Spotlight: Caller 107

Title: Caller 107
Author: Matthew Cox
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Release Date: July 2014
Length: 212 pages
Series?: no
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Paranormal

Find the book: Website | Goodreads

Keep up with the tour! You can find the schedule here.

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*****Synopsis*****

When thirteen-year-old Natalie Rausch said she would die to meet DJ Crazy Todd, she did not mean to be literal.

Two years is a long time to be stuck between two people that want nothing more than to destroy each other. A tween crush on the larger-than-life jock from a local radio station is the only trace of a once-happy life ruined by warring parents.

Whenever WROK 107 ran a contest, she would dive for the phone, getting busy signals and dead air every time. She never expected to get through, but at least with her best friend at her side, it used to be fun.

Before her parents ruined that too.

Her last desperate attempt to get their attention, falling in with a dangerous group of older teens, goes as wrong as possible. With no one left to blame for her mess of a life but herself, karma comes full circle and gives her just a few hours to make up for two years worth of mistakes–or be forever lost.

*****Excerpt*****

Excerpt 5 (Chapter 3)
The hot shower helped her mood; the wall of silence that hung over breakfast and the ride to school did not. Mrs. Mendoza was off that day, and her mother’s culinary efforts were limited to dumping cereal in a bowl and carrying the unopened bottle of milk to the table. Even toast was a challenge. Natalie kept her arms folded and her gaze out the passenger side window. After last night, she wanted to stay as far away from Etan, Kevin, and Cory… even Jason, as she could. That had been far too close. She wondered if they had gotten away. The police cruiser had come in quiet; somehow, she set off a silent alarm. If they got pinched, she had no doubt they would drag her into it. After all, she was the one that set off the alarm.
After that night, she wanted―needed―comforting, but the only thing Mother offered was more yelling and derision. She should talk. Why did Mother do that to their family? What happened to the woman that she used to admire? By the time the car squeaked to a halt by the private school, Natalie was crying. She did not look over before getting out. As her boot hit the street, she froze; one hand on the door and her back turned. A sense of something wafted out of the car that made her pause. If Mother apologized for being a bitch, Natalie would fall apart right there―she might even apologize herself, perhaps even hug her. Was she going to say sorry? Come on, Mom, you can do it… please.
“Have a good day, hon. Please think about what you’re doing with yourself.”
Bitch. Slam.
Mother had no idea how shallow she was; much less see what she was doing to the people she supposedly loved. Natalie trudged through the courtyard, clinging to her backpack, ignoring the other kids trickling in just a little late. The massive front door guard offered an honest smile as she shrugged through the metal detector. For him, she managed to brighten up. He was the only one in this entire building that did not judge anyone.
“Morning Darius.”
“You a’ight?” Buttons threatened to spring off his white shirt as he leaned forward. The security guard hat tilted at an odd angle, balanced atop thick cornrows. “You don’t look so good.”
“I’m okay, just a fight with the bitch.”
He shook his head. “Y’oughta ‘spect yo’ momma, girl. Y’only get one.”
She frowned. “She doesn’t respect herself, why should I?”
Darius leaned against the wall, folding his arms with a resigned shake of the head; the stool protested his change of posture with an audible creak. Natalie wandered through the hall, pivoting through the flood of a sudden post-homeroom crowd as she continued on her way to her locker.
It had been a week since she had even bothered to open it; the combination took a moment to come back. 3-14-15. Pi… You are such a damn nerd. The door squeaked to the left. You’re better at nerd than you are at street punk. She frowned at the texts and notebooks. For no reason she could think of, the sight of them made her angrier with her mother. What did that lawyer do that made her father break contact? She put a hand on a thick calculus textbook, rubbing her thumb over the spine. She could pick herself up, try to start giving a shit again, but what was the point? A yearlong deliberate slide was a hard thing to pull out of, and repeating a grade would destroy any chance of early college admission.
Skipping senior year and going right to college was a prospect her father had been thrilled about; now, he did not even want to talk to her. She dropped a few books into the backpack and pushed the locker closed.

*****About the Author*****

Matthew S. CoxBorn in a little town known as South Amboy NJ in 1973, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Somewhere between fifteen to eighteen of them spent developing the world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, and The Awakened Series take place. He has several other projects in the works as well as a collaborative science fiction endeavor with author Tony Healey.

Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems (Chronicles of Eldrinaath [Fantasy] and Divergent Fates [Sci Fi], and a fan of anime, British humour (<- deliberate), and intellectual science fiction that questions the nature of reality, life, and what happens after it.

He is also fond of cats.

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

*****Giveaways!*****

There are TWO giveaways! There is a $25 Amazon GC AND a signed copy of Caller 107 up for grabs!

To enter the Goodreads giveaway, click here! 

Click here to enter the Rafflectoper giveaway!

Cover Reveal: Breaker

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This is the cover reveal for Breaker by Emma Raveling, the fourth book in the Ondine Quartet, an upper Young Adult Urban Fantasy series.

