Thursday, March 22, 2018

The Sorceress's Apprentice by JL Lahey ~ Updated and revised!

I was compensated via Fiverr for sharing this post. I only share those books that I feel will interest my readers. Please also note that some affiliate links may be present. Should you make a purchase through one, I may earn a small commission to help me support my websites, at no additional cost to you.

The Sorceress's Apprentice

Badger, an eight-year-old orphan, has spent his entire life hiding in books, reading of the heroic deeds performed by valiant knights and courageous adventurers.
While attempting to save the lives of his fellow orphans he manifests a magic-like power. He soon learns that using this power comes with a great risk to his own life.
A beautiful sorceress, clad all in black, soon arrives with an offer to adopt him and teach him how to properly wield his powers.
Once they leave, he learns that the sorceress is really the leader of a group of adventurers, and they're not the type of heroes that he has ever read about in books. They’re the kind that steal, get drunk, rob graves, loot tombs, and shoot people in the back. They basically only do what they need to in order to have a really good time.
Badger is wondering what type of tale has he gotten into, because he has never read a story quite like this one!

About JL Lahey

J.L. Lahey dwells in Arizona. 

He is currently writing stories for the Elder Codex fantasy series, The Tails of The Nine fantasy series and a amnesic paranormal mystery set in Las Vegas.

When he is not writing, he enjoys obsessing over role-playing games, girls, renaissance festivals, on-line games, comics and riding his motorcycle in the rain.

He meets weekly with his gaming group to discus different facets of world domination.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Review of Sophie Washington: Things You Didn't Know About Sophie by Tonya Duncan Ellis with Giveaway

Welcome to the review tour for Sophie Washington: Things You Didn't Know About Sophie by Tonya Duncan Ellis, hosted by Goddess Fish Promotions. This is my third book in the series and it is another winner! Read my full review below as well as an excerpt from the book. Be sure to leave Tonya a question or a comment! And then follow the tour so that you have more chances to try to win the $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card giveaway. Best of luck entering and thanks for stopping by!

Things You Didn't Know About Sophie

Oh, the tangled web we weave…

Sixth grader Sophie Washington thought she had life figured out when she was younger, but this school year, everything has changed. She feels like an outsider, because she’s the only one in her class without a cell phone, and her crush, new kid Toby Johnson, has been calling her best friend, Chloe. To fit in, Sophie changes who she is. Her plan to become popular works for a while, and she and Toby start to become friends.

In between the boy drama, Sophie takes a whirlwind class field trip to Austin, TX, where she visits the state museum, eats Tex-Mex food, and rides a kayak. Back at home, Sophie fights off buzzards from her family’s roof, dissects frogs in science class, and has fun at her little brother Cole’s basketball tournament.

Things get more complicated when Sophie “borrows” a cell phone from a neighbor and gets caught. If her parents make her tell the truth, what will her friends think? Turns out Toby has also been hiding something, and Sophie discovers the best way to make true friends is to be yourself.

Read an excerpt:
He loves me. He loves me not. 
I shrug my shoulders and tug the last petal off the cream-colored daisy, watching it drift to the floor. Then I scoot the mess under my bed with my feet. I have been playing this game every morning for the past week and come out losing more often than not. 
“It’s no use,” I moan. “Toby will never like me!” Toby Johnson joined our sixth-grade class this past fall, and it’s as if I’m seeing things through 3D glasses. Mom hardly has to call me to come down for school in the morning, because I can’t wait to get there. Our boring Texas history class is exciting now that Toby sits in the seat in front of me. Even P.E., which I’ve always hated, is fun, because Toby is in the class. He tells funny jokes, is good in sports, and talks to everyone, even the shy and quiet kids. 
Toby is a good student, so the teachers like him, too. And, he has all kinds of neat stories to tell about his old school in Cleveland, Ohio, where his family moved from. Toby says that in Cleveland they have enough snow every winter to make snowmen as tall as he is. I’ve never seen snow, except once when we drove through some flurries on a road trip to New Mexico. 
Things have been great since Toby got here, except he doesn’t know I like him, and probably doesn’t care. He’s too busy making Goo Goo eyes at my best friend Chloe, the prettiest girl in the class. Not that I’m bad looking or anything, but next to her, I’m not so much. She’s tall and has long, black, curly hair, and wears cute red bows and bracelets that make her look like a movie star, even in our school uniform. I, on the other hand, wear ponytails and need glasses to see the board.

