Thursday, November 20, 2014

My Review of This Quiet Sky

Here's a description of the book:

There is nothing extraordinary about Tucker O’Shay’s dreams. 

Go to college. Become president. Fall in love.   

And pretend like he has enough time to get it all done.

Sixteen-year-old Sarah Miller doesn’t expect anything out of the ordinary when she begins her first day at the one-room-school house in her new hometown of Rocky Knob. But when she meets seventeen-year-old Tucker O’Shay—the boy with the fatal illness who volunteers to tutor her in algebra—she finds herself swept up in a friendship that changes the way she sees the world and a love that changes her life.

You can purchase the novella now on Amazon.

My Rating

Summer

My Review

Sarah and Tucker's story floats through the heart with all the tender poignancy of a falling autumn leaf. Their friendship blooms sweetly, brightly. Grows into something as passionate and brilliant as the summer sun. And culminates in a season where beauty coexists with that which fades, causing bittersweet thoughts of that which lasts.

This Quiet Sky is a gentle but bold take on young-adult historical fiction. Penned in Bischof's signature descriptive and heartbreakingly heartfelt style, this novella is both unique and familiar—different, but also with that feeling of coming home to something meaningful.

Step with Sarah into the one-room schoolhouse. Meet Tucker, another irresistible hero with a blend of human vulnerability and endearing self-confidence. Get to know their families and the lasting lessons they all learn about life, hope, and love.

One conversation and the epilogue felt a little drawn out to me, as their impact might have hit that much harder had they ended sooner. However, the last paragraph before the epilogue pierced me through, and I'm glad that there was an epilogue and so many wonderful scenes and lines that made this such a touching read.

Atmospheric, memorable, honest. Like savoring a dream or happy recollection while gazing up into the quiet sky.

*With thanks to the author for providing me with an e-copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*


View more poignant pins and book extras HERE.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

3...2...1... How a Star Falls Has Launched!



I'm so excited to introduce Derrick and Brielle to the world—the stars of my first new-adult contemporary romance novella! (Pun intended, naturally!) This project represents several firsts for me, actually: first published contemporary story, first book I offered for pre-order, and first time I hired another blogger to help with the marketing. While I'm still hosting my own blog tour, I wanted to try out a book blast with Kathy of I Am a Reader. So feel free to hop on over to her site to enter the $50 gift card giveaway! (But please do come back, as we'll be having lots of fun here, too. :))

Have I told you all how much fun I had writing this story? Seasons really are so important with my writing, and How a Star Falls fully came together this fall, after a lot of transitions in my life. It was such a blessing to look back at the home I love and the places God saw me through. And it was a blast to pen something more whimsical and modern in nature while touching on some of the deep questions new adults tend to ask. (Well, at least this new adult did!)

Here's the official blurb, in case you haven't seen it yet:

How does a star fall? 
Quickly. Completely. Unexpectedly. 

Derrick Knolane escapes to Trinidad Head most evenings, avoiding his apartment and planning for the day he'll break free of Humboldt County. Working in a music store might be fine for a while, but it's far from the goal he had in mind when he got his college degree. Not to mention the fact that his roommate is a jerk and his family won't stop trying to run his life.

Then Brielle falls into his world.

She claims to be a star. Not from Hollywood, but from heaven. He thinks she's crazy. Certainly delusional. Yet, he can't just leave her alone on the cliffs. So he takes her home.

And his whole world falls apart.

A heartfelt and fanciful contemporary romance novella, How a Star Falls explores the uncertain season of new adulthood and shows that sometimes the worst inconveniences make for the best miracles of all.

Purchase on Amazon 

The story is currently only available for Kindle, BUT a paperback version is in the works and is very close to completion! And let me tell you, it's going to be a cutie. :) A little novella with a gorgeous cover, wouldn't you agree? (S/O to Lena Goldfinch for another amazing design!)

Speaking of the paperback, would you like to win a copy? Well, let's get on to the details about the tour then!

Schedule

Tuesday, November 18th
Wednesday, November 19th
Thursday, November 20th
Friday, November 21st
Saturday, November 22nd
Sunday, November 23rd
Monday, November 24th
Tuesday, November 25th
Wednesday, November 26th
During the tour, you'll also find fun behind-the-scenes posts at The Heart's Spring.

A Special Starry Giveaway!

I'm really happy with how this giveaway came together. :) Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of all the prizes just yet, as one of them is still being crafted (a seaside-themed necklace) and the other is still in production (the paperbacks, which are simply awaiting the cover design and approval before they can be ordered). However, here's a glimpse of most of the prizes:


The signed books are pretty self-explanatory. Although I will add that they'll be a darling 5x8 size!

