Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Dystopian Hop! (Int)

There are so many great Dystopian books out on the market right now.  Thanks to I am a Reader, Not a Writer and My Self Confessions for giving us the opportunity to spotlight this genre, and give some away of course.  I will ship using the book depository if you live out of the US.  If in the US, I will choose the cheapest option available.

Today I am going to offer a giveaway of one book.  I have three different series that I really like that are Dystopian.  I think there are only two books our of these three series.  I will let the winner choose from the three. If you already have the first book, you may want the second.  Or try a new series.  I will add the synopsis of the first book in each series.

Description from Possession: Vi knows the Rule: Girls don't walk with boys, and they never even thinkabout kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn...and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi's future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.

But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they're set on convincing Vi to become one of them...starting by brainwashing Zenn. Vi can't leave Zenn in the Thinkers' hands, but she's wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous--everything Zenn's not. Vi can't quite trust Jag and can't quite resist him, but she also can't give up on Zenn.

This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.

Description from Matched:  Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate... until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

Description from Divergent:  In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her

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Guest post by Leigh Michael ~ The Love of Halloween!

The Love of Halloween
Guest post by Leigh Michael
Halloween, Hallows’ Eve, Hallowe’en, whatever you prefer to call it, is a holiday we’ve all come to know and love. For many, it’s a jovial time to get dressed up and eat lots of candy. For others, it stems from observances of All Saints’ Day, All Souls’ Day, or Samhain.
But did you know that, for some, Halloween was also a time people yearned to find love?
On this night, hopeful young girls often used mirrors to reveal their true loves. Want to give it a try? Follow the following steps to catch a glimpse of your prince charming.
Wait until the sun has set.
Sit down and place a candle and mirror in front of you.
While brushing your hair, look intently into the mirror.
By doing so, folklore says that a reflection of your future husband will appear in the mirror. In fact, he’ll be standing right behind you. Be warned though, folklore also says that if you turn around, he’ll disappear along with your chance to marry him.

You’ve probably bobbed for apples before, but did you assign a different crush to each apple? In fact, if you can seize an apple in one bite, folklore believes you are destined to be together.

Did it work?  Here's another one:  Place four cups on a round table.
Here’s one more. Just follow these simple directions.

In the first cup, put a ring.
In the second, add a petal from a flower.
In the third, drop a coin.
In the fourth, place a marble.
Blindfold yourself (or a friend) and carefully walk around the table three times.
Then, without looking, touch a cup.
The first person to touch the cup with the flower petal will wed first. Or so folklore says. If you blindly chose the cup with the ring, you’ll have a lifetime of devoted love. The cup with the coin means you’ll be wealthy. And alas, if you happen to pick the cup with the marble, there’s a chance you’ll remain single or childless.
So what do you think? Are you going to give these Halloween love potions a try?

All this talk of love reminds me of folklore from my series, Annabelle’s Story. Unfortunately, both of these excerpts showcase those not so lucky in love. But don’t worry; I’m sure you’ll have much better luck.

The love of Selkie
“Well, encantado and selkie turn into human-forms differently,” he started. “For the selkie, it’s easiest to think of them as wearing a wet suit. Once they leave the sea, they peel off their sealskin and walk the land like a normal human. It’s kind of weird to think about it.”
“Seriously? Their skin just peels off?” 
He nodded. “It can get a little tricky for the selkie because they have to be really careful not to misplace their skin. If they do, they can’t return to the water in their sprite form.” 
“So I take it this has happened before?”
His head bobbed again. “Throughout history, there’ve been stories of a woman falling in love with a selkie. Over time the woman uncovered his secret, then stole his skin so the selkie couldn’t ever leave her.”
“Talk about a forced relationship.”
“For real,” he said with a laugh.”

