Archives for March 2015

Melissa’s Review: The Lightbearers by Nora M. Garcia

The Lightbearers

The Lightbearers
written by Nora M. Garcia
published by 1st Books, 2012

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Smashwords, Book Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
You know how sometimes you order a Chocolate Cookie Fudge Fantasy Delight expecting the best dessert of your life and then the waiter drops a bowl of melty ice cream topped with stale cookie crumbs in front of you? Yeah. This book is kind of like that.

The Lightbearers isn’t as awesome as it seems like it’s going to be. For starters, you’d think the story about an ancient Egyptian couple would be narrated by a member of the couple (or at least told from one of their points of view). It isn’t. You’d think, given the topic, that there ought to be at least some mention of ancient Egypt in the first several chapters. There isn’t. You’d think the author would have noticed she misspelled the protagonist’s name in the first sentence of her blurb. Ahem. Add to that some preachy-yet-bland writing and you’ve got the idea: The Lightbearers looks good on the menu, but it’ll make your belly hurt.

GOLDEN LINE

“Your heroism bores me.”

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Would I recommend it: No, I don’t think so.

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About the book – from Goodreads: 
THE LIGHTBEARERS is the story of an ancient Egyptian King and Queen, Akhenaton and Nefertiti, who have been reincarnating together for the past 3300 years. They have been entrusted with the mission of The Lightbearers, whose responsibility is to be guardians of the human race and to enlighten any whose path they cross. Through reincarnation, during each of their lifetimes, they strive to overcome violence, greed and injustice and in each lifetime they leave pockets of individuals with whom they have shared their secrets of life and death. They have also been ascribed with the powers of telepathy, astral projection and psycho kinesis. They are highly evolved and highly enlightened.

Discovery of their innate mystical powers is facilitated by the assistance of an alien being who introduces them to the mission of the Lightbearer. Through a series of flashbacks two of their previous lifetimes are revealed beginning in Ancient Egypt and including 17th century France where they switched genders.

The story unfolds in the 21st century where Jean Crystal, Nefertiti’s incarnate, has been kidnapped by Dr. Natas, whose plan for world domination has been temporarily disrupted by Jean and her husband George, Akhenaten’s incarnate. Jean and George have discovered a secret about Dr. Natas experimental school, a school completely computerized and robotized.

Jean is held captive on a laboratory table by a motion sensitive laser directed toward her central nervous system. Not realizing this, upon awakening from a narcotic sleep induced by the doctor, she attempts to move and is suddenly wracked by a mind numbing pain. The more she moves the more pain she receives. By astrally projecting herself she is able to overcome the pain and investigate her circumstances. George has already been assassinated and while awaiting her own demise, George pays Jean a visit in the lab, assuring her of their eternal vow to each other. Jean is very shortly, thereafter, assassinated. Upon the joyful reunion of their spirits on Petite Terre, a tiny island just off the Normandy Province of France, Jean and George plan their return. While it is possible to determine their gender and the time in which they return, they cannot predetermine their identities. They must pick a place, a time and a signal by which they can find and identify each other in their subsequent lifetime. In this particular lifetime, their favorite song was “Imagine” by John Lennon and so on the first Monday of October, 2024 at 12 noon, they decide to meet outside the computer science building on the UCLA campus in Los Angeles. She will find him sitting under a tree near the building with a guitar strumming “Imagine”.

Their reunion takes place 20 years later, albeit not without a hitch. Together they set out to rescue the United States from Dr. Natas’s well-placed plans, he has already begun to execute.

 

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Blog Tour: The Keys of the Watchmen by Kathleen C. Perrin (Gina’s review)

The Keys of the Watchmen (Watchmen Saga #1)

The Keys of the Watchmen
written by Kathleen C. Perrin
published by Langon House, 2014

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange  for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
Well, seeing as I read this book in five days, I would say the answer is yes. However, I will say it wasn’t love at first chapter. It took me a good twenty-five percent of the book before I embraced Nicolas and Katelyn as decent and believable characters. I knew going into Perrin’s book that this would be YA, but it was a bit too angsty and whiny at the start. I nearly had some wine to mute the whining.

It was when Jean’s character fully came into the story that I took a step back and began enjoying the book. Jean helped Nicolas and Katelyn focus on the task at hand and soothe their teenage pubescent emotions. He is a father figure, which makes him one of my favorite characters. I think everyone needs guidance in his or her lives, even if that person is flawed. No one is perfect and this book reflects a lot on religion, God vs. Satan, hatred vs. forgiveness, and acceptance. Jean’s character is well-written, and he helps the main characters transition.

