Posts Categorized: Shadow Mountain

Book Review: My Ridiculous Romantic Obsessions by Becca Wilhite

05 Nov, 2010 by in my ridiculous romantic obsessions, new YA fiction, Shadow Mountain 2 comments

Paperback, 176 pages
Published March 3rd 2010
by Shadow Mountain
ISBN1606415964
4 stars

Sarah Howard’s first year at the university is everything and nothing she expected especially when a very cute boy named Ben in her Art History class starts to show interest in her.

Sarah feels like she’s an average, normal, everyday girl. So, when Ben (to whom she secretly refers as Adonis because she thinks he could be a Greek god) begins to take interest in her, Sarah is in denial. For one thing, last year she was deeply crushed and humiliated by Jesse James a guy who she thought liked her.

She’s determined not to get burned again. But in her heart of hearts, what she really wants is a Jane Austen kind of romance. Ridiculous, right? That kind of romance doesn’t exist anymore . . . or does it? Sarah is smart and fun to be around and even pretty, despite her Medusa-like red curls. She even plays the guitar. (So does Ben!) Yes, Sarah is everything Ben has wanted. He’s crazy for her, but Sarah is just not getting it. She’s playing hard to get, and if she s not careful, she s going to lose a real hot gentleman — her 21st-century Mr. Darcy.

Becca Wilhite’s Bright Blue Miracle is one of the first books I read this year. I enjoyed, this, her second book even more. My Ridiculous Romantic Obsessions is a fun light hearted, completely clean YA read. I found myself laughing out loud and smiling through most of the story.

Sarah is a college freshman dropped off by her completely self-absorbed neglectful parents to an apartment for her first experience living away from home. Roommate one is missing a face because it is constantly stuck to her boyfriend and roommate two does not talk. Good thing there’s her art history class…the reason she came to school in the first place. Best friend Chel forwarded her phone pics of the perfect TA last year and Sarah is convinced he could surely be her story book hero. So when Ben, aka Adonis, starts to show interest Sarah is confused. Surely things couldn’t be as they seem. Is he or isn’t he flirting?

The main heroine has flawed self-esteem and can’t seen to see what is right in front of her face, which I found funny up until the very last chapters, then it got to be a bit much. She is described as smart, but sometimes I wondered. I love that Sarah is not a picture perfect Barbie doll type. She has curves, out of control curls and a quirky personality. Ben, the main male isn’t perfect either, but he IS kind and genuine. I have to give him kudos for his honesty and for walking away when his affections and efforts weren’t reciprocated. He is sincere and down to earth. I found myself pulling for him.

Becca Wilhite kept me thoroughly entertained and her books are titles I will gladly pass on to my daughters. Thanks so much to Shadow Mountain and Deseret Book for sending me a copy of the book for review.

We are giving away My Ridiculous Romantic Obsessions by Becca Wilhite for you to enjoy. Simply fill out the form below to be entered. Ends December 5, 2010.

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Pieces of Paris by G.G. Vandagriff

28 Sep, 2010 by in pieces of paris, Shadow Mountain 23 comments

320 pages
To Be Published October 13th 2010
by Shadow Mountain Publishing
ISBN 1606418386

Is it possible to forget who you once were?

Annalisse and Dennis seem to be living the American dream until Annalisse’s secret past threatens to destroy their family. This skillfully crafted novel from Whitney Award winner G. G. Vandagriff explores the long-term effects of personal tragedy in haunting flashbacks of Annalisse’s former life–flashbacks that are interwoven with a passionate romance to reveal a person entirely different from the woman Dennis thought he had married. But as Annalisse struggles with long-buried memories, Dennis’s investigation of a toxic waste incident ignites the wrath of a former political ally and an industrial firm that will go to any lengths to cover up a shocking crime. Can Annalisse reconcile her turbulent past with her present life before it’s too late? And can Dennis find a way to save his family and the town they’ve called home?

This is the first book I have read by G.G. Vandagriff though I’ve met her briefly a couple of times at Authorpalooza events. So first off, special thanks to her and Shadow Mountain for letting me take a sneak peek at her newest novel for women.

