Saturday, September 29, 2018

Cover Reveal: The Secrets That Shape Us

Unveiling a new cover!
Book 2 of The McKay Series by W.L. Brooks!
The Secrets That Shape Us
W.L. Brooks
Series: The McKay Series Book 2
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Publication Date: October 22, 2018
Returning home was just the beginning, but staying…might be her end.
After uncovering a devastating secret, Casey McKay left her beloved home town and pretended not to look back. For years, the truth her sisters hid from her has kept her away. Now, in desperate need of Casey’s help, her sisters have hired a PI to find her.
As a private investigator, Ryan Keller is used to getting into sticky situations, but nothing could have prepared him for the likes of Ms. McKay. Unable to resist her appeal for help, Ryan returns with her to Blue Creek. Little do they know they are walking right into a deadly plot to destroy the McKay sisters.
The closer they get to the truth, the harder it is for them to resist temptation. But succumbing to their desires puts Ryan in the crosshairs of a vengeful foe. To save them, Casey must face her past and the secrets that have shaped her.

Pre-Order Links

Releasing October 22. Pre-order your copy today!
Available on The Wild Rose Press: Paperback | Digital

Upcoming Book Tour

Save the Date! Follow the book tour from October 22 - November 3, 2018.
Visit each tour stop daily and discover more features, excerpts, reviews, interviews, fun facts and more! To check the latest tour schedule, visit the The Secrets That Shape Us Book Page at Book Unleashed.
The Secrets That Shape Us Tour Graphic

About W.L. Brooks

W.L. Brooks
W. L. Brooks likes to write like she reads with a bit of mystery, romance, suspense, and, to keep it interesting, the occasional dash of the paranormal. Living in Western North Carolina she is currently working on her next novel.
Official website:
Social Media Links: Facebook | Instagram


The Secrets That Shape Us Giveaway Graphic
Contest runs from September 28, 2018 - November 3, 2018.

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Sunday, September 23, 2018

Review: All We Have is Now

About the Book

Published by Scholastic Inc. on July 28, 2018

Find it on Amazon!

GoodReads Description

What do you do with your last day on earth?

Just over twenty-four hours are left until an asteroid strikes North America, and for Emerson and everyone else who didn’t leave, the world will end. But Emerson’s world already ended when she ran away from home. Since then, she has lived on the streets, relying on her wits and on her friend Vince to help her find places to sleep and food to eat.

The city’s quieter now that most people are gone, and no one seems to know what to do as the end approaches. But then Emerson and Vince meet Carl, who tells them he has been granting people’s wishes—and gives them his wallet full of money.

Suddenly, this last day seems full of possibility. Emerson and Vince can grant a lot of wishes in one last day—maybe even their own.

My Thoughts

I had such high hopes for this novel!  I anticipated something so spectacular!  That was not what I got.

What I Liked

  • Emerson was such a well-written character!  I truly appreciated the way that Schroeder made sure she stayed true to who she was, even though that meant writing a very conflicted character.  Emerson had quite the chip on her shoulder and I didn't see her letting go of that chip until the very end of the novel.  
  • I loved the romance between Vince and Emerson.  Even though Vince had no reason to hope that Emerson would ever have feelings for him, he stayed true to her.  I think this dedication is important for young men to see in a society that champions "playing" women.  Once this relationship bloomed, it was one of the strongest that I've seen written in modern YA fiction.
  • The connection of Carl's story and the Vince/Emerson plot was predictable, but well done.  I think it was interesting to see Emerson's emotions toward and expectations of the family we were able to see frantically searching for her.

What I Didn't Like As Much

  • THE ENDING????? What the heck was that?! That was not ok.  I am so frustrated by the ending of this novel that I would never pick up a sequel if Schroeder wrote one. I won't say too much here, but talk about taking the easy way out.
  • There were so many crossing plot lines that I stopped caring about a few of them and found myself skimming the pages just to finish the book.  

Overall Thoughts

Honestly, the ending totally messed this book up for me.  I may have been able to overlook the multitude of crossing plots, but I CANNOT IGNORE THAT UNSATISFACTORY ENDING!!!!  I'm so stinking mad about it!  

My Rating

Friday, September 14, 2018

Review: Paloma's Dream

About the Book

Paloma's Dream by Paloma Rambana and Hillary Ring
Published on June 1,2018 by New Iberia, LLC

Find it on Amazon!

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

GoodReads Description

In a world where lobbyists are big and carry briefcases, one little girl with an IPad walked into the Florida state capitol and made a big difference. Meet Paloma Rambana who was just an above average fourth grader until she successfully lobbied the State of Florida legislature to help secure $1 million in funds for blind and visually impaired kids in Florida. Born with a rare eye condition called Peters Anomaly, Paloma knows what these kids need, and she is on a mission. Join Paloma as she sets out on her adventures to secure funding for kids, to inspire kindness and activism in people of all ages, and of course to finish her homework before bedtime.

