Tag Archives: young adult

2017 Kindle Book Review Awards Semi-Finalist

I Was, Am, Will Be Alice has made it through to the 2017 Kindle Book Review Award Semi-Finals.  Keep reading for a very special offer at the bottom of this post.

2017 Kindle Book Review Award Semi-Finalist

Winner of the 2015 A Woman’s Write Competition

When Alice Carroll is in grade three she narrowly escapes losing her life in a school shooting. All she remembers is the woman comforting her in the moments before the gunshot, and that one second she was there, the next she wasn’t.

It’s bad enough coming to terms with surviving while others, including her favourite teacher, didn’t, let alone dealing with the fact that she might wink out of existence at any time.

Alice spends the next few years seeing specialists about her Post Traumatic Stress as a result of VD–Voldemort Day–but it’s not until she has a nightmare about The Day That Shall Not Be Mentioned, disappears from her bed, is found by police,  and taken home to meet her four-year-old self that she realizes she’s been time travelling.

Alice is unsure if her getting unstuck in time should be considered an ability or a liability, until she disappears right in front of her high school at dismissal time, the busiest time of day. Worried that someone may find out about her problem before long, Alice enlists her best friend (and maybe boyfriend), Pete, to help her try to control her shifting through time with limited success. She’s just about ready to give up when the shooter is caught. Alice resolves to take control of her time travelling in order to go back to That Day, stop the shooting, and figure out the identity of the stranger who’d shielded Alice’s body with her own.

To celebrate, the eBook of I Was, Am, Will Be Alice is on sale for $0.99! Get your copy wherever eBooks are sold

New Release – TRAITOR’S NIECE: THE COMPLICATIONS OF BEING LUCY BOOK 3

 

Traitor’s Niece: The Complications of Being Lucy Book 3

ASIN: B072N1WXQT

Genre: Sci Fi/Fantasy / Action & Adventure / Folklore & Legend / Fantasy & Magic

Pricing: Preorder: 0.99 until 8/4

Release: $2.99(change price to $2.99 8/5)

About Traitor’s Neice

Sever all ties.

Lucy is a pawn. A dark means to a deadly end.

An enemy, burning with centuries of betrayal, has made the opening move to shatter an already divided empire. His first step, the slaying of one of Lucy’s guardians. Broken with grief and compelled by rage, Lucy embarks on a journey of vengeance to the shadowed and forgotten corners of the five lands. With those she has left by her side, sacrifices will be made to bring her closer to retribution but only if she doesn’t succumb to the manipulations of a ruthless enemy first.

Buy Traitor’s Niece: The Complications of Being Lucy Book 3

Author Bio

Gus lives in western New York with his amazing wife and five four legged children. He decided he wanted to be a writer when he realized that he could never be a spy as good as Timothy Dalton’s Bond and that Hired Sword was not part of any growth industry. When he is not semi-busy writing, he spends his time pretending he knows what he is doing at a nine-to-five job and the rest of it complaining that it is taking way too long for them to start showing new episodes of his favorite cartoons. If you’re bored, or just a creeper, you can check out the insanity that doesn’t make it into his books on his social media outlets.

Author Links

| Facebook Gus Kenney | Facebook Lucy BisonTwitter | Blog | Instagram |

| LinkedIn | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page | Rukia Publishing Page | Website |

Contact Gus Kenney at guskenney@yahoo.com

 

 

Excerpt from Traitor’s Niece: The Complications of Being Lucy Book 3

“Can I help you,” Felix paused and I felt my pulse quicken, bracing my nerves for Vienna’s familiar, brash tone, “gentlemen?”

A sigh rushed out of me and I melted into my chair in relief.

“I don’t see how a seed head can be much help to anyone but for getting strung out for the washerwoman to hang her kit on.”

With those words, any relief I had experienced reversed and my heart climbed my ribs and took up residence in my esophagus. I felt my face burn with fear and try to quench itself with a cold sweat. Worst of all, I found myself unable to move, unless you counted shivering in fright. The man’s slanderous reference to Felix’s existence as a Dru Elf, and not a mere employee of the library, indicated that he had the vision of a Herald. The accent was similar to the Troll’s who had accosted me at the zoo, and by his petulant tone, it was obvious he was one of the ones who hadn’t let old animosities toward the Elves go.

“And yet you had the decency to speak to me.” Felix responded in the snarky tone that he reserved for teenagers who gave him problems with their time online or making too much noise. “How kind.”

“You got a smart mouth on you, boy.” A different voice, same accent so clearly a Troll, spoke up and it dawned on me that Felix had said gentlemen, not gentleman. I felt my limbs start to come back under my control when I reminded them of the trouble they had given me dealing with the last Troll, and it had only been one Troll. I slid from the chair and stood in the middle of the room, still outside the line of sight from Felix’s desk, fighting with myself whether I should just start running now or wait and see how many I would have to run from.

“If you think my mouth is smart you should see my–.”

A sickening crack erupted in the near silence of the library and being unfortunately familiar with the sound of a fist meeting a face, I lunged forward to the edge of the room to check on Mr. Page. Capricorn! Four large Trolls stood before the desk, one of them rubbing his knuckles and watching Felix press a shaking hand to a split lip.

“Enough of this.” The Troll who seemed to be in charge grabbed a handful of Mr. Page’s hair and vines. “Where’s the girl?”

I threw myself against the wall and willed myself to turn invisible. It took only a second to realize that was stupid and instead wished that Frankie was there, or would get there very soon. With help.

“What are you talking about?” Felix asked, his words slurred from his damaged lip. “We get girls in here all the time.”

“We were told that she would be here.” The Troll barked, but thankfully didn’t add more violence to his words. “She’s meeting a friend.”

The way he said friend read as anything but friendly.

And who does that remind you of, cool logic spoke up with just a touch of attitude. Vienna. She set me up! I felt my hands clench into fists and my jaw twinged with the pressure of grinding my teeth in a rage. It all seemed stupidly obvious now. Invite me here to meet her and get nabbed by her Troll cohorts. Not bad after her first attempt ended in failure. She probably killed that Troll so he couldn’t talk and tell us who he was working for. Anger was quickly burning away fear and I nearly stepped out to confront the men head on, hoping that they would take me right to that little traitor so I could deal with her betrayal. My arms shook with such furious energy that I couldn’t stop them from thumping the wall at my back.

