Mistletoe Miracles: Review

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MISTLETOE MIRACLES
Ransom Canyon
by
JODI THOMAS
Sub-genre: Holiday Romance / Western
Publisher: HQN
Date of Publication: September 25, 2018
Number of Pages: 354
Scroll down for an exclusive giveaway from Jodi Thomas! 
A small-town Texas Christmas story, where hearts are lost, love is found, and family always brings you back home.
Griffin Holloway is desperate: the Maverick Ranch has been in his family for generations, but lately, it’s a money pit. He’d sooner marry one of his horses than sell the ranch. Marriage, though, could be a solution. If he can woo a wealthy bride, he might save the ranch—just in time for Christmas. Jaxon O’Grady likes his solitude just fine, thank you very much. But when a car accident brings the unexpected to his door, he realizes just how much one person can need another. Crossroads is the perfect place for Jamie Johnson: avoiding nosy questions about why she’s single, she’s happy to keep to her lakeside home. So she’s baffled when she gets the strangest Christmas present of all, in the form of a Mr. Johnson, asleep on her sofa. Who is he, and why does everyone think he’s her husband?

In this uplifting novel, three unlikely couples discover just what Crossroads, Texas, can offer: romance, belonging, and plenty of Christmas spirit. 
”Deeply poignant moments and artfully
rendered characters create a rich story that
transports readers to an idyllic place.”
Publishers Weekly
 
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Get ready to cozy up to this wonderful chimney side read. Mistletoe Miracles offers us 3 wonderful love stories told in alternating chapters. There’s Griffin, the handsome rancher looking to get hitched in order to save his ranch, Jamie, a school teacher who has invented a husband in order to keep others at bay, and Jaxon, a recluse wanting to mind his own business but ends up rescuing an injured dog and taking him in.

The three different stories are not connected in any way, but each story is heartwarming and uplifting. I enjoyed each of the main characters as their stories were told. It’s neat how in each story the characters meet up. For Jax, he rescued Mallory’s dog. For Griffin, it’s the ranch gal Sunlan. And or Jamie, she pretends she’s married to Wyatt.

Of all the characters, my favorite was Griffin. Right from the start, the cowboy rancher pulled me in. He is kind, compassionate, down to earth. I loved how instantly you could see how much he wanted to save his ranch and help out his brothers. I especially loved it when he stopped by Franklin sisters house to ask for match making help. It was so stinkin cute I kept giggling.

Each character though is incredibly well crafted. They each have their own unique tale and seeing them brought together is fascinating and enjoyable. Mistletoe Miracles is a thick book, but in my opinion a fairly quick read. Who doesn’t love a few adorable love stories?

If you enjoy love stories with a splash of Christmas, than these stories are for you. They are clean, fun, and adorable reads. The p

A fifth-generation Texan, New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Jodi Thomas chooses to set the majority of her novels in her home state, where her grandmother was born in a covered wagon. A former teacher, Thomas traces the beginning of her storytelling career to the days when her twin sisters were young and impressionable. 
With a degree in family studies, Thomas is a marriage and family counselor by education, a background that enables her to write about family dynamics. Honored in 2002 as a Distinguished Alumni by Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Thomas enjoys interacting with students on the West Texas A&M University campus, where she currently serves as Writer in Residence.
Commenting on her contribution to the arts, Thomas said, “When I was teaching classes full-time, I thought I was making the world a better place. Now I think of a teacher or nurse or mother settling back and relaxing with one of my books. I want to take her away on an adventure that will entertain her. Maybe, in a small way, I’m still making the world a better place.”
When not working on a novel or inspiring students to pursue a writing career, Thomas enjoys traveling with her husband, renovating a historic home they bought in Amarillo and checking up on their two grown sons.
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Out of Sight: Review

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Out of Sight
By Matthew S. Cox 
Publication date: August 13th 2018
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult

Book Synopsis

 

Most Citizens hold Outcasts in dim regard, but Sima never expected they’d throw her off the planet.

