SNEAK-A-PEEK: Devon’s Choice by Catherine Bennett

devons-choice

Devon’s Choice
Catherine Bennett
Published January 12th 2015 by Astraea Press, LLC
A/NA > Realistic Fiction
165pages (kindle edtion)
 
 
Purchase links:
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Life holds no surprises for Devon Murphy. Her life consists of keeping tabs on her aging Irish father, working part time at a coffee shop, and building her online graphics design business. Devon’s only tricky situation is a shallow relationship with the pampered and affluent Michael Turner, who sees her as just another woman to conquer.
Following his father’s death, Brandon’s only goal is to expand the family business and live life on his own terms. That is, until he walks into the coffee shop one snowy evening and meets the enchanting, red-haired barista behind the counter. But can Devon and Brandon’s attraction for each other be strong enough to help erase their deepest disappointments and renew their faith in God?
 
 
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EXCERPT:

 

“Hi, Bub.  Is Daddy asleep?”  She peeked down the hallway and saw that his bedroom light was off.  A vociferous, gulping snore tore through the peaceful silence.  Rolling her eyes, she walked through the kitchen and opened the back door.  Bubby carefully picked and sniffed his way to his favorite spot, did his business and quickly came inside.

After finishing her bedtime ritual in the bathroom, Devon puttered around her room, hanging up clothes and reading a couple of chapters from the romance novel.  Letting go a leisurely yawn, she put the book on the nightstand and scooted herself under the covers.  Bubby curled up in a tight ball at the foot of the bed.

She began to think of Michael and his childish attitude.  Perhaps, she thought, it would be best if they broke off the relationship.  It didn’t seem to be giving either one of them what they wanted or needed.  His blatant disregard of her dad’s situation was proof of that.  She stared up at the ceiling fan above her bed and felt ashamed of the apologetic way she’d responded to him.  Suddenly she remembered a phrase her mom repeated to her in times when she felt weak in her faith.  “Devy, serving God is like buttoning your blouse.  If you get the first button right, everything else lines up.”  The words seemed to come so easily to her mom that even when the cancer took away her physical strength, her faith in God still remained strong.

“Mom, please help me get it right,” Devon whispered, as she pulled the blanket to her chin, closed her eyes and drifted into sleep.  

 

 

 

AUTHOR:

 

Catherine-Bennett

Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

I grew up in Ohio where I currently live with my husband and our two rescue Labradors. Some of my favorite things include reading, shopping, pepperoni pizza, Hershey bars and hanging out with my two grown sons.

Growing up an only child, I had many imaginary friends. I believe this – and a love of books – fueled my desire to write. It was many years later that my dream of becoming a published author came true.

I’m grateful to God for always keeping a story in my heart and hope you are blessed and entertained by my books.

 

 

GIVEAWAY:

 

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 3/30/15

 

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Liars, Inc by Paula Stokes

Liars, Inc.

Liars, Inc.
Paula Stokes
Expected publication: March 24th 2015 by HarperTeen
YA > Contemporary | Mystery
 
 

 

Purchase links:

Amazon | BN | TBD

 

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For fans of Gone Girl, I Hunt Killers, and TV’s How to Get Away with Murder.
Max Cantrell has never been a big fan of the truth, so when the opportunity arises to sell forged permission slips and cover stories to his classmates, it sounds like a good way to make a little money and liven up a boring senior year. With the help of his friends Preston and Parvati, Max starts Liars, Inc. Suddenly everybody needs something and the cash starts pouring in. Who knew lying could be so lucrative?
When Preston wants his own cover story to go visit a girl he met online, Max doesn’t think twice about hooking him up. Until Preston never comes home. Then the evidence starts to pile up—terrifying clues that lead the cops to Preston’s body. Terrifying clues that point to Max as the murderer.
Can Max find the real killer before he goes to prison for a crime he didn’t commit? In a story that Kirkus Reviews called “Captivating to the very end,” Paula Stokes starts with one single white lie and weaves a twisted tale that will have readers guessing until the explosive final chapters.
For more information, check out THE OFFICIAL LIARS, INC. WEBSITE.
 
 
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AUTHOR:

 

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Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

 

Paula Stokes writes stories about flawed characters with good hearts who sometimes make bad decisions. She’s the author of several YA novels, most recently Liars, Inc. and The Art of Lainey. Her writing has been translated into nine foreign languages. Paula loves kayaking, hiking, reading, and seeking out new adventures in faraway lands She also loves interacting with readers. Find her online atauthorpaulastokes.com or on twitter as @pstokesbooks.

 

 

GIVEAWAY:

 

2 Signed Copies of Liars, INC. by Paula Stokes.
2 Mini Swag Packs. Includes (2 Signed Bookmarks, 1 Magnet, 1 Signed Bookplate).

