Saturday, July 8, 2017

The Girl Who Could See blog tour and GIVEAWAY

All her life Fern has been told she is blind to reality—but, what if she is the only one who can truly see?
Fern Johnson is crazy. At least, that’s what the doctors have claimed since her childhood. Now nineteen, and one step away from a psych ward, Fern struggles to survive in bustling Los Angeles. Desperate to appear normal, she represses the young man flickering at the edge of her awareness—a blond warrior only she can see.
Tristan was Fern’s childhood imaginary hero, saving her from monsters under her bed and outside her walls. As she grew up and his secret world continued to bleed into hers, however, it only caused catastrophe. But, when the city is rocked by the unexplainable, Fern is forced to consider the possibility that this young man is not a hallucination after all—and that the creature who decimated his world may be coming for hers.

About the Author: As the daughter of missionaries, KARA SWANSON spent sixteen years of her young life in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. Able to relate with characters dropped suddenly into a unique new world, she quickly fell in love with the speculative genre and was soon penning stories herself. At seventeen, she independently published her debut fantasy novel, Pearl of Merlydia. Her short story is included in Kathy Ide’s 21 Days of Joy: Stories that Celebrate Mom. She has published many articles, including one in the Encounter magazine, and she received the Mount Hermon Most Promising Teen Writer award in 2015

My Review: 5 stars!
This book is very different from any other Ive read to date and I have to say that I loved it!  The cover caught my eye the moment I saw it, and I was even more intrigued after reading the cover blurb.  Someone who could see what others could not?  An imaginary friend thats real?  Color me curious!  I couldnt resist diving into this story and once I did, I read it in one sitting!  

Im not always a fan of books written from the first-person perspective, but Ms. Swanson did an excellent job!  I loved her writing and was actually pulled in from the authors note at the beginning!  I hadnt even read the opening line and just knew it was going to be a great book!  I enjoyed Ferns perspective and actually found myself laughing a time or two, at her sarcastic comments.  I dont want to say much and chance giving anything away, but I do have to say that I really enjoyed how Ms. Swanson created this fantasy world that seemed completely legit.  I could easily picture everything Fern saw and often felt I was right there beside her, racing against time and struggling to make sense of everything that was happening.  I felt as though I had made a new friend by the time I turned the final page.  And I can honestly say that I was so absorbed in this story that when I looked up after finishing it, I was a little surprised to find myself on my couch and not standing in Ferns kitchen, or seeing the destruction that had been wrought.  And I loved that!  If a book can hold my attention so completely, it was definitely a good book, in my opinion, and probably worth a reread or two.

My only negativecomment, which is also a compliment to the author, is that I wanted it to be longer!  I know its listed as a novella,but I always want the books I so enjoy to be longer!  I didnt want it to end!  Though Ms. Swanson did an excellent job with the ending, too!  At first, I was pretty upset, because I hadnt realized I had one more chapter to go.  By the time I finished the final chapter, it was all good and I was grinning, despite knowing I now had to figure out how to be a functioning member of society again.  I dont know how anyone could expect me to, [insert useful life skill here], after having my heart ripped out by a fictional character and then returned!  But, unfortunately, I know they do, so Ive pulled myself together and am planning to start a petition for another book from this amazing author!

Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by!  If you'd like, you can also find my interview with Kara, here.

To celebrate her tour, Kara is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!
And be sure to stop by the other stops on this blog tour (listed below) to earn extra entries!

