Sheila's Books Read

Sheila's bookshelf: read

The Best Intentions
Scotland's Melody
The Secret Society of Salzburg
Secret of the Sonnets
20-40-60-Minute Dinners: Meals to Match the Time You Have
Through the Wilderness: My Journey of Redemption and Healing in the American Wild
Secret Santa Claus Club: A Tool to Help Parents Unwrap the Secret of Santa
Mr. Pudgins
Revenge Never Rests
The Best Mistake
Meriden Park
More Inspirational Stories for Young Women
The Great Tree: A Christmas Fable
To Capture His Heart
The Call of the Sea
Livvy and the Enchanted Woodland
Come, Gentle Night
The Bad Boy Theory
Guide To Smart Wedding Planning: What You want to know and everything you haven't thought of yet.

Sheila's favorite books »

2024 Goodreads Reading Challenge

2024 Reading Challenge

2024 Reading Challenge
Sheila has read 4 books toward her goal of 100 books.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Shudder (Stitch Trilogy, Book 2) by Samantha Durante-Blog Tour

  Product Details:
Title: Shudder (Stitch Trilogy, Book 2)
Author:  Samantha Durante
Genre: YA/NA Dystopian/Paranormal Romance
Release Date: June 15th
Publisher: Samantha Durante (June 14, 2013)
Language English
ISBN#-10 0985804629

FTC FYI: I received a review e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
Book Description:
It's only been three days, and already everything is different.

Paragon is behind her, but somehow Alessa's life may actually have gotten worse. In a wrenching twist of fate, she traded the safety and companionship of her sister for that of her true love, losing a vital partner she'd counted on for the ordeal ahead. Her comfortable university life is but a distant memory, as she faces the prospect of surviving a bleak winter on the meager remains of a ravaged world. And if she'd thought she'd tasted fear upon seeing a ghost, she was wrong; now she's discovering new depths of terror while being hunted by a deadly virus and a terrifying pack of superhuman creatures thirsting for blood.

And then there are the visions.

The memory-altering "stitch" unlocked something in Alessa's mind, and now she can't shake the constant flood of alien feelings ransacking her emotions. Haunting memories of an old flame are driving a deep and painful rift into her once-secure relationship. And a series of staggering revelations about the treacherous Engineers - and the bone-chilling deceit shrouding her world's sorry history - will soon leave Alessa reeling...

The second installment in the electrifying Stitch Trilogy, Shudder follows Samantha Durante's shocking and innovative debut with a heart-pounding, paranormal-dusted dystopian adventure sure to keep the pages turning. 

Excerpt From Shudder: 

The crunch of broken glass outside the dumpster broke Isaac’s train of thought.  Alessa looked up at him with alarm and he just held her tighter in his arms, his ears straining to track the movement of the sound.
The noise moved back and forth, back and forth, as if someone were pacing only steps away from the dumpster.  Isaac held his breath, his pulse pounding in his ears, his skin crawling with every snap reverberating through the empty dumpster.
And then suddenly the noise came faster, like more sets of feet tramping across the pavement in a violent rush.  His ears pricked at the intrusion of their snarls and growls, eerily raspy and shrill at the same time.  He couldn’t place the sound at all – it was unlike anything he’d ever heard.
Squinting in the darkness, he tipped his head back and strained the muscles in his neck, hoping for a glimpse through the crack in the lid of the predators beyond.
There was a quick flash as a hulking mass darted past the front of dumpster; Isaac jumped, quelling the gasp at his lips.  Alessa convulsed under his arms, her face still buried in the front of his coat.
For a moment everything grew quiet.  Isaac fought the tingling in his limbs and willed himself a statue, not daring to move or breathe, his senses prickling at the slightest hint.  Had the hunters left?
The force of whatever had just landed on the lid thundered through the dumpster, the walls and floor ringing with an earthshaking rattle.  Isaac and Alessa flinched as one, him bearing down instinctively over her curled, trembling body as the center of the ceiling crumpled inwards under the weight of their attackers.
From above their heads, a magnificent piercing howl penetrated their hiding place, resonating off the walls of the hollow enclosure and chilling Isaac to his core.  Any sense of security that Isaac had felt was shattered with that nightmarish wail; whatever it was that wanted them was directly above their heads.
A series of crashes shook the dumpster from the sides, Isaac and Alessa lurching away from one thunderous bang only to be bombarded from the other side with the next.
Another jolt from above and a savage grating snarl sent Isaac jerking to the floor, his eyes wide with terror as he gaped at the buckling ceiling.  This was no wolf, and no cougar – this was something far more dangerous.
He seized Alessa in his arms and said a silent prayer for mercy.  The only thing they could do now was wait to live or die.

