Category Archives: Reviews

Blog Tour: Mounting the Whale by Colleen McCarty

Mounting the Whale by Colleen McCarty  Official Blog Tour

Click here for the tour schedule.


The self-made and affluent Pierce family is hurled into a seamy kidnapping plot when they receive a text message from Janine—the most troubled of all the Pierce children.

Cartel got me, tell mom

The siblings, drowning in their own problems, are forced to focus on the task at hand: a half-cocked rescue mission that involves a borrowed yacht, a favor from a notorious drug kingpin, and a shocking reunion none of them expected.

When the family decides to sneak into Mexico, mother Cybil is forced to deal with a rival CEO whom she’s developed feelings for in secret. Her only son, Tom, is willing to risk bodily harm to save Janine while his other sisters, Carlyle and Valerie, suspect that the kidnapping is less than legitimate.

The long sea voyage tests the limits of the family’s already frail bonds. Dark secrets of infertility, drugs, gambling and extreme taxidermy begin to float to the surface. But nothing compares to what they begin to learn about their missing sister.

If they’re going to make it out alive, they have to recognize they’re fighting the same battles and facing life’s greatest challenges: love, loneliness, and the struggle to find a place in the world.

You can purchase Mounting the Whale at the following Retailers:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I think I always knew I wanted to write, but kept trying to talk myself out of it. In college, I enrolled as an English major, but quickly switched when I realized I had no idea how I would make a living as an English major. I switched to something business-y.

I became an entrepreneur, opening two restaurants and a publishing company before my 28th birthday. But I always felt a tug. It wasn’t that I didn’t love helping people publish their books, and it wasn’t that I didn’t love marketing for my husband and I’s restaurant (Mod’s Coffee and Crepes, bee tee dubs)—there was just something missing.

When I would tell a story to a group of friends, or get really into a great book for example, I felt more alive. Something inside clicked on. So, even though I had a brand new baby (EVA!) and two businesses to run, I started trying to tell a story that I had been thinking about. Most of my writing was done after everyone had gone to bed, between 9pm and 12am, usually. I had a lot of help along the way, but 8 months later it was done.

Now, almost 12 months later, I’m ready to put this baby out into the world. And, I hope you’re ready too. It’s happening December 5th, 2013. There will be lots of ways to get involved, stay tuned here, or sign up for the newsletter (in the top right corner) to get up-to-date info on the book launch.

Love to one, friendship to many, goodwill to all.

Website
  

REVIEW: I love the simplicity of the cover. The simplicity is anything but indicative of the storyline (and yet you’ll understand the cover after you’ve read the book). There is nothing simple about this book. It’s filled with action, adventure and comedy. I was drawn to this book because I’m always interested in all things cartel or organized crime; I was not disappointed.

The dysfunctional family makes the characters relatable, because whose family is perfect. There where times when I felt so bad I wanted to cry and others when I laughed so hard I did cry. The story line is fresh and the characters are interesting and somehow familiar.

Colleen McCarty’s first novel is a must read. Once I started reading I couldn’t stop. I was so invested in the characters that I felt a little sad that I wouldn’t be apart of their chaotic lives once I finished the book. 

GIVEAWAY

3 Winners will receive a Signed Copy of Mounting the Whale by Colleen McCarty.
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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Game Plan by Natalie Corbett Sampson

Game PlanTitle: Game Plan

Author: Natalie Corbett Sampson

Publisher: Fierce Ink Press Co-Op Ltd.

Published: November 19, 2013

Summary (from Goodreads): “Poignant, well-paced and compassionate, Game Plan is an achingly real look at how two families cope when life doesn’t go as planned.” Tish Cohen, bestselling author of The Truth About Delilah Blue and Inside Out Girl.

Just because the play goes wrong, doesn’t mean you quit the game.

