Thursday, May 24, 2018

Feature: FORGIVEN, Tabor Hts. Novel

From Desert Breeze Publishing

The hardest thing Nikki has ever done is go home to Tabor Heights, to the people who know how far she fell, and the hearts she broke. Working for the Arc Foundation, she is to assess the Mission for funding. She refuses to fail the God who has forgiven her, and let down her home church.

Released from prison, Brock follows Nikki home. Now that he is right with God, he wants more than anything to win her back, and make sure their love is the right kind. Nikki knows she won't find full healing until she forgives Brock, but she discovers she has to forgive herself, first.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Feature: FIRESONG, Tabor Hts. Novel

From Desert Breeze Publishing

Dani has known all her life that God called her to ministry and music. Her life revolves around her brother and their band, Firesong.

Kurt returns to Tabor to prepare for a crusade and reunite with old friends. He never expects Dani to capture his imagination, and then his heart. How can he convince the girl who once disdained him as an arrogant jerk to open her heart to him -- especially when she believes ministry leaves no room for romance?

Between the crusade, concerts, a new CD, and her brother's wedding, Dani doesn’t have time for Kurt's nonsense … but sometimes he gives her those looks that make her doubt everything she knows and believes.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Off the Bookshelf: OTHERKIN, Nina Berry

Dez already feels like a freak in school. Scoliosis requires she wear a back brace, so she's pretty sure any guy who ever tries to get close will be immediately repelled.

If only that were her biggest problem.

Frustration and fury and teen angst finally combine to trigger what the Tribunal (a brutal, arrogant, secretive organization) has been waiting for: Dez's first shift to her Otherkin form, and proof that she is indeed a dangerous, demonic creature. "Fortunately" (read sarcasm here) they're ready and waiting with a big old tranquilizer dart before she even knows what's happened to her.

As Dez learns from Caleb, the boy trapped in the cage next to hers, the other side of the story is very different from the self-righteous lies the Tribunal  operates under. (Why do the nasty jerks always try to blame God for their cruelty and stupidity?) There are many tribes of Otherkin out there in the world. Or at least there were. They don't work together, because the beastly forms the Otherkin take pretty much influence their personalities and their interactions. Wolves don't get along with rats don't get along with bears don't get along with tigers ... etc.

Except for the school Dez and Caleb flee to when they escape the Tribunal. There, an irritating, mysterious, secretive, frustrating old man trains Otherkin teens to survive, and understand their dangerous heritage. When Dez and Caleb arrive, the tension and danger go through the roof, but the tides might just be turning for the Otherkin in their slow side to extinction.

Fascinating angle on the teens-discovering-secret-magical-heritage trope. A keeper.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Feature: DETOURS, Tabor Hts. Novel

From Desert Breeze Publishing

A year in the life…

Roommates Bekka, Kat, and Amy had a lot in common: Theater students, pursuing writing careers, supporting each other in crises and heartaches. Amy kept breaking up with her boyfriend. Kat never dated a boy more than twice. Bekka was too busy with part-time jobs and writing to even want a relationship. Especially seeing how miserable her roommates were

So she thought, until Shane showed up, but Kat saw him first, and once she dumped a boyfriend, he never came back. Bekka couldn't help hoping, though.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

ALL THAT WE SEE OR SEEM, by Kristina Mahr

As promised, more information on this fascinating, dark fantasy published by Uncommon Universes Press:

Every night, seventeen-year-old Reeve Lennox finds herself under a noose.

By day she is a lady of Acarsaid’s royal house, daydreaming of adventure and love. But every night in sleep she wanders through a nightmarish city, an invisible witness to the screeches of monsters and the screams of their victims. Her only consolation is Bran, a battle-torn young man with a selfless heart and eyes that reflect the stars. 

Yet while Reeve falls deeper into her dreams, in truth she is engaged to Arden, a mercurial nobleman who has long been cured of his belief in love and breathes fire and flattery like other people breathe air.

