Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Books, Blogs & Page Turners - Issue 1

BBPT is a monthly meme hosted by Turn The Page where we rehash all our favorites from the month... books, blogs, and all things bookish! 

Books, Blogs & Page Turners - The books reviewed this month:
The Breathing Series ~  by Rebecca Donovan. We gave it 5 stars! I absolutely loved these books and cannot wait for "Out of Breathe," the third and final in the series. 
This Morning I Woke Up Dead ~ by Mindy Larson. I gave it 4 stars! 
Silently Screaming ~ by Dawn L. Husted. I gave it 4 stars! 
The Torturer's Daughter ~ by Zoe Cannon. I gave it 4 stars!
Not Today, But Someday ~ by Lori. L. Otto. I gave it 5 stars! Loved...loved...loved it!

Books, Blogs & Page Turners - Manic Monday Winners:
While this was the first Manic Monday feature, it surely won't be the last....
Manic Monday ~ Week #1: Lori L. Otto, Not Today, But Someday

Books, Blogs & Page Turners - The blogs we crushed on this month:
Between The Lines ~ Hosted by Trish. What we love and can't help but crush on are her constantly witty TTT posts. I'm a list lover too and I always look forward to seeing what the Tuesday topic is and read her lists. Also, this month her post "memes, merits, & moans was a fun read that gave this book blogger the good swift kick in the butt to jump on the meme bandwagon. After reading her merits and moans I thought I would try to come up with some fun, quirky memes of my own... hope I made you proud Trish! 

Falling For YA ~ Hosted by Emily. I stumbled upon this blog through a directory and fell in love with Emily's beautiful layout and was sure to tell her so. Other reasons I crushed on Falling For YA this month was her stacking the shelves meme... totally love this and when I saw Forever by Judy Blume, well... she had me at Forever! Judy Blume was my go to author all through elementary school and junior high. I have every one of her books and my #1 favorite is "Just As Long As We're Together" 

Paper Fantasies ~ Hosted by Kelly. I love her new blog facelift... her button and oh can't forget her twitter bird. Looked for that little guy everywhere on the net because I was crushing so hard! Never found him... so I just stop by her page a few times a week to ogle hers. Another reason I crushed on her blog, her YA epidemic meme... As a YA author I get some fantastic feedback both from Kelly and all of her trustworthy followers. Being far removed from the young adult pool it's not always easy to know what to steer clear of or add more of... so thanks Kelly!! 

Books, Blogs & Page Turners- Books up for review in May:

Books, Blogs & Pager Turners - Other bookish news and recaps:
We Love Giveaways: The Emi Lost & Found Series by Lori L. Otto is up for grabs until May 13th. Be sure to enter for your chance to win the 3-book series on your Kindle, Nook or through Smashwords.  

Happy One Month Anniversary Turn The Page Book Blog!! 
And in other bookish news I am proud to announce I will be taking on another book reviewer... a best friend and co-worker, Angela Maine. I will let her do her own introducing to you all very soon and we hope that two will be better than one! 

We are always looking for more indie/self-published authors we can connect with and offer reviews to, do cover reveals.... If this is you, give us a shout out at ttpbookblog@gmail.com

TTP got another layout change and we think we like this one the best so far... it's classic and simple. Maybe down the road we will invest in getting one of those super cool blog designers to give us a  unique TTP facelift!!

And finally, we are still in need of more great followers to share all our amazing reviews and fun memes with so if anyone has any suggestions, feedback or great followers for us... bring it on! 

We hope you enjoyed our first issue of Books, Blogs & Page Turners... Go ahead and leave us a comment, tell us your thoughts, share your favorites from the month of April and help spring us into May!! 