My Review: 
I've really looked forward to reading Shudder, the second book in the Stitch Trilogy. Here is the link to my review of
Stitch book one, I did back in February. I really liked this first book from author Samantha Durante. It had many original ideas and twists in the story. This second book in the series picks up very soon after the first book ends. Alessa and Isaac are on the run having left Paragon. They are looking for somewhere to build the rebel camp. On their journey Alessa starts having weird dreams and premonitions. Strange creatures start following them. It's all pretty weird and spooky for them. I still like the relationship between Alessa and Isaac. It is realistic as far as they are just teenagers. But be forewarned, everything is not going to stay wonderful for the "happy" couple.
The story is told from several different POV's which I really liked and made the storyline richer. We not only followed the teen couple, but two people being held in prison, and an unknown woman who doesn't remember who she is back in Paragon.
There are still many surprising twists in this book, especially one at the end that makes you scream in frustration. This second book is again very well written with a world that is interesting and fun to explore. The characters are written with so much depth that you can't help but become totally immersed in their feelings and struggles. I'm now anxiously awaiting book three. You know that it will be just as good as the first two books in the Stitch Trilogy. 

Meet Author Samantha Durante:

Samantha Durante lives in Westchester County, New York with her husband, Sudeep, and her cat, Gio. Formerly an engineer at Microsoft, Samantha left the world of software in 2010 to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams and a lifelong love of writing. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology, Samantha is currently working full time for her company Medley Media Associates as a freelance business writer and communications consultant. The Stitch Trilogy is her debut series. Learn more about Samantha at

— Social Media Links —
Facebook: Stitch Trilogy | Author Samantha Durante
Goodreads: Stitch | Shudder | Author Samantha Durante
Twitter: @SamanthaDurante | Hashtag suggestions: #Stitch, #StitchTrilogy, #Shudder
LibraryThing: Stitch | Shudder | Author Samantha Durante
Shelfari: Stitch | Shudder | Author Samantha Durante

Shudder Purchase Links
Amazon (Kindle $2.99, print $8.99)
Buy Shudder on Amazon
Barnes & Noble (Nook $2.99)
Smashwords (multiple e-book formats $2.99)
Also available ($2.99 e-book) in the iTunes store, Kobo, and wherever e-books are sold

Add Shudder to Goodreads

Thursday, June 27, 2013

There, Their, They're A No-Tears Guide to Grammar From The Word Nerd: 2nd Edition by Annette Lyon

Product Description:

Title: There, Their, They're A No-Tears Guide to Grammar From The Word Nerd: 2nd Edition
Author: Annette Lyon

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 2 edition (April 30, 2013)
Genre: Non-Fiction
ISBN:-10 1484820665
FTC, FYI: I was given a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Book Description:
It’s here: clear and easy answers to your most common grammar, usage, and punctuation questions. In this second edition, you’ll find more than sixty new and expanded entries in this much-used resource used by professional editors, novelists, students preparing for the ACT, and those who simply want to master grammar once and for all. The Word Nerd once again cuts through the convoluted terminology by explaining things in a way even the most frustrated writer can understand.

 My Review:
I reviewed the first edition of this book a few years ago. (Go HERE to read that review.) The 2nd edition is bigger and has many more great ideas. This book was written to help anyone, but will especially benefit writers. As an aspiring author this book has always sat by my side for quick reference. It is chock full of things to help a writer produce the best work possible. 

The chapters in this book include:
-grammar gapples
-style issues

So many people have a problem with commas, (Yes I do!) apostrophes, when to use lie or lay,etc. I love that, when and how to use "passive voice", is included in this edition. Another reason I love this book is that Annette writes in an easy to read/use writing style. Some grammar books are so complicated that you just throw them aside because it takes too much energy to decipher it. For example, I read excerpts from this book to teach my 2nd graders. Annette gives fun examples that make this an entertaining book to read. Who knew that a reference book could be fun?

If you already own the 1st edition, I highly recommend that you also purchase the 2nd edition.With 60 new and expanded entries there is more valuable information you won't find in the 1st edition. So if you are grammatically challenged and need that extra help, this book is a must have.   

