Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Gifting Series by K.E Ganshert



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Hey lovelies!

Today I am so glad to be reviewing The Gifting Series by K. E Ganshert. You guys, I haven't enjoyed a series like I enjoyed this one in a LONG time!

Where do I even start with these masterpieces? How about taking a look at the synopsis of the first book. 


Back cover summary BOOK 1: 


If science is right, then I am crazy.
And crazy is dangerous.


In a world where nothing supernatural exists, Tess Eckhart is positive she’s going crazy. What other explanation is there for the things she sees? After her complete freakout at a high school party, her parents worry she might be right. So much that they pack their bags and move across the country, next to a nationally-renowned facility for the mentally ill.
Despite the whispers and stares, Tess is determined to fit in at her new school. But when it comes to Luka Williams, a reluctantly popular boy in her class, she’s unused to a stare that intense. Then the headaches start, and the seemingly prophetic dreams that haunt her at night. As Tess tries harder to hide them, she becomes increasingly convinced that Luka knows something—that he might somehow be responsible.
But what if she’s wrong? What if Luka Williams is the only thing separating her from a madness too terrifying to fathom?


My review
I'll be honest and come straight out with it. You'll lose sleep over this one. And you won't rest until you've read through all 3 books. (I read the three books in 5 days and I work full time. Yeah, you get the picture).
This is a dystopian young adult novel set in futuristic America. But it's a future that isn't drastically different form our present. It's a future in which anything religious or supernatural has been thrown out the window and everyone swears by science. But Tess isn't so sure science is right because...well, she sees things no one sees and has dreams that come true. And then insert Luke. The dreamy, good-at-everything, brooding absolutely popular guy in her school. What makes this series wonderful is not just the story line but the absolutely magnificent writing. Katie Ganshert did it again (and again and again!). Because each book was beautifully written. You're not just watching but you are feeling and experiencing what the characters are going through. With no hint of predictability, the story pulls you into this world of good vs. evil and does a wonderful job of explaining the different concepts that don't exist in our own world. 

Each book is as good as the last and exceeds expectations (like how does she do it???). I loved the way everything comes together in each book and no stone is left unturned. I loved the evolution and growth we see in Tess. I love that the author does such an amazing job illustrating what the workings of demonic activity could look like. But most of all, I love how each character comes alive and just jumps out from the pages. Every character was very well developed with their own distinct quirks. Can we for a second talk about Links? I fell in love with him, his geekiness, sweetness and his nicknames for everyone. But I won't say too much or I'll just spoil it. 


Overall, the series ends with a very satisfying ending and leaves you smiling, laughing, crying, smiling some more and then flipping back so that you can enjoy it all over again. 


Packed with action - lots of action - romance, suspense, tension and surprises in every corner, this is a series I believe everyone will love. Think X-men with a mix of Twilight (without the annoying love triangle) and a little bit of Hunger Games but way better than all those put together! I'm looking forward to one day seeing this series on screen! I especially loved that this series didn't only serve as entertainment but went much deeper and I was able to take away some great lessons. 

Well done K.E Ganshert on delivering this masterpiece of a series!



My favorite (no-spoiler) quotes: 

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Sunday, July 9, 2017

Season of Hope by Sarah Jane Jacobs REVIEW




Hey guys! I'm here with another book review! I have the pleasure of participating in Sarah Jane Jacob's blog tour for her first release: "A Season of Hope". Make sure to check out the other blogs hosting the tour and definitely join in the raffle for a chance to win some awesome prizes! ;)






ABOUT THE BOOK:





When Amanda Jarvis prays that a special friend will move into the vacant house near her isolated mountain home, she isn't upset when God sends a boy instead of a girl. But Amanda's not the only one receiving unexpected answers to her prayers. After fleeing with his mother from an abusive father, Tyler Armstrong finds much-needed love and acceptance with Amanda's family over the next ten years.


As high school graduation nears, Tyler is shocked when one carefree afternoon with Amanda churns up an inner turmoil he would have never imagined; he's crushing on his best friend. And for the first time in his life he's hiding a secret from Amanda. Convinced the timing is all wrong, Tyler pushes his feelings aside as he and Amanda prepare for the future. He will soon begin training to pursue his dream of becoming a Navy SEAL, while Amanda makes plans to spend the summer in Manhattan with her aunt and then return home to the community college.

When Amanda's summer job catapults her into a modeling career, she readily accepts the much-needed distraction. Tyler's impending deployment is turning her world upside down. Along with the fact that she's falling for her best friend. And, for the first time in her relationship with Tyler, she's hiding a secret, too.

