BOOK SPOTLIGHT: Naked and Far From Home by J.P. Grider

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Naked and Far From Home

J.P. Grider

Published October 23rd 2015 by Createspace

YA > Contemporary | Romance

 

Purchase links: Amazon 

 

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Tia Mercury was a freshman in high school and had her first serious crush – on a senior who wouldn’t touch her. At least not until she turned eighteen. Clinton Daniels was not your everyday teenage boy, and because his tougher-than-nails father wouldn’t let him forget it, Clinton became a loner. And learned to distrust everyone. Until he met Tia. She was sweet, she was funny, and she knew nothing about good music. It was the nineteen-eighties for goodness sake – time to turn off that AM radio crap. So, while Tia drooled over Clinton, he was busy making her mix-tapes. She was falling in love. He was ignoring his heart. See, Clinton had a secret. But sharing it could cost him their friendship, and he was not willing to risk losing the only person he ever loved. Naked and Far from Home is a serious story that spans a decade. A tale about unconditional love and what two people are willing to look past to prove that love.

 

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AUTHOR:

 

 Caroline-Patti-225x300

Twitter | Website

J.P. Grider is a New Adult and Young Adult author who is a sucker for a good love story – whether it’s reading one or writing one. And when she’s not reading or writing a fairy tale, she’s living one.

You can follow J.P. on Facebook at J.P. Grider, Author, on Instagram and Twitter @JPGrider1, and on her blog at jpgrider.com

 

 

 


   

GIVEAWAY:

 

$25 Amazon gift card & signed copy of Naked & Far From Home open US only.

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Paula

ARC REVIEW: Burnt Edges

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Burnt Edges
Dana Leipold
Published May 21st 2015 by Gravity (first published October 21st 2014)
YA > Contemporary |
arc via publisher
 
 

3 ★★★ 1/2

 
 
Purchase links:
Amazon | BN 
 
 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

 
Familiar abuse or an uncertain future? Which would you choose?
This is Laurel Lee Page’s dilemma when she is faced with an unplanned pregnancy at nineteen. Born into a broken family, guilt and shame are all she has ever known. No matter what she does or whom she meets, Laurel appears to be living a condemned life. However, she is determined to find independence and freedom in spite of her family’s legacy of hatred and self-contempt.
Set in Southern California during the tumultuous 1960’s, Burnt Edges is a contemporary novel based on true events that prove strength can emerge in the most horrific of circumstances.
 
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REVIEW:


“I wish life were easier, Laurel Lee,” he said. “But God doesn’t give us more than we can handle. He’ll put us through the fire a few times, so we get a little burnt around the edges, but all in all, we come out fine.”

I was speechless and pretty much bawling my eyes out after reading Burnt Edges. And it just intensified when I read the authors note and found out that what I just read was based on true events. There’s something so touching and emotional when you find out that what you just read all happened in real life. Although half of this book was heartbreaking and I would not wish it to happen to anyone ever, it awes me that someone, a true person, experienced all of this and survived!

Burnt Edges is set in the 1960’s and the author really did a great job in transporting the readers into where Laurel is. What I really admire about this novel is how vivid everything is. To be honest, I did have a hard time reading this book so much. Although the rapes aren’t too graphic, its still heartbreaking. I was angry, full of tears and I just want to close the book. But no, if the author has the strength to write this book, then I should be brave enough to read it.

Burnt Edges will shock you, play with your emotions and will open your eyes. Its brave and provocative and absolutely a must read. Laurel Lee’s story is heartbreaking, very emotional and authentic. You will be awed by her strength, by her power to push through, and her braveness to love again. Praise for Dana Leipold!

 

AUTHOR:

 

Author photo

Website Facebook| Twitter 

 

Dana Leipold is a freelance writer, author, and member of the Association of Independent Authors and Creativity Coaching Association. Her debut novel, Burnt Edges, depicts the unwavering resilience of a young woman in the face of family violence and abuse. She has self-published two other books: a collection of limericks in Dr. Seuss-style for adults entitled, Stupid Poetry: The Ultimate Collection of Sublime and Ridiculous Poems, and a non-fiction book entitled, The Power of Writing Well: Write Well. Change the World. Leipold lives with her husband and two children in the San Francisco Bay Area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ARC REVIEW: Neverland by Shari Arnold

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Neverland
Shari Arnold
Published April 7th 2015 by CreateSpace
YA > Contemporary | Retellings
arc via publisher
 
 
4 ★★★★
 
 
Purchase links:
Amazon | 
 
 
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It’s been four months since seventeen-year-old Livy Cloud lost her younger sister, but she isn’t quite ready to move on with her life — not even close. She’d rather spend her time at the Seattle Children’s hospital, reading to the patients and holding onto memories of the sister who was everything to her and more.
But when she meets the mysterious and illusive Meyer she is drawn into a world of adventure, a world where questions abound.
Is she ready to live life without her sister? Or more importantly, is she brave enough to love again?
In this modern reimagining of Peter Pan, will Livy lose herself to Neverland or will she find what she’s been searching for?
 
