Friday, November 30, 2012

Blog Tour: Rouge by Leigh Talbert Moore (Guest Post + Giveaway)

Kissing, We Love Kissing!
By Leigh Talbert Moore

Romance is a huge part of my new book Rouge.

Yes, it’s an exciting story of loyalty and how main character Hale will do anything to get her and Teeny (the little orphan she rescued) away from their theater-home (which is a front for prostitution).

But I love stories. So when Beau shows up looking all hot, naturally Hale falls for him. She tries to resist, but it’s no good. He saves her life, and after that, she’s a goner.

Beau’s just as surprised as she is, but he’s impulsive and doesn’t hesitate.

So here’s a short excerpt of Hale attempting to fight her feelings. I hope you like it!

With his thumb, Beau wiped my tear away, then without a word, he leaned forward and kissed me gently. I reached forward to catch the front of his shirt, the fabric rough against my fingertips.

He lifted his head and looked into my eyes. “I hate to see you sad,” he whispered.

“There’s not much to do about it.” I tried to laugh, but it wasn’t convincing.

“I never expected to meet someone like you. And then when I did, I never dreamed you’d consider me worth your time.”

“I shouldn’t consider you,” I said, longing pulsing through me with every heartbeat. “But
I guess I can’t help it.”

Thanks for having me here today, and happy reading!

Trapped in the underground theater world of 1890s New Orleans, Hale Ferrer has only one goal: escape. But not without Teeny, the orphan-girl she rescued from the streets and promised to protect.

Freddie Lovel, Hale's wealthy Parisian suitor, seems to be the easy solution. If only his touch could arouse her interest like Beau's, the penniless stagehand who captures her heart.

Denying her fears, Hale is poised to choose love until an evil lurking in their cabaret-home launches a chain of events that could cost her everything.

(Mature YA/light historical/theater romance)

About the Author
Leigh Talbert Moore is a wife and mom by day, a writer by day, a reader by day, a freelance editor when time permits, a chocoholic, a caffeine addict, a lover of YA and new adult romance (really any great love story), a beach bum, and occasionally she sleeps.

Leigh loves hearing from readers! Stop by and say hello:

And be sure to stop by the tour host’s blog (YA Bound) and check out the full Rouge blog tour schedule! You can do so here.

Signed print copies of Rouge for US readers, e-book copies for International readers.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

So Over My Head by Jenny B. Jones

Published: May 4th, 2010 (Thomas Nelson Publishers)
Pages: 326
Rating: 4/5
Newly single, stalked by a killer, and in desperate need of some chic clown shoes--Bella is one skinny mocha frapp away from total meltdown. When the Fritz Family Carnival makes its annual appearance in Truman, Bella's keen reporter instincts tell her the bright lights hide more than they reveal. Her suspicions are confirmed when one of the stars is murdered. Though the police make an immediate arrest, Bella doubts this case is quite that simple. She needs her crime-solving boyfriend, Luke, more than ever. Problem is, his ex-girlfriend has moved back to town, giving Bella some murderous thoughts of her own. Then again, there's no time for a relationship crisis when Bella's doing her best to derail her father's wedding and stay one step ahead of a killer. Is God sending her a message in all of this madness? With a murderer on the loose and her boyfriend's ex on the prowl, this undercover clown has never had more to juggle--or more to risk.
(Description from Goodreads)
Being the Thanksgiving season and all, I’d just like to say that I’m thankful for authors like Jenny B. Jones who toss hilarious, fun, clean Christian YA fiction at teen girls like me. What would I do without them?
That said, Bella Kirkwood really takes it hard in So Over My Head. Her family is suffering from not having her stepdad around due to his reality-show wrestling gig, and the fact that Bella caught Luke in a lip lock with none other than his ex- girlfriend Barbie Doll doesn’t make matters any rosier.
Oh, and did I mention that a magician-turned-murderer is after her?
Bella must go undercover as a circus act to reveal the truth and save the day- yet again.
I adore Bella and her hilarious crime-solving schemes. She never fails to make me laugh. Even her sarcasm Especially her sarcasm. This last installment was just as hilariously entertaining as the last two. This time, instead of uncovering the football team’s psychotic rituals or saving prom from sheer destruction, Bella’s gotten herself wrapped up in the Fritz Family Circus. But more is going on than just clowning around.
(I promise not to embarrass you with another one of those awful puns ever again. Promise.)
I’m not going to lie. So Over My Head seemed a little slow at parts. I think I was just a little tired of it all: the crime-solving, Bella’s irrational jealousy of Luke’s ex Ashley, etc. There wasn’t anything wrong with all those things, I was just sorely in need of a break from Bella.
There. I said it. I hated saying it, but it needed to be said. *sigh of relief* Aside from getting a little weary of the series, I loved everything else. I honestly could sit and read this book all day. It will make you laugh. I don’t care if you’re a snotty, stiff, hater of fun. It will make you cry tears of laughter. I’m so glad I bought my copy so that I can pull it out whenever I need a laugh. Just a page or two will do. I suggest you follow suit- it’s quite a smart idea, no?
In conclusion, I’ll just say what I said in my reviews for the last two books (I mean, how original do you expect me to be? A writer can only rephrase the same thing oh so many times!): Pick it up. I loved it. So should you.
Quick Content Review: *may contain spoilers*
Language: None
Violence: Mild-Moderate (A murder, a kidnapping, some grave digging, etc. Nothing described. Offset with humor.)
Sexual: Mild (Some kissing).

