Thursday, July 2, 2015

Does Grace Mean Forgiveness?



I stumbled across this novel Stardust Summer by Lauren Clark recently. Now is the perfect time to share it.  This novel is on my Beach Read list of 2015. I hope it will also be on yours!

Synopsis: 

Grace and Evan make their home in Mississippi, but her father and step mother live in New York.   She receives an invite to a dedication of a library at her father’s university where he is the president.  She is not about to go and forget the past.  Then the unthinkable happens her father dies and Grace must make the trip after all to New York to deal both the death of her father and her relationship stepmother.  Then there is 
Doctor Ryan who lets work become his life, but has a special relationship with both of Grace’s parents.  Will Grace discover healing with her family and be able to let go of the past?  Will Ryan be able to look beyond his work? 

My Thoughts: 

Lauren Clark is a favorite author of mine.  I very much enjoyed this novel.   The symbolism used to propel the story forward with the use of Grace’s name and the discussion of forgiveness.  What does grace truly mean?  How could it apply to the character Grace being open to a new future? 

She really let the characters tell their stories in this novel which added depth and made the plot interesting.  This novel is an easy read which will keep you flipping the pages to the end. 

4.5/5

Please visit Lauren on her Facebook page, Twitter, and her Website.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Can You Save Me?




Thank you to Hachette for sending me a copy of Save Me by Kristyn Kusek Lewis in exchange for an honest review.  I have really wanted to read one of this author’s r novels. A great beach read for sure!

Synopsis: 

Daphne and Evan have the perfect marriage.  They have known each other since they were kids.  So when they run into each other during their residences in Durham what could be better?  Is it really loved at first sight?  Daphne thinks so until she receives a startling announcement from her husband that he has had an affair, in the present.  Daphne decides to take a road trip home only to find out that his mistress has been in an accident and she is being called upon to save her.  Will she be able to save her or does she want to?  Will her marriage be worth saving in the end?

My Thoughts: 

I did enjoy the story.  I found it to be thought provoking.  What choice would Daphne make and why.  The author did a great job of leading the reader through this maze to get to the ending.  My question became was it worth it in the end?   There were many twists and turns in the story but sometimes made me feel flat and, not interested in moving forward towards the end of the story.  I did love the complexity of the story where the author used symbolism to propel Daphne forward to make that next choice. 

Rating:

3.75/5

Please visit Kristyn on her Facebook page, Twitter, or her Website.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Author Debra Chapoton Shares Her New Series Exodia



Her latest series, The Exodia Ledgers, will release June, 2015 with EXODIA and OUT OF EXODIA. Based loosely on the ancient story of Moses, this two book dystopian journey is an adventure full of symbolism, hidden codes, and thematic imagery that will appeal to readers of all ages. These high concept novels bridge the gap from young adult to new adult and mix genres including sci-fi, dystopian, magical realism, and speculative fiction.

When she’s not writing Chapoton enjoys the quiet of the full log home she designed and built with her husband. They live in the middle of 62 acres of beautiful woods in northern Michigan, USA.
Excerpt from EXODIA:
Part I: 2093

Chapter 1 The Red Slum

From the first page of the Ledger:
The black voice said, “Live in fire, wild, souls howl here.”
There are two paths to every man’s life. Some choose hell …