More About the Author


Annette Lyon is a Whitney Award winner, the recipient of Utah's Best of State medal for fiction and the author of nine novels, a cookbook, and a grammar guide as well as over a hundred magazine articles. She's a senior editor at Precision Editing Group and a cum laude graduate from BYU with a degree in English. When she's not writing, editing, knitting, or eating chocolate, she can be found mothering and avoiding the spots on the kitchen floor. Find her online at and on Twitter: @AnnetteLyon

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Above Rubies by Jaclyn M. Hawkes-Blog Tour Review and $25 Giveaway

above rubies tour

above rubies

Product Details

  • Title: Above Rubies
  • Author: Jaclyn M. Hawkes
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Genre: LDS fiction/romance
  • Publisher: Spirit Dance Books (April 22, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0985164824

Book Description for Above Rubies

His chivalry was strangling her. He thought he was helping her—and in truth, he was. She was in desperate straits. But as honorable as he was, he was also breaking her heart. Her attraction was drowning him. When World Champion rodeo cowboy Rossen Rockland and his friends rescue a young runaway who has been abused by her foster father and take her home to his parents’ ranch, he expects her to turn out to be a pain in the neck. And sometimes she is. It doesn’t take him long to figure out that she has way more than her allotment of troubles—and far more than her share of gifts. Lovely, talented, and ravingly brilliant, Kit Star is too young, unbelievably humble, and oh, so lovable. Knowing that she needs his protection and time to grow into her potential, Rossen also figures out that what she really is, is a pain in the heart. Watch for more of the Rockland Ranch Series!  

My Review:
 I have loved every book that this author has written. I know that I will always read a stirring story, great characters and a sigh worthy romance. Above Rubies was no exception to what I have previously read. Main character Rossen Rockland is one of those men that all women would love to end up with. He is charming, kind and caring, but stubborn. The main female character is young and has gone through so much already in her life. She wants things to work out with the handsome Rossen, but it seems many things keep standing in the way- including Rossen.

This is an LDS fiction book so there are references to the LDS faith. If you like reading Christian romance then you will enjoy this book. The storyline moves quickly so that you don't want to put it down. There is a mystery element included in the storyline that I also loved. The only thing I wished for was more story. It ended all too quickly for me. This book is the second book in the Rockland Ranch Romance series. This book is a clean romance that any age can read and enjoy.

Praise for Above Rubies:

I absolutely could not put this book down. It had me laughing, crying, angry and pretty much every other emotion. I can not wait for the next one in the series to come out. Keep them coming!!! ~Addicted to Books This is the second book in the Rockland Ranch Romance Series. It can be read as a stand alone or copies of Peace River can be supplied if you would also like to review it.  

peace riverPeace River (Book 1)

The police didn't understand the danger, but she did. Her father had always been abusive, but now, with a ten million dollar Thoroughbred farm on the line, and a powerful bookie leaning on him, her father had become out of control. But how do you get away and take a world famous stallion with you? Carrie was getting desperate when a handsome and honorable but thoroughly cynical rodeo cowboy from Wyoming happened to show up with a horse trailer. He didn't ride a white horse, but he was definitely a knight in shining armor. He'll protect her from the mob, but can she survive falling in love with a bull rider?  

Praise for Peace River

"Give me a clean romance, humor and a good looking cowboy and I'm a happy girl. LDS fiction isn't always my favorite but I really enjoyed the characters and adventure in this book." ~Carol - Goodreads "There was plenty of action, adventure and danger to keep me guessing just how everything was going to turn out. I didn't want to put it down until I finished! Jaclyn Hawkes is one of my favorite LDS romance authors. You really can't go wrong with any of her books that you pick up!" ~Cathy -Goodreads

jaclynAuthor Jaclyn M. Hawkes

Jaclyn M. Hawkes grew up in Utah with 6 sisters, 4 brothers and any number of pets. (It was never boring!) She got a bachelor’s degree, had a career and traveled extensively before settling down to her life’s work of being the mother of four magnificent and sometimes challenging children. She loves shellfish, the out of doors, the youth and hearing her children laugh. She and her fine husband, their family, and their sometimes very large pets, now live in a mountain valley in northern Utah, where it smells like heaven and kids still move sprinkler pipe.

