Thursday, June 30, 2016

Book Review: "The Requiem Red" by Brynn Chapman


by Brynn Chapman

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Patient Twenty-nine.

A monster roams the halls of Soothing Hills Asylum. Three girls dead. 29 is endowed with the curse…or gift of perception. She hears messages in music, sees lyrics in paintings. And the corn. A lifetime asylum resident, the orchestral corn music is the only constant in her life.

Mason, a new, kind orderly, sees 29 as a woman, not a lunatic. And as his belief in her grows, so does her self- confidence. That perhaps she might escape, might see the outside world. 

But the monster has other plans. The missing girls share one common thread...each was twenty-nine's cell mate. 

Will she be next?

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads


Two girls. One, patient twenty-nine in Soothing Hills Asylum (that is anything but soothing as it dehumanizes its patients). The second, the esteemed daughter of the Asylum’s head doctor. Both have catlike eyes and hear whispers of words in the music they see everywhere. But there are more problems going on their bizarre connection. There is something killing some of the other women in the asylum, all of whom were roommates with patient twenty-nine before their deaths. And the head doctor has a dark side only his daughter and the servants are aware of.

The Requiem Red by Brynn Chapman is just as dark and bizarre as the one other book I have read by Chapman, The Violet Hour. Words hidden in music. Monsters in the night. Hair changing from brown to white overnight. The patients might not be the only insane ones. Then, throw in a couple whirl-wind romances…

I can’t quite figure out whether or not I like this book. It was so weird and dark but yet so interesting. It pulled me in and kept me interested in the tale of these two ladies. I figured out a couple of the mysteries, but not all. And the ending was a complete surprise. It left me hanging, and I’m not even sure there will be a second book! So frustrating. I didn’t like some of the darker elements, though they added depth and danger to this tale.

One thing is for sure, though. I will never look at insane asylum’s the same way again. Back in the early 1900’s and before, asylums were more like a prison than a place of healing. People were hospitalized for a variety of ridiculous and reasons, including when husbands wanted an excuse to remarry. The Requiem Red did an unforgettable job of showing life inside one of those asylums. Makes me feel even sorrier for my great-grandfather who was entered in an asylum around the turn of the twentieth century for stealing his family’s car (and escaped a couple of times) … but that is a story for another day.

The Requiem Red was as fascinating as it was bizarre. I recommend it to lovers of the weird with a dose of YA romance.

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

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Audiobook Review: "Porcelain Keys" by Sarah Beard


Porcelain Keys 
by Sarah Beard

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Aria's life is full of secrets--secrets about her mother's death, her father's cruelty, and her dream to go to Juilliard. When Aria meets Thomas, he draws out her secrets, captures her heart, and gives her the courage to defy her father. But when tragedy strikes and Thomas disappears, Aria is left alone to transform her broken heart's melody into something beautiful. Porcelain Keys is a captivating love story that will resonate long after the last page is turned.



Ever since her mother’s death, Aria’s father has hated Aria’s music. He starts drinking and becomes volatile and abusive. One day, after escaping her father’s anger by hiding in the neighbor’s tree house, Aria wakes to find a boy invading her sanctuary. Thomas is the neighbor’s hot grandson and has moved in next door to clean up the place to sell. But trespassing and a bed-head is not the greatest first impression.

Porcelain Keys by Sarah Beard is the classic story of a senior in high school falling for the new boy who moved in next door. In some ways, it was a story that has been told a million times. You’ve seen it on TV and read it in a dozen books about high school, with the popular girl trying to steal the boy away and that girl’s ex-boyfriend using the main character to make his Ex jealous. But this book had a lot more going on that just that. It reached deeper levels, touching on abuse, grief, music, and the lasting effects of love. For those reasons, I enjoyed this book as more of an original.

Another reason why I like this story is because it does not stop at the end of high school. The characters get through a couple years in college, family changes, deaths, heartbreak, second loves, and much more. Yet, they find their way back to each other through the mess. Forgiveness and grief are major themes in this story, and they were addressed well, considering how hard such topics are. Each of the characters reacted to their grief in a different ways and had to come to terms with it in their own ways. They then had to learn how to forgive each other for the hurt they inflicted while in pain themselves. And the healing power of music had a part to play. There were a lot of hard topics in this book, and I enjoyed it all the more for it.

