You, Me, & Letting Go by Katie Kaleski
Published by: Swoon Romance | Publication date: May 14th 2019
Genres: Romance, Young Adult
A love so epic, no label is needed.
Van Sato’s got labels. Tourettes, ADHD, SPD – words that have defined his existence since the time he was old enough to know what they meant. Now, Van wants to prove he’s more than an acronym, a syndrome, a problem kid. He takes a summer job as a day camp counselor to prove he’s capable of independence and moving on to the next phase in his life. Maybe, he might even make a friend while there. Someone who’s got just as many or even more labels than him. Someone who understands what it’s like.
Tabby Dubanowksi wants to forget about everything, the hospitalization, the judgment, the whispers behind her back. As a camp counselor, she will be admired, looked up to, and able to help people who don’t know anything about her old life. Tabby wants a fresh start and a chance to re-ignite her passion for film-making, if only for one summer.
After running away from their pasts, Van and Tabby collide in a storm cloud of attraction laced with self-doubt, insecurity, shame, and blame. Now, with Van feeling like he might have to quit his job, and Tabby struggling to quell the urge to cut, they will struggle to find themselves in a world designed to keep them apart.
You, Me & Letting Go - Katie Kaleski
This is a well-written story about people who deal with mental health issues and bullying in their lives.
The characters are well-developed and I love the way both Van and Tabitha are working together to help each other with their difficulties. I also like that they each have a close friend who sticks by them through it all. Their emotions are easy to feel.
This is a good book for teens to adults. We all need to understand how harmful bullying is and know that it is not acceptable behavior.
The title and cover of the book fit the story perfectly.
I give this book a literary rating of 5/5
Written by vickie
Beyond the Wild Wood (Of the Trees 3) by E.M. Fitch
Publication Date: April 15, 2019 | Publisher: Month9Books
The faery queen has forbidden Aidan from stalking his prey, but Cassie should have known that nothing would keep him from what he wants: to steal her away forever into the realm of the Fae.
Cassie struggles to pick up what’s left of her life, keeping true to her promise to watch over her best friend’s son. But despite the faery queen’s promise of safety, the shadow of Aidan is ever present in her mind, haunting her dreams and
turning forest shadows into nightmares. The rest of her friends are getting ready for college, but not her. The Fae haven’t left yet. Cassie knows because Laney lingers still, drawn to the son she gave up, the foliage at his window sill bright green and flourishing at her touch.
Laney’s son is safe in the arms of his adoptive parents, and the babe has Cassie to watch over him from afar. That should have been enough for the new faery, but it wasn’t. She couldn’t let her son go. Laney watches him from afar, motionless, ageless, addicted to his tiny movements and contented sighs. The thought of leaving him is unbearable, even if she knows leaving is the only way to keep her best friend safe from Aidan’s grasp.
When the faery queen’s threat of departure becomes all too real, Aidan takes matters into his own hands, throwing the Fae into a battle that risks their very existence. His action impels Laney to choose which side she really belongs on—human or faery—and forces Cassie to decide just who she can trust, at last, with the truth.
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REVIEW by Vickie:
Beyond The Wild Wood - E. M. Fitch
A great follow up to Cassie and Laney's story. It is filled with excitement, action, adventure and drama. I like reading about faery folk and all the other creatures.
The friendship between Cassie and Laney is forever and is inspiring. I really like the way this series ended even though it was kind of sad.
The characters are fabulous and all well-developed. It is easy to feel all the emotions they feel.
The story flows well from chapter to chapter and is easy to follow along.
The cover is awesome and the title fits the story perfectly.
Great read, I highly recommend it!
I give this book a literary rating of 5/5
written by Vickie
ABOUT the AUTHOR:
E. M. Fitch is an author who loves scary stories, chocolate, and tall trees. Her latest novel, OF THE TREES, is a Young Adult horror/fantasy inspired by haunted cemeteries and the darker musings of W.B. Yeats. Its sequel, AT WOODS EDGE, will be released in the coming year from Month9Books. Beyond The Wild Wood - E. M. Fitch 4/16/2017
She is the author of the Young Adult zombie trilogy: THE BREAK FREE SERIES. Her story, BETWEEN SHADOWS, was recently featured in the Fragments of Darkness anthology; and hernew collection of short stories entitled THE VEIL: GHOSTS, GOBLINS, GHOULS is coming soon! She has been published in Pulp Metal Magazine, Under the Bed Magazine, and her short stories RELEASE and THE CREEP were featured respectively in CHBB’s Lurking in the Shadows and Lurking in the Mind anthologies. When not dreaming up new ways to torture characters, she is usually corralling her four children, or thinking of ways to tire them out so she can get an hour of peace at night.
