if possible)
I am proud of my career. I am a single mom, without child support or a safety net. I dreamed of being able to support my son with my designs since before he was born. I am grateful every single day that I can support us doing what I love. I am especially proud of my books because I enjoy the opportunity to teach a concept thoroughly through the large scale of books. 

10. Where are you going next on your needlework adventures?
I'd love to continue doing what I do, and add new mediums to my business. I want to be able to connect with my audience more closely online. I'm looking into different platforms for teaching and talking on the internet with video. Beefing up my YouTube channel, adding a video podcast. As soon as I launch it, I'll announce it on my blog:

Want to win a copy of The Finer Edge? Enter the Rafflecopter form below!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Finding Esta Virtual Tour

June 10Crazy Four Books

June 10 Urban Fantasy Reviews

June 11
Paranormal Book Club

June 12Books, Books, and More Books

June 13
On the Broomstick

Series: Supes #1

BLURB: As an empath, Luna yearns for love and acceptance, for an end to her chronic isolation. Unable to touch, she settles for the lover’s caress of a stranger who visits her dreams, and her only friends in the world are Shadows – spirits who reside within in her fragile mind, seeking refuge from the Shadow Lands.
Always desperate to earn parental respect, and to solve a twenty-year-old child abduction case, she travels to Cornwall to Esta’s family home, situated on an abandoned cul-de-sac. Searching for clues to her tragic fate, she finds much more than she bargained for. A whole new reality is revealed, one where her accursed abnormalities are clarified, but her only friends vanish.
More alone than ever and desperate for answers, Luna struggles to retain a sense of identity, and the light grip on reality she’s been used to.
Will she find Esta, and if so, will she live to tell her story? More terrifyingly, who will care enough to listen, and who will ever care enough about Luna?

twitter username: shahw1
coming soon!

ABOUT shah wharton: 
For a full biography including, what I offer readers and writers on my blog, go here -
In short, I love to read and to write. I enjoy lurking within the creepy folds of my imagination, and exploring the imaginary worlds of others. Movies and theatre are also hugely enjoyable for this reason.
We also have a pup called Bobby – A big, bounding German Shepherd who is going to grow to an enormous stature – his paws are almost as big as my husbands hands!. After only a few months, he has filled our lives with furry fun-times, and blossomed in our hearts. My husband and I also enjoy travel, visiting our family in UK because we live in Dubai for his work, and damn good food. Oh, and I can’t forget my love for exceptional tea, coffee and wine.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Phantom and Demon Super Book Blast

Phantom, Dark Musicals Trilogy Book #1 and Demon-Dark Musicals Trilogy Book #2
by Laura DeLuca


BLURB: Demon, Book Two

When Justyn and Rebecca set off for the New York School of Performing Arts, they think their dreams are about to come true. To their dismay, they aren’t in high school anymore, and the competition is steep. Rebecca must compete against accomplished singers for a role in the production of Demon Barber, including a stunning Gothic diva with her sights set on Justyn

It doesn't help that things keep disappearing from their apartment or that Rebecca's father refuses to accept that Justyn is an essential part of her life. Yet, all this seems minimal in comparison to the serial rapist terrorizing the campus.

Consumed by fear and obsessed with revenge, Rebecca and Justyn start living the story of Sweeney Todd—both on and off the stage.

Blurb: Phantom, Dark Musicals Book #1:

The “Phantom” was a musical phenomenon that Rebecca had always found enchanting. She had no idea that her life was about to mirror the play that was her obsession. When her high school drama club chooses “Phantom” as their annual production, Rebecca finds herself in the middle of an unlikely love triangle and the target of a sadistic stalker who uses the lines from the play as their calling card.

Rebecca lands the lead role of Christine, the opera diva, and like her character, she is torn between her two co-stars—Tom the surfer and basketball star who plays the lovable hero, and Justyn, the strangely appealing Goth who is more than realistic in the role of the tortured artist.

Almost immediately after casting, strange things start to happen both on and off the stage. Curtains fall. Mirrors are shattered. People are hurt in true phantom style. They all seem like accidents until Rebecca receives notes and phone calls that hint at something more sinister. Is Justyn bringing to life the twisted character of the phantom? Or in real life are the roles of the hero and the villain reversed? Rebecca doesn’t know who to trust, but she knows she’s running out of time as she gets closer and closer to opening night. Only when the mask is stripped away, will the twenty first century phantom finally be revealed.


