Monday, February 29, 2016

Book Blitz: Nora & Kettle by Lauren Nicolle Taylor, an Excerpt, and a Giveaway!



Nora & Kettle

Nora & Kettle by Lauren Nicolle Taylor
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: February 29th 2016
Genres: Historical, Young Adult


What if Peter Pan was a homeless kid just trying to survive, and Wendy flew away for a really good reason?

Seventeen-year-old Kettle has had his share of adversity. As an orphaned Japanese American struggling to make a life in the aftermath of an event in history not often referred to—the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and the removal of children from orphanages for having “one drop of Japanese blood in them”—things are finally looking up. He has his hideout in an abandoned subway tunnel, a job, and his gang of Lost Boys.

Desperate to run away, the world outside her oppressive brownstone calls to na├»ve, eighteen-year-old Nora—the privileged daughter of a controlling and violent civil rights lawyer who is building a compensation case for the interned Japanese Americans. But she is trapped, enduring abuse to protect her younger sister Frankie and wishing on the stars every night for things to change.

For months, they’ve lived side by side, their paths crossing yet never meeting. But when Nora is nearly killed and her sister taken away, their worlds collide as Kettle, grief stricken at the loss of a friend, angrily pulls Nora from her window.

In her honeyed eyes, Kettle sees sadness and suffering. In his, Nora sees the chance to take to the window and fly away.

Set in 1953, Nora & Kettle explores the collision of two teenagers facing extraordinary hardship. Their meeting is inevitable, devastating, and ultimately healing. Their stories, a collection of events, are each on their own harmless. But together, one after the other, they change the world.


Excerpt

I snort, push my sleeves up, and lean back on my forearms. She watches me, her eyes on my bare skin, and I wonder what she’s thinking. “Dances. Really? What’s to miss?” My experience with dances was one forced event in the camps where we watched the grownups awkwardly shift in lines to scratchy music. It didn’t look very enjoyable.

She releases the button she’s been playing with and smirks. “Says someone who’s clearly never been to one.”

“How do you know that?” I say, raising an eyebrow and touching my chest, mock offended.

She laughs. It’s starlight in a jar. I blink slowly. “Oh, I can tell just by looking at you, the way you move. You,” she says, pointing at me accusingly. “Can’t dance.”

The candlelight twinkles like it’s chuckling at me. “I can dance,” I say, not sure why I’m lying to defend myself. I’ve never danced in my life.

She stands up and beckons me with her finger, and I think there’s something wrong with my heart. It’s hurting… but the pain feels good.

She looks like a pirate’s cabin boy, shirt billowing around her small waist, ill-fitting pants rolled over at her hips to stop them from falling down. She points her bare foot at me. “Prove it!”

Shit!

I cough and stand nervously. I don’t know what to do with my hands, so I put them behind my back. She giggles. Touches me. Runs her fingers lightly down my arms until she finds my hands. She grasps my wrists and I gulp as she places one on the small dip between her hips and her ribs, extending the other out like the bow of a boat. Her hand in mine.

I follow her small steps and we wind in circles, avoiding the clumps of debris, painting patterns in the dust.

I stare at my socks and her narrow bare feet, listening to the swish of them across the dirt. “You know, this is pretty weird without music,” I mutter, looking up for a moment and suddenly losing my balance.

She exhales and brings us back to equilibrium. She starts humming softly. It’s a song I’ve heard before, but I pretend it’s the first time. Her voice is sweet, cracked and croaky, but in tune as she gazes at the ground and leads us up and down the back of the tunnel.

This moment is killing me. I don’t want it, but I do. Because I know it won’t be enough and it’s all I’ll get.

The end of the song is coming. It rises and rises and then softly peters out. We look at each other, understanding that something is changing between us, and we have to decide whether to let it. Please, let it.

She sings the last few bars. “And if you sing this melody, you’ll be pretending just like me. The world is mine. It can be yours, my friend. So why don’t you pretend?”

Her voice is like the dust of a comet’s tail. Full of a thousand things I don’t understand but want to.

She stops and starts to step away. She’s so fragile. Not on the outside. On the outside, her body is strong, tougher than it should have to be. It’s inside that’s very breakable. I’m scared to touch her, but I don’t want to avoid touching her because of what she’s been through. That seems worse.

So I do it, because I want to and I don’t think she doesn’t want me to. Her breath catches as I pull her closer. I just want to press my cheek to hers, feel her skin against mine. There is no music, just the rhythm of two barely functioning hearts trying to reach each other through miles of scar tissue.

