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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Audiobook Tour: How a Star Falls

Today, let me introduce a novella called How a Star Falls by Amber Stokes. In honor of the release of its audiobook, I am posting a review of this delightful novella as part of an unconnected blog tour. Enjoy!

Description

How a Star Falls
Amber Stokes

How does a star fall? Quickly. Completely. Unexpectedly.

Derrick Knolane escapes to Trinidad Head most evenings, avoiding his apartment and planning for the day he'll break free of Humboldt County. Working in a music store might be fine for a while, but it's far from the goal he had in mind when he got his college degree. Not to mention the fact that his roommate is a jerk and his family won't stop trying to run his life.

Then Brielle falls into his world.

She claims to be a star. Not from Hollywood, but from heaven. He thinks she's crazy. Certainly delusional. Yet, he can't just leave her alone on the cliffs. So he takes her home.

And his whole world falls apart.

A heartfelt and fanciful contemporary romance novella, How a Star Falls explores the uncertain season of new adulthood and shows that sometimes the worst inconveniences make for the best miracles of all.



Review


One evening, Derrick stumbles across a young lady who claims to be a star who came from heaven. Although he doubts her claim, Derrick is kind to Brielle and finds her a place to stay for the time being. Over the next few days, she turns his world upside down as they begin to fall in love…

How a Star Falls by Amber Stokes was short and sweet. I enjoyed this lovely little novella about Brielle and Derrick. The plot was believable and left me wanting to hear more about the characters. How a Star Falls was different and better than I expected it to be. It was the perfect length to listen to for an afternoon or two.

Briella was sweet and carefree. I could easily believe she was a star, except for the fact that she knew how to cook. Derrick, however, was struggling through life until Brielle brought the hope back into it. I enjoyed watching both of them grow and fall in love.

The audiobook was lovely. The narrator was enjoyable to listen to and voiced the characters almost perfectly.

Overall, How a Star Falls is a novella I would gladly listen to again.  

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Grand Finale: Katia's Promise


On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

We're blitzing the GRAND FINALE for:
Katia's Promise
By Catherine Lanigan

Did you miss any of the tour? There's still time to go back and check out each stop...

Launch - More About the Book and the Author
1. What is your motivation behind this book? Why did you want to write it?
Katia’s story goes all the way back to the night that I woke up at three in the morning with my dream still in my head about this auburn haired, beautiful woman standing under a street lamp, around midnight, looking up at a single burning bedroom lamp in the mansion across the street. In my “vision” the woman turned to me and stared. She told me that I was to write her story.


Bookworm Lisa - Excerpt
She thought her heart would hammer a hole right through her chest, but she didn’t dare let him know how much he affected her. She couldn’t decide whether to smile at him, rush to him and hold his hand or ask his forgiveness on the spot. She felt as if she’d turned to stone. She couldn’t think or move.


Deal Sharing Aunt - Setting of the Book
The area is surrounded by farm land, a few vineyards, blueberry farms, apple orchards, Amish farmland and yet is only an hour away from Chicago. Beach weddings are highly popular.


He would never forget standing at LaGuardia, waiting excitedly with a bouquet of flowers. But Katia hadn’t walked off the plane. He’d waited for over half an hour. He’d gone to the ticket counter and asked if they were sure all the passengers had disembarked. The woman had assured him that the plane was not only cleared and cleaned, but ready for a new boarding.

Katia's Promise Hero PictI Am A Reader - Leading Man Austin McCreary
Austin’s character is actually taken from a real-life person I knew who has passed away. This man was my English teacher in high school and he encouraged me a great deal. He was a bachelor and once told our class that he’d been in love once and was literally left standing on the altar, alone—the bride abandoned him. He never got over her.

Was he remembering that fateful day when she had left him standing at LaGuardia? She knew he’d waited for her there, but she hadn’t been on the plane. Now she was here, literally on his doorstep, trying to apologize. Her heart was still in her throat, and she found she was just as speechless as he was.


unnamedLeahSay's Views - Leading Lady Katia Stanislaus
Once I “saw” Katria in my dream or alpha state muddle, I realized she looked a Lot like Stana Katic, who plays Kate Beckett on “Castle” television show. I know, my character’s name looks like Stana’s name. However, I have always loved the name Katia, and over the years, friends have dubbed me, Katia-along with every other ethnic derivative of Catherine. It’s been five years or more since that dream and Katia’s story is just coming out now.

"[T]here were enough twists in the story to make it interesting. . . . The pace was well written and there was enough external conflict that helped the plot develop. I think that “heartwarming” is another way of saying that this was a clean romance."


I have always been fascinated with old cars and old coaches when I read about them in books. In Indian Lake (as well as my hometown) is an antique car museum. I wanted my hero, Austin McCreary, to have a long family history with cars. I devised a backstory of Austin’s great grandfather who was a pioneer in the auto industry around WWI.