The love of Lorelei
“Lorelei was once a beautiful young woman who thought she had it all. She lived with her husband in a small town along the Rhine River in what is now known as Germany. One day, she learned that her husband wasn’t faithful. In a fit of rage and sorrow, she threw herself into the river. Upon her death, she transformed into a Siren, a kind of mermaid.
Although, Lorelei’s story didn’t stop there. She carried such an immense amount of hatred not only towards her unfaithful lover, but also towards men in general. As a Siren, she’d sit upon a rock and lure sailors with her tantalizing voice, causing them to crash into the rocks and drown.”
Sprite (Annabelle’s Story Part One) can be purchased at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords
Kin (Annabelle’s Story Part Two) can be purchased at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

About Leigh:  Leigh Michael is an author of YA fiction. She's worked within the advertising world for nearly a decade before writing her debut series, Annabelle's Story. Leigh lives in Washington, DC with her husband and goldendoodle. Please learn more about Leigh and her works at

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Review ~ "Building Wealth for Building the Kingdom" by Devin D. Thorpe

Building Wealth for Building the Kingdom by Devin D. Thorpe

Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Genre: Self Help/ Religious
Source: Received electronic copy to review

Book Description: Building Wealth for Building the Kingdom is a simple, practical guide to help LDS families organize their personal financial plans to meet their unique goals. The book provides simple answers to questions like:
How much should I be saving each month for my son’s mission?
How much should I be saving each month for my children’s college education?
How can I save enough to be able to retire while I’m healthy enough to serve a mission?
Avoiding tips on pinching pennies, the book focuses on opportunities to save thousands or tens of thousands of dollars by making smart moves with big decisions, like home and car purchases.
Mormon families will appreciate the gospel-centered, scripture-based focus on putting tithing at the center of a financial plan. Building Wealth for Building the Kingdom will help prepare families to enjoy the benefits of their labor while simultaneously contributing to the growth of Church.

My thoughts:   Building Wealth for Building the Kingdom tackles the problem many are having in managing finances.  I will admit that this is one of the things that has been plaguing me lately.

This book takes a practical approach to a tough subject.  While it is written primarily to an LDS reader, I feel that there are many ways that this can help any family/person in need of solid advice.  While the lessons are not new to me, it is always good to be reminded on how to succeed in managing finances.  It is good to rededicate myself and family to the principals discussed.

Financial security is something that we can obtain, if we learn to budget and look at wants vs. needs.  This book looks at financial planning and the author even suggests finding a good one who can help individuals work within their own budget.

Thanks Devin for reminding me what I really need to be doing to help my family find stability in an unstable economy.

About the author: Devin D. Thorpe brings a broad perspective to financial planning, having owned and operated an investment-banking firm—which included an investment advisory business—and a mortgage brokerage and having served in a variety of corporate finance positions.

Presently, Devin serves as a business professor at South China University of Technology in Guangzhou, China on behalf of Brigham Young University’s Kennedy Center China Teachers program. Previously, he served as the Chief Financial Officer for the multinational company MonaVie, listed in Inc. Magazine’s 2009 Inc. 500 as the 18th fastest growing company in America and, at $834 million in revenue, the third largest company on the list.
Prior experience includes two years working on the staff of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee during Utah Senator Jake Garn’s tenure. He also served briefly in Utah State Government, working at USTAR under Governor Jon Huntsman.  He earned an MBA with focus in Finance and Accounting from Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management. He completed his undergraduate degree in finance at the University of Utah, where he later worked as an adjunct professor of finance. In 2006,
Devin was recognized by the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah as a Distinguished Alum. In the Church, Devin presently serves as a seminary teacher along with his wife, Gail. Previously, he served as a counselor in a stake presidency, a counselor in a bishopric, ward executive secretary, young men’s president, assistant scout master, three times as an assistant ward clerk, and in more elders quorum presidencies than he can count. Devin ran his first marathon in 2011, finishing in 4:35.
Author Links:   
Purchase Links:

Follow the tour: 
October 25 Review
October 26 -Review
October 29 Review
November 2 Review
November 5 Interview
November 6 Excerpt

***This book is currently part of a goodreads giveaway that ends tomorrow.  If you want to enter, do it quickly.  Click on the goodreads button below my review to get to the giveaway.***

