Thursday, August 17, 2017

Ker Fuffle by Kristin N. Spencer

Kerfuffle FB Banner copy



Book Description:
Kerfuffle (Desires & Decisions, #3)Olive’s best friend needs her now more than ever, but can she piece together everything in time to help him?

When an anonymous email circulates through Normandie High, everything Olive knows about her family, church, and friends will change. In the midst of controversy, Olive finds she has been entrusted to protect her best friend and his secrets, though revealing them would make her life much easier. Meanwhile, she struggles to figure out what the Bible teaches about homosexuality while the members of Revive church lobby accusations back and forth, threatening to cause a church split.
In a twist that even Olive couldn’t anticipate, family relationships waiver as Olive tries to decode her mother’s mysterious behavior. When the past stirs up new accusations against Olive’s family, she learns that some secrets are more painful to reveal than others. 
Though a helpful guy in Spanish class has her attention, Olive realizes that boy problems are the least of her worries. Can she balance drama, schoolwork, and still be the supportive friend and daughter God wants her to be?

My Thoughts:
This book was a lot heavier than I expected it to be.  I will start by saying that because of the content, I would say it is for older teens.  The author does a good job of tackling real world issues and how Christians respond.  Olive is a realistic teenage girl who has a group of friends to support her.  In it, one friend is attracted to the same sex.  Olive does her best to understand and search out scriptures to back up how she believed.  There is quite a bit of conflict throughout.  The church is in the middle of it and it shows how differently people can respond to things they aren't comfortable with.
There is also an issue of abuse brought up and I thought it was handled well.  I've not known a whole lot of families like Olive's but I did like the dynamic.  Her little sister was just so happy.  The family prayed together over most everything and this is how it should be.  There were a couple issues that I didn't completely agree with the author on, but honestly I believe those are personal opinions/preferences.  Overall I thought she did a good job.
It was a 4/5 for me.  I want to go back and start with book one (this is book 3) because I want to see how the characters grow through the books and the other issues tackled by this author.

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book (via CelebrateLit).  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

About the Author

Kristin Author Photo 2017Kristin N. Spencer is an American expat living in a 68 square meter flat with her husband and three kids near the Aegean Sea. When she isn’t wifing, mothering, counseling, discipling, or writing, she enjoys sewing cosplay costumes for her family, baking, and hanging out with other geeks. She writes whatever she wants, including Non-Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy. Her favorite person is Jesus and her favorite X-men character is Jean Grey. Kristin studied Comparative World Literature at California State University, Long Beach and received a Bachelors, which she fondly calls a degree in reading


 Guest Post from Kristin N. Spencer
Retrospective thoughts are so powerful, aren’t they? Now that I’m an adult I often look back on my adolescence and think, “Why didn’t anyone tell me?” As a YA author, I read a lot of books in my own genre, and I’ve noticed a pattern. Though many of the secular YA authors are brave enough to talk about the tough stuff, not many Christian authors go after the real world difficulties that face our young people. The passage of time constantly rips through generations creating new problems and situations. The world that my children are growing up in is very different from what I experienced, and the challenges that they face as Christians are also different. The Desires & Decisions series was born out of the need for me to able to address these controversial topics with my own children. Olive, a teenage girl growing up in Southern California, serves as the lens of perspective as we see almost everything from her point of view. Her world provides a safe, fictional place for Christians to flesh out these thoughts and think through what the Bible teaches about topics like racism, bullying, loving one’s neighbor, what real love is, and addiction.
Kerfuffle specifically explores the complex emotions associated with the Church and the temptation of same sex attraction. We get to experience the conflict Olive feels and also witness the varied reactions from different generations through Olive’s parents and other members of Revive Church. This issue isn’t going away, and as a Church we must be able to talk about it without alienating ourselves from those that struggle with this temptation. There is hope for every person through the blood of Jesus Christ, whether you struggle to love those who experience same sex attraction or you struggle with that temptation yourself. I hope Kerfuffleencourages you as you seek to walk closer to Christ.

