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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Book Review: Unplanned

Description

Unplanned
Alana Terry

When Kennedy Stern’s childhood pastor asks her to volunteer at his new pregnancy center, she carves time out of her rigorous college schedule to promote the cause of the unborn. 

After receiving a disturbing call from someone far too young to carry a child in the first place, Kennedy can no longer blindly hide behind the pro-life platitudes she grew up believing. She resolves to locate the unknown girl but winds up entrenched in a mystery that grows more convoluted as it unfolds. 

Soon, Kennedy finds herself a pawn in a deadly game of intrigue, at the mercy of those who consider a few innocent lives a small ransom to pay in exchange for personal and political victory. 

Alana Terry has won awards from Women of Faith, the Book Club Network, Grace Awards, Readers' Favorite, and more. Unplanned was a finalist in the Deep River Books writing contest.



Review


After Kennedy signs up to answer phone calls from a pregnancy center, she finds herself talking to a very young pregnant girl. Kennedy determines to discover who this girl is in order to help her, but soon finds herself in danger because of her knowledge of the girl herself.

Unplanned was a whirlwind. I expected as much from Alana Terry, whose books have often brought me to stress or tears over the horrible situations the characters had to face. This one, however, also made a larger impact on my life because of its greater relevance to daily life in America.

In addition to the mystery and danger in Unplanned, Kennedy faces the controversy over abortion. Her beliefs are greatly challenged before she makes the decision for pro-life from her own knowledge and experience rather than her parents’. Making one’s own decision out of one’s own research was something the author stressed in the situation, something that is relevant to nearly everyone who reads this book.

One thing I noticed was that Alana Terry did a good job showing what a first year in college is like. Having recently experienced it myself, I can honestly say that Kennedy’s experiences were true to life, making her more relatable to the reader.

The plot focused more on the issue of abortion and helping the pregnant girl than on the suspense. It is not preachy, but it was definitely not as full of action, torture, escapes, and suspense as previous ones, such as Torn Asunder (whose characters were mentioned in Unplanned). 

Unplanned was a great book I would recommend to others. 

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

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Review: Draven's Light

Description


Draven's Light
Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Synopsis from Goodreads:
In the Darkness of the Pit
The Light Shines Brightest

Drums summon the chieftain’s powerful son to slay a man in cold blood and thereby earn his place among the warriors. But instead of glory, he earns the name Draven, “Coward.” When the men of his tribe march off to war, Draven remains behind with the women and his shame. Only fearless but crippled Ita values her brother’s honor.

The warriors return from battle victorious yet trailing a curse in their wake. One by one the strong and the weak of the tribe fall prey to an illness of supernatural power. The secret source of this evil can be found and destroyed by only the bravest heart.

But when the curse attacks the one Draven loves most, can this coward find the courage he needs to face the darkness?


Review


Gaho faces a choice: to become a murderer or a coward. His decision to spare the prisoner’s life turns Gaho into Draven, the village coward whose only friend is his crippled sister, Ita. But a new enemy arises whose sole purpose is to destroy all human life, including everyone Draven and Ita hold dear.

Anne Elisabeth Stengl has done it again. I am a huge fan of her Christian fantasies, and this novella, Draven’s Light, is no exception. The complicated fantasy world, the depth of the characters, and the soul-touching message made me love this story as much as all of the Goldstone Wood books before it.

Draven’s Light touched the subjects of unconditional love, acceptance and rejection, conscience, and bravery. The two main characters, Draven and Ita, were placed in situations in which all of these were tested yet they both reacted differently. Although Draven’s initial act that branded him a coward was a worthy and courageous one, he believed the lies and rejection his village forced upon him and becomes the coward by refusing to face them. Ita, however, stands up for herself no matter what. She believes she has to prove she is capable because of her disability. Her fiery personality was memorable.


My favorite part was the fishing trip. It started out so unconventionally yet ended epically.

Both Draven and Ita grew throughout the story. Both sacrificed for one another. Both showed bravery in different ways. Theirs was a tale worthy of being told and retold. I would highly recommend it to Christian fantasy lovers.

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

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Summer Reads in 2015

This summer, there are a number of books being published. Of the ones on my TBR, most of them are historical fiction and are either published at the beginning of July or September (which is technically still summer). I hope you find something you are interested in among these 10 books. The dates listed, with the exception of one, are the Amazon Kindle release dates, unless there is no Kindle pre-order option.