Review ~ "Sacrifice" by Cayla Kluver

Sacrifice by Cayla Kluver
Source: Netgalley
Age Recommendation:  YA

Book Description:This is not the time for the fight to end. Now is when the fight will begin. This is the time to regain what has been lost.
Queen of a fallen kingdom, secretly in love with the enemy.
Daughter of a murdered father, rebel with a cause.
One lives behind the former Hytanican palace walls and walks the razor’s edge to keep the fragile peace in her beloved homeland. The other slips through the war-torn streets, seeking retribution for her family’s tragedy, following whispers of insurgency.
Both face choices that will separate them from those they cannot help but love. As their stories intertwine,
a conspiracy ignites that may end in slavery or death—or lead to freedom anew, if only each can face what
must be sacrificed.

Colleen's Thoughts:  I have been eagerly awaiting the concluding book of this series!  I loved the first two, and I loved the third as well.  At the end of the second book, Hytanica is conquered, Steldor and Alera's marriage is dissolved, Narian is made the Cokyrian commander of the new province, and Alera is named the Hytanican representative.  The political climate in Hytanica is extremely volatile.  Many of the Hytanican leaders were released from their previous duties in order to rebuild the city and make room for the Cokyrian leaders. The Captain of the Guard and Alera's personal guard are the only two military leaders to stay as advisers to Alera and Narian.  Together the two plot to overthrow the Cokyrians.

It is interesting to watch Alera realize her potential as a leader and monarch.  Although she wants the two countries to be able to find a peaceable solution, she begins to assert her authority in favor of Hytanica and her beliefs.  Previously she had remained blind to many of the problems in her suffering country because of her relationship with Narian.  As her relationship with Narian grows, his character and ideals shift as well.  He is deeply in love with Alera.  He too wants the countries to find a way to work together and live peaceably, but his efforts are often thwarted by his second in command - a vengeful Cokyrian.  Their journey to find a peaceful and accepting place for their relationship is fraught with trial and hardship.  
Shaselle's part in the book is often comical and yet frustrating.  She seems to be able to find trouble wherever she goes.  Although she just wants to be involved and help the cause of her country, she cannot seem to be in the right place at the right time - or with the right person.  Hers is a sad story that teaches her to grow and develop into a much more responsible person.  Her cousin and uncle (Steldor and Cannan) play an integral part in her reformation and resulting happiness.
I am happy to report that, thankfully, it is a relatively happy ending.  The entire series is most definitely worth reading and even re-reading.  I really enjoy Cayla Kluver's writing.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Review ~ "Smart Move" by Melanie Jacobson

Smart MoveSmart Move by Melanie Jacobson
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: Received from Melanie to review
Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Book Description: The spark was undeniable the night Sandy Burke met the devastatingly handsome Jake. Conversation flowed easily, so after they parted, she waited eagerly for his call. It never came. A high-powered career woman at the ripe old age of twenty-seven, Sandy feels she has had her heart broken one too many times, and now the redheaded trendsetter is facing a major quarter-life crisis. After some introspection, Sandy determines that helping others may be the key to helping herself. When she's presented with a job offer in Washington DC as the director of New Horizons, a nonprofit organization benefiting women in poverty, it seems providential.

But now that she's moved, two major obstacles threaten the success of her first assignment: The first is her mother and her constant fog of less-than-helpful New Age advice. Secondly, plans to build another New Horizons outreach center have come to a screeching halt, thanks to the interference of a pesky lawyer and his attempts to reverse zoning approval for the building project.

After weeks of verbal sparring over the phone, Sandy is in for a shock when she comes face-to-face with her foe. The smooth voice at the other end of the line is a heart-wrenching blast from the past. In this twist of fate, Sandy sees the perfect opportunity to ensure the success of the outreach center — and to enact a little payback on this man she thought she'd left behind. And so the battle of wits begins. Will Sandy's "flirt-to-convert" plot sway her nemesis' determination to block the center, or will his charming and undeniably attractive ways convince the sassy redhead to give love a second chance?

