Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Review: Your Voice is All I Hear by Leah Scheier

Release date: September 1st 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Purchase: Amazon 


Synopsis via Goodreads:
Everything about Jonah is unexpected. On the first day of school, he sits next to April, when he could have chosen to sit with the popular girl. He turns down an invitation to join the school team and declares he'd rather paint. He encourages April to develop her musical talent and shrugs off the bullies that torment them.

April isn't surprised to find herself falling for Jonah. The unexpected part is when he falls for her too.

But the giddy happiness of their first romance begins to fade when Jonah's unpredictability begins to take a darker turn. April understands that her boyfriend is haunted by a painful memory, but his sudden mood swings worry her. She can't explain his growing fear of cellphones, electric keyboards, and of sounds that no one else can hear. Still, no matter what happens, April is sure that she'll always stand by him.

Until Jonah finally breaks and is committed to a psychiatric ward.

Until schizophrenia changes everything.

Though everyone urges her to let him go, April stays true to Jonah. But as the boy she adores begins to disappear in front of her, she has to face her worst fear: that her love may not be enough to save him.

*Approved by the publisher on Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.





Wow! This story definitely did a number on my emotions. I've never read a book with schizophrenia being a main part of the plot, so it was certainly an eye-opener and I feel after reading Your Voice is All I Hear, I now have a better understanding of the illness and how it impacts everyone involved. 

I wasn't sure at first if I'd like the story because in the beginning, I just couldn't warm up to the main characters. Their attraction just seemed too instant and too intense, and I feared that would cause a disconnect on my part. But once I started getting to know April and catching hints that something was definitely up with Jonah, my curiosity level heightened and I only wanted to move forward to learn more. Also, I had to keep in mind that these were teenagers and they're drawn together for a reason. 

There are so many aspects of the story that make it great. The writing is superb, the unraveling of the characters and their home life, and the sweet yet sad love between April and Jonah. Schizophrenia can drive people away, and I like that the author included a moment in the story where April tried to help her classmates understand what Jonah was going through. She gave them some clarity and they realized that it was nothing to joke about. I honestly don't know how she had the strength to hang on to her relationship. I kept trying to put myself in her shoes and wondered if I would have done the same. Hmm...I don't know. I mean, Jonah's struggles shook me up so much that it scared me a lot. I suspected that he'd do what he did, and I was relieved when April caught him in time. My gosh. I just commend her on being so strong and supportive. She's quite an admirable character. 

It's so hard to talk about the book without giving too much away, all I can is this story will tug at your heartstrings and you may end up in tears by the end, if not before. Again, the writing is wonderful and alluring. If you never understood the illness prior to reading Your Voice is All I Hear, you'll probably get an awakening afterwards. This is by far one of the best books I've read this year. I'm a new fan of this talented author and I'm so happy she wrote this story. It can be helpful for those who know someone with the illness or if you'd like to learn about it. 



Leah Scheier

About the Author
Leah Scheier was born and raised in Baltimore, MD. As a child, she was inspired by her favorite authors, Arthur Conan Doyle, Lloyd Alexander, and C.S. Lewis to dream up tales of adventure and romance. Now grown up with daughters of her own, Leah works as a pediatrician and continues to create new stories. 




Monday, July 27, 2015

Guest Post by Author Andrew Joyce

It's a pleasure to have author Andrew Joyce on the blog to discuss the inspiration behind his latest release, Molly Lee. Continue below to learn more about the book and for Andrew's inspiring Guest Post.

Release date: March 26th 2015
Publisher: William Birch & Associates
Average Rating: 4.9 out of 5
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | iBooks

Synopsis via Goodreads:
Molly is about to set off on the adventure of a lifetime . . . of two lifetimes.

It’s 1861 and the Civil War has just started. Molly is an eighteen-year-old girl living on her family’s farm in Virginia when two deserters from the Southern Cause enter her life. One of them—a twenty-four-year-old Huck Finn—ends up saving her virtue, if not her life.

