Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘3 Star Books’ Category

Drowning

Drowning

Welcome to the blog tour for Drowning by Steven M. Cross! Read on for an exclusive excerpt and more details!

Drowning digital coverDrowning

Genre: Young Adult/ Contemporary

Publication Date: October 29th, 2019

Publisher: Liminal Books

Dean knows being different isn’t always a good thing.

Trapped by the voices and visits from the dead, Dean is drowning. His father, allegedly drowned, and the friend who took his own life taunt like the school bullies he can’t seem to get away from.

A sliver of hope breaks through when his mother announces they are moving. A chance for a fresh start for all of them. So why does she move them to the cottage near the river his father drowned in?

The water begins to envelop him, threatening to pull him under, when Dean discovers nothing changes and the bullies find not only him, but his twin sister, Dee, as favorite targets. Dean’s personal struggles worsen as his tentative grasp on reality weakens.

An unexpected hand plunges through the water toward him, bringing with it questions and a family secret that haunts them all.

Add to Goodreads

Excerpt

My dad looks up at me, “I’ll catch you.”

I know he probably won’t, but that doesn’t scare me, not today. What scares me is knowing that this day—this perfect day—one of the few my family ever has will end soon, and it will be back to yelling and screaming and being slapped for saying the wrong thing even when I don’t know what is wrong.

I turn to Dee and ask, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

“I don’t ever want to grow up,” she says.

And I realize I don’t want to either. I back away from the cliff.

Dee says, “Finally. Don’t kill yourself.”

“I don’t want to grow up either.”

I run to the edge of the cliff, but this time I don’t jump feet first. I dive. I think as I sail through the air and hit the water that it’s the perfect day to die.

My dad jerks me out of the water. “What the hell are you doing? You could have killed yourself.”

I just look at him and say, “I didn’t.” Then, I swim toward the beach.

Dee yells, “Holy shit, brother! Way to go.”

Drowning is Available on Amazon!

About the Author

Author Pic

Steven Cross remembers his first literary success, a play about a wolfman that his English class read. His first publication was a Haiku about hearing wolves at sunset one evening as he sat on his back deck with Luke his faithful mutt by his side. He also published a horror story about mutant moles whose taste buds begin to crave human flesh.

Cross, born in Missouri, has published plays, novels, and poetry and done well in some screenwriting competitions, most recently as a quarterfinalist in The Bluecat Screenwriting competition, considered one of the best in the country.

Cross often writes about mental illness. He is an example of how a person can overcome mental illness and succeed. His young adult book Drowning covers bullying and mental illness and is a must-read for teenagers, parents, and teachers.

An educator for over 30 years, he is now semi-retired. Right now he and his wife Jean live in Poplar Bluff, MO, where they spend a lot of time spoiling their grandchildren. Cross is a St. Louis Cardinals fan and has been ever since he was old enough to hold a baseball card. He also enjoys music, reading, and of course writing.

Steven M. Cross | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

 

My Review

3 Stars

Dean Knight has some serious issues, the fog and violence, obvious mental health issues, and the ghosts of his dead best friend and father haunt him. His mother has moved Dean and his twin sister Dee back to the cabin they lived in years ago where his father committed suicide. Dean’s father haunts his time around the river along with a monster that lives in the water that is determined to get him.

Dean is foggy from a round of electroconvulsive therapy and is having a hard time remembering anything. But he is getting more glimmers of his past, especially his father and a beautiful lady. But Dean and Dee have a lot ahead of them as they start school. Dean has bullies he is trying to avoid and Dee is trying to protect him and find someone to love her. But their neighbors Roger and Ella may not be the ones that will save the twins.

My heart breaks for Dean and Dee. Their home life is horrible and they are just trying to survive in a cruel world. I really feel for Dean and all of the bullying he has gone through. I don’t blame him for being so violent. I was hoping and praying that they would get a happy ending after everything they go through.

Dean has some serious issues but he doesn’t get any help because there is no one really there to help him. The story goes round and around with this information with other events sprinkled throughout to breathes more life into it. In the end I have mixed feeling about it. I felt bad for Dean and Dee and I wanted to know how the story ends. But at the same time not much really happened that would make me want to pick this book up again.