Title: Breaker
Author: Emma Raveling
Series?: Ondine Quartet #4

Find the book: Goodreads

 

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War. Prophecy. Freedom.

She fought for herself.
She fought for friendship and love.
Now, Kendra Irisavie fights for the survival of her world.


War rages on, leaving no one untouched. Destruction rips through elemental communities and terror flourishes in its wake. Suspicion soars, order fractures, and loyalties crumble despite Kendra’s desperate attempts to protect everyone she holds dear.

When an organized Aquidae army launches a series of merciless assaults, Kendra and her friends set out to end the bloodshed once and for all. With the fate of elementals hanging in balance, the Shadow and sondaleur hunt each other down in a brutal match of cunning and will.

Kendra has trained for this her entire life. But in a ravaged world where trust is scarce and no life is sacred, she soon realizes her battle may be against an invincible enemy and that her darkest days lie ahead.

Twists and turns shape her harrowing odyssey, leading to a stunning climax that challenges everything she believes in.

Torn between destiny and autonomy, Kendra must finally decide whether the cost of freedom is too high.

Heartbreaking decisions, turbulent alliances, and shattering revelations collide in Breaker, the explosive conclusion to the Ondine Quartet.

Previous Novels & Novellas:

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*****Mini Interview with the Author*****

Tell us about the covers in this series.

The main novels of the Ondine Quartet (Whirl, Billow,Crest, Breaker) have conceptual covers. Each cover’s imagery captures a particular theme or motif in the book, and the coloring conveys a sense of the story’s mood and emotional arc.

The shorter works/novellas in the series (Ondine,Chevalier, and Warrior Prince) are essentially character portraits and are told through the eyes of different characters in the series. Those covers use models.

The goal for Breaker’s cover was to visually convey high stakes, explosive energy, and a brilliant, sharp intensity.This is the epic finale to the series and everything that has happened in previous books has led to this moment.

Out of all the covers in the series, this one took the most amount of work. My designer and I went back and forth multiple times, going through several drastically different versions before finally arriving at the right imagery and coloring.

How does it feel to end a series?

It’s bittersweet. A part of me is thrilled to share the end of Kendra’s journey with readers. I’ve had the entire series planned since the very beginning so finally releasing what’s been in my head is a relief.

But the process of writing this final book has been a highly emotional one. There’s a personal attachment to the work itself. I’ve spent countless hours thinking and living with these characters and with this world over the past four years. It’s difficult to bring not only Kendra’s story, but my journey with her story,to an end.

Top 3 books?

Only 3?? Argh! There are so many books I love for different reasons and my list of favorites is always changing, depending on what’s going on in my life. Right now, if I had to name three, they’d be:

1. Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

3. And of course, the Harry Potter series

Top 5 movies?

1. Aviator

2. Mulholland Drive

3. The Matrix

4. The Breakfast Club

5. Okay, I couldn’t just pick five. So the last one is a tie between The Usual Suspects, Reservoir Dogs, Star Wars (ep. 4-6), and Catch Me If You Can.

Top 5 places in the world you enjoy visiting?

1. New York City

2. Tokyo

3. Paris

4. Kauai Island (Hawaii)

5. Berlin

Top 5 foods?

1. Fresh basil pesto – I’ll add this on anything

2. Sashimi (Japanese-style raw fish)

3. Dark chocolate

4. Jamón ibérico(Spanish ham)

5. And my terrible guilty pleasure: pizza

*****About the Author*****

Emma Raveling writes a wide variety of fiction for teens and adults. Hopelessly addicted to coffee and diet coke, she is the author of the Ondine Quartet and Chancer young adult series, and is currently working on the first book in her new Steel Magic series for adults.

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Blast + Giveaway: Hero’s Sword Series

 

Hero's Sword by M.E. Sutton

I have another great set of middle grades books featured today! Scroll below to check them out. 

*****About the Books*****

Power Play - Heros Sword - Book 1 by M.E. SuttonTitle: Power Play (Hero’s Sword Book #1) | Author: M.E. Sutton | Year published: November 20, 2012 | Publisher: Delabarre Publishing, LLC | Number of pages: 64 | Recommended age: 8 to12

All Jaycee Hiller wants to do is survive eighth grade. Mostly that means hanging with her friend, Stu, avoiding the cheerleading squad, secretly
crushing on Nate Fletcher, and playing her favorite video game, Hero’s Sword.

When she receives a new video game controller, Jaycee finds herself magically transported into the Hero’s Sword video game world. Survival takes on a whole new meaning. No longer battling with a plastic joystick, Jaycee picks up a real sword and bow & arrow and readies herself for battle.

Can she save Lady Starla’s rule in Mallory, keep herself in one piece, and maybe even learn something about surviving middle school?

Kids will love this fast-paced adventure novel and will cheer along with Jaycee’s thrilling adventures. What kid hasn’t dreamed of actually fighting and battling the villains in their favorite video games? Jaycee finds out if she has what it takes – and what she learns in the fantasy realm of Mallory impacts her mundane, middle school life in unexpected ways.

