SUMMER CONSTELLATIONS by Alisha Sevigny is the Young Adult equivalent to a Nicholas Sparks book. It is the perfect beach read.

Title: SUMMER CONSTELLATIONS

Author: ALISHA SEVIGNY

Genre: FICTION, YOUNG ADULT, ENVIRONMENTAL

Length: 264 PAGES

Publisher: KIDS CAN PRESS

Received From: THE AUTHOR

Release Date: MAY 1, 2018

Ages: 14 – 18

Grades: 9 – 12

ISBN: 978-1-77138-929-7 (Hardcover)

ISBN: 978-1-5253-0043-1 (Paperback)

Price: $17.99 USD / $18.99 CDN (Hardcover)

Price: $10.99 USD / $12.99 CDN (Paperback)

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

Julia is so ready for summer. Now that her little brother has finally recovered from a serious illness, all she wants to do is enjoy peak season at the lakeside campground her family owns.

Then Julia’s Mom completely blindsided her: a wealthy developer thinks their campground property is the perfect spot for a casino. They have to consider the offer, Julia’s Mom says, because of their crushing medical bills.

Leave the lake? The only home she’s ever known? Heartbroken and afraid, Julia takes her telescope down to the dock one night, seeking solace in the stars.

That’s when she has a chance encounter with Nick, a hot guy who offers some surprisingly sage advice.

Too bad this guitar-strumming stranger is the developer’s son…

As plans for the sale move forward, Julia is desperate to find a way out. Nick, in turn, is desperate to separate himself from his family’s business. Together, he promises, they can save the campground.

But can Julia trust him to conspire against his own father? And could she ever trust him with her heart?

MY REVIEW:

The cover for this wonderful young adult novel evokes thoughts of warm summer nights and burgeoning young love. The cover is 100% perfect for this story.

Poor Julia. In the first chapter alone we discover that just after graduating from high school, her best friend is leaving for the entire summer. Add to that the fact the guy she’s had a crush on since age twelve,and with whom she had gotten close the summer before, has arrived at the campground with his gorgeous new girlfriend in tow. Pile that on top of the fact that she’s worried about her nine year old brother Caleb’s health since he is recovering from a serious bout of Guillain-Barré Syndrome. In fact, it had been so serious that Caleb had spent months hooked up to machines and tubes. And, worst of all, because of their outrageous medical bills, her mother is seriously considering selling their family campground to a developer who wants to erect a casino on the site. All in all, Julia is having a really crappy week.

As Julia seeks comfort from the stars, readers will start to realize just how amazing and special the campground property is.

If you have never been so far into the wilderness that there was no light pollution at all, you are missing out on an incredible experience. Those of us who have been there, will recognize the author’s authenticity. It is impossible to fake a proper description of the vastness of the summer sky at night if you’ve never seen it with your own eyes. This setting is the perfect place for romance to bloom.

The characters are three dimensional and have real world problems. Yes, there is a rich boy, but the main character is a normal girl.

Although the storyline is not rocket-science, it isn’t supposed to be. This is a feel good tale about overcoming adversity when the odds are stacked against you, with a side of young love that will have teen readers sighing with anticipation and older readers looking back at that time in their lives with nostalgia.

I rate this book as 4.5 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐ and recommend it to readers looking for a book that can be read in a single weekend or for the perfect vacation or beach read.

**I received a free copy of this book from the author.**

My favorite quote from SUMMER CONSTELLATIONS:

“A book always has value, even when it is old and worn.”

*** Alisha is also the author of KISSING FROGS which she discusses in the following video:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Alisha Sevigny holds a degree in Professional Writing and Sociology from the University of Victoria, is a film school graduate, former literary agent and hot yoga lover. A shameless romantic, Alisha and her husband have travelled the world together. On a trip to Panama she fell in love with the country, culture, and their national emblem, the Golden Frog and was inspired to write her first Young Adult novel, KISSING FROGS.

Her second book, SUMMER CONSTELLATIONS is about a young woman fighting to save her family campground while trying not to fall in love, comes out May 1, 2018 with KCP Loft.