June 30
In Good Company by Jen Turano
An enthusiastic nanny is given one last chance in her chosen career--to take care of 3 orphaned children who scared off all the others. Perhaps romance and danger are in view for the nanny and the children's guardian as he investigates their parents' deaths.


June 30
Irish Meadows by Susan Anne Mason
Two sisters struggle between following their dreams and obeying their obligation to help their dad save his farm from falling to ruin by marrying rich husbands.


July 6
Drowning Sandy by Sarah Daley
This novella tells a half-human and half-mermaid who is forced to make a decision between living on land or living in water for the rest of her life. Either way, she might not be able to see one side of her family ever again, not to mention her crush or her graduation from college.


July 7
The Curiosity Keeper by Sarah E. Ladd
A man and a woman work together to find the man's missing, priceless ruby. Romance blooms as they travel through the rich and poor towns and countrysides.


July 7
Lady Maybe by Julie Klassen
After an accident, a young woman finds herself in the care of strangers, remembering little of her past. But what she does remember might put her in danger.


August (no date listed)
A Wish Made of Glass by Ashlee Willis
A fantasy of a young woman seeking a fey wish that, though it will give her what she desires, might also destroy what she needs, and perhaps loves.


September 1
Bathsheba: Reluctant Beauty by Angela Hunt
Based on the Biblical account and other historical facts comes the story of Bathsheba as she struggles through the after-effects of a king's actions against her and God's punishment for him.


September 1
Shades of Doon (Book 3) by Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon
After choosing to begin building their lives in the magical kingdom of Doon, Vee and Kenna are forced back to their old lives in America. Their true loves come to rescue them, but the witch of doon yet plots to destroy Doon forever.


September 8
The Lost Heiress by Roseanna M. White
As an adult, an young woman discovers she is the lost heiress of a large estate. She struggles to get to know her family, find her place, and follow her heart. Then, she is kidnapped again for a treasure in her possession.


September 8
Chivalrous by Dina L. Sleiman
A young, spirited woman longs to be a knight. But her parents would rather use her as a pawn and marry her to an undesirable suitor. As she resists and tries to follow her heart, she finds herself in the company of a young man who seems perfect for her.

What are you looking forward to reading this summer? Any books you are looking forward to?

Friday, June 19, 2015

Book Tour: Earth God

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Description


Title:  Earth God
Series:  The World Aflame Saga #4
Author:  Jon Messenger
Published:  May 26th, 2015  
Publisher:  Clean Teen Publishing
Genre:  NA Paranormal Romance
Recommended Age:  13+

THE EARTH GIVES WAY TO THE SEA,
THE SEA BOWS BEFORE THE WIND,
THE WIND FEEDS THE FLAME,
THE FLAME BURNS THE WORLD OF MAN DOWN TO THE EARTH.

The Fire Elemental has risen and its followers, the Fire Caste, have destroyed the planet. Humanity hangs on the cusp of extinction; their only hope now lies with the troubled Wind Warrior, Xander Sirocco.

Xander has absorbed the power of the Wind and Water Elementals but at great personal cost. Finding Sammy has been his anchor through the chaos around him, but now he finds himself wondering if saving her is enough.

Sammy remains a prisoner of the Fire Elemental, her mind trapped, as the dragon possesses her body. Her love for Xander keeps her going, but will her passion be enough to stop the Elemental from killing Xander once and for all?

Humanity’s last hope rests in Xander finding the Earth Elemental. Claiming the power of the Earth is the last step before he can confront the dragon holding Sammy hostage. Unfortunately, he’s not the only one who knows the location of the Earth Elemental.

It’s a race against time between Xander and the dragon to claim the last of the Elemental power and bring an end to a war that’s spanned millennia.

Earth God is the exciting conclusion to the bestselling and award-winning World Aflame series.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GoodReads


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About the Author


Jon Messenger (Born 1979 in London, England) serves as an United States Army Major in the Medical Service Corps. Jon wrote his first science fiction trilogy in 2008 and has since written and published over 10 novels.  The scope of his writing has expanded beyond science fiction to include the New Adult and Steampunk genres.  His books have become Amazon bestsellers, been translated into foreign languages, and have won numerous awards both for content and covers.

Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Website


Excerpt from Earth God


“What if there was a previous dominant species that we replaced after they screwed it up?”
Jessica arched her eyebrows.  “You’re not going to bring up the dinosaurs, are you?”
“Yes, the dinosaurs, exactly!  Think about it.  The whole world started off with Pangaea, one super continent where all the dinosaurs lived.  Then, boom, all of this sudden something happens and wipes them all out.  Scientists keep saying it was probably a meteor, but what if it wasn’t?  Think about it.  What would a meteor have done to the planet?  Set it on fire?  Filled the sky with ash to choke out most other life?  Doesn’t that sound exactly like something the Fire Elemental would do?”
“I’m impressed you know about Pangaea.  But it doesn’t change the fact that if I didn’t know you better, I’d say you were a giant stoner.”
“The Earth Elemental could have easily made Pangaea for the dinosaurs,” Sean continued as though he hadn’t heard her.  “After they screwed it up somehow, the Fire Elemental wipes them out, the Earth Elemental splits the continent, and they start over, only this time with primitive mankind.  It makes sense.”
Jessica pinched the bridge of his nose.  “I want to tell you that none of that makes sense, but we just held a conversation with an Easter Island head before Xander become the embodiment of the Earth itself.  Anything’s possible at this point.”
“Do you think they ever tried a Xander before?”
Jessica paused.  “A Xander?”
Sean glanced away from the blond and stared across the ocean.  “They must have had Warriors for each of the elements.  The fact that a Velociraptor Fire Warrior is a pretty badass mental image notwithstanding, do you think they tried this before?  Creating someone who can stop the cycle?”
“I don’t really know—“
“Because they failed,” Sean said bluntly.  He turned back toward his girlfriend.  “If they tried it, they failed because the dinosaurs were wiped out.  I just keep thinking that we’re not taking this seriously enough, and I know that’s ironic coming from me.  I keep worrying that the Fire Elemental is just sitting back laughing right now, knowing that it kicked the crap out of a Sarcosuchus Water Elemental once before and is about to do the same to Xander.”
“I think by this point we’re all taking this seriously,” Jessica said.  “Just because you’re joking doesn’t mean you’re not; we’ve known each other long enough to know it’s just your defense mechanism.”
They sat in silence, watching the lapping waves and trying not to see the lava pouring into the ocean not far away.  It was peaceful, sitting on a deserted island in the middle of the Pacific.  It was easy to ignore the fact that the world was coming to an end.  Sean mentally noted Easter Island as a place to visit, once this was all over.
Jessica chuckled softly, disrupting Sean’s musings.  He turned toward her inquisitively.  “What’s so funny?”
“Pterodactyl Wind Warriors,” she said.
For a moment, he merely arched an eyebrow before he started snickering.  Sean couldn’t help but laugh at the absurdity of the thought.  They both laughed until their sides hurt.  It felt good just to laugh for no particular reason, to forget about the insanity of their lives for just a moment.


Review of Wind Warrior, Book #1 of the World Aflame Saga


Xander is a normal college student…that is, until he discovers he has the power to control the wind. His new-found power proves dangerous as he finds that there are others with wind and fire abilities as well as an ancient saying some of them are taking far too seriously. Is the end of the world truly coming, as the others proclaim?

Wind Warrior, by Jon Messenger, was definitely interesting. This short novel introduces the themes, characters, and prophecies featured in the World Aflame Saga.

The wind and fire abilities were neat. They were definitely not new ideas for abilities, but the theme backing the abilities along with the use of them made Wind Warrior entertaining to read. I am curious as to the extent of the characters’ abilities and the use of them in the coming novels.

The romance between Xander and Sammi was almost instantaneous. The characters appeared infatuated with each other from nearly the moment they met, although their circumstances delayed them from changing their attraction into something more. They both claimed they were drawn to each other by something far stronger than simple attraction or infatuation. The power or deity behind their attraction, destiny, and abilities is something hinted at throughout the novel, but never explained, at least not in this book.

In conclusion, Wind Warrior was an interesting fantasy and opening of the series. I am curious as to what will happen next.

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Clean Teen Publishing Links:

Giveaway


There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • A bookmark swag pack, winner’s choice of any Clean Teen Publishing eBook, and a $15 Amazon gift card.
Giveaway is International.
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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Cover Reveal: Drowning Sandy


Originally, Drowning Sandy was published as book 3 in Summer Hearts, May 20th, 2015 but now, it is being released on it's own! On July 6th, Author Sarah Daley's debut novella, Drowning Sandy releases, available in paperback and e-book.

