*Please note that the contents of this page are solely the OPINIONS of the authors and the followers.*

Welcome to the Middle of the Road. This is a combined book review blog, one that is both cherished and prided over. We want everyone who comes to our page to find something of intrest to them, so when they walk away they are either satisfied or intrigued. We are both avid readers and have a passion about books that few of our other friends do. Both of us are happy to share our experiences in the book world and at times some goodies too. Enjoy your time here, and if you are anything like us, you could spend hours just wandering aimlessly through the world of books, just like a lazy afternoon down the Middle of the Road.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Our True Blood Article + Giveaway!

We absolutely LOVE  True Blood. We love it enough to pay an extra 10 bucks a month for the HBO channels ONLY during True Blood season :) We were completely thrown off at first with all the differences between the books and the show, but we have not only come to adjust to them, but also look forward to them. We get excited about what is going to happen next, and we hate having to wait an entire week to see what is going on with our favorite characters, which is almost all of them by the way!
- Danielle & Christy

So they say that the Sookie in the show is a lot different from the Sookie in the book, personality wise. What do you guys think?

D- well… I don't know about that, I mean in the books she is so kick ass, I practically devoured each and every one I got. She is a bit guarded and kind of keeps to herself r a lot of the time due to the fact that she is 'small town' and people think she is a little crazy. But she only seems that way in the beginning of the series.  Also in the first season of True Blood she comes off as kind of naive, but as the seasons progress she totally out grows that and will tell someone off in a heartbeat!!

C-I have to agree mostly. Sookie is very different in the first season than I perceived her to be in the first book. I also think that she grows with the series and has grown out of some of the “na├»ve” although I think that she could still be a little tougher toward some people. It seems to me that she is still soft when it comes to certain other characters while with others she has toughened up.

Do you think they should stick to the script and have Sookie and Eric eventually hook up, or do you think the flirting coming from Alicide is going to go any further??

D- well, since I am a Team Vampire type of girl, I really want them to stick to the script and have Sookie and Eric hooking up. Hell I want them to cast me and I will gladly hook up with Eric :) teehee
C-I always wanted Sookie to be with Alcide when I was reading the books, and it kind of  disappointed me when she just blew him off. He is such a good guy and Eric is just…well…an egotistical ass J

Do you think they are ever going to introduce Bubba into the show? Do you feel they should?

D- No, I don't think they are going to. If they were it would have already happened. I mean he is a pretty loved character from the books and should be on screen by now. I wish they had brought him to life, but no I don't feel they should bring him in now.
C-Um…DUH…I really want them to introduce Bubba! He was so much fun in the books! I was honestly looking forward to meeting him on screen J but I have to agree with Danielle, I think that if they were going to introduce him they would have already.

As of the last episode of True Blood, we discovered that Tara is bisexual. Did either of you see that coming?

D- absolutely NOT... OMG I was freaked.. I mean it is something that is kind of expected considering everything she has been thru, but I was like DAMN MAN, lol… It only adds to her character being so unbelievably unpredictable, and I LOVE IT.

C-I was completely dumbfounded! I never saw that one coming! I stood up and screamed at my TV “What the Heck? OMG I can’t believe that!”

We hope that if you haven’t watched True Blood or read the books you will consider starting NOW! A lot of people say that the series is just “soft core porn” and we totally see where they can get this idea but it is an amazing series. Ms. Charlaine Harris is a very talented author and we are so glad we were introduced to her books. Even more so that they made a TV series out of them J
And now for the giveaway! We are offering 2 prize packs! One prize pack is centered around vampires (Eric) and the other is centered around werewolves (Alcide). All you need to do to enter is leave us a comment telling us which you would prefer falling in love with and why! The winners will get the pack for the one they chose!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Book Trail week 12 Winner

We know that this is a little late but remember we both lead VERY busy lives aside from the Blog. We do our best to get everything done on time but sometimes it's just impossible! We hpe you all understand :)

Maryanne Nixon
You have 48 hours from right NOW to get back with us! Let us know what book you want off the trail and your mailing address. Congratulations!

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Badwater by Toni Dwiggins

Ashley O'Donnell

I am emailing you a coupon code to download your FREE copy of Badwater at smashwords.com!
Congratulations! I hope you enjoy! Come leave your comments of the book after you read it if you like!

