Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Kim vs the Mean Girl by Meredith Schorr

Kindle Edition, 200 pages
Published April 20th 2017 by Meredith Schorr
High school sophomore, Kim Long, is no stranger to the “mean girl” antics of Queen Bee Hannah Marshak. When Hannah steals Kim’s diary and in front of the entire class reads personal (not to mention humiliating) entries Kim wrote about her crush, Jonathan, Kim vows to enact revenge.

Kim and her loyal best friend, Bridget, come up with the perfect plan to put the evil Hannah in her place once and for all. But will their scheming have the desired effect of getting even, or will Hannah emerge more celebrated by her peers than ever?

Kim vs. The Mean Girl can be read as a young adult standalone novel, but it is also a prequel to the popular Blogger Girl adult romantic comedy series and is set in 2000. Told in the duo perspectives of teenage Kim and Hannah, fans of the series will get an inside look into Kim’s early passion for reading, writing (and Jonathan) and find out why Hannah is so darn mean.

My Thoughts…

Meredith Schorr is bringing back Kim Long and Hannah Marshak.    In Kim vs. the Mean Girl we get to see how high school shaped the rivalry between these two and the lives they lived before Blogger Girl (where Kim and Hannah are grown up).     This is the prequel to Blogger Girl but either book can be read first.   

The high school setting was perfect.   The clichés, the gossips, the cute boys, the homework, and even the family dynamic through teenage eyes are written perfectly.    I have a high schooler and the thoughts, the actions, and the reactions were as I witness with my daughter and her friends.     I could picture my daughter and her friends plotting against Hannah or getting google eyed over the cute boy.

While this is a YA book as a mom I really enjoyed the story.    I am going to share it with my daughter and see if she enjoys it as much as I did.     
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"In Blogger Girl we meet the irrepressible Kim Long and her nemesis Hannah Marshak. Kim Vs. the Mean Girl takes us back to high school with Kim and Hannah 101 in this delightful prequel. I gobbled it up in one byte…er, I mean bite (this is the era before a cell phone was in every backpack). When Kim declares war on Hannah, it takes some unexpected, and at times amusing, turns, and though the enemies don’t emerge as friends, or even frenemies, they each come away the better for it. A fun read for all ages." Eileen Goudge, New York Times best-selling author 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Big Adventures of Tiny House by Susan Schaefer Bernardo, Courtenay Fletcher

Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 25th 2017 by Inner Flower Child Books

The Big Adventures of Tiny House is a story about an old farmhouse that gets recycled into something new: TINY, a little house with a big heart - and WHEELS! With the help of Big Truck and lots of friends they meet along the way, Tiny travels the country to discover the true meaning of home.

My Thoughts…

I read this to my 2 year old nephew and he loved it.    We actually read it over and over and over.   He pointed to the bright pictures and smiled when I read the words.    This is definitely going to be a favorite of his. 

There is a message in this book, maybe a few of them.     The one that stuck with me is the idea that a home is whatever you want it to be.   You can live in a boat, a bus, a RV, or a tiny house and it can be a home with some love and tlc.  

The Big Adventures of a Tiny House is a fun and cute book.  I will be recommending my local library purchasing their own copy.

Thank you Ann-Marie at GetRedPR for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

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Monday, May 29, 2017

Almost Missed You by Jessica Strawser

Almost Missed You by Jessica Strawser  is part of the SheReads Spring book selections.     SheReads is a community of bloggers that as a group help promote specific books.   We share reviews, thoughts, and our feelings after reading books suggested to us by the wonderful people who run the SheReadsOrganization. 

 Hardcover, 320 pages
Published March 28th 2017 by St. Martin's Press
Violet and Finn were “meant to be,” said everyone, always. They ended up together by the hands of fate aligning things just so. Three years into their marriage, they have a wonderful little boy, and as the three of them embark on their first vacation as a family, Violet can’t help thinking that she can’t believe her luck. Life is good.

So no one is more surprised than she when Finn leaves her at the beach—just packs up the hotel room and disappears. And takes their son with him. Violet is suddenly in her own worst nightmare, and faced with the knowledge that the man she’s shared her life with, she never really knew at all.

Caitlin and Finn have been best friends since way back when, but when Finn shows up on Caitlin’s doorstep with the son he’s wanted for kidnapping, demands that she hide them from the authorities, and threatens to reveal a secret that could destroy her own family if she doesn’t, Caitlin faces an impossible choice.

Told through alternating viewpoints of Violet, Finn and Caitlin,
 Almost Missed You is a powerful story of a mother’s love, a husband’s betrayal, connections that maybe should have been missed, secrets that perhaps shouldn’t have been kept, and spaces between what’s meant to be and what might have been.