Blog Stops

August 15: Bukwurmzzz
August 18: Blogging With Carol
August 20: Carpe Diem
August 21: A Reader’s Brain
August 22: Remembrancy
August 25: Baker Kella
August 27: The Power of Words (Spotlight)

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Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kristin is giving away a grand prize of all three of her books: Newfangled, Flummoxed, and Kerfuffle and a T-shirt of your choice from the WritersLife Artist Shop ( https://writerslife.threadless.com)!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/bb66

Friday, August 11, 2017

Amulet of Morgana (The Avalon Relics) by Jennifer Yen

The Avalon Relics: Amulet of MorganaBook Description:
"We all have greatness within us, child. It is not a question of ability, but one of will. You must choose the path that has been laid down before you, no matter the challenges or the danger. It is only then that you fulfill the destiny that awaits you."

As her ancestor's form blurs in front of her, Morgana repeats the command she gave Sophia at the beginning of her journey.

"Trust in yourself. Find the crown. Save the realm."

Sophia and the others are summoned back to Avalon by the Elders only days after being dealt a crushing blow by the Dark Ones. They are asked to continue the search for Laila's crown, but a surprise attack shatters the bond between the five friends, leaving one imprisoned and the rest wondering just who might be next.

Realizing that the enemy has infiltrated their ranks, the Council locks down the realm while Sophia is whisked away under the protection of master guardian Remiel.

With pressure mounting from all sides, Sophia is pushed to her limits and makes a decision that nearly ends in disaster. Now, she must face the consequences of her actions and attempt to redeem herself. With help from unexpected allies and her own growing power, Sophia must stay one step ahead as she completes the quest for the missing relic.

Can Sophia overcome her fears and embrace her destiny, or will the Dark Ones finally succeed in tearing the Fearless Five apart forever?

My Thoughts:
I literally couldn't wait to read this book. I am completely invested in the characters at this point and must know what happens. They are still reeling from what happened in the end of book 3, and so is the counsel. There is more going on behind the scenes than I had really expected and it was great to get glimpses into that. Again, wonderful story telling that mixes it up with family, romance, betrayal, and friendship. The tests were still harsh but it seemed more like the keepers of the pieces weren't as fierce. I seriously hope the next (final) book of the series is out soon because I really must have some answers to questions now!!
5/5 and I impatiently await the release of book 5!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Laila's Crown (The Avalon Relics) by Jennifer Yen

The Avalon Relics: Laila's Crown (Book 3)Book Description:
She closes her eyes, and as she focuses on the object, words suddenly pop into her head. Her voice is haunting as she recites the phrases.

"Find the truth within the word, revealed in rhyme and riddle; Release the power from the first, bring balance to the middle."

At that, the Meriditom begins to spin rapidly, with a ball of light growing from within its center. 

As it enlarges, Sophia's body starts to rise off the ground, her arms outstretched and her eyes glowing with a ring of gold.

When a series of unexpected events unfold before Sophia's quering, the Council decides to task her with reassembling the famed Origo key. Long rumored to unlock the location of Laila's missing crown, the key's pieces have been spread throughout the realm, discoverable only by a seeker with the purest of hearts.

Entrusted with the key's center element, the Meriditom, Sophia and her friends embark on a quest across the outer lands in search of the five remaining pieces. Between the grueling challenges she must endure at each location and the growing tension between Damien and Michael, Sophia begins to wonder if the magic she seeks is worth the sacrifice.

Will the Fearless Five succeed in completing the Origo key, or will a stunning betrayal stop them in their tracks and claim the life of another?

My Thoughts:
I couldn't wait to get back to my merry band of (hopefully) real savers. I absolutely adore these characters. I got a bit annoyed a couple of times but that was the author's intent. Sophia still doesn't understand all of the rules and laws that guide her new homeland. The search for these pieces is intense and I wasn't sure we were all going to make it (yes, I said we because I swear I was there). The story didn't slow down and I didn't want to skim over it but devoured the book as quickly as I could.  The ending I kinda saw coming but was still left unprepared for it all. I just want more and to find out what happens to these characters. 
5/5 for me. Ready for the next book!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Origo Key (The Avalon Relics) by Jennifer Yen

The Avalon Relics: Origo Key (Book 2)Book Description:
"All things change, and we change with them; 

the time is near, the flower blooms from the stem.

