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7.28.2014

Guardians, Inc: The Cypher ~ Review

Guardians Inc: 
                    The Cypher
By Julian Rosado-Machain

Guardians Inc. is a new series of which The Cypher is the first book.
Thomas Byrne has recently moved in with his grandfather Morgan Byrne after his parents unexplained disappearance.  When Thomas and Morgan answer a classified ad they have no idea what they are getting themselves into. Guardians Inc. is a secret organization that had its beginnings 7,000 years ago.

Thomas has a unique ability to read any written language and Guardians Inc. needs Thomas and his skills. Thomas is the Cypher that they have been waiting for.  They need to find a hidden book that will reveal the next 500 years of history.  If they don't find it beings that we think of as magical and mythological will take control of the world we live in and know.

But Morgan has these same abilities.  This skill puts both Morgan and Thomas in danger making them targets of these mythological/magical forces.  Because whoever controls the Book of Concord will control the next 500 years.

It is race against time and magic as clues are discovered - clues that only a cypher can solve.

Though this book is being marketed to the YA audience, I think it would have appeal to tweens who have read the Percy Jackson books.  Magic, mythology, and human technology are in an endless struggle and if the balance should shift the world as we know it will end.  Join the adventure today...

I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher/author in conjunction with this PUYB blog tour in exchange for my participation and my honest review.

About the Author

Julian Rosado-Machain has enjoyed pizza in three continents, worked in graphic
design, armored vehicles, built computers, handcrafted alebrijes and swears
that he has seen at least one ghost.

He lives in San Diego, California. And enjoys the sun with his wife, three children
and cat.

His latest book is the YA fantasy adventure, Guardians Inc.: The Cypher.

• Visit Julian Rosado-Machain’s website.

• Connect with Julian on Facebook and Goodreads.

More books by Julian Rosado-Machain.

• Contact the author here.

About the Book:

GUARDIANS INC.: THE CYPHER is two stories in one. A glimpse into a
multinational company that is in reality the oldest of secret societies, one that
spans close to seven thousand years of existence, weaving in and out of history,
guiding and protecting humanity from creatures and forces that most of us
believe are only mythology and fairy tales.

The other is the story of Thomas Byrne, a young man thrust into secrets he
shouldn’t be aware of and dangers he shouldn’t face but, that he ultimately
will, for he is a Cypher. The only one who can steer humanity’s future.

The ultimate conspiracy theory is that Magic is real. Kept in check by
technology but, every five hundred years the balance can shift and, if it does,
technology will fail and those creatures we’ve driven into myth will come back

To protect the present, Guardians Incorporated needs to know the future, and
to unlock the future they need a Cypher.

This is the first book of the Guardians Inc Series.

• Guardians, Inc. is available at Amazon.

• Pick up your copy at Barnes and Noble.

• Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

• Watch the trailer on YouTube.

• Read Chapter One here.

Title: Guardians Inc.: The Cypher
Author: Julian Rosado-Machain
Publisher: Julian Rosado-Machain
Pages: 239
Genre: YA Fantasy Adventure
Format: Paperback, Kindle




7.27.2014

A Broken Kind of Beautiful ~ Review

A Broken Kind of Beautiful
By Katie Ganshert

I have never read Katie Ganshert's books before A Broken Kind of Beautiful.  I needed to pick a new book for review through the Blogging for Books program and so I figured I give this book a try.  I am so glad I did.  A Broken Kind of Beautiful is a book that really touches one's heart.  I spent Saturday afternoon reading this book and didn't want to put it down.

Ivy Clark has spent her life wanting her father's love, but now it is too late.  She has no more chances to earn the love she seeks.  She's tried to fill this emptiness with meaningless flings and attractions since she was 14 years old.  Add to this that her mother hasn't been there for her for more than 10 years and Ivy is a broken person.

Ivy's life is dependent upon her looks and her fading youth (which at 24 years of age is pretty sad).  With her modeling career seemingly on the downturn - she has one last chance - modeling wedding dresses for her step-mother.

But why Marilyn Olsen would want the living breathing proof of her husband's unfaithfulness modeling her wedding line is unfathomable to Ivy.  With her career on the line she reluctantly agrees to leave New York for Greenbrier, South Carolina.  But when she learns that the photographer for the shoot is her step-cousin Davis Knight she's convinced this is the end.  After all Davis is a nobody maintenance man at the local church!

But Davis had his own successes and career in fashion.  But something happened, causing him to turn his back on a lucrative career and vowing to never to again pick-up his camera.  But Aunt Marilyn convinces him do this one favor for her and for his sister Sara.  And for Sara, Davis will do anything.

Can these hurting people find the blessings that being broken has brought them?  Or will they only see what their brokenness has cost them?

