logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: teen-ya
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2020-06-03 06:00
The Story Hunter Review and GIVEAWAY!
 

About the Book

 


Book:  The Story Hunter

Author: Lindsay A. Franklin

Genre:  Christian Fantasy, Action & Adventure

Release Date: May 19, 2020

Redeeming the past is a fatal quest.

In the wake of a deadly coup, the capital city of Urian has descended into chaos. Heartbreak and bloodshed await Tanwen and her friends as they discover the unlikeliest leader now rules Tir.

If they want to save the realm, Tannie and the Corsyth weavers must rescue Queen Braith and unmask the Master, ending the strife once and for all. But the success of their hunt depends upon an ally no one trusts.

The Master has a new target in sight: fragile, trauma-scarred Digwyn, whose unique weaving ability could turn the tide of any war. When the desire for vengeance proves too powerful for Digwyn to resist, Tanwen must face a terrifying truth: the fate of Tir rests in the hands of a volatile, shattered girl.




Click HERE to get your copy!


About the Author

 


Lindsay A. Franklin is a Carol Award–winning author, freelance editor, and homeschooling mom of three. She would wear pajama pants all the time if it were socially acceptable. Lindsay lives in her native San Diego with her scruffy-looking nerf-herder husband, their precious geeklings, three demanding thunder pillows (a.k.a. cats), and a stuffed marsupial named Wombatman.
 

More from Lindsay

 

Someone asked me recently where my story ideas come from. In fact, that’s one of the author questions I get asked most often. Honestly, the answer is different for every single project I’ve worked on, every single thing I’ve written. I’ve gotten ideas from news headlines, from dreams, from random musings while washing dishes. I even got an idea for a novel from a throwaway remark made by an editor teaching a workshop (that’s how The Story Peddler started).

The idea for The Story Hunter started with a title that turned into a girl.

After The Weaver Trilogy was acquired, my publisher and I brainstormed a list of titles for books two and three in the series. My editor loved the title The Story Peddler and wanted to keep that format for subsequent books. On his brainstorming list was the title The Story Thief. Obviously, this title did not make it all the way to publication. The middle-grade best-selling series Story Thieves wasn’t on our radar at the time, and once it was, I knew we would have to work with a different title (and I absolutely love the title The Story Hunter, so there’s no lingering sadness over here). But the moment I saw that phrase, The Story Thief, a new character popped into my head. It was one of those rare instances when a complete person arrives in my imagination all at once. I knew who she was, what she wanted, and what her unique gift would be. She was Diggy, my story thief, and I knew book three would belong to her.

There were many things I loved about writing this final installment of The Weaver Trilogy but none more than getting to write my story thief’s journey. That’s her hand on the cover of the book, stealing lightning and battling her inner monsters. Though I knew who Diggy was the moment I imagined her, I wasn’t sure how her story was going to end until I wrote it. I can recall saying to my best friend during Hunter’s writing process, “I don’t know if Diggy is going to be okay.” Her backstory is very difficult and deeply personal to me. When we’re facing the kind of odds Diggy is facing, sometimes we don’t win. And even if we do, rarely do we come out unscathed. So I built the book around that question: is Diggy going to be okay? And I didn’t know the answer until I scribbled it down on my outline.

When readers reach The End for the final time in this series, I hope they will feel I’ve done Diggy’s story—and the stories of all my beloved Weaver characters— justice.
 
 

My Review

 

“And the dream of a safe, quiet life tucked away in the Corsyth with tomorrows stretching before me and Mor and the others shattered.”

Oh my heart! This book has evoked so many emotions, and I hate to see it end and to have to bid farewell to these characters. If ever there was a book to win me over to the fantasy genre, this trilogy would be it! In endeavoring to explore stories in genres outside my comfort zone, I have come to the realization that part of the reason why I tend to shy away from fantasy (and sci-fi, for that matter) is that I enjoy rural, pastoral settings. So I appreciate that The Weaver Trilogy incorporates a bit of both rural and urban life. Likewise, I enjoyed that there was still a strong element of realism, despite the clear fantasy components. Although I did not get a chance to read book two yet, there is enough backstory provided from it to clue the reader in to the major events. I would still recommend reading them in order, though, and reading book one first is essential.

