Saturday, February 28, 2015

"Stellarcadia" by Julie Anne Grasso

(Adventures of Caramel Cardamom Book 3)
by Julie Anne Grasso

Stellarcadia is the third and final book in the Adventures of Caramel Cardamom middle grade science fiction trilogy by Julie Anne Grasso. Also available: Escape from the Forbidden Planet and Return to Cardamom.

This book blast and giveaway is brought to you by Mother Daughter Book Promotion Services.

Caramel Cinnamon is one lucky elf. She can hardly believe she’s invited to attend the first Intergalactic Youth Summit, on-board the Stellarcadia. Her friends can’t wait to go "hyper", but even the thought of it chills Caramel to the bone. However, nothing could compare to the icy reception she receives upon her arrival.
Keen to get to the bottom of it, Caramel stumbles on a dangerous conspiracy, but no one will believe her.
In the exciting conclusion to the Adventures of Caramel Cardamom trilogy, Caramel will have to do more than outwit her enemies, she will have to convince her friends to take her seriously.
For ages 8-12.

Free Teaching Supplement
Big thank you to Carolyn Wilhelm from the Wise Owl Factory who has graciously created a FREE teaching supplement to accompany Stellarcadia. This supplement includes a number of fun activities for children including coloring pages, matching games, crossword puzzle, writing games, and so much more. Click on the image below to download your copy!

Praise for the Book
"The book is also a perfect mix of magic, science, and technology. Don’t be surprised if readers get to use their imaginations and learn something. Julie Anne Grasso has proven herself to be an original and versatile author…" ~ 5 Stars, Ilana W., Amazon
"Couldn’t put it down." ~ Jemima P., Goodreads
"Stellarcadia features our heroine, Caramel Cinnamon, once again relying on her wits, her instincts, and her good friends to uncover a conspiracy and face off against a new threat. Fans of the first two books in The Adventures of Caramel Cardamom Trilogy will not be disappointed by this quick-paced, action-packed, sci-fi thriller. I recommend this book (and the first two books in the trilogy) to tween readers who love the sci-fi genre or a fast-paced adventure." ~ Renee, Mother Daughter Book Reviews

About the Author
With a background in paediatric nursing, Julie Anne Grasso spent many years literally wrapping children in cotton wool. Every day she witnessed great courage and resilience from the tiny people she cared for, which inspired her to write stories to encourage and entertain them.
She lives in Melbourne, Australia, with her husband Danny and their little girl, Giselle.

Enter the blast-wide giveaway for a chance to a $25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash.


"Shopping for a Billionaire's Fiancée" by Julia Kent

Shopping for a Billionaire's Fiancée
(Shopping for a Billionaire Book 6)
by Julia Kent

This book blitz and giveaway is brought to you by Xpresso Book Tours.

All of our best dates end up in the emergency room ...
I planned the perfect proposal. Plenty of lobster, caviar, champagne and - her favorite - tiramisu. The perfect setting. The perfect woman. The perfect everything.
Dad gave me my late mother’s engagement ring, platinum and diamonds galore. Shannon wouldn’t care if I slid a giant hard-candy ring on her finger instead of a three-carat diamond designed to impress.
But my future mother-in-law, Marie, will pass out when she sets eyes on that rock, and that will give us two minutes of blessed silence. That woman talks more than Kim Kardashian flashes her naked backside on the internet.
I was going to make it perfect, down to the color of the tablecloth to the freshness of the roses.
And it was perfect.
Until Shannon swallowed the ring.
Shopping for a Billionaire’s Fiancée gives near-billionaire Declan McCormick the chance to tell his story in this continuation of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Shopping for a Billionaire series.

