Friday, February 28, 2014

Summer Rain Book Review

Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Summer McClain seemingly has it all—a doting mother and father, two best friends who stick closer than glue, and a grandmother who can cook the pants off any chef who dares to go up against her. Her world is perfect in every way—until tragedy strikes the core of her family.

When Summer thinks the worst thing in her life has happened, she’s dealt more blows that make her question her young faith. Her two best friends, who should be there to love her through her devastation, have personal issues of their own, and on top of that, a girl at school starts bullying her for no reason. Will Summer be able to withstand the heartache, pain, and pressure she has to endure?

In her debut novel, Summer Rain, Cherlisa Starks Richardson has woven together a gripping novel that shows the faith even a child must have to endure when challenged with the pain life sometimes presents.
Purchase: Amazon

My Review:

I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. “Summer Rain” is a wonderful story of faith, strength and trusting God even during the darkest moments of life.  It also dealt with many teen issues, like bullying and bulimia.

This book puts you on an emotional ride.  You feel Summer’s pain as she strives to pick up the pieces of her life that’s left after her father’s death.  Every time she thought she had as much as she could handle, something else would happen.  Although quite emotional, this is a great novel for any Christian Fiction fan, as it teaches us about forgiveness and God’s love. 


About the Author:

Cherlisa Starks Richardson is a graduate of Indiana State University and also has an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University. Mrs. Richardson is a motivational speaker and a school board member in her township. She and her family lives in Indiana. 




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Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Edge of Normal Book Review

Synopsis:

Reeve LeClaire looks like a typical 22-year-old girl, but she is anything but normal. Ten years ago, she was kidnapped and held captive for four years. After a lucky escape, she’s been rebuilding her life, thanks in large part to her therapist Dr. Ezra Lerner. When he asks Reeve to help mentor another girl rescued from a similar ordeal, the two bond very quickly. But the more Tilly confides in her, Reeve realizes she may not simply need to support this young survivor, but that she may be the only one who can protect her from a cunning predator who is still out there, watching her every move.

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble


My Review:

I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. "The Edge Of Normal" is an amazing story of strength, courage, and perseverance. Reeve LeClaire has been through quite a lot in her short twenty two years of life. She was kidnapped and held captive when she was 12 years old, and by chance was found about 3 years later. She was traumatized, raped and abused. Now another young girl has been found. Will Reeve fight her demons to help this young girl heal?

This book put me on an emotional rollercoaster. The descriptions were so vivid, it was like reliving the story in your mind's eye. You see the main character grow from victim to survivor, and her emotions move from fear to anger as she becomes determined to find the other two missing girls. I was completely engrossed from start to finish as I wondered if they would realize who the kidnapper actually was. This was a great book with edge of your seat excitement, a must read for every crime thriller fan!

About Carla Norton

Carla is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Perfect Victim: The True Story of the Girl in the Box, which the FBI put on their Behavioral Sciences Unit reading list. She served as the special sections editor for the San Jose Mercury News and has written for numerous publications. She has an MFA from Goddard College and has twice served as a judge for the Edgar Awards. The Edge of Normal, which won a Royal Palm Literary Award for best unpublished mystery, is her debut novel. She lives in California and Florida. 
Visit her website

 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Prince of Wolves Book Review

Prince of Wolves (The Grey Wolves, #1)Prince of Wolves by Quinn Loftis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Synopsis:

Jacque Pierce was just an ordinary 17-year-old girl getting ready to start her senior year in high school in Coldspring, Texas. When a mysterious foreign exchange student from Romania moves in across the street, Jacque and her two best friends, Sally and Jen, don't realize the last two weeks of their summer are going to get a lot more interesting.

From the moment Jacque sets eyes on Fane she feels an instant connection, a pull like a moth to a flame. Little does she know that the flame she is drawn to is actually a Canis lupis, werewolf, and she just happens to be his mate; the other half of his soul.

The problem is Fane is not the only wolf in Coldspring, Texas.

Just as Fane and Jacque are getting to know each other, another wolf steps out to try and claim Jacque as his mate. Fane will now have to fight for the right to complete the mating bond, something that is his right by birth but is being denied him by a crazed Alpha. Will the love Fane has for Jacque be enough to give him the strength to defeat his enemy, will Jacque accept that she is Fane's mate and complete the bond between them?


Purchase: Amazon 

My Review:
 
Jacqueline Pierce and her two best friends, Jen and Sally, are preparing for their senior year of high school. Jacque had recently abruptly broken up with her boyfriend of two years, Trent. One moment he's crazy in love and the next, he says he doesn't want to see her anymore. He was the love of her life and she feels as if she will forever be heartbroken.