My Thoughts…

I Almost Missed You is a book I couldn’t put down.   When I read the last word I stopped and just sat there thinking about what I had read.    Even now I am not exactly sure what I think of it, other than I want my friends to read it so we can discuss it.     

My first mistake was assuming that I knew what was going to happen.    There were other parts to the story beyond the father kidnapping his son that I was thrown off track numerous times.   With each twist and turn I found myself becoming more invested in Violet finding her son.     I wanted to be mad, truly pissed off, at Finn but I just couldn’t get there.     It was evident that every character had their own secret.    As close as the 4 of them were they were not always truthful with each other.   I enjoyed how they paired off, not always with their spouses, sharing secrets.   

Jessica Strawser did an amazing job taking the reader on a wild ride.    A ride I didn’t want to end but I had to know what would happen to Caitlin, George, Finn, and Violet.     I recommend picking up your own copy today.  

Thank you to NetGalley, SheReads and Katie Bassel at St. Martin’s press for a copy of the book in exchange for a honest review. 

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Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Demon Who Loved Me by Jessie Lane

Title: The Demon Who Loved Me
Series: Big Bad Bite Series #4
Author: Jessie Lane
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release: May 28, 2017

He’s a gambling man… One brunette bombshell with a devious mind and a potty mouth has thrust Kent smack dab in the middle of where he never wanted to be—his family. He’s spent most of his life avoiding his familial responsibilities, especially the one that required him to join the Ninth Circle Council—the demon society’s equivalent of judge, jury, and executioner. Then one lost bet with a little Amazon flips his entire life upside down. With worries about retaliation from the remnants of a rogue pack of wolves in Germany, he doesn’t have time to deal with his family, or his obsession with Chloe Demos. And she’s the biggest risk he’ll ever take… After her mother’s death, Chloe’s world crashes down around her. A secret Amazonian heritage. Aunts and a long lost brother she never knew about. Supernatural beings. With all of the sudden changes, she’s decided it’s time to step out from behind her façade of an air-headed, materialistic bimbo and show her sisters she truly does love them—she only hates their wardrobes. What better way to show she cares about her family than to help prove someone close to one of them is innocent of the bogus murder charges from some ridiculous council? Chloe has no scruples about calling in the marker the demon Kent owes her in order to do just that. It’s only too bad she’s underestimated Kent’s intelligence, and his playboy charm.

My Thoughts...

Hot, steamy, and fun!  Those are the first three words that pop into my mind when I think about The Demon Who Loved Me by Jessie Lane.     The Big Bad Bite Series is one of my favorites by Jessie Lane and I am always excited when a new book comes out in this series.   I am quick to get a copy and devour it.    The Demon Who Loved Me is the perfect book 4 to this series.   I do recommend picking up the rest of this series to fully appreciate and understand the story line but they are all fun and easy reads.  

There were a few times while reading that I felt like there was a lot going on in the story.   Yet the Jessie did an amazing job of tying up those loose ends and making the story and the characters fall into line.   I am sure this was not an easy thing to do as the characters seemed to have taken on a life of their own and probably didn't do as Jessie Lane was expecting.   

I cannot wait for more from this series.   There is more to tell, more characters to make behave (or not!), and more fun to have.     If you are looking for a new shifter story The Big Bad Bite Series is perfect.    

Jessie Lane is a best-selling author of Paranormal and Contemporary Romance, as well as, Upper YA Paranormal Romance/Fantasy.

She lives in Kentucky with her two little Rock Chicks in-the-making and her over protective alpha husband that she’s pretty sure is a latent grizzly bear shifter. She has a passionate love for reading and writing naughty romance, cliff hanging suspense, and out-of-this-world characters that demand your attention, or threaten to slap you around until you do pay attention to them.
She’s also a proud member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA).


Friday, May 26, 2017

A Dozen Truths: 12 Works of Fiction by Lou Aronica editor, Aaron Brown (Editor)

Published March 14th 2017 by Story Plant

The greatest truths are often revealed in fiction, as exemplified by this stunning anthology of stories that reveal the human condition in bracingly truthful ways. The eternal complexities of sibling relationships are revealed in four-time #1 bestselling author Steven Manchester’s “Lost.” The hope and betrayal that so often underlies love declare themselves in Marcia Gloster’s “Losing Will.” The reality behind a con man’s illusions emerge in Craig Ham’s contest-winning “Tonic and Spirits.” These are three of the dozen truths that will rise from these pages. 

Side by side with the work of national bestselling novelists like Mary Marcus and Earl Javorsky, A DOZEN TRUTHS features the three winners of the 2016 AuthorsFirst Short Story Contest, providing a bold mix of experienced storytelling and fresh new voices.

