Category Archives: Blog

Review of Time Sniffers by C. S. Lakin

Lakin_Time_SniffersEnjoyable Science Fiction for Teens

I enjoyed this fast-paced story and made an immediate emotional connection to Bria and her Autistic brother Dylan who are dealing with the loss of their mother.

Bria doesn’t believe her mother is dead. Acting on her gut feeling, Bria enlists friends from her science club to help her figure out what went wrong with the lab test that disintegrated their mother’s building. Recreating the experiment blows a hole in the basement wall and in comes the loveable, doglike Sniffer. The adventurous teens go through the hole and risk all to help Bria find answers.

Lakin did an amazing job capturing the chaotic mind of teens trying to solve problems while sorting through feelings and logical facts. Lakin allows Bria to be a scientific, practical-minded girl who also has the real emotions and hormones of a teenager. The romantic element is a plus in my opinion and balances the heavily detailed physics.

I’m please to recommend Time Sniffers (Shadow World Book 1), and believe teens will enjoy this novel.

There were a few errors in the free version I read, but the well-developed story and wonderful character development have garnered my 5-star rating.

Purchase on Amazon

I Am Officially an Award-Winning Author

“I am officially an Award-Winning Author!” I have to keep telling myself this so I’ll believe it.

A while ago, I paid for Hungry Monster’s Review Service plus the cost of my eBook so the review would show as a verified purchase on Amazon.

“But it doesn’t count if you pay for it!” Some would say.

I kind of thought that too, until I went to their FAQ page and read. The main two questions I needed answered were: Who are these reviewers and am I guaranteed a five-star review?

The answers given, set my mind at ease. I especially liked the statement, “All reviewers associated with the Hungry Monster have a deep passion for books, have a college degree and are professional writers and editors.” And concerning the guarantee: “Absolutely not. All the reviews posted on this site are an honest opinion of any work submitted. The fee goes toward paying the reviewer for their time and maintenance on the site. It in no way pays for a positive review.”

I received a four-star review—my first. But the reviewer did, indeed, give a knowledgeable and professional review. Their only issue: “If there is any criticism for the book that can be offered it would be for something that is almost uncontrollable. It concerns the background conflict between the Colonies and the Crown. This is what gives historical fiction its flavor, but it does overshadow the very personal, family struggle between Mary and her father. This is the only real issue with the storyline, beyond this Defiance on Indian Creek will be a pleasurable read to any person who enjoys YA and a painstakingly researched historical fiction.”

I did chuckle a bit at this and wonder how one removes the historic subplot in a historical fiction series set during the pre-American Revolutionary frontier—and then I moved on.

When I received my Silver Literary Award, I went from elated to doubting. I went to the website and sure enough other books reviewed during the month had received three stars.

I highly recommend Hungry Monster’s affordable review service. Check them out!

One Lovely Blog Award

It’s such an honor to be nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award (origin unknown) by the talented author, writer, and blogger, Patty Wiseman.

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When I first met Patty at the East Texas Writers Association meeting, she immediately offered her friendship and support. She has a heart for mentoring new authors and a genuine desire to encourage women to reach their full potential. I’m bless to have her friendship and look forward to learning more from her.

About Patty: (From her website) Patty writes clean, fiction stories about the challenges women have faced in the past and continue to face today. The characters are in the throes of a time of transition, struggling to maintain their own identity or simply dealing with the unexpected events that life throws at them. Her published and future novels cover a variety of genres—from her love of stories that inspire and encourage, to those suspenseful dramas that keep you on the edge of your seat, and adventurous journeys of those who have overcome society’s constraints. Go to Patty’s inspirational website to learn more.

