Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Everyday people. Extraordinary Courage

Fellow Page Turners,

Yesterday I told you I'm going to be starting a new website depthsofcourage.com to share inspiring stories from ordinary people.

I've made a Facebook page about it here, so please check it out. We're looking for ordinary people who do great things or have overcome great things.

If you know somebody, please leave a comment or email me at depthsofcourage@gmail.com

Thanks!

Danica 

WOW: Creepy and Mysterious


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. The point is to share a book that hasn't been released yet, but one that you are dying to read.

The week's pick is The Creeping by Alexandra Sirowy. It comes out on August 18, 2015 and is being published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. 

The synopsis:

Twelve years ago Stella and Jeanie vanished while picking strawberries. Stella returned minutes later, with no memory of what happened. Jeanie was never seen or heard from again.

Now Stella is seventeen, and she's over it. She's the lucky one who survived, and sure, the case is still cloaked in mystery—and it's her small town's ugly legacy—but Stella is focused on the coming summer. She's got a great best friend, a hookup with an irresistibly crooked smile, and two months of beach days stretching out before her.

Then along comes a corpse, a little girl who washes up in an ancient cemetery after a mudslide, and who has red hair just like Jeanie did. Suddenly memories of that haunting day begin to return, and when Stella discovers that other red-headed girls have gone missing as well, she begins to suspect that something sinister is at work.

And before the summer ends, Stella will learn the hard way that if you hunt for monsters, you will find them.


Why I'm waiting? It's not my normal read, but it looks too good to pass up. Creepy and mysterious. I can't wait. 

Add it to your Goodreads shelf.


And that's my pick. But enough about me, what book did you guys pick? Please leave your link in the comments section. I love hearing from you guys.

Love,
Danica Page

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Hidden Treasures: Adult Kindle Bestsellers on sale in July for $1.99

Hello Fellow Readers,

Don't miss this chance on these great deals on Amazon Bestsellers. There's only three days left. Here are some that I thought would be interesting. I haven't read any of these, but they look good. 

The One that Got Away by Simon Wood
1.The One That Got Away by Simon Wood. This is currently on Amazon for July only for $1.99 or free with Kindle Unlimited. I bought this one previously, but haven't got to it yet. Amazon link.

Graduate students Zoë and Holli only mean to blow off some steam on their road trip to Las Vegas. But something goes terribly wrong on their way home, and the last time Zoë sees her, Holli is in the clutches of a sadistic killer. Zoë flees with her life, changed forever.
A year later and still tortured with guilt, Zoë latches on to a police investigation where the crime eerily resembles her abduction. Along with a zealous detective, she retraces the steps of that fateful night in the desert, hoping that her memory will return and help them find justice for Holli. Her abductor—labeled the “Tally Man” by a fascinated media—lies in wait for Zoë. For him, she is not a survivor but simply the one that got away.
With an unforgettable heroine, a chillingly disturbed psychopath, and a story that moves at breakneck speed, The One That Got Away is thriller writer Simon Wood at his finest.

he One I was by Eliza Graham
2. The One I Was by Eliza Graham. This one for July only is $1.99 or free with Kindle Unlimited. This one sounds great. I'm going to have to buy it while it's still cheap. Amazon link

Restless, troubled Rosamond Hunter has spent most of her life running away from the past, filled with guilt about her involuntary role in her mother’s death. When her nursing job brings her back to Fairfleet, her childhood home, to care for an elderly refugee, she is forced to confront the ghosts that have haunted her for so long.
Her patient, Benny Gault, first came to Fairfleet, England, in 1939, having fled Nazi Germany on a Kindertransport train.
As his health fails, he and Rosamond begin to confide in each other. At first their tentative friendship revolves around the love they both shared for Rosamond’s glamorous grandmother, Harriet, but as their trust in each other grows, guilty secrets are exposed and history is turned on its head.
From the acclaimed author of Playing with the Moon and Restitution comes a beautiful and haunting tale of friendship, redemption and forgiveness across generations.
3. No Ordinary Billionaire (The Sinclairs Book 1) by J.S. Scott. This one is also $1.99 (free with Kindle Unlimited), and it sounds great. It's romantic suspense. What's not to like? Amazon link

