Category Archives: Book Reviews

Teen Titans and Book Reviews

A couple days ago I was watching Teen Titans Go with my kids. In this particular episode Raven (one of the characters who is usually portrayed as intelligent and dark) introduces the rest of the Titans to reading. They fall in love with reading and want more. So they ask her what they should do next. She says they should start a book club and discuss their books. So they start a club and discuss their books and how much they loved their books.

A couple minutes into the meeting Raven says it’s  not enough to share how much they like their books. They need to go deeper. How? they ask. She starts with her own book by saying the premise of the book was unbelievable and goes on for a minute breaking her book down into tiny increments, dissecting each scene and word.

The Titans stare at her in horror. “You just took the fun out of reading!” they shout.

And that’s what I found interesting. I don’t think books were meant to be taken apart and each little section scrutinized and reviewed. Books are meant to be read as a whole. Enjoyed. Read and understood in their full context.

Sometimes I can’t articulate why I liked or didn’t like a book. I just know I liked it and it made me think. Or I didn’t like it because it left a bad feeling behind. Perhaps that is one reason I don’t like writing reviews (for the most part). Because I feel like I need to take the book apart and say why I did or didn’t like the book. Bleh.

I’ve seen reviews where the book is scrutinized down to its very words. I’ve even known people who read with a pad and pen next to them so they can take notes. I don’t think fiction was meant to be read like this. How do you get into the story when you’re constantly taking notes? Perhaps that’s just me.

The episode ends when the Titans read a mystical book that lets loose evil magic that feeds off their imagination. In order to stop the book, they start reviewing the book, talking about its premise and using big words. In essence, they are shutting off their imagination so they can trap the magic back inside the book.

Ironic, isn’t it?

For those who are curious, the episode is called Books.

 

Fairy Tale Collection Writing Contest and Cover Reveal

Do you love fairy tales? Ever wanted to try your hand at writing one? Here is a great opportunity to get creative and come up with your own retelling of the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale.

Rooglewood Press is holding their second fairy tale novella collection contest and I am happy to be part of their cover reveal:

Five Enchanted Roses

Rooglewood Press is delighted to introduce their second fairy tale novella contest—

Five Enchanted Roses

a collection of “Beauty and the Beast” stories

The challenge is to write a retelling of the beloved fairy tale in any genre or setting you like. Make certain your story is recognizably “Beauty and the Beast,” but have fun with it as well. Make it yours!

Rooglewood Press will be selecting five winners to be published in the Five Enchanted Roses collection, which will be packaged up with the gorgeous cover you see displayed here. Perhaps your name will be one of the five displayed on this cover?

All the contest rules and information (how to enter, story details, deadline etc.) may be found on the Rooglewood Press website. Just click HERE and you will go right to the page.

Rooglewood Press’s first collection, Five Glass Slippers, is available for pre-order now and will be released on June 14. Do grab yourself a copy and see what these talented writers have done with the timeless “Cinderella” tale!

 

Cover Illustration Credit:

This cover illustration was rendered by Julia Popova, “ForestGirl.” You can find out more about this gifted artist on her website: www.forestgirl.ru

Blog Hop: The Seahorse Legacy

The Seahorse Legacy

Hi everyone! Today I have the pleasure of participating in The Seahorse Legacy blog hop. The Seahorse Legacy is the third book in the Eyes of E’veria series, but it is the first book in a mini series within the series.

Let me say this: I really enjoyed this book. It is a pirate fantasy with a young lady knight thrown in. Curious? Just read my review below and don’t forget to enter both raffles for a chance to win books and pirate prizes!

Review:

The Seahorse LegacyCazien is the captain of the Seahorse Pirates and holder of his family’s Legacy, a legacy that gives him special abilities linked to the sea and binds him to a secret oath, one that chose his bride for him hundreds of years before he was born. Of course, being a pirate, he doesn’t like to be told what to do, or in this case, who to marry.

Eirelle is the first woman to ever be knighted in Everia, an honor she has desired ever since she was a child. But little does she know her allegiance is owed to another country, one bound by marriage: her marriage.

Everything is at stake for Cazien. He must woo and wed Eirelle (or just grab her and run) in order to fulfill his family’s oath. If he doesn’t wed her, not only will he lose his abilities through the seahorse legacy, the people of his island country will be captured and all of Everia will be at risk.

But how do you get a pirate to do what he doesn’t want to do?

I loved The Seahorse Legacy. I also loved Serena’s first two books (check out my reviews here: The Ryn and The Remedy), but I have to say I liked this one a little more. What can I say? I’m more of a pirate lover than a knight lover :). Both Cazien and Erielle are mixed characters: good, but flawed. And I liked that.