My thoughts;  This book had me right form the beginning. I love it when I can have fun reading and laugh a time or two.  I told my husband that this book would be read quickly.  This wasn't a book that I would struggle to finish or review.

Sandy is a great main character. She is sassy and witty. She has a great sense of self, in spite of her less than conventional upbringing. In fact she may be so successful because of she had to learn from a young age to stand firm in her ideals and beliefs. Her mother is a new age guru. She has really taught Sandy many great life skills from her "religion", but some of her beliefs are a bit extreme.

Jake is a lawyer. He and Sandy met a year previous to this book and hit it off, unfortunately for him, he didn't call. He now has to prove his intentions, of course it is unfortunate that he is on the other side of legal wrangling from Sandy. She refers to him as "el diablo" and it's not in an affectionate way.

The sparks fly between the two of them. They have great chemistry. The only one who really can't see it is Sandy. She is so focused on her job and proving that she is right that she is blinded to what is around her.

I loved reading this book and now Melanie Jacobson is on my radar, I will be checking out her other books. I realize that I own a copy of her book "The List".  I will get to that as soon as I catch up on a few posts. :)

Zero content warnings on this one.  It's a clean read. (Unless of course, you don't like kissing.  Me? I like kissing scenes.)

Author bio from Deseret Book:  Melanie Jacobson is from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she grew up in a rich tradition of storytellers. After graduating from Brigham Young University, she enjoyed a career in fashion retail before pursuing her true passion: teaching literature and writing. Realizing she was still missing something, Melanie tried Internet dating for a few years. She now considers herself a retired Internet dating expert after searching the World Wide Web to find her husband, who only lived forty-five minutes away. The live with their three children in Orange County, California.

Where can you find Melanie Jacobson?

Where can you purchase a copy?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Texting Through Time: John Taylor and the Mystery Puzzle by ChristyMonson ~ Blog Tour

                by Christy Monson

Genre:  Middle Grade Historical/ Science Fiction
Source: Received electronic copy for review

Book Description:  Micah and Alicia are excited to meet John Taylor as a child in England. But when their phone won't let them return to their own time, the'll follow the prophet around the world, learning some important lessons along the way. Humorous, entertaining, and informative, this book is a wonderful introduction to church history that's bound to be a family favorite!

My thoughts:  Micah and Alicia are set for another adventure.  They have just learned about the LDS prophet John Taylor and want to visit him in England as a boy.  It's just supposed to be a quick trip and they're even going to bring their dad.  No problems!  Right?  

This book is a great book for middle grade readers.  It''s full of imagination and facts about life in the 1800's.

The main characters Micah and Alicia are main characters that kids will like.  They are good kids who just want to get home.  I know I would love to visit the 1800's but I wouldn't like to be stuck there.  This is an adventure that will keep your kids attention. It will also keep them wondering about the puzzle that needs to be solved and the lessons that need to be learned. The kids develop stronger faith and learn some wonderful lessons.

I love that they can see that people they look up to in history were once children. div>

A Word from Christy Monson: 
A second Texting Through Time book is here, John Taylor And The Mystery Puzzle.It’s a fast-paced quick read—fun for kids and the entire family.

As Micah andAlicia get to know John Taylor, they find he is faithful, courageous, prayerfuland loving. They must solve a mystery puzzle about his life before they canreturn home. While hunting for the puzzle pieces, they land in France with adead phone battery—and Micah is in a dress! What else can go wrong?

This wassuch a fun book to write. I enjoy doing the research. It’s a blessing for me tolearn about our modern-day prophets.

I am honoredthat Mary Jane Woodger, BYU Faculty and editor of Champion of Liberty, John Taylor, has written a forward for mybook. Maureen Smith, International President of the Daughter’s of the UtahPioneers has endorsed the book. And Mathew Buckley, author of Chickens in the Headlights, and Bullies in the Headlights has given it athumbs-up.