June 29: Genesis 5020
July 1: remembrancy
July 4: Book by Book
July 6: Baker Kella
July 9: A path of joy
July 10: Henry Happens

You can also purchase a copy of the book on Amazon for $2.99 or read for free with Kindle Unlimited!  Just thought I'd throw that out there.  :)

Friday, July 7, 2017

My Review: Deep Waters

"Bad stuff happens.  Doesn't matter where you work or live.  It's just life.  We don't get to escape it."  - Shepherd Lightman

Thirty feet underwater when her oxygen tank fails, Caley Flynn fears it's been sabotaged--and she'll be the next to die. Her intern's already dead, her home breached and something's amiss at her Florida marine-life rescue center...but no one believes she's in danger. Except Shepherd Lightman. When Caley's brother asked him to check on her, the marine turned security specialist hoped it would be a case of calming down a nervous veterinarian. But the threats are all too real. Rescuing Caley and remaining alive isn't easy, but resisting his boss's sister is where the real danger lies. Because with his heart in the balance, he'll do whatever it takes to stop a killer who's desperate to keep a secret hidden.

About the Author:
Jessica R. Patch lives in the mid-south where she pens inspirational contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels. When she's not hunched over her laptop or going on adventurous trips in the name of research with willing friends, you can find her watching way too much Netflix with her family and collecting recipes to amazing dishes she'll probably never cook.

My Review: 5 stars!
Ive recently become a big fan of Ms. Patchs and was SO excited to find out this book was the first in a new series!  I had high expectations for this story and can happily say that it exceeded them all!  Though after reading it, I now want to start at the beginning and read all of her books over again, while I anxiously await the next book in the series!  

"It's in the deep waters you really learn to trust God. 
You also have nowhere to go if the boat sinks. 
I believe I remember a young disciple who got out in the deep and started to sink.  
Seems Someone was instantly there to grab his hand, to keep him from going under."  - Miss Whittle

Ms. Patch did an excellent job with this story, as always.  She had me pulled into the mystery immediately and trying to guess whodunitthrough the entire book.  I was befuddled to the very end and definitely wasnt ready for it to be over, though I was anxious to find out if I was right (I wasnt).  I also loved the banter between Caley and Shepard and found myself grinning like a loon more than once.  I very much enjoyed getting to know these two characters and definitely wasnt ready to say, goodbyeas I turned the final page.  They stepped right off the page and became friends during these 200+ pages.  I loved Caleys strength and determination, even when she was scared spit-less.  I enjoyed seeing her step outside of the shell she had built around herself and learn how to fully live again.  And I think it would be almost impossible not to fall for Shepard. For the big man determined to protect Caley, regardless of the cost.  And the little boy deep inside, still expecting to be found wanting and be abandoned again.  He is so strong and confident, but also a bit awkward too, especially with physical contact.”  I so enjoyed following them through this story, as they chased answers to the mystery, but also too their personal questions and sometimes found them in unexpected places.

I highly recommend this book!  And am impatiently waiting for the next one!

Thanks so much for taking the time to read my review!  It'd definitely one of my shorter ones!  Haha!  Maybe it offsets how long my last one was!  Anyway, I hope you'll check out this book!  I was scrolling through my Kindle app, trying to decide what quotes I wanted to use and hadn't realized I'd highlighted so many!  I need to learn how to make memes, I think . . . .

Have a fabulous day!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

My Review: On Love's Gentle Shore

Happy Independence Day, everyone!  And happy release day to Liz Johnson!  On Love's Gentle Shore officially releases today and I can't wait for others to read it so we can all chat about how fantastic it is!  And how we all now want to visit PEI!  :)

Fifteen years after she left Prince Edward Island, Natalie O'Ryan had no plans to return. But when her fiance, music producer Russell Jacobs, books their wedding in her hometown and schedules a summer at Rose's Red Door Inn, she sets out to put the finishing touches on the perfect wedding. But she can't possibly prepare for a run-in with Justin Kane--the best friend she left behind all those years ago after promising to stay.

Justin's never forgotten Natalie or the music career he always dreamed of pursuing. He'd been prepared to follow her off the island until his dad died and he was left to run the family dairy farm. He's done the best he can with the life that was thrust upon him--but with Natalie back in the picture, he begins to realize just how much joy he's been missing.