I also appreciate the development of the relationship between Katelyn and Nicolas. It isn’t rushed, but it is full of all the things that make up first love. I even found myself crushing on Nicolas and hoping that Katelyn would open her eyes to the possibility of falling for him. Team Nicolas!!

GOLDEN LINE

“If only . . . but life was full of ‘if onlys,’ and it served no purpose to dwell upon what couldn’t be changed.”

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Would I recommend it: I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction with a twist of time travel.

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About the book – from Goodreads: Katelyn Michaels plans on hating every moment of her visit to Mont Saint Michel with her father’s new French wife. Once there, she is confused when she experiences sensations of déjà vu as she and her younger brother explore the medieval village and abbey. She is even more disturbed when she is confronted by two unusual young men, one who insists she has a sacred mission, and the other who will stop at nothing, even murder, to prevent her from fulfilling her destiny.

When the oddly-dressed but alluring Nicolas slips Katelyn a strange medallion, she is whisked back through time where her Watchmen hosts tell her she is the only hope to save Mont Saint Michel. Even worse, she learns that those trying to destroy the mount are led by a fallen angel intent on learning the mount’s closely-guarded secret.

Katelyn is torn by feelings of anger at being taken back in time, inadequacy at finding a modern solution for a medieval problem, and responsibility for the mount’s starving inhabitants. She is also perturbed by her surprising attraction to the ill-tempered Nicolas. Will she stay to learn why she was chosen by the Archangel Michael and find a way to save his mount?

 

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Boost It Tuesday! – March 17, 2015

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Have you noticed that despite ALL of your Facebook “Likes” you are only “reaching” a very small portion of those followers? Does that bother you? It bothers us, and we want to boost each other up. Link up with Every Free Chance & Candace’s Book Blog for Boost It Tuesday.

 

(Don’t worry, Gin’s Book Notes will be back, she has a book to finish so is taking a break for a bit while she does that. And trust me, it’s worth it because this book is AMAZING!)

 

What is Boost It Tuesday, you ask? Well, we want to help each other out. We are a great community of bloggers and authors, and we should be supporting each other. Share your Facebook address below, then visit the Facebook pages, like 3-5 posts, share or comment on 1 or 2 posts. That’s it. You don’t have to “like” the page if you don’t want to, just “like” some posts. Let’s help expand each other’s page reach. Who knows! You may find a new blog or author to follow along the away. Please be aware that any non-Facebook links will be deleted.

Here are some tips for Boosting. A big thanks to Kate at If These Books Could Talk for the image!

Boost It Poster

 

As an added bonus, Candace and I will be hosting a giveaway each week just to say thanks for the boost!

 

For this week’s giveaway, head over to the Every Free Chance Facebook page and answer the question in the Boost It post!

 

Remember: Like, comment, and share!  Let’s all give each other a boost!

 
 

efchappy

Blog Tour: New Uses for Old Boyfriends by Beth Kendrick (Chrissy’s review)

New Uses for Old BoyfriendsNew Uses for Old Boyfriends
written by Beth Kendrick
published by Penguin

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange  for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
I really enjoyed this book. It was a fairly quick read that had me smiling throughout.

New Uses for Old Boyfriends was a fun read. There were quite a few laugh-out-loud moments (see the Golden Lines below) as well as a few giddy, romantic moments. I wasn’t sure about Lila in the beginning. She just seemed like a spoiled brat, but there was more to her. She had initiative. I loved how she and her mother went out and took control, even if they weren’t quite ready to do so. I really loved Daphne’s interest in the business at times. And Lila’s relationships with her exes were great. Ben and Malcolm–not what I expected, but loved nonetheless. Malcolm was my pick from the beginning. He is a Marine. He can sew, just don’t tell anyone. He is there for his sister, for Lila. He is a great guy. Ben is a great guy, too. And I loved the reappearance of Summer, Dutch, Jenna, and even Hattie.

GOLDEN LINES

These two quotes made me snort.

