Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Summer of Sloane - Released 5/3/16

I received this E-ARC via Disney Hyperion and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

I do have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  I "wished" for it on NetGalley and my wish was granted.  

I began this book, knowing that it was written for a teen genre.  I thought the story was very believable and well written, especially having two teenagers in my house at this point in time.  The book is written with those kids in mind.  

 Summer of Sloane is a coming of age story for Sloan and is primarily set in beautiful Hawaii.  She and her twin brother summer with their mother, who is a doctor in Hawaii, but attend high school in the Pacific Northwest where they live with their father.  Because of this rotation, they have friends in both areas -- coming to Hawaii for "this" summer, was already in the works when Sloane got crazy news from her best friend, and her boyfriend.  

I enjoyed the back and forth in this book; the story was entertaining and moved along quickly.  I even gave it to my teenage daughter to read - she loved it.  My daughter is not the quickest reader and tends to get bored easily, as do many teens these days.  She plowed through this book like a champ and loved how she "knew" where she was even though we've never even been to Hawaii.  

One thing that I may just not be on the cutting edge on was the partying going on in high school  While I don't turn my back on such matters, and hope that my kids will call me if they need a ride (as the mother offered on occasion in this book), it was one thing that I gave my daughter a disclosure on when I gave her the book.  

I would definitely recommend this book to others.  Thank you for the opportunity to read and review Summer of Sloane.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Winner!! Release Day of NO ORDINARY LIFE

Thanks to our random number generator, Lori K. is our lucky winner of a copy of Suzanne Redfearn's No Ordinary Life which debuts today!

In honor of the release of this fantastic book, I also had the opportunity to interview Ms. Redfearn via email last week.  Here is an excerpt of our interview!

Although I've read the book as an advance reader copy, many of my friends have not.  Can you tell us a little about your newest book, No Ordinary Life?

No Ordinary Life is the story about a young mom’s struggle to protect her children from the dangerous world of Hollywood. It was inspired by the idea of delving into the truth behind the glitz and glamour to discover why so many young actors struggle. Faye Martin, a young mother of three, has been abandoned by her husband and is struggling to make ends meet. When the opportunity comes along for her youngest, Molly, to star on a television show, she jumps at the chance. It seems like her dreams have been answered until the dark trappings of their new world are revealed and her life begins to unravel. Her older daughter is struggling and Molly might be right behind her. Things quickly spiral out of control, and Faye finds herself needing to make the difficult choice of whether to continue to navigate the treacherous waters of fame or to give up the money and prestige and get out. She finally decides only to discover the choice might no longer be hers to make.

Who are your literary heroes and why?

My first literary hero was Ayn Rand. Her books made me realize that stories can change you—alter your perspective, make you realize you are not alone in your ideas and how you perceive the world. Other heroes would have to be Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, and Bryce Courtenay.

In your bio, I read that you spent a few years of your childhood in Medford Lakes.  I live in Indian Mills which is a town adjacent to Medford, to the east/southeast.  What do you remember most about our area?  Do you have any photos from this time in your life?  

Log cabins. I lived in one and so did my uncle. Other than that, I don’t remember much.

What is the best advice you have ever received?

Funny you should ask because I think I might have just figured that out yesterday. I belong to an artists’ group (an amazing group of Laguna Beach artists who for some reason include me, the lone author, in their tribe), and yesterday, one of the women was talking about meeting the Dalai Lama. She and a crowd of hundreds had gathered to hear him speak. Someone had put a trucker’s hat on his head, which he graciously did not remove. Anxiously they waited for his inspirational words of wisdom. She had traveled hours to see him as had most of those around her. This was a rare appearance, and it was possible he would not visit California again. He waited for the crowd to quiet, and when he had their full attention, he looked out and said, “Try,” then he nodded and walked from the stage. Everyone was befuddled at first then disappointed, and my friend said she was actually a little pissed. She had taken a day off of work. She had risen at the crack of dawn. She had waited for hours. Then she explained how that stupid word has gotten stuck in her head and stayed with her. For months now, whenever she is in a bad place, struggling with her art or with anything, that bespectacled round face beneath that trucker’s hat smiles at her and mutters the word “try” and so she does.

I'm a scrapbooker.  I love photographing my friends and family and documenting our memories in a fun way.  Do you have any hobbies?

Oh my goodness. I am a dabbler. A little of this, a little of that. I like any form of art, including photography, painting, crafts. I also like to garden and of course to read. I’m also a sports girl, so I play golf and tennis. I surf. I ski. I have far too many hobbies and not enough time.

Finally, do you have a motto, quote or philosophy that you live by?  

“Just keep swimming, just keep swimming,” from Finding Nemo. I sing it to myself almost every day as I am writing. 

Thanks for the opportunity to do this review, giveaway and interview!  I hope you all take the time to give this book a try. It's available in both paperback and for your Kindle.  (You know how I love my Kindle!) Order through this link:  NO ORDINARY LIFE.  

Thursday, January 28, 2016

No Ordinary Life by Suzanne Redfearn - Review and Giveaway!

I'm honored to have been selected to read an advance copy of No Ordinary Life by Suzanne Redfearn, which will be released next week, February 2, 2016!  In honor of this new release, we're doing a giveaway, you simply need to leave a blog post comment and tell me what the last book you read was. (Having some technical issues with rafflecopter, so we'll do this the old fashioned way!)

You can view information about No Ordinary Life and even pre-order it at Amazon through this link.

Next week, in honor of the book's release, I'll have a short interview with Suzanne Redfearn here on my blog.  I'm excited about that -- she is originally from New Jersey, and spent a few years very local to my current hometown!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  I pride myself on guessing what will happen next in a book.  With No Ordinary Life, this didn't happen. I was thrown for quite a few loops.  It not only gives a glimpse into the life of a single mother with three kids struggling to keep her family afloat, it gives us a glimpse into being a showbiz family.  Although we read the failures more than the successes in the tabloids daily, in this novel, we get a fresh glimpse of how hard it really is on the "inside."  No Ordinary Life was a great read, one I was able to complete in a weekend, even with my four kids, three dogs, and hubs! I highly recommend this book!