Buy links

**My thoughts**
Yet another excellent read in the Sophie Washington series. In this one, Sophie is trying to navigate those initial boy-girl feelings and relationships, especially as she isn't quite as comfortable in her own skin with her glasses and more casual look. She is trying to figure out how to fit in with her friends, even when her parents don't let her have the the things they have. She is trying to figure out how to prove she can be responsible, which isn't the easiest thing to do when you're at this preteen age. Sixth grade is a time of huge growth and confusion and again, Ellis has captured it in this book. I completely flashed back to my 6th grade year.

The growth happens. Responsibility happens. Lessons are learned. Sophie is real and not Little Miss Perfection, which makes her an even better role model. I think kids can learn a lot about life and have some great conversations about how they would handle the various situations. They've probably already witnessed some of these experiences in their own lives. If I were still teaching, I would be reading these to my students.

I've read three of these books so far and really need to get to the other ones soon!

About Tonya Duncan Ellis

Tonya Ellis loves reading so much that as a child she took books with her everywhere rather than put them down. She knew she wanted to become a writer after an article she wrote was published in her hometown newspaper when she was fourteen years old. Since then, Tonya has worked as a journalist, written for newspapers and magazines and won awards for her books. She is the mom of three spelling bee champions, and has judged several spelling bee events. SOPHIE WASHINGTON: QUEEN OF THE BEE is her debut novel in a series about Sophie and her friends. Currently, Ms. Ellis lives in Missouri City, Texas with her husband, daughter, and two sons.


Tonya Duncan Ellis will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Review of Sophie Washington: The Gamer by Tonya Duncan Ellis with Giveaway

Welcome to the review tour for Sophie Washington: The Gamer by Tonya Duncan Ellis, sponsored by Goddess Fish Promotions. This is the third book in the series that I have read and the second I have toured. We have another winner here! Keep on reading for an excerpt as well as my thoughts. Leave a comment for the author, because she would love to respond. And make sure you follow the whole tour so that you can have plenty of chances to win a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card. Best of luck entering the giveaway and thanks for stopping by!

Sophie Washington: The Gamer

Forty days without video games? Oh no!

Sixth-grader Sophie Washington and her friends are back with an interesting book about having fun with video games while keeping balance. It’s almost Easter, and Sophie and her family get ready to start fasts for Lent with their church, where they give up doing something for 40 days that may not be good for them. Her parents urge Sophie to stop tattling so much, and encourage her second-grade brother Cole to give up something he loves most, playing video games. The kids agree to the challenge, but how long can they keep it up? Soon after Lent begins, Cole starts sneaking to play his video games. Things start to get out of control when he loses a school electronic tablet he checked out without his parents’ permission, and comes to his sister for help. Should Sophie break her promise and tattle on him?

Read an excerpt:
Now that I am getting older and am in the sixth grade, I can understand more of what our pastor is saying in the sermons. Today, he was talking about how hard it can be to stay away from things we like that may be bad for us.

“Temptation is a daily struggle for all,” he preached.

“The struggle for me is staying awake for two hours,” complains Cole. “I wish I could have been with my friends in children’s church.”

Cole prefers going to the special service for kids, and was mad that Mom and Dad made us join them in the main church this morning.

“It’s getting closer to Easter, and I want you to get a better understanding of what the holiday is all about,” Dad explains. “In children’s church, all you pay attention to is the snacks.”

“Those donuts they bring in are good!” Cole exclaims.

“Maybe we can stop by the donut shop on the way home.” Mom squeezes his shoulder.
I roll my eyes. Since Cole is the youngest, he’s my mother’s pet.

“Have you kids given any thought as to what you want to give up for Lent?” Dad asks.

“What’s Lent?” questions Cole. 
“Lent represents the 40 days Jesus was in the desert and the devil tried to tempt him, or get him to do things he shouldn’t do,” Mom explains. “During the 40 days before Easter, we celebrate Lent by giving up something we like to eat or do that keeps us from thinking of more meaningful things, just like Jesus did.”

Buy links

**My review**
This is the third Sophie Washington book that I have read and I am definitely still in love with this character. Ellis has created such a real young character. I can see myself in her and relate to her so well.