"I adored this book! It is just so cute and so sweet! I love love love the Harlequin Heartwarming books! . . . This book is definitely one for you clean, sweet romance readers to add to your TBR piles! I know I’ll be adding the others in the series to mine! 5 Stars!"

Wishful Endings - Excerpt
Austin’s lips were soft when they first met hers. His hands cupped her face and slowly his fingers moved up to her temples, then into her mounds of auburn hair. Her arms were around his neck in a split second, and everything she’d felt for him as at sixteen came whirling back to her with as much force as a tornado.


"This is a clean romance with no content to disclose. (yay!!) I will be keeping this author and the rest of the books in this series in my sights for future reading!"

Mel's Shelves - Review
"I was in the mood for this kind of book. I love second chances and this one didn't disappoint! Once I picked this up, I just couldn't put it down. This is the fourth book in the Shores of Indian Lake series, and I haven't read the first three. While I'm sure I would have enjoyed reading about some of the couples from the previous books, I didn't feel like I was missing anything so this is great as a stand alone read. After having read it, though, I want to go back and read the other books in this series!"

i blog 4 books - Spotlight/Partial Review
"[T]he beginning is definitely intriguing. I typically enjoy stories where the characters reunite after some time apart, which is the case for the main characters."
"When a startling discover about the past is made, Austin has a hard time dealing with it, but Katia wants to be there for him...if he'll let her. This is an emotionally tender story with powerful characters in an interesting setting and it stands alone, even though it is the fourth book in the series."


Katia's Promise
(Shores of Indian Lake #4)
by Catherine Lanigan
Adult Contemporary Romance
May 1st 2015 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Katia Stanislaus is a top insurance agent in Chicago, but her company is about to fold if she can't pull off a miracle. She convinces her boss to relocate to Indian Lake where she lived as a child and broke the heart of the one man whose account would be enough to save her job and her company. The only problem is that Austin McCreary has been a near recluse since the day Katia left him. Austin won't take her calls and appears set on revenge for the pain Katia has caused him. Just seeing Austin, catapaults Katia back to the time when she was 16 and so very much in love. But it was just a teenage crush, wasn't it?


Other Books in the Series


Links for Love Shadows
(Shores of Indian Lake #1)

Links for Heart's Desire
(Shores of Indian Lake #2)
Amazon - Barnes & Noble - Harlequin

Links for A Fine Year for Love
(Shores of Indian Lake #3)

Catherine Lanigan is the bestselling author of over thirty published titles in both fiction and non-fiction, including the novelizations of Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile, as well as over half a dozen anthologies, including “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living your Dream”, “Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul”, “Chocolate for a Woman’s Heart”, Chocolate for a Woman’s Spirit”. Ms. Lanigan’s novels have been translated into over a dozen languages including German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Chinese, and Japanese. Ms. Lanigan’s novels are also available on audio-cassette, CD and on electronic format. A prolific writer, she is always writing wonderful stories. She has several titles only available in ebook format on Amazon.com Several of her titles have been chosen for The Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Clubs. Her novel, The Christmas Star, won the Gold Medal Award Top Pick from Romantic Times Magazine for December, 2002, and has also won Book of the Year Romance Gold Award from ForeWord Magazine as well as Book of the Year Romance from Reader’s Preference. In March, 2006 Divine Nudges: Tales of Angelic Intervention and the second in Lanigan’s Angel Watch series of books, was published by HCI, the Chicken Soup for the Soul publisher.

Cover Reveal & Tour Giveaway

$100 Amazon Gift Card
3 ebooks of Katia's Promise by Catherine Lanigan
Open internationally.
Ends May 8th

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Book Tour: The Truth About Hope

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

We're launching the BOOK TOUR for
The Truth About Hope
By Kate James

Can Hope help her hometown that holds long grudges and possibly find love with her old high school sweetheart along the way? Come along on the tour to get to know a little more about

Tour Schedule:
April 24th - Launch
April 26th - Word Wranglers & Write & Rewrite
April 27th - Underneath the Covers
April 28th - Letters from Annie (Douglass) Lima
April 29th - Zerina Blossom's Books
April 30th - I Am A Reader
May 1st - Katie's Clean Book Collection & Copyright1985
May 3rd - My Love for Reading Keeps Growing
May 4th - i blog 4 books & Rockin' Book Reviews
May 5th - The Written Adventure & Write from the Heart
May 6th - Deal Sharing Aunt & Bookworm Lisa
May 7th - Getting Your Read On
May 8th - Grand Finale


Hope Wilson




Hope is the heroine in The Truth About Hope. She is slender, 5’ 6” and 120 pounds. She has deep brown eyes and a yard of thick, dark hair that she generally wears loose and tumbling over her shoulders or in a long braid down her back. She likes to dress casually, wearing a simple white shirt, jeans and cowboy boots, or T-shirts and shorts.

