Friday, July 20, 2018

Veins of Gold by Charlie N. Holmbeg (Blog tour with a giveaway)


Veins of GoldVeins of Gold by Charlie N. Holmberg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received to Review
Genre: Fantasy/Historical Fiction



Book Description:  Desperate to save her siblings from poverty, a young woman discovers magic fueled by gold . . . and a love for the man who wields it. 

Abandoned by their father for the gold rush, Gentry and her siblings labor to survive alone in the inhospitable west. When bizarre natural disasters begin wreaking havoc on the land, Gentry discovers a world of magic. Desperate for help, she accepts aid from a mysterious stranger.

Winn not only sees the magic, but controls its hunger by feeding it gold—the very thing Gentry’s father left to acquire. But the earth’s unrest only grows worse, and Gentry’s fear leads her to a terrible choice: marry a wealthy man she does not love, or trust in Winn’s unpredictable power to save her family.
 



My thoughts: I am impressed. Charlie N. Holmberg has combined genres and created a wonderful book. This book contains some historical elements mixed with magic. She seamlessly brought them together to create a story that had a great feel to it.

One part that I particularly appreciated is that she made the earth a living entity. When you take away from part of the earth, balance needs to be restored in order to keep harmony. She also brought to life creatures that we normally dismiss. Even the locust has thoughts and can act. To me that was really cool, I loved it.

My favorite part was actually Gentry. She is a resilient young woman who had to grow up and take on responsibilities that she should have to worry about at a young age. I can't imagine living in a remote region during the pioneer times trying to feed and clothe a younger brother and sister with little to no resources. She is resilient. She was willing to give up the things that are important to her in order to take care of her family. She had friends who tried to help her see that it is OK to ask for help. We all need each other and that is why we are placed here, to help others in times of need.

The romance is sweet. Winn was the perfect romantic interest for her. He helped her see the beauty of the earth and all he asked is that she trust him. That is a hard one for someone who thinks that she has to do everything herself.

This is a great book for teens on up. It is clean and magical. I felt that there was a little bit of a sad tone to the book, but it all works out in the end.



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Charlie N. HolmbergAbout the Author:  (Taken from Goodreads)  Born in Salt Lake City, Charlie N. Holmberg was raised a Trekkie alongside three sisters who also have boy names. She is a proud BYU alumna, plays the ukulele, owns too many pairs of glasses, and finally adopted a dog. Her fantasy Paper Magician series, which includes The Paper Magician, The Glass Magician, and The Master Magician, has been optioned by the Walt Disney Company. Her stand-alone novel, Followed by Frost, was nominated for a 2016 RITA Award for Best Young Adult Romance, and her novel The Fifth Doll won the 2018 Whitney for Speculative Fiction. She is a board member for Deep Magic Ezine and currently lives with her family in Utah. Visit her at www.charlienholmberg.com.


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July 16th: Book Geek Reviews



"Beyond" by Catina Haverlock & Angela Larkin looks like a Great Summer Read!



Catina worked her way through college as a TV reporter and a dating game show host. She's a sucker for Young Adult romance stories (both real and make-believe). She has a panache for match-making and loves that many of her "set-ups" have resulted in marriages. 

After spending most of her adult life in Las Vegas, Catina traded in tumbleweeds for earthquakes and now lives with her husband and four children near San Diego, California. If she's not home, chances are you can find her at the beach, Disneyland or In-N-Out Burger.

Angela Larkin writes clean teen romance and is a big fan of kissing (in life and in books). She's been a gold miner, a pool cleaner, a mannequin dresser, and a teacher. She's lived a true romance: meeting her husband in a case of mistaken identity. They recently moved with their four children from the sparkling city of Las Vegas to the shade of the North Carolina Pines. Chances are, she's reading past bedtime.






"Dangerous. Wrong.
She could be so close to finding out who I really am, and I don't want to think about how badly that could damage her. If I have any conscience, I'll turn and run. But I can't let her go."

