Tuesday, May 31, 2016

I Am Sleepless: Sim 299 by Johan Twiss {Review}

I Am Sleepless: Sim 299 by Johan Twiss
Paperback, 286 pages
Published October 28th 2015 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform 
While the others slept, Aidan spent hours each night running sim after sim. Although he was only a twelve-year cadet, he had completed more simulations than any prime— ever.

“You are setting history,” General Estrago told him. “No one has ever made it to the current simulation you are attempting. The other Masters and I are eager to see what comes next.”

So was Aidan.

The planet Ethos is at war with a mysterious enemy known as the Splicers. Their only successful defense is the Prime Initiative. All newborns with the compatible genetic code are taken from their families and injected with the Prime Stimulus. Each child that survives the stimulus develops an extraordinary ability and is conscripted into the military for training.

After turning twelve, Aidan is moved to the upper-class at the Mount Fegorio training complex. His special gifts allow him unprecedented success in the virtual training simulations, advancing him further than any prime cadet in history. No one knows what lies after sim 299, not even Director Tuskin, the ruthless and reclusive ruler of their planet. But something, or someone, has been guiding Aidan there. If he can pass the final tests, he may discover the key to ending the Splicer War.


From the imaginative mind of debut author Johan Twiss, I AM SLEEPLESS: Sim 299 is an extraordinary space fiction adventure series that will delight readers of all ages. I AM SLEEPLESS has a clean read rating with the perfect mix of adventure, humor, and mystery in a SciFi Fantasy world that will keep you turning pages through the night.

Clean Rating: There are no scenes with sex, drugs, graphic violence or typical "earth" swearing in this novel. There are numerous fight scenes and action sequences where people are injured and/or die, but it is not graphic and takes place in a virtual simulation. Swear words are fitting to the fictional world of Ethos, such as Tuskin's Fury, Batmonkeys, Holy Hippophants, etc... There are budding romances with kissing involved. There are suspenseful situations with monster alien creatures, fitting of the science fiction genre, and an overall thematic undertone of good v. evil that is suitable for tweens, teens and young adults.
My Review: 5 Stars
I read this aloud with my son and he absolutely loved it! This story is very creative in creating new creatures (complete with illustrations) and a new world, where a 12 year old boy, Aidan, battles an evil force to find the secrets of the Splicers. Paired with two unlikely friends, Aidan and his adventure is gripping and entertaining for readers of all ages.
The story was a little confusing at the very first, because as the world was built through words, I wasn't sure what some words were referring to and who was what. As the story progressed and I came to know what these things were, I found myself immersed in the story and intrigued by the lives of these kids and their world, Ethos. These characters are each mysterious in a way and exciting in another way. I love the bonds that are formed and the teamwork is heartening.
Each chapter contains a snippet at the beginning from Dr. T.M. Omori's book, helping the reader gradually come to know what the different types of primes are and their abilities and weaknesses. My son and are both eagerly awaiting a sequel of some kind, as this is the first in a series. 
This is a great book for those who love speculative science fiction and adventure, as well as for those who enjoy a clean and interesting adventure.
*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review*
Buy Links:

About the Author:

Johan TwissDear Brilliant Reader,

First things first. Sign up for my New Release Mailing List here: www.johantwiss.com/newsletter (simply cut-and-paste that address into your browser). You'll only get 4-5 emails a year from me. That's it! I'll tell you about new releases and book signings. Everyone hates spam, except my uncle Herbie. He's Hawaiian and loves the salty canned luncheon meat. But I will never serve you spam, ever, or share your info with anyone else.

Now that we have that bit of housekeeping out of the way and you've signed up for my newsletter, let me officially introduce myself. My name is Johan Twiss. It's a pleasure to meet you and thank you for your interest in my books. Besides being an author, I'm also a husband, a father, a church volunteer, and a business owner. As such, I am sleepless (along with much of the human race.)

I am passionate about writing clean science fiction and fantasy stories that are not only exciting, but suitable for tweens, teens and adults alike.

Currently, I live outside Dallas, Texas with my sweetheart and our 5 crazy kids. We enjoy playing games, watching movies, having jam sessions on a variety of instruments and throwing the gauntlet down for Family Fight Night. Yes, you read that correctly-- Family Fight Night. We suit up in the sparring gear and my kids attack me, practicing their blocks and strikes from martial arts class. Basically, they get to beat-up dad and have a great time.