We first meet Hope as a seventeen-year-old girl, just having lost her mother, and learning that she has to leave Canyon Creek, the small town in Texas where she was born, to live with her father in San Jose. Most devastating for her is that she has to say goodbye to all the people she knows and loves, including Luke Carter.  Luke and Hope had grown up together, had been best friends since grade school and became high-school sweethearts.

Although Hope builds a fulfilling life for herself away from Canyon Creek running an animal shelter in Monterey with a partner, she returns twelve years later to honor her father's last wishes. Her father's fortune could make a big difference to Canyon Creek—but Hope finds that the townspeople have a long memory about his misdeeds. With a plan to make amends on his behalf, Hope learns the truth about herself and discovers that she’d never gotten entirely over Luke. But is it possible for her to make amends on her own behalf with the townspeople and—most crucially—with the man she still loves?


More About The Truth About Hope and Author Kate James

What is your motivation behind this book? Why did you want to write it?

My motivation behind all my books is to entertain readers with stories that they hopefully find engaging, unpredictable, and morally and emotionally satisfying.

The idea for this book arose partially from my respect for Hope’s real-life counterparts—people who care for, rehabilitate and locate forever homes for the animals that find their way into shelters.

What do you hope readers take with them when they read your book? 

I would like readers to feel good about the story’s conclusion, and believe that no matter what hardships we may face, we can overcome them with faith, perseverance and—of course—love!

Do you have a favorite scene? 

One of my favorite scenes is when Hope and Luke meet unexpectedly outside a pet food store after her return to her hometown of Canyon Creek.

Share something about you that is unique. 

I wanted to write from a relatively young age, but a family tragedy, school and career intervened. A few years ago, my ever-intuitive husband realized that writing was—or could be—something important to me, and he gifted me a personal laptop for my birthday. While outwardly appreciative, in my mind I was wondering why I needed another laptop, when I had a perfectly good one from work that was constantly with me. Clearly my husband knew better than me, because having a separate computer that I didn’t associate with my essentially 24/7 day job was pivotal. That gift ultimately resulted in my first publishing contract and, two years later, my decision to step down from a full-time CEO role (that I enjoyed and found rewarding) to pursue writing as a career. I owe a debt of gratitude to all my readers for enabling me to fulfil my dream of writing!

The Truth About Hope
by Kate James
Adult Contemporary Romance
May 1st 2015 by Harlequin Heartwarming


Who is Hope Wilson?

Is she the girl her former hometown thinks she is? Or the girl Luke Carter once loved—and maybe still does?

When Hope returns to Canyon Creek, Texas, to honor her
father’s last wishes, there’s only one person on her mind: her high school sweetheart, Luke. The boy she lied to when she had to leave Canyon Creek as a teen, finding it easier to hide what she really felt than deal with the grief of loss. Her father’s fortune could make a big difference to Canyon Creek—but Hope finds that the townspeople have a long memory about his misdeeds. With a plan to make amends on his behalf, Hope learns the truth about herself. And the truth about love.


Kate James 2.jpgKate James spent eight years of her childhood living in foreign countries as her professional parents travelled on business. She lived in four countries and spoke five languages before settling down in Canada again to attend university. After graduating with a degree in civil engineering, she held a variety of positions in the field of real estate development and operations, and ran three substantial organizations. While her writing during this period was mostly business related, including presentations and speeches she delivered both nationally and internationally, her passion is and always has been fiction.

Kate's business and personal experiences enable her to write fiction with a deep, often first-hand knowledge of what she is writing about. This approach makes Kate's stories richer and more vivid.

Kate’s goal is to entertain you with well-written, engaging stories, set in intriguing places and with strong, likeable characters. “I hope my stories bring you pleasure and entertain you. Nothing pleases me more than receiving feedback from people who have chosen to spend their valuable leisure time with one of my books,” notes Kate.

Kate married her husband, Ken, in an elegant, ocean-front wedding on a tropical island. When they are not traveling, they split their time between their properties in southern and central Ontario in Canada.


Tour Giveaway

$30 Amazon Gift Card (INT)
5 Print Copies of The Truth About Hope (US/CAN Only)
1 ebook of The Truth About Hope (INT)
Ends May 15th

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday, April 27, 2015

Reader Interview: Beth L.



A few of you might remember that a while ago I came up with this grand scheme to do reader interviews. Instead of interviewing authors, like I and many other bloggers do, I decided to interview various readers on their favorite books and what they think makes a book great.

Today, a lovely young lady named Beth that I have the privilege to know is joining us for an interview. Please welcome her!

Can you tell us a little about yourself? Hobbies, interests, occupation/future occupation? Anything you would like to share.

