Thursday, July 25, 2013

Review: Lifeboat by A. B. Shepherd

If you aren't into science fiction or aliens don't let the cover on A. B. Shepherd's debut novel, Lifeboat, put you off. While the story does have UFOs and aliens it centers on Cass, a woman who must learn how to survive the loss of everything she has ever loved. She is unable to sleep after losing her husband and son in a car accident and takes long walks at night to quiet her mind. On one of those walks she spots a UFO and becomes a bit obsessed. Years later she is picked up by an alien ship and taken to a new planet with other survivors of the Earth's destruction. This is supposed to be their chance to start over and create a new life but how can they when people are disappearing without a trace?

Lifeboat is a very different story in more ways than one. The author lives in Australia so slang and other terms are Australian rather than American or British. While the words were not immediately recognizable, they were easy to figure out from the context. The Australian setting and language enhanced the otherworldly quality of the story for me because I was reading about someone in another part of our world even as she eventually travels to another planet.

I admit that I was extremely tired when I started reading Lifeboat so the changes in time and character at the beginning threw me a bit even though they are clearly labelled. I just struggled to organize the timeline in my head as it jumped around. I finally got drawn into the story when it started flowing in a linear timeline which was around a quarter of the way through the book. I was curious about Cass and what was happening to her. How she might start to move on from the pain of losing her family. What was going to happen to the people on the alien ship? Then how would they survive on the new planet. There were so many questions to answer.

Many events in this book played out in unexpected ways. The ending was a complete shock and left me wondering if I had missed things in other parts of the story. Little hints that I thought I had figured out ended up being part of the finale but nothing close to the whole truth. Even as I pondered it for days after finishing, I still had questions about how events played out. With some books I think I would be frustrated that I was still unable to piece everything together into a neatly finished puzzle but somehow the unanswered questions are fitting for Lifeboat.

Buy Lifeboat from Amazon: Kindle or Paperback

Library Girl Reads & Reviews is an Amazon advertising affiliate. A small fee is earned through purchases made using the above links. I won a copy of Lifeboat in a no-obligation giveaway held by the author.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, July 22, 2013

Review: Chasing Invisible by Karen Pokras Toz

I received a copy of Chasing Invisible by Karen Pokras Toz when I participated in the blog tour run by GWR Publicity.

The first thing that drew me to Chasing Invisible was the cover. Isn't it gorgeous?! I absolutely love the way the light shines on the girl, surrounding her with a glow even as she tries to keep her face in the shadow. The glow of the words is perfect as well giving the title the look of a neon sign in a store window.

Julia is a quiet girl who keeps to herself in college until she meets Chase, the lead singer in a band. When he is signed to a recording contract and becomes a star the pair has no idea how the media attention will change their lives. Although Chase takes the paparazzi in stride as just part of the new lifestyle, Julia longs for privacy for herself and her family. How much can attention can she survive?

I connected to Julia instantly. Her college experience of studying and working with little time for socializing sounded so much like my own experience. I also connected to her love for books and appreciation for libraries. Through the entire book I identified with her thoughts, emotions, and reactions to the situations that we so outside of her control.

Chasing Invisible covers a large time frame and the author does a fantastic job at hitting the main events of Julia's life without leaving the reader feeling like something has been missed in the time jumps. Chapters are clearly labelled with dates or season and year so it is easy to keep track of how much time has passed. The only place I was curious as to what happened in the skipped time was right at the end of the book.

I hope that Karen Pokras Toz plans to write more novels for adults. Chasing Invisible is a strong adult debut for the author who is already well-known for her middle grade books.

Buy Chasing Invisible on Amazon: Paperback * Kindle

Karen Pokras Toz, recently discovered her love for writing. Karen writes middle grade and adult contemporary fiction. Her middle grade children’s novels have won several awards including the Grand Prize in the 2012 Purple Dragonfly Book Awards and First Place for a Global E-Book Award for Pre-Teen Literature. Karen is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI). A native of Connecticut, Karen now lives outside of Philadelphia with her family. For more information, please visit

Connect with Karen: Blog * Facebook * Twitter * Amazon * Goodreads

Library Girl Reads & Reviews is an Amazon advertising affiliate: a small fee is earned when purchases are made through the Amazon links above.

Note: All opinions presented in book and product reviews are my own. Opinions presented in posts authored by others reflect the view of the author only and not necessarily my view or opinion.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Monkey Do Project Twitter Party TONIGHT #monkeydo

Would you like to find out more about the not-for-profit organization Monkey Do Project? Perhaps you see my regular monthly posts about the organization but still aren't sure what the needs are in Appalachia or how exactly you can help Monkey Do Project help others. Join me, some of the Monkey Do Project Board Members, and others interested in finding out more for a Twitter Party tonight.

(a must do if you want to win prizes!)
and then join us on Twitter using the hashtag #monkeydo.