Then Jacque's neighbor, the Henry's have decided to have a foreign exchange student for a year. Little did they know that his stay will turn Jacque's world upside down. You see, not only is Fane Lupei a drop dead gorgeous seventeen year old from Romania, but he only has eyes for Jacque. Not only that, but Fane is next in line to be Alpha of the Romanian Canus Lupis. Yes, you read it correctly, the hottie is a werewolf!

This was a quick, action packed read. I loved the soul mate inference for werewolves, I thought it made the story that much more romantic. My favorite character was definitely Jen, the things that came out of that girl's mouth were just so off the wall funny. The closeness of Jacque and her friends was just so beautiful and realistic, I could actually picture it. I also enjoyed the way the story was written. It was so down to earth, it was like being a fly on the wall instead of reading a book. This was an awesome werewolf novel, that was also a fun read. If you like light reads or werewolves, this is a great story for you!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Have Mercy Book Blast

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Content Warning: This naughty yet hilarious story explores the complex subjects of identity, stigma, and sex work. The issues of passing and colorism within the African American community are lightly explored. Due to the coarse language and explicit sex scenes, this story is intended for readers over the age of 18. Mercy Higgins. Cantankerous Widow. Prized Teacher. Beloved Escort. In an industry where erotic skills matter, she sucks. But, not in a good way. Mercy is a cantankerous fifty-eight year old African American widow who still mourns the deaths of her husband and stillborn daughter. When catastrophic medical bills threaten her retirement savings, Mercy decides that morality is left to those who can afford it, and she becomes a prostitute hoping to earn money to settle her debts. To garner a client list, Mercy hosts evening soirees, and her house unjustly earns the label of Washington D.C.’s newest brothel. Soon drawn into Mercy’s mad scheme, her middle-aged tenants revel in the spotlight their notoriety has created. As they navigate the murky waters of social stigma and wield the mercurial moods of their powerful clients, the ladies will test their moral limits and sexual boundaries. Particularly for Mercy, as she handles a young, new—and White—client, Major Jackson Ransom, who is hell-bent on having the older woman, even if it means barreling through her emotional barriers to get to her heart.

B&N | Amazon

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About the author:

My name is Siobhán (pronounced Shi-vaughn). I am a thirty-plus single female who lives and works in the Puget Sound region. I was born in California, reared in the Midwest, and spent time in Clongriffin, Co. Dublin, Ireland. For some reason, I have degrees in Medieval History, Law, and Sociology (emphasis: race and conflict studies). During the day, I’m a social worker working with children and families; during the night, I write stories as an avenue to control my stress and anxiety disorder. Because I am a former military brat, all of my stories tend to involve veterans and/or their families. I dabble in multiple genres, but what ties together my stories are the themes of racialism, racism, identity, and/or stigma.

Follow the author: Website | Facebook | Literary Addicts

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Ember Book Review

Ember Reviews

Ember (Jinn Trilogy Book One) by Liz Schulte

Holden told Olivia it was only a matter of time before Hell came for them. After all, one doesn’t just walk away from the life he lived unscathed, but the longer Hell waited, the more Olivia let down her guard. She believed maybe happily ever after was possible—he knew it wasn’t. But when Baker shows up beaten and bloody on their doorstep with a message, all hope evaporates. The jinn make Holden an offer he can’t refuse: convince Olivia to free them all and the jinn will fight Hell alongside them. However, if their past has proved anything, it’s that the jinn cannot be trusted. When Olivia starts hearing a voice that no one can identify and Baker isn’t acting like himself, he is forced to make a decision. With Heaven staying hands off, Holden considers accepting the jinn’s offer behind Olivia’s back. One thing is clear, with their lives and the lives all those they hold dear at stake, something has to be done. If it were as easy as Holden going back to the jinn, he would do it in a heartbeat, but Hell wants more than his soul this time—they want Olivia’s too.

My Review 

I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. Olivia is a fallen Angel in love with Holden, as freed Jinni. She thought they were finally free, even started to let her guard down. But Holden knew that eventually Hell would come after them. The battle begins when his best friend, a shape shifter, is returned to him battered with a message from the Jinn. Will Olivia merge with her Angel and be powerful enough to save them? Who is really after her?

This book was an amazingly creative fantasy. I loved the fact that it's in modern day and these awesome characters are among us. The characters were believable and easy to connect with. The story was quite intriguing and kept me on the edge of my seat. I was really sad to see the story end, especially since it was a cliffhanger, but I look forward to revisiting Olivia, Holden, Baker, and Femi in book two, and I honestly can't wait!

