The Beacon tells the tale of a woman shipwrecked on an island. She finds herself rescued in a home (a lighthouse really), taken care of by a woman who...moreThe Beacon tells the tale of a woman shipwrecked on an island. She finds herself rescued in a home (a lighthouse really), taken care of by a woman who carries her own burdens. Yet, is she real? Are her burdens real? I read The Beacon in one evening - in one sitting actually, and not because of its novella length. I honestly couldn't put it down. Even after I finished, I found myself sitting for an extended period of time thinking "wow." The Beacon reminded me of a Twilight Zone episode - it was intense and awesome.
A.B. Shepherd tells a masterful tale that not only tackles tough topics, but had me questioning dreams from reality long after the story ended. (less)
I never imagined I could get emotionally attached to a fictional dragon. Well I did - in fact, thanks to Emily Fogle's Dragon Wars, I'm emotionally at...moreI never imagined I could get emotionally attached to a fictional dragon. Well I did - in fact, thanks to Emily Fogle's Dragon Wars, I'm emotionally attached to several now.
It all started with a mysterious book and a glowing box found under the floorboard in the bedroom of Daniel's new house. From there we're brought into the world of Dorcian - once beautiful, sweet smelling, and magical - now war torn and rancid. Barely kept intact by the loving dragon known as Ebby that Daniel read about in his mysterious book. I say "we" are brought into the world, because from the very first page, the reader feels as if they are standing right besides Daniel, feeling every emotion toward Ebby and the Idorah, as well as Mordah, Brady, and even Milly. As the war raged on, I felt as if I was fighting the battle as well - flying on the backs of the dragons alongside Daniel - trying to rescue those in need while keeping my friends safe - but none would be as brave as Daniel. At the end of the book, I must admit, I glanced around my room, searching for my own glowing box.
I absolutely loved this book. Author Emily Fogle's illustrative style of writing kept me turning the pages. Great book for both kids and adults about the power of love in the struggle of good vs. evil. This book is definitely on my holiday gift list.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.(less)
I'm not a fan of science fiction... Not even a little bit. But when the buzz about A.B. Shepherd's debut novel, Lifeboat, started getting around, I ha...moreI'm not a fan of science fiction... Not even a little bit. But when the buzz about A.B. Shepherd's debut novel, Lifeboat, started getting around, I have to admit, my interest was more than a little peaked. The more I heard about this book, the more I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. Well now I know. Yes, Lifeboat has UFOs and aliens, but it has so much more! It is a fabulously written character driven story about a young woman who has lost everything that is important to her and is looking to hold on to that one thing... anything to pull her back into a life worth living. Even the unknown.
A.B. Shepherd does a great job developing her characters through cleverly written chapters that often scan through different periods of time and change character points of view - not an easy skill for an author to master, yet Ms. Shepherd's scenes flow perfectly. Within this story are moments of raw emotion, intrigue, mystery, and even humor (a particularly funny laugh out loud moment for me was the naming of the "four greys" John, Paul, George, and Ringo ... at the same time - there were definite tissue grabbing moments as well.) The story kept me engaged from beginning to end ... & what an ending it was! Great debut. I'm looking forward to reading more works from this author.
A copy of this book was provided to me for an honest review.(less)
This is a wonderful book full of action that your middle grade reader will love (as will adults!) Eric and the gang are called upon once again for ano...moreThis is a wonderful book full of action that your middle grade reader will love (as will adults!) Eric and the gang are called upon once again for another Assignment. This time they are thrown into the middle of a war of civil unrest between two brothers, one of whom is using DNA from lions to create an army out of its unwilling citizens. Can Eric, Stig, Kate, and Halo bring peace and freedom back to the land? The writing in this book is so descriptive that at times I felt as if I was reading a comic book, with Stig, Eric, Halo & Kate staring as their own version of "The Fantastic Four." Every page is a fabulous adventure filled with action. Just when you think the conflict is over and you can finally breathe a sigh of relief - wham! - a new unexpected twist appears. This book is sure to keep your reader engaged and excited from beginning to end with great lessons about working together, good vs. evil, the importance of communication, and the dangers of too much power and greed.(less)
In Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour, PR expert, Donna Huber, provides pages of invaluable information for every author looking to both set up their o...moreIn Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour, PR expert, Donna Huber, provides pages of invaluable information for every author looking to both set up their own tour or learn more about hiring a tour company to run a tour on their behalf. Donna brings years of experience to the table, sharing tips in an organized and easy to follow manner. Donna gives great examples from her own experiences, ranging from working with traditionally published authors to self-published authors, giving the reader confidence in Donna's results. This is a must have reference guide for every author. (less)
Poor Cassie - she's never the one getting the attention, at least not when her gorgeous and perfect best friend Rachel is around. But when Cassie find...morePoor Cassie - she's never the one getting the attention, at least not when her gorgeous and perfect best friend Rachel is around. But when Cassie finds a book called "How to Be Famous in Ten Days" she decides it's time to be noticed … sort of. You see she follows all the steps, but has Rachel fill in as herself, so as to get even more attention. Of course, the attention goes to Rachel, not Cassie - including the attention from the cute boy who works at Starbucks. Once Cassie realizes that her plan is not going quite as planned, everything changes for her.