Dante Sinclair never cared about his family’s money. All the ultra-sexy billionaire ever wanted was to be a cop; and now that he’s a homicide detective in Los Angeles, he’s a damn good one. But when he is injured and loses his partner in the line of duty, he returns to his vacation home in Amesport, Maine, to recover. With a mouth as dangerous as the streets he protects, Dante knows no one can ever heal or tame him.
Sarah Baxter, a brilliant young doctor still struggling with her stifled upbringing, has recently moved from Chicago to sleepy Amesport to escape her past, hoping to find peace. When Sarah is assigned to Dante’s case, there’s an instant heat between them. They couldn’t possibly be more different, yet their intense passion is impossible to ignore. As burning desires awaken within Sarah, her haunted past returns, threatening her once again. Can Dante overcome his grief and unravel the secrets Sarah is hiding in time to protect and rescue her?

4. Finding Rebecca by Eoin Dempsey. This one sounds absolutely fantastic. This one is also $1.99/free on Kindle Unlimited. It sounds beautiful. Buying this one as well. Amazon Link 

Nothing could keep Christopher and Rebecca apart: not her abusive parents, or even the fiancé she brought home after running away to England. But when World War II finally strikes the island of Jersey, the Nazi invaders ship Rebecca to Europe as part of Hitler's Final Solution against the Jewish population.
After Christopher and his family are deported back to their native Germany, he volunteers for the Nazi SS, desperate to save the woman he loves. He is posted to Auschwitz and finds himself put in control of the money stolen from the victims of the gas chambers. As Christopher searches for Rebecca, he struggles to not only maintain his cover, but also the grip on his soul. Managing the river of tainted money flowing through the horrific world of Auschwitz may give him unexpected opportunities. But will it give him the strength to accept a brave new fate that could change his life--and others' lives--forever?


So I may go buy all of these, but can you pass up books for $1.99? I think not.

Do any look good to you? 

Love, Danica Page 

Review: Remember by Shannon Dermott

Remember
by Shannon Dermott
Young Adult 
Asked to Review
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.03
Published on: January 7, 2015
Pages: 265
Buy on Amazon

Before I get into my review, here's the synopsis from Goodreads:


When sixteen year old Charlize finds herself unmistakably lost in the forest with no memory how she got there, it was easy for her to assume the angel face boy who saves her was there to. But little did she know that couldn’t be further from the truth. 


With a brush of death, she finds new reasons to live after the unexplained death of her father. Her only regret in last three years was letting the one boy she could have loved get away. 

Plunged into a world not of her making, there are those that will hunt her, a foe that calls her Little Queen, and her torn heart. Most of all, she will have to remember and face her memories if she is to survive. 


My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

Disclaimers: I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not obligated to write a good review nor did I receive any compensation for writing this review.

Why did I decide to turn the pages? It was on Netgalley and I liked the cover. 

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: It was an intriguing book. I admit that I had mixed feelings about it.

I wasn't sure what to think going into it, but it was better in some ways than I thought and worse in other ways.

The characters annoyed me slightly, and the writing was a little bit forced at times.

However, the overall plot was intriguing and definitely caught my interest.

I think fans of fantasy might really enjoy this one. 

Major Strengths: Interesting plot.

Major Weaknesses: Characterization wasn't perfect. 

So why 3 stars? Enjoyable, but not without it's flaws. 

Warnings/Side-notes: Fairly clean. 

The Wrap-up: An enjoyable, fun novel. 

Love,

Danica Page

Hidden Treasures: YA/New Adult Kindle Bestsellers on sale in July for $1.99

Hello Fellow Readers,

Don't miss this chance on these great deals on Amazon Bestsellers. There's only three days left. Here are some that I thought would be interesting.