A Broken Kind of Beautiful looks at the heart and the inner beauty of a life reborn and renewed in Christ. The statement about outer beauty being fleeting is explored.  The emptiness of world acclaim can be overcome by coming into fellowship with the One who sees our true inner self. 

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.


  • Author's Website
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  • More Info
  • Read Chapter One
  • Author Bio

    Sometimes everything you ever learned about yourself is wrong
  • Fashion is a fickle industry, a frightening fact for twenty-four year old model Ivy Clark. Ten years in and she’s learned a sacred truth—appearance is everything. Nobody cares about her broken past as long as she looks beautiful for the camera. This is the only life Ivy knows—so when it starts to unravel, she’ll do anything to hold on. Even if that means moving to the quaint island town of Greenbrier, South Carolina, to be the new face of her stepmother’s bridal wear line—an irony too rich for words, since Ivy is far from the pure bride in white.

    If only her tenuous future didn’t rest in the hands of Davis Knight, her mysterious new photographer. Not only did he walk away from the kind of success Ivy longs for to work maintenance at a local church, he treats her differently than any man ever has. Somehow, Davis sees through the fa├žade she works so hard to maintain. He, along with a cast of other characters, challenges everything Ivy has come to believe about beauty and worth. Is it possible that God sees her—a woman stained and broken by the world—yet wants her still?

    Mindwar ~ Review

    Mindwar
    The Mindwar Trilogy Book 1
    By Andrew Klavan

    Rick Dial's life is over.  His dad has run off with an old college girlfriend.  He'll never play football again thanks to an accident that ruined his legs and his life.

    The last few months he's been living in his bedroom.  And not really even living more like existing.  All that he is and does revolves around video games.  

    Everything is about to change, and it could cost Rick his life...

    But he could save the world...

    Rick's mind could turn him into the hero he always wanted to be.  War is coming, but it is about to be waged on a new front - a virtual front - and few people have the ability to survive within the Realm.  

    But Rick's recent obsession with gaming has uniquely prepared him for a mission into the Realm.  But to die within the Realm means to die outside it as well.  There are dangers that can't be prepared for within this virtual world - a world that is the creation of genius who has placed himself on the same level as the Creator.

    With time running out, Rick is the government's only chance of stopping this first major attack.  The possibility of never leaving the Realm is all to real.  But is Rick ready for his life to truly be over?  Or is this the very thing he needs to rediscover his life and his faith?

    I'm looking forward to book 2 in this series, which in my opinion makes this book a game winner!

    Mindwar is an exciting and suspenseful series debut that will keep up into early hours.  I think this book would be suitable for Tween, Teen, and Adult readers who love their reading to be suspense-filled!  I think fans of Stephen Lawhead's Bright Empires series, Robin Parrish's Offworld, and Ted Dekker's Circle series will appreciate this book/series.

    I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher through the BookLook blogger program in exchange for my honest review.

    About the Book:
    When Rick lost the ability to run, he came one step closer to becoming a hero.
    New High Score! New Record Time!
    Rick nodded with grim satisfaction. He laid the game controller aside on the sofa and reached for his crutches.
    Rick Dial was the best quarterback Putnam Hills High School had ever seen. Unflappable. Unstoppable. Number 12. But when a car accident left him crippled, Rick’s life as he knew it ended. He disavowed his triumphant past. He ignored his girlfriend. He disappeared into his bedroom—and into the glowing video screen.
    But Rick’s uncanny gaming skills have attracted attention. Dangerous attention. Government agents have uncovered a potentially devastating cyber-threat: a Russian genius has created a digital reality called the Realm, from which he can enter, control, and disrupt American computer systems . . . from transportation to defense. The agents want Rick, quick-thinking quarterback and gaming master, to enter the Realm and stop the madman—before he sends America into chaos.
    Entering the Realm will give Rick what he thought he’d never have again: a body as strong and fast as it was before the accident. But this is no game, there are no extra lives, and what happens to Rick in the Realm happens to Rick’s body in reality.
    Even after Rick agrees to help, he can’t shake the sense that he’s being kept in the dark. Why would a government agency act so aggressively? Can anyone inside the Realm be trusted? How many others have entered before him . . . and failed to return?
    In the tradition of Ender’s Game and The MatrixMindWar is a complex thriller about a seemingly ordinary teenager who discovers a hidden gift—a gift that could make him a hero . . . or cost him everything.

    Stuck Together ~ Review

    Stuck Together
    Trouble in Texas Book 3
    By Mary Connealy

    When Tina Cahill moved to Broken Wheel, Texas, to live with her big brother Jonas, she determined to shut down the saloon.  But Tina's determination just might not be enough.  After all there a few woman and children living in Broken Wheel to help her in her campaign.

