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PostHeaderIcon AnnAlysis: Dancing with the Devil

dancing with the devilFrom Goodreads:
To move on from her past, an extraordinary girl must tear down the walls she has built to protect herself.
Mackenzie Douglas seems to have it all: good looks, a great boyfriend, a passion for biking, and a little sister who worships her. But under the veneer of perfection lie the emotional scars of her childhood, inflicted by her father. Though her memories have faded with time, the wounds on Mac’s subconscious remain.

Having vowed to never be a victim again, Mac focuses on a journey she’s always wanted to take: a summer bike trip on her amazing new RoadCap bike. But as the excursion finally gets underway, memories Mac long ago buried start to claw their way back to the surface, forcing her to confront a past she has done everything she can to forget.

My Thoughts:
Wow! What a strong book! And it’s so dark! Yes, there are parts of this book that show the fun, young side of being a teen, and having no worries, but on the other side, there is such deep, dark pain. I think everyone can relate to this story, even if they haven’t been through what Mac has. Everyone has skeletons in their closet. They have something they aren’t happy they did, or they have a secret at home they don’t want others to know about. There is always something behind closed doors. Always.

With Mac, some people realize she is a little different, but no one knows why, and no one really seems to think it’s serious enough to dig around to find out what it is.

But Mac is a strong girl. She is able to hide this pain, put it so deep down in a place that not even she remembers the details. She gets into bike riding and lets that be what carries her away. Who hasn’t done that? But, it all starts bubbling up to the surface on a long ride and once it reaches the surface, there is no stopping it. I can absolutely relate to what happens with Mac here, again not with what she went through, but that gut wrenching feeling when something crosses your mind. It’s like a panic attack, taking control. It makes you sick, you can’t function. I’ve been there.

What I love most about Mac is her strength. Man, what a heroic young girl. She’s fulfilling a life-long dream, but keeps her sister top of mind and gives up everything to do something that may tear her family apart. What an awesome person. I cannot imagine how hard it was. And yes, I cried while reading the last 20 pages of this book, which was embarrassing because I was in the lunchroom at work, trying to blink away the tears.

At first, I wasn’t sure where this book was going, or if I was going to be able to get into it, but as you can tell by my review, that completely changed for me. I highly recommend this book for older teens, and even adults who have children, or just want a good read. It shows the startling truth of what could be happening under your own roof that you may be too naive to see yourself.

I give Dancing with the Devil 4.5 out of 5 bookmarks.

Amazon Diversion Goodreads
Released: April 2014
Author Website

PostHeaderIcon Release Blitz: Dancing with the Devil

dancing with the devil

About the Book:

To move on from her past, an extraordinary girl must tear down the walls she has built to protect herself.

Mackenzie Douglas seems to have it all: good looks, a great boyfriend, a passion for biking, and a little sister who worships her. But under the veneer of perfection lie the emotional scars of her childhood, inflicted by her father. Though her memories have faded with time, the wounds on Mac’s subconscious remain.

Having vowed to never be a victim again, Mac focuses on a journey she’s always wanted to take: a summer bike trip on her amazing new RoadCap bike. But as the excursion finally gets underway, memories Mac long ago buried start to claw their way back to the surface, forcing her to confront a past she has done everything she can to forget.

To prevent her sister from enduring the same trauma, Mac must let go of everything in which she’s found refuge. To break a cycle that needs to be broken, Mackenzie summons her strength and risks shattering the world she has so carefully built, exposing hidden secrets, long-told lies, and a horrific crime.

 

 

 

katie davis

About the Author:

Katie Davis has written and/or illustrated 10 books for children, and two marketing guides for writers.

Katie’s a “writerpreneur,” a writer in business helping other writers. She does this through her newsletter, products, and #1 podcast, Brain Burps About Books.

After winning the School Library Journal Trailee Award, Katie launched Video Idiot Boot Camp: For People Who Think Videos Are Hard To Create. She’s passionate about the power of video to connect writers to their communities.

Katie has been honored to speak everywhere from a maximum security prison, to schools around the world, to keynotes at conferences and fundraising galas.

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Diversion Books

I am currently finishing up reading this book and will have a review here in the next couple of days on Dancing with the Devil. Make sure to stop back by!

PostHeaderIcon Cover Reveal: Charming by Krystal Wade

Popular YA author Krystal Wade has a thrilling new young adult novel coming out in October, 2014! The spine-tingling suspense in CHARMING will get your heart rate up. We promise you.

