Category Archives: Reviews

One For Sorrow by Mary Downing Hahn

One For Sorrow BookPublisher: Clarion Books
Sold By: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date: July 18, 2018

Okay, I’ll admit the cover drew me to this story! But look at it, soooo spooky! ONE FOR SORROW is set during World War I and the influenza epidemic of 1918, this story unravels the tale of childhood school days gone wrong. Annie is eager to make friends at her new school, but Elsie claims her as her own bestie, refusing to allow Annie to connect with other girls. After Elsie passes from influenza, her ghost returns to torment Annie for befriending others and to make sure Annie is isolated and disliked as much as she had been when alive.

While this was an easy read, Elsie didn’t become a ghost until halfway into the story. This was delayed longer than I’d anticipated, making some of the bullying redundant in order to get to the good stuff–a scary ghost! And even though the historical setting enriched the story, I felt cheated with the lack of generational terms. But make no mistake, author Mary Downing Hahn creates a realistic story of how easy it is to get swept into bullying when a child just wants to be liked. She also paints a cruel tale of how difficult it is to get out of a this horrible situation. So, if you’re looking for a darker read, this is for you!

Mary Downing Hahn

Mary Downing Hahn, a former children’s librarian, is the award-winning author of many popular ghost stories, including Wait Till Helen Comes, which is being adapted for film. An avid reader, traveler, and all-around arts lover, Ms. Hahn lives in Columbia, Maryland, with her cat, Oscar.

***THE OFFICIAL BLURB***

Against the ominous backdrop of the influenza epidemic of 1918, Annie, a new girl at school, is claimed as best friend by Elsie, a classmate who is a tattletale, a liar, and a thief. Soon Annie makes other friends and finds herself joining them in teasing and tormenting Elsie. Elsie dies from influenza, but then she returns to reclaim Annie’s friendship and punish all the girls who bullied her. Young readers who revel in spooky stories will relish this chilling tale of a girl haunted by a vengeful ghost.

Amazon | BN | Kobo| Google PlayGoodreads | Houghton Mifflin Harcourt | Target | BAM! | Audible

And check out these additional reviews:

“Hahn’s story is characteristically steeped in eerie atmosphere, and the novel’s blend of historical drama, the supernatural, and the intricacies of adolescent friendship is a gripping combination.” —PW

“Hahn is a veteran author who clearly knows her apples about writing ghost stories, as this, her latest inventive page-turner, evidences… Shivers aplenty, but also genuine emotion that will invite empathy.” — Booklist

“Another historical and chilling success.” —Kirkus

“Another solid addition to Hahn’s oeuvre, this would also make a spine-chilling pair with Cohen’s The Doll’s Eye.” —Bulletin

Author Links: Website | Facebook

Jelly Bean Summer by Joyce Magnin Pre-order & Review

Jelly Bean Summer

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Release Date: May 2, 2017

Oh man, Jelly Bean Summer by Joyce Magnin took me back to my youth of wanting to escape unpleasant realities and to feel a sense of doing something worthwhile. And like Joyce Anne, I spent many nights staring at the starry sky. Heck, I still do! And even though the story takes place during the time of the Vietnam War, kids today can still relate to soldiers, some family or friends, going MIA because of our current international wars.

Now let me tell you, this isn’t a war story. Oh no, it’s about making unlikely friendships and getting past mutual sorrows. But most importantly, it’s about finding a purpose and to know you made a difference in someone’s life. This book made me laugh. Oh, and this book made me cry. But never did I stop cheering for Joyce Anne to continue with her funny flying saucer mission. Yep, I said flying saucer. Truly, I dare you to pick up Jelly Bean Summer to find out what I mean!

ABOUT THE BLURB

Jelly Bean Summer (Back)

Joyce is desperate to get out of the room she shares with her older sister. All she wants is some peace and quiet, not the kind of quiet that fills the space left by her missing brother. It’s the kind where you can breath deep and see the stars.

So she moves to the roof. Up there it’s nothing but blue sky. Blue sky and…another roof dweller? Joyce soon discovers she’s not the only one who’s been driven to rooftop living. With the help of a pair of binoculars, a sketch pad, and a pen, Joyce makes an unexpected friend and sets in motion a summer she’ll never forget.

Amazon|BN|Kobo|Google Play|Goodreads|Sourcebooks Jabberwocky|Target|BAM!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Joyce Magnin

Joyce Magnin is the author of the popular and quirky Bright’s Pond novels. She is a frequent conference speaker and writing instructor. When she’s not writing or reading Joyce enjoys baseball, needle arts, video games and cream soda but not elevators—especially glass ones. She listens to many kinds of music, shamelessly confesses to enjoying American Idol, has never eaten a scallop or sky dived. Joyce has three children, Rebekah, Emily and Adam and three grandsons, Lemuel, Cedar and Soren and one son-in-law, Joshua. Joyce lives in Havertown, Pennsylvania with her son, Adam and their crazy cat, Mango, where she cares for an eighty-year-old onion plant.