Lindsay Franklin brings The Weaver Trilogy to an epic finale with “The Story Hunter.” Despite how seemingly straightforward her titles are, I love the fact that they end up meaning something different after reading the story than what I took them to mean at face value. When it comes to books, I enjoy surprises! There is no shortage of them here, as readers learn some surprising things about the events from the previous two books and how everything ties together. “The Story Hunter” opens with the aftermath of an uprising and a new and completely unexpected leader on the throne, and at no point does the action relent. This is truly a page-turner!

As with the other books in the series, this one contains multiple narrators, noted by their name in the chapter title. In many cases, this tends to be an issue for me, leading to confusion and information overload, but Franklin uses it so well here that I can’t imagine the series any other way. The varying viewpoints offer valuable insight into some of the main characters without becoming overwhelming for the reader. Digwyn, or Diggy, stole my heart in this book as I cheered for her and as my heart broke for her. I will miss these characters and the spiritual insight that they offer.

There are some caveats I would offer to potential readers: this third book in the series has violent scenes (fighting and the aftermath of battle) and does deal with post-traumatic stress involving sexual abuse. All of this is handled very well but could be disturbing or triggering to some, so I recommend this for older teen readers and above.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

 

Blog Stops

 

 
 

Giveaway

 

 
To celebrate her tour, Lindsay is giving away the grand prize package of a signed set of The Weaver Trilogy paperbacks, set of four character cards with art by Laura Hollingsworth, set of three Weaver-themed Novelly Yours candles (The Corsyth, The Cethorelle, and The Craigyl), an “I Ship It Mor” enamel pin designed by Dust & Pages, Custom tea tins from Adagio Tea (Braith’s Blend and Diggy’s Spikefruit), and an assortment of bookmarks, stickers, and art prints!!
 
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
 

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2020-06-02 21:31
You Brought Me the Ocean by Alex Sanchez
You Brought Me the Ocean - Alex Sanchez,Julie Maroh

Jake Hyde is in his junior year of high school and wants to study the ocean. He's never even seen the ocean, living in Truth or Consequences, NM, but he's always felt drawn there. His best friend Maria wants to study closer to home, and Jake's overprotective mother would agree. After his father drowned when he was a baby, his mother has all but forbid him to go near open water. There are other complications, like the weird birth marks Jake has up and down his arms and legs that glow when wet, and his growing crush on Kenny Liu, captain of the swim team. 

 

The story moves at a nice pace, allowing plenty of time for the characters to show who they are and Julie Maroh ('Blue is the Warmest Color') provides a dreamy landscape that doesn't dilute the sharper aspects of the story. I'd forgotten this was a DC Comics graphic novel when Jake and Maria spot Superman flying high in the sky towards the West coast while hiking. 

 

This novel succeeds as a coming-of-age story, complete with first romance, tears and drama as well as an origin story for Aqualad. There is an astonishing amount of LGBTQIA books coming out now (yay!), and this one hits all the marks.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2020-05-19 17:21
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, Hunger Games Prequel by Suzanne Collins
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes - Suzanne Collins

Suzanne Collins returns to the world of 'The Hunger Games' to tell the story of young Coriolanus Snow. For those who don't remember, that's Donald Sutherland. The original trilogy captivated me when I first read it, but I had my doubts about a prequel after all these years. This is partly because these books don't continue to resonate with me the way some other YA powerhouses have. Nostalgia is a powerful thing, however, so expect this one to be on the bestseller list for some time.

