I thought I'd share a few of my favorite books that I've read over and over again. Let me know in the comments if you've read any of these and share your favorite books with me!
Good-bye, Glamour Girl by Erika Tamar. I read this for the first time the summer after 5th grade. It’s a coming of age story about a girl whose family escaped Europe during WWII and she is trying to assimilate in America.
Frida’s Bed by Slavenka Drakulic. This is a fictionalized version of Frida Kahlo’s life. Completely gripping as you see how Frida dealt with constant physical pain and how it impacted her artwork as well as her personal life. An amazing book.
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. There’s more than just a forbidden love story here. Tolstoy writes about the time period and manages to work the political climate and economic structure into the book without making it too weighty.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I didn’t appreciate this book when we read it in school, but I fell in love with it when I read it as an adult. The symbolism, Gatsby, Nick, and the way Fitzgerald shows that desperation and longing. Love, love, love.
Life is a Gift by Tony Bennett. The title says it all. I love that Tony feels we keep creating all through our lives.
Hangin’ Out with Cici by Francine Pascal. One of my favorite YA novels of all time. Victoria time travels to see what her mother was like as a kid. The humor in this one is great.
The Crack-Up by F. Scott Fitzgerald. His honesty, his beauty with phrasing, and his humor—it’s all here. What’s not to love?
The Great Mom Swap by Betsey Haynes. (Middle grade novel) One of the characters, Scottie, wants to be an author and I was obsessed with this book as a kid.
Thanks for stopping by! Take a look at this brand-new fantasy adventure story with a hint of romance by author Annie Douglass Lima.
You can download a copy of the ebook for free between July 9th and 11th!
Life as the king’s younger sister should be exciting.
Not for Princess Kalendria. She’s sick of the dissent and of constantly having her family undermined by those who think they could rule Malorn better than King Korram.
Hoping to lighten the mood in the palace, Kalendria plans a ball to celebrate her seventeenth birthday. It doesn’t hurt that their handsome Alasian ally King Jaymin has promised to attend, and she’s been waiting for him to notice her for as long as she can remember.
But unfriendly forces have their own party plans. When Kalendria, Korram, and Jaymin barely survive an assassination attempt, their only recourse is to flee into the wilderness. Tracked by unknown assassins, they must figure out whom they can trust and who is behind the plot. Can Kalendria help her brother reclaim his throne – oh, and catch Jaymin’s attention while she’s at it – before they are all killed and war destroys both kingdoms?
Click here to download your copy of King of Malorn on Amazon now!
Click here to see King of Malorn on Goodreads.
King of Malorn is book 5 in the Annals of Alasia. But don't worry if you haven't read the others; it will still make sense on its own.
Each of the first four books can stand on its own as well. They each deal with events surrounding the same major political incident: the invasion of the kingdom of Alasia by the neighboring kingdom of Malorn.
Prince of Alasia begins on the night of the Invasion and describes what happens to twelve-year-old Prince Jaymin after he is forced to flee for his life.
In the Enemy’s Service features a girl as the protagonist and tells the story of those who were not able to escape from the Alasian palace when the enemy invaded.
Prince of Malorn begins several months earlier and focuses on the Malornian perspective of the events leading up to the Invasion.
The Nameless Soldier shows how a young Alasian soldier lives through the Invasion but then has to survive and make a name for himself in enemy-occupied Alasia.
In each of the books, main characters from the others make brief appearances and interact with each other at the point where the timeframes and settings overlap.
I also have a short ebook of “interviews” that I conducted with the characters in the other three books. Annals of Alasia: The Collected Interviews is not available on Amazon, but I send a free copy to anyone who signs up for my mailing list (to receive updates when I release new books or occasionally offer them for free).
Annie Douglass Lima considers herself fortunate to have traveled in twenty different countries and lived in four of them. A fifth-grade teacher in her “other” life, she loves reading to her students and sparking their imaginations. Her books include science fiction, fantasy, YA action and adventure novels, a puppet script, anthologies of her students’ poetry, and Bible verse coloring and activity books. When she isn’t teaching or writing, Annie can often be found sipping spiced chai or pomegranate green tea in exotic locations, some of which exist in this world.
