Tag Archives: Young adult

3 stars: Never Say Never by Kailin Gow

A lot of hot guys, and only one girl. See the problem?

Never say Never tells the story of Never, one lucky young lady who is the only chick in a rock band. She has established a code that has kept the band together: do not date a guy in the band. Then her sexy college TA, Danny Blue, decides to join the band. Knowing Danny wants to use his mouth for much more than just singing, Never is left hot and wanting. She has to make a choice, stay true for the band’s sake or miss the passion of a life time.

Because Gow’s writing was simple and not bogged with unnecessary description, this was a very quick, and dirty read. One I found myself not able to put down very much.

I liked all the characters because Gow did a very good job making all of them distinguishable. Even though the dialogue was so melodramatic at times, I believed these people were in college. A lot of writers I have read lately seem to forget the difference in mindset between someone attending high school and college. Having the ability to do things on your own without a parent’s watchful eye makes a huge difference in how one perceives things. Our mistakes suddenly become our burdens. All the characters reacted accordingly.

I thought it was a little weird for all of Never’s boy band dudes to be gorgeous, in love with her, and she be totally not interested at all. Not even a minor crush. But soon as Danny walks in the room, she’s hot with fever and ready to go against the code.  Although Danny seemed interesting enough, he would not have made my list of top ten to date. He had to grow on me, but I’m team Kyle. And why not? He’s gorgeous, in love with Never, has known her forever, he can make connections with her mentally Danny can only hope to do because he barely knows her.

Truth be told there are questions I still had by the end of the book. The abrupt ending left me thinking, “Well that was mean. Where’s the rest?” It could have been done smoother. It did not feel like a close, even though I knew another book was going to be written.

At the end of the day, I really enjoyed the book. College students and young adult readers will enjoy this story most.  Get it Miss. Gow, you’re on your way to defining a generation.

Kailin Gow is the bestselling author of over 80 books. She has traveled all over the world, conducting research, and collecting stories. Some of the more interesting places she’s been to are: Dracula’s Castle in Transylvania where she was presented with a sketch of Dracula, The Stanley Hotel in Colorado where she saw something quite odd, the lost city of Pompeii where both her cameras were drained of battery, St. Petersburg where she held an hour-long conversation with a Russian soldier who didn’t speak English and she didn’t speak Russian, and the orphanages of Thailand where she distributed toys, books, and hugs to hundreds of disabled orphans.

As a teenager, she was a voracious reader, who always had one or two books with her at all times. She was on her newspaper staff, participated in drama productions, was on the yearbook staff, played sports, competed in kung fu, played violin, and yes, was even on the pep squad at one point.

Her books include the bestselling Gifted Girls Series, The Frost Series, The Phantom Diaries Series, The Stoker Sisters Series, PULSE Vampire Series, Queen B Superheroine, The Wordwick Games Series, The Alchemists Academy, Harold the Kung Fu Kid, and Shy Girls Social Club. Her books have been recommended by PBS Kids, the PTA, US Mental Health Association, homeschooling organizations, and mother-daughter book clubs.

She is also a filmmaker and radio host.  Her short short of The Stoker Sisters recently screened at the prestigious 14th Annual LA Shorts Film Festival, officially accredited by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.  She has written for and produced television series with Emmy-award-winning producers and directors.  As a radio host, she was recognized and featured by The Los Angeles Times as a young Asian American Journalist.

She holds a Master’s Degree Communications Management from USC’s Annenberg School of Communication, and Bachelors Degrees in Drama and Social Ecology from UC Irvine. Kailin loves reading, writing, watching old and new movies, filming, playing video games, playing board games, traveling, and location scouting for settings in her books and films.  In her past life, she was a news journalist, talk show host, tour director, and corporate executive.  She is a mother, a mentor for young women, and the founder of the social group for teen and young adult girls called Shy Girls Social Club at http://www.shygirlssocialclub.com where girls can develop positive friendships and skills in the creative field.  Members of Shy Girls Social Club can get a chance to win prizes, scholarships, and internships.

She is an authority on women, youth issues, self-esteem, and leadership and has appeared on over 100 radio shows, television, and top U.S. network affiliates.

