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Life and Lessons from a Young Author ~ Review with Interview

The Life and Lessons of a Young Author
By Sunayna Prasad

This booklet is a quick read at just 19 pages. The author is offering tips from her writing experiences and though there are some tips that are useful they can get lost in the back story of her experiences.

First off listen to criticisms of your writing they'll help smooth out the issues and the jagged edges. The author also makes it clear that self-publication is her choice for getting her books out before the public as she has more control over all aspects of it which could be a good thing or not especially when it comes to the flow and structure of your words.

The author's seeming aversion to reading is not a good stance for someone who is a writer - if everyone had this same view she would have no audience. Writers need to have a fondness for reading as it broadens their palate and allows them to explore what is out there and get inspiration.

Though the writing is not the strongest there are some helpful tips that can be taken away from this work. As the writer says she is a young author and she is on a life-long journey that will be an improvement with each new work. This work seems to me to be an autobiographical critique of her earlier works and the mistakes that she wants others to avoid as they embark on their own journeys.

I was provided a digital copy of this work by the author through iRead Book Tours with no expectations but an honest review - all opinions expressed are my own.

Author Interview:

1) What one thing do you hope others will take away from your book?

The lessons I teach as a young author as well as some original comparisons and a method I came up with.

2) What author, past or present, would you like to mentor you?

Maybe Stephen King or Alice Hoffman.

3) When not writing you state you like to cook. What is your favorite recipe?

Vanilla and chocolate spiral cookies.

4) What one question would you like to be asked and how would you answer it?

That question would be what are your writing goals and my answer would be to write more quickly, but thoroughly and publish my fiction series before I’m 30.
Book Title:  The Life and Lessons of a Young Author by Sunayna Prasad
Category:  YA Non-fiction, 19 pages
Genre:  Writing
Publisher:  Amazon KDP
Tour dates: Aug 13 to 31, 2018
Content Rating: G

Book Description:

Whether you are young or old, The Life and Lessons of a Young Author can offer those who dream of finding the right path in the world of writing and publishing. Sunayna Prasad shares her experience as a young author and discusses what went well for her and what she suggests to those who long for success. 
Talking about her life as a published writer, Sunayna Prasad teaches you the rules of the writing craft and the standards of the publishing world, as well as additional tips and tricks. The Life and Lessons of a Young Author can help you choose your own writing and publishing paths.

Sunayna Prasad
Meet the Author:

Sunayna Prasad has been writing since she was six. She continues to write fiction and non-fiction today and has even won a Pacific Book-Review award. She lives in New York, and when not writing, likes to create art and cook.

Connect with Sunayna: Website ~ Facebook 


Aug 13 - Locks, Hooks and Books - review
Aug 13 - A Mama's Corner of the World - book spotlight
Aug 14 - Writers and Authors - author interview
Aug 14 - Readers Muse - review / guest post
Aug 15 - Bound 4 Escape - review
Aug 15 - A Page Before Bedtime - review
Aug 16 - Library of Clean Reads - review
Aug 17 - Writers N Authors - review / guest post
Aug 18 - Writers and Authors - review
Aug 20 - Paulette's Papers - book spotlight
Aug 20 - T's Stuff - book spotlight / author interview
Aug 21 - - review
Aug 21 - Blooming with Books - review / author interview
Aug 22 - fundinmental - book spotlight
Aug 23 - A Blue Million Books - book spotlight / author interview
Aug 24 - Laura's Interests - review / guest post
Aug 27 - The Autistic Gamer - review
Aug 28 - Books for Books - review
Aug 29 - Declarations of a Fangirl - review / guest post
Aug 30 - Seaside Book Nook - review
Aug 31 - Vithyas Blog - review / author interview


Fawkes ~ Review

By Nadine Brandes

Thomas Fawkes has only ever wanted his father's attention, approval, and love but when he contracts the plague his hopes seem to be at an end. For a year his father has been silent but with his Color Test upon him, he knows his father will present him with his mask and he will bond with a color. But disappointment seems to be his lot as his father the famed Guy Fawkes again lets him down refusing to present him with his mask or his presence.

Maskless, Thomas has no place in school or society - his father has ruined him. Determined to track down his father Thomas makes his way to London. But London is a dangerous place to be when you are maskless and plagued. Those who are masked are either Keepers or Igniters and they are at war. Both sides blame the other for the plague that is making its way across England a plague that is turning the infected into stone.

But finding his father only brings new complications as he is involved in a plot to bring down King James on the belief that the plague will be defeated with a Keeper on the throne rather than a king who has Igniter sympathies. Determined to prove himself to father, gain his mask, and rid himself of the plague Thomas agrees to take part in the plot against the king.