We have a fun jigsaw puzzle of the cover for you guys! Go on, give it a try! …but if you can’t wait, just scroll down and take a peek at final cover of CHARMING!

 

 

 

About Charming:
They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and that’s great . . . as long as you don’t die.

Sixteen-year-old Haley Tremaine had it all: top-notch school, fantastic family, and a bright future, but all of that changed when an accident tore her family apart. Now, an alcoholic father, a bitter younger sister, and a cold headstone bearing her mother’s name are all she has left. 

Chris Charming has it all: a powerful CEO for a father, a prestigious school, and a fortune at his fingertips, but none of that matters when he lands a reputation as a troublemaker. Struggling to follow in his father’s footsteps, he reaches out to the one person he believes truly sees him, the one person he wants: Haley.  

Little do they know someone’s determined to bring the two together, even if it means murder.

Charming K Wade

About Krystal:

KyrstalWade (1)

 

 

Krystal Wade can be found in the sluglines outside Washington D.C. every morning, Monday through Friday. With coffee in hand, iPod plugged in, and strangers – who sometimes snore, smell, or have incredibly bad gas – sitting next to her, she zones out and thinks of fantastical worlds for you and me to read. How else can she cope with a fifty mile commute? Good thing she has her husband and three kids to go home to. They keep her sane.

Krystal’s Website
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Goodreads

 

 

 

 

PostHeaderIcon AnnAlysis: Fly Away

fly awayFrom Goodreads:
Once, a long time ago, I walked down a night-darkened road called Firefly Lane, all alone, on the worst night of my life, and I found a kindred spirit. That was our beginning. More than thirty years ago. TullyandKate. You and me against the world. Best friends forever. But stories end, don’t they? You lose the people you love and you have to find a way to go on. . . .

Tully Hart has always been larger than life, a woman fueled by big dreams and driven by memories of a painful past. She thinks she can overcome anything until her best friend, Kate Ryan, dies. Tully tries to fulfill her deathbed promise to Kate–to be there for Kate’s children–but Tully knows nothing about family or motherhood or taking care of people.

Sixteen-year-old Marah Ryan is devastated by her mother’s death. Her father, Johnny, strives to hold the family together, but even with his best efforts, Marah becomes unreachable in her grief. Nothing and no one seems to matter to her . . . until she falls in love with a young man who makes her smile again and leads her into his dangerous, shadowy world.

Dorothy Hart–the woman who once called herself Cloud–is at the center of Tully’s tragic past. She repeatedly abandoned her daughter, Tully, as a child, but now she comes back, drawn to her daughter’s side at a time when Tully is most alone. At long last, Dorothy must face her darkest fear: Only by revealing the ugly secrets of her past can she hope to become the mother her daughter needs.

A single, tragic choice and a middle-of-the-night phone call will bring these women together and set them on a poignant, powerful journey of redemption. Each has lost her way, and they will need one another–and maybe a miracle–to transform their lives.

An emotionally complex, heart-wrenching novel about love, motherhood, loss, and new beginnings, Fly Away reminds us that where there is life, there is hope, and where there is love, there is forgiveness.

My Thoughts:
First off, if you haven’t read Firefly Lane, you need to. That was the first book I read by Kristin Hannah and absolutely fell in love. You can imagine my delight when I was given the opportunity to review this book, in conjunction with it’s release in paperback. This is the follow up book to that one. Therefore, there’s not a lot you can say in a review about this book regarding the content and storyline without giving away some details from the first book.

However, I will tell you that if you read this book, or any Kristin Hannah book for that matter, you need to have the tissues ready. In this one, I cried, sobbed maybe would be a better word, for the last 60 pages of the book. At one point, my husband texted me from another room in the apartment and asked if I was starting to get sick because I was blowing my nose so much. My response: Nope, just reading a book. :) Kristin Hannah knocks it out of the park every. single. time.

And Fly Away was a grand slam. She followed up with the characters we immediately fell in love with in Firefly Lane and gave them some time to grieve after heartbreak and loss. Then she picked up the pieces and their stories. This book is told through several different points of view, from Tully to Cloud to Marah. And it is told from the past and present. Hannah was very creative in writing these scenes to jump in time. She started them out in the present, then would sort of daydream them back in time. It worked very well! One of the stories that I liked the most was Cloud’s story. In the first book, we just got bits and pieces of her, and honestly, it was nothing to write home about. She was a crappy mother and one of the characters you just hope to not hear from anymore because you grow to dislike them so much. But in this book, she told her story. It took 40 years for her to get the courage, but once she started, you couldn’t get enough. That hatred starts to melt away and you can’t help but feel the pain that she felt nearly her entire life. While no one is ever expected to divulge what made them the way they are, it definitely gives you perspective and respect. I recently saw a post on Instagram about not judging people because you have no idea what is going on behind closed doors. That is absolutely true!