Told through the eyes of a married couple and from two alternate points of view, Pieces of Paris opens with Annalisse, a woman in her twenties, living on a farm in the Ozarks. She is pregnant with her second child and suddenly finds herself being haunted by the past. Her stable life with husband Dennis, a local lawyer, begins to crumble as she can’t shake memories that come in the way of flashbacks. Meanwhile, Dennis is battling with a case which stirs up controversy and puts their family in danger. His lifelong dream of an escape to Eden and a peaceful life are threatened by Annalisse’s sudden change in behavior and the hot bed of unrest in his town. The two of them pull apart for the first time as a couple and both begin to wonder if their marriage is not at all what they wanted or expected. Can Annalisse salvage the passion and talent she once felt without losing herself to the past? Can Dennis love her as she really is?

Pieces of Paris does a masterful job of weaving a captivating story with real life issues like manic depression and the true definition of love. It’s a book that is likely to evoke strong emotions for anyone with experience with mental illness or PTSD. She pushes buttons on some hot topics: racism and environmental clean up as well as small town politics. The book has some very tough and graphic moments as Annalisse learns she has to move through the pain or her past in order to overcome it. However, in the end the overall message is one of hope and finding a center that can’t be lost. It was evident from the detail in Pieces of Paris that Ms. Vandagriff is a highly intelligent, cultured person with a deep knowledge of psychology. (We’re excited to interview her soon!) 25 years in the making, Pieces of Paris is a glimpse of her talent. Visit her website at http://ggvandagriffblog.com/ to learn about her other published works and upcoming events.

Leave a comment below for a chance to win a Paris necklace from our shop.

Giveaway ends October 28, 2010 and is open internationally.

The Golden Spiral by Lisa Mangum

23 Apr, 2010 by in book review, Shadow Mountain, Thriller, time slip romance Hannah Montana 3 comments

to be published: May 10th 2010 by Shadow Mountain
details: Hardcover, 416 pages
url http://leosdungeon.com/
characters: Abagail Beatrice Edmunds, Dante Alexander
isbn 1606416359
4 stars

Synopsis from Goodreads.. His eyes. His touch. His kiss. Dante was unlike anyone Abby had ever met. Now he’s gone, and Abby will do anything to get him back…

The hourglass door has closed behind Dante, sending him back in time to hunt down Zo, Tony, and V. Abby knows that Dante, as a Master of Time, is the only one who can stop them from destroying time itself. She also knows that he will need her help. But almost immediately, things start to change and Abby’s worst fears are realized when Zo begins targeting her past specifically.

With each new change that ripples into her present, Abby’s life continues to spiral out of control. Her relationships with Jason, Natalie, and even her family, are threatened to the breaking point – and beyond. Zo’s power is greater than Abby ever imagined, and as she struggles to free Dante, she receives help from an unexpected – and unlikely – ally.

As Abby’s world fractures around her, she must face a terrible truth: either Dante didn’t make it through the door, or he is lost forever. So with Dante’s blueprints in hand, she begins construction on a new door, a new time machine that will either save Dante – or doom him.

The river of time is running wild, churning up secrets and betrayals, revelations and promises. With each new turn of the river, Abby faces a new challenge. Who can she trust? And how many more changes can she survive?

The bank is eroding, the barriers are thinning. And time is running out

Book two in the Hourglass Door trilogy was sent to me as an ARC from Shadow Mountain publishing and I let out a squee when it arrived. I met Lisa Mangum at the Authorpalooza in Utah a couple of years ago and the first book in the trilogy is amazing! So needless to say I got right to work on reading it. That being said, I wish I would have re-read book one before jumping back into the trilogy. My ADD brain had a hard time picking up where it left off a year ago. I think they two books would be best when read in sequence, one right after the other. The second book picks up with Dante stuck between the banks of time and I for one really missed him! The highlights of this book for me were the tidbits of native Italian (put more in book three please), the dark room sequence, and hearing stories of the Pirate King. This book is philosophically detailed with theories of time travel, music, and the creation of limits and balance. Obviously the author, Lisa Mangum is a deep thinker!
My favorite chuckle was in the acknowledgements where Lisa advises other writers to “find inspiration wherever you can” She says, “One night I dreamed my friend James Dashner and Hannah Montana were doing the “Thriller” dance complete with zombie moves and the make up. That dream saved he ending of this book. It’s probably best if you don’t ask too many questions on that one…”
Overall, I gave it four stars and reading this book inspired me to start a time slip collection on Etsy which will be revealed this weekend. I am even thinking I may try my hand at a photo gallery and book trailer. If you are interested in participating in our ARC tour for the Golden Spiral please email me your snail mail address and link to your blog at fireandice.heather@gmail.com