Website • Twitter • Facebook • Goodreads
One (1) winner will receive a Starbucks Gift Card
Book Title: The High Court by Chris Ledbetter
Category: YA Fiction, 290 pages | Publisher: Month 9 Books
Genre: Fantasy | Release date: October 16, 2018
Tour dates: April 1 to 30, 2019
Content Rating: PG (some profanity (damn, ass), no f-bombs, some kissing, no sex scenes, some violence, nothing gory or graphic)
High atop Mount Olympus, dawn breaks on a new academic term. Normalcy has returned to campus following a harrowing expedition into The Underworld to rescue kidnapped students by Zeus and his fellow Olympians. Now, as they prepare to testify in The High Court, Hyperion will be tried for the attack on Crete and death of Anytos. Kronos will stand trial for the murder of Mount Olympus Prep’s Headmaster Ouranos.
As the trials draw near, Mount Olympus Prep students and faculty are besieged repeatedly by a race of gargantuan stone and earth giants. Under heavy assault, the Olympians are forced to flee to the volcanic island of Limnos to regroup. Meanwhile, a toxic poison Zeus has carried with him since a prior fight with a dragoness, creeps toward his brain.
In a race against time and beasts, Zeus and his friends must find a way to survive not only the toxin ravaging Zeus’ body, but also the giants who grow stronger after every attack, and somehow make it to the The High Court alive.
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REVIEW by LAWonder10:
The education of the mythical Gods from 'The Shay Throne' are back!
The students and faculty of Mount Olympus Prepare anxiously awaiting the trial of Kronos to fulfil justice from his past evils.
Zeus and Metis has become "an item" since her aid in the previous book.
Now, the students are preparing "War Games" with competing schools, when the students encountered gargantuan Stone Giants while on a training trip. Zeus was poisoned priorly, by a dragoness. While shapeshifting and trying to avoid the Giant until help came, the poison now is passing through him, causing him to act in bizarre ways.
What will become of him?
Is there any hope for a continued relationship with Metis?
Will they all be able to be sure a trial is held and justice done?
The mythical characters are interesting.
The author has been very creative in his restituion of many forgotten ones.
This is a, somewhat, unique series, full of action,to delight youth needing a change of genre.
The one priblem I had with the books is a slightly weak beginning. In both books, the action and clarity increases as te story builds.
I offer a Three and a Half Stars rating.
*This book was gifted me with no requirement of a positive review. This is my honest review.
'The High Court' is the second book in the Sky Throne series. It is not a stand alone novel. If you have not read the first book 'The Sky Throne', you may want to read it too.
Book Title: The Sky Throne by Chris Ledbetter
Category: YA Fiction, 300 pages | Publisher: Month 9 Books
Genre: Fantasy | Release date: April 18, 2017
Content Rating: PG + M (No f-words but there may be some mild profanity, and mild religious expletives such as "damn", "hell" and "Oh God!", some depictions of violence. No drug use or underage drinking. Some semi-mature themes - suggestion of sexual misconduct by certain characters, but not the actual performing of it.)
Duality dwells at every turn, and an adolescent Zeus will learn that all too well when Hyperion attacks his family on Crete.
When the dust settles, his mother is unconscious and his best friend left for dead.
Stacking epic insult upon fatal injury, Zeus discovers the woman who raised him is not his biological mother. But to ensure her safety while she recovers, a heavy-hearted Zeus leaves her behind to seek answers at Mount Olympus Preparatory Academia.
Zeus embarks on a quest to discover who ordered the attack on his home, avenge the death of his friend, and find his birth mother. When some of his new schoolmates vanish, Zeus's quest is turned upside down, and the only way to make things right is to access the power of The Sky Throne, confront a most dangerous enemy, and take his life back.
On his way to becoming king of the Greek gods, Zeus will learn to seize power, neutralize his enemies, and fall in love.
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Meet the Author:
Chris Ledbetter is an award-winning author of short fiction and novels for young adults. “Jason’s Quest,” a short story retelling of the Jason and Medea Greek myth was published in the anthology, Greek Myths Revisited. His first full-length novel, Drawn earned him two awards, Library of Clean Reads Best YA 2015 and Evernight Publishing Readers’ Choice Award Best YA 2015, as well as a USA TODAY “Must Read” recommendation. His second novel, Inked, concludes that duology. The Sky Throne is his newest young adult series. It includes, thus far, The Sky Throne and The High Court.