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBookstore | Kobo

Storm Clouds - Heros Sword - Book 2 by M.E. SuttonTitle: Storm Clouds (Hero’s Sword Book 2) | Author: M.E. Sutton | Publication Date: November 7, 2013 | Publisher: Delabarre Publishing, LLC | Number of pages: 76 | Recommended age: 8 to 12

Eighth-grader Jaycee Hiller is beginning to fear she only imagined her trip to Mallory. But when a rainy afternoon leaves her with hours of playing Hero’s Sword, her favorite video game, she finds herself drawn back into the game – literally.

STORM CLOUDS is the exciting second volume of the HERO’S SWORD saga – chronicling Jaycee Hiller’s trials in eight grade, and her exciting adventures in Mallory, the setting of her favorite video game. Jaycee enters the video game realm via a special controller and is caught up in the action of this fantasy realm.

In STORM CLOUDS, a valuable jewel belonging to the neighboring estate of Devin, the Sapphire Star, is missing, stolen at the Spring Consortium. Lady Starla stands accused of the theft. Devin’s demands are clear: return the Star or they will take it back by force.

Now it’s up to Lyla Stormbringer to find the Star and the thief. before Mallory finds itself at war.

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBookstore | Kobo

Wedding Bliss - Heros Sword - Book 3 by M.E. SuttonTitle: Wedding Bliss (Hero’s Sword Book 3) | Author: M.E. Sutton | Publication Date: July 17, 2014 | Publisher: Delabarre Publishing, LLC | Number of pages: 74 | Recommended age: 9 to 12

Jaycee Hiller (aka Lyle Stormbringer) has long sensed that Roger and Lady Starla belong together. When handsome and noble Perry Goodhaven shows up and wins Lady Starla’s affection, at first glance it seems a more fitting match.

However, those close to Lady Starla notice alarming changes after Perry’s arrival – Starla sleeps more often, is often lethargic when she is awake, and begins to defer important decisions to Perry.

With Roger falsely imprisoned, it’s up to Lyla Stormbringer to uncover the truth about the man positioning himself to rule Mallory with an iron fist.

WEDDING BLISS is the exciting third adventure of the HERO’S SWORD saga – chronicling Jaycee Hiller’s trials in eighth grade, and her exciting adventures in Mallory, the setting of her favorite video game.

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon

*****Buzz About the Books*****

Book 1: Power Play: Hero’s Sword (Vol. 1) features a relatable main character, fast-paced action, devious enemies, and an exciting plot that will absolutely capture the intended audience’s imagination. I think (and my daughter fully agrees!) that M.E. Sutton has hit on a winning series. I highly recommend Power Play: Hero’s Sword to all tweens, but to reluctant readers in particular, due to the ease of language, the video game setting, and the fast pace and physical length of the book at 64 pages.” ~ Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews

Book 1: “This is a fantastic read to inspire kids against giving up as well as keep their imaginations going because I totally see my son imagining this happening to him as he runs through the house with his sword (could be anything from wrapping paper roll to a stick) noises like he is in a sword fight. I can’t wait to finish reading it with him & continuing the series.” ~ Cassandra Lost in Books

Book 1: “This is a quick and fun read. The language is simple, so it is perfect for the intended audience of a middle grade child. It is full of action and I think kids will love the concept of falling into their favorite video game and living out the fantasy. “~ Bookworm Lisa

Book 2: “This second installment is even better than the first. The storyline has more depth, and more imagery to go along with this tale of adventure, drama, and even a little bit of fairy tale romance. I became more fascinated by the main cast of characters, cementing my interest in this awesome series. The writing style is spot-on for a middle grade adventure, and there is enough action, suspense, and mystery to keep the reader flipping the pages to find out what happens next. I highly recommend this series to fans of middle grade fantasy and video games. I definitely look forward to reading more by this author. ” ~ Toni @ My Book Addiction

Book 2: “This is such a fun series! My ten year old and I thoroughly enjoyed reading these together. I think it’s really special when you can find something worthwhile to read together. ” ~ Brooke Blogs

Book 2: I think many middle grade kids will enjoy reading about a kid their age falling into their favorite video game and living out the fantasy. It is perfect for kids who enjoy using their imaginations to escape the real world at times (and better to read about video games than to spend all day playing them!)~ Susan @ Mom Loves 2 Read

*****About the Author*****

Mary SuttonMary Sutton has been making up stories, and creating her own endings for other people’s stories, for as long as she can remember. After ten years, she decided that making things up was far more satisfying than writing software manuals, and took the jump into fiction.

She writes the HERO’S SWORD middle-grade fantasy series as M.E. Sutton and finds a lot of inspiration in the lives of her own kids. A lifelong mystery fan, she also writes crime fiction, including THE LAUREL HIGHLANDS MYSTERIES, under the pen name Liz Milliron. Her short fiction has been published at Uppagus.com, Mystericale.com (Fall 2013), and in LUCKY CHARMS: 12 CRIME TALES (December 2013).

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

*****Giveaway*****

There is a $25 Amazon Gift Card (or PayPal cash) up for grabs in Amazon 25 gift cardthis giveaway. Open internationally. Ends August 29, 11:59 pm, 2014.

