Saturday, June 20, 2020

"Out of My League" by Sarah Sutton

Out of My League
by Sarah Sutton

Out of My League by Sarah Sutton

This book blitz and giveaway for Out of My League by Sarah Sutton is hosted by Xpresso Book Tours

For another book by this author, please check out my blog post on What Are Friends For?.

It’s all fun and games until someone catches feelings.
Sophia Wallace is convinced her life is over when her high school cuts the journalism program. Without the elective, she loses her chance to intern with the biggest newspaper company in the county, and why? All because the baseball team needs more funding.
To make matters worse, her boyfriend publicly dumps her at a party, which is mortifying. But the icing on the cake is when the captain of the baseball team and the most popular guy at Bayview High, Walsh Hunter, decides to be chivalrous. He jumps in, throws his arm around Sophia, and declares his undying love for her. In front of everyone.
Suddenly, Sophia is thrown into a world of fake relationships and undercover journalism, and she realizes she’s way, way out of her league.
Good thing she’s got the team captain to teach her how to play.
But faced with choosing between saving her journalism class or her newfound feelings for Walsh, will she strike out or hit a home run?

Staring at his face, I noticed a faint, silvery scar underneath his right eye, as small as my thumbnail. I reached out with my free hand, tracing my fingertip along his skin. A featherlight touch, barely there. “What happened here?”
His gaze never left mine. “Baseball cleat. Fourth grade. One of my teammates threw it at me.”
“Some little league kid threw their shoe at you? Why?”
“I told him that he couldn’t bat very well.” Walsh shrugged. “He couldn’t take the truth.”
I snorted. “You were that kid? The dream crusher?”
“Well, someone had to be.” His small smile was unapologetic. “Ask me who the kid was.”
I looked at him for a moment before tipping my head. “No way. Scott?”
“Who else would be that aggressive as a fourth-grader?”
Dina pulled at my arm as I laughed, shaking my head at the thought of miniature Scott throwing a shoe at small Walsh. I stepped out from the tangle of leashes at our feet, glancing down. “Oh, your poor rich-boy shoes.”
“What?” Walsh looked at his feet. “Oh.”
Brown smeared the side of his expensive-looking shoe, probably coating along the bottom. “With dogs around, you should probably watch where you’re walking.”
Walsh let go of my hand to switch the leash and proceeded to try and smear the offensive substance onto the grass. “Now you tell me.”
“Should we clean the poop off your shoe together? Is that romantic?”
His response was dry. “Ha-ha.”
“What? Shouldn’t we get a photo and caption it, ‘This might’ve been an accident, but falling in love wasn’t’?”
“Watch it, or I’ll wipe it on your ankle.”
I jerked back just in case he tried it, nearly tripping over Dina’s wealth of leash.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
“The entire book tugged at my heartstrings.” ~ Lynelle Barrett, author of Kiss and Consume
“Get ready to swoon.” ~ Goodreads Reviewer
“Another home-run from up and coming YA author Sarah Sutton!” ~ Carrie Baker, author of Gull's Cry Cottage
“It felt like I was back in high school experiencing these things first hand.” ~ Tathy's Cozy Nook, Goodreads
“A story that keeps you hooked!” ~

My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.

By Lynda Dickson
Sophia is about to enter her senior year of high school and can finally apply for the internship with the local newspaper. But, when her school journalism course is shut down, she is no longer eligible to apply. She discovers that the funding is being diverted into the school’s baseball program and focuses her anger and frustration on Walsh Hunter, the oh-so-perfect captain of the baseball team. She decides to try to persuade the school board to change their minds with a killer article – an exposé on the baseball team. Sophia is publicly humiliated when her boyfriend breaks up with her at Walsh’s end-of-year party and, when Walsh comes to her rescue, they somehow end up fake-dating. Sophia’s reasoning is that the situation will be helpful to her to write her article. But what could Walsh be after?
Sophia has an endearing, overly-dramatic way of telling her story. The characters around her are interesting: her best friend Edith is a breath of fresh air, ex-boyfriend Scott is a jerk, and Walsh is a super-sweet hero. I felt sorry for Sophia because of her parents’ self-centered and uncaring behavior and was glad they redeem themselves in the end.
This funny (yet, at times, sad) young adult romance hits a home run for me.
Warnings: underage drinking, alcohol abuse, marital difficulties.

