Thursday, May 28, 2015

Review and Giveaway: RACHEL'S DECEPTION by Karen Ann Hopkins

Temptation #4
by Karen Ann Hopkins
Publication Date: May 8, 2015
Pages: 324
Source: Kismet Book Touring
Purchase Amazon| B&N

from Goodreads

Growing up Amish is difficult…but leaving it behind is even harder. 

Noah was Amish...Rose wasn't. Being together should have been impossible. But somehow they found a way to make it work. They are finally a family, but their happily-ever-after is still a long off. Will Rose and her friends be able to force real change in the community?

Karen Ann Hopkins returns with a gripping new book in the YA Temptation series. The powerful family saga continues with Rachel's Deception, as events spiral out of control in the sleepy farming community of Meadowview. And Rachel Miller has her own secrets to hide. Noah’s younger sister has been living a double life. That is, until Justin Cameron, Rose's little brother, catches her in the act. Rachel is not the obedient Amish girl that her sister was, and her rebelliousness takes her to a very dangerous world. A world that only her true friends can help her escape from.

As Rachel questions all she has been taught about love, family, and commitment, Rose discovers what it really means to be shunned. And an evil shadow looms on the horizon, threatening not only Rose, but everyone she holds dear.

My Thoughts

I'm so happy to have the opportunity to revisit the characters of the Temptation series and the community of Meadowview. Although I was satisfied with the final book, Forever, of the then trilogy, I was saddened to be leaving the characters behind. So I was thrilled when I learned that the series would continue and this time the main focus was on Noah's younger sister, Rachel. 

Like the other books in the series, Rachel's Deception is told from alternating perspectives: Rachel Rose, and Rose's younger brother, Justin. Since the book is titled Rachel's Deception, I was surprised by how much of the story was told from Rose's perspective. There may have been equal parts, but I wanted more from Rachel's point of view. She had a lot of thoughts and conflicts that she was dealing with (or not dealing with) and I would have liked to know more of her inner turmoil. (I know that's terrible that I wanted to read more about her pain.) But I did enjoy Rose's storyline and the interactions with her friends in the Amish community and it's connection to the kind of future that Rachel would likely end up having. 

What I found most interesting about Rachel was how she was an introvert living in among the Amish where so much of her every day life is about community and interaction. It's no wonder that she is having a difficult time when she is content with singular activities and solitary living. Her community expects and even demands everything except that way of life. So it was interesting when a friendship develops with Justin who is similar to her in many ways and understanding how different they are because he can be the introvert that he is without fear of punishment, obligation, or guilt.

I enjoyed the many characters in the book. I loved the married, motherly Rose. She is just as bossy and as opinionated as ever, but there is a maturity to her too. There is Justin - the younger brother who seems wiser beyond his years, and Micah - the sweet Amish boy who formerly courted Rachel's sister, Sarah. And then there's Sam - Rose's impulsive, overprotective older brother. He really caught my attention in this book with his interactions with Rose and Noah and his relationship with Summer. I would LOVE to read a Sam and Summer book. 

I am continuously impressed with the characters and stories Karen Ann Hopkins gives her readers and Rachel's Deception is no exception. Each story is a page turner and while they are very satisfying, I'm always left wanting more. (I'm greedy like that.) The people of Meadowview went through a lot in Rachel's Deception and I hope that their saga will continue with more books in this series. 

Disclaimer:  I received this e-ARC from Kismet Book Touring in exchange for my honest review.  I was not compensated in any way other than the e-ARC provided. I have also purchased a finished copy for my personal library. Thoughts and opinions are my own.



Karen is offering up a fantastic prize pack, with one lucky winner receiving the following:

  • $50 gift card (Amazon, B&N or iTunes)
  • A complete set of her books (Temptation, Belonging, Forever, Rachel’s Deception, Lamb to the Slaughter, Whispers from the Dead and Embers!)