Friday, November 23, 2012

Made to Crave for Young Women by Lysa Terkeurst and Shaunti Feldhahn

Published: March 6th, 2012 (Zonderkidz)
Pages: 240
Rating: 5/5
What do you crave to make you happy? ... every day is filled with things we want and crave. Things that will make us feel good at least for a moment. But what happens when that moment is gone and the need returns? There's nothing wrong with wanting certain things, but God didn't create us to rely on those things to make us happy. He created us to crave Him, and a happiness that lasts. In this teen adaptation of the bestselling Made to Crave, the deep emotional, physical, and material cravings you face are explored---desires that can turn into spending too much, over- or under-eating, needing a boyfriend, or more. Through real-life stories and support from people who have been where you are, you will also discover how to truly crave God and the love and comfort He wants us to have, and how craving heavenly things can make the earthly cravings easier to overcome. You were made to crave more than this world has to offer.(Description from Goodreads)
I don’t usually review nonfiction, but this book deserved some time in the spot light. I bought this book because it sounded like it was written just for me. I was going through some stuff (probably the same sort of thing you’re going through), and I knew I had to read Made to Crave after reading the back cover.
Author Lysa TerKeurst
The general topic of the book is “satisfying your deepest desires with God.” I mean, that speaks to a large variety of us! All of us, at one time or another, try to satisfy ourselves with something other than God and His Great Love. Lysa and Shaunti outline three cravings that eat away at us girls: the emotional craving, the physical craving, and the material craving. When we feel empty inside, as many of us do, instead of turning to God we turn to food (physical craving) or clothes (material craving) or boys (emotional craving). And as you might have guessed, none of these things satisfy us for long. They might make us happy for a little while, but they run out, and we have to go find something else to fill the holes in our hearts.
Guess what. This book tells you how to fill that hole once. Yes, once. You’ll never have to fill it again.
Author Shaunti Feldhahn
And I’m not lying when I say this Made to Crave really helped me in that area. It truly did. The book zooms in on each craving area, and gives an abundant of helpful tips to overcome that craving and replace it with Jesus Christ. Lysa and Shaunti give accounts of personal experiences and how they learned from them, which really helped me. Another thing I love is that at the end of each short chapter (you could definitely read a chapter a day in place of personal devotions!), the authors give a little “takeaway tip.” It’s basically a one or two sentence summary of the chapter. I’d run this tip over and over in my head throughout the day to help me remember it’s truth, and I also wrote them all down in my prayer journal for future reference. There’s also an “action plan” with a simple activity to do, such as journal something about the chapter or say a prayer to help you overcome a craving. By the end of the book, I was so encouraged, so refreshed, and so ready to take action against my unhealthy cravings.
I want to share something real quick that really stuck with me after finishing Made to Crave. It’s this: “You crave what you consume.” If you are obsessed with a perfect body image, that’s what you will crave more and more and more. If you are focused on getting that certain boy to pay attention to you so that you’ll feel special, you will crave that more and more and more. If you’re addicted to overspending on clothes or shoes so that you’ll think you look pretty, you’ll crave that more and more and more.
But if you’re consumed with the power of God in your life, if you deeply desire to continue to feel His love, and you take action to make sure you’re growing in Him, that’s what you’ll crave more and more and more. And that’s exactly what He wants for His children. He wants us to crave Him as much as He loves us.
I’m telling you, girls, you have got to read this book. Even if you can’t identify an unhealthy craving you have off the top of your head, this book will help you find those secret cravings before they consume you. This isn’t a blame book- it will encourage you to high heaven. I guarantee it. Made to Crave is a book every girl of any age should read, so don’t miss out.
P.S. There’s one for women, too. *grin*