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. The winner MDBR Book Promotion Serviceswill be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If a winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Mary Sutton and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

Cover Reveal: Spill

Title: Spill
Author: Randy Attwood
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Release Date: September 2014
Series?: ?
Genre: Humor, Political Satire

Find the book: Website | Goodreads

*****Synopsis*****

Think all politicians are creeps, the rules are locked in against you and the world is forever in the grip of big politics and Bigger Oil? Think again. Attwood has. SPILL is a what-if adventure, starting with a couple of insurgent citizens who con the establishment and get rich along the way. In Attwood’s world, all the old clichés are real and the system is rigged from the start – until it’s un-rigged by good guys bad to the bone – the funny bone. From page one to the end, SPILL enlightens, amuses and instructs us that, one day, someone just might game the system – and get away with it. Attwood, brilliantly, shows us how.

John Marshall is a veteran Kansas journalist, editor, publisher, and columnist whose reporting specialty is politics.

*****Cover!*****

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*****About the Author*****

­unnamed (1)Randy Attwood grew up at Larned State Hospital where his father was its dentist. He has been a journalist, director of PR at an academic medical center, and retired as Media Officer at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City. His fiction touches many genres. He has nine novels and two collections of shorter works published.

Find the author: Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Blast + Giveaway: Yefon: The Red Necklace

Title: Yefon: The Red Necklace (Volume I)
Author: Sahndra Fon Dufe
Publisher: Createspace
Release Date: April 2014
Length: 290 pages
Series?: Yefon #1
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction
Format: e-book
Source: Beck Valley Books Book Tours

Find the book: Website | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

5% from the sales of EACH hardcover copy of YEFON novel is going to one of the following charities:

LOURDES COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMS
BUI SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMS (MamaVerla Project)
WORLD LITERARY CRUSCADE
TERRERAI TRENT’s TINOGONA FOUNDATION (http://www.tinogona.org/)

*****Synopsis*****

A powerful, emotional tale of ambition and courage by Cameroonian-born Sahndra Fon Dufe, the Common Wealth of Nations recognized author of ‘Dear momma’. (2004)

Yefon: The RedNecklace (YRN) is the first book of the YEFON trilogy series. It will have you wrapped up with emotions you didn’t know you had!

Young tribal girl, Yefon Labam, knows she’s different.

During the 1950’s, in her Central African village, women are uneducated and are expected to either work on a farm or be one of many wives, but Yefon dares for more—she wants to learn how to read, even if looking at a book could mean her death. Although everyone thinks she’s an abomination, including her mother and sisters, her father knows she’s destined for greater things.

When he is murdered, Yefon clings to the gift he gave her for inspiration—a red necklace. She soon comes to realize that the necklace is no ordinary ornament, but a talisman crafted by the spirits. Yefon walks a dangerous path that could lead to her freedom…or her death.

THE TRILOGY BEGINS…..

*****About the Author*****

Cameroonian-born author, actress, humanitarian and business mogul Sahndra Fon Dufe is the young CEO of African Pictures International, and the co-founder of Gifted Minds Africa Foundation.

She works at exposing the history, culture, and truth about Africa, women and the spirit within. The remarkable actress has been featured in numerous feature films, and commercials, and presently lives in Los Angeles with her hunk of a man, a closet full of shoes and too many vintage clothes.

Sahndra spends her spare time perfecting her craft and soul-searching, on a journey to regain wholeness and cure the spirit. She also hunts for Egyptian artifacts, pieces which have captivated her imagination since childhood.

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

*****Giveaway*****

There is a giveaway for three (3) lucky winners to nab $15 Amazon GC or Paypal Cash (INT). Ends Sunday August 3rd @ 11:59 pm EST.

Go enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

*****Coming Soon!*****

The children’s book is coming soon!

Blast + Giveaway: The Pen Pieyu Adventures

Today I am spotlighting a chapter book series about Sir Princess Petra. Aren’t they adorable? 

Pen Pieyu Diane Mae Robinson

*****About the Books*****

Sir princess petra pen pieyu adventuresTitle: Sir Princess Petra (The Pen Pieyu Adventures Book #1) | Author: Diane Mae Robinson | Year published: 2012 | Publisher: Tate Publishing | Number of pages: 68 | Recommended age: 5+

 Princess Petra’s unusual birthday request sends the royal court into a frenzy, but when she agrees to undertake a knight’s quest they can’t stop her. Armed with a cake knife and outfitted in the best royal pots and pans, Petra sets off to face a dragon and win her real armor before encountering a bog witch, and an army of the kingdom’s worst enemies. Will Petra’s kindness and acceptance prove to be more valuable than weapons and armor?