Phoebe Garrison, Amanda's controlling aunt, is thrilled when she is given the power to act on behalf of her underage niece. Bored with her Fortune 500 advertising agency, becoming Amanda's manager is just what she's been looking for to rekindle her aspirations. But as Tyler becomes aware of Phoebe's obsession to push Amanda into supermodel status, tensions rise. As the three of them become entangled in a mass of concealed ambition and desire, each will make decisions that will send ripples of turbulence across their futures.


MY REVIEW:

This story reads slightly differently than most of the Christian romance I've read, simply because it is a story that spans over ten years. The story opens up with a prologue which is actually a scene that comes up later in the story. I don't believe the prologue sets the right tone for the rest of the story though. It all starts with 7 year old Amanda who prayed for a new friend as a neighbor and meets 7 year old Tyler who just moved "next door" on their mountain. And thus begins a pretty amazing friendship. And that's what I love so much about this book and what makes it quite special, their friendship. Tyler is that faithful best friend every girl would wish they had. From 7 year old to 18 year old, he is kind, loving, caring, supportive, encouraging...basically almost like a dream. He's just plain awesome, full stop. I love the way he always encouraged Amanda and loved to teach her things. I believe Sarah Jane Jacobs did an excellent job painting the relationships in this book. From Amanda and Tyler's friendship, to Amanda's parents' relationship to Amanda's father's relationship with Tyler and the friendships between their parents. All of it were beautiful. 

It was interesting watching the characters grow from kids to their high school graduation. However, some of the time during the 'childhood' scenes, I did wonder where the story was going. I was almost halfway through the story before I felt it started to look a little more like the back cover summary. And that's when things really got interesting, in my opinion. The story line seemed to have a clearer direction, had a better pace and held my interest more. It felt like a "part II" to the previous part of the story. I liked that both characters, although growing and transitioning in life, held on to their beliefs and principles and never once compromised. Both were very easy to like, right from the first moments their name showed up on paper. 

What bothered me was the fact that as children and even teenagers, Amanda and Tyler's vocabulary and speaking style appeared quite old fashioned it made their age unbelievable and didn't let the dialogue flow as well as it should have. Secondly, the point of view in the story (especially the first part) ping-ponged from an omniscient POV to one character's perspective within the same scenes. This rather made me feel as if I was an outsider just observing it all play out before my eyes like a movie. As opposed to feeling like I am in the story, feeling what the characters are feeling and experiencing what they are experiencing alongside them. I was mostly told their emotions instead of being shown by their body language and reactions what they felt and what they were going through. All this puts a slight distance between the reader and the story. 

While the ending was satisfying (I loved it!), I wasn't expecting it to end where it did and was taken off-guard. But keep in mind there is more in the series and more to Amanda and Tyler's story. I am definitely looking forward to seeing their story completely unfold. 

Well done to Sarah Jane Jacobs on delivering this sweet story on a beautiful friendship and lovely relationships. 






ABOUT THE AUTHOR:






I began writing as a hobby while raising my two children. In 2015, I dusted off my stories and my dreams to see if I could turn my hobby into a career. My first story, Season of Hope, was inspired by summer vacations which always included a trip to Franklin, North Carolina, to visit family and explore The Smoky Mountains. When I'm not writing, I enjoy spending time with family. I love most any activity that involves being outdoors, especially camping, hiking and spontaneous excursions to splash in the ocean. I currently live along the Emerald Coast of Florida with my cat Selah and her delightful offspring, Colby, Jack and Tuesday.



AUTHOR CONTACT LINKS:






BOOK LINKS:





GIVEAWAY:


                                           



Enter to win the SEASON OF HOPE giveaway! One person will win the following items…

Enter below!       
















BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE:

June 26 – Truth to Shine
June 27 ASC Book Reviews
June 28 Meagan Davenport
June 30 Barbara Brutt
July 4 Faithfully Bookish
July 7 Bookworm Mama
July 10 Tell the World
July 11 2014 and Beyond
July 12 Tammy Karasek
July 13 Rebecca DeMarino
July 14 –  Julie Arduini
July 17 Laura Bennet
July 18 All Betts Are Off
July 20 Rebecca Van Daniker
July 21 Leslie L. Mckee






                                                      
This blog tour was coordinated by A Latte of Literature Blog Tour Services. Find out more:



Thursday, April 20, 2017

A Second Chance Blog Tour - Book review + interview & Win a prize!




Hey lovelies!