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ARC REVIEW: Biggie by Derek E. Sullivan

Biggie

Biggie
Derek E. Sullivan
Published March 1st 2015 by Albert Whitman & Company
YA > Realistic fiction
272pages (hardcover)
arc via publisher

 

3 ★★★1/2

 
 
Purchase links:
Amazon| BN
 
 

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Henry “Biggie” Abbott is the son of one of Finch, Iowa ‘s most famous athletes. His father was a baseball legend and his step-dad is a close second. At an obese 300+ pounds though, Biggie himself prefers classroom success to sports. As a perfectionist, he doesn’t understand why someone would be happy getting two hits in five trips to the plate. “Forty percent, that’s an F in any class,” he would say. As Biggie’s junior year begins, the girl of his dreams, Annabelle Rivers, starts to flirt with him. Hundreds of people have told him to follow in his dad’s footsteps and play ball, but Annabelle might be the one to actually convince him to try. What happens when a boy who has spent his life since fourth grade trying to remain invisible is suddenly thrust into the harsh glare of the high school spotlight?
 
 
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REVIEW:

 

I have always enjoyed books about outsiders or underdogs. I guess its because they’re very relatable and most of them have the funniest voice/monologue. They also do a great job of voicing out the thoughts of readers who has been on the same situation. Biggie/Henry is not an exception. Its amazing that even though I’m not a ‘fat’ person like Henry is and even though I’m not a guy, I totally felt for Henry. He’s totally relatable as a teen.

Henry or ‘BIGGIE’ to others is someone you would like as a friend. While reading the book, I was wishing for one thing: for Biggie to be real and for him to magically appear at my side to be my best friend. He’s funny. He’s realistically written. And he’s absolutely likeable. Derek Sullivan did a great job of writing a character that appeals to every reader. He’s not perfect. In fact, Henry can be stupid and jerk sometimes. Its kind of infuriating to read when he’s letting himself down but I can’t help but sympathize. I know all of us have done that.

The romance was adorable and a bit surprising. Thumbs up for not sticking to the cliche romance plots that I’ve read in so many YA books already. The only downside of this book, FOR ME, is the baseball aspects which is pretty much half of the book since Henry is very good at it. Anyway, despite my lack of knowledge on that department, I still enjoyed all the new information I got by reading BIGGIE.

I really enjoyed Biggie and it took me by surprise by how poignant it is. Its about loving and accepting yourself despite the ugly and bad things that people are telling you. Its about letting yourself shine and enjoy life despite the ugliness that comes with it. Biggie is provocative, meaningful and perfect for every outsiders, underdogs and for teens who is having a hard time going through all the crap bad things that high school is throwing their way. I absolutely recommend it!!!

 

 

AUTHOR:

 

Derek

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Derek E. Sullivan is an award-winning reporter and columnist at the Rochester Post-Bulletin in Minnesota. As a reporter, he has written more than 1,000 stories about the lives of teenagers, which he attributes to helping him find his YA voice. He has an MFA from Hamline University and lives in Minnesota with his wife and three sons.

 

 

GIVEAWAY:

 

2x 50$ B&N Gift Cards

3x Signed copies of BIGGIE hardcover

 

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REVIEW: The Boy Next Door by Katie Van Ark a.k.a that feeling when the love interest has more hurty feelings than a new adult protagonist

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TITLE: The Boy Next Door
AUTHOR: Katie Van Erk
PUBLICATION:
GENRE: YA > Contemporary | Romance
PAGES: 368pages
SOURCE: purchased
RATING:
 
 
 2★★
 
 
 

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Maddy Spier has been in love with the boy next door forever. As his figure skating partner she spends time in his arms every day. But she’s also seen his arms around other girls—lots of other girls.
Gabe can’t imagine skating with anyone but Maddy, and together they have a real chance at winning some serious gold medals. So, he’s determined to keep thinking of her like a sister. After all, he’s never had a romantic relationship that lasted for more than two weeks.
But when their coach assigns a new romantic skating program, everything changes. Will this be the big break that Maddy’s been hoping for or the big breakup that Gabe has always feared?
 

 

REVIEW:

 

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This  two is more complicated than a math problem that includes letters. I really enjoyed knowing some the stuff about ice skating because it doesn’t snow here in the Philippines so we don’t skate a lot much. I mean we have those Ice skate rink on the mall but I really want to experience skating on  erm, real ice.  Anyway,  that didn’t stop me from being frustrated towards this novel. I’m pretty sure I lost something that is supposed to prevent me from going crazy. It’s like they have nothing to do but skate and complicate…  everything. They want each other, that much is clear. They’re actually sooo desperate to be together BUT they always—ALWAYS seems to find a way to fight, or to have something to fight about. It’s like a hobby or something.

Books with dual POV’s are more enjoyable for me so it made reading the book much easier. I actually like reading Gabe’s POV more than Mad’s. Which is so weird because Gabe, the love interest, is such a drama queen! Jeez. This guy has more hurty feeling than those NA protagonist that I always read about. He is such a jerk. I honestly want to hurt him.

Maddie was not that horrible but maybe a few more braincells would’ve made her more much interesting. She is just so head over heels and it doesn’t make sense. Gabe is treating her like a doormat and she’s just so.. phlegmatic about it.

I hate it so much when the characters ruins the whole book because they’re so annoying and just all over the place. I might understand if they’re younger but they’re YOUNG ADULTS. They are capable of thinking straight.

Nothing is really memorable or remarkable about this novel. Such a shame, really, because the premise really catches attention. The Boy Next Door has a lot of potential… the execution, the characters, the ending (dear god the ending. Barf barf barf) Reading this book is such a struggle.

Paula