Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Cover reveal + Giveaway: Unruly by Cora Brent



Unruly 
by: Cora Brent
Publication Date: May 2015
Cover Designer: Mayhem Cover Creations

Synopsis

Forbidden hookups are rarely simple.  
Claudia Giordano only plans to be home long enough to watch her eternally irresponsible father marry her high school nemesis.  
She never expects to embark on some horny sex odyssey with a wild nineteen-year-old baseball player.    
Easton Malone is cocky, crude and off-limits on so many levels.
That hot, reckless week should never have happened.  The only option is to forget.    
But life’s triumphs and heartbreaks keep bringing Easton and Claudia together again.  
And again….

In the beginning they only find lust.
At the end they find each other.  
Along the way they find everything else. 

WARNING:  
There will be sex.  (A lot of it.) 
There will be grief.  (You might find yourself ugly crying.)
But there will also be redemption in the face of tragedy.  
And yes, love will prevail.  


About the Author

Cora Brent was born in a cold climate and escaped as soon as it was legally possible. Now, she lives in the desert with her husband, two kids and a prickly pear cactus she has affectionately named ‘Spot’. Cora’s closet is filled with boxes of unfinished stories that date back her 1980’s childhood and all her life she has dreamed of being an author.  Amazingly, she is now a New York Times and USA Today bestselling writer of contemporary romance and begs not to be awakened from this dream.

Social Media Links

Goodreads - http://tiny.cc/3ynhxx
Facebook - http://tiny.cc/eznhxx

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: The Handler (Noir et Bleu Motorcycle Club, #2) by D.R. Graham

 The Handler (Noir et Bleu Motorcycle Club, #2)

Synopsis

He promised he would never be an outlaw . . . 
While searching for the member of an outlaw motorcycle gang who murdered his dad, Cain Allen is offered a boatload of cash to "handle" the stunning teen popstar Lincoln Todd. Although he doesn't need the headache of a high-maintenance celebrity, getting out of town will help him keep a low profile until he testifies against the other two killers. 
Touring Europe with Lincoln proves to be more complicated than Cain anticipated, and despite his efforts, the line between their personal and professional lives blurs. She’s sweet, smart, and totally unpredictable. And he loves it. 
But Lincoln’s association with Cain puts her in more danger than anyone could have imagined. When he joins forces with the Noir et Bleu Motorcycle Club to protect her, Cain discovers the lengths he's willing to go, and the person he's willing to become to protect the people he loves…

5-Stars Review

I had loved book one in Noir et Bleu Motorcycle Club series and I was quite sure that I'll like this one too. Happy to say that I loved it! It is even better than book one in many ways. Although both books can be read as stand alones. It has drama, romance, beautiful singer, bikers and a lot more. I especially loved the twist in plot at the end. That was very well done.
Cain is looking for his father's murderer. His girlfriend is not happy about him being so far away. His sister also wants him at home but he has to do this if he wants to live in peace with himself. But then he is offered a job, it paid well and all he has to do is babysit a teen singer. He never thought it could be as difficult as it turns out to be. Soon he is trying to keep his distance from Lincoln and also trying to protect her from his past. Now because of him her life is in danger to and he must take action before it is too late.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Cover Reveal: Sunk By Renea Porter


The darkness claws at Raine Sims,
bringing her farther in.

There was no escaping it and no
one to bring her out of it. The burden of loss weighs heavily on her, reminding
her every day that there are no guarantees in life. Every day is a struggle
every day she puts on a fa├žade just to get through. She’s already lost her
husband to divorce and now her child in death… It’s all too much to grasp.
But a chance encounter with Sly
Wilkes is all it takes to come completely undone.

Sly Wilkes is always in control,
in every situation, including in the bedroom. He’s mysterious, and Raine has
definitely piqued his interest. However getting to know her isn’t all that
easy. Raine’s guarded and believes she deserves to feel the pain and the
darkness that surrounds her.


Will Sly be able to help Raine see she deserves more?

Or Will the pain forever remain?





About the Author

Renea has always had her nose
inside of a book ever since she could remember. She has wrote ever since she
was young enough to write, never showing anyone what she was writing. Initially
she started writing Coming Back to You without intending to publish, but her
hubby of 15 years encouraged her to publish it. And she did. She couldn't
imagine never writing. Its in her blood.
Her mind is always wondering, plotting and full of ideas. Even her hubs
questions her sanity sometimes, because she well her characters are real. They
feel real.

