Friday, December 19, 2014

Blog Tour ~ "An Uncommon Blue" by R.C. Hancock

Follow the Tour

An Uncommon Blue (Colorblind, #1)An Uncommon Blue by R.C. Hancock
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received from Publisher to review
Genre: YA Dystopia

Book Description:  In Télesphore, the glowing color of a person’s palm determines their place in society, and touching hands with another mixes the colors permanently. When sixteen-year-old Bruno accidentally kills a royal soldier, he goes from favored to fugitive. Now Bruno's only chance at survival is to become someone else. That means a haircut, a change of wardrobe, and most important, getting rid of his once cherished Blue. Now he’s visiting parts of town he never knew existed, and making friends with people he would've crossed the street to avoid only weeks ago. At the last minute, Bruno’s parents arrange a deal to clear his name and get his life back. All Bruno has to do is abandon those in the Red slums that look to him as a leader and let an innocent Green boy die in his place.



My thoughts: Bruno lives in a world where the quality of your life depends upon the color of you fire. He is a blue, as such he can live in the best neighborhood, become a surgeon, and be considered as a first class citizen.

On the day of a big rugby game and testing in school, Bruno meets a young boy who changes the color of his fire. He has been painted and through unfortunate events, becomes a fugitive.

I always enjoy a book where society has gone terribly wrong and someone realizes it and takes initiative to change things. Bruno becomes a reluctant hero. He didn't set out to be a catalyst for change, but finds himself in the position.

While the premise of the plot may sound confusing in the description, it makes sense the way that R.C. Hancock presents it. I found myself captivated in the story from the very beginning.

This is a great book for anyone who loves a dystopian story. There is action and a little bit of romance.  It looks like there are more books to come.  I look forward to reading more from R.C. Hancock.

This book is part of a Goodreads giveaway that closes  on January 10th!





About the Author:  RC (Really Cool) Hancock began his writing career with a story about a dead cat which his second grade teacher thought was brilliant. Convincing others of his literary genius has taken longer than expected, but along the road he has acquired a lovely wife, four entertaining ankle-biters (who, thankfully, look more like their mother), and a degree from BYU in Recreational Management & Youth Leadership (which means he’s really good at having fun.) An Uncommon Blue is his first novel.



"Forbidden" by Kimberley Griffiths Little ~ Tour Spotlight + giveaway

Forbidden
Blog Tour Schedule


Forbidden Kimberley


In the unforgiving Mesopotamian desert where Jayden’s tribe lives, betrothal celebrations abound, and tonight it is Jayden’s turn to be honored. But while this union with Horeb, the son of her tribe’s leader, will bring a life of riches and restore her family’s position within the tribe, it will come at the price of Jayden’s heart. Then a shadowy boy from the Southern Lands appears. Handsome and mysterious, Kadesh fills Jayden’s heart with a passion she never knew possible. But with Horeb’s increasingly violent threats haunting Jayden’s every move, she knows she must find a way to escape—or die trying. With a forbidden romance blossoming in her heart and her family’s survival on the line, Jayden must embark on a deadly journey to save the ones she loves—and find a true love for herself. Set against the brilliant backdrop of the sprawling desert, the story of Jayden and Kadesh will leave readers absolutely breathless as they defy the odds and risk it all to be together.






  Praise for Forbidden *STARRED* Review, ALA BOOKLIST ". . . At its core, this is a romance, with all the push and pull that goes along with impossible love, and Little elevates the story by creating a perilous landscape, both outward and inward, as Jayden must deal with the hardship of desert life as well as her own desires." SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

 "This is a fast-paced, entertaining choice which will appeal to fans of historical fiction and romance." "Lush, lyrical, romantic. Forbidden transports readers into a vividly imagined place and time." --Claudia Gray, New York Times bestselling author

 "The harsh beauty of the deserts of ancient Mesopotamia come to life in Forbidden, with beautiful descriptions that will make you crave water and check for sand in your clothes. Your heart will break as you root for Jayden to triumph over the many struggles that threaten to tear her world apart, and the ending will leave you thirsting for more!" --Sara B. Larson, author of Defy




Read an Excerpt
******************** 
 The night was starkly beautiful under a canopy of jeweled stars. I savored my moments of freedom, which were marred by the realization that it was dripping away day by day.