Monday, April 29, 2013

WE LOVE GIVEAWAYS: Emi Lost & Found Series

Author: Lori L. Otto
Title: Emi Lost & Found Series 
Genre: Young Adult > Romance
Publication Date(s): April 2011
Giveaway Dates: Monday April 29, 2013-Sunday May 13, 2013 The winner will be announced in our weekly Manic Monday Feature. 
Prize: 2 Winners will receive the Series Bundle of Emi Lost & Found Series (3 book -eBook series- Kindle, Nook, Smashwords)
Link to my review: Not Today, But Someday - Book Review
Link to the Auhtor's Website: Lori L. Otto, Author of Emi Lost & Found


Manic Monday Indie/Self-Published Author Feature 
Week #1

In December of 1994, when she was a junior in high school, Emi Hennigan discovered her father's infidelity. Forced to transfer schools mid-year, she wasn't trying to make new friends. In that same month, sophomore Nate Wilson's girlfriend broke up with him. Searching for someone to fill the void left by his first love, he meets Emi in his art class. Nate knows he wants Emi from the moment he sees her. Emi knows she needs Nate after one night together. A life-long friendship is born, and a pact is made to ensure that nothing will come between them. This novella is the prequel to the Emi Lost & Found series.

Author: Lori L. Otto
Title: Not Today, But Someday
Genre: Young Adult >Romance
Publication Date: September 2012
Links to Purchase: AmazonB&N
Reviewer: Megan

My Review: 5 out of 5 stars I Absolutely Loved It!! 

Not Today, But Someday... is NOT what you should be saying if you haven't read Not Today, But Someday!!

As the true YA book whore I am, I must say I am IN LOVE with Emi and Nate!! I read this book in one sitting... started it in the morning over coffee and finished it before closing my eyes last night... and I worked 9 hours in between there as well..  it was a fast, engaging, enthralling read. I loved the relationship between Nate and Emi, I loved them individually, I loved their banter and their quirkiness. 

I loath spoilers so I don't want to say too much about the story in general, because it's one where you can easily spoil the fun without trying. SO what I will say is the issues within the story are real, with real consequences that so many families today face. Divorce and infidelity are on the rise and it's often the children who pay the highest price... this is a lesson Emi knows all too well. I think Lori created special characters and an engaging plot. Her gift of storytelling is exceptional and left me turning page after page without realizing I had nearly reached the end within hours...  I went to bed last night elated that there were 3 more books in this series, this being the prequel... which meant, I had just begun getting to know Nate and Emi. This morning, my coffee hadn't even finished brewing and I was already buying the series....

I can hardly wait to dive in and read the next 3 books... I have seen tidbits from the descriptions of each of the books in the series and was excited when I realized this story follows Emi into her adult life.... Eek, cue the giddy, squeaky adolescent in me! 

I highly highly recommend Not Today, But Someday by Lori L. Otto - YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!! 

Manic Monday #2

Manic Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Turn The Page Book Blog, where we get to decide who the next Indie/Self Published author feature will be! 

It's Monday again and we all know what that means... Blah. And of course, the weather here in Northeast Ohio clearly hasn't gotten the memo that it's spring, almost May to be exact. While the weather is warming up, the sky outside my window is as dreary as a winter day! 

Lets see if we can't brighten things up in here a bit, shall we?

The chosen Indie/Self Published author for 
Manic Monday Week #1 is:

Lori L. Otto - Not Today, But Someday

Congratulations Lori. 

Before I give you the next 3 titles, I wanted to share some really fantastic stuff with you all...
Lori L. Otto has agreed to let me host a Giveaway of the Emi Lost & Found Series - This is the series that follows Not Today, But Someday!  

SO, stay tuned for all the details of how you can win the 3 Book Kindle version of Emi Lost & Found, by Lori L. Otto

Monday April 29, 2013 Manic Monday Picks
(All Found on Smashwords)

1. The Accidental Siren - Jake Vander Ark
2. What I Didn't Say - Keary Taylor
3. Simply Mine - M.L. Gardner 

* If you've read it, tell us what you thought and tell me which book should be chosen as our Manic Monday Indie/Self-Published Author Feature for Week #3

Also, Tell me if you've found outstanding Indie books (for FREE or PAID) that you think deserve a spotlight in our Manic Monday. 