In this installment, Sophie is learning what it means to give up something in order to better herself and how to stick to her word as she makes a promise to give up tattling for Lent. Her little brother is giving up gaming. Neither one of them knows how they are going to get through the next 40 days, but they have to try. Making it even harder for Sophie is how her brother is still finding ways to sneak in his gaming addiction. She's torn between sticking to her promise and making sure her brother is also following the rules and sticking to his. It's an example of a struggle that kids go through on a regular basis. 

Sophie is also dealing with new tween relationship issues. She's trying to sort out crush feelings while also acknowledging how her friends are growing, maturing, and expanding their circles. Those growing pains are always tricky to navigate while also being a learning experience. 

The kids also have a chance to really demonstrate their maturity and responsibility with a special surprise that falls into their laps. There are so many lessons in here that kids will be able to relate to. Sophie is a great role model.

About Tonya Duncan Ellis

Tonya Ellis loves reading so much that as a child she took books with her everywhere rather than put them down. She knew she wanted to become a writer after an article she wrote was published in her hometown newspaper when she was fourteen years old. Since then, Tonya has worked as a journalist, written for newspapers and magazines and won awards for her books. She is the mom of three spelling bee champions, and has judged several spelling bee events. SOPHIE WASHINGTON: QUEEN OF THE BEE is her debut novel in a series about Sophie and her friends. Currently, Ms. Ellis lives in Missouri City, Texas with her husband, daughter, and two sons.


Tonya Duncan Ellis will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Megan the Pet Whisperer by Pamela Foland Release Blitz

Middle Grade Fiction
Date Published: March 6, 2018
Publisher: Sonny’s Legacy Publishing

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Megan Thompson is surprised and happy when Dr.Newton, the Veterinarian at the Furry Friends Clinic, ask her to look after Monty, a Capuchin monkey.  Dr. Newton acquired Monty from the local zoo because he was fighting other monkeys. Despite Monty's reputation with the vet staff as being a terror, Megan knows she can win Monty over.   Megan see's the inner workings of a vet clinic, and before the three days are up she wants to help every pet she can.  Unfortunately, the vet staff sees Megan as an annoying little kid not part of the team.  Megan can't bear to hear any more talk about Cooper, a sad Shih Tzu that won't eat his meals. She knows she could help him and others at the clinic if given the chance.  How can Megan earn the staff's trust?  Will she ever be allowed to handle any other pets besides Monty?  Every kid has a summer to which they just want to go back to when they are all grown up. This is Megan's summer, this is the summer when Megan became the Pet Whisperer.

Purchase Link


The next morning, Megan woke to her kittens racing across the bed. Peeking at the digital clock on her nightstand, she saw it was only five-thirty. She rolled on her back and tried to go back to sleep, but somehow Petey had seen her look at the alarm clock.

With a meow, he jumped back on the bed and started purring as he walked up Megan's chest. He sat briefly on her chest, staring at her before flopping against her face still purring. With his back and head against her chin, his fur tickled her nose.

“ACHOO,” Megan said, startling all the kittens off the bed.

“Sorry, guys. Petey, your fur tickled my nose. Okay, I’m up, and I know that's what you wanted.”

Megan stretched and yawned as she walked across her bedroom. She quickly put out the kittens food and then sat on the floor near them, still trying to wake up.

By 6 a.m. Megan was excited to go see Monty. She played with her kittens until she heard her parents moving around downstairs.

“I’ll be back, babies,” Megan promised as she shut the door to her room.

”Morning,” Megan said cheerfully to her parents as she entered the kitchen.

“Morning,” her dad said.

“You are up early,” her mom commented.

“Yeah, I’m so excited to go care for Monty this morning. I will get to see how a vet clinic runs, too.”

“It's good experience for you,” her dad agreed.

After breakfast and seeing her parents off to work, Megan went back to her room and dressed in jeans and a T shirt.

“Okay, kitten cats, I’m going to go take care of Monty. I have to feed him and let him play for an hour. I’ll be home by eleven for sure, and we will spend time together since I don't have to be back at the clinic until three-thirty.”

Megan kissed each of her babies and headed for Dr. Newton's office. The morning was still cool, so Megan didn't mind jogging the quarter mile.

It was just after eight when Megan pulled the Furry Friends Clinic doors open.

“Morning, Mary,” Megan said. She was happy that she had been introduced to the staff. Now she really felt like she was part of the vet’s office.

Megan approached Monty's cage. As usual, Monty was crouched on the platform at the back of his cage.

“Morning, sleepyhead. Do you want to come out and play?” Megan cooed, unlocking the cage door.