The sizzle of coffee beans roasting in the skillet floated across the still air. Cups clinked on a tray as my father passed them around the circle. The aroma of roasted brew spiced with cardamom seeped into the night.

  As I tried to slip past, Horeb’s eyes caught mine. Firelight flickered over his face, outlining his jaw and wind-tangled black hair. He was devastatingly handsome just as all the girls said, but his lips curled into a smile that sent shudders down my spine.

  Horeb’s glance lingered on my body, settling not on my face, but lower, as if he was undressing me right there on the dirt path.

  His eyes locking onto mine, Horeb rose from the circle of men. I jerked around, breaking off his stare. Walking faster, I turned the corner of the tent just as his arm reached out to stop me.

“So, little cousin,” Horeb said. “Have you been enjoying the betrothal ceremony? Tell me, are the women telling stories of marital relations?”

  My breath caught like a thorn in my throat. The women’s ceremonies were not discussed with any male—only inside the privacy of a marriage bed.

  “You shouldn’t be saying these things to me,” I said.

  Running his fingers down my arm, Horeb continued to study me. “There are many things I’d like to say to you, Jayden. Do to you.”

There used to be a time when my throat pounded every time Horeb turned my direction. A time when he was growing into those big, dark eyes and that hard, muscular body. Moments when I wanted to touch his thick, black hair, or run my finger along his jaw to discover what a boy’s skin felt like with a newly growing beard. But now that I was sixteen, and he twenty, his stares made me uneasy. My heart still pounded, but not from love. And I wasn’t sure what it was or what to call it.  
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Author Kimberley Griffiths Little
Award-winning author Kimberley Griffiths Little was born in San Francisco, but now lives in New Mexico on the banks of the Rio Grande with her husband and their three sons. Her middle-grade novels, When the Butterflies Came, The Last Snake Runner, The Healing Spell, and Circle of Secrets, have been praised as “fast-paced and dramatic,” with “beautifully realized settings.” Kimberley adores anything old and musty with a secret story to tell. She’s stayed in the haunted tower room at Borthwick Castle in Scotland; sailed the Seine in Paris; ridden a camel in Petra, Jordan; shopped the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul; and spent the night in an old Communist hotel in Bulgaria.


 




Blog Tour Giveaway
25_Amazon_Paypal$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 1/4/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.  a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Anthology Review ~ "Strange and Lovely: Paranormal Tales of Thrills and Romance"

Strange and Lovely: Paranormal Tales of Thrills and RomanceStrange and Lovely: Paranormal Tales of Thrills and Romance by multiple authors
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received to Review
Genre: Clean Paranormal Short Story Collection

Book Description:  Zombies and vampires and ghosts....oh, my! 

From fae assassins to subjugating the dead, Strange and Lovely is a collection of short stories that seamlessly blends spine-tingling chills and swoon-worthy romance. 

This young adult paranormal anthology of supernatural creatures from ten talented authors serves up short stories with heart-stopping storytelling that will haunt you long after you've put it down. Open the pages and discover worlds colliding and struggles for life and love. You’ll find a tale of a young incubus desperately fighting his nature (and diet) alongside Ashley who has a choice—run from the vampires who will stop at nothing to kill her, or become one of them. Dipping deep into romance you’ll find enchanting assassins too beautiful and deadly, and a touching tangle of a love story between an angel and a mermaid both struggling to make their love last. This book will be sure to make you believe that even in the darkest of nights love can find a way. 