Interested in grabbing a copy of Summer Hearts? 


Here is the Amazon link: https://amzn.com/B00XFTTN4M




About the Author


Sarah Daley lives in Arizona with her best friend and husband, Chris, their adorable monster child, and neurotic dog.

At the age of six, she became a reading machine. Devouring everything she could possibly get her hands on. In high school she almost failed English three times because of her detest for writing book reports. Today, Sarah writes whatever stories haunt her dreams, and struggles to focus on one idea at a time. When she isn’t enjoying time with her family, or writing, you will find her nose stuck in a book, or out walking and enjoying the sunshine.  


Description


Drowning Sandy
Sarah Daley

The water is calling...
and Sandy can no longer resist the urge to unleash her mermaid form. But a simple swim in Lake Ontario ends when she discovers the truth of her own banishment. When long time crush, Alardo, seems to shift in a direction she never dreamed possible, Sandy must make a choice — mermaid or human? Once she chooses, she can never go back.

Snippet


Sandy rolled her eyes. He talked tough and proud, but she could still see the self-doubt under the surface. He was still the same old dork, and still pining for Shelly who never gave a flip for him. “Aren’t you going to get in trouble for talking to me?” she asked, remembering why she was hiding in her grandparents’ house again. 

“I’m a Ritno. I dare them.” He puffed out his chest, making the dark green band stretch to it’s max, though he did quickly look off to the side to check that no one was around. “By the way. What are you doing here?”

And now, the cover!

Credit for both the photograph and the cover design goes to the fabulous Isabelle Roza. You can see more of her work on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Artist.Isabelle.Roza and on her website www.isabelleroza.com

 
Ta-da!
What do you think?

For more fun, come check out the Facebook Cover Reveal event page: 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Book Tour: Drawn

Description


Drawn
Chris Ledbetter

Caught between the sweltering fall landscape of Wilmington, NC beaches and southern illusions and expectations, all sixteen year-old Cameron Shade thinks about is art. That, and for Farrah Spangled to view him as more than just a friend. Cameron longs to win her heart through art.

After several warm interactions with Farrah, including painting together at the beach, Cameron discovers just how complex Farrah’s life is with her boyfriend and her family. Following a tense run-in with Farrah’s father, she forbids Cameron to ever speak to her again, but Cameron’s convinced there’s more behind the request.

To impress Farrah with a last-ditch effort, Cameron sketches her portrait. But the sketchbook he uses hides a dark secret. Farrah’s now in grave danger because the sketch he drew of her siphons her real-life’s soul into the sketchbook. Cameron now has twenty days to extract Farrah. To save her, he must draw himself into the book. 

If he fails… they both die.



About the Author


Chris Ledbetter grew up in Durham, NC before moving to Charlottesville, VA in 11th grade. After high school, he attended Hampton University where he promptly "walked-on" to the best drum line in the CIAA. And, without any prior percussion experience. He carried the bass drum for four years, something his back is not very happy about now. 

After a change of heart and major, he enrolled in Old Dominion University and earned his degree in Business Administration. He's worked in various managerial and marketing capacities throughout his life. While teaching high school for six years in Culpeper, VA, he taught business management, business law, marketing, and sports marketing, and also coached football.

He has walked the streets of Los Angeles and New York City, waded in the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and climbed Diamond Head crater on Hawaii and rang in the New Year in Tokyo, Japan. But he dreams of one day visiting Greece and Italy.

He's a proud member of SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) and a strong supporter of the Need for Diverse Books. As a self-described, young reluctant reader, he writes young adult stories specifically to reach other reluctant readers. As a participant in the prestigious Nevada SCBWI Mentor Program, he was blessed to be mentored by Suzanne Morgan Williams, 2012 SCBWI member of the year. 

He now lives in Wilmington, NC with his family, including three cats.

Connect with Chris:  Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook 


Guest Post: Death and Cancer


One of my story’s darker themes is death, but more specifically, cancer. A year before the story opens, Cameron’s mother had died of cancer. It’s an open wound for him, as it would be for anyone, especially a young man of sixteen. We all grieve in our own ways and Cameron has tried to move forward, but life continually reminds him of his loss. One of the ways Cameron copes is to have a picture of his mother as the wallpaper on his phone. But, as you see in the story, Cameron still can’t go into his mother’s office in the house. cam’s father copes by listening to music he and she used to listen to.

My mother-in-law died of cancer recently. In fact, I had a dear, family friend, one of my wife’s graduate school professors, and her mentor, who also died of cancer recently. In both cases, death came swift like a tornado that touches down and ravages everything in its path, leaving destruction in its wake. It took less than a year for both to succumb after diagnosis. Cancer sucks. 

While I don’t spend a great deal of time and space on this angle during the story in Drawn, it is ever present. And it creeps up again and again. I also give voice to some of the questions we all have had when one of our loved ones is taken too soon. There’s often a lot of teeth gnashing and hand wringing. And yes, crying. Sometimes yelling. We tend to question life’s meaning and our own purpose. Often, we question our faith. These are some themes I explore, albeit briefly.


Review


In Drawn, by Chris Ledbetter, Cameron has a crush on Farrah. The main problem is that she already has a boyfriend…and she can never seem to remember his name. Hoping to secure her admiration, Cameron sketches her portrait on an ancient-looking sketchbook he inherited from his art mentor, a book that contains obvious warnings not to sketch people in it. Cameron’s world turns upside down when the drawing blinks and smiles up at him.

I have heard of books about people’s drawings coming to life in which the sketches walk around in the real worl. But Drawn takes the idea to a different dimension by making all things drawn into the book come to life in an entire world contained within the book. It was intriguing to learn about this new world in which everything is possible with a stylus and some ink and where humans live immortal lives.

Cameron had a team he played video games with. At first, I wondered why the author was spending so much time on their friendships. But the novel soon revealed that even that friendship played a role in Cameron’s fight to bring Farrah back to the real world.

I enjoyed the appearance of several famous artists in Drawn. It made me smile to see their rivalry. The appearance of mythical creatures was also interesting. It demonstrated the unending possibilities of the world within the sketchbook.

One thing in Cameron and Farrah’s relationship made me wonder. They spent some time apart in which Farrah learns that it is Cameron’s fault she is in danger. Then, when they meet again, they are both very determined never to be separated and to date no matter what. What changed? They were not able to communicate yet Farrah is willing to risk all to be with the one who put her in danger then rescued her from it? Perhaps it is just me, but it did not entirely make sense.

Overall, Drawn is a good story. I would read it again if need be.

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

Giveaway


Prizes: ​ 

Win one of six ebooks of Drawn or one grand prize of one signed print copy of Drawn, a print copy of Leonardo’s Swans and $30 Amazon gift card (open internationally) Ends June 27.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

June 1 -   Essentially Italian - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
June 2 -   Romorror Fan Girl - review / guest post / giveaway
June 3 -   Inspired in Italy - review / guest post / giveaway
June 4 -   Library of Clean Reads - review / giveaway
June 5 -   The Phantom Paragrapher - review
June 8 -   Don't Judge a Book by Its Cover - review / guest post / giveaway
June 8 -   Bookwyrming Thoughts - book spotlight / author interview

June 10 - Books by Night, Mommy by Day - review / giveaway
June 11 - Vic's Media Room - review
June 11 - Room with Books - review / author interview / giveaway

June 12 - Cheryl's Book Nook - review / giveaway
June 15 - The Autistic Gamer - review
June 15 - Writers and Authors - book spotlight / guest post

June 16 - Kincavel Korner - review /author interview
June 17 - Zerina Blossom's Books - review / guest post
June 18 - Kimber Leigh Writes - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
June 19 - Dreams Come True Through Reading - review / guest post / giveaway


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Review: Exodus

 Description


Exodus
Cliff Graham

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Two men were brave enough to tell the truth about what awaited the Hebrews in Canaan. This is their story. From the slave pits of Egypt to the efforts of an eighty-five-year-old Caleb as he drives out the last of the giants, Shadow of the Mountain is a vivid portrait of two of God's chosen champions, and a meditation on masculine mentorship and the challenges and blessings of growing older.