This is a great book for teens, and deals with the important topics of self-esteem and confidence - I also love how the author brings in Rachel's brother and his partner's relationship. This was a quick and fun read and quite enjoyable.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. (less)
Not all stories end with a happily ever after. In this wonderful collection of 'fairy tales gone bad' you'll find a everything from re-writes of class...moreNot all stories end with a happily ever after. In this wonderful collection of 'fairy tales gone bad' you'll find a everything from re-writes of classics, to original tales, to even a poetic adaptation of a childhood favorite. The contributing authors are all so talented an bring something unique & special to this wonderful anthology. A really fun read that you won't want to pass up!
This book was so great, I honestly don't even know where to start! So let me try to break it down - the story itself had me hooked from the first page...moreThis book was so great, I honestly don't even know where to start! So let me try to break it down - the story itself had me hooked from the first page. It starts with a news article where we learn about a mysterious death which took place many years ago. Fast forward to the present, and the Morrow family is about to move into the Begonia House. A house that has not had any occupants since this mysterious death. While many kids might be spooked out by the prospect of a haunted house, young Fairday Morrow sees it as just another day for the DMS (Detective Mystery Squad.) With the help of best friend, Lizzy, classmate Marcus, and even little sister Margo - the team is able to unravel the mysteries woven into (and behind) the walls of the the Begonia House.
Authors/Illustrators Jessica Haight & Stephanie Robinson do an amazing job of creating this wonderful world of the DMS. The illustrations are fabulous and really add to the story. I especially love that the ending hints that the DMS may have another assignment coming (hopefully soon.) Middle grade children and their parents will love this book! I couldn't put it down!(less)
It's no secret that I love this series, so when author Stacey Rourke asked me if I would like to read an advanced copy of Sacrifice, I jumped at the c...moreIt's no secret that I love this series, so when author Stacey Rourke asked me if I would like to read an advanced copy of Sacrifice, I jumped at the chance.
In this story, preparations are on for Alaina & Gabe's big day. There are several sacrifices throughout the story, but the main one involves Celeste's boyfriend Caleb. That's all I'm going to tell you, as any more will give the story away, but I will tell you this: Sacrifice is my favorite book of the series to date. The struggles, both internal and external, between good and evil are what pulls this amazing book. In my review of the second book, Embrace, I had been looking for answers as to what happened to Alec. Sacrifice begins to answer those questions (thank you!) Of course, like all good continuing series, even more questions are posed.
Stacey Rourke once again writes the perfect mixture of humor, action, adventure, sarcasm, & romance. To round it all off, of course, she's got her trademark cliff hanger ending. If you haven't started reading the Gryphon Series yet .. What are you waiting for?(less)
This short-story spinoff of the Gryphen Series is a fabulous and fun quick read. The story highlights three of The Conduit’s sidekicks and starts off...moreThis short-story spinoff of the Gryphen Series is a fabulous and fun quick read. The story highlights three of The Conduit’s sidekicks and starts off from the point of view of Keni. From there we hear from the very hip and cool Gram, followed by the lion/hunk Gabe. The story takes place in the course of a day. While it doesn’t answer any of the major questions left by Embrace (the second in the Gryphen Series), it does create the backdrop for a very special event coming up in Sacrifice (the third book.) For those looking for a “Gryphen Series fix,” this one is for you; complete with the hilarious banter that Author Stacey Rourke does so well.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. (less)
Confession: This is the first vampire book I have read. I was offered an advanced copy to review, and since I am a huge fan of Melissa Luznicky Garret...moreConfession: This is the first vampire book I have read. I was offered an advanced copy to review, and since I am a huge fan of Melissa Luznicky Garrett’s books, I decided to give this one a try, vampires and all. I am so glad I did!
The story opens with teenager, Blake Ehlert, getting a tattoo of a vampire bite on her neck. We quickly learn that she was the victim of a vampire attack and does not have long to live. The bulk of the story is cleverly written in two time periods that alternate back and forth between Blake’s pre and post vampire attack. The characters are all richly developed and full of personality, and the storyline had just the right amount of twists to keep me wanting more. Once again, Ms. Garrett wrote a story that will entertain teens and adults, both young and old.
I still don't feel the urge to run out and read every vampire book out there, but I am very much looking forward to the next book in this series. And since this non-vampire-loving-reader enjoyed this book immensely, imagine how much you will adore it as a vampire fan!
I was provided a complimentary advanced copy of this book by the author for an honest review. (less)
I picked up a copy of The Philanthropist’s Danse, after reading the summary. I found the idea of a group of people, some related, some strangers, who...moreI picked up a copy of The Philanthropist’s Danse, after reading the summary. I found the idea of a group of people, some related, some strangers, who are called together to decide on their own, how a wealthy, deceased man’s fortune is to be divided, to be an interesting story line. The story did in fact hold up to its description. I felt the author did an excellent job of creating curious and varied characters – each with their own mystery/secret. The writing flowed nicely, and the detailed descriptions had me thinking I was also a guest at the Mr. Thurwell’s mansion.
However, there were parts of the story that I felt were a bit too long and unnecessary. At times I began to not care who got the fortune. At the same time, I felt invested and wanted to see the book through. While I understand the need to follow the Danse out to the end, the ending seemed a bit flat and disappointing to me.
Overall, The Philanthropist’s Danse is a creative concept with some interesting twists and diverse characters. (less)