HERE ARE  THE RULES

  1. When you get this award,
  2. Thank the person who nominated you and link their blog
  3. Add the One Lovely Blog Award to your post
  4. Share 7 things about yourself that are not in your Bio
  5. Pass this on to as many people as you like (max 15)
  6. Include this set of rules
  7. Inform your nominees

7  THINGS ABOUT ME THAT ARE NOT IN MY BIO?

1.  I LOVE GYMNASTICS

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Before I knew there was a name for turning cartwheels, hand-springing, and flipping over Monkey Bars—I was that kid. I also loved to swing as high as I could, let go, and FLY. My favorite place was in the highest tree I could climb, until I reached the precipice that swayed to-and-fro while I enjoyed the view and the solitude. My fourteenth year landed me in the boot hill of Missouri where I discovered Gymnastics. The gym became my retreat and an outlet for my need to conquer a task. I grew confident and my coaches became my family.

2.  I ENJOY GENEALOGY/DNA

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I asked my grandmother if we were related to anyone famous. She said Robert E. Lee might have been her grandmother’s cousin but she didn’t really know. That’s when I became interested in the family history. There are multiple people with a Lee ancestor they wish to connect to this Lee family. I’m six generations down from Ann Talitha Lee who was the daughter of Madison County Kentucky’s Richard Lee. This Richard Lee had been proven NOT to be of the same DNA male line to the exclusive Lee’s of Virginia. However, due to the multiple cousin marriages in my grandmother’s family, the connection could be in an untraceable female line. Thanks to my uncle, who is the last to carry Ann Lee’s maternal DNA, we at least have proof when/if her mother can be proved. Oh, well. Being interested in this connection led me to discover Ann’s mother-in-law, Mary Shirley McGuire. *Smiles*

My Silhouette shining the light.

My Silhouette shining the light.

3.  I LOVE ADVENTURE TRIPS

My husband and I like to travel. One year we went to San Ignacio, Belize and accepted a tour from a local guide to Barton Creek Cave accessible only by canoe. I held a large flashlight at the front of the canoe as we ducked beneath the low hanging ceiling.

     

4.  I’M A SKY-GAZER

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My fascination with the sky began at the age of four or five. I love a blue sky with fluffy white clouds sailing by. I love a clear view of infinite stars at night. I like sunsets better than sunrises.

 

 

5.  I LOVE APPLE FRITTERS and hate plain yucky glazed donuts.

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6.  I’M DETERMINED, NOT STUBBORN

Picket FenceI had to keep up with my big brother or he’d leave me out of things—like climbing a tree by the age of five, walking a fence rail, and soldier crawling. This determination has played a crucial role in my life from marriage, writing, and refusing to give up.

 

 

 

7.  I HAVE A RARE BONE MARROW DISORDER

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I almost passed out at work and my chest felt tight. The ER internist showed me my labs—freaking out. He said, “You have thick blood. Why is your blood so thick?” I took myself to an Internal Medicine Dr. who referred me to a Hematologist. I have Polycythemia (bone marrow makes too many abnormal red blood cells) translation—I take baby aspirin every day and have therapeutic phlebotomies every three months to prevent having a stroke. However, this causes low energy levels. Sheer determination keeps me going some days. I mention this, to encourage everyone with chronic health conditions to keep living and be strong!

CHECK OUT MY NOMINEES:

Dawn Husted: Young Adult Fiction Author

Unwritten Melody Blog Tour Stop

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A warm East Texas welcome! 

I’m happy you stopped by for today’s blog tour featuring, Unwritten Melody by Tessa Emily Hall. 

After reading the story blurb and my review, click on the link to enter a chance to win her awesome prize pack! Learn about Tessa and follow her blog tour schedule to learn more about Unwritten Melody.

Unwritten Melody by Tessa Emily Hall

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Does breaking free require breaking the rules?

Cassie Gilbert lives every day in the shadows of her deceased mom’s rebellion. But now that she’s seventeen, she finds herself longing to break away from her grandmother’s suffocating rules, experience what it’s like to be a regular teenager, and fulfill her songwriting dreams.

