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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

PR and Ad Friendly

Welcome!  Nothing makes me happier than to discover and share great products, books and places, and I am in a great position to help you with your product!  Between my own intimate family and my extended family and friends, I have access to children and adults of all ages to help with reviews, from newborn through old age.

I can help promote your product and company by providing an honest and detailed review, as well as providing additional exposure and buzz via a giveaway, hosted home party, organizing a blog tour or Twitter party, or other similar event - I LOVE helping you succeed!

In addition to reviews and giveaways, I provide various advertising options on Wendi's Book Corner as follows:

I offer multiple packages, and I would be happy to customize an advertising package for you.

Standard Ad under my blog header (100×100): *Ad/button design available - see below for prices
1 month: $25.00
3 months: $65.00
6 months: $125.00 (one month free)
Full Year: $225.00 (three months free)

Standard Ad in my sidebar (100x100):

1 month: $15.00
3 months: $40.00
6 months: $75.00 (one month free)
Full Year: $125.00 (three months free)

Text Link within Post:
If you would like to place a text link within an existing post, it is $100 and the link will remain active for 1 full year.  This is especially beneficial to you as it helps build back links and improves your SEO.

Sponsored posts:
Sponsored posts  are available for businesses looking for additional exposure!
Each post will be 200-300 words (negotiable) and will contain a link to your homepage and social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc).  I will feature 2 keywords of your choice.
Price: $30.00
Additional keywords with links, $5.00 each.

Ghost-Written Post:
I will write a post from your perspective on an agreed upon topic.  The post will be 200-300 words (negotiable) and will contain a link to your homepage and social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc).  I will feature 2 keywords of your choice.
Price: $40.00
Additional keywords with links, $5.00 each.

I will tweet for you!
Each tweet is $5.00

Facebook Shout-Out:
Let me tell the Facebook fans of Wendi's Book Corner about your business, promotion or fan page!
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Graphic Designs:

Basic Button/Ad Design: (Upon completion, you own the graphic)
  Included: Basic graphic, background and wording to fit
100x100 $10.00
125x125 $15.00

Advanced Button/Ad Design:

Header Design:

Please contact me at wbarker@hotmail.com

Wendi's Book Corner Site Policies

Review Policy

Reviews are free of charge.
Reviews will be posted on Wendi's Book Corner, and will be advertised/shared on Twitter and Facebook.
The actual product provided for review must be full size in order to thoroughly review it, it will become property of Wendi's Book Corner upon receipt and will not be returned.
Products provided for review will be shipped at product supplier's cost - I will not accept COD shipments.
The review will be posted 2-6 weeks after the item is received, although I will work on a different timeline if we discuss it ahead of time.
If you would like to provide a discount and/or sale code in conjunction with the review, it will be included for free in the review.  Any future sales or discount codes will be posted for a nominal fee.
Wendi's Book Corner reserves the right to not post a review if the terms described above have not been met.

Giveaway Policy

Giveaways are a great way to increase traffic to your businesses website and expose Wendi's Book Corner readers to your product, specials, and various social media, such as Twitter, Facebook, etc.

Giveaways are free of charge when associated with a review.
All giveaways are available for Canada and the United States unless specifically requested otherwise by the business.
I generally run giveaways between 2-4 weeks, please specify if you have a preference.
After the giveaway has ended, the winner’s information will be provided to the business, and the business will be responsible for providing and shipping of the prize.
The giveaway winner will be selected via Rafflecopter who uses random.org, will be notified though email, and posted on the winner’s wall.
When they reply back we will forward you their shipping information.
As per Facebook Promotion Guidelines, we cannot ask the reader to take an action on Facebook for an entry. Liking your page is okay; however, actions on your wall will not be allowed (ie, leave a comment).
Purchases for bonus entries violate FTC regulations and will not be allowed.
A giveaway will be advertised on other giveaway forums and websites to further the business’ exposure.

Please contact me at wbarker@hotmail.com


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Thank you for considering to partner with me here on Wendi's Book Corner, please feel free to contact me with any questions or thoughts you have.  wbarker@hotmail.com

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Saying Yes to the Millionaire by Fiona Harper

Title: Saying Yes to the Millionaire
Author: Fiona Harper
Pages: 187
Genre: Romance, Modern day
Edition: Standard, Thank you to eHarlequin who sent me this book as part of their We Hear You program.