Molly is so enamored with Huck, she wants to run away with him. But Huck has other plans and is gone the next morning before she awakens. Thus starts a sequence of events that leads Molly into adventure after adventure; most of them not so nice.

We follow the travails of Molly Lee, starting when she is eighteen and ending when she is fifty-six. Even then Life has one more surprise in store for her.





~GUEST POST~


My name is Andrew Joyce, and I write books for a living. Shane has been kind enough to allow me a little space on her blog to promote my new book, MOLLY LEE. The story is a female-driven account of a young naive girl’s journey into an independent, strong woman and all the trouble she gets into along the way. Now you may possibly be asking yourself, What is a guy doing writing in a woman’s voice? And that’s a good question. I can only say that I did not start out to write about Molly; she just came to me one day and asked that I tell her story. Perhaps I should start at the beginning. 

My first book was a 164,000-word historical novel. And in the publishing world, anything over 80,000 words for a first-time author is heresy. Or so I was told time and time again when I approached an agent for representation. After two years of research and writing, and a year of trying to secure the services of an agent, I got angry. To be told that my efforts were meaningless was somewhat demoralizing. to say the least. I mean, those rejections were coming from people who had never even read my book. “So you want an 80,000-word novel?” I said to no one in particular, unless you count my dog, because he was the only one around at the time. Consequently, I decided to show them City Slickers that I could write an 80,000-word novel!

I had just finished reading Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn for the third time, and I started thinking about what ever happened to those boys, Tom and Huck. They must have grown up, but then what? So I sat down at my computer and banged out REDEMPTION: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer in two months; then sent out query letters to agents. Less than a month later, the chairman of one of the biggest agencies in New York City emailed me that he loved the story. We signed a contract and it was off to the races, or so I thought. But then the real fun began: the serious editing. Seven months later, I gave birth to Huck and Tom as adults. And just for the record, the final word count is 79,914. The book went on to reach #1 status on Amazon twice, and the rest, as they say, is history. But not quite. My agent then wanted me to write a sequel, but I had other plans. I was in the middle of editing down my first novel (that had been rejected by 1,876,324 agents . . . or so it seemed) from 164,000 words to the present 142,000. However, he was insistent, so I started to think about it. Now, one thing you have to understand is that I tied up all the loose ends at the end of REDEMPTION, so there was no way that I could write a sequel. And that is when Molly asked me to tell her story. 

Molly was a character that we met briefly in the first chapter of REDEMPTION, and then she is not heard from again. As I had wondered whatever became of Huck and Tom, I also wondered what Molly did when she found Huck gone. I know this has been a long-winded set up, but I felt I had to tell the backstory. Now I can move on and tell you about Molly.

As stated earlier, Molly starts out as a naive young girl. Over time she develops into a strong, independent woman. The change is gradual. Her strengths come from the adversities she encounters along the road that is her life. With each setback, Molly follows that first rule she set against self-pity and simply moves on to make the best of whatever life throws her way. From working as a whore to owning a saloon, from going to prison to running a ranch, Molly plays to win with the cards she’s dealt. But she always keeps her humanity. She will kill to defend herself, and she has no problem killing to protect the weak and preyed upon. However, when a band of Indians (for instance) have been runoff their land and have nowhere else to go, Molly allows them to live on her ranch, and in time they become extended family.

I would like to say that I wrote MOLLY LEE in one sitting and everything in it is my pure genius. But that would be a lie. I have three editors (two women and one guy). They kept me honest with regard to Molly. When I made her a little too hard, they would point out that she had to be softer or show more emotion in a particular scene.

I set out to write a book where every chapter ended with a cliffhanger. I wanted the reader to be forced to turn to the next chapter. And I pretty much accomplished that, but I also wrote a few chapters where Molly and my readers could catch their collective breath. 

One last thing: Everything in MOLLY LEE is historically correct from the languages of the Indians to the descriptions of the way people dressed, spoke, and lived. I spend as much time on research as I do in writing my stories. Sometimes more. It looks as though I’ve used up my allotted word count (self-imposed), so I reckon I’ll ride off into the sunset and rustle up a little vodka and cranberry juice (with extra lime).

