Review: “Don’t Call Me Kit Kat” by K.J. Farnham

Don't Call Me Kit Kat by K.J. FarnhamA review by Domoni.

I would first like to thank the author for the chance to read her book in exchange for an honest review.

Katie is an average 13 year old preparing for eighth grade to start. She spent the summer trying to get in better with her friend Anica so she could be in the popular clique at school. Katie would do anything to be one of the pretty people. Her family doesn’t have money and Katie never has nice new clothes. With a mom who always points out how she isn’t skinny enough and a dad who moved on to his new family and has no time or care for her, Katie feels like she can’t win. So when Anica suggests they shoplift some new clothes at the mall, Katie is in. When they get busted Anica tells her friends it was all Katie’s fault, and Katie has to use all the money she earned over the summer to pay for the stolen clothes even when her mom forces her to donate them to a thrift store. Now how will Katie get in good with Amy, the girl she most adores and her clique? When she catches her middle school idol throwing up in the bathroom after lunch, Katie starts to think maybe she can change things after all.

This story instantly grabs you. Any woman should be able to connect with the feelings and anxiety that Katie goes through. Her inner dialogue reminds me so much of my life at 12 to 14. Katie loves her friends but she longs to be one of the more popular girls and then maybe her crush would be interested in her and her mom wouldn’t make her feel so bad. Things of course go wrong and we get to the depth of this story.

This is not your peppy coming of age story. It covers many problem areas for today’s youth; divorce, drinking, smoking, shop lifting, bullying, body image issues, and suicide. This book does an amazing job of really putting these topics out there in a way that a young girl can relate to. And it does all of that without coming across as preachy. It is an engaging story and I loved how each character was brought in to serve a special purpose.

Katie’s got a good group of friends. Her closest friends are Carly, an athletic girl who doesn’t seem to understand why Katie wants to be friends with the popular clique and Dominic, an average boy who seems to know and get along with almost everyone. He is no fan of the popular girls that Katie so wants to be a part. When the new cute boy catches Katie’s attention, he of course catches the attention of Amy and Katie’s jealousy is crushing.

There is so much honesty to this story and it’s characters. There is no real singular reason why Katie is pushed to do what she does. Each time she chooses to binge it is little things that push her over, but little things can bring down a mountain and definitely can affect a 13 year old girl who just wants to feel like she fits in and is accepted. This book touched me and I recommend it to all readers who ever felt like they just didn’t fit in.

My rating: 5/5 stars.

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Review: “Obscure” by C.M. Boers

Obscured by C.M. BoersA review by Julie.

I would like to thank the author for allowing me the pleasure of reading this book.

Abby is starting over after her parents’ divorce and she has moved to Arizona with her mom. She has a lot of stressors in her life, like starting at a new school in a new state and to make matters worse, it’s high school. She is worried about making friends and nightmares have started to plague her. She feels drawn to one guy in particular but gets warned away by another person, Eli, saying Pete is dangerous. Abby finds out that Eli was correct about Pete. Then she finds out Eli isn’t who he says he is. She gets pulled into Eli’s world and ends up more confused and in trouble.

This book drew me in from the beginning.  The characters were very well thought-out and had me invested in what was happening to them. As the story developed, I found myself reading faster to find out what was happening.

As the two main characters, Abby and Eli interacted well together and I couldn’t wait to see what developed in their relationship. Were they friends or something more? It could have gone either direction and I couldn’t wait to see which way they went. Pete, on the other hand, seemed to be a bad influence but I wasn’t sure what his place was, which kept me on my toes. I can’t wait to start the second book. It was well worth my time and I enjoyed reading it.

My rating: 5/5 stars.

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BOOK TOUR: Review: “The Malevolent Twin” by Mary Sage Nguyen

The Malevolent Twin by Mary Sage NguyenA review by Domoni.

I would first off like to thank the author, Mary Sage Nguyen, for the opportunity to take part in this book tour and read her novel in exchange for an honest review.

Avery is a bright young Vietnamese woman. Raised in a poor household, she never had many luxuries. She attends college and works at the nail salon with her mother. She also has an imaginary friend, Venice. Venice has been with Avery since she was small. She first appeared to her when Avery’s drunk abusive father was terrorizing the family and Avery needed the support. Venice has been there ever since. Avery doesn’t particularly like Venice though, she just can’t make her go away. Venice enjoys wilder things while Avery is a rather innocent good girl.  When things start to get to be too much, Avery tells Venice to leave for good. Venice tells Avery she won’t leave that easily, she is her twin and she will make Avery pay.