Excerpt One: Demon

Rebecca unwound the silver ribbon. When she lifted the lid, she found two matching pendants, each laced to a long hemp chain. They were shaped sort of like seashells, with an endless spiral pattern that looped out from the center as the chambers grew larger. They were dark brown in color with a few hints of tan along the edges. The stones had been polished and smoothed on both sides, but when she lifted them, she could see that the two pieces fit together perfectly. She swore the halves fought to snap together, like magnets in her hand. There was an energy pulsing and vibrating within the stones that even a novice witch like Rebecca could feel.

“They’re beautiful,” Rebecca whispered as she ran her hand along the intricate grooves.

“It’s an ammonite.” Justyn lifted one of the pendants, brushed her hair to the side, and hooked the clasp around her neck. His breath tickled her skin as his hands moved with graceful dexterity, giving her goose bumps despite the humid August night. “They’re actually fossils that are millions of years old, named after Ammon, an ancient Egyptian deity. When they’re divided in half, they’re perfect mirrors of one another. Some cultures believe that if the two halves are given to lovers, it will bind them together forever. When made into necklaces, they’re often called soul mate pendants.”

“Wo-wow,” Rebecca stuttered. As usual, the sentiment behind Justyn’s gift was even more beautiful than the gift itself. It left her a little flustered. “That’s amazing. How do you know all this stuff?”

“You don’t spend eighteen years living with Darlene without learning a thing or two.”

Rebecca laughed. Justyn’s mother Darlene was definitely something special. EMT, exotic belly dancer, and Wiccan High Priestess were only a few of the titles she claimed. Rebecca knew she was a fountain of earth-based knowledge after years of studying the Craft. As Darlene’s new apprentice, Rebecca greedily dipped into that knowledge herself as often as possible.

“It’s beautiful,” Rebecca repeated, too overcome with emotion to think of anything more eloquent to say. “You certainly know how to make things interesting.”

“Like I told you on our first date, I try not to be boring.” He winked at her. “So … are you going to put mine on for me?”

“Oh yeah … sorry.”

Rebecca giggled as she lifted the hemp chain. She wasn’t nearly as graceful as Justyn. She almost dropped the necklace in the sand three times before she managed to get the clasp locked. When she finally had it secured, he placed his hand over her heart, where the ammonite lay. He did the same with her hands, lifting them to his chest. His dark eyes had lost all glimmer of humor. He met her gaze with a stare filled with genuine emotion. Beneath her fingers, she could feel the gentle, steady rhythm of his heart beating in perfect tune with her own.

“Our love will span both space and time. In this life and the next, you shall be mine. All eternity I will be by your side. For a love so strong cannot be denied. Spirit and flesh merged into one. So mote it be, for all days to come.”

When he was done with the recitation, he kissed her. Not just a gentle brush, but a deep, passionate embrace that left her throat tight and her heart pounding with a familiar  yearning.

“I’ve never heard that poem before,” she said once she’d caught her breath. “Who are you quoting?”

Even in the moonlight, she could see him blush. “I guess I was quoting myself. It was really more of an incantation than a poem though. These necklaces are meant to be a symbol of our love, and it seemed a little spell work could only add to the power of the stones. There is power in words, Becca. Just like there is power in nature.”

“You mean, you wrote that?”

He nodded, but his eyes twinkled, and the playfulness was back in his voice. “Well, actually, I just made it up as I went along.”

“Wow. Actor, singer, and now an improv poet slash chant writer. Is there anything you can’t do, Lord Justyn?”

He smiled and tilted her chin so he could look into her eyes. “I can’t stop loving you.”

.Excerpt Three: Phantom

The orchestra tuned for its virtuoso, and Justyn stood ready. But no one else was ready for the magical performance he began. Beside her, Carmen was rambling on about something mundane. Rebecca elbowed her to silence so she could listen to the perfectly thrilling tenor. As she listened to the song unfold, the world around her started to slip away. Gone was the high school auditorium. Gone were the rowdy teenagers. The Gothic stranger on the stage had become the embodiment of Erik, and Rebecca watched him in all his dark glory, belting out his tormented love through the words of his song. And she was as breathless with wonder as Christine herself must have been when the masked stranger serenaded her in the candlelit labyrinth of the opera house. In that moment, Justyn wasn’t just portraying the phantom. Justyn was the phantom.

                                               “Let the music touch your soul.
                                                 Let the darkness make you whole.
                                                 Do not fear what is unknown.
                                                 Your true path has now been shown.
                                                 Listen to the words I sing.
                                                 Embrace the peace that night will bring.”