It’s been a pleasure, 

Andrew

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Andrew Joyce
Andrew Joyce left high school at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada and Mexico. He wouldn’t return from his journey until decades later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written three books, and a collection of almost one hundred forty short stories that is comprised of his hitching adventures, written as veiled non-fiction called BEDTIME STORIES FOR GROWN-UPS, and his latest novel, MOLLY LEE. He now lives aboard a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with his dog, Danny.

Andrew's Web Site | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | BLOG


Friday, July 24, 2015

BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY~Where Shadows Lie by Tialla Rising


Check out the blog tour for Tialla Rising's New Adult Christian Suspense novel.

23704667
Release Date: June 14th 2015
Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis via Goodreads:
His dark past haunts him. His new life taunts him. 


After twenty years in the gangs and a hefty prison sentence, an early release gives Shawn the opportunity to turn his life around.

But that isn’t so easy when gangs are involved.

Only a year into his fresh start, the gang catches on and makes Shawn’s life miserable. After all, once a gang member, always a gang member. His very blood belongs to them.

Threats become promises. Whispers become actions. Words become bullets. He must fight – not only for his life, but to save his honor, prove his integrity, and protect the woman he loves.

An ember of hope glows in the darkness, strengthening his resolve. Will her support and his determination be enough to dispel the shadows of his past?

A story of discovery and faith, love and perseverance.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tialla Rising

Tialla Rising is a Christian young woman living with her family in the mountains of Arizona. She loves to write and will work long into the night developing her stories. Like most writers, Tialla spends her spare time reading. A good book, a stormy day, and an iced coffee comprise her favorite moments.

*NOTE: Please do not post any reviews that are negative and will hurt the author. Post an excerpt instead, or send me an email if you'd like to back out. Thank you for understanding.


August 10th -
Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections *Review & Favorite Quotes (blogger picks)
Fallen Over Book Reviews *Review & Favorite Quotes (blogger picks)

August 11th -

August 12th -
A Writer's Heart *Interview

August 13th -
Marissa Nicole Reads *Review & Character Interview

August 14th -
Rebekah's Quill *Review & Character Interview
A Fold in the Spine *Review






Wednesday, July 22, 2015

CAN'T WAIT TO READ: Dream Things True by Marie Marquardt

Release date: September 1st 2015
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Pre-order: Amazon


Synopsis via Goodreads:
A modern-day Romeo and Juliet story in which a wealthy Southern boy falls in love with an undocumented Mexican girl and together they face perils in their hostile Georgia town.

Evan, a soccer star and the nephew of a conservative Southern Senator, has never wanted for much -- except a functional family. Alma has lived in Georgia since she was two-years-old, excels in school, and has a large, warm Mexican family. Never mind their differences, the two fall in love, and they fall hard. But when ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) begins raids on their town, Alma knows that she needs to tell Evan her secret. There's too much at stake. But how to tell her country-club boyfriend that she’s an undocumented immigrant? That her whole family and most of her friends live in the country without permission. What follows is a beautiful, nuanced, well-paced exploration of the complications of immigration, young love, defying one’s family, and facing a tangled bureaucracy that threatens to completely upend two young lives.


About the Author
Marie MarquardtMarie Marquardt is a college professor who lives with her husband, four kids, a dog, and a bearded dragon in a very busy household in Decatur, Georgia. Dream Things True is her first book of Young Adult fiction, and it was inspired by her work with Mexican immigrants in Georgia. 

Since the late 1990s, she has been doing research and advocacy with immigrants from Mexico, and has witnessed – on both sides of the border – the effects of a broken immigration system. Currently, she has the honor of working with an amazing group of volunteers to run El Refugio, a non-profit that offers temporary lodging and support to the loved ones of detained immigrants. As a part of this work, she regularly visits with detained immigrants at one of the largest detention centers in the United States (which happens to be in Southwest Georgia). They assist them as they prepare for deportation. This work is heartbreaking, but it also reminds her every day that love is more powerful than fear. 