But when Thomas comes across Emma Areben in London he is confronted with something he never expected - acceptance and a viewpoint on White Light that he never expected. But she is the enemy or is she? Thomas is on a journey to discover the truth for himself if he can discover it.

Fawkes is a delightful blend of history and fantasy that will leave the reader enchanted and perhaps on their own quest for the truth about England, the Gunpowder Plot, and Plague that was so feared. Thomas Fawkes is a young man who is on the cusp of manhood when his very identity is denied him. With his future in doubt, he has no choice but to go after it for himself. Emma Areben is the ward of a peer of English society but she has a secret, one that most know nothing of, one that could ruin her in polite society. And the White Light the most powerful of the colors is also the one most fought over - should it be suppressed or should it be wielded. For what it is the White Light is a pivotal force within this story - one that the careful reader will decern as being greater than just a color power to be used at will.

This book is as equally well-written as Nadine Brandes previous work the Out of Time series but completely different as this is a historical fantasy fiction instead of a dystopian work.  I enjoyed the historical elements that brought this story to life while the fantasy elements added an exciting and unexpected twist. The mistrust of both sides against the other just fans the flames of hate and fear as neither is willing to see beyond what they wish to see - which sadly has been a reoccurring theme throughout history. I highly recommend this book perfect for any time reading or a book club setting.

About the Book:
Thomas Fawkes is turning to stone, 
and the only cure to the Stone Plague 
is to join his father’s plot to 
assassinate the king of England.

Silent wars leave the most carnage. The wars that are never declared, but are carried out in dark alleys with masks and hidden knives. Wars where color power alters the natural rhythm of 17th century London. And when the king calls for peace, no one listens until he finally calls for death. But what if death finds him first?

Keepers think the Igniters caused the plague. Igniters think the Keepers did it. But all Thomas knows is that the Stone Plague infecting his eye is spreading. And if he doesn’t do something soon, he’ll be a lifeless statue. So when his Keeper father, Guy Fawkes, invites him to join the Gunpowder Plot—claiming it will put an end to the plague—Thomas is in.

The plan is to use 36 barrels of gunpowder to blow up the Igniter King. Unfortunately, doing so will destroy the family of the girl Thomas loves. But backing out of the plot will send his father and the other plotters to the gallows. To save one, Thomas will lose the other.

No matter Thomas’s choice, one thing is clear: once the decision is made and the color masks have been put on, there’s no turning back.


The House at Saltwater Point ~ Review with Author Q&A

The House at Saltwater Point
A Lavender Tides Novel #2
By Colleen Coble

First off this is a Lavender Tides series book - but SURPRISE there are links to both Rock Harbor and Hope Beach (Not saying anything else so as to not spoil the story).

Ellie Blackmore is making a living buying, remolding, and selling homes. Her latest project is going well with another prospect just waiting to be purchased. But when her sister MacKenzie, or Mac as everyone calls her, disappears from her ship leaving only a trail of blood behind Ellie's life is thrown out of whack.

Grayson Bradshaw has just had his own world rocked and add to that he is on the trail of a seized shipment of cocaine that he believes was stolen by MacKenzie. But Ellie is certain that her sister would never do any such thing and no Coast Guard intelligence officer is going to convince her otherwise. And if not for her promise to Shauna Bannister to help Grayson settle in at Lavender Tides on his current assignment. Grayson feels that Ellie's blind trust in her sister is admirable yet misplaced especially as his investigation progresses.

All too soon it appears that something bigger is going on and that the missing cocaine is but the tip of a much bigger problem. But no one is offering anything concrete in the way of evidence. And someone seems determined to end this investigation now even if it means taking Grayson and Ellie's lives to do so.

Character-wise I like most of the characters. Ellie is smart and yet too hard on herself. Grayson seems dedicated to doing his job and feels deeply the current situation he finds himself in with his family. Jason, Ellie's business partner and ex-brother-in-law, one just has to feel sorry for him what with the rotten situation Mac put him in. And then there is Ellie's sister Mac whom doesn't give readers a warm fuzzy feeling as more is revealed about her.

Fans of Colleen Coble's work won't be disappointed in this latest offering that takes us to Lavender Tides, Washington. Romance, suspense, betrayals - yes this one has them all woven together in a story that will hold your attention especially as the danger rises. Perfect reading to beat the summer heat.

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher with no expectations of a positive review ~ all opinions expressed are my own.

Book received from the publisher through TLC Book Tours
About the Book:
The dangerous beauty of Lavender Tides is harboring
secrets that reach around the world.