“What was that?” Another Troll voice called out. Having foolishly exposed my location, fright was quick to remind me that I was still in real danger. I pushed it aside and clung to anything that resembled an intelligent thought. It came to me quickly as I was looking right at a window cracked open to let in the cool breeze of the afternoon. I dashed for it and just got my hands on the frame when I heard the Troll, much closer now, exclaim his discovery. The old wood frame was sticking and I strained my arms to pull the sash up. I felt the floor thud with the heavy footfalls of the Troll as he rushed across the room and I gave the window one last jerk while I tried to resolve myself to the inevitability of the big man grabbing me. Surprise and joy filled me as the window at last yielded and flew open. And something flew in.

A black blur clipped my arm and spun me about to face my Troll pursuer. Primitive reflexes made me throw up my hands as some kind of defense, but no assault came. The man had stopped in his tracks as a low growl made my insides struggle to hold their bodily functions in check. Between the Troll and I Boris stood rigid, his short hair standing on end. I couldn’t blame the man for taking a step backward and keeping his focus completely on my dog. I had trouble looking away from the frightening, protective presence of my pet. The three of us stood stock still, waiting for something to give. Fear or rage. So transfixed were we three on our situation that none of us, well maybe Boris because he crept back a step, noticed Mrs. Darren enter the room. We should have, as she was running full bore with her head down. The Troll turned slightly at the last, and worst possible, second and thick golden horns crashed into his chest. The collision sounded like a felled tree finally crashes to the ground: a ground shaking thump and a lot of cracking and popping. Mrs. Darren seemed to halt her rush a moment after impact and the Troll carried the momentum, horizontally, across the room to smash into a book shelf and slump to the floor.

Slowly Mrs. Darren turned to look at me and then at Boris who was still growling but not nearly as loud.

“No dogs in the library.” Was all she said, and the paralysis I had been experiencing finally broke.

“Sorry.” I didn’t know what else to say. It wasn’t enough, but the librarian seemed to accept it as she nodded toward the window. A shout from the other room was the last bit of motivation I needed. I crawled through the opening and after Boris leapt through after me, I ran. Making it to the intersection, I heard the sound of glass breaking behind me and felt the all too familiar sensation of being chased. I cautioned a glance backward and saw a skinny Troll racing to catch up with me, something he was doing with little effort. I was half tempted to sic Boris on him, but the thought left my mind when I looked forward and nearly tripped over the wagon of what was the only destitute person in the town.

Can Lady, as she was called, hardly reacted to my near collision with her overloaded cart of recyclables with anything more than her typical muttering. I didn’t waste energy on an apology because I couldn’t spare it and because she hardly ever took notice of the people or the voices around her. I just raced on and was both grateful and sympathetic when I clearly heard my pursuer fare less fortunately with the woman’s laden wagon. Can Lady’s muttering grew feverish over the rattle of her livelihood being scattered and I let my good fortune spur me for home.

It wasn’t until I could just see the familiar chipped and faded slats of home that I realized my mistake. In my rush to leave I had left my book bag behind. I didn’t care so much about the loss of the text books or the inability to do tonight’s homework assignments, but somewhere in that bag was information that would lead the Trolls straight to the front door I hurried to reach. It dawned on me a moment later how stupid that thought was because if I had been followed from the library, I was leading them straight home anyway.

A bark from Boris had me looking from the front door to the street where my Uncle was quickly pulling into the driveway in his ugly car. I could tell as soon as he got out that he knew exactly what was going on and for a split second I considered running back to the library. The Trolls hadn’t looked nearly as angry as my uncle did.

“What’s going on?” He demanded when I was close enough that he didn’t need to shout to be heard. I tried to answer him while catching my breath. Boris spoke for me by barking frantically down the street. I glanced back to see several Trolls rushing down the street. A lot more than I had heard in the library. “Inside!”

I didn’t argue with my uncle as he ushered me toward the front door. My tired feet hit the first step when a gunshot burst behind me.

CAPTURED will capture your hearts

 

Title: Captured

Author: Michelle Areaux

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance, Adventure

Pages: 158

Release Date: 24 June 17

Blog Tour Date: 24  –  30 June 17
After their whirlwind time spent on the run, Hallie and Jackson return home. Though they must keep their relationship secret, they are finally together until Samuel enters the scene. Determined to become New York’s next big kingpin, Samuel plans to do whatever it takes to acquire his power, including holding Jackson ransom for a chunk of his father’s territory. Hallie and Jackson’s fathers try to rescue Jackson, but they move too slowly for Hallie’s liking. Will Hallie be successful when she decides to take matters into her own hands, or will she need rescuing herself?

CAPTURED is the exciting sequel to RUNAWAY.

Win one of three copies of CAPTURED by Michelle Areaux
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Buy CAPTURED by Michelle Areaux at AmazonGoogle PlayiBookstoreKobo, and Barnes & Noble Nook.

Also by Michelle Areaux

RUNAWAY– Book 1 of the RUNAWAY Series

Do you trust me?

Those four, simple words would transform seventeen-year-old Hallie Romano’s life.

After Hallie and gorgeous, lifelong friend, Jackson, witness a brutal murder, she has to make a decision—should she trust Jackson and run away, or stay behind and deal with the fallout of what she has witnessed?

Haunted by the crime, Hallie flees in search of safety and freedom. On the run, she attempts to seek some kind of normalcy while keeping one step ahead in a twisted game of chase where she and Jackson are the hunted.

Besides the fact that her father is a mob boss who ordered the hit, the most difficult obstacle for Hallie to overcome is her growing attraction to Jackson. Will they ever make a new life for themselves and move forward despite the dangerous world they left behind?