Born and raised in Kitimat, British Columbia, Alisha has always had a strong connection to the environment and conservationist spirit. She now lives in Toronto with her family.

To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GOODREADS

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

TWITTER

WATTPAD

YOUTUBE

CHAPTERS

AMAZON

PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE

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THE BEDTIMEASNAURUS by Mike Bayliss is one of the best children’s books I have read in a LONG time. 5 Stars and a BLOG TOUR

Title: THE BEDTIMEASNAURUS

Author: MIKE BAYLISS

Illustrator: MEGAN EGAN

Genre: CHILDREN’S FICTION

Length: 26 LARGE PAGES

ISBN: 978-1-9998572-0-2

Produced By: IMAGINATE CREATIVE LTD

Printed By: LEMON PRESS

Release Date: November 14, 2017

Buy this amazing children’s book online at AMAZON US

DESCRIPTION:

A charming collection of gorgeously illustrated poems to encourage fun and bedtime bonding between parents and their children.

The bright pink flamingoasaurus spends its day standing on one leg looking for something to eat.

The round and delicious tomotoasaurus sings a tune while soaking up the sun.

These are just two of the imaginative and amusing dinosaurs dreamed up in The Bedtimeasnaurus, the sometimes naughty and always hilarious poetry collection for children by Mike Bayliss.

Developing the idea for over thirty years while working on other projects , Bayliss was encouraged to publish his collection after being diagnosed with stage IV non – Hodgkin lymphoma in April 2017, using his work as a positive outlet for his energy as he worked to battle the illness.

Complimented by charming illustrations, opportunities for kids to draw their own dinosaur creations and simple quizzes on each of the characters, The Bedtimeasnaurus not only provides an entertaining read for young children before they go to sleep but also offers a valuable chance for parents to connect and engage.

Purchase from Amazon UK

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mike Bayliss was born in Walsaill West Midland, UK, Bayliss is an entrepreneur that owns companies in several industries including building supply and property development. He also owns Bespoke Brewery, which opened in 2012 and has since won a number of awards for its craft beer. He lives with his wife and three children in Forest Dean, UK. This is his first book.

Check it out on Facebook

ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR:

(Copied from her website)

DESIGNER, ILLUSTRATOR AND PAINTBRUSH-WIELDING VANDAL.

Hi there! My name is Megan Egan, and I’m a Brummie who just loves to create!

Creative Soul and Daydreamer, forged at Imaginate Creative in Leamington Spa, evolving into an Art Director at School of Communication Arts 2.0 in London.

I like drawing, pens, cats, big cities, drum & bass, spray paint, trainers, wine, weird clothes, clouds, graffiti, stickers, books, touchy-feely things, seals, cider, nice packaging, funky lights, bright orange, bare brick walls, scarves, abandoned buildings, olives, colouring in, bones, big windows, untouched snow, scribbling, pizza, fresh bedsheets, the smell of petrol, coffee… and I just bloody LOVE neon!

To learn more about this illustrator visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

FACEBOOK.

TWITTER

INSTAGRAM

LINKEDIN

This blog tour was organized by RACHEL’S RANDOM RESOURCES

WIN A $25 AMAZON GIFT CARD and Check out the new release EARTHLY CONCERNS by Xavier Axelson 

The Incident

by Xavier Axelson
Publication Date: August 18, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, M/M Romance

Purchase: Amazon | Publisher

Michael Carmac is a small-town cop on the verge of a breakdown. After a split-second decision leaves an innocent child dead, Michael’s reality unravels. Suffering from PTSD, he finds comfort in a bottle while struggling to find forgiveness. Fellow officer Bertram Angel offers Michael support, and what starts as friendship turns into something deeper–two men looking to find love, forgiveness and acceptance while moving forward and healing wounds that don’t always show.

CONTENT ADVISORY: This is an extensively re-edited and expanded title.

Earthly Concerns

by Xavier Axelson
Publication Date: September 2, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, M/M Romance

Purchase: Amazon | Publisher

It was a peaceful night when Barrett and his daughter were driving home … then something happened. Something sinister.