Have a question? Complaint? Want to send me a gift card to the Cheesecake Factory? Simply reach out to me at my website at


(I can also tell your future at no extra cost, although gift cards to Cheesecake Factory tend to make the predictions more accurate.)

The Super Spies Series by Lisa Orchard {Blog Tour Spotlight/Giveaway}

Genre: Upper Middle Grade Mystery/Thrillers
Astraea Press
Publication date: March 13, 2012
Number of pages: 277

In a small town in Michigan, fifteen-year-old Sarah Cole is stuck spending the summer at her Aunt and Uncle’s with her sister, Lacey. She’s not happy with the situation until she befriends a girl named Jackie. The three girls stumble upon the ruthless murder of a reclusive neighborhood woman and what's worse? One of the officers investigating the crime believes the girls are responsible for her death.

Fearing that this officer will frame them for the murder, the girls organize their own detective squad. They become the Super Spies and start their own investigation. The Super Spies can’t understand why anyone would want to murder the “Cat Lady” until they 
​ start digging into her past and discover a horrible crime that happened thirty years ago. They uncover a connection between the two crimes and attempt to bring this information to the police, only to be reprimanded for meddling in the investigation. Not only are the girls upset by the admonition, but they also struggle with the fact that their exuberant investigating could provide a legal loophole allowing the killer to go free. Frustrated by this turn of events, the Super Spies realize it’s up to them to snare the Cat Lady killer.

Or die trying...
Genre: Upper Middle Grade Mystery/Thrillers
Astraea Press
Publication date: July 26, 2012
Number of pages: 366

This book opens in a small town in Michigan where Sarah Cole and her sister Lacey are now living with their Aunt and Uncle. Still reeling from the fact her parents have disappeared, Sarah starts the school year with her new friend Jackie Jenkins. When Sarah learns the school has been bombed, she’s filled with dread. Uncle Walt is a teacher, and he was in the school when the bomb exploded. Taking matters into her own hands, Sarah decides to search for him. The rest of the Super Spies are right behind her. When a fireman chases them away from the school, Sarah becomes ​suspicious. She decides to investigate. ​
The FBI arrives on the scene. Sarah realizes this bombing could have even bigger implications. Searching for the bombers, Sarah is introduced to the world of terrorism. She fears that the bombing and her parents’ disappearance are connected and terrorists are involved. To make matters worse, the bombers are determined to finish the job. Can the Super Spies find the bombers before it’s too late?
Genre: Upper Middle Grade Mystery/Thrillers
Astraea Press
Publication date: march 13, 2012
Number of pages: 277

​ Sarah Cole and her sister Lacey are at it once again when they learn their missing parents’ cell phone has been traced to Alden, Michigan. When the FBI declines to continue the in-vestigation, Sarah takes matters into her own hands. She calls upon the Super Spies and they delve into the situation. Suddenly, the teens find themselves immersed in small town intrigue and mystery involving a menacing stranger, who Sarah dubs “The Stalker." But when Sarah learns he’s connected to her parents’ disappearance, she’s 
determined to find out what that connection is. The Super Spies embark on a journey that leads them into a web of corporate corruption at its highest level that leaves innocent victims in its wake. Can they find the proof they need to stop the greedy corporation before it’s too late?
Lisa Orchard grew up loving books. She was hooked on books by the fifth grade and even wrote a few of her own. She knew she wanted to be a writer even then. Her first published works are the “Super Spies Series.” These stories revolve around a group of friends who form their own detective squad and the cases they solve. “The Starlight Chronicles,” is the next series that Lisa created with musical misfit, Lark Singer as her main character.

Lisa resides in Michigan with her husband, Steve, and two wonderful boys. Currently, she’s working on the next book in the Starlight Chronicles Series along with a few new ideas that may turn into stand-alone novels. When she’s not writing she enjoys spending time with her family, running, hiking, and reading.