Presley Hale has no idea the guy she just told off in the school parking lot died in a drowning accident four months ago. Why would she? It's not like she knows she can see the dead. Stunned by Presley's sixth sense, Landon Blackwood rethinks his planned departure and begins tracking her to find answers to their mysterious connection.

When their complicated relationship turns dangerous, they learn that tampering with the boundaries of death comes with consequences. Can Landon save Presley from the insidious spirits who have marked her for death, or was their love doomed from the beginning?



The next book in this Series is available this September!





Author Interview:

Catina:
1.     What is your favorite book that is not yours?
a.     Where She Went by Gayle Foreman
2.     Do you write in multiple genres? Which genre is your favorite to write?
a.     Yes, YA Romance and Middle Grade Fiction - I'm having a really good time with my current Middle Grade Work in Progress
3.     How young were you when you started writing?
a.     I wrote  news stories for television and print to pay my way through college, but didn't start writing a novel until I was in my early thirties
4.     If you could meet any author, past or present, who would it be and why?
a.     I'd have to meet Laura Ingles Wilder! Can you imagine the stories she'd have to tell?
5.     How long does it take you to write a book, and what was your fastest book to write?
a.     The first novel took way too long, only because I wasn't sure if it would ever become a reality and didn't push myself hard enough. After securing a publishing deal and being offered the sequel, my writing sped up tremendously! The fist one took years, the sequel took months.
6.     What is your favorite thing to do in the summertime?

a.     Hands down, spend time with my four kids, preferably reading to them trying new recipes or lounging at the beach!

Angela Larkin

1.     What is your favorite book that is not yours?
a.     I've re-read Dairy Queen by Katherine Gilbert Murdock 4 times! So funny and romantic!
2.     Do you write in multiple genres?
a.     Which genre is your favorite to write? Thus far I've only written contemporary YA romance, but would love to take a stab at New Adult and Historical.
3.     How young were you when you started writing?
a.     My first revenge story was called "How Matt Got Fat". I wrote it about my first grade classmate who snubbed my romantic overtures.
4.     If you could meet any author, past or present, who would it be and why?
a.      John Steinbeck was the first author to BLOW ME AWAY.
5.     How long does it take you to write a book, and what was your fastest book to write?
a.     I've only written one book without my co-author and the first draft took four months.
6.     What is your favorite thing to do in the summertime?

a.     I love to work on my fear of sharks to the point I can go in the ocean above my knees and actually float! If I can't conquer the fear that day, I love to ride beach cruisers on the boardwalk.





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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Looking for a "Great Summer Read" ~ try "Relics of the Divine" by Stephen R Watts




Stephen R. Watts was born and raised at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains in Northern Utah, where he developed a love for stories at a very young age. Having spent his adolescence creating alternate worlds where he could escape the hardships of mental illness, Stephen wanted nothing more than to grow up and write his own epic tales capable of entertaining readers in ways that reminds them of their untold worth. Stephen’s debut novel was a fourteen-year labor of love, and when he isn’t studying story craft he can be found traveling the world or spending quality time with his family in Salt Lake City.






When sixteen-year-old Harius is chosen to guard a mystic key and sword, he’s sure there’s been some mistake. Protecting the divine relics requires the celestial flame, a power that only mystic warriors can wield. And while Harius is training to become such a warrior, he’s lacked the faith needed to access the flame ever since his mother’s tragic death.

Despite his doubts, Harius accepts the calling at a time when evil forces threaten to destabilize his world. As the son of his nation’s most controversial leader, Harius soon becomes a delegate to a foreign land filled with technological marvels capable of saving his ancient race of winged men. Acquiring the necessary tech won’t be easy, though, as the king of this land won’t share it unless Harius uses the celestial flame to rescue the royal family from a foe out to conquer the realm.