Other
Books By Renea

Coming
Back To you

Bare Hearts

Driving Layne (Unspoken Truth Book 1)

Switching Lanes (Unspoken Truth Book 2)

Outbound Lane (Unspoken Truth Novella)

Undefinable

Mirror Mirror


All Available on Amazon:



All Available on Barnes & Noble


Review: Gods of Chaos (Red Magic #2) by Jen McConnel

Gods of Chaos (Red Magic #2)

Synopsis

The gods of chaos cannot be trusted.

Since battling her best friend, Darlena’s grip on Red Magic has been shaky. She heads to Scotland after the Winter Solstice in search of another Red Witch. 
On a sightseeing excursion with girls from her hostel, Darlena arrives at The Vaults, a mysterious underground city beneath Edinburgh. But there is something there that make Darlena’s instincts go haywire, as she lets loose a defencive burst of Red Magic, putting everyone around her in danger. 
If there was ever a time when Darlena needed the help of another Red witch, it was now. But beware the witch who wields Red Magic.

5-Stars Review

I loved it! Story continues from book one. Darlena is looking for another Red Witch. She thinks that together they might be able to defeat Hecate for once and for all. But things don't go as well as she had hoped. She did find the other Red but he is not too willing to help her in any way. Now she must think of something else to convince Marcus or maybe even use magic to get his help.
There are many twists and turns in this book. The ending was totally unexpected and completely epic. Now I have only one question: When can we read the next book? I can't wait... :D

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Tour Stop + Review: Dark Light by Richard Pieters

Dark Light
Richard Pieters
Sci/fi 


Blurb 

A frantic phone call from his sister brings Hollywood actor Carter Collins home to Avebury, Ohio. Their father's had a stroke. Or was it? The quiet riverside town is falling under the sway of a new evangelist and his dark form of salvation. No one will stand in his way. Carter's father tried, and now Carter must step in and lead the resistance.

Avebury protects an ancient mystery, a secret Carter has only days to uncover before malicious forces not of this world take control. He finds allies to fight the invasion, but no one is to be trusted. The cost to secure what the town has guarded will be steep, might demand great sacrifice of those closest to him, but failure could plunge Earth itself into darkness.

As the Reverend's tabernacle nears completion, Carter must accept the unbelievable and the role he was destined for. Friends turn against him. Danger stalks family, friends, his life-partner, all dragged into his nightmare, their lives threatened.  The planet teeters on the edge. Carter holds the keys. Can he pay the price of using them?







Review

It story revolves around mysterious forces of dark and light. Set in a small town where everyone knows everyone. Or at least people thought that they did. But now many of them are acting strange. There is some unseen force which seems to be controlling people. Now it is up to Carter Collins to get to the bottom of it. His sister is depending on him and so does his father. Carter has no idea from where to begin. He knows that all this weirdness started after Reverend came to their town and started his preaching about "the righteous way".
After a while Carter is in the middle of something even bigger than Reverend. There something more evil that is watching them. There seems to be no way to defeat the darkness. But Carter and his friends are there for a reason. They all have their destines and it time that they learn what they are. Reverend is in their Town for a reason. And when they will find out what it is they will also know how to defeat darkness with light.
This is a very intriguing and mysterious book. There are many twists and ending was totally unpredictable. There was tragedy and then there was hope. It is not a typical dark-vs-light story. It is much more. All the characters are well developed and story flows pretty smoothly. I really liked this book and hope that other readers will too. If you are a fan of sci-fiction mysteries then this is a book for you.
BUY LINKS 
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UZUALIQ
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id978697322
Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dark-light-clif…/1121491018…
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/dark-light-13

AUTHOR


Stalk HIM
Writer, musician, singer/songwriter, actor, hippie, media ad exec, business owner, Realtor. Not necessarily in that order. It's been a convoluted road.

I remember an idyllic childhood, which is odd, since my mother died when I was twelve and my father two years later. At fourteen, I'd lost both parents, and came back to the Ohio town of my birth, home also to my new mother (my dad had remarried.) She died nine years later.

Little wonder I took to performing, theater, movies, and books. Particularly to stories about death in one way or another.