As she knelt by his cage, Monty eyed her for a moment before hesitantly approaching the door.

A client with two vocal basset hounds came into the lobby just as Monty was about to come out.

The basset hounds baying sent Monty scurrying back to the safety of his platform with a shrill scream.

“It's okay, Monty,” Megan soothed as she watched the woman with the basset hounds be led into an exam room.

It only took a moment of the lobby being quiet for Monty to come back down to the door. He stared at Megan, his big brown eyes already showed he trusted her.

With one quick leap, Monty landed on Megan's shoulder. Grabbing her hair, he balanced himself.

“Ow,” Megan cringed as he pulled her hair again and settled on her shoulder.

Once she was sure he was seated, she slowly got to her feet. With a hand on his back as she walked, Megan headed to the kitchen.

“Morning,” Cory greeted her.

“Morning,” Megan replied with a smile.

Cory took a few steps backward as Megan approached to get the toys from the cabinet.

“Monty's food is soaking, but it has only been about fifteen minutes,” Cory explained.

“Okay, we will play for a while. Thanks for making it,” said Megan.

Cory nodded and headed out of the room as another tech called his name.

Once Cory had left the room, Monty jumped from Megan’s shoulder to the counter. He opened his toy drawer and rummaged for the toy he wanted.

He found the keyring toy that he was looking for and handed it to Megan.

Megan took the toy from Monty and shook it gently in front of him so the keys rattled together.

Monty’s eyes lit up as he watched the colored keys dance.

When Megan held the keys still again, Monty took them and repeated Megan’s action. He was able to make the keys rattle, too.

He said, “Oooh, ooh, eee, aah.”

As he continued to shake the keys, he jumped off the counter and ran around the room rattling the keys and talking to himself.

Megan giggled at his antics as she watched him circle the room for the second time. As he passed her again, Megan sat down on the floor.

The next time Monty circled around, he ran up and jumped in Megan’s lap pushing the keys up to Megan’s nose.

Megan giggled again and playfully fell over backward.

Monty walked up her chest just like her kittens and rattled the keys in her face.

Megan covered her face with her hands so the keys couldn't hit her.

This action intrigued Monty. He dropped the keys and put his hands on Megan's attempting to pull her hands from her face.

Megan let him lift her hands up briefly. She smiled and said, “Boo!”

Then she quickly covered her face again.

Monty talked, “Ooh, ooh, eee, aaa, “ as he pulled Megan's hands from her face a few more times.

After the fourth boo, Monty was bored with the game and wandered over to the cabinets.

“No, Monty, come play with your blocks,” Megan said, pulling the bucket of blocks to the middle of the room and dumping them on the floor.

Monty left the cabinets and came over to where Megan sat. He dug through the blocks and found two red ones. He put one on the ground and started hammering it using the other block.

Megan watched him work and then started building a tower. She got her tower to be a foot tall before Monty took interest and knocked it over with a quick backhanded motion.

“Monty, you knocked my tower down. I was building that,” Megan laughed.

Megan built the tower again. This time he helped her put the blocks in place. Once the tower got to be a foot tall, he knocked it over again.

Megan rolled her eyes and glanced up at the clock.

“Okay, Monty, your food should be ready. Let's give you some breakfast.”

Megan got up and opened the door to the refrigerator. As she searched the shelves for Monty's containers, he came up to her side. Grabbing a handful of her jeans and then a handful of her shirt, he climbed up to her shoulder and peered in the refrigerator too.

“Good boy,” Megan praised as she grabbed the two containers from the shelf and shut the door. Monty watched from Megan’s shoulder as she combined the vegetables and fruit together and then mixed up the pellets and canned food.

Once in the lobby, Megan poured the contents of the containers in the dishes in Monty’s cage. Monty hopped into his cage eager to check out his food dishes. Megan sat on the floor in front of his cage, watching to make sure Monty ate. He dug through both bowls. Once he had a carrot piece in one hand and a pellet in the other, Monty climbed out of his cage and onto Megan's lap. Monty chewed on his chosen pieces of food for a few minutes. Then he dropped them on the floor and went to retrieve two new pieces.

Tess came up to the front to talk to Mary. “Cooper the Shih Tzu that checked in on Saturday isn't eating. What else can I offer him?”

Mary pulled his file from the cabinet behind her. After reading it for a moment, she replied, “He has severe food allergies. You can't give him anything but what his owner brought.”