Book 2:

Chapter One

“What do you mean you lost them?” Sarah Cole fidgeted as she waited for Agent Gray to answer. I can’t believe it! He lost the only clue to our parents’ location. What is wrong with this picture? Agitated, Sarah shifted in her seat and chewed on her lip. She was uncomfortable in the folding chair and rearranged her petite frame so she wouldn’t feel the cold metal against her bare legs. Shivering, she glanced around the all-too-familiar room.
The gray cement block walls no longer gave her that creepy, closed-in feeling she used to get when she first came to the interrogation rooms. She remembered the first time she’d been in that tiny space. It had been the day she’d discovered the Cat Lady’s dead body. Sarah shuddered at the memory and then smiled when she remembered forming the Super Spies and bringing the Cat Lady Killer to justice. Glancing around the room again, she realized she’d been in this room quite a bit these last few weeks, not only during the Cat Lady investigation, but the High School Bomber investigation as well. Shivering again, Sarah rubbed her arms but she really wasn’t cold. Her mind filled with the image of the bomber the Super Spies had helped apprehend just a week earlier.
Wow! Was it just last week?
She tugged at a lock of her honey colored hair, then brushed it away with an impatient hand. She sighed and glanced at her younger sister. Lacey sat beside her with her legs crossed, jiggling her foot at such a rapid rate it seemed like her whole body was electrified. She caught Sarah’s eye and for a moment her eyes glittered like emeralds before she shifted her gaze to Aunt June, who had placed her hand on Lacey’s leg in what appeared to be an attempt to quiet her. Sarah shifted in her chair and sighed again.Are we ever going to find Mom and Dad?
A commotion out in the hall drew everyone’s attention. Sarah leaned forward and craned her neck to see what was happening.
“Chief, we’ve got an OD!” An officer yelled.
“What?” Chief Johnson yelled as he rushed by. “An OD on what? Give me the details.”
“The parents found their son unconscious in his room this morning, and an empty bottle of prescription medication on his bedside table.”
“What was it?” Chief Johnson asked.
“It’s Myodine.”
“Who makes it?”
“Ah… Piper Drugs.”
“Call Poison Control with the name and manufacturer and ask them what to do about an overdose. Instruct the parents to get their son to the hospital pronto,” Chief Johnson ordered.
“They’ve brought him here.”
“What?” Chief Johnson exclaimed.
The sound of policemen rushing through the hall pulled Sarah and her sister out of their seats. They hurried to the door, unable to stifle their curiosity. Peering down the corridor, Sarah caught a glimpse of a young man sagging between two officers as they desperately tried to keep him on his feet. One officer gently slapped his face while the other officers held him up. The young man blinked and then gagged, puking on the officer in front of him.
The rancid stench of fresh vomit filled the air. While plugging her nose, Sarah ducked back inside the interrogation room, followed by her sister. Sarah closed the door, hoping it would keep the smell from penetrating the room.
“Did you hear that, Lace? Piper Drugs! That’s the company Dad works for,” Sarah whispered in her sister’s ear before proceeding back to her seat.
Lacey opened her mouth to speak, but closed it when Agent Gray cleared his throat and motioned for them to sit down.
He continued his conversation as if they hadn’t been interrupted. We were on our way to the location of the ping… but before we got there it disappeared.”
“So, what does that mean? Did you find our parents or what?” Sarah blurted out as she sat down. She stared into Agent Gray’s icy blue eyes, trying to read his mind.
“It means…” Agent Gray took a deep breath and seemed to reign in his annoyance. He shifted his large frame gingerly as if the chair was too small and he feared he would topple over at any moment. “That the phone was either turned off or it died, and without the ping we can’t locate it.”
Sarah slumped down, crushed by disappointment.
“Exactly how does pinging work?” Aunt June asked, leaning forward and looking past Lacey. She gave Sarah the evil eye, silently telling her to be still.
Sarah rolled her eyes and sighed. Staring at her aunt, she was struck by the resemblance to her mother. The same blonde hair and green eyes, they looked so much alike that Sarah swore they were twins. They even had the same worry line between their brows. It made its appearance now on Aunt June’s face.
“Pinging is where we can triangulate a cell phone’s location. By triangulate I mean we can find out which cell phone towers were accessed by the phone when it tried to make a call, and this will give us a general idea of the phone’s location.”
Aunt June bit her lip. “I see, so what happens now that you’ve lost the signal?”
“We’ve still got the ping set up so if the phone is turned back on, we’ll be able to continue our trace.”
“Where did the ping show up?” Sarah demanded and received another glare from her aunt.
“Somewhere in the vicinity of the town of Alden.”
“Alden?” Sarah locked eyes with her sister and then spun back to face the agent. “That’s up north. We went camping there one summer.”
“That’s right,” Aunt June said. “It’s about a two-hour drive from here.”
“How in the world did their cell phone get up north when they disappeared on a Caribbean cruise?” Sarah frowned and bit her lip. Questions whirled through her mind so fast she couldn’t make sense of them. “I mean the last we knew they were down in Florida.”
“Yeah, what’s going on?” Lacey asked, nervously twirled her long blonde hair.
“How did their phone get from Florida to Alden?” Sarah exchanged a perplexed look with Lacey.