Find Karen Ann Hopkins Online

Blog | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter
Facebook Fan Page

    Karen Ann Hopkins resides in northern Kentucky with her family on a farm that boasts a menagerie of horses, goats, peacocks, chickens, ducks, rabbits, dogs and cats. Karen's main job is home schooling the kids, but she finds time to give riding lessons, coach a youth equestrian drill team, and of course, write. She was inspired to create her first book, Temptation, by the Amish community she lived in. The experiential knowledge she gained through her interactions with her neighbors drove her to create the story of the star-crossed lovers, Rose and Noah.
    Karen grew up about a mile from Lake Ontario in Upstate New York. She was bitten by the horse bug at the age of five, and after diligently taking riding lessons for several years, was rewarded with her first horse when she turned eleven. The feisty horse's name was Lady, a Quarter Horse-Thoroughbred cross, who became Karen's steadfast companion. Through the years, the constant force in her life was horses. Eventually, she found her place as a riding instructor herself. Before accepting her fate in the barnyard, she worked a short stint as a paralegal, traveled abroad, and guided tourists on horseback riding tours in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.
    Karen is currently working on her Amish mystery series, Serenity's Plain Secrets, along with the YA paranormal/fantasy series, The Wings of War. Karen is also excited to announce the Temptation series has been optioned for TV by Pilgrim Studios and is available on Audible. More books in the Temptation series are in the works.
    Links to the Temptation Series

  • Temptation (Book 1) on Goodreads |Get a Copy Amazon | B&N | Indiebound
  • Belonging (Book 2) on Goodreads |Get a Copy Amazon | B&N | Indiebound
  • Forever (Book 3) on Goodreads |Get a Copy Amazon B&N Indiebound

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: DAISY AND THE FRONT MAN by Rebekah L. Purdy

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Daisy and the Front Man 
Backstage Pass #3
by Rebekah L. Purdy
Publication Date: June 16, 2015
Published by Entangled Crush

Hell hath no fury like a fangirl scorned…

When Daisy Morris finds out she’s spending the summer with her dad, bodyguard for Seconds to Juliet—the hottest boy band around—she knows it couldn't be more perfect. But not because she’s a fan. Oh, no. Because ever since front man Trevin Jacobs completely humiliated her by standing her up for homecoming, Daisy is out for a little revenge. Yup, Trevin Jacobs is goin' down...

When one of his bandmates bets Trevin he can't make Daisy—the gorgeous but surprisingly ice-cold daughter of their bodyguard—fall in love with him, it’s a bet he can’t resist. Sure, Daisy won’t give him the time of day for reasons he can't understand, and her dad’s hell-bent against his little girl spending time with a superstar. But the terms are set, and Trevin is determined to make Daisy fall…hard.

But every front man should know never to trust a girl with a pretty face…

Why I'm Waiting

  • I adore this series! I loved Aimee and the Heartthrob and Mia and the Bad Boy.
  • I'm a bit of a fangirl. I was obsessed with NKOTB back in the day. 
  • Rebekah L. Purdy is a new to me author. 
  • Like Daisy, I was stood up to a school dance. I want to find out how she gets revenge.
What book are you waiting on?

Friday, May 22, 2015

Review: MIA AND THE BAD BOY by Lisa Burstein

by Lisa Burstein
Publication Date: May 19, 2015
Published by Entangled Crush
Pages: 220
Source: Good Choice Reading Promotions via Netgalley
Purchase Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

from Goodreads

This good girl’s about to meet her match…

Ryder Brooks is living the dream—he’s famous, loved by millions of girls, and miserable. All he really wants is to write his own music, not Seconds to Juliet’s sugary sweet pop. In order to do that, though, the “bad boy” of the band will have to play by the rules. And that includes behaving with his new—and super cute—├╝ber-good-girl tutor.

Mia Reyes is in fangirl heaven. Tutoring her favorite member of her favorite band? It’s a dream come true…until it turns into a complete nightmare. Ryder is nothing like she thought. He’s crude, arrogant, and pretty much a total jerk. And the worst part? She’s roped into pretending to be his girlfriend so that no one finds out he’s being tutored. Fake kisses, plenty of PDA, and even sharing his hotel room…

But sometimes even the baddest of bad boys needs a little redemption.

My Thoughts

Warning: Reading the Backstage Pass series will lead to endless hours of watching your favorite boy band videos on YouTube.

When I found out that Lisa Burstein was writing a new YA novel, this author fangirl did a fist pump to more books from a favorite author. When I found out that the book was about boy bands and fangirls and it would be part of a series, I did a giddy happy dance because I knew that this would be such a "me" book. And it is. I loved it!!

Mia and the Bad Boy is the second book of the Backstage Pass series. I got a glimpse of Ryder's bad boy side in Aimee and the Heartthrob where his bad boy image was established. In Mia and the Bad Boy, he tries to be the bad boy (because he does have a naughty side), but readers find out that there is more to the persona he puts on.