Tess sighed and returned to the back.

Megan couldn't help but ask, “What will Tess do to get Cooper to eat?”

“We do several things here. Sometimes adding hot water to their food makes them eat. I'm not sure what all she has tried already,” Mary replied.

Megan nodded. Despite not knowing Cooper, Megan felt bad for him.

It had to be so scary being boarded when you're a dog. It has to be terrible to not understand when or if your mom is coming back. I will ask Tess about Cooper this afternoon and try to help.

Monty had eaten two thirds of his food. The remains of pieces were scattered across Megan's lap, but Monty had went to his platform to rest.

Megan cleaned the floor and shut Monty's cage door.

“See you this afternoon,” Megan said to Monty and Mary.

Her mind raced as she walked home. Monty is so fun to care for. He is so easy. I don't think I could ever board my kittens. They would be so scared. I hope Tess can get Cooper to eat. I know I could help Cooper if I was allowed to spend time with him.

About the Author

Pamela Foland grew up in Plano, Texas. Her love of animals started at a very young age. As a child, she was constantly bringing home stray dogs, and injured birds. She graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas with Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in Business in 2005. As an adult, her love of animals has only grown stronger. Pamela has worked in numerous pet hotels as a dog trainer and is certified to teach pet first aid and CPR. All her experience with pets culminated four years ago when Pamela found and raised an abandoned litter of day-old kittens. Not able to part with any of these now-grown babies, Pamela enjoys going home to her ‘little munchkins’ every night. This experience gave Pamela the inspiration for her series debut, Megan’s Munchkins. Pamela will always have a special affinity with Megan, because of their shared experiences. There are few experiences in life more compelling than saving the life of another being.

Contact Link

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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Review of Sophie Washington: Queen of the Bee by Tonya Duncan Ellis

Welcome to the first stop on the first tour for the Sophie Washington series by Tonya Duncan Ellis! I have a couple more from this series coming up in the next several weeks and can't wait to share them with you. In the meantime, please check out this excerpt and my review. Be sure to follow along the rest of the tour so that you can have more opportunities to enter the giveaway. And leave a comment for Tonya!

Please also note that affiliate links are present in this post. Should you make a purchase through one, I may earn a small commission to help support this blog at no additional cost to you. I also received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. 

Sophie Washington: Queen of the Bee

Sign up for the spelling bee? No way!

If there’s one thing 10-year-old Texan Sophie Washington is good at, it’s spelling. She’s earned straight 100s on all her spelling tests to prove it. Her parents want her to compete in the Xavier Academy spelling bee, but Sophie wishes they would buzz off.

Her life in the Houston suburbs is full of adventures, and she doesn’t want to slow down the action. Where else can you chase wild hogs out of your yard, ride a bucking sheep, or spy an eight-foot-long alligator during a bike ride through the neighborhood? Studying spelling words seems as fun as getting stung by a hornet, in comparison.

That’s until her irritating classmate, Nathan Jones, challenges her. There’s no way she can let Mr. Know-It-All win. Studying is hard when you have a pesky younger brother and a busy social calendar. Can Sophie ignore the distractions and become Queen of the Bee?

Read an excerpt:
“Turn the television off, and you two go get the newspaper and pull the garbage can up to the garage,” says Mom, shaking her head and pouring more pancake batter into the skillet. “All this arguing is going to make me burn breakfast.”

I clench my fists to keep from wringing Cole’s neck. “Did you tell Mom about the contest?” he loudly yells over blips and bleeps. He is playing a Video Rangers cartridge on his Nintendo DS game now that the television is off.

“What contest?” asks Dad, entering the kitchen.

“Oh, it’s nothing really,” I say. “Just something Mrs. Green was talking about at school on Friday . . .”

“It’s the big spelling bee, and they want all the kids in the third grade and up to be in it,” pipes up Cole. “Mrs. Green said she hopes Sophie signs up, since she’s such a great speller.”

“That sounds like a wonderful opportunity for you, Sophie,” Mom says. “You are really good at spelling.”

“Sign up first thing Monday morning,” says Dad. “Maybe we can start you studying this weekend. Did they give you a list of spelling words?”

“I need to check my backpack, Dad. It’s out in the garage,” I say, trying to change the subject.

“Come on, Cole, Mom told us to get the paper.”

“Why can’t you go out to the driveway by yourself?” he complains. “We’re not even through eating.”