Monday, May 30, 2016

A Crimson Frost by Marcia Lynn McClure {Review}

A Crimson Frost by Marcia Lynn McClure
Paperback, 308 pages
Published May 12th 2009 by Distractions Ink 
Beloved of her father, King Dacian, and adored by her people, the Scarlet Princess Monet endeavored to serve her kingdom well—for the people of the Kingdom of Karvana were good, and worthy of service.
Long Monet had known that even her marriage would serve her people. Her husband would be chosen for her—for this was the way of royal existence. Still, as any woman does—peasant or princess—Monet dreamt of owning true love—of owning choice in love. Thus, each time the raven-haired, sapphire-eyed, Crimson Knight of Karvana rode near, Monet knew regret—for in secret, she loved him—and she could not choose him.
As an arrogant king from another kingdom began to wage war against Karvana, Karvana's king, knights and soldiers answered the challenge. The Princess Monet would also know battle. As the Crimson Knight battled with armor and blade—so the Scarlet Princess would battle in sacrifice and with secrets held. Thus, when the charge was given to preserve the heart of Karvana, Monet endeavored to serve her kingdom and forget her secreted love. Yet, love is not so easily forgotten.
My Review: 5 Stars
I read this one years ago and put it on my Reading Challenge 2016 as my book to read again. I have a thing for royalty and found myself swooning all over again throughout this romance between a princess and a knight. This is one of my favorites by this author.
Monet's kingdom is on the verge of war with a neighboring kingdom. To keep her safe, her father sends her into exile with the Crimson Knight to protect her, as her husband, in name only. A huge, hulking knight would be intimidating, for sure, but Monet's heart has always held him close and as they get to know each other, a fun, bantering camaraderie develops and the romantic tension is a delight. 
A marriage of convenience is one of my favorite book relationships and I love the way this one happens. Who could resist a strong, brave knight and a beautiful, empathetic princess? There are surprises, suspenseful moments, swoony romance, and great characters in this smooth-flowing story. This author is a master at kissing scenes, as well at flowery imagery and descriptions.
Content: mild romance (swoony kisses, some vague innuendo); mild-moderate violence (nothing too graphic, but war, war violence, torture, etc). Clean!
Buy Links:

About the Author:

 Marcia Lynn McClureMarcia Lynn McClure's intoxicating succession of novels, novellas, and e-books--including The Visions of Ransom Lake, A Crimson Frost, The Pirate Ruse, and Kissing Cousins--has established her as one of the most favored and engaging authors of true romance. Her unprecedented forte in weaving captivating stories of western, medieval, regency, and contemporary amour void of brusque intimacy has earned her the title "The Queen of Kissing."

Marcia, who was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has spent her life intrigued with people, history, love, and romance. A wife, mother, grandmother, family historian, poet, and author, Marcia Lynn McClure spins her tales of splendor for the sake of offering respite through the beauty, mirth, and delight of a worthwhile and wonderful story.

Visit www.marcialynnmcclure.com for more information on Marcia Lynn McClure and her books, or contact her at marcialmcclure@cs.com.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde {Review}

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde's madcap farce about mistaken identities, secret engagements, and lovers entanglements still delights readers more than a century after its 1895 publication and premiere performance. The rapid-fire wit and eccentric characters of The Importance of Being Earnest have made it a mainstay of the high school curriculum for decades.

Cecily Cardew and Gwendolen Fairfax are both in love with the same mythical suitor. Jack Worthing has wooed Gwendolen as Ernest while Algernon has also posed as Ernest to win the heart of Jack's ward, Cecily. When all four arrive at Jack's country home on the same weekend the "rivals" to fight for Ernest's undivided attention and the "Ernests" to claim their beloveds pandemonium breaks loose. Only a senile nursemaid and an old, discarded hand-bag can save the day!