The Hourglass Door Review and Giveaway

23 Apr, 2010 by in Shadow Mountain 29 comments


published May 13th 2009 by Shadow Mountain
details Hardcover, 416 pages
characters Abagail Beatrice Edmunds, Dante Alexander
isbn 1606410938
5 stars
“Move over Edward – Dante is bound to eclipse you!” – Emily Watts, bestselling author

Synopsis from Goodreads… “In a time when copycats abound, Mangum has created a unique story with interesting characters and an intriguing plot. And because ‘Hourglass’ centers on relationships, fantastical elements feel believable rather than, well, fantastical.” – Deseret News

His past. Her future. Can love bring them together in time?

Abby’s senior year of high school is going according to plan: good friends, cute boyfriend, and college applications in the mail. But when Dante Alexander, foreign-exchange student from Italy, steps into her life, he turns it upside down. He’s mysterious, and interesting, and unlike anyone she’s ever met before. Abby can’t deny the growing attraction she feels for him. Nor can she deny the unusual things that seem to happen when Dante is around. Soon Abby finds herself drawn into a mystery whose roots reach into sixteenth-century Florence, and she uncovers a dangerous truth that threatens not only her future but the lives of those she loves.

“The Hourglass Door has everything: a heroine who is genuine, strong, and lovable; an interesting and compelling love story; gorgeous language, fast pacing, and an intricate and exciting plot. For readers who have been waiting for the next book to sweep them off their feet – this is it.” – Allyson Braithwaite Condie, author of the Yearbook trilogy

I read this book back in May 2009 after I was finished with the Twilight Series and was looking for another strong book to fill the void. I’d never heard of it before but picked it up at Costco while grocery shopping and that was that! It was an incredible book, one of my top ten reads of 2009. If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet this is one you will want to add to your list.
Hourglass Door is a time slip romance that made me curious about Leonardo Da Vinci and helped me to savor my interactions with those I love. This novel teaches you to relish each moment, and take your time in life all while sweeping you way in the arms of a dark handsome Italian boy. This book is one that left an impression on me, open the portals of my imagination and ignited my love for reading again. It’s a must have in my opinion and you are in luck because Shadow Mountian sent us an extra copy!
To Enter to win The Hourglass Door plus bookmarks:
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Giveaway ends May 24, 2010 Good Luck!

Bright Blue Miracle

08 Jan, 2010 by in Shadow Mountain, YA fiction Leave a comment

“Seventeen-year-old Leigh Mason is not sure she’s ready to share her mom, her bedroom, and her little sisters with her new stepsister, Betsy. And she’s definitely not ready to share her best friend, who happens to be a boy!

Coping with a blended family is not easy for either Leigh or Betsy, especially during their senior year in high school. Each step brings them nearer to a crisis that will either send them running in different directions or bind them firmly together (which, let’s face it, would take a miracle).

Bright Blue Miracle is a new young adult novel that has everything a girl wants: a hero (more specifically, a really cute boy), a villain (who happens to be a stepsister), comedy, despair, pedicures, ice cream, love, hate, tennis, revenge, and, of course, a couple of surprises that might send you for some tissues.”

This was a fun-loving realistic look at how it would feel to combine families and share a room with what seems to be a “perfect” step-sister. Blending two households with teenagers is never an easy task! But Gamma makes it easier with her pedicures and hook ups. It’s a great book for teens with lessons of sharing your guy friends with their girlfriends. Jeremy handles things as every girl wishes he would and you’ll find your heart strings tugged. I give it a three out of five stars.