“Where do you keep your testosterone-infused needle and your thread of manly might?”

~~~

“You know what your problem is?” her mother asked.

“So many answers, so little time.”

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Would I recommend it: Absolutely!!!

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About the book: 
After growing up in privilege and marrying into money, Lila Alders has gotten used to the good life. But when her happily-ever-after implodes, Lila must return to Black Dog Bay, the tiny seaside town where she grew up. Everything has changed in the past ten years, and it’s up to Lila to take care of everything…but she can barely take care of herself.

Even as Lila opens a vintage clothing shop and tries to reunite with her ex, she realizes that sometimes it’s too late for old dreams. She’s lost everything she thought she needed but found something—someone—she desperately wants. A boy she hardly noticed has grown up into a man she can’t forget…and a second chance has never felt so much like first love.

 

About the author: Beth Kendrick is the author of ten novels, including Cure for the Common BreakupThe Week Before the Wedding, and The Lucky Dog Matchmaking Service. She lives in Arizona with her family and a pair of unruly rescue dogs.

Find Ms. Kendrick here: web, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads

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Story Time with Sara: Glow in the Dark Under the Sea by Jean Lewis

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Glow in the Dark Under the Sea 
written by Jean Lewis
published by Golden Books

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon

Did I enjoy this book: Glow in the Dark Under the Sea was a BIG hit at our house. The main characters, Ben and Judy, are very relatable for young children. The two children visit their aunt and uncle in their underwater sea lab/home.

Would I recommend it: I sure would! I didn’t mind reading this book several times . . . even in a row! I’d also like to read the other books in the Glow in the Dark Golden Book series.

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About the book – from Barnes & Noble: As Judy peered into the shadows of the wreck, she saw mysterious flickering lights. ‘It looks as though there are ghosts in there, ‘ she said. Uncle Ted showed Judy that her ghostly lights came from tiny lanternfish, whose sided glow in the dark as they swim.

 

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The EFC Writer – That vs Which

 

Welcome to the EFC Writer — a series of quick, easily digestible writing tips based on some stuff EFC Services editor Melissa Ruiz is seriously annoyed you’re still doing.  

 

TODAY’S TOPIC: THAT vs WHICH

If you can take your phrase out without changing the meaning of your sentence, use “which.” If you can’t, use “that.”

Look:

  • Milk that has expired is gross.
  • Milk, which tastes delicious, doesn’t last forever.

FOR GRAMMAR GEEKS: RESTRICTIVE vs NONRESTRICTIVE CLAUSES

RESTRICTIVE CLAUSES can’t be removed from a sentence or they’ll change its meaning.  If you’re using a restrictive clause, stick with “that” and skip the commas.

Check out my example above. See how if you remove “that has expired” you change the meaning of the sentence? Now you’re saying ALL milk, not just the expired stuff, is gross.  Restrictive = necessary for the sentence to mean what you want. Get it? Use “that.”

NONRESTRICTIVE CLAUSES, on the other hand, can be edited away without changing what anything means. They’re often offset with commas, and in this case “which” is your best bet.

Take a peek at my second example sentence. Go ahead! Cut “which tastes delicious” right the heck out of there and then read it again. See? Nonrestrictive = doesn’t change the meaning of your sentence if you delete it. Use “which.”

MERRIAM-WEBSTER DEFINITION:

restrictive clause:

noun
:  an adjective clause so closely attached to its noun as to be essential to the definiteness of the noun’s meaning (as who succeeded in the boy who succeeded had worked hard) — called also determinative clause

nonrestrictive clause:

noun
:  a descriptive clause that adds information but is so loosely attached to the main clause as to be not essential to the definiteness of its meaning and to be marked off from it by commas (as in the aldermen,who were present, assented)

 

Have a suggestion or request for an EFC Writer topic? Want to complain about something? Want more info about EFC Services?

E-mail me: everyfreechance@gmail.com with EFC Writer in the subject line.

 

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Melissa’s Review: My Life as a Myth by Huston Piner

My Life as a Myth

My Life as a Myth
written by Huston Piner
published by Prizm Books

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble (Nook) (print), Amazon, iBooks, Smashwords, Book Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange  for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
I loved it. It’s hard to keep thinking of new ways to say how much I enjoy a good book, but it’s a problem I’m grateful to have. Piner’s novel is sad and lovely, lonely and honest. Nick’s the sort of character who will stick with you — he’s raw and real and beautiful, and his story is going on my Favorites shelf.

 

GOLDEN LINES

“Just be yourself.”