You can find her here:

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/KailinGowBooks

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/kailingow

Book club and Group Discussion Questions for All YA titles here:  http://theedgebooks.com

YA Books from Kailin Gow

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New Release: Denise Turney’s Love Pour Over Me

Denise Turney:

Denise Turney is a professional writer who brings more than thirty-two years of book, newspaper, magazine, radio and business writing to a project. She is the author of the books Portia, Love Has Many Faces, Spiral, Rosetta’s Great Adventure, Long Walk Up and Love Pour Over Me. Denise Turney is an internationally celebrated author who is listed in various entertainment and business directories, including industry leaders such as Who’s Who, 100 Most Admired African American Women and Crosswalk. Denise Turney’s works have appeared in Parade, Essence, Ebony, Madame Noire, The Pittsburgh Quarterly and Obsidian II.

Title: Love Pour Over Me

Publisher: Chistell Publishing

Release date: March 2012

Website: http://www.chistell.com

Purchase Link: http://www.chistell.com/order.php

Link to Tour on Main Site –  http://www.virtualbooktourcafe.com/3/post/2012/05/love-pour-over-me-by-denise-turney.html

A father and son’s estranged relationship threatens to destroy the son’s only chance at real love. But is a painful childhood enough to choke a young man’s promising future? Love will find and heal the most broken hearted, disappointed, abused and ashamed. Love has come. There is no turning back.

Excerpts :

EXCERPT ONE

 

Chapter One

It was Friday afternoon, June 15, 1984.  Raymond Clarke lay across his bed.  An empty bowl of popcorn was on the floor.  Snacking did little to ease his excitement.  In less than three hours his year round efforts to prove himself deserving of unwavering acclaim would be validated in front of hundreds of his classmates.  Tonight was his high school graduation, the day he had dreamed about for weeks.  He knew his grades were high enough to earn him academic honors.  Even more than his grades were his athletic achievements.  He hadn’t been beaten in a track race in three years; he won the state half mile and mile runs for the last six years, since he was in middle school.  People would cheer wildly for him tonight.

The television was turned up loud. “Carl Lewis threatens to break Bob Beamon’s historic long jump record at the Olympic Trials in Los Angeles this weekend,” an ESPN sportscaster announced.  “Beamon’s record has stood for sixteen years.  Lewis . . . “

Raymond got so caught up in the mention of the upcoming Olympic Games that he didn’t hear the front door open.

“Ray,” his father Malcolm shouted as soon as he entered the house.

“What?”  Raymond leaped off his bed and hurried into the living room.  “Dad?”

“What?  Boy, if you don’t get your junk–”

Raymond watched his father wave his hand over the sofa, the place where he’d thrown his sports bag as soon as he got home from graduation practice at school.

“Get this sports crap up,” Malcolm growled.

Silence filled the house.

Raymond grabbed his sports bag, carried it into his bedroom and tossed it across his bed.

His father exited the living room and entered the kitchen.  Like a dark shadow, frustrations from spending ten hours working at a drab automobile plant where he drilled leather seats into one Ford Mustang after another while his line supervisor stood at his shoulder and barked, “Focus, Malcolm.  Get your production up,” followed him there.  It was in the furrow of his brow and in the pinch of his lip.  “Ray.”

Raymond cursed beneath his breath before he left his bedroom and hurried into the living room.  Seconds later he stood in the kitchen’s open doorway.

He watched his father toss an envelope on the table.  “Letter from Baker came in the mail.  Something about you getting some awards when—“  He reached to the center of the kitchen table for a bottle of Steel Fervor.  He’d stopped hiding the alcohol when Raymond turned five.  The alcohol looked like liquid gold.  Felt that way to Malcolm too.  “you graduate tonight.”

Malcolm took a long swig of the whiskey and squinted against the burn.  He tried to laugh but only coughed up spleen.  “You’re probably the only kid in the whole school who got a letter like this.  Everybody up at Baker knows nobody cares about you.  Letter said they thought I’d want to let all your relatives know you’re getting some awards so they’d come out and support you.”