Perfect for : Personal reading

In a nutshell: I really enjoyed this light read. This was a well-written, fun, flirty book with a feel-good ending. Yes, it was a little predictable, but isn't that why we read these books? It was refreshing to read a romance that wasn't chock-full of sex scenes that would make me blush - instead, there was sexual tension and a few savory kisses. I enjoyed the two main characters Fern and Josh a lot. Both characters faced personal growth through the story-line. I learned a lot about London (setting for this book), and the plot kept me reading on to see what would happen next. Fern is challenged by her best friend to say "yes" to everything for one week. The normally very conservative young woman gives it a try, and ends up with a new outlook on life. During her week, she reconnects with her dead brother's best friend, who vowed to watch out for his best-friend's little sister. He takes her on a secret London treasure hunt, where they both face challenges, and in one way or another face the past lost of a loved one (Fern's older brother Ryan). As I said, it was an easy read, and I enjoyed every minute.

From Amazon:
First date: Oxford Circus, London…

When cautious Fern Chambers is challenged by a friend to say yes to every question, she never expects to spend four days with dreamy Josh Adams doing a charity treasure hunt.

First dance: Covent Garden…

Daredevil millionaire Josh never stays in one place—or with one woman—for long. But Fern is challenging that rule….

First kiss: Trafalgar Square…

Josh realizes the treasure he's been looking for may in fact be the beautiful Fern. Can he persuade her to say yes to his final question, the most important one of all?

First Paragraph (Read excerpt on Amazon):
"No, I CAN'T. I don't think I can do this!"
Solid ground was a distant memory. Fern glanced down past her feet and a tidal wave of nausea crashed in her stomach. The Thames glittered in the June sun and London politely carried on about its business one hundred and fifty feet below her. Someone behind her muttered, 'Is she going to jump or not?'

My Review:

Characters: There were really three main characters in this story:
  • Ryan - Fern's older brother who died when she was young. He is a theme throughout the book, as both main characters lives' have been impacted by his death. One is sheltered and holds back from life, the other is hiding from loss and holds back from commitment and involvement.
  • Fern - Sheltered youngest child (due to loss of older brother) who lives a quiet, sheltered life to please her parents. She focuses on her work and never tries anything new . . . until her best friend challenges her.
  • Josh - Vowed to watch-out for his best-friend's younger sister, he leads a life of adventure and has become a self-made millionaire. He can't face the loss of his best childhood friend, and it has affected his relationships until now.
Overall, the characters were well-created, with depth of character and charm. It was nice to experience the characters' growth as the story progressed. Fiona Harper created two very nice characters for this story.
Story-Line: The story line was fun. Girl has known boy forever, always had a crush on him. . . he helps her accomplish something huge, and she returns the favor by participating in a secret treasure hunt through London for four days with him. As a reader, we get to learn about a lot of neat places in London, and some interesting historical facts. A lot of romance authors will take the opportunity to throw in the average three sex scenes throughout a romance book (I'm guessing at that number!), so it was refreshing to only get steamy kisses instead of the normal pelvic grinding and groaning! Every now and then we need to leave something up to the imagination! ;)

Readability: The story was easy to read, although I was thrown by a few English terms such as "trolley" instead of the American "stretcher" inside an ambulance. I think those types of terms made for an authentic story, and added charm to the narration.

Overall: Overall, it was a fun, flirty, easy read that I would be happy to pick up again. The characters were enjoyable, the story adventurous, and after a few hours of reading I was left with a general sense of peace and enjoyment.

About the Author:

Take a moment to visit Fiona Harper's blog here. From her blog:
I write fresh, heart-warming romances for Harlequin Mills & Boon. My first book was published in December 2006. It all happened rather fast and I'm in at the deep end of a new writing career. Watch this space to see if I sink or swim!
She also has a website, where I borrowed her picture.
Fiona currently resides in London, and from her About Me page, it appears that she began writing in earnest in 2004 - thank you for that!! I've really enjoyed reading this book!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

New and Notable: Midwife of the Blue Ridge by Christine Blevins

Title: Midwife of the Blue Ridge
Author: Christine Blevins

Pages: 432 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction, mid 1700's
Edition: I received this book from Ms. Blevins, and believe it was one of her Author Copies. Christine - Thank you SO much!! I loved your book!