If you likecontests, be sure to join the book blast on November 13th. Order abook from Amazon and leave me a message on one of the following sites to win a$25.00 Amazon Gift Certificate.

My booklaunch will be at the Ogden Temple Deseret Book Store on Friday, November 23rdfrom 2 – 3:30 pm. Join the fun. Come for refreshments and a fun signing.
Check thewebsites for other scheduled signings.

Follow the Tour: (taken from Cedar Fort's tour page)

Review ~ Partials by Dan Wells

Partials by Dan Wells

Rating:  4 of 5 stars
Genre: YA Science Fiction

Book Description from Goodreads:  The human race is all but extinct after a war with Partials--engineered organic beings identical to humans--has decimated the population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by RM, a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island while the Partials have mysteriously retreated. The threat of the Partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to RM in more than a decade. Our time is running out.

Kira, a sixteen-year-old medic-in-training, is on the front lines of this battle, seeing RM ravage the community while mandatory pregnancy laws have pushed what's left of humanity to the brink of civil war, and she's not content to stand by and watch. But as she makes a desperate decision to save the last of her race, she will find that the survival of humans and Partials alike rests in her attempts to uncover the connections between them--connections that humanity has forgotten, or perhaps never even knew were there.

Dan Wells, acclaimed author of "I Am Not a Serial Killer," takes readers on a pulsepounding journey into a world where the very concept of what it means to be human is in question--one where our humanity is both our greatest liability and our only hope for survival

Whitney's Thoughts:  My 16-year-old son and I both enjoyed this book. Dan Wells has the rare ability to cover extremely disturbing subject matter without including sex or bad language--at all! The world he creates in Partials is fascinating to explore. In some ways, the few remaining humans on Long Island struggle to survive, growing their own food, using horses for transportation, and so on. In other ways, they’re surrounded by riches untold. One of Kira’s friends has a solar generator, which she charges up to listen to one of the 100 iPods she’s salvaged from houses whose occupants died in the plague. The adults in the book struggle with hopelessness, because they saw all of civilization crash down around them. But Wells shows that, for the “plague babies” like Kira and her friends, who were infants or toddlers  before the fall of civilization, this post-apocalyptic life is the new normal. As the young characters forge forward with hope and creativity, trying to figure out how their lives and the Partials’ are interwound, I found myself utterly immersed in a weird and grim, but very believable world.

My son noted that, recently in YA literature, high bodies counts are sometimes taking the place of high drama (**coughHungerGamescough**). Partials suffers a titch from this in the climax, and I got a little weary of people being shot.
But I’m looking forward to the sequel next February. 


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Blog tour (giveaway) ~ "Avenge" (Patronus #2) by Sarah M ross

Avenge (Patronus #2) by Sarah M. Ross

Genre:  YA Paranormal

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Source: Received to review for this tour!

Book Description:  Six months ago, Lucy Donovanthought that being killed by a drunk driver was the worst thing that couldhappen to her.

She was wrong.

Now, the person she loves most has been ripped away from her, soul heldhostage, and Lucy has vowed to stop at nothing to get it back.

Part of a new team with enhanced powers, Lucy and her friends begin a quest toavenge the souls that have been stolen. Enemies of the Patronus have unitedhowever, and a spy from within the Patronus realm is feeding the enemy theirevery move.

When a mission goes horribly wrong, Lucy’s soul becomes compromised. It willtake a strength she didn’t know was within her to escape the darkness, returnto the light and avenge the soul she loves.

My thoughts: Avenge picks up the story of Lucy.  She died and became a Patronus.  She saves souls that werewolves and vampires take, so they can continue on their journey to heaven.

This book is full of action.  Lucy works on a team that all save souls as they seek for the lost soul of Lucy's sister.  She is driven, saving her sister is her priority.

Lucy has a romantic interest, Max.  He is the other half of her soul. That's a very interesting concept and fun to learn about what it entails. There are moments that include sexual content.

This book is easy to follow.  I love that she includes people from history as characters in her book.  It's fun to see them interact as she would imagine that their character would.  This is a fun book to read. I would recommend to 17+ due to mature content.

