Pulse by Linore Burkard Review and Giveaway!

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About the Book

Book: Pulse

Author: Linore Burkard

Genre: Christian YA/Apocalyptic Suspense

Release date: August 24, 2015

PulseWhat do you do when the whole world stops?

Andrea, Lexie and Sarah are just ordinary teens until a mysterious event shuts down all technology. In the dead of winter, there’s no heat, no internet, no cell phones–not even a working car.
In this chilling Christian YA tale, most of the population doesn’t survive. Pitting faith and grit against a world without power, the girls and their families must beat the odds. But can they find the strength to survive when society collapses and technology fails?

 

Click here to get your copy.

 

My Thoughts

The thought of an EMP, or Electro Magnetic Pulse has always terrified me. Everything that has electrical parts will cease to work…including cars and cell phones. Our country could be crippled in a matter of seconds. This book delves into that scenario by following 3 teenage girls who are friends and all live in different types of homes…Andrea’s family is on the wealthier side but her dad is not the nicest person to be around…Lexie was raised in a Christian home and her family has been “prepping” for a difficult situation for years…and Sarah lives in an apartment in the city with her parents, older brother, and younger cousin.

The story is narrated by the 3 girls and  it’s interesting to see the EMP effects through each of their eyes. There are some very gritty moments in the book but I imagine that everything described is something that would happen if this scenario occurred.

There were a few times when the author got very political in the story, which isn’t my cup of tea, whether I agree with the sentiments or not. Other than that I found the story to be very intense and stressful and it caused me to evaluate what I should do to prepare should this ever happen in the future. It’s definitely a thought provoking book!

I am interested to read the second story to find out what happens next!

I received this book from the publisher/author to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

About the Author

Linore_SmallerLinore Rose Burkard wrote a trilogy of genuine regency romances for the Christian market before there were any regencies for the Christian market. Published with Harvest House, her books opened the genre for the CBA. She also writes YA Suspense/Apocalyptic fiction as L.R. Burkard. Married with five children, Linore home-schools her youngest daughter, teaches workshops for writers, and is the Vice President of the Dayton Christian Scribes.  Her latest PULSE EFFEX SERIES, takes readers into a “chilling possible future for America, while affirming the power of faith in the darkest of times.”

 

More from Linore

When my sweet historical romance series was published, I never dreamed my next would be YA/dystopian. What a switch in genres! So, how did I go from one end of the writing spectrum to another? Blame it on an idea that refused to die. I read a headline about how close the earth came to suffering a catastrophic electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, in 2012. We missed the worst effects of a solar flare by a hair (in space terms); but the “what if” factor had been set in motion. What if that flare hadn’t missed us? What if I was a teen raised on electronics–or an adult medically dependent on them–and it all went dead in a matter of seconds? What if the next flare doesn’t miss? PULSE, the first book in my PULSE EFFEX Series, was born.

The books shows life in the aftermath of such an event for three teens and their families. With the world plunged into a new dark age, can they keep hope alive?

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, July 13

Through the Fire Blogs, July 14

amandainpa, July 14

Genesis 5020, July 15

Real World Bible Study, July 15

Retrospective Spines, July 16

Blogging With Carol, July 17

Artistic Nobody, July 17 (Spotlight)

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, July 18

All-of-a-kind Mom, July 18

Inspired by fiction, July 19

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, July 19

Mary Hake, July 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 20

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, July 21

Pause for Tales, July 21

Inklings and notions, July 22

janicesbookreviews, July 23

Emily Yager, July 23

Ashley’s Bookshelf, July 24

Texas Book-aholic, July 25

God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae, July 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 25

A Reader’s Brain, July 26

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Linore is giving away the grand prize of an eBook copy of her book and a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!

https://promosimple.com/ps/e683/pulse-celebration-tour-giveaway

Gone Too Soon by Melody Carlson Review and Giveaway!

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About the Book

Book: Gone Too Soon

Author: Melody Carlson

Genre: Young Adult

Release Date: November 15, 2018

Gone Too SoonAn icy road. A car crash.
A family changed forever.

Hannah Josephson had always been the “perfect” daughter. Kiera couldn’t live up to her before, and she certainly can’t now that her older sister has died in a car accident. But the image she carried resentfully of Hannah is challenged when she finds her dead sister’s diary and begins to read. Apparently Hannah’s final year wasn’t as perfect as everyone thought.