Prisoner of Ice and Snow by Ruth Lauren

 

Prisoner of Ice and Snow by [Lauren, Ruth]

Prisoner of Ice and Snow by Ruth Lauren is available for preorder and will be released by Bloomsbury Children’s Books USA on April 4, 2017. And yay, I received an ARC for my honest opinion. First, check out the cover! Who doesn’t like a strong female character holding a bow-and-arrow? My mind instantly went to the success of Katniss Everdeen. And when I learned that this young female character named Valor intentionally got herself thrown into prison, I was like “What? Who does that?” and HAD to read the story to see how she conducted herself within the prison walls.

Ruth Lauren wove a great tale of deception that kept me guessing. The story is fast-paced with a character full of courage. Valor vows to break her sister out of Demidova’s prison where no one has escaped in centuries! Oh yeah, I should mention her sister’s serving a life sentence for stealing from the royal family. I frequently cringed when Valor talked to another prisoner, worried she’d be exposed for her plans to escape. Punishment within Demidova’s prison were beyond harsh, often ending in a prisoner’s death. And oh my goodness, Ruth painted such a wintry picture of the prison, I stayed bundled in my quilt while reading. Seriously, this is a great read that’ll leave you rooting for Valor and her sister to escape Demidova! (And hoping she’ll wallop a few heads on her way.)

Ruth Lauren

Ruth Lauren lives in a Victorian house in the West Midlands in England with her partner and a lot of children and cats. She likes chocolate, walking in the woods, cheese, orchids, going to the movies, and reading as many books as she can. She’s been a teacher and worked in lots of different offices, but she likes writing best. Prisoner of Ice and Snow is her debut novel. Find her at www.ruthlauren.com  or on Twitter at @Ruth__Lauren

Pre-Order Now! Amazon , Bloomsbury , Kobo , BN , Google Play , Target , BAM! , Goodreads

HAPPY READING!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA Fiction

Blog Tour: SOME KIND OF MAGIC by Mary Ann Marlowe + #Giveaway

somekindofmagic_reviewtour

Check it out! SOME KIND OF MAGIC by Mary Ann Marlowe is releasing January 31, 2017! Lucky for me I was chosen to be part of her blog tour and received an ARC. What compelled me to read this novel was the fact it sounded similar to the movie Love Potion No. 9 with Sandra Bullock. So, I HAD to read it!

Since I have a science degree, I got a kick out of Eden being a biochemist. The story had me busting at the seams due to a test they run detecting, um, erections. Working in a lab of this type, it’s no wonder the development of a pheromone enhancement serum was created. So, when Eden meets Adam, she can’t be sure he really likes her for her. And come on folks, who doesn’t dream of hooking up with their favorite lead singer! But the story is much more than that. Eden mistakes him initially for some grungy want-a-be musician and not the famous Adam Copeland. After all, she doesn’t really listen to his music. It doesn’t take long for some steamy sex to heat up your night. But this story is about Adam being a real person and Eden having dreams of her own, not to mention, learning to trust in love. Mary Ann Marlowe is a funny and brilliant writer. I highly recommend this story. (Be sure to scroll down for a #Giveaway!)

Publisher: Kensington Publishing
Release: January 31, 2017

Blurb

In this sparkling debut novel, Mary Ann Marlowe introduces a hapless scientist who’s swept off her feet by a rock star—but is it love or just a chemical reaction?…

Biochemist Eden Sinclair has no idea that the scent she spritzed on herself before leaving the lab is designed to enhance pheromones. Or that the cute, grungy-looking guy she meets at a gig that evening is Adam Copeland. As in the Adam Copeland international rock god and object of lust for a million women. Make that a million and one. By the time she learns the truth, she s already spent the (amazing, incredible) night in his bed

Suddenly Eden, who’s more accustomed to being set up on disastrous dates by her mom, is going out with a gorgeous celebrity who loves how down-to-earth and honest she is. But for once, Eden isn’t being honest. She can’t bear to reveal that this overpowering attraction could be nothing more than seduction by science. And the only way to know how Adam truly feels is to ditch the perfume—and risk being ditched in turn

Smart, witty, and sexy, Some Kind of Magic is an irresistibly engaging look at modern relationships why we fall, how we connect, and the courage it takes to trust in something as mysterious and unpredictable as love.

Amazon | BN | Kobo | Google PlayGoodreads | Penguin Random House Audio | Target | BAM! | Audible

And check out these additional reviews:

  • “An amazing first novel.” —Sydney Landon, New York Times bestselling author
  • “Frisky, Flirty Fun!” —Stephanie Evanovich, New York Times bestselling author of The Total Package
  • “Sexy, engaging and original. I completely fell in love with Eden and Adam.” —Sydney Landon, New York Times bestselling author”
  • “This love potion romance, which pairs up the lead singer for a rock band with a biochemist who’s also an amateur singer/songwriter, is light and fluffy.” —Publishers Weekly

***GIVEAWAY***

One winner will receive a $50 Amazon OR Book Depository Gift Card (International). Three winners will win a signed copy of SOME KIND OF MAGIC (US only).