The audio version was pretty well done. There were a couple times in which the reader's voice would change in loudness, but she did a very good job giving voice and emotion to each of the different characters.

I enjoyed Porcelain Keys. I wish it was more original in some ways but appreciate the minor differences and hard topics addressed. I recommend it to those who enjoy a good, clean YA/NA romance.

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

Blog Tour, Guest Post, & Giveaway: "Welcome to Sortilege Falls"

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Book Tour: "The Mermaid and the Treasure of the Bay" by A. Algeri

YA Bound Book Tours is organizing a Blog Tour for: The Mermaid and the Treasure of the Bay
(La Sirena #1) by A. Algeri. This tour will run from June 27th to July 1st.  

The Mermaid and the Treasure of the Bay
(La Sirena #1)
by A. Algeri 
Release Date: 08/20/15
246 pages

Summary from Goodreads:
"The Mermaid and the treasure of the Bay" is the first adventure of Brinn, a young woman who had recently returned to her homeland, Nyar Kaad, after years of being away.

For her mother and sister it’s only supposed to be an episodic stay, because their intention is to return to the capital, Adaria, held by both aristocrats, by then, to be their home. Brinn, however, isn’t interested in living in the golden cage of high society and aspires to a different existence, that will push her to oppose the decisions of her family and to pursue a destiny according to her own wishes.

The accidental discovery of what looks like a map to hidden treasure, buried in Nyar Kaad, according to tradition, by pirates once dwelling in the settlement, will push her to search for the hidden riches- an undertaking that the protagonist will face courageously, at the cost of challenging her fears, the rigid social conventions, and more literal dangers to her person, venturing on a journey into the local legends and the past of her own family, until reaching an unexpected epilogue.

Set to Isara, a fantasy world inspired by the period between the seventeenth and the first decades of the nineteenth centuries, "The Mermaid and the treasure of the Bay" is a journey full of mystery in the universe where real and supernatural coexist intersecting in a subtle and insidious way, a world divided between palaces and largely unexplored expanses, an opulent capital and boundless oceans.

Buy now: ebook kindle or paperback

About the Author:
A. Algeri is the author of "The Mermaid and the treasure of the Bay", his first published novel. He began writing while he was a teenager, setting most of his stories in the world of Isara, a fantasy universe of his own creation.

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


My life was far from perfect, I had an unusual character and my nature wasn't easily adaptable to the life that ought to have been lead by someone of our status that was forced to aspire to court, but for years I had been able to carve out my happiness. Even though I wasn't particularly interested in the girls my age that talked about future boyfriends, parties and dresses, I could always close my eyes and imagine that I was in one of those far away places that I was so fascinated by and that I had read about so often in books.

Despite the many remote places that I had learned about the existence of by reading, the most precious continued always to be Nyar Kaad. My thoughts inevitably went to the aquamarine ocean waves on the shores where I was born.

Blog Tour Schedule:
June 27:
History from a Woman's Perspective - http://www.historywomanperspective.com/ - Review
3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! - http://3partnersinshopping.blogspot.com – Review
Literary Musings – www.literarymusing.weebly.com - Promo

June 28:
3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! - http://3partnersinshopping.blogspot.com – Promo
The Recipe Fairy - http://recipe-fairy.weebly.com/ - Review
Zerina Blossom's Books - http://zerinablossom.blogspot.com/ - Promo

June 29:
YA Book Divas - http://www.yabookdivas.com – Review
The Avid Reader - http://the-avidreader.blogspot.com – Promo
Happy Tails and Tales Blog  - http://happytailsandtales.blogspot.com – Review
Just Us Book Blog - http://justusbookblog.blogspot.com/ - Promo
La tartaruga si muove - http://latartarugasimuove.blogspot.it – Review
Reading, Writing and What Not - http://pixiescanread.blogspot.com/ - Review
The Book Adventures of Annelise Lestrange - www.anneliselestrange.wordpress.com – Promo
Reading Addict - http://readingadd.blogspot.com/ - Promo

June 30:
POTL: Books, Writing and Inspiring Others - https://princessofthelight.wordpress.com – Review
I Read Indie - http://twimom101bookblog.blogspot.com/ - Promo
deal sharing aunt - http://www.dealsharingaunt.blogspot.com – Promo
WordishWonderland – www.wordishwonderland.wordpress.com - Promo

