Thursday, September 25, 2014

Life: The Citizens of Logan Pond by Rebecca Belliston -- Blog Tour/Giveaway


c74e053f8a453e04660096938f385b44Life: The Citizens of Logan Pond


Publisher: Crescent Moon Press

Published: September 15th, 2014

ISBN13: 9780990627425

Paperback: 367 pages

FTC FYI: Received a PDF from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Summary

Her home. Her parents. Her freedom. Gone.

His dreams. His sister. Himself. Lost.

Two people.

One future.

The economy crashed, the country is floundering, and Carrie Ashworth struggles to keep her siblings alive. She has two jobs in her newly-formed, newly-outlawed clan: grow crops to feed thirty-six people, and keep Oliver Simmons, their local patrolman, happy. Carrie’s life is almost content when Greg Pierce shows up. A man with the ambition to help them survive. A man determined to hate her.

When a government raid nearly wipes out their clan, Greg realizes the true reason behind their safety. Patrolman Simmons has fallen for Carrie. Greg takes it upon himself to give the socially-awkward patrolman what he wants. Only Carrie doesn’t like Greg throwing her in Simmons's path, especially when Greg’s brusque exterior melts, and she catches a glimpse of the real man underneath. Carrie is forced to choose: follow her heart or save her clan.
Life won’t let her choose both.

My Review

Carrie and her brother and sister live in their old neighborhood.  Under the protection of a kind patrolman, their clan is able to do things most people can't.  Live in their own homes, grow gardens, etc.  May and CJ's daughter and grandson come home after years of being away, Greg and Mariah.  Greg right away starts shaking things up in the clan.  Some of his ideas ruffle some feathers.  Most in the clan sees that change is good for them, but not all take it in stride.  They are getting too comfortable in the haze of Oliver's protection.  Greg realizes Oliver can't protect them forever and he tries to help the clan see that.  But, at the expense of Carrie.

Wow!  What an emotional ride.  This book is excellent and you really feel for these characters.  It is truly heartbreaking what these people had to endure with the collapse of the dollar and government take over.  The expectations that are placed on Carrie, at the expense of her own happiness, was unfair at times.  Carrie is an amazing example of strength, endurance, and kindness.  She takes the heat for something huge and it made me appreciate her character even more.  She wants what is best for her family and clan, but I was glad when she started sticking up for herself.  Greg was an interesting character.  I didn't know what to think of him at first.  He was a mystery, but later, I realized that was what I liked most about him.  His past is full of tragedy, like everyone else's, but I respected that he was a thinker and tries to help the clan.  I really enjoyed the POV switches.  That must be so challenging to do as an author and Rebecca did it well.  You have to know your characters well and she did.

5 out of 5 stars.  I can't wait for next book!

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Rewind to You by Laura Johnston -- Blog Tour/Giveaway


Rewind to You CoverRewind to You
Author: Laura Johnston
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corp.
Published: September 15th, 2014
ISBN13: 978160183350
336 pages
FTC FYI: Received an ebook copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Summary
One last summer before college on beautiful Tybee Island is supposed to help Sienna forget. But how can she? This is where her family spent every summer before everything changed, before the world as she knew it was ripped away.
But the past isn’t easily left behind. Especially when Sienna keeps having episodes that take her back to the night she wants to forget. Even when she meets the mysterious Austin Dobbs, the guy with the intense blue eyes, athlete’s body, and weakness for pralines who scooped her out of trouble when she blacked out on River Street.
When she’s with Austin, Sienna feels a whole new world opening up to her. Austin has secrets, and she has history. But caught between the past and the future, Sienna can still choose what happens now…
My Review
Sienna is having trouble coping with losing her father after his death in an accident where she was driving.  Austin is just getting by, trying to stay away from trouble.  They meet as Austin is helping Sienna out a rough situation and become fast friends.  Right away there is an instant connection, but there are obstacles.  Mostly, Sienna is just visiting for the summer and leaving for college soon.  Austin is also leaving (but I don't want to say why, no spoilers here).  They are both trying to come to terms with the cards they've been dealt in life and find that they have found peace in each other.  
I really, really liked this book!  The characters are so well-written.  I loved the point of view switches.  I felt I was really able to get to know Sienna and Austin better as I saw them through each other's eyes.  Austin was adorable, I instantly liked him.  I loved getting to know him better and all that he did to make others feel good (even if they didn't know it at first).  He truly is a great kid.  Austin also has a sad back story and I loved how it plays out. It even made me cry at the end.  Sienna has a lot going on too.  She keeps fainting and rewinding back to times when she was most happiest with her dad.  She finds she wants to see her dad, but needs to figure out the cause.  
4 out of 5 stars.  I have said this a million times, but I LOVE a great story that is clean and enjoyable and something I can pass to my girls.  This book is fantastic and I can't wait to read more from this author.  