As he continued to sing in his deep but somehow angelic voice, Rebecca found that she couldn’t tear her eyes away from him. With every line, her heart began to beat faster.  She truly felt the arms of night wrapping her in a warm embrace. She could almost feel the hands of the phantom glide along her body as the words poured forth. The music caressed her. It possessed her—mind, body and soul. Each word left her longing, yearning for more.
She was gawking so obviously, it was hardly surprising when Justyn felt her eyes on him and steadily met her gaze. She realized her mouth was hanging open in stunned awe, and she quickly snapped it shut. His lips moved into just a small hint of a smile. He never took his eyes off her while he sang the final verse, making her cheeks flush to the point that she felt almost feverish. But it wasn’t embarrassment but excitement, arousal even, which was sending her mind spinning in so many directions.

When the song was over, and Rebecca had recovered just a hint of her composure, she couldn’t help but burst into a healthy round of applause. A few scattered people joined in, including Debbie and Carmen after she nudged them in the ribs. But only Miss King seemed to truly appreciate the brilliance of his talent as much as Rebecca did.

“That was amazing, Justyn!” the teacher gushed.

 “Lord Justyn,” he corrected as he stepped down from the stage.

 A few others complimented him as well, but he took in all in stride. In fact, his serious expression never faltered as he stepped down from the stage. He seemed almost bored, like it was all he could do to hold back a yawn, despite the smiles and words of encouragement.

But not everyone in the crowd was pleased as Justyn glided down the aisle, so ethereal in his dark garments that he still resonated the spirit of the Opera Ghost. Miss King might have been excited about the newest male addition to her cast after being limited for many years, but Tom and his group of boisterous companions glared at him as he passed them by.  Jay sneered and tossed a balled up piece of paper in Justyn’s direction, but the Goth was quick, and caught it in his hand without missing a beat.
“I think you dropped something,” he said.

His speaking voice was no less melodic than his singing voice, but something about his tone made Rebecca shiver. He tossed the paper back at Jay, who was nowhere near as coordinated as Justyn. He practically fell off his seat in his efforts to catch it.

“Hey vampire,” Tom called when Justyn went to walk away. “Are you sure you can handle the competition?”

Justyn smiled, a cool, sarcastic half-smile, and crossed his arms over his chest. “Are you?”

Miss King didn’t notice the short confrontation, and Justyn vanished from the auditorium as quickly and mysteriously as he had appeared. Only Rebecca had noticed the very real tension between the two boys. She wondered if it was a bad omen for them to start off the production with hard feelings and envy. That could only lead to trouble. The kind of trouble that could end with someone getting hurt.  The kind of trouble that Rebecca would do whatever it took to avoid.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Laura “Luna” DeLuca lives at the beautiful Jersey shore with her husband and four children. She loves writing in the young adult genre because it keeps her young at heart.  In addition to writing fiction, Laura is also the editor of a popular review blog called New Age Mama. She is an active member of her local pagan community, and has been studying Wicca for close to eight years.  Her current works include Destiny, Destiny Unveiled, Phantom, Morrigan, Player, and Demon.

Social Media Links:

If you haven't read the first book in the series, now is a great time to get your copy. To celebrate the release of Demon, Phantom is now on sale for only $1.99 exclusively on Amazon!


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Buy Links for Demon:



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Laura will be awarding to a US Only Winner: a signed copy of Phantom with original cover, crystal geode, rough crystal point, stone pendant, sterling silver pentacle pendant, mini Buddha figurine, smudge stick with abalone shell, 2 Gothic style key chains, incense set with leaf holder and lavender purification bath salts to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

The more you comment, the more you have chances to win! Follow the blog, leave a comment and fill out the Rafflecopter form below! Check out more stops on the tour here:

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Shadow of Danger Super Book Blast

Shadow of Danger
by Kristine Mason



Four women have been found dead in the outskirts of a small Wisconsin town. The only witness, clairvoyant Celeste Risinski, observes these brutal murders through violent nightmares and hellish visions. The local sheriff, who believes in Celeste’s abilities and wants to rid their peaceful community of a killer, enlists the help on an old friend, Ian Scott, owner of a private criminal investigation agency, CORE. Because of Ian’s dark history with Celeste’s family, a history she knows nothing about, he sends his top criminalist, former FBI agent John Kain to investigate.

John doesn’t believe in Celeste’s mystic hocus-pocus, or in her visions of the murders. But just when he’s certain they’ve solved the crimes, with the use of science and evidence, more dead bodies are discovered. Could this somehow be the work of the same killer or were they dealing with a copycat? To catch a vicious murderer, the skeptical criminalist reluctantly turns to the sensual psychic for help. Yet with each step closer to finding the killer, John finds himself one step closer to losing his heart. 


Barnes & Noble:


Excerpt One:
Excerpt #1  (heroine)

Fingers clawing at the sheets, tearing them from the mattress, Celeste Risinski woke with a scream. Panicked, disoriented, she shoved at hands she swore still gripped her. As she struggled, she knocked the alarm clock from the nightstand. When it hit the hardwood floor, the radio blared. The loud music, laced with crackling static, startled her.