Caught in a pattern of blaming each other, the Josephson family is falling apart. Their father has left, their mother is mixing opiates and alcohol, little sister Maddie has been shipped off to spend the whole summer with their grandmother, and Kiera feels utterly alone with her grief and anger. A summer job helping at a park in a poor section of town provides a friend and a purpose.

But it’s Hannah’s diary that fills her thoughts. For the first time in years, she feels close to the sister she’s lost. But can the knowledge she gleans about her possibly help her patch back together the family that seems determined to implode?

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Thoughts

This was a very gritty and sad story about a family that is falling apart after the death of one of the teenage daughters.

The story follows Kiera, the sister of Hannah, who passed away in a car accident. Kiera just discovered Hannah’s diary and begins reading it to learn more about what Hannah was going through up to the accident. The chapters following Kiera are told in first person. I enjoyed reading about Kiera, she was very honest and her development throughout the story was great.

The reader also follows Kiera’s mother Moira (in third person), who is struggling with many addictions while trying to cope with the loss of her daughter. The relationship between Moira and Kiera was very difficult to read and sad.

The message of faith in the story was good and the ending was almost a bit chilling. I appreciated the story but I found it very sad to read.

Overall, this would be a good story for older teens who enjoy contemporary stories.

I received this book from the publisher/author to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

About the Author

Melody CarlsonMelody Carlson has written more than 200 books (with sales around 6.5 million) for teens, women, and children. That’s a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a “storyteller.” Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, True Colors etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She’s won a number of awards (including RT’s Career Achievement Award, the Rita, and the Gold medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog.

More from Melody

I think I’ve written about a hundred or more teen novels, but Gone Too Soon, a rather serious story, is a bit different. There’s no denying I’ve covered a bunch of gritty issues—everything from self-harm to suicide to murder—but I’ve never written a novel quite like this one. For starters, I wrote it from two viewpoints. Both the teenage daughter and her mother express themselves in this story. And because the premise involves an untimely death, the family is torn apart. As a result, there’s a lot of guilt and blame and confusion going around. They’re all in pain.

I’ve been asked several times what “inspired” this story. And I’m sad to say that it’s simply a case of “art imitating life.” I live in a small community where too many young people have died “too soon.” These untimely deaths—for a variety of random and unexplainable reasons—are devastating. I know more than a dozen families (some very close friends) who have tragically lost a child. So I’ve seen up close how it can tear a family apart. It’s truly heartbreaking, often leaving friends and family without words of comfort or explanation.

But that’s not the only reason I wrote this story. My hope is that teens (who often feel invincible) will be reminded that they are mortal and that this earthly life is temporary. Hard as it sounds, death is inevitable. And it’s not that I want everyone to be obsessed about dying, but we do live in a culture that practices denial about the end of a life. No one really wants to talk about it. My hope is that readers will take a hard, honest look, peel back some layers, and face death for what it is—a part of earthly life. And I hope readers will close the book with a little more understanding . . . and hope.

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, April 25

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, April 25

Emily Yager, April 26

The Power of Words, April 26

Moments, April 26

Christian Bookaholic, April 27

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 27

Hallie Reads, April 27

Caffeinated Christian Raves – N – Reviews, April 28

Mary Hake, April 28

janicesbookreviews, April 28

Christian Bookshelf Reviews, April 29

SusanLovesBooks, April 29

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 29

All-of-a-kind Mom, April 30

Just the Write Escape, April 30

Carla Loves toRead, May 1

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 1

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 2

Blogging With Carol, May 2

Ashley’s Bookshelf, May 2

Through the Fire Blogs, May 3

Reading Themes, May 3

For The Love of Books, May 3

the Midnight Bookaholic, May 4

amandainpa, May 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 4

Bigreadersite, May 5

Texas Book-aholic, May 5

The Becca Files, May 6

Remembrancy, May 6

Inklings and notions, May 7

this chattanooga mommy saves, May 7

A Reader’s Brain, May 8

For Him and My Family, May 8

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Melody is giving away a grand prize of paperback copy of Gone Too Soon and a matching journal!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/dfa9/gone-too-soon-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

To Best The Boys by Mary Weber Review

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Synopsis

Every year for the past fifty-four years, the residents of Pinsbury Port receive a mysterious letter inviting all eligible-aged boys to compete for an esteemed scholarship to the all-male Stemwick University. Every year, the poorer residents look to see that their names are on the list. The wealthier look to see how likely their sons are to survive. And Rhen Tellur opens it to see if she can derive which substances the ink and parchment are created from, using her father’s microscope.