I do think this is a good read and if you want a more honest approach to teen issues and mental health I recommend checking out this book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 

Drowning

Blog Tour Schedule

January 27th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight)

B is for Book Review (Spotlight)

I Love Books and Stuff (Spotlight)

The Faerie Review (Review)

January 28th

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Interview)

Tranquil Dreams (Spotlight)

Banshee Irish Horror Blog (Spotlight)

January 29th

Didi Oviatt (Spotlight)

Misty’s Book Space (Spotlight)

My Bookish Bliss (Review)

January 30th

Dash Fan Book Reviews (Spotlight)

J Bronder Book Reviews (Review)

January 31st

Entertainingly Nerdy (Review)

Phantom of the Library (Review)

Crossroad Reviews (Spotlight)

Blog Tour Organized By:

R&R Button

I would like to thank R&R Book Tours for the opportunity to read and share this book.

Read Full Post »

False Step

41723468

False Step by Victoria Helen Stone

Stay calm, keep smiling, and watch your step. In this marriage of secrets and lies, nothing is what it seems.

For days, all of Denver, Colorado, has worried over the fate of a missing child, little Tanner Holcomb. Then, a miracle: handsome, athletic Johnny Bradley finds him, frightened but unharmed, on a hiking trail miles from his wealthy family’s mountain home.

In a heartbeat, his rescuer goes from financially strapped fitness trainer to celebrated hero. The heat of the spotlight may prove too much for Johnny’s picture-perfect family, however. His wife, Veronica, despises the pressure of the sudden fame, afraid that secrets and bitter resentments of her marriage may come to light. And she’s willing to do anything to keep them hidden.

But when a shocking revelation exposes an even darker side to Tanner’s disappearance, Veronica realizes that nothing in her life can be trusted. And everything should be feared.

Amazon     Barnes and Noble     Goodreads

Victoria Helen Stone

About the Author

Victoria Helen Stone is the nom de plume for USA Today bestselling author Victoria Dahl. After publishing more than twenty-five novels, she has taken a turn toward the darker side of genre fiction. Born and educated in the Midwest, she finished her first manuscript just after college. In 2016, the American Library Association awarded her the prestigious Reading List Award for outstanding genre fiction. Having escaped the plains of her youth, she now resides with her family in a small town high in the Rocky Mountains, where she enjoys hiking, snowshoeing, and not skiing (too dangerous).

Website      Twitter

My Review

3 Stars

Tanner Holcomb is a missing child in Denver. Everyone is worried until Johnny. A fitness trainer happens to find him on a run in the woods. Of course Johnny becomes an instant hero and things look like they are finally looking up for him. Then you meet his wife Veronica. She does not want to be in the spotlight because she is afraid that the dark parts of her marriage to Johnny are going to come to light. Then she learns that there may have been more to Tanner’s disappearance in the first place.

As we all know, not all marriages are perfect and some have more troubles than others. I have to say that on the surface Johnny and Veronica seemed like a good couple with a great daughter. But the more you read the more you realize how selfish they both are. But like a house of cards one movement will bring the whole thing down.

I have to say that I didn’t like Johnny and Veronica from the start and felt sorry for their poor daughter. Of course I guessed what was going to happen with the story so that didn’t really peak my curiosity. This is more of a drama that you see on television and books more and more.

I admit that I’m not really a big fan of this genera so I’m sure that has something to do with my feeling about this book. It was a decent read and I’m sure many would like the book. Unfortunately it’s not my thing and it felt like other family drama stories to be. I do recommend checking it out, you may find your next new, favorite author.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read to post an honest review.

I would like to thank Little Bird Publicity for the opportunity to read and share this book.

Read Full Post »

Babylon Twins

44005004. sy475

Babylon Twins by MF Gibson

Meet Cloe and Elizabeth Yetti: antisocial, semi-homicidal eighteen-year-old twins casually surviving the AI apocalypse. Ten years ago, a powerful machine intelligence unleashed a nanoengineered superdrug on humanity. Civilization is now a collection of mindless addicts confined to automated treatment centers that tower over drone-dominated cityscapes. Having escaped and grown up in the forests of Northern California alongside their younger brother and brilliant scientist/survivalist mother, Clo and El stayed safe while society collapsed around them.