Please leave your choice in the comment section by Sunday and I will announce the Manic Monday Winner next Monday with the new list!


When her best friend Heather calls in the middle of the night, Becca assumes it's the usual drama. Wrong. Heather's parents have been arrested as dissidents - and Becca's mother, the dystopian regime's most infamous torturer, has already executed them for their crimes against the state.

To stop Heather from getting herself killed trying to prove her parents' innocence, Becca hunts for proof of their guilt. She doesn't expect to find evidence that leaves her questioning everything she thought she knew about the dissidents... and about her mother.

When she risks her life to save a dissident, she learns her mother isn't the only one with secrets - and the plot she uncovers will threaten the lives of the people she loves most. For Becca, it's no longer just a choice between risking execution and ignoring the regime's crimes; she has to decide whose life to save and whose to sacrifice.

It's easy to be a hero when you can save the world, but what about when all you can do is choose how you live in it? THE TORTURER'S DAUGHTER is a story about ordinary teenage life amidst the realities of living under an oppressive regime... and the extraordinary courage it takes to do what's right in a world gone wrong.

Author: Zoe Cannon
Title: The Torturer's Daughter
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction>Dystopian 
Publication Date: October 2012
Links to Purchase: AmazonBarnes & Noble
Reviewer: Megan

My Review: 4 out of 5 stars- I Liked It! 

I'd be a dissident, what about you??

I want to start off by saying I am becoming a huge fan of YA dystopian books and "The Torturer's Daughter" is amongst the list of books that has brought me to this new found love of dystopian.  I loved the characters, the plot, the concept!!

Becca is faced with some difficult decisions and she goes about it in such a way that, as the reader, you can't help but find yourself wondering how you would answer these questions... or at least you should. When I did, I realized I would be a dissident, ALL THE WAY!! 

I loved Becca's willingness to question everything- including her own mother. I am the same type of person, so I found Becca relatable. Sometimes, it can get me into trouble, just like it did Becca.  I also liked that Becca wasn't willing to submit to some notion of blind allegiance. When the facts were laid at her feet she began to look at the bigger picture and see her world for what it could actually be, as opposed to what she was told to be believe. 

I think the way Becca handled the process of figuring out who she was and where she fit into her world, how she acknowledged her relationships were changing, as well as how she was changing as a person was very well written. The author, Zoe Cannon writes very beautifully, making every word believable-understandable. You feel the torment, the anguish, and you want to know what Becca will choose. 

I liked that she fought for what she believed in and followed through in her convictions- this is not always easy when faced with life and death situations. The natural inclination, in my opinion would be to follow in Heather's footsteps. This unfortunately is human instinct. 

Here is why The Torturers's Daughter was 4 stars and not 5. The last 25% of the book were the best for me. It began moving fast and there was the suspense I had been waiting for. The first 75%, while entertaining was a little slow, but well written. As a new found lover of YA Dystopian I was hoping for more back story about the society that Becca and her friends lived in. Other than the knowledge that it was a society run on blind allegiance to "Internal" with those who spoke out against the government being "dissidents," there wasn't any explanation about their society- what it was like, what drove them to this point... As a result, I felt like questions were left unanswered. I loved the story, but wanted more!! 

Finally, I think one of the things that kept turning over in my head was the fact that because I didn't have this background information on their society, the issues felt very realistic to me and not as dystopian as I would have preferred. We all make tough choices in our lives- sometimes we must choose between ourselves and those we care deeply for. And sometimes those choices drive us away from certain people in our lives. The question of values, faith, and standing by your word is something familiar to us all, especially today. So again, while I loved the story, the characters, and all the potential that was wrapped up in it... even Jake (I hoped for more here as well), it just didn't come as I so desperately had hoped. Maybe I just read too much contemporary YA, but I felt like this story wasn't over. I have no idea if there is a sequel.... BUT, I would LOVE a PREQUEL!! 

I highly recommend The Torturer's Daughter to anyone who enjoys YA dystopian. It was a fast, easy read, with likable characters! 