About Michelle Areaux

Michelle Areaux is the author of the Wicked Cries series. Her love for literature began at an early age and flourished over the years into a passion. Currently, she resides in Nicholasville, KY with her husband Anthony, and sons Connor and Cooper. Social Media Links:

Learn more about Michelle and her books at

Goodreads | Facebook Author Page | Twitter | Blog |

 Guest Post by Michelle Areaux

Hi, fantastic readers,

My name is Michelle Areaux and I write young adult fiction novels. I am so excited to have this opportunity today to share my love of writing, young adult literature, and coffee!

So, if you are reading this today, it is easy to say that you love books. As a writer, my true passion, above all in this industry, is a common love and passion for great books. From the time I read the Babysitters’ Club books to Judy Blume and then on to Sharon Dessen, I have always been a fan of a compelling story. From a gripping plotline, characters that make me scream and cry, to a scene that makes me hold my breath; it was that obsession that pushed and motivated my desire to become a writer.

My mom has said that I began writing stories from the moment I could pick up a pencil. I guess that is true, but I didn’t begin developing those stories into books until high school. From there, I began creating novels. My first novel, Wicked Cries combined my love of the Salem Witch Trials, paranormal romances, and humor. Now, as I write Wicked Endings: Book 4 of the Wicked Cries Series and prepare to release my fifth novel, Captured, I find my desire to continue writing these types of novels keeps increasing.

I have been asked many times why I write young adult novels and not adult romance. My answer has always been and will be that I write what I love to read. I think all adults are still teens at heart. We all still remember our first best friend. The first person we had a “‘real” crush on, and the first time we dreamed and imagined a wonderfully unique world far different from our own. That inner child is why I write books from a sixteen to seventeen year old’s perspective. I write worlds where my readers can relate to a fear, desire, or love a character feels. While I have dabbled in adult romance novels under a pen name (you can e-mail me to learn that name), my true love remains young adult literature.

Many people have asked me how I am able to keep producing so many novels, teach middle school English, and be a parent and a wife. The only answer I can give is that I drink TONS of coffee. I find that the night is the only time I can find solitude to write. My coffee addiction, as my husband loves to call it, keeps me awake as I journey through the night to write the crazy and sometimes wild images that float through my mind.

Now, I can sit here and lie to you all and tell you that writing is easy and publishing is a piece of cake, but, I won’t do that. First, writing is difficult—there is no cookie-cutter format to use or a strategy that everyone can work with. The way I write may sound crazy to another writer, however, my best advice if you want to become a writer is this: just write. If you have an idea or see a scene unfold in your mind, write it down. I don’t start on page 1 and end on the last page. No, I may begin my book with a big conflict scene, then, move a few chapters over to a big revealing scene or romantic moment between two characters. As I write the “meat” of my story, I always go back and fill in the gaps later. Again, that works for me, but it may not work for you. Find your own voice and tool that helps you grow as a writer. Next, publishing is not as simple as it sounds. You have self-publishing, vanity publishing, traditional publishing, and the big 5 publishers.

Since we are all friends here, I’ll tell you that I was once scammed by a vanity publisher. I fell into the trap of a catchy pick-up line and the dream of becoming the next J. K. Rowling. It wasn’t until I saw that I wasn’t receiving my truthful royalties and that my novels were not being edited as I was told they would be that I decided to get out of that mess. I was left scared, alone, and feeling like I had somehow failed and wasn’t a good writer. I could have stopped my dream of becoming a writer, but I didn’t. Quitting just isn’t my style—I guess I’m  just too stubborn.

So, as a once published author, I soon discovered EMSA Publishing. Elise Abram scooped in and saved me. She has now published my Wicked Cries series, Runaway, Captured and will continue to publish my novels until she gets sick of me. Ha, I hope not— just trying to throw a little joke in there!

I wish this wasn’t a common occurrence, but unfortunately, it is. There are so many deceiving people out there, ready and willing to take your money with the hope you’ll believe their lies. Please, don’t fall for their schemes. Do your research when finding a publisher. Ask other authors in Facebook author groups about that publisher. Search for their books online. Or, if you decide self-publishing is more your scene, try that, too. There are fabulous cover design artists, promotional marketing companies, and editors out there. Again, do your research before committing to anything. Regardless of which path you choose, please follow your dreams. I did, and I hope you do, too.

With love,

Michelle Areaux

“Dating the It Guy” by Krysten Lindsay Hager

Blonde student worried about exams

Dating the It Guy by Krysten Lindsay Hager

YA contemporary romance

Published by Clean Reads

Blurb:

Emme is a sophomore in high school who starts dating, Brendon Agretti, the popular senior who happens to be a senator’s son and well-known for his good looks. Emme feels out of her comfort zone in Brendon’s world and it doesn’t help that his picture perfect ex, Lauren seems determined to get back into his life along with every other girl who wants to be the future Mrs. Agretti. Emme is already conflicted due to the fact her last boyfriend cheated on her and her whole world is off kilter with her family issues. Life suddenly seems easier keeping Brendon away and relying on her crystals and horoscopes to guide her. Emme soon starts to realize she needs to focus less on the stars and more on her senses. Can Emme get over her insecurities and make her relationship work? Life sure is complicated when you’re dating the it guy.

Book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HdfnUqZPKU

Short Excerpt:

“By the way, did you hear Lauren got into Senator Agretti’s old school?”

“Seriously? I wonder if she applied there because Brendon did,” I said.

Margaux snorted. “Duh, of course. Seriously, she might as well just pee on him to mark her territory.”

“Margaux, shut up,” Kylie said.

“Whatever. Anyway, the important thing is if Brendon knew she was applying there,” Margaux said. “Em, do you think he knew?”

I hoped Lauren was just trying to follow Brendon, but what if they had planned this whole thing while they were dating? What if he convinced her to apply there so they could go to college together, wear matching American flag sweaters with big scarves while drinking hot chocolate, and jump into leaf piles just like a preppy clothing catalog. At least now I didn’t have to worry about them reciting poetry to one another in South Bend, but still, what if they had made plans to go to school together?

“Don’t worry about it,” Kylie said. “She was probably trying to follow him—like she always does. She’s so pathetic.”

Kylie was trying to make me feel better, but Lauren was far from pathetic. After all, she was pretty much the “Most Likely to Succeed” poster girl. While she was out overachieving and saving the world without messing up her perfect, bouncy hair, I was trying to get through each day. I tried to push away the image of Lauren and Brendon holding hands and drinking hot chocolate under a stadium blanket.

