For readers around the globe. :)

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Can I Say

Travis Barker is one of the best drummers in the world. But few people know his story. He started out with the Aquabats, worked his way up to Blink-182, dedicated his down time to the Transplants, started Box Car Racer, created +44 with Mark Hoppus, became a drummer for TRV$DJAM. Travis Barker wrote can I say as a tell all for all of the things he's done. He worked his way up from the bottom. He grew up skating and drumming along to his idols. He grew up knowing he wanted to be someone. His mom wanted him to be someone. He took drugs, he smoked a lot, he made poor choices, but in the end he came out on top. He's humble, he's kind, he cherishes his two kids. He survived a plane crash that killed two of his friends. He's lost close friends and family. He's survived more than the average person should ever have to endure. He started Famous Stars and Straps and only hires people he knows personally. He collects classic cars with this pal Pops. He raises his children better than any celebrity I've seen. Travis has the utmost respect and puts his all into every single thing he does. Can I Say is one of the best autobiographies I have read in a very long time. If you're a die hard Blink-182 fan, this is the book for you. If you love Travis Barker and everything he does, read this book. I highly recommend! 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Obscura: The Contract

Samuel Davis lives the life of petty crime, but nothing serious. When two men show up at his door, his life changes forever. The Obscura takes lives and restarts them in the Windy City, Chicago. This secret society operates under strict orders, do whatever Christian say and do not ever question it. Samuel Davis, now Samuel Brown, must cut ties with his past, fake his own death, and leave behind the one girl he truly loves. He doesn't understand how the Obscura works, but he's determined to find out. Could he be on to something when he finds papers on how power is transferred? Could he get shipped to work offshore? Will he turn up dead? And where is Jess, shouldn't she be home safe?

Obscura marks the start of a new series by debut author Nathaniel Wood. 
I cannot wait for the next one to see where Samuel takes us!
For an exclusive excerpt check out: SPOTLIGHT: Obscura: The Contract

Spotlight: Obscura: The Contract

An exclusive excerpt courtesy of debut author, Nathaniel Wood!

They knew all the right things to say to convince me. Who am I to turn down such an incredible deal? I was a desperate man, and they seemed like professionals willing to help.
     My name is Samuel Davis and I used to be what some may call “unemployable.” You see, I have never been afraid to bend the rules a little, but then the whole “criminal law of the land” issue arises. Of course, I was not very good at it, but I at least managed to stay out of jail and the grave. I hated being a criminal, but I had no choice.
     Why not just go get myself a regular job? Well, I tried: I used to work as a carpenter for several different companies, a locksmith here and there, and for a little while I even chopped wood near my home and tried to sell it. But after a while construction projects stop, people quit hiring, and firewood is replaced by electricity.
     Oh, and this was not the worst part. My home was falling apart and food is not free, so I had to borrow money from countless places. But of course, an unemployed man borrowing money is a fast road to disaster: the loans were ready to default and banks would not even look at a man like me. So give me a break for accepting the agreement. Desperate men do crazy things.
 
To read more of Samuel's journey, check out Nathaniel Wood's blog here!
To read Obscura: The Contract, check out Amazon and download it to your kindle or e-reader!
For my review check out Obscura: The Contract

Sunday, February 21, 2016

My Heart and Other Black Holes

Smooth Passages:
ALS0109: 16 year old girl; suicidal. 
FrozenRobot: 17 year old boy; suicidal.
Smooth Passages connects two unlikely teens in the most important moment of their lives: death. Aysel is convinced that every one hates her because her fathers crime was the talk of the town. When she see's Roman's post on Smooth Passages, she knows she has finally found her suicide partner. April 7th, that's when "it" happens. They'll jump at Crestville Pointe, straight into the Ohio River. But shouldn't they get to know each other before they die together? The two of them are battling very different demons. Yet they both blame themselves. Aysel should have been there for her father. Roman should have been keeping a closer eye on his sister. They connect on an emotional level and learn how to live with one another. Depression can't be the only thing they have in common.. They want to be understood. They understand each other. That's what makes life worth living, not physics or basketball. But the understanding of another human being makes all the difference. 

This novel shattered my heart so many times. 
Depression is a pressing issue in our society. 
It takes the lives of many loved ones.
Rest in Peace to those who felt misunderstood.

If you feel misunderstood, please get the help you deserve.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK

You deserve to live.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Columbine

Everyone remembers April 20, 1999.
Dave Cullen does a fantastic job walking us through the halls and heartbreak of Columbine. Columbine became more than just a school. It became a landmark, a massacre, and a sense of serenity for the survivors.
Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold took the lives of 13 students and faculty, before turning their guns on themselves. This event was a turning point in American culture Dave Cullen has been working on this case for 17 years, and there is still very little closure. He retells the events in such detail that it's hard to believe it's nonfiction. He walks us through the halls with the frantic students, faculty, the principal, even the gunmen themselves. You can feel the terror as Eric and Dylan begin throwing pipe bombs down the stairwells at their friends. The police and SWAT had their adrenaline pumping trying to secure the perimeter. The parents not so patiently waiting to see if their children showed up at one of the safe zones. You feel the pain of parents knowing their children will never be coming home. Columbine created a sense of fear in the everyday lives of every student, parent, and faculty member in America. Eric and Dylan fed off of this fear. They planned for almost a year before their attack. They kept journals, they made video tapes, they practiced with their weapons, and they perfected their pipe bombs. The two of them knew they would not be leaving the attack alive. They left messages of apology for their families and loved ones. But this was what they believed they needed to do. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Spotlight: The Truth