She presses her ear to my chest and listens, then she pulls back to meet my eyes, her expression a mixture of confusion and comfort. She breathes out, her lips not wanting to close but not wanting to speak. She settles on a nervous smile and puts her arms around my neck. I inhale and look up at the ceiling, counting the stars I know are up there somewhere, and then rest my cheek in her hair.

I don’t know how she is here. I don’t know when she’ll disappear.

We sway back and forth, and it feels like we might break. That we will break if we step apart from each other.

I can’t let her go.

I think I love dancing.


About the author


Lauren Nicolle Taylor lives in the lush Adelaide Hills. The daughter of a Malaysian nuclear physicist and an Australian scientist, she was expected to follow a science career path, attending Adelaide University and completing a Health Science degree with Honours in obstetrics and gynaecology.

She then worked in health research for a short time before having her first child. Due to their extensive health issues, Lauren spent her twenties as a full-time mother/carer to her three children. When her family life settled down, she turned to writing.

She is a 2014 Kindle Book Awards Semi-finalist and a USA Best Book Awards Finalist.

Connect with Lauren

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It's Monday! What Are You Reading? February 29, 2016


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's an opportunity to visit other blogs and to comment on their reads. And ... you can add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!

How did it get to be the end of February already? I'm finally feeling better after getting some antibiotics. Now I just need to focus on getting some reviews written. I have been reading some great books. Spring Break for the University will be coming up soon. That just means it's slower at the library. I really miss the students when they are gone but it does give us a chance to play catch up at work. I hope February was good to you and look out March, here we come!

Click on the book image to read more on Goodreads.

What I'm currently reading/listening to

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29095623-mosaics
Mosaics: A Collection of Independent Women (Mosaics #1)
Anthology by 20 women authors
This came up as a quick review opportunity and I am loving it!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23245684-the-apple-orchard
The Apple Orchard (Bella Vista Chronicles #1)
by Susan Wiggs
(audiobook)

What I recently finished

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23281626-the-invention-of-wings
The Invention of Wings
by Sue Monk Kidd
Great story! My thoughts will be posted soon.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22529254-the-girl-on-the-train
The Girl on the Train
by Paula Hawkins
(audiobook)
It's not for everyone but I loved listening to it.

What I am going to read next

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29076470-spring-in-snow-valley
Spring in Snow Valley: A Snow Valley Anthology
by Six Authors
I have read other Snow Valley anthologies and loved them.

I really love my reading life!

What are you reading this week?


Be sure to check the sidebar for my current giveaways!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Book Spotlight Giveaway! The Confession by Charles Todd


The book that I am featuring this week is one that I got from my daughter. She does love to collect those mystery books. This one is an author I have never read but the mother/son team writes a lot. This is book #14 in their Inspector Ian Rutledge series. Book #18 was just published earlier this month. They also have another series, the Bess Crawford series, which consists of 8 books, with #8 expected to be published in August of this year. 

Good luck and be sure to stop back next week!

11999397

The Confession

The Confession by Charles Todd
Series: Inspector Ian Rutledge #14
Hardcover, 344 pages
Published January 3rd 2012 by William Morrow 

Scotland Yard's best detective, Inspector Ian Rutledge, must solve a dangerous case that reaches far into the past in this superb mystery in the acclaimed series

Declaring he needs to clear his conscience, a dying man walks into Scotland Yard and confesses that he killed his cousin five years earlier during the Great War. When Inspector Ian Rutledge presses for details, the man evades his questions, revealing only that he hails from a village east of London. With little information and no body to open an official inquiry, Rutledge begins to look into the case on his own.

Less than two weeks later, the alleged killer's body is found floating in the Thames, a bullet in the back of his head. Searching for answers, Rutledge discovers that the dead man was not who he claimed to be. What was his real name--and who put a bullet in his head? Were the "confession" and his own death related? Or was there something else in the victim's past that led to his murder?

The inspector's only clue is a gold locket, found around the dead man's neck, that leads back to Essex and an insular village whose occupants will do anything to protect themselves from notoriety. For notoriety brings the curious, and with the curious come change and an unwelcome spotlight on a centuries-old act of evil that even now can damn them all.


About the authors

todd

Charles and Caroline Todd are a mother-and-son writing team who live on the east coast of the United States. Caroline has a BA in English Literature and History, and a Masters in International Relations. Charles has a BA in Communication Studies with an emphasis on Business Management, and a culinary arts degree that means he can boil more than water. Caroline has been married (to the same man) for umpteen years, and Charles is divorced.