Thank you to the author for providing me with a copy in return for an honest review! 
Congratulations on your novel and I look forward to reading more of your work in the future! 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Manic Monday #1

In true blogger fashion, I wanted to create a meme that was fitting to my blog. Since my main focus are Indie/self-published authors and since I am such a manic, maniac, maniacal reader, I have therfore decided to host "Manic Monday." 

Okay, so Mondays are always such a blah day after I've enjoyed my weekend of relaxing and no doubt reading... I thought I would start posting a list of new Indie books I find (FOR FREE) that I am interested in reading. I will post three books each week on the list and then this is where you will come in:

1. If you've read it, tell us what you thought.
2. I will let you decide which book I read of the three and the other two will be put back in the pile to potentially come back around on another Manic Monday list. 
3. Tell me if you've found outstanding Indie books (for FREE or PAID) that you think deserve a spotlight in our Manic Monday. 

Please leave your choice in the comment section by Sunday of that week and I will announce the Manic Monday Winner Each Monday with the new list!

Monday April 22 Manic Monday Picks
(All found on Smashwords)

1. Not Today, But Someday - Lori L. Otto
2. Invisible - Cecily Anne Patterson
3. Falling - Amber Jaeger

Saturday, April 13, 2013


It's the spring semester of their senior year at Centerville High and a place away from their current situations are what Nikki and Caroline desperately want. Senior year was supposed to be filled with excitement and careless fun, instead Caroline is pregnant and Nikki's dealing with her mom's reckless drug habit plus the shady associates unfortunately attached. Throughout their lives, the two friends always stuck by one another, however the year continues to produce unforeseen problems, leaving each of them to decide what kind of paths lay ahead.

...a challenging, gripping and heroin tale of two teenage girls forced to make adult choices creating a butterfly effect catapulting their lives forward.

Author: D.L. Husted
Title: Silently Screaming
Publication Date: November 15, 2012
Links to Purchase: Amazon
Reviewer: Megan

My Review:  I Liked It!!

So, let me first start off by saying that while I read A LOT, I have read only one novella and that was by Dean Koontz and was the prequel leading into one of his newest novels. With that said, I wasn't really sure how a book dealing with such major issues was going to be able to tell a story in such a short amount of space... 67 pages to be exact. The set up of the novella was interesting; each chapter was from the point of view of either Nikki  or Caroline, but you saw the same scene from each of their viewpoints before you moved forward. 

I enjoyed D.L. Husted's "Silently Screaming" and I enjoyed the characters quite a bit, Nikki more so than anyone and this could be because I could relate to her on so many levels. I grew up in a similar environment as Nikki, and while my situation was never so blatant and in your face, it was what it was, nonetheless.  There was a part where Nikki is coming out of her room and she is fearful of what she might find, and I found myself holding my breath, knowing all too well exactly how that felt. The constant need for self preservation, the need to work rather than a desire for spending cash, and the longing to break free of a life you are determined not to live is Nikki's world and I was reminded of how far I have come from those very days in my own life.

Caroline, while not as relatable for me is a relatable character and finds herself in a situation that I am sure a lot of young girls today can identify with. Both girls have plans for their futures, but suddenly find that life has other plans as they are forced down different paths than they planned. 

Nikki's main goal throughout the novella was getting to graduation, walking across that podium and knowing she had done it... she was free. I again could relate to this feeling. It's never easy when you know people are judging you because of the kind of family and/or background you come from, and that desire to succeed, to show everyone that you are stronger and more capable than they have given you credit for, well it is a driving force that is fierce and strong and this was evident in Nikki. 

As I said above, the chapters are from each girls view and you would see the same scene twice, but first from Nikki's view and then from Caroline's. There were times throughout the novella where the author mixes up the characters within their chapters and this led to some confusion as I found myself going back a line or paragraph to double check who she was actually talking about. In addition, I feel there were areas more detail could have been included and I desperately wanted it. Sometimes she would mention something, such as  when Nikki is holding her breath as she walks through the house, but she never explains why. It is simply this one sentence and then she moves on and I longed for more... more detail, more information, something that would invoke more emotions, but they rarely came. 