After Natalie's reception venue falls through, she must scramble to find an alternative, and the only option seems to be a barn on Justin's property. As they work together to get the dilapidated building ready for the party, Natalie and Justin discover the groundwork for forgiveness--and that there may be more than an old friendship between them.

About the Author:
Liz Johnson fell in love with Prince Edward Island the first time she set foot on it. When she's not plotting her next trip to the island, she works as director of marketing for a Christian radio network. She is the author of several novels including The Red Door Inn and Where Two Hearts Meet, a New York Times bestselling novella, and a handful of short stories. She makes her home in Tucson, Arizona. 

My Review: (are 10 or 15 stars allowed?)
Okay, I just have to say it - I loved this book!!!  It was fantastic!  Im always a huge fan of Liz Johnsons books, but this one may very well be my favorite!  I was so excited for the opportunity to return to Prince Edward Island and the dear characters Ms. Johnson has created there.  From the quirky Ms. Aretha and Jack, to Marie and Seth, to Caden and Adam, I couldnt wait to see how their stories would continue and meet those who would spend time at the Red Door Inn that started it all.

As always, Ms. Johnson has done a superb job with this story!  I love the unique descriptions she uses and how her words so thoroughly draw me into the story.  I could almost see red cliffs, smell the sea spray as Natalie ventured around the island, and the descriptions of Cadens baking still makes me drool!  But more than that, I felt connected to these characters.  I laughed with them and found myself sharing their heartache, too.  I felt their emotions as though they were dear friends, telling me their stories as tears slid down both our faces, or laughter rang in the air.  I fell in love with these characters and the island they inhabit and I very much want to visit PEI some day and walk down the beach, imagining each of them there, sharing the heart of their home with me.  I loved getting to reconnect with the characters from the previous books (which you dont have to read first, but I very highly recommend!) and seeing their stories continue within this new one.  There is a joy within the pages of this book, despite the sometimes difficult topics it addresses, and I smile just looking at the cover, remembering the story found there.  I didnt want to put it down and I definitely didnt want it to end!  I was almost late, because I was determined to finish the last few pages and then left with tears in my eyes at the ending.  It was so perfect!  And if this is the final book in the series (I dont know if there are plans for others or not) then it ended well, though I definitely will not complain about another book!

As already suggested above, I adored these characters!  Natalie ORyan was definitely something of a surprise and I fell in love with her right away.  She is someone Id just like to hug and promise that she is wanted, she is enough.  Much of the story focuses on her learning those very things and I so enjoyed watching her come out of her protective shell and begin truly living again.  I almost cheered a time or two, when the spitfire hiding away came out and lit into Justin!  I loved seeing Natalie be herself and figure out who she is behind the facade shed perfected.  

"Loving someone is kind of like offering forgiveness. 
There's no guarantee that they're not going to hurt you again.
You can't promise perfection. 
But you choose to love and you choose to forgive,
because living in fear of being hurt again is just a facsimile of life."
- Marie Sloane

And Justin Kane is an excellent hero for Natalie!  He didnt put up with any of her attitude and gave back as good as he got.  I loved how he prodded her on, determined that she be herself with him and calling her out on her dishonesty.  And the dialogue between them!  I found myself laughing out loud more than once and wishing I could be there to see Natalies face when he said something completely outrageous!  I also loved the love between them.  Though they havent seen each other in years and there was quite a bit of misunderstanding in that time, there was still a palpable tension that slowly grew throughout the story.  And goodness did they work to earn that ending!  I was alternately cheering them on and bemoaning the idea that it might not work out the way I had hoped.  There were a few times that I was a bit concerned that the authors idea of a happy ending wouldnt match mine.  And I couldnt resist sharing a happy tear or two with the characters as I turned the final page.
Overall, I loved this story and would happily give it more than 5 stars, if they would let me!  

Thank you so much if you took the time to read my review!  I hope you'll consider checking out this wonderful book, and the other two in the series!  As always, there are links below. :)

Have a great and safe Independence Day!