James Russo, former American Spotlight contestant, escapes to small town Willow Creek, SC hoping to flee from his tarnished past. When a school project pairs him with the shy principal’s granddaughter, he’s determined to get to know this Emily-Dickinson-obsessed and typewriter-using girl. His plan? Convince Cassie to co-write songs for his demo album.

As Cassie gets to know James over “project meetings” (more like opportunities to match her lyrics with his melodies), she becomes intrigued by his sense of adventure and contagious passion for music. But soon, his past becomes exposed. Cassie’s left to wonder—did she make the same mistake Mom did by falling for the bad boy?

Then, Grandma’s control pushes her over the edge. Cassie must choose between remaining in the chains of yesterday, or delving into her own freedom by completing the melody her mom left behind.

Book Links:

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My Review

Unwritten Melody by Tessa Emily Hall has a gentle pace, but a strong emotional impact that will inspire young adults to hold on to hope and follow their dreams.

Readers will be drawn to Cassie’s desire to break free from insecurities, live a normal teen life, and fulfill her dream—to write inspiring songs. However, her overprotective Grandma has kept Cassie on a tight leash too long. Cassie struggles to find the courage to stand up to her.

In walks James Russo, teen idol finalist on American Spotlight. Why has he enrolled as a student at Cassie’s small private school?

When a teacher pairs the two for a school project, painfully shy Cassie is sure Grandma will nullify the partnership and save her from humiliation. But sometimes God’s plans come with unexpected twists.

In this sweet Young Adult Romance secrets are uncovered, hearts break, but faith, hope, and love remain.

This story is a poignant reminder of how young people struggle to know their relevance and need those special someones to say FLY!

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Never stop following your dreams Tessa! Thank you for allowing me to share in the release of Unwritten Melody

The Giveaway

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Enter for your chance to win the Unwritten Melody Prize Pack! Two winners will be selected and announced on Tessa’s blog the final day of tour (Friday, December 9th) and will be notified via email.

This prize pack includes…

  • E-copy of Unwritten Melody
  • Signed paperback copy of Purple Moon
  • Unwritten Melody mug, filled with goodies
  • Unwritten Melody swag, including a bookmark, pen, and poster
  • Starbucks mocha flavored instant coffee
  • Free Unwritten Melody: Page-By-Page Secrets PDF
  • Handmade journal
  • Typewritten thank you note

*This giveaway is open to the US only.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER GIVEAWAY

About Tessa

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Tessa Emily Hall writes inspirational yet authentic YA fiction to show others they’re not alone—and because she remembers the teen life like it was yesterday (or a few years ago). The debut novel she wrote at 16-years-old, PURPLE MOON (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas) was a Selah 2014 Finalist. Her second novel, UNWRITTEN MELODY, releases with Clean Reads November 2016. She’s the Founder of PursueMagazine.net, a magazine that inspires teens to embrace their calling. Tessa also enjoys helping writers achieve their dreams through her internship at Hartline Literary Agency.

When her fingers aren’t flying 116 WPM across the keyboard, Tessa can be found making healthy homemade lattes, speaking to teens, decorating her insulin pump, and acting in Christian films. She writes in a small town nestled between the Blue Ridge Mountains and Southeastern coast. Her favorite way to procrastinate is by connecting with readers on her blog, mailing list, social media (@tessaemilyhall), and website.

Connect with Tessa

Follow the Blog Tour Schedule

Don’t miss the next blog tour stop! Be sure to visit the following blogs on its designated tour date. You can also email tessaemilyhall (at) gmail (dot) com and request to receive the Blog Tour Packet. At the end of the tour, Tessa will send you the downloadable PDF that will contain all of the content from each blog tour stop.