In the province of Caldon, where women are trained in wifely duties and men are encouraged into collegiate education, sixteen-year-old Rhen Tellur wants nothing more than to become a scientist. As the poor of her seaside town fall prey to a deadly disease, she and her father work desperately to find a cure. But when her Mum succumbs to it as well? Rhen decides to take the future into her own hands—through the annual all-male scholarship competition.

With her cousin, Seleni, by her side, the girls don disguises and enter Mr. Holm’s labyrinth, to best the boys and claim the scholarship prize. Except not everyone’s ready for a girl who doesn’t know her place. And not everyone survives the maze.

My Thoughts

The premise for this book sounded very interesting and I absolutely love the cover so I was very excited to pick it up. Unfortunately, this was a big disappointment to me.

The first half of the book was just leading up to the labyrinth and felt like a lot of setup and it seemed to drag. The writing was choppy at times and a bit hard to follow. The labyrinth scenes were enjoyable but sometimes felt a bit rushed. I would have liked more of the book to be focused on that.

My biggest issue with this book is that it’s published by a Christian publisher but there is absolutely no faith content whatsoever. It felt very much like a mainstream, secular book. From the extreme kisses to the black magic and ghouls, I was wondering where the author was going to bring in the “Christian” element. (She didn’t). I don’t need or like an author to “shove the Christian message down my throat,” but if it’s published by a Christian publisher, I do expect there to be some kind of faith content included, whether it be a character praying, going to church, referencing God, or a reference to Him in some way. I was extremely disappointed to see that this did not happen. There was also something disturbing about one of the characters that didn’t belong in a “Christian” novel,  in my opinion.

I attempted to read another of this author’s books in the past and DNF’d it because of the content so I think I’m done with her books unfortunately.

My Rating

1.5 stars

I received this book from the publisher to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Pajama Party The Story by E.C. Jackson Spotlight and Giveaway!


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Pajama Party: The Story
By E. C. Jackson
YA Christian Contemporary
Paperback & ebook, 213 Pages
August 26th 2017 by E. C. Jackson

Most sleepovers are simple. Food, fun, and pillow fights. But sixteen-year-old Karen Duncan has bigger plans for her slumber party. Family troubles have changed her over the past year, and she’s no longer the petty, selfish girl she used to be. Now she’s ready to shake things up with her friends. The guest list comes as a surprise to some and a slap in the face to others. This popular girl has invited some not-so-popular guests. Even more shocking, she’s left out some of the girls she’s hung out with since middle school.

Diane and Evette are outsiders, nervous about being stuck in a house with the same girls who tease them at school. Kathy, Lisa, and Joann come to the party with the confidence of the in-crowd, but they’re masking inner-turmoil that is bound to surface. Sandy and Angela are usually the voices of reason…usually. And then there’s Linda, the friend that got away. She may not ever forgive the girls who abandoned her years ago. Karen hopes to change her mind.

Her agenda is ambitious, and it could spell disaster. But Karen is convinced God will use this party to spark a new beginning for everyone involved. This companion book to A Living Hope gives us the inspired story Sadie Cummings wrote for the girls of Shiatown.

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About the Author

E. C. Jackson began her writing career with the full-length play Pajama Party. For three and a half years she published the Confidence in Life newsletter for Alpha Production Ministries, in addition to writing tracts and devotionals. Teaching a women’s Bible study at her church for eleven years naturally led to her current endeavor of writing inspirational romance novels and teen and young adult fiction. Her mission: spiritual maturity in the body of Christ through fiction.

A note from E. C. Jackson: “The Write Way: A Real Slice of Life” is the slogan on my website and Facebook author page. If every person reading my book feels connected to the characters, my job is done.