Short story by Smoky Zeidel

Shelby Rodewald
Congratulations Shelby! We hope you enjoy your book! The author will be emailing you shortly :)

Book Trail week 12

Here we are, another week in the books, and another chance for you guys to win a book!!

Same rules apply as always, leave a comment, one entry per person per week, you must be a follower, and you have to get back to s within 48 hours of your name being announced :)

Good luck and happy reading!!

-Christy and Danielle

Book Trail week 11 WINNER

Here I go again with being behind on schedule.. However, never fret I still have a winner for you guys!!

And a BIG congrats goes to ....


So make sure you get back to us no later than Monday evening with your book choice and your mailing info so we can get your book to you ASAP :) Thanks for participating!!!

-Christy and Danielle

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Book Review: Wildefire

I finished this book a couple hours ago, and I have to tell you guys that Mr. Knight did an excellent job. Yes, you heard me right, I said MISTER. The author of this book is a DUDE..

It is so few and far between that we come across a guy who writes YA, and even rarer still we have one that writes GOOD YA. But a good book is definitely what Mr. Karsten Knight has done.

Honestly, I didn't know he was a guy until I got finished with the book, and saw the back flap of the book. However, all through reading, some of the words used by the teenagers really made me wonder if the author was a serious tomboy :) ( I have hung around guys my whole life, and yeah I soooo know the usual dialogue haha ) But then to my surprise it wasn't a tomboy after all, It was an actual guy.. Oh I was thrilled. ( Oh and if I do say so myself, a rather attractive guy ;) )

Anyhow, enough with my gushing over this author, now it's time to let you in on the scoop of the story.

Back when the world was new, the trees were just saplings, the ozone wasn't polluted, and the ocean was first starting to breath, there were beings who walked the planet who had extraordinary powers. Whether they did something unforgivable and were cursed to die and be reborn to a human shell every one hundred years, or if it had always been that way we may never know. But the fact remains, that these beings controlled the world we now live in.

Flash forward thousands of years to a small town in upstate New York and you meet Ashline Wilde. Adopted alongside her older sister Evelyn into a upper class white suburban family from the wilds of Central Africa, Ash is all but normal. With her Polynesian heritage forefront in her appearance, everyday in high school is grueling. Home isn't all too great either, especially since Eve took off three months ago.

The day her boyfriend cheats on her should be hard enough as a typical high school girl but turns into an utter nightmare when her anger blooms into total destruction and her sister makes a surprise visit back home. Now with one local student dead, a sister on the run, and Ashline second guessing her sanity, all she wants to do is disappear.

Reinventing herself to fly under the radar in the middle of nowhere North California, in a luxurious private school is exactly what Ash wants and does. Until flying under the radar doesn't work out the way she planned. Making captain of the school tennis team, and earning the affections of the hottest guy on campus is only a stepping stone in her getting noticed.

When another girl at school gets into a situation, and Ash, along with four other fellow students rush to her rescue, Ash learns things about herself and the others that she would have never guessed. Apparently the Old World is coming back, and they have all been summoned to this place to join forces.

If Ash doesn't learn to control what burns beneath her and within her she may lose everything all over again, but in order to control what's inside she may have to destroy a part of her that roams free. Eve.
- Danielle

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Book Review: First Kill

So guys here is the review I promised of the amazing Heather Brewer's new series The Slayer Chronicles. Trust me when I say this, she does not disappoint. If you enjoyed The Chronicles of Vladimir Todd AT ALL you will love this series just as much.

So usually I don't do for spoilers in my ARC reviews, and I am not going to start now. If any of you have noticed in the past, this will be a preview of how AWESOME this book is and you can come back on the release date to get the low down on exactly what I am talking about.

However, since most books I am reviewing are already part of a series I can fall back on them to add a little intrigue into what you are going to read. This book on the other hand is the VERY FIRST in a brand new series so I am going to give you a little insight into this great new adventure.

Joss is a normal boy.. well he would be if he wasn't super fast, able to catch almost any ball thrown his way, or hit the bulls eye every time he shot a bow and arrow. He would also be normal is he had at least one friend. But no, Joss has none of those, but what he does have is his little sister Cecile. Without Cecile, Joss would be the invisible boy.

