Friday, June 22, 2012

Guest post: Q& A with Gary Slaughter

Hello Readers,

Today I'm pleased to have Gary Slaughter back on the blog. Earlier this week, I posted a review of his novel Cottonwood '45. That review can be found here.

Gary is the author of the Cottonwood series and has published five fictional books within this series. I have only read this last one; however, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

Gary has graciously agreed to answer some few questions for me.

Why did you want to write about World War II?

Aspiring novelists are always advised to write about what they know. When I was growing up on the World War II home front, everyone talked about the War. We read about it in our newspapers. We watched it at the movies. We heard about it on the radio, from the pulpit, at school, and around our kitchen tables. Since that time, I have been fascinated with everything associated with the War. For that reason, I chose the World War II home front as the setting for my Cottonwood novels.

What do you hope readers take away from your novel?

Cottonwood Summer ’45 is my fifth Cottonwood novel. Initially I hoped that readers would learn what it was like growing up in America during the 1940s as compared to today. My view of that period is colored by a profound feeling of longing and nostalgia for that simpler, gentler time. Because of the War, this was also a period when the vast majority of Americans didn’t feel the need to apologize for being super-patriotic. Because the stories I tell are replete with mystery and humor, Cottonwood fans enjoy being thoroughly entertained while learning the history of this era.

What was the hardest aspect about writing this novel?

The most difficulty aspect of writing this fifth Cottonwood novel was creating truly original and unique storylines to satisfy and entertain fans who have read my preceding four novels. The first four novels were set in Riverton, Michigan. In this novel, Danny and Jase, the main characters of the Cottonwood series, travel to Nashville where they spend ten days observing the attractions of that city in 1945. This novel required considerable research to ensure the accuracy of my descriptions.

What was the most rewarding aspect to writing this book?

Like the other four novels, the enthusiastic and positive feedback from reviewers and readers has made the incredible investment of time and energy of both my wife (who is my editor, researcher, and event coordinator) and me all worthwhile. 

Why did you choose to write about eleven-year-olds?

Danny and Jase are my favorite kind of characters. They are precocious, uncommonly wise, and funny. Moreover they possess an uncanny knack for exposing pompous and pretentious adults. And they have devoted their lives to protecting and defending their neighborhood, their hometown, and their country from the bad guys. Reviewers have called them, “This generation’s Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn.”What more could you ask of two eleven-years-old boys?

Why did you choose to include such quirky characters?

Again, I wrote about what I knew. During the 1940s, my old neighborhood was filled with unusual characters. First it was melting pot of nationalities. You could walk down the street and hear a dozen different languages spoken. We had a mission church where a motley collection of transient hoboes assembled each night to sleep off the effects of the cheap wine sold at our neighborhood grocery store. We even had permanent “neighborhood bums” whom we nurtured and protected because we loved them.  And of course there were the ever-present, German prisoners of war who worked at the canning factory right in our neighborhood.

What’s one thing you want readers to know about your book?

This book is a timeless tale to be enjoyed and shared by readers of all ages.

What’s one thing readers should know about you?

Even though my list of professional publications spanned four, single-spaced pages, I had never written fiction before my first Cottonwood novel. The dozen years of my fiction-written career have been the most enjoyable and rewarding years of my life.  

Is there anything else you would like to add?

As Danny often declared, “All’s swell that ends swell.”

Thanks and I definitely agree a comparison to Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn is definitely not out of order.

I hope you've enjoyed Gary's post as much as I did and thanks once again for answering my questions, Gary.


Danica Page

Book Tour/Book Review: Cottonwood Summer '45 by Gary Slaughter

Hello Readers,

Today I'm pleased to be part of the Cottonwood Summer '45 blog tour. I'm going to be including my review today and then later on I will include a guest post from the author. So be sure to check back later for that post. 