Again Malcolm worked at laughter, but instead coughed a dry, scratchy cough that went long and raw through his throat.  “We both know ain’t nobody going to be there but me and your sorry ass.  Don’t mean nothing anyhow.  They’re just giving these diplomas and awards away now days.”  On his way out of the kitchen, bottle in hand, he shoved the letter against Raymond’s chest.

Raymond listened to his father’s footsteps go heavy up the back stairs while he stood alone in the kitchen.  When the footsteps became a whisper, he looked down at the letter.  It was printed on good stationery, the kind Baker High School only used for special occasions.  Didn’t matter though.  Raymond took the letter and ripped it once, twice, three times — over and over again — until it was only shreds of paper, then he walked to the tall kitchen wastebasket next to the gas stove and dropped the bits inside.

“Ray.”

He froze.  From the sound of his father’s voice, he knew he was at the top of the stairs.

“Give me that letter, so I’ll remember to go to your graduation tonight.”

Raymond twisted his mouth at the foulness of the request, the absolute absurdity of it.  He didn’t answer.  Instead he turned and walked back inside his bedroom.  He grabbed his house keys and headed outside.  At the edge of the walkway, he heard his father shout, “Ray.”

Raymond didn’t turn around.  He walked down the tree lined sidewalk the way he’d learned to walk since Kindergarten – with his head down.  He stepped over raised cracks in the worn sidewalk, turned away from boarded windows of two empty dilapidated buildings and told himself the neighborhood was just like his father – old, useless, unforgiving and hard.

A second floor window back at the house went up.  Malcolm stuck his head all the way out the window.  “Get your ass back here,” he hollered down the street.

Raymond sprang to his toes and started to run.  His muscular arms and legs went back and forth through the cooling air like propellers, like they were devices he used to try to take off, leave the places in his life he wished had never been.  It was what he was good at.  All his running had earned him high honors in track and field.  He was Ohio’s top miler.  He’d made Sports Illustrated four times since middle school.

“Ray.”

“Yo, man, you better go back,” Joey chuckled as Raymond slowed to a stop.  Joey, a troubled eighteen-year-old neighbor who dropped out of school in the tenth grade, leaned across a Pontiac Sunbird waxing its hood.  “If you don’t, your old man’s gonna beat your ass good.”

“Aw, Ray’s cool,” Stanley, an equally troubled twenty-one-year-old who pissed on school and failed to get a diploma, a man who couldn’t read beyond the third grade level, said.  He stood next to Joey.  His hands were shoved to the bottoms of his pants pockets.  “And we know the Brother can run.  Damn.  We all can run,” Stanley laughed.

“Ray, remember the night we ran away from that Texaco station, our wallets all fat?” Joey laughed.  He talked so loudly, Raymond worried he’d be overheard.

“Thought we agreed to let that go,” Raymond said.  He looked hard at Joey then he looked hard at Stanley and the nine-month old deal was resealed, another secret for Raymond to keep.

One glance back at his father’s house and Raymond started running again.  He ran passed Gruder’s an old upholstery company and Truder Albright, a small, worn convenience store, all the way to the Trotwood Recreation Center six miles farther into the city.

EXCERPT TWO

It was eight o’clock.  Raymond told himself not to but he turned partway and glanced over his shoulder.  It was as if he’d suddenly been plagued with dementia, because he forgot the years of abuse heaped upon him with Malcolm’s calloused hands.  He wanted Malcolm to walk through the convention center doors sober and real proud like.  He wanted Malcolm to be glad to call him his son.

“To the students, as I call out your name, please stand and make your way onto the stage.”  Principal Jones flipped through a stack of stapled papers then he pushed his mouth close to the microphone and said slowly, “Sharon Appleseed.”

A loud round of applause, whistling and “way to gos” pierced the air.  It went on like that for more than an hour, until all but two students had received a diploma – Raymond and Janice Thompson, a bright sixteen year old who sat in a wheelchair due to spina bifida.

Principal Jones sang Janice’s praises.  Hers had been a stellar academic career right from the start.  “She’s earned her way onto the Honor Roll every year since the Seventh Grade.  She was voted to Girls State by our finest instructors.  She has won three presidential academic citations.  And,” Principal Jones laughed, “I’m sure her parents appreciate this most.  She has earned a full scholarship to Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia.”  Principal Jones’ hand went out.  “Ladies and gentlemen,” he beamed, “Please stand and congratulate the Class of 1984’s Salutatorian, Janice Thompson.”

