Monday, November 16, 2015

If I Could Fly by Tricia Copeland (4.5 stars)

About If I Could Fly

Amanda's happily ever after is beginning, but her parents think she’s abandoned her friends, goals, even morals to be with Doug. The assessment is ludicrous, but Amanda can’t convince them otherwise. Their disapproval undermines her self-confidence and she is determined to prove them wrong. To make things worse, Doug has a huge roadblock thrown in his path. Amanda isn’t able to talk about the situation with anyone except Zack, her ex-boyfriend. 

Can she endure the strain of keeping Doug’s secret? Can her already fragile psyche survive a whole summer with parents who condemn everything she does? 

Amanda begins to doubt she can, and there’s no castle, no fairy godmother, no magic wand to rescue her.

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This is the second book in the Being Me series. I do recommend reading them in order for the full experience. 

Amanda's been through a lot, and just as she thinks she's landed the guy, everything changes. Secrets place a heavy burden on her blossoming relationship with Doug, and as if that weren't enough, her family life is crumbling. Mom and Dad don't want to see their daughter be pulled under by the drama, but they don't know the whole picture.

All the pressure is only worsening Amanda's already fragile state. She believes in Doug and their love, but outside forces are pushing... and pushing hard. Can they survive the drama? Even more concerning, will Amanda lose herself in the process?

Amanda is a character you want to root for; she gives her heart to whatever she does and believes in love. There's a richness to her emotions and her struggle to dig deep when everyone around her has an opinion on her life. At eighteen, she's facing major life choices and emotional dilemmas. And although she's a fighter, she can only take so much. 

I love that she has close friends, although one includes her ex-boyfriend, who at times I thought might be better for her. With how the book ended, there's still no clear path, and I liked that too. Life isn't easy.

If you love a good contemporary romance (that's not erotica-light) with great characters, check this one out.

Rating: 4.5 stars

About Tricia Copeland

Tricia Copeland grew up in Georgia but now lives outside the mile-high city of Denver, Colorado with her husband, three kids, and multiple four legged and finned friends. An avid runner and paranormal fan, she also enjoys hiking, trivia, and Scrabble. 

You can connect with Tricia and other readers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and on her website,

Note: I was the Editor on this book through Indie Books Gone Wild. A positive review was not requested or guaranteed; the opinions expressed are my own.


And Happy Release Day!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Mystery House by Eva Pohler Cover Reveal

The Mystery House

Release Date: December 14th, 2015

The Mystery Book Collection

Ellen and her two best friends share a mid-life crisis by hatching a plan to flip a Greek revival in the nearby historic district. Although Ellen isn't one to believe in ghosts, she comes face to face with something in the attic she cannot explain. Her ghost-enthusiast friends convince her that they must help the spirit find closure, and as they dig deeper into the past, they uncover a shocking history that someone in the neighborhood doesn't want exposed.

The Mystery Book Collection
A series of stand-alone psychological thrillers.
Want a FREE copy of The Mystery Box?
Get it here.

Meet the author:

Eva Pohler

Eva Pohler teaches writing and literature at a university in San Antonio, where she lives with her husband Eva Author Pic 1and three kids. She’s the author of several novels for teens based on Greek mythology, including her bestselling six-book Gatekeeper’s Saga and three-book Vampires of Athens Series. She’s also the author of spine-chilling psychological suspense, including her Mystery Book Collection and The Purgatorium Series. The first is for mature audiences and consists of two books that are already out–The Mystery Box and The Mystery Tomb–and two others soon to be released–The Mystery House and The Mystery Daughter. Her other suspense series, The Purgatorium, is a trilogy for both the young and mature reader. Her books have been described as “thrilling” and “addictive.” A Kirkus reviewer said of The Gatekeeper’s Sons that it was “sure to thrill Hunger Games fans.”

A reader herself, Eva writes in multiple genres, but all of her stories blur the line between reality and fantasy, truth and delusion, and draw from Eva’s personal philosophy that a reader must be lured and abducted into complete captivity in order to enjoy the reading experience.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Sea of Memories by Kelly Risser Release Day Blitz

Clean Teen Publishing is proud to present a new series of novellas in the Never Forgotten Series by Kelly Risser, Sea of Memories.

Sometimes, we reach the end of a story and realize there is more to be told. This is the case with Sea of Memories, a collection of novellas set in the world of Never Forgotten.

