the final summit by andy andrews

Written by Darlyn At Tuesday, October 18, 2011 2 bookish peeps...
Title: The Final Summit:A Quest to Find the One Principle That Will Save Humanity
Author: Andy Andrews
Pages: 224
Published: April 12th, 2011
Rating: 3.5/5
Source: Receive for review

Synopsis (Goodreads):

David Ponder is back and this time the fate of mankind may be in his hands. David Ponder is in a race against time. He's been chosen by the archangel Gabriel to lead a summit of fellow travelers, using their wisdom and experience to save mankind before all that is known is destroyed. Though reluctant, Ponder soon finds himself traveling to the most unlikely of places to interview the most fascinating of subjects such as Winston Churchill, Joan of Arc, and Abraham Lincoln. Will the group come up with the answer in time? What could possibly be the one action that could turn the tides of history?

The Final Summit is the long-awaited sequel to The Traveler's Gift but will stand alone as its own compelling and important parable with truths for our times.

What I Think:

I didn’t know that this book is actually a sequel to the first book. I picked it with just being interested with the synopsis. The story is actually about a quest of a man named David Ponder, as he is summoned by the great Archangel Gabriel where he gets to meet a lot of interesting and wonderful people throughout history in order to save humanity. The book can be portrayed as a great quest of Christian faith and history. Nevertheless, I like the book as well as the character of David Ponder. His character is quite inspiring with his efforts to study the history while he was on the quest in order to complete his task. The best part would be how they can travel through time! That is super awesome, no? I must say that the story is actually related or can be related to our daily life. It seems like we have to learn about the past, study what went wrong, take it as guidance as we live our life for a better future. The book might have some flaw when there’s a few time I don’t get it much (about bible and all), I felt of because I was disconnected with the characters (as well as the Archangel). But like-wise, the book is great to make us off from the reality (with quite a lot of heavy thinking; maybe it's just me).

Disclaimer: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. These are my honest review and receiving a copy in no way will ever reflected my review.

interview: Author Rebeca Coleman

Written by Darlyn At Wednesday, October 05, 2011 3 bookish peeps...
Rebecca Coleman is the author of THE KINGDOM OF CHILDHOOD, an utterly absorbing look at the breakdown of a woman and a family, beautifully written novel that explores a relationship between a teenager and a teacher as it veers from platonic to unsettlingly forbidden territory.

So today I got an opportunity to join her virtual tour and get to ask her some questions.

D: Your manuscript for the TKOC was a semifinalist in the 2010 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Competition! Tell us a little more about this.

That was a lot of fun. My friend Erika suggested I enter my manuscript-- the contest hadn't been on my radar at all-- so I did, because it's free and I had nothing to lose. And then the book ended up making it through one round after another until it was a semifinalist. I'd gotten a Publisher's Weekly review as part of that process, and it was a very strong one-- they called the book "a scalding, engaging portrait" of two people "caught in a trap of their own making." Having that review in hand was extremely helpful in getting an agent. But the process was also just very fun and exciting-- it was like a horse race, betting on which entries would make the next cut, because Amazon posted excerpts at one stage. One of the finalists that year was Johnny Shaw, who I ran into at BookExpo as he was promoting "Dove Season." He's a great guy, very funny. Entering ABNA is like being on "Survivor"-- you make friends and alliances, and other people you want to vote off the island on the first day.

D: How long did it take you to write the book?

From concept to completion, about two and a half years. That's not a very long time, on the scale of novel-writing, but it feels like a long time when you have no idea whether this is a work project or just an obsessive hobby.

D: Did you do any special research on Waldorf for the book?

I read Torin Finser's "School as a Journey," which is a very detailed look into a Waldorf teacher's mind and classroom, and I read a great deal by Rudolf Steiner, who is the originator of the philosophy. But I also spent a lot of time reading forums and websites by people who felt disenfranchised by Waldorf and critical of it. Because I idealized it for so long, it's oddly painful to be critical. I felt I did my due diligence with research, but mainly I relied upon my real-life experience with it-- attending school events and festivals, observing my son's classroom, and working with the materials-- the toys and art supplies, the storybooks. It's all been a part of my life for many years.
Thanks so much Rebecca!