Something took Barrett’s daughter from him.

Now the only person Barrett can turn to for help is Anson, a man gifted with psychic abilities beyond reason. But Anson is also his ex-boyfriend, a man whose heart he’d already broken.

As Anson delves deeper into the circumstances surrounding Barrett’s accident, he begins to realize he’s in a race against time. Whatever has taken Barrett’s daughter is a force of evil beyond anything either man has ever encountered. Can both men put aside their heartaches and past to save Barrett’s daughter from an entity that has the power to destroy them all?

Dutch’s Boy

by Xavier Axelson
Publication Date: September 8, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, M/M Romance

Purchase: Amazon – coming soon! | Publisher

Fulfilling your dream isn’t easy, especially if you’re the son of well-known rodeo rider Dutch Reynolds. Dutch doesn’t want to see his son Harry leave the family ranch until he feels Harry is ready. But for Harry, his dream of riding broncos at the rodeo seems to be passing him by. With the moral support of his best friend Reb, Harry takes his life in his own hands and leaves the ranch before Dutch can stop him. Chance encounters, sex and love soon teach the young cowboy life lessons that he will not forget.

The Birches

by Xavier Axelson
Publication Date: August 5, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, M/M Romance

Purchase: Amazon | Publisher

Perfection isn’t everything, although it’s everything Leo wants. His desire to become the perfect chef may keep him at the top of his class, but it drives his friends and family crazy while keeping love and passion on the back burner.

Then Leo meets Dock, owner and chef of the new and popular restaurant, The Birches.

Although Dock isn’t a trained chef, Leo finds the food he cooks delectable and the man behind the food irresistible. The lessons taught at the hands of an untrained cook may be just what this uptight chef needs to let go.

About Xavier Axelson

Xavier Axelson is a writer and columnist living in Los Angeles. Xavier’s work has been featured in various erotic and horror anthologies.

Facebook | Twitter | Amazon  

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New Release Book Blitz & GIVEAWAY – SLEDGEHAMMER by P. Dangelico – Enter to win a $50 Amazon Gift card & a signed book

Sledgehammer

by P. Dangelico
Publication Date: September 11, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

Amber Jones is in a pickle. And when I say pickle, I mean deep do-do. She knew she shouldn’t have gone to her ex’s New Year’s Eve party. And she reeeaally didn’t mean to almost burn down his house. It was the chafing dish’s fault, dang it! Now she needs a good lawyer, stat. But where to find one?

All work and no play make Ethan Vaughn a very sad and lonely lawyer. Not to mention horny. He really shouldn’t have agreed to help his best friend’s wife’s bestie with her imbroglio. Now she’s remanded on bail––and living in his house. The woman is a walking, talking category five hurricane. And considering his track record with women, he needs to stay as far away from this one as possible. Problem is, he just can’t seem to make himself.

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

Cam DeSantis’ life is a hot, steaming pile. How else would you describe losing your husband, your job, and your money all at once? Desperate times call for desperate measures, so when salvation comes in the form of one intolerable a-hole, who just happens to be the starting quarterback for the vaunted NY Titans, she has no choice but to accept his offer as a live-in nanny slash teacher for his eight year old nephew. Now all she has to do is find a safe place in her mind to hide whenever she feels the need to throat punch him into tomorrow…which is often.

Calvin Shaw has zero interest in women. Wait, wait––let me rephrase that. He loves women, he just doesn’t want anything to do with ‘um. Not since his wife, presently ex-wife, got knocked up by the guy she was cheating on him with. Problem is––there’s one living in his house. And he doesn’t know what’s worse, that he promised to be civil, or that he’s attracted to her.

About P. Dangelico

P. Dangelico loves romance in all forms, shapes, and sizes, cuddly creatures (four legged and two), really bloody sexy pulp, the
NY Jets (although she’s reconsidering after this season), and to while away the day at the barn (apparently she does her best thinking shoveling horse crap). What she’s not enamored with is referring to herself in the third person and social media so don’t expect her to get on Twitter anytime soon. Oh, and although she was born in Italy, she’s been Jersey Strong since she turned six.

Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Pinterest   

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UPCOMING EVENT – On Saturday, May 28th attend the Elora Writer’s Festival

Photo by Peter Veraldi

Elora Writer’s Festival (since 1994)

2017 Line-up: 

The Elora Writer’s Festival has already found five great authors – and all of them jumped at the chance to join the annual celebration of great Canadian writing on Sunday, May 28 at Aboyne Hall, Wellington County Museum & Archives. 

Lots more details to come, but here’s a quick look at the Festival 2017 line-up:

Adrienne Kress has a slew of juvenile and YA Fantasy/Steampunk titles out there and, to top it off, she’s an actress too. Her Steampunk adventure The Friday Society, was released to a starred review from Quill and Quire and optioned for film. Read more about Adrienne here:

http://www.adriennekress.com/author/


Rio Youers is back – yes! That Rio! A writer right in our neighbourhood, whose new book, The Forgotten Girl, will appear shortly after our festival. Expect a preview! And if you want to see more of Rio’s impressive list of publications, check out his website, here:

http://rioyouers.com/


Poetry makes a return to our line-up, with Windsor’s Mary Ann Mulhern. Her first collection, The Red Dress, was inspired by her life in the convent, and now, no longer a nun, she tackles some of life’s difficult questions in her writing. Here’s a short video that offers insight into Mary Ann and her poetry:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lduBVQHsCAk&feature=youtu.be


Brad Smith returns to Elora with more of his country-noir good-guys-vs-bad-guys thrillers. The first in the Carl Burns series, Rough Justice, hit the stands last February, and the next installment will arrive in February 2017, just in time for us to get reading and ready for his second appearance at our Festival. (And some of you may remember him from our first Books & Beer too, photo above, with Q&A guru, Dave Beynon… )  Read about Brad’s background here: 

http://www.bradsmithbooks.com/biography.php


And to complete the list, Andrew Westoll – another returnee, because he wowed us in 2013 (see photo, above. That’s Andrew, far left) – brings his first novel to share. Remember Andrew? He’s the author of the award-winningThe Riverbones, as well as the memoir The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary. Now he’s turned to fiction with The Jungle South of the Mountain. Yes, there will be primates. Can’t wait!

Read more about Andrew, here:

http://andrewwestoll.com/bio/

There you have it – the line-up of authors for the Elora Writer’s Festival 2017. Mark your calendars for Sunday, May 28th. 


Photo by Peter Veraldi


Everything you need to know about tickets to Festival 2017   

The 2017 Elora Writers’ Festival is just around the corner and tickets ($25) are now available. Here’s everything you need to know to be part of the action on Sunday, May 28, 1-4 p.m:

Pay a visit to Roxanne – or give her a call:

Visit Roxanne’s Reflections Book & Card Shop, 152 St. Andrew St. West in Fergus to purchase your tickets. Or call Roxanne at 519-843-4391 to reserve your tickets, which can be picked up at the store or will be waiting for you at the front door of Aboyne Hall, Wellington County Museum & Archives on the day of the festival, whatever works for you.

Order Online from our partners at The Fergus Grand Theatre:

Easy, easy, easy. Follow this link to the ticket-ordering page:

Fergus Grand Theatre – 2017 Elora Writers’ Festival

Show up at the door of Aboyne Hall, Wellington County Museum & Archives on Sunday, May 28 at about 12:45 p.m.:

Walk up to our ticket table, pull out $25, take your ticket and walk right in!

Your ticket entitles you to an afternoon of readings and a crowd-pleasing Q&A with this year’s authors, Rio Youers, Andrew Westoll, Adrienne Kress, Brad Smith and Mary Ann Mulhern.

Oh yes, and there’s one beer (thanks to our sponsors, Wellington Brewery) and nibbles (supplied by local Fergus eatery, The Fountainhead), and books to buy at our mini-bookstore, authors to chat with and a room full of like-minded book-lovers to meet.

All you need is a ticket, it’s that’s easy!

I will definitely be attending. I hope that if any of you reading this are planning to go to the Festival, we can introduce ourselves to each other.