But when a mysterious stranger and a demonic woodland creature appear and threaten their family, the twins are drawn back to a disintegrating, drug-addled San Francisco. There, biomechanical gods and monsters vie for control of what’s left of humanity’s consciousness. Armed with only a knife, an old hunting rifle, and their secret, cryptophasic twin language, Clo and El realize that surviving the apocalypse was just the beginning—now they’ve got to face it head-on.

The first book in the Babylon Twins trilogy, this epic adventure takes readers on a journey filled with sci-fi spectacle and darkly humorous twists and turns, not to mention some good old-fashioned butt-kicking.

Amazon     Barnes and Noble     Goodreads

M. F. Gibson headshot

About the Author

F. Gibson is a writer and former actor, director, documentary filmmaker, producer, head of product at a tech start-up, and frozen-fish chopper at the marine mammal rescue center. He grew up in San Francisco and takes inspiration from his city and the changes it has undergone over the years. He still lives in his hometown, now with his Westie and two children.

Website

My Review

3 Stars

Ten years earlier the AI apocalypse happened. A nanoengineered superdrug was released on civilization creating mindless drones confined to treatment centers. Cloe and Elizabeth Yetti’s mother was a scientist and survivalist and took the girls and their younger brother to the woods of Northern California to escape. That lasted ten years until one day they meet Santa Clause and things go sideways. Clo and El go to San Francisco to face the apocalypse.

Since I am a sucker for a good dystopian/apocalypse story I was hooked from the book blurb. But that is where things started to go sideways. Clo and El are not really fleshed out with some annoying habits that didn’t really make me care what happened to them. I thought that the superdrug was a good idea but the more you read the plot gets rather convoluted and confusing.

I see that some people really enjoyed this story and I will admit that I thought the basic idea was a good one; it got me wanting to read this book. But in the end I found it was not what I expected and not for me.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

Smith Publicity

I would like to thank Smith Publicity for the opportunity to read and share this book.

Read Full Post »

Balance of 12

46431124. sx318

Balance of 12 by Ania

The universe was created by twelve energies which turned into the 12 races on earth. Eleven of theses races live in secret among mankind, coexisting in precarious harmony and dependent on the Balance between them to keep the universe alive. If one race falls, the universe falls.

With war at the door, a domino effect of events is about to begin that could bring abut universal annihilation. Only Jane, a Reader, and Samuel, a human, have the power to save the threatened races and protect the Balance. Unsure of each other and what lies ahead, they have one chance to learn about the true nature of the 12 races. One chance to witness the last Great War of the 12 races. But what they uncover reveals more than they ever believed possible.

Brought together by the Balance, Jane and Samuel must choose to follow the legacy left to them, or watch as the 12 races erupt in a way that will destroy them all.

Amazon     Goodreads

Ania

About the Author

Ania is a translator and mother of twin girls. She has spent the past decade studying philosophy and now holds a degree in the field, working especially in the philosophy of politics and existentialism. Watching her children grow up has inspired her interest in human nature, perception, and learning systems. A passionate traveler, her work is influenced by the different locations she travels to and the cultures she encounters. Auroras are such a source of inspiration for her, just like wind and stars. All these make her wonder more about the reality beyond perception. She is deeply in love with coffee, reading, and swimming.

Website     Facebook     Instagram

My Review

3 Stars

The world was created by twelve energies which turned into the twelve races on Earth. Eleven races live in hiding from the twelfth, humans. This world is maintained by balance and when things are out of balance there is a risk of one race dying and the world ending. When this happens a human and a reader are selected to find the creator to give birth to a baby that will restart humanity.

Enter Jane and Samuel, a couple that knows they are very important but not what they are supposed to do. They are taken and shown what happened the last time war threatened on Atlantis. Jane and Samuel follow along with Shasta and Wade on their quest for the creator.

I will admit that this book was not what I was expecting. The reader knows about as much as Jane and Samuel as they start on their adventure. I was a touch frustrated with this since I’m thrown into the story and completely lost. I couldn’t really relate to the characters and was confused about the whole thing.