Cottonwood Summer '45
by Gary Slaughter
Received for Review
Release Date: June 1, 2012
Average Goodreads Rating: 4 stars
Pages: 400

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

When the army builds a German prisoner of war camp on the outskirts of a small Michigan town, citizens are outraged. Adding to the angst, two women assist a pair of POWs to escape -- and are tried for treason. History, fiction, and humor blend into a heart-warming story of life on the 1944 home front.

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars. 

Disclaimers: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. 

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: I honestly did not expect to enjoy this novel as much as I did. 

This book was hilarious, informative, entertaining, educational, and masterfully written. Slaughter created a novel that made for an incredible read. 

This novel is the fifth one in the series. I have not read the first four, but I didn't feel lost. Like several reviewers have pointed out, this novel does move slowly at times. However, I never felt bored or lost. I for one was always entertained.

The author did choose to include pages of non-fiction facts; however, I found those interesting...and if readers really wanted to they could skip those and still follow and enjoy the story.

The story focuses on eleven year olds Danny and Jase and their adventures on the outskirts of a small Michigan town next to a German POW camp. The novel follows their adventures as they outwit escaped German POWs and help local law enforcement solve crimes. I loved these spunky, quirky characters who always left me amused. 

While some might contend that  the events in this book might be slightly far-fetched at times, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and personally I didn't mind the possible stretches in the plot. In fact, I rather enjoyed watching Danny and Jase's outwit the "bad guys."

This book was entertaining and informative. It's one that I definitely recommend to fans of historical fiction, especially fans of World War II. 

In Summary: An informative and entertaining read that I thoroughly enjoyed.

The Wrap-up: This book is long and I honestly didn't expect to enjoy it nearly as much as I did. Cottonwood was a delightful read that had me laughing out loud and amused. The characters Jase and Daniel were fun to follow.


Danica Page

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Book Tour/Review: Writings from the Heart by Beth Ann Masarik

Hello Readers, 

Today I'm pleased to be part of the book tour for Writings from the Heart. I'm including my review of the novel and then a guest post from Beth Ann Masarik. 

Writings from the Heart: Stories and Poetry From Around the World
Received for Review
edited by Beth Ann Masarik
Release Date: June 6,2012
Anthology of Poems/Short Stories

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. 

Disclaimers: I received this book for review from the author. 

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: I don't normally read short stories and poems unless they are for an English class and are poems by Shakespeare, Frost, or Wordsworth, etc. So it was fun reading poems that I wasn't going to be quizzed on. 

These short stories and poems were heart-warming, heart-wrenching, encouraging, discouraging, tragic, and funny...I think you get the picture. This collection dealt with raw emotions in every capacity in a way that was compelling and intriguing. I thoroughly enjoyed this anthology.

This anthology touches upon several different topics from Christmas to blind dates to witches to more serious and emotional topics. This anthology has a story and a poem that any reader would enjoy reading.

Furthermore, this book is for a good cause. The proceeds of this book will go to the Adult Congenital Heart Program at Cohen Children's Medical Center for research and education to advance knowledge and treatment for this disease. 

If nothing else get this book simply because it is for a good cause. 

In Summary: An enjoyable collection that has something for everybody. 

The Wrap-up: When Beth invited me to be part of this blog tour, I was thrilled to be involved but didn't have a clue what the anthology would be like. I will admit that I was surprised by how much I enjoyed reading this. If you enjoy poems or short stories, then you will like this collection.

Even if you don't, I think there are things within this collection that will appeal to you. Tomorrow Cassie from Gathering Leaves will be participating in this tour so be sure to stop by. 

And now for a guest post by Beth Ann Masarik.

Thank you for having me on the blog today, Danica!  Hello everyone! My name is Beth Ann Masarik, and I am here to tell you about an anthology that I coordinated for charity.  All proceeds will go to the pediatric cardiology unit at the Cohen Children’s Medical Center of NY, which is a part of the NSUH/LIJ health system.  The anthology is called Writings From the Heart: Stories and Poetry From Around the World.  It can be purchased through all major sales channels like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.  It can be purchased in both paperback for $13.00 and ebook for $4.99.  The anthology is composed of poetry and short stories from 30 different authors from all around the world.