Ella Parker seems to have everything: great friends, an awesome family and a star position on her high school basketball team. The only thing missing from her life is a boyfriend. That changes once she catches the eye of Sam Cleveland. With Sam by her side Ella has it all. When a drunken night results in an unwanted pregnancy, her perfect life is turned upside down and she’s faced with an impossible decision.

Katherine Frayne has always wanted to be a mother. But with the last results of her in vitro fertilization pointing to no chance of a baby, her hopes are dashed. Then her husband Danny suggests they adopt. At first Kat is resistant, but she soon warms to the idea.

Ella and Katherine must navigate their lives amidst tough decisions, the consequences of which not only affect them but those they love the most.

Review: When I was first approached to review this book, I was reminded of the movie Juno–the unexpected pregnancy, infertility and adoption. However, this is a surprisingly fresh and new story. While it has all those elements, Sampson has presented each struggle in a unique way. This book will appeal to both young adults and adults alike since the topic is mature. I laughed and cried my way through the book. It was a quick read because I just had to know what was going to happen next. While I have to admit that beginning was a little slow, Sampson does an excellent job developing her characters and letting the reader get to know them before all the action takes place. Each character’s reactions and feelings are spot on.

The Author

 

Giveaway

Enter to win  one eCopy (format chosen by the winner) of Game Plan  by Natalie Corbett Sampson.

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Student Review by Lauren L.: The Diviners by Libba Bray

The DivinersTitle: The Diviners
Author: Libba Bray
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Published: September 18, 2012
Genre: Thriller/Mystery
Series: The Diviners #1
The 2nd book in the series, Liar of Dreams is expected to be published March 11, 2014.
Summary (from inside cover): Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.

Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.

As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.
Lauren’s Review: Normally I stay away from any kind of frightening text, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I loved everything about it from its suspenseful tone, to the setting in the roaring twenties in New York City. In this novel, many dark, twisted things occur. It seems as though innocent people are murdered every other chapter, and the well-written but graphic images can be too much to handle at times. For these reasons, I do not recommend this book for the  faint of heart. However, thrill seekers will be captivated by the horrifying tone, and unlike me, they will sleep comfortably without any nightmares. Regardless of its length (523 pages), I could not put this book down.  When I learned that the second book in the series, Liar of Dreams has not yet been released,  I was frustrated because my urge to continue this story was and is insatiable. This novel made me feel uncomfortable at times, but the paranormal occurrences were just enough to keep me turning the next page.

 

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Audiobook Review: This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

This Is What Happy Looks Like

Title: This is What Happy Looks Like

Author: Jennifer E. Smith

Publisher: Poppy

Published: April 2, 2013

Summary from (Goodreads):

If fate sent you an email, would you answer?

When teenage movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends small town girl Ellie O’Neill an email about his pet pig, the two seventeen-year-olds strike up a witty and unforgettable correspondence, discussing everything under the sun, except for their names or backgrounds.

Then Graham finds out that Ellie’s Maine hometown is the perfect location for his latest film, and he decides to take their relationship from online to in-person. But can a star as famous as Graham really start a relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie want to avoid the media’s spotlight at all costs?

Review: I’m a sucker for books with great covers. When I saw this cover, I knew I had to read it or in this case listen to it. I liked that there were two narrators (one for the chapters about Graham and one for the chapters about Ellie). I was drawn in by the emails that the two send at the beginning of the novel. It was a nice change of pace from regular prose. Both characters are extremely likable and each has their own quirks. I really enjoyed the Hollywood aspect of the novel. With all the reality shows and glamorizing of movie stars, it was nice to have one painted as a normal teen (who isn’t all about the fame). The pacing was perfect. Smith does an excellent job of unfolding past drama as she reveals the current storyline. This is a cute love story with a twist. The one thing that kept running through my mind as I listened, was why doesn’t Colorado have a “state treat”? Hmm…I wonder how we get that to happen.

