Monday, January 26, 2015

~A Winter's Respite~ Read-a-thon Day 1 and 2 Post

A Winter's Respite Read-a-Thon hosted by Michelle @ Season's of Reading
My first book will be Jane Austen's Emma. I'm trying to get finished with it before the end of the month! It's a great book, just super wordy and hard to sit and read for more than 30 minutes (for me at least!)

Day 1 and 2 and 3:
Book: Emma by Jane Austen
Starting Page: 65
Ending Page:

Notes: I'm combining two days into this post. I had a busy day with work yesterday and did not get much reading done :( So crossing my fingers today is better! 

Tuesday notes: BAH! This week! I love to work, so I'm not complaining about my job, but I've been soooo busy by the time I have time my eyes are wanting to shut! Combining 3 days into one post = lazy Melissa.  

~P.O.W.E.R by Lisa A. Kramer~ YA Speculative/Feminist Fiction Blog Tour

About the Book:

What would happen if women and girls joined their unique abilities together to change the world? In a world where access to the written word is reserved to men, Andra BetScrivener has been able to read and write ever since she was a little girl without anyone teaching her. She must keep her abilities a secret in the country of New North, or she could lose her hands, her eyes or her life. In fact, the only paths offered to her–and all young women–are to either marry or enter the government-run Women’s Training Program, where she’ll be taught “feminine” arts like drawing, painting, and homemaking. 

On her seventeenth birthday, Andra discovers that her abilities extend beyond reading. She can write events to life. As she begins to explore her new ability, she must take care not to jeopardize her father’s job as head scrivener at the Ministry. Despite her efforts to keep her powers hidden, she comes to the attention of both the government and a rebel group, who each desire to use Andra for their own goals. At the same time, she begins to meet other gifted women who have never dared use their unique powers. With the help of her friends Brian and Lauren—who has the ability to read minds—Andra must find a way to unite the power of women to create change. 

When one side manipulates Andra’s words into killing someone, and the other threatens her father’s life and her own freedom, Andra decides to use her writing to empower others to stop governmental oppression. But in a society ruled by lies, cruelty, and inequality her journey will not be easy or safe.

Her latest book is the YA speculative/feminist fiction, P.O.W.ER

For each book sold, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to causes that support women and children around the world.  

For More Information

 My Review:

While the premise seems a bit far fetched at first, once you sink into the story you forget about all the "But but but" that your brain wants to say. (I hope that makes sense?) *I kind of had a problem at first, believing women would live in this world..but obviously that is explained later in the book*   The writing itself sucks you in and keeps you entwined in this world that legit sucks for women. You get a feel for the main character Andra, pretty quickly and her and her family's back story is set up rather nicely. If you've been here at MRF, you know I hate info-dump. This book weaves the character's back story into the present in a seamless way that made me very happy. So Bravo, Mrs. Kramer!

The message behind this novel is a very clearly defined and beautiful one. I really enjoyed the book's message and think that it will help a lot of girls (and grown women too!) find their voice and start making the changes that the world needs.

Great storytelling, solid writing, excellently developed characters, and a strong message makes P.O.W.E.R a must read!

About the Author
Lisa A. Kramer has spent her life learning, creating, and exploring the world through theatre, writing, traveling and collaborating as an educator. She has lived in nine states and two countries (including Japan). She holds a PhD in Theatre for Youth, an MFA in Theatre Directing, and a BA in English Language & Literature and Theatre. She has published non-fiction articles in journals specializing on Theatre for Young Audiences, as well articles aimed at young people for Listen Magazine. In addition to young adult novels, she has ventured into the world of short stories, and has stories for adults in several of the Theme-Thology series published by and available on Kindle, Nook, and Kobo. When not writing, Lisa shares her love of the arts and the power of story as co-founder of heArtful Theatre Company and as adjunct faculty at various colleges and universities. She also spends time enjoying New England with her husband, daughter, and two dogs from her home base in central Massachusetts.