With so much resting on his fragile faith, Harius fears he will ultimately fail. Yet, amid all the danger he will learn that the relics he guards hold the secret to not only restoring his faith, but to revealing his untold destiny.




Author Interview:

1)     What is your favorite book that is not yours?

“The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak. The author’s narrative style and unique point of view of one of history’s most savage wars provided a fascinating look at human existence, reminding me as the reader that it’s not where you come from, but who you are as an individual that defines the quality of your character.

2)     Do you write in multiple genres? Which genre is your favorite to write?

Since the only books I’ve written so far have been for an epic fantasy series, I will have to say that this is my favorite genre to write. I do love science fiction, though, and wish to one day try my had at writing a sci-fi trilogy I’ve been playing around with for a while now.

3)     How young were you when you started writing?

I would say that I first tried my hand at writing novels when I was in middle school, though I’ve never finished any of those books. As far as creating stories, though, I can recall imagining a slew of epic tales as far back as the second grade.

4)     If you could meet any author, past or present, who would it be and why?

Of all my favorite authors, I would say I would want to meet Charles Dickens above all others. His novels, such as “A Christmas Carol,” are rich with symbolism that speaks about humanity in ways that transcends the time period in which it was written—and that is something I’ve aspired to achieve in my own writing.

5)     How long does it take you to write a book, and what was your fastest book to write?

As far as rough drafts  go, the fastest I’ve ever written a book was a month. It was during an advanced fiction writing course I took in college, in which the professor had me and my peers simply write the book without editing it. The manuscript I churned out for that course turned out to be my debut novel, which took six years and many revisions to get it ready for press. (Don’t ask me how many revisions it took, for I stopped counting after fifteen.)

6)     What is your favorite thing to do in the summertime?


Road trips/travel. I love visiting new places I’ve never been before, and when I can afford it I will take entire weeks out of my schedule to go on a trip that not only feeds my need for adventure, but also provides me with experiences that help me improve my stories.





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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Matchmakers Match by Brittany Larsen ~ Blog Tour with a giveaway!


The Matchmaker's Match by Brittany LarsenThe Matchmaker's Match by Brittany Larsen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received from publisher for review.
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Book Description Eliza Woodhouse has everything a girl could want: a delightful little beachside flower shop, a loving family, and the best friend a girl could ask for. And while she suffers a chronic lack of romance in her own life, the bohemian beauty is a self-proclaimed matchmaker extraordinaire, as evidenced by her recent successes. Having found a fiancĂ© for her sister and a boyfriend for her best friend, she is now taking her lovelorn new employee under her wing. Yes, life is working out quite nicely for Eliza. Until Parker Knightley walks back into her life.

After three years in Hong Kong, Parker is in town for his brother's upcoming wedding to Eliza's sister. They've all known each other their whole lives, and Eliza will never be anything but Little Liza Belle to her handsome childhood tormenter. So the fact that their siblings are getting married simply puts Parker one step closer to becoming the big brother he and Eliza have always joked about him being. But the more time they spend together, the more confused Eliza's feelings become. Because she has come to the shocking realization that the role of brother is the last role she wants Parker to play in her life.



My thoughts: This is a cute book. It is set in the modern day, but it is a retelling of Jane Austen's "Emma". The characters are successful with good intentions, but things do not always turn out the way expected.

Eliza Woodhouse is a self proclaimed match-maker. Because she has had two successes, she thinks that she knows how to find someone the perfect match. Her intentions are good, but things don't work out the way she thinks they will. The characters are fun. I enjoyed Eliza, her best friend, the girl she is helping out, and Parker.

I liked the pacing of the book. Nothing feels rushed, it feels like a natural progression of events. The humor is great, and the setting is also well done. There really isn't anything that I didn't like/enjoy about this book.

If you enjoy a re-telling, or just want to read a good romance, you should pick this one up. It is a clean story with some kissing.


