May 28, 2013 | By: Cynthia Marcano

Top Ten Freebie! Best Character Names - May 28th

Top Ten Freebie! May 28th
Best Character Names

1. Bilbo Baggins - Best name ever!
2. Huckleberry Finn - My daughter just asked me "What is a Hucklberry Finn?"
3. Willy Wonka - As a teenager/YA I cracked up thinking about the name
4. Captain Frederick Wentworth - I love the name Wentworth. It makes me feel so British.
5. Eliza Doolittle - It's just fun to say.
6.Romeo - His last name isn't even needed for everyone to know I am referring to Romeo Montague
7. Ebenezer Scrooge - my revised version - Ebenezer "Old Geezer" Scrooge
8. Anna Karenina - Na na na na na na na na Hey Hey Hey. Goodbye!
9. Hamlet - reminds me of breakfast.
10. Hester Prynne - she sounds like the EXACT opposite of who she was.
May 27, 2013 | By: Cynthia Marcano

Captives by Jill Williamson Blog Tour

Author - Jill Williamson
415 pages
Time It Took for to Read - 3 Days
Rating - 5 out of 5 Stars
Would I Recommend to My Students: Absolutely!!!

When eighteen-year-old Levi returned from Denver City with his latest scavenged finds, he never imagined he’d find his village of Glenrock decimated, loved ones killed, and many—including his fiancée, Jem–taken captive. Levi is determined to rescue what remains of his people, even if it means entering the Safe Lands, a walled city that seems anything but safe.
Omar knows he betrayed his brother by sending him away, but helping the enforcers was necessary. Living off the land and clinging to an outdated religion holds his village back. The Safe Land has protected people since the plague decimated the world generations ago … and its rulers have promised power and wealth beyond Omar’s dreams.
Meanwhile, their brother Mason has been granted a position inside the Safe Lands, and may be able to use his captivity to save not only his people, but also find a cure for the virus that threatens everyone inside the Safe Lands.
Can Mason uncover the truth hidden behind the Safe Land’s façade before it’s too late?

About The Author

Jill Williamson is an author of all things weird. She grew up in Alaska with no electricity, an outhouse, and a lot of mosquitoes. Her Blood of Kings trilogy won two Christy Awards, and she recently released Captives, a dystopian teen novel from Zonderkidz. Jill lives in Oregon with her husband and two children and a whole lot of deer.

What I Loved...

The inspiration for this book is great and opened my mind to dig deeper into the lives and people that shaped the bible. It is clever! I felt like a Captive.

I loved Mason! I felt myself drawn most to him.

The book is a great mix of adventure, hilarity, love and suspense.

Jordan! He was a riot. I warmed up to him once in the Safe Lands.

What I Liked...

The creativity of the Sim Art and other technology. 

The small details like the helped me feel like I was there.

While some may think that the use of vapor and promiscuity may have seemed surprising, I didn't. We live in that world now and it would only make sense that the future would hold more of the same but in a "new" way. Again very creative.


I don't like Ciddah. There! I said it. I just can't help it. 

I am not a Dystopian reader usually, BUT Jill has opened up my mind to branch out in my reading selections. I love how this book idea was derived from a bible study and am looking into using this book for my bible study class.

Check out other reviews for Captives

DISCLAIMER: A free ebook was given through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My opinion is my own and I have not been compensated for my opinion in any way.
May 13, 2013 | By: Cynthia Marcano

The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet Review and Giveaway

eBook Giveaway

The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet
Author - Stephanie Morrill
250 pages
Time It Took for to Read - 1 Days
Rating - 5 out of 5 Stars
Would I Recommend to My Students: YES!!!
Ellie Sweet is a lot of things—good girl, novelist, silent adorer of the new boy at school, Palmer. But when “outcast” gets added to the list, she decides it’s time to take reality into her own hands … and tweak it as needed.
In the pages of her book, she’s Lady Gabrielle, favorite of the medieval Italian court. Her once-friends are reduced to catty ladies-in-waiting, and the too-charming Palmer—who in real life never spares her a second word—gets to be nothing more than a rake wracked by unrequited love for her. She even has a perfect real-life villain in the brooding Chase, who hails from the wrong side of town.
But just when she’s getting along great in her fictional world, the real one throws her a few curves. With Chase pursuing her, Palmer wanting to date her—but in secret—and the details of her manuscript going public, Ellie suddenly receives more attention than she ever really wanted. And when her former-friends discover what she’s been writing, they’re determined to teach Ellie a lesson about the severe consequences of using her pen as her sword.