*Aside from the GORGEOUS cover, I'm really intrigued after reading the blurb because I've never read a story with a character like Alma's before. And this is a debut novel so I'm curious as to how the author will deliver when the plot surrounds the topic of immigration. 


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Spotlight & Giveaway: Chasing River by K.A. Tucker

23522334Series: Burying Water #3
Release date: July 7th 2015
Publisher: Atria Books
Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis via Goodreads:
Armed with two years' worth of savings and the need to experience life outside the bubble of her Oregon small town, twenty-five-year old Amber Welles is prepared for anything. Except dying in Dublin. Had it not been for the bravery of a stranger, she might have. But he takes off before she has the chance to offer her gratitude. 

Twenty-four-year-old River Delaney is rattled. No one was supposed to get hurt. But then that American tourist showed up. He couldn't let her die, but he also couldn't risk being identified at the scene—so, he ran. Back to his everyday life of running his family’s pub. Only, everyday life is getting more and more complicated, thanks to his brother, Aengus, and his criminal associations. When the American girl tracks River down, he quickly realizes how much he likes her, how wrong she is for him. And how dangerous it is to have her around. Chasing her off would be the smart move. 

Maybe it's because he saved her life, or maybe it's because he's completely different from everything she's left behind, but Amber finds herself chasing after River Delaney. Amber isn’t the kind of girl to chase after anyone. 

And River isn't the kind of guy she'd want to catch.




K.A. TuckerAbout the Author
Born in small-town Ontario, Kathleen published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. 

She is a voracious reader and the farthest thing from a genre-snob, loving everything from High Fantasy to Chick Lit. 

Kathleen currently resides in a quaint small town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.





*Thank you to Atria books for sponsoring this giveaway



Friday, July 17, 2015

BLOG TOUR~The Nightmare Charade by Mindee Arnett


Check out the blog tour for the final book in Mindee Arnett's  Young Adult fantasy series. 

24865935Series: Arkwell Academy #3
Release date: August 4th 2015
Publisher: Tor Teen
Purchase: Amazon | B&N


Synopsis via Goodreads:
The final installment in a thrilling fantastical mystery series.

Sixteen-year-old Dusty Everhart breaks into houses late at night, but not because she’s a criminal. No, she’s a Nightmare. Literally. Dusty is a magical being who feeds on human dreams.

Being the only Nightmare at Arkwell Academy, a boarding school for magickind, and living in the shadow of her mother’s infamy is hard enough, not to mention the crazy events of the past year. Dusty may have saved the day, but there are many days left in the year, and with an old foe back to seek revenge, she'll need all her strength to defeat him and save her friends. 

Mindee Arnett thrills again in this stunning final installment in the Arkwell Academy series.