When the crap hits the fan at the tender age of ten, Joss is lost in a world that doesn't see him. His mighty, very unknown Uncle Abraham has confirmed Joss's suspicions, and now Joss doesn't care that he is invisible, heck he'd rather it that way.

Being summoned well ahead of schedule has Joss thinking and rethinking his decisions, but even though he may be in for the long haul, his determination doesn't falter. A cold, hard lesson was taught to him years ago, and now he must take that lesson and put it to good use. If he doesn't he may never make it back home alive.

With suspense, violence, heart break, and determination this book makes you root for the good guy, question who is really the bad guy, and wonder who is going to really ' win' in the end. I adored book one and can NOT wait until the rest of the series is up and running. Heather Brewer has done it again with another smash hit series!!!!!
- Danielle

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Book Review: The Iron KNIGHT

Yes, this is a review of The Iron Knight, and yes it is an ARC. Ekkkk right??!!

Before I start the review I have to let you guys in on a little secret of mine. I don't like to read the final book in a series. I buy the books, and they sit there on my shelf. I swear I hear them begging to be read every time I walk into the room, but most of the time, especially if I really really loved the book, I always find some lame excuse not to read them.

When I received the Ebook copy of The Iron Knight, my first reaction was pure excitement. I was soo elated to be getting the chance to read the final installment of a book that not many people have read yet, not to mention the end of a long anticipated story I have been dying to know the conclusion of.

My second reaction was .... errr.. I will read it later, I have other things to do. Just like always, I put the majority of the reading off for over two weeks now. But I just couldn't do it any longer. I am in love with the Fey, all of them, Iron, Summer, and Winter alike. I want to share some of my experience of this final journey with you guys.

Warning... there are NO spoilers in this, I usually don't hesitate to post spoilers, but I will NOT do that until after the actual release date of the book.. So make sure you check back in October for the low down nitty gritty on EXACTLY how swoon worthy these Fey are.

So as we all ended The Iron Queen, our hearts were broken. Not just yours and mine, but Prince Ash of the Winter court was drowning in sorrow. He had made a vow to his Queen, the love of his soulless life. He would find a way to return to her, no matter the cost to himself, and no matter how long it took. He would make it back to her arms... unless he died along the way.

For those of us out there who read Summer's Crossing we all know that luckily our to-die-for Prince is fortunately not alone. As always the amazing, wonderful.. totally tempting in a definite un young adult way, Puck, is tagging along with Ash for this journey.

My heart broke for Robin Goodfellow when his love, Meghan Chase, chose another. There were even times were I silently rooted the two of them on ( Puck and Meghan ) only to feel totally guilt ridden later when it was so obvious that Meghan and Ash truly belong together.

This final chapter of their story is amazing, it makes me want the Fey to live on and on forever. If never forgetting who they are, what their stories are, and the fact that magic does exist is what keeps these guys alive. I will be sure to pass every Fey story I come across to my children, and grandchildren, and their children. May the Nevernever, never cease.

The Book Trail week 11

So here we are, after announcing two winners for last weeks 10th anniversary, this week we go back to normal :)

I will be announcing the winner on Friday this week, even though this post is a day late. Sorry, but one day isn't THAT bad!!

Anyhow, you guys totally know how this works, same rules apply as always:
1. one entry per person per week
2. you must be a follower
3. you got to get back to us within 2 days of us announcing the winner in order to claim your book!!!

Have fun everyone, good luck and HAPPY READING !!!

The Book Trail Week 10 Winners!!!

Sooo yes I know that I am a day late, and I do apologize for that. Please forgive me. I do however have the winners for this week's Book Trail if you are interested??!!?

Congrats go to BOTH...
Alexandra Roxana

Remember you two, make sure to get back to us no later than MONDAY this week ( since I announced it a day late ) with your book of choice and your mailing info, and we will have your books out ASAP!!

- Christy and Danielle

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Bad Water by Toni Dwiggins + GIVEAWAY!

Synopsis: When a freight truck is hijacked, forensic geologists Cassie Oldfield and her partner Walter Shaws track the mineral trail into Death Valley. The stolen cargo they seek is hotter than the desert in August: radioactive waste.

As scientists, Cassie and her partner Walter are familiar with background radiation in the rocks they study. But as a woman of child-bearing age and a man of advancing years, they become acutely aware of the risk of their hunt. How many exposures are too many? What's safe? More immediately, what's lethal?