If you love tales of paranormal romance or supernatural thrills but can't decide which ghostly or otherworldly creature to focus on, this is the perfect book for you. 

Best-selling authors such as Jenni James, Amber Argyle, Stephanie Fowers, and Cindy M. Hogan craft thrilling new stories filled with engaging characters, while others, like Christine Fonseca, Jennifer Griffith, C. J. Anaya, Jennifer Bryce, M. Leigh Marrott, and Rebecca Gage, explode off the page with unique takes on familiar supernatural favorites. 

Whether humorous, suspenseful, or romantic, the stories in Strange and Lovely will leave you feeling wickedly entertained. 


My thoughts: It amazes me how you can take several authors, have them write a short story, put it in one printed edition and have so many different and creative ideas in one book.

I can't say that there was a single story that I didn't enjoy reading. Each is unique and caught my interest. Some were on the creepy side, and others had romance. There was at least one story for every kind of paranormal reader.

I haven't read many paranormal books lately.  I had forgotten how fun they could be to read.  I thought individual stories were well written and told the story well for the short story format.



Wednesday, December 17, 2014

LDS Resource Review ~ "I Know My Savior Lives" by Kimiko Christensen Hammari








I Know My Savior Lives: A Year of Family Home Evening Lessons to Bring Your Children Closer to Christ by Kimiko Hammari
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: received from publisher to review
Genre: LDS Resource

Book description: Make Mondays the best night of the week! With a full year of easy family nights that correlate directly with the 2015 Primary theme, this book is the perfect solution for busy families everywhere. For each week you’ll find a complete lesson written for you, plus songs, scriptures, ideas for treats, and activity options for younger and older children.

My thoughts: This book is a great resource for families to use during Family Home Evening. This book corresponds with the Primary Theme for 2015.

I have a copy of the Sharing Time Outline and I went through and compared the monthly themes as well as the weekly. I found this book to be a great compliment to the Primary Theme.

I compared the lessons in "I Know My Savior Lives" to the sharing time presentations. The material is different. It can be used as a supplement. It would be great for families to use each week to talk about the things that children are learning during Primary Sharing Time on Sunday.

There are different levels of presentation. The lessons themselves are short and sweet, but the activities have options for younger children and older.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Blog Tour Spotlight ~ "Hotwire' by Cindy M Hogan + tour giveaway

Hotwire
Tour Schedule




 Division spy Christy Hadden can't wait for her latest assignment posing as a student at a prestigious New York City academy and car thief extraordinaire. The best part of the mission is her attractive handler, Jeremy, and her new team. The worst part? The sociopath masquerading as the academy's most popular guy. But soon she realizes the car thieves are much more than they seem. Her simple spying mission becomes more dangerous than anyone imagined. If the organization discovers her true identity, they won't hesitate to kill her, and if she fails, others will suffer the same fate. Young Adults, teens and adults will love this exciting suspenseful adventure with a dash of romance. You won't want to put it down





Read an Excerpt
********************

"It took me a second to realize it, but Kozlov was speaking in Russian. I flipped my head to Jericho. He clenched his jaw, and a vein pulsed on his temple. He had definitely understood Kozlov’s words. Did that mean that Jericho knew Russian? Did he have a Russian heritage? Were his parents Russian? Or had he been working for Alexander for a while and had taken Russian classes in order to fit in better? That made more sense to me. Besides, it seemed obvious, now that I knew him better, that he was involved with the bratva for the status, the power of it.

The fire in his eyes told me he would find a way to make me pay. Of that, I was sure

I thought Kozlov would leave now that he had laid down the law, but he didn’t. He stood there, waiting to watch Jericho succeed or fail.

I watched, despondent, as the kids we’d come to save were led away with the same hopeless acceptance they’d shown when we’d taken them out of the container in the first place. It broke my heart.