  Blog Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 6/26/13
 a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Friday, June 14, 2013

Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen by Sally Smith O'Rourke-Blog Tour and $25 Giveaway

Yours Affectionately tour

Product Details

  • Title: Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen
  • Author: Sally Smith O'Rourke
  • Paperback: 380 pages
  • Publisher: Victorian Essence Press (November 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1891437038
  • FTC FYI: I received a review e-copy in exchange for an honest review.

Book Description:

Was Mr. Darcy real? Is time travel really possible? For pragmatic Manhattan artist Eliza Knight the answer to both questions is absolutely, Yes! And Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley Farms, Virginia is the reason why!

His tale of love and romance in Regency England leaves Eliza in no doubt that Fitz Darcy is the embodiment of Jane Austen’s legendary hero. And she’s falling in love with him. But can the man who loved the inimitable Jane Austen ever love average, ordinary Eliza Knight?

Eliza’s doubts grow, perhaps out of proportion, when things start to happen in the quiet hamlet of Chawton, England; events that could change everything. Will the beloved author become the wedge that divides Fitz and Eliza or the tie that binds them?

My Review
I liked how this book had time traveling and Jane Austen. What a fun concept about Jane Austen getting her muse for Mr. Darcy {Pride and Prejudice} from a time traveling American from another century. I truly wish that I had read the first book where that actually happened. By the second book, Fitzwilliam Darcy has come back to our time and meets our modern-day heroine Eliza. I can see some staunch and avid fans of Jane Austen and her works scoffing at this storyline, but I loved it! Author Sally Smith O'Rourke has such a captivating writing style. I was drawn completely into this story. I want to read the first book now and then I'll probably read the second book again.

So anyone who truly loves Jane Austen, romance and a pinch of angst, you will enjoy reading Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen.
Praise for Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen
O’Rourke creates a world that defies cynicism and demands suspension of disbelief – even in this age of doubt and hyper-realism. Sheer escapism at its best. Clever, charming and affectionate. ~Jocelyn Bury …the reader must tenaciously read on rather than put the book down to satisfy their hunger for the story to resolve, which it does in characteristically Jane Austen fashion. ~Erin Murdock
In Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen, author Sally Smith O’Rourke creates a compelling story that investigates what and who might have inspired Jane Austen. While the story line is certainly far-fetched, it is a truly unique idea, one that captivated this reader until the very last page. ~Meg Massey
Audio Book Excerpt

Get the audio book:
Author Sally Smith O'Rourke S
Sally Smith O’Rourke is a surgical scrub nurse at the City of Hope national cancer research hospital in Duarte, California and resides in the near-by Victorian village of Monrovia. With her late husband, author Michael O’Rourke (aka F.M. O’Rourke) Smith O’Rourke owned and operated a medical advertising company where she used her diverse talents to produce and co-write teaching films and videos. Working not only with major medical and surgical manufacturing companies but also network television. These endeavors ultimately led to a collaboration on two feature films (direct to video) and three published novels. The wife and husband writing team of Sally Smith and Michael O’Rourke, being long-time fans of Jane Austen, wrote The Man Who Loved Jane Austen released by Kensington Books in 2006. Kensington followed that very successful effort with The Maidenstone Lighthouse in 2007 and Christmas at Sea Pines Cottage in 2009, both also collaborative projects by Smith and O’Rourke. Published after her partner and spouse’s untimely death in 2001, the publisher chose not to use the names Michael O’Rourke and Sally Smith (as the manuscripts were presented), releasing all three books under Sally Smith O’Rourke. Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen is Sally Smith O’Rourke’s first solo novel.
Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 6/27/13
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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

His Hands: A Mother's Journey Through Grief and Loss by Jenny Hess: Review

Product Details:

  • Title: His Hands: A Mother's Journey Through Grief and Loss
  • Author: Jenny Hess
  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Covenant Communications Inc.; 1st edition (May 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1621082512
  • FTC FYI: I was given a review PDF in exchange for an honest review.