Today I would like to highlight some of those authors, and introduce you to them.

Jamie Danzer

Bio: Writing poems and stories is my passion.  In my spare time, I make jewelry (necklaces, chain mail, etc.).  To find out more about the jewelry I make, you can visit the website at

Reason for Participation:When I found out that you were doing the anthology I thought it would be a great opportunity to get a piece of my work out there but more importantly it wasn't just about putting my name out there; it was about the cause you said it went for. I loved the idea that you were doing something like that to help others. I had decided that I wanted to be a part of that. Writing is fun for me; and sometimes reading what other people write like poetry and stuff like that can be inspiring to me as well. I only hope someone else reads the anthology and is inspired the way we all were to write something for it.”


Cat Dixon

Bio: Cat Dixon teaches creative writing at the University of Nebraska, Omaha. She is the Marketing Director of the poetry publishing company, The Backwaters Press. Her work has appeared in Sugar House Review, Coe Review, Eclectica among others and recently her poems were chosen for a forthcoming Lit Undressed Exhibit, part of the Downtown Lit Fest held annually in Omaha. In 2006 she started a monthly readings series called The Midwest Best and she organized and ran a poetry workshop at Girls Inc., an after school program for adolescent women.

Reason for participation: ‘‘I heard about this anthology on Duotrope and wanted to submit because a children’s hospital here in Omaha, Nebraska has importance to me. My daughter received physical therapy there for six months.”
For more information about the anthology, you can visit my blog and click under the category “Charity.”  You can also find more information about Writings From the Heart on my Goodreads page here

Thanks for  stopping by Beth and for featuring some of the writers from the anthology. 


Danica Page

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Two Giveaways: A free book plus One $15 gift prizes from the Book Depository

Hello Readers,

I've decided I'm going to host a giveaway because:

1. I survived Spring finals. 

2. I got an exciting new internship at a book publishing house as a digital editor.

3. I started a new blog (which I haven't been able to really kick off yet, but am going to post every day in at least three times a week from now on). 

4. Because I haven't done a large interview in a long time. 

And 5. Because I got two copies of a book and need to give one a way. 

So I'm hosting two separate giveaways. The first one can be found by clicking here. 

The second giveaway is a US only giveaway. I'm giving away a paperback copy of Deborah Raney's After All. This book is the last in the series, but can be read as a stand alone. I hadn't read the previous in the series and still loved this one. My review can be found here. This is a Christian Romantic Suspense novel. It's really good. Be sure to check it out. 

~Danica Page

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Two Giveaways: One $15 gift prizes from the Book Depository plus a book.

Hello Readers,

I've decided I'm going to host a giveaway because:

1. I survived Spring finals. 

2. I got an exciting new internship at a book publishing house as a digital editor.

3. I started a new blog (which I haven't been able to really kick off yet, but am going to post every day in at least three times a week from now on). 

4. Because I haven't done a large interview in a long time. 

And 5. Because I got two copies of a book and need to give one a way. 

So I'm hosting two separate giveaways. The second one can be found by clicking here. 

The first giveaway is an international giveaway and the prize is any book under $15 from the Book Depository.  Good luck everybody!

~Danica Page

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cover Reveal: Reinventing Claire by Darian Wilk

Hello Readers,

Today I'm thrilled to have Darian Wilk back on the blog. I reviewed her novel Love Unfinished in February of this year and thoroughly enjoyed her novel. My review can be found here. 

So naturally, when Darian asked me if I would be willing to help her out with a cover reveal, I jumped at the chance. 

Reinventing Claire is Darian Wilk's sophomore novel which I for one am definitely looking forward to reading. Darian's first novel was heartwarming, touching, and beautifully written. 