    But Tina is good at one thing - stirring up trouble.  And she's determined to stir up as much as she can, even if it means dragging Jonas and his friends into it with her.  If she can just convince Broken Wheel's unpaid sheriff Vince Yates to take her part - she knows that she'll get things changed quick.

    But Vince has problems of his own, what with his family making a surprise visit.  And then Lana Bullard is still a prisoner that he can't figure out what to do with.  And Tina is starting to become his biggest problem, especially where his heart is concerned.  Vince has a secret that makes him push away any chance of love, but Tina has a way of getting under a man's skin.  But somehow this little pest has managed to make her way into his heart and he's fighting it all the way.

    But when Vince needs help he has to call on his friends and somehow he and Tina seem to keep getting stuck together.  They're both determined to somehow make it through this crisis with their hearts intact though it is growing more difficult as they discover that the other does have some admirable traits after all.

    This is the final book in the Trouble in Texas series.  In this book we get to learn more about Vince and Tina.  Both of them have major family issues that have had a lasting impact on them.  Vince fears that he will take after his parents - leaving him as unfit a parent as they both were.  Tina suffers from fears of rejection, as she has had the people in her life leave her behind.

    When a series of crisis break-out Vince must decide which one takes precedence even if upsets his friends in the process.

    All in all readers of this series should be delighted.  I would have liked an ending a little more fleshed out though it was well concluded and should satisfy series fans.   Historical fiction with a generous splash of romance, a jail break, a missing person, and a possible war with the Indians - get ready for some Old West excitement!

    I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher Bethany House through their blogger program in exchange for my honest review.

    About the Book:

    When a lawman who values order gets stuck with a feisty crusader who likes to stir things up, there's going to be trouble in Texas!

    Now that she's settled in town, Tina Cahill is determined to get Broken Wheel's saloon closed for good. To that end, she pickets outside the place every afternoon. Unfortunately, so far no one has paid any attention.

    Vince Yates earned the nickname "Invincible Vince" because of his reputation for letting absolutely nothing stop him. But Vince is about to face his biggest challenge yet: his past has just caught up with him. His father, mother, and the sister he didn't know he had show up in Broken Wheel without warning. His father is still a schemer. His mother is showing signs of dementia. And his surprise sister quickly falls for one of Vince's best friends. Vince suddenly has a lot of people depending on him, and Tina doesn't approve of how he's handling any of them.

    With nearly every other man in town married off, Vince finds himself stuck with strong-willed Tina over and over again. Of course, Tina is the prettiest woman he's ever seen, so if he could just get her to give up her crazy causes, he might go ahead and propose. But he's got one more surprise coming his way: Tina's picketing at the saloon has revealed a dark secret that could put everyone Vince loves in danger.

    7.24.2014

    The Dreamosphere ~ Review

    The Dreamosphere
    By Laura Stoddard

    Gwen (Gwenevere) Stoker is haunted by her sister's death, a death for which she feels responsible.  She is not the same person that she was two years ago.  But something is about to happen that could again forever alter Gwen's life.

    Gwen has always had dreams that are vividly eclectic, but recently her dreams have been almost non-existent.  But Tabitha is about to change that.  Someone or something is destroying Gwen's dreams and the memory of her dreams.  And Tabitha is determined to help Gwen stop this threat to her very experience.

    But to save her dreams Gwen must enter her Dreamosphere - the place where every dream she's ever dreamed exists.  Can the very act of saving her dreams restore to Gwen what she has lost?  Enter The Dreamosphere to discover the truth for yourself.

    I think this is a story that is very timely in looking at how grief is dealt with on an individual basis and how the affects on various family members can be so different.  This book could be valuable in helping pre-teens (tweens) and teens to understand the various changes that a friend may be going through during times of grief while at the same time providing an entertaining reading experience.

    I was provided a digital file of this book by the publisher in exchange for my honest review and tour participation.

    It should be noted for all dreamers - Beware of Edgar Allen Poe's poetry - it could be detrimental to your dream health.


    Book Synopsis: 
    What if dreams don’t disappear when we wake up? Haunted by her younger sister’s death, and her unwitting role in the incident, 11-year-old Gwenevere Stoker takes solace in the Dreamosphere—a dimension where all dreams still exist. But when someone begins destroying her dreams, Gwen must find the culprit—or risk losing all her happiness forever. Bask in the mystery and imagination of dreams in this touching, funny, mind-bending children’s tale that encompasses themes of grief, friendship, family, healing, and grand adventure!

    EXCERPT:

    What do you think happens to your dreams after you wake up?"


    Gwen shrugged distractedly, too disoriented by her sudden arrival in the remarkable setting to focus. "I dunno. They disappear?"