This is an interesting world that is very creative and unique from any other story that I have read. If you stick with the book long enough it starts making more sense and I was curious at how the story was going to end. I don’t know if this is the first in a series or a standalone book because the ending and some questions that don’t really get explained.

This is an interesting and very creative story. I don’t think this is a bad book, just one that I couldn’t get into. I loved the goodies that came in a beautiful box which made this book stand out. I think this is one of those books you should try, you never know, you may find your new favorite story.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

JKS Communications

I would like to thank JKS Communications for the opportunity to read and share this book.

Read Full Post »

Station Fosaan

StationFosaan

I’m thrilled to share with you all today, Station Fosaan (Book #1 of the Torch World series) by Dee Garretson. This exciting book is best described as Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan meets Jules Verne’s The Lost World. I have an excerpt for you to read and a chance to win all sorts of book swag AND a paperback copy of the book!

station fosaanStation Fosaan

Publication Date: February 14th, 2017

Genre: YA Sci-Fi/ Space Opera/ Post-Apocalypse

Scientists and their families stationed on the remote planet of Fosaan were promised a tropical vacation-like experience. But Fosaan, devastated from an apocalyptic event nearly 300 years ago, is full of lethal predators and dangerous terrain. Earthers are forbidden to go beyond the safety zone of their settlement and must not engage the remaining reclusive Fosaanians, native to the planet. 16-year-old Quinn Neen is about to do both of those things.

During an unsanctioned exploration of the planet, Quinn discovers a Fosaanian girl named Mira stealing food from his family’s living unit. But before he can convince her to show him around, scientists are taken captive, leaving Quinn and the other young Earthers at the mercy of space raiders.

Quinn must go from renegade to leader and convince Mira to become an ally in a fight against an enemy whose very existence threatens their lives and the future of Earthers stuck on Fosaan and at home.

Add to Goodreads

Excerpt

I turned to go back when a flash of white caught my eye. Startled, I dropped the stick and then tripped over it. A girl, a Fosaanian girl, stood clutching a wafer loaf to her chest, a cloud of long shimmery white hair quivering. In fact, all of her was shivering. She was soaked, water dripping off her. I could see her wet footprints all over the kitchen. Her silvery eyes held mine and I couldn’t think of a thing to say. I wasn’t usually so speechless around girls with incredible eyes, but I’d never encountered one I didn’t know in my own quarters.

“What are you doing?” I finally managed to croak, even though it was obvious she was taking the loaf, or more accurately, stealing the loaf. Fosaanians never came out onto the Earthers’ floating compound.

“I’m sorry,” the girl said, putting the loaf back on counter and edging to the door.

“No, wait!” I didn’t mean to shout, but my words came out too loud. The girl froze like I had issued an order, though I could tell she was ready to bolt. “It’s okay,” I said. “I mean, if you’re hungry, take it.” Picking the loaf up, I held it out to her, hoping it would convince her to stay for a little while. She would be the first Fosaanian I had talked to, if I could get her to talk. The small population of Fosaanians, the descendants of the few who had survived the planetary apocalypse, kept away from all of us Earthers, except for the ones who worked at the supply depot or who delivered the iridium sulfide. None of those could be called the least bit friendly.

She didn’t take the loaf, but she didn’t run either. Instead, she stood there looking around the room, clearly curious.

“I have an even better idea,” I said, trying to come up with one. “How about I fix us both something to eat? I’m hungry too.”

Amazon| Barnes & Nobel| IndieBound

giveaway gif

Station Fosaan giveaway

For your chance to win a paperback copy of Station Fosaan and all the cool swag shown above, click the link below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

garretsonauthorphoto

I write, and read, and then write some more. I live in Ohio with my husband, two children and two cats in a cluttered house surrounded by semi-wild gardens.

I grew up in Mt. Pleasant, a small town in Iowa, spending my time outside playing in the woods, or helping my father build his offbeat inventions, and writing stories. When it came time to decide on a college, I thought I would try out city life for a change, and so I moved to Massachusetts to attend Tufts University, where I obtained a degree in International Relations.

