Posts Categorized: ya

Seeds of Discovery Blog Tour

10 Jun, 2012 by in ya, ya fantasy 1 comment

We are happy to be today’s stop on the Seeds of Discovery Blog Tour hosted by Lightning Book Productions.
Seeds of Discovery
Dusk Gate Chronicles – Book One
by Breeana Puttroff
Paperback, 288 page (also available for Kindle)
Published April 2011
by Musefish Independent Press
ISBN 0983993017   
Source: Author
Rating 4 stars

Book Summary from Goodreads: Quinn Robbins’ life was everything she thought a teenager’s should be. She has good friends, a family that she loves, good grades, and an after-school job she enjoys. And, she’s just been asked out by Zander Cunningham, a popular football player and great guy. But one day when driving home after picking up her little sister from the baby-sitter’s, she nearly hits a boy who, after running blindly into the street, mysteriously disappears.
The mystery only deepens as she figures out who the boy is; William Rose, a reclusive, awkward boy from school who always has his nose in a pile of books.

 As she becomes more aware of his behavior it becomes more obvious how out of the ordinary William is and how hard he deliberately tries to blend into the background. This only intrigues her more and she finds herself working to find out more about him, and exactly where he keeps disappearing to. 

 On a whim one night she follows him and suddenly finds herself in a new world. One where William is a prince, literally, and she is treated like a princess. She also discovers that she is stuck; the gate back to her own world isn’t always open. 

Quinn finds herself smack in the middle of a modern-day fairy tale, on a course that will change her life forever
My Thoughts: Quinn is a fun character. She is a bit reserved, yet quite curious. She doesn’t quite buy into the social scene at her local high school, but she is a typical teenager in many other ways. When I began reading the book, I had a hard time figuring out how the cover image fit the story at all. It opens in a modern small town and follows Quinn as she is torn between a budding crush on her long time good friend, and her curiosity about William. I couldn’t see how a castle fit in to the story. 
Then all of a sudden, a burst of courage and an overwhelming sense of curiosity sent Quinn on an adventure in a modern fairy tale world of Kings and Queens, Princes and Princesses. But this world, while beautiful and filled with wonderful people, is plagued by a mysterious illness that only seems to attack children, and rarely more than one child in the same family. 
 I really enjoyed reading this book. It is fun and clean. The characters are very likable and I found myself wondering more about them. I liked that the story shed a positive light on larger families. As a mom to five children I love to see the positive aspects of large families highlighted (The king and queen in this tale have 13 children!). 
I would definitely recommended this book, especially if you like a light fantasy read. I look forward to reading the next books in the series!
About the Author: Breeana Puttroff has loved making up stories since she could talk. For many years, her biggest audience for those stories was the fantastic students she had the privilege of teaching.
One summer afternoon, while she was picnicking in the beautiful mountains of her Colorado home with her little girl, Breeana saw an old, broken stone bridge, and she just knew there was a story inside. Six months later, the Dusk Gate Chronicles was born.
Breeana now runs a small business and writes full-time, and is a busy, single, homeschooling mom to her beautiful daughter.
Breeana holds a B.A. in English from the University of Northern Colorado, and an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction and Literacy from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA  
Find out more on her website/ blog/ twitter

Buy all three books:

Book Review- Torn by Ashley S. Morgan

04 May, 2012 by in torn, ya Leave a comment

by Ashley S. Morgan
Ebook, 165 pages
Published: February 20th 2012 
Book Source: author
2 1/2 stars
Book summary from Amazon: Isadora Rivers feels trapped. Her small town high school is suffocating her.
Another day of wannabe gangsters, dumb jocks, and Barbie clones, and she’ll just lose it. Her keen emotional sensitivity is to blame. She sees through all of the poser behavior to the pain and insecurity simmering just below the surface, and it’s overwhelming. She feels like she’s literally drowning in other people’s emotions.
This same sensitivity, however, makes her a great actress. Suffocating or not, her high school is one of the top arts schools in the country. Acting is not only her passion, but it also looks like her way out. If she can just score the lead role in the school play, she might get herself noticed by a Hollywood agent. But she’s got a strong reckless streak, and it keeps getting her in trouble and jeopardizing her chances.
Riding her bike at top speed, she swerves in front of a car and nearly gets hit. The driver, Tristan Blake, turns out to be the mysterious new boy at school. He’s rebellious, broody, and wise beyond his years. He’s also devastatingly gorgeous. From the moment their eyes meet, Isadora is irresistibly drawn to him. But as soon as he enters her life, things go horribly wrong. She begins having disturbing visions full of unimaginable glamour and unbearable darkness. He knows things about her he shouldn’t. And he’s somehow so
familiar. As he at turns pulls her close, and then pushes her away, Isadora feels like her heart is being twisted and torn.
She soon discovers that her whole future is in jeopardy, and her only hope is to stay away from Tristan. But how can she turn away from the only boy she has ever loved? As a harrowing event looms closer, one that threatens to rip apart her psyche, Isadora must reach deep inside herself and find the strength to change her own destiny. But is she strong enough to do it?
Crystal’s Review: Torn was an interesting book that had its ups and its downs. I thoroughly enjoyed the excitement that was Isadora, she was a vibrant, dominant character. I also enjoyed the star-crossed lovers approach to the love story between Isadora and Tristan. My one complaint, and my reason for giving this book a two star rating, is I felt the story did not really pick up until the last fifty pages or so. The ebook is only one-hundred sixty five pages so I was disappointed in having to wait so long for the book to pick up. I thought the twist in the book was great and found the “one choice can change everything” theme to be realistic and easy to relate to. In the end I found this book to be slow going, however I liked it overall so I will be giving this authors next book a try.

Content: sexual tension, drugs, scenes depicting attempted sexual assault.
Author Bio: “I believe a good hard laugh is priceless; I’m lucky to have friends with a wicked sense of humor who make me screech with laughter on a daily basis. To me, Fluevogs aren’t just shoes; they’re artistic masterpieces. I’ve been obsessed with them since I was sixteen. I wish every day was Halloween for both the costumes and the candy. Brilliant graffiti stumbled upon in an alley aways gives me a thrill; I love the crazed energy of the letters, and the way they burst with psychedelic color. If I could have tea with one fictional character, it would be the Mad Hatter. I can’t go a day without a latte or a stunning view of the city. I get my best ideas in bed, curled under a duvet, staring off into space as the early morning light flickers through my bedroom windows. And my favorite saying is, “Nobody can take from me what I’ve danced.”
Find author Ashley S. Morgan on her website/ blog/ amazon

Book Review- Midnight Magic

26 Apr, 2012 by in middle grade, midnight magic, nancy di fabbio, ya Leave a comment

Midnight Magic
by Nancy Di Fabbio
Paperback, 240 pages
Published: September 8, 2011
Publisher: iUniverse Publishing
ISBN-10: 1450291457
ISBN-13: 978-1450291453
Book Source:  Author
5 Stars
Book Description: Fourteen-year-old Mattie is obsessed with horses. Thrilled to discover a primitive painting of a beautiful black horse hidden in the attic of her grandmother’s home, it is not long before Mattie realizes the image of the painted horse seems to be coming to life. This is no ordinary work of art-this is a painting with a fascinating history that Mattie is about to unearth. One moonlit night, Mattie leaves the safety of her grandmother’s home and ventures deep into the surrounding forest where she meets a wild horse who bears an uncanny resemblance to the one in her painting. Mattie and her mystery horse form a bond that she instinctively knows she cannot reveal to anyone. The mysterious spirit who inhabits the painting seems to gain strength as Mattie’s bond with the wild horse deepens. But Mattie is uneasy as she wonders-and fears-if the two are somehow connected. Mattie soon realizes she should have heeded her grandmother’s warnings to be careful what she wishes for in life-for it is one thing to hope her painted horse is real and quite another to discover he might be.
Mary’s Review: Mattie is a young teenager with a low self-esteem.  She allows others to push her around and refuses to fight back or stand up for herself.  She is strong willed with a mind of her own and will do what she wants, when she wants.  After being warned by her mother numerous times not to go on or in the water after dark, she does it anyway.  She nearly drowns as a result and puts a friend in potential danger.  Her mother decides to send her to live with her grandmother for the summer.
Her grandmother lives on a little farm where she puts Mattie to work.  Mattie also gets a job at a nearby stable which overjoys Mattie as she has an obsession and love for horses.While living with her grandmother, Mattie makes a bedroom in the attic and discovers a mysterious, lifelike painting of a horse that her grandmother has bad feelings about, but gives it to Mattie anyway.
Mattie’s discovery brings with it deceit, evil and mistrust.  Because of Mattie’s obsession she soon grows as she learns how the consequences of her actions impact on the lives of those around her; how trust has to be earned; that love is unconditional; about patience and tolerance for others, what true friendship really is, goals and succeeding.  Mattie spends a summer learning to grow up
becoming a young woman and learning to be careful what she wished for.
This book is a wonderful blend of mystery/thriller that I recommend for ages 9 and above.