Perfect for : Book Club Reading (Note, the author has included a list of thoughtful questions at the back of the book) , Lit or History class reading, Personal reading

In a nutshell: I couldn't put it down - literally! Three nights in a row, my poor husband woke up around midnight to find me still reading in bed with a tiny light so I could finish the book! The story begins in 1746 Scotland, and continues in America 1763. The story surrounds Maggie Duncan, a young Scottish girl orphaned at an early age due to the massacre of her village by the English. After helping a wounded Scottish man to his home, she learns her skills as a midwife from his wife Hannah, who dies and leaves her alone in a village where the people believe she is bad luck. She travels to America as an indentured servant, intending to trade four years of service in exchange for freedom. She overcomes every hurdle encountered in this new life. This is a story of endurance, hope and love. Christine Blevins has cleverly included many details from the period to give readers a very vivid dose of what life was like in those times. She also gives us a glimpse of viewpoints from both the American settler and American Indian. This was an amazing book, and I particularly appreciated the fact that she wove both the good and bad into her story, which gave the reader a better sense of the times and the realities that people faced.

Description from Amazon:
They call her Dark Maggie for her thick black hair, but the name also has a more sinister connotation. As the lone survivor of an attack on her village, she was thought to be cursed -- and unfit for marriage. Maggie is also gifted with quick wits and skilled in medicine, trained as a midwife. Venturing to the colonies as an indentured servant, she hopes to escape the superstitions of the old country -- and find a home of her own. But what she discovers is a New World fraught with new dangers.

First Paragraph:
"Its a rare thing for a child to be delivered at my convenience . . . " Hannah launched herself from the warm cocoon of her bedcovers. A midwife is never surprised by a knock on the door in the middle of the night, but Hannah Cameron was indeed surprised when she opened the door and found a strange, bedraggled mite of a girl on her stair step.

My Review:
The story begins in 1746 Scotland, right after the battle of Culloden, where a seven year old Maggie Duncan has miraculously survived the massacre of her village. She finds Alan, a mortally wounded highlander who fought at Culloden and helps him travel home to his wife, Hannah. Hannah is grateful to Maggie for bringing her Alan home, and when she loses him and finds that Maggie is alone in the world, she takes the girl in and begins to teach her about herbs and midwifery.

Hannah tries to prepare Maggie for life without her protection by telling Maggie that she and Alan had planned on going to America as indentured servants, explaining that after four years of service, they would be free and could claim land for themselves. She encourages Maggie to leave for America, adding that once she is gone, there will be no protection from the superstitious villagers who call Maggie "Dark Maggie" and think she has the evil eye.

The story continues in 1763, when Maggie is now trying to survive on her own among a people who are afraid of her. A sea captain offers Maggie the chance to sign a contract and travel to the new world as an indentured servant. She agrees and begins the long trip to America, where the story really takes off.

Maggie uses her skills to help the other travellers on board the ship, and when they land in Virginia, her contract is won by a settler named Seth Martin, who is in desperate need of help for his ailing wife who is pregnant. Maggie is the answer to his prayers. I will stop describing the book at this point as I don't want to ruin it for anyone. Needless to say, the adventure has just begun, and before it is over, Maggie will experience loss, love, heartache and challenges as she forges a new life in this New World. She will encounter settlers, hunters, black slaves and Native Americans. Throughout her experience, she makes the best of her situation and continues to add to her skills as a healer/midwife.