Excerpt


Dad shifts his gaze to the sunset just visible above the thick trees. “You know, Sienna, there aren’t too many moments quite like this.”
I nod, because whatever is happening right now is definitely not normal. It feels so real. I wish it would last forever.
Let’s make a pact,” he says and I feel seven again, making a promise with a best friend. “Let’s remember it, okay? This moment. And when times get rough, we can rewind to this moment and remember the taste of a job well done. We can remember how great this day was.”
A lump swells in my throat as I recall who was behind the wheel that night: me. “Okay, it’s a pact.”
Laura Rewind to You AuthorAuthor Laura Johnston
Laura Johnston lives in Utah with her husband and two children. Growing up with five siblings, a few horses, peach trees, beehives and gardens, she developed an active imagination and always loved a good story. She fell in love with the young adult genre both through her experience in high school as well as her job later as a high school teacher. Laura enjoys running, playing tennis, sewing, traveling, writing, and above all, spending time with her husband and kids. REWIND TO YOU is her debut novel.

Excerpt
I’m increasingly aware of Austin—his shower-fresh scent, every curve of muscle and the rise and fall of his chest with every breath—as he stands behind me and wraps his arms around mine.
“I’ll teach you,” he says, his hot breath against my ear seeping in. Whispering a thrill.
His hand cups the back of mine. I watch as he positions my pinkie and ring fingers over the threads and slides my thumb down. “Hold the football with your fingertips.”
I glance at his face above my shoulder, his blue eyes, strong jaw and his lips. And suddenly, football is the last thing on my mind.

Rewind to You Tour
Praise for the Book
“Johnston’s debut spotlights romance and familial relationships, including themes like grief and self-sacrifice. It’s an ideal story for readers looking for a deep-rooted YA love story with the emotional ups and downs and poignancy of a Nicholas Sparks contemporary. There’s also a touch of wit and a sigh-worthy hero – a definite on your TBR list.” – RT Book Reviews

“This is contemporary YA fiction at its best! –Kay Lynn Mangum, author of The Secret Journal of Brett Colton

Rewind to You will steal your hear away.” –Kelly Nelson, author of The Keeper’s Saga


BookBlast Giveaway
$75 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 10/5/14
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an iTunes Gift Code or River Street Sweets Gift Card. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Life on Hold by Beverly Stowe McClure -- Book Blast



Life on Hold Life on Hold
A paper found. A secret revealed. A girl’s life changed forever. Myra Gibson’s life is a lie. For sixteen years her parents have kept their secret, but the adoption paper she discovers while cleaning the guesthouse tells the truth. As the past and present collide, Myra finally stands up for herself and begins a journey she may regret.

Praise for Life on Hold
All I can say is wow! Beverly Stowe McClure knocked this one out of the ballpark. The story of Myra and her search for the truth touched upon one of the fundamental needs of all children (and teens): the need for a father in their lives. Darby Karchut, author of the Griffin Series and other books for tweens, teens, and adults.
McClure exhibits rare talent in this story which follows a young girl on her journey to discovery as she struggles to be true to herself in this compelling coming-of-age novel.
Children’s Literary Classics Book Reviews (Silver Medal Winner 2012)
Teen readers can easily relate to Myra’s pain and rebellion. Part coming of age, part teen romance, “Life on Hold” is full of surprises. Peggy Tibbetts, author, editor, and associate producer.