Ones I've read and recommend:


Rusk University
1. All Played Out by Cora Carmack. Lucky ducks! This is only $1.99 for July!!!!! This book is fantastic. It's the third in the series, but it can be read as a stand-alone. Better yet buy this while it's on sale, then go back and buy the rest of the series. Buy this now!

Seriously an awesome read.

First person in her family to go to college? CHECK.
Straight A’s? CHECK.
On track to graduate early? CHECK.
Social life? …..yeah, about that….

With just a few weeks until she graduates, Antonella DeLuca’s beginning to worry that maybe she hasn’t had the full college experience. (Okay... Scratch that. She knows she hasn't had the full college experience). 

So Nell does what a smart, dedicated girl like herself does best. She makes a "to do" list of normal college activities.

Item #1? Hook up with a jock.

Rusk University wide receiver Mateo Torres practically wrote the playbook for normal college living. When he’s not on the field, he excels at partying, girls, and more partying. As long as he keeps things light and easy, it's impossible to get hurt... again. But something about the quiet, shy, sexy-as-hell Nell gets under his skin, and when he learns about her list, he makes it his mission to help her complete it.

Torres is the definition of confident (And sexy. And wild), and he opens up a side of Nell that she's never known. But as they begin to check off each crazy, exciting, normal item, Nell finds that her frivolous list leads to something more serious than she bargained for. And while Torres is used to taking risks on the field, he has to decide if he's willing to take the chance when it's more than just a game. 

Together they will have to decide if what they have is just part of the experiment or a chance at something real.


2. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Roth. Guys! Come on!!! This is $1.99. You have to buy this!!!!! If you haven't read this already, you need to change that. 


Fighting to survive in a ravaged world, a Dweller and a Savage form an unlikely alliance in New York Times bestselling author Veronica Rossi's "unforgettable dystopian masterpiece" (Examiner.com).
Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland—known as The Death Shop—are slim. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He's wild—a savage—and her only hope of staying alive. A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile—everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria's help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption.
In alternating chapters told in Aria's and Perry's voices, Under the Never Sky subtly and powerfully captures the evolving relationship between these characters and sweeps readers away to a harsh but often beautiful world. Continuing with Through the Ever Night and concluding with Into the Still Blue, the Under the Never Sky trilogy has already been embraced by readers in twenty-six countries and been optioned for film by Warner Bros.
3. The Consequences of Loving Colton by Rachel Van Dyken. This one is hilarious. Also only 1.99/free on Kindle Unlimited for the month of July. This one is funny. 17+. It wasn't my favorite, but it's 1.99 so I'd get it for that if you like funny books. Amazon link.


It’s all fun and games…until someone’s heart is broken.
They’re not kids anymore, but Milo Caro is certain that Colton Mathews will only see her as his best friend’s little sister for the rest of their lives. After all, he made that clear the night before she left for college. But four years later, her brother is getting married and Colt’s the best man—and guess who is the best man’s last-minute date?
Milo vows to use the wedding to either claim the smoldering firefighter’s heart or douse this torch for good. When Max—her best friend from college, who may be carrying a torch of his own—crashes the party, they devise a plan to make Colt see what he’s missing. But after Colt catches on, he decides to cook up his own revenge.
Now it’s personal. Colt and Milo are at war, and between Max’s questionable acting methods, an unfortunate trip to jail, and a maniacal fiancée, what could possibly go right?

Ones that People have Recommended to me:



The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting 

Sea of Stars (The Kricket Series Book 2) by Amy A. Bartol

I hope you also found some great new books this month.

Love,

Danica Page 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Review: From Scratch by Rachel Goodman

From Scratch
by Rachel Goodman 
Adult 
Asked to Review
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.11
Published by: Pocket Star  
Published on: July 20,2015 
Pages: 315

Before I get into my review, here's the synopsis from Goodreads:


A down-home, feel-good debut Southern romance, From Scratch explores one woman’s journey back home to Dallas, Texas, where her family is cooking up a plan that doesn’t quite suit her tastes…


Thirty-year-old Lillie Turner grew up with maple syrup stuck to her skin and bacon grease splattered on her clothes, courtesy of working in the family diner. Thank goodness she escaped all that when she moved to Chicago five years ago. Now a successful strategy consultant and newly engaged to a man who complements her like biscuits and gravy, she has everything she wants.