Degree in hand, I quickly realized I was not meant to work inside in an office, and because I had become obsessed with plants, I decided to get a degree in Landscape Horticulture, as a way to get back outside. I worked as a landscape designer and taught landscape horticulture classes for several years before returning to writing.

Dee Garretson     Twitter    Facebook     Instagram

My Review

3 Stars

Fosaan is a world similar to Earth but vastly different. Settlers have come to the planet after an apocalypse, a super volcano eruption, which killed most of the Fosaan’s. Quinn lives at the outpost with his mother and dreams of becoming a scientist like her. One day he meets a Fosaanian, Mira as she is stealing food for her sister and herself. It seems the Fossanians are planning on taking over the planet from the Earthers and it’s up to the kids to save everyone.

Quinn wants to be a scientist but his grandfather has plans to make him a soldier. He has been exploring and inventing on his own when he meets Mira stealing food. While talking to her he learns that although the Earthers were taught about Fosaan that the Fosaanians have a different version of history. The settlement is then attacked and it is up to the kids and Mira to stop it.

This story is a bit slow in the beginning and a little confusing. I really wish it was because of the world development but it wasn’t. There are things that I really wish were described more like the different creatures. Also is Quinn breaking three rules, two rules, or just bending guidelines?

The conflict is a good one and I can understand some of why the Fosaanians wanted to take control of the Earters settlement. But there were other things that I was left confused but. I’m hoping in the next book those things will be cleared up.

This is not a bad book, it’s one I think you could check out. It just felt rough; it could have been polished a little more. But I will say that I’m curious to see what happens in the next book in the series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 

StationFosaan

Blog Tour Schedule

August 12th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight)

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight)

The Caffeinated Reader (Review)

August 13th

Jessica Belmont (Review)

The Bookworm Drinketh (Review)

Breakeven Books (Spotlight)

August 14th

B is for Book Review (Spotlight)

Reading Nook (Spotlight)

Tsarina Press (Review)

August 15th

The Faerie Review (Review)

J Bronder Book Reviews (Review)

August 16th

On the Shelf Reviews (Review)

Blog Tour Organized By:

R&RButto200x200

R&R Book Tours

I would like to thank R&R Book Tours for the opportunity to read and share this book.

Read Full Post »

44565786. sy475

The Book of Spells by John Miller

SEVENTH CENTURY SOUTHERN ENGLAND. A KINGDOM RULED BY A KIND AND GENEROUS KING. THREE SISTERS WITH A BOOK OF SPELLS. A WIZARD GROWING MORE EVIL BY THE DAY

…Transporting the reader back to Southern England into the midst of the seventh century, THE BOOK OF SPELLS takes readers to the Kingdom of Vilgar, governed by a generous king in whose household an evil wizard has positioned himself. Convincing the king that his powers of magic and premonition will benefit the kingdom, Malecar becomes the court wizard, surreptitiously studying the dark arts in his quest to rule over the kingdom.

When Martir, a kind and gentle wizard arrives, he is appointed Malecar’s apprentice and becomes a close friend and confidant of the king’s son, Audric. The forest bordering Vilgar is a refuge to three witches. The women are in possession of a book they cannot open. Dabbling in the dark arts so that they might protect themselves, they realize that the book may contain the darkest of spells.

Confronted by Malecar, the sisters give him access to THE BOOK OF SPELLS, and the evil within him allows him to open it. What happens when an evil wizard has access to powers beyond his wildest desires? Or when a gentle wizard becomes his nemesis and the only protection for the Kingdom he serves?

Working its magic on young and old alike, THE BOOK OF SPELLS will carry readers to a time and place where magic is the norm, where good and evil are at odds, and where maybe—just maybe—the gentle are stronger than they ever imagined they could be.

Amazon     Goodreads

My Review

3 Stars

This story takes place in the Kingdom of Vilgar. We start the story with three sisters that are witches. They practice good magic and try to help the locals. But when I rich man refuses to pay one of the sisters for healing his pigs she turns him into a pig and the sisters end up having to go on the run.