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Cover Reveal: Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton

Today, Gobs and Gobs of Books is participating in the cover reveal of Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton. The cover reveal is hosted by the lovely Gabrielle Carolina over at The Mod Podge Bookshelf with Mod Podge Blog Tours.

What a stunning cover…I love how the girl is disintegrating into leaves, and combined with the blustery sky in the background, it seems to fits perfectly with the summary of this story.

Elizabeth Caldwell has perfected the art of pretending to feel emotion, but it’s always a lie. After a near-fatal car accident when she was a small child, Elizabeth lost the ability to feel any emotion, but along with that loss she gained bizarre abilities: she can see the personified Emotions she cannot feel.  Fury, Resentment, Longing—they’ve all given up on her, because she doesn't succumb to their touch. All, that is, save one. Fear. He’s consumed by the mystery of Elizabeth’s past, consumed by her.

And then there are Elizabeth's cryptic, recurring dreams, in which there’s always love, and there’s always death. Haunted by these dreams, Elizabeth paints them, knowing that they somehow hold the key to the mystery of her past. 

But a shadowy menace is stalking Elizabeth.  Her survival depends on uncovering the truth about herself.  And when it matters most, she won’t be able to rely on Fear to save her.

Kelsey is very enthusiastic about her debut novel's cover; here is what she has to say about the design:

"It is gorgeous, eerie, and maybe a little strange. I love how much relevance it has to the story, as well. The farmland in the background, the town, the stormy sky, the leaves, the way the girl is vanishing. The point is, I am in love. Hope you adore it as much as I do."

 What relevance is she talking about? 

Enter to win a Pre-Order of Some Quiet Place below to find out!!!

This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Guest Post- Jennifer Laurens