A child of Fey, foreseen in lore, 

with relics in hand, will power restore."

Sophia has barely recovered from her battle with the Dark Ones when she receives word that her presence has been requested in Avalon. The Council of Elders, the realm's highest faeids, plan to perform a quering, a terrifying ceremony that could leave her lost in her memories forever.

To make matters worse, she must accept an offer to be hosted at the home of Ariella and Nathaniel Fey, who believe she is the daughter they gave up to protect. Things are even more complicated once Sophia arrives in the capitol city, with constant nightmares and an old promise threatening to derail her budding romance and tear the friends apart.

Still, the longer she stays in the realm, the closer Sophia feels to the magic around her. Her connection to the Lilith links grow stronger by the day, and soon the sacred relics reveal another secret.

Will living life as a faeid awaken long suppressed powers, or will the pressure be too much for Sophia to handle?

My Thoughts:
After my heart broke at the end of book one, I was ready to see what was in store next for the characters I had grown to love.  Sophia is summoned to Avalon.  There we meet a whole new cast of characters to either like or dislike.  She has to stay with the couple who believe her to be their daughter, but that she has never met before.  Then there are the traditions of the land that she doesn't understand and could easily part her and her friends if she isn't quickly taught.  Add to that, her powers are growing stronger and so is her connection to the relics.  I loved following the gang through another adventure and really like some of the new characters and not so much others.  Can't wait to see where the author takes them next on their journey and the next twist.

It was a 5/5 for me.  I'm in love with this series!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Cowboy Heaven by Cheryl Brooks

Book Description

Friday, August 4, 2017

Cover Reveal Isan by Mary Ting!!!

Title: ISAN:
Author: Mary Ting
Genre: YA Dystopian/Sci-Fi
Cover Designer: Deranged Doctor Design
Publisher: Vesuvian Books
Publication Date: May 1st, 2018
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
Blurb:
The world has changed.
Scientists warned it would happen.
Meteors devastated the Earth. World Governments developed plans to help surviving citizens. The United States disbanded and salvageable land was divided into four quadrants—North, South, East, and West—governed by The Remnant Council.
Struggling to survive, seventeen-year-old Ava ends up in juvenile detention, until she is selected for a new life—with a catch. She must be injected with an experimental serum. The results will be life changing. The serum will make her better. To receive the serum Ava agrees to join a program controlled by ISAN, the International Sensory Assassin Network.
While on a training mission, she is abducted by a rebel group led by Rhett and told that not only does she have a history with him, but her entire past is a lie perpetuated by ISAN to ensure her compliance. Unsure of who to trust, Ava must decide if her strangely familiar and handsome captor is her enemy or her savior—and time is running out.
Mary Ting resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.
Author Links:
Pre-Order Links:
Universal Pre-order ebook: www.books2read.com/ISAN
Amazon Print: http://amzn.to/2vlgCtD

Disarming Detective by Elizabeth Heiter

Book Description:

The case that's haunted one FBI profiler for years may have finally met its match in a sexy—and dedicated—detective…

When FBI profiler Isabella Cortez finds a stranger outside her office, she's in trouble. Because even though Detective Logan Greer is one of the good guys, their instant attraction is a serious distraction. Ella's got one mission: to find the criminal who hurt her friend and drove her to become a profiler. But Logan's appeal isn't just chemistry. He has a case that bears an eerie resemblance to the crime Ella's been trying to solve for years. Together, they're racing to stop a killer, but the closer they get, the more dangerous the search becomes. Falling in love could be deadly…or it could be the only way to survive.