My father was a Presbyterian minister who believed the Bible told interpretative stories, attempts to understand and draw lessons from the unfathomable, not to be taken literally. My stepmother, a highly intuitive person, read Yogananda. My questioning began early.

I studied creative writing as an English major in college. I was a terrible student. Beyond required short stories and college-kid poetry, most of my writing was songwriting. In those days, the age of the folk movement and protest songs, I believed the "new consciousness" emerging in my generation could change the world. The more I learned of spiritual, mystical teachings, the less I could know to be true. I questioned everything. I still do.

I returned to California as a singer-songwriter, then became involved with a theater troupe, performing in theaters, on the beach, and in the streets. Guerilla theater. Off-Broadway. Exciting, creative work, but reality set in.

Exhausted with the starving artist's life, I went to work in industrial design, then in advertising, in broadcast sales. All the while, I studied and practiced the craft of writing, never expecting to make a living as a writer. Now, at a ripened age, I've reached a place where I don't give a damn. I'm free of that fear.

I am a gay man, a fact I didn't come to terms with until my early thirties. Once I owned it, it was a wonderful opening. I did enjoy a short stint as a wild boy living the West Hollywood high life in the days prior to AIDS. Luckily, I met my partner of thirty-eight years, and we no doubt saved each other's lives at a time when many friends were dying around us.

Eventually, we left LA and the media business and moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where we had our own business. There, I dived into my writing, journaling and writing short stories, and finally embarked on novel writing.

We left Santa Fe after five years. I'm now back, again, where it all started. Oddly, while in New Mexico, I was compelled to set the novel in Ohio, in a town not dissimilar from the one of my birth and my high school and college years. As the opening of Dark Light says, referring to Thomas Wolfe's famous line, maybe you can't go home again, and then, maybe, sometimes you have no choice.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Review: The Sect: The Windgate (The School of Ministry Series Book 1) by Braxton Cosby

The Sect: The Windgate (The School of Ministry Series Book 1)

Genre: Fiction/Young Adult/New Adult/Inspirational
Publisher: Tate Publishing/Cosby Media Production
Date of Publication: April 21st, 2015
ISBN: 978-1681182032
Number of pages:290
Word Count: 99k

Book Description

When Ziv is recruited by the secret society known as The Sect, he finds himself cast into a perilous journey of identity, love, and hope. As a Conduit, Ziv possess the ability to see creatures of the night: demons. The Sect trains him along with two other trainees to be warriors of light and confront the challenges of the treacherous Quad, in order to control their fear and hone their abilities. As an untimely love triangle emerges, Ziv must control his emotions and chase down the evil Akabod before he can destroy The Windgate and banish the entire planet into enslavement by the underworld.