Awards for Sir Princess Petra:

2012 Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist Award (Literary Arts).
2012 First Runner Up in the Purple Dragonfly Book Award in the Children’s Chapter Book category
2013 Honorable Mention in the Reader’s Favorite International Book Awards
2013 Finalist in the “50 Great Writers You Should be Reading” Award

Find the Book: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Tate Publishing

*****Video Preview ~ Book 1*****

Sir Princess Petra's Talent by Diane Mae RobinsonTitle: Sir Princess Petra’s Talent (The Pen Pieyu Adventures Book 2) | Author: Diane Mae Robinson | Publication Date: September 24, 2013 | Publisher: Tate Publishing | Number of pages: 92 | Recommended age: Read-aloud ~ 5+

Sir Princess Petra has already proven she is a kind and noble knight. This, however, does not please the king and queen—they want her to behave like a princess and forget this silly knight nonsense of hers! But when the king writes a new rule in the royal rule book that requires her to attend Talent School and acquire a princess talent certificate or suffer the spell of the royal magician, Petra, reluctantly, agrees to go. But who could have guessed what Sir Princess Petra’s Talent would be?

Awards for Sir Princess Petra’s Talent:

2014 Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards, finalist in three categories:

Children’s Fantasy SciFi
Children’s Grade K – 3rd
Children’s Grade 4- 6th

Find the Book: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Tate Publishing

*****Video Preview ~ Book 2*****

*****Buzz About the Books*****

Book 1: “I really feel that this little book is a gem. It is a relatively short book (70-ish pages) that can easily be read aloud to children in one sitting. My kids and I were completely captivated by this fun, adventure-filled tale about a very charming and unorthodox princess. I highly recommend this book to families with children under the age of 10 and as young as 5 who love a good tale filled with fairy-tale characters such as dragons, witches, princesses, and knights.” ~ Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews

Book 1: “I liked this book because it has a great story line and a great message about believing in yourself. Petra proves that she and all girls can be daring, adventurous and brave. I think Petra was a great character and I liked Snarls (the dragon) even better because he had good sense and dragons are just cool. The book is a beginning chapter book so there isn’t a lot of details in it but it tells a complete story. The black and white illustrations in the book are really great too. The book is part of “The Pen Pieyu Adventures.” I hope that means there will be more books about Petra coming out! This book is an awesome beginning chapter book and a great read aloud.” ~ Erik @ This Kid Reviews Books

Book 1: “Sir Princess Petra is one of those stories that will appeal to most everyone. It is charmingly funny. Petra sets out to prove she has what it takes to be a royal knight and proves she can do nearly anything. Snarls, the howling dragon, is endearing and lovable. If stuffed, sitting on a toy store shelf, every kid would want him. The story is short enough to be read in one sitting, say at bedtime. There are many opportunities for humorous, wacky, high-pitched voices, making Sir Princess Petra fun to read aloud. The author’s imagination is appropriately childlike. Petra is a child every parent will love. I know a child would have sweet, funny dreams after hearing mom or dad read this at bedtime.”~ Sue M. @ Kid Lit Reviews

Book 2: Sir Princess Petra’s Talent is precisely everything an early middle grade book should be with a multi-dimensional main character who is a great role model for young girls; a great supporting cast of unique and quirky characters; a plot largely driven through clever dialogue amongst the characters and involving much adventure and folly; and unexpected turns and twists that willleave parents and their children laughing out loud. ” ~ Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews

Book 2: “This is an adventurous story, which gets going from the very first page and doesn’t stop. The characters are all enjoyable, and the situations, although sometimes challenging for Princess Petra, are very appropriate for the age group.” ~ Tonja @ Bookworm for Kids

Book 2: “The[se books] are early chapter books, fun and suitable for children ages six and up. They move very quickly and are quite short, so I think they’d be particularly suitable for reluctant readers. I also think boys would enjoy these books as Sir Princess Petra thinks and behaves in the way I imagine most boys wish girls would think and behave – kind, down-to-earth, adventurous, and never squeamish or manipulative.” ~ Tina @ Mommynificent

*****About the Author*****

Diane Mae Robinson

Diane lives in a small hilltop castle nestled amongst a very old and magical forest. In this mystical forest, all the fantasy creatures one can imagine live and audition for parts in the author’s next book. Diane has a journalism diploma from the Schools of Montreal and an advanced diploma from the Institute of Children’s Literature. The author also teaches acrylic and watercolor art to children, and is a writing instructor at the Creative Writing Institute.

The author’s first book in this series, Sir Princess Petra, has won three prestigious awards, and was a finalist for another award. The author recently acquired an agent with Gotham Artists Agency in New York.

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

*****Giveaway*****

There is a $50 Amazon gift card (or PayPal Cash) up for grabs in this Amazon $50 Gift Cardgiveaway, plus a bonus second price of hardcover copies of both books. Open internationally. Ends August 28, 11:59 pm, 2014.

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. The winners will be randomly drawn throughMDBR Book Promotion Services the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winners will then have 72 hours to respond. If a winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Diane Mae Robinson and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

WWW Wednesdays (July 30)

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This is a weekly meme hosted by MizB @ Should Be Reading. To join in, click on the image above, and answer these three questions: 

What are you currently reading?

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What did you recently finish reading?