 Book Description:
May 1, 2013
With the sudden loss of a loved one comes an unavoidable fork in the road some succumb to anger and despair, while others seek strength in the healing power of Jesus Christ. When faced with paralyzing sorrow, how can one truly find peace and perspective? In His Hands offers a candid portrait of grief in which one family fights to find a way out of the black hole of grief and into the arms of the Savior. Author Jenny Hess invites readers on her journey from heartache to healing, from the shattering loss of her young son to her personal quest for hope. With grace and wisdom, the heavenly insights gained by one woman navigating through her darkest hours demonstrate that though grief is achingly painful, there are tender mercies to be found along the path.
Here is a video of Jenny talking about her experience of losing her precious son. What a beautiful lady.
My Review: 
 It would be an understatement to say that this book touched my heart and made me cry. I'm also a bereaved mother who lost an infant son, Matthew who was stillborn @ 35 weeks. There were so many thoughts and feelings that Jenny shared that I could relate to. There is something that draws us together when we join a club that no parent ever wants to join. Losing a child is a heart wrenching thing and changes you forever, good and bad.
There was something that Jenny said that was very poignant as you are dealing with a loss. This isn't fair. Why did this have to happen to me? This went through my mind plenty of times after we lost Matthew. Here is how Jenny looked at the fairness issue...
 "In those moments, my mind was opened and expanded to fully comprehend
that mortal life isn’t fair—and that’s why it isn’t forever. In that big sterile
emergency room so far from home, I saw forever, and I resolved that while
I may have to endure the indignities of an unfair existence, I would not be
ranting and raving about it. I would not be bitter about the injustice of it all.
I would be accepting of whatever my Heavenly Father required."

That is something that I wish I had read back in 1999. What a beautiful response.
I also have to thank Jenny for sharing her honest feelings at the time of her sons death. Many people don't know what to say to someone after a loss like this. Many times it's better to not say anything at all but, I'm so sorry for your loss. Jenny shared what happened in an awkward moment right after her son passed away.

"As we walked out of the hospital, one of the ambulance workers clumsily
tried to give us some comfort. “At least we know the plan of salvation,” he
said a little too heartily. I looked at him, my mind trying to process why
he would be saying something like that to us in such a happy voice right
now. It seemed so trite, so small when compared to the enormity of what
had just happened.
He was smiling. Why is he smiling? My son was dead. My brows were
furrowed as I continued to look at him questioningly. His smile faltered,
and he stepped away.
I had just experienced a transcendent spiritual experience, but my
heart was still broken. I could accept this event as part of Heavenly Father’s
plan, but simple phrases and “Sunday answers” felt empty and offensive and offered no comfort at all. "

This is why I feel that this book should be read by all people; those who have lost a child and those who will need to help and comfort those who mourn. I remember getting so frustrated with people telling me, "You can always have another baby." Truth was, we had just experienced 4 years of infertility and Matthew had been our little miracle. I knew that getting pregnant again might just never happen again for us. The Sunday Answers of..."He's in a better place," and "Matthew was just too good for this world," and the always popular, "Remember that Families are Forever," were things you just did not want to hear when your loss was so fresh. You knew all of these things were probably true, but all I wanted at that moment was a screaming, happy and alive baby in my arms. 
Jenny addresses how she and her husband Kirk discussed trying to find meaning in the death of their son. Was it to help one of their family members or a complete stranger? 

"It’s not certain that all of my family members
will stay close to the gospel even after experiencing Russell’s death. Many
strangers will still avoid God even after hearing Russell’s story. It is a terrible
reality that I have no control over. I can’t change anyone’s use of agency but
mine. And if I want Russell’s death to mean anything or have the potential
to save others, I have to be willing to put forth the effort necessary to make
it meaningful."

Reading this made me think back to what I have done in the past 14 years since my son died. How have I made his death meaningful to me, his brother and sister or  to complete strangers? I know I have always tried to help other Moms who have lost a child. I've been there to listen, comfort and mourn with them. I've tried to be a better Mom to my two living children and talk often about their brother and how we all want to be together some day. We also donate gift bags to the hospital where Matthew was born. These bags are given to parents that have lost a baby. We include a camera,  some poems and articles about loss and grief, and a teddy bear for them to hold. I hated leaving the hospital with empty arms.

I hope that you can see from this long review what a touching and wonderful book His Hands: A Mother's Journey Through Grief and Loss truly is. I also hope that Jenny realizes how many lives she will influence and uplift by sharing her story about her sweet son, Russell. It's hard to reflect back on those tender moments after a loss and the hard work of grieving. There is no set time table for grieving a loss. There are still some days, 14 years later, that I miss my son SO much! Matthew provided some needed comfort for me two years ago when my dad passed away. I knew that Matthew and dad were meeting for the first time. I knew that they would have work to do together up in Heaven. 