While there were a few things that fell short for me, which is why I gave it a 4 stars I LIKED IT, I did really enjoy Silently Screaming. I read it in one sitting and felt a real connection to the characters and wanted to find out what was going to happen to them, and when it ended I still wanted more. I kept thinking this was just the beginning of Nikki and Caroline's story. I can only hope that the author feels the same way and that we will soon be following Nikki and Caroline as they navigate down the paths their lives have led them down. 

Thank you to the author for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

I recommend Silently Screaming to anyone who enjoys short stories dealing with tough choices and real life obstacles. 

Monday, April 8, 2013


Things are seemingly perfect for Hadley Christensen and Dominic Morris. They’re engaged, both of them have promising careers in the medical field, and they’re happier and more fulfilled than they have ever been. When Hadley heads off to work one morning, she realizes things aren't as they seem. While staring into the headlights of a fast approaching oncoming vehicle, life as she knows it is forever altered. Her last breath on Earth is only the beginning. 

She isn't about to die. 

She is already dead. 

No one else knows but they are all dead too. 

This powerful realization forces Hadley to leave Dominic behind and exist in another realm. Neither soul handles the painful separation well, nor can their bond be broken. Even in death. Hadley is given the rare privilege to make contact from the other side, desperately hoping to convince her beloved of his true state and ensure they be together once more. 

This Morning I Woke Up Dead takes you on a journey of discovery as two souls fight against their undeniably difficult situation of being tormented and separated by different realms of existence, proving that those who are destined to be together will not be kept apart by a beating heart.

Author: Mindy Larson
Book Title: This Morning I woke Up Dead.
Publish Date: March 14, 2013
Links to Purchase: AmazonBarnes & Noble
Reviewer: Megan

My Review: I Liked It!!

Have you ever wondered about deja vu or why you simply feel drawn to some people, even those you've just met?

"Whenever I had a deja vu, I immediately tried to understand why and what I was remembering exactly.

When I read the synopsis for this book I was immediately intrigued. I am one of those people that likes to understand the meaning behind weird, unexplainable things. For instance, a deja vu, or why when you meet certain people, you just simply feel drawn to them. Or have you ever looked at the clock at the same time everyday and gone crazy trying to understand it's significance in your life? I have...(mine is 11:17) and that was what Mindy Larson's "This Morning I Woke Up Dead" dealt with. 

"Georgette's memories will slowly fade little by little as she begins to speak again as an infant. Learn a word. Lose a memory. As time passes, some begin to remember things with a feeling of deja vu or through dreams. Memories are forever cemented to your soul." 

I really enjoyed the concept behind the book and the author creates an interesting tier of realms that we all have the pleasure of enjoying at some point in our life cycles. "You will start a new life cycle...then you die...then earth...this realm." 

I was fascinated by her differentiation between "soul mates" and "soul twins," I was drawn to the characters, could relate to the love that they shared and felt bad that their lives were ripped apart before it even had a chance to begin. I sympathized as Dominic attempted to get on with his life, and could even relate to those feelings of guilt you feel when someone close to you dies. Moving on is never easy... but what if all you had to do to be with that person was to admit to yourself and truly believe that in your life on earth, you were already dead? Seems simple enough, except being dead but believing you are alive is still living to some degree right? After all, if you accept that you are dead, as Hadley does, you loss everything.  It really makes you think about how you live your life, how you treat others, and how you spend your time, which is why I loved Mindy's explanation for what happens to all of the  "bad" people when they begin a new life cycle. 

Throughout the whole story I continued to think, huh, I always wondered about that... what a neat spin or WOW, that's a really fascinating explanation...what if? I love books that make us take a step back and think outside the box. The spirituality that Mindy brought forth was deep and touching to say the least. I can honestly say I walked away from this book thought provoked and curious and as you can see, there were several parts where I could not help myself but to bookmark some of beautiful wording. 

