Monday, March 28, 2016

Red by Liesl Shurtliff

Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood

Author: Liesl Shurtliff

Publisher: Knopf Books for Readers

Expected publish date: April 12, 2016

ISBN13: 9780385755832

Hardcover: 288 pages

FTC FYI: Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Summary

"Red is the most wonder-filled fairy tale of them all!”—Chris Grabenstein, New York Times Bestselling author of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library.

Red is not afraid of the big bad wolf. She’s not afraid of anything . . . except magic.  But when Red’s granny falls ill, it seems that only magic can save her, and fearless Red is forced to confront her one weakness.

With the help of a blond, porridge-sampling nuisance called Goldie, Red goes on a quest to cure Granny. Her journey takes her through dwarves’ caverns to a haunted well and a beast’s castle. All the while, Red and Goldie are followed by a wolf and a huntsman—two mortal enemies who seek the girls’ help to defeat each other. And one of them just might have the magical solution Red is looking for. . . .

Liesl Shurtliff weaves a spellbinding tale, shining the spotlight on a beloved character from her award-winning debut, Rump. 

And don't miss Jack: The True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk, "a delightful story of family, perseverance and courage" (Booklist).

My Review

RED is another winner for Liesl Shurtliff.  I loved it, even more than I loved RUMP and JACK.  Red is hands down, an amazing character.  I loved her.  It was enjoyable watching her grow up and learn about herself and learn her potential overcome her fears.  I really loved Goldie too.  She was very funny.  I appreciated their gradual friendship, as Red was a hard one to win over.  Liesl does an incredible job of character development, as Red was truly able to find herself in her own personal journey, as well as her adventure to help Granny.  I really enjoyed the supporting characters too.  Goldie, Borlen and his parents, and the Beast were awesome.  My favorite was Wolf, I missed him when he wasn't around.  I loved the epilogue and I was teary at the end, especially with the last pages.  The mix of different fairytales was very entertaining and I loved Liesl's spin on them.  

5 out of 5 stars.  I can't wait for another release from this fantastic author.  

Author Links

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

Purchase Links

Amazon / Barnes and Noble

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Come Unto Me -- Movie Review


Young Samuel and little Mary are intrigued by the man called John the Baptist, but they can’t take the chance of staying in one place long enough to listen to his message. On the run from Roman soldiers, the brother and sister must do whatever it takes to survive. But when they meet a kind woman at a well, she introduces them to her son, Jesus—and their meeting forever changes the children’s lives.

My Review

I loved this sweet movie about Samuel and his sister Mary and how they met Mary and her son Jesus.   I appreciated a look into the relationship of Mary and Jesus.  I loved how Samuel protected his sister.  I also enjoyed how Mary took them in and cared for them.  She told them stories of Jesus.  The stories and lessons taught by Mary were of the basic gospel principles: faith, repentance, and baptism and then the children were able to experience those principles first hand.  I really enjoy these sweet movies and it brought tears to each of our eyes as we were touched by the message. 

Purchase Links



Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Love at First Note by Jenny Proctor

Love at First Note

Author: Jenny Proctor

Publisher: Covenant

Published: March 1, 2016

IBSN13: 9781680479430

Paperback: 304 pages

FTC FYI: Received a paperback copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Summary

Emma Hill was practically born with a violin in her hands. She lives for the life of the piece, for each song's story, for the perfect stillness after the endnotes when the vibrations of sound are still humming through her body.

If only her love life were that harmonic. But she knew her chances at love would take a hit when she decided to leave her prestigious concertmaster position in the Cleveland Orchestra and move back home to Asheville, North Carolina. She justifies her actions with the fact that being concertmaster for the Asheville Symphony is better than no dates and no job.

But when Emma's world collides with piano-playing YouTube sensation Elliott Hart, she finds herself falling for the way he plucks at her heartstrings. Despite a, ahem, not-so-good first impression, the two soon develop the beginnings of a rhythmic relationship. But when Elliott insists they can't be together, it's up to Emma to strike up a little romance. Will she be able to bring their two worlds into harmony, or will she only manage to get herself in trouble?
 