As you can see, I could write a book about Jenny's book and quote her valuable insights all day long. Please remember this book, her story and her son the next time someone you know experiences the loss of a child. There were so many days that I couldn't even crawl out of bed.  I would stay there reading any books I could find to help me with my grief and my painful loss. I can see how this book will bring such needed comfort to parents as they grieve. Just knowing that you are not alone and someone else understands can help you get through each long day. 

I want to share one last part from the book of how Jenny felt a year later after Russell had died and how she had changed. I'm sharing this to show you how to have hope amidst the loss...

"It was amazing to see the change in me in one short year because of
a single, short-lived event. That burned line in the mountain behind our
home, where the fire changed direction, was still there for a few years after
this second Christmas letter was written. I saw it every time I drove into
our neighborhood. I often think about how my life is different, how I am
different. I vaguely remember my life before Russell died. When I think
of my past now, I feel removed from it, as if I’m peeking like a voyeur
into someone else’s memories. I only know that I am a changed person, a
different creature. I have been made new, and there are days I still look at
myself as a stranger. I’m still changing and morphing and trying to decide
who I am and who I want to be
All I know for sure is the love I have for my family, my friends, my
Father in Heaven, and my Savior. My understanding of the gospel and of
the scriptures has deepened. My commitment to my Heavenly Father has
been cemented through my trials. I have been expanded, stretched beyond
my bounds. I will never again be that carefree person on the other side of
the line, but I have learned through the death of my sweet child that I will
have beauty again one day."
Jenny Hess
Best Price $12.24
or Buy New $12.24
 About the Author:  
Jenny Hess was born in Boston, Massachusetts. She is an avid quilter and loves the outdoors. After serving a mission in Denmark, Jenny graduated from California State University, Long Beach, where she met her husband, Kirk. They have five kids four living on earth and one living in heaven. As a family, they love spending time together camping, hiking, biking, exploring, and rock climbing. Jenny s story can be found on Mormonorg. A video vignette detailing how the scriptures helped heal her is currently being shown at the Los Angeles Temple Visitors Center in California.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Moonlit by Jadie Jones: Blog Tour Review and $25 Giveaway

moonlit tour
 Book Description:
 Eighteen-year-old Tanzy Hightower knows horses, has grown up with them on Wildwood Farm. She also knows not to venture beyond the trees that line the pasture. Things happen out there that can’t be explained. Or undone. Worse, no one but she and the horses can see what lurks in the shadows of the woods. When a moonlit ride turns into a terrifying chase, Tanzy is left to question everything, from the freak accident that killed her father to the very blood in her veins. Broken and confused, she turns to Lucas, a scarred, beautiful stranger, and to Vanessa, a charming new friend who has everything Tanzy doesn’t. But why do they seem to know more about her than she knows herself? 

My Review:
This book was a very different read for me. It started interesting, but soon it was all very confusing. I kept going back to re-read chapters to make sure that I hadn't missed something the first time I read it. I liked main character Tanzy with her fighting spirit, but some of the supporting characters were hard to like. The writing is very good and has the seeds for a great story. I just wish that the underlying story had been explained more than before 2/3 of the way through. Once more things were revealed I enjoyed the story more. This novel has a nice combination of mystery, suspense and supernatural.


Praise "Virginia's trees look like they're burning. Most of them blaze crimson or gold, but some still have a chokehold on their green. I wish they'd give it up already. Leaves are more beautiful when they're dying." And so Moonlit begins. From here the story rolls from one twist to another with many vivid characters whose motives are hard to predict. I found myself being suspicious of everyone, wanting to tell Tanzy to be very careful. The deeper I fell into the plot, the more questions kept rising to the surface. But not to worry, all of my questions were answered. Appropriate for all ages, if you love paranormal fantasy mixed with suspense, mystery and other-worldly romance, you'll love this novel! ~Author Julie Ford    

Prologue The first anniversary of my father’s death was even harder on my mother. Back then, I thought she was haunted most by what she didn’t know. I refused to blame her when she raged above me on our staircase that night, drunk and sad and angry. When she made me promise I’d never ride again. When she hurled a half-full bottle of vodka at my face and it exploded on the wooden stairs at my feet. I hadn’t tried to get out of the way. She had just missed. I wanted to tell her that knowledge was no solace, that what you know can burn inside you until there’s nothing left but guilt and ash. I also wanted to protect her from losing the only piece of him she had left. So I didn’t say a word.  
Meet Author Jadie Jones
Georgia native Jadie Jones first began working for a horse farm at twelve years old, her love of horses matched only by her love of books. She went on to acquire a B.A. in equine business management, and worked for competitive horse farms along the east coast. The need to write followed wherever she went. She currently coaches a hunt seat equitation team that competes in the Interscholastic Equestrian Association, and lives with her family in the foothills of north Georgia. When she's not working on the next installment of the Moonlit series, she is either in the saddle or exploring the great outdoors with her daughter. Moonlit is her first book.
  Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 6/21/13  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, June 7, 2013