This Prestwick House Literary Touchstone Edition includes a glossary and reader's notes to help the modern reader appreciate Wilde's wry wit and elaborate plot twists.


My Review: 5 Stars

I chose this for a book challenge this year, as a book that I should've read in school, but didn't. I was surprised at how delightful and humorous the story was!

Both Jack and his friend, Algernon, have pretend friends (although Jack's is a cousin) that they each use to get them out of certain situations. Unfortunately, Cecily (Jack's ward) and Gwendolen (Jack's love interest), both fall in love with Ernest (Jack's "cousin"), as Algernon poses as this mythical Ernest, unbeknownst to Jack. This sounds so confusing, but I promise, it makes perfect sense in the book. All the mistaken identities and comical situations had me smiling throughout, wondering how it could possible resolve in a satisfying way. But it does work out and is such an enjoyable story. 

The pacing and characters are spot on. It's amazing that it still has life, even though this story is over 100 years old! This is definitely one to add to a list for a reader who enjoys some clean, slightly romantic comedy.


Buy Link (I got mine for free):


Friday, May 27, 2016

Splash into Summer Giveaway Hop

Welcome to my stop on the Splash into Summer Giveaway Hop!
I'll be giving away ONE $10 Amazon gift card.
To enter, fill out the rafflecopter below.
Good luck! Be sure to hop to the next stop!

Summer is one of my favorite seasons--I love being warm,
enjoying the family days, swimming, BBQs, etc.
 I always love to read in the summer, especially when

Must be 18 or older to enter.
Void where prohibited by law.
Winner will be contacted by email and will have 48 hours to respond
or a new winner will be chosen. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sun and Sizzle Cookbook by Allison Miller {Review}

Sun and Sizzle by Allison Miller
Kindle Edition, 158 pages
Published May 10th 2016 by Cedar Fort, Inc.


Make summer the most memorable season of the year with these sizzling dishes!

From burgers and steaks to salads and vegetable bakes, this cookbook is stuffed with yummy entrees, appetizers, drinks, and desserts to make your summer unforgettable. Enjoy the sun as you enjoy in-season summer foods such as

Aloha Burger
Mixed Berry Wedge Salad
Summer Pasta Salad
Melon Punch
Peaches and Cream Bars

With meals perfect for parties and smaller gatherings, you’ll sure to enjoy the outdoors all season long!


My Review: 4 Stars

This is a fun cookbook, perfect for the upcoming summer season. The recipes are definitely not low-fat, but are enjoyable for those hot summer evening and to satisfy hearty appetites.

I tried several recipes and found a few new family favorites. Bacon 'n Eggs Burger and Macaroni Salad were huge hits with my family and we made these each a few different times. The relish and hard boiled eggs in the salad adds the perfect tang and creaminess. The burger reminds us of a Hawaiian favorite--Moco Locos. The combination of the bacon, eggs, and meat really fill a stomach up. 

We also enjoyed the Baked Beans, but I left the meat out, as it just seemed to be too meat heavy with what we were pairing it with for dinner. The Baked Parmesan-Herb Zucchini was good, but I either bought squash a little too big or should have cooked it a few minutes longer because they were a little crunchy. It'll be easier to work with that recipe later on this summer, as my plant starts to produce. The Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade was a huge hit and really hit the spot on the hot spring day that we tried it. The No-Bake Eclair Cake is so easy, yet comes across as a very sophisticated and delicious dessert. There are several other recipes that we can't wait to try!

I love how great the pictures are and how easy the instructions are to follow. There are some great tips to follow at the beginning of the book that really help make the cooking experience better. This is a great book for those who want some easy and good summer dinners and don't mind the calories.