Well my name is Beth I am in middle school. I hang out with my friends all the time. I love playing my flute in band and singing in Choir. I love science and want to become a Marine Biologist.

Fun! I loved choir in middle school and high school. Marine Biology sounds like an awesome degree.

Do you like to write as well as read?

I sometimes like to write but my brother does. He is the one who tries to get me to write more.

If only my brother would do that...

About how many books do you read in a week, month, or year?

I read everyday. I read in school when I go to bed it is a fascinating world.( the books). I read about 2-3 books per month.

Nice!

What is your favorite genre? Why?

My favorite genre of books are the relatable ones. They are the ones where it is in the same time period but you can relate somehow. Like in Dork Diaries I can relate because we are both in middle school.

It is definitely easier to enjoy a book when you can relate to the characters.

What is one of your favorite books or series? Why?

My favorite book is Ask My Mood Ring How I Feel. I love this book because it shows people can change if you try.

Hmm. I have never heard of that book. I'm glad you like it!

What do you think makes a book great?

I think a book is great when you can grab my attention and never loose it.

That is definitely something every reader loves to find when they pick up a book.

What do you think makes a book terrible?

A book is terrible when you read it and you don't feel anything. You are a robot reading a bad book. That is how I think it is. The author should have grabbed you and made you feel what the main character is and if you don't feel that why read?

Very good point.

What do you think authors (yourself, your favorites, or authors in general) could do to make their books better?

I think authors should try to think of who they are writing for. I love how some authors make books for my age  and my age only. I hate having to choose in book stores do I go to the kids or the High schoolers? So authors writing for my age would be wonderful.

Yes, it is definitely nice when the authors write for your age group. I am finding that there are not many clean fiction or fantasy that is for my age group of new adult, so I would appreciate that too.

Thank you, Beth, for joining us today! We loved having you!


And, in case you are curious about Beth's favorite book, let me introduce Ask My Mood Ring How I Feel.


Description

Ask My Mood Ring How I Feel
Diana Lopez

It's summer before eighth grade, and Erica "Chia" Montenegro is feeling so many things that she needs a mood ring to keep track of her emotions. She's happy when she hangs out with her best friends, the Robins. She's jealous that her genius little sister skipped two grades. And she's passionate about the crushes on her Boyfriend Wish list. And when Erica's mom is diagnosed with breast cancer, she feels worried and doesn't know what she can do to help.

When her family visits a cuarto de milagros, a miracle room in a famous church, Erica decides to make a promesa to God in exchange for her mom's health. As her mom gets sicker, Erica quickly learns that juggling family, friends, school, and fulfilling a promesa is stressful, but with a little bit of hope and a lot of love, she just might be able to figure it out.

Confetti Girl author Diana Lopez returns with this sweet, funny, and utterly honest story about being a girl in a world full of good (and bad) surprises.


Saturday, April 25, 2015

Moonblood Readthrough

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/2343624-moonblood-readthrough-2015

Hello! I wanted to share something I am organizing.

You see, I am part of a Goodreads group called Imps of Goldstone Wood, which is all about one of my top favorite series of books, called Tales of Goldstone Wood by Anne Elisabeth Stengl. For weeks I have been hearing the girls on the group talk about how much they love it, fantasizing about the newest book coming out May 25, and participating in the Fan Art Contest.

They made me want to read the series again.

So, I came up with this grand scheme. If I'm going to read the series again, why do it alone? So, I started organizing a readthrough, which, from what I know, is similar to an online book club. Anne Elisabeth herself had some readthroughs on her blog in years past. They read the first two books in the series--Heartless and Veiled Rose. Unfortunately, however, I did not participate in them, only watched the second one from a distance.

I asked the opinions of the girls (there are some guys too, I might mention) in the Goodreads group, and they sounded ecstatic about the idea. They gave me opinions on which book to read, dates, times, and many of the other important details.

Here is the plan:

We will read Moonblood, the third book in the series because there have already been readthroughs on the first two. We begin on May 1, 2015, about a week from today. Each week, we will read five chapters each week and chat about it on Goodreads every Saturday. One of the girls estimated that we will be finished mid-June.

I am planning to put together a schedule in the next few days and maybe some questions to lead the discussions, which we may or may not actually need.

Sound interesting? Everyone is invited to join.

However, there is one thing you should know first. The Tales of Goldstone Wood are generally stand alone novels set in the same YA fantasy world with a few of the same characters. However, Moonblood is one of the only books in the series that is not stand-alone. Therefore, anyone participating needs to have read Veiled Rose in order to understand what is going on in Moonblood. In fact, it would be even better if you read Heartless, Veiled Rose, and then Moonblood. If you have not read Veiled Rose, you have one week to do so before we begin reading.
(If you ask in the comments, though, I may be willing to email you a detailed summary of the book to give you an idea of what is going on. But it would still be so much better if you read Veiled Rose.)

