10 Truths and A Dare by Ashley Elston Review and Giveaway

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot
on the 10 TRUTHS AND A DARE by Ashley Elston Blog Tour hosted by 
Rockstar Book Tours. Check out
my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

 

About the Book:

Title: 10 TRUTHS AND A DARE

Author: Ashley Elston

Pub. Date: May 4, 2021

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

Pages: 304

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonKindle, AudibleB&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD, Bookshop.org

This companion to Ashley Elston’s beloved 10 Blind Dates follows
Sophie’s high-achieving cousin Olivia as she juggles last-minute P.E. credit,
end-of-year parties, and a secret new romance in the chaotic week before
graduation.

It’s Senior Party Week, that magical in-between time after classes have
ended but before graduation, chock-full of gimmicky theme parties, last-minute
bonding, and family traditions. Olivia couldn’t be more ready. Class
salutatorian and confident in her future at LSU, she’s poised to sail through
to the next phase of her life.

But when the tiny hiccup of an unsigned off-campus P.E. form puts Olivia
in danger of not graduating at all, she has one week to set things straight
without tipping off her very big and very nosy extended family. Volunteering to
help at a local golf tournament should do it, but since Olivia’s mom equipped
her phone with a tracking app, there’ll be no hiding the fact that she’s at the
golf course instead of all the graduation parties happening at the same time.
Unless, that is, she can convince the Fab Four–her ride-or-die cousins and
best friends Sophie, Charlie, and Wes–to trade phones with her as they go
through the motions of playing Olivia for the week.

 

Praise for 10 Blind Dates by
Ashley Elston:

2020 ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers Top Ten Title

2020 Florida Teens Read Book List


“POSITIVELY DELIGHTFUL—all caps—from beginning to end.”—NPR

“This piece-by-piece romance doesn’t need its Christmas theme to sell, but
it makes it glitter all the more.”—Booklist

“A fun story of finding love, getting to know yourself, and getting to
know your family.”—Kirkus Reviews

“In a funny holiday romance that has Sophie dog-sitting in a hockey rink,
watching porn at a drive-in theater, and playing the Virgin Mary in a middle
school Nativity, Elston cleverly reflects the family members’ personalities
through their choices of dates for Sophie.”—Publishers Weekly

Grab 10 BLIND DATES now!

 

My Thoughts:

What a fun story! This book follows Olivia as she scrambles to complete a PE credit in order to graduate from high school, all while trying to keep it a secret from her mom who is out of town but tracking her every move on Life360. I loved the dynamic between Olivia and her cousins…it seems like families do not get together as often now as they used to so it was great to read about her large family gathering each week (and some mornings) at her grandmother’s house.

I am definitely not the target audience for this story but I still really enjoyed it. It make me get a glimpse into my 17 year old son’s life and what it’s like to be “tracked” constantly. I also enjoyed following Olivia at the golf course and learning a little bit about golf. The graduation parties were a lot of fun to visit as well…they all had different themes and seemed like they would be a blast to attend.

I have noticed that it is difficult to find YA books that are appropriate in content for the target audience (in my opinion). This book was an exception to that. The story was very sweet and the “intimate” moments were age appropriate. There was one scene where the characters were drinking alcohol (which I didn’t love considering they were all underage) but mentions of designated drivers were frequent.

Overall, I highly recommend this book. I am planning on picking up the first one in the series, 10 Blind Dates, that follows Sophie, who was also in this book.

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

About Ashley:

Ashley Elston is the author of
several novels including: 10 Blind Dates (a Top Ten ALA Quick
Pick and the companion to this book), The Rules for Disappearing (a
finalist in the Best Young Adult Novel category of the International Thriller
Writers Thriller Awards), This Is Our Story, and The Lying
Woods
. She has a liberal arts degree from Louisiana State University in
Shreveport and worked for many years as a wedding photographer before turning
her hand to writing. Ashley lives in Shreveport with her husband and three
sons. For more information about Ashley and her books, please visit
http://www.ashleyelston.com.


Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon

 

Giveaway Details:

3 winners
will receive a finished copy of 10 TRUTHS AND A DARE,
US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Tour Schedule:

Week One:

5/1/2021

The Book View

Review

Week Two:

5/2/2021

What A Nerd Girl Says

Excerpt

5/3/2021

YA Books Central

Excerpt

5/4/2021

Fire and Ice

Review

5/5/2021

BookHounds YA

Excerpt

5/6/2021

YA Book Nerd

Review

5/7/2021

Lifestyle of Me

Review

5/8/2021

Moonlight Rendezvous

Review

Week Three:

5/9/2021

Jenguerdy

Review

5/10/2021

Ficticiouswonderland

Review

5/11/2021

Book-Keeping

Review

5/12/2021

Amani’s Reviews

Review

5/13/2021

booksaremagictoo

Review

5/14/2021

Eli to the nth

Review

5/15/2021

Emelie’s Books

Review

Week Four:

5/16/2021

Kait Plus Books

Excerpt

5/17/2021

Zainey Laney

Review

5/18/2021

onemused

Review

5/19/2021

Midnightbooklover

Review

5/20/2021

amandainpa

Review

5/21/2021

Geauxgetlit

Review

5/22/2021

two points of interest

Review

Week Five:

5/23/2021

Book Briefs

Review

5/24/2021

Momfluenster

Review

5/25/2021

Star-Crossed Book Blog

Review

5/26/2021

michellemengsbookblog

Review

5/27/2021

Rajiv’s Reviews

Review

5/28/2021

Do You Dog-ear?