Before I get into the synopsis and reveal the cover, I'd like to share some information about Darian.

Darian Wilk was born in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, the youngest of two children. WhileVa toddler, her family moved back to their home state of Michigan, where she still lives today.VShe was the quiet, constant shadow to her older brother, her childhood hero, and still clings to their friendship now.  

After high school Darian tried her hand at college, majoring in Nursing while working as a Physical Therapy Technician. "I loved my job, but I still couldn't picture doing it forever," she says now. But before she even finished her degree she became pregnant, and focused her attention on the challenges of being a single mother to her daughter.

In 2005, Darian married her best friend, Steve, whom she met and became close friends with before she had her daughter. In their second year of marriage, Darian became pregnant with her son. She worked on and off throughout her twenties as a Home Health Aid to the elderly, but preferred to stay home and raise her babies.  In 2007, her mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and Darian quit working to tend to her mom. It was in those three years of taking care of her that Darian realized how precious life really is. And in her moms last year of life, she finally had the courage to pursue what her heart had always secretly longed for; becoming a writer. It was then that she started her
debut novel, Love Unfinished, and continues her journey today.

Darian writes women's and mainstream fiction, as well as paranormal romance.

Darian can be reached through her website, her twitter account, and her facebook. Also learn more about Reinventing Claire by checking out her book trailer and by  going to Goodreads

And now it's time to reveal the cover and the synopsis. 

Claire has no choice but to take on the title of Divorced Woman, and face the question she has no idea how to answer. Who is Claire without Charlie? Her family believes her newly divorced woes can be cured by jumping back into the dating scene – and landing herself a boyfriend. With her dating dunce cap in hand, Claire stumbles her way through the foreign territory of online dating.

A teacher from hell, a stalker, and a softball coach later, Claire proclaims herself the dating idiot she thought she was, and fears she's doomed to be a lonely, crazy cat lady. But an accidental run-in with an old acquaintance might change everything. What starts by comparing dating battle wounds over a cup of coffee, quickly turns into something Claire thought she had given up on.

As Claire discovers maybe there is love after Charlie after all, Charlie realizes his mistake. He wants her back, and he'll do anything to prove it to her. Now Claire must choose who deserves her heart, and if she's really willing to give it away again.

My Thoughts:

First off, I love the cover. It's bright and definitely catches my attention. And the synopsis..."WOW!" That's all I have to say. It looks incredible. This definitely  seems like a novel I'd love reading. And I know for a fact, that Darian is a great writer and creates beautifully realistic writers, so yeah I'm dying to read this one.

Trust me, put this one on your to-read list. You won't regret it.

Hope you enjoyed the cover reveal!

~Danica Page

Waiting on Wednesday (19) and W.W.W. Wednesday (17)

~Waiting On Wednesday (19)~

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 bee released yet, but one that you are dying to read. 

This is my seventeenth time participating in this meme.This week I have chosen two young adult novels.

The first one is Secret Letters by Leah Scheier. I've had my eye on this one for months. First off it has a Sherlock Holmes connection. That automatically puts this on my radar. It looks intriguing and I want to read it.

Here's the synopsis from Goodreads: 

Inquisitive and observant, Dora dreams of escaping her aristocratic country life to solve mysteries alongside Sherlock Holmes. So when she learns that the legendary detective might be her biological father, Dora jumps on the opportunity to travel to London and enlist his help in solving the mystery of her cousin's ransomed love letters. But Dora arrives in London to devastating news: Sherlock Holmes is dead. Her dreams dashed, Dora is left to rely on her wits--and the assistance of an attractive yet enigmatic young detective--to save her cousin's reputation and help rescue a kidnapped heiress along the way. 

Steeped in Victorian atmosphere and intrigue, this gripping novel heralds the arrival of a fresh new voice in young adult literature. 

The second one is Vestige by Deb Hanrahan. I read Changing My Wardrobe by her and loved it so naturally I'm excited to see what this next one is like. The synopsis sounds intriguing and she is a great writer. 