IT’S AS IF I too am running for my life.
I sit transfixed by the scene outside the smudged window. A scrubby looking boy races away from a statehouse guardsman barely out of reach of the angry soldier’s whip. I clench my fists, press closer to the window, and let the pounding in my ears cover my idiot tutor’s droning voice:
“… after the Eurasian Nuclear War of 2049 when North America united into 90 states and declared trade independence from the rest of the world …”
The kid reaches the fence and scrambles up the chain links. The frayed end of the guard’s whip catches him on the ankle. Two small oranges spill from his pockets as he lurches to scurry over the top unfazed by the lashing or the broken barbs. He casts a casual, nonchalant glance over his shoulder and disappears out of sight.
My posture relaxes and my pulse returns to normal, but then my eyes fall to the words the tutor has scrawled on the wallboard: Eurasian Nuclear War. The letters jump around in my head and rearrange themselves into I aware casual runner. My heart skips a beat. I’ve been having more of these strange distractions lately. Words change in my head and I miss several minutes of time.
I slump down in my seat and glance at the three other boys forced to sit through this drivel with me. Not one is paying attention. We’ve heard it a thousand times.
“… post-apocalyptic immigration changed the culture of our new nation. Tattoos on the left elbow, red or blue, were given at birth to differentiate the two classes. Intermarriage is punishable by death and so is killing or breaking the bones of someone of the opposite tattoo.”
I fight the urge to cradle my left elbow even though it doesn’t matter since I’m wearing a long sleeved shirt. I can never draw attention to my fading tattoo. As grandson of the most powerful man in the nation, Executive President Bryer Battista, there should be no doubt that I am a Blue.
But I have a doubt. Something isn’t right. No one else’s royal blue tattoo has purpled like mine. For months now I’ve secretly dabbed blue dye on my skin, as much to hide the suspicion from myself as from anyone else, that maybe, just maybe, the tattoo I was given sixteen years ago was red. And maybe I, Dalton Battista, grandson of the cruelest tyrant ever, am not a true member of the elite ruling class. That maybe I belong to society’s religious outcasts–those poor hoarders, low class rejects, slave labor.
It takes a moment before the silence registers on my ears. The tutor is no longer speaking. Four sets of eyes are turned on me, watching, waiting.
“Excuse me? Could you repeat the question?”
“Certainly,” the tutor smirks. “What is the name of the resistance leader who tried to claim all of Exodia for the Reds?”
“Um,” I clear my throat. I love history actually. Half my life I was raised by a Red nanny whose tales of Ronel captivated me. “Ronel, David Ronel, he, um …” I run a hand through my hair, long by current standards, and simply stop talking. My fear of public speaking muzzles me even in this small group.
And now my mind swirls around the fact that this morning I ran out of blue dye.
*   *   *

Debra Chapoton has taught kids of all ages in her main career as a teacher. She has a BA in Spanish and a Master of Arts degree in Teaching English. She started writing in 2002 and was surprised to find out that the characters quickly take over the action and dialogue in the stories.

Her first YA novel, EDGE OF ESCAPE, was self-published and then discovered by Piper Verlag Publishing and translated into German. Stalking and obsession get a sympathetic twist in this story of physical and psychological survival.
Her second YA novel, SHELTERED, detours into a different genre as she writes about five teens who confront supernatural forces. Two boys and three girls all harbor secrets which make some of them susceptible to demon possession. Embracing all things supernatural might protect them, but are they ready for the consequences?


In A SOUL’S KISS a tragic accident leaves Jessica comatose, but her spirit escapes her body. Navigating a supernatural realm is tough, but being half dead has its advantages.
Chapoton has also written eleven children’s chapter books for middle grade kids, teen Christian fiction THE GUARDIAN’S DIARY, and a non-fiction work for adults, CROSSING THE SCRIPTURES.
Her latest series, The Exodia Ledgers, will release June, 2015 with EXODIA and OUT OF EXODIA. Based loosely on the ancient story of Moses, this two book dystopian journey is an adventure full of symbolism, hidden codes, and thematic imagery that will appeal to readers of all ages. These high concept novels bridge the gap from young adult to new adult and mix genres including sci-fi, dystopian, magical realism, and speculative fiction.

When she’s not writing Chapoton enjoys the quiet of the full log home she designed and built with her husband. They live in the middle of 62 acres of beautiful woods in northern Michigan, USA.
 Please visit author Debra Chapoton on her website, twitter , and  Facebook page.
To purchase her book on amazon .