He's a proud member of SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) and a strong supporter of the Need for Diverse Books. He now writes and lives in Wilmington, NC with his family, including three cats.
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Here is the tour schedule.
The Characters of The Throne series.(below)
Win 1 of 3 signed copies of The High Court by
Chris Ledbetter, 1 winner also gets a $50 Amazon.com gift card (open to USA only / 4 winners total !
(ends May 7, 2019))
Rune’s Folly by Garen Glazier
Publication date: February 5th 2019 | Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Young Adult
Synopsis: By day, Tansy McCoy is a florist making charmed bouquets for the citizens of Junonia, capital of the Kingdom of Terranmar. By night, she’s an assassin and the keeper of the Dangerous Garden where deadly blooms grow. Together with the town tailor, butcher, baker, and metalsmith (just don’t call her a candlestick maker), she is part of the Guild, a secret group of spell-wielding thieves and mercenaries. Their task: consolidate all that remains of the realm’s fading magic under the ruthless King Zeno’s control.
Impetuous loner Tansy chafes under her Guild demands. She longs to quit her town and trade and head for the hills. Unfortunately, King Zeno has other plans. He wants to marry off his daughter to Terranmar’s famously reclusive wizard, Rune Hallows, and he’s willing to have the Guild kidnap him to make it happen. Fail to deliver the wizard and the consequences will be swift and deadly.
Reluctant but determined, Tansy sets out on the long journey to faraway Wentletrap and Rune’s desolate tower by the sea. To get there she must cross a swamp full of sinister surprises, battle a werewolf, and outrace a bloodthirsty band of revenants, while she wrestles with her own magical powers that seem to be expanding in unpredictable ways.
But reaching Rune’s tower is only the beginning. When Tansy learns the real reason behind the king’s contest, she’ll need to decide whether to give in to the growing forces of magic ready to reclaim Terranmar or embrace her newfound powers to save the kingdom.
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Q: What books from your childhood reading would you like to bring back? Why?
( or if you wouldn't, Explain)
A: The Phantom Tollbooth.
It's really the book that started it all: my love of fantastical places, my obsession with words, my passion for reading. The sight of it stirs something deep in my memory, and I can recall for just a moment that particular wonder exclusive to children. It's bittersweet, just an echo of a world that I can now only observe through my own daughters, but a beautiful one nonetheless.
I still have my battered childhood copy. I hadn't read it in years, but recently I took it off the shelf. I felt like I needed to revisit its familiar pages, run my eyes and my mind over the words that had made such an impression on me growing up. I wondered if the story would still resonate with me, or if like many things that hold you rapt as a child, it wouldn't stand the test of time.
I cannot remember exactly what drew me to it all those years ago. I suspect it was the way I related to the main character Milo's all-encompassing boredom, a facet of childhood that I recall quite clearly, especially on endless summer days when time seemed interminable. I also have a hunch it was the wondrous adventure he undertakes and the cast of intriguing characters he meets along the way.
And then there's the word play. Norton Juster, the book's author, is a master of it, and I loved the way he made those funny expressions adults used literal and comical. There is a watchdog that actually has a watch for a body, and an island called Conclusions that one must jump to in order to visit.
But what I think I understood only superficially when I was younger is that the book is really a meditation on the value of learning.
For those of you unfamiliar with The Phantom Tollbooth you would do your grown-up self a favor by reading it and the kids in your life an even greater service by sharing it with them. In a nutshell, Milo is a boy troubled by a deep-seated ennui. He sees nothing interesting about his world. He is surrounded by toys and games but none of them engage him. He sees nothing valuable about school.
Then one day a mysterious gift arrives, a cardboard tollbooth that takes
him to a remarkable land dominated by the city of Dictionopolis in the south and the city of Digitopolis in the north. In between are places like the Doldrums, the Forest of Sight and the Valley of Sound. As he sets out to explore this new world he becomes involved in a quest to rescue the lost princesses, Rhyme and Reason, who have been locked away in the Castle in the Air. Since their incarceration the land has suffered, for while the people all know many things their knowledge means nothing without the guiding influence of Rhyme and Reason.
In the end, Milo returns to this world after (spoiler alert) having helped save the princesses and his eyes are opened to the many possibilities it holds.
"Outside the window, there was so much to see, and hear, and touch - walks to take, hills to climb, caterpillars to watch as they strolled through the garden. There were voices to hear and conversations to listen to in wonder, and the special smell of each day. And, in the very room in which he sat, there were books that could take you anywhere, and things to invent, and make, and build, and break, and all the puzzle and excitement of everything he didn't know - music to play, songs to sing, and worlds to imagine and then someday make real."