I also loved the connection Cazien has with the sea. As a sea-loving woman, I would love to have his abilities, or to even sail on his ship.

This is the first book in a two book series, so it does end without everything resolved. But that only makes me want the next book now!

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Here are the links to The Seahorse Legacy:

Amazon

Goodreads

And don’t forget to enter both raffles for a chance to win The Seahorse Legacy and other prizes!

Rafflecopter giveaway
Rafflecopter giveaway

A Time to Die Cover Reveal

What if you only had one year left to live? How would you spend it? That is the question behind Nadine Brandes’ debut novel A Time to Die. I don’t know about you guys, but that’s a great premise for what looks to be a great book! So without further ado, here is the cover…

A Time to Die

How would you live if you knew the day you’d die?



Parvin Blackwater believes she has wasted her life. At only seventeen, she has one year left according to the Clock by her bedside. In a last-ditch effort to make a difference, she tries to rescue Radicals from the government’s crooked justice system. But when the authorities find out about her illegal activity, they cast her through the Wall — her people’s death sentence. What she finds on the other side about the world, about eternity, and about herself changes Parvin forever and might just save her people. But her clock is running out.

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Nadine BrandesAbout the Author: Nadine Brandes is an adventurer, fusing authentic faith with bold imagination. She writes stories about brave living, finding purpose, and other worlds soaked in imagination. Her debut dystopian novel, A Time to Die, releases Fall 2014 from Marcher Lord Press. When Nadine’s not taste-testing a new chai or editing fantasy novels, she is out pursuing adventures. She currently lives in Idaho with her husband.

Where to find Nadine online:

Website: http://nadinebrandes.com

Facebook: http://facebook.com/nadinebrandesauthor

Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/nadinebrandes

Twitter: http://twitter/nadinebrandes

 

And don’t forget to add A Time to Die to your Goodreads tbr list! https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21795840-a-time-to-die

A Spring in Your Step Blog Hop Winner and Cover Reveal

A Spring in Your Step Blog HopThank you everyone who stopped by and entered my giveaway for the Spring in Your Step Blog Hop. And now for the winner…

Drum roll please…

Cindy ! Congrats on winning the Amazon gift card! I will be sending you an email :)

And now for the cover reveal for Forever Layla by Melissa Turner Lee:

Forever Layla
What if the woman you envied most is the person you are destined to become?

In 1994, high school senior David Foster was the lackey and soundboard geek for his best friend’s grunge band. During spring break, the band lands a dream gig playing at a motel in Myrtle Beach, SC. David expected all the girls to ogle the guys on stage, but when a beautiful blond “Bond Girl” approaches him and calls him by name, he’s shocked to find out she knows more about him than a stranger should.

She even knows about his notebooks and his visions of time travel.

What she thought was a quick time-travel-sightseeing trip takes a surprising turn when she meets the young adult version of the man she’d heard stories about as a child. His fairy-tale romance with the woman he’d loved, Layla, inspired her to accept nothing less than a love just as strong…but hopefully not as tragic. When she won’t tell the younger version of him her name, he calls her Layla–and the world as she knows it changes forever.

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To add Forever Layla to your Goodreads list, click here.

And to enter the giveaway for an advance copy of Forever Layla, enter here: Rafflecopter Giveaway

melissaturnerleeMelissa Turner Lee holds a BA in Communications with a concentration in Journalism from the University of South Carolina. She has studied fiction writing since 2008, attending various writing conferences and workshops, along with guidance from professional writing coaches. She resides in Spartanburg, SC with her husband and 3 sons.

A Spring in Your Step Blog Hop

A Spring in Your Step Blog Hop

Hi! Welcome to the Spring in Your Step Blog Hop. As part of this blog hop I will be giving away a $10 Amazon gift card (details down below)

So who is ready for spring to come? Tired of the snow and cold weather? What is your favorite part of spring?

I love flowers and gardens. The moment I don’t have to worry about frost, I’m at my local nursery picking out plants. This year I’m even more excited because we just moved into a new house with built in flower boxes, many flower beds, and a raised garden spot. So excited!

Along with gardening, I also love to bike. In my hometown we have a paved trail that runs the entire town. This is especially nice since I bike with my kids. There is nothing like a warm day with the wind in your face, racing along with your kids and enjoying the scenery.

So how about you? What do you look forward to the most in the spring? Getting outside? Barbequing? Planting flowers? Share in the comments. I would love to know!

Now for my giveaway for a $10 Amazon gift card: Rafflecopter Giveaway

And don’t forget to check out the rest of blogs along this hop for more gift cards, swag, and other prizes! Click here