For the sake of his new God and his loyalty to his friend Joshua, Caleb will not spend his twilight years resting, but taking the battle to the enemies of God's people until his dying breath. From his early days as a mercenary for Pharaoh in Egypt watching the Hebrews suffer under the yoke of slavery, all the way through a desperate fight with giants in the dark forests of the hill country, this is a story filled with epic battles, gritty intensity, and supernatural events that made Graham's Lion of War series a hit. Shadow of the Mountain is sure to ignite a love for the Old Testament in popular culture.



Review


Years before Moses ever came to rescue the Israelites from Egypt, Caleb was making his way up the ladder of the Egyptian army. He may have been a foreigner, but that did not stop him from earning position, honor, and wealth through his military exploits and his skill with carving. Yet, when Moses brought Yahweh’s plagues to the country, Caleb had to rethink his dedication to Egypt and its gods.

Exodus, by Cliff Graham, was a wonderful Biblical fiction. Little is known about the Biblical Caleb; he was one of the two spies (along with Joshua) sent into Canaan after the Exodus from Egypt who brought back reports filled with faith in God and subsequently the only two who survived the forty years in the desert. He also became a military leader in Israel. Therefore, Graham used his imagination with the Biblical facts and research on the time period to create this wonderful retelling of The Exodus.

Caleb’s story came to life in this book. The story is told from the frame of Caleb’s older self, telling of his past to his nephew so that his nephew and others might grow wise and grow closer to God through Caleb’s testimony. Several times, Caleb’s recollections are broken as the events of the present take precedence. Through this, readers see that Caleb’s good character has only grown since his youth.

The way that Exodus portrays Caleb’s life is as though God put him in a position to learn all he would need in order to make Israel’s military the best that I could be while still softening him to believe in God when the time came. Caleb had just about everything a man could want, yet he eventually saw it as worthless in light of following God.

Readers experience a rich description of what Egypt might have looked like so many thousands of years ago. Gold and statues pervaded the cities, The Pharoah held a god-like position over his subjects. Yet, the character, Caleb, in his retelling to his nephew, also mentioned that he hated to look back and know he had viewed it as so beautiful when he now knew how sinful the country was. The viewpoint certainly puts things into perspective.

I most appreciated Caleb’s description of the plagues. Because it is told from the perspective of an Egyptian, it takes on a different aspect than when it is told from an Israelite’s or a modern-day Christian’s perspective. In either case, God is declared as powerful and merciful. Yet, to the Egyptians, God was vengeful, causing extreme pain or death to many people. Exodus shows this perspective through Caleb while still declaring that God is merciful.

In conclusion, Exodus was a fantastic book, bringing a rather unknown Biblical story to life and illuminating a different perspective than that which The Exodus is usually told. I would highly recommend this book to Christians who do not mind a little action and some imagination brought into a Biblical tale.

I received a free copy of Exodus from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Series Review Tour: Age of Alandra Series


Today, I am hosting the Age of Alandra Series Review Tour. It means that nearly everyone on the tour will be hosting a review of one or more of the books in the series. I will be reviewing Silent Orchids, the first book in the series.

Description


Silent Orchids
Morgan Wylie
Release Date: 05/05/13
238 pages

Summary from Goodreads:
A dying realm.

The ancient evil of the Droch-ShĂșil has been unleashed.

The Orchids have been silenced… but for how long?

Daegan, elite of the Ferrishyn warrior tribe of Faeries, is charged with a mission to find the Sol-lumieth, a mysterious new power that could change the fate of all in the realm of Alandria. But he is conflicted by his purpose, and he cannot trust the motives of those he serves. He has too many questions and they must be answered.

Kaeleigh, a girl abandoned as a small child just outside Missoula, Montana, is now 18. She is trying to discover who she is and where she belongs. In her heart, she feels she has family out there… somewhere. Desperate to unravel the mysteries of her past, she embarks on a journey that will forever change her along with her two best friends, Finn and Chel—who have secrets of their own.


Buy Links:


About the Author


Morgan Wylie, originally from the Pacific Northwest, now resides near Nashville, TN with her husband and daughter. She and her husband work everyday at their individual and combined creative pursuits while she learns to balance being “Mama”, wife, and mediator to the many voices and muses constantly chattering in her head.

Author Links:


Review: Silent Orchids


As Kaeleigh starts her new job, everything seems fine. Until she finds out she has a stalker. Kaeleigh’s life has always had some strange things going on—visions and orchids blooming everywhere she looks—but what this man, Daegan, seems to claim is preposterous. But, right after his appearance, her friends start acting strange as well. Secrets abound. Will they learn to trust one another and discover the truth about who they all are before it’s too late?