Long Excerpt: He put the magazine between us, and when I moved forward to see it, he put his arm across the back of my chair. Now lots of guys did put their arms on chair backs, even Kirk did that with Rory, and he definitely wasn’t interested in her, but I couldn’t help but hope it meant something. I got this shivery feeling, and he asked if I was cold. I shook my head. I always got a feeling before something major was about to happen, and it has nothing to do with being cold, but I didn’t know why I got the feeling. Grandma used to do the same thing and always said, “Somebody just walked across my grave.” Somehow I didn’t think Brendon would understand if I told him I needed to move my future burial plot to a less high-traffic area.

“Are we still on for the art fair?” he asked.

I had only been circling it with hearts on my calendar since he asked.

“Sure, I think I’m still free,” I said.

We finished up our work, and he walked me out to meet Kylie.

“Okay, I’ll pick you up at three tomorrow,” he said, walking off.

“Can I ask a stupid question?” Kylie asked as soon as Brendon was out of earshot. “What’s he like? Because he’s so well-known, and I can’t imagine what it’d be like to grow up with your whole life under a microscope. I mean, my mom remembers his first birthday party pictures being shown on the news. And he’s hot, but he’s not like I-know-I’m-a-hottie hot, but more like a confident, ‘Yes, I am hot. Any questions?’ I mean, he has to have noticed there aren’t any guys who look like him walking around.”

“I should tell him what you said.”

“Don’t you dare,” Kylie said.

“I get what you mean—he’s grown up with everybody knowing his dad and watching him, but he’s pretty down to earth.”

“So what’s up with you two? You guys didn’t do any work last Saturday, and now you’re going to an art fair.”

“I dunno. He just asked me to go with him.”

“Asked you to go with him as his study buddy or asked you to go with him because he’s desperately in love with you?” she asked.

I said we were just friends, but she wouldn’t let it go.

“Okay, duh, obviously I like him, but let’s be honest. He’s out of my league. He’s out of most people’s league. It’s weird because normally if I like a guy then one of two things happens—either he likes me and asks for my number…or I find out he’s not into me and I cry in my pillow and listen to man-hating music for at least three days,” I said. “But this time’s different because he’s, I dunno, not just ‘some guy.’ I mean, I’m not putting up a shrine to him in my room, and I haven’t rooted though his garbage can, but I have as much chance of going out with him as Kirk does of getting an ‘A’ in this class.”

“You listen to man-hating music?” she asked, and I narrowed my eyes at her. “Whatever. Anyway, Em, he’s asked you out once already, and you are seeing him tomorrow. Plus, he’s always staring at you.”

I said he was probably just bored in class today, but she wouldn’t let it go.

“I’m not just talking about today. When we watched the movie on Monday, he watched you instead, and whenever I see you guys, he acts like there’s no one else in the room,” she said.

I couldn’t hold back the big, stupid smile spreading across my face. “He does? For real?”

She nodded. “You know, it’s weird. Here you were all upset you didn’t have a partner at the beginning of the semester, and then you ended up with like, Mr. Perfection, as your partner.”

Purchase:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XBFRX47

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/2m5y9OC

​itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/dating-the-it-guy/id1208876011?mt=11

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/dating-the-it-guy

Smashwords:  www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=Dating+the+It+Guy

Follow Krysten

Website: http://www.krystenlindsay.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/krystenlindsay/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KrystenLindsayHagerAuthor

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/krystenlindsay/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KrystenLindsay

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClIQCsRcKc97-25oXvabZ8A

Bio: Besides mining her teen years and humiliating moments for her novels, ​Krysten is a also a book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and writes young adult, middle grade, new adult, and adult fiction as well as humor essays. She is originally from Michigan and has lived in Portugal, South Dakota, and currently resides in southwestern Ohio where you can find her reading and writing when she’s not catching up on her favorite shows (she’s addicted to American Dad to the point where she quotes episodes on a daily basis and also loves Girl Meets World). She’s also a third generation Detroit Lions fan.

Krysten writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, crushes, fame, first loves, and values. She is the author of True Colors, Best Friends…Forever?, Next Door to a Star,  Landry in Like, and Competing with the Star (The Star Series: Book 2). Her debut novel, True Colors, won the Readers Favorite award for best preteen book. Krysten’s work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Beavercreek Current, the Bellbrook Times and on Living Dayton.

Praise for Dating the It Guy:

“A sweet, endearing story—you’ll fall in love with Emme just like I did!”

–Kimber Leigh Wheaton, YA/NA author

“Hager’s authentic characters will resonate with readers of all ages as they are immersed in the story  – complete with teen drama and angst, but also the relationships which make it all worthwhile.”

–Leslie L. McKee, book reviewer, Edits and Reviews by Leslie

 What people are saying about Krysten’s work:

From Teenage Book Recommendations in the UK: “This is a fantastically relatable and real book which I feel captures all of the insecurities and troubles which haunt the modern teenage girl. It is about a young model who has to go through tough times when she is torn between a life as a model and managing her friendships. You learn which friends she can most trust and which will create the drama typical of teenage life. Follow the life of Landry and try to see if you can find out which are her true friends before their true colours are revealed. This book is all about relationships, hopes and truth. I loved this book!”

From Books & Authors Spot: “This book is such an inspiration for those who just care about their looks and are tensed about them. This thing is looks aren’t everything. This book is related to every teen’s problem. Hager has written a very inspiring novel.”

“Krysten captures the teenage girl today. The struggles are real, the issues are something children have been dealing with since before I was a teen, and oddly-Krysten captures the readers! I was prepared for another “Mean Girls” story. This is NOT that. This is the real story of teenage girls! You watch Landry flower into a young woman who finds out trust is an invaluable item to find, and friendships are hard to seek genuine realism in. You will learn about relationships with not just friends, but peers, boys, and others. The details put into the book will draw you, and make the story so much more realistic. Krysten expresses emotions beautifully through her writing, and the story flows flawlessly…”

–By Candice J. Conway Simpson

“True Colors, is just a dazzling story of how middle school kids show their true colors of jealousy, drama, loss and gains of friendship. However, the way Krysten wrote her story; she wrote it with passion, creativity and honesty that this story line could be placed in anyone’s life at any age.”