The geologists find out when the unstable radwaste thief unleashes the power of the unstable atom.
Review: When I first starte reading this book I honestly didn't think I was going to be able to finish it. The first few chapters were largely just telling about the radioactive waste. I have never been big on science (that's why my Bio Anatomy class is gonna kick my butt this semester)! It was hard to keep reading since I really have no interest in what the acronyms RERT or CTC stand for! I have to tell you that this book is FULL of acronyms!

I am glad that I stuck it out though. The book got much better after I got past the first few chapters. There were still LOTS of acronyms and lots of explanation that I didn't feel was necessary BUT the story was GREAT. I never would have guessed that the person behind it all was even involved! Toni Dwiggins did a great job keeping me in suspence!


We have been authorized to offer 2 ebook copies of this novel via smashwords! Just leave us a comment with your VALID email address and we will use random.org to choose the winners! Winners will be chosen August 13.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Smoky Zeidel Author Interview + GIVEAWAY

As of now, how many books have you published?
I’ve published five full-length books: On the Choptank Shores (which was initially released as Redeeming Grace), and The Cabin; and three nonfiction books. Two of these are written specifically for writers: Front-Word, Back-Word, Insight Out is the fiction writing workshop I used to teach at community colleges in the Midwest and online in book form. Left Brained, Write Brained: 366 Writing Prompts and Exercises is exactly that: a Leap Year’s worth of exercises. My publisher is working on a combined-eBook version of these two. My fifth book is Observations of an Earth Mage, a collection of photographs, poetry, and prose celebrating the natural beauty of our planet.
I’ve also published half a dozen short stories in eBook form, including “In a Flash,” which is my biographical account of being struck by lightning 22 years ago and the effects I’m still suffering as a result. It’s a pretty dramatic story.
All my books are published by Vanilla Heart Publishing and are available at Amazon; the ebook versions are at Amazon, Smashwords, and in some cases, All Romance Books.

Can you tell us a little about your newest book, On the Choptank Shores?
On the Choptank Shores is a love story. The love between a young wife (Grace) and her decidedly middle-aged husband (Otto), and the love of a big sister for her abused baby sister (Miriam). It is the story of the love for an aging, grief-stricken father (Luther) who is spiraling into a dark world of insanity, and the love of a kind and benevolent God whom Grace knows must exist, despite the crazed ravings of her father, who paints a picture of a vengeful, angry God as he spouts biblical verse to defend his abuse of both Grace and little Miriam. It is a story of the land on which they live, and the power of Mother Nature. Most of all, it is a story of love conquering all.

When did you decide that you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always wanted to be a writer. In fact, I’ve always been a writer, writing poetry, journal entries, and little stories when I was a girl. But my degree is in psychology; I trained to be a psychotherapist. My plans changed, however, when I was struck by lightning and had to drop out of grad school because of my health issues. My body was broken, but my mind worked just fine, so I started writing feature stories for the Naperville (IL) Sun newspaper. That grew to writing for several papers, and soon I was writing for magazines as well.
But fiction was and is my first love. I began working on my first novel, and never looked back.

What/Who was your inspiration to become a published author?
If by that you mean which authors have been my role models, I’d have to say Willa Cather is number one. Her books are amazing, and my writing style has been compared to hers. But I’m also a fan of Barbara Kingsolver, Margaret George, and Elizabeth Cunningham. On the male author side of things, I adore Mark Twain and Jose Saramago, but I don’t think my writing emulates either. While I can be funny, I’m no Twain, and I can’t write the kind of stream-of-consciousness fiction Saramago writes.

Would you say that writing has been a promising career for you?
It’s been the perfect career for me. I can work when I feel well, and I can take it easy and enjoy a fallow time—what I prefer to call a gathering time—when I’m not well or recovering from a hospitalization. I’ve met wonderful people: my publisher, Kimberlee Williams at Vanilla Heart Publishing; my co-authors there, and other writers I’ve met at conferences and book fairs and on the Internet have all become my writing family. Have you noticed what a close-knit group we writers are? Ask any writer, and they’ll tell you at least 95 percent of their Facebook friends are writers. We support each other; we promote each other. When someone else has a publishing success, we cheer, just as they cheer for us when we have success. It’s a great career!

