Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Hazel Tree by Julia Debski

The Hazel Tree

by Julia Debski

Giveaway ends May 01, 2014.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Hazel Tree Giveaways

As part of the promotional tour for The Hazel Tree, we have a couple give aways going on for this month.

One is part of Rafflecopter, where you can be eligible to win one of two signed paperback copies, or an ebook! Here is the link:

There is also one on Goodreads! Here is the link:

Also- happy birthday to me today!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Blog Tour Schedule!

April 1 Guest blog
Fang-tastic Books

April 2 Interview
Pembroke Sinclair. 

April 3 Interview
Mom With A Kindle

April 4 Spotlight
Clutter Your Kindle

April 7 Spotlight
3 Partners in shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too!

April 8 Spotlight
The Library Mistress

April 9 Interview
The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom

April 10 Spotlight
The Simple Things if Life

April 11 Interview
CBY Bookclub

April 14 Spotlight
Lisa’s World of Books

April 15 Spotlight
More Romance Please

April 16 Guest blog
Eclipse Reviews

April 17 Guest blog
Coffee Addicted Writer

April 18 Interview
Author Karen Swart

April 18 Spotlight
Queen of All She Reads

April 21 Guest blog
Paranormal Romance Fans for Life

April 22 review
Paranormal Romance and Authors That Rock

April 23 Interview and review
Ebook Escapes

April 24 Interview
Shut Up & Read 

April 24 Spotlight
Fantasy Book Lane

April 25 Interview
Books Direct

April 28 Guest blog and review
Pretty Little Pages 

April 29 Interview
Books in the Hall 

April 30 Interview and review
Musings In Fiction Alley

April 30 Excerpt
Coffee Break 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Book Tour Announcement

Hey everyone!

I'm very excited to announce The Hazel Tree will be on a virtual book tour for the month of April, hosted by Bewitching Book Tours! More information to come as soon as I know more! I'm also organizing little promotional events to go along with the book tour, so if you are interested in reviewing The Hazel Tree or doing a related event, contact me!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Julia's Writing: Background Music

This is my first post in relation to writing.

When I write, I can't stand the quiet. It leaves too much room in my head to get distracted. That's why my favorite places to write are busy and filled with people.

When I was writing The Hazel Tree, I was most productive when writing at Starbucks. Something about the bustling of people and music makes the words flow.

My favorite place was when we were in Devon in England and the whole family went out to a pub. While we were waiting for our food, I whipped out my notebook and was able to write a good couple pages in a span of a few minutes.

However going to Starbucks to write can be expensive, even if it once a week. So one has to get creative in order to recreate the experience.

I think everyone knows about Pandora, which is great. But sometimes not having control over the songs is problematic. So I've become familiar with 8tracks and Grooveshark. It can be time consuming to create a playlist of songs, but if you can get one together that matches the feel of your story, it is so worth it.

You can recreate the sound of a coffee shop or restaurant with Coffitivity.

You can find a good Starbucks playlist here.

Friday, February 21, 2014

2014 TBR Pile Reading Challenge January + February Wrap Up Post

Hi guys and welcome to January and February WRAP-UP post for out 2014 TBR Pile Reading Challenge
Hope you had a great January and February filled with awesome reads! 

Books I've read for the challenge these past two months:


- Dream Girl by S. J. Lomas
- Branded by Abi Ketner & Missy Ealicicki
- Point Pleasant by Jen Archer Wood
- The Waking Dreamer by J.E. Alexander

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Review of The Waking Dreamer by J.E. Alexander

The Waking Dreamer by J.E. Alexander


Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal


Emmett’s dream is always the same. Tingling with half-forgotten memories, he stands in an unknown room surrounded by mirrors, curio cabinets, and nesting dolls. A painting, Belshazzar’s Feast, hangs on the wall, its disembodied hand numbering the King’s final days. Then comes the stranger, the serpent-wielding young woman with the glittering amber eyes. Her words are always the same. Emmett will soon save her. Then the supposed hero awakens to his unremarkable life, awaiting the next night and the same maddeningly familiar dream.