Janice pushed the wheelchair toward the stage and everyone stood and applauded wildly.  Amid the swell of noise and the sea of people, Raymond looked over his shoulder and searched every face for Malcolm.  His gaze darted in a crazed fashion.

Then he felt a tap on his shoulder.  It was his friend, Paul.  They sat next to each other.  “Yo, Man, is your pops coming?”

Raymond turned away from Paul, faced the stage and stood tall, head up, shoulders back.

When Paul tapped him again, he jerked his shoulders hard and shrugged him off.

The auditorium grew quiet.

“And now, it’s time for us to bestow the top honor.”  Principal Jones smiled before he said, “This young man has earned high commendations academically and athletically.”

In short intervals, Paul, several members of the track team and Raymond’s high school track coach turned and looked to the back of the auditorium toward the entrance doors.  They prayed for Malcolm to show.

“Damn,” Paul muttered when he turned around and faced the stage for the eighth time.  He bumped shoulders with the guy who stood next to him.  “That asshole ain’t coming.”  He lowered his head and his voice.  “Ray’s pops ain’t coming.”

“This young man has earned All-City, All-County, All-State and top national honors in cross-country and track and field.  In fact, twice he’s been listed as the top high school miler in the country by Sports Illustrated and Track and Field News.  He has earned four Presidential academic citations.  He’s been on the Honor Roll since the Seventh Grade.”  Principal Jones scanned the auditorium for Malcolm.  When he didn’t see him, he spoke slower and started to make things up in the hopes that time would become Raymond’s friend.

“I remember when he first came to Baker.  He was a scared young man, but not anymore.”  He pursed his lips and gave Raymond a nod.  “He’s ready to take advantage of the full scholarship his achievements have gained him.”  Principal Jones glanced at the doors.

A few students and several parents squirmed in their seats.  Some people glanced at their watches as if to say “Come on”.

“He has maintained a 4.0 grade point average since the ninth grade.  He hasn’t missed a day of school since the third grade.”  The doors demanded his attention again, but no one came through them.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, please congratulate Baker High School’s Class of 1984 Valedictorian, Raymond Clarke.”

Paul clapped until his hands stung.  A few students stood in their seats and hollered out, “Go, Ray!”  Before long a chant went up.  All the students pumped their fists in the air and shouted, “Ray-mond!  Ray-mond!”

Raymond’s heart beat wildly in his chest.  He clamped his teeth down against his bottom lip and jailed the rising emotion.  He extended his hand when he neared Principal Jones’ side.

“Well done,” Principal Jones told him as he handed him his diploma.  He patted Raymond’s back.  “You did a fine job, Son.”  He shook his head,   “A fine job.”

The chain lock was on the front door when Raymond got home that night.  He jiggled the chain and tried to get it to slide open.  When that didn’t work he walked to the back of the house and tried to open the rear door, the one leading to the backyard.  He cursed as he realized a chain lock was on the back door as well.  Then he looked for an opening.  He was in luck.  The kitchen window was ajar just enough to allow him entry.  He grunted and pushed up.  The screen didn’t even bang when it landed in the sink.  He crawled through the window like a thief.

When he reached the stairs, he saw a flicker of light coming from the second floor.  “Dad,” he called out softly, then louder as he made his way up the stairs.  “Dad.”

A newly pressed blue striped suit coat hung across the chair in the corner of his father’s bedroom.  The television was turned down so low it sounded like it was humming.

“Dad?”

The bed was empty, covers bunched together near the foot.  The shade to the room’s one lamp was tilted as if someone had punched it.

“Dad?”

Raymond walked across the hall. He started to scream.  “Dad?”  He ran back down the stairs.  “Dad?” he screamed as he made his way through the house.

He saw the shadow, curled and bent like an old man, at his bed’s edge.  Silence was his escort into his own room.

Malcolm stood slowly.  His body leaned right, from his shoulders to his ankles.  His hands were clenched.  His eyes were slits.  “Why didn’t you tell me?” he demanded.  His hands, then his arms and legs quaked.  He took heavy Frankenstein-like steps toward Raymond.  “Why didn’t you tell me?  Why didn’t you tell me?”