Her latest book is the YA speculative feminist fiction, P.O.W.ER.
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Friday, January 16, 2015

~ Not Looking for Love by Lena Bourne~ Romance Promo

  Not Looking For Love: Episode 1 Lena Bourne
Sometimes, what you want is not really what you need.

Gail is only twenty-two years old and her mom is dying. Not just dying, she will be dead in a few days, if the doctors are to be trusted, and Gail is certain she herself won't survive that. After a run in with Scott, the hot gardener from next door, Gail begins to see him as the perfect distraction from her unbearable life. It's not love Gail wants. She just wants to feel good with someone who makes her forget, if only for a little while, and Scott fits that description perfectly.

 Scott just got back into town and he's still trying to get his life back together. He already has more problems and regrets than he can ever hope to live with, and the last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who is clearly a little unsettled, if not downright insane. But the fact that Gail is very attractive and keeps throwing herself at him makes it impossible to keep sending her away. Which he should, for Gail's sake more than his own.

Authors Bio:   
Lena Bourne is a young writer, but she has seen her fair share of the world, of love and loss, and all that happens in between. Now she’s here telling the stories you might otherwise have missed, which are made up, of course, but could very well be real and true. Not Looking For Love is her first serial, a steamy New Adult romance, which will be released in five installments over the next few months.   Lena Bourne – Edgy Romance Writer

 Not Looking For Love: Episode 1 Chapter 1 Excerpt:
 I crawl through the hole in the fence that separates my garden from Kate's. It's a tight fit, now that I'm no longer five years old. Chairs and towels, empty glasses and discarded clothes are still strewn across the lawn, but, thankfully, no one is around. Likely, the cold dawn chased the last of the party away. I glance up at the house to make sure no one is watching. All the windows are dark. A light reflects in the first floor windows, and I drop into a crouch reflexively, but it's just a passing car.

I find my dress near the pool where I took it off to take a dip. Right before Brandon tossed me in. I just left it lying there when I ran home. Everyone must think I'm completely mental now. I hope Brandon does too. Why won't he just take a hint? Brandon is Kate's brother, and since she's like a sister to me, he's like a brother to me. I can't be dating my brother. Besides he's the love 'em and leave 'em type, and all he can give me is a broken heart. Like he did with his last five girlfriends. As if my heart could take any more breaking.

 I look around, tossing things aside, not caring where they land, hoping to find the bracelet. It's not anywhere. The sun's not up yet, but birds are chirping something awful all around me, and the sky is more white than grey now. Dawn is my favorite time of day. I love watching the colors of the sky change from inky black to grey to lilac blue and finally yellow, the new day being born, bringing new hope. Today, I just wish the sun would come up.

If the bracelet is not in the grass, it might be in the pool. The thought of going back in the water makes me shiver, but my desperation to get the bracelet back right away is stronger.

 I ease myself off the side of the pool in roughly the spot where I went in before, feet first, trying not to make any sound that could wake Kate's family. It's like slow torture to do it that way, and my whole body cramps up, but the last thing I need is to cause a panic. I could just go back home and come back once the sun is up, but I can't. I need that bracelet, or else I won't sleep.

The cold water grips my body like a vice and I take shallow breaths until the worst of the pain passes. The lights in the pool are off already, they're connected to the porch lights, and someone thoughtfully turned them all off after the party ended. Too thoughtfully. I could really use those lights right now.

After a final deep breath, I submerge my head, fighting the overwhelming urge to gasp as the cold water goes straight to my brain, which is what it feels like. I can almost see the steam coming off, but at least my heart is no longer pounding. I let myself float on the surface, scanning the floor of the pool. Lucky really, that Kate's pool is saltwater. I can float, eliminating the need to tread water to keep myself on the surface.

Shadows play upon the mosaic floor of the pool, all blues, whites, yellows, and pinks. I turn slightly to adjust my angle of view. No silver gleams against the tiles anywhere. I only come up for air once my lungs start burning and dip my face back in immediately. Grey is giving way to white in the sky now, so the visibility should soon improve. I'm enjoying the silence, the serenity of floating in the water, with my long hair plastered down my ears, blocking out the chirping birds.