With military-like precision, Jericho ordered the rest of the guards to take up positions along the path to some container that would be our home for two weeks. I glanced at Jeremy. What was going to happen to us? Would Halluis and Ace be able to send someone? And even if they did, how would we be able to get to our would-be rescuers?"


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Praise for Hotwire This book will take you on a crazy ride that you won't want to get off of to eat, sleep or anything else! ~Cathy Jeppson Hogan cleverly created characters with detail, who are both relatable and grounded. ~ the bookstalker It’s a thriller that reminded me of a mix between Gone in 60 Seconds and the Gallagher Girls books ~Canda Mortensen


Cindy Hogan  Author Cindy M. Hogan Cindy M. Hogan graduated with a BA in education and is inspired by the unpredictable teenagers she teaches. More than anything she loves the time she has with her own teenage daughters and wishes she could freeze them at this fun age. If she's not reading or writing, you'll find her snuggled up with the love of her life watching a great movie or planning their next party. Most of all, she loves to laugh. She is the bestselling and award winning author of the Watched trilogy, a YA suspense series with a dash of romance. She has since branched off to write a mystery, Gravediggers, that won Best YA novel of 2013, a contemporary romance, Confessions of a 16-Year-Old Virgin Lips, and two in a spy series, Adrenaline Rush and Hotwire.

25_Amazon_Paypal Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 12/26/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

"Tortured Souls" by Kimber Leigh Wheaton is #FREE for a limited time.


I am thrilled to announce that Tortured Souls will be FREE on Amazon from
December 15, 2014 through December 19, 2014.
Be sure to grab your copy before it's too late!

Tortured Souls
The Orion Circle #1

Kimber Leigh Wheaton

YA Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy
June 30, 2014
Sea Dragon Press

FREE on Amazon 12/15 - 12/19/14


Sometimes Rest in Peace isn't an option

Kacie Ramsey sees ghosts—and it's ruining her life. Her mother left, her father blames her, and no matter how hard she tries, she can't keep the ghosts away. Now a new power has emerged. Nightly visions of grisly murders and a relentless predator draw her to the brink of insanity.

When the phantom appears at a party, Kacie's longtime crush, Logan, saves her. He invites her to join the Orion Circle, a group of supernatural hunters with chapters in schools all over the country. Through the Circle, Kacie learns to embrace her spiritual powers, and for the first time in her life she feels in control rather than a victim.

But the Foxblood Demon will not give up so easily. A demented serial killer in life who trapped the souls of the thirteen children he murdered, imprisoning them within the walls of his mansion. Now in death, he plots his return while drawing power from the pure souls of the children. He recognizes something in Kacie he's never seen before—a medium powerful enough to provide a vessel for his tainted soul.

Kacie can't ignore the tortured souls of the children crying out to her every night. With Logan at her side, she will fight the Foxblood Demon. But can they banish this powerful phantom, or will Kacie lose not only her body, but her eternal soul to the monster.




About the Author

Kimber Leigh Wheaton is a bestselling YA/NA author with a soft spot for sweet romance. She is married to her soul mate, has a teenage son, and shares her home with three dogs, four cats, and lots of dragons. No, she doesn’t live on a farm, she just loves animals. Kimber Leigh is addicted to romance, videogames, superheroes, villains, and chocolate—not necessarily in that order. (If she has to choose, she’ll take a chocolate covered superhero!) She currently lives in San Antonio, TX but has been somewhat a rolling stone in life, having resided in several different cities and states.


Author Links:


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Monday, December 15, 2014

Book blast ~ "The Last Enchantress" by Scott and Judith Powell

last enchantress Being nineteen for over three hundred years bites, and being single in New York with magical powers isn't much better. Eva is trying to live an everyday life in New York. When this fails, she takes a seemingly unmagical job as a translator for a wealthy American family in Spain. Eva cannot stay out of trouble for long as she runs into a friendly but hungry vampire named Louis. Eva feels drawn to this handsome, dangerous stranger who has problems of his own. Louis's life was just fine until Eva walked into his church. She smells like heaven. Or is it hell, always smelling but never partaking? Surely she is the devil coming to collect on his lost soul.