5-Stars Review

This is a very inspirational story about faith, love and finding ones destiny. It is very well written. I especially loved how everything and every scene is so detailed and perfectly described that it gives a vivid picture of what is happening. Characters are so well developed that I couldn't help but love them. In my opinion this is a very interesting and entertaining novel, which all readers will enjoy.
Ziv has always been different. Growing up an orphan, he has never felt like he belongs anywhere. Over time he over comes his problems and learns to live a productive life. He doesn't pay much attention to his ability of seeing things. But now he knows that he has a 'gift' which makes him unique. When his friend Stephanie goes missing, he is recruited by The Sect. They need his help to find her and he is more than willing to help them. He loves her and wants to make sure that she is safe. There is a lot he must learn first. He must prove himself worthy of becoming a part of this secret group whose mission is to protect the world from evil.
I am glad that I got opportunity to read and review this book. If you are interested you can sign-up using link above.
PROLOGUE
Five years ago, one night changed everything. I was out horse playing with a bunch of friends, in the streets, acting crazy. We came to an old abandoned building and decided to play a game of hide and seek. But I played hide and seek a little too well, easily ducking away from the others, making my way to the lower levels undetected. As they scouted around looking for me, I lost myself, trapped in a maze of empty rooms. Trying to find my way back, I came across another group of other teens, making such a ruckus that I couldn't help but spy on them from a distance. But their horse playing was nothing like what we were doing. Boys. A pack of them and a lone girl, engaged in disturbing behavior.
The boys were harassing her, hands everywhere. She cried out in screams that rattled my eardrums. My hands found their way over my ears, trying their best to block out the screeches. The more hands she batted away, twice as many appeared. They pressed in, grasping and groping. One of the boys pressed harder, adding slaps and kicks, until finally ripping a few layers of clothing from her body.
That's when the others joined in. Her screams echoed through the rooms, breaking through my hands, making it hard for me to look away. I hid in the shadows, too afraid to help, too scared to make them stop. She tried to fight back, but there were too many.
Finally I emerged from the darkness and bucked up the nerve to yell out, "Stop!" But they ignored me. Eventually, things got really heated, the girl screaming at the top of her lungs, and the boys pushing her down. That's when something broke free inside me. It started with a quiver, then a strong tremble, until my legs shook so hard I fell backward. My head slammed the floor. I winced and closed my eyes. What I saw terrified me. It was dark but I could see everything clearly. Horrible images shrouded me in a sheath of fear. Circling each one of the boys were hideous, great and fearful beasts. They had eyes that burned like embers, claws the length of fingers, and skin like that of dragons with patches of blazing red hair all over that seemed to stand on end. Grey smoke puffed from their mouths as they spoke. Some whispered obscenities, while others screamed deplorable things, encouraging the boys to continue. I opened my eyes and gasped. My heart fluttered and I looked around the room. The beasts were gone. Only the boys and the girl remained. Taking a deep breath, I shuddered at the thought of closing them again, but I had to.
I had to know the truth.
I did. It was true. I closed my eyes again and there they were. Within the dark recesses of my eyelids, I was able to see creatures from the other side. But what were they? Ghosts?
I mustered the strength to run out of the building, screaming for help. People stared at me like I was crazy. Finally, an adult took my accusations seriously and the police arrived, but it was too late. The damage was done. The girl's family tried to press charges, but she was high on drugs and was not able to identify the suspects. I lacked the heart to come forward and testify against them, left town for good. From then on, I knew I was different. I had a path. But how it would all play out one day was beyond me. Until now…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Multi-Award Winning and #1 Amazon Bestselling Author Braxton A. Cosby creates vivid, original stories that focus on relationships and world building that brings characters to life. Braxton received a lot of his inspiration from watching the accomplishments and exploits of his famous uncle, comedic legend Bill Cosby. Braxton is the CEO of Cosby Media Productions, a full-service entertainment studio that focuses on producing content in the areas of television, film, music, radio and print media. Braxton is also an actor and radio show host. As a writer, Braxton’s novels explore the psychology of human connection, concerning themes of trust, faith and selflessness. He resides in Lawrenceville with his wife and three daughters.

ENDORSEMENTS FOR THE WINDGATE
"a story of hope, courage, and perseverance...a fun and entertaining read" - Examiner.com"A fast-paced adventure...even a touch of romantic intrigue. Gripping, action-packed." - Kirkus Review"The Cosby gift of storytelling lives on in this page turning adventure." - Bill Cosby"a thrill ride of suspense, fantasy, drama and fun...An unrequieted love story beats at the center of Ziv's journey" - Adriana Trigiani, New York Times Bestselling Author of THE SHOEMAKER'S WIFE"action-packed supernatural thriller...highly engaging...plot twists and creative spins...compelling novel." - Literary Classics 5/5 STARS"...action-packed supernatural world full of vivid imagery...contains some of the most enjoyable and memorable action settings available in young adult fiction...will keep you guessing until the last page." - Carey Corp, Co-author of DOON"...a tantalizing tale of the ongoing battle of Good versus Evil in the supernatural realm...fascinating…Superbly enthralling, captivating, mesmerizing, tantalizing and downright good story!" - Readers' Favorite 5/5 STARS"...kept me turning pages throughout...Cosby is able to render his themes with a steady hand." - Sam A. Patel, Author of DATA RUNNER
AWARDS AND RECOGNITION
READERS FAVORITE INTERNATIONAL BOOK GOLD MEDAL BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD FOR YOUNG ADULTWINNER OF THE CLC SEAL OF APPROVAL#1 AMAZON BESTSELLING AUTHORWINNER of LITERARY CLASSICS BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD FOR FAITH-BASED FICTION, YOUNG ADULT

Cover Reveal: Talon by Shevawn Michelle

Life has a funny way of getting us to where we ultimately belong. Even if that isn’t what we had pictured for ourselves.