Seventeen-year-old orphan Emmett Brennan remembers nothing of his past—not the boiler room in which his needle-ravaged mother gave birth to him, nor the Druids who tenderly delivered him. He can’t remember the cabal-summoned Revenant that clawed itself from shadow to hunt him, or why his mystical midwives hid him from the necromantic creature. Approaching adulthood, he is unaware of the dark forces that still search for him or the mysterious sentinels who secretly protect him, but on the eve of his eighteenth birthday that will change. The Revenants will find him. Only the young woman from his dreams can help him confront all he was once made to forget. Together, they will brave the nightmarish landscape Emmett’s waking world will soon become.


Reading this book was a bit of a roller coaster ride in terms of how I felt about it. 

It's not every day you come across a story that has Druids and Bards in it, and develop it beyond the stereotypical pagan tree-worshippers. I can say that the characters in The Waking Dreamer are developped the limited stereotype, but it was still a huge dissapointment.

It started out with a bang and hooked me right in. Then it sort of fizzles out. It continues like this throughout the novel.

There was something about Emmett after the first couple chapters that bothered me, though I couldn't quite place my finger on what it was. I realized what it was about half way through. Emmett never asks any questions, even when he should. He doesn't seem to accept the burdern of people dying for him, takes no responsibility for it. It is not a well written, strong lead character. He is a character who I find it impossible to relate to.

On the subject of deaths, there is so much death. I feel like the author is trying to make a point of how scary and badass he is but it is just excessive and pointless. 

One of the very few redeeming qualities of this book is Amalah, who is a strong female character who takes no crap from anyone. She is a badass fighter and very intelligent. However she is not present for most of the book, which is dissapointing. 

I never found the explaination of what exactly the Waking Dreamer is very satisfying. The ending was cliche. Blah.

Purchase: Amazon | Goodreads

Other Books By This Author:  The Waking Dreamer is currently J.E. Alexander's only book, but is the first in a series of 5 novels. The second one is planned to be released in Summer 2014.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Review of Point Pleasant by Jen Archer Wood

Point Pleasant by Jen Archer Wood


Genre: Horror, LGBT, Romance, Mystery


Ben Wisehart grew up in the idyllic town of Point Pleasant, West Virginia. An early encounter with the supernatural shaped his worldview and served as the catalyst for his career as a bestselling horror writer. 

Ben left Point Pleasant at the age of twenty. Thirteen years after abandoning his home, he returns to the town to investigate the apparent reemergence of the terrifying creature responsible for his childhood nightmares. 

In Point Pleasant, Ben is confronted not only by the town’s resident monster, the Mothman, but also by Nicholas Nolan, Ben’s former best friend. Together, with Bill Tucker—the old recluse who lives on the edge of town—Ben and Nicholas uncover the mystery of the monster in the woods and discover that the ghosts that haunt us are sometimes made of flesh and blood. And sometimes, they lead us home.


I read this a year ago before it was edited and published, and thought it was the bee's knees. When I heard that it was going to be published as a novel, I was incredibly excited. The author of this novel is a lovely lady who is originally only an hour and a half away from where I live, and is currently living in the city of my dreams. But now onto the actual book.

It opens on a flashback to Ben and Nicholas as 12 year old boys, and they are in the middle of the action, right off the top. It hooks you in immediately, and before you know it, you can't put the book down anymore.

The story of Ben and Nicholas as adults is beautiful and breathtaking. Their evolution as people and characters from the first page to the last is completely believable and human in a setting and plot the farthest thing from ordinary. The people, the town, and the conflicts betweeen characters ground us among the rather terrifying and supernatural occurences enveloping the small town of Point Pleasant. The author tackles issues such as rejection, identity, love, hate, acceptance, loss, the concept of home, and the ability to believe and have faith with such precision and honesty, it causes the reader to look and think about their life.