The idea of this story caught my attention and I looked forward to reading it. Unfortunately that excitement faded quickly. It is a very quick read, if you can finish it. The story rushes through without any building on the setting. There is no description to anything except clothing items. The author does not add any real details to bring the story to life. I would have loved to hear details about the weather, or even the wallpaper. Anything that could help my mind create the world of Avery and Venice. The timeline of the story is also impossible to nail down. There is no transition from scene to scene and occasionally it contradicts itself.

You would expect Avery to be a sympathetic character, but she did not come off as one in my opinion. She constantly complained about people who had more than her. Avery seems to despise obese people and is both disdainful and jealous of anyone who dresses or acts sexy. I found it impossible to relate to any character in the story and unfortunately the only thing I have to say good about this story is it was very short.

Rating: 1 out of 5 stars.

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The Malevolent Twin Banner

The Malevolent Twin

Book One

Mary Sage Nguyen

Genre: Young Adult, Suspense, Thriller,

Mystery, and a little bit of science fiction.

Date of Publication: April 2015

ISBN: 978-0996256100

Kindle ISBN: 978-0996256117

Smashwords ISBN: 978-0996256124

Ebook: 123 pages

Word Count: 37,560

Cover Artist: http://www.ebooklaunch.com

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Book Description:

A murderous wicked twin.

An innocent, law abiding, and oblivious girl.

The ultimate brawl between contrasting sisters!

Murder, mystery, suspense and more in The Malevolent Twin.

Avery is a normal teenager, except for Venice. Venice is Avery’s imaginary friend or so she thinks. When the two begin to fight. Avery starts her investigation, to figure out what Venice really is. She encounters a wise old exorcist, and an albino psychic who assist her, with attempting to remove Venice. Which comes too late as Venice goes on a murdering rampage using Avery’s body. Does Avery survive the Wrath of Venice?

Find out in… The Malevolent Twin.

Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/KdscPo2LMbM

Available at: BN   Amazon

Mary Sage Nguyen

About the Author

Mary Sage Nguyen is the youngest daughter of Vietnamese and Chinese immigrants. Vietnamese was the language spoken at home, so the only way she was able to learn English was through the public school system. Even though English was not spoken at home, Mary became an avid reader as a young child and always dreamed of being a writer someday.

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Giveaway:
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BOOK TOUR: Review: “Hope In Every Raindrop” by Wesley Banks

Hope In Every RaindropA review by Maria.

I’d like to thank author Wesley Banks for giving me the opportunity to read and review his book Hope In Every Raindrop.

Katie is searching for a new book idea. After publishing some best-sellers, she’s feeling the pressure to write another great novel. She remembers her deceased father’s advice about being able to find stories everywhere. She picks a random stop on the map, which happens to be small-town called Bishopville, South Carolina. While talking to locals, she hears a story about a doctor, his nephew, and their magic dogs. Intrigued, Katie sets out to find them and uncover the story there. She finds more than she thought possible.

Katie was a relentless, dogged, writer who had the admirable quality of passionately pursuing a story. She was intelligent, self-deprecating, kind, and patient. She was also recovering from the recent death of her father, and writing was her connection to him and his poems. I think the only thing I would have liked to know more about Katie, was maybe a little bit about what her previous best-sellers had been about.

Kyle was a very strange leading male. He was quiet, reclusive, and wary, with everyone except his dogs. Katie first spots Kyle doing magic with the dogs. It wasn’t actually magic but a loving bond between man and beast and involved patience and training. Kyle develops a mutually respectful but commanding relationship between himself and his 31 dogs. Together with Doc, his uncle, he nurtures them both in mind, soul and body.

Doc was an interesting character and I’d like to have gotten a little more of his backstory aside from bits and pieces. He was a witty, funny, older man, still grieving his deceased wife. He seemed to always be one step ahead of both Kyle and Katie always anticipating exactly what either needed.

King, the leading canine of Kyle’s pack bears mentioning. He was every bit as enigmatic as his owner. However he was a different kind of canine being neither dog nor wolf. He was loyal and fearless. He was a leader but seemed almost magical in his movements. He became a main character all on his own.

Hope In Every Raindrop is a hard book to categorize. It was part mystery as Katie learns more about the dogs and their owner. It’s a book for animal lovers and it’s part contemporary romance. The romance between Katie and Kyle moves so slow it might as well have been moving backwards. But as these two characters start to develop a mutual trust for each other their walls start to come down, and the romance is worth the wait.

 

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

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Hope In Every Raindrop tour banner

Welcome to my tour stop for Hope in Every Raindrop by Wesley Banks. Hope in Every Raindrop by Wesley Banks is a clean new adult romance.  The tour runs from June 22nd to July 3rd.