Hope to see you there!!! 

Photo by Peter Veraldi

Photo by David Wilcox

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS FESTIVAL CLICK HERE


RE-POST -5 Stars for MERITROPOLIS by Joel Ohman – BOOK REVIEW

 

 
METROPOLIS 

Author: Joel Ohman
This book is a dystopian fantasy novel packed with action and drama.

The Event has devastated the world. At 3 years AE (After Event) there were 50,000 citizens of Meritropolis. A system was devised to help them to survive and all the reaidents had agreed to the new system. If the number of residents exceeded 50,000, then someone must be “zeroed”. This meant being put outside the gates to try to survive on their own. “Of course, being zeroed was just a euphemism for being killed, since no one could survive long outside the gates. Not at night, and not for long, anyway.” It was usually the elderly who had already lived a long life, or a sickly child who would likely not have a “productive future,” who were zeroed.

Everyone is assigned a numerical merit score which designates their worth to society. These scores also determine whether they live or die. The reason for this system was simple. The inhabitants of Meritropolis believed that the needs of the many outweighed the good of the few.

However, it is now AE12 and the current teenagers are rebelling against the system. When the original agreement had been reached, these current teenagers had been too young to understand the consequences.

Commander Orson now has the highest merit score of anyone in the city and because of this, he is in charge of Meritropolis. It had been his father who had initially instituted the System.

Charley’s parents had been killed in The Event and he was left with only his brother, Alec. Alec had down syndrome and when Charley was 8, Alec had been taken away by the guards and zeroed in a gate ceremony. It was that day that “had planted a dark little seed in Charley. And that seed had been tended carefully and quietly over the past nine years.” Charley has a high score of 118.

Children stay in the underground dorms until they reach adulthood.

Charley decides to try to stop a gate ceremony for a young girl and ends up living in the high score dorm.

It is there that he starts to discover the secrets that keep Meritropolis running.

It is now up to him and to his fellow high scores to decide if they will live a life of luxury and plenty at the expense of those with low scores, or if they will find a way to fight the system.

How do you decide? Is it better to protect yourself and your closest friends? Or is it better to put your life on the line in hopes of making life better for everyone?

Joel Ohman has managed to create a complex and diverse world that will appeal to all lovers of dystopian fiction.

This is an engrossing and gripping thrill ride that will keep you reading long into the night and will stay with you long after reading the final page.

The cliff hanger ending will leave you wishing that book two was already available. I know that I will be impatiently awaiting it’s publication.

I rate Meritropolis as 5 out of 5 stars.⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

4 Stars for INO’S LOVE by Marianne Sciucco – AUDIOBOOK REVIEW

  
Title: INO’S LOVE

Author: Marianne Sciucco 

Type of Book: Audiobook- Unabridged 

Narrator: Terry Murphy

Length: 28 minutes

Genre: Fiction, Short Stories 

Release Date: September 21, 2015

Publisher: Bunky Press

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

DESCRIPTION FROM AUDIBLE: 

“Into prepares a Christmas feast for her successful CEO son, but when he’s too busy to spend the holiday with his mother, she shares her dinner and gifts with her home health aide. Sometimes, the people who love us best are not family.”

MY REVIEW: 

This audiobook was a very quick listen. The entire story only lasted 28 minutes, but within those twenty-eight minutes quite a lot took place. 

Ino is an elderly widow living in an apartment in New York’s Little Italy. She has lived there for most of her life and she has no intention of ever moving, despite the fact that she now has difficulty handling the stairs. As far as Ino is concerned, there is nothing or no one that could ever convince her move away from the place where she experienced so many happy moments in her life.

Ruby is a paid caregiver who visits Ino several times a week and spends a few hours with her each time. This service is paid for by Ino’s son who is a bigshot corporate executive who makes a ton of money, but lives on the other side of the country. 

When business brings him to New York a few days before Christmas he calls his mother and tells her that he is dropping by to visit her. 

Ino is excited that her son is coming to see her and she cooks his favourite food. However, he calls and says he can’t make it. Ino decides to ask Ruby to stay for dinner instead.