Torn between two lives, Reeve struggles to remember what’s real. Until night and day collide, with a revelation that threatens all of Acarsaid.

Kristina Mahr devotes her days to numbers and her nights to words. She works full-time as an
accountant in the suburbs of Chicago, where she lives with her two dogs and two cats, but her true passion is writing. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, and waking up at the crack of dawn every weekend to watch the Premier League.

I'm serious, folks. READ this book!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Feature: BEHIND THE SCENES, Tabor Hts. Novel

From Desert Breeze Publishing

Absence makes the heart... see clearer.

Tony and Max were best friends, writing partners. People swore he didn't know she was a girl and she didn't know he was a boy. When Tony went away for a few months, he realized that empty place inside was Max-shaped. Every idea to tell her how he felt sounded like the plot for a book they would never write.

Then Max's parents were seriously injured.

Tony dropped everything to come home and be there for her and her brothers. He would just have to wait until things calmed down before he confessed his love, and pray Max felt the same way. Before the new guy in the tech crew made his move.

Max tried not to dream that she and Tony could be more to each other. As she held together her parents' theater and dealt with the invasion of paparazzi when Hollywood discovered where her mother had hidden years ago, she couldn't help wishing...

In one crisis after another, dealing with spoiled actors, gossips, and secret nightmares, Tony was her rock. After all the answered prayers, would God answer this one, too?

Monday, May 14, 2018

Off the Bookshelf: ALL THAT WE SEE OR SEEM, by Kristina Mahr

You know what's the mark of a really well-written story? When the main character makes a choice and you cringe, because you've come to be so invested in her story, you know she's going to get hurt, it's the wrong choice, and you just want to reach through the pages and grab her shoulders and shake her until her eyes rattle and she changes her mind.

Yeah, Reeve, the main character in this book got that reaction from me.

And did you hear me last night when I got to the last page and I didn't want it to end? (Attention, Kristina Mahr, there better be another book following up on this one, and right quick! You cannot leave Reeve and Bran where you left them -- at least, not permanently. Please?) Okay, I didn't shout, I didn't scream, because it was after 11 at night and the rest of the household was sleeping, but there was some mental agony involved. Close to the destruction of Alderaan.

There were a number of cringe-worthy moments in the story. No, Reeve, don't!
And when I ached for her.
And I held my breath, hoping the short moment of sweetness and hope would last.

Okay, what's so special about this book? I really don't want to give it all away. But here are the basics:
Reeve is the niece of the king, lives in the palace, and very realistically, the luxuries she enjoys don't make up for her restricted, somewhat lonely life. And yeah, she's expected to make a marriage to benefit the throne. Her choices all have drawbacks. Some bigger than others. Some, she doesn't discover until it's too late, and turn near-deadly. The only real friends she has are her bodyguards and her ladies maid, and even they aren't close enough for her to tell her biggest, strangest, scariest secret.

Every night, for her entire life, Reeve goes to another land in her sleep. A horrible place, full of darkness and fear and pain and blood. She wakes under a gallows, and often there is a body hanging there. Sometimes she's lucky and it's a fresh body, other times she's not lucky, and these horrible, warped falcons have started to feed. The falcons are also the nighttime security forces in this awful land, where only those with a death wish go outside. Fortunately, Reeve seems to be entirely invisible in this land, so she's safe. But lonely. And unable to stop visiting this awful place in her dreams. Every night.

A few months before the story starts, she discovers a young man whose presence turns the nightmare into a dream, and gives her a sense of company, even though he can't see or hear her.

The story, of course, is what happens when Reeve becomes visible. To the young man and to the falcons and to the evil in that dream land.

READ this one.

Want to learn more about the author and the book and the publisher? Come back on Thursday. Or just go to Uncommon Universes Press, the publisher. There's a big promotional blast going on right now, a blog tour, to celebrate the release of the book.

Note: the publisher provided this book in exchange for a review.