In 2411, overpopulation has spread a plaque of filthy, congested city to the corners of the Earth. Government has raised corruption to an art form, and no one hears the cries of those left to die in the dark passageways of civilization. Following the End of Nations, people cling to the only division left: social status.

Since running away from home four years ago, she’s managed to stay a step ahead of death―or worse. At sixteen, she’s getting too old to survive from begging, despite her best effort to pretend she’s younger. Worse, the sidewalks teem with little kids edging in on her turf, monopolizing Citizens’ charity with their wide, pleading eyes and genuine innocence.

A chance meeting with suspiciously nice cops leaves her more confused than ever. Between deadly gangs, unforgiving security forces, and a terrifying madam eager to exploit a girl her age, merely getting older is the biggest threat to her life. With no good choice to make, she risks the least of three evils.

Sima thought her life on Earth had been dangerous…

She hasn’t seen anything yet.

 

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Review

 

I’m not ashamed to admit that I judged this book by it’s cover and was instantly intrigued. Visually, it’s stunning. The imagery in this book is equally as stunning. It immediately pulls you in to colorfully descriptive settings and general tone of what Sima has to face. Plus there are additional illustrations that vary per chapter!

 

This Author clearly is skilled at poetically detailing his plot. I instantly loved the style. Along with a fast paced and intense plot, it was easy to read this in no time at all.

 

Apathy and Rebellion strolled hand-in-hand with Death, and the second she made friends with either, he’d come calling.”

 

Sima has little options after leaving her troubled past behind. Literally begging to survive, becoming older sets new challenges. What few choices she has are taken from her. Suddenly, she’s in the governments hands which sets her on path she didn’t expect. The Progenitor Program.

 

Sima is a complicated character that does not only grow through her bravery but also kindness. She’s a solitary being and wants to survive by her own abilities. Jealous of the young kids that beg and earn more ‘glint’, her day to day life take a large part in the beginning. Mainly, Sima isn’t perfect and struggles fairly often during the book. Her character was created very well in my opinion. After all, she’s only sixteen and surviving each day takes quite a bit of time. She’ll come to learn more important things in life.

 

I found the pace well written and mainly enjoyed learning about this dystopian world with little empathy. The secondary characters were equally enjoyable, especially the young kids Sima interacts with. There is some action as well, which develops further in the book and was great. It’ll be very interesting to see how Cox might tie up some less explored secrets of this world. Overall, I would definitely recommend this book!

 

About the Author
Born in a little town known as South Amboy NJ in 1973, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Somewhere between fifteen to eighteen of them spent developing the world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, and The Awakened Series take place. He has several other projects in the works as well as a collaborative science fiction endeavor with author Tony Healey.Hobbies and Interests

Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems (Chronicles of Eldrinaath [Fantasy] and Divergent Fates [Sci Fi], and a fan of anime, British humour (<- deliberate), and intellectual science fiction that questions the nature of reality, life, and what happens after it. He is also fond of cats. Awards: Prophet of the Badlands (excerpt) – Honorable Mention – Writers of the Future.

Embassy Review

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Embassy (Recovery #1)
Publication Date: January 2014
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 330

 

 

Arman Lance was supposed to travel the galaxy with his father, not watch him die. He was supposed to experience the adventures from his father’s stories, not isolate himself from the world. He was going to join the Embassy Program, fly across the galaxy, and find Ladia Purnell, a girl from another planet whom he loved years before.

Clinging to his fading hopes and dreams, Arman joins the Embassy Program to fulfill that last promise. If he can reach Ladia, he’ll never have to worry, never have to feel alone. But it doesn’t take long for his plan to fall apart when he’s confronted by his fellow Embassy recruit, Glacia Haverns, the ever-smiling adrenaline junkie who decides it’s her job to show Arman there’s more to life than chasing a desperate obsession.

 

 

Check the rest of the series on Experience Daliona!