That said, if anyone wants to join the readthrough, you can do so here.

And now, for some information on Moonblood, one of my favorite books in the series and out of all the books I have ever read.


Description

Moonblood
Anne Elisabeth Stengl

A New Novel for Fantasy Readers Young and Old

Desperate to regain the trust of his kingdom, Prince Lionheart reluctantly banishes his faithful servant and only friend, Rose Red. Now she is lost in the hidden realm of Arpiar, held captive by her evil goblin father, King Vahe.

Vowing to redeem himself, Lionheart plunges into the mysterious Goldstone Wood, seeking Rose Red. In strange other worlds, Lionheart must face a lyrical yet lethal tiger, a fallen unicorn, and a goblin horde on his quest to rescue the girl he betrayed.

With the Night of Moonblood fast approaching, when King Vahe seeks to wake the Dragon's sleeping children, Lionheart must discover whether or not his heart contains courage before it's too late for Rose Red...and all those he loves.



Interested? You can join the readthrough here.

Have any of you participated in readthroughs or book clubs? Have any tips for this blogger who has never participated in or led one before?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Book Tour: Katia's Promise


On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Katia's Promise
(Shores of Indian Lake #4)
by Catherine Lanigan
Adult Contemporary Romance
May 1st 2015 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Katia Stanislaus is a top insurance agent in Chicago, but her company is about to fold if she can't pull off a miracle. She convinces her boss to relocate to Indian Lake where she lived as a child and broke the heart of the one man whose account would be enough to save her job and her company. The only problem is that Austin McCreary has been a near recluse since the day Katia left him. Austin won't take her calls and appears set on revenge for the pain Katia has caused him. Just seeing Austin, catapaults Katia back to the time when she was 16 and so very much in love. But it was just a teenage crush, wasn't it?


Other Books in the Series

Love Shadow (The Shores of Indian Lakes)  A Fine Year for Love  (Shores of Indian Lake #3)

Links for Love Shadows
(Shores of Indian Lake #1)

Links for Heart's Desire
(Shores of Indian Lake #2)
Amazon - Barnes & NobleHarlequin

Links for A Fine Year for Love
(Shores of Indian Lake #3)

Catherine Lanigan is the bestselling author of over thirty published titles in both fiction and non-fiction, including the novelizations of Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile, as well as over half a dozen anthologies, including “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living your Dream”, “Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul”, “Chocolate for a Woman’s Heart”, Chocolate for a Woman’s Spirit”. Ms. Lanigan’s novels have been translated into over a dozen languages including German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Chinese, and Japanese. Ms. Lanigan’s novels are also available on audio-cassette, CD and on electronic format. A prolific writer, she is always writing wonderful stories. She has several titles only available in ebook format on Amazon.com Several of her titles have been chosen for The Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Clubs. Her novel, The Christmas Star, won the Gold Medal Award Top Pick from Romantic Times Magazine for December, 2002, and has also won Book of the Year Romance Gold Award from ForeWord Magazine as well as Book of the Year Romance from Reader’s Preference. In March, 2006 Divine Nudges: Tales of Angelic Intervention and the second in Lanigan’s Angel Watch series of books, was published by HCI, the Chicken Soup for the Soul publisher.



Excerpt

Katia pressed the bell again, but still no one came to the door.

As the chimes faded, Katia’s heart began hammering, and she felt short of breath. Her hands were shaking so she closed them into fists to mask her trembling. It wouldn’t be good for Austin to know he had the advantage. She was here to get him to talk to her, but every time she considered how to approach the situation, she changed her mind and altered her plan of attack. Her heart felt as if it had started moving up to her throat. She clamped her fist against her chest.

The door swung open with such force, Katia thought she’d be swept inside. “Austin.”

His blue eyes slid from her face to her balled fist over her heart. “Ah. Mea culpa. That’s a good start,” he said. His sarcasm felt sharp enough to slit her skin.

Katia suddenly felt like the most infinitesimal being on earth. Her past—their past—came slamming back to her. She had wronged Austin and hurt him so deeply, so terribly, that he’d never gotten over it. That was clear to her now. How could she ever make that up to him? He had good reason to hate her.

“What are you doing here?” he demanded.

“You wouldn’t answer my calls.” She tried to put a cheery lilt in her voice but failed miserably. “I figured you were trying to ignore me.”

“Good assumption,” he ground out.

This was going to be more difficult than she’d imagined. If she was even going to broach the insurance subject, she would have to convince him that she was truly sorry and try to regain his trust.
But would he ever believe her?

She looked at him, and as she spoke the words, she knew she’d never felt such remorse. “I’m sorry, Austin. I’m so, so sorry.”

“For what? Your telephone harassment?”