Thanks to Sourcebooks Fire, here is an exclusive excerpt from The Truth!
Check out my review here!
I wake up to find I can’t move, my arms and legs duct-taped tight to a wooden chair. Duct tape is also wrapped around my chest and the chair’s hard, unyielding back.
The only thing not bound is my head, but I can only turn it left and right. I can’t look behind me because of the chair’s high back.
Christ, what is this!
My head hurts. I feel nauseous, dizzy. Can’t focus. What happened? How did I get here? My memory’s a blur.
“Hey!” I shout. “Hey! Anybody here?”
I wait a few seconds. Nothing.
I see unfinished walls, but I could be in a room anywhere. The only furniture I can see is a metal folding chair leaning against the wall opposite.
Wait a minute! What about Devon! The last thing I remember was calling on my cell phone to make sure he got to the field OK. What time is it? Is he in the middle of his game, wondering where I am? Is Mom there, wondering the same thing?
I can tell my cell is not in my pocket, not that I’d be able to reach it anyway. Where is it? How long have I been out? A couple hours? A whole day? Is it still … what, Saturday? Are people looking for me? The police?
“Hey!” I shout again. “Heeeyyyy!” I try harder to break free. “Is somebody here? Can somebody help me? Please! Please…!”
Who could have done this to me? Why?
“Help! Help me! Heeelllp…”
This isn’t working. I need to calm down and try to think. Come on; breathe. That’s it. Again. OK, now another breath. My heart is starting to slow a bit. That’s good. Maybe closing my eyes will help.
Two more deep breaths. Okay. Now, think.
I remember dialing my cell. But before that. I had knocked on Rita’s front door. We were going to go to Devon’s game together. I was waiting for her to open the door. Wait, the door did start to open. Then … nothing. Or … something. Something made me pass out. Something with a sweet smell. Held against my face. Making me gag. Feel sick. I couldn’t push it away. Something very strong was holding it in place.
Not some thing. Some one.
I hear movement. Behind me. A door opening. I try to look back; can’t.
The door closes. A quiet click.
Then footsteps. Steady, determined.
I recognize the guy who appears in front of me. Derek Brannick. Only a year older than me, which makes him seventeen, but with the broken front teeth and scar on his throat he looks much older.
He’s holding something in his hand, which he slips into his pants pocket before I can see it. Then he picks up the metal chair from against the wall and opens it before straddling it and leaning over the back, facing me. He lowers his head. Does nothing for a couple minutes. My heart slams against my chest. I wait. So scared I can’t think straight.
Finally, he raises his head and looks at me. His eyes… It’s as if there’s no light in them. Nothing. Dead eyes.
“You want some water?” His voice is raspy. He stands and moves out of my field of vision. I hear a faucet turning on and off. Then he’s back with a paper cup. “Tilt your head back,” he says. I do the best I can. Some of the water runs down my chin but enough makes it into my mouth. The water’s lukewarm, but I welcome it.
“Feel better? Can you talk? ’Cause you’re gonna need to be able to talk. ” He crumples the cup and throws it on the floor.
“Yes,” I croak. “Th … thank you.” My voice is trembling. I can’t help it.
Derek nods, lets out another long breath as if he has the weight of the world on his shoulders, and sit back down in his chair, pulling it closer to me.
“I’m … I’m sorry,” I try. “I’m really—”
“Shh,” he says sharply, pointing a finger at me. “I told you before, Chris… I’m not looking for that.”
“I should have showed up at the—”
“Shhh!”
He begins to cough. It sounds painful. He starts to talk again, then stops. Maybe it’s painful to talk too. The way his voice is all rough and raspy, it wouldn’t surprise me.
Derek tries again. “I tied you up because I need you to listen,” he says. “Focus. Think you can do that?”
“Please… Wh … what do you want from me?”
“The truth,” he says. “That’s all.”
He reaches for my left hand. Tied the way I am, I can’t resist. “I don’t want to hurt you if I don’t have to,” Derek says. “But you need to know that I’m serious. If I think you’re lying…” With his other hand, he pulls out what he had shoved into his pants pocket and shows it to me.
A pair of flower cutters. Curved. Sharp.
Slowly, even gently, he opens them and slides the little finger of my left hand in between the razor edges.
“One finger for each lie,” he says again, “Do you understand?”
Oh God! Oh Jesus! All at once, I’m sweating, my eyes stinging.
“Do you understand?” he asks again, voice unchanging, low key.
“Yes,” I croak. My eyes remain riveted to the cutters, expecting them to move, to squeeze.
“Chris. Look at me.”
I look up into those dead eyes.
“I meant what I said.” He stops to cough again; continues. “I need to understand everything. This,” he says, indicating the cutters lightly caressing my finger, “will help you to tell the truth. That’s all I want. Don’t tell me what you think I want to hear. There’s no right or wrong answer. There’s only the truth. Do you understand?”
But I can’t tell him the truth. Not the whole truth.
My eyes dart back to the cutters.
Abruptly, he squeezes them. “Do you understand?”

Mark your calendars, The Truth hits shelves February 2nd!