Silent Orchids, by Morgan Wylie, was not what I expected. I enjoyed it for the most part. The author introduced an interesting world, prophecies, and characters. I ended it wanting to learn more about the world Alandria and what will happen next to Kaeleigh and her friends.

Alandria was interesting. I can imagine the beauty of it. Some of the magical elements, such as the Orchids, were new to me and I want to learn more about them. The evil parts of the land were interesting too. I did not always know who the good and evil characters were, and the evil, magical creatures made formidable enemies.

I enjoyed watching the friendships described in the book. Kaeleigh, Finn, and Chel had a deep friendship, even if there were secrets. It was obvious that the author put much thought and work into their friendship to make it seem so real and have such depth. Daegan and Hal’s friendship was similar.

I expected the characters to charge right into the other world, Alandria, at the beginning of the novel and for Kaeleigh to discover and accept her destiny by the end. After all, that is how most fantasy stories of this kind tend to go. Instead, these and other actions were slow to occur.

At first, I was nervous about the depth of the magic that would happen in this book. I am not a fan of dark magic—things like cutting oneself, human (or other) sacrifices, incantations, or talking to spirits in order to gain magic—and at the beginning of this novel there was some kind of ritual that made me question my commitment to read this book. However, I was glad to see that, other than that short ceremony in which nothing too bad happened, there was nothing to be concerned about.

Overall, I enjoyed Silent Orchids and might one day read the rest of the series. The characters were unique and their friendships almost real. I would recommend it to those who enjoy fantasy books but who don’t mind a little bit of bad language.

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

Giveaway



Book Tour Organized by:

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Book Tour: The Sound of Diamonds

On June 15, Rachelle Rea will be releasing her debut novel, The Sound of Diamonds. I have been following Rachelle's blog on and off for some time, and remember being happy for her when she posted about signing the contract for this book. When the cover reveal came along, I became really excited to read it. I won't have to wait much longer now because it is releasing in four days!

In celebration, I have joined Rachelle's book tour and have a lovely interview with her to share with you today. Enjoy!

Description


The Sound of Diamonds
Rachelle Rea

Her only chance of getting home is trusting the man she hates.

With the protestant Elizabeth on the throne of England and her family in shambles, Catholic maiden Gwyneth seeks refuge in the Low Countries of Holland, hoping to soothe her aching soul. But when the Iconoclastic Fury descends and bloodshed overtakes her haven, she has no choice but to trust the rogue who arrives, promising to see her safely home to her uncle's castle. She doesn't dare to trust him...and yet doesn't dare to refuse her one chance to preserve her own life and those of the nuns she rescues from the burning convent.

Dirk Godfrey is determined to restore his honor at whatever cost. Running from a tortured past, Dirk knows he has only one chance at redemption, and it lies with the lovely Gwyneth, who hates him for the crimes she thinks he committed. He must see her to safety, prove to the world that he is innocent, prove that her poor eyesight is not the only thing that has blinded her but what is he to do when those goals clash?

The home Gwyneth knew is not what she once thought. When a dark secret and a twisted plot for power collide in a castle masquerading as a haven, the saint and the sinner must either dare to hold to hope...or be overcome.


About the Author


Rachelle Rea plots her novels while driving around the little town she's lived in all her life in her dream car, a pick-up truck. An Oreo addict, she is also a homeschool graduate and retired gymnast. She wrote the Sound of Diamonds the summer after her sophomore year of college.

Interview


Can you tell us a little about yourself? Hobbies, pets, quirks?

I drive a pick-up truck. I’m not even five feet tall (I’m 4’11”). I like Doctor Who and Once Upon A Time. I eat cereal for breakfast while I read a book. I like only cheese on my pizza. And my favorite ice cream or frozen yogurt is Cheesecake. J

Sweet, another Whovian! What was your favorite part of this book to write?

There are a few favorite scenes. One of my top favorites occurs early on; the scene takes place near a river. Gwyneth, who wears glasses, has handed them off to her friend without realizing that Dirk wanted to speak with her. So she has to talk to him the whole time, trying not to reveal that she’s having trouble seeing him. It’s an interesting tension between those two and I enjoyed writing that early look into their relationship, when they understandably don’t trust each other and a lot is at stake.