As entertaining as it is engaging, A DOZEN TRUTHS promises twelve dramatic revelations – and as many powerful reading experiences.
Eric Andersson 
Steven Manchester 
Carmen Siegers 
Marcia Gloster 
Craig Ham 
Lynn Voedisch 
Mary Marcus 
Christopher Slater 
KJ Steele 
Earl Javorsky 
Roger Bagg 
Robert Herzog 

My Thoughts…

A collection of short anthologies is a great way to be introduced to new authors, different genres, and some familiar authors that you haven’t read for a while.   I picked up A Dozen Truths because I am a huge Steven Manchester fan and have found that there are other authors that I will now be searching out more of their work. 

This anthology was fun because of the different genres shared.   There were a few that I would have said were not my type of reads yet I enjoyed them all.   I liked that each individual story gave a bio about each author.    I recommend picking up this great collection and enjoying each short story. 

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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Beyond Falling Stars by Sherry Soule with a Guest Post

ISBN: 9781535579209 / ASIN: B0718VKFGB
Paperback page count: 335
Genre: Romantic Comedy with a Sci-Fi concept
Series: Starlight Saga / Book #3
Release date:  April 24, 2017
Publisher: Disenchanted Publishing
Book Blurb:
Being hunted by alien mutants totally sucks. And the threat of imprisonment in a secret underground lab? Even suckier.
Now that Sloane Masterson’s blackmailer has been revealed, and she knows the truth about why Hayden’s been so secretive, she’s ready to put all that epic craziness behind her.
Besides, Sloane has bigger problems to deal with, like protecting her family from Sector Thirteen and getting Hayden’s snobby parents to accept her as one of them. . .which is proving more difficult than giving up chocolate.
And what better way to win over the ’rents and evade ST than an intergalactic vacay with her smoking’ hot boyfriend?
Sloane and her bestie, Viola Saks, are invited to join the Lancaster brothers for a twisted family reunion on their home planet, an oasis of wicked cool beaches, warm dual suns, and clear blue seas.
But danger lurks in paradise. . .
Even in this beautiful utopia, Sloane and Hayden’s relationship is never far from higher levels of suckage. They might be vacationing in a galaxy far, far away, but someone still wants her dead.

My Thoughts…

Book Three of a series that I love… I am in heaven!     The Starlight Saga does have to be read in order but they are all amazing books so I recommend picking up book one (see my thoughts here) and continuing to book two (my thoughts here) and fly right into book three.  

The characters are mostly teenagers.    Sherry Soule does an amazing job writing them as teenagers.   They have teenage relationships, teenage reactions, and teenage maturity.     I liked that these were real teenagers, which Sherry stayed true to that throughout the entire series.    I realize that their problems were not always typical teenage problems but their problems were of the world they were living in.   Most teenagers do not have people trying to kidnap them to make them test subjects but Sloane manages to keep herself and her friend alive. 

Sloane… I just don’t know what to say about Sloane.   Never ever in my life have I met someone who was so jinxed in life.   NOTHING, absolutely nothing, went right in her world.    With every step she took I was afraid that she would hurt herself, get herself kidnapped, or end up dead.    Thankfully she managed to keep herself alive with the help of her friends. 

This is the end to a wonderful series.   I feel like I am saying goodbye to old friends but I know that I will never forget them.   

Thank you Sherry Soule for a copy of the book for an honest review.   

Series blog for book cover:

“Why I Love the Young Adult Genre” - #StarlightSaga
Guest Post by Indie Author, Sherry Soule
Today bestselling author Sherry Soule has some exciting news to share with us. She has recently published the next book in her popular Starlight Saga series, a humorous paranormal romance. Sherry is doing this fun guest post to share the book love with fellow readers.
Be warned, these books have scorching-hot romance!