My Thoughts:
This was a good one.  Isabella is an FBI profiler and she is going on vacation with her friends.  The night she is to leave, she finds a man outsider her office.  After their initial meeting, Isabella agrees to look at Detective Logan Greer's file.  Logan wants her to profile a case he has down in Florida.  Isabella isn't overly interested until something in the file catches her eye.  Now she and Logan are trying to find a killer before he strikes again.
I laughed at their first meeting!  These two characters were fun for me to read about.  Neither Isabella or Logan followed orders but both were determined to stop the killer.  The back story on Isabella's friend is one I want to know more about and I'm hoping there is another book about it.  The romance was good.  The story line was easy to follow and get into.  Nothing to dislike about this story!
It was a 4/5 for me.  I like this author's style!

Thank you to the publisher for the review copy of this book (via netgalley).  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Run to Ground by Katie Ruggle

Book Description:

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Crazy About Alaska by Shannon L. Brown

Crazy About Alaska (An Alaska Dream Romance Book 3)Book Description:
Can she trust love?

Holly has her eye on a handsome state trooper. Not on her boring, oh-so-serious, former professor, Adam.

Having her toes curl when she’s near Adam must be ignored.

Holly just wants a great dad for her twin girls. She’s going to find one, write a novel to fulfill her dreams, and create a happy life.

Falling in love isn’t part of her plan.

“Crazy About Alaska” is the third book in the fun, clean, Alaska Dream Romance series.

Reserve your copy and have the whole series!


This book can be read as a standalone but is best enjoyed as book 3 of the series. It has a happily ever after ending.

Book 1: Falling for Alaska
Book 2: Loving Alaska
Book 2.5: Merrying in Alaska
Book 3: Crazy About Alaska
 

My Thoughts
I really liked this one.  Holly is a single mom and real estate agent.  Adam was her professor in her writing classes in college.  The two of them meet again as Holly is attempting to get into a house she is to list.  Adam is currently looking for a new home, but with another agent.  Holly is casually dating a state trooper.  She doesn't want any  man she dates to know about her girls until after she is sure they are serious and will make a good dad. Still, while she is dating the trooper, she feels herself pulled toward Adam.
So, I will start off saying it drove me crazy that Holly wouldn't tell the men she was with that she was a mom.  That is a bit much to drop on someone and totally rubbed me the wrong way.  That being said, I enjoyed the book.  Holly and Adam didn't have an 'instant' love.  Holly had issues from being in Adam's class but was still attracted to him.  I loved how close her family was, well his too for that fact.  Really, everyone just wants their family to be happy and loved.  It was a good book and I was really happy with the ending.
It was a 3/5 for me.  I do want to go back and read about the sisters' stories now!

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book (via Celebrate Lit).  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

About the Author

ShannonLBrownWriting books that are fun and touch your heart
Even though Shannon L. Brown always loved to read, she didn’t plan to be a writer. She earned two degrees from the University of Alaska, one in journalism/public communications, but didn’t become a journalist.
Years passed. Shannon felt pulled into a writing life, testing her wings with a novel and moving on to articles. Shannon is now an award-winning journalist who has sold hundreds of articles to local, national, and regional publications.
Shannon was born and raised in Alaska so she enjoyed writing the books in the Alaska Dream Romance series. “The Feather Chase” was her first published book and began the Crime-Solving Cousins Mystery series. The eight-to-twelve-year-olds in your life will enjoy this contemporary twist on a Nancy Drew-type mystery.
Shannon lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her professor husband and adorable calico cat.