“For not going to your prom with you. For not telling you about our move to Chicago. For hurting you the way I did.”

Austin rolled his eyes and gripped the door with white knuckles. “You think I’m mad at you?”

“I can see that you are,” Katia countered, her voice growing louder.

Daisy came up behind Austin and yanked the door out of his grasp. “You gonna dump your dirty laundry all over the street? Bring it inside. Now. The both of you!”

Austin exhaled and took a step backward so she could enter the house. He wouldn’t meet her eyes and stared at the floor, seemingly lost in thought.

Was he remembering that fateful day when she had left him standing at LaGuardia? She knew he’d waited for her there, but she hadn’t been on the plane. Now she was here, literally on his doorstep, trying to apologize. Her heart was still in her throat, and she found she was just as speechless as he was.


Tour Schedule:
April 19th - Launch
April 20th - Coffee Books & Art
April 21st - Deal Sharing Aunt
April 22nd - The Written Adventure
April 28th - Mel's Shelves
May 1st - Grand Finale

Cover Reveal & Tour Giveaway

$100 Amazon Gift Card
3 ebooks of Katia's Promise by Catherine Lanigan
Open internationally.
Ends May 8th

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Book Blitz: Finding Thor


Finding Thor
by Kai Strand 
Release Date: 03/12/15
272 pages

Summary from Goodreads:
Tragedy has left Cara Cassidy broken and the only thing keeping her from giving in completely is her guilt. Until Nik Rock.

Nik stirs up feelings in degrees she has never experienced, and causes her to do things that most assuredly give him the wrong impression – like kiss him before their first date. Somehow, he breaks down the walls around her emotions until she has no choice but to forgive herself and feel again.

But a mysterious, troubled past follows Nik, and Cara may prove to be his weakest link.

When a royal princess shows up looking for Nik, and an international gang arrives looking for missing jewels, Cara lands in mortal danger. Will she be able to save herself? What will happen to her newly repaired psyche if she loses Nik?

Romance, mystery, and high stakes – just another day in high school. 



Buy Links:

About the Author
Kai Strand writes fiction for kids and teens. Her debut novel, The Weaver, was an EPIC eBook Finalist. King of Bad soared to the publisher's #1 spot its second month. She is a (very lucky) wife and the mother of four kids. The most common sound in her household is laughter. The second most common is, "Do your dishes!" Kai and her family hike, geocache and canoe in Central Oregon, where they call home.

Kai organized the free, themed, multi-author, short story blog, Lightning Quick Reads. She is available for personal appearances, workshops, and classroom or school visits. Feel free to contact her directly to discuss availability and request references.

Author Links:
 photo iconwebsite-32x32_zps1f477f69.png  photo icongoodreads32_zps60f83491.png  photo icontwitter-32x32_zpsae13e2b2.png  photo iconfacebook-32x32_zps64a79d4a.png

EXCERPT:

A deep voice, as rich and warm as homemade hot chocolate, said, “Let me assist you.” 

A charming retort of gratitude already forming on her lips, Cara looked up to find the boy from the park crouching to pick up her spiral notebooks. She gaped as fear doused her like a bucket of briny seawater. Her hand, reaching for a textbook, quivered like a leaf in the wind. Somewhere in her mind she recognized that his expression and mannerisms were non-threatening, but she wanted nothing more than to flee. 

She scurried to the back of the room, slid into her chair, and scrunched down, wishing she could disappear. 

As the boy returned to his own seat at the front of the class, the tilt of his head seemed to indicate all his senses were tuned to her. She could almost see his ears expand to take in every sound she made. Really, she couldn’t see his ears, because his silky black hair fell in shiny waves to just above his shoulders. 

When she sucked in her breath, because she realized she’d been admiring his hair, his chin angled toward her ever so slightly. Raking a hand through her own hair, she looked around the room to see if anyone was as wary of him as she was, but everyone else ignored him.


GIVEAWAY:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blitz Organized by:

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Book Tour: Heir of Hope


Hello! Heir of Hope, by Morgan L. Busse, is releasing today, so she has joined us for an interview. Morgan seems like a really neat woman, and I am told her books are amazing. I will be reading them in the very near future. Also, she recently had the covers of all three books in the Followers of the Word Series remade, which you can see above. Don't they intrigue you? To me, they are 10 times better than the original covers. 

Also, Morgan and another author, Sarah E. Morin, are having a Facebook party tonight (April 21) in celebration of their two books' releases. If you have never been to a Facebook party, believe me they are fun. You can join the party here.

Enjoy the post!

Description

Heir of Hope
Morgan L. Busse

What Would You Sacrifice to Save Mankind? 

The great city of Thyra has fallen and shadows spread across the land. Rowen Mar, the last Truthsayer, is taken before the Shadonae. But the Shadonae are not who she thought they were, and now they want to claim her as their own. 