Author Contact Info:
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/anniedouglasslima
Five years ago today my first novel, True Colors, was released. It was the beginning of a dream coming true and the start of the Landry's True Colors Series. It's been a crazy journey that no one could have prepared me for, but it's so amazing to hear from readers who have been helped from reading about Landry navigating through middle school. Happy birthday little book!
You can find it here:
AlzAuthors are having their 4th anniversary raffle and book sale from June 21-27. I'm honored to be included with these authors.
Click here to see the books on sale and enter the raffle:
Empowered: How God Shaped 11 Women’s Lives (And Can Shape Yours Too)
By Catherine Parks
Empowered shares the lives of eleven remarkable women whose lives were shaped by God in different circumstances. The women featured are: Corrie and Betsie ten Boom, Sophie Scholl, Pandita Ramabai, Charlotte Forten Grimke, Esther Ahn Kim, Elisabeth Elliot, Phillis Wheatley, Joni Eareckson Tada, Fanny Crosby, and Annie Armstrong.
In each chapter we learn about the women’s beginnings, the hardships they faced with trials such as war and suffering, and how they turned to God and were inspired to do great things with His strength. There are questions at the end of each chapter for introspection as well.
Some of the women I was familiar with like Joni Eareckson Tada and Corrie and Betsie ten Boom, but others were new to me and I learned a lot from such as Sophie Scholl, Pandita Ramabai, and Esther Ahn Kim.
The book is geared towards girls 13-18 and this would make a perfect eighth grade graduation gift. It’s inspiring and the questions that went along with each chapter really brought the lessons and messages into our daily lives. I would highly recommend this book for summer reading.
I received this book from BH Publishing and Lifeway in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
The Clean Indie Reads I Love Audiobooks young adult giveaway is here and it will run from May 24th-31st. You can enter to win codes for 10 different YA audiobooks! Good luck!
Welcome to the 1-Week Virtual Book Tour for Blackflies and Blueberries (Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls, #2) by Sharon Ledwith!
About Blackflies and Blueberries:
The only witness left to testify against an unsolved crime in Fairy Falls isn’t a person…
City born and bred, Hart Stewart possesses the gift of psychometry—the psychic ability to discover facts about an event or person by touching inanimate objects associated with them. Since his mother’s death, seventeen-year-old Hart has endured homelessness, and has learned ways to keep his illiteracy under wraps. He eventually learns of a great-aunt living in Fairy Falls, and decides to leave the only life he’s ever known for an uncertain future.
Diana MacGregor lives in Fairy Falls. Her mother was a victim of a senseless murder. Only Diana’s unanswered questions and her grief keeps her going, until Hart finds her mother’s lost ring and becomes a witness to her murder.
Through Hart’s psychic power, Diana gains hope for justice. Their investigation leads them into the corrupt world threatening Fairy Falls. To secure the town’s future, Hart and Diana must join forces to uncover the shocking truth, or they risk losing the true essence of Fairy Falls forever.
Blackflies and Blueberries Cover:
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Publish Date: May 17, 2019
Publisher: Mirror World Publishing https://www.mirrorworldpublishing.com/
Follow the Tour:
About the Author:
Escape to the past and have a blast
Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/young adult time travel adventure series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, and the teen psychic mystery series, MYSTERIOUS TALES FROM FAIRY FALLS. When not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, exercising, anything arcane, and an occasional dram of scotch. Sharon lives a serene, yet busy life in a southern tourist region of Ontario, Canada, with her hubby, one spoiled yellow Labrador and a moody calico cat.