July 1:
My Crazy Corner - http://mycrazzycorner.blogspot.com/ - Promo
fundinmental - http://www.fundinmental.com – Review
The Page Unbound - http://thepageunbound.com – Promo
deal sharing aunt - http://www.dealsharingaunt.blogspot.com – Promo
Kovescence of the Mind - http://kovescenceofthemind.blogspot.com/ - Review
A New Look On Books – www.anewlookonbooks.wordpress.com - Promo

Cover Reveal: "This Is Me" by C.E. Wilson

cxc Cover Reveal

Book Review: "Escape from Witchwood Hollow" by Jordan Elizabeth


Escape from Witchwood Hollow
by Jordan Elizabeth

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Everyone in Arnn - a small farming town with more legends than residents - knows the story of Witchwood Hollow: if you venture into the whispering forest, the witch will trap your soul among the shadowed trees.

After losing her parents in a horrific terrorist attack on the Twin Towers, fifteen-year-old Honoria and her older brother escape New York City to Arnn. In the lure of that perpetual darkness, Honoria finds hope, when she should be afraid.

Perhaps the witch can reunite her with her lost parents. Awakening the witch, however, brings more than salvation from mourning, for Honoria discovers a past of missing children and broken promises.

To save the citizens of Arnn from becoming the witch’s next victims, she must find the truth behind the woman’s madness.

How deep into Witchwood Hollow does Honoria dare venture?



After Honoria and her brother lost their parents in the 9/11 attack, they move to Arnn, a small town in the country with their aunt and uncle. Honoria soon discovers the town’s mysterious legend about the so-called Witchwood Hollow. Those who enter those woods never return, so the legend says. When Honoria and her new friend begin exploring the town, they begin to discover that there might be more to the legend than pure fantasy.

Escape from Witchwood Hollow by Jordan Elizabeth Mierek is a novella whose tale spans centuries. A witch flees from her abusive family and finds sanctuary in the woods. But she decides to hurt others as she has been hurt, and so traps any wanderers in the woods, never to age or feel the passage of time. Honoria is but one girl slowly discovering the mysteries of the woods. Another point-of-view character is Albertine, a young woman traveling to Arnn to meet her father and fiancé, who gets trapped in Witchwood Hollow.

The story was very interesting and had a great start. There were layers of history and mysteries to unravel that had been hidden for centuries. A bit of romance affected several characters’ lives, as well. The story was not creepy or horrific, but filled with mystery and the normal problems of a teenaged orphan and an older girl missing her family. It held my attention throughout.

The main thing I had a problem with in Escape from Witchwood Hollow was the ending. I didn’t like the end one bit. There is a little hope and happiness, but it wasn’t enough. A couple of the questions weren’t answered to my satisfaction and it wasn’t summed up very well at all. And ***spoiler alert*** the main character, Honoria, died at the end! I hate it when author’s do that. It was very unnecessary, too. ***end spoiler***

So, overall, I did enjoy the beginning and the mystery, but I wanted to throw the book at the wall because of the ending. Take it as you will. If you dare to read this book, I would recommend it to YA and urban fantasy readers.

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

Friday, June 17, 2016

Book Review: "Fading Starlight" by Kathryn Cushman


Fading Starlight
Kathryn Cushman

Synopsis from Goodreads:

When Her Big Shot Blows Up on Her,
How Far Will One Woman Go to Regain Her Dream?

Lauren Summers is in hiding. Her fashion house internship was supposed to launch her career, but a red carpet accident has left her blackballed. The only job she can find comes with little pay, but at least it offers a free place to live--a run-down cottage in the shadow of a cliff-side mansion. Planning to live on savings until she figures out what's next, she's unprepared to be contacted by a reporter.

Kendall Joiner is researching Charlotte Montgomery, a former Hollywood ingénue who lives a reclusive life in the cliff-side mansion. Rumors have swirled for decades about Charlotte, and now Kendall wants to find the real story. In return, she may just have the key to getting Lauren back into the fashion world. Desperate to restore her dreams, Lauren's not sure she can turn down the offer--but as she and Miss Montgomery get to know more about each other, Lauren realizes nothing is quite as it seems.


Just as Laura’s career in fashion gets off to a great beginning, it comes to a dramatic end in a red carpet catastrophe. Laura is devastated, until a former professor references her to another fashion job willing to hire her. A temporary living space is provided, but it turns out to be a seaside cottage in a kind of gated community with extremely strict rules and cranky neighbors. As Laura is settling in, a reporter promises to investigate a possible sabotage in the fashion disaster if Laura agrees to spy on one of those neighbors. But that neighbor and reporter may have more going on than meets the eye.