Ellie Blackmore is making a name for herself as a young house flipper. But when her sister disappears, she can’t focus on anything but finding out what really happened. Blood on the floor might indicate that MacKenzie was killed and her body was removed.

Ellie is at odds with Grayson Bradshaw, the handsome Coast Guard intelligence officer who thinks MacKenzie faked her own death and is off enjoying her ill-gotten gains: billions of dollars in cocaine.

They both want the truth, but truth—and family—is often more complex than it may first appear.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes and Noble | iBooks

Author Q and A with Colleen Coble:

1) What do you most love about your books - the setting, the characters, or the plot?

I love immersing myself in a new setting. I want readers to imagine themselves experiencing the events with my characters. I always start with setting when coming up with a new book. I research what’s going on in my setting and what’s important to the people there. I look at history and how the community came to be. That’s all important to me.

2) Who has had the most influence on you as a writer?

I’ve been fortunate to have the best editors in the business! I learn so much from them with every book. Amanda Bostic, Amy McConnell Abston, Erin Healy, and Julie Schwartzburg have all influenced me so much!

3) Favorite genre you'd like to have a month-long vacation in and why did you choose this genre?

Suspense of course! I read what I write. I’ve been drawn to mystery and suspense since my first Nancy Drew book when I was ten. ☺
4) What is your favorite go-to book or author when you just want to relax and get away from everything for an hour or two?

My current author crush is Lisa Gardner. The way she weaves two simultaneous plots together into a cohesive whole is magic that keeps me mesmerized.
5) What is the one question you wish you'd be asked and how would you answer it?

Sorry, I can’t come up with that one. ☺

Thanks for taking the time from your very busy schedule and squeezing in this interview, Colleen. If you ever think of a question you wish you were asked let me know.
About Colleen Coble:
USA Today bestselling author Colleen Coble has written numerous romantic suspense novels including The Inn at Ocean’s EdgeTwilight at Blueberry Barrens, and Beneath Copper Falls.

Connect with Colleen

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Win a copy of the book from the publisher via Instagram @TNZFiction

Instagram Tour:

Monday, July 30th: @createexploreread
Monday, July 30th:
Tuesday, July 31st: @willbakeforbooks
Tuesday, July 31st: @acozyreader
Wednesday, August 1st: @thats_what_she_read
Thursday, August 2nd: @girlandherbooks
Thursday, August 2nd: @thecaffeinated_bibliophile
Friday, August 3rd: @girlsinbooks
Saturday, August 4th: @kim_reads
Saturday, August 4th: @brookesbooksandbrews
Sunday, August 5th: @hollyslittlebookreviews

Review Tour:

Monday, July 30th: Read Eat Repeat
Tuesday, July 31st: Write Read Life
Wednesday, August 1st: Book Date
Friday, August 3rd: Kritter’s Ramblings
Monday, August 6th: The Lit Bitch
Tuesday, August 7th: Books & Bindings
Wednesday, August 8th: Jathan & Heather
Thursday, August 9th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Friday, August 10th: @thats_what_she_read
Monday, August 13th: Blooming with Books
Tuesday, August 14th: Splashes of Joy
Wednesday, August 15th: What is That Book About
Thursday, August 16th: Empowermoms
Friday, August 17th: A Chick Who Reads
Monday, August 20th: By the Book
Tuesday, August 21st: A Bookish Way of Life
Wednesday, August 22nd: Cheryl’s Book Nook
Thursday, August 23rd: Here’s to Happy Endings
Friday, August 24th: Little Homeschool on the Prairie


A Rumored Fortune ~ Review

A Rumored Fortune
By Joanna Davidson Politano

Tressa Harlowe can hardly contain her excitement she is returning home to her beloved Trevelyan Castle - summoned she is sure by her father. But nothing is how she expected it to be - her father is dead and creditors are demanding their debts be paid. But the Harlowe family fortune is a thing of legend - hidden away years ago and Tressa has no idea where it lies. With time against Tressa needs help but to whom she should turn that is a matter of trust.

Donegan Vance has a daunting task before him - hired by Josiah Harlowe as the vineyard manager seems easy enough hard work for a more than generous salary. But the laborers of Trevelyan have been paid sporadically and the estate's funds at present are non-existent. But Donegan needs the money he was promised and it seems that helping Tressa Harlowe find her father's hidden fortune may be his only option.

But Tressa isn't the only one interested in finding her father's fortune and those she'd once have welcomed with open arms in this time of grief may very well be those who are working against her. With threats, suspicions, and danger closing in Tressa finds herself learning truths she never knew while relying, somewhat unwillingly, on the estate's new manager. But does Donegan Vance truly have her best interests at heart or is him merely another fortune hunter here to claim his piece?