Learn more about Sharon Ledwith at the following online places:
Sharon’s Website: www.sharonledwith.com
Sharon’s Blog: http://sharonledwith.blogspot.com/
Sharon’s Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/seledwith
Sharon’s Author Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Sharon-Ledwith-210150205690477/
Twitter: @sharonledwith https://twitter.com/sharonledwith
Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5821744.Sharon_Ledwith
Goodreads Book Page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45259122-blackflies-and-blueberries
Amazon Author U.S. Page: http://www.amazon.com/Sharon-Ledwith/e/B0084DUHJO
Amazon Author U.K. Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B0084DUHJO
Café Press Shop: http://www.cafepress.ca/sharonledwith
Readers’ Favorite: https://readersfavorite.com/author-area/358311
Buy Blackflies and Blueberries:
Mirror World Publishing:
Barnes & Noble:
Enter the Giveaway:
I am so excited to share with you that Best Friends…Forever? and Landry in Like are now available in paperback! I got so many questions about when they would be in print and they are finally here. It’s so great that these came out just as Landry in Like was given the Literary Classics Top Honors Youth Book Award for upper middle grade books. You can pick up your copies here and complete your Landry’s True Colors Series collection.
Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/2jxUuUZ
Book Depository: bit.ly/30ajWEC
Indie Bound: https://www.indiebound.org/search/book?keys=Krysten+Lindsay%27
Books A Million: https://bit.ly/30h4UwZ
Watch the book trailers here:
Best Friends...Forever?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFp2fPFbvTQ
Landry in Like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CsGREKFQco&t=6s
Happy to have author N.J. Simmonds back on the blog to talk about her book, The Path Keeper.
Tell us about your book
The Path Keeper is the first book of the Indigo Chronicles – an urban fantasy romance trilogy set in London. It centers around the forbidden love between Zac and Ella, a love that has played out over two-thousand years and many lifetimes. The story goes back and forth in time, showing how past decisions and mistakes can shape our destiny - culminating into one shocking discovery that will have them both fighting for their lives. Basically, can love ever be stronger than fate?
Beware that the book carries a trigger warning and, although spiritual and romantic, it can get very dark, sweary and adult in places. The book appeals to those who enjoyed reading The Time Traveller’s Wife, Outlander and even Game of Thrones…so plenty of adventure and love, but with a bit of grit.
What inspired you to write this book?
A mix of things. I’m originally from London, so it felt natural for me to set the book there (in fact, all the books I’ve written so far have been set in Lodnon). I also spent a year solo-traveling around Australia in my early twenties, and learning reiki and other holistic practices, so that definitely coloured a lot of the spiritual aspects of the book.
I wanted to write a love story, but I also wanted to explore that inexplicable (and sometimes unhealthy) intensity you can feel when you are drawn to someone you only just met. Having experienced a number of past life regressions myself, I decided to make Zac and Ella a couple who had loved one another many many times before, yet she never remembers. It grew from there, and before I knew it I was also writing about WW2 London and set scenes in Spain (where I was living at the time), including revelations about Ella’s family’s secrets too.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
I tend to have favourite books, not authors, as I don’t always like everything one person writes.
Saying that though, I read a lot of older YA fantasy and books set in London, and I adore the writing of Laini Taylor, Leigh Bardugo, Patrice Lawrence and V.E.Schwabs. Patrice writes ‘London teens’ impeccably and we need more books like hers in the world. As for the other three, their fantasy worlds and characters are absolutely flawless. Laini writes like poetry – I want to do magic like her, when I grow up.
Which book by another author do you with you had written?
Other than Harry Potter and its Unique World Domination? I’m not sure. None, to be honest. Every book ever written has the spirit of that author running through it, so I couldn’t possibly have been able to write anything other than the books I’ve written myself.
But I would love to see my fictional worlds live beyond the page and be embraced by fandoms that fully immerse themselves in that universe. Perhaps not to the extent of theme parks and Primark t-shirts, no one could ever predict just how far J K Rowling’s idea would go, but to see your book made into a film and then have people dress up as your Cosplay characters, write fan fiction and create artwork of your characters…that’s immense. As a writer, especially of fantasy, you have to be obsessed with the worlds you create – so there’s no bigger compliment than others being just as fanatical about it.
So what book do I wish I had written? Any of the books that inspire all of that. That’s the whole point of writing - not to be revered for your words, but to create a world others want to be part of.
Are there any particular songs that inspired your writing as you worked on this book?
I have had songs inspire entire book ideas, but not with The Path Keeper.