I have to admit that it made me quite angry that her son was so self-absorbed that he didn’t even consider his mother’s feelings when he cancelled. Sadly, this scenario is one that plays out way too often in households across the country. 

There is a whole extra topic of conversation and discussion that arises when Ruby stays for dinner, but I won’t go into detail here because I don’t want to ruin the story for potential audiobook listeners. I will say that if this audiobook does not make you feel, then you are immune to normal human emotions. 

The narrator for this audiobook was outstanding, perfectly capturing the mood and emotions of the characters in this story. 

I rate the audiobook as 4 out of 5 stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

* I received a free copy of this audiobook through AudioBookBlast dot com in exchange for an honest review. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

  
Marianne Sciucco is a writer who happens to be a nurse. A lover of words and books, she studied the craft of writing as an English major at the University of Massachusetts at Boston and briefly worked as a newspaper reporter in New England. 

To avoid poverty, she later became a nurse and wrote about the intricate lives of people struggling with health and family issues. 

A native Bostonian who loves Cape Cod, she lives in upstate New York. When she isn’t writing, she works as a campus nurse at a community college. 

To learn more about her visit http://MarianneSciucco.blogspot.com 

ABOUT THE NARRATOR: 

  
Terry Murphy started her voiceover career in 1980 and she has held multiple News Anchor jobs including positions in Cincinnati, Detroit Michigan, Chicago Illinois and Los Angeles California. 

Her voice was the driving force behind the highly successful syndicated show “Hard Copy” for nine years. Because of this, she was once known as America’s tabloid queen!

More information can be found at  http://www.voicespro.com/us/voice-artist/profile/terry-murphy

4 Stars for THREE INTO ONE by Julie Elizabeth Powell – AUDIOBOOK REVIEW

  
Title: THREE INTO ONE

Author: Julie Elizabeth Powell

Type of Book: Audiobook – Unabridged

Narrator: Phil Mayes

Length: 21 minutes

Genre: Science Fiction, Short Story

Release Date: July 3, 2015

Publisher: Julie Elizabeth Powell

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This audiobook is extremely short. The entire thing only lasts twenty-one minutes, but those twenty-one minutes pack in a lot of story.

Thomas is an odd child. He has always been this way. Then, one night at the age of seven, he experiences something that affects him in a very strange way.

This event not only makes him seem even weirder than he had before, but it also alters him physically.

What happened that night? How does a seven year old wake up in the middle of a forest with no memory of how he got there?

The answers to those questions will affect not only Thomas, but the rest of humanity.

I enjoyed listening to this audiobook and was surprised to find out that it is narrator Phil Mayes first professional narration. He did a wonderful job in voicing not only the children’s voices but also as the voice of the third-party storyteller. He speaks clearly and is easily understood which is important for the listener. I rate the narration as 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The only thing I disliked about this audiobook was the story’s ending. I felt that it could have been wrapped up in a much neater fashion. I assume that the author left the story unfinished for a reason. I understand that this tactic leaves the listener able to speculate on the various outcomes for the story and it’s characters. But, to me this audiobook actually seemed like it was the opening chapter for a novel and that the listener was left ‘hanging’ just as the story seemed about to get even more interesting.

With that said, if author Julie Elizabeth Powell ever decides to turn this story into a full-length novel, I would be very interested in reading it. It is for that reason that I rate “Three Into One” as 4 out of 5 stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

~ I received a free copy of this audiobook from the narrator in exchange for an honest review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

  
Julie Elizabeth Powell is an indie author based in England. She has authored over 17 titles of various genres.

For more information visit her author’s page on Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1349023.Julie_Elizabeth_Powell

Her novel “GONE” sounds intriguing.

ABOUT THE NARRATOR: 

  
Phil Mayes is from London, England, but now lives in Southern California and he loves his adoptive home. According to Phil this proves that climate beats culture.