The DVD is Remember Sunday, which has become one of my favorite movies. Why that movie for this giveaway, though? Let's just say shooting stars and comets play a large thematic role in the story, and they even mention Orion—Brielle's constellation! Plus, the heroine (played by the girl from Tuck Everlasting) is a new adult, feeling at a standstill in life. The choices she makes and the questions she and Zachary Levi's character ask all tie in really well with How a Star Falls.

The CD is An Airplane Carried Me to Bed by Sky Sailing. Derrick mentions this band (Owl City's alter ego) in the first chapter of the book, and he listens to a song from the CD titled "Brielle." That song and the sound of the whole CD fit beautifully with How a Star Falls.

The lovely jewelry is crafted by Christy of Belle on a Budget. The star earrings are pictured, but there will also be a beach-themed necklace as part of that prize package. I'll hopefully be sharing a picture of that later this week!

The prizes are divided into 3 packages, as shown on the Rafflecopter form. Please note that this giveaway is limited to U.S. residents only due to shipping costs. Good luck to everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
P.S. Now is the perfect time to get caught up on my other books, if you're missing any! Bellflower (the short-story collection) is FREE for Kindle through Friday, and Forget Me Not is on a Kindle Countdown Deal through next Monday. Happy reading, friends, and thank you so much for helping me celebrate this occasion!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Cover Reveal: The King's Scrolls



Are you ready for this? The Ilyon Chronicles by Jaye L. Knight continues with Book 2, The King's Scrolls! (Curious about Book 1? Check out all the blog tour fun we had back in May!)

The book should be releasing in early 2015. Here's the blurb:
Following the harrowing events that brought them to Landale Forest, Jace and Kyrin have settled comfortably into their new lives and the mission of protecting those under the emperor’s persecution. The fast approach of winter brings with it the anticipation of a quiet few months ahead. That is until the arrival of four mysterious, dragon-riding cretes who seek aid in a mission of great importance—not only to their own people, but to all followers of Elôm.

Hidden in the vast mining valley north of Valcré, a faithful crete has spent years sharing his knowledge with the destitute miners and their families and is known to possess what may be Arcacia’s last surviving copies of the King’s Scrolls—the Word of Elôm. Joining the cretes, those in Landale must find the crete teacher and bring him to safety, but it is a race against time. Should Daican’s men find him first, execution and the destruction of the Scrolls is certain.

When disaster strikes, all seems lost. Could Elôm have a plan even in the enemy’s triumph?
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23456237-the-king-s-scrolls

And here's the cover!


My Thoughts

Jaye has some awesome branding going on with this series, and I love how clear it is through the covers that the books go together. (Click HERE to see Book 1 on Goodreads.) The images on this cover fit hand in hand with the title, and there's a definite sense of mystery in the darkness beyond the quill and even in the blank scroll. It says, "There's a story waiting to be written. Open the pages to discover it." :) Nicely done! And how fun is it that one of the giveaway prizes so perfectly matches the quill on the cover? Be sure to keep on reading to learn more about that...

Find a list of other cover-reveal participants on Jaye's blog today.

Excerpt from The King's Scrolls

The other younger crete took a swig of his coffee and set his eyes past her. Kyrin peeked over her shoulder at Kaden who, of course, was staring at the dragon. The female creature stared back in mutual interest.

“Go ahead,” the crete said suddenly. “You can touch her. She loves attention, and she’ll only attack if I tell her to.” A sly glint sparkled in his spring-green eyes.

Besides Jace, Kyrin had never seen anyone with such bright and colorful eyes as these cretes.

Kaden looked at him, his brows rising. “You can do that?”

The crete nodded. “Dragons are highly intelligent. You can teach them almost any command. Storm here is young, but she learns fast.”

Kyrin smiled at the delight in her brother’s eyes as he stepped closer to the dragon and ran his hand over her bluish-gray neck scales. A grin split his face.

“She’s so smooth. Kyrin, come and feel it.”

Kyrin stepped to his side and laid her hand on the dragon. The scales were indeed very smooth, reminding her of the polished marble stair-railings in Auréa Palace, but they weren’t cold. Warmth radiated through them. The dragon, still watching them, let out a little rumble, almost like a giant cat’s purr.

“I told you she liked attention,” the crete said, grinning.

Kyrin chuckled and glanced at Jace to see if he wanted to touch the dragon, but he made no move to come closer. This certainly had more to do with the crete than the dragon. He was very fond of any type of animal. She faced the crete again.

“So they can breathe fire?”

“For short bursts, but that’s usually all it takes to deter any threat.”