From Mia and Ryder's first meeting, their chemistry is on! I loved the banter, the feistiness between them, and their undeniable attraction to each other. They each had an image that they needed to keep up, but whenever they were together, they unknowingly let their guards and let their true selves come through. 

Mia and the Bad Boy is more than just a story about teenage romance and first kisses and swoon-worthy boys. It's about following dreams while trying to live up to your family's expectations. It's about letting people know who you really are when you've had your guard up for so long. It's about taking chances and making the impossible possible.

This series is for any teenage (or former teenage) fangirl or fanboy. It's for anyone who ever covered their walls with posters of their favorite bands. It's for readers who spent countless hours reading Teen, Bop, and Tigerbeat to get a glimpse into the lives of their favorite musicians.

I have immense love for Mia and Ryder. Their story is fun and innocently sexy. (Yes, that's a thing.) I love how Burstein infuses so much humor into her stories while filling up a small space in your heart. Reading Mia and the Bad Boy will make you laugh and smile and then laugh some more. It will make you want to eat a corn dog.

Disclaimer:  I received this e-ARC from Good Choice Reading via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.  I was not compensated in any way other than the e-ARC provided. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

About the Author Burstein is a tea seller by day and a writer by night. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from the Inland Northwest Center for Writers at Eastern Washington University and is glad to finally have it be worth more than the paper it was printed on. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her very patient husband, a neurotic dog and two cats.

She wrote her first story when she was in second grade. It was a Thanksgiving tale from the point of view of the turkey from freezer to oven to plate. It was scandalous.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015



Let’s bring this world a little closer together! Please join us in saying HELLO! and spread good cheer across the globe.

See Liza’s short video for details:

From April 14th to June 1st, 2015, we would like people to post a picture (it can be an individual, group, something meaningful) with a sign that says Hello From ___________(the city name.)

Use #HelloFrom and the name of your city with a separate #. Post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and/or Tumblr.

For each person you tag, it will be an extra entry. We want to encourage others to say hello and post their own pictures, tagging others to participate too!

#HelloFrom #Blacksburg #Virginia

20 lucky people will randomly be selected from all over the world to win prize packages that include items inspired by Hello?. Many were purchased from artists/stores from Door Country, WI, the setting for the novel.

Pottery from Renee Schwaller Off the Wheel Pottery
Lavender products from Lavender & Lemon
Body products from Door County’s Heaven Scent Gardens
Pottery by John T. Dietrich Ellison Bay Pottery
Chalkboard quilt from Barn Door Quilts
Blank greeting cards with scenes from Washington Island, Wisconsin. Photos by Steve Waldron
And much more!

Hello? By Liza Wiemer
Publication Date: October 27, 2015
By Spencer Hill Contemporary
About Hello?

Tricia: A girl struggling to find her way after her beloved grandma’s death.
Emerson: A guy who lives his life to fulfill promises, real and hypothetical.
Angie: A girl with secrets she can only express through poetry.
Brenda: An actress and screenplay writer afraid to confront her past.
Brian: A potter who sets aside his life for Tricia, to the detriment of both.

Linked and transformed by one phone call, Hello? weaves together these five Wisconsin teens’ stories into a compelling narrative of friendship and family, loss and love, heartbreak and healing, serendipity, and ultimately hope.

What readers are saying

“In Hello?, Liza Wiemer beautifully weaves together a moving story told by authentic characters, tackling important subjects that will deeply touch the reader.”
—Elizabeth Eulberg, author of Better Off Friends and Lonely Hearts Club

"A sensitive and deeply-drawn portrait of five teenagers whose lives intersect in ways both obvious and surprising. Liza Wiemer's characters are so real they leap off the page."
—Leah Cypess, author of Death Sworn series

"In her YA debut, Liza Wiemer has officially launched herself on the map with grace. Hello? is a powerful and brilliantly woven story of love, loss, and human connection that makes you believe in the world again. It owned my heart from the first page to the last. One of the most original books EVER.”
—Hannah McBride, The Irish Banana

About Liza

Liza married the guy who literary swept her off her feet at a Spyro Gyra concert. Their love story can be found on Liza's “About” page. Besides being a die-hard Packer fan, Liza is also a readaholic, a romantic, and a lover of crazy socks and rooftops. Hello? is her debut YA novel. She also has had two adult non-fiction books published, as well as stories and articles in various publications. She's a graduate of UW-Madison with a degree in Education and the mother of two sons.

Find Liza Online
twitter  goodreads tumblr  website  pinterest  instagram 


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