Today, in honor of her newest book, Grace Doll, author Jennifer Laurens is chatting with us about society’s obsession with beauty; why we crave it, and whether it’s good thing or a bad thing.
I come from a long line of beautiful, vain women. It's been hard to live with. I grew up with people raving about my mom looking like a Barbie, or a movie star. My grandmother (still thriving at 96) is still glamorous. My mom (73 and stunning) has had two facelifts to maintain her standard of beauty. I don't have a problem with people choosing to look their best whenever they walk out the door each day, but I've tried hard not to impose an 'ideal' on my own girls. Unintentionally, my mother's insistence that she "put her face on" and "get dressed up" before she saw a soul made me think that my natural self was unattractive. I needed makeup and hair to be beautiful. I should be slim. Pressure built, and, at 15 I developed anorexia. This was back before the disease was so rampant. One other girl in my high school looked emaciated like me--that was all.
Anorexia (in my case) was a direct result of my need to control my life and myself from the inside out, not feeling like I had to 'be' beautiful or thin.
In today's society of 'you can never be too rich or too thin' - (Wallace Simpson, Duchess of Windsor) think about the implication of that phrase and it’s so very temporal. There's nothing about who we really are on the inside in that statement. What about: you can never be too compassionate or too loving. What a difference two words make.
I'm concerned that the world seems to rotate around a two-sided, magnifying mirror. Every image placed before us is young beauty. Every reality show stars young hotties. (Heaven forbid middle aged or seniors be portrayed as vibrant hotties --- the thought makes us cringe) Should it though? It shouldn't, but it does because we're submerged in a media force that only pushes young, supple, sexual images at us. As if life ends at 42. Or 38.
Any obsession ( as you mentioned in your above question ) with youth and beauty is dangerous as most obsessions mimic addictions and often create unhealthy spawn.(i.e. eating disorders, obsession with plastic surgery to name a few ) A society where beauty is ranked so high on the list of priorities fails, as beauty fades and bodies die.
As a writer, I feel a responsibility to address social topics like this with care. Writing YA means portraying characters that stand at the precipice or at the peak of self-awareness (or even someplace in between) and every character, just like every human being, is different. It's a challenge to create characters readers can relate to while still maintaining the integrity of the character I see in my head. But I love that challenge! For me, Grace Doll was this challenge: a woman who is mature beyond her teenaged body years.
I doubt the world's fascination with beauty will wane any time soon. In today's world of "five minutes of fame" reality TV stars who prostitute themselves via television shows, product endorsements, etc. just because they're attractive and willing, the message these media-producers are sending is "You can have this too, if you're willing to do ANYTHING."
Connect with Jennifer here:

Remember to check out Grace Doll, and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Blog Tour: Reaction by Jessica Roberts (Review + Giveaway)

Reaction by Jessica Roberts
You can find my review of Reflection here, along with a summary, cover, and Goodreads link.
Reaction (Reflection #2) by Jessica Roberts
Release Date: November 6, 2012 (S/P)
Format: e-book
Pages: 231 
Book Description from Goodreads:
I’ve previously had that in my life, but only once, briefly, a while ago.  It was during the time I’d started my first year of college.  My own apartment, a new old car, and a life free of deadbeat stepfathers, all of which was fulfilling enough.  But if it wasn’t, I also had a best friend, soul mate, and boyfriend all in one.  Yes, life was near perfect.
 But one stormy night can change everything…
 For many months I rested in a prolonged sleep, fighting for my life.  Well, more than fighting for it, also dreaming of it.  Dreaming of him.  Thank goodness, the dream is over and I’m back in the real world now.  And all I want is for everything to return to the way it was.  But nothing’s the same; most of all, us.
 Once again, I find myself at the crossroads of a ruthless battle, this time not for life, but love.  Do I fight for the guy I twice fell for, or do I let her take him away?
About the author:
Jessica Roberts grew up in the San Francisco, California Bay Area where she spent most of her time playing sports alongside her six siblings. She was crowned Miss Teen California her senior year of high school, and went on to Brigham Young University where she graduated in Human Development. Her love of family, church, writing, athletics, and singing and dancing keeps her life busy and fulfilled. She currently resides in Utah with her husband and three children.
Connect with Jessica here:
Twitter: @JRobertsAuthor
After really loving Reflection, I was so eager to read more. The cliffhanger at the end of the first book drove me crazy, so I was super excited to be able to participate in this blog tour.
And guys, you have to read this second book.
I’m being honest when I say that I loved Reaction even more than I loved Reflection. Heather has finally awoken from her coma, and she’s back in the real world now. But three years have passed since she’s talked with any of her friends (or him) and she has no idea how their lives have changed while hers has stayed the same.
Boy, have their lives changed.
She’s come into the picture, and it changes everything Heather and Nick ever had. Heather will have to choose between fighting for what she believes is still hers and letting him go. After all they’ve been through, after three years of dreaming about him, will she have to walk away?
If you read my review of Reflection, you’ll remember (or maybe you won’t…haha excuse my bad pun) that I thought the plot was a little slow. Not so with Reaction. I felt like it was more fast-paced, with more climaxes and twists than Reflection had. The romance was more intense, too. Love triangles usually have that effect. I felt I got to know Heather even more, as if her character was delved into more than it was in Reflection. We also get to see more vulnerability in Nick, which I loved.
There were a lot of instances of Heather remembering the time she had with Nick and all the things they did. I found myself thinking, “She knew the guy for only six months- they such must have spent a lot of time together.” That was really the only quirk I had with Reaction. Of course, it had its dorky moments (like the ending…gosh, I really didn’t like the closing scene), but they were minor irritants in this amazing love story. I hope you pick it up, as well as Reflection, because this is a book you don’t want to miss out on.
Rating: 5/5
Quick Content Review: *may contain spoilers*
Language: None
Violence: None
Sexual: Mild-Moderate (Heather and Nick kiss a couple times, sometimes passionately; also some cuddling/fondling. Nothing explicit and no sex.)
(Oh yeah- your favorite part. I know my readers well.)
Grand Prize is for a $25 Gift Card to Amazon, a replica of the necklace worn in the Reaction cover and an e-book of Reflection.  (Open Internationally)
There will also be 4 additional e-book copies of Reflection up for giveaway. (Open Internationally)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Top Ten Books That Make Me Think