–Review by Double Decker Books

 “Krysten Lindsay Hager understands what it means to be a teen today, and she writes with an authentic voice. Landry, the main character, is funny, lively, and very real. Readers will relate to her struggles with friends and family, self-esteem and self-discovery, boys and school and life in general. It’s fun to read about Landry’s blossoming modeling career and the changes it brings.”

–Review by Author Diana Jenkins

 

 

New Release: WICKED TRUTHS by Michelle Areaux

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wicked-truths-front-cover

Death seems to follow seventeen year old Sadie Sanders everywhere she goes–literally. As a mediator to the dead, she must constantly face fighting demons and the occasional angry dead girl. In WICKED TRUTHS, the third instalment of the WICKED CRIES series, Sadie learns that some secrets are meant to stay dead, for the truth, once it has been uncovered, may be wickeder than she could have ever imagined.

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Paranormal, Clean Romance
Pages: 178
Release Date: 1 Oct 16
Blog Tour Date: 1 – 8 Oct 16

Death seems to follow seventeen year old Sadie Sanders everywhere she goes–literally. As a mediator to the dead, she must constantly face fighting demons and the occasional angry dead girl.

After a dangerous and almost deadly first year in Salem, Sadie’s parents decided to send her away for the summer to visit her Aunt Morgan in the small town of Nicholasville, Kentucky. After uncovering a murder hidden for centuries, she embarked on a deadly mission to solve the crime while trying to enjoy her summer vacation.

Now back in Salem, Sadie has found another hidden secret in the wicked town. Secret underground tunnels are hidden under the streets of Salem, beckoning to those with wicked souls. When Sadie encounters a ghost named Laura roaming the streets of Salem, she and her friends Noah and Lucy must uncover the clues leading to Laura’s death, which is made even more complicated by the fact that Laura has no memory about her life or death. To make matters worse, Sadie must also track down the person who has been sending her threatening messages in an effort to stop her mission for justice.

In Wicked Truths, the third installment of the Wicked Cries series, Sadie learns that some secrets are meant to stay dead, for the truth, once it has been uncovered, may be wickeder than she could have ever imagined.

Buy Wicked Truths by Michelle Areaux at Google Play, Kobo, iBooks, Kindle, and Amazon.

Also by Michelle Areaux – Coming Soon!

Wicked Cries – Book 1 of the Wicked Cries Series

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For 16-year-old Sadie Sanders, dealing with the dead is growing tiresome, especially when they expect her to be their messenger from the afterlife. But when her family moves to Salem, Massachusetts, and she finds the diary of a young girl named Elizabeth who was accused of witchcraft, she may need some help. Soon, Elizabeth begins to haunt Sadie, first in her dreams and then when she’s awake. As Sadie delves into Elizabeth’s journal, she slowly uncovers the secret Elizabeth needs to reveal, and it’s one that could change the course of history. Sadie needs help, and she wonders whom, if anyone, she can tell about it. Worried that her friends and family wouldn’t believe her, or worse, prevent her from continuing her journey to find the truth, Sadie has a choice to make…and it’s not going to be an easy one.

Wicked Lies – Book 2 of the Wicked Cries Series

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Sadie Sanders believed her life couldn’t get any worse when her parents moved her from sunny California, to gloomy Salem, Massachusetts. Of course Sadie was wrong–dead wrong.

After a dangerous and almost deadly first year in Salem, Sadie’s parents decide to send her away for the summer to visit her Aunt Morgan in the small town of Nicholasville, Kentucky.

Seeking normalcy from her twisted life as a messenger for the dead, Sadie hopes her stay in the small Kentucky town will be the break she needs from her paranormal obligations and a way for her to escape the demons that haunt her.

Unfortunately for Sadie, the dead don’t take a break, not even for summer vacation. Soon after arriving in Nicholasville, Sadie discovers a murder that’s been haunting the town for centuries. Refusing to ignore the injustice she uncovers, Sadie sets off on another wild adventure.

In Wicked Lies, book two of the Wicked Cries series, Sadie’s quest for justice just may be the thing that finally ends her career as a messenger to the dead, and her life

Guest Post: My Publishing Journey by Michelle Areaux

hiking-1312226_960_720Hello all, my name is Michelle Areaux and I am excited to talk with you all today about my crazy journey in the publishing world and what inspired me to write my debut novel, Wicked Cries. When I first got the idea for Wicked Cries, I was a college student at the University of Kentucky. I was studying English as part of my degree to become a middle school language arts teacher. My true dream was to be a writer, but let’s face it: I needed a “real” job in case my dream job never came true. Thankfully, I accomplished both dreams.

My inspiration for this novel came from my interest in the Salem witch trials. I have always been intrigued by moments in our history that really defined an historical moment. I began researching the history behind the Salem witch trials. Once I began delving into the unanswered mysteries around the people, the town, and the events that transpired, I knew I was in trouble; I was hooked. I had to know more about their stories. I needed to capture that moment, but put my own twist and find my own destiny for those people. I wanted to create characters and put them in fantastic dilemmas while having a control over their fate. I also wanted to create raw characters that readers could identify with and who shared the same quirks, insecurities, strengths, and dilemmas we all face.  So…I began writing a story about a young girl who found a journal hidden in a restored home her parents had purchased in Salem, Massachusetts.  I wanted this character, who I named Sadie, to be a martyr for the victims and to stand up against the hate and unfair treatment of those involved. While researching the history of the events of this tragic moment in our history, I became obsessed with telling this story. As silly as it sounds, I felt like I was becoming an advocate for the people who were shamelessly condemned. Of course I had to add in a cute boy and a mean girl to add some more spice to the story line.  Even though this story is fiction and contains fighting ghosts and paranormal activity, the concept behind the plot is real.