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Tour Schedule

Tour Giveaway

One 1st Prize winner will receive:
A Living Hope Paperback (the companion book to Pajama Party: The Story)
– 1 Key chain for Pajama Party: The Story
– 1 Key chain for A Living Hope

One 2nd Prize winner will receive:
– A $25 Amazon eGift Card

Open internationally
Ends March 6, 2019

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The Warrior Maiden by Melanie Dickerson Review

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Synopsis:

From New York Times bestselling author Melanie Dickerson comes a fresh reimagining of the classic Mulan tale.

Mulan isn’t afraid to pretend to be a son and assume her father’s soldier duties in war. But what happens when the handsome son of a duke discovers her secret?

Mulan is trying to resign herself to marrying the village butcher for the good of her family, but her adventurous spirit just can’t stand the thought. At the last minute, she pretends to be the son her father never had, assumes his duties as a soldier, and rides off to join the fight to protect the castle of her liege lord’s ally from the besieging Teutonic Knights.

Wolfgang and his brother Steffan leave Hagenheim with several other soldiers to help their father’s ally in Poland. When they arrive, Wolfgang is exasperated by the young soldier Mikolai who seems to either always be one step away from disaster . . . or showing Wolfgang up in embarrassing ways.

When Wolfgang discovers his former rival and reluctant friend Mikolai is actually a girl, he is determined to protect her. But battle is a dangerous place where anything can happen—and usually does.

When Mulan receives word that her mother has been accused of practicing witchcraft through her healing herbs and skills, Mulan’s only thought is of defending her. Will she be able to trust Wolfgang to help? Or will sacrificing her own life be the only way to save her mother?

My Thoughts:

I was not familiar with the story of Mulan as I had never seen the movie but I was still interested to read this re-telling. The story is very interesting…a young girl who dresses as a boy to fight in order for her mother to keep their home. Of course along the way she meets a handsome man.

The story was full of action and adventure. Set in the 1400s, a time of religious strife, there is plenty of tension and drama. I found it interesting to learn about the Teutonic Knights and their somewhat hypocritical and legalistic views.

Mulan was a great character and wonderful role model for young girls…she was strong and courageous and went against the norms of what a young lady should do.

The faith content in the book is excellent, there are many references to God’s will and sovereignty. The content is clean and I would not be hesitant to allow my 12 year old daughter to read it.

Overall, this was an enjoyable historical fiction re-telling. I think many people would enjoy the story, especially if they love the story of Mulan.

My Rating

3 stars

I received this book from the publisher to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Secrets by Beckie Lindsey Review and Giveaway

Secrets FB banner copy

 

About the Book

Secrets

Book: Secrets

Author: Beckie Lindsey

Genre: Young Adult

Release Date: February, 2018

Every girl has a secret she hopes the light will never find–but the demons already have.

Four girls. Four sets of secrets. Four searching for answers.

Mackenzie is the shy, awkward new girl at school, depressed and desperate for a real friend. When she stumbles upon the deepest secret of a sarcastic, angry-at-the-world track star, Krystal, they become instant enemies-especially about the flirtatious baseball player, Bryce.

Tammi, a gloomy singer/musician who couldn’t care less about what others think of her, meets Sadie, a dancer and a people-pleaser with a cotton candy disposition. They have nothing in common until their lives begin to collide in more ways than one.

As the girls’ worlds begin to converge, their secrets rather than their similarities draw them together. Meanwhile, all that’s kept hidden has left them vulnerable to a battle in an invisible realm where demonic creatures fight to keep the girls chained to their pasts while angels of light work to free them.

Can good ever come from evil? Can beauty ever arise from ashes?

 

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

I always enjoy stories about spiritual warfare as they provide a visual image of the battle that goes on within the spiritual realm. This story follows 4 teenage girls who all have struggles and issues and the demons and angels that are battling for their souls. The story is full of drama and some very serious issues. I appreciate that the author did not sugar coat the story, the girls were realistic and gritty at times. Because of the content of the story, this would not be appropriate for younger teens.

The scenes of the demons were chilling and the scenes with the angels were very uplifting. I love that when the characters called out to God, they immediately found the help they needed.

The characters were each unique. The story provides what I imagine is an accurate picture of public school in this day and age. I think many teens would find this book interesting and I highly recommend it.