Here's the synopsis from Goodreads:

Civil Authorities have issued a Civil Danger Notification Until Further Notice.

The following message is being transmitted by the request of The United States Government. An unknown number of citizens have gone missing. Authorities are trying to locate the missing persons. Residents are asked to stay in their homes. If you must go out, do not travel alone and carry proper identification.

Please do not call 911 to report missing persons. Emergency Call Centers and local law enforcement agencies are no longer fully staffed. The United States Military has been dispatched to assist local authorities.

This notification applies to all receiving this broadcast. Please stand by for further instructions.

A Supernatural Horror story.

And those are the books that I'm dying to read. But enough about me, what book did you guys pick? Please leave your link in the comments section. I love hearing from you guys.

~W.W.W. Wednesday (17)~

W.W.W. Wednesday is another weekly meme. This one is hosted by Miz B of Should Be Reading. To play along just answer three simple questions: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? And what do you think you'll read next?

This is my seventeenth week participating in this meme. I forgot to do this last week, so there are a lot of novels in the what I just read pile.

What am I currently reading?  

I'm currently reading Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle. I was torn about whether or not I wanted to read this one. But I decided I'd give it a shot. It sounds intriguing after all. 

I'm also reading Writing from the Heart by Beth Ann Masarik. I'll be reviewing this one on Thursday. I received this one for review from the author and am really looking forward to reading this one. It's a collections of poems and short stories and is designed to help patients of heart surgery. 

What did I recently finish reading?

I recently finished reading Cottonwood Summer '45 by Gary Slaughtner, First Visions by Heather Topham Wood, Flirting in Italian by Lauren Henderson, One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt, and The Little Woods by McCormick Templeman. If it's bolded that means I have reviewed it on the blog. The rest I'll be putting on her soon.  

What do I think I'll read next?

Next I will read: Under the Bridge by Michael Harmon and The Opposite of Hallelujah Anna Jarzab. Both of these sound really interesting. The first one sounds a little punk-ish and the second one sounds plain creepy. These are both different than what I usually read, but I want to give these two a shot. 

That's all for me. What about you guys? What are you reading? Please leave your link in the comments. I love hearing from you.

Danica Page

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Blog Tour/Book Review/Giveaway: First Visions by Heather Topham Wood

Hello Readers,

Today I'm pleased to be part of the Heather Topham Wood tour for the novel First Visions. Today I'll be including a review of her novel and hosting a giveaway. 

Before I get into the review, here's some information about the author:

Heather Topham Wood graduated from the College of New Jersey in 2005 and holds a bachelor’s degree in English. Working full-time as a freelance writer for publications such as USA Today,, Outlook by the Bay and Step in Style magazine, she writes fiction novels in her spare time. She resides in Trenton, New Jersey with her husband and two sons. First Visions is the first novel in the Second Sight Series. Follow Heather on twitter and her blog to keep posted on her upcoming works.

And now let's get into the synopsis of First Visions which is the first in Wood's Second Sight series and was published on May 1,2012. 

And now here's the synopsis: 

Two years ago, 21-year-old Kate Edwards became deathly ill and slipped into a coma. While unconscious, she crept into the mind of a missing boy and awoke with the knowledge of his location. Friends and family were skeptical and wary of her new ability to see into the minds of others. Their fears prompted Kate to keep her psychic powers a secret. Feeling alienated, she dropped out of college and spent most of her days holed up at her mother’s home.

Now another child has been abducted. Police detective Jared Corbett seeks out Kate for her help in solving the case. Reluctantly, Kate agrees and they must work together to bring 8-year-old Cori Preston home to her family. Although attracted to one another, Jared has a girlfriend with ties to the abduction case and Kate is sarcastic and guarded since her coma. With visions she can’t control and an uncontrollable attraction to the detective, she wonders if she can leave the past behind and finally stop hiding from the world. Otherwise, Cori may be lost forever.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. 