Fast forward ten years.  I am a middle school language arts teacher, mother of two crazy little boys, and a wife of a very patient, and motivating husband. Wicked Cries sat untouched for almost ten years. Finally, after gaining the courage to share this story with my husband Anthony, he encouraged me to send it to agents and publishers. Now, I wish that I could say this journey was easy and that the first publisher I sent my query letter to jumped at the chance to represent me. But, sadly, that is not the case. It took another year of sending my manuscript to agents and publishers before Black Rose Writing took a risk on me and my novel and offered me a publishing contract. Black Rose Writing has been amazing, and the authors I have met along the way have been helpful and great mentors.  My novel is sold on Amazon, Barnes and Noble.com, Black Rose Writing’s website, and at The Morris Book Shop in Lexington, Kentucky.  The publishing journey has been crazy and exciting at times. Holding my novel in my hands was a true accomplishment and a dream come true. But having my family, friends, and students read the story and share their thoughts about the characters with me was exhilarating.  My goal in becoming a published author was not to get popular or become a rock star like Jamie McGuire, Stephenie Myer or J.K. Rowling. No, I wanted to become a writer so I could share my stories with others and live my dream. Wicked Cries is more than just a story about a girl who fights ghosts and learns about the Salem Witch Trials. This story contains real life scenarios that teens and adults face.  I wanted the story to be fun, educational, and something anyone could connect with.  I guess the momma and teacher in me took over when writing this book.

For anyone reading this who aspires to be an author, my advice to you is simple: never give up. I know it sounds so cliché, but it is true. Once you have the idea and the itch to write a story, do it! Keep writing. Send out your story to anyone willing to take a peek at it. What’s the worst that could happen–someone says no? If you don’t try, you will never know. My novel was published ten years after its making. Forget the timeline, don’t stress about how long it takes to get noticed. Keep focusing on your dream and you will get there.

Book three in the Wicked Cries series, Wicked Truths, is now available via EMSA Publishing, wherever online books are sold. Look for the reprints of Wicked Cries and Wicked Lies by EMSA Publishing before the end of the year!

*Image by MaxMann through Pixabay CCO Public Domain agreement https://pixabay.com/en/hiking-map-orientation-hiking-shoes-1312226/

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The secret to compelling characters: life outside the story

Britbear’s Book Reviews is pleased to welcome Laurel Garver, author of Almost There, with a guest post entitled “The secret to compelling characters: life outside the story.

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About Almost There

Genre: Young Adult Inspirational

Paris, the City of Lights. To seventeen-year-old Dani Deane, it’s the Promised Land. There, her widowed mother’s depression will vanish and she will no longer fear losing her only parent, her arty New York life, or her devoted boyfriend.

But shortly before their Paris getaway, Dani’s tyrannical grandfather falls ill, pulling them to rural Pennsylvania to deal with his hoarder horror of a house. Among the piles, Dani finds disturbing truths that could make Mum completely unravel. Desperate to protect her from pain and escape to Paris, Dani hatches a plan with the flirtatious neighbor boy that only threatens the relationships she most wants to save.

Why would God block all paths to Paris? Could real hope for healing be as close as a box tucked in the rafters?

Buy Almost There by Laurel Garver on AmazonBarnes and NobleSmashwords, and Apple iTunes.

 The secret to compelling characters: life outside the story

The most compelling characters seem to have a life outside the confines of a story on the page. They’re not like those animatronic beings on Disney World rides that are switched on and come to life only when there’s an audience to observe them.

Giving a character that life might entail developing backstory. But more importantly, it involves giving every character things to do, places to be, relationships, worries, plans and goals that engage them during the “here and now” of your story. Doing this not only makes them more real, but also can give them additional purpose, as plot catalysts. Making the cousin a real estate agent with keys to empty houses, for example, can prove useful to plot later.

Much of that present life may take place offstage (or “off page”). But it should leave traces–evidence apparent in the details you sprinkle in.

Those details might support what we already know about a character. A nice guy might show up late for a formal date with wheel grease on his knees. And we know he’s the type to stop and change someone’s tire, even if it’s inconvenient.

The details might play against type. She’s a tough girl from the ‘hood, but that strange indentation under her chin…well, it looks like the mark of hours of practising violin.

When details play enough against type, you can end up making a powerful social commentary. Think of J.K. Rowling’s Dolores Umbridge, the sadistic bureaucrat who takes over Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Her office is decorated with pink and lace and collector’s plates depicting frolicking kittens. It’s absolutely chilling, because Rowling has deftly shown you the heart of evil–one that perpetuates wrong in the quest for building a comfy utopia.

How you work in those details could take a volume to explore. But I’ll list some broad-strokes categories, followed by examples from my new novel, Almost There.

Physical traits

  • Peculiar hand calluses from rowing crew
  • Smelling of horse and leather
  • Celtic knotwork tattoos
  • Scar from a past injury
  • Unwashed hair and food-stained clothes

Actions

  • Mimicking guitar chord fingering when watching another musician perform
  • Calling someone by the wrong name
  • Cringing when a particular character raises his voice
  • Anxiously checking a phone for text messages
  • Sketching the waitress while waiting for food
  • Whistling songs you wouldn’t expect the person to know

Objects

  • A truck full of carpentry tools and an unfinished coffin
  • Pantone ink swatch book carried in a purse
  • Nietzsche t-shirt
  • Whole box of children’s safety scissors
  • Collection of war memorabilia

The best sort of details to include are ones that hint at a character’s skills, values, passions, commitments, and priorities. It’s a powerful way to make character traits dynamic–giving them legs so to speak. That, to me, makes a fictional being more than a cardboard cutout taking up space–it makes him have a life that means something.

What are some of your favorite characters who seem to have a life outside the novel? What resonates with you about these concepts of “life outside” and “life that means something”?

About the Author

Laurel 1Laurel Garver is a Philadelphia-based writer, editor, professor’s wife and mom to an arty teenager. An indie film enthusiast and incurable Anglophile, she enjoys geeking out about Harry Potter and Dr. Who, playing word games, singing in church choir, and taking long walks in Philly’s Fairmount Park.