About the Book:

Small Hope In Every Raindrop cover

“Small towns have big stories.” That was a lesson Katie’s father taught her years ago. A lesson she’s taken to heart. And right now, Katie is desperate for a big story. Reeling from the recent loss of her father and with her agent breathing down her neck for the next book, the twenty-one-year-old writer picks a spot on the map and finds herself bound for a middle-of-nowhere town called Bishopville, South Carolina.

Taking a chance on the words of a local grocer, Katie stumbles upon a rare breed of dogs raised by the town doctor and his nephew Kyle. The only problem? Kyle isn’t interested in telling stories—especially not to a big-city girl who can’t seem to sit still. In an attempt to win him over as the clock winds down, Katie finds herself immersed in Kyle’s world, doing everything but writing.

When inspiration finally strikes, Katie is faced with an unforeseen catastrophe and a truth she can no longer ignore. While she has come to love the dogs, the real story may be about Kyle Walker.

About the Author:

Wesley Banks

Wesley Banks was born in 1983 and grew up on the west coast of Florida. He graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Civil Engineering. After spending over 7 years building movable bridges from Florida to Washington he decided to focus on his true passion: writing.

Wesley recently moved from Florida to Oregon to get back to the great outdoors that he’s love so much. He lives with my wife Lindsey, and his two dogs Linkin and Story. Most of his time these days is spent writing, with as much rock climbing, hiking, or skiing as they can fit in.

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Giveaway:

$25 Amazon gift card & 2 ebook copies of Hope in Every Raindrop (INT)

Ends 7/7
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Review: “Town in a Sweet Pickle” by B.B. Haywood

Town in a Sweet Pickle by B.B. HaywoodA review by Danielle.

It’s the day of the amateur cooking contest in Cape Wellington, Maine. For months, Candy Holliday and Wanda Boyle have planned this event down to the last detail so on the day of when Wanda is a no show, Candy is both annoyed and concerned. Wanda essentially came up with this idea, never one to miss out on an opportunity to be in the spotlight, soaking in all the glory, it is very out of character for Wanda to not even call to say she is running late. As the contest gets underway, a mysterious late entry is discovered by Candy and the judges: a jar of pickles labelled Sweet Deli. While this is supposed to be an amateur contest for the town’s residents to showcase their own skills the judges can’t resist adding the pickles to the contest, anxious to try them and see if they really are the pickles from the Sweet Deli that mysteriously closed down overnight several years ago. The best pickles anyone had ever eaten, all the judges agree.

Suddenly, a member of the crowd collapses, stopping the judging and tasting. It is discovered that several jars of The Sweet Deli pickles are showing up all over town and they are tainted with poison. Panicked and scared, the town’s people turn both to and on Candy, seeing that she is again at the center of another murder mystery in their sleepy little coastal town and hoping that, like all the other tragic events that have happened over the last five years, Candy can solve this mystery too. Now Candy must find out who is behind this latest attack, to clear her name and dig deeper to see if all these murders are part of a bigger plot for the town and quickly before anyone else gets hurt.
I am a huge fan of B.B Haywood and all of the Candy Holliday mystery books, but I have noticed that as the series gets closer to a big reveal of a deeper storyline that each individual book works toward, the series has become more predictable and boring. I am sad to say the quality of the last two books in this series have really fallen compared to the first four. Town in a Sweet Pickle was not only dull with minimal action, but the suspect list for the murderer was as shallow as a kiddie pool. I guessed the murderer’s identity before the second body hit the floor and the twists I usually don’t see coming in this series were lackluster and more of a curve into a dead end plot than a corkscrew in a literary metaphorical roller coaster. I’m not entirely sure how many books are slated for the remainder of the series but given all the background knowledge and foreshadowing dropped over the span of the six books, I’d wager I already know who the real masterminds are behind all of Cape Wellington’s misfortune and why they are so keen on destroying the little town. I will keep my fingers crossed for the next book to not only end the series, but also return the quality to its original glory. Also B.B., can we please get Candy a solid love interest for all of us single girls’ sake?

My rating: 2.5 /5 stars.

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BOOK TOUR: Review: “You Can’t Get Blood Out Of Shag Carpet” by Juliette Harper

You Can't Get Blood Out of Shag Carpet by Juliette HarperA review by Maria.

I’d like to thank author Juliette Harper for letting me read and review her novel, You Can’t Get Blood Out of Shag Carpet: A Study Club Cozy Murder Mystery.

Wanda Jean’s husband died on their shag carpet with a knife in his chest. Now local police are looking only at Wanda Jean as the killer. But not if her friends in the Study Club can help it. Club President Carla Wyler sets the club to work trying to find the real killer in their small town.

This book was a short read but it went slowly. There were was a huge cast of characters to keep straight, a different time period as the setting, and many, many different mysteries and secrets kept in town.