This book is set in 1866, England and while a historical fiction there is a definite but subtle undercurrent of mystery running throughout it. A daughter who has always felt alone. A father she never truly knew. A mother always in need of pampering and care. A cousin and his less than happy wife. An old suitor who had once broken her heart. The kindly doctor. The new estate manager. The staff she's known her whole life. And her father's notebooks. These all combine is a most delightful story that will touch the reader's heart as Tressa works through her emotions at her sudden and unexpected change in circumstance. This is a journey of discovery of who she is and who those around her are.

This is a most lovely reading excursion and one not to be missed the characters are both complex and yet identifiable. One wants to be wanted not for possessions but for who one truly is at their heart. The need to be understood is a driving force for the main characters and one most can probably relate to on some level. This would make an excellent book club selection and I highly recommend it.

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher with no expectations of a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

About the book:

Welcome to Trevelyan Castle, home of the 
poorest heiress in Victorian England

Tressa Harlowe's father kept his vast fortune hidden somewhere on his estate in the south of England and died suddenly, without telling anyone where he had concealed it. Now Tressa and her ailing mother are left with a mansion and an immense vineyard and no money to run it. 

It doesn't take long for a bevy of opportunists to flock to the estate under the guise of offering condolences. Tressa knows what they're really up to. She'll have to work with the rough and rusticated vineyard manager to keep the laborers content without pay and discover the key to finding her father's fortune--before someone else finds it first.


The Crescent Stone ~ Review

The Crescent Stone
The Sunlit Lands #1
By Matt Mikalatos

Madeline Oliver is dying - each breath is a struggle, each minute takes that much closer to the end. At seventeen she is not ready to die but there is nothing more that can be done. A year ago she had everything until her lungs stopped working. Still, she struggles to have as normal a life as she can, going to school when she is able - though making it to graduation is unlikely.

On that fateful day when she collapses in chemistry, it seems her life has come to an end but her lab partner Jason Wu along with her ex-boyfriend Darius Walker rushes her to the hospital. Madeline is dying she knows it but in the midst of everything something happens and she is given a chance. A year of service in an unknown land in exchange for her life healed from her disease.

Madeline makes the decision and soon she and Jason are making their way to the Sunlit Lands and the Elenil and one year of service. The Sunlit Lands upon first appearance seem idyllic but looks are but the surface and soon Madeline and Jason are peering beyond. The Elenil are at war with the Scim, a beastly warlike people bent upon the destruction of all. Madeline with her new health has a few concerns but the Elenil have been so good to her offering her the chance at life. Jason being Jason isn't content to just be told what is what and has to poke and prod and look beneath everything. And soon he is wondering just how the Elenil magic works.

Every action has a price and when the truth of the cost is revealed, Madeline and Jason have a choice before them. A choice that will bring life and death...

The Crescent Stone is the first book in the Sunlit Lands series and a most intriguing start it is. A world that once was whole and now torn by war. Treachery, betrayals, deceit or truth, kindness, loyalty? Can they determine the truth before it is too late?  Madeline and Jason are an interesting pair. Madeline is lost in her own pain and fears while Jason is hurting from a decision made out of love that cost him dearly - for both the Sunlit Lands is chance at a new beginning to right what is wrong in their lives. And those who call the Sunlit Lands home are a mix of humans who have come in service and the various peoples who come from this world. I think the following quote can sum up this book quite nicely "To change the world, change first a heart." This is my takeaway from this book.

And as a fun added bonus there is an appendix that shares "history" of this world through their stories which adds an interesting thread. And bonus there is an excerpt from the second book (DON'T READ AHEAD - you will totally ruin what is this book if you do!!!)

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by Tyndale House Publishers with no expectations of a positive review - all opinions expressed are my own.

About the Book:
A girl with a deadly lung disease . . .
A boy with a tragic past . . .
A land where the sun never sets but darkness still creeps in . . . 

Madeline Oliver has never wanted for anything, but now she would give anything just to breathe. Jason Wu skates through life on jokes, but when a tragedy leaves him guilt-stricken, he promises to tell only the truth, no matter the price. When a mysterious stranger name Hanali appears to Madeline and offers to heal her in exchange for one year of service to his people, Madeline and Jason are swept into a strange land where they don’t know the rules and where their decisions carry consequences that reach farther than they could ever guess.