Shannon has no idea how many layers of beauty she has. And that’s exactly why she’s so exquisite.
When I was sixteen, the year before my mother died, Mom took me and my little brother, Andrew, to New York City for a long weekend. Pulled us out of school over the objections of the headmaster at our academy. Mom didn’t care. We spent three nights at the Waldorf Astoria, skated at Rockefeller Center, had the best seats at the top Broadway musicals, and dined on the finest footlongs you could get for $3. Loaded with mustard and sauerkraut, plus a cream soda or two.
(Do you have something against footlongs? Too bad. Two teenagers can only handle so much caviar and lobster.)
What I remember most about that trip, and what Shannon reminds me of every moment I look at her, was our trip to the Museum of Modern Art. Mom insisted we go, and Andrew and I rolled our eyes like sets of dice at a craps table.
And then.
And then I got it, right there in front of a Vincent van Gogh masterpiece. In art history class we’d covered this painting in detail. We were taught the biography of Van Gogh, how he came to create the series of paintings, his motivation, and his flaws. We’d dissected the meaning so thoroughly that I felt like I could recreate the art by automation, our elite prep-school instruction clinical and impeccable.
Standing in front of the painting, a few feet away, with my eyes trailing the curve of brush strokes, my mind taking in the nuance of color, my senses dazzled by the sheer essence of the whole, I halted. Froze. Was completely in the painting’s spell.
You can study something in the abstract. Know it’s real somewhere out there in the world, and understand intellectually that what you read in a book or what you’re told by someone else is true.
You have to stand in front of it and have it stare back at you, though, to really know it.
That’s how I feel when I look at Shannon. Every single time my eyes find her. Shannon’s smile is warm and sweet, yet better every time she flashes it at me. Her honey-colored hair shines in the sunlight but looks richer when it’s tangled, in bed, highlighted by the moon and messed by me. Those warm eyes see only me when we’re together. That luscious body craves my touch. My hands. My...all of it.
When I’m with her, the world is more nuanced. Deeper. Authentic. Real.
She’s a work of art, one of a kind. And one I get to hold next to my body, tuck away in my heart, and...grow old with.
I have planned the perfect proposal. No footlongs and sauerkraut, unfortunately, but plenty of lobster, caviar, champagne and—her favorite—tiramisu. (What is it with women and tiramisu? It’s cream, cheese, sugar, cake and rum, not some magic potion that generates mouth orgasms. My Y chromosome scratches its head in confusion, but hey, if it’s her favorite...I give my woman what she wants.)
Dad gave me Mom’s engagement ring, platinum and diamonds galore, a monstrosity he’d bought for her nearly four decades ago as his business took off. The ring is designed to impress. I doubt Shannon would care if I slid a giant hard-candy ring on her finger instead of a three-carat diamond.
And, frankly, I don’t care, either. But the thought of my Shannon sharing such an important part of my mother’s life makes my chest swell. Only Shannon—and my mom—can do that. Only love can do that.
Plus, Marie will pass out when she sets eyes on that rock, and that will give us two minutes of blessed silence. That woman talks more than Kim Kardashian flashes her naked ass on the internet.
“It’s not as if your brothers are planning to tie themselves down to one woman any time soon, if ever,” Dad had said when he gave it to me. He’s about as sentimental as a pet rock. After having it resized to fit my future fiancée, it was ready to rest on yet another McCormick woman’s finger.
It was going to be calculatedly perfect, down to the color of the tablecloth and the freshness of the roses.
And it was perfect.
Until Shannon swallowed the ring.

Praise for the Book
"If you haven't read the Shopping for a Billionaire series yet, you must. These are excellent books that leave you laughing within pages of the start of the book. Ms. Kent did NOT let us down. This is another excellent books but this time it's from Declan's perspective. [...] I LOVE LOVE LOVE these books." ~ beccareview
"This book is so many things. It’s smart, sexy, funny and, at times, truly touching. The sweet, happy ending was magnificent – it made me laugh and cry (in a good way)." ~ AnnaV
"Julia can tell a story that has you laughing until you're crying. You can't go wrong buying any book by her!" ~ Cindy
"If you haven’t read the rest of the Shopping for a Billionaire series, do so now ... immediately, if not sooner. In this book, Julia has given us a read that is sweet, sexy, funny, enticing, intriguing, and all around incredible. I would say she’s definitely got another huge hit on her hands." ~ jbebout1295
"This book was everything I expected, wanted and more...I cannot imagine what will happen next! Thank you Julia Kent for being amazing at what you do!" ~ sambora01