The reason I rated this book as a 4-star "I liked it" was because there were too many coincidences between the character connections, which I supposed were written that way from a spiritual, soul mate (soul family) perspective. However, the loss both Dominic and Emerson experienced, followed by all of the loss Dominic suffered thereafter just felt like too much. I would have liked to see him realize his true destiny without being so pushed to the brink...Unless, maybe it is only in our most desperate moments that we are  willing to face the truth... 

A fascinating read that I recommend to anyone who believes in soul mates and the ideal that some love is boundless, even in death! 

"I am gray colored yarn. Dominic is chocolate brown. Harper is light blue. My mother us emerald. My father is sapphire. Together, we make a beautiful tapestry. Apart we are loose ends, waiting, hoping to be woven together again." 

**Thank you to the author for providing me with a copy of "This Morning I Woke Up Dead" in exchange for an honest review. 

Congratulations Mindy!! I look forward to reading "Thirteen Choices" 

Friday, April 5, 2013


"No one tried to get involved with me, and I kept to myself. This was the place where everything was supposed to be safe and easy. How could Evan Mathews unravel my constant universe in just one day?"

In the affluent town of Weslyn, Connecticut, where most people worry about what to be seen in and who to be seen with, Emma Thomas would rather not be seen at all. She’s more concerned with feigning perfection while pulling down her sleeves to conceal the bruises - not wanting anyone to know how far from perfect her life truly is. Without expecting it, she finds love. It challenges her to recognize her own worth - but at the risk of revealing the terrible secret she’s desperate to hide. 

Reason to Breathe is an electrifying page turner from start to finish, a unique tale of life-changing love, unspeakable cruelty, and one girl’s fragile grasp of hope.

Emma’s struggle with an abusive home life came to a heart pounding conclusion in the final chapters of Reason to Breathe. Now everyone in Weslyn knows Emma’s secret, but Carol can’t hurt Emma anymore. Some are still haunted by the horror of that night, and some must face the repercussions of their choices. Fans of Rebecca Donovan’s debut novel will discover there’s still much to learn about Emma’s life. 

Author: Rebecca Donovan 
Book Title: Reason to Breathe (Book #1) & Barely Breathing (Book #2)
Publish Date: May 9, 2011/April 30, 2012

Reviewer: Megan

My Review: I Absolutely Loved it!!
This was a phenomenal read that I could not put down!!!

I had this book in my nook library for months and every time I went to read it something else came up. However, over the holidays I was laid up from surgery and decided it was time to finally read this book... Once I started, I COULD NOT STOP!! My eyes couldn't read the words fast enough as I became more and more entangled in the story. The ending scared me, angered me, and left me hanging on for dear life! I was thankful when I turned the page and saw there was a second book already out, and thought maybe this was instinctively why I had waited to read this book.

I am not one for patience and to be left hanging with an ending like that, would have KILLED me. I quickly downloaded Barely Breathing and again was enthralled in the world of Emma. 

I finished both books in a day and a half, letting everything else fall away while I was immersed in Reason to Breathe and Barely Breathing. I loved how Barely breathing ended... a semi-cliffhanger, with a glimpse of Evan's anguish. Perfect!!

I think one of the things that I loved was seeing a similar story line to my own novel Harvest Moon. It was the first time I saw the protagonist keep such dangerous secrets since writing about Lexie's abuse. I finally felt like Lexie could find a place in the literary world, just like Emma had. 

I cannot wait for the third book in this series... I have been eagerly awaiting it since reading the last line of barely Breathing. 

So much to come...

In less than a week my TBR/Review has begun to grow and this excites me! I am really looking forward to bringing more reviews in the coming weeks and sharing  my love of books with you all!

Currently, I am reading Mindy Larson's "This Morning I Woke Up Dead" and I am about 35% through and loving it! What an interesting concept so far and you cannot help but feel for Hadley and Dominic. I am reading each page, anticipating Hadley's next move... I can hardly wait to see what happens next!!

Stay tuned for my complete review of Mindy Larson's "This Morning I Woke Up Dead" coming soon!!