Follow Laurel Garver on:

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COMPETING WITH THE STAR by Krysten Lindsay Hager

Competing with the Star FRONTGenre: Young Adult

About Competing with the Star

Hadley Daniels’s life seems perfect…

Before the beginning of sophomore year of high school, Hadley and her family move to a beautiful beach town, where she makes amazing new friends and lands the boyfriend of her dreams—Nick Jenkins. He’s the kind of guy every girl swoons over, and it isn’t long until Hadley discovers some are still swooning.

A famous ex-girlfriend makes matters more complicated…

After some time dating, Hadley and Nick form a deep bond. But insecurity sets in when Hadley discovers her boyfriend once had a huge crush on her friend—who just happens to be the beautiful former teen TV star, Simone Hendrickson.

The past is the past—or so they say…

Hadley confronts Nick, who confesses about his history with Simone. Though he claims to only have eyes for Hadley now, it’s hard to believe—especially when she’s blindsided with the news that Nick and Simone kissed after school.

Now Hadley must determine who is telling the truth. Love, betrayal, friendship…who needs soap opera drama when you’re busy competing with a star?

Buy Competing with the Star at Amazon Kindle,  Amazon Paperback, Amazon UK, and Barnes & Noble.

 

Excerpt from Competing with the Star

Two days passed and Nick hadn’t called again. I couldn’t blame him. After all, I had pushed for him to be honest and then had bailed on him. I’m sure he was mad at me for telling him he could tell me the truth and then I punished him for it—and he would be right. I couldn’t handle the icky feelings, and instead of being a big girl and dealing with them, I came home from school and retreated into the world of books. A world where people were kidnapped, jewels were stolen, but nobody’s heart ever got broken because in my favorite series, The Raven Chronicles, Raven’s boyfriend, Fernando, was ever faithful and loyal and would never even look at another girl. He was the perfect book boyfriend. In other words, he was fictional and didn’t exist.

What readers are saying about Competing with the Star:

From Reader’s Favorite:

Competing With The Star is the continuation of Krysten Lindsay Hager’s epic YA drama series, The Star Series. Through a captivating plot, amazing character development, and Krysten’s flawless writing, the story captures the true essence of the drama, confusion, and emotional high that is teenage romance. It brings to life the beauty of YA romance with all its uncertainties and possibilities. In the midst of all the drama, confusion, and romance, the story also gives off a beautiful and serene sense of family. I especially loved how the book dived into the story right away, and captured the genuine feeling of the story down to details, language, and interaction between the characters. Lovers of YA romance will definitely love The Star Series.

From Katie’s Clean Book Collection:

Oh, the feels! Krysten Lindsay Hager has a way of drawing me right back to my high school days with her writing–feelings and all. This book is a continuation of Next Door to a Star. Hadley is now settling in and a new boyfriend, Nick, really helps her feel like she belongs. What girl hasn’t felt insecure at one time or another when trying to figure out if “he loves me, he loves me not?” Hadley is real. She has real struggles, real strengths, real reactions, and real emotions. Nick once had a crush on former TV star, Simone, and although Simone swears her friendship with Hadley means more to than anything, but oftentimes, actions speak louder than words and Simone is an actress…

Nick is a great boyfriend, especially for a first relationship, as he and Hadley have a lot in common. Many assumptions lead to drama and realizations as Hadley, Nick, and their friends try and navigate the confusing roads of teenage life. I love how this story seems to unfold like a TV show–easy to picture and imagine. The characters and situations are vibrant, almost leaping off the pages and I felt like I was either a fly on the wall or a silent friend, sitting smack in the thick of it. I love the dynamics and can’t wait for more to the story!

About the Author:

Author picKrysten Lindsay Hager is an obsessive reader and has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and humor essayist, and writes for teens, tweens, and adults. She is the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series and her work has been featured in USA Today and named as Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Teen & Young Adult Values and Virtues Fiction and Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Children’s Books on Values. She’s originally from Michigan and has lived in South Dakota, Portugal, and southwestern Ohio. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.

Here’s how to learn more about Krysten Linday Hager and her writing:

| Website | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest |

 

 

 

Landry in Like (Landry’s True Colors Series: Book 3)

LandryinLike453X680Series Info: The Landry’s True Colors Series is a clean reads young adult humor series about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, middle school and high school, frenemies, crushes, and self-image.

Genre: contemporary clean teen fiction

Landry in Like (Landry’s True Colors Series: Book 3) by Krysten Lindsay Hager

About the Book:

Things seem to be going well in Landry Albright’s world—she’s getting invited to be on local talk shows to talk about her modeling career, her best friends have her back, and her boyfriend Vladi has becoming someone she can truly count on…and then everything changes. Suddenly it seems like most of the girls in school are into hanging out at a new teen dance club, while Landry just wants to spend her weekends playing video games and baking cupcakes at sleepovers. Then, Yasmin McCarty, the most popular girl in school, starts to come between Landry’s friendship with Ashanti. Things take a turn when Yasmin tells Vladi that Landry is interested in another boy. Can Landry get her relationships with Ashanti and Vladi back or will she be left out and left behind?

Watch the book trailer at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CsGREKFQco&feature=youtu.be

By Landry in Like by Krysten Lindsay Hager on Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, Nook UK, Kobo, and Itunes/Ibooks.

 

About the Author:

Author pic (2)Krysten Lindsay Hager is the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series, a clean reads young adult series and the new ​Star Series. Krysten writes about  friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, middle school and high school, frenemies, modeling, crushes, values, and self-image in True Colors, Best Friends…Forever? And Landry in Like, as well as in, Next Door to a Star (Star Series). Her sequel to Next Door to a Star will be out March 22 2016.

Krysten is a book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and writes YA, MG, humor essays, and adult fiction. She is originally from Michigan and has lived in Portugal, South Dakota, and currently resides in southwestern Ohio where you can find her reading and writing when she’s not catching up on her favorite shows. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.

Find out more about Krysten Lindsay Hager at

| Website | Instagram | Amazon | Pinterest | Facebook |Twitter | Goodreads |

Author talk show interview |

Excerpt from Landry in Like by Kristen Lindsay Hager:

I wanted to call my friends and tell them about being on the talk show, but Mom said we had to be at the TV station super early — even before school started. She said I could text them, but I had to turn off my phone and go to bed.