When an urgent phone call about her father’s health pulls Lillie back to Dallas, she soon learns it was a ruse to bring her home so she can run the diner she’d rather avoid and compete in the Upper Crust, an annual baking competition, with no option to withdraw. Lillie is furious and ready to run back to Chicago, but her father’s haggard appearance makes her wonder if he’s hiding something. Things go from bad to worse when Nick, her handsome ex and the only man she ever truly loved, reappears, looking as scrumptious as ever.



Lillie’s trip home forces her to question the path she’s chosen, find her place in the family she abandoned, and wonder if the life she left behind is what she wants after all.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. 

Disclaimers: I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not obligated to write a good review nor did I receive any compensation for writing this review.

Why did I decide to turn the pages? It was on Netgalley and it looked intriguing.

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions:  I didn't really have any expectations going into this book, but I thought I'd give it a try. I ended up really liking it. 

The writing was beautifully written. It was slower paced, but that didn't bug me too much.

I loved getting to know the characters and watching how Goodman formed her story.

The novel was heartwarming and one that I'm glad I read. Definitely recommended for fans of the genre. I'll be keeping tabs on Goodman that's for sure.

So why 4 stars? A beautifully written story. 

The Wrap-up: Powerfully written; writing at its best. 

Love,

Danica Page

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Review: Exposed by Brighton Walsh

Exposed
(Captive,#2)
by Brighton Walsh 
New Adult 
Asked to Review
Average Goodreads Rating: 3.64
Published by: St. Martin's Griffin
Published on: July 21, 2015
Pages: 256

Before I get into my review, here's the synopsis from Goodreads:


In this sexy, suspenseful New Adult novel, a young woman hiding from her criminal past is taken captive by her ex-boyfriend, the ultimate bad boy.


Evie is about to embark on the perfect life. Beautiful, poised, and engaged to a rising business star, she fits the part of trophy wife perfectly, except for one thing: her entire identity is a lie. 

Five years ago she created a new identity for herself, but it all crashes back when something she witnessed years ago comes back to haunt her. Now she's in danger of losing more than her social status. 

Determined to protect the careful life she's built for herself, Evie doesn't want anything to do with Riley, the criminal for hire who broke her heart years ago. But Riley has other ideas. He's never forgotten Evie, and to protect her, he steals her away. Hidden from the world, sparks begin to fly as old memories resurface and their passion reignites.

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars. 

Disclaimers: I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not obligated to write a good review nor did I receive any compensation for writing this review.

Why did I decide to turn the pages? It was recommended by another blogger. :) 

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions:   I will admit to being skeptical about reading this one. I was worried it would turn into Stockholm Syndrome and just not be appealing. I thought so many false things about this book.

Instead, what I got was an intense, sexy read. I thought that the first half of this novel was super intense and super intriguing. I kept wondering what would happen next. 

I enjoyed the characters and the plot was intriguing. The characters were well written and developed. I thought the characters could have been developed more, however. At times, they seemed a little flat.

I really enjoyed the story and definitely want to go back and read the first one in the series. 

I thought that the last half didn't quite meet my expectations. I expected a different way of arriving at the ending, but it was still good.  

Major Strengths: Intriguing and different.

Major Weaknesses: Ending didn't match intensity of first half. 

So why 3.5 stars? It was enjoyable, fun, and a fast read. 

Can I read the series out of order? Yes, I did. Characters from the first one are referenced in this novel, but it reads like a stand alone. 

Warnings/Side-notes: Violence. Several instances of strong language. Sexual references that are not overtly detailed, but detailed enough to make this 17+. 

The Wrap-up: A fun, fast paced novel. 

Love,

Danica Page

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Help Needed: Everyday heroes

Fellow Page Turners, 

Hello I'm working on a new project "Everyday people. Extraordinary courage."