Sounds humorous. How did you come up with the title?

The title came first. And a lot of times authors don’t get to keep their original titles (or they don’t like coming up with titles). So I feel blessed to have The Sound of Diamonds on the cover when in fact those words started it all. I heard a song on the radio randomly one day and thought, oh, that sounds like diamonds. Immediately I realized that was a strange thought, so I wrote a book to figure out what the sound of diamonds actually is.

It's cool to hear the title was the inspiration for the story. Can you tell us about the challenges you faced in getting this book published?

Oh, that’s a tough one. I almost quit writing when I entered the Genesis contest a few months after I finished Diamonds and didn’t semi-final. That was definitely a challenge that made me question why I was writing—and I decided it wasn’t for publication but because I can’t not have a story in my head. I go through seasons, sure, when the story is flowing onto the page or just simmering. But that experience—not making it in that contest—taught me that whatever the challenge I wanted to pursue this. Right after that, I first approached WhiteFire and the rest, as they say, is history. J Dream-come-true history.

Awesome. I'm glad you decided to keep going. Why did you feel you had to tell this story?

Great question! It began mostly as a selfish thing; I was really curious about what diamonds sound like. It ended as a finished novel that I thought just might--just might--be the one that would become my debut novel.

Is there anything you would like to say or any advice you would like to give about writing or life in general?

Go for it. If I can make this author-thing happen, anyone can. Dream big, be daring, and work hard. It’s an investment to see a dream come true, but it sure feels great when it does and you’re holding your dream in your hand. J

Thanks so much for having me, Emily!

You are very welcome, Rachelle! I look forward to The Sound of Diamonds' release.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Book Blitz: Population Morpheus

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Description


Title:  Population Morpheus
Author:  S. G. Basu
Published:  June 8th, 2015
Genre:  Science Fiction

Synopsis:

c.2566. The signs are clear. The time to evacuate Earth is now.

Summons are sent. But not to everyone. Only a handful will be picked to be part of the future colonies.

– A gifted teen for a way to escape her average life. She gets an offer that is hard to refuse. Will she dare to pay the price? – The sole survivor of the worst megatron collapse in history doesn’t know what to do–celebrate this second chance at life or become a tool of vengeance . . . – A boy raised within a cocoon of segregation faces his biggest challenge – standing up for someone who looks nothing like him.

Thrust into an unfamiliar world held in place by a harsh set of rules, will humanity make it? Strangers meet. Bargains are made. Only one thing is a given–survival depends on forging the right alliances.

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About the Author


S.G. Basu likes to call herself a middle aged host to a forever-young heart–a heart that is addicted to dreaming.
Being an engineer by training, the worlds of futuristic fantasy that she weaves in her books spring from her interest in science and her love of engineering.

She enjoys traveling to faraway places–her writing inspired by the people she meets in these beautiful lands. Her stories are also a celebration of the influences from her travels around the world.

Ms. Basu is also an avid nature photographer. When she is not busy writing, she enjoys gardening, music and spending time in the outdoors with her family.

Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Website | Blog

Excerpt


Balik could be brutal. He demanded respect–for him, for the massive organization that was HS, for our cause. And he demanded wins. That was the hard part–fighting the GG forces that were far better equipped than us, surviving their raids and assaults and winning in the end–didn’t happen that easy.

“My best soldier,” Balik showed me a chair as he stretched on the red silk-wrapped couch at the corner. “What new plans have you got? Give me some good news.”

That was what I wanted to share with him–my next venture–the “Smokescreen.” Once Balik approved it, I had to start setting the smaller wheels in motion, and then build it up until in a few months–

“You want to shut down their ventilation system?” Balik whispered gawking, as he pulled off those dark glasses he always wore. His eyes, one brown and the other a pale gray, shone with excitement. “Sure you can pull this off?”

I nodded. “I’ve to start by rerouting the terminator boxes on Coogan’s Hill. I’ll load most of the malcode from there.”

“All right. When can you begin?”

“Day after tomorrow. Have to lay my father first.”

“Oh, yes. Go do it.”

“Okay.”

“And I don’t need to remind you this, but don’t get identified. I won’t have a marked operative back among us.”

“Understood.”

He didn’t have to remind me of the consequences, he knew I’d never forget Dobin.

Giveaway


There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
A signed, print copy of Population Morpheus
Giveaway is US only.

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