Note: All opinions presented in book and product reviews are my own. Opinions presented in posts authored by others reflect the view of the author only and not necessarily my view or opinion.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Relics by Maer Wilson Excerpt

This is stop 11 on the Relics Excerpt Tour. To read the full excerpt, please visit each stop on the tour in order beginning at Cu's Author Promos. The complete list of tour stops, with direct links updated each day, can be found at Girl Who Reads. (Don't forget to leave a comment on each stop for an entry in the giveaway!)

Jane stared at me in alarm. I made a calming gesture to her with both hands. I fervently hoped there were no more victims, but decided not to take the chance on calling them in right then.
About the Book:

Most of Thulu and La Fi's clients are dead. Which is perfect since their detective agency caters to the supernatural. So, a job finding relics for an ancient daemon should be simple.

The daemon needs the relics to keep a dangerous portal closed. His enemy, Gabriel, wants the relics to open the portal and give his people access to a new feeding ground – Earth.

Stunning humanity with their existence, portals to other worlds begin to open and the creatures of magic return to Earth.

When Gabriel threatens their family, Thulu and La Fi's search becomes personal. The couple will need powerful allies in the race to find the relics before Gabriel does. But maybe that's what grateful dead, magical allies and daemonic clients are for.

When the creatures of myth and magic return to Earth, they're nothing like your mother's fairy tales.

Buy Relics at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

After a successful career being other people, and later teaching others the many tricks of that trade, Maer Wilson has decided to be herself for a while. Turns out she's a writer. She's always loved stories, especially fantasy, mystery and sci fi. Maer was born in the Year of the Dragon and has a dragon-themed room in her home, but sadly no dragons in the back yard. When she's not writing, Maer plays online video games, teaches college and reads. She also co-hosts the literary podcast, “MythBehaving” and writes for two gaming fansites. She lives in the high desert of Southern Nevada with her two dogs, a chihuahua and a poodle. Relics is her first novel and is published by Crescent Moon Press. It’s currently available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Reading & Book Signing:
Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore
Redondo Beach, CA
July 13 at 2:30 pm
More Info

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Note: All opinions presented in book and product reviews are my own. Opinions presented in posts authored by others reflect the view of the author only and not necessarily my view or opinion.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Persnickety Princess by Falcon Storm

Evolved Publishing presents "The Persnickety Princess," the first book in the "Tales from Upon A. Time" series by Falcon Storm. This lower grade adventure is perfect for kids 6-9 years old, though kids a little older are sure to like it too.

High up in the tallest tower of the purplest castle in the Kingdom by the Sea, Princess Lavender awaits rescue. Desperate as she may be, only the most dashing, well dressed, properly mannered prince will do. Oh, and he must stand exactly four and three-quarters inches taller than her. A princess has got to have standards, after all.

When, finally, one such prince comes to her castle—not to rescue her, but her younger sister—Lavender refuses to be ignored. Instead of waiting for the next suitor to come along, she devises a plan to put herself in danger, thus forcing the upstart prince to forget her sister and rescue her instead.

Well accustomed to getting her way, there is only one thing, unfortunately, that this princess can’t control—her luck. When her plans go awry, putting her in very real danger, will she allow the prince to rescue her as he sees fit? Will he even want to try?

And will anyone be able to find a way to rescue Lavender from her persnickety ways once and for all? Find out in this comedic tale of princes, dragons, and dreams that just may come true.

My Review:

* I won a copy of The Persnickety Princess in a no-obligation giveaway from the author & publisher. The opinion stated here is entirely my own. *

It is a rare thing for a book to make me smile and even more rare for me to laugh out loud while reading. The Persnickety Princess had me doing both. Falcon Storm has created an enchanting story with fun characters and amusing situations. Princess Lavender gets herself into all kinds of trouble as she attempts to fulfill her ideal fantasy of being rescued by a prince. Unfortunately, the prince she wants to rescue her is off to rescue her sister, Princess Petunia. Instead Lavender is rescued over and over by a man she believes to be the prince's squire.

The story moves quickly and is sure to hold a child's attention. The target audience for this book is ages 6 - 9 so it is still a little beyond my four year old. I have no doubt that she will be ready for it soon though even if we do have to stop often for all the inevitable "why" questions and a few vocabulary lessons. At the same time I think the story is fun and interesting enough for readers a bit on the older side of the age range.

The only thing that might make this book even more fun would be a small illustration at the beginning of each chapter to go along with the beautiful chapter headings.

I am so glad that Falcon Storm will be writing more books in this children's series as the first was a complete delight.

Buy The Persnickety Princess on Amazon: Kindle * Paperback

Note: All opinions presented in book and product reviews are my own. Opinions presented in posts authored by others reflect the view of the author only and not necessarily my view or opinion.