Travel with Meara and Kieran to North America where they visit her grandparents and his family. Along the way, stop at Mirage, the dance club where the couple first met, and see the encounter from Kieran's point of view.
Struck in the Club - On the orders of his father, Kieran travels to Nova Scotia to spy on David's daughter. After an encounter in a dance club, he may have found more than he bargained for.

Journey to the past and meet Kieran's mom, Sera. Learn why she is no longer part of their lives.
What Will Be - Sera is a Selkie who enjoys her family and her daily routine of solitude. While out on one of her morning swims, she finds an injured man floating in the ocean. Unable to see anyone suffer, she rescues him, even after the warnings she received as a child about the evilness of human males. He may be safe now, but is she?

Go back to where it all started and discover along with Meara how her parents met and fell in love.
A Rock and A Hard Place – Visiting his maternal grandparents in Nova Scotia, David is determined to find out who murdered his parents and why. He doesn't expect the evidence to take him to a small fishing village called Peggy's Cove. He certainly doesn't expect to find love there, especially when it comes in the form of a spunky little brunette… and a human one at that.

Finally, join Meara, Ula, and other friends old and new to remember the past, celebrate the present, and anticipate the future.
Something Blue - Ula's been invited to a banquet at Ronac in her niece's honor. Because it will be Meara's first Christmas without her mom, Ula convinces her boyfriend, Vesh, and others that they need to throw a surprise holiday celebration. Selkies don't celebrate Christmas and neither do the Blue Men of the Minch. It will be a holiday full of surprises for all.

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 About the Author

Kelly Risser knew at a young age what she wanted to be when she grew up. Unfortunately, Fairytale Princess was not a lucrative career. Leaving the castle and wand behind, she entered the world of creative business writing where she worked in advertising, marketing, and training at various companies. Currently, she works full time as an eLearning Instructional Designer, fitting her creative writing into the evenings and weekends.

She's often found lamenting, "It's hard to write when there are so many good books to read!" So, when she's not immersed in the middle of someone else's fantasy world, she's busy creating one of her own. This world is introduced in her first novel, Never Forgotten, and visited further in her second novel, Current Impressions, and her third novel, Always Remembered. The newest book, Sea of Memories, is a novella collection set in this world.

Kelly lives in Wisconsin with her husband and two children. They share their home with Clyde the Whoodle and a school of fish.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Silver Tongue by AshleyRose Sullivan (4 stars)

Silver Tongue Book Cover About Silver Tongue

Paperback: 274 pages 
Publisher: Seventh Star Press, LLC (April 20, 2015) 

The Colonies lost the Revolutionary War. Now it's 1839 and the North American continent is divided into three territories: New Britannia, Nueva Espana, and Nouvelle France where seventeen-year-old Claire Poissant lives. 

Claire has a magical way with words--literally. But a mystical power of persuasion isn't the only thing that makes her different. Half-French and half-Indian, Claire doesn't feel at home in either world. Maybe that's why she's bonded so tightly with her fellow outcasts and best friends: Phileas, a young man whose towering intellect and sexuality have always made him the target of bullies, and Sam, a descendant of George Washington who shares the disgraced generalís terrible, secret curse. 

But when Sam's family is murdered, these bonds are tested and Claire's special ability is strained to its limits as the three hunt the men responsible into dangerous lands. Along the way they cross paths with P.T. Barnum, William Frankenstein and other characters from both history and fantasy as they learn the hard way that man is often the most horrific monster and that growing up sometimes means learning to let go of the things you hold most dear.

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Imagine America if the Revolutionary War had failed. If that's not an intriguing enough premise for a book, then add three friends who find themselves in challenging situations... with a paranormal twist and an interesting cast of peripheral characters.

Claire struck me as the most interesting character, both with her Native American background and her keen ability to influence others. It's a power we've all wished for, but don't always realize the after effects. 

Sam, a descendant of George Washington--a storyline I found captivating and insanely unique--suffers the horrific loss of his family, barely surviving himself, only to face life with a devastating curse. 

Kudos to the author for a vivid imagination--deftly mixing genres in an intricate storyline--and a grand journey with friends who cross paths with interesting characters.

If you enjoy a unique, genre-bending story with both action and character-building, pick up Silver Tongue. I highly recommend it.