Disclaimer: I received this for review as part of the Reading Addiction Blog Tour. See disclaimer at bottom of this post for more information. 

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: I went into this novel not necessarily knowing what to expect. I love romantic suspense and have read a few novels along this vain (Meg Cabot's series and Lisa McMann's series) and enjoyed them so I thought I'd give this a chance.

I actually really enjoyed this novel. The plot line drew me in from the beginning and I was immediately hooked. And I loved the characters. Kate had a kick-butt attitude. She was snarky and even came across bitter at times, but underneath that exterior she was kind and really interesting to read about.

Then there was Jared, who was definitely crush worthy. Watching the chemistry between them proved very intriguing and compelling. There was definitely a sexual tension between the two of them, but Wood did not cross the line. Her novel wasn't squeaky clean, but it definitely wasn't explicit. 

Wood's novel left me engaged in the story and I quickly read through the tale. First Visions is a great start to a new series that I think people will quickly fall in love with.

I've always loved romantic suspense and this novel definitely was well done. The suspense and the romance were nicely combined and I for one would be interested in seeing how Kate's physic abilities and solving crimes go together. And of course, watching how the romance build between Kate and Jared. 

In Summary: Overall, this novel was thoroughly compelling and well worth reading. It kept me captivated and I loved the characters. Definitely one I'd be interested in continuing reading. 

Warnings/Side-notes: Like I've mentioned, there is a sexual undertone to this novel. It wasn't crude or lewd, but it was definitely there. Also, there was some instances of strong language. Not too often, but it was definitely prevalent. 

The Wrap-up: A novel that I really loved reading. It was a great read. Wood's writing for the most part was fairly solid. The first few pages and the last few pages read a little stilted, but other than that I loved it. Great read. 

And now for the giveaway! Good luck!


Danica Page

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising* 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Blog Tour/Cover Reveal: Gone at Zero Hundred 00:00 by C.R. Hiatt

Hello everybody,

Today I'm pleased to be a part of the Gone at Zero Hundred 00:00 by C.R. Hiatt cover reveal that was set up by Rachel Marks. A few weeks earlier I was involved with a blog tour featuring a review for this novel and I absolutely enjoyed reading it. My review can be found here

Today, I'm excited to get to talk about the cover and share an extended synopsis that differs from my last post.

But first let me tell you a little about the book and the author. C.R. Hiatt's novel Gone at Zero Hundred is a Young Adult Action-Thriller centered on two eighteen year old Private Investigators that came out on March 30, 2012. can be reached at her website, at her blog, through her author Facebook page, through her book facebook page, or through her twitter account.

Like I mentioned earlier, I've read this one and quite enjoyed it, but now for the good stuff. It's time to share the extended synopsis and the amazing cover for this book!