About the Book

The Kingdom of Childhood is the story of a boy and a woman; sixteen-year-old Zach Patterson, uprooted and struggling to reconcile his knowledge of his mother's extramarital affair, and Judy McFarland, a kindergarten teacher watching her family unravel before her eyes. Thrown together to organize a fundraiser for their failing private school and bonded by loneliness, they begin an affair that at first thrills, then corrupts each of them. Judy sees in Zachthe elements of a young man she loved as a child, but what Zach does not realize is that their relationship is, for Judy, only the latest in a lifetime of disturbing secrets.

~~~~ Scavenger hunt ~~~~

"Yeah, but it's still safer if you use them."

"Safer for what? I don't have any diseases. Do you?"

In a scornful voice he said, "No. But they say you ought to act like everybody does,anyhow."

I gave a deprecating laugh. "Oh, the things they teach you teenagers."

*Head over to Chick Lit Plus on 10/7 for the next installment from



About the Author

Rebecca Coleman received her B.A. in English literature from the University of Maryland at College Park and speaks to writers' groups on the subjects of creative writing and publishing. A native New Yorker, she now lives and works near Washington, D.C. Her manuscript for The Kingdom of Childhood was a semifinalist in the 2010 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Competition. An emotionally tense, increasingly chilling work of fiction set in the controversial Waldorf school community, it is equal parts enchanting and unsettling and is sure to be a much discussed and much-debated novel.

seven: seven strangers one purpose by paige agnew

Written by Darlyn At Tuesday, October 04, 2011 4 bookish peeps...
Title: Seven
Author: Paige Agnew
Pages: 392
Published: February 10th, 2011
Rating: 4/5


Meet the characters: Cecilia and Tommy: Two best friends who live on the wrong side of the tracks with crumbled lives and neglectful parents. They think running away from home will make things easier. They never imagined what they had in store. Can their friendship stand the test of Seven? Greg: He wakes up in the morning with a fresh cup of coffee, goes to work, comes home, goes to sleep, wakes up to another fresh cup of coffee, goes to work, comes home, and goes to bed. When his rote and monotonous life slowly starts to unravel, Greg, the puzzle solving lawyer, falls apart. Will be unravel completely before Seven’s done with him? Hazel and Kale: Just two teenagers madly in love. Kale’s wanted Hazel since he first laid eyes on her. Hazel needs Kale as he is the only stability in her life, the only one that can really be there for her since her parents’ jobs are more important to than their daughter. They thought the summer would be a chance for their newfound love to blossom. Will it even have the chance to before Seven rips it apart? Kariann: Supermom leads a hectic life. When she’s not taking care of her son, Noah, she’s teaching and during the summer she works at the day care center, taking care of everyone else’s kids. It’s what she’s good at. Taking care of people. Add to that list her needy sister and newly widowed father, along with an irresponsible, pestering ex-boyfriend who happens to be Noah’s father. She’s Ms. Fix-it. But how can she possibly make anything better when she’s captured by Seven? Jonathan: Finally, there’s Jonathan. He’s dark. Clever as a snake and as temperamental as one, too. All he wanted was to be left alone. Was that too much to ask? Yes. As much as he’d like to ignore it, the self proclaimed bad boy might be the only match for Seven. When seven strangers are thrown together to be pawns in a psycho’s mind game, they realize that they have to work together to reach their true potential or it could very well mean their death. Seven strangers. Seven stories. One chance to not only saves their lives, but to change them in ways they’d never even imagined possible.

My Two Cents:

Frankly speaking, I love how the book was written. At first, I thought the book will be boring because I expected that it would be difficult to relate seven strangers together and make them as the center of the story attraction. But I was proven wrong. Even though it may be not the best book ever written, I kind of impressed with the young author. I've read her "Starless Sky' last year and like it very much. Like her previous book, Agnew put an intense storyline, a little of mysteries as well as suspense. The best part of all, the twist and turn of the story because I think the book also is a psychology thriller, which is a genre that I like. But at some points, I have to admit that I lost my interest because of too much elaborating on certain parts, as I think the part should not be included and without it, the story would be just great too. Nonetheless, you should not give up to keep reading it.

The book has something promising and I was overwhelmed by it. Like I said earlier, the book maybe not the best written ever, but when a 17 years old teenager wrote it with a great intense, made a complicated story with a simple twist, that must be something cool about the author, and the book. Two thumbs up!