Dead Drift ~ Review

Dead Drift
Chesapeake Valor #4
By Dani Pettrey

Good news, bad news - this is the last book in the Chesapeake Valor series. Good news Luke Gallagher is back on the scene with his friends. Bad news the threat that he has been tracking all these years he's been gone has set his sights on Baltimore and Luke's friends are once again about to become targets.

As Luke tries to adjust to actually having contact with his friends he has to deal with the fallout of his actions all those years ago - years that they were left wonder where he was and if he was even alive. And when an attack on Charm City Investigations leaves one of their number injured they have to wonder if Luke brought the danger to them.

Kate Maxwell knew that Luke was alive and was determined to find him but when he finally shows up after all these years she doesn't know if she can trust him to not disappear again without a trace and once again breaking her heart.

Meanwhile, Griffin McCray and his wife Finley Scott-McCray are on taking on the cold case of Griffin's murdered sister. Armed with evidence of a possible serial killer they are determined to bring a killer to justice. There is just one problem the evidence that was gathered linking these cases belonged to a murdered agent. With a few vague clues that link these murders that happened in various states can they connect the dots or will they become the next victims?

As the final book in this series, the action comes to a climatic couple of peaks as the two cases that have been defining this series come to their conclusions. And there are some interesting and unexpected twists that have a bearing on whether or not everyone will have the ending they've been working and hoping for. And can you say betrayal? Because guess what someone gets betrayed big time. Overall it is a satisfying conclusion and not one to start if you have an early morning the next day.

About the Book:

The Final Countdown to Stop an Imminent Attack Has Begun.

Burning debris littering the ground . . . smoke pluming in the acrid air . . . this is just the beginning if he fails.

Seven years ago, operative Luke Gallagher vanished to become part of an elite team set on capturing a deadly terrorist. When Luke returns to face those he left behind, their help becomes his only hope of stopping his target's latest threat of an attack that would shake America to its core.

Private investigator Kate Maxwell never stopped loving or looking for Luke after he disappeared. But she also never imagined he left her or his life by choice. Now he's back, and together they must unravel a twisting thread of secrets, lies, and betrayal, all while on the brink of a biological disaster. 

Will they and their love survive, or will Luke and Kate become the terrorist's next mark?

Check out an excerpt of Dead Drift here


Miss Serena's Secret ~ Review

Miss Serena's Secret
Regency Brides: A Promise of Hope #2
By Carolyn Miller

Serena Winthrop's passion has always been her art until she associates it with a most devastating incident. And worse if her secret were ever become known her reputation would be ruined, not that her late father's misdeeds hadn't already cast a cloud upon the family name. With the care of her sister Catherine and brother-in-law Jonathan Carlew (from Winning Miss Winthrop) Serena at least has a safe place to hopefully heal.

Viscount Henry Carmichael is everything Serena dispises - charming and flirtatious, a gambler, and to all appearances lazy. But Henry has discovered a dissatisfaction with life especially when comparing it to that of his friends. Spending time with Jonathan at his family estate means that he'll be spending time with Serena Winthrop - whom seemingly regards him with disdain. But when Jonathan extracts a promise from him to tread carefully around Serena and to not pursue her Henry soon finds the promise is not as easy to keep as he believed it would be.

But when poor choices of his past come back to thwart his plans and hopes for the future Henry must decide where to place his trust. Will he place it in his own charm and skills or will he turn to Someone more eternal and faithful?

Those who have read Carolyn Miller's previous Regency Brides book will enjoy this newest book which allows us glimpses of some of the previous characters and how their lives have progressed. This is the second book in the second series but it can easily be a stand-alone if you have not yet read the previous 4 books.

About the Book:
With devastating scars in her past, Serena Winthrop is sure no man can be trusted--especially not a man like the too-smooth Viscount Carmichael. His reputation as a flirt and a gambler is everything she despises. And the young artist makes sure that this disreputable heir to an earldom knows of her deep disapproval whenever they encounter one another.

Henry, Lord Carmichael, is perfectly aware of his charms. He's gambled with plenty of ladies' hearts as easily as he has with their husbands' money. But lately he's wondered if there's more to life--and if his actions might prove unworthy of an admirable wife such as his friends have found.

When Serena's guardian asks his best friend to protect his young ward, Henry promises to be on his best behavior and not to woo her. But the more he learns of her, the more he realizes she might be his best reason for changing his character.

Then the lady's painting leads her to London infamy. Now Henry must choose between the life mapped out for him as the earl apparent and the love of his life. And Serena's secret may mean the end of his titled family line.

This second novel in a new series by internationally popular author Carolyn Miller is full of the rich historical detail and evocative writing her readers enjoy. The witty banter will continue to draw in fans of Jane Austen, Sarah Ladd, and Julie Klassen.