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 Welcome to my stop for the NEVERLAND tour! This book you guys!!! THIS BOOK. It oozes with FEELS. I hope my review is enough to convince you guys to read it. I mean, who can resist a Peter pan Retelling!?

 

 

REVIEW:

 

Paula


“There are subtle truths buried in every make-believe…. You never know where you might find one.”

Oh WOW. This book broke me into pieces, honestly. But thank the book gods that it repaired me when the end came. This book is magical! It surprised me so much. Reading this book is like a roller coaster ride. What happens in a roller coaster ride? You get scared, some might cry in the middle, some gets frustrated they just want it to end but most importantly, when the ride ends, you’re left with that adrenaline and that huge grin on your face. (Some puke I know, but don’t worry it won’t happen here) I finished NEVERLAND with happy tears in my eyes and then I re-read it all over again.

The story started a bit slow and usually, I tend to complain because I’m not a fan of slow paced plotlines. But in here, I feel like it was really necessary. We got to know more Livy. Her life, her parents, her grief. The way Shari Arnold described Livy’s emotions, of her grief, was incredible. It feels like I’m the one who lost a sister and I’m the one grieving. It made me sad SO MUCH that I wanted nothing but to get away Livy in that situation. It was heartbreaking. And her parents was just the same. You really are not the same person when you lost someone you love. Livy was a main character to root for. It was so easy to understand and sympathize with her. She was authentic. Shari Arnold wrote fantastic characters. They are all not the same from the first time you read them because all of them underwent a tremendous growth.

Now MEYER, our Peter Pan in this tale was.. its really hard to describe my feelings towards him. He’s so sexy but oh so frustrating too! I’m not his number one fan, but I’m not a hater either. I really didn’t like his disappearing acts at the first part in the story. But then again, he is Peter Pan. He has secrets. And he’s always ready for an adventure!

 

“It’s time for an adventure,” is all he says. He’s sitting next to me, our legs brushing against each other each time the bus turns a corner. “Are you up for a little adventure, Livy?”

The word building was really believable. Something that will convince you that what you’re reading can be real. The explanations of Neverland.. Meyer.. the flying.. the magic, it was solid. I believe Shari Arnold’s terrific writing helped too. I fell hard! Not too purple prose, but not super simple either. It’s perfect. It fits the story, the magical atmosphere was there and it transports you. I have nothing but praise.

So. It is obvious that I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this retelling. Whether you’re a PeterPan fan or not. Shari Arnold weaved a magical retelling that J.M. Barrie will approve of. Be charmed by Meyer and join Livy’s adventure towards acceptance, moving on and into love!

AUTHOR:

 

Author photo

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads 

 

Shari Arnold grew up in California and Utah but now resides in Connecticut, with her husband and two kids, where she finds it difficult to trust a beach without waves. She writes Young Adult fiction because it’s her favorite. And occasionally she takes photographs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GIVEAWAY:

 

One print copy + $10 Amazon Gift Card. 
US Only.

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TOUR HOST:

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Paula

ARC REVIEW&GUEST POST: The Outerlands by Jared Lopatin

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The Outerlands
Jared R. Lopatin
Published March 31st 2015 by Createspace
YA > Retelling | Fantasy
152pages
arc via tour host
 
 

3 ★★★

 
 
Purchase links:
Amazon
 
 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

 
Alex didn’t want to die, but he just couldn’t take it anymore. Dwight’s pills seemed to promise escape… and escape is exactly what he gets. He ends up in a world reminiscent of his childhood Wonderland, but nothing is as it was in Alice’s day. The Outerlands are a twisted version of his favorite story, with strange characters and unnatural dangers. Before he can get used to his new home, it’s threatened by an outside force.
Will Alex ever find a place where he feels safe?
 