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Brittany Larsen
About the Author: (Taken from Amazon) Brittany Larsen may be an Idaho girl living in California, but at heart she is English. She loves all things Jane Austen and counts the time she and her husband viewed the couch where Emily Bronte died as one of their most romantic moments ever. Sadly, he has no recollection of it. When not reading nineteenth century English literature or writing her own romances, Brittany loves spending time with her three incredible daughters, Emma, Tess, and Jane, and her amazingly supportive husband, Shawn.

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Get "The Irresistible Groom" by Cami Checketts for 99 cents today!




A vivacious sports agent loses her memory and her safe, perfectly-planned life. The only hope is a tough security specialist who for some reason she’s never allowed herself to fall for.
Claire Tucker is a feisty and successful sports agent. When she wakes up with amnesia she has to rely on a handsome security specialist, which doesn't seem too bad ... until she learns she's known him for years and has repeatedly rejected his date offers. When Brig proves irresistible to her, she realizes she needs to guard her heart until she gets some answers or her past will catch up to her. 
Brig Hunsaker has everything he needs, except the sassy lady he’s had a crush on for years. When Claire is injured, and the hospital staff believe he’s her fiancĂ©, he finally gets the chance to protect her and prove he’s worth taking a chance on.


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Monday, July 16, 2018

Great Summer Reads ~ Awaken by Marcia Maidana



Marcia was born and raised in Argentina during the military regime which ended with the loss of many young lives in the invasion of the Falkland Islands. Amidst the devastating effects of military government and war, reading and writing became a passion which expanded and transported her imagination with the possibility of a brighter future.

At the age of eighteen, she moved to the United States, where she studied English and started her own family. She soon discovered that the love she has for her husband and children would naturally unfold towards her European roots, leading her to become a genealogist and family historian. A decade of searching, compiling, and learning the stories of thousands of people has instilled in her a profound gratitude for the strong ties that can be achieved in families through personal sacrifice.

So it is that through fiction, Awaken explores and exposes the characteristics of true love and loyalty in times of fear, war, and finally, death. But perhaps the most captivating element in the story is the battle within the souls of the main characters as they search to know who they really are and how they are connected.

~ Facebook



Could there exist a love powerful enough to overcome the grave?

Hard times during the Great Depression force nineteen-year-old Florence to leave her service at the monastery and seek employment. Fate brings her to work for a wealthy recluse, General Alexander Sterling. Despite many daunting events and a meddling housekeeper with dark secrets of her own, Florence and the General find themselves falling deeply in love.

What she doesn’t know is that General Sterling has left his native country escaping a painful past, one he yearns to forget. Destiny won’t allow it as he meets Florence, whose resemblance to his deceased wife is unbearable. Could Florence actually be the same woman who still owns his heart and haunts his dreams?

When their blossoming romance is shattered by an explosive truth, a mysterious stranger gives her an opportunity to go back in time to unlock the secret to her existence. Florence must strive to return to the present time to save their relationship from the imminent
 danger that awaits them.



Author Interview:

1.     What is your favorite book that is not yours?

And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie

2.     Do you write in multiple genres? Which genre is your favorite to write?

I love writing a combination of genres. Awaken is a mixture of romance, mystery, time travel, and action with a supernatural twist.

3.     How young were you when you started writing?

I started writing short stories when I was about eight years old.

4.     If you could meet any author, past or present, who would it be and why?

I would meet Agatha Christie. She had an incredible ability to capture the reader’s attention. She was a master of showing through her writings the difficulties facing society. So believable were her characters that when her famous detective, Hercule Poirot, passed away, The New York Times honored him in their obituary page.

5.     How long does it take you to write a book, and what was your fastest book to write?

Awaken took me a few years to write since I was doing it for fun and didn’t have much time to work on it. Awaken’s sequel took me about nine months.

6.     What is your favorite thing to do in the summertime?


In the summer I enjoy traveling, swimming and being outdoors.





To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event Page