What I Liked...

I found myself going back and forth between Chase and Palmer. BUT I have to be truthful to myself. I like Chase, but I can't deny that I feel bad for him too. Palmer is jerk BUT I like him...alot. I found myself routing for him at the end. But then again, I always find myself rooting for the underdog (which he was at the end).


I didn't care too much for the Mommy and daughter shopping spree. I liked that she ended up comfortable in her original entire. While I can't say that I necessarily agree with her choice of dating boys who don't share her beliefs and I am hoping thatStephanie is setting us up for a wonderful resolution to this.

All in all, I give this book 5 stars. I really loved it! My NEW favorite book of 2013 thus far.

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

DISCLAIMER: This eBook was provided for free in exchange for an honest review. The review is my own opinion and I was not compensated for my opinion.
May 10, 2013 | By: Cynthia Marcano

Review: A Most Peculiar Circumstance

A Most Peculiar Circumstance
Author - Jen Turano
350 pages
Time It Took for to Read - 1 Days
Rating - 4.25 out of 5 Stars
Would I Recommend to My Students: Sure

Miss Arabella Beckett, defender of the down-trodden women of America, is returning from her travels in support of the women’s suffrage movement when she makes a simple offer of assistance to a young woman in need. But things go sadly awry, and both ladies soon find themselves in dire need of rescue. Arabella, always loath to admit she needs help, is particularly reluctant to receive assistance from the arrogant, narrow-minded knight in shining armor who shows up just in time.

Private investigator extraordinaire Mr. Theodore Wilder is on an assignment that began as a favor to his good friend Hamilton Beckett, but swiftly evolved into a merry chase across the country. He is already in a less than pleasant mood, and when Hamilton’s sister turns out to have radical ideas and a fiercely independent streak, he’s at his wit’s end.

Much to their chagrin, Theodore and Arabella’s paths continue to cross when they return home to New York, but the most unusual feelings beginning to grow between them certainly can’t be anything serious. When the trouble Arabella accidentally stirred up in her travels follows her home and threatens her very life, the unlikely couple must face the possibility that they might have landed in the most peculiar circumstance of all: love. (Taken from

What I Loved...

This book is hilarious! I absolutely love Arabella. She is too much. She is funny and stubborn and just lovable.

The scenes...I can just imagine New York City so clearly. Jen Turano does a great job at giving just enough details to get your own imagination jump started.

What I Liked...

While Mr. Wilder is not my favorite male heroine, I liked him well enough. I liked him much more towards the end of the book and now that I think about it, Jen made me feel the way Arabella felt. I warmed up to him.


I don't know why I have an incessant  need to comment on a book cover but this book couldn't prevent me from doing so. I just don't think it does Arabella justice. I just don't see her looking like that at all. While the cover does fit the description of blonde curly hair, again, it just doesn't do it for me. Of course this is my opinion of the cover AFTER I have read the book.

I am kind of touchy when it comes to a woman's roll in life according to the bible and I was afraid that this would cross the line. I am an old fashion gal and was hoping that chivalry would come off as old fashioned and rebellious women as modern and heroic.

I believe Jen did a good job expressing that women are just as valuable as men and God loves us just as much without  having to burn a bra, so to

Really liked it and I am looking forward to her next book!