My Thoughts

I was absolutely blown away by this book.  I typically do not review nonfiction, but I was so drawn in by Paloma's accomplishments at such a young age.  These feats are simply incredible for such a young person!  

This book is impressively written by such a young individual.  Her use of words and the flow of her memoir blew my little teacher mind.  It can be such a struggle to get my students interested in literature at all, and here is Paloma.  She enjoys lobbying and going to museums and reading!

I was surprised that I didn't spend more of this book thinking about her disorder.  Which seemed weird to me because her disorder is the reason that she was able to see the needs for teenagers in her area.  I thought much more about her interests and her accomplishments than about her inability to see properly.  At first, I was upset about this.  Wasn't the point of the book to show that despite her disability she was able to conquer?  But, I think Paloma would be happy to know that I thought of the things she did and achieved before I ever considered the things that she couldn't.  After all, those are the things that truly matter.

I am beyond excited to share Paloma's story with my seventh grade class.  So many of them are in need of inspiration and I believe that Paloma is the perfect role model for them.

My Rating

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Review: Geekerella by Ashley Poston

About the Book

Geekerella by Ashley Poston
Published on April 4, 2017 by Quirk Books

Find it on Amazon!

Neither the author nor the publisher requested this honest and unbiased review.

GoodReads Description

Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic science-fiction series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck and her dad's old costume, Elle's determined to win - unless her stepsisters get there first.

Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons - before he was famous. Now they're nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he has ever wanted, but Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake - until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise. But when she disappears at midnight, will he ever be able to find her again?

Part-romance, part-love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom.

My Thoughts

Me?  Read a fairy tale retelling??  DUH!!!!!  I freaking love these things.  They are sooooooo much better than bacon!  And, to make things a million times better, I'm a total nerd!  This book was so freaking enticing, even if the weirdly girly cover did put me off a bit.

I absolutely loved this book!  When I was getting close to the last page, I actually stayed up as late as my exhausted teacher body would let me before passing out.  I woke up the next morning, still clutching to the pages of this book! 

What I Liked

  • I related to Elle so flipping much!  Not because I have a horrible family life (my family is flipping amazing), but because she is wonderfully independent.  I absolutely loved seeing a Cinderella that was bound and determined to make her own happiness happen instead of waiting for someone to come and fix it for her.  She embodied a strong female spirit that is perfectly wonderful.  I am pretty much guaranteed to love any book with a strong female lead, and Geekerella did not disappoint.
  • Darien was a wonderful guy.  I don't say that in a "He's so cute I wanna die!!!" kind of way, but in a "Thank goodness that someone is showing the softer side of a guy."  Too often, I think we are encouraged to think about the hardened exterior of our gentlemen; this book illustrates that typically hidden side.  I am so happy to see that Poston made such a bold statement in a world where boys are typically told just to suck it up.  Darien learned to make his own decisions and deal with consequences while seeing that it was OK to experience emotions rather than hide them and neglect them.
  • I know that there will be others who say that this romance wasn't very believable.  And I agree.  But, I think that this really makes the book.  After all, does the original Cinderella tale really make romantic sense?  I think that by choosing a slightly unrealistic path to a very sweet romance, Poston stayed true to the original piece.
  • The world building in this piece was immaculate.  I had no trouble visualizing every scene that Poston wrote.  The world needs more books with such beautiful writing.

What I Didn't Like As Much

  • Holy typos, Batman!  I was really surprised to see so many typos in such a well-loved book.  There were actually a few places where they distracted me from the story and interrupted the flow.
  • I hated that I couldn't reach into the book and slap Chloe. Those of you who have read the book will get it. If you haven't, go read it.  Then you can get it too.

My Rating

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Giveaway!!!!!!! Signed Copies of The Apollo Illusion by Shari Lopatin!

Who doesn’t love winning an author-signed copy of a terrific new book?

In May this year, the riveting science fiction/dystopian suspense about a future society’s frightening overdependence on technology, The Apollo Illusion, hit the market. A gripping story of opposing futures, it’s been racking up four-and-five-star reviews from readers and book bloggers. You can check out my review here! Now, author Shari Lopatin is giving away two SIGNED copies of The Apollo Illusion to two lucky winners!

Enter the Giveaway!

To enter the giveaway, sign up for Shari’s email list, “The Readers Club” before Sept. 30, 2018. Then, on Oct. 3, Shari will randomly select two lucky winners from the list of giveaway participants. You could be one of them! 

1. Sign up for Shari’s “Readers Club” at this link:

2. That’s it!

But hurry and enter now, before you forget! And you might even get a sneak peek at the opening chapters (wink, wink). 😊