 
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 Welcome to my stop on the THE OUTERLANDS tour! Alice in Wonderland retelling are all over the ya book-esphere but let me tell you something: this book will syrprise you. I really enjoyed this story and I just fell in love with out hero, Alex. Read my review and Jared’s exciting guest post about characters in THE OUTERLANDS. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom! 🙂


 

REVIEW:

 

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Since Jared has an exciting Guest Post for us, I will keep my review short. If there’s one word to describe The Outerlands, I would choose the word CREATIVE. I was lost inside of this book, and if I’d be the one to choose.. I will not go out.

I read Alice in Wonderland a long time ago. I even watched the Disney movie. But even with all of that, I admit that I forgot most of the things that happened. The Outerlands is an incredible take of Alice’s Wonderland. Like I said, it was creative. It was also magical, enthralling and written in the most impressive way. Its a bit hard to believe that this is a debut novel.

The characters are the gem of this book. They’re all well written. Insane. You can’t help but love them all. Alex is our hero, and my heart just totally feels for him. He’s a fifteen bookish boy that is being bullied by Jack and his minions. The first chapter was so hard to read since I’m not fond of bullying scenes. Though I do not agree with all of Alex’s decision, I understand the feeling of wanting to disappear. And with the help of Dwight and his pills, he got what he wanted.

The Outerlands is an interesting world to get lost into. While reading, I got the feeling of being transported to a whole new world. From every chapter, you will notice some things that will remind you of Alice’s adventures. But Jared put his own twist in every chapter and it came out impressively. I cannot wait for more from this author.

Read below to get to know the characters and the world of The Outerlands!!

 

 

 

GUEST POST:

 

Getting to know the characters and the setting of the book.

 

The charm of THE OUTERLANDS is that the world is recognizable, if only marginally so. If you know your Wonderland of Alice’s day, you know to expect the unexpected and nothing is ever what it seems to be. The main character, Alex, is a bookish young man and it is through Alex that you will get to meet all of the zany characters that make up the Outerlands. First and foremost, you should know that the Outerlands are divided into two lands – Carddesville and Chessterfield – by a long river called the Interglass. On the Carddesville side of the river, you will find Bill; Sidney March, Madeleine Hatter, and Domo; Reyna de Corazon, King, and Jack; and of course, Cat. Bill is one of the seedier Outerlanders, for he makes his living dealing suspicious substances under the nose of the reigning monarch of Carddesville, Reyna de Corazon. She, with her husband, King, commands her subjects with a firm hand and a fierce temper. She is jealously protective of her son, Jack, who simply wants to fall in love and get married. Among her subjects are the three who run the Out Inn: Sidney, Madeleine, and Domo. Sidney March is the founder of the Inn and Domo is a small boy who mans the door to help guests. Madeleine is the finest hat-maker in all of the Outerlands and a dear friend of Sidney’s. She can often be found at the Inn, relishing a cup of tea and enjoying funny stories and songs. Then, there’s Cat. Cat, who sometimes goes by the name of Pilar, is a transplant from the real world, just like Alex, though she has since become a true Outerlander. With a splotch across her face that earned her the ridicule of her peers, she escaped to the Outerlands and decided to stay. She has ever since been roaming the lands, popping up here and there to offer help, or sometimes, make mischief. On the Chessterfield side of the Outerlands, you may run into the OWL; Rose and Lily; Abe Arthur Cary; C.C., Blanche, Beau, and Dwight; or Gavin. Near the banks of the Integlass lives the Outerlander Welcoming Liaison, commonly known as the OWL.  It is he who makes sure that every Outerlander follows the right story thread. Nearby live the Flower Children, the head of which is Lily and her daughter, Rose. Beware the Flower Children, for they will entrap you with their indolent addiction. Abe is Bill’s boss, creating the substances that Bill will sell. Abe is also a favorite of the Red Queen, C.C. She is one of four monarchs on the Chessterfield side. Her brother, Beau, is married to the White Queen, Blanche. They live in an area called the Blush, where anyone and everyone can mix. Blanche’s brother, Dwight, is not easy to find, dwelling among the forests. At one time, the land was ravaged by civil war, Red against White, but with the marriage of Beau and Blanche, has settled into a comfortable peace. This leaves Gavin, the White Knight, with not much to do, unless a helpless traveler might come along. These are only a smattering of the characters to be met on your journey through either Carddesville or Chessterfield, and you should always keep your eye out for Tweeners, for they can appear anywhere!