 

This was a fast read, even at 500+ pages, and there was some pleasure in seeing the world that had only been viewed through Katniss' limited gaze with greater clarity. The problem I ultimately had with this is the problem that hits a lot of prequels: this story had a foregone conclusion. The story has to have an interesting journey on top of the plot. Was the goal to humanize Snow? To reinforce the message of the original trilogy? To provide an alternative to the increasingly lampooned Katniss model of YA heroine in Lucy Gray? Having finished this...I still can't give you those answers.

 

I'm rating this as only OK because we didn't see any transformation of Snow. Cunning sociopathic person wins the day may be realistic, but it wasn't riveting as presented here. Lucy Gray is only a cypher because we never hear her perspective, and what we do see is from Snow's eyes, so.... Most importantly, I didn't buy the moral complications presented to the reader. Right and wrong were pretty clear and there was little or no real internal struggle on the part of the characters. That was a defining highlight of the original books. 'Ballad' succeeds only in being a return to a familiar world and by filling in gaps in the timeline of the series. If you liked the original trilogy, you'll find something in this book. Just don't expect the moon.

 

On the plus side, many bookstores got Mockingjay/Snake iron-on patches so if you pre-ordered a copy with them you get one for free. Check with your local - they may have extra patches that are first come/first served if you didn't preorder!

 

The Hunger Games

 

Previous: 'Mockingjay'

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2020-05-16 20:22
The Deck of Omens, Four Paths #2 by Christine Lynn Herman
The Deck of Omens - Christine Lynn Herman

'Deck of Omens' picks up right where 'Devouring Gray' left off, with the Hawthornes and all of Four Paths aghast at Harper's vengeance.

 

Even in the peculiar world of this town the law doesn't touch magical actions, but there is a definite shift in power even as a new threat rises up from the Gray. Corruption is taking the trees of the forest from the inside out and, after Violet and Isaac try to strike at the Beast, the infection crosses over to people.

 

Further complications occur when other members of the Founders families begin to return to town. There is more family drama, surprise identity reveals, and so many feelings. Parents and kids just don't understand each other or their feelings.

 

This book gets to the heart of every mystery raised, but left me still wanting more. This series could easily have been expanded beyond two books, but its nice to see the series wrapped up.
 

Four Paths

 

Previous: 'The Devouring Gray'

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2020-05-12 05:00
Avalanche Review and GIVEAWAY!
 

About the Book

 

Book:  Avalanche

Author: M. Liz Boyle

Genre:  Christian YA

Release Date: September 27, 2019

When fifteen-year-old Marlee Stanley joins her two sisters and the sons of their family friends on a secretive hike in the middle of the night, she is thrilled and nervous. Battling her conscience, she prays that the hike will go flawlessly and that they will return to the safety of their campsite before their parents wake. The start of the hike is beautiful and wonderfully memorable.
 
In a white flash so fast that Marlee can barely comprehend what has happened, an avalanche crashes into their path. Buried in packed snow, Marlee is forced to remember survival tips learned from her dad and her own research.
 
This group of friends, ages eleven through seventeen, is about to endure bigger challenges than many adults have experienced. Digging out of the packed snow is only the first of many challenges. Injuries, cold, hunger, fatigue, aggressive wildlife and tensions in the group make this a much bigger adventure than they ever imagined. As the kids strive to exhibit Christian values throughout the trials, they learn numerous life lessons. But they are nearly out of food, and their energy is waning quickly. How will they ever reach help?
 
 

Click HERE for your copy!


About the Author

 


Liz is an author, the wife of a professional tree climber and the mom of three energetic and laundry-producing children. She received her Associate’s of Arts at the University of Sioux Falls, where she received the LAR Writing Award for her essay entitled, “My Real Life Mufasa.” Liz once spent a summer in Colorado teaching rock climbing, which she believes was a fantastic way to make money and memories. She resides with her family in Wisconsin, where they enjoy hiking and rock climbing. Liz and her husband have also backpacked in Colorado and the Grand Canyon, which have provided inspiration for her writing. She likes making adventurous stories to encourage others to find adventures and expand their comfort zones (though admittedly, she still needs lots of practice expanding her own comfort zone). She has thoroughly enjoyed working on her first novel, Avalanche, and the sequel Chased, which will release in the summer of 2020.
 