“They put a man on the moon; can’t they find some way to end the scourge of Algebra?”

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Would I recommend it: Absolutely.

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About the book – from Goodreads: 
It’s 1969 and high school freshman Nick Horton has got problems; he’s an easy target for bullies, he’s a social outcast who dreams of being popular, and he doesn’t understand why he’s just not attracted to girls. So after a series of misunderstandings label him a troublemaker, he’s delighted when Jesse Gaston and his gang befriend him. But while Nick just wants to explore his growing attraction to Bobby Warren, Jesse’s campaign to give him a new image soon transforms the shy loser into an anti-establishment student hero and before long, Nick discovers that if it wasn’t tough enough just pretending to be straight, now he’s got to act cool too! As he strives to understand his emerging romance with Bobby Nick also finds himself besieged by would-be girlfriends. At the same time, he also has to deal with increasingly dangerous goings-on at school and the Vietnam War’s destructive impact on his family.

Nick’s freshman year is a remarkable journey of ridiculous misadventures, unexpected psychedelic explorations, and tragic turns of fate. Is a world still reeling from the sexual revolution and the illicit pleasures of marijuana and underage drinking ready to accept two boys in love? Can Nick and Bobby’s relationship survive a world where acid rock rules, status is everything, and being gay is the last taboo? My Life as a Myth is an often humorous but ultimately heartbreaking story of a boy’s struggle with sexual identity and first love in a violent and hostile world.

 

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Blog Tour: Chronicles of Chateau Moines by Evelyne Holingue (spotlight, excerpt, giveaway)

Chronicles From Chateau Moines banner

Welcome to my tour stop for Chronicles from Chateau Moines by Evelyne Holingue. This is a middle grade historical fiction. The tour runs March 2-13 with reviews, interviews, guest posts, and excerpts. Check out the tour page for the full schedule.

 

Chronicles From Chateau MoinesChronicles of Chateau Moines
written by Evelyne Holingue
published by Burel Press

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: September 1970: Scott’s mother has recently died and his father gets the crazy idea to move his family from California to Normandy. Now Scott has to learn to live without his mom while adjusting to France. In his seventh grade class there is only Ibrahim who comes from another country. Scott doesn’t even want to play his guitar anymore. Why does his father think that life will be better so far from home?

Scott has no idea that his arrival is also a challenge to Sylvie. While her best friend is excited to have an American boy at school, Sylvie cannot say one word to Scott. She can’t even write good songs in her notebook anymore. Why is life so different since Scott moved to Château Moines?

Set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War protest era and told from the perspectives of twelve-year old Scott and Sylvie, this is a story about loss and friendship, music and peace, and also about secrets.

Although this is a work of fiction, the cultural, social, and historical background of the early 1970s in France and the United States inspired the writing. At the end of the book the reader will find a list of the songs, the names of singers, and bands mentioned through the novel as well as some elements about fashion, immigration in France, the Vietnam War, and other cultural, social, and historical facts relevant to the period of time.

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He (Scott) smells of his usual mix of patchouli and shampoo, a smell that I’ve come to recognize without even thinking. He’s quiet, but it’s perfect with me. We just sit next to each other, watching our entire class dance. Someone has cranked the volume up. The disco balls flash, and since everyone is costumed, it’s hard to know who is who. Scott’s funny guesses make me laugh.

“Is that Brigitte dancing?” He points at a couple.

The girl wears a feather boa and high heels. “Definitely Brigitte,” I say. “But the boy? No clue. You know what? It’s cool that everyone came.”

“Everyone didn’t come.” Scott’s voice doesn’t hide his disappointment.

“I think we are all here,” I say, straining my eyes. “Wait, where is Ibrahim?”

“Told you.”

“Maybe he wasn’t allowed.” I catch Scott’s glare. “You know, being from another country. I mean religion and everything.”

“Has nothing to do with him being Muslim.” Scott taps his foot to the beat of the music.

“Right now, he’s playing soccer.”

“He only plays at school.”

“You don’t believe me?”

“Look, there is one soccer field in town, and the Arabs don’t use it.”

“That figures,” Scott says.

“They kept fighting.” I realize how stupid and unfair the idea is, since nobody knows who started the fight. In the end the Arabs gave up the field. “So, where is he playing?”

“You don’t want to know.” He stands up and offers me his hand. “You dance?”

I’ve never danced with a boy in my entire life. In a flash, my heart morphs into a bird trapped inside a cage. Panicked, the bird flutters his wings to escape. Scott and I stand at least thirty centimeters away from each other.