My Review

I am pretty sure I read this entire book with a big smile on my face.  I loved it!  I adored Emma right away, her humor and inner voice were so much fun.  I really appreciated the gradual relationship that built between Emma and Elliott.  I thought it was so funny when he thought she was stalking him.  The author does a great job of planting seeds in the story, especially with Emma's sister.  There is so much more to this story than a fun romance (which it totally is, don't get me wrong).  The author does a fantastic job in showing Emma's love for music.  It made me want to go listen to some classical music.  I could tell the author put her heart into researching.  

5 out of 5 stars.  The book  has an amazing feel about it.  I was sorry to see it end, I would read and read without caring how late it was.   

Author Links

Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

Purchase Links

Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Deseret Book / Seagull Book

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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Deliverance by H. B. Moore -- Blog Tour

Deliverance

Author: H. B. Moore

Publisher: Covenant

Published: March 1, 2016

ISBN13: 9781680479355

Paperback: 266 pages

FTC FYI: I received a paperback copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Summary

Experience the life of Moses as never before, following his journey from fugitive of Egypt to prophet of God. In this exhilarating follow-up to H.B. Moore’s biblical drama The Moses Chronicles: Bondage, the account of Moses’s flight from Egypt continues. Moses’s life as he knew it is over. He has chosen to stand for his beliefs at the cost of being cast out of his royal home and family. He is free of the wickedness of Egypt, but peace is not to be found, for Moses is as much an aimless wanderer as those in the nomadic tribe he encounters in the wilderness. Exhausted by long weeks of travel, he nevertheless jumps to action when he observes a group of young women accosted by a band of Bedrayan men at a communal well. These lovely daughters of Jethro are grateful for his help, and their Midianite tribe welcomes Moses with open arms. As he learns the ways of the Midianites, his kinship with Jethro grows—as does his admiration of one of Jethro’s daughters, Zipporah. But when Moses suddenly receives a burning call to free the very people he has long oppressed, will he have the courage to return to the land from which he has been exiled?

My Review

Another compelling read from a talented author.  DELIVERANCE picks up right where BONDAGE ends.  Every turn of the page brings a new adventure, full of suspense and a great amount of action.  The story is constantly moving and the pages turned fast as I was eagerly awaiting what would be next for Moses.  The conflicts with the other tribes were intense and suspenseful.  This is a very exciting story full of action.  I loved the point of view switches between Moses and Zipporah.  I enjoyed seeing what each character thought in certain situations.  Moses's character leapt off the pages, as well as Zipporah's.  I loved how she was her own woman, and knew what she wanted.  Heather also took great care in writing the supporting characters too.  I loved Jethro, Zipproah's father.  He was a wonderful man full of compassion and trust.  This book really got my thinking about who Moses really was and what an incredible man he was. Full of faith and strength.  I loved his devotion to his new life in the desert, and how he followed the Lord to deliver his people.  I am anxiously awaiting the last book in the series. 

5 out of 5 stars.  

Author Links

Website / Twitter / Facebook

Purchase Links

Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Deseret Book 




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Friday, March 4, 2016

If We Were a Movie by Kelly Oram -- Book Blast

  If We Were a Movie by Kelly Oram (Power of the Matchmaker #3) Music meets Movies in this sweet college romance from the bestselling author of Cinder & Ella. NYU freshman Nate Anderson is a triplet who is desperate to escape his wild and crazy brothers. After they screw things up for him one too many times, Nate flees his housing situation and takes the first available room for rent as far from his brothers as he can get. Enter his new roommate Jordan--a quirky LA girl who believes that everything in life has already been done in the movies. In this heartfelt tale of love, friendship and family, Nate learns how to deal with his new adult life using Hollywood films as a guide.
 