 

 

Embassy blew me away. Martin clearly thought this book out with amazing detail to bring different meanings to each page. I have high expectations for any science fiction novel. I grew up watching every show and movie I was allowed. Then I was venturing into reading sci-fi and now writing it. What I hope to achieve in my own book is what Embassy offers. I had a good feeling about this one and it paid off. Embassy is packed full of those intriguing science fiction elements that broaden the way you see the future. Along with the confident tone of scientific elements, is the strong backbone of emotional turmoil and challenges that can interest anyone.

 

Martin does an excellent job of world building as well. The imagery given allows the reader to expand in their imagination, without the over-exhaustion of too much detail. Certain details are still explained clearly and were very exciting to read. Such as a game invented called Hologis, a holographic dodgeball type of game that I would likely last one minute in. The overall pace and first person point of view works really well with the clarity of what Arman is facing. Another note, though it’s not important to everyone, was my love of all the character names, planets, and so on. They weren’t too complicated for one. I can find myself reading a book and getting confused or lost in all the different words that try to be different from every other book. Embassy may have a larger than life world but it seemed more exciting than overwhelming.

 

Characters were refreshing. I use that word a lot but it fits. Arman is complicated, not always likable, but creative and chasing a love from years ago. Suffering a tragic loss and feeling his own guilt over what happened, he isolates himself and leaves everything behind. Including his family that are also suffering from the loss. Like I said, not always likable. Arman adapts and grows to his new ship life. Another character, Glacia, was my favorite. She, along with others, make Arman gain perspective about how he had been spending his life and the opportunities in front of him. Glacia is tough, smart, and was a very real character to easily connect with for me. I really enjoyed this book and encourage others to check it out! I know that I’ll be adding the rest of the series to my list of what to read next!

 

 

S. Alex Martin grew up fascinated with astronomy and reading Harry Potter. His books reflect his vision for the future of humanity in the way of space exploration. He hopes to help inspire that same love of the final frontier in another generation to do his part to help progress humanity a little further.

In the words of Stephen Hawking: “There should be no boundary to human endeavor.”

 



August 20th

August 21st

Rebecca R. Cahill | Audio Excerpt
August 22nd

Just Books | Interview

August 23rd
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Her Revolution Review

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Her Revolution
by C.S. Hand
Genre: YA Dystopian
Release date: August 8th 2018


Summary

For fans of Divergent, Red Rising, and The Hunger Games comes a gripping new tale of ambition, treachery, and love.

When what appears as a prank on arrogant ambassadors at an exotic vacation city turns out to be the first tremors of a revolution, the Enlightened Council of Castillia turns to its 11-year old undefeated military prodigy and her loyal Guardians for help.

After all, it was Innocence who liberated the Jewel of All Cities in the first place. Everyone knows she will be the last to let it slip from her grasp.

But why would anyone want to leave Castillia? Its laws are just. Its Council is democratically elected. It has liberated more cities than any other Republic, past or present.

But Castillia has enemies, that’s for sure.

Sedition is the favorite trick of the southern Republic Ausonia. In fact, the exotic vacation city used to belong to Ausonia—and they have always wanted it back.

But could those hedonists really organize anything between all their dancing and drinking?

Or has Vesper, the mighty Republic to the North finally woken from its slumber? It has plenty of old scores to settle with Castillia and it’s palm-lined streets.

Squashing the uprising and re-uniting the town and her city could be the perfect way to end the most legendary military career Castillia has ever known and begin a new, exhilarating life as a prominent politician.

But it also might just be the perfect way to start what Innocence has secretly always yearned for: her own Empire.

It’s 50% off on launch day for the eBook (August 8, 2018)

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Review

Her Revolution is a gripping science fiction and dystopian themed book. Definitely one that demands your attention with descriptive scenes and steadily changing events throughout. A quiet room is a must when reading this for sure.