guest post: Author Cynthia Kocialski

Written by Darlyn At Monday, October 03, 2011 0 bookish peeps...
How I Wrote My First Book on a Whim

As a first time author, I am new to writing and publishing. I never planned on being author. In fact, a few colleagues mentioned I should write a book over lunch one day and on a whim, I decided to do it. No pursuit of a lifelong dream, no grand plans, just a spur of the moment decision. I am sure I made plenty of mistakes, many of which I am not aware of yet. I’m sure there are better ways to approach writing than the way I went about it. I was na├»ve, but I’m learning.

My first challenge was deciding what I should write about. I knew I would write about entrepreneurs and start-up companies, but I didn’t know exactly what. I started with a blog. I noted which posts were more popular than others. Since it takes time to build a substantial audience, I can say that I didn’t build a blog for long enough. When I started, I had no idea how much effort would be in blogging and now I fully understand why so many people start blogs and then abandon them.

Then I got involved with social networking. I was unprepared for this effort as well. Like blogging, the writing part was easy, it was the promotion and audience building that was seemed all consuming. At this point, I prefer Facebook to Twitter. I can summarize a business point in about 100 words for a Facebook posting, but the 140 characters limit on Twitter is too short for me. I consider tweeting a shorten link directing the reader to a longer article a way of circumventing the intent of the limit.

As I attend many business meetings, conferences, and networking events, I started to look at these events through a different lens. I would always note which events were the ones with more attendees. When it came to the Q&A portion of the meeting, I started to jot down the questions being asked of the speakers. I started to categorize and group the questions together to see what topics seem to garner attention.

As I was sitting through a break-out session at a conference, I had that spark of inspiration about what I would write. I had already reached the conclusion that the bulk of the audience was the first time entrepreneurs, who had an idea and wanted to start a new business. I had also reached the conclusion that business people were more interested in stories or information that would help them solve their problems.

Many newbie entrepreneurs didn’t know how to launch a company, or they had gotten started and had quickly stalled. Almost every entrepreneur thinks their idea is so brilliant that investors will fall in love with it and hand them a mountain of funding to bring the idea to market – which of course, doesn’t happen. There is a format that investors want to see business proposals presented to them, and them there is an evaluation criteria. The chapters in my book follow this format sequence, with more chapters devoted to areas that are more heavily weighted in the evaluation.

So finally, I had my topic. Before I started writing, someone suggested I research similar books on the same topic. can be a wonderful research tool. I wanted to know what readers thought about those books, why they really liked or disliked them. I focused on reading the 5-star and 1-star reviews, and I tried to include what readers liked and fix what readers didn’t.

I am impatient. The effort outlined above was not a day, a week or a month activity. By this point I was ready to write my book, which took months to write. In a nutshell, now that I am six months into promoting my book, I learned that being an author is the same as being an entrepreneur and starting a new business. It’s just on a smaller scale.

My book is Startup From The Ground Up - Practical Insights for Entrepreneurs, How to Go from an Idea to New Business”. It explores why an entrepreneur can only go so far with just an idea. New businesses don’t fail because companies are unable to build a product or offer a service; they fail because the business factors needed to bring that product into the market are misunderstood, neglected or ignored. “Startup from the Ground Up” provides practical advice for how to get an entrepreneur gets moving down the right path and thinking in the right direction with practical tips, strategies, techniques and stories on how to transform an idea into a company.

So there you have it, how I wrote my book. However, like any other start-up, I can say that marketing the product is 2 to 3 times as much work as the writing.

About the Author

Cynthia Kocialski is the founder of three tech start-ups companies. In the past 15 years, she has been involved in dozens of start-ups. Cynthia writes the Start-up Entrepreneurs’ Blog ( and has written the book, “Startup From The Ground Up - Practical Insights for Entrepreneurs, How to Go from an Idea to New Business” (


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