Some of My Favorite Lines
“I was losing heartbeats, misplacing them in the fog in my mind.”
“The moment rapidly cracked apart like glass, and I inhaled the broken shards in, cutting my lungs.”
“This was the kind of kiss people wrote about in books - the toe-curling, heart fluttering kiss I’d always dreamt about.”

About the Author
Sarah Sutton is a YA Romance author, bringing you stories about teenagers falling in love (sometimes with magic)She spends her days dreaming up ideas with her two adorable puppies by her side being cheerleaders (and mega distractions).

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card.


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Friday, June 5, 2020

Sophie and the Bookmobile by Kathleen M. Jacobs

Sophie and the Bookmobile
by Kathleen M. Jacobs

Sophie and the Bookmobile by Kathleen M. Jacobs

Sophie and the Bookmobile by Kathleen M. Jacobs is currently on tour with RABT Book Tours and PR. The tour stops here today for my review and an excerpt. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

When Sophie's family moves from New York City to West Virginia, she not only has to leave her friends and the city and library she loves so much, but she has to figure out what will happen when she discovers that there is no library in her new town. But when she discovers something called a bookmobile and other new treasures, all is right with the world.

Chapter 1
What did you say?” Sophie Hunter asked as her mother filled and taped the last box of books from Sophie’s room. She labeled it SH: BOOKS with a hunter green marker, Sophie’s favorite color. Sophie stopped in her tracks, frozen as if she had just been hypnotized; she refused to believe not only what her mother had said, but that it had any truth to it at all. It reminded her of the time her best friend, Pepper (who called Sophie “Salt” all the time), told her that her new best friend was a boy. A boy?! Sophie couldn’t believe what Pepper had said, any more than she could believe what she thought she had just heard her mother say.
And so, Sophie asked again, “What did you say?”
“Now, Sophie,” her mother said, “there really is no need to be so alarmed.”
What? No need to be alarmed? Are you kidding me? I mean, really Mom! I need to make sure that what I think I heard was actually what you said.” Sophie was jerked back in motion as if someone had switched her lever to the on position. She quickly sat down on the wooden floor after falling back against the wall: the one with the painted mural of shelf after shelf of books, which her mother had painted for her the year before, on her ninth birthday. Sophie wished she could peel off the mural and take it with her, but knew that was impossible. Her mother had promised her that she would paint it again, on a wall in her bedroom of the new house, in the new town where they were moving, though. Knowing that made Sophie a bit more accepting of this “new adventure,” as her parents called it. Yet with this new revelation, Sophie felt as if she might faint once again.
“I wanted to tell you earlier,” her mother said, “but I knew you would be upset, and there really is no need to be alarmed.”
There it was again: that word, alarmed. The more Sophie’s mother let it slip from her tongue, the more alarmed Sophie became.
“If there is no need, as you say, to be alarmed, then why have you used the word twice already?”
“Sophie, I believe you are a bit more dramatic than is necessary,” her mother replied, dodging the question. Sophie’s pure white cat, Snowball, tilted her head, seemingly confused, as she and Sophie looked at each other. Sophie tilted her head as well, in complete agreement with Snowball.
“Well,” Sophie said, “Snowball and I would both have to disagree. As a matter of fact, we’re both more than just a little concerned that you are not alarmed enough.” Suddenly, as if on cue, Snowball and Sophie straightened their gazes and nodded in complete agreement. She and Snowball had always had this affect on one another. Sophie picked up Snowball and hugged her close to her heart.
Sophie felt that because her mother kept saying there was no need to be alarmed that there was, in fact, every reason to be alarmed. And as Sophie’s mother repeatedly looked around her room to make sure that she had packed everything, Sophie was certain that her mother was equally alarmed, even as she tried to appear otherwise. The only things that remained in Sophie’s room that hadn’t been packed away in cardboard boxes were Sophie, her mother, Snowball, and the book that Sophie had just started reading that morning, Missing May. She clutched the novel close to her heart as she held Snowball, afraid that if she released her hold on either that they too would end up in a taped box on their way to their new home, in a place where everything is completely different from what she’d always known.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
Sophie & the Bookmobile was fun to read! Sophie has to be brave to live without friends or a library when she moves to a small town in West Virginia. But she finds all the things she loves in the Bookmobile! I love that Sophie knows that books are awesome and that she loves West Virginia as much as I do.” ~ Julia, age 10
“I love when my daughter, Julia, can recognize herself in the pages of books, and Jacobs is able to capture both the trials and splendors of childhood perfectly. Plus, any book that confirms that reading is both essential and the best thing ever is the kind of book I want in my daughter's hands!” ~ Anna, Julia's Mom
“I grew up LOVING the bookmobile in our town. Where we live now, we don't have one, so I was excited to introduce my kids to this book that talks about mobile libraries.” ~ Leslie Shogren
“As I read Sophie & the Bookmobile I was reminded of my love of books that began at a young age, which has continued on to this day. In addition to the wonders of books (and bookmobiles), Sophie’s story is a great reminder that change can be good, despite our fears or thoughts that say otherwise.” ~ Ella Dillon
“This is a wonderful story for avid young readers for whom books are perhaps their closest companions.” ~ roadreads