Interview with the Author
Why a mystery shopper and a billionaire? Isn’t that an odd combination?
Yes! And that’s the point: you don’t think about someone who mystery shops for a living finding herself dating a high-powered billionaire. Most mystery shoppers go into stores and do customer service evaluations (in secret!) to make a little money and get free stuff. Billionaires are the opposite: their time is more valuable than anything else. It seemed like a neat combination, and one that would give me some great material to work with.
Shannon struggles in the first book (Shopping for a Billionaire) with her feelings for her ex-boyfriend, Steve. Declan is full-on attracted to her, and has no problem putting Steve in his place when they meet. Why didn’t Shannon just dump Steve right away?
Shannon’s ex does NOT appear in Shopping for a Billionaire’s Fiancée (though he will appear in future books ... spoiler!) because it took 670 pages in the first book to deal with that! Shannon is a deeply loyal person, but at the beginning of the series she’s also insecure. She’s trying to figure out who she is in relation to other people - and what she wants out of life. Navigating that road can be tough, but she does it so well. She admires how Declan just knows what he wants, and gets it.
At the same time, Declan really treasures the fact that Shannon is a deep feeler. She isn’t shallow like so many women he’s dated.
You’ve turned a cat into a character. Chuckles the Cat is, um ... evil personified. Tell us about Chuckles.
To be fair, we meet Chuckles in Shopping for a Billionaire when Shannon is petting him and her mother appears suddenly in the apartment. Shannon turns the poor cat into a weapon, flinging him at her mom. I’d plan mayhem and destruction if someone did that to me. :)
When I write Chuckles I imagine an evil little frustrated man is trapped inside him. Poor cat. Shannon’s mom makes him wear reindeer costumes for Christmas pictures, for goodness sake!
But Chuckles LOVES Declan. He’s a kindred spirit.
Declan does the classic "slip the ring in a glass of Champagne" proposal, but ...
It goes horribly wrong. The ring never ends up in the Champagne, but it -- whoops! SPOILER. Can’t tell the rest. Let’s just say it turns out Declan makes mistakes, too. And he pays dearly for them.
You used a lot of Twitter jokes in your Shopping for a Billionaire series. Will we see more Tweets in this book?
A few. Jessica Coffin (Steve’s girlfriend and Shannon’s nemesis) makes a brief reappearance that involves a particularly gross hashtag involving poor Shannon’s ring debacle.
Are there more books planned in this series?
Oh, yes. Writing one as we speak. :)

About the Author
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge, and new adult books that push contemporary boundaries. From billionaires to BBWs to rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every book she writes, but unlike Trevor from Random Acts of Crazy, she has never kissed a chicken.

Enter the blitz-wide giveaway for a chance to win some great prizes (open internationally).

Plus, everyone can download FREE copies of Random Acts of Crazy and Her First Billionaire.


Friday, February 27, 2015

"Faith Seekers" by Sherry Rossman

Faith Seekers
by Sherry Rossman

Faith Seekers is currently on tour with Reading Addiction Book Tours. The tour stops here today for an excerpt and my review. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

She raised her head when she felt the warmth. A violet cloud poured into her hands and over her head. He spoke like water falling into a deep pool. "The sapling belongs to me."
When Hannah’s family loses their home, she drops out of college and joins them as they take their RV on a journey through fractured America. Struggling with her loss of identity, she attempts to embrace her new life as a nomad until a California campground unveils a nightmare that only she can see. She questions her sanity as her family continues on their journey, and her unearthly visions increase.
Miguel, a young photographer traveling with his uncle, helps Hannah discover her true identity and the roles they will all play in unveiling the truth about the ever-present good and evil surrounding them. Join Hannah and Miguel as they try to piece together their broken hopes and dreams amidst looming darkness. Will Hannah find her faith, embrace the light, and trust in the God that she thought had abandoned her?