I have always called Seattle home and find the perpetual gloom to be a wonderful writing ally. I like coffee shops, bookstores, dancing in my living room and singing in my car. The opening scene of Up makes me cry. Three Amigos makes me laugh. Fashion magazines, croissants, and long, long baths are my guilty pleasures. They might occur separately or together. I prefer boxing classes to yoga, and I get some of my best ideas when I'm running. I loved school and spent more time than one really should getting a business degree in marketing and a master's in art history. In an ideal world I'd go to bed at 2am and wake up at 10am. I've never been an early bird, and I feel strongly that alarm clocks kill dreams.
Learn more at garenglazier.com.
Spin by K.J. Farnham
Publication date: April 11th 2019 | Genres: Suspense, Young Adult
Sixteen-year-old Jenna Kemp is a typical high school girl, complete with a loyal group of friends and a seemingly understanding boyfriend. But when the demons from Jenna’s childhood resurface, she’s suddenly spinning out of control–drinking, partying–anything to numb the pain of the past. After distancing herself from her friends and befriending an outcast, her friends and family start questioning and judging her choices.
But when Jenna doesn’t come home one night, her friends and family realize it’s more than just adolescent rebellion. Jenna’s mysterious disappearance proves that there’s more on the line than they realized. As they sift through a series of her personal diaries, the truth becomes terrifying. Will Jenna’s final diary entry reveal the greatest mystery of all–her whereabouts?
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Spin K.J. Farnham
A must read!
This story is so realistic. The characters are each developed very well. The friendships, family dynamics and romance are so well portrayed in the story. The deception and different perceptions are played out perfectly throughout it all. My emotions were all over the place. I don't think I have ever felt so many emotions and ranges of emotions in a single book before. Everything with Jenna was so heart wrenching. The writing by K.J. Farnham is so well done.
It is so easy in this busy world to get so wrapped up in our own lives that we sometimes fail to see what is happening with the ones around us This story was a great reminder to pay better attention and not let things go by that need attention and need to be talked about.
The book cover and title are perfect for the story.
I appreciate this book so much and highly recommend others read it.
I give it a literary rating of 5+/5
written by vickie
K. J. Farnham writes contemporary fiction for women and young adults. A former educator who grew up in the Milwaukee area, she now resides in western Wisconsin with her husband and three children. To learn more, visit her website at www.kjfarnham.com.
Tudor Rose by W.H. Doyle
Published by: Month9Books | Publication date: April 9th 2019
Genres: Historical, Young Adult
In 16th-century England, two teenage best friends find themselves on an exciting journey from the country to the Queen’s court in the hope of being named ladies-in-waiting. But Sybille and Rose soon discover they aren’t the only girls who have their sights set on attending Her Majesty. The girls must compete against worldly and cunning opponents, among them mean-girl Avis and her entourage of back-stabbing co-horts, tipping the balance in their already-tenuous friendship.
Soon, the grand hall is more like the hallway of a prestigious finishing school, with girls fighting for the attention of a dashing, young earl, amid parties fueled by drinking and indiscriminate relations. As the tension between Sybille and Avis heats up, the focus on Rose wanes, allowing her to turn her attention to more important matters – like getting close enough to the Queen to learn her secrets.
But being close to the Queen is not without its challenges. And when rumors of Rose’s influence make their way around the castle, no one, not even the Queen, will be safe.
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By early evening, the palace breathed that delicious sigh it always did when the monarch had vacated the household. An air of relief swept through the grounds and the apartments, blowing the young people out of the shadows. They emerged and descended upon the abandoned masque, which had been set up in the palace’s largest courtyard, like ravenous locusts on a vulnerable and abundant crop.
Author Bill Doyle was born in Michigan, and wrote his first mystery at the age of eight. He has gone on to write critically acclaimed and bestselling children's books, including stories of real-life war heroes in "Behind Enemy Lines: True Stories of Amazing Courage"; the pick-your-own-adventure "Worst Case Scenario Ultimate Adventure: Everest"; the historical fiction mystery series Crime Through Time; the Henry & Keats series including "Attack of the Shark-Headed Zombie"; the Scream Team series about Bad News Bears-type monsters playing sports; and soon-to-be released series "The Prizewinners of Piedmont Place."
Additionally, Bill has served as editor at Sesame Workshop, TIME for Kids and SI Kids. He's written for LeapFrog, Weekly Reader, Rolling Stone, Comedy Central, National Geographic Kids, and the American Museum of Natural History. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from the film school at New York University where he was taught by the likes of Arthur Miller and David Mamet.