Here's the extended synopsis and the cover (which I'll talk about in a minute): 
Sydney Marie McSwain and her pal, Cody Beck, team up to take on a secret club called The Devil’s Door where members are branded with the tattoo of a devil and call themselves The Privileged Ones. 
Sydney Marie McSwain – a tomboy who yearned for a father.
Cody Beck – a wannabe filmmaker, wisenheimer and flirt.
Jaden White – the star who led the high school hockey team to two championships, and was now on the A-list for NHL scouts. 
Sydney Marie McSwain loves her mom, Anna – a private investigator in the coastal city where they live – but they had a major issue between them. Anna refused to give Sydney the identity of her father. On the day of her high school graduation, they were battling it out, once again. An hour later, Sydney, Cody and Jaden were at the local cafĂ©, and watched as Anna was gunned down, and it was broadcasted on live TV. 
Faced with immediate responsibility, Sydney and Cody agreed to take over the agency, only they changed the name to McSwain & Beck. At the same time, Sydney convinced Sutter Beach Detective, Ace Carter, to help her track down her father. 
Out of the blue, a model walked in and hired them to follow her step-brother. While Cody was busy editing a trailer to solicit new clients, Sydney settled into her lemon-yelow pickup to do surveillance, and wound up staking out a secret club called The Devil’s Door whose suspicious members wore the tattoo of a devil. 
That same night, Sydney received a call from one of her mom’s former clients, only the client was gunned down at the location where they agreed to meet. The mysterious discovery of a DVD revealed the possibility that teenagers were being abducted, only nobody reported them missing.
On the hunt for the victims, McSwain & Beck were chased by men in ski masks, nearly gunned down by members of a cartel called the outlaws, Sydney’s precious pickup was broken into; then the step-brother they were hired to follow, was found dead and Sydney was the number one suspect.
If things weren’t bad enough already, they had to figure out how to crash a red-carpet Mardi Gras bash being held on a private cruise ship, before it sailed off into the sunset, where they just might meet the devil, himself. 
Now, the clock was ticking… 
And time was running out… 
How was she ever going to find her father, now?
“Their lives were in the hands of two 18 year-olds…"
That synopsis left me so intrigued when I first read it. The idea of Privileged Ones and eighteen years olds as the heroes drew me in when I first read this blurb and I knew I needed to read this one. Eighteen year old detectives? I've had a thing for detectives/spies/Private Investigators/etc. ever since I was little and watched Harriet the Spy. And so naturally, this one instantly was on my radar. 

And now for the cover, I for one think that this cover is very well done. I mean check out the zipline on the top with the lady in the shadows. Doesn't that draw you in? I know when I first saw this cover that caught my attention. Then I noticed how bright and vibrant the cover was and yeah that was when I decided I had to read this one. The cover is amazing. CR Hiatt did a great job at using a cover that was sure to draw readers in.

The cover didn't lie this book is really good and the characters are fantastic. Check out this book on Goodreads for more information. Right now it's average rating is 4.37 also on CR's blog she is currently writing about dynamic sleuth pairs in tv which is actually really interesting. Be sure to check it out on her blog

Well I hope you've enjoyed reading my thoughts on the cover, the book, and the synopsis. Be sure to check this one out. Most people I've talked to have loved this one and I thoroughly enjoyed it. 

Have a great day! And since I'm writing this at five thirty in the morning I really hope this makes sense.

~Danica Page

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Book Review: Flirting in Italian by Lauren Henderson

Flirting Italian
by Lauren Henderson
Received for Review from publisher
Young Adult Fiction
Average Goodreads Rating: 3.56
Release Date: June 12,2012
Pages: 336

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

Four girls. One magical, and possibly dangerous Italian summer. Family mysteries, ancient castles, long hot nights of dancing under the stars . . . and, of course, plenty of gorgeous Italian boys!

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. 

Disclaimers: I received an e-galley of this novel for review from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. 

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: In one sentence: A great start to the novel, but one that left me slightly disappointed.

I fell in love with this novel the second I read the title and looked at the cover. Despite the fact that you can't judge a book by it's cover, I often do and usually that doesn't lead me astray.

If you know me, you know I love Italy--and all things Italy--so I went into this novel with high expectations. This novel started out incredibly, but the ending left me disappointed.

Because I feel like the summary doesn't adequately express what this book is about, I'm going to write a quick summary. The novel starts with Violet staring at a painting from a few hundred years ago featuring a female who looks exactly like her. This leaves her mystified and she sets off to Italy to see if she can figure out her connection to the unnamed woman in the painting. 

While there, she attends a type of finishing boarding school ran by an Italian woman named Catia. Her mom isn't thrilled with the idea, but grudgingly decides to let her go. She is joined by a fellow Brit, Kendra, and two American girls, Paige and Kendra. Violet thinks it's going to be the Brits against the Americans until they meet Elisa, Catia's snotty daughter, and the Brits and Americans form a tentative friendship. But who will end up on top? And more importantly who will walk away with the best crush of the summer?