Review

5/29/2021

Books and Zebras

Review

Week Six:

5/30/2021

My Fictional Oasis

Review

5/31/2021

Popthebutterfly

Review

All the Pretty Things by Emily Arsenault Review

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Synopsis

For fans of Sadie and The Cheerleaders comes an all new thriller about a boy who turns up dead under suspicious circumstances and the one girl who may be the key to solving the mystery of his untimely death.

For Ivy, summer means roller-coaster season, spinning cotton candy at the Fabuland amusement park, and hanging out with her best friend, Morgan. But this summer is different.

One morning, Morgan finds a dead body. It’s their former classmate and coworker Ethan. To make matters worse, Morgan is taken to a hospital psych ward only days later, and she’s not saying much–not even to Ivy.

The police claim that Ethan simply took a bad fall, but Ivy isn’t convinced and realizes it’s up to her to get answers. What she finds is unsettling–it’s clear that some people aren’t being honest about Ethan’s last night at Fabuland. Including Morgan. And the more secrets Ivy uncovers, the closer she gets to unraveling dark truths that will change her life forever.

My Thoughts

There were some things about this book that I really enjoyed and some things that really rubbed me the wrong way.

The atmosphere of this story was on point! Almost every scene of the story takes place in the Fabuland Amusement park and the sights and sounds are described very vividly. Amusement park settings are always fun for me to read so I loved this aspect of the book.

The plot was okay…a boy is found dead at the bottom of a bridge and the amusement park owner’s daughter goes on a mission to find out what happened the night he died. The “do it yourself detective” work is a trope that I really don’t enjoy. It’s just very unrealistic and ridiculous to me.

The victim in the story had down syndrome but did not display the characteristics of anyone that I know or have known with down syndrome (he seemed to have more traits of someone on the autism spectrum). I work with many students with special needs in my job.

I was very concerned about a scene where a character chugged a beer, felt lightheaded, then got in their car and drove. For a YA book, this seems very irresponsible to include. I was waiting for there to be some sort of discussion on how this was not safe but it never came. (I understand that it’s not an author’s job to teach readers and in most cases I don’t want that, but this scene almost condoned underage drinking and driving.)

Overall, the atmosphere was the only strong point in my opinion.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and Delacorte Press to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

My Rating

2 stars

Be Loved by Emma Mae Jenkins Review

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Description

Emma Mae Jenkins, a young writer, has inspired many with the freedom she has to be herself–a dearly loved child of God. In her first book, Be Loved, she invites readers to join her on a journey of life-changing faith and the freedom that comes from knowing the love of God.

She chronicles her own high school journey through starting a new school, navigating the typical pressures of school work and sports, going to prom, and even homecoming. Emma Mae faced each new challenge with the confidence that God was with her and was going to make her uniquely useful in the place he had prepared for her.

For Emma Mae, it all starts with her relationship with Jesus. Because she knows she is loved by him, she is free to be herself and to live out her faith no matter what the cost. As a young, passionate, and intimate lover of Jesus, Emma Mae’s love for her Savior overflows unashamedly into her unconditional, fierce love for people.

Readers will experience the chain-breaking liberty of knowing the Lord’s presence and the freedom to be unique. This full-color, hardback book includes pictures from Emma Mae’s life, along with key Bible verses that God used to strengthen and guide her through the ups and downs of her high school years.

My Thoughts

My first impression of Emma Mae Jenkins is that she is a girl full of joy. Her smile truly lights up her face and she really “lets her light shine”. As a mom of a 13 year old girl, I’m always looking for positive role models in this warped world that we live in…I’m thankful that I found this young lady.

This book is extremely pre-teen/teen friendly…the end papers are full of vibrant colored flowers and each page of the book has photographs. This is a very fun book to read.

Although the book is formatted in a fun way, the content is anything but “fluff”. Emma shares about her high school experience and discusses ways to share God’s love, prayer, being yourself, and so much more.

This is a girl that lives for Christ and not people. I highly recommend this book for the teen and pre-teen girl in your life. They will love it!

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

My Rating

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Pulse by Linore Burkard Review and Giveaway!

Pulse-Celebration-Tour-FB-Banner

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!

Gone-Too-Soon-FB-Banner

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.

GoodreadsAmazonB&NBook Depository

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.

WebsiteGoodreadsFacebookTwitterAmazon

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.