Content: No warnings, clean.

About the Author: Nancy Di Fabbio owns five horses who star in her children’s column published regularly in two local newspapers. She is the author of Quest for the Dress, and her third book, Saddle Up-And Live Your Dream! is scheduled for release in 2012. Nancy lives in rural Connecticut with her family and her horses.
After closing her custom bridal business, Nancy began a new career as a writer. Her first book, Quest for the Dress: Finding Your Dream Gown Without Losing Your Sanity, Friends or Groom (April 2011), is an invaluable guide for every bride searching for her perfect gown.
Although she loves all of her horses, her Morgan, Trinity, holds a special place in her heart. Fascinated with this unique and amazing breed, Nancy has written her first novel, Midnight Magic – Be Careful What You Wish For!. This spooky thriller is appropriate for readers as young as 9, but the story is so intriguing, they might have to wrestle it away from their older siblings and parents.
Nancy also writes a children’s column for a few local papers based on the exploits of her herd. Each episode of “Tales from the NEIGH-borhood” features interesting information about horses, a story, and a bit of advice from the horse that young readers can apply to their own lives.
Saddle Up! – And Live Your Dream is a comprehensive how-to for the budding equestrian which will soon be released. She is currently working on the book version of  Tales from the NEIGH-borhood.
You can visit her website to sample a few of her tales and read her blogs.

Read it now for 3.99

YA Book Review- Invaluable

25 Apr, 2012 by in ya Leave a comment

by Holly J. Wood
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published December 26th 2011
by Deseret Book
Source: author
4 stars
Book Summary from Deseret Book: help wanted
Sixteen-year-old girl seeks advice on how to reach out to a sister who has become distant; how to make up with my best friend, who spends every moment with her new boyfriend;how to avoid losing my job over working on Sundays; and how to figure out who has been putting love notes in my locker.
Applicants are also required to provide advice on how to handle being head-over-heels for my prom date’s best friend—who happens to be the hottest guy in school.

Math tutoring a plus.

Interested persons may contact Eliza Moore.

Sound like a tall order? Well, that is what Eliza Moore is up against during her sophomore year of high school. But when her great-grandmother begins visiting Eliza in her dreams, everything starts to change. These dreams take Eliza back in time to see extraordinary women who help teach her about eight important values. As Eliza learns more about these women and the values they lived by, she discovers the courage and confidence she needs to face her challenges—and her secret admirer.

Heather’s Review: I met Holly J Black at the Deseret Book Flagship store a couple of weeks ago and right away was impressed without even having read her book. Now having read it, I can say Invaluable is perfect for Young Women in our generation who are fighting to stay true to their values.
Eliza Moore, the main heroine is a sophomore in High School who is going through the transitions many her age do- a strained relationship with her sister, balancing work and a job, figuring out just who she is and getting attention from older boys… but not the one she is hoping for. Mysterious notes start showing up in her locker from a secret admirer during the day, and at night Eliza is being visited by her grandmother in her dreams. Life is all about to change.
Taking the reader through time to meet influential women in history, Invaluable teaches us that there is more to life than texting, gossip, crushes and trying to get to the top of the class the wrong way. Eliza learns to choose a better destiny than the one she is carving out by every day choices, and a long the way an unexpected surprise lands her right where she longs to be.
I loved Invaluable! The plot was a little slow in some places but it progresses the characters well as they mature over the course of the school year. It’s a book I would gladly pass on and wholeheartedly recommend to tweens and teens, as well as adult women.
Content: Clean. Mention of the dangers of underage drinking, pornography, and immorality.
Author Bio: If you had told me 5 yrs. ago that I’d be writing an author bio for myself—we would have enjoyed a good, long laugh together! However, at this point you could tell me that someday I’ll be living in a hut on the outskirts of Siberia and I’d be tempted to believe you, because I’ve learned that anything is possible! I currently live in Mountain Green, Utah with my husband and two small children. I’ve lived in Utah for most of my life, and aside from the incredibly long winters, I love it here! I am passionate about: travel, reading, enjoying the outdoors (when it’s warm), eating, spending time with family and friends, Disneyland, music, and napping.
Learn more about Holly J. Wood on Goodreads/ her blog / her site/ Deseret Book/ Amazon