In Fly Away, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry. Your heart will break, and then it will be mended, just to break again. Hannah is a master at writing emotion. From love and hate, to fear and remorse. She can do it all. What an inspiration for writers. I’ve never read another author that makes me feel so much just by reading.

If you haven’t read the story of KateandTully, I highly, highly recommend it. It’s a friendship to last a lifetime and beyond and a story that will stick with you through the ages. I give Fly Away 5 out of 5 bookmarks.

Amazon B&N Goodreads
Released: April 2013
Author Website

PostHeaderIcon My New Writing Journey

How many posts have I had about writing? I hate to even go back and count. I was on such a high the summer that I wrote my first book. And then my second one, the sequel came to me shortly after. I still can’t believe I have written books. That seemed to be the easy part though. The next part, the getting someone to like my books, was the hard part. Rejection after rejection came in. Which was expected, but still hard to handle. I kept writing, a little, but then I fell off the writing wagon. Several times. I would climb back on and fall right back off within a few days. Every now and then I get the itch and a new scene comes to me for my WIP which I’ve been working on for more than a year now and still am not close to finishing.

But every now and then I get a spark. A random Sunday on the couch reading tweets and it hits me. I can do this. I will do this. This is my dream and I can’t achieve it if I don’t try.

I have several ideas written down in a notebook. Possible stories, possible characters. But nothing is on the edge of my fingertips waiting to be written down.

So Sunday, when I got the urge to write, but didn’t know what to write, I started looking up daily prompts for writers online.

That is when I ran across Sarah Selecky’s website.

sarah selecky

On Sarah’s website, I was able to sign up for daily prompts. These will come in my email every morning – at 6 a.m. I found out today. She suggests writing for 10 minutes a day, so starting today, I set my alarm for 6:50, 10 minutes earlier. I may have overslept a few minutes, but I still got my writing in.

Sarah also suggests writing by hand, in a notebook. That’s not a problem at all for me…. once I find the notebook.

Here was today’s prompt: Write a scene using the words bug, dopamine, and curriculum.

 I am hoping by doing these prompts that ideas will start to build up and a story will spark. I know that I have stories to tell, I just think some of them may need to be forcibly pulled out.

As with everything I do, getting set up was the first step. I signed up for the emails, had to go buy a new notebook (and had to consult my cousin about which one I should get and I ended up buying three so I would have several of the same ones to ease my OCD mind).

notebook
Once I decided (finally) on a notebook, I then had to decide how I would set up each day’s prompts. One of the sellers of this notebook was that there are little gray boxes on the pages. One is just the right size to write my prompt, then a couple of smaller boxes that I can use the date and time I write, a little triangle on the bottom where I can add in page numbers if I write several pages, and even a box across the side, which of course I had to get creative with.

So last night I started my writing. It’s funny because once I set my mind to it Sunday afternoon, ideas started swirling. I had to start making notes in my phone so I wouldn’t forget them. Instead of doing a prompt last night or this morning, I decided to go ahead and write what came to me yesterday. I likely will be using the prompts most days, but hope that I won’t have to use them every day and can save some of them for struggling days.

inside notebook
Oh and I am even giving myself a little motivation with my notebook. So the little gray box along the edge, well I got on Goodreads and found thousands of quotes by authors about writing. I jotted down some quotes that I can read  them in the morning, give myself a little push by some of my idols and get going.

Honestly, sitting down and writing all of this out could have been great writing time. I know that. I also know that I have put in a lot of effort and wasted a lot of time that I could have been writing. But for me it’s a process. Like the time I cleared out a section in my bedroom and went and bought a little desk on New Year’s Eve… a writing desk of course. I’ve used it probably a half dozen times. But every girls needs a desk right?

So why am I telling you this instead of sitting in my bed writing the next great novel? I use my blog as an accountability outlet. It’s written down, people are seeing what I’m working on and I can only hope will ask me in the next few weeks, days, months how it is going. I know I can always count on Robin Spano for this! Who else is going to hold me accountable??

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