“That’s incredible,” Kaden breathed. While he continued admiring Storm, Kyrin observed the dragon’s rider. He appeared to be in his early to mid-twenties—about ten years younger than Captain Darq—though his exact age was impossible to guess. Cretes were said to mature faster than humans, so he could be anywhere from seventeen to twenty-five. He too wore a sleeveless jerkin. Brown tattoos, a little darker than his skin, marked both shoulders. Darq and the other cretes had them as well, but Kyrin hadn’t taken a good look at them until now. This man’s were a complicated pattern of spirals and dots, but the shape of a fox stood out in the center of his right shoulder. Though she tried to be discreet, he must have caught her studying him and suddenly extended his hand to her. “I’m Talas, by the way. Talas Folkan of the Fox Clan.”


About the Author

Jaye L. Knight is a homeschool graduated indie author with a passion for writing Christian fantasy and clean new adult fiction. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

You can connect with Jaye on her website, blog, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.


Giveaway!

To celebrate her revealing of the cover, Jaye is giving away one of her handcrafted quill pen necklaces and a $5 Amazon gift card! Enter for a chance to win using the form below! U.S. entries only please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, November 13, 2014

New Release Announcement: The Fragrance of Geraniums

Happy book birthday to another fellow indie author's brand-new release, The Fragrance of Geraniums! Isn't the cover simply lovely? And the story sounds very heartfelt. Not to mention, it has a flower title, which is something you all know I can appreciate. ;) Enjoy learning more about this new book and its sweet author, Alicia!


Rhode Island - 1934

A Girl…

Grace Picoletti has nothing going for her – but she’s determined to succeed in life, nonetheless. Born to severe destitution, she claws her way up from the pit of family shame and secrets. She avoids close friendships – even with the likable, persistent Paulie Giorgi.

A Woman…

Despite her own agonizing emotional pain, childless Emmeline Kinner reaches out to a young woman so far beneath her. She could never have known whom else God would set in her path through her friendship with Grace.

A Mother…

Long ago, Sarah Picoletti resigned herself to a loveless, abusive life – and she believes that her daughter Grace must inherit the same fate. Yet Sarah’s own soul cries out for the blessed peace and hope of which the radio minister speaks.
Told from multiple perspectives, The Fragrance of Geraniums is a powerful story of three women – of the threads of mercy that connect them – and of heart-wrenching sorrows alchemized by the Heavenly Father’s overwhelming redeeming grace.
Purchase on Amazon | Add to Goodreads


A fourth-generation Rhode Island native, Alicia G. Ruggieri writes stories about the possibility of redemption for all things through the Cross and the cost of true mercy. With a degree in Communications and History, Alicia loves spending her days researching, writing, and caring for her family, and she avows that every life would be enriched through the addition of just one more dog. 
Connect with Alicia on her blog, Facebook, Goodreads, Google +, Pinterest, and Twitter.

Giveaway!

Alicia is offering a copy of the book to one lucky winner! Kindle for international; paperback or Kindle for continental U.S. Enter using the Rafflecopter form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

New and On Sale from Anne Elisabeth Stengl


http://www.amazon.com/Goddess-Tithe-Tales-Goldstone-Wood-ebook/dp/B00GM9A43Q/ref=sr_1_1_twi_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1415558959&sr=8-1&keywords=Goddess+Tithe

Have you visited Goldstone Wood in Anne Elisabeth Stengl's fantasy series? 

If not, you're missing out on some epic, thought-provoking adventures!

But don't despair! :) This week you can snatch up the lone (for the time being) novella, Goddess Tithe, for only $.99 in ebook format. And the rest of the books in the series, including the brand-new Book 7, are only $4.99 each.

Awesome, no?

I confess I've fallen a bit behind on this series... (It amazes me how Anne Elisabeth can churn out such in-depth stories!) I still need to read Dragonwitch and Shadow Hand, as well as Goddess Tithe and Golden Daughter. And here Anne Elisabeth has already announced the title for Book 8! Check it out...














Doesn't she have some of the coolest book titles? Here they are in series order...

Heartless
Veiled Rose
Moonblood
Starflower
Dragonwitch 
Goddess Tithe
Shadow Hand
Golden Daughter
Poison Crown

And the covers are just as colorful and unique!














The latest one reminds me a bit of Lisa Frank. Especially with the stars and unicorn featured on the back cover...












I imagine Golden Daughter is much more intense than the cuteness and cuddles of Lisa Frank's artwork, but the pretty design that sparks childhood memories still makes me happy. :)

Tell me, which title and/or cover is your favorite so far? And if you've read the series, do you have a favorite among the stories? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Match Maker Blog Tour + Review


Match Maker

Match Maker Book Cover Here's a description of the book:

(Note: Summary contains spoilers if you have not yet read Book 1, The Husband Maker.) 