About Author Liz Schulte

Many authors claim to have known their calling from a young age. Liz Schulte, however, didn’t always want to be an author. In fact, she had no clue. Liz wanted to be a veterinarian, then she wanted to be a lawyer, then she wanted to be a criminal profiler. In a valiant effort to keep from becoming Walter Mitty, Liz put pen to paper and began writing her first novel. It was at that moment she realized this is what she was meant to do. As a scribe she could be all of those things and so much more. When Liz isn’t writing or on social networks she is inflicting movie quotes and trivia on people, reading, traveling, and hanging out with friends and family. Liz is a Midwest girl through and through, though she would be perfectly happy never having to shovel her driveway again. She has a love for all things spooky, supernatural, and snarky. Her favorite authors range from Edgar Allen Poe to Joseph Heller to Jane Austen to Jim Butcher and everything in between.
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Monday, February 17, 2014

Conflicting Hearts Book Blast

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conflicting hearts newSynopsis:

Rachel Hayward hoped to have a quiet thirtieth birthday alone. Instead, fate had different plans. Caught in traffic and late for work, Rachel takes her eyes off the road to gawk at an accident and rear-ends the car in front of her. Sick over having ruined her day, she lowers her head and waits for the driver to begin a tirade over her stupidity. Instead, a kind man taps on her window showing genuine concern. The brief colliding encounter suddenly starts a relationship between two strangers that takes off under odd circumstances. When intimacy begins, their relationship turns into a conflicting set of needs. Ian is tenderhearted and respectful, but Rachel desires aggressiveness from a man. The clash of desires threatens to tear them apart. As a result, she is faced with the decision to leave the man she loves or finally confront the painful secret of her childhood.  

Author Notes: Conflicting Hearts touches on a taboo subject, but one that is very real to many adult women in today's society. Statistically speaking, the shocking reality is that one out of every four girls will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday. Though this is a fictional work, that actually documents a factual event in another person's life, it has the power to open the eyes of readers to better understand those who have suffered abuse as a child. Written with a sprinkle of humor, believable characters, brutal reality, and sizzling romance, it is a book that some claim should be read by every woman. In the end, healing and healthy relationships are possible for those victims who seek help.

Amazon | B & N | Apple | Kobo | Sony

Author Bio

J. D. Burrows also writes under the name of Vicki Hopkins, who is an award winning and best selling author of historical romance. She started her writing career somewhat late in life, but can attest to the fact that it is never too late to follow your dreams. Her debut novel was released in 2009, and five books later, she doesn't think she will stop any time soon. With Russian blood on her father's side and English on her mother's, she blames her ancestors for the lethal combination in her genes that influence her stories. She lives in the beautiful, but rainy, Pacific Northwest with a pesky cat who refuses to let her sleep in. Her hobbies include researching her English ancestry and plotting her next book.

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Prison of Lies Book Review


Almost without his notice, Tom had slipped from childhood through adolescence and then into young adulthood woefully unprepared for that transition. Both his childhood and his adolescence had been hells of isolation and rejection. And there had been no emotional support at home either. His only tranquility had been the wilderness, to which he escaped whenever possible.

But this is only the set up for the real hell which was to follow, coming in the guise of a beautiful and seemingly innocent young women named Mary. Schooled in etiquette, God, and discipline, she was equally skillful at secrecy and pretense. And unable to see behind her subtle facades, Tom mistakes her demure reserve for shyness and under that illusion, he tumbles into a deep, undying love, into which inexorably pour all of his pent up needs and desires. The delusion is only broken when Mary suddenly reveals a cold indifference to his emotions. Then upon dispatching him with sudden sly cruelty and consummate betrayal, she immediately vanishes behind a veil of silence.

In this explosive coming of age story we are taken down the rabbit hole of unrequited love and rejection, where in the depths of despair, Tom must wrestle with the devil of his darkest emotions and deny that devil his every temptation to commit heinous acts of evil. There is no rape or murder beyond the wild imaginings of Tom, who in the aftermath of Mary's brutality, goes completely psycho, in this nightmarish book of tragic love. In fact, it is almost miraculous that those atrocities do not happen, given the intensity of Tom's rage.

In witnessing Tom's struggle, however, we are brought to a better understanding of human sexuality, how people can be driven to violence, and why people sometimes die by suicide. As Tom makes a slow and arduous climb out of his abyss, we learn how to survive heartbreak and emotional abuse. Launching into psychotherapy, he begins the process of peeling back the onion to find his hidden demons. During this painful process he struggles with an inability to forgive himself for becoming a victim, and in equal part, an inability to forgive the ghost of Mary, for her profound cruelty and dishonesty. But with the scepter of suicide ever lurking, it becomes increasingly clear how much his very survival depends on his letting go of his anger and letting go of the past.

You may prefer to skip the foreword (written by and intended for professional therapists) and advance to the beginning of the story, which holds some of the books first cryptic poems that hint of lost love. They are descriptive of the struggle to come.

In order to come to terms with what has befallen him, Tom must first confront the reality of what had happened and thereby break the spell. To do this he must deeply examine every nuance and motivation of the personalities involved. Ultimately his quest for serenity will bring him to truths about human nature that are so simple and fundamental, they are perhaps universally understood by every fully formed adult. But to Tom's inner child, these truths have been consistently denied and unacknowledged.