This project seeks to share ordinary people who have done extraordinary things. Examples include people who have overcome theatre shootings, people who have done humanitarian work, people who seek to help others, and just people who have done amazing things.

This project works in two ways:

One- people choose to share their story using their actual name and photo which is then posted on a blog.

Two- people choose to share their story anonymously.

This is a new project, so the website isn't up and running yet. However, I need all the help I can get with this.

If you have a story you'd like to share or know somebody who has an interesting story, please email me at depthsofcourage(at)gmail(dot)com.

Thanks for all of your help and support.

Love,

Danica Page 




Guest Post: Why I wrote my first novel by Izabela Monick

Fellow Page Turners,

Today I'm pleased to welcome Izabela Monick to the site. 


Izabela Monick is the author of a suspenseful romance novel, Evitable Destiny, a complex mix of love, hate, trust, betrayal, and steamy sexual encounters. Izabela has loved writing long essays and making up stories since she was young. She used to think of new endings to her favorite books during school hours, often displeasing her teachers because of this constant daydreaming. She continued devising new ways to change plots of books she’s read into adulthood. One day, while sitting in a business meeting, she got lost in her thoughts and was brought back to reality with a demand for an answer to a question she didn’t hear. It was then that she decided to write a book with her very own ending and get the voices out of her head. The reality is that once the old voices come out, new ones come in, and stories never end. Now Izabela delights in shocking her readers with unexpected twists and turns, while keeping her plots brimming with heated passion until the final page. 

Please join in welcoming me in Izabela Monick to the site. You can check out my review of her book here. 


Why Did I Write My First Book, Evitable Destiny?

I thought I knew the answer to this question before I started this project, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. I thought that I wanted to prove to myself and the entire world that I could do it, but that wasn’t it. 

Deep inside I always knew I was a writer. It was just a matter of time and the right circumstances for the voices to come out of my head. The time came after I’d read so many books with plots I desperately wanted to change that I couldn’t hold the frustration anymore, and Amazon created the right circumstances by enabling indie authors to publish their books.

Once I’d made my decision and started to research the topic of how to write a novel, I found a lot of valuable advice from other authors that helped me understand why I was doing it. For most people it may be a simple question, but for me it was one of the most difficult ones, and I couldn’t really get the plot and the characters to work until I answered it. Here is some of the advice that I found and how it applied to me:

 "Money shouldn’t be the leading reason to write a novel.” 

This was never an issue. I knew it would be hard for a new author to shine in this competitive market. Money was not why I did it.

“Write something you would want to read. If you don’t like what you wrote, you can’t expect other people to like it.” 

This gave me a good start. I wrote a big chunk of my novel with Chris so evil that my skin crawled when I was editing it. Then I found the next advice:

“If you write something that only you would read, you may want to think about it twice before committing a tremendous amount of time to it.”  

After I’d read some bad reviews for romance novels, I changed my devilish male character into a likable man.

“Don’t wait for inspiration and don’t procrastinate; set yourself a daily goal of how much you’re going to write.” 

This concept did not work for me at all. I don’t know how people can say “I’m going to write 2,000 words each day,” and then actually do it. I can’t do anything without inspiration. When it comes, I write through the night without knowing when the morning comes. When it leaves, I find myself editing one sentence for a week and still not getting it right.

So why did I write my novel? 

I wrote it for myself, to have my own story with my own ending, and to let my inspiration take the physical form of a book—as I was writing it, I couldn’t wait to hold the paperback in my hand. I lived through every scene, and then again multiple times more while editing it. But I wouldn’t feel like an author if I were the only reader, so I did my best to please my readers—giving them what they’d asked for in reviews of other romance novels and eliminating what they hated. I hope I did a good job and that you’ll enjoy my book.

