Saturday, March 23, 2019

Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson

Genre: Young Adult/Adult, Memoir
Source: I purchased a copy

I often wondered how Laurie could write such raw, emotional and spot on books. After reading Shout I understood how her writing has evolved. The authentic voice in each book came out of her own pain and experiences. Shout is one of those books that reaches inside of you and grabs your guts and twists them. It is painful yet for some of us it is also a release. You know that someone has grabbed hold of your guts to help untangle them. That  is what this book does. I met Laurie years ago at an English conference. I stood in line with her book "Speak" to get it signed. I handed it to her but would not look at her. She held on to the book as she handed it back forcing me to look up at her. Then she said, "You're Melinda." My lip quivered as tears slid down my face. She hugged me and and for the first time I felt the strength to do something.  Laurie never knew how she helped me.  My abuser was a family member.  My meeting with her gave me the courage to put myself into counseling. The next time I saw that family member I pulled them aside.  They had long ago sought counseling for the incident. At the time I felt so dirty and ashamed that I didn't want anyone to know. and I didn't want anyone to talk to me about it. My mantra was, "God forgave them so it's done and over with." For me it wasn't. On that day I walked up to them and told them. "God forgave you and so have I, but I haven't dealt with it. I'm doing that right now. Understand there will days that I hate you as I go through this process. There are days you can't talk to me or hug me or anything else. I hope you will respect that."  They sidestepped and said they would do whatever to help me heal." That was not what I expected. Healing is a long process. If you read Laurie's book you will understand it. We all have to find our path and our voice.

Laurie's book is raw. It takes you through her painful life. It takes you through the events that led up to her getting her voice back. I read and thought about the different people and events in my own life that paralleled hers. My family life unlike hers was not as volatile.  My parents were very strict Christians. This is one reason I suffered so long. As Christians we were told you  don't talk about certain things. You let things go and let God handle it.  I walked through each painful moment with her.  When she is accepted as an exchange student she became a new person. She was away from her old life and was given  the opportunity to see what a healthy life is like. She was given the strength to grow and become the person she is today. This event put her on the path to healing. It is never done and over but you gain the strength to move on.

I know of no other author who's books have helped both students and adults as much as Laurie's books. I highly recommend her book "Shout".  It explains so much about the other books. 

Monday, March 11, 2019

An Unexpected Escapade by Kandi J. Wyatt Cover Reveal and Guest Post

What’s in a Name?
            When Shakespeare wrote Romeo & Juliet, indie publishing must not have had the same struggles it does nowadays. He said, “A rose by any other name is still the same.” That doesn’t hold true for books. The name really does make a difference.
            The Myth Coast Adventures originally was called Mythical Creatures of Myrtle Beach. I wanted to focus on the mythology aspect and showcase where the story took place. Book 1 was titled Myrtle Beach Dragon at first and then became Myrtle Beach Adventure. I used my handy-dandy online thesaurus and looked up synonyms for adventure. I discovered escapade and exploit. So the following books used those words in place of adventure.
            However, when my editor finished book 1, she asked me if I was settled on the names. She didn’t think that the series title or the book names really set the tone for the trilogy. From her suggestions, I took Myth Coast Adventures and loved it. It fits the trilogy and showcases the mythology as well as its setting and what happens in each book—adventure. From there, she suggested An Unexpected Adventure. Again, I fell in love with it.
            Books two and three went through a couple of changes as evidenced in the earlier editions of An Unexpected Adventure. I switched up unexpected with unlooked-for and unintended and kept adventure. Again, my editor came to my rescue and suggested keeping unexpected and the original variations on adventure. So now I have An Unexpected Adventure, An Unexpected Escapade, and An Unexpected Exploit.
            To make matters even better the second and third book titles have verbs that coincide with them. Escapade is close to escape. That’s exactly what Ana wants to do in the book. She’s looking for a way to escape the pain and heartache that she’s going through. Exploit can also be a verb where someone tries to get something for their gain and another’s loss. In book three our villain who’s introduced in book two tries to exploit the realm of the mythical creatures. (Yes, we get to explore the world that Steria and Kajri come from in An Unexpected Exploit.)
            With that said, there is something special about a name, Shakespeare, and I’m very glad I have my editor and she piped up to give input into my book titles and not just the words in the stories. 

This Middle Grade Fantasy is releasing on April 9th!
Available for pre-order at just 99 cents now!

 Protect friendship, family or a creature that's not supposed to exist?
Ana and Daisy have been friends since third grade, but a rift in the space-time continuum in their little town may change that. When a unicorn waltzes into the pasture with Daisy’s appaloosas, a poacher, who will stop at nothing to gain the unicorn horn and its healing tears, shows up. Daisy is focused on saving the unicorn while Ana’s parents face sudden life-threatening health issues. When Ana learns about the healing tears, she’s forced to choose between friendship and her family’s health. 

Can the girls find the grace to compromise and save Ana’s parents and the unicorn?

Book 1 in the series, An Unexpected Adventure will be 99 cents from March 11 - 18.

GIVEAWAY Scavenger Hunt!
Visit all the blogs participating in the cover reveal to gather all the clues and win a prize, a felted unicorn and unicorn charms!!

Make sure you fill out this form to enter!

Kandi’s Bio:
Even as a young girl, Kandi J Wyatt, had a knack for words. She loved to read them, even if it was on a shampoo bottle! By high school Kandi had learned to put words together on paper to create stories for those she loved. Nowadays, she writes for her kids, whether that's her own five or the hundreds of students she's been lucky to teach. When Kandi's not spinning words to create stories, she's using them to teach students about Spanish, life, and leadership.

Other Books by Kandi J Wyatt:

Dragon’s Cure:   
Dragon’s Posterity:
 The One Who Sees Me: 

Friday, March 8, 2019

The Curse of Halim by Alfred M. Struthers

Genre: Middle Grade, Mystery
Source: I received a copy from the author to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

I have not found a single one of this author's books that I didn't fall in love with.  I love the idea of a bookcase that pops out books with clues  to solving a mystery. In this book a drawer in the bookcase pops open and Nathan finds a slip of paper. His friend and cohort Gina has been banned from hanging with him because of the danger they found themselves in the year before. Nathan is determined to solve this mystery even if Gina can't or won't help. When she see that he is up to something, she can't help but try to find out what it is. There is another issue at stake, a reporter who had lost her standing for her last coverage. She knows something is going on with these two kids and is determined to get the scoop to get back in her bosses good graces.

Nathan meets one of his grandfather's dearest friends and his daughter. This gentleman know all about the bookcase as does his daughter. There are secrets that even they are hiding from Nathan. Near the end of the book  Nathan learns his mother had a sister and she was murdered.  What if any is the connection to the bookcase?  You have got to read this to find out.