Excerpt
As we drove to my house, I gazed out the car window. The moon, hazy around the edges, hung in the sky. Stars smiled down. The evening with Jeremy had been fun, like before his trouble, before KW, before I defied my mother. I tried to hold the happiness of the past hours in my mind, but a sour lump clogged my throat. Shivering, I rubbed my arms. I was as bad as Rachel, thinking only of myself, unconcerned about my mother’s feelings, ignoring the fact she’d worry if she got home before I did.
“You want me to turn off the air conditioner?”
Jeremy’s voice startled me. My thoughts had wandered. Lately, the past kept intruding in my life, making it difficult to concentrate on the present. I looked at Jeremy, who was looking at me, a thin wrinkle between his eyes. “What?”
“You’ve got goose bumps.”
I stared at my arms. Tiny bumps dotted them, yet sweat dampened my palms. “I’m okay,” I said, as okay as I could be, considering I’d hung up on my mother, considering I was with Jeremy.
On the plus side, I was enjoying myself, except for the unwelcome phantom face haunting me every time I blinked ¾ KW. He would not go away. I wanted Dad to be my dad. He wasn’t, at least not my birth-dad. Since he wasn’t really my dad should I keep calling him Dad? Father? Or was Neil better? What about Stepfather? Why was it so hard to make decisions?
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 Book Trailer

BeverlyAuthor Beverly Stowe McClure
Most of the time, you’ll find Beverly in front of her computer, writing the stories little voices whisper in her ear. When she’s not writing, she takes long walks and snaps pictures of clouds, wild flowers, birds and deer. She also enjoys visiting with her family and teaching a women’s Sunday school class at her church. To relax she plays the piano. Thank you, Mom, for making encouraging me to practice. Her cats do not appreciate good music and run when she tickles the ivories. She is affectionately known as the “Bug Lady” because she rescues butterflies, moths, walking sticks, and praying mantis from her cats.
Beverly has several articles published in leading children’s magazines. Two of her stories have appeared in CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL Anthologies. She also has nine books for children and teens published, with four more under contract.

BookBlast Giveaway
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 10/13/14
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
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Monday, September 22, 2014

Stronger by Lani Woodland -- Spotlight


It's been said, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. In the aftermath of an alien invasion, the old saying became literal. 

When the aliens attacked Earth, their bombs changed our atmosphere. Through DNA manipulation, humanity survived, but exist now as two distinct classes of people: the Valudis who heal and gain strength from every hurt, and the weaker Debilii, for whom the slightest injury can be fatal. The Debilii are servants for the Valudis, who in turn act as warriors and protectors. And ruling over them all are the alien Orions who decided they liked Earth enough to stay. 

Despite being born a Debilii, Lexie Hake bravely joined the resistance to free Earth from the Orions. When several run-ins with Bryant, a handsome Valudis, bring her secret activities to the aliens’ notice, the whole rebellion is put at risk. Lexie is forced to take a more active role in overthrowing the Orions. ‪She might be Earth’s last chance at freedom, and if she fails, the Orions’ ruthless reign may never end.


About the Author

Lani Woodland has been an avid reader since elementary school, when she first discovered the Babysitters Club and Sweet Valley Twins series. In sixth grade, she began writing plays and recruiting (with force when necessary) her friends to act them out. Most of these early works were inspired by She-Ra, the epitome of girl power to her young self.
Lani has always loved scary stories has a hard time enjoying any book without at least a little romance in it. She graduated from BYU with a BS in Family Science. She lives in Southern California with her husband, their two children and a large collection of board games. She has worked as a spot-welder, babysitter, janitor, photographer, gymnastics coach, and movie extra. She enjoys bonfires at the beach, hole-in-the-wall restaurants, speed talking, chocolate as a cure-all, and the word "precisely."

Lani is the author of Stronger and THE YARA SILVA TRILOGY, including: IntrinsicalIndelible, and Inevitable. She also co-wrote the pirate adventure Pieces of Jade, The Pom Pom Periodicals (That’s The Spirit, Give Me A C, Cheer Up) and two short stories in Enchanted: Love Stories of the Paranormal with Melonie Piper.

She loves hearing from readers. You can contact her here:

Review to come!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Something About Love by Elana Johnson


SOMETHING ABOUT LOVE (final)Something About Love

Author: Elana Johnson

Publisher: AEJ Creative Works

Published: September 15th, 2014

ASIN: B00MS53ZRA

ebook: 279 pages

YA Contemporary

FTC FYI: Received an ePub copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Summary

High school senior Olivia Winging gave up her love of photography when she gave up her boyfriend, Trevor Youngblood, a year and a half ago. She broke things off with Trevor because her mom married his dad, and dating your step-brother? Creepy.

Livvy hasn’t been on good terms with her mother since, and one of her stipulations for staying at the Youngblood’s every other weekend is that Trevor can’t be there. When she gets nominated for the Junior Photography in Excellence award, Trevor insists she enter. She agrees—only if every photo in the portfolio can be of him. Knowing that Livvy can capture a person’s deepest secrets through her lens, Trevor hesitates before accepting the deal.

As Livvy gets behind the lens of her camera again, her love of photography is rekindled. Unfortunately, the time she spends with Trevor also re-ignites the old flame for him she’s kept smothered for so long.

In order for Livvy to finish her portfolio, she’ll have to face her feelings for Trevor as well as deal with the animosity between her and her mother. Livvy’s always been able to capture a person’s soul from behind the camera—but she’s not sure she likes it when the lens is suddenly focused on her. If she can’t find a way to forgive her mother and admit how she feels about Trevor, Livvy may end up losing more than just the photography contest. She could lose her heart.

My Review

This is the second free-verse style book I have read of Elana's and I have to say, she is a master at this. I was instantly taken in to the story. She was able to keep my interest by laying subtle hints here and there about Livvy's and Trevor's past, all while creating a great story.  Livvy is trying to find out what love is.  Someone she loves let her down and as she tries to pick up the pieces, she needs to leave the past behind her and move on.  Quite a few devastating things happen to Livvy.  She is kept strong by her amazing dad, sweet sister, best friend, grandma, and of course Trevor.  Trevor encourages to do something she loves and doing so, helps her the most.  I loved how she grows to learn the truth about someone in particular and learns to love again, and more importantly, trust.  I think once she realizes how much love she has around her, she recognizes that it has always been there.

Content:  some language, but nothing I took offense to.

4 out of 5 stars.  Elana's new name is "Master of the free-verse".  Her first free-verse style book Elevated is free!  Something About Love reads quick, is fast-paced and very, very good.

Author and Purchase Links 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Black Moon by Teri Harman -- Blog Tour/Giveaway


black_moon_cover-1Black Moon

Author: Teri Harman

Publisher: Jolly Fish Press

Published: September 16th, 2014

ISBN13: 9781939967930

Paperback: 416 pages

FTC FYI: I received a Kindle copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Goodreads Summary

Simon Howard accidentally killed three people. Four months later, the nightmares won’t stop. Willa Fairfield, his girlfriend, his soul mate, wants nothing more than to help him move on. But guilt isn’t the only thing getting in Simon’s way.

When unexplained earthquakes hit the small town of Twelve Acres, and dozens of people go missing, the Light witches discover their most feared enemy, Archard, is still alive. Employing the twisted, dynamic magic of a legendary witch known as Bartholomew the Dark, Archard plans to exact his revenge and take control of the Powers of the Earth on the night of the black moon, a rare lunar event infamous for Dark magic.

As the Light Covenant fumbles to defend against Archard’s sadistic intentions, Simon’s magic grows inexplicably more powerful, even dangerous. Willa throws all her efforts into solving the mystery of Simon’s transformation, but when the events of the past storm into the present, the couple’s future changes forever.

My Review

In Black Moon, the magic is engrossing and captivating.  The characters are too.  Simon is struggling.  He is having a hard time coming to terms with what happened in the cave and no one can figure out what is going on with his magic, and Willa doesn't know how to help him.  The bad guys, wow!, are they bad.  Archard is back and what he does to fix himself, is a little... icky.  We also get a glimpse of Bartholomew the Dark, he's a sinister guy, to say the least.

Black Moon starts strong and doesn't let go until the last shocking page!  What an awesome set up to the next book, it took me completely by surprise.  I enjoyed how the author alternated the chapters between the past and present with different points of view at times.  It was a great way to add to the magic of the story,while setting up important events that took place.  Teri also does a great job of  catching up the reader on reminding us what happened in Blood Moon.  That being said, if you haven't read Blood Moon, I would start there.  Even with all the magic and scary moments, Teri also found room in the book for love and friendship.  The Light Covenant has a great sense of family and hope.

4 out of 5 stars.  There are some scary, intense moments of magic.  Nothing I found offensive.

Author Links


Purchase Links


Phrase for Black Moon

“Engrossing, unexpected, enchanting. I loved the characters and how true the story stayed to actual history. This is a series I will put at the top of my must read list.” —J. Scott Savage, author, Farworld and Case File 13.
“Teri Harman has set up a whirlwind plot with a magical, flying fireball war zone . . . Willa and Simon’s noble and magical love is a firm foundation for a compelling, suspenseful and action-packed novel.” —Deseret News

Teri Harman 2013 pic3 (3)About the Author

TERI HARMAN has believed in all things wondrous and haunting since her childhood days of sitting in the highest tree branches reading Roald Dahl and running in the rain imagining stories of danger and romance. Currently, her bookshelf is overflowing, her laundry unfolded, and her three small children running mad while she pens bewitching novels. She also writes a bi-weekly book column for ksl.com, Utah's #1 news site and hosts a monthly television segment for Studio 5, Utah's #1 lifestyle show. Teri Harman lives in Saratoga Springs, Utah.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Molly Pepper and the Night Train by Courtney King Walker -- Cover Reveal/Giveaway

MollyPepper&NTcover_crop-01We're thrilled to help reveal the cover for MOLLY PEPPER AND THE NIGHT TRAIN by Courtney King Walker! Check out the cover below, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments.

MOLLY PEPPER AND THE NIGHT TRAIN by Courtney King Walker | Lands Atlantic Publishing Release Date: March 13, 2015

Hidden somewhere in the fog of the San Francisco bay lies Blue Rock Island, home to the bay area’s two best-kept secrets: Bell’s Bluff, the old, abandoned prison on one side of the island, and the Night Train, a mysterious train ride on the other. When twelve-year-old Molly Pepper receives a secret invitation promising a night of magic and adventure aboard the Night Train, she is skeptical. In her experience, most promises prove too good to be true. The fact that she lost her mom is proof enough. Still, Molly gives hope another chance. Together with her loyal friend, Noah Wonderly, they sneak out of the house and follow a string of clues leading to the Night Train. But when the train stops at Bell's Bluff, Molly discovers the real reason she was invited. There, she starts to wonder if hope and magic not only fix broken promises; but make you believe in them again.
Add Java Man to your Goodreads TBR!

What do you think of the cover?

CourtneyKingWalker_WEBAbout the Author

Website | Twitter | Goodreads
Courtney King Walker grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area building rocket ships and rafts out of cardboard, hoping to make it the moon or at least Niagara Falls. But a trip across the border to Tijuana was as exciting as it ever got, so she decided writing about adventure was the next best thing. She now lives in the Rocky Mountains with her husband and four children, and still dreams of flying to the moon. Her YA debut, ON THE FRINGE, was published in 2011 by Lands Atlantic Publishing.

Giveaway

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