Rating: 4 stars

About AshleyRose Sullivan

AshleyRose Sullivan
Born and raised in Appalachia, AshleyRose Sullivan now lives, writes, and paints in Los Angeles. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University and her first novel, Awesome Jones: A Superhero Fairy Tale is available from Seventh Star Press. 

She can be found at her website or her blog, My Year Of Star Trek.

Thanks to TLC for my review copy.

Note: I received a complimentary copy for review purposes. A positive review was not requested or guaranteed; the opinions expressed are my own. 

Please visit other stops on Silver Tongue blog tour page.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Determined Heart by Antoinette May (4 stars)

About The Determined Heart

Paperback: 410 pages
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (September 29, 2015)

Frankenstein lives on as one of the most fascinating fictional creations of all time, but the true personal story of the women behind this work of genius is equally as compelling. In her new historical novel, The Determined Heart: The Tale of Mary Shelley and Her Frankenstein (Lake Union Publishing; September 29, 2015), New York Times bestselling author Antoinette May brings to life the tragic story of obsessive love, betrayal, and redemption that spawned an enduring classic. In a story more dramatic and tragic than anything a writer could invent, the lives of Mary Shelley, her great love, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, and her complex web of family and friends entwine in a chronicle of strange behavior, bohemian attitudes, and unconventional acts as far ahead of their time as the amazing literary work that grew from them.

Mary Godwin Shelley was the daughter of two revolutionary thinkers—political philosopher William Godwin and philosopher and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft. An unconventional childhood in an intellectual, if impecunious household would shape the young girl’s renegade spirit. When still a teenager, she ran off with the already-married poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, an act of equal parts passion and defiance that led to a life of wandering destitution. Espousing free love, the couple would endure its share of tragedies, each of which would add to their romantic legacy. From the darkness that surrounded her life, though, the brilliant and talented Mary imagined a timeless work of fiction that secured her place in history, if not her happiness.  

The Determined Heart is a masterful work of historical fiction that reanimates the timeless story of an iconic literary life.

“Epic in scope, this is a beautifully written novel about a woman whose story is every bit as extraordinary and gripping as that of the epic character she created, Frankenstein. May’s meticulous research and exquisite prose shine on every page.” —Erika Mailman, author of The Witch’s Trinity and Woman of Ill Fame

“May displays a deft flair for historical fiction…” –BookList on Pilate’s Wife, A Novel of the Roman Empire

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Mary was drawn to her poet love from an early age and fought against convention to be with him. Their relationship had extreme highs and lows, and during their time together, she created a manuscript that would become Frankenstein. 

Epic in scope, this story details Mary's life. Although I must admit I was around 35% on the Kindle version before I felt fully committed to the story, I then found myself captivated. At times, I wanted to throw the Kindle across the room from frustration and pure sadness. But I couldn't help but continue to read, completely enthralled with this woman's life.

She was foolish in love but so resilient and brilliant in other matters. With all her losses, I'm amazed she managed to continue. Equally, my heart broke for her step-sisters. Devastation seemed to touch everyone involved with Percy, yet so many were compelled to be in his life.

I do wish, however, that more about her writing had been highlighted. Then again, I find particular interest in what drives an author.

This book is an emotional roller coaster of epic proportions. Yet, there's something so irresistible about it. Much like Mary to Percy, I couldn't help but stay the course and hope for the best. 

Overall, it's a real winner. Just don't give up during the slower first third of the book.
Rating: 4 stars

About the Author

Unknown-4Antoinette May is the author of Pilate’s Wife and The Sacred Well and coauthor of the New York Timesbestseller Adventures of a Psychic

An award-winning travel writer specializing in Mexico, May divides her time between Palo Alto and the Sierra foothills.

You can connect with her on her website.
Thanks to TLC for my review copy.

Note: I received a complimentary copy for review purposes. A positive review was not requested or guaranteed; the opinions expressed are my own. 

Please visit other stops on The Determined Heart blog tour page.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Walking Out of the Dark by Steven R. Malikowski (4 stars)

About Walking Out of the Dark

Even after bad luck had taken Mike’s sight, he still enjoyed an adventure. In one of them, he helped with a ski race with blind skiers. These days, he likes to say, “You might think skiing without sight is tough, but we had the hard part, since we told them where to turn.” Then, he laughs and adds. “That meant standing on a ski slope with blind racers headed right for us.” His adventures and jokes help many people work through bad luck, not just blind folks. 