More from Liz

 

Have you ever been tempted to take a risk even though your conscience was screaming at you? Were you able to justify the pursuit of the thrill, actually convincing yourself that what you knew to be the unwise decision made perfect sense?

I did. So did my sisters. And so did Sawyer and Marshall Miles. When Sawyer first proposed the idea of the moonlit summit on our families’ annual backpacking trip, I was terrified. But I was also hooked. Sawyer convinced us that we would be fine, and we would be back to camp before our parents woke up with the sunrise.

Hearts racing and hands trembling, we five kids snuck away from camp in the middle of the night. Hiking toward the peak, the full moon was breathtaking, the wildlife abundant, and the experience unreal.

It became a whole lot more unreal when an avalanche, roaring, white and enormous, thundered into our path. Buried in the packed snow, I would have given anything to go back in time and change my decision to go along with this foolish idea.

Digging out of the cemented snow was the first of many challenges in the coming days. Physically, emotionally and spiritually, we were all pushed to our limits.

I had always loved hiking Colorado’s peaks. But, of course, I had never had to evacuate my own sister. I had always trusted Dad’s orienteering. Now I had to trust Sawyer, who, by the way, was the brain behind this dilemma. I usually slept best while backpacking. But, mountain nights are warmer when spent in a sleeping bag. But I can’t let my mind go there. I must keep a positive outlook and trust God to bring us to safety. That’s easier said than done.

Avalanche is a Christian teen and young adult novel. This engaging journey, told by fifteen-year-old Marlee Stanley, captures a timeless sense of adventure. The five young adults strive to exhibit godly character throughout their escapade, but they have not been in such a dire situation before. It will take immense strength and cooperation to hike out of this mess.
 
 

My Review

 

The first book in the Off the Itinerary series, M. Liz Boyle’s “Avalanche” may be written for a young adult audience, but with its adventuresome approach it will appeal to readers of all ages. This is exactly the type of book that I sought out when I was younger, and I still enjoyed it, despite now being an adult. Not only does it impart godly wisdom, but it does so in a real-life manner that younger readers will understand and be able to apply to their own lives. The characters are all steadfast in their Christian faith, which sees them through the trials that they face, and I appreciate the fact that the author does not portray them as saints but rather allows the reader to experience their weaknesses and mistakes. The story is narrated in the first person by 15-year-old Marlee Stanley, who is on a secret overnight hike with her sisters Ellie and Lydie and their friends, Sawyer and Marshall Miles. When they are caught in an avalanche, their fun turns into a battle for survival.

“Avalanche” surprised me with its depth. Boyle writes to a young audience, and she keeps the story simple enough to be easily understood, all the while adding in details that make it a learning experience. I think that this book would be a great option for reluctant readers for this reason. Boyle also displays keen insight into teenage behavior and adolescence, when kids are beginning to become aware of the opposite sex. The hiking and wilderness survival skills are fascinating, and there is a small glossary at the end of the book for a few of the terms that may be unfamiliar to readers. I certainly learned a lot! In my opinion, though, the best part of this story is the strong faith element. Each character demonstrates a stalwart faith in God, even in the face of disaster and even though they are afraid. This is what makes this a 5-star read for me, as the kids battle against despair and negativity yet still cling to prayer and encourage each other. It would be easy for this to come across as sanctimonious and false, yet it doesn’t because Boyle shows readers how the characters truly struggle to maintain a resolute faith. The beautiful part of it is that we all experience the same conflict at one time or another, and when we hold fast to God and put the needs of others above our own, we can know that He is working within us and fighting for us. As Marlee comments, “Each moment is an opportunity to achieve greatness with God.”

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

 

Blog Stops

 

 

Giveaway

 

 
To celebrate her tour, M. Liz is giving away the grand prize of a gift basket with the items pictured above!!
 
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
 

 

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?