Caleb Tala, former assassin and prince, is now a Guardian of mankind. Exiled from his country, Caleb wanders the desert in search of his mother’s past and clues to who he is. 

These are the last days of the Eldaran race. Rowen and Caleb must find their way along the dark path set before them by their ancestors: to heal what was wounded and love where hatred grows. But the road is narrow and the darkness beckons. If either of them fails, all will be lost… 

And the human race will be no more. 

Book three of the Follower of the Word series.

Links:


About the Author


Morgan L. Busse writes fantasy fiction for the adult market. Along with writing, she is also the wife of a pastor and mother of four children. From the moment she first read The Hobbit, she fell in love with fantasy. Both J.R.R. Tolkien and Terry Brooks are the inspirations behind her writing. She is the author of the Follower of the Word series, including Daughter of Light, 2013 Christy and Carol award finalist. Morgan lives in the Midwest with her family. 


Interview with Morgan


Please tell us a little about yourself. Hobbies? Furry friends? Tea or Coffee?

I’m married to a wonderful, wacky guy (who also happens to be a pastor) and together we are raising four monkeys…er…kids. I’m a shy introvert, but start talking geek and I’ll come out of my shell. Along with writing, I enjoy games of all sorts (including board games and video games), hiking, biking, and reading. I love rainy days, mountains, and a good cup of tea.

Sounds like an interesting life. It also sounds like you live in the country. 

What is your favorite book, series, or author and why?

J.R.R. Tolkien is by far my most favorite author. By the time I was fifteen I had read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings three times and The Silmarillion twice. Even now I like to go back and experience his world, whether by book or by movie.

I am glad you like Tolkien's books. He is a favorite of many people. 

When did you first start writing?

I never grew up wanting to be a writer. Writing was for creative people and I didn’t consider myself that creative. Why? I have no idea. Looking back I realize how active my imagination was. But writing wasn’t a real job in my opinion, so I pursued other career options. 

It wasn’t until after the birth of my daughter that I started thinking about writing. I was disappointed in the lack of fantasy and science fiction being written from a Christian worldview. My husband said I should write, but I blew him off until we were on a road trip to Seattle and I had this idea about a woman who—when she touched a person—could see inside his/her soul. When we arrived home, I got on the computer and started writing Daughter of Light. 

A beautiful story. I am always interested in people's writing journey.

Is there someone (or something) who was instrumental in inspiring you to begin writing to publish?

Definitely my husband. He was the first person to encourage me to write, and all those times I wanted to give up and toss my laptop out the window, he stopped me. He believes in me, even when I don’t, and if it weren’t for him, I probably would have quit writing a long time ago.

That is sweet of him. I wish I had someone like that. 

What was the toughest obstacle you had to overcome to publish your first book?

When I started writing Daughter of Light, it didn’t take long to figure out that the Christian publishing world wasn’t interested in fantasy (that was back in 2005). Did that stop me? No. Was it discouraging? Yes. Every time I went to a conference or spoke to an agent, it was the same thing: no one was interested in my genre. 

Then I read a blog post about some guy named Jeff Gerke who was starting a small indie publishing company. I remember turning to my husband and telling him my books might have a home someday. True enough, almost five years later I received an email from Marcher Lord Press and signed my first contract. 

I have heard about how hard it used to be to publish Christian fantasy ten or so years ago. I am glad you continued writing anyway. 

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers? Or is there anything else you would like to say?

Don’t forget to live your life. It can be so easy to get caught up in writing and pursuing the dream of publishing (or the hard work required after your sign the contract) that you forget about the people in your life. Don’t. The writing will always be there, but the people may not. I never wanted my children growing up believing that writing took their mother away. And if I don’t spend time with my husband now, I won’t have a marriage later on. 

Even take time for walks or coffee with friends. I find that my most authentic writing comes from what I experience in life. But if I don’t live my life—if I am always on the computer, living in my writing world—I will miss out on the real life stories taking place around me. You only live once, don’t let it slip by.

Thank you, Emily, for letting me come and share my life and my writing with your readers!

Thank you. That is good advice for any career. And, you are very welcome! Thank you for coming and sharing with us.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Review: Dauntless

Description

Dauntless
Dina L. Sleiman


Where Legend and History Collide, 
One Young Woman Will Fight for the Innocent

Born a baron's daughter, Lady Merry Ellison is now an enemy of the throne after her father's failed assassination attempt upon the king. Bold and uniquely skilled, she is willing to go to any lengths to protect the orphaned children of her former village--a group that becomes known as "The Ghosts of Farthingale Forest." Merry finds her charge more difficult as their growing notoriety brings increasing trouble their way.