    The unblinking gray eyes of her young companion flashed as she leaned forward. "Incorrect. Every dream you've ever had still exists. All of them. They reside in a dimension called the Dreamosphere. It's where we are right now, as a matter of fact. Each dream basically exists as its own world, or dream-orb. There are thousands and thousands of them, connected like drops of dew on a gigantic spider web. Every dream you've ever had, Gwen. They're all up here. And you can visit them any time you want."


    More about the Book:
    Tabitha, the enigmatic child who shares this information, has some even more shocking news. Gwen’s dreamosphere is in danger. Someone has been hacking into it—destroying her dream orbs, erasing pieces of her past, and affecting Gwen in more ways than she realizes. Together, Gwen and Tabitha travel through the outlandish landscape of Gwen’s dream worlds to find the person responsible. What will happen to Gwen when all her dreams are gone? What critical clues lie within the pages of her dream journal? And what does Edgar Allan Poe have to do with it all?

    Author Bio: Laura Stoddard was born in Idaho and spent her formative years running amok in the great outdoors. She received her bachelors degree in English Literature from Arizona State University. After being rejected from the masters program for creative writing she decided that she didn't need a masters degree to tell her she could write, so she started really dedicating her time to finishing the story she'd started months earlier, with the goal of writing a complete novel, and getting it published. The result is her debut novel, The Dreamosphere, for which her own vivid, bizarre, and incomprehensible dreams provided the inspiration. Laura is an adrenaline junkie and will try anything once--or twice--or maybe three times. She can already check whitewater rafting, going down in a shark cage, and skydiving (three times) off of her list. Oh, and getting Lasik. It was five minutes of terror. She enjoys hiking, rowing, reading classic literature, embarking on new adventures and hobbies, volunteering regularly, and spending time with family. She currently resides in Phoenix, Ariz.

    Visit Laura online: www.laura-stoddard.com 

    7.23.2014

    CSFF July Blog Tour Day 3 ~ The Warden and the Wolf King

    Welcome to the 3rd and Final day of the CSFF Blog Tour for July

    The Wingfeather Saga Book Four

                                Sea Dragons
                           A Desperate Quest
             And the Final Battle for the Shinning Isle...

    The Warden and the Wolf King is the fourth book in the Wingfeather Saga.  And as an endorsement for this book I admit I have ordered the first 3 books in this series so that I can have the entire series on hand to pick-up and read whenever the mood strikes. And this is one series that I know I will want to read again.

    War is on the horizon and the clans of the Green Hollows have come together to to pledge their support to the children of Annieran and to their king though he is in the form of a Fang (wolfish in appearance).  As they plan on how to take the war to Gnag the Nameless in a surprise attack, they are themselves surprised by an attack of a new Fang army.

    The Jewels of Anniera are separated when the war begins.  But they are united nonetheless in their hope to stop Gnag once and for all, lest they too become Fang or Cloven.  Janner, Kalmar, and Leeli each must draw upon their owns gifts and strengths in this battle that will determine the fate of the world that they know.

    Discovering a long forgotten secret and a hidden pain are the key to their victory.  But victory always exacts a price - the question is who will pay it... 

     I admit it the story drew me completely into it, so that I didn't want to put it down.  I made it through about half the book in one sitting and have to admit I wasn't expecting the ending. I'm hoping for a fifth book in this delightfully engrossing saga (or maybe another series with these same characters). 

    I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in conjunction with this CSFF tour in exchange for my tour participation and my honest review

    Thanks for joining me throughout this tour and be sure to visit the other CSFF tour participants as well for more delightful and thoughtful insights into The Warden and the Wolf King:

    7.22.2014

    CSFF July Tour Day 2 ~ The Warden and the Wolf King


    Welcome to day 2 of the CSFF Blog Tour for July

    The Wingfeather Saga Book Four

                                Sea Dragons
                           A Desperate Quest
             And the Final Battle for the Shinning Isle...

    Now to start off I will say I have not read the first three books in the Wingfeather Saga (though I intend to, I'm on the waiting list at the library).  So when I started reading I will admit to being a little lost at first.  I mean three siblings and one of them is a wolf?  And what's a Fang of Dang?  Cloven?  Toothy Cows?  Don't cows have cloven feet????

    But it didn't take long to make sense of everything and the occasional illustration was a big help in being able to get into the story.  And I will admit the story drew me into it, so that I didn't want to put it down.  I made it through about half the book in one sitting and have to admit I wasn't expecting the ending.  I'm hoping for a fifth book in this delightful and engrossing saga. 

    I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in conjunction with this CSFF tour in exchange for my tour participation and my honest review


    Be sure to come back tomorrow for more about Book 4...

    While your waiting be sure to visit the other tour participants during the tour July 21 - 23