*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review*


Buy Links:



Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Lighthouse Secret (Amelia Moore Detective Series, Book 7) by Linda Weaver Clarke {Review}

The Lighthouse Secret (Amelia Moore Detective Series, Book 7) by Linda Weaver Clarke
Published February 29th 2016 by Smashwords Edition 
Rick Bonito’s uncle supposedly drowned five years ago and his body was never found, but something did not seem right about the report. Uncle Antonio was an excellent swimmer. His disappearance seems quite suspicious to Rick’s father. He never felt the complete truth had come out about his brother. It is now up to Amelia and Rick to find out the truth about his uncle.
My Review: 4 Stars
Each book in this series can stand alone, but the reader will miss out on the relationship progression if they're read out of order and that is half the fun!
Amelia and Rick and newlyweds and co-workers. They squeeze in a personal case when they decide to find out what happened to Rick's uncle, who went missing five years earlier. I love the way these two work together to solve cases. Amelia thinks outside of the box and Rick livens things up. Rick takes pride in naming the cases and this one was a no-brainer when they tour different lighthouses, looking for clues. Their banter and the way they complement each other is a joy.
I'm sad to hear that this is the last book in the series. I always enjoy the unique settings and love getting a taste for different places. The mysteries are always cozy--no graphic violence, blood and gore, or strong language. The suspense is present, but not too gripping. The romance is sweet. This is a great series for those mystery lovers who enjoy their books gentle and easy.
Content: very mild romance and violence. Clean!
*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review*
Buy Links:

About the Author:

Linda Weaver ClarkeLinda Weaver Clarke travels throughout the United States, teaching a “Family Legacy Workshop,” encouraging people to write their family history and autobiography. She is the author of the historical romance series - “A Family Saga in Bear Lake, Idaho,” a mystery suspense series - “The Adventures of John and Julia Evans," and a romantic cozy mystery series - "Amelia Moore Detective Series." 

The Descendant Prophecies by Mary Ting {Book Blast}

From Titans  From Titans (Book #4) by Mary Ting Everyone is searching for Mason. Zeus sent Hermes, and the Oracles have used their magic, with no success. A sparkle of hope arises when Eris, the goddess of Chaos, sends an invitation to her wedding engagement party. She’s holding Mason hostage, and Skylar and her friends only need permission to enter Eris’s world to rescue him. At the party, Eris gives them one condition: In exchange for Mason, they must travel to the Land of Reverse and bring back the bottle of gold water King Midas used to wash himself free of his gift. Further chaos follows when Eris not only sets up a hunt in the Labyrinth of Crete, but makes a bargain with the Titans she rescued. The Titans possess power more than anyone anticipated, and Cronus is hungry for revenge after his own children locked him up in Tartarus. No one is safe. Not even the humans. Summary for Book 1: Did you just see a flash of lightning across the sky on a clear sunny day? Don’t blame Mother Nature. Skylar Rome can’t wait to spend her last summer before college with her cousin, Kayla. Everything changes when they meet the Grand brothers. Skylar is sure she should stay away from Mason Grand, but their attraction is undeniable. Then Skylar’s life erupts into turmoil. She steps into a world where descendants of ancient gods have super powers, evil beings chase her, and questions arise about her own identity. She is running out of time and running for her life, while trying to unravel the mystery of what they want from her. Forced into a battle set into motion long before she was born, will Skylar find the answers she seeks, or will she die trying? 
pre order on amazon 

Praise for the Series 

"From Gods takes mythology to a whole new level of imagination with its incredible plot and amazing characters. It's full of hotness that you never want to end!" Michele, Insane About Books 

"From Gods by the AMAZING AUTHOR Mary Ting is OMGods good!! If you even LIKE Greek Mythology, set aside some time because you will DEVOUR Mary Ting's Demi Gods and Vultures!!!" Mindy, Books Complete Me 


Grab a FREE copy of From Gods this weekend ONLY!

From GodsFrom Gods (Book #1) by Mary Ting

Did you just see a flash of lightning across the sky on a clear sunny day? Don’t blame Mother Nature. Skylar Rome can’t wait to spend her last summer before college with her cousin, Kayla. Everything changes when they meet the Grand brothers. Skylar is sure she should stay away from Mason Grand, but their attraction is undeniable. Then Skylar’s life erupts into turmoil. She steps into a world where descendants of ancient gods have super powers, evil beings chase her, and questions arise about her own identity. She is running out of time and running for her life, while trying to unravel the mystery of what they want from her. Forced into a battle set into motion long before she was born, will Skylar find the answers she seeks, or will she die trying?



“Mason, MASON, MASON!” Skylar panicked.

“I know. Skylar, hold on tight. I’m going to brake.”

“But there are cars behind us.”