Connect with Charles Todd


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Friday, February 26, 2016

Killer Pursuit by Jeff Gunhus

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Killer Pursuit

Killer Pursuit by Jeff Gunhus
Print and e-book, 350 pages
Published January 10th 2016 by Seven Guns Press

When a high-society call girl is murdered in her Georgetown home, investigators find two cameras hidden in the walls of her bedroom. One has its memory erased, presumably by the murderer. The second is connected to the Internet through an encrypted connection...and no-one knows who's on the other end.

Special Agent Allison McNeil is asked by beleaguered FBI Director Clarence Mason to run an off-the-record investigation of the murder. The most direct path to apprehending the killer is to find the videos, but with rumors that the victim's client list may have included Mason's political enemies, Allison worries about the director's motives. As she starts her investigation, she quickly discovers that she's not the only one pursuing the videos. In fact, the most aggressive person racing against her might be the murderer himself.


My thoughts about Killer Pursuit ~~

I recently read The Torment of Rachel Ames by this author and was totally blown away by the writing and suspense of that fantastic novella. When I was offered the opportunity to read something else by him, I jumped at the chance. I knew it was going to be a exciting ride!

This wonderful thriller kept me on the edge of my seat and it was very unputdownable. The story starts of at a very intense pace. After I read the first two chapters, I had to just stop and catch my breathe before going on. I was hooked.

Allison McNeil is a very likable person. She's not perfect but she is brave and she cares. And she is pitted up against some really, really nasty people -- and she has to figure out who she can trust.

There are plenty of twists and turns with totally unexpected results. Those were the things that kept me on the edge of my seat -- the unexpected. Just when I thought I knew where the story was going.... nope.... I was wrong.

Killer Pursuit is book #2 in the Allison McNeil series. I have not read book #1, Killer Within, but I didn't feel like I was missing out. If anything, it made me want to go back and read Killer Within, just to learn more about Allison and how she got to this point in her life. I want to know more about her.

I can't wait to read more of Jeff's stories!

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. 

About the author 


Jeff Gunhus is the author thriller and horror novels for adults and the middle grade/YA series, The Templar Chronicles. The first book, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born. His books for adults have reached the Top 100 on Amazon and have been Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Finalists.

After his experience with his son, he is passionate about helping parents reach young reluctant readers and is active in child literacy issues. As a father of five, he leads an active lifestyle in Maryland with his wife Nicole by trying to constantly keep up with their kids. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of the City Dock Cafe in Annapolis working on his next novel.

Connect with Jeff



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Monday, February 22, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? February 22, 2016


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's an opportunity to visit other blogs and to comment on their reads. And ... you can add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!

I have been sick for the past couple of weeks and it turned into a sinus infection. I got me some drugs and I'm finally starting to feel better. This has impacted my reading life and especially my review postings. I hope to get caught up on all that real soon.

Click on the book image to read more on Goodreads.

What I'm currently reading/listening to

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23281626-the-invention-of-wings
The Invention of Wings
by Sue Monk Kidd
This is for my book club this week. I loved her book, The Secret Life of Bees.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22529254-the-girl-on-the-train
The Girl on the Train
by Paula Hawkins
(audiobook)
I am almost done with this and it has been interesting to listen to. And now my book group has selected it for a read later this year. I can't wait to see what the others think. I have heard such varying opinions about it.

What I recently finished

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25894060-keep-me-posted
Keep Me Posted
by Lisa Beazley
Got this from FirstToRead. My thoughts will be posted soon.

What I am going to read next

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28793180-breaking-the-story
Breaking the Story
by Ashley Farley
I love Ashley's stories and I'm excited to start this one.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23245684-the-apple-orchard
The Apple Orchard (Bella Vista Chronicles #1)
by Susan Wiggs 
(audiobook)
I think this will be my next listen.

I really love my reading life!

What are you reading this week?


Be sure to check the sidebar for my current giveaways!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Book Spotlight Giveaway! Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


The book that I am featuring this week is one that I got for one of my book club reads. I ended up not reading it because I wasn't able to attend that month. The other members enjoyed it though. 

Good luck and be sure to stop back next week!

20939941

Americanah
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Paperback, 477 pages

Published February 27th 2014 by Fourth Estate Ltd

From the award-winning author of Half of a Yellow Sun, a powerful story of love, race and identity.

As teenagers in Lagos, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love. Their Nigeria is under military dictatorship, and people are fleeing the country if they can. The self-assured Ifemelu departs for America. There she suffers defeats and triumphs, finds and loses relationships, all the while feeling the weight of something she never thought of back home: race. Obinze had hoped to join her, but post-9/11 America will not let him in, and he plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London.

Thirteen years later, Obinze is a wealthy man in a newly democratic Nigeria, while Ifemelu has achieved success as a blogger. But after so long apart and so many changes, will they find the courage to meet again, face to face? Fearless, gripping, spanning three continents and numerous lives, 'Americanah' is a richly told story of love and expectation set in today's globalized world. 