I was intrigued by the characters and C.S. Hand’s poetic style of writing. From the beginning, this seemed more New Adult with some phrasing and context in the book. It surprised me since the character is young in comparison. Most of the plot was quite interesting but could get a bit wordy at times. I do enjoy the artistic style of writing but found myself skipping the quotes before the chapters. Of course, that could be because I tend to overthink poems or quotes and could spend hours getting lost reading more.

Overall, this first person narrative could be chilling and calculating in her planning and perspective. I recommend it for those that want to read a challenging and chess-like point of view.

About the Author

C. S. Hand loves philosophy, literature, and science-fiction and fantasy books. He studied British Romanticism at Cambridge before leaving to translate great science-fiction and fantasy books. You can read more about his 3 great loves here.

Author Links

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Guns, Rations, Rigs and the Undead: Review

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Guns, Ration, Rigs, and the Undead
By K.E. Radke

Edited by Audrey Moran
Genre: Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic
Date of Publication: May 1st 2018
Pages: 239

Prepping was his way of life.

Lincoln realizes it’s every man for himself when the big cities are swarming with the military and the law disappears in the tiny town of Dessarillo, Texas, causing chaos to erupt. People Lincoln’s known for years were attacking their friends and family with their minds set on eating them limb by limb. He’d been prepared for this exact moment, waiting for disaster to strike so he could take a front row seat to society’s self destruction.

As an outcast, he learned to rely on no one. Until he unexpectedly finds his life in the hands of his neighbor, Wyatt, the man proving to be trustworthy. Together they try to carve out a safe place while people are turning into flesh eating monsters, decaying from the inside out, and destroying humanity one bite at a time.

Purchase through Amazon

 

 

This book brought back all the enthusiasm for zombie-esque stories and shows I would constantly watch. Absolutely holding nothing back from the first chapters, you’re smack dab in an on-coming zombie apocalypse. Pretty much a death sentence for most people right? Well, maybe a little hope for a prepper like Lincoln. First and foremost, I didn’t know what a prepper was when I first started reading. Sure, I know such people existed but I didn’t know there was an actual name for it. Which sounds silly when I even type this. Radke eases you into all of this though. Not just the overlying ‘what to do’ and ‘what to have’ but the struggles with it too. Lincoln has his struggles. Such as the people that once scorned him are now expecting him to save them. Lincoln is gruff, rough, and tough. Also kind of a softie? Though he’d rather not admit.

I can only thank my extensive watching of the Walking Dead, Shaun of the Dead, and more that I have a strong stomach. Because this book? It’ll test you. It’s depiction of zombies; from their look to the imagery of their actions will leave little to the imagination. I suggest if you’re reading on a phone or tablet, to have a pillow underneath. Otherwise, you can easily drop it when you gasp at some parts. Also, I covered my eyes at one point like that would help…anyway…

Now reading this review may seem like it’s a lot. I mean it in the best way really. It was exciting! I have a bit of a dark sense of humor sometimes and easily was laughing throughout. Often at the strangest things like the odd reactions of the characters and easily Lincoln’s point of view. Also, Radke manages to fit a bit of romance in the book! The pacing, characters, and setting were all great. I felt like all the buildups and hilarity were really well written. Lincoln is an amazing character with growth and a very real sense of personality. He reminded me of a few people I’ve met growing up in Texas actually. I look forward to seeing just how book two will pick things up!

 

Settled in Southern Nevada, Kendra spends her time trying to convince her two Yorkies to stop staring at her while she eats. She is a proud spouse of a Veteran and mother of two boys. When she’s not writing about the next adventure for her readers, she’s traveling on her own.Check out her blog keradke.wordpress.com

 

June 25th | Books & Broomsticks | Author Interview

June 26th | Just Books | Excerpt

June 26th | The Faerie Review | Review

June 27th | Sci-Fi & Scary | Excerpt

June 27th | A Booklion’s Hideaway | Author Interview

June 28th | Rebecca R. Cahill | Guest Post

June 28th | Queen of My Fairytale | Review

June 29th | Descendant of Poseidon Reads | Guest Post

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ISAN Review

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ISAN 
By Mary Ting 
Published by: Vesuvian Books
Publication date: May 1st 2018
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Synopsis

 

THE WORLD HAS CHANGED.SCIENTISTS WARNED IT WOULD HAPPEN.Meteors devastated the Earth. World Governments developed plans to help surviving citizens. The United States disbanded and salvageable land was divided into our quadrants—North, South, East, and West—governed by The Remnant Council.