So I got the wonderful opportunity to read author Alexis A. Goring's latest novel and also interviewed her. Yayyy!!! But not only that, she's giving out a cool prize, so make sure to read through and participate!




About the book:

Newly single food critic and newspaper reporter Traci Hightower is done with dating. After the man of her dreams left her at the altar on their wedding day and ran off with the woman she thought was her best friend, Traci resolves to focus on work and resigns herself to being a bachelorette for life.

Marc Roberts is a political reporter who is known as Mr. Nice Guy, the one who always finishes last. However, Marc’s compassion and kindness are of invaluable help to his newly widowed sister Gina Braxton who is trying to raise her two kids in the wake of her firefighter husband’s death.

Traci and Marc may be the perfect match, but they don’t know it yet. With God’s guidance and the help of Gina’s matchmaking skills honed by her career as a bestselling romance novelist, there is hope for a happily ever after for these two broken hearts.

My review: 

Traci and Marc's story is a sweet one to read on a rainy day. It's a light read that will warm your heart. Traci is easy to sympathize with and you'll find yourself easily warming up to Marc. I liked their very first encounter and how their friends got involved in making sure they saw each other again.

However,  I felt their romance moved too fast. It almost felt like parts of the story were missing. I felt a lot of things that could have been developed in the book were simply skipped. So that the plot twists that could have been interesting were suddenly overlooked. At a stage I had to go back and look, asking myself when the characters suddenly got together. I also felt their relationship was very marriage-focused. I read a lot of Contemporary Christian romance in which the characters don't date just for the sake of dating (which is awesome!!). But in this book the goal of getting marriage seemed to weigh too heavily upon the characters. Let me explain, it was as if they were so into the thought of marriage that they barely took the time to properly get to know each other. If they did, those parts were skipped and brushed over, rather than being expanded on. 

When conflict did arise, sadly I wasn't at all convinced about the reason for the conflict. I kept asking myself why the issue at hand was even something that could cause such a high level of conflict like was portrayed in the book. It appeared quite incredulous. But while I didn't believe their disagreement was worth the drama, it was encouraging to see them both finally work through it in spite of being hurt in the past.
I believe this could truly have been an amazing book had things not been so rushed. The characters are definitely like-able and I liked how they both worked to achieve their different dreams. 
Overall, it was a nice short read for an evening in.

About the author: 



Alexis A. Goring is a passionate writer with a degree in Print Journalism and an MFA in Creative Writing. She loves the art of storytelling and hopes that her stories will connect readers with the enduring, forever love of Jesus Christ.

Author contact links:
“God is Love” blog: http://capturingtheidea.blogspot.com

Author interview:


What inspired you to write A Second Chance? 

I’ve heard real-life stories about the agony of being a jilted bride by someone you thought was your Mr. Right, so I created Traci (the heroine) and explored matters of the heart through her character. Also, I thought it would be a good idea to write about a man who was known as a “nice” guy who as a result, was unlucky in love…this led to the creation of Marc (the hero).

Which scene was the most difficult to write? Why? (Or which scene(s) did you enjoy writing most? Why?)

The scene that was the most difficult to write was the one where Traci’s Mom shares the inheritance letter with Traci. It was difficult to write because I needed to make the letter and the terms and conditions therein, sound true to real life. I didn’t have any experience in the real world with this, so it took a true stretch of my imagination, story research and editorial advice from my editor to help me make this scene believable.

The scene that I enjoyed writing the most was when Marc surprises Traci with a visit to her parent’s house in California. You’ll have to read my book to find out why!

Which character(s) from A Second Chance do you identify with most? Why? 

I identify most with Carla who is Traci’s colleague and best friend. The reason is because we are go-getters, women who are vocal about our faith in God, and we have the gift of encouragement.

Please share an interesting fact about A Second Chance. 

This story was re-written completely from start to finish, and then revised from the middle to the end before publication.

What would you tell someone who may have been hurt in the past (like Traci and Marc) and who still struggles to forgive or trust?

Forgiveness is good for the human soul. God restores broken hearts. Don’t give up. Ask God to help you heal and He will!



GIVEAWAY


Two winners will receive a free e-copy of “A Second Chance”.
Enter below!



BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE:

April 17: Saved by Grace [http://savedbygrace7.blogspot.com]
April 18: Ink From An Earthen Vessel [http://www.inkfromanearthenvessel.blogspot.com]
April 19: Emily Rachelle Writes [http://emilyrachellewrites.blogspot.com/]
April 20: Tell the World [http://www.thegreaterpurpose.blogspot.com]