Then we have the King of Vilgar who rules fairly and is a caring man. One day events happen and the wizard Malecar saves the kingdom. The king then makes him the court wizard and he help guide the king. But Malecar is a dark wizard and uses tricks to keep himself in the favor of the king as he continues his study of dark magic.

Finally there is the wizard Martir. He is traveling the country on a personal quest and comes across the Kingdom of Vilgar. He becomes the apprentice for Malecar but also travels the land making sure things are running smoothly. As we move between these three branches, they slowly start coming together as the quest for dark power brings darkness to the kingdom.

This was an interesting story but I had some trouble with it. The dialogs are meant to vary but I had a hard time with them. The conversation between the sisters was rough and choppy and the accents for the king and prince of Vilgar were just so hard to read.

From there it’s not a bad story; it just feels rough in the execution. There are big jumps in time that threw me off and the ending left me feeling confused. Is this a first book in a series? If not, what happened?

This is not a bad book; there is a lot of potential for this story. But it felt like it was not really edited and the flow was all over the place making it tough for me to stay with the story. This is one that is not for me but I do thing that it could be someone else’s next favorite book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank the Author and Strategies Public Relations for the opportunity to read and share this book.

Read Full Post »

Hazel and Holly

41834733. sy475

Hazel & Holly by Sara C. Snider

Nestled within an enchanted forest is the Grove, a community where witches and warlocks practice elemental magic, brew mystical potions, and lock their cellars against beer thieving gnomes. Life is quiet and uneventful. Well, except when Hazel’s long-lost father uses necromancy to trap her dead mother’s soul.

That simply won’t do. Necromancy is forbidden in the Grove, and for good reason too. Nobody wants filthy corpses shambling around, mussing up one’s garden. Hazel is determined to find her father and undo his treachery.

But despite Hazel’s plans of becoming a one-woman army, she can’t do everything alone. It’s not until wild sister Holly convinces her to leave the house for once and go to a party that Hazel finds a pair of unlikely allies in two bickering warlock brothers.

Together, the four of them go on a journey that takes them out of the Grove and into a world where necromancy reigns and the dead won’t respectfully stay in the grave. Hazel will do whatever it takes to stop her father and save her mother’s soul. Even if it means turning to necromancy. Even if it means losing her friends. Because they would never help a necromancer. Would they?

Amazon     Barnes and Noble     Goodreads

Sara C. Snider

About the Author

Sara C. Snider was born and raised in northern California, but now lives in Sweden with her partner and two beastly cats. She has a bachelor’s degree in Archives and Information Science that is currently sitting on a shelf, collecting dust, as she pursues her literary dreams.

When not reading or writing, Sara enjoys wandering in the woods, playing computer games, and eating dumplings as often as possible. She loves all things faerie, and has grown to accept she will always be covered in cat hair.

Website     Facebook     Twitter

My Review

3 Stars

Hazel and Holly are sister witches that live in the Grove with their mother Willow. But then Willow gets sick and dies and the girls find that her father has trapped her soul. With the different kinds of magic in the Grove, necromancy is not acceptable and that is what the girl’s father has used to trap Willow’s soul. But Hazel is desperate to free her mother’s soul and goes on a quest with Holly, two wizards, and a cellar gnome.

The first think I have noticed is that the pacing of the book is off. I loved the beginning but then something happened and I didn’t know what. I come to learn that this was a story that was released over a period of time on a blog. With that in mind the story started to make more sense as I followed the little group.

From there you have Hazel, the older sister, who has essentially raised Holly and been a mother to Willow. She is focused on her own thing and finds herself drawn to necromancy. But she is torn since necromancy is supposed to be bad. This is more Hazel’s quest since Holly has her magic and her own thing going but she does follow along and warm to the quest.

This is a tough book to rate for me. I really though the sisters were younger because of their actions, more of a midgrade reader or young adult, not new adult. There are times in the story that the plot circles and circles itself. There is no growth and did get frustrating. Also the ending had a big twist but by then I just wanted to me done.

This is one of those books that I say check out. It might be something that you love but for me it just wasn’t a fit, which is sad because I just loved the premise.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review

I would like to thank Smith Publicity for the opportunity to read and share this book.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »