Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Review: War Kids #1 @hjlawson1


War Kids (War Kids, #1)
Title: War Kids
Author: H.J. Lawson
Series: War Kids #1
Release Date: August 20th 2014
Format: Paperback & Ebook


ADD TO GOODREADS
When Jada wakes up in a hospital, the last thing she thinks is that her life has completely changed forever. But when the very real civil war forces her to flee from every open space, she must use the firearm skills her father taught her to reunite with him and protect herself.

Armed with a single gun and a key to an unknown locker, Jada crosses Syria on a journey with a group of children called the Fearless Freedom Fighters.

With the leader, Zak, they mount a plan to rescue their fathers while they try to cope with the merciless murders of their families. As Jada and Zak lead the group together, love blossoms, but with soldiers hot on their tail, they need to stay vigilant in the face of war.

War Kids is a story about the Syrian Civil war through the eyes of a group of teenagers.


H.J. Lawson(From the author site).

I was born in Lancaster, England. Growing up in a single parent household with five other siblings was difficult but at the same time character building.
As a young child I found a passion for drawing and writing, which has stayed with me into adulthood. I graduated from the University of Central Lancashire, England with a BA(Hons) in fashion design.
At aged twenty seven, my husband and I packed up our belongings for our lifelong dream to move to California. Our America dream was completed with the birth of our daughter. 
A new job opportunity opened up New York, and we decided to relocate to Long Island, NY, where we currently reside.

My books are a mixture of thriller, action, and dystopian. If you’re looking for a good place to start, take a look at War Kids series of thrillers, available now. You can grab copies in either ebook or paperback.

War is no fun, in war there are no winners (no matter what History say). In war, death becomes common currency and surviving is the only goal. War Kids is about a group of teenagers who had to fight for their life during the Syrian Civil war.

It all begins when Jada manages to escape the hospital by a hair and almost simultaneously Zak escapes an attack on his school. Their path will cross and together they will try to find their fathers and escape the soldiers that are after them.

The book is really fast and the adrenaline is always pumping. The sense of danger is always present and it's almost as if you were watching a movie. The author creates a palpable and real scenario and the scenes are easy to picture. The action is explosive, the characters are constantly on the move and there are a lot of twist and surprises.

The characters are great. Despite being teenagers they are strong, brave and more mature than most people I know. Of course they are the product of a situation that forces them to grow up faster but they are great. I like their interaction and how friendship and love presents in this scenario.

The book is told from different points of view, which allows you to see the whole picture and get a better idea of what is going on in different places.

The emotional element is too strong, for moments it was hard to read because the author doesn't try to create an easy story. She is telling the raw truth about teenagers and kids who live in war zones. There is fear, sadness, horror, death but above all there is also hope. This book shows us that even in the cruelest places there are people willing to do what’s right and hope is what makes human to do amazing things.

Overall, this is an excellent YA book with a contemporary theme.



Monday, July 27, 2015

Review: Every Last Word @tamaraistone

Every Last Word
Title: Every Last Word
Author: Tamara Ireland Stone
Release Date:
June 16th 2015 by  
Format: Hardcover, paperback & Ebook
Publisher:
Disney Hyperion 
Source: complimentary copy via @netgalley in exchange of an honest review

ADD TO GOODREADS

If you could read my mind, you wouldn't be smiling.
Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can't turn off.
Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn't help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she'd be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam's weekly visits to her psychiatrist.
Caroline introduces Sam to Poet's Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more "normal" than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.


TAMARA IRELAND STONE is the author of Time After Time and Time Between Us, which has been published in over twenty countries to widespread acclaim, and hailed as "an exciting debut novel" by Booklist and "a warm, time bending romance" by Publishers Weekly. It has been optioned for film by CBS Films.
Her newest novel, Every Last Word, is about a teen girl with OCD who's hiding part of herself from the world, until she discovers a secret poetry club that changes her in unexpected ways. Every Last Word is available now.
A former Silicon Valley marketing executive, Tamara enjoys skiing, hiking, and spending time with her husband and two children. She lives just outside of San Francisco. For more information, visit her website at www.TamaraIrelandStone.com.



Samantha suffers from Purely-Obsessional OCD but only she and her family know this. For the rest of the world she is a typical junior student, popular girl who loves to swim.

Underneath the facade of a normal girl, a world of thoughts and worries keep Sam awake at night and worrying during the day. Sam only wants to be normal and when she discovers a secret poets group this becomes a reality. However, living a double life is no fun. Lying turns into a habit when you can't tell your "best friends" about where are you going and what you are doing.

The author created a very solid character in Sam. She is dealing with a condition that consumes your life and if you or someone you know has some type of OCD, you will see that the author writes about it and the consequences-effects of it in an excellent form. OCD is no easy thing to explain let alone to write about it in a way that you can really understand what is like to live with it. Every aspect of Sam sounds real and you can feel her constant struggle. I liked her and I could understand why she was with the group of 'The Eights'. I also enjoyed reading about her evolving, somehow she finds a way to grow and truly be her with the help of some great people.

Caroline, the girl who takes her to Poet's Corner, is super sweet and she was great to Sam. Of course I have to mention A.J, he is amazing. He is a focused, loyal, loving and mature young boy who helps Sam in many ways.

In general, the plot and the story itself is really good and the writing makes it even better. It’s an excellent YA contemporary book with all the elements necessary to be loved by most readers.







Saturday, July 25, 2015

Cover Reveal: Make me Whole @KaithlinS


Love has the power to mend one body, two minds, and make them whole again.

Title:  Make Me Whole
Author: Kaithlin Shepherd
Release Date:  TBA
Genre: Contemporary Romance with a hint of Cowboy
Cover Designer: Claire Smith 
PublisherHot Tree Publishing




Take the journey with the oldest Callaway brother as he finds and fights for true love.

Surviving the unimaginable, Jamie Caldwell finds herself at a crossroads. Her only chance at a full recovery sends her to Montana. Anxious but determined, Jamie is resolute on her mission to break free from her past, leading her into the care of Cole Callaway. Instantly, everything changes. Jamie knows the cowboy has the ability to help fight her demons, but opening up to him also gives him the power she’s just not ready to relinquish.

Returning from Afghanistan a different man, Cole Callaway is damaged. His new mission leads him to supporting wounded veterans and helping them get back some of what they’ve lost. With his own demons to battle, every day is a trial, but the moment Jamie Caldwell walks into his life, his focus and aim changes. Cole faces the biggest challenge of his life: Make Jamie stay in Montana and if he has his way, into his bed.





Kaithlin Shepherd was born and raised in Canada where she learned to figure skate and crafted a love affair with coffee. Growing up in a household filled by strong-headed women, she learned early on that life is what you make it. You’ve probably never met a bigger country music fan and in the words of Brooks and Dunn, she’s a die-hard ‘George Strait junkie.’ Constructing a world away from her real life, Kaithlin loves the feeling of creating a universe where her fans can forget about everything in their life. She loves writing about hot alphas and doesn’t shy away from turning up the heat with scorching hot sex scenes.




Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Blog Tour: Morgan’s Mountain @roanepublishing


Title:  Morgan’s Mountain, A Montana Series Novella 
Author:  Krista Ames 
Publisher:  Roane Publishing 
Release Date:  July 13, 2015

On the proverbial run from another failed relationship, Morgan finds herself in the one place she always found solace. With every intention of being alone, she’s surprised when she comes across the one person she never expected.
Luke would go to the ends of the earth to figure out why Morgan ran away five years ago and make things right with her. However, a dangerous trek up the mountains to her family’s cabin might not have been the smartest choice. To say she was happy to see him would be a huge lie.  Having to rescue him, mortifying for Luke. Toss a kidnapper into the mix and their feelings for each other are brought into perspective, revealing parts of themselves they never thought would come to light.
 


Born and raised in Northern Indiana, Krista now resides in Northern Lower Michigan.  She is married to a very supportive man who allows her to follow her true passion of writing and never complains when she is pirated away on her computer for hours.  He is excellent at bouncing ideas around with and even helps the occasional writers block.  He’s also a terrific “in house” editor.  Krista is also a mother of 4 ornery children who keep her plenty busy.  With an addition of 2 beautiful chocolate lab sisters and a playful kitty, there is never a dull or spare moment in her household.  

Krista has always loved to read and would often sit up for hours into the night not able to put down a book until she was finished.  She still reads when she can but her main focus is creating her own stories to share with the world.  

She loves to communicate with her readers so please feel free to drop her a line anytime.


Playlist for writing Mixed Genre
(by Krista Ames)

With not listening to music while I write, I turn to movies because I like having familiar background noise and the theme of the movie kind of channels me into the right mood.  Unfortunately I haven’t published as of yet in any of these other genre’s.  If and when I do, they will be worked in as a subgenre to Romance.
This is my secondary playlist and a mix genre of horror/thriller/slasher/mystery & paranormal type movies.  I like scary movies almost as much as romance movies.  I only wish this genre would rub off a little more, making it easier for me to write them J someday
On a good note, I do have a few paranormal stories jotted down with the first thousand or two words written if that counts?

Ok, this list could go on and on…I feel bad leaving so many good ones out, these are just what came to me without thinking too much.  And of course the same goes with this list as does the Romance list, I use them as background but sometimes find myself watching more of the movie than writing J
* * * * *
Disturbia
(I hear a lot of negative about Shia LaBeouf but I still like his movies)
My Soul to Take  (this is a good go-to movie for me)
Van Helsing (It’s the wolf shifter and vampire)
The Underworld series
The Scream Movies (My kids hate it when I watch these)
The Paranormal Activity Movies, The Conjuring, Insidious
(These scare the crap outta me but I watch them anyway)
Twilight Series Movies (It’s too hard to pick Team Edward or Team Jacob)
Harry Potter Series Movies (wish I could live in Hogwarts)
Signs
(Or almost any Mel Gibson movie)

Devil
(Or any M. Night Shyamalan movie)

Hocus Pocus, Practical Magic, Haunted Mansion, Halloweentown series
(Any witchy movie J)
 

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Morgan's Mountain is a sweet, fast, light romance that proves that second chances are real and that love wins at the end.

Morgan has decided to spend a few days alone in the mountains away from everything and everyone. However, Luke is determined to gain her again. A snow storm traps him and she is the one who has to rescue him.

Then, we find out that they share a past and things didn't end up well between them. We witness how their feelings re-surface and there's a lot of arguing about what happened six years ago and where they stand right now.

The story moves on pretty quickly because it's a short book so things evolve fast. This is not a bad thing because it’s a book that won’t take you long to read and it’s entertaining. If romance is a genre you enjoy this one is perfect. It’s a light love story with a happy ending.

The characters are good. They have good chemistry and their love sounds real. The dialogues are ok and the writing is great too.

I do have to say that there was one thing that bothered me. What was she running from?? The blurb and also she stated that she is running from another failed relationship, but there is never much explanation about it.

 


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