Talon had it all, or so he thought. A nice home, a great career, a wife whom he loved more than life itself. For most, it takes a lifetime to achieve your dreams, but for some, those dreams are achieved early with determination and hard work. That was Talon. But one tragic accident would strip him of everything. 

Kimberlyn is a single nurse, who spent the last three years of her life scraping by to save enough money to buy her dream home. That dream home brought her to Talon. When Kimberlyn enters the picture, can she help put the pieces of Talon’s life back together? Or is he already too far gone? 
















Shevawn Michelle lives in a small town just south of Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, three furbabies, turtle, and two hermit crabs. When she isn’t writing, she is reading and blogging. She has a love for fishing, campfires and grilling out with family and friends.
You can connect with her here:



Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Cover Reveal: Clover’s Adventurers by Sandra Shrewsbury

Expected Release Date: June 4th

Clover is a bunny who lost his mother at birth.
He is scared and needs someone to take care of him. He has to learn things on
his own and when he ventures out to find a family who will love him, he finds
more than just someone to take care of him. He finds special friends who teach
him what is more important in life.


Author
Bio


Sandra hails from West Virginia, where she lives
with her family. She spent ten years working in the nursing profession. She loves
to read, no matter what the genre is. However, her favorites are Romance,
Supernatural, and Non-Fiction. This love for the written word inspired Sandra
to begin her own writing career. Using her own life experiences, Sandra brings
Addiction to the surface with her Addiction Series. Now for her next book she
is doing an adult romance novel. Midnight Desire will let Sandra experience her
passion for romance. She is also writing a children’s book for her
granddaughter called Clover’s Adventurers. It will be out next month.

Release Blitz + Review + Giveaway: Cheaters Anonymous by Lacey Silks

 A_Banner_CA

.We're both addicted to sex, just not with each other.

High school friends - nothing more.

That was our promise to each other, because let's face it, infidelity spreads like a disease.

Everybody cheats.

Period.

And it's easier to remain friends than hurt the only person you ever cared about - or so we thought.

NOW AVAILABLE AT:

AMAZON | iBooks | BARNES & NOBLE

KOBO | GOOGLE PLAY


CA_Teaser_1
Excerpt: Chapter 1
“What the hell is that?” The new patient in the ER had an erection almost the size of a man’s arm. It tented the sheet covering him, and I thanked my lucky stars that I wasn’t on the front lines in the triage area. I could still hear the giggles from behind a curtain.

“This one’s yours, Jules. I’m not touching that with a ten-foot pole.” My co-worker and best friend’s humor didn’t escape me. The two of us were working the graveyard shift, and from the look of it, Chris was not going to help. In fact, bringing all the nurses’ attention to the patient may have only hindered any progress. Fortunately, she decided to leave. “I’m pretty sure I have a patient who needs an enema. I think I’d rather work that end than the one you’ll be working on.”

I highly doubted that. Chris worked the male nurses better than strippers did metal poles.

“Everybody out!” I pointed my finger to the door, but no one moved. Their heads were peeking one over another, trying to catch a glimpse of the patient’s prominent injury. My mind was already running amok as I wondered what the heck was underneath that sheet. “This is not Grey’s Anatomy, people, so unless you’re helping I don’t want to see you.”

They finally scattered back to their duties. On Saturday nights, or should I say Sunday mornings, we usually got the weekend party leftovers, and most of our patients were passed out drunk, stoned, or heavily medicated. Comprehension in any of those states was minimal. This guy on the bed in front of me was totally out. His face was covered in paint – green, red, yellow, blue, you name it and it was there. What kind of a party had he gone to?

I peeled back the sheets with hesitation. The rest of his body was painted in the same mix of colors as his face. My gaze rested over his hip, where underneath the smeared paint I could make out the black lines of a tattoo, though its shape remained mysterious. I wondered whether the patient had any clothes on when he came in. I sighed and removed the sheet down to his knees. The nurse beside me had her mouth completely open and was focused on what first appeared to be a cannon – a huge cannon made of a cylinder that imprisoned the patient’s enlarged penis.
“Holy crap!” I said under my breath. How do you get your cock stuck in a pump?