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I finished these three over the weekend! It was crazy reading two books in two days. That hasn’t happened in a quite a while.

Yefon: The Red Necklace is featured on the blog, and a review will be coming in mid-August. This was one of the books that kicked off my “I want diverse books” thoughts.

Life Interrupted will be reviewed the first week of August. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The Girls of August was one I snagged out of the deep crevices of my Kindle to complete one of my Bookish Bingo spaces. In some ways it fits the cliche women-beach-vacation, but there were quite a few things I did not expect out of this book. There’s a lot of ground and history of the women covered in the book, and I really want to know what happens to the Girls of August after this particular August.

What do you think you’ll read next?

These are the next two up on my list. I think I will enjoy Hobart and his friends on their misadventure. They will be back-to-back reviews in two weeks.

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How about you? Have you read or TBRed any of these? What are you reading this week? Please leave a comment with either the link to your own WWW Wednesday post, or share your answers in the comments here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks! 🙂

Review + Giveaway: Wild Iris Ridge

wildiris-300x201cbbtourhostTitle: Wild Iris Ridge
Author: RaeAnne Thayne
Publisher: Harlequin
Release Date: July 2014
Length: 352 pages
Series?: Hope’s Crossing #7
Genre: Romance
Format: e-book
Source: CBB Book Promotions

Find the book: Website | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

Welcome to my tour stop for Wild Iris Ridge by RaeAnne Thayne. This is an adult contemporary romance published by Harlequin.

The tour runs July 21-31 with reviews, author interviews and guest posts.To see all of the goings on for the Wild Iris Ridge tour, visit the tour schedule.

This book can be read as a stand-alone. Other titles from Hope’s Crossing are companion novels and each one is focused on a different couple from the town.

*****Synopsis*****

Wild-Iris-Ridge_author-photo-647x1024A big-city, high-powered advertising executive and a small-town firefighter learn that no matter where you started or what you’ve lost, if you open your heart, you can find joy and love again. WILD IRIS RIDGE is the latest book in USA TODAY bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne’s charming Hope’s Crossing series.

Lucy Drake and Brendan Caine have only one thing in common. And it’s likely to tear them apart. Because it was Brendan’s late wife, Jessie—and Lucy’s best friend—who’d brought them together in the first place. And since Jesse’s passing, Brendan’s been distracted by his two little ones…and the memory of an explosive kiss with Lucy years before his marriage. Still, he’ll steer clear of her. She’s always been trouble with a capital T.

Lucy couldn’t wait to shed her small-town roots for the big city. But now that she’s back in Hope’s Crossing to take care of the Queen Anne home her late aunt has left her, she figures seeing Brendan Caine again is no big deal. After all, she’d managed to resist the handsome fire chief once before, but clearly the embers of their attraction are still smoldering…

*****Review*****

Lucy returns to the only place she can really call home, Hope’s Crossing, where her father unceremoniously dumped her so many years ago with a kind and compassionate great-aunt. In Hope’s Crossing she also bonded with her cousin, Jess, and together they create an unshakable friendship.

Now, years later, Lucy has left the big city in somewhat of a disgrace, seeking shelter and refuge while trying to figure out her next move…and complete a wish of her aunt and cousin, even though she has no intention of staying in Hope’s Crossing.

Lucy plans to renovate her aunt’s house, Iris House, and turn it into a bed and breakfast, but Hope’s Crossing is not all a bed of roses for Lucy. Years ago, on a starlit night, Brendan Caine kissed Lucy. And she thought he hung the moon…until he started dating her cousin Jess two weeks later! Now, with Jess gone and two little ones left behind, godmother Lucy is trying very hard to be civil to Brendan, but abandonment is a hard spoonful of medicine to swallow.

But history will repeat itself when her father comes knocking once again.

This is not a typical romance novel, for a couple of reasons, and I liked that. First, Lucy sparked something with Brendan all those years ago…and then he married her best friend. I appreciated that Lucy was a flawed character and that she admitted trying to undermine Brendan in Jess’s eyes – all the way up to their wedding. Lucy’s animosity toward Brendan has been no secret, but with Jess as the buffer gone and no reason to keep it quiet any longer, it brings about the opportunity for the two of them to work through that, which is a process all the way through the book since day one when Lucy reappears in Hope’s Crossing.

The second thing that struck me was that Brendan Caine was the one ready to settle down, which is the root of all their issues sparking from that one night of passionate kisses…and hope. Another thing that stood out was that Lucy had her own dad busting down her door and had to deal with his parenting and parental issues.

Hope’s Crossing is also embellished with wonderful townspeople, and the Caine family and the mayor’s daughter (who is Lucy’s interior decorator AND a future Caine herself) add rich depth, familial life, loyalty and love to the book. The Caine family, the townspeople, and some of the conversations Lucy had with various townsfolk was what created the truly authentic feel of this novel. I fell in love with the Caine family. Dermet Cain, the father of the unruly bunch, is a man that I would love to meet in real life.

The small town, down home feel of this novel, interspersed with the characters that appear in the first six books, makes me want to grab up those first six books! The Caine family is one I have no problem getting to know better, and they are a welcome and refreshing set of characters themselves.