When no more than a few inches separated them, Raymond saw the red in his father’s eyes.

Malcolm stepped forward again, and this time, Raymond stepped back.  He prepared to duck.  “Tell you what?” he stammered.  Fear had gone into his body.  He felt like, instead of blood, electricity was coursing through his veins.

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

“What?  What, Dad?” Raymond screamed.  “Tell you what?”

Also read:

https://lawreigns.com/2012/06/18/denise-turney-how-to-land-author-interviews-and-increase-sales/

3/5 stars posted on Once Upon A Twilight

“I really enjoyed this book and I am looking forward to reading more from Law Reigns.”

Superheroes Wear Faded Denim introduces us to two main characters Blissany Cherry and Don Shimada. Blissany is shy self-conscious art student and a sleepwalker who just happens to be the key to defeating one of the greatest evil this world has ever known. Don is outgoing, popular and basically has a bright and successful future ahead of him until that is he starts having hallucinations of war and destruction. Together they are bound by destiny to save the world.

All in all a great concept but I have to say that this book was difficult to get into. However, once all the characters are introduced and you have some sense of what the heck is going on it sucks you in. Normally I wouldn’t recommend a book that takes 100 pages to really get interesting, there are however a few exceptions and Superheroes Wear Faded Denim is now at the top of the list. Don’t get me wrong there are some very intriguing moments that keep you reading but it just takes a while to really take off.

I think one of my favorite things about this book is that it changes POV. Don was my favorite to read even though he was a bit of an ass at times. Blissany sometimes is frustrating to read, you really want her to snap out of her funk. Luckily that’s when Don’s chapters would come in and the story would advance making you excited to get back to Blissany to see what she was up to and how it would work its way back to the story. I really enjoyed this book and I am looking forward to reading more from Law Reigns.

Once Upon A Twilight

Contemporary Romance The Carny by Brooke Moss

“Sweet, subtle, heart-warming romance.” –USA Today Bestselling Author, Nicola Marsh

“Brooke Moss is a gifted storyteller. With a compelling plot and characters who will steal your heart, The Carny is a winner.” — Cate Lord, author of Lucky Girl.

 

Two people from opposite worlds, one unforgettable kiss.
You can’t judge a carny by its cover.

At a town fair on the coast of Oregon, handsome Native American carny, Vincent Youngblood, bestows an unforgettable kiss on shy, awkward teenager, Charlotte Davenport. Then disappears without another word, leaving her baffled and enamored.

Ten years later, Charlotte is still living in the small fishing town of Astoria, while being trained to–reluctantly–take over for her philandering hotelier father when he retires. After all, who else will do it? Her two perfect sisters are busy being married to their flawless husbands and having cookie cutter children, while Charlotte remains single, childless, and every bit as mousy as she was a decade ago.

As Charlotte struggles to climb out from underneath her judgmental parents thumb, the carnival rolls back into town, and Charlotte finds herself face to face with Vin again. He’s back to run his father’s carnival, walking away from a promising career in medicine he started in Chicago. Will her biased and judgmental family accept her relationship with a man who is not only a Native American, but works as a carny for a living? And what unsavory secrets bind the well-educated and seemingly superlative Vin to that ramshackle carnival? After all, you can’t judge a carny by its cover.

 

Special Teaser Quote!

““I think I should kiss you.” He raised his eyebrows. “To really drive the point home.”

His lips touched mine before I could agree with him. They were soft and full, and tasted faintly of the soda pop he’d been drinking.”

 

Want to read more of the toe-curling romance of Charlotte and Vincent? – See the complete list of release day party  hosts and enjoy the sweet tid-bits!

 

EXCLUSIVE BOOK BIRTHDAY DISCOUNT!

Buy the book now at Inkspell Publishing Store and enjoy a special EXCLUSIVE 30% discount! Offer valid only till 14th July!

Oh, but if you thought Charlotte’s life was so easy before she met Vin, then you are mistaken.  Read her story “Charlotte’s Wedding” for free! Only till 10th July!

Also, available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and The Book Depository amongst others.