Download a FREE copy until the 17th

add to goodreads



Powell  Author Biography Scott Powell was born in Burlington, Vermont, to a father who was a police officer and a mother who emigrated from South Korea. He received a degree in marketing from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada, and a master's degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Scott served a two-year Spanish-speaking mission for his church. He is a mixed martial artist who continues to train with his father, a second-degree black belt in tae kwon do and a kick boxer. Besides being married to Scott for almost seventeen years, Judith Powell is a stay-at-home mom whose whole life has been full of stories. Being raised by an Irish storytelling father and a Native American mother, stories have filled her life and her head until they finally had no choice but to flow out through her fingertips.




Praise for the Book What fun, and new perspective on vampires. And the intro of new specie, Enchantress, gives this novel a wonderful and imaginative take. It gives us another take on Vampires and the only Enchantress left in the world. The story flows smoothly and the characters are developed well. Let me just start by saying for the record I am not a huge fan of Vampires or flying humans, but this book has led me away from that concept with a fantastic storyline that focused on a man and woman who were meant to be. The fighting scenes were very detailed and visual as you can tell the authors made this a point of emphasis in preparing this book.

Read an Excerpt
********************

The sun was just starting to rise, and I knew that her disturbing dream would not lead to sleeping late. I could hear her heart beating faster as she began to wake up. Wrapping myself in my cloak to protect my skin from the dawn’s light (the sun’s rays felt like hundreds of tiny needles on my flesh), I departed the room. Closing the French doors behind me, I waited on the roof for her to appear. I planned to spy on her until she exposed herself as the typical mortal that I knew she must be. A few moments later, she walked out through the same doors I had just used, dressed only in a cream translucent nightgown. Her ankles were bare and slight, and I could just see the outline of her slim legs beneath her nightdress as the sunlight began to touch her skin. She walked purposely to a small stone bench under a tree that had not yet awoken this year and most likely never would. Just as quickly as she had come, she stood and began to walk back toward her room. I was feeling playful. What did it really matter if I revealed myself? I jumped down without a sound and sat on the bench that she had just occupied. Even though she had only been here but a moment, I could still feel her warmth lingering on the surface. Somehow, she sensed I was there, and she began to run, which was not surprising. I was sure fear motivated her movement. There was no need to pursue. I could catch her easily. But then she did something that put all my old questions to rest and created new ones. She jumped up and grabbed the edge of the roof. Using it as leverage, she flipped her body up into the arch, doing more moves than a gymnast at the Olympics, and landed, facing me, on the roof.


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100_Amazon_Paypal Blog Tour Giveaway $100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 12/31/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.   a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Book review ~ "Stars Were Gleaming" by Greg Olsen

Stars Were Gleaming by Greg Olsen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Genre: Christmas
Source: Received from Publisher

Book Description:  Christmastime is filled with thoughts of family, friends, and faith. It is a time to reflect on the true meaning of the holiday and to celebrate the birth of the Savior Jesus Christ. Stars Were Gleaming is the perfect way to set the tone for your holiday celebrations by pairing inspirational poetry, holy scripture, and uplifting quotations with original artwork by renowned artist Greg Olsen.

The centerpiece of the book is a new painting, created especially for this book, that features the most holy of nights, the evening of Jesus's birth. Gathered around the manger are the familiar faces of Mary and Joseph, the wise men and the shepherds, and peeking through the window is the bright heavenly star gleaming in the night sky. This beautiful book will be a treasure for many seasons to come.



My thoughts: This book is beautiful. Greg Olsen is a master artist and this book depicts scenes of the Christmas Season. Each page features scenes from his artwork and have scriptures and quotes that give deeper meaning to the pictures.

This book is perfect for a coffee table. I could never tire of looking at the wonderful artwork.