This book is based on real events in Minnesota and begins when Mike attends a school for blind adults. A simple lesson is cooking without sight. A challenging lesson is about finding work. Mike learns that adults with low vision have a low chance of returning to work, which becomes his biggest hope. He wants to find a job again, so he can own a house again. He meets many good people at the school, but some cry more than they used to. Others laugh more, and a few compete in downhill ski racing. In this book, all of them help Mike work through bad luck and blindness.

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Facing life with declining sight, Mike has to re-evaluate his goals. He begins attending a school for blind adults. There he meets people like him and learns some sobering lessons about his future. But he also finds love, adventure, and hope.

Full of humor and emotion, this story gives us a hero to root for. Mike understands his new limitations, but he strives to find a way around them. Granted, not without a few bumps in the road. But he handles them with grace and flashes of humor. You can't help but like the guy.

There are some great peripheral characters. Ones that capture your heart and tickle your funny bone. It's a nice reminder of the roller coaster of emotions that is life.

If you are looking for a book with emotional payouts and endearing wittiness, check this one out.

Rating: 4 stars

About the Author

My day job is Lecturer and Manager of Learning Technology at the University of London. Before this job, I did similar work in the US, mostly in Minnesota. My night job, and favourite job, has been writing this book. It’s taken me 10 years to write it, and now, I’m publishing it myself as an independent author. That has been more work than I ever imagined, but it’s also been uniquely satisfying.

One of my current tasks is working on this website, particularly making it more accessible for people with disabilities. I wanted to make it more accessible, but I also wanted to make the book available before many more months or years go by. Since the book is meant for people with or without disabilities, I hope to have one website for all groups. If you have suggestions for improving this site, please let me know. For now, I’ll explain a little more about why I wrote this book.

As a kid, every family get-together had adults playing cards, while they competed with long stories and short retorts. The result was a lot of loud laughs, which us kids could hear from a nearby woods. As a student, I had a strange fascination with grammar and words. I wanted to learn what each punctuation mark meant and how to give each word meaning, usually by using fewer of them.

In recent years, it’s more about pages than punctuation and words. Each page must earn and keep a reader’s attention. Many successful writers describe their own way of working through this challenge. My way follows my other interests, like running marathons or cycling for a few hundred miles. Intense writing, running, and cycling all start with making time for them, each day. JK Rowling put it in a more colorful way, when she made a new year’s resolution. She vowed to, “Guard the time allotted to writing as a Hungarian Horntail guards its firstborn egg.”

After a while, writing becomes a lifestyle. My favorite way to start a day is to have more coffee than I should and convert the caffeine into pages, many of which I actually use. I recently finished my first novel, following the maxim “write what you know.” I know my brother, and I respect how he lives and laughs about a challenge that slows down many good people, living with blindness. Mike lost his sight due to bad luck, so the book is really about working through it, sighted or not.

Of course, I hope this book is successful, but that success matters less than it used to. I’ll still start my mornings trying to earn and keep some reader’s attention. That usually involves long stories and short retorts, but hopefully, my written words will be as good as the ones that many of us have heard during a game of cards.

Find out more on his website.

Note: I served as a proofreader on this book through Indie Books Gone Wild. A positive review was not requested or guaranteed; the opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Abby and the Mystic Dancers by LC Miller Cover Reveal

Today, I'm sharing an awesome new cover by LC Miller. It's her debut novel! Congrats, LC.

About Abby and the Mystic Dancers

As the product of a forbidden alliance between the elemental Mystics and the wand carrying Wielders—two distinct, often feuding, magical realms—acceptance is something fourteen-year-old Abby has fought with for the last four years. When an alliance is formed between the Mystic Dancers and the Wielder’s, Abby is given the chance to live with a Wielder’s family and attend Wielders Academy of Magical Arts. In order to do so, she first has make three promises to the Mystic Dancers leader … Tell no one she's half Mystic, that her father is a Wielder who is also a wanted criminal, or that she can transform into anything she wants. 

Her day-to-day life of secrets, school work, and dancing is interrupted when her mother’s murder case goes to trial. The Mystics believe they finally caught the killer, who happens to be the father of one of Abby’s new friends. Abby has a choice to make – reveal her secrets, or let a man she knows is innocent go to prison.

Release date is November 9th, 2015.

Find out more about LC Miller on Facebook and Twitter.