About the author

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian author. Her best known novels are Purple Hibiscus (2003), Half of a Yellow Sun (2006), and Americanah (2013).

She was born in Enugu, Nigeria, the fifth of six children to Igbo parents. She studied medicine and pharmacy at the University of Nigeria for a year and a half. At nineteen, Chimamanda left for the U.S. to study communication at Drexel University in Philadelphia for two years, then went on to pursue a degree in communication and political science at Eastern Connecticut State University. Chimamanda graduated summa cum laude from Eastern in 2001, and then completed a master's degree in creative writing at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.

It was during her senior year at Eastern that she started working on her first novel, Purple Hibiscus , which was published in October 2003.

Chimamanda was a Hodder fellow at Princeton University during the 2005-2006 academic year, and earned an MA in African Studies from Yale University in 2008.

Connect with Chimamanda


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Thursday, February 18, 2016

Cover Reveal: Proposals and Poison by Rachelle J. Christensen and a Giveaway!

Proposals and Poison

Proposals and Poison 
Wedding Planner Mysteries book #3 

Rachelle J. Christensen

“Cozy mystery meets romantic comedy in this fabulous, fast-paced story.”—Cami Checketts author of The Resilient One, A Billionaire Bride Pact Romance

Love can be a very dangerous thing.

At least it seems that way to Adri Pyper, the premier wedding planner in Sun Valley, Idaho. When one of her clients dies mysteriously, Adri takes the advice of the local detective and swears she will stay out of the investigation . . . this time. Luke Stetson's involvement in the case, along with the possibility of a kiss between the two, should be enough incentive to keep Adri out of trouble.

But when a dog-themed wedding is almost ruined by a suspect, Adri and her assistant, Lorea, are thrust into private eye mode. When poison enters the picture, even a reluctant sleuth can’t steer clear of danger.

Amazon Pre-order

“Packed with danger and romance, intrigue & entertainment, Rachelle Christensen's Wedding Planner series is romantic suspense that will keep you turning pages late into the night!”—Maria Hoagland, Author of The ReModel Marriage (Romance Renovations series)

add to goodreads

About the author

Rachelle

Rachelle is a mother of five who writes mystery/suspense, nonfiction, and women’s fiction. She solves the case of the missing shoe on a daily basis. She enjoys raising chickens and laughing with her husband. She graduated cum laude from Utah State University with a degree in psychology and a minor in music.

Rachelle is the award-winning author of ten books, including The Soldier’s Bride (a Kindle Scout Selection), Wrong Number, Diamond Rings Are Deadly Things, What Every 6th Grader Needs to Know, and Christmas Kisses: An Echo Ridge Anthology. Her novella, “Silver Cascade Secrets,” was included in the Rone Award–winning Timeless Romance Anthology, Fall Collection.

Rachelle has a VIP mailing list where all subscribers get access to free books, guides, and other resources. Sign up now to hear what exciting news Rachelle has to share.

Connect with Rachelle


Diamond ringsVeils and Vengeance


Series endorsements

“Mystery, suspense, murder and romance all intriguingly tied together in one very fun walk-down-the-aisle cozy mystery!”—Shauna Wheelwright, reviewer

“I love a great mystery that keeps my interest and keeps the pages turning. I loved the Hawaiian setting, that was a character on its own. As the story progressed, I enjoyed where the author went with the mystery, doing a perfect job of planting the right amount of seeds to try to throw me off the trail of who the killer was.”—Mindy Holt, reviewer


Giveaway Details

$25 cash giveaway plus an ebook bundle of the Wedding Planner Mystery Books 1 & 2. (gifted via Amazon)

Ends 3/3/16

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.




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Monday, February 15, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? February 15, 2016


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's an opportunity to visit other blogs and to comment on their reads. And ... you can add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!

Click on the book image to read more on Goodreads.

What I'm currently reading/listening to

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25894060-keep-me-posted
Keep Me Posted
by Lisa Beazley

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22529254-the-girl-on-the-train
The Girl on the Train
by Paula Hawkins
(audiobook)

What I recently finished

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25814204-no-one-knows
No One Knows
by J.T. Ellison 
My thoughts will be posted soon. 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26083882-baggage
Baggage
by S. G. Redling
Wow! What a great story. Read my thoughts here

What I am going to read next

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23281626-the-invention-of-wings
The Invention of Wings
by Sue Monk Kidd
This is for my book club next week. I loved The Secret Life of Bees. I hope this one is good too.

I really love my reading life!

What are you reading this week?


Be sure to check the sidebar for my current giveaways!

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