“Can someone put on “Bridge Over Trouble Water,” please?” he calls.

As soon as the guitars, harmonicas, and voices of Simon and Garfunkel fill the basement, he wraps his arms around my waist, and I bring mine to his neck, as if I knew what to do. I watch my step so I won’t crush his sandaled feet. We aren’t really dancing, so it’s easy. I’m starting to get the hang of it when Brigitte waves her arms up in the air like an octopus.

“My parents! My parents are home!” She switches the disco balls off.

Scott is the fastest to reach for the record player. But he’s still holding onto my waist, and I trip on the long hem of my dress. He catches me just before I fall flat on the ground and drags me to my feet. When I’m up, our faces are so close to each other that I can almost taste the gum he has been chewing.

“It was my first slow dance with a girl,” he says, his breath sweet and light in my ear. At the same second, someone turns the lights on.

 

Evelyne Holingue Author PhotoAbout the author: I was born and raised in Normandy, France, where I spent most of my childhood reading. My first published piece of writing was a poem about a man spending Christmas behind bars. I was eleven years old and wasn’t paid for my work, but I was hooked. I studied French Literature at the Université de Caen and at the Sorbonne in Paris and worked in a publishing house before moving to California, following my husband. It was a challenging time in my life as I was leaving my own career, my family, my friends and my beloved Paris behind.  But how could I say no to the dreams of the man I love? Readers enjoy escaping the familiar for the unknown. Being a foreigner is discovering the unknown day after day, not only for the time of a book. However, since most things in life come with a silver lining, I credit this move for giving me the opportunity to write. Through my words, I share my affection for my native and adoptive countries that I love equally.

Find Ms. Holingue here: web, Goodreads

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Boost It Tuesday! – March 10, 2015

boost-it-Tuesday4

Have you noticed that despite ALL of your Facebook “Likes” you are only “reaching” a very small portion of those followers? Does that bother you? It bothers us, and we want to boost each other up. Link up with Every Free Chance & Candace’s Book Blog for Boost It Tuesday.

 

(Don’t worry, Gin’s Book Notes will be back, she has a book to finish so is taking a break for a bit while she does that. And trust me, it’s worth it because this book is AMAZING!)

 

What is Boost It Tuesday, you ask? Well, we want to help each other out. We are a great community of bloggers and authors, and we should be supporting each other. Share your Facebook address below, then visit the Facebook pages, like 3-5 posts, share or comment on 1 or 2 posts. That’s it. You don’t have to “like” the page if you don’t want to, just “like” some posts. Let’s help expand each other’s page reach. Who knows! You may find a new blog or author to follow along the away. Please be aware that any non-Facebook links will be deleted.

 

Here are some tips for Boosting. A big thanks to Kate at If These Books Could Talk for the image!

Boost It Poster

 

As an added bonus, Candace and I will be hosting a giveaway each week just to say thanks for the boost!

 

For this week’s giveaway, head over to the Candace’s Book Blog Facebook page and answer the question in the Boost It post!

 

Remember: Like, comment, and share!  Let’s all give each other a boost!

 

 
 

efchappy

Melissa’s Review: The Return by Carter Vance

The Return (Second Coming, #1)

The Return (Second Coming, #1)
written by Carter Vance
published by Carter Vance, 2012

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Smashwords, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
The topic is interesting enough: Knights Templar, the Holy Grail, some folks who get married in front of the Ark of the Covenant . . . The writing, though, just isn’t up to par. The Return reads like a school history paper — it’s got all the details, but it’s missing that emotional draw that gets (and keeps) readers reading.

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Would I recommend it: If you’re a fan of reading long, dry police reports I’d give it a go, but there are several far-superior grail books.

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About the book – from Goodreads: 
Thriller, suspense, action, intrigue: The Return is a story of the modern day fulfillment of the Grail prophecy.

The time has come for the prophesied return of Christ. Long thought extinct, the secret Order of Knights Templar battle the Dark Forces that fear His return.
At the center of this battle of good & evil are Sarah Davidson, an expectant mother with an unique heritage, & Peter Christos, her shipping magnate husband. The couple, who were married in the presence of the Ark of the Covenant, is confronted with a series of surreptitious schemes & attacks causing them to flee to seek a secure birthplace for their son.

They are aided in this endeavor by the Knights Templar, a clandestine organization that has, over the centuries, amassed enormous wealth & power & the organization to deliver it in anticipation of this day.

Ultimately, they engage in a grand battle for the prophesied birth.

 

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