Tues., November 1 – Christ is Write

Wed., November 2 – Adriana Gabrielle Writes

Thurs., November 3 – The Depth of My Faith

Fri., November 4 – Sarah Ruut

Mon., November 7 – God is Love

Tues., November 8 – The Bibliophile Angel

Wed., November 9 – Emily Rachelle Writes

Thurs, November 10 – Word Changers For His Glory

Fri., November 11 – Christian Teen Book Reviews

Mon., November 14 – Phyllis Still

Tues., November 15 – In The Bookcase

Wed., November 16 – Girl Meets Publishing World

Thurs., November 17 – Anna Schaeffer

Fri., November 18 – Ramblings of a Writer

Mon., November 21 – Naomi and Books

Tues., November 22 – Reading is My Superpower

Wed., November 23 – Zerina Blossom’s Books

Thurs., November 24 – Jennifer Slattery Lives Out Loud

Fri., November 25 – Labor Not in Vain

Mon., November 28 – Barbara Bruitt

Tues., November 29 – Katy Kauffman

Wed., November 30 – Jen Pheobus

Thurs., December 1 – Northern Belle Meg

Fri., December 2 – 2Me From Him

Mon., December 5 – Nicole Quigley

Tues., December 6 – The Destiny of One

Wed., December 7 – Catherine Castle

Thurs., December 8 – Rachelle Rea Cobb

Fri., December 9 – Leslie L. Mckee

Dragons of Jade: A Review and Author Promo

Clean YA Fantasy with a hint of Romance

Dragons of Jade by [Lauzier, Jean]Description:  There’s no such thing as dragons.
Of that, Jade Delaney was sure. She may not have known who she was or where she came from, but at least she had a plan for her future.

All that changes when a dragon summons her back to the world from which she came. There, she learns dragons are real, the truth of her birth, and just why she was abandoned as a toddler.

Now she must discover and stop whoever is killing the dragons, while avoiding the man who is hunting her.

Lovable Dragons?

My Review: I loved the dragons being in need of human help and calling Jade home to fulfill her real calling. The pace was slow at times, but the story and character depth kept my interest. I’m looking forward to book 2.

Orphaned as an infant, Jade sits in anatomy class, re-reading a note left to her by her mother. What do the words, “Even the dragon agrees,” mean? Jade doesn’t believe in dragons. After being confronted by her professor for wasting her potential, Jade considers her fate. As she approaches the building exist, a mysterious door appears with images and a choice to be made that will affect her future. But she doesn’t believe in dragons.

Dragons of Jade by Jean Lauzier will please dragon lovers as Jade embarks in a mission to protect and discover who is killing them. The mystery of her mother is discovered and an unexpected fate awaits her.

About Jean

Jean Lauzier

Jean Lauzier was born and raised in Arkansas but now lives in Longview, Texas with her husband and three teens.

When not writing you can find her talking to her bonsai plants, trying to train the cats or procrastinating on the computer.

Contact:

Web: http://www.jeanlauzier.com

Social: http://facebook.com/jeanlauzier2319

Buy Dragons of Jade Here 

 

C. S. Lakin: Professional Help

writers_need_chocolate

writers_need_chocolateWhile in the process of writing my first novel, I followed an agent’s blog who warned those wishing to query her not to, unless the manuscript had been professionally edited. She offered a list of recommended copy editors. From this list, I chose C. S. Lakin.

From her website, Live, Write, Thrive, Lakin offers a number off valuable services for writers. Before paying for an edit, I opted for her professional critique. Read more

Promoting White Bird Publications

wbpublications_book_coverIn the early days of writing my book, I researched and followed agent blogs. I expected to submit my synopsis and the first five pages to one, and then wait three months for the traditional non-reply rejection.

However, during the course of the revision process, I’ve learned that the publishing business has changed. Many writers self-publish to keep more of the profits, but I didn’t want to take another year to learn all the pros and cons.

I joined a local writers group and discovered White Bird Publications, an independently owned, traditional publisher who didn’t require an agent, and wasn’t a vanity publisher.

I’m pleased with my decision to add Defiance on Indian Creek to White Bird Publications growing number of quality books available from fiction and non-fiction genres.

 

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