Bill lives with two dachshund-headed canines in New York City, and you can visit him online at www.BillDoyleBooks.com.
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The Fire Priest (Pawns of the Gods Book 1) by
331 pages | Published November 21st 2018
Seventeen-year-old Jack Kulinski is the best mixed martial arts fighter of his generation. So why does fighting scare him so much? In the ring, the sound of swarming bees mysteriously fills his head, and it takes all of his effort to not flee in panic. But when his best friend disappears, and Jack, alone, discovers that he’s been magicked to a terrible land ruled by a murderous god and his violent people, he needs to learn how to face his fears and to fight better than he ever has before
Q: Are Fantasy Genre Books really that Removed from Reality?
A: You might think that it would be hard for a 51-year-old author to relate to characters in a young adult fantasy novel, especially since my main characters are strikingly different from me. Jack and Denny are two working class boys from my hometown of Santa Barbara. Jack is a mixed martial arts fighter who is abnormally physically gifted. He’s one in a million, or even rarer, in his athletic abilities. And Denny is exceptionally handsome (and knows it). I wish I could say that I fit into either of these categories when I was younger, but that would be a lie rather than fiction!
Good fantasy fiction allows us to escape our own lives but, almost oddly, at the same time to relate to characters in situations that are literally out of this world. As readers we often experience this without thinking about it. I used to read Piers Anthony when I was young, in the 1980s. He was good at depicting fumbling young characters trying to relate to their romantic objects of affection, despite the world or the species. Certainly J.K. Rowling depicted school in an outlandish but relatable way: the fear of big exams, with Hermione as the anxious over-preparer and her friends as anxious avoiders. The OWL exams certainly would have freaked me out.
The Fire Priest is not my first book, but it is my first novel. It was a funny process to experience what fantasy writing is like on the creation side, rather than as a consumer. (The word “funny” probably doesn’t suffice: perhaps daunting and overwhelming are more apt.) Oddly, when I was drafting The Fire Priest I found that current-day cultural issues kept popping up, often ones I didn’t have much to say about, and even ones I wanted to avoid (but to some degree they stubbornly remained). The story quickly moves from California, a multicultural place for sure and I like to think mainly tolerant, to the world of Tal’alli, in which the inhabitants are decidedly vicious and intolerant. Jack is of Eastern European descent while Denny’s father is white and his mother Vietnamese. Ethnicity is just one way in which they don’t fit in. Tal’alli is also a violently religious place, while neither Jack nor Denny, at least at this stage, has thought much, if at all, about religion. The last things I wanted to raise in what I hoped was a fun, escapist book were religion and identity politics, and yet there are nods to them in the book’s basic premise. We are inescapably the product of our times, even when trying not to be.
At heart, The Fire Priest is about two teenage boys who are magicked to a foreign land and face their worst fears. For Jack, he has to become the best fighter he could possibly be, and at the beginning of the story he’s terribly fearful of this, for reasons that are hinted at well into the book. And for Denny, there’s a real possibility that he loses what he cares about most in himself, and in others: physical beauty. The process of maturation for all of us is in large part the understanding of how to face fear, gain confidence, and accept loss; and for this it does not matter where the story is set, how fanciful it is, or what characters are involved.
Young people who read The Fire Priest will face their own metaphorical journeys to Tal’alli by entering adulthood, although hopefully it won’t be as violent, extreme, or involve consuming magic items concocted by an evil priest. There will be a decided and confusing transition, though. When I was young and at school in California there was an over emphasis on looks and sports: mine was your classic big public high school experience. As disconcerting as this culture can be for thoughtful young people, adulthood is harder and more intimidating. At your first job, nobody cares how fast you run the “hundred yard dash” or if you were homecoming king or queen. The rules change and there are no teachers to explain them. Even worse, when you begin to understand how life outside school works, the grown-ups often don’t seem very grown up. The Fire Priest is about two young people on the verge of adulthood trying to survive in a world that is more violent, divided, and unkind than it needs to be. It’s not so different from our own, is it?
Stephen Murdoch is a writer and investor who lives in England with his wife and three daughters. The Fire Priest is his first novel. Previously, he wrote the non-fiction IQ: A Smart History of a Failed Idea (Wiley, 2007). He has written for various publications, including Newsweek, The Washington Post, and PRI’s Marketplace. Murdoch is the chairman of two UK companies that provide cutting edge digital and bricks-and-mortar solutions to the mental health sector.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.