I loved the premise of the novel. The writing was great and the plot line sucked me in. But just when I felt like the novel was building to something amazing...the story ended. Yes, there's going to be a sequel and I'm sure much will be resolved in that novel. But I wanted more to this novel. I spend so much time (270 pages) getting to this incredible moment and then the story ended without any resolution.

Don't get me wrong, the novel was great hence the three stars. I enjoyed every minute of this book, but I would have liked more resolution. I feel like none of the questions I came into the novel with were answered and I left with more answers. Sometimes this is a good thing, but in this case, I don't think it was.

Also, while the characters were well-crafted, I had a little bit of a hard time connecting with them. However, they were interesting and I enjoyed reading about them.  

However, I'd like to mention that this book was a cute, fun read that I enjoyed. I'll probably read the sequel and I bet I'll enjoy it.   

In Summary: A interesting novel that I loved reading. The writing was solid, the characters were intriguing, but the ending was disappointing. 

Warnings/Side-notes: This book had some definite sexual references and undertones. This book also said the f word multiple times. It was used sparingly, but there were maybe 8-10 occurrences of this word. Maybe a little bit more, I didn't actually count. 

The Wrap-up: A novel that looked really promising and for the most part was really enjoyable. However, I was dissatisfied with the ending. I felt like there should have been more resolution. I did enjoy this novel though and definitely am curious to see what happens in the sequel.  


Danica Page

Book Review: One for the Murphys By Lynda Mullaly Hunt

One for the Murphys
by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Received for Review
Young Adult Fiction
Release Date: May 10,2012
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.5
Pages: 224

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

A moving debut novel about a foster child learning to open her heart to a family's love.

Carley uses humor and street smarts to keep her emotional walls high and thick. But the day she becomes a foster child, and moves in with the Murphys, she's blindsided. This loving, bustling family shows Carley the stable family life she never thought existed, and she feels like an alien in their cookie-cutter-perfect household. Despite her resistance, the Murphys eventually show her what it feels like to belong--until her mother wants her back and Carley has to decide where and how to live. She's not really a Murphy, but the gifts they've given her have opened up a new future.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. 

Disclaimers: I received this book for review as part of the Debut Author Challenge Blog Tour in exchange for my honest review. Thanks Tara and Lisa. 

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: In one sentence: A poignant read that drew me in from the start. This book was nothing like I thought it would be and yet it was ten times better. I've always loved this genre and even thought it was about a younger girl, I found myself falling in love with the story. 

Hunt's debut novel definitely is one of the best realistic contemporary fiction novels I've read this year. Hunt created an all-star cast from even the most minor character to the main character Carley. I found myself thoroughly entertained by all of the characters and loved nearly all of them. 

Carley was a character that I really liked. She's been in an abusive situation and yet she is still so caring and such a good person. Naturally, she's got her "issues" but she was a character that left me smiling and one that I loved reading about.

Mrs. Murphy was amazing. There is no other way to say it. I admired her from the moment Hunt introduced her in the novel. However, like I mentioned earlier, all of the characters in this book were fantastic.

The writing was fantastic. Hunt wrote in a compelling manner that left me feeling like I really was in Carley's head. I felt connected with her and consequently the whole story. The story flowed nicely and didn't lag. Definitely an amazing read. Read this one you won't regret it. 

In Summary: A beautiful novel that I loved reading. Captivating characters, an intriguing plot,  and a poignant writing style made for a brilliant read. 

Warnings/Side-notes: This book deals with violence and abuse, but in a manner that I won't hesitate to recommend this to anybody despite their age. 

The Wrap-up: Books about abuse have always held a soft spot for me. I feel like this is an issue that people don't talk about enough. Abuse is real and its effects are life-altering and traumatic for the victims. I loved that Hunt focused on this theme and admired the way she tackled writing this tale. It was beautiful and I loved reading it. 


Danica Page

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