“Go help your sister,” Mom commands.

We head out the garage door to the driveway. “You are such a tattletale,” I say, nudging Cole once we are out of earshot. “Why’d you have to tell Mom and Dad about the spelling bee?” He elbows me back.Then we both stop in our tracks.Three hairy pigs are running around our front yard.

Buy links

**My thoughts**
Okay, I am the newest fan of Miss Sophie Washington! She is smart, spunky, relatable, and most of all REAL. Sophie is totally a girl I would have hung out with in fifth grade. At times, I even saw my 10-year-old self in her. I love that in chapter books like this for kids and know I would have loved this book at that age as well.

Sophie is presented with the challenge of participating in her school's spelling bee. That's something I always wanted to do, but I went to a smaller private school that back then didn't have such things. Sophie sets an excellent example as to how you should prepare for a spelling bee through a lot of hard work. She shows how you can stand up against adversity that shows up in annoying classmates, without being a jerk yourself. She learns that responsibility pays off. And she learns that sometimes there's a reason that those annoying classmates act the way that they do. In a short time, Sophie learns a lot of life lessons and shows a lot of growth. She's also not a perfect kid, though she's an overall good one. Her voice comes through well in the narrative.

Her little brother Cole is a typical pain in the butt, but he is also a good kid. I loved the realistic interactions between the two of them, both as they picked on each other and bickered, and when they quietly showed affection toward each other.

Sophie's parents are very supportive. They know how to push their kids enough to help them to succeed, without being overbearing, which I feel like a lot of parents these days seem to forget. They expect great things out of their children without having unrealistic expectations.

So all in all, a lot of great characters show up in this story. They have some fun adventures to which kids should relate. This is a book I would strongly recommend reading in middle and upper elementary years. I greatly look forward to checking out more of the series!

About Tonya Duncan Ellis

Tonya Ellis loves reading so much that as a child she took books with her everywhere rather than put them down. She knew she wanted to become a writer after an article she wrote was published in her hometown newspaper when she was fourteen years old. Since then, Tonya has worked as a journalist, written for newspapers and magazines and won awards for her books. She is the mom of three spelling bee champions, and has judged several spelling bee events. SOPHIE WASHINGTON: QUEEN OF THE BEE is her debut novel in a series about Sophie and her friends. Currently, Ms. Ellis lives in Missouri City, Texas with her husband, daughter, and two sons.


Tonya Duncan Ellis will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Review of Secrets From Myself by Christine Hart with Giveaway

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I also have affiliate links in this post. If you make a purchase through one, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you to help me support my websites. Neither of these things influenced by thoughts and comments in any way.

A middle grade fiction story based on real life events in a dark moment of Canadian history. Find out more about the story and check out an excerpt. Then get your own copy from Amazon or Barnes and Noble and see what you think compared to my review. Be sure to leave a comment for the author and to enter the giveaway at the bottom of the post!

Secrets From Myself

Twelve-year-old Katelyn has always heard voices and had visions. She's long suspected she was hearing from past lives. But when she runs away from home and hides out with an old friend in Vancouver, things become more real. She even finds herself writing the words of someone else in a diary - the words of someone whose fate was deeply impacted by the Komagata Maru incident.

As Katelyn learns more about the Komagata Maru and the person communicating with her, she realizes that she has a task to fulfill that will correct a wrong from the past.As Katelyn learns more about the Komagata Maru and the person communicating with her, she realizes that she has a task to fulfill that will correct a wrong from the past.

Read an excerpt:
MY TURN IN the shower has been bumped to after dinner because of my tardy return from the Drive. I don’t like going to bed with wet hair and the house hairdryer is broken. I’ll just have to deal. But after a truly brain-blending afternoon, I decide sleeping with wet hair isn’t something worth complaining to Mariah about. 
I draw the curtain and turn the shower to mostly hot. I peel off my tank top and denim shorts. I step inside the steamy enclosure and pick up the communal shampoo bottle, cursing myself for not picking up some of my own toiletries during one of my brief outings. 
As I work the foamy soap through my hair, my arms start to feel chilly. I turn the water all the way to hot. Stupid small hot water tank. They’re supposed to be housing half a dozen girls here. Can’t they do better? 
The water starts to scald my skin, but the air around me is still cold. I start to feel nauseous. I need to sit down. Now. I flick off the shower head and sit down in the shower, hugging my knees for warmth. It’s no good. 
I pull the shower curtain back to grab a towel. I look over at the bathroom mirror and scream. It’s not me! It’s HER! Akasha’s face stares back at me from behind the condensation on the wet glass. Several lines are written in characters I don’t recognize.