Follow the tour:

Giveaway: There are two giveaways for this tour.  The first is US/Canada.  The second is International.

Use the rafflecopter forms to enter.

US/Canada prize ~ print copy of Awaken, Avenge, and Echo of Angels + swag

International prize ~ $20.00 gift certificate to Amazon

 a Rafflecopter giveawaya Rafflecopter giveaway

About Sarah: I started my obsession with reading at an early age, getting in trouble for sneaking BabySitter Club and Nancy Drew books into math class in elementary school. I would read any fiction book I could get my hands on. I knew it was an addiction when instead of grounding me from TV or music, my mom would take away my books as punishment (The Horror!). My love of all things paranormal was inspired by my good friend Laurie, who convinced me that books with vampires, witches, and all things shifter were amazing. After a little reluctance, I gave it a shot with the Sookie Stackhouse books, realized she was right, and the rest was history. 
I grew up in Pittsburgh, graduated from The University of Pittsburgh with my degree in English, and taught 8th graders to love reading as much as I do for several years. I will always be a proud member of the Steelers Nation, but I couldn’t take the cold and moved my frozen tush to Florida where I now live with my family and two cats. You will find me now with my trusty Kindle in hand and toes in the sand!

When I'm not writing or reading, I am probably partaking in my favorite vice: sunbathing. I know it's wrong, but I love the feeling on the hot sun on my skin and could lay in it for hours. I do live in Florida for a reason!

I also enjoy traveling, baking, movies, and playing with my adorable fur babies.

Sarah's links:  Website / Twitter / Facebook

Purchase Links:

      **Nook and Kindle editions are $3.99**

Check out the first book in the series!  

Book Description: Lucy Donovan was supposed to have a weekend of fun in the sun, celebrating her upcoming graduation from college. In a split second, everything changed. A drunk driver ended Lucy’s mortal life.

Lucy opens her eyes to a world she never imagined possible and a new destiny: as a Patronus, a guardian of spirits. Adjusting to her new role and abilities while negotiating this confusing realm will test her limits and push her further than she ever dreamed she would go. From wayward spirits who don’t want her help to soul stealing vampires, and even a stuck-up British royal, Lucy must brave them all to save one spirit she can’t bear to lose.

Further complicating her life is an inexplicable yet growing connection she feels to a member of her team, Max, whose mysterious behavior leaves her both confused and intrigued.

Waking up dead was just the beginning of her problems. Lucy’s death is about to become the greatest adventure of her life.

Purchase links:      Amazon Awaken (The Patronus #1) / Barnes and Noble

                               **It's 99 cents on Kindle and $2.99 on Nook**

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fragile by M. Leighton ~ Blog tour/giveaway

FragileFragile by M. Leighton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received electronic copy to review
Genre:  Contemporary Older YA

Book Description: Her heart, as delicate as glass. His love, as strong as steel. Can either survive life and death? 

Hardy Bradford is an eighteen year old football phenomenon who has the girl, the school, the town and the future in the palm of his hand. His life is all mapped out for him, right down to who he’ll marry and how he’ll become a professional football player. It doesn't seem to matter that Hardy would’ve chosen a much different life if it was up to him. But it's not. At least not until his Miracle comes along. 

The first time Hardy laid eyes on Miracle St. James, he didn’t know who she was, but he knew she was something different and that he’d never get her out of his head. And he didn’t. Now, months later, Hardy’s world is turned upside down when Miracle shows up in his class, stealing his heart and forever changing the course of his life. 

Miracle’s sick. Very sick. And Hardy might be losing the only thing in his life that has ever mattered. How much is too much to sacrifice for the one you love? For just a little more time? For just one more chance? Can Hardy be the hero Miracle needs? Or is it Hardy that needs saving?

My thoughts: Hardy seems to have every teen boys dream. He is the star quarterback of his high school team. University scouts are checking him out and he is on track to be a professional football player. He is dating the head cheerleader. He comes from a successful family. He lives in a nice house and has his own car.