There are two songs from the 90s (my era) that remind me of the book though. Killing Me Softly by the Fugees reminds me of the scene when Zac plays the guitar for Felicity and she realizes who he is, causing all sorts of issues between her and her daughter, Ella.
And No Ordinary Love by Sade sums up the entire theme of the series – although Ella isn’t a mermaid, like Sade is in the video!
Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
This is a tough question as they are all my babies. It’s like being asked who my favourite child is!
Of course Ella and Zac are special to me, but I feel like shaking them half the time and they ended up changing in ways I never anticipated. I also loved creating Dolly and Evie, I cried so much when I wrote their scenes, they were like real people to me.
But my very favourite character is Luci, although you won’t meet her until May 2020 when the second book, Son of Secrets, comes out. She’s a fascinating mix of misunderstood evil, maternal obsession, violent revenge, fiery wantoness and a huge, vulnerable heart.
So if The Path Keeper is a heady mix of passion, esoteric question and dark truths – then Son of Secrets is an even bigger, witchy, feminist punch to the guts.
Follow her on:
I started writing Dating the It Guy as a romance between a high school girl and the popular senior son of a senator, but I also wanted to include a storyline of having the main character deal with her grandpa’s recent dementia diagnosis. My grandfather moved in with us when I was Emme’s age because he could no longer live on his own. I decided to write about it years later just to get it out. In fact the first time I read a section of it to my mother, she left the room because it was too much to deal with. It’s tough to look back at memories like that sometimes.
So I finished the book, but set it aside for a while. Then two years ago, there was a pitch contest online and I decided to see if there would be any interest in this story. My publisher said she’d be interested in seeing it. At that time I had only published middle grade novels with her and wasn’t sure she’d want a young adult novel from me—after all there are a lot of publishers who aren’t fond of genre hopping. I remember when I sent it to my publisher I mentioned I hoped that this book would help someone else. My publisher wrote, “have I told you I love your writing?”
During the final editing process, I had my mom read the manuscript and told her, “I’m not sure you’ll like this one because it’s very personal, so be warned.” I’ll never forget her calling me and saying it was her favorite book I had written and she felt I handled those scenes with the grandpa with such sensitivity and love. She loved the sense of love and family in it and how I handled it with dignity and that meant so much.
I basically have a peace about what I wrote, but it was very hard putting this book out there. You’re taking a very personal experience and opening it up to criticism from strangers who haven’t walked in your shoes. What made it worthwhile was that the feedback on it has been wonderful as people love the humor and the family bonds. I think having the humor in it helps as that gets you through difficult times and it shows that you can continue to laugh even while going through a storm.
My main goal was wanting to show that dealing with dementia can deepen a relationship and you can love someone deeper when taking care of them. It was hard being one of my grandpa’s caregivers starting as a sophomore in high school until I was well into college, but I loved spending time with him.
Along the way, I realized that if I went through that as a teen, then there were other teens who had taken on a caregiver role (along with their parents) to a family member. I wanted to give those teens a book that understood what they were going through. Sometimes knowing you’re not alone in a tough situation can help so much and I hope I did that for my readers.
Purchase Dating the It Guy
About the Author
Who knew all those embarrassing, cringe-y moments in middle school and high school could turn into a career? And who would have thought that daydreaming in math class would pay off down the road?
Krysten Lindsay Hager writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, crushes, fame, first loves, and values. She is the author of True Colors, Best Friends…Forever?, Next Door to a Star, Landry in Like, Competing with the Star (The Star Series: Book 2), Dating the It Guy, and Can Dreams Come True?
Her debut novel, True Colors, won the Readers Favorite award for best preteen book and the Dayton Book Expo Bestseller Award for childen/teens. Competing with the Star is a Readers’ Favorite Book Award Finalist. Krysten’s work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Beavercreek Current, the Bellbrook Times, Springfield News-Sun, Grand Blanc View, Dayton Daily News and on Living Dayton.
Follow Krysten Lindsay Hager
Author of the Landry's True Colors Series, the Star Series, Dating the It Guy, & Can Dreams Come True