A Prison of Lies is an unblinking look at the emotional development of a pathological mind. At times it is frightening and disturbing but it is also heroic and enlightening. It offers perhaps a unique Rosetta Stone for understanding many outcomes of mental illness with a clarity that can only be told by someone who has made that passage.

A Prison of Lies is a new kind of book on mental illness. Unlike many fictions which only use mental illness as a device to drive the plot, A Prison of lies plunges into the heart of the illness and keeps its focus there. And unlike nonfiction books on the topic, which tend to be dry and clinical, this book is a gripping read.
Buy the book from...
Author's Site,     Amazon.co.uk,     Amazon.com

My Review:

I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.  "Prison of Lies: A Journey Through Madness" is a moving story of one man's battle with mental illness.  Tom had grown up an awkward, uncoordinated child, he also had problems fitting in and making friends.  Now, he's in college, and he feels even more alienated because of his naivety, he is abundantly aware that he isn't as advanced as the other kids he is around.  When he meets Mary, he falls head over heels in love with her.  When things begin to go sour, he's unable to let go and he begins to lose touch with reality.

This was an eye opening novel about what goes on in one's mind as they begin to travel the dark path of mental illness.  Although enlightening, this was a difficult read.  My heart broke for Tom as he was repeatedly rejected by his roommates and peers alike. As I read, I continually wondered why no one saw this coming, but I guess it's because he didn't really get close to anyone.  I'm glad that he sought help and I hope he has finally been able to have the closure he so desperately needed. This is definitely a must read if you want an inside view of mental illness.
About the Author
As this fiction is inspired by his own struggle with mental illness, Robert Thomas Doran is grateful to god for helping him recover from mental illness. Today he lives in Pennsylvania with his wife of fifteen years. A Prison of Lies was written as an act of faith and with the hope of helping others afflicted with mental illness.

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"A Prison of Lies is a powerful and eye opening novel. In reading it, I was compelled to imagine myself and my loved ones in Thomas Doran's shoes. It was painful to experience his struggle to break free of the demons that engulfed him, and to witness that inner war, much of which was fought without any outside system of support. Having read this book, I hope to be more aware of my own words and actions. We are often unaware of how deeply our words and actions are impacting others. Definitely a good read for the soul." - Cheryl Snoha 

"Robert Doran has painted a gripping, detailed mural of the progression of mental health illness. He depicts a torn canvas of a damaged youth, the downward spiral that ended in a nervous breakdown during his early adulthood, and his courageous yet painstaking road to recovery. The dark world Doran portrays within the mind of the protagonist and about mental health illness will introduce people to ways of thinking that are rarely spoken of out loud. Moreover, the book promises the idea that such problems can be overcome." - Chad Coren, PsyD

"I would recommend this book for anyone who has a loved one suffering from mental illness who would like to know what is going on. I would also hope that it could be offered to young people. If I had read this book at 18 I might have known what the signs were and had a better idea of how to offer help. I would have been better prepared for life and been of more use to people who were dear to me." - Robert C. La Mont

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I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Runaway Daughter Book Review


Synopsis:
Kamada, Tara's daughter, lives in a world of magic. A world of gremlins, fairies, an airavata-a spotless white elephant with four tusks and seven trunks-and talking magical entities shield her from a society where strange men act like they own the women walking down the street and where her mother sells her body in exchange for a life of luxury. Kamada knows she doesn't belong here. She is on a mission to escape the dirty streets of gritty Bombay and her mother's house, which feels like a prison. Only her magical friends, a parrot astrologer who tells of the future, and a neighboring family know that her dream is to leave home to study in America. As she plans her escape, Kamada's world is turned upside down when her mother reveals a secret and she must struggle to get the education she envisions.
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble 

My Review:
I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. “The Runaway Daughter” is a beautiful coming of age novel.  Kamada has great plans and big dreams of leaving her home in Bombay, India.  She feels the need to escape the crowded, dirty city, and the life her mother leads as a prostitute.  What keeps her sane is her overactive imagination, and the stories she makes up to help her. When her mother reveals a secret she has kept from her, Kamada will stop at nothing to make her dream a reality.

This was such a poignant story.  I can’t imagine growing up and having no one want me, but this was the case for Kamada.  Her imagination was a bit to the extreme though, at some points I began to wonder if she was losing her mind.  She teaches us to follow our dreams and never give up.  I enjoyed this coming of age story and I’m sure you will too.

About the Author:
Juliet Philip grew up doodling and scribbling whatever thoughts came to her mind. Growing up in coastal Bombay, India, Juliet moved to America after graduation. She now lives with her husband and their beige-colored stuffed dog in Herndon, Virginia. The Prostitute’s Daughter is Juliet’s first novel.
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