The mythology and lore used in this story is well researched and fits. It is actually believable, even some of the more outlandish bits. It mixes Native American, urban and religious lore into one story. In fact, the story as a whole does not fall into one specific genre or another. There is horror, there is mystery, there is romance. But life does not fall into one category, either. 

For me personally, this story made me look at my life and the concept of home in a whole new way. I felt at home with Ben and Nick and in their world. This book is my comfort book, one that I have revisited many times in the past, and will continue to do so in the future.

The illustrations for each chapter capture the tone of the novel perfectly.

As a writer, I find this book a masterpiece. I hope to be able to achieve the same things as this author, to be as skilled as her in writing and storytelling.

It's beautiful and made with love. I think we'd all be lucky to read more stories like this.

** Special note: Point Pleasant has one of the highest ratings I've ever seen on Goodreads, currently at 4.76 with 123 ratings.**

"His smile was like a Dylan album and a cup of coffee on a sunny afternoon." - Point Pleasant

I absolutely suggest you read this book. You will not be dissapointed.

Purchase: Amazon | Goodreads

Other Books By This Author: Point Pleasant is Jen Archer Wood's first novel. She is planning on releasing a second independent novel titled Camera Obscura in early 2014.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Stacking the Shelves #12

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. a chance to share any books you’ve bought, borrowed, or received in the past 7 days. All of the books on this list are linked to Goodreads. 


Bwhahaha! There is a huge fuss with this book right now. Let's see if it lives up to the hype.


I've been super dissapointed by Netgalley books lately so I'm hoping for this one to be a good one!

Another ARC book! This one actually does look really good, and original. Plus look at that cover!

First Reads

Guys look at my first ever First-Reads book from Goodreads!!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Review of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz


Genre: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, LGBT, Coming of Age, Contemporary, Romance


Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.


I borrowed this lovely piece of literature from my girlfriend Samantha. I have heard nothing but great reviews for this book and to be honest, I was skeptical. If you make your way around Goodreads, you know there aren't many books above a 4.00 average rating. Well this is one of them. Surely it is too good to be true, right? Quite the opposite. It lives up to all the good reviews and beyond that. I can understand why some would be hesitant or even opposed to the idea that this novel has no plot.

The important thing to keep in mind is that life, especially when a teenager, has no plot. There is no climb to a climax, and no resolution afterwards. Life is ups and downs and small events and big events and things that don't make sense. This story, the story of Aristotle finding his way to himself as a young man captures that perfectly. And in a way, in a subtle way that you don't even realize is happening, it isn't just Aristotle's journey of growth into a better person. Through Ari's point of view, we watch Ari's dad and mom and Dante and Dante's parents grow as people as well. 

If you don't like a lot of narrative, then maybe this isn't the book for you. Because there is a lot of it, even whole chapters of it. But I would encourage you to give it a try. I don't like large amounts of narrative, but this worked for me. Also the chapters vary in length. Some are a page, others are several pages long. If that is a thing that bothers you, beware. 

There were a couple moments towards the middle where it lags, namely during the part where Dante lives in Chicago. I happened to know what the ending was going so I kept reading. Some people may find it too dull. (Though I encourage you if you feel like stopping, keep going because it is so worth it in the end.)

On a side note, I adore the font that the sections and chapters are headed in. It is the little details like that that make me fall in love with a book in terms of aesthetics. 

As a wrap up, I believe this is the kind of book they should be teaching in schools. This is a book I want to have on my bookshelf forever. This is a book I will think about often. 

Senior year. And then life. Maybe that's the way it worked. High school was just a prologue to the real novel. Everybody got to write you -- but when you graduated, you got to write yourself. At graduation you got to collect your teacher's pens and your parents' pens and you got your own pen. And you could do all the writing. Yeah. Wouldn't that be sweet? - Aristotle Mendoza, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

I think everyone should read this book. E.V.E.R.Y.O.N.E.

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Other Books By This Author:  Benjamin Alire Saenz has written a number of novels, including In Perfect Light and Last Night I Sang to the Monster