DISCLAIMER: This book was provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The review posted is my own opinion and I have not been compensated for my opinion.
May 9, 2013 | By: Cynthia Marcano

Review: Moonlight Masquerade by Ruth Axtell


Moonlight Masquerade
Author - Ruth Axtell
400 pages
Time It Took for to Read - 3 Days
Rating - 4.5 out of 5 Stars
Would I Recommend to My Students: Not Really

Lady Celine Wexham seems the model British subject. French by birth but enjoying life in 1813 as a widowed English countess, she is in the unique position of being able to help those in need--or to spy for the notorious Napoleon Bonaparte. When Rees Phillips of the British Foreign Office is sent to pose as the countess's butler and discover where her true loyalties lie, he is confident he will uncover the truth. But the longer he is in her fashionable townhouse in London's West End, the more his staunch loyalty to the Crown begins to waver as he falls under Lady Wexham's spell. Will he find the proof he needs? And if she is a spy after all, will he do the right thing?

What I Loved...

The main character Rees. He was determined! I found myself wanting him to just have everything he ever wanted. Loved him!

The intrigue. I love spy movies, so this was right up my alley. LOVED the masquerade party.

What I Liked...

The Christian morals weren't pushed on me as a reader. It seemed genuine; I guess that is the best way to describe what I mean.

While Celine isn't my favorite heroine, I liked her well enough.


I wouldn't recommend this book to MY students simply because they don't prefer regency or what they consider "old-fashioned" (historical fiction of any kind) books. They love contemporary and dystopian books. I would recommend this to romance book lovers, historical fiction lovers and light spy enthusiasts.

I really wanted to like Celine more, but I just couldn't find that spark I was looking for. I did root for them to end up happy together but that was mainly because I liked Rees so much.

I would have liked to have seen Rees a little less gullible, but nevertheless, I really liked his character.

The ending was a little flat for me. My reaction was more of... "That's it." instead of "Awww!", BUT that could just be because I enjoyed the book and wanted more.

DISCLAIMER: I received a free copy of the eBook through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My opinion is my own and I was not compensated for my review.

May 8, 2013 | By: Cynthia Marcano

Get Eyes On Him: Spring Love FREE - 2 Days Only!

Get your FREE copy of my debut novel

 Eyes On Him: Spring Love 

May 8th and 9th ONLY

Hurry! There are only a limited amount available.

May 6, 2013 | By: Cynthia Marcano

Storm by Evan Angler Blog Tour


Author - Evan Angler
275 pages
Time It Took for to Read - 2 Days
Rating - 4 out of 5 Stars
Would I Recommend to My Students: Absolutely!!!

In a future United States under the power of a charismatic leader, everyone gets the Mark at age thirteen. The Mark lets citizen shop, go to school, and even get medical care—without it, you are on your own. Few refuse to get the Mark. Those who do . . . disappear.
Logan Langly went in to get his Mark, but he backed out at the last minute. Ever since, he’s been on the run from government agents and on a quest to find his sister Lily, who disappeared when she went to get her Mark five years earlier. His journey leads him to befriend the Dust, a vast network of Markless individuals who dissent against the iron-grip rule of the government. Along the way to the capital to find Lily, the Dust receives some startling information from the Markless community, opening their eyes to the message of Christianity and warning that humanity is now entering the End of Days.
In Storm, Logan and his friends are the leaders of the Markless revolution. But while some Markless are fighting Chancellor Cylis’ army, the Dust is busy trying to find a cure for a horrible epidemic sweeping through the Marked. And it’s difficult for them to know who to trust, especially when they aren’t sure if Logan’s sister Lily, one of the commanders in Cylis’ army, is on their side or not. And all across the nation—and the world—the weather has become less stable and a storm is brewing that bigger than any of them could have ever imagined.

What I loved...Action, action and more action. From the beginning to the end. I was very happy to read that while they were at "war", they were still adolescents (tossing balloons full of sludge).  I could totally see this as a movie.

What I liked...
The different scenes and perspectives in each chapter. There was so much going on. I liked how my anticipation grew in each chapter BUT to find out I was reading about a different scene and was just as excited about that chapter, just as was the previous one.

I haven't read the other books in this series, so it took a little bit of reading before I    felt like I had a better understanding of the already developed characters and story lines. I really like the cover and the video trailer was really good too! You can view it HERE!