Buy links

**My thoughts**

The book's description made my inner middle grade mystery lover squeal in excitement. I lived to read these kinds of stories when I was younger and I kind of thought of something like The Dollhouse Murders, which was one of my favorites. 

This one took me a little while to get into. I felt like it started a little slow and I wasn't really sure what was happening. For some reason, I kept thinking of Girl, Interrupted with Katelyn being hospitalized and then moved to a group home as the doctors of various disciplines were trying to figure out what was wrong with her. I almost forgot that Katelyn was only 12 years old, because she presented as someone a lot more mature. I admit I also had a hard time reading a story written completely in present tense and first-person. That kind of narrative isn't my personal favorite, but I know a lot of people who love that. 

Once the story got going and Katelyn was having more interactions with the spirit of Akasha and finding out more about the history, I got more into the story and wanted to know what happened and why there was this connection between the two girls in different times. I kept thinking of Harry Potter every time Katelyn's hand was possessed and Akasha's words came out of her. The resolution was an interesting one that I honestly didn't see coming with the way that the story was panning out. 

I honestly felt like the whole halfway house thing was a little odd and parts of the story could have been developed differently, but it was still an interesting story. I especially appreciated it more after I read the blurb about the real history behind the story, on which this fictional account is based. I would love to find out more about it, because I am a fan of history. Had I read it back in elementary school, I quite likely would have done one of my monthly reports on the real story of the Komagata Maru.

I would recommend this book to older middle grade readers who like a bit of the supernatural mixed in with their history. 

About Christine Hart

Located on BC’s beautiful West Coast, I write from my suburban Langley home on the border between peaceful forests and urban streets. I love writing about places and spaces with rich history and visually fascinating elements as a backdrop for the surreal and spectacular.

In addition to my undergraduate degree in writing and literature, my background also includes corporate communications and design. I am a current member of the Federation of BC Writers and SF Canada.

When not writing, I have a habit of breaking stuff and making stuff – in that order – under the guise of my Etsy alter-ego Sleepless Storyteller. I share my eclectic home and lifestyle with my husband and our two energetic children.

Christine Hart will be awarding a paperback bundle of backlist titles: Stalked, Best Laid Plans, and Watching July (US/Canada only) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Follow along for even more chances to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Lost Aquarian: The Aquarian Age Chronicles by Tabitha Stevens

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The Lost Aquarian

With the coming of the new of Aquarian Age, many followers of the Pisces Age desire to retain the rule. The Light Corporation Group searches for the prophesy of the ones who would destroy them. A young teenage girl who becomes seer and falls to obscurity as she must stay hidden from the Light Corporation with her knowledge. As they continue to search, the guardian of the Aquarian Age, Aquarius foresees the child that would help his cause and tries to protect Skipper. Time passes and teenage Skipper's powers begin to grow. Aquarius reaches out to Skipper and tries to convince him to join his cause of protecting Earth from the ones who wish to destroy it. He reveals to Skipper that there is a celestial war is going on, for other zodiacs are threatened with Pisces wanting to stay in power.

Pisces' followers strongly desire to continue to keep the Pisces Age in tact. Aquarian and Pisces wage war with one another. Many other dark tidings come from fate and destiny that are wrapped within the timeline of galaxy against Aquarius and Pisces. Skipper has conflicting issues with his power and himself. He tries to find balance in his power, yet can't get a grasp on it. Skipper begins to see that he must choose a side to stand with Aquarius or Pisces. A teenage girl named Raven comes to his school and teaches him how to use his power, so it doesn't overpower him.The Light Corporation set out to find Skipper as he draws their attention. Skipper soon learns to control his power with the help of Raven, but other things come to the surface who are connected to him. Skipper makes a final decision to step into the Aquarian Age to fight.

About Tabitha Stevens

Hello I am Tabitha Stevens a science fiction fantasy YA fiction writer. I love to write tales for the young adult and teenagers. I believe in writing great heart warming stories about friends, coming of age and the influences of the world tied into the works. I love to create beautiful imagery of the captivated mind. Dive into my stories and let it take you to another world.

Amazon Author Link:
Twitter: @HeyTabithaS