What readers just like you are saying about If We Were a Movie:

"WOW! This book is great! The concept is so inventive, and the writing is brilliant."
"I thought Cinder & Ella jerked with my emotions too much but this one might have it beat."
"I finished reading If We Were a Movie yesterday. I loved it! I fell hard for Nate. Jordan was amazing! And Pearl's timing was perfect! "

"Amazing concept with movies as chapters, and fantastic storyline." "I loved this story and was humming along to the songs from the book whilst reading. I can see this book becoming the movie it was written to be." "If We Were a Movie made me want to binge watch movies, listen to old playlists and re-read it all at once."

TEASER: “So this is what a Pearl-approved guy looks like.” She shook her head once and cracked a smile. “She’s got good taste, I’ll give her that. You’re an odd mix of sexy and adorable. Don’t see that often.”
I was a little taken aback by the compliment, if that’s even what it was. She may have just been stating what she considered to be fact. She laughed at my surprise and held out her hand to me. “Nice to meet you. I’m Jordan Kramer.”
I’d been afraid of that. “You’re a girl.”
Jordan laughed. “That’s what it says on my birth certificate, but I’m really glad you were able to figure it out without needing to read it.”
Nope. I definitely didn’t need that.
 TEASER: I handed Jordan the electric guitar that I’ve had since I was twelve, and laughed when her eyes got really big. “You play the electric guitar, too?” “Music major,” I teased, picking up my keyboard. “I play this, too. A little. And the bass guitar.” “Awesome.” She examined the electric guitar with awe. “Why do you seem so surprised?” She looked at me as if the answer to that question should be obvious. “Hello. Have you met yourself? You with an acoustic guitar singing soft songs around a campfire or in a coffee house makes perfect sense. But I can’t picture you up on a stage, jamming on your electric guitar like a rock star.” She studied me a moment, then shook her head. “You’ll have to play for me, or I’m not going to believe it.”
 
Author Kelly Oram
Kelly Oram wrote her first novel at age fifteen--a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which her family and friends still tease her. She's obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and likes to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, four children, and her cat, Mr. Darcy.
 
   
Don't miss the latest news from Kelly Oram! Sign up for her newsletter to receive e-mail notifications for all of her new releases, events, sales, & giveaways. This is a monthly newsletter often with exclusive giveaways and freebies from some of her favorite authors.

         
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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Nora and Kettle by Lauren Nicolle Taylor -- Book Blitz