Izabela Monick

Review: Evitable Destiny by Izabela Monick

Evitable Destiny
by Izabela Monick
New Adult 
Asked to Review
Published on: July 12, 2015
Pages: 239

Before I get into my review, you can check out her guest post here if you're interested. And now here's the synopsis from Goodreads:

Since Chris's mother died when he was sixteen years old, he has lived for only one goal: seeking revenge on his mother’s ex-lover, Kevin. Determined not to repeat his mother’s mistake, Chris vows never to fall into love’s seductive, deceptive clutches.

With Kevin’s business teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, Chris senses his chance. He kidnaps Kevin’s stepdaughter, Julia, and sets a ransom—if Kevin cancels a company-saving business deal, then Julia will be returned. The scheme seems perfect—until Chris’s long-suppressed feelings for Julia bubble to the surface. Julia, meanwhile, proves a resilient captive with a knack for pushing Chris’s buttons, even as her own feelings for her kidnapper become increasingly conflicted.

As the passion between Chris and Julia heats up, other forces come into play. Chris isn’t the only one who wants Julia, nor is he the only one willing to abduct her to satisfy his needs. Julia’s life—and perhaps Chris’s only chance at love—are in danger. Will Chris fight for his happily ever after—or will he let destiny take its own path?

A steamy tale of revenge, passion, and forgiveness, Evitable Destiny is author Izabela Monick’s powerful debut novel.
 


My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. 

Disclaimers: I received a copy of this novel from the author/publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not obligated to write a good review nor did I receive any compensation for writing this review.

Why did I decide to turn the pages? When I was asked to review it, I didn't feel like saying no. I get a lot of review requests and unfortunately have to decline most of them. So when I can accept one, I try to do so. 

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: So I don't know where to begin with this book. This book had a lot going on, and I mean a lot going on. 

Basically, going into this novel, I was hesitant. The whole Stockholm Syndrome is always iffy for me. It just seems unhealthy and depressing. I had my doubts. In some cases, Monick did a great job of eradicating those doubts. In others, they came back full force.

I did enjoy the novel as a whole. However, in order to do this book justice, I feel like I need to explore the aspects that I liked and disliked in more detail than I normally do. 

Liked: The complex plot and all the themes that Monick weaved in. 

Disliked: The dialog seemed a little forced to me and was hard to get through.

Liked: The book captured my attention and kept it til the last page. 

Disliked: While I liked that this book had a lot going on, sometimes it seemed like too much was going on.

As for the characters and general story, I can't put them in a neat dislike/like category. I really disliked Chris in the beginning. He seemed like a complete jerk and he treated Julia like crap. Basically, without giving anything away, Julia was like a caged bird or a toy that he just wanted to control and do whatever he wanted with. He really didn't care for Julia or her feelings and emotions. It was all just one sick game to him. Not appealing to me at all.

Furthermore, I would have liked to see more of a change in Chris throughout the novel. He seemed pretty static. However, by the end, I didn't dislike him as much. The author tried to make him a redeemable, likable character, but she needed to do a lot more to redeem him in my eyes. 

Julia- I thought she was an interesting character to read about. I couldn't always make sense of her actions or behavior, but she intrigued me. I wished she would have had more depth and been more dynamic, but she was well-written. I hated a lot of her choices and decisions, but I enjoyed her character on the whole. 

Overall plot: There was a lot going on. It made for an intriguing book, but I thought the ending was a little rushed. The pacing was slightly off in some parts (too quick in some places, too slow in others.)

However, having said all of this, I did enjoy the novel. It'd intriguing and entertaining. Just know going into this, that it is definitely very Stockholm Syndrome-ish, dramatic, and intense. If you don't like characters that aren't pretty close to being perfect morally this isn't for you. 

Major Strengths: Intriguing, compelling storyline.

Major Weaknesses: Characterization of the interactions between Chris and Julia. 

So why 3 stars? I did really enjoy it, but there were some things I really didn't like. 

Warnings/Side-notes: No instances of strong language. Some references to drinking and mention of sex. Not detailed, but more detailed than most YA. 17+.

The Wrap-up: Monick's debut was compelling and interesting. I'd be interested in seeing what she does next. 

Love,

Danica Page

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