The eerie silence is almost like diving, only without the crushing weight of the water pressing against me. But I can't see my bracelet anywhere, and no doubt the servants will be out cleaning up soon. I adjust my angle again and am just about to come up for more air when something grabs my waist and flips me over in the water.

 I scream and flail, gulp water instead of air, with visions of a shark attacking vivid in my mind. Beating and kicking, I paddle hard to get out of the water, my hair obscuring my vision. Whatever grabbed me is no longer touching me, but I kick back to the side of the pool frantically anyway, still coughing, still seeing nothing. My knuckles collide with the wall of the pool, but I ignore the pain, scraping my knees as I struggle out of the water. My arms are shaking so badly I can't lift myself up to get out of the pool

 "Calm the fuck down!" a man yells behind me. "You'll hurt yourself. It's alright."

He places his hands on my hips and lifts me from the water.

 I'm panting now, but at least I'm not swallowing water anymore. I brush my hair from my eyes and stand up, though my legs are shaking so hard I'll probably just topple back down even if I succeed.

The guy is still in the water, eyeing me like I'm insane. "Are you alright?"

I nod as I finally manage to stand.

He hoists himself from the water in one fluid motion. His white t-shirt is plastered against his chest, and his grey pants hug his legs tightly. He's all muscle, from his biceps, to his shoulders, chest, and stomach that ripples in a neat six-pack. And not those chiseled for-show muscles that otherwise thin guys have.

He's bulky, twice as wide as any guy I know. Even his legs. No wonder he had no problem tossing me out of the pool.

 "Are you alright?" he asks again, standing right in front of me now.

 I quickly look up into his face, hoping he didn't notice me checking him out before. He can't be much older than me, I see now. His short blond hair looks black near his scalp, but stands up in light colored spikes all over his head. His eyes are either blue or grey—the kind of eyes that change color according to the light. And deep. I could stare at his eyes all day long just to see what I could see.

Win one of two copies of Not Looking for Love by Lena Bourne

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

~Run by Becky Johnson~ Mystery Suspense Blog Tour

Title: Run
Author: Becky Johnson
Publisher: Becky Johnson
Pages: 160
Genre: Mystery Suspense
Format: Paperback/Kindle
Purchase at AMAZON

A decades old mystery and a deadly game of cat and mouse will change Charlotte Marshall forever.

Charlotte has a good life: friends, family, a successful career. Her perfect life is destroyed when research for a book and a connection from her past plunges her into the middle of her worst nightmare.

On the run, with no one to trust, Charlotte begins to unravel the work of a sadistic murderer. Afraid and alone, she will learn the meaning of trust and just when to run.

For More Information

My Review:

This is a really fun, quick read that left me speechless. Seriously, I sat down expecting to read a mediocre (sorry Ms. Johnson) mystery, but wound up not wanting to put it down! I think I read it in about an hour and a half!

It was really well done! Charlotte is interesting and her personality came through in such a short amount of time! The bad guy could have used a weeeeee bit of fleshing out, but otherwise it was terrifying to think he was right there around the corner no matter what!

I did experience a delightful twist, that I'm not sure was intentional or what. I started to suspect one character of being the baddie, but boom..was surprised when it wasn't. (Trying hard not to spoilerize it here!) So bravo to you again Ms. Johnson! 

I WILL be reading Stand and I cannot wait!

About the Author

Books are Becky Johnson’s passion and always have been. She used to get in trouble in school for reading during class!
Becky has Master’s degrees in social work and history, and for her day job she is a social worker. In her writing she tries to answer a question that is important to both social work and history:  Why? She always wants to know why people do the things they do or feel the way they feel.
When not reading or writing she enjoys yoga, cooking, and makes a pretty mean chili!
Her latest books of the Charlotte Marshall Mysteries series are Run and Stand.
For More Information
  • Visit Becky Johnson’s blog.
  • Connect with Becky on Facebook.
  • Find out more about Becky at