The story is filled with characters who have been created with depth of character, having both strengths and faults alike. Meet the characters (there were SO many wonderful characters, but I will only include a few here):
  • Maggie Duncan - learns healing skills from a local midwife/healer after her village is brutally murdered. She travels from Scotland to America with high hopes of a new life as a free person.
  • Seth Martin - the settler who purchases her contract in America. Married to ailing Naomi who is pregnant again after suffering the loss of another baby. Seth and Naomi have three other children: Jack, Winnie, Battler.
  • Tom Roberts - an accomplished hunter/bachelor who survived life with a tribe of Native Americans and now successfully hunts and trades to earn his living.
  • Cavendish - the son of a Duke, he has been sent to America by his father to escape from the consequences of some of his actions. He is a lecher and drunk. He supervises black slaves in the creation of a tobacco plantation after chasing settlers off the land he has been charged with controlling.
  • Simon Peavey - young man who was raised by Native Americans. He does not quite fit in either world, that of the Americans or the Native Americans. He comes across as a selfish young man, who is not quite mature enough to deal with the life he faces.
  • Figg - a mentally slow individual whose character develops throughout the second half of the story, and who has a large part in the conclusion. His character grows on you.
This is a story of endurance, hope and love, passion and perseverance. Christine Blevins has cleverly included many details from the period to give readers a very vivid dose of what life was like in those times. She must have done a lot of research in both the period of history and herbal lore. I learned a lot of facts I was not aware of while reading this book.

She also weaves into her story an accounting of viewpoints from both the American settler and American Indian, which I found refreshing, creating a feeling that both peoples felt they were in the right.

This was an amazing book, and I particularly appreciated the fact that she wove the good and bad into her story - this was a harsh time in history, and many books sugar-coat it by challenging the characters with getting the crop in before it rains. That said, please note that I would not recommend this book for young adults as some of the scenes within the book were appropriate for adults, but could be too graphic for youngsters (there is a rape scene, scalping, a soldier is staked and burned alive,etc.). I do believe the scenes were very well-written and an appropriate representation of the time. I am very glad Christine Blevins took the time to research as much as she did - I've got a much better understanding of exactly how dangerous it could be on the Frontier during those times!

**I apologize now for those of you reading this first posting - I will most likely return and revise the review as I recall things from the book. I stayed up too late last night to finish the book, but couldn't wait to post something about it as I loved it so much!

About the author:

This is Christine's first book. Take a moment to visit Christine Blevins website here.

Christine has posted an excerpt of her book on her website [removed due to broken link] and I encourage you to go read it - I truly loved this book!

From her site (I took this information from multiple pages):
The MIDWIFE OF THE BLUE RIDGE story combines two concepts that intrigue me – war as a catalyst that transforms lives, and the pioneer spirit – the willingness to venture into the unknown.

Being a first generation American, and knowing only too well why and how my family “came across the water”, I was fascinated by my husband Brian’s family history – Americans as far back as anyone could figure. This link to the American past belonged to my children, and so by extension, it now belonged to me. Together, Brian and I began to research the Blevins line – I was looking for my American roots. While researching we bumped into a pair of interesting fellows – Will Blevins, and his brother-in-law Elijah Wallen. These men lived in the foothills of the Blue Ridge around 1761. Both men were longhunters, and they were among the first handful of white men to venture through the Cumberland Gap into uncharted wilderness beyond the mountains.

Well, these longhunter guys drew me onto the colonial frontier, and they proved to be the inspiration for the Tom Roberts character.

The midwife Maggie Duncan is inspired by the classic immigrant story similar to my parent’s story. Maggie’s young life was disrupted by the grand events of her time – events beyond her control that eventually forced her to venture into the unknown in search of a better life.

I set out to write the kind of book I love to read รก la my favorite historical authors like Dumas, Sabatini, Clavell and Cornwell. I combined Maggie’s immigrant tale with Tom’s yearning to see what lie beyond the horizon. I threw in a few faithful friends, a despicable Englishman, a woman of easy virtue, a giant named Figg and a dog named Friday. I mixed it all up with a good portion of adventure, action, tragedy and romance and I wound up with MIDWIFE OF THE BLUE RIDGE.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

New and Notable: The Secret Soldier by Jennifer Morey (Silhouette Romantic Suspense)

Title: The Secret Soldier
Author: Jennifer Morey
Pages: 211 pages
Edition: Standard Book (Silhouette Romantic Suspense), I received this book from eHarlequin as part of their We Hear You program. It was the perfect book to bring along on a family vacation!

Update 10/9/08: Click here to read my interview with Jennifer Morey!