 

 

 

AUTHOR:

 

jared-lopatin

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

 

Originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Jared fell in love with stories at a very young age. This love led him to major in English and Theatre, a decision that brought him many adventures, such as performing in Footloose, Cats, and West Side Story.

His first full novel, Rising Sign, was started backstage during a production of South Pacific in Indiana. Five years later, his debut novel was complete and he headed back to school for his Masters in Special Education. By the time he graduated, he had written the following two books in the trilogy, Ruling House and Returning Planet. He used his school experiences as a base for his standalone novel, Let’s Play It By Ear. His newest novels, The Outerlands and The Good Witch are slated for release in 2015.

Jared currently lives in New York City with his cats, Benedick and Beatrice. He works during the day as a high school English teacher and theatre director at a Deaf school.

 

 

 

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REVIEW: One, Two, Three by Elodie Nowodazki + Giveaway!

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TITLE: One, Two, Three (One, Two, Three #1)
AUTHOR: Elodie Nowodazki
PUBLICATION: Published June 26th 2014 by Createspace
GENRE: YA/NA > Contemporary | Romance
PAGES: 296pages (paperback)
SOURCE: review copy via tour host
RATING: 3 ★★★1/2
You can buy the Book here:
AMAZON | B&N | iTUNES | KOBO

 

 

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BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

 

When seventeen-year-old Natalya’s dreams of being a ballerina are killed in a car accident along with her father, she must choose: shut down—like her mother—or open up to love.

Last year,seventeen-year-old Natalya Pushkaya was attending the School of Performing Arts in New York City. Last year, she was well on her way to becoming a professional ballerina. Last year, her father was still alive.

But a car crash changed all that—and Natalya can’t stop blaming herself. Now, she goes to a regular high school in New Jersey; lives with her onetime prima ballerina, now alcoholic mother; and has no hope of a dance career.

At her new school, however, sexy soccer player Antonio sees a brighter future for Natalya, or at least a more pleasant present. Keeping him an arabesque away proves to be a challenge for Natalya and his patient charms eventually draw her out of her shell.

When upsetting secrets come to light and Tonio’s own problems draw her in, Natalya shuts down again, this time turning to alcohol herself.

Can Natalya learn to trust Antonio before she loses him—and destroys herself?

 

 

REVIEW:

 

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I love ballerinas! I actually envy them. I know that what they do requires talent and skills. I’d be lying if I say that I didn’t dream of becoming one when I was younger. Our protagonist here, Natalya, is a beautifully broken girl who tries to deal with the aftermath of a tragic accident that has cost the life of her father and her dream of becoming a world class ballerina. And even though her mother is still alive, she feels like she also lost her too.

This book dealt with so much dark and painful topics. Alcohol, death, broken dreams.. I guess that’s why I liked it. Because with a plot like this, it’s hard to keep the readers reading without making them so emotionally drained that they have to stop reading. One, Two, Three has it’s light moments. And even with it’s hard and sad storyline, it’s full of hope!

It’s really surprising how much I identified to Natalya. You don’t even have to be a dancer to relate to her. I guess because at some point I felt that feeling that Natalya has been dealing with. I mean, don’t we all have a dream that we thought we will never accomplish because of an event that were out our hands? Nope, Natalya isn’t the only one. Tonio is different though. I didn’t like him at first, I eye-rolled too much when he came first to the scene. I just found him too cocky and so full of himself. I was actually so worried that he might ruin the book for me but thank goodness for revealed secrets. Turns out, Tonio is dealing with pretty hard stuff too. And yeah, even though I didn’t like him that much at first, I felt for him.

I’m still conflicted about the ending, though I agree with how the story was constructed and why this and that has to happen, the ending isn’t too concrete for me. It feels sooo open. I really want an ending that settles things. But then again, this is a series so I guess I just have to wait. Overall, One Two Three is an emotionally charged read with realistic premise and characters. Loss, friendship and love, I recommend this for Contemporary lovers out there!

 

 

THE AUTHOR:

 

Elodie

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | NEWSLETTER

 

Elodie Nowodazkij was raised in a tiny village in France, where she could always be found a book in hand. At nineteen, she moved to the US, where she learned she’d never lose her French accent. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Modern Language & Linguistics, and later earned master’s degrees in German Cultural Studies and European Studies. Unbeknownst to her professors, she sometimes drafted stories in class. Now she lives in Germany with her husband and their cat (who doesn’t seem to realize he’s not human), and uses her commuting time to write the stories swirling in her head. She’s also a serial smiley user.

 

 

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