Nearer To Thee by Marianne Monson~ Book Spotlight

27 Jun, 2016 by in historical fiction Leave a comment

Nearer To Thee Book

by Marianne Monson
Series: The Mima Journals
Published by CreateSpace on February 24, 2016
Genres: Historical Fiction, LDS
Pages: 228
Format: Paperback
Source: The Author
Buy the BookGoodreads
Nearer to Thee continues the beautifully written account of young musician Mima Hough, based on the true story of a nineteenth century pioneer from England. In this thrilling sequel to The Water is Wide, Mima and her mother turn their eyes westward to the Salt Lake Valley, but to get there, they must follow a trail marked with cholera graves, treacherous rivers, and Native American tribes weary of invaders. Mima's journey across the plains is one of courage and self-discovery, of heartache and love. This long-awaited sequel continues the epic adventure of a young woman who experiences the life of a Mormon pioneer as an outsider.


about_ the_author
Since she was a very young child, Marianne Monson has been fascinated by the power of words (and even tried inventing her own language for a time). After earning a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from BYU, she continued her study at Vermont College of Fine Arts, earning an M.F.A. in Creative Writing. Since then, she has worked as an editor/art director of children’s books, authored eight books and counting for children and adults, and continues editing and writing for a variety of audiences, including magazines, books, blogs, and other publications.

She teaches Creative Writing and English at Portland Community College. Her two children are often featured in her work (and are self-confessed logophiles as well).

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Stealing Snow ~ ARC Review

23 Jun, 2016 by in bloomsbury, fairytale retelling, fantasy Leave a comment

I received this book for free from Bloomsbury USA Children's in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Stealing Snow

by Danielle Paige
Published by Bloomsbury USA on September 20, 2016
Genres: Fairytale, Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
four-stars
Source: Bloomsbury USA Children's
Buy the BookGoodreads
Seventeen-year-old Snow has spent the majority of her life within the walls of the Whittaker Institute, a high security mental hospital in upstate New York. Deep down, she knows she's not crazy and doesn't belong there. When she meets a mysterious, handsome new orderly and dreams about a strange twisted tree she realizes she must escape and figure out who she really is.

Using her trusting friend Bale as a distraction, Snow breaks free and races into the nearby woods. Suddenly, everything isn't what it seems, the line between reality and fantasy begins to blur, and she finds herself in icy Algid--her true home--with witches, thieves, and a strangely alluring boy named Kai, none of whom she's sure she can trust. As secret after secret is revealed, Snow discovers that she is on the run from a royal lineage she's destined to inherit, a father more powerful and ruthless than she could have imagined, and choices of the heart that could change the fate of everything . . . including Snow's return to the world she once knew.

This breathtaking first volume begins the story of how Snow becomes a villain, a queen, and ultimately a hero.

I haven’t read fantasy or a fairy tale retelling in a long time, and I’d forgotten how rich the world building can be. With magic, a band of gypsy-like thieves, mythical creatures and a love triangle, there’s plenty to keep each reader intrigued. The series reminds me a bit of Julie Kagawa’s Iron King series.

Snow, labeled as insane is locked away with her childhood love Bane. When her dreams lead her to another land after Bane is kidnapped, Snow finds herself transported to the magical kingdom Algid in attempt to bring him home. Her power is snow and ice, fueled by anger and emotion. I am excited to read the two prequel novellas, one of which comes out in 3 days. While the plot was at times confusing and not fully fleshed, I’m hoping the series will tie everything together and resolve what’s going on with three interesting characters–Bane, Kai and Jagger. Vivid imagery and multi faceted magical creatures make this one an escape for a day.

Content- mild swearing, some violence, dark elements

 

about_ the_authorDanielle lives in NY. Before turning to YA, she worked in television & was nominated for several Daytime Emmy’s. Dorothy Must Die was her first novel.

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The Time Key Blog Tour ~Spotlight

22 Jun, 2016 by in Uncategorized 3 comments

The Time Key

by Melanie Bateman
Published by Sweetwater on June 14, 2016
Pages: 320
Format: Paperback
Source: Cedar Fort
Buy the Book
Stanley Becker’s wife and daughter had been dead for six years, as was the reason that he so desperately wished to end his life, but on the night that a stranger left him with an odd pocket watch he was introduced into a world he could only have imagined in stories.

He now has a way to travel through time.

But traveling isn’t as simple as it seems, and Stanley soon finds that despite his wish to change past events, there are other dangers awaiting him. Having left Stanley with the pocket watch, along with a mysterious child, the stranger from that fateful night had only triggered the first chain of events that would force our reluctant protagonist to discover the fragility of his own reality as he fights for his life and attempts to write his own future.

About the Author

Melanie Bateman is a freelance illustrator whose passion for nature and pretty pictures will sometimes translate into written stories. When she isn’t daydreaming, she enjoys being a mom. The Time Key is her first novel.

Learn more about Melanie on her website * Facebook * Twitter.

Blog Tour Schedule

June 16: Community Bookstop
June 17: Jodi Woody
June 18: Making Life a Bliss Complete
June 19: Kaylee Baldwin
June 20: Rockin’ Book Reviews
June 21: 2 Kids and Tired Books
June 22: Choco Meiske | Literature Approved | Fire and Ice
June 23: Bookworm Lisa
June 24: The Reader’s Salon
June 25: Bookworm Nation
June 26: Wishful Endings
June 27: Connie’s Bookmark
June 28: Once Upon a Time
June 29: Storyweaver
June 30: The Unabridged Girl
July 1: Mel’s Shelves
July 2: Blooming with Books
July 3: The Book Addict | Inklings and Notions
July 4: Novel-ties
July 5: Singing Librarian Books
July 6: Reading Lark
July 7: Paranormal & Romantic Suspense Reviews 

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Beyond the Rising Tide Blog Tour

18 Jun, 2016 by in contemp, young adult 1 comment

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Beyond the Rising Tide

by Sarah Beard
Published by Sweetwater on June 14th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: Paperback
five-stars
Buy the BookGoodreads
Kai was seventeen when he died saving Avery's life, though he didn't have much to live for. After spending half his life being shipped around to different families, the only place he felt at home was on a street corner with his guitar. Now, it's been six months since his death. Six months adapting to a new kind of existence where instead of making music, he uses his new healing powers to save lives. But in his off hours, he watches helplessly as Avery's life is unraveled by his death.
Avery doesn't know that it was Kai who saved her life in the ocean, because her rescuer's body was never found. Wracked with guilt, the ocean she once loved is now her tormentor. As her surfboards collect dust in the garage, the weight of her grief destroys her relationships and stretches her to a breaking point.
Always willing to break rules for those he loves, Kai steals a ring that temporarily gives his body substance. With limited time, he does all he can to restore her life to the way it was before his tragic death, but Kai's half-baked plans rarely turn out the way he thinks they will. Beyond the Rising Tide is a beautiful love story that explores life, death, and the gray places in between.

 

 

Be forewarned, that once you pick up this book, you will need to carve out a day to read it and a while to recover.

Loved: The cover, it is perfect! The setting also matches the mood of the book and as a California native, I can appreciate the ocean, the vineyards, the sand and the fog.

Pace: Because most of this book is munched into three short days, it does at times feel rushed and the relationship too fast. But it makes for a page turning read!

Issues: Beyond the Rising Tide may be a trigger for someone who’s survived mental illness or suicide. This has some mature life experiences like drug use, foster care, divorce, bi -polar disorder and grief. It’s not so heavy as to be overwhelming, but definitely a book for a mature, older reader. The main characters are 17 but have lived a lot of life through their parents’ struggles.

Overall: Beautiful, healing. You may be a mess of tears in some parts. Sarah Beard explores life after death and the in between, as well as learning to recover and live after losing something. There are undertones of the atonement and of how we have to accept the sacrifice that has been given. Christian themes are well- woven and not overtly mentioned.

What a good read!!

 

Blog Tour Schedule

June 14: Singing Librarian Books | Emmy Mom | Compass Book Ratings
June 15: Katie’s Clean Book Collection | Cindy Bennett
Sweetly Made | Sorcery in the Bookshelves
June 16: Rockin’ Book Reviews | Geo Librarian
June 17: Heidi Reads | Kindle and Me
June 18: Fire and Ice
June 19: Inklings and Notions
June 20: My Book a Day
June 21: Bookworm Lisa | Min Reads and Reviews | LDS Women’s Book Review
June 22: Robyn Echols Books | Fantasy World | The Write Path
June 23: Wishful Endings | Getting Your Read On | Batch of Books
June 24: Mylissa’s Reviews and Book Thoughts | Maybe Books Will Be Our Always
June 25: Charmed Haven Book Reviews | Just Commonly
June 26: Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews
June 27: Literary Time Out | Book by Book
June 28: That Artsy Reader Girl | The Real Housewives of Riverton
June 29: Mel’s Shelves
June 30: Books Are Sanity | Fictionally | Read Headed Book Lady


about_ the_author

Sarah Beard is the author of YA novels PORCELAIN KEYS and BEYOND THE RISING TIDE. She earned a degree in communications fromSarahBpic1cropXsmall the University of Utah and is currently pursuing an MFA in creative writing from VCFA. When she’s not writing, she referees wrestling matches between her three boys and listens to audiobooks while folding self-replicating piles of laundry. She is a breast cancer survivor, a baker of sweets, a seeker of good love stories, a composer of melancholy music, and a traveler who wishes her travel budget was much bigger. She lives with her husband and children in the shadow of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains. You can follow Sarah on twitter at @authorsarahb, or at facebook.com/authorsarahbeard. Her website is sarahbeard.com.

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Girl Against the Universe ~ Review

17 Jun, 2016 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

I received this book for free from HarperTeen in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Girl Against the Universe

by Paula Stokes
Published by Harper Teen on May 17th, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 382
Format: Hardcover
four-stars
Source: HarperTeen
Buy the BookGoodreads
Maguire is bad luck.

No matter how many charms she buys off the internet or good luck rituals she performs each morning, horrible things happen when Maguire is around. Like that time the rollercoaster jumped off its tracks. Or the time the house next door caught on fire. Or that time her brother, father, and uncle were all killed in a car crash—and Maguire walked away with barely a scratch.

It’s safest for Maguire to hide out in her room, where she can cause less damage and avoid meeting new people who she could hurt. But then she meets Jordy, an aspiring tennis star. Jordy is confident, talented, and lucky, and he’s convinced he can help Maguire break her unlucky streak. Maguire knows that the best thing she can do for Jordy is to stay away. But it turns out staying away is harder than she thought.

From author Paula Stokes comes a funny and poignant novel about accepting the past, embracing the future, and learning to make your own luck.

 

Wow! This book is long overdue and essential reading for teens struggling with anxiety, PTSD or OCD.  MacGuire is struggling after the loss of her father, brother and uncle in a car crash she survived. In a series of unrelated events, she’s convinced she causes accidents around her and is bad luck. After years of isolating from family and friends, her mom makes an appointment with a counselor. MacGuire is less than thrilled, determined to give the Dr. the silent treatment. But the stranger she meets in the waiting room may change the course of counseling. I laughed in parts and felt sad for the loss both main characters experience. But, the tone of the book is one of hope and change and progress. Paula Stokes lets teens know it’s okay to need help. She gracefully explores cognitive behavioral therapy and mental illness as it hits all groups, including popular athletes. Bravo for a precisely written YA contemporary that is not too heavy handed.

Content: teenage drinking, making out, sneaking out, mild swearing.

 

about_ the_author

Paula Stokes is half writer, half RN, and totally thrilled to be part of the world of YA literature. She started out writing historical fiction under a pen name and is now branching out into other YA genres.

When she’s not working (rare), she’s kayaking, hiking, reading, or seeking out new adventures in faraway lands. She’s petted tigers, snuggled snakes, snorkeled with stingrays, and once enjoyed the suction-cuppy feel of a baby elephant’s trunk as it ate peanuts from her palm. Her future goals include diving with Great White sharks, learning Krav Maga, and writing a whole slew of novels, not necessarily in that order.

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Willowkeep Blog Tour and Giveaway

16 Jun, 2016 by in covenant, julie daines 1 comment

I received this book for free from Covenant in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Willowkeep

by Julie Daines
Published by Covenant on June 1, 2016
Genres: Adult, Regency
Format: Paperback
four-stars
Source: Covenant
Buy the BookGoodreads
Charlotte Darby’s ship is sinking. Penniless and alone, she is struggling to care for herself and her young sister in the harsh seaport town of Hull. But when a solicitor from London brings news that she is the heir to a vast estate in Kent, it seems her days of rough seas are over. Willowkeep is prosperous and grand, far too much for a shipping merchant’s daughter to manage, and she quickly comes to rely on the help of Henry Morland, the estate’s kind and handsome steward.

Henry has worked hard his entire life, but all the money he’s saved won’t be enough to get his father out of debtor’s prison. And Henry’s fondness for Charlotte and her sister is only another reminder of his low status and lack of wealth. Though he is willing to do whatever it takes to keep Charlotte happy and looked after as the county’s wealthiest lady, she can never be his.

Courted by a charming man of the ton, threatened by those who want her money, and determined to keep her sister safe from the same fate that cost her the rest of her family, Charlotte must face some heartrending decisions. For no matter the size of the fortune, life—and love—are never smooth sailing.

I’ve always been a fan of Regency Romance, but Willowkeep adds a completely new perspective. A young woman, abandoned by her parents and left to raise her special needs sister alone. Charlotte doesn’t live in the best of neighborhoods, down by the docks. She and her sister are desperate as their funds and resources are running out. Along comes a solicitor with a surprising announcement that raises the station of both sisters and transports them to their own estate. Henry Morland, the family steward has also lived a hard life and is carrying the transgressions of his father on his back, trying to repay insurmountable debt. Both main characters are not the genteel society we usually read about, but commoners making their way to something better.

With plot twists and historical elements speckled in the story line through letters to Anne Boleyn, this story has much to offer. The bond between siblings is beautiful as is the hope that someone “different” can make their own way. The author explores children with disabilities and the way they were and can be harshly treated versus the caring selflessness of a family member. The book cover was perfect, but the design I struggled with a bit. I found the willow leaves at the beginning of each chapter a bit distracting. Overall, though, I very much enjoyed Willowkeep, the dialogue, the development and the unique point of view.

Content: clean, little violence.

About the Author

Julie Daines was born in Concord, Massachusetts, and was raised in Utah. She spent eighteen months living in London, where she studied and fell in love with English literature, sticky toffee pudding, and the mysterious guy who ran the kebab store around the corner.

She loves reading, writing, and watching movies—anything that transports her to another world. She picks Captain Wentworth over Mr. Darcy, firmly believes in second breakfast, and never leaves home without her verveine.

To learn more about Julie Daines or to contact her, visit her website at www.juliedaines.com

 

Blog Tour Schedule

The Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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The Way Back To You~ Book Breview

07 Jun, 2016 by in katherine tegen books, YA book reviews, YA contemporary Leave a comment

I received this book for free from HarperTeen in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Way Back to You

by Michelle Andreani, Mindi Scott
Published by Katherine Tegen on May 3, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Format: Hardcover
four-stars
Source: HarperTeen
Buy the BookGoodreads
For fans of Jenny Han and Morgan Matson, a witty, poignant novel about second chances, letting go, and the unbreakable bonds of friendship.

Six months ago, Ashlyn Montiel died in a bike accident. Her best friend, Cloudy, is keeping it together, at least on the outside. Cloudy’s insides are a different story: tangled, confused, heartbroken.

Kyle is falling apart, and everyone can tell. Ashlyn was his girlfriend, and when she died, a part of him went with her. Maybe the only part he cares about anymore.

As the two people who loved Ashlyn best, Cloudy and Kyle should be able to lean on each other. But after a terrible mistake last year, they’re barely speaking. So when Cloudy discovers that Ashlyn’s organs were donated after her death and the Montiel family has been in touch with three of the recipients, she does something a little bit crazy and a lot out of character: she steals the letters and convinces Kyle to go on a winter break road trip with her, from Oregon to California to Arizona to Nevada. Maybe if they see the recipients—the people whose lives were saved by Ashlyn’s death—the world will open up again.

Or maybe it will be a huge mistake.

 

Cover– Fits the story perfectly. Draws readers to buy the book

Story– Raw, emotional and sad at times as two teens deal with the death of their best friend. There are questions of life after death, swallowing emotion and loyalty to loved ones.

What I Loved– The road trip element and the changes it brings in both Cloudy and Kyle to get away, serve someone else, and grieve together instead of going at it alone. The emotional moments meeting organ donor recipients.

What I Struggled With– The way the teen died. Some of the story may be triggering for anyone who has experienced the death of a loved one in the recent past. It can be heavy. There is a lot of dialogue about what lies after this life. May call in to question basic beliefs for Christian teens.

Family Relationships-Teens with strong bonds to their siblings and cousin. There is also great conversations going on between father and son. It’s not shiny and happy, but it’s real.

Fun Fact–  I know one of the authors Michelle Adreani. She and I have spent fun times in New York City and New Jersey at BEA, conventions. Michelle is amazing inside an out!

Overall- You will cry. It takes a lot for me as a reader to get emotional. Heartwarming feel good ending to a tough subject.

Content-highlight to reveal Drug use, making out, talk of sexual relationships, LGBTQ teen relationship, heavy swearing in first chapters including “F’ word

 

 

about_ the_author

Hi! I’m Michelle.

I was born in New York City, and have never lived anywhere else. (I should maybe try at some point? What’s your town like? Does it have weird bugs?)

I first learned to drive a car when I was in my twenties, which is totally normal because I’m a New Yorker, I swear! I also have two agoraphobic cats who would not be great at road trips, honestly, but they make up for that with extreme cuteness.

I am a liker of many things. These things include staying in, going out dancing, love stories, beach air, milkshakes, pop songs, and Luna Lovegood.

 

Mindi Scott lives near Seattle, Washington, USA with her drummer husband in a house with a non-sound-proof basement. Freefall, her first novel, was published by Simon Pulse in 2010. Her second novel, Live Through This, was published (also by Simon Pulse) in 2012. She contributed a chapter to Violent Ends, a collaborative novel written by 17 young adult authors (out in 2015), and co-wrote, along with Michelle Andreani, the 2016 novel The Way Back to You. She is represented by Jim McCarthy of Dystel & Goderich.

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