*****About the Author*****

Best-selling author RaeAnne ThayneUSA TODAY bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne loves words. This led her to a fifteen-year career in journalismas a newspaper reporter and editor. But through it all, she dreamed of writing the kind of stories she loved best, romance, and has since published more than 40 titles. RaeAnne finds inspiration in the rugged northern Utah mountains, where she lives with her hero of a husband and their children. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website.

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

*****Giveaway*****

Hopes-Crossing-Giveaway-BannerTWO WINNERS GET: 1 book from the Hope’s Crossing series, 1 beaded HOPE bracelet, 1 Iris necklace (US/CA).

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

 

Review + Giveaway: Pieces of Love

Pieces of Love banner

cbbtourhostTitle: Pieces of Love
Author: P.J. Sharon
Publisher: P.J. Sharon Books
Release Date: June 2014
Length: 289 pages
Series?: no
Genre: YA, Romance
Format: e-book
Source: CBB Book Promotions

Find the book: Website | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

To see all of the goings on for the Pieces of Love tour, visit the tour schedule. Be quick, because the tour will be over before you know it!

*****Synopsis*****

PJSharon_PiecesOfLove_HR-200x300Sixteen year-old Alexis Hartman wants nothing more than to play her guitar and get high, hoping to escape the pain of losing her sister. But when her second arrest for pot possession leads to her mother’s breakdown, Lexi is sent to stay with her grandmother for the summer. While embarking on a Mediterranean cruise hardly sounds like punishment, being forced to face her demons and falling for a guy she may never see again gives Lexi a chance to discover what it means to love someone—even when you have to let them go.

*****Review*****

Ah, pieces of love. We all have them…sometimes they just don’t fit together right, and we think we’re broken.

That’s exactly how Ali feels. She is a teen staggering under the weight of guilt and grief, and despite going to therapy, she’s slightly spiraling out of control. Her second arrest for pot sets of a catastrophic event in her house, and  her mother goes away and she’s shipped off to grandmother’s…by her cop stepdad.

Only, Ali’s wants don’t end there. In Malibu, she meets a guy on the beach, which later also ends with her being taken home in a police cruiser. That’s when her grandmother, obstinately making it clear that she is Maddie and not “Grandmother,” announces that they are actually going on a seniors cruise in the Mediterranean…for over two weeks! Most people would be excited to get a free ride and see another part of the world, but Ali is not too terribly grateful for this “punishment”…because she gets motion sickness, and on the flight, well, let’s just say YUCK.

And the boy who that YUCK adorns is none other than handsome young Ethan, very out of place on the cruise. In fact, he and Ali are the youngest on the ship! Like Ali, Ethan has his own troubles with his father to work through, and even though their first meeting was less than spectacular, Ethan and Ali start developing this bond over the course of the trip.

Now, I know this sounds cliche – even Ethan points that out to Ali at one point – falling in love on a cruise in an exotic place with little supervision – but it’s not…at least not all. See, what Ali carries around is for the most part what Ethan has worked through himself, and he acts in a lot of ways as a mentor to Ali to try to help her see everything she’s harboring inside, and let some of it go.

I’m not going to lie, Ali (or Lexi as Maddie calls her) is a self-centered, selfish, angry person. I can understand – I was too after this event. But as time went on and I grew up, I started realizing things on a grander scale, and Ethan is there to help Ali along with these realizations, or at least spark some ideas in her head to get her thinking. By the end of the cruise, after a very scary medical emergency, Ali has grown up a lot. In a way, this is a coming of age book, and she realized that all the pieces of love were there…she just wasn’t looking.

Maddie and Ethan – I have to tell more about them. Maddie is not your typical grandma – she did some interesting things in her younger days, and always took these trips with her late husband. She is a fiesty, funny, nose-in-your-business woman, but she tries guiding Ali and Ethan in the directions they need to go. She is kind, sweet, and loving…and she loves spending money! Ethan, on the other hand, has already tried doing just that to get his father’s attention, to no avail. He is a very mature, gentle and compassionate 18 year old kid. He has this charisma about him that is very appealing and  attractive, and catches both Ali and Maddie’s eye. I was very glad when Maddie invited Ethan to spend the cruise with the girls.

I struggled getting through this book to the 40% mark, I think in a lot of ways because PJ Sharon dangled bits and pieces of information about what Ali was holding inside, and I started getting frustrated. I also think my own parallel to Ali had me dragging my own feet for different reasons. But, I turned my Kindle sideways and magically it didn’t seem that I was trudging through a bog of mire. (I know I just compared this book to a bog of mire, but it’s not! I just couldn’t think of another metaphor.) I flew through the remainder of the book and craved the sights they visited in the Mediterranean.

This book covers some heavy emotional material, and having a similarity to the book, I thought at some point I’d cry, but I didn’t! I did, though, get very stressed at a few key scenes in the book. High emotion, high tension, WORDS.