After a life spent writing in Assemblers, C, C++, Python and Javascript, he is now writing in English. He currently blogs, takes naps and is working on his next book with his wife Maude Mayes. He recently started narrating audiobooks

To learn more about Phil Mayes go to: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5355822.Phil_Mayes 

Or

Check out his narrator info page at http://www.acx.com/narrator?p=A1Y1HBLF85YD8O 

4 Stars for HELLO, AGNIESZKA by E. Journey – Book Review

  
Title: Hello, Agnieszka!

Series: Between Two Worlds: Book Two

Author: E. Journey

Type of Book: Softcover

Genre: Drama, Romance

Length: 273 pages

Release Date: June 19, 2014

Publisher: Sojourner Books

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

~ I received a free softcover copy of “Hello, Agnieszka! – A 70s Love Story” free through the Goodreads Giveaway program. A review is not a requirement of receiving the free book, but the authors and publishers do appreciate receiving feedback (good or bad) from readers.

This is the second book in the “Between Two Worlds” series, however, it is not necessary to read the books in order since each one is its own stand-alone novel.

This book begins with the suicide attempt of a young adult named Peter. Fortunately the attempt was unsuccessful, but this single event triggers a tsunami of family revelations – all centred around Agnieszka.

The tale turns to the past and specifically to Agnieszka’s life from age ten to twenty.

Agnieszka’s Great Aunt Jola was a renowned beauty and pianist in her native Poland. However, she, along with Agnieszka’s grandparents fled Poland and the Nazi invasion and emigrated to the United States. It was in the U.S. that Agnieszka was born.

At the age of ten Agnieszka heard Aunt Jola play the piano for the first time and she was captivated.

That love of music shaped her life for years to come. As a teenager in the early 1970s, you would think that Agnieszka would have been experiencing the “free love” era, but she was a very sheltered young woman and spent all of her time either at school, at home or practicing the piano. At the age of 17 she had never even had a boyfriend.

That all changes when she meets Lenny and falls deeply in love.

Betrayal and heartbreak, along with love, lust and a mother who is stuck in the past all conspire to change Agnieszka’s life forever.

This is a tale of young love, first loves, heartbreaks and the power of music to soothe the soul.

If you are trying to decide whether or not to read this book, there are certain things that you need to take into consideration.

1. Are you looking for a steamy romance with detailed sex scenes? If so, this is NOT the book for you. Yes, there is sex in this book, but the act itself is secondary to the story and the author obviously decided that graphic sex scenes were unnecessary. In my opinion, this is a good thing. This book seeks to appeal to the reader’s heart, much more so than their libido.
2. Are you looking for a modern day setting? Again, if that is the case, this is NOT the book for you. But, if you want to read a story that is set in the 1970s during an era of change and exploration, this is EXACTLY the book for you.
3. Do you enjoy superficial characters that are completely lacking in depth and that readers are unable to relate to? That is the exact opposite of the characters in “Hello, Agnieszka.” The author’s character building is excellent. Readers learn more and more about each character as the story emerges and readers will find themselves beginning to be invested in the lives of Agnieszka, Lenny and Aunt Jola.
4. Are you looking for a book that contains only simple and straightforward emotions? If so, this is NOT the right choice for you. The emotions and actions of the characters in this book are complicated and often perplexing, but always realistic.

So, in conclusion, this book is more of a drama than a romance. Yes, the romance is central to the story, but it is about much more than that.

I enjoyed this book and will definitely read more books by author, E. Journey in the future.

Overall, I rate this book as 4 out of 5 stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

To purchase this book visit http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00L5IHKZ4

  
To learn more about this author visit http://www.evyjourney.com

FALLEN (Fallen #1) by Lauren Kate – AUDIOBOOK REVIEW

Image of book cover from www.amazon.com

Image of book cover from http://www.amazon.com

FALLEN ( Fallen #1)

By: Lauren Kate

Narrated by: Justine Eyre

Type of Book: Audiobook – Unabridged

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Fiction

Length: 9 cds = 10 hours, 56 minutes

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐

My Review:

I borrowed this audiobook from my local library. I listen to audiobooks mostly on my iPod, but in the car I listen to books on cd since I can borrow them for free at the local library.

First off the cover of this book is delightfully gothic looking. It gives a sense of impending freakiness. I applaud the cover designer for a job well done.