Guest Post from Shannon Brown

Open Doors
When a character opens the door and steps from her world into mine, writing about her is easier. Holly Harris in Crazy About Alaska is a real estate agent, and I was once one. I’ve driven clients around and shown them houses only to have them go a different direction. My husband and I bought a new house a few years ago, so I have tales to tell from that experience too. (Readers may think the purple shower is made up. Think again.) I chose to bring a college professor into her life as a love interest. I’m married to one.
Some of myself always finds its way into a story. Sometimes, it’s just something I might like to do. Holly’s sister Jemma rehabs furniture in Falling for Alaska, book one in the series. The idea for her business came while I was watching HGTV’s Flea Market Flip. Taking trash and making it beautiful sounds like something I’d like to try. Jemma also dislikes coffee and drinks tea. (Here I am again.) But she is not exactly me. She’s cooking challenged, and I’m a good cook.
Does the story become about the author when she inserts herself into it? Reality is only a fun fraction of the book. Holly has two men vying for her affections. That never happened. (It might have been fun if it had!) She also has five-year-old twins. I never experienced that.
By far the most challenging of the sisters in the series was Bree in book two, Loving Alaska. She’s a doctor, and my knowledge of the medical profession comes from sitting on the exam table, not from doing the exam. I spoke with doctors I knew and brought her to life. But Bree isn’t all made up either. She despises being in nature, especially camping. I’ve camped on a frozen river, beside a lake after canoeing or boating in, and many more places, but I’m with Bree and hotels are greatly preferred. There I am in the story again.
Reading the books I’ve written helps you know who I am. I’m a woman with a big imagination who enjoys bringing stories to life. Oh, and that slightly sarcastic sense of humor you may notice with Jemma and Holly? That might be from me as well.

Blog Stops

July 22: Artistic Nobody
July 22: Just Commonly
July 23: Live.Love.Read.
July 24: Carpe Diem
July 24: autism mom
July 25: Baker Kella
July 26: A Rup Life
July 27: Karen Sue Hadley
July 27: Quiet Quilter
July 28: Pause for Tales
July 29: Remembrancy
July 29: Cafinated Reads

Giveaway

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To celebrate this tour, Shannon Brown is giving away a grand prize of a book lovers gift basket – a basket filled with book-related things!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/bb35

Monday, July 31, 2017

A Matter of Trust by Susan May Warren

A Matter of Trust (Montana Rescue, #3)
Book Description:
Champion backcountry snowboarder Gage Watson has left the limelight behind after the death of one of his fans. After being sued for negligence and stripped of his sponsorships, he's remade his life as a ski patrol in Montana's rugged mountains, as well as serving on the PEAK Rescue team. But he can't seem to find his footing--or forget the woman he loved, who betrayed him. 
Senator and former attorney Ella Blair spends much of her time in the limelight as the second-youngest senator in the country. But she has a secret--one that cost Gage his career. More than anything, she wants to atone for her betrayal of him in the courtroom and find a way to help him put his career back on track. 
When Ella's brother goes missing on one of Glacier National Park's most dangerous peaks, Gage and his team are called in for the rescue. But Gage isn't so sure he wants to help the woman who destroyed his life. More, when she insists on joining the search, he'll have to keep her safe while finding her reckless brother, a recipe for disaster when a snowstorm hits the mountain. 
But old sparks relight as they search for the missing snowboarder--and suddenly, they are faced with emotions neither can deny. But when Ella's secret is revealed, can they learn to trust each other--even when disaster happens again?

My Thoughts:
This is an awesome series!  I was worried when I started this book that it wasn't going to pull me in the way the first two did, but boy was I wrong!  Gage has issues from his past life in the spotlight that he wishes he could forget.  One of those is the way Ella betrayed him.  Now she is a senator and she needs Gage's help to find her brother before he is lost in the storm.  Gage is a member of the PEAK Rescue team and they are capable of handling the rescue.  Ella adds the element of an unknown when she insists on going and neither of them is prepared for all that happens.
So I really liked Gage.  He went from a thrill seeker to a life saver (ok, not completely by choice but still he made the transition).  Ella's secrets are sad and angering to me.  I felt bad for her that her brother was out there and could be killed but I thought she was a bit crazy for not letting the professional do the job.  That being said, it made for a good story!  Gage had a lot to forgive and I'm not sure I could have if I was in his position.  I guess that is where God's guidance comes in!  Really love this cast of characters and cannot wait to see who the author writes about next.
It was a 5/5 for me.

Thank you to the publisher for the review copy of this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.