I received this book from the author/publisher to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

About the Author

Beckie LindsayBeckie Lindsey is an award-winning poet, author, blogger, and the editor of Southern California Christian Voice, a division of One Christian Voice, a national news syndicating agency. She is a major coffeeholic and enjoys a good book with a cat on her lap. She also loves to hike and hang out with family and friends. Beckie and her husband, Scott have three adult children, two adorable cats and live in California.

Guest Post from Beckie

Why I write YA and the BFA series

By Beckie Lindsey

 

I believe a teenager still exists inside each of us.

 

We hear a familiar tune from our “glory days” and are instantly tapping our toes. Mentally, we’re back in high school —poofy bangs, scrunchie, neon off-the-shoulder sweatshirt — and all. Oh, wait. That’s me back in the ‘80s!

 

Ah, yes. There is something wonderfully awful about those coming-of-age years.

 

From the first kiss to the first breakup, there are memories we cherish and some we don’t care to ever revisit. Being a teen can be exciting, confusing, painful, joyous, or even all of those things at once!

 

No matter how different your teenage experience was from mine, one thing is true for us all: these years have an enormous impact on who we become as adults. We can all sympathize with the plight of puberty and the longing for independence and acceptance. Yeah, there’s still a teenager in all of us!

 

These are the reasons I write YA.

 

My hope is to use the power of storytelling to move past barriers and open hearts to accept how much God loves and desires a personal relationship with us.

 

At every age, we all need the grace and love of Jesus.

 

In the Beauties from Ashes (BFA) series, I write about relatable characters with difficult issues and traumatic pasts to enlighten readers about the unseen spiritual battle referred to in Scripture. Each character has a secret that has left them vulnerable to the battle in an invisible realm where demonic creatures fight to keep them chained to their pasts and angels of light work to free them.

 

The characters and their issues are complex, just like real life. In fact, some of the topics are often considered too taboo to talk about openly. But what is left in the dark, festers and grows. It is only in the light that we can be free. In the BFA series, readers experience the character’s quest for truth, love, grace, and freedom while hopefully finding the same for themselves.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, November 13

Inklings and notions, November 14

Genesis 5020, November 15

Multifarious, November 16

Blogging With Carol, November 16

Carpe Diem, November 17

A Baker’s Perspective, November 18

Godly Book Reviews, November 19

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 19

Robin Is Bookish, November 20

Remembrancy, November 20

The Becca Files, November 21

Christian Centered book Reviews, November 21

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 22

Stephanie’s Life of Perseverance, November 22

Wonders of Anomalies Book Reviews, November 23

amandainpa, November 23

Bibliophile Reviews, November 24

Janices book reviews, November 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 26

Bigreadersite, November 26

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Beckie is giving away a grand prize of a $30 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d56f/secrets-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Crescent Stone by Matt Mikalatos Review

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Synopsis

A girl with a deadly lung disease . . .
A boy with a tragic past . . .
A land where the sun never sets but darkness still creeps in . . .

Madeline Oliver has never wanted for anything, but now she would give anything just to breathe. Jason Wu skates through life on jokes, but when a tragedy leaves him guilt-stricken, he promises to tell only the truth, no matter the price. When a mysterious stranger name Hanali appears to Madeline and offers to heal her in exchange for one year of service to his people, Madeline and Jason are swept into a strange land where they don’t know the rules and where their decisions carry consequences that reach farther than they could ever guess.

My Thoughts

Although fantasy is not my “go-to genre”, I enjoyed this story. The world that the author created was very unique, with different types of creatures and a lot of tensions between them. I loved the theme of having humans visit a fantastical world…it makes it easier to picture when seeing things through the humans’ eyes.

The characters were great in the story. I loved Jason (as I’m sure most readers will)…he added fun and humor to the story and was definitely a typical teenage boy. Madeline was also a good character…my dad suffered from the same lung disorder that she has and I could understand her desperation to be able to breathe “normally” again.

I enjoyed the scenes surrounding the history of the world and learning about the magic system the most. There were a lot of battle scenes towards the end that I found to be a bit tedious and caused me to lose some interest.

Overall, this was an excellent YA fantasy story. I highly recommend this one to all teens. The content is very clean and appropriate.

My Rating

3 stars

I received this book from the publisher to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.