Fading Starlight was a sweet inspirational story with beautiful settings, complex characters, and fascinating historical details. I especially enjoyed the different details on fashion, sewing, and jewelry. 

What happens when someone is so hurt by the betrayals of the past that she can't move forward with her life or trust the people around her? This story explores some of the consequences and contrasts them with other characters who have been similarly betrayed yet recovered. It was an interesting study on human beings as well as a sweet tale of friendship, recovery, and faith.

Laura’s Christian faith was also interesting to see. I wish I could say that I would have acted differently in the story - loved my neighbor better, mainly - but I believe Laura's reactions to be realistic and my expectations to be unrealistic. Even so, not many would have reacted as well as Laura did in the situations presented to her. It was good to see her grow in her faith and love for others in this manner throughout the story.

That said, I don't particularly like the “inspiration fiction” genre and this book was no exception. It was interesting in its way, but it still bored me because of its slow pace and lack of much action. The ending was pretty neat, though.

I recommend this book to those who enjoy inspirational, Christian fiction.

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

Book Tour and Giveaway: Regina Shen Series

Regina Shen:  Resilience (Book 1)

Regina Shen is an outcast forced to fend for herself in a world that bans books and artifacts from before the Great Collapse. An approaching storm could be the least of her problems. The World Federation condemns Regina and her family to live on the seaward side of barrier walls. Those walls were built to hold back rising seas caused by abrupt climate change and as a place to dump outcasts.

A hurricane threatens to destroy Regina’s world, tearing her from sister, mom, and home. Now Federation agents claim she has unique DNA that could prevent human extinction. It's too bad she doesn't trust them enough to barter fairly, let alone with her life. Three-hundred-plus-year-old Grand Old Dames rule the all-female Federation using a rigid caste system. Their notorious Department of Antiquities, under the command of Chief Inspector Joanne Demarco, polices barrier walls, destroys knowledge from the past to suppress dissent, and pursues Regina for her genome.

Regina survives by her wits on swampy islands and thrives on salvage from sunken cities, including illegal print books from before the Federation. With her photographic (eidetic) memory, she defies Antiquities by consuming salvaged books not available in the Federation, which makes her an outcast even among her exiled peers. With Antiquities in pursuit, Regina fights to stay alive and avoid capture while hunting for her family. Does she have the resilience to survive both the storm and Antiquities?

​Buy the book:  Amazon   Barnes & Noble

Regina Shen:  Vigilance (Book 2)

After two years of training, outcast Regina Shen prepares to jump the barrier wall into the World Federation to hunt for her sister, but nothing goes according to plan. The Federation condemns Regina and her family to live on the seaward side of barrier walls.

For two years she avoided capture. Now the Federation is desperate to exploit her unique DNA in order to prevent human extinction. She would rather die than help the people who kidnapped her sister. The Federation’s notorious Department of Antiquities, under the command of Chief Inspector Joanne Demarco, polices barrier walls, destroys knowledge from the past, and pursues Regina for her genome. Now Demarco has a ruthless rival who aims to capture Regina as a means to overthrow Demarco.

Regina has survived by her wits on swampy islands and salvage from sunken cities, including illegal print books not available in the Federation. Her photographic (eidetic) memory, access to these books, and an amazing teacher just may help her reach the university town in the Federation where they’re holding her sister. Pursued by Antiquities, Regina jumps the wall into the Federation.

While making new friends and enemies, she must use her wits to avoid letting either of two rival inspectors capture her. Can she rescue her sister from an obvious trap?

Buy the book:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble

Regina Shen:  Defiance (Book 3)

On the run, outcast Regina Shen is determined to stop the Federation’s relentless attacks on her family and friends, but the stakes are much higher now and she is deep in foreign and hostile territory.

The Federation condemned Regina to live on the seaward side of barrier walls, but she crossed into the Federation where she continues to survive by her wits. Competing Federation agents vie to capture her and use her to acquire power, based on her genome being the key to prevent human extinction. When her sister is kidnapped again and agents close in, Regina flees west with a friend across deserts created by abrupt climate change.