“We have no choice. Don’t worry. I got this.” Mason pushed down on the brake forcefully. The car hydroplaned to the right. “Hold on.”

Skylar gripped the first thing her hand found. The water from the road jetted up into the air like in a water show, but the car kept gliding sideways, until finally it spun in a full circle and stopped. With no time to waste, Mason turned it to the right and accelerated, hoping to dodge what was coming toward them.

Out of nowhere, a long piece of ice, taking the form of a spear, darted through the trucks’ tires and punctured some of them. More ice spears came soaring out of the rain, but this time ten or more sphere-like ice balls followed, denting the sides of the trucks. One went through a windshield. With flat tires, the trucks now glided as if skating on ice, maneuvering from side to side.

“Did you do that?” Skylar asked excitedly.

“No. Must be Poseidon’s kids. Where the hell are they?” Mason spread his right arm out in front of Skylar as if to protect her. “Bend down, Sky.”

One of the trucks hit another and veered off, hitting yet another one. The crash caused the trucks to flip and tumble, heading straight for Mason’s car. With a look of shock, Skylar held her breath. There was no time to move, think, or get out of the car, so she closed her eyes and prepared for the crash.

Seconds before impact, Mason’s car flew up into the air and over the trucks. Somehow, as if by magic, the water created a liquid bridge, guiding the car safely over, and then it thumped hard onto the ground on the other side. Without looking back, Mason sped away as the sound of screeching brakes and metal hitting metal blasted behind them.

Mary TingAuthor Mary Ting

International Bestselling, Award-Winning, 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.  

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    Blast Giveaway $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 6/13/16 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Just Claire by Jean Ann Williams {Blog Tour Review and Giveaway}

Genre: Fiction, Historical, Children's
Publisher: Clean Reads
Publication date: January 6, 2016
Number of pages: 208

ClaireLee’s life changes when she must take charge of her siblings after her mother becomes depressed from a difficult childbirth. Frightened by the way Mama sleeps too much and her crying spells during waking hours, ClaireLee just knows she’ll catch her illness like a cold or flu that hangs on through winter. ClaireLee finds comfort in the lies she tells herself and others in order to hide the truth about her erratic mother. Deciding she needs to re-invent herself, she sets out to impress a group of popular girls.
With her deception, ClaireLee weaves her way into the Lavender Girls Club, the most sophisticated girls in school. Though, her best friend Belinda will not be caught with the likes of such shallow puddles, ClaireLee ignores Belinda’s warnings the Lavenders cannot be 
​ trusted. ClaireLee drifts further from honesty, her friend, and a broken mother’s love, until one very public night at the yearly school awards ceremony. The spotlight is on her, and she finds her courage and faces the truth and then ClaireLee saves her mother’s life.

Book Trailer

Author Jean Ann Williams, the eldest in a large family, enjoys digging into her fascinating childhood to create stories for children. Having written over one hundred articles for children and adults, this is her first book. Jean Ann and her husband live on one acre where they raise a garden, goats, and chickens. Her favorite hobbies are hiking through the woods and practicing archery with her bow.
*I received a copy through Singing Librarian Tours in exchange for an honest review*
4.5 Stars

ClaireLee is thirteen years old and after a quick move to a new state for her father's new job and a traumatic birth of her baby brother, her world turns upside down. Her mother isn't the same and it's up to Claire to care for her younger siblings, run the household, keep her family together, go to school, and try and fit in with the Lavender girls and the locals. Being thirteen isn't easy, as.

I really enjoyed the way Claire is portrayed as a girl beyond her years in maturity, yet still possesses those childish impulses. Her coming-of-age is endearing and the lessons learned are mighty. Claire is very likable and it's easy to root for her along her path. I loved watching her gradually trusting those around her and found myself pitying her for her situation at times, especially when her parents with either too busy or too ignorant to do anything to ease her burdens. Her friendships were the heart of the story. Belinda reminded me of Peppermint Patty, from The Peanuts, as she's very brash, loud, and blunt, but is loyal to the core.

The flow of the story and the way the setting and characters are depicted felt very true to life in a small, transient, Northern California town in the 1960's. The pacing is gentle and realistic and I enjoyed every page.

Content: the characters are religious and often utter phrases from hymns or snippets of prayers; no language or romance; mild violent elements--not graphic, but some descriptions of blood and childbirth. Clean.