Is writing your primary career?
Words are my primary career. While I do a lot of writing and publishing, I also am a freelance editor, and I’m told by my clients I’m a pretty good one at that. I’ve helped many, many authors polish their manuscripts, and a lot of my clients have gotten publishing contracts as a result. I use to also teach writing, when I lived in Illinois, but I moved to California a few years ago and haven’t resume that part of my career. I don’t really miss that, though.

If you had to choose one of your books, which one would you say is your favorite?
If I had to choose one of my children, which would I say was my favorite? That’s as impossible a question to answer as asking about my favorite of my books, because my books are like my children. I love them all equally, although for different reasons. I love On the Choptank Shores because the setting is one of my childhood haunts, my aunt and uncle’s peach orchard on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. I love The Cabin because the inspiration for this story came from my own family history. I love my writing books because they give me an opportunity to continue teaching, even if I’m not in front of a classroom anymore. And I love Observations of an Earth Mage because so many readers have emailed me to tell me that I inspired them to get outdoors more, to take a hike, to go camping. Yes, I love all my books.

What would you say is the hardest part of writing a book?
Finding time to write. Life gets in the way. For me, there are always physical therapy and doctor appointments. Then there are the errands: going to the grocery store, the farmer’s market; and the chores: doing laundry, caring for three cats and a dog, being crisis and career counselor to my college-aged daughter. The list goes on and on. And I guess an addendum to “finding time to write” would be “when I’m not too exhausted to do so.” It’s impossible to be creative when your brain is foggy from exhaustion. That’s why I tend to do my best writing in the early morning, before anyone stirs in my household.

Do you have any advice you would like to share with aspiring authors?
Yes, I do. First, study your craft. People tend to think they can just decide to write a book and sit down to write one. But writing a book is an art, just like playing the piano and painting a masterpiece are art forms. Yo-Yo Ma didn’t sit down at the cello one day and decide to play, and produce exquisite music. Picasso didn’t decide one day to paint and produce The Guitarist. They studied their craft. Writers need to do that, too.
Second, get your book professionally edited. I’ve seen so many books full of errors because writers had their Aunt Frieda or their next-door neighbor edit for them, even though neither had a bit of editing experience. Editors know things your aunt and your neighbor don’t know about what a good manuscript looks like. They can find mistakes you probably didn’t even know were mistakes. Don’t skimp on this step.
Third, don’t give up just because your book isn’t accepted at first. I used to tell my students, publishing a book is like running into a wall at full speed. When you hit that wall, you knock yourself out and bloody your nose in the process. But if you pick yourself up, wipe the blood from your face, and say, “Gee, that felt good! I think I’ll do it again!” you’ll eventually knock that wall down. The same goes for getting your book published. If you’ve studied your craft and had your book professionally edited, and if, of course, your story is any good, you will find a publisher.

How long did it take for your first book to be published? Was it turned down before it was accepted?
My first book was published by the second publisher I queried about it. And a funny thing: the first publisher I queried, the one who turned it down before it was accepted by that second publisher, came back to me a few months afterward and asked if the manuscript was still available, that they had changed their minds! Of course, I had to politely tell them it was off the market. Unfortunately, the publisher I went with went out of business less than a year later, but it didn’t matter. I found Vanilla Heart shortly thereafter, and I’ve been with them ever since.

Where can readers find you in the Internet?
Several places. My Website is http://www.smokyzeidel.wordpress.com. From there you can link to all three of my blogs: Smoky Talks Books, which is a book review column; Smoky Talks Authors, which is author interviews, and Observations of an Earth Mage, which, like the book title of the same name, is photos and essays on nature. I’m on Goodreads, and you can find me on Facebook.

Where can they go to purchase your books and short stories?
I’m on Amazon, Smashwords, and All Romance Books. Incidentally, on my Website, at the bottom of each and every page, are widgets that link you to fReado, where you can read the first few chapters of On the Choptank Shores, The Cabin, Observations of an Earth Mage, and my Short Story Collection, Vol. 1.
It’s a terrific way to try before you buy! (And a terrific way for me to hook you into wanting to buy!)

Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Yes! Anyone who leaves a comment at the end of this blog will be eligible to win a free eBook copy of any one of my short stories! Leave a comment or, better still, a question for me to answer. Leave your VALID email so that we can email the winner!