Raised on swampy islands and underwater salvage, they must adapt to different harsh environments. Guided by her photographic (eidetic) memory of illegal print books from before the Federation, Regina is determined to defy the Federation and find a treasure big enough to barter for freedom for her and her sister. In the cat-and-mouse game, can she find allies and ways to escape the Federation dragnet long enough to discover something to trade?

Buy the book:  Amazon   Barnes & Noble

Regina Shen: Endurance (book 4):

Betrayed by her own mother, outcast Regina Shen has been trying to free her sister. Instead, she becomes a pawn in the World Federation’s struggle for power and succession.

Worldwide fertility has collapsed and the World Premier is dying, leading to a crisis of leadership. Battle lines are forming and Regina holds the keys to resolving the fertility crisis with her genome and elevating whoever can capture and control her into positions of power. Using her photographic (eidetic) memory of illegal books, she also holds the key to locating ancient artifacts that could save or destroy the Federation. In holding these keys, Regina should be treated as a queen, but outcasts aren’t even allowed to become citizens.

Having survived the swamps, deserts, and wilderness, Regina continues to try to barter for freedom for her and her sister, but the stakes are too high. Federation agents hound Regina to uncover ancient artifacts and serve herself up as a lab specimen to prevent human extinction. The disgraced Inspector Joanne Demarco pretends to be Regina’s ally to get her to deliver the location of ancient DNA vaults that could change the balance of power. Meanwhile, ruthless rivals are willing to do anything to destroy Demarco and control Regina.

Regina’s new journey will test her endurance, her ability to recognize opportunities, and her knack for avoiding capture. She will also face a tragedy and a strange twist of destiny that will shake her to her core and get her to question everything. Will she be able to overcome adversity or will she descend down an even more dangerous path?

Preorder:   Amazon   

About the Author

He was raised by a roaming aerospace engineer, growing up in various parts of the United States and Europe, as well as traveling through Asia. He took to stories as his anchor, including the works of Asimov, Bradbury, and Heinlein, and has been writing since age eleven.

Growing up, he was inspired by his father’s engineering work on cutting-edge aerospace projects to look to the future.

In an ideal world, Lance would find time loops where he could step out for a week at a time to read and write. Then he would return to the moment he left, without life getting in the way. Of course, since everyone would have the same ability, he suspects life would still sneak in.

Lance is also the author of short stories and novelettes.

Connect with the author:  Website   Twitter   Facebook   Goodreads

Author Interview

How did you come up with the title for the Regina Shen series?

The title meandered in several directions before we arrived at what you see. Regina Shen is a Marginal swamp rat, an outcast to the Federation. She lives in a world after abrupt climate change and rising seas have flooded the coasts. There’s a caste system in which Marginals are below the bottom. As an outcast, she’s forced to live on the seaward side of great barrier walls. Thus, one working title was Marginal Swamp Rat. There was also an affinity for the allusion to Atlantis because of the sunken cities that Regina salvages. The working title changed to The Atlantis Effect. When it came time to finalize titles, we did some polling and realized several things. Marginal carries emotional value but is vague. Rat didn’t convey the right image for Regina, who is both cursed to be a Marginal, and proud to be one. There are many stories with variations of Atlantis in the title. Since the lost continent of Atlantis and the submerged worlds were not the core of this series, we didn’t want to confuse potential readers. While Regina Shen is not a household name, we decided that since this is her story, we would be bold and give her the title.

Why do you enjoy writing in a dystopian world?

What intrigues me about the dystopian world is to figure out how to solve problems brought on by losing things we take for granted, like electricity, running water, or a stable government. If history teaches us anything, it’s that we don’t march in a straight line toward a ‘better’ world, whatever that might be. In the real world, we face hiccups and setbacks, and that’s what dystopian stories allow us to explore. Those setbacks create character.

Is there a message in your novels that you want readers to grasp?

Regina Shen has grown up on the outside, at the bottom of the official caste system. Yet, her tough upbringing gave her strength to endure what she must to survive, help family, and achieve her goals. Giving up isn’t an option for her. She’s resilient, vigilant, and defiant in protection of what matters to her: family and friends. She also demonstrates endurance and thus the titles of the four books.

How much of the book is realistic?

While I hope we can avoid the calamity of rising seas and economic collapse, there are those who would suppress knowledge of the past and knowledge they don’t approve of to suit their aims. We may not have an official caste system, but at times in our history moving up has been difficult for many. The places in the story match names on our maps, but have changed in ways to be unrecognizable. In addition, I’ve taken liberties for the sake of creating an interesting story. Thus, I believe the conflicts, emotions, and struggles are real, but this is a futuristic, some might say fantasy world.