This book is geared toward a Young Adult audience.

The story centers around Lucinda Price (everyone calls her Luce) and Daniel Grigori.

Luce is sent to Sword and Cross, a live-in Reform School after she was involved in a fire that took the life of her boyfriend, Trevor. Luce has only vague memories of that tragic night. She remembers seeing threatening shadow shapes but little else. Because she mentions the shadows and cannot defend herself, the fire and Trevor’s death are blamed on her. We never do find out exactly what crime she is convicted of, or exactly what her sentence is. This “fire” seems like a convenient way to place Luce in reform school. More backstory as well as more details on the “crime” would have been greatly appreciated.

Once Luce arrives at the school she sees Daniel and feels an instant connection to him. He apparently doesn’t feel the same since his response to her smile is to give her the finger. This should be enough to turn her off completely. Instead her feelings are hurt. She acts like a baby. No self respecting female should pursue a man (or boy) who treats her with such disrespect.

What follows is her basically stalking him and him avoiding her. There is another boy (Cam) at the school who is gorgeous, rich and attentive. But, does she want him? No! Well, actually she does a good job of leading him on, all the while trying to figure out how to go about getting the guy she really wants. This bothered me. What sort of message is this sending to the young adults reading this book? Do we really want teenage girls to think it is okay to string someone along just so that they have a backup plan? Yuck!

Mysterious things happen. There are dreams that seem like memories, but they are of places Luce has never been. These do not feel real and do not contain enough emotional moments.

There is the obligatory paranormal twist and of course it wouldn’t be a young adult novel without the requisite love triangle.
I was actually rooting for her to go out with Cam and forget all about Daniel Grigori.

The narrator does an amazing job with the material she was given. Her voice is clear and she is able to make the book seem more interesting than the plot suggests. Kudos to Justine Eyre for a job well done.

I guess by my above comments, you will see that I wasn’t won over by this book. It isn’t horrible, its just that it seems so similar to so many other young adult books that I just couldn’t immerse myself in the story. The characters fell flat and there was a distinct lack of authentic historical details.

Also, I found Luce VERY annoying. Daniel blows her off repeatedly. Luce must be a sucker for punishment because she keeps throwing herself at him. This is NOT what we want our young adult generation to see as a healthy relationship. (In the author’s defense, her obsession does have a reason). I felt that this girl had no self-respect. If any guy ever treated me the way Daniel treats Luce for the first half of the story, I would want exactly nothing to do with him … EVER!

This story does have potential and could have been good, but it drags. The reader knows at the beginning that Luce is fated to be reincarnated time and time again and to fall in love with Daniel each time. That love always end tragically for Luce. But, even though the signs are all there for Luce, she has no clue. It takes most of the book for her to realize what is happening. This fact does NOT endear Luce to the reader. In fact, it makes the reader (at least it did for me) want to smack her for being such a moron. Also, she ignores her friends and family and even her teachers. All she can think about is Daniel. This is not love, this is obsession and it is NOT healthy.

I find it very difficult to enjoy a book when I do not like any of the characters. Luce is spoiled, self-centered and stupid. Daniel is arrogant and just plain mean. They have very few redeeming qualities.

Eventually Luce and Daniel fall in love, but it is not believable. What does she love about him? The only reasons she gives is that he is gorgeous and that she feels drawn to him. What qualities make her love him? He doesn’t save puppies or do charity work, if he had done either of these things then maybe he would be at least a little bit like-able. In fact, he’s a delinquent (if he wasn’t he wouldn’t be in reform school) and he is often downright cruel. He is condescending whenever he talks to Luce. I don’t know about other women, but I certainly do not enjoy being treated like I am beneath other people. I would have liked Luce a lot more if she didn’t come across as such a doormat.

Luce is a feminist’s nightmare. She would have been more relatable if she wasn’t so wishy-washy. Her character has potential, but she does not live up to it.

Unfortunately, despite wanting to like this book, I was unable to do so. It is for all the reasons listed above that I rate this book as only 2 out of five stars. ⭐⭐

I will pass on reading the rest of this series.