My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.

By Lynda Dickson
Ten-year-old Sophie and her family move from the Upper East Side of Manhattan to a town called Victor, West Virginia. Sophie is excited to be moving to the country – until she finds out that there is no library in Victor. But her mother promises her that there is something even better. What can it be?
The story itself is a bit anti-climactic as, of course, the answer is provided in the book’s title and the author’s note to the reader at the beginning of the book. This story is based on the author’s own discovery of the magic of the bookmobile and is complemented by the cute illustrations by Ashley Teets. Unfortunately, not all chapters have a picture, and there isn’t even one of the bookmobile. There are a few editing errors, which is always disappointing in a children’s book. Overall, however, this book successfully conveys both Sophie’s and the author’s love of books and is suitable for budding young book lovers.

About the Author
Kathleen M. Jacobs is the author of the critically-acclaimed YA-novels, Honeysuckle Holiday and Betsy Blossom Brown. Her other works include Marble Town, a book for the MG-reader. Her first children’s book, Please Close It! has enjoyed numerous awards, and her chapbooks The Puppeteer of Objects: A Lyrical Poem and Collected Curiosities: Poems, Essays & Opinions offer insights into human behavior and understanding. She is a former teacher of English and Creative Writing and holds a M. A. in Humanistic Studies. She was the 2017 New River Gorge Writer-in-Residence.


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Tuesday, June 2, 2020

"War of the Institutes" by Paul James

War of the Institutes
(The Modest Proposal Institute Book 4)
by Paul James

War of the Institutes (The Modest Proposal Institute Book 4) by Paul James

War of the Institutes, the fourth and final book in The Modest Proposal Institute series by Paul James, has just been released. The author stops by today to share an excerpt from the book. Also available for only $0.99 each (or FREE on Kindle Unlimited): An Old Path to a New Future, No More Empires (read my blog post), and Rival Institutes.

Image created using Mockup Shots.

The Modest Proposal Institute, which began in 2018 with such high hopes of saving the future progress of mankind, has broken into rival factions by 2030. Book 4, War of the Institutes, brings to an end this dystopian young adult, near-future sci fi, history of Earth.
Alexis and his pioneers have set up home on the moon and Mars, with an Earth 2.0 to come. Shane and his ocean pioneers are establishing mankind's presence on the seabed. Nadia and Tomas reign supreme in Western Europe and would like to extend their dominion across all the old Western lands. A splinter group, led by Jamie, wishes to live free in North America. All would be well if only they would be happy with what they have - but not everyone can and on Earth mankind returns to its pre-industrial state.