Cover Reveal: "Battle for Cymmera"

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Book Review: "The Reluctant Duchess" by Roseanna M. White


The Reluctant Duchess
Roseanna M. White

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Lady Rowena Kinnaird may be the heiress to a Highland earldom, but she has never felt good enough—not for her father, not for the man she thought she’d marry, not for God. But after a shocking attack, she’s willing to be forever an outcast if it means escaping Loch Morar and the men who have jeopardized her life.

Brice Myerston, the Duke of Nottingham, has suddenly found himself in possession of a rare treasure his enemies are prepared to kill for. While Brice has never been one to shy away from manor-born ladies, the last thing he needs is the distraction of his neighbor, Lady Rowena, who finds herself in a desperate situation. But when the moody Earl of Lochabar tries to trap Brice into marrying Rowena, Brice finds he’s not as opposed to the idea as he expected to be.

Rowena wanted to escape the Highlands, but she’s reluctant to resort to marrying a notorious flirt just to gain his English home. And when she learns that Brice is mixed up in some kind of questionable business with a stolen treasure, she ’fears she’s about to end up directly in the path of everything she was trying to avoid.


After a horrible attack by her beau, Rowena feels hopeless. Her father is pressing her to marry her attacker, and there seems to be no way to contradict his wishes. That is, until her father and cousin concoct a plan to marry Rowena to a visiting duke. It is Rowena’s only hope to escape her suitor, but will she be fleeing into more danger?

The Reluctant Duchess by Roseanna M. White is beautiful! I enjoyed watching Rowena and Brice fall in love with each other. It took a lot of time and patience, especially because of the trauma and abuse Rowena had suffered and Brice’s secrets concerning the Fire Eyes. It was sweet and a little romantic with a bit of action twined in.

The story considered a number of interesting topics. Abuse, which is putting it mildly, was a dominant theme. Poor Rowena suffered so much, from both her father and her horrible suitor. It is a wonder she ever learned to trust Brice. Another topic was unwanted pregnancy. If Rowena became pregnant because of the attack, how would she and her new husband, who is not the father, treat the child? Would Brice kick Rowena and her babe out of his home? Or would they attempt to abort the child or leave the infant on the church doorstep? A third topic was supernatural things, namely, curses. It is a Christian story, and it asks whether curses are real and what a Christian’s reaction to them should be. The author addressed all of these topics and did a great job of weaving them into the story.

The one negative comment I have about the story is about the pace. Sometimes, I wanted to see parts of the story written out but they were skipped. For example, I would have liked to see Rowena meeting some of Brice’s family for the first time, which occurred not long after the wedding. But those days were skipped and summed up later. It was a little strange to see days and weeks at a time practically missing from the story.

In all, I really did enjoy The Reluctant Duchess and would recommend it to those who love sweet, historical romances, especially of the inspirational and Christian kind.