Struggling to survive, seventeen-year-old Ava ends up in juvenile detention, until she is selected for a new life—with a catch. She must be injected with an experimental serum. The results will be life changing. The serum will make her “better.” To receive the serum, Ava agrees to join a program controlled by ISAN, the International Sensory Assassin Network.

While on a mission, she is abducted by a rebel group led by Rhett and told that not only does she have a history with him, but her entire past is a lie perpetuated by ISAN to ensure her compliance. Unsure of who to trust, Ava must decide if her strangely familiar and handsome captor is her enemy or her savior—and time is running out.

“Captivating from the very beginning…this thrilling dystopian drama has a splash of romance and tons of actions.” –School Library Journal

 

 

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Review

This is a great novel that highlights what first interested us all in dystopia novels. ISAN will gradually introduce you into a mix of complex characters, interesting surprises, and wonderfully depicted world-building. We follow Ava on her journey as a training assassin and discovery of this harsh world. It’s a survival of the fittest post-apocalyptic setting that evolves into wild abilities, action, mystery, and a bit of romance. Rhett is an amazing character with so many quotable lines and I so rarely enjoy the love interest right away. Well I did this time. I liked that the romance didn’t overshadow the plot as well. It was easy to read into and Ting really shines in her characterization.

Young women, like Ava, are taken in by ISAN and given an experimental serum to become elite assassins. It really drew me in from the start as it reminded me of Captain America mixed with Black Widow. As a big fan of comics, this book flew by and was over before I knew it. I was really surprised by certain turn of events and the secrets that Ava’s past revealed. This so-called government is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this world. I enjoyed the gradual feel it took and learning everything from Ava’s perspective. Certain scenes and lines really conveyed a deeper meaning for myself and I really enjoyed Mary Ting’s style. I’m looking forward to another book in the series!

About the Author

 

International Bestselling Author Mary Ting/M. Clarke resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.

 

Author Links

 

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The Crossover Review

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The Crossover

By Heather Horst

Genre: YA Sci-fi

Release Date: March 10th 2018

Summary

It’s been 12 years since Ella has buried her brother Weston, today she buries her Father. Tomorrow she begins her life as an average University student. Unfortunately, much like Ella’s childhood, things do not go as expected. Before the semester can even begin Ella finds herself intertwined with eccentric peers, family ties, and an alternate universe.

Now Ella is thrust into the responsibility of keeping her personal life in order while saving another Earth from their impending doom, and potentially her own.

Buy on Amazon for only $0.99!

 

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Review

I enjoyed reading this book quite a bit. It was a fast read in my opinion. We’re just starting to know Ella before she is quickly thrown into this dilemma. It surprised me when I felt like I was just beginning her journey and realized I was already halfway through the book!

Horst has some very interesting characters and twists throughout the story. It definitely took many different turns then I expected, especially with how quickly things progress. Also, some details that would otherwise be surprising in the book are given in a completely normal context. It was a very refreshing way to develop characters and plot. It also has good representation, especially the progression of loss. Not only that, but the confrontation of helping an alternate version of a father she just lost? Plus a brother she never got to see grow up. I honestly was surprised by how well Ella handled all of that. That’s just the beginning of what’s in store.

I think this has the potential of becoming an epic series. Everything really seemed like it was on the cusp of getting even more wild. I liked the unique quality of writing that was represented as well. It made the reader feel very involved in the story and was easier to connect to the main character. It was a really fun read!

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