Release day party for Want by Stephanie Lawton!

Forbidden fruit can be the sweetest—or the most dangerous.

Julianne counts the days until she can pack her bags and leave her old-money, tradition-bound Southern town where appearance is everything and secrecy is a way of life. A piano virtuoso, she dreams of attending a prestigious music school in Boston. Failure is not an option, so she enlists the help of New England Conservatory graduate Isaac Laroche to help her.

She can’t understand why he suddenly gave up Boston’s music scene to return to the South. He doesn’t know her life depends on escaping it. Julianne must face down madness from without, just as it threatens from within. Isaac must resist an inappropriate attraction, but an indiscretion at a Mardi Gras ball—the pinnacle event for Mobile’s elite—forces their present wants and needs to collide with sins of the past.

Will Julianne accept the help she’s offered and get everything she ever wanted, or will she self-destruct and take Isaac down with her?

Early Praise:

“A heart-rending, romantic, and compulsively readable debut. You will remember Juli and Isaac for a long time to come!” –R.A. Nelson, author of Teach Me and Throat

“A powerful masterpiece, exploring tough issues, sweet love, and high stakes…”– Aubrie Dionne, Author of “Paradise 21”

“This story opened my eyes to how exciting contemporary YA romance can be” – Lisa Voisin, Author of “The Watcher”

EXCLUSIVE BOOK BIRTHDAY DISCOUNT!

Buy the book now at Inkspell Publishing Store and enjoy a special EXCLUSIVE 30% discount! Offer valid only till 14th June!

Curious about some “behind-the-curtain” scenes? Read her short story “Aftertaste” for free!


Superheroes Wear Faded Denim Review

“The author has wonderful command of language”

Superheroes Wear Faded Denim is a bright well-written paranormal novel. The characters are lively and engaging. Caught in amazing circumstances, they are believable and real. The author has wonderful command of language and writes with a fresh voice as she describes the characters’ journeys from everyday university students to heroes intent on saving the world.

Though the circumstances of the plot are often dire, there are moments of comic relief, especially as the major characters try to balance their university experience with their global responsibilities. To complicate matters more, the students must also deal with a variety of non-human characters with their own agendas.

It is a great read. I look forward to more books from this talented author.

– Sharon Drane

Faded Denim Excerpt: a day of death and shopping

 

Excerpt from Chapter one: Vendetta

Blissany’s heart skipped a beat. He was referring to her dreams. Am I in another? She could very well be. It wasn’t like her dreams gave her any warning. Coming sporadically, they were plane rides into other realms. Sometimes they caused her to sleep for a couple hours, sometimes several days. There a Roman boy with verdant eyes and curly hair black as fresh paint lived. Named Gabriel, he told her she was created to fight a grandiose war between good and evil. She ignored her dreams even though they caused her to oversleep for classes. What a mistake that had been. As soon as she awoke from this nightmare, she was seeking a neurologist. Such an endeavor took a lot of money and time. As a college senior, those were two things she didn’t have. Yet she was going to find it. She could not continue living with this mental disease.

“You don’t want to do this,” Wanikiya said. “If you did you wouldn’t have waited till the curse ate your heart.”

“I’ve contemplated my choices. I know what I’m to do.” Temeluchus asked Blissany the question again. “Will you fight or not?”

“I don’t believe—”

“Wait until you have all the information, Fairest. You have two choices. If you say yes, even though you’ve shown selflessness, you have waged war. War means a fight to the death, and I will slay you right here. If you say no, I will slay this clerk behind the jewelry counter. So the question really becomes lucid. Who do you want to live more, yourself or others?”

“This demeans you,” Wanikiya said.

“Answer the question, Fair Cherry,” Temeluchus said, ignoring Wanikiya.

Blissany’s lips trembled. She looked at Kristie frozen in time. Out of all the dreams I could have. Kristie’s mouth was slightly agape. Her eyes still wide with excitement. They matched the emerald towel she held in her hands. She was so young she only had a few smile wrinkles around the corners of her mouth. Blissany wanted Kristie to live just as much as she wanted to live, but she knew this was all a dream. For it to end, she would have to give an answer.

Read more in Kindle and print version on Amazon.