RAFFLECOPTER LINK

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Some Kind of Magic is Mary Ann Marlowe’s first novel. When not writing, she works by day as a computer programmer/DBA. She spent ten years as a university-level French professor, and her resume includes stints as an au pair in Calais, a hotel intern in Paris, a German tutor, a college radio disc jockey, and a webmaster for several online musician fandoms, plus she has a second-degree black belt. She has lived in twelve states and three countries and loves to travel. She now lives in central Virginia where she is hard at work on her second novel. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.maryannmarlowe.com, Facebook, and Twitter.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Guardian of Secrets by Brenda Drake Cover Reveal

guardian-of-secrets

Let us know what you think of the cover for Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers, #2) by Brenda Drake which releases February 7, 2017!

This cover reveal is brought to you by Entangled TEEN & YA Interrobang!

The time has arrived for the cover reveal for the fantastic sequel to Brenda Drake’s Library Jumpers Novels: Guardian of Secrets. I’m soooo excited! Just look at the cover, it says “you’ll love me, so BUY ME.” Seriously, you can preorder NOW! (See links below.) And if you haven’t read the first novel, Thief of Lies, I urge you to do this immediately. You will not be disappointed.

Brenda Drake’s thoughts on the cover:

I had an idea of what I wanted the cover of Guardian of Secrets to look like the entire time I was writing the story. I was delighted (I might have screamed) when the cover showed up in my email and it was EXACTLY what I’d imagined. I love that it’s blue since part of the setting of the book takes place in a cold climate. I’m thrilled the couple is on it, too. They resemble the characters I’ve created in my mind perfectly. The cover is so beautiful, and I’m beyond excited to share it with everyone!

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About Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers, #2):

Being a Sentinel isn’t all fairytales and secret gardens.

Sure, jumping through books into the world’s most beautiful libraries to protect humans from mystical creatures is awesome. No one knows that better than Gia Kearns, but she could do without the part where people are always trying to kill her. Oh, and the fact that Pop and her had to move away from her friends and life as she knew it. 

And if that isn’t enough, her boyfriend, Arik, is acting strangely. Like, maybe she should be calling him “ex,” since he’s so into another girl. But she doesn’t have time to be mad or even jealous, because someone has to save the world from the upcoming apocalypse, and it looks like that’s going to be Gia. 

Maybe. If she survives.

Want to read more? Pre-order your copy of Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers, #2) by Brenda Drake today!

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Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Amazon CA | Amazon UK

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Brenda Drake grew up the youngest of three children, an Air Force brat, and the continual new kid at school. Her fondest memories growing up is of her eccentric, Irish grandmother’s animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling. So it was only fitting that she would choose to write stories with a bend toward the fantastical. When she’s not writing or hanging out with her family, she haunts libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops, or reads someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).

 Have a great writerly/reader day!
P.D. Pabst

Cursing Fate by Brenda Drake & Giveaway

cf_500Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes |Kobo

Grab your copy today for only $2.99!

Today is the release of Cursing Fate by Brenda Drake. This story is the sequel to the fantastical Touching Fate, which I recommend reading immediately! Brenda does so much for the writing community with Pitmad and Pitchwars, among many other things that I encourage everyone to purchase her books to show support!

TITLE: CURSING FATE (Book 2, The Fated Series)
AUTHOR: Brenda Drake
PUBLISHER: Entangled Publishing
RELEASE DATE: November 21, 2016

About the book . . . 

There’s something strange about the Layne sisters, and Wade Diaz wants nothing to do with them. Especially the one who ripped his heart out and set it on fire before tossing it in the garbage several months ago. Iris. He can’t even think her name without unconsciously rubbing the spot in his chest where she left a gaping hole. But now her sisters are claiming some evil spirit is after his soul, and Iris is the only one who can save him. Well, at least his heart would stop hurting, right? Didn’t sound so bad.

Iris Layne has always been the sweet sister. She’s kind to everyone, including her best friend Wade… Until she makes a horrible mistake and breaks his heart. All she wants is to go back to before ‘the dumping’. Of course, Wade would rather see her in hell first. But then Iris touches her sister’s tarot cards and unleashes an evil curse intent on playing a deadly game where no one Iris loves is safe, especially Wade.

How do you convince someone they need your help when you’re the one who hurt them most?

Read chapter one here.

You don’t have to read book one to read book two, but you totally should! Check out the Fated series novels by author Brenda Drake:

GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!

One winner will receive the CURSING FATE Prize Pack: A set of mini tarot cards, a BlackHeart Crystal Necklace, Romance Bracelet, Badgerface Pumpkin Spice Lip Balm, signed bookmarks, and a $20 Amazon gift card! To enter, go to her publicist’s website: Jen Halligan (Scroll toward the end of post.)

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P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.