She whipped open her eyes, relief slowed her racing heart as she looked down at her body, to where her arms and legs were tangled in the thin sheets and comforter. Brutal hands weren’t holding her down. She wasn’t in the woods. She wasn’t fighting for her life. She was in her bedroom, waking up from another nightmare, another look into hell.

Dragging in a deep breath, she pulled herself to the edge of the mattress, bent and retrieved the clock. After turning off the radio, she placed it back on the nightstand, then wiped tears from her face she didn’t remember crying.

No, not true. In her nightmare, she’d cried and screamed, begged and pleaded, while trapped in the body of another woman. She hated the way her mind had been sucked into the woman’s soul. She’d experienced every ounce of the terror, and even the pain the woman had endured. She rubbed her neck where the phantom cord had been wrapped during the dream. Even though she was blessedly free of the nightmare and sitting in her bedroom, claustrophobia wrapped tightly around her, making it difficult to breathe. 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

I didn’t pick up my first romance novel until I was in my late twenties. Immediately hooked, I read a bazillion books before deciding to write one of my own. After the birth of my first son I needed something to keep my mind from turning to mush, and Sesame Street wasn’t cutting it. While that first book will never see the light of day, something good had come from writing it. I realized my passion, and had found a career that I love.

When I’m not writing contemporary romances and dark, romantic suspense novels (or reading them!) I’m chasing after my four kids and two neurotic dogs.





Books available on Amazon, B & N, iBooks

Kristine will be awarding four (4) print copies of Pick Me (US only) and three (3) $10 Amazon GCs to randomly drawn commenters during the tour. So make sure you follow the blog and leave your email address for a chance to win. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Witches: Edited by Paula Guran

Witches: Wicked, Wild & Wonderful

A bewitching brew of stories sure to enchant.

Surrounded by the aura of magic, witches have captured our imaginations for millennia and fascinate us now more than ever. No longer confined to the image of a hexing old crone, witches can be kindly healers and protectors, tough modern urban heroines, holders of forbidden knowledge, sweetly domestic spellcasters, darkly domineering, sexy enchantresses, ancient sorceresses, modern Wiccans, empowered or persecuted, possessors of supernatural abilities that can be used for good or evil—or perhaps only perceived as such. Welcome to the world of witchery in many guises: wicked, wild, and wonderful. Includes two original, never-published stories.

The Cold Blacksmith • (2006) • shortstory by Elizabeth Bear
The Ground Whereon She Stands • (2011) • shortfiction by Leah Bobet
The Witch’s Headstone • (2007) • novelette by Neil Gaiman
Lessons with Miss Gray • (2006) • novelette by Theodora Goss
The Only Way to Fly • (1995) • shortstory by Nancy Holder
Basement Magic • (2003) • novelette by Ellen Klages
Nightside • [Diana Tregarde] • (1989) • shortstory by Mercedes Lackey
April in Paris • (1962) • shortstory by Ursula K. Le Guin
The Goosle • (2008) • shortstory by Margo Lanagan
Mirage and Magia • (1982) • shortstory by Tanith Lee
Poor Little Saturday • (1956) • shortstory by Madeleine L'Engle
Catskin • (2003) • shortstory by Kelly Link
Bloodlines • shortfiction by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
The Way Wind • (1995) • novelette by Andre Norton
Skin Deep • (2008) • novelette by Richard Parks
Ill Met in Ulthar • shortfiction by Tim Pratt [as by T. A. Pratt ]
Marlboros & Magic • shortfiction by Linda Robertson
Walpurgis Afternoon • (2005) • novelette by Delia Sherman
The World Is Cruel, My Daughter • (2011) • shortstory by Cory Skerry
The Robbery • (1995) • shortstory by Cynthia Ward
Afterward • (1999) • shortstory by Don Webb
Magic Carpets • (1995) • shortstory by Leslie What
Boris Chernevsky's Hands • (1982) • short story by Jane Yolen

Some books are a quick read and some books want you to linger. Witches is one of those. I have been savoring this review copy to read when I need a spellbound little nibble. I received this book in exchange for a fair review.

As I will be reviewing this book in pieces, I wanted to start out with the first story that still has me thinking about it even after reading it months ago.  Walpurgis Afternoon was a story that crept under my skin and my psyche and made me want to stay. I loved the idea of the house that just appears one day on a suburban street. Combine that with the intoxicating inhabitants and their magical natures and you have a story that will haunt your dreams. Well, it has mine any way. 

5/5 Walpurgis Afternoon by Delia Sherman

More to come later but this is a book you should check out...