I loved how the book ended. It brought meaning and life to some of the things that Ethan and Ali expressed to one another on the cruise, and overall it was a wonderful way to wrap up the book.

*****About the Author*****

PJ Sharon is the award winning author of contemporary young adult novels, including PIECES of LOVE, HEAVEN IS FOR HEROES, ON THIN 2013 RWA conference picICE, and SAVAGE CINDERELLA, winner of the 2013 HOLT Medallion Award and the 2013 National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award. She is excitedly working on The Chronicles of Lily Carmichael, a YA Dystopian trilogy. WANING MOON, Book One in the trilogy, was a finalist in both the 2013 National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence, and a HOLT Medallion Award of Merit recipient. Book Two, Western Desert released in June of 2013. Watch for Book Three in the fall of 2014.

Writing young adult fiction since 2007 and following her destiny to write romantic and hopeful stories for teens, PJ is a member of Romance Writers of America, CTRWA, and YARWA. She is mother to two grown sons and lives with her husband in the Berkshire Hills of Western MA.

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

*****Giveaway*****

There is Beach Bag & Swag (US) up for grabs in this giveaway.

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

Sunday Post (July 27)

Sunday PostThe Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news, a post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things received, and share news about what is coming up on the blog for the week ahead. To get in on the Sunday funday, see the rules here: Sunday Post Meme.  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This past week was a drag for me. I still cannot get back on my sleep schedule, and it’s wreaking havoc on my body. As I write this it is 4:30 in the morning, I’ve just finished two books in the last 24 hours, I just took a shower and did dishes…and I have not gone to sleep since my cat nap at three yesterday afternoon. I even took a melatonin at 7:30! You guys have any suggestions how to get me back to my normal grandma bedtime?

This week I also had it rough with Baby. Since summer is winding down and I’m going to be setting my classroom up within the next few weeks and getting back in the swing of things, I’ve been having to put Baby in her kennel. She can stay out for short periods of time, but we left her out once all day and she destroyed the comforter. I think she just gets bored. Anyway, she fought me to go in her kennel. She’d run into our bedroom, run into the bathroom to hide. As if I couldn’t see her! I’d get her in the living room and have to wrestle her into her kennel. It’s difficult because she put up a fight. Since she has webbed feet, I didn’t want to injure any of her paws…and then she started sticking her head back, up over the top of the kennel doorframe so that if I pusher her in, I’d choke her. I actually hurt my back the last time we went rounds. Despite having all the momma-baby time in the world, I have felt like shit all week since the last kennel incident…and Baby has made sure I know it. I couldn’t stand it so one day I took her for a ride. And by ride, I mean she gets to go down the street and through the drive-thru for french fries. (She inherited that wonderful craving from me.) This time I threw in a hamburger. And that night? Kisses and feet-licks for all!

…. But I still haven’t tried putting her in the kennel again. I made her eat in it one day, putting her food bowl in it to reacquaint her with her kennel, but I have the feeling that the next time will be the same as the last. Again, I ask you wonderful lovelies, any suggestions?

AAAAAND lastly….my grandpa got a second home visit before his move to a third facility that is over an hour away (all thanks to my “Christian” uncle). It was a short visit, thanks again to that “Christian” uncle who restricted his time out to only 4 hours, when his current facility is almost an hour away. Despite that, it was a good time and I hope more motivation for my grandpa. At least we can rest a little easier knowing there are no issues right now with his appetite – he ate two whole plates of food! This is only a very small representation of my family – three (of six) of his children, three (of five) spouses – my dad is standing right over my right shoulder with all his white hair puffing out of his hat, six (of seventeen) grandchildren – all in the middle row, and two (of 8, soon to be 9) great-grandchildren.

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Last Week on G1000W

This Week on G1000W

  • Monday – Review + Giveaway: Pieces of Love
  • Tuesday – Review + Giveaway: Wild Iris Ridge
  • Wednesday – Review + Giveaway: Yefon [The Red Necklace]
  • Wednesday – Blast + Giveaway: Sir Princess Petra Series
  • Wednesday – Cover Reveal: Spill
  • Wednesday – WWW Wednesday
  • Thursday – Blast + Giveaway: Caller 107
  • Friday – July Monthly Chit Chat
  • Friday – Feature Follow

Other Open Giveaways on G1000W

New Arrivals to Land of 1000 Wonders

These are just a few of the new things I got last week:

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Around Town in the Spotlight

Have you heard? Amazon has announced the new program Kindle Unlimited. Valerie covered it pretty well in her Hump Day post. It kind of pisses me off since I bought Amazon Prime right around the time I started up this book blog, and I searched and searched to find out how the Kindle Lending Library worked, and couldn’t, so I just bought Amazon Prime and found out I could only get one book a month, and now there is Kindle Unlimited! But I doubt I will be purchasing it.

Brittany’s post about her diversity as a reader hit on a point that I made some months back. Remember when I asked for help finding more diverse reads? Well, reading her post made me re-think that whole thing, but I am still going to do a month of diverse reads in the fall.

Laura shared her top 5 DNF books. What are your top DNF books?