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
It’s Tuesday again (I know what you’re thinking- “Yeah, Shelby, it comes around about once a week”)! But Tuesdays make me excited because I love list. I really really love lists. I’m a list kind of girl. I make lists of reasons I love list. Ok, so maybe not literally, but I’m pretty obsessed. Don’t judge.

Today’s a freebie topic, so I decided to talk about books that make me think. Not the kind that hurt your head (*coughpsychologytextbookcough*) but the kind that force you to ponder the words’ true meaning, and how they relate to you and the world. Books like that kind of stick with you…for life. So they definitely deserve their time in the spotlight.

1) The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith. Kind of makes me wonder about that kind of love.  
2) The Scarlet Letter by Nathanial Hawthorne. Sadness, regret, and the recluse that was the author.
3) The Flames of Rome by Paul L. Maier. Because it’s the true account of the early church and how they suffered for the faith. Challenges me to think of my faith the way they thought of theirs.
4) The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom. Forces me to see the suffering of Jews during that time. And how the whole world suffered because of power hungry men.
5) The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan. Such a beautiful story written in such plain words of the Christian’s walk with Christ. Makes me ponder the burden of sin and the relief that’s called salvation.
6) The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson. A raw, powerful (and true) story of how Christ’s love can pull us from the deepest depths of sin.
7) The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I think of the cruel barriers society place between people. And how much they hurt.
8) A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks. Makes me think of the definition of love, and what it truly is.
9) Incarceron by Catherine Fisher. Just plain makes you think. You can’t read this book without thinking and wondering at the awesomeness of it.
10) A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. I think about one thing: sacrifice. (And how much I don’t want to die by guillotine.)  
What’s your Top Ten? As always, leave a link or just comment and let me know!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Rouge Cover Reveal

Isn’t it gorgeous?!
Release Date: Late November 2012

Summary from Goodreads:
Trapped in the underground theater world of 1890s New Orleans, Hale Ferrer has only one goal: escape. But not without Teeny, the orphan-girl she rescued from the streets and promised to protect.

Freddie Lovel, Hale's wealthy Parisian suitor, seems to be the easy solution. If only his touch could arouse her interest like Beau's, the penniless stagehand who captures her heart.

Denying her fears, Hale is poised to choose love until an evil lurking in their cabaret-home launches a chain of events that could cost her everything.

About the Author
Wife and mom by day, writer by day, editor by day, reader when time permits, chocoholic, lover of contemporary romance, lover of YA, lover of great books, beach bum, occasionally I sleep.

The Truth About Faking is my debut young adult romance. It's just a light, happy book with a hot guy and a little message tucked inside.

Rouge, my next mature-YA/New Adult romance, will be out mid-Nov 2012. It's neither light nor happy, but it does have a hot guy. And a cabaret...
Connect with Leigh here:
Check out the blog tour hosted by YA Book Obsessed! And check back here for a review of Rouge on November 30th!