Hi everybody, I’m author, Sherry Soule—waving from the SF Bay Area. Thanks for letting me visit today, it’s an honor to be a guest here and meet fellow booklovers.
YA (young adult) Lit is a general term used for books aimed at the teen market. Nowadays, these books can be read by anyone at any age.
Ever since I was a child, I have recognized that books are a way to travel to other places and have incredible adventures. Even though I am older than the average teen reader, I’ve always loved reading Young Adult books and strongly believe you’re NEVER too old to read them. A great book is simply a great book regardless of its intended audience. I read both adult and young adult novels, and equally love both.
One reason that I enjoy reading YA Lit is because most novels in this genre are fast-paced and thrilling, and will captivate teen and adult readers alike. The storylines are just as complex and imaginative as adult fiction, in my opinion. And teenage characters tend to have a much more hopeful perspective than adult literature, which draws me in—plus the fact that I’m really a big kid at heart. I also adore that there are so many books created into a series nowadays, so that you can continue to have additional adventures with your favorite characters.
Could my love of YA Lit be simply because I’m just a teenager-at-heart?
Maybe. Actually, I am an adult with teenage children, and I love writing young adult fiction as much as I love reading it. Writing upper YA is fun and exhilarating, and I get to relive my youth in new and exciting ways. My stories will appeal to both adults and teens, and even college-aged kids. And like many of you, because I am a writer of YA literature, I’ve read hundreds of YA books and I can actually say that I enjoyed almost all of them.
Although I buy many of my books through Amazon, I am never embarrassed to buy YA novels in bookstores, or carry them around with me. I love the genre and always have and always will. To me, reading YA novels has to do with simple escapism, instant gratification, and mostly nostalgia. I say, “Live and let read!” If adults are reading YA books, it speaks to the quality of the genre, not the diminishing tastes of adults. “Reading is food for your brain.” I read many different genres in both young adult and adult novels, and I am no book snob.
We all have diverse tastes in literature. Most of you will have various genres that you love to read, and probably some of my favorite books are simply your forgotten reads. That is what makes reading as a whole, so fascinating. Each one of us will enjoy different types of characters, genres, plots, and, of course, a writer’s voice, the way only they can tell a story.
And I don’t know about you, but I need some romance in almost every book I read. And if you’re a hopeless romantic at heart, then you’ll enjoy reading any of my books.
At its core, this YA series, Starlight Saga, is basically a story about two outcast teens finding each other and how their “forbidden” love changes both of their lives. Sure, there is an element of danger regarding this star-crossed romance, but they are both young and impulsive with their hearts. Who isn’t at that age?
I think the heroine of this fun series, Sloane, is rather unique. To me, she’s not your average “Mary Sue” or flawless YA heroine. She has some self-esteem issues, but she’s also headstrong and gutsy, with an eccentric fashion sense. 
Thank you for letting me chat about my love of young adult literature today. I hope you enjoyed this post. Now go feed your mind and read a book! Preferably one of mine. :-D

About Sherry Soule
Sherry Soule is a bestselling author, who lives with her family and two black rescue cats in Northern California. She’s always wanted to live in a world where sweatpants are sexy, cupcakes don’t make you fat, and she could adopt every homeless animal.
She writes young adult, new adult, and adult in urban fantasy, romantic comedy, and paranormal romance genres set in fictional places within the SF Bay Area that feature independent females and sexy alpha males. Many of her books have spent time on the Kindle bestseller lists and have been nominated as top picks in the “Best Paranormal Romance” categories.
When she’s not writing thrilling tales of romance and suspense, often mingled with a splash of trendy fashion, you can find her binge watching Netflix, reading (often crushing on fictional characters), or hanging with her zany family.
As a fan of all kinds of movies, Sherry’s been addicted to horror films because of the thrills and chills since childhood. It might be the adrenaline rush, or that feeling of being kept on the edge of her seat (so to speak) in anticipation of what happens next as one of her favorite kinds of escapism.
Places you can cyberstalk Sherry Soule:
Official Author Blog:
Twitter - @SherrySoule:

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Allie and Bea by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Paperback, 350 pages
Expected publication: May 23rd 2017 by Lake Union Publishing
Bea has barely been scraping by since her husband died. After falling for a telephone scam, she loses everything and is forced to abandon her trailer. With only two-thirds of a tank in her old van, she heads toward the Pacific Ocean with her cat—on a mission to reclaim what’s rightfully hers, even if it means making others pay for what she lost.

When fifteen-year-old Allie’s parents are jailed for tax fraud, she’s sent to a group home. But when her life is threatened by another resident, she knows she has to get out. She escapes only to find she has nowhere to go—until fate throws Allie in Bea’s path.

Reluctant to trust each other, much less become friends, the two warily make their way up the Pacific Coast. Yet as their hearts open to friendship and love from the strangers they meet on their journey, they find the courage to forge their own unique family—and begin to see an imperfect world with new eyes.

My Thoughts…

Allie and Bea started slow for me.   I felt like it was kind of a pity party for Bea.   Poor her…having her accounts wiped clean, losing her husband, not being able to pay rent…nothing was going her way.     Then she went shady and ran.    I wasn’t sure of her.    Then there was Allie.   Her folks get arrested and she is taken to a group home where she has to run.     There was no fault on Allie’s part but I feel like she was living in a dream world with how she thought her life would end up.    Maybe it was due to her age but I have a 15 year old and I hope she would be less naïve that Allie and know that life can be tough and sometimes you have to put on your big girl pants and figure out how to get along with different people.  

My favorite part of the book is the travelling and the scenes they saw.   The coast, the lighthouse, the beaches, and the towns they visited captured my attention and had me dreaming of a fun vacation.     It was fun that Allie and Bea winged their trip for the most part.     They decided where to stop, where to eat, and which direction to head based on recommendations from locals, how much gas and money they had, and where they were at the time.     I think travelling this way would be fun.

Hyde  wrote a fun book.      I didn’t have to think a lot and could just fall into the story and follow along on their journey.     

Thanks to Lake Union  for a copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.   

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