Nora & Kettle
Lauren Nicolle Taylor
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: February 29th 2016
Genres: Historical, Young Adult
What if Peter Pan was a homeless kid just trying to survive, and Wendy flew away for a really good reason?
Seventeen-year-old Kettle has had his share of adversity. As an orphaned Japanese American struggling to make a life in the aftermath of an event in history not often referred to—the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and the removal of children from orphanages for having “one drop of Japanese blood in them”—things are finally looking up. He has his hideout in an abandoned subway tunnel, a job, and his gang of Lost Boys.
Desperate to run away, the world outside her oppressive brownstone calls to na├»ve, eighteen-year-old Nora—the privileged daughter of a controlling and violent civil rights lawyer who is building a compensation case for the interned Japanese Americans. But she is trapped, enduring abuse to protect her younger sister Frankie and wishing on the stars every night for things to change.
For months, they’ve lived side by side, their paths crossing yet never meeting. But when Nora is nearly killed and her sister taken away, their worlds collide as Kettle, grief stricken at the loss of a friend, angrily pulls Nora from her window.
In her honeyed eyes, Kettle sees sadness and suffering. In his, Nora sees the chance to take to the window and fly away.
Set in 1953, NORA AND KETTLE explores the collision of two teenagers facing extraordinary hardship. Their meeting is inevitable, devastating, and ultimately healing. Their stories, a collection of events, are each on their own harmless. But together, one after the other, they change the world.
EXCERPT:
I snort, push my sleeves up, and lean back on my forearms. She watches me, her eyes on my bare skin, and I wonder what she’s thinking. “Dances. Really? What’s to miss?” My experience with dances was one forced event in the camps where we watched the grownups awkwardly shift in lines to scratchy music. It didn’t look very enjoyable.
She releases the button she’s been playing with and smirks. “Says someone who’s clearly never been to one.”
“How do you know that?” I say, raising an eyebrow and touching my chest, mock offended.
She laughs. It’s starlight in a jar. I blink slowly. “Oh, I can tell just by looking at you, the way you move. You,” she says, pointing at me accusingly. “Can’t dance.”
The candlelight twinkles like it’s chuckling at me. “I can dance,” I say, not sure why I’m lying to defend myself. I’ve never danced in my life.
She stands up and beckons me with her finger, and I think there’s something wrong with my heart. It’s hurting… but the pain feels good.
She looks like a pirate’s cabin boy, shirt billowing around her small waist, ill-fitting pants rolled over at her hips to stop them from falling down. She points her bare foot at me. “Prove it!”
Shit!
I cough and stand nervously. I don’t know what to do with my hands, so I put them behind my back. She giggles. Touches me. Runs her fingers lightly down my arms until she finds my hands. She grasps my wrists and I gulp as she places one on the small dip between her hips and her ribs, extending the other out like the bow of a boat. Her hand in mine.
I follow her small steps and we wind in circles, avoiding the clumps of debris, painting patterns in the dust.
I stare at my socks and her narrow bare feet, listening to the swish of them across the dirt. “You know, this is pretty weird without music,” I mutter, looking up for a moment and suddenly losing my balance.
She exhales and brings us back to equilibrium. She starts humming softly. It’s a song I’ve heard before, but I pretend it’s the first time. Her voice is sweet, cracked and croaky, but in tune as she gazes at the ground and leads us up and down the back of the tunnel.
This moment is killing me. I don’t want it, but I do. Because I know it won’t be enough and it’s all I’ll get.
The end of the song is coming. It rises and rises and then softly peters out. We look at each other, understanding that something is changing between us, and we have to decide whether to let it. Please, let it.
She sings the last few bars. “And if you sing this melody, you’ll be pretending just like me. The world is mine. It can be yours, my friend. So why don’t you pretend?”
Her voice is like the dust of a comet’s tail. Full of a thousand things I don’t understand but want to.
She stops and starts to step away. She’s so fragile. Not on the outside. On the outside, her body is strong, tougher than it should have to be. It’s inside that’s very breakable. I’m scared to touch her, but I don’t want to avoid touching her because of what she’s been through. That seems worse.
So I do it, because I want to and I don’t think she doesn’t want me to. Her breath catches as I pull her closer. I just want to press my cheek to hers, feel her skin against mine. There is no music, just the rhythm of two barely functioning hearts trying to reach each other through miles of scar tissue.
She presses her ear to my chest and listens, then she pulls back to meet my eyes, her expression a mixture of confusion and comfort. She breathes out, her lips not wanting to close but not wanting to speak. She settles on a nervous smile and puts her arms around my neck. I inhale and look up at the ceiling, counting the stars I know are up there somewhere, and then rest my cheek in her hair.
I don’t know how she is here. I don’t know when she’ll disappear.
We sway back and forth, and it feels like we might break. That we will break if we step apart from each other.
I can’t let her go.
I think I love dancing.


Author Bio:
Lauren Nicolle Taylor lives in the lush Adelaide Hills. The daughter of a Malaysian nuclear physicist and an Australian scientist, she was expected to follow a science career path, attending Adelaide University and completing a Health Science degree with Honours in obstetrics and gynaecology.
She then worked in health research for a short time before having her first child. Due to their extensive health issues, Lauren spent her twenties as a full-time mother/carer to her three children. When her family life settled down, she turned to writing.
She is a 2014 Kindle Book Awards Semi-finalist and a USA Best Book Awards Finalist.

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