Insomnia (The NIght Walkers) Book 1 by J. R. Johansson: Blog Tour Review and Giveaway

Product Details

  • Title: Insomnia (The NIght Walkers) Book 1
  • Author: J. R. Johansson 
  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Flux (June 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738735930
  • FTC FYI: I bought my own copy of this fantastic book!!
Today is the release day of this book! How cool is it that I am reviewing the book on it's birthday!! Today would be a great day to purchase your own copy.

Book Description:
  Her eyes saved his life. Her dreams released his darkness.

Instead of sleeping, Parker Chipp enters the dream of the last person he's had eye contact with. He spends his nights crushed by other people's fear and pain, by their disturbing secrets--and Parker can never have dreams of his own. The severe exhaustion is crippling him. If nothing changes, Parker could soon be facing psychosis and even death.
Then he meets Mia. Her dreams, calm and beautifully uncomplicated, allow him blissful rest that is utterly addictive. Parker starts going to bizarre lengths to catch Mia's eye every day. Everyone at school thinks he's gone over the edge, even his best friend. And when Mia is threatened by a true stalker, everyone thinks it's Parker.

Suffering blackouts, Parker begins to wonder if he is turning into someone dangerous. What if the monster stalking Mia is him after all?

My Review:
I'm so excited to review Insomnia! Ever since I first saw the cover I knew I would love this book. In fact, I pre-ordered the book so I could get my hands on it as fast as I  could. The cover is one of the best I've seen this year. If you think the cover is creepy and haunting,this gives you a good idea about what you will find inside. 

Even though main character Parker scares you with his bizarre actions, he is a very sympathetic character. You can't help but feel his pain when he longs so much to be able to have a good nights sleep. Parker doesn't sleep at night because he lives within others dreams. He wanders undetected in the dream of the last person he made eye contact with.  As I was reading this book I felt a more appropriate title for this book would have been, Intense!
The story hooks you from the beginning and never sets you free until the end. I was so impressed with the great writing in this book considering this is Jenn's first published novel. If you are familiar with I'm Not a Serial Killer, by Dan Wells, it is a creepy and fantastic book. I need to warn Dan that Jenn is fast on his tail for mastering the creepy factor. She has created such a dark tale that keeps the reader guessing and freaked out. This YA thriller I can guarantee you is going to be making a name for itself and it's author.

I asked the author about the 2nd book in the series and here is what she told me...

"The 2nd book is in process, and it should be next summer but we don't have a specific date yet. The name is very close to being decided and I'm really excited about it. In this book we'll delve more into the world of the Night Walkers. All the same characters, plus new ones and we'll answer a whole lot of questions."
I also wanted my readers to know Jenn's exciting news about her book. Here it is...
"Insomnia is set to be published in five languages so far: English, Italian, German, Chinese and Hungarian! I'm thrilled to have my story coming out in so many countries!"

I've told you why I like Insomnia so much, I wanted to know what the author liked about her book. She gave some great answers and I have to agree with all of the reasons. 

The Five Things I Really Like About Insomnia

1 - How different it seems to be from every other book out there.
2 - How the psychological thriller aspect can really keep you guessing.
3 - The characters (Parker AND his amazing friends).
4 - The creep factor (I love hearing it gave people the chills).
and last but not least...
5 - The cover. It conveys everything I wanted it to and so many things I didn't even know I wanted. LOVE IT.

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Meet Author J.R. (Jenn) Johansson:
J.R. JOHANSSON is a young adult thriller author published with Flux & FSG/Macmillan. Her debut, INSOMNIA is coming June 2013. She has a B.S. degree in public relations and a background in marketing. She credits her abnormal psychology minor with inspiring many of her characters. When she's not writing, she loves reading, playing board games, and sitting in her hot tub. Her dream is that someday she can do all three at the same time. She has two young sons and a wonderful husband. In fact, other than her cat, Cleo, she's nearly drowning in testosterone.

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