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

Book Tour: "Unplugged" by Donna Freitas

Monday, June 13, 2016

Cover Reveal: "Chasing Truth" by Julie Cross

A story of a girl who's in a family of con artists? Sign me up!
Welcome to the Cover Reveal for
Chasing Truth by Julie Cross
presented by Entanged Teen!
Read on for a special message from Julie!!
Special Note from the Author, Julie Cross:
I’m so excited to reveal this cover! I saw it months ago and not only loved it, but felt like I finally had something tangible to show the vibe of this story. Chasing Truth began as a teen romance featuring a girl with a unique past–she’s from a family of con-artists. Until recently, Ellie spent her entire life living under multiple identities, being everyone and anyone. So falling for new neighbor, Miles, as herself is brand new territory and that definitely creates a bit of a rocky relationship for my two leads. While the story is still built on all of that, it also evolved into a slightly different recipe as I wrote.
Chasing Truth is 1 part mystery/thriller, 1 part high school drama, 1 part family story, and 2 parts (maybe 3…) romance. If you’re a fan of the TV series Veronica Mars, you’ll find that Chasing Truth has a similar feel. I can’t wait for all of you to have a chance to the read the book in September, but for now, I’ll have to settle for showing off this beautiful cover!
At Holden Prep, the rich and powerful rule the school—and they’ll do just about anything to keep their dirty little secrets hidden.
When former con artist Eleanor Ames’s homecoming date commits suicide, she’s positive there’s something more going on. The more questions she asks, though, the more she crosses paths with Miles Beckett. He’s sexy, mysterious, arrogant…and he’s asking all the same questions.
Eleanor might not trust him—she doesn’t even like him—but they can’t keep their hands off of each other. Fighting the infuriating attraction is almost as hard as ignoring the fact that Miles isn’t telling her the truth…and that there’s a good chance he thinks she’s the killer.
add to goodreads
Book Title: Chasing Truth (The Eleanor Ames Series, #1) Author: Julie Cross Release Date: Sept. 6, 2016 Genre: YA Thriller/Mystery
Julie Cross_Author Photo
Julie Cross is a NYT and USA Today bestselling author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction, including the Tempest series, a young adult science fiction trilogy which includes Tempest, Vortex, Timestorm (St. Martin’s Press).
She’s also the author of the Letters to Nowhere series, Whatever Life Throws at You, Third Degree, Halfway Perfect, and many more to come!
Julie lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. She’s a former gymnast, longtime gymnastics fan, coach, and former Gymnastics Program Director with the YMCA. She’s a lover of books, devouring several novels a week, especially in the young adult and new adult genres.
Outside of her reading and writing cred, Julie Cross is a committed–but not talented–long distance runner, creator of imaginary beach vacations, Midwest bipolar weather survivor, expired CPR certification card holder, as well as a ponytail and gym shoe addict.
Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win a very limited, digital ARC of Chasing Truth, once it comes available (INT)

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Book Review: "Last Believer Chronicles: Chosen Child" by Anilyn Shaw


Last Believer Chronicles: Chosen Child
Anilyn Shaw

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Why can't I ever catch a break?! It wasn't enough that I was born into the lowest Caste in Chanro, and my family is one of the highest Castes. It wasn't enough that my life is over at 21 years old unless I can somehow get out of it, it wasn't enough that I am considered worse than the dirt that the other Magics walk on. Now, my teacher has decided that rather than live under the rule of the Master and Magic; which has been the rule for 6 centuries, she wants to follow a being called God, who has not been heard of for years! She's willing to go against everything that Chanro stands for, to stand up for God. She's speaking of crazy things, like forgiveness, mercy, and a person called Jesus Christ who supposedly saved all of us! It's crazy...isn't it? There's no way that it's true...is it? She wants to rope me into this and says that God's calling me for something more, but that can't be true...can it?

Buy Links:


Demona is the exact opposite of happy. Her life sucks! She was born into the lowest magical caste though her family is in the highest. Because of that, she is destined for ridicule, she can never marry or have children, and she is required to commit suicide at the age of twenty-one. Then, her friend discovers a Bible hidden in the walls of their ancient home that gives her hope and changes her attitude. Demona isn’t sure what to think about her friend’s mysterious book, but when she is offered the chance to spy on her friends in exchange for caste re-evaluation, she takes it.

The Last Believer Chronicles: Chosen Child by Anilyn Shaw was quite different than I imagined. It is set in a post-apocalyptic future where nature is nonexistent and nearly everyone has magic. Christianity has been forgotten in lieu of the “No-God Act,” and the people are united under The Master, otherwise known as Satan, who fuels the magic, and his underling, Runua Judas. I would describe this storyworld as “the epitome of evil” and I didn’t particularly like it. But I have to give the author credit because she did a spectacular job creating it!

The plot was pretty good, though. It follows Demona from her birth to the third most-powerful people on the globe to her transformation and calling as a Christian with a new name. Chosen Child is largely the story of a young woman struggling against God, evil, the society, and her own conscience. Because of all the mistakes she makes, Demona is not the most likeable character, but she is forgiven and changed.

Some of the other main characters were utterly inspiring. Demonica/Ruth and Julia/Gabrielle were beautiful in their faith, though not without fault. I found them the most relatable, me being a Christian from a Christian background. I fell in love with these characters and long for the following novel.

Also, there are a number of name changes. The characters’ name changes represented their internal renewal as Christians. It was a little confusing at first but I easily caught on because the characters’ personalities were so distinct.

Overall, I enjoyed this novel and would recommend it to lovers of Christian speculative fiction and allegory.

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

As a side note, I voiced several characters in the audiobook version of this book. Keep your eyes out for it!