AMAZON | iBOOKS | BARNES & NOBLE

KOBO | GOOGLE PLAY

goodreads-badge-add-plus-d700d4d3e3c0b346066731ac07b7fe47

5-Stars Review

This is an amazing book. There are a lot of laugh-out-loud moments. I absolutely loved this twisted and hilarious story of two people who have hard time trusting opposite sex. Jules and Scar both witnessed one of their parents cheat and break other ones heart. In Jules case, her parents divorced but Scar's parents stayed together. In any case both had hard time dealing with it and they decided that they will never have real relationship with anyone. Their shared experience made them good friends. In school they become inseparable but then Jules move away to a different State and they grew apart.
After a long time they are re-united. But this time they want more then friendship from each other. They are scared of hurting each other but maybe their fear is exactly what will make their relationship so much stronger. what they did not expect was to see Brad, he might make things more complicated....
I find this story quite sad in a way. But it is also full of hope and love. I liked the way Lacey Silks developed these characters. They will stay with me for a long time. I think this book is a must read for fans of romantic comedies. I personally things that these are the best kind of books, a treat for all book lovers. :)

About Author: USA TODAY Bestselling Author Lacey Silks writes erotic suspense and contemporary romance. her stories come from life experiences, drams and fantasies. She likes a pinkish shade on a woman's cheeks, men with large feet and sexy lingerie, especially when it's torn off the body. Her favourite piece of clothing is a birthday suit.
When she's not thinking about writing steamy stories, which is a rare occasion, Lacey enjoys camping and skiing with her family (not at the same time). She's a happily married wife blessed with two kids who adore going to the library. She's an early bird by nature but loves the nightly adventures with her hubby which provide good content for her books.
Sign up for Lacey's newsletter to receive first dibs on new releases, discounts and promotions.
Note from the Author: While Cheaters Anonymous is a stand alone novel with HEA ending, it is advisable to read its short prequel When Things Go Wrong available at: Amazon, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google Play
family couple in a winter clothes
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Want to get in touch with Lacey? Visit her on Facebook or on her website.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Cover Reveal + Giveaway: Stalker by Clarissa Wild


Title: Stalker
Author: Clarissa Wild
Publication Date: June 16th, 2015
Genre: Dark Romance (18+)

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24471388-stalker




Fuck me once, I'll fuck you twice … then I'll bury you.



No prison can keep me from seeking revenge. Especially when it comes to her.

She, the woman who put me in jail.

I swore that I’d come for her, to claim what belongs to me: Her life.

I’m not a good man. On the contrary, I love to be bad. It’s in my veins. Just like it’s in my veins to ruin her.

She’s an actress, pretending to be a saint, but we both know that isn’t true. One way or another, she’ll pay for what she did.

I will hunt for her. Make her fear me. Make her body mine.

Bad deeds never go unpunished … And I always go out with a bang.


WARNING: This book is a DARK ROMANCE STANDALONE - it has a non-conventional ending. This isn't rainbow sprinkles & unicorn fluff. It's a dark, thrilling journey of two people clashing over love, lust, and hatred. Heed the warning. Contains graphic violence, alcohol, drugs & other disturbing content. 


No Cliffhanger. Stand Alone.


Preorder now:







Clarissa Wild is the USA Today Bestselling author of FIERCE, a college romance series, but she's best known for the dark Romance novel Mr. X. She is also a writer of erotic romance such as the Blissful Series, The Billionaire's Bet series, the Doing It Series and the Enflamed Series. She is an avid reader and writer of sexy stories about hot men and feisty women. Her other loves include her furry cat friend and learning about different cultures. In her free time she enjoys watching all sorts of movies, reading tons of books and cooking her favorite meals.

Want to get an email when the next book is released?
Sign up here: http://eepurl.com/FdY71




Thursday, April 16, 2015

Review: Troubled Souls by Genevieve Scholl

Troubled Souls
Synopsis
The sinking of the Titanic was one of the most shocking tragedies in history. Rosalee has always had a strange fascination with the whole thing. She never understood why she was so curious about the ship, the passengers, and the sinking… Until she visited an artifact exhibit in Las Vegas, and started having dreams of being a passenger on the ship in 1912. 
Once she finds out which passenger she is portraying in these visions, she does some research and finds out that not only is the woman buried nearby, but she also has a striking resemblance to her. Now she has a million questions, and the only thing that can help her get the answers is the spirit of the passenger… And possibly the handsome Historian in a suit. 