“I’m waking you up at four a.m.,” she said. “You have to be there at five-thirty.”

“Can I just call Peyton and Ashanti? Please?”

“Fine, but you have five minutes and then that phone is mine and you’re in bed.”

I dialed Peyton, but her mom said she was in the shower. I told her mom about the show tomorrow and said my mom wouldn’t let me stay up any later to call Peyton back.

“How exciting! I will make sure Peyton knows, and I will be watching you tomorrow. Good luck, honey,” Mrs. Urich said.

I called Ashanti next and told her.

“Get out. Get. Out. No way. This is so exciting!”

“I’m so nervous. My stomach is already doing cartwheels. I can’t do one, but my stomach can. Seems unfair. What if I throw up before I go on? I did that right before I went on at the statewide Ingénue modeling competition in Detroit, and my mom had to give me a cough drop to cover up the smell.”

“I’m sure you’ll be fine, but… just in case, take a cough drop with you,” Ashanti said. “Good luck. You’ll be great and I’ll go set the DVR now.”

I hung up and sent a text to Vladi, India, Devon, Thalia, Tori, and Ericka, so no one would be mad and feel left out. Then I shut off my phone. Mom poked her head in the door to make sure I was in bed.

“Night, hon. Try to get some rest,” she said.

Easier said than done. I stared at my ceiling while thinking about all the things that could possibly go wrong tomorrow. Seeing as the show was on in the morning, I never got to watch it, so I had no idea what the set was like — did it have super high chairs and I’d struggle to get into them? And what if it had those higher stools that were kind of tippy and my rear overshot the seat and I fell off? Or what if the prep questions got lost and the interviewer asked me random things like my feelings on nuclear war or asked me about some foreign political leader who I had never heard of before, and I appeared stupid? Why did I say I’d do this? I tried to get comfortable and it felt like I had just dozed off when I felt my mom shaking my shoulder.

“Rise and shine, TV star,” she said.

true colors book 1What people are saying about True Colors (Landry’s True Colors Series Book One):

From Teenage Book Recommendations in the UK: “This is a fantastically relatable and real book which I feel captures all of the insecurities and troubles which haunt the modern teenage girl. It is about a young model who has to go through tough times when she is torn between a life as a model and managing her friendships. You learn which friends she can most trust and which will create the drama typical of teenage life. Follow the life of Landry and try to see if you can find out which are her true friends before their true colours are revealed. This book is all about relationships, hopes and truth. I loved this book!”

 

 

The Omen Operation

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Omen Operation
by Taylor Brooke
Release Date: January 26th 2016
Limitless Publishing

Summary:

After an epidemic spreads through the country, Brooklyn Harper’s high school years come to an abrupt end.

Implanted in a rural camp, Brooklyn and her friends are cut off from their families and the outside world. Each day is filled with combat training to assure their safety against the crazed, belligerent, and deadly— those infected with a mysterious virus.

If the world couldn’t get any crazier, a letter ups the insanity…

After being assured day after day that the world outside their little camp had been compromised, Brooklyn’s cabin-mate, Dawson Winters, finds a letter that turns everything they’d known upside down. There is a world outside the trees that surrounds their camp, and the virus they all feared seems non-existent.

Determined to see it herself, Brooklyn plots with others to attempt an escape…

On the outside, Brooklyn finds the world is as normal as ever. But when they are attacked in the city, they dispose of their attackers far more efficiently than any normal human.. Is there more to Brooklyn and her friends then just being highly trained?

As their exploration continues, the group is faced with impossible feats. Betrayal, love, death, and a powerful sense ofcamaraderie lead Brooklyn and her friends to fight for their life, their freedom, and most of all, each other.

Buy Omen Operation on Amazon.

Add to Goodreads

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About the Author:

taylor brooke

Taylor Brooke is the author of the upcoming sci-fi adventure trilogy The Isolation Series. She started out as a freelance makeup artist, and quickly discovered her love of elves, zombies, mermaids, kaiju, and monsters of all kinds. After receiving eight professional certifications in special effects makeup, working on countless projects, and fleshing out a multitude of fantastical creatures, she turned her imagination back to her one true love- books. Taylor has had a knack for writing since she was a little girl, and received recognition for her skills throughout grade school and junior college. When she’s not nestled in a blanket typing away on her laptop, she can be found haunting the local bookstore with a cup of steaming hot tea in her hands, scanning the shelves for new reads, or hiking one of the many mountains that surround her home in Oregon.

Author Links:

Website │ Goodreads │ Twitter |

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Fast-paced and Entertaining

andrea and the 5-day challengeWhen Andrea promises to complete a 5-day bible study and journal, she isn’t sure if she will be successful or how it will affect her life. But as the week wears on, she faces a number of seemingly insurmountable challenges, most of them concerning school and her crush on new guy Luke Ryan, not to mention Luke’s crush on her. Then there’s the piano recital and the potential to be scouted for Julliard. To make matters worse, mean girl Stephanie is also interested in Luke. Will Andrea survive the week, let alone see her 5-day challenge through to the end?

Cindy K. Green’s Andrea and the 5-Day Challenge is a quick and entertaining read, one which I finished over the course of 4 days. The story is fast-paced and the characters are believable. Poor Andrea is stuck feeling like such a hopeless failure as she tries to please everyone around her: her parents, whose only dream is to see her be a successful pianist, her friends who want her to let loose and have fun with Luke, she neglects to please herself. Rather than embrace a chaste relationship with Luke, she spurns him several times, but by the end of her 5-day challenge, she learns how to communicate and negotiate and that, if she’s simply honest with the people in her life, there is a way to make everyone, including herself, happy.

Though I’ll admit I was a bit wary of the religious aspect of this text, Green manages to work in the importance of prayer and God in one’s life without hitting the reader over the head with it. The Bible passages are short and relevant to what’s happening in Andrea’s life. In addition, Andrea uses the passages she chooses on each day of the challenge to find solace in her life and to become a better person, which is kind of cool. Young girls will be able to identify with Andrea’s search for her identity, her soul, and for a way to have it all.

Mamabear gives this book:

four-bears

Note: I was gifted an eCopy of this book in exchange for an honest review.