With all that many would consider success, he wants more. He wants to be with someone he can love. Not someone selfish like his girlfriend. He wants to live his own dreams and not follow the path that others have set for him.

By chance he catches a glimpse of Miracle. She is in the park, bald and beautiful. There is an innate goodness that he finds appealing. It makes him resent his girlfriend even more.

Months later, he finally gets to meet Miracle. She is the new student in his school. She is what he thought she was. She is good and happy. Of course they are going to fall in love. Their love story is tender and real. It is a very touching romance. It's a touching story.

I really enjoyed this book. My only content warning would be sexual content. While not graphic, there is still some description. This is for a more mature YA reader.

Follow the tour:

Tour Giveaway:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Where can you find M. Leighton?

Purchase Links

Read an Excerpt from "Under the Desert Moon" by Emma Meade

Book description:17 year old Erin Harris spends her time daydreaming, hoping to escape her small town life in Copperfield, Arizona. When a movie crew arrives unexpectedly to shoot a vampire film over the summer, Erin’s small town world changes forever. 
Erin is positive she has seen the star, James Linkin before in a thirty year old TV show. He hasn’t aged a day. How is this possible? Erin is determined to find out, but how will James handle the scrutiny of an all too intelligent teenage girl?

Read the Excerpt: 

James raised his eyes finally.  “I’m sorry, Erin.  I didn’t mean to-” he paused, searching for the right word, “unnerve you.”
            “You didn’t,” Erin replied automatically, but in actuality she was feeling distinctly unnerved, disturbed even.  Those eyes, so strange, almost trance-like.  Her earlier giddiness had completed evaporated. 
            “Are you sure?” James persisted.
            Erin was quiet for a moment, thoughtful.  “Oh my God,” she burst out loudly.
            James had been leaning towards her slowly but now froze.  “What?” he asked uncertainly, seeking to make contact again with her eyes.
            “I’ve seen you before,” Erin said.  “You looked so familiar to me in Casey’s Diner the other night.” 
James only looked at her blankly. 
“But that’s impossible,” she said.
            “What is?”  James’ tone was straining for a detached, almost bored air, but there was an underlying edge of anxiety.
            Erin looked straight into his eyes without him having to urge her this time.  “There’s this old TV show I watched with my mom when I was a kid.  They showed re-runs on cable from time to time.”
            She noticed how his knuckles clasped tightly.
             “It was a sitcom, and the older kid in it, the college hero of the family-” Erin paused.  “He looks like you, James.”
            Silence.  Then James stood and laughed, but it was forced sounding, and somewhat off balanced.  He stared down at her.  “They say everyone has a double, Erin.”
            Erin rose to meet his gaze.  She stepped closer to him.  “I haven’t seen it in years but the resemblance is-”   What was the word?  “Uncanny.”
            “Uncanny,” James repeated dully.
            “Yes,” Erin whispered.  “My mom had a crush on that guy.”
            “Did she?”  James smiled, and his tone was warm again.  “I’ll have to catch this show sometime, check out the resemblance,” he said, confident and at ease once more.
            “I don’t think they run it anymore,” Erin said, studying him.
            James shrugged.  “Don’t dwell on it kid.”  He slapped her on the shoulder like they were old pals.
            His touch was cool and she quickly moved back from him.  James’ hand hovered in the air for a moment, seemingly undecided about what to do next.  He put it back in his pocket. 
Those eyes, Erin thought again.  Like a cat, a big cat, a panther.
            James stepped back from her now.  “Got to mingle inside some more,” he said, backing further away.
            Erin nodded, and watched him slink gracefully inside the warehouse.  She was thinking of that television show.  They didn’t show that program these days, but her mother had bought it on video.  Where were those tapes
Erin sat back down and switched on the camera.  Even if she could find them, she didn’t have a VCR anymore.  Did anyone in Copperfield own one
The photo of his eyes loomed up at her.  She’d add it to her Sight collection.  Animal eyes, watchful, predatory, and waiting.