The novel was set in the 1960s and the differences in the time from then and now were amusing to read. I thought the author did a good job capturing that time period down to the smallest details from whispering about the Kennedy elections and cross-dressing, to perms and cat-eye glasses.

This was a southern mystery. The town seemed very backward, but it also could have been the time period. Carla and the club are very pro feminist rights and have quite a bit of futuristic ideas, but are also easily shocked by “bedroom activities” and the subject of homosexuality. It was interesting to watch these women uncover all of the mysteries in their small town.

Carla was a fascinating forward thinking character. She wasn’t afraid to stand up for her rights and the rights of other women. Even though her Study Club didn’t actually study anything, they still explored a vast range of political, social, and religious issues. I liked how much she educated other members, but never tried to change them, and applauded who they were – hairdressers, nurses, and housewives alike.

This book was very different from other Juliette Harper books I have read in the past. Where most of those were romantic suspense books, this was very much a novel for women and about women, with a mystery tying it all together.

I enjoyed this book and look forward to more mysteries in this series.Blog-Tour-You-Can-Get-Blood-out-of-Shag-Carpet

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

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Book & Author details:

Wanda Jean Milton discovers her husband, local exterminator Hilton Milton, dead on her new shag carpet with an Old Hickory carving knife sticking out of his chest. Beside herself over how she’ll remove the stain, and grief-stricken over Hilton’s demise, Wanda Jean finds herself the prime suspect in the case. But she is also a member of “the” local Study Club, a bastion of independent Texas feminism 1960s style. Club President Clara Wyler has no intention of allowing a member to be a murder suspect during her administration. Aided by her younger sister and County Clerk, Mae Ella Gormley; Sugar Watson, the proprietress of Sugar’s Style and Spray; and Wilma Schneider, Army MASH veteran and local RN, the Club women set out to clear Wanda Jean’s name — never guessing the local dirt they’ll uncover in the process.

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AUTHOR BIO:

Juliette Harper is the pen name used by the writing team of Patricia Pauletti and Rana K. Williamson. You Can’t Get Blood Out of Shag Carpet is the first installment of Harper’s debut cozy Study Club Mysteries, an hilariously funny look at the often absurd eccentricities of small town life. The second book, to be released in coming months, is called You Can’t Put a Corpse in a Parade.

The droll series, set in the 1960s, is a light-hearted spinoff of Harper’s Lockwood Legacy a nine-book chronicle of the lives of three sisters who inherit a ranch in Central Texas following their father’s suicide. Three of the novels are currently available: Langston’s Daughters, Baxter’s Draw, and Alice’s Portrait. The fourth book, Mandy’s Father, will appear in Summer 2015.

And don’t miss Harper’s first foray into the world of the supernatural, Descendants of the Rose, Book 1 in the Selby Jensen Paranormal Mystery series. The second Selby Jensen book, Lost in Room 636 is also scheduled for a Summer 2015 release.

Pauletti, an Easterner of Italian descent, is an accomplished musician with an eye for art and design. Williamson, a Texan, worked as a journalist and university history instructor before becoming a full-time freelance writer in 2002.

GIVEAWAY
One (1) winner gets a $50 Amazon Gift Card (INT), one (1) winner gets Langston’s Daughters, Baxter’s Draw and Alice’s Portrait in paperback (US) and one (1) winner gets Descendants of the Rose in paperback (US)
Ends June 29th

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Review: “Between the Tides” by Patti Callahan Henry

Between the Tides by Patti Callahan HenryA review by Julie.

Catherine Leary has not been back to her childhood home since the tragedy that forced her family to move; a tragedy she knew was her own fault. It has been nine months since her dad’s death and she still has not put his ashes in the Seaboro River, honoring his final request. On the night before her birthday, Forrest, her dad’s colleague and a person she once dated, came to her with a birthday letter from her dad. He wants to memorialize her father and the years they lived in Seaboro. Catherine goes with him in the hopes of stopping him from finding out what she’s been hiding about their history. It leads to a trip into the past, and a journey that might lead her into a new life.

This book was definitely intriguing.  There were plenty of twists to keep my interest in the story. This was a book full of love and forgiveness, and a chance for Catherine to find the truth about her past.  The author wrote Catherine as vulnerable and I found that I was really able to relate what she was going through. Forrest was pushy, but not in an unlikable way. He pushed Catherine to get her to fully listen to what was being said. The surprises that popped up were entirely unexpected, which was refreshing. I am often able to figure out the plot and predict what will happen next but the author, through Catherine and Forrest, kept me on my toes while I read this. I enjoyed it very much and I am sure that others will enjoy this book as much as I did.

 

My rating: 4 /5 stars.

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