Perfect for : Personal reading

In a nutshell: A fun, quick romantic read. I loved the names in the book, which was deceptively simple, creating a story that was really enjoyable but easy to read. Meet Sabine, who is kidnapped by suspected terrorists while testing water quality in Afghanistan. Her partner on the project is also kidnapped, and is tortured in front of her. A mysterious soldier rescues her just-in-time. Meet Cullen "Rudy" McQueen - Behind-the-scenes American Hero/Special Ops leader, who is hired by Sabine's estranged father Noah to bring his daughter home safely. On the way home, things go horribly wrong, they (Sabine and "Rudy") survive being shot out of the sky, a crash landing in Greece, and a short recovery in a Greek island paradise. "Rudy" delivers Sabine home to her father, and shortly after, more attempts are made on her life. Cullen/Rudy and Sabine's father must work together to determine who is trying to kill Sabine. Meanwhile, things are heating up between Sabine and Cullen - could it be love? I was hooked after reading the first few pages, and the story continued to keep my attention until the end, which I really enjoyed and almost chuckled aloud while sitting quietly in my mother-in-law's living room.

Product description from Amazon.com:
The powerful stranger broke down the door and saved Sabine O'Clery from the terrorists holding her hostage. But her secretive hero was forbidden from revealing his identity. Until enemy fire forced them to crash-land.…

Of all the covert military missions, being stranded on a Greek island with a beautiful woman is one that Cullen McQueen never imagined. But their stay in paradise was all too fleeting. He had to take Sabine back to America, or risk blowing his cover and losing everything he'd fought for. Yet memories of one passion-filled night haunted him… and when danger followed Sabine home, the stealth soldier knew he would break all the rules to keep her safe forever.

The story takes place in current day Afghanistan, Greece and Denver. The story centers around Sabine O'Clery, who is kidnapped with her partner Samuel while they are in Afghanistan testing the water quality in local villages.

There is an air of mystery surrounding the reasons why Sabine and Samuel are taken, and Sabine wonders if Samuel knows why they were taken, but is trying to shelter her from the knowledge. Samuel is brutally tortured in front of Sabine.

Just in the nick-of-time, a mysterious soldier appears in the dark to rescue Sabine (and Samuel, but they are too late to save him). The rescue is sabotaged along the way, and after surviving a helicopter crash and a plane crash on a Greek island, Sabine gets to know her rescuer a little better as she recovers enough to continue the trip back to the United States.

Cullen "Rudy" McQueen lives to do good through his secret company SCS, while working for the government as a reservist for his cover. His cover is blown when a picture is taken of him kissing Sabine goodbye - a very steamy kiss by all accounts!

Cullen does get Sabine back to her estranged father Noah, and later discovers that additional attempts are made to kill Sabine. He jumps back into action to make sure she remains safe, and the story just keeps getting better.

I won't tell you how it ends, but there is a twist, and I really enjoyed the story! (Couldn't put it down until I reached the end - a fun read from start to finish)

About the author:

This is Jennifer Morey's first novel. Visit her website here.

From her site:
Known for her big smile and infectious laugh, Jennifer Morey writes her happy endings in a little northern town of sunny Colorado. A twin with five amazing brothers and sisters and an invincible dad, it’s no wonder she’s so effervescent. Don’t let the quiet moments fool you!
Jennifer’s first stories were inspired by her childhood love of Man O' War, Secretariat, and The Black Stallion, by Walter Farley. Bubbles of dialogue above cartoon drawings of horses led to hand-written tales of adolescent love. Years later, and two months after graduating from Colorado State University with a BS in geology, her mother died suddenly and changed the course of her life. The writer in her resurfaced, and she pursued a serious career.
Associate Project Manager for the Spacecraft Systems Segment of a satellite imagery and information company, Jennifer works with the International Traffic in Arms Regulations and cat-herds her rocket scientist co-workers. When not writing or trying not to daydream at work, she can be found playing volleyball, hiking, flower gardening, socializing, or cuddling with her rescued golden retriever and feisty yellow lab.
Finalist in more than twenty contests, Jennifer has received several awards for her writing, one of which led to the publication of her debut novel, The Secret Soldier. She welcomes messages from readers.
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