5-Stars Review
This is a beautiful tale where past and present collide. Emily Lancaster is a passenger on Titanic. Rosalee is a private detective in New York, at present. Somehow they both switched places. Rosalee is confused and scared. Will she die on Titanic if she was there while it sink? Why was she there anyway? What was the mystery behind to women switching souls like that? There were many questions and she must seek answers if she wanted to survive. With the help of her boyfriend, Bradley, She uncovers the mystery and because of her two souls are now resting in peace.
P.S. Let me just say that the cover of this book is simply amazing. And after reading, it makes all the more sense. It suits the book perfectly.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Public Expenditures on Urban Development (2000-2014) in Pakistan

By Fizza Younis
            Public expenditures in any sector play the key role in giving rise to positive externalities. It is a component of GDP and hence has a direct positive impact on it. Sometimes it is believed that it crowds out private investment but overall effect will depend on interaction between various macroeconomic variables.[1]Public expenditures can be categorized on the basis of sector or on the basis of type of goods and services it provides. Development of infrastructure is an important macro-function to which it can be directed. Urban development comes under such expenditures. Figure 1 shows total expenditure as percentage of GDP in Pakistan. Linear trend-line shows that expenditures as percentage of GDP are increasing in Pakistan but remain below 20% of GDP.
Source: World Development Indicators, World Bank Database
            According to World Bank (2014) urban sector in developing countries is growing at unprecedented rate. It is estimated that by 2030 urban areas will increase by 1.2 million square kilometers. Therefore, it is crucial to provide basic infrastructure (especially in informal urban sectors) to counter some of the negative impacts of rapid expansion. Furthermore, urban development is necessary because it will have a long-term impact. Reducing urban poverty, providing job opportunities, housing, water, and sanitation facilities to the growing city population poses a challenge in Pakistan as well. (World Bank, 2014)
            More than one third of Pakistan’s population lives in urban areas. The growth rate of urbanization is 3.1%. Urban economy accounts for 78% of the GDP. Rapid expansion of urban sector has resulted in negative externalities. Most importantly, the development of infrastructure is not sufficient and has lead to mismanagement in expanding cities.[2] In Pakistan provincial governments are responsible for urban development and federal government plays role in developing a framework to carry out urban development programs. There are many dimensions of urban development but we are focusing on infrastructure deficit. Around 13% of total urban population lives below poverty line, 95% have access to drinking water, whereas, only 72% have access to improved sanitation facilities. [3]Only 5% of urban population has access to municipal garbage collection system.
            In Pakistan total public spending is 20% of GDP and development expenditures are 5% of GDP (Pakistan Economics Survey, 2013-14). Public investment in urban infrastructure sector is 0.25% of GDP. As the cities expand demand for transport and communication infrastructure facilities is increasing. In light of this Government of Pakistan recognizes the importance of urban sector in economic growth strategy and has made urban development an important goal in 10thfive year plan. One of the objectives is to develop infrastructure which will support urbanization and result in positive externalities, leading to better governance and management in the cities. This includes provision of safe drinking water, improved sanitation facilities with the focus on conserving water resources by encouraging recycling and reuse of waste. Provision of low cost public transport is also one of the objectives of public expenditures on urban development. In 10th five year plan total allocation for urban development is 534.9 billion Rs.
            In table 1 important urban indicators of Pakistan are presented. It can be observed that percentage of population living in urban areas is increasing. Population density and percentage of population living in extended urban regions (urban agglomerations) is also increasing. Energy consumption has increased over the time period under consideration. These indicators lead to conclusion that importance of urban sector is increasing. Hence there is a need for increasing development expenditures in urban areas. According to Annual Development Program (2014-15) 7% of social development funds are allocated for urban sector.
Table 1: Urban Development Indicators (2000-2014)
   
        
References
Pakistan Economic Survey. (2013-14). Ministry of Finance, Government of Pakistan.
Piana, V. (2001). Public Expenditure. Retrieved 2015, from Economics Web Institute.
Planning Commision, Government of Pakistan. (2010). Urban Development. 10th 5 Year Plan. Islamabad.
World Bank. (2014, April). Projects & Operations. Retrieved 2015, from The World Bank.
World Bank. (2013). World Development Indicators. Retrieved 2015, from World Bank Data Base.




[1] Piana, 2001
[2] Planning Commision, Government of Pakistan, 2010
[3] World Bank, 2013