Book Video

The Trailer smelled like last night’s onions and morning breath. Hannah cracked the window and coiled her dark hair away from her face. Her dad’s snores from behind the sliding door were getting softer - he and Mom would be awake soon. she glanced at her brother, still asleep in the bed above hers. she needed to leave before he woke. Ian didn’t need to come this time.
The rolled-up mat sat between the door and kitchen cupboard, waiting to resume its post in the ever- revolving landscapes of America. she grabbed it and slid outside into fresh air. Welcome, it said, in large black letters. Only two months old, it looked like it had seen a lifetime - a lifetime of sun and the treading of unsettled feet. Hannah placed a heavy rock on either side to keep the edges from curling.
Her mother was convinced no home was complete without that offer, even for the simplest of visitors.
Hannah stepped onto a tree-lined trail. The textbook under her arm was the last one she had left. American history. Although her dad considered it the keystone of the future, Hannah found no solutions within the pages. As the trail faded into wilderness, she found a tree scorched to death. At its blackened base, Hannah dug a hole and laid the book to rest. Damp soil invaded her nails as she scattered the last of it on top of her old college book.
The ground cradled her sorrow when she stretched out beside the new grave and searched the heavens above the arms of the forest. The ache in her chest rose to meet her tears as they slid into the earth. How do I find answers from a silent God?
A sudden whisper danced from branch to branch and flowed around her for a moment.
Perhaps the forest still remembered the earliest inhabitants that took less and lived more freely. Or maybe it was God’s voice, indecipherable, like always.
Noises of a waking camp interrupted her peace. she hungered for solitude like a woman craves chocolate. she searched the ground until she found the path that led to the shore. Hannah quickened her pace when salty air joined the trees. Starfish accented the rocks like God had decorated, but Hannah didn’t want to sketch this time - she wanted to run until her legs shook.
The wind loosened her hair, whipping it into tangles. she pumped her legs until the sand began to dissolve beneath her feet and then faced the waves, returning their roar. When she ran out of breath, she collapsed into the sand.
Hannah hugged her knees and caught sight of her hands. These aren’t nails, these are claws. The jagged edges on her fingers framed the dirt from the burial of books and dreams that had been her life over the past few months. Up until her family had lost everything, Hannah had kept her nails in perfect condition - a French manicure one month, custom airbrushing the next. If my friends could see me now, they wouldn’t recognize the hobo I’ve become.

Praise for the Book
"For a debut novel, this is beautiful! I was struck by the lyrical nature of the writing - so full of figurative language and artistic imagery as to be almost poetic. [...] Soak it in and hang on, because the ride gets pretty exciting. Ultimately, this is a marvelous testament to the things that really matter in life: faith in God and the blessing of family and friends. I most definitely recommend Faith Seekers." ~ Laurin Boyle
"As I eagerly read Faith Seekers my mind kept remarking inwardly that Sherry Rossman is an outstanding word artist. Sherry has a unique way of turning a great story into a compelling visual image through her rhythmical, almost musical, expression." ~ Kathy Goodhew, author
"Author Sherry Rossman is a gifted storyteller. Faith Seekers is filled with great lines that will stick in the reader's head long after the book is finished. [...] Her characters are the best combination of spirit and doubt. The beautiful scenes and excellent pacing make this story of faith and trust a keeper." ~ MyTeddyLady
"I was in awe of this authors ability to keep me on edge and wonder about what would happen on each page of her book. Her descriptive flow of words had me involved in each moment. The inspirational message achieved in the end had me rooting for more books from this talented author!" ~ Alice Klies
"Amazing writing skills. Very detailed and inspiring. Great read especially for anyone who is struggling to find their meaning and purpose. Going to order a few more to give as gifts to friends and family." ~ Cool game

My Review

By Lynda Dickson
Hannah leaves college after her scholarship runs out and her dad loses his job. Now her family (father Alex, mother Rose, and brother Ian) is homeless, apart from the RV they live in while travelling around the country selling their wares at craft shows. They have become "Faith seekers, a family searching for the great America that had failed them and so many others - the land that had failed them into nomads." Along the way, the meet Dan and his pregnant girlfriend Nia, and young photographer Miguel and his uncle Mac. As Hannah struggles with her strange visions and unwanted attention from Dan, she doesn't realize that it will all culminate in a battle between the forces of good and evil.
The book is very slow to start; not much happens, but the atmosphere is dense with foreboding. The writing is beautiful and lyrical, full of the recurring themes and imagery of tree roots, elk, Harriet Tubman, prophets, stars and stripes, and wind chimes. While there is no doubt that the author is an extremely talented writer, the story is at times confusing, there is too much repetition, and the central conflict is resolved too easily. I also had a problem with the similarity in names - Michael and Miguel (Spanish for Michael), Hannah and Harriet, Nia and Ian, Dan and Mac and Ian - especially during the climactic scene towards the end the book.
This book is classified as young adult, but is actually clean new adult.

About the Author
Sherry Rossman wrote children’s books before digging into genres for older audiences. She has published short stories for The Relevant Christian Magazine and Wordsmith Journal Magazine, as well as guest blogging for Life Upside Down and Christian eBooks Today. She lives in Northern Arizona with her husband and children.