~EXCERPT~
Last Kiss

I had no idea that the first kiss would be the last.
The last free one that was, the only one Eli and I didn’t have to steal or keep hidden like some terrible secret.
No, I had no idea what was coming as I stood in front of the bathroom mirror and reapplied my cherry lip gloss for the fourth time.
“You know, Dusty,” Selene said from outside the door where she was hanging posters on the wall of our new dorm room, two floors up from our old one. “Despite what the packaging might claim, I don’t think it’s actually possible to increase the size of your lips by putting on layers.”
Suppressing a nervous laugh, I turned and stepped out into the living room portion of the suite. We were juniors this year, and that meant a larger dorm, complete with a private bathroom. Selene and I had plans to burn our old shower shoes in a celebratory ritual this weekend.
I fixed her with the most serious stare I could manage. “Are you sure? This is magic lip gloss, you know.”
Selene snorted. “I don’t believe you.” She held out her hand, and I set the lipstick canister on her palm. She turned it over in her fingers, and then raised it to eye level to read the label.
“This is in French.”
“That’s because I bought it in Paris.” The memory brought a fleeting grin to my face. Despite the emotional challenges I’d faced during my summer vacation spent touring Europe—being cut off from my friends; stuck with only my mother for company; and most especially, going weeks on end without a single word from the literal boy of my dreams, Eli Booker—the physical experience had been fun. The lip balm was an impromptu purchase at a little shop called the Incantorium Emporium. It was the kind of place that only served magickind. Probably a good thing, given its location inside a secret alcove in the Paris catacombs. Nothing said magical and charming like a bunch of skeletons.
“So I gathered,” Selene said with a hint of envy in her voice. Her summer hadn’t been quite as exotic, although I would’ve traded places with her in a hot second. She’d spent the last eleven weeks hanging out with her boyfriend—late-night strolls by the lake, trips to the movies, not to mention hours of kissing, or so I guessed. Even if Selene were the kind of girl to make out and tell, she wouldn’t have chosen me as her confidant. Partially because I wasn’t thrilled about her reconciliation with my sometimes tormenter and regular jackass Lance Rathbone, but mostly because she knew all too well how little kissing I’d been doing lately.
A situation that was about to change.
A flock of butterflies took flight inside my stomach. I fought to keep the tremor out of my voice, my words coming rapidly. “Yeah, the shop owner told me it has an amore charm on it. At least, that’s what I thought he said. His accent was pretty thick, and I don’t think he liked me at all. He was a Mors demon and you know how they feel about Nightmares. I mean, then again, pretty much everybody hates Night—”
“Dusty.” Selene grabbed my shoulders and gave me a shake. “You’re babbling.”
I gulped, trying to settle the butterflies, but they only increased their frenzy, becoming hummingbirds instead, wings on turbo speed. “Sorry. I can’t help it. I’m nervous.”
Selene smiled. The gesture was so radiant it made my head spin, and for a second the hummingbirds froze, stunned by an unexpected onslaught of bliss. That was the trouble with having a siren for a best friend—random moments of dazedness. Not that it was her fault. She couldn’t help being beautiful and mesmerizing. No more than I could help the way my eyes glow in the dark, an aspect of my Nightmare heritage. At the moment, however, I had a feeling Selene wasn’t aware of just how much more dazzling she was being than normal. I suspected it might have something to do with Lance.
“You’ve no reason to be nervous,” Selene said, her smile easing enough to make the radiance tolerable. “You look beautiful.”
I shook my head and stepped back. “It’s not that. It’s…” I broke off, searching for the right words. Looks weren’t the problem. I didn’t feel beautiful, exactly, but I knew I was looking nice, slightly above my average state. My makeup was even and natural, and I’d managed to convince my frizzy red hair to lie flat for once with some help from Magick Madam’s Hair Pomade, another purchase from the Incantorium Emporium. Outfit wise, I’d opted for a pair of low-rise designer jeans and a pale pink knit top, the kind that hangs loose around the shoulders, that my mom bought me from a boutique in Italy.
No, looks weren’t the problem.

Time was.


About the Author
Mindee ArnettYA Author of THE NIGHTMARE AFFAIR, a contemporary fantasy coming March 5, 2013 from Tor Teen (Macmillan) and AVALON, a YA sci-fi thriller coming Winter 2014 from Balzer+Bray (HarperCollins). Represented by the fabulous Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary. Addicted to jumping horses and telling tales of magic, the macabre, and outer space.


WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS | INSTAGRAM


~OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES~
Click on the cover for more
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August 4th -
Mythical Books *Interview
Carina's Books *Guest Post
Novel Heartbeat *Review
Paperback Princess *Review & Favorite Quotes (blogger picks)

August 5th -
Aphonic Book Reviews *Interview
Words I Write Crazy *Review
The Best Books Ever *Review & Favorite Quotes (blogger picks)
The Bibliophagist *Review

August 6th -

August 7th -
Paper Cuts *Guest Post
Readers Live A Thousand Lives *Review
The Story Goes... *Review & Favorite Quotes (blogger picks)

August 8th -








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