It’s been six months since Charlotte and Kyle broke up, and the Husband Maker strikes again. Kyle is officially engaged, while Charlotte is still nursing a broken heart.

In an effort to get Charlotte out of her rut, she and her best friend decide it’s time for some good old-fashioned matchmaking. While Aleena arranges for Charlotte to meet up with a handsome Scottish tourist, Charlotte gets her two best friends together. But when sparks start to fly between Aleena and Angus, Charlotte is left feeling more alone than ever—at least until the charming Scotsman becomes more than just a safe, rebound guy and teaches her that maybe, just maybe, she can dare to open her heart again.

My Rating

Spring

My Review

I really enjoyed the opportunity to get reacquainted with Charlotte in this adventurous sequel to The Husband Maker. Charlotte's relationship woes are quite relatable, and it was easy to slip right back into her world of great friends and big uncertainties.

I adored the setting descriptions in this installment. The Alcatraz outing, the road trip to Carmel, and especially the welcoming glimpse of Scotland...all were delightful, with charming characters to make the fictional trips that much more memorable. (Might I also add that the mentions of the Trees of Mystery as part of Charlotte's work made me happy?)

The way things came together right before the end left me with a bittersweet joy, and I started to expect that things would wrap up nicely with a sequel that surpassed its predecessor. And then...well, let's just say the very end emphasized a bit too much of the bitter and not enough the sweet to leave me completely satisfied. It paves the way for a third book, which shouldn't be that surprising, but let me tell you, there's one character that has me utterly frustrated! I really don't understand the reasoning behind their claims, and I'm not a fan of how their character changed in this book. It makes me wonder how the third book's going to play out...

Even with all that, I do believe that The Match Maker as a whole is even better than Book 1, and both are great reads. I'm a bit skeptical about Book 3, but Karey White has impressed me with this series so far, and I'm wishing Charlotte a very happy conclusion to her story.

*With thanks to I Am A Reader Blog Tours and the author for providing me with an e-copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

Get your copy of The Match Maker for just $3.99!

add to goodreads

Have you read the first book in the series?
The Husband Maker by Karey White

Husband Maker Cover

Grab your copy from
  
You can read my review of Book 1 HERE.

Coming Spring 2015
The conclusion to The Husband Maker Series
The Wife Maker by Karey White

Wife Maker 2

About the Author (Karey White)

Karey WhiteKarey White grew up in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Missouri. She attended Ricks College and Brigham Young University. Her first novel, Gifted, was a Whitney Award Finalist. She loves to travel, read, bake treats, and spend time with family and friends. She and her husband are the parents of four great children. She teaches summer creative writing courses to young people and is currently working on her next book.

Website * Twitter * Facebook * Goodreads

Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash ~  Ends 11/30/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the publisher. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.  
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Thursday, November 6, 2014

My Review of The Bound Heart

Here's a description of the book from the author's website:

One accidental kiss. That was all it took to throw Meredyth Summercourt's world upside-down. Determined to marry the ever-elusive Vance Everstone, she simply doesn't have the time or the desire to fall for her friend Lawry Hampton. However, with Vance out of the country and Lawry constantly at her side, Meredyth can’t help but wonder if what’s holding her to Vance is nothing more than a desire to redeem herself from their unfortunate past.

When Vance comes home to stake his claim on Meredyth, will she be strong enough to break free from the tangled web she’s convinced she deserves? Or will she find the strength to accept that God’s plan for her life could include redemption... and quite possibly the love of her best-friend?

My Rating

Spring

My Review

The Bound Heart is a worthy sequel to The Hesitant Heiress, with plenty of its own intrigue, another intense climax, and a tender love that takes its own sweet time in being realized and accepted (alas!).

Having read the first book, this second story wasn't quite as difficult to grasp given the familiarity of many of the characters. The plot does build up a little slowly, though, with just a bit of action but a good deal of drama going on indoors and within Meredyth's heart and mind.

I would have loved to see some more of the strength and generosity Meredyth's character displayed in the first book. There are certainly echoes of it in this, her own story, but the first-person POV perhaps dulls it a bit, since the reader is listening in on her own guilt and doubts without getting a view from the outside. My goodness, though, but Meredyth is stubborn! And carrying an awfully heavy burden in a heart much in need of supreme patience and relentless grace...

The story includes some twists and turns that really take off toward the end, with drama that's quite engaging to read, albeit painful at times. However, the revelations and redemption and romance do lead up to an ultimately sweet and satisfying conclusion, making The Bound Heart a great second installment in this historical romantic suspense trilogy.

*With thanks to the author for providing me with a PDF copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21490844-the-bound-heart?from_search=true