Moon City, 2129
Alexis frowned. He wished, and not for the first time, that he’d never started this history and yet it had to be told. To be honest, all he really wanted was his view of events told in his own voice. Looking back, he could see so many times where he failed and people would wonder why? They would ask why the same man who, in his early days, had pushed the Space Institute forward so forcefully, but then had been so unsure of himself when the Institute began to fracture. And they’d be right to ask. He could hardly understand it either. Until 2040, he’d been striding forward into space. After 2040 he’d been out of his depth on Earth. People there made no sense to him. Unfortunately, that’s the time he’d reached in this history, and he felt almost afraid to go on. He shrugged. Best to get it over with, he thought, and began recording.
It was the darkest time of the Institute’s history. The time when the three branches drifted farther and farther apart in growing mistrust and then violence. These events had happened only a few years ago and yet were almost forgotten by most. Or here in space they were, anyhow. He couldn’t speak much about those left on Earth because he never visited now, but he suspected their everyday thoughts were consumed by just finding enough food to keep living.
It wasn’t a dark time for everyone. Here in space, life went on as if nothing had changed. It was always a reflection of the Earth of 2018 here, only better. Before the moon and Martian cities were even half finished, exploratory missions had gone out in search of asteroids, other moons, and anything in the solar system that looked like it could be colonized. The drive was relentless. Even Alexis was staggered at the energy his pioneers showed in every possible new territory. Now he could see how the ancestors of the Western world could have arrived in a wilderness hundreds of miles from the nearest outpost of their civilization and built a city almost overnight.
He also now saw why the Founders had not focused on recruiting men with any one particular attribute—not IQ or physical strength or any other single quality. The Institute needed a range of qualities. Once those who explored had put roots into a new territory, pioneers needed to arrive and build. Nothing stopped the pioneers—not heat, cold, or exhaustion. They threw themselves into building each new settlement like there was no tomorrow. The contrast to the people he’d tried to help on Earth was staggering. Back on Earth people were starving, freezing, and yet could barely organize a hunt. Any one of the Institute’s men was worth ten of them.
After the pioneers came the builders, farmers, manufacturers, and those who provided them the services they needed. Where there had once been a barren, lifeless rock whirling in space, there was soon a thriving community sending resources back to the older colonies and importing things they needed in order to expand. No one directed anyone. The men just did what they did and the rest of life followed naturally.
The same story, of course, had been played out many times throughout men’s history on Earth. As Dean had told them, barren islands and lands had been turned into bustling cities and booming countries for thousands of years, but it was still astonishing to watch happen in space.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
“This author is a born story-teller, and I enjoyed this immensely. I’m especially impressed because it’s a first book. Superbly edited and excellently written, it’s a story of growing up, facing challenges, and finding the ‘you’ that you were meant to be; but all that’s extraneous to the plot, which I found unique and fascinating. About a group of young boys working to solve the problems of their society by creating a better future, you’ll experience tension, and relief, and more tension.”
“The story reaffirms that no matter how technologically advanced or intelligent we humans are, our basic human nature doesn't change, or rather, the more things change, the more they stay the same.” ~ MJC
“Loved this book. Great build up from the 3 and like the others couldn't put it down. Would recommend to those who love sci fi and an adventure.” ~ NB
“You will enjoy this book more - as you will know the history of the main characters and the plot if you read books 1-3 of the Modest Proposal Institute. Be advised that the characters’ life spans last for hundreds of years. Tomas and Nadia rule Europe, Alexis controls Outer Space, Shane the Oceans, Jamie - Jamestown, North America, and Asia and the rest of the world had more localized control. What happens when one leader wants to control the Earth?” ~ Terry Biehl
“The end of the end. Heavy, yet satisfying. It made me cry. I was secretly hoping for a different ending, but knew it has to end this way. The Modest Proposal Institute series is truly a masterpiece that makes you wonder on so many issues that we're facing right now.” ~ Rugova Writes

About the Author
Paul James
Paul James is an engineer with a life-long interest in books and writing. Originally from England, he's lived with his family near Toronto, Canada, for many years and where he walks, runs and takes wildlife photos whenever the weather will let him. In his writing, he likes to capture the humorous side of life even when sometimes the world doesn't seem to warrant it - as we saw in his earlier book, Diary of a Canadian Nobody.
For his new series, The Modest Proposal Institute, he has returned to one of his earliest loves - science fiction.

Amazon (Kindle Unlimited)

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