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Blog Tour: Destiny (Destiny Trilogy #1) by Cindy Ray Hale

Destiny Banner 1.2
This is my stop during the blog tour for Destiny (destiny Trilogy #1) by Cindy Ray Hale. This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours . The blog tour runs from November 5 till November 25, you can view the complete tour schedule on the website of Lola’s Blog Tours

DestinyDestiny (Destiny Trilogy #1)
By Cindy Ray Hale
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: November 5, 2013

Blurb:
Destiny Clark, a young Mormon girl living in Tennessee, is wildly infatuated with Isaac Robinson, the headmaster’s son at her Baptist high school. When they’re cast together in the school’s production of Les MisÈrables, Destiny is horrified to find that she has to be publicly humiliated by acting out her true feelings of rejection onstage.

As their rehearsals begin, Destiny realizes the unimaginable: Isaac has developed deep feelings for her despite their religious differences and the fact that he has a girlfriend.

But will they be able to find their place amongst the backbiters of their ultra-conservative world?

Weaving around Destiny and Isaac’s alternating viewpoints, Destiny is the first book in a series inspired by the characters of Les MisÈrables and explores heartbreak, self-discovery, intolerance, and love.

You can find Destiny on Goodreads

BUY LINKS:
Amazon Kindle | Amazon Paperback | Smashwords |Nook

You can watch the book trailer here:

About the Author:Official Author pic
Wife. Mother. Writer. Cindy Ray Hale lives in Murfreesboro, Tennessee with her husband and four children. In addition to being a writer, sheís an avid reader and a social media junkie. She starts her morning by writing with a freshly-blended berry spinach smoothie next to her. Sheís obsessed with Les MisÈrables, playing the piano, and stalking up-and-coming musicians on YouTube. Destiny is her first book and will be available for purchase November 2013.

 

 

 

You can find and contact Cindy here:
Website  Website for Destiny Blog  Facebook |Twitter |Goodreads  |Google+  Pinterest

Review: This was an easy and quick read. I completed the whole book in one day. Once I started reading about Destiny, I couldn’t stop. It’s an interesting and heartbreaking dilemma that Destiny finds herself in. The thing I enjoyed most about this story is that while it deals with religion, it’s mostly a story about forbidden love. It’s really a classic tale of narrow-mindedness keeping two young people from being together. I was reminded of Romeo and Juliet, yet with a much happier ending. In addition to a great love story, Destiny is chock full of tidbits about religions that I didn’t know much about. But more than that, Hale does a fantastic job developing interesting family dynamics. Each character has extremely real, and sometimes upsetting, family situation. While I found some of the dialogue to be a bit forced, I thought this was a great debut novel. I’m interested to see where Hale takes the story next.

GIVEAWAY!

And there is a tour wide gveaway, here is what you can win:
Camp Boyfriend swag pack– A Destiny Swag Pack:including a signed copy of Destiny, a Destiny keychain, a t-shirt that says “I heart Destiny,” a Destiny bookmark.
– a $25 Amazon Gift Card
– Camp Boyfriend Swag pack.

For a chance to win enter the rafflecopter below:
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Audiobook Review: The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

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Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

FangirlTitle: Fangirl

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Published: September 10, 2013

Summary (from Goodreads): 

A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .

But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Review: After reading Eleanor & Park, I knew Rainbow Rowell would make me fall in love with another one of her books. WIthout sounding too much like a fangirl, I have to say that I absolutely love Rowell’s writing style and the characters she creates. Each character is so relatable. Whether it was a piece of me or piece of somebody I knew in college, I could understand and empathize with every character. This book has just the right combination of heartache and humor. I was whisked away back to my freshman year of college with all the difficult choices you have to make and ever-changing relationships. While I’m not a huge fan of fan fiction, I did learn a lot about it. It is an interesting genre of writing that gives so many the opportunity to write about the characters they love. I think what I loved most about the book was the delicate balance of romance and family issues. Cath is dealing with so much in her new college life but Rowell keeps family in the forefront.

If you have not picked up a book by Rainbow Rowell, I don’t know what you’re waiting for!

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