Timothy Grey, ninth child of the Baron of Greyham, longs to perform some feat so legendary that he will rise from obscurity and earn a title of his own. When the Ghosts of Farthingale Forest are spotted in Wyndeshire, where he serves as assistant to the local earl, he might have found his chance. But when he comes face-to-face with the leader of the thieves, he's forced to reexamine everything he's known.



About the Author


Dina Sleiman writes stories of passion and grace. Most of the time you will find this Virginia Beach resident reading, biking, dancing, or hanging out with her husband and three children, preferably at the oceanfront. Since finishing her Professional Writing MA in 1994, she has enjoyed many opportunities to teach literature, writing, and the arts. Dina also serves as an acquisitions and content editor for WhiteFire Publishing. 

For more info visit her at http://dinasleiman.com/ or check out her latest series at http://valiantheartsseries.blogspot.com/ 


Review


As King John murdered her family and people, Lady Merry escaped into the forest with the town’s now-orphaned children and teens. For two years, they lived by secretly stealing, gaining the reputation of ghosts because of their skill in remaining invisible. But the appearance of someone from Merry’s past who is now hunting her band for their crimes turns her world on its head.

Dauntless by Dina L. Sleiman was a great YA novel. Although it bears similarities to the tales of “Robin Hood,” it is not the same story. In fact, the characters in the book mention rumors of Robin Hood’s existence. Instead, Dauntless tells a different tale of a young noblewoman doing everything she can to protect and provide for the ones she loves.

Lady Merry’s character was easy to love. Her spunk, skills, and determination made her the perfect leader for the group. Yet, she had suffered much and had not opened herself up to the people who loved her or to God. Merry’s strength and her vulnerability made her a loveable, relatable character.

All of the major characters, underwent noticeable change. Each one matured and were influenced to seek God’s calling on their lives instead of trying to live their lives the way they wanted to. It was encouraging to see the growth each of them endured.  

The plot certainly had its ups and downs. Aside from the obvious enemies, such as King John, an unseen villain attempts to turn Merry and her band in to the authorities who most likely execute even the smallest children. But there were times of triumph, success, humor, and romance that made the novel worth reading.

Dauntless is a definitely a good book, full of fun escapades, danger, and romance. I would easily recommend it to someone who likes the legend of Robin Hood or YA historical romance.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Review: Finding Me

Description

Finding Me
Kathryn Cushman


What would you do if you learned your life was a lie? 

All her life, Kelli Huddleston has been told the story of a fire--a fire that killed her mother and two siblings when she was an infant. After her father's death though, she uncovers evidence of a different story, including clippings about a boat accident that killed a young father and his infant daughter. And Kelli quietly realizes the story of her life has been a fiction. 


How far would you go to discover the truth?

Armed with only a few pictures of what she thinks might be her family, Kelli crosses the country to Tennessee, determined to uncover the truth about what happened over twenty years ago in a small southern town. When the trip threatens to open doors to the past better left shut, and her plans for the future are jeopardized, Kelli is faced with an agonizing choice that will change her life forever.



About the Author


Author Kathryn "Katie" Cushman is a graduate of Samford University with a degree in pharmacy. 

She is the author of five novels, including Leaving Yesterday and A Promise to Remember, which were both finalists for the Carol Award in Women's Fiction. 

She is also the co-author of Angel Song with Sheila Walsh. 

Kathryn and her family currently live in Santa Barbara, California. 

Visit her Web site at www.kathryncushman.com


Review


After her parents’ tragic accident, Kelli discovers something that her father had been hiding from her all her life—her mother and two siblings did not die in an accident when she was a baby. In fact, they are alive and well and think she and her father died in a different kind of accident. Searching for answers, Kelli travels across the country to meet them. But how long can she keep her identity a secret? And what’s more, does she even want to?

Finding Me by Kathryn Cushman is not the kind of book I usually read. I prefer non-contemporary romance or fantasy. However, Finding Me surprised me. I loved it and could hardly put it down. I was always anxiously anticipating the situation in which Kelli finally told her mom and sister who she was. I imagined all kinds of scenarios, but the one that actually happened was more than satisfying and came at a reasonable, almost perfect time for her and her family.

I hurt for Kelli. She suffered great losses on top of trying to understand why her father would lie and hurt her and his family the way he did. The pain in her life was understandable and deep. I could hardly have done better in that situation than she did. Because of this, it was amazing to watch her grow into someone willing to trust again and who will someday have the faith her mother did. 

I really liked the relationships and the characters portrayed. Each was unique and had their own sorrows and joys. The family and friend relationships they had with each other, too, was complicated, sweet, and realistic. Many people were touched by Kelli and her dad and that made the impact of her dad’s sins greater and the love for Kelli deeper.

Therefore, although the genre of Finding Me is not one I normally delve into, I found it to be fantastic in many ways. I look forward to reading more books by Kathryn Cushman and would definitely recommend this book to others. 

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.