Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Random Review: A Breath Apart by Christina Lee #Review #Giveaway



Title: A Breath Apart
Author: Christina Lee
Self Published
Publication Date: July 2, 2019
Length: 271 pages 

Reviewed by Racheal


Synopsis

The Fischers are the only family Brennan has ever known, and when they adopt him, he has no plans on doing anything to jeopardize that. Even if it means pretending Josh Daly doesn’t make his heart pound every time their eyes meet.

The tension eases once Josh heads off to a Christian University on a baseball scholarship. Brennan stays put in Elm Grove to work at his family’s drive-in movie theater and take classes at the local community college.

But when Josh comes home for summer break, the feeling not only returns, it transforms into a loud and commanding drumbeat he struggles to tune out.

Finally admitting who he is feels overwhelming. There’s a reason Brennan remains a virgin and when he realizes Josh might be one too, the chemistry between them becomes impossible to ignore. Except acting on his attraction throws everything Josh has been raised to believe out the window.

Plagued by fear and self-doubt, they finally surrender, placing their trust in each other and their undeniable connection. But facing the world together takes the sort of faith that will either strengthen their bond…or shatter its very foundation.








Review 

Christina Lee writes an empowering story about two teenagers living in a small rural town that having completely different family backgrounds but share one incredibly big secret. In her newest release A Breath Apart I was shown again, how some families still use religion to defend their bigotry. It both saddens me as well angers me that this is still tolerated in so many churches/religions. The fact that it is embedded into kids at such a young age; that instead of embracing who they really are, they lash out at others who dare to embrace their true selves.

Brennan’s life started out hard for him at an early age. Having his birth mother die of an overdose and being placed in foster care left him always wanting a family. Once he found the Fischer’s he finally found a family. One that he would do everything he could to keep even if that meant hiding his true self. Although, he never felt like he really fit in anywhere, he was content… that was until Josh came home from college and his life changed.

Josh was your typical high school jock. Very popular, into all the sports, hung out with the in crowd, but no one ever truly knew him… not even his family. Josh always knew he was different from his friends and he basically knew the reason, but it wasn’t until he went away to college that it was confirmed. To be honest, he kind of knew he was different that one summer he spent at camp with Brennan. Josh is now back and even though he is so conflicted with his religious background and his homophobia father, he is determined to see if what he feels for Brennan is real.

Their story was so beautiful when they first started to realize their feelings. It brought so many feelings of joy and tenderness reading about their first together with this somewhat coming of age story. As with most stories, you know there will be turbulence. It was devastating when the story took that turn, because I know for lots of teens there are no happy endings. Some won’t get their HEA which is why I love reading because I know that after all the hurt and hard truths that eventually their HEA will happen.







Giveaway

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Contest ends July 31st
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Monday, July 15, 2019

New Release Review: Never A Hero by Marie Sexton #Review #Giveaway



Title: Never A Hero 2nd edition
A Tucker Springs Novel 
Author: Marie Sexton
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reese Dante 
Publication Date: July 5, 2019
Length: 183 pages

Reviewed by Michael


Synopsis

Owen Meade is in need of a hero. Sheltered, ashamed, and ridiculed by his own mother for his sexuality, his stutter, and his congenital arm amputation, Owen lives like a hermit, rarely leaving his apartment. He hardly dares to hope for more… until veterinarian Nick Reynolds moves in downstairs.

Charming, handsome Nick steals past Owen’s defenses and makes him feel almost normal. Meeting his fiery, determined little sister, June, who was born with a similar amputation, helps too. June always seems to get her way—she even convinces Owen to sign up for piano lessons with her. Suddenly the only thing standing between Owen and his perfect life is Nick. No matter how much he flirts, how attracted to Owen he seems to be, or how much time they spend together, Nick always pulls away.

Caught between his mother’s contempt and Nick’s stubbornness, Owen makes a decision. It’s time to be the hero of his own story, and that means going after what he wants: not just Nick, but the full life he deserves.




Purchase Links




Review

Owen broke my heart through the first half of this book.  He’s a total shut-in and recluse, pummeled by his b-word of a mother who constantly put him down because of his stutter as well as his birth defect.  His mother was more about appearances than anything, and Owen wasn’t perfect enough for her. 

A child learns to view themselves through the lens of a parent, and when a parent is constantly belittling the child, and told how worthless they are, the child becomes indoctrinated into the same belief about themselves.  This is on full display for most of this book.

After Owen’s neighbor Regina moves out, Nick moves into her place.  Owen’s feelings toward Regina made no sense to me, and honestly bordered on kind of creepy. 

Nick starts off as a strong, caring, empathetic character whose sister has the same condition as Owen.  June is quite literally Owen’s opposite in absolutely every way.  And I do mean EVERY WAY.  Personally, I think Owen learned more from her about himself than he did from Nick.

Of course, because of his mother’s poor treatment, Owen doesn’t understand how a man almost as perfect as Nick could be attracted to him.  Yet Nick is.   But Nick will only allow things to go so far.

The Nick reveals his Big Life Changing Secret (yes, the caps are intentional) and suddenly his character changes.  He goes from self-assured, to one-prone, to mental self-flagellation.  Owen and Nick’s roles are almost reversed.  To be honest, I found the change in Nick disheartening.  His change and fears would have made sense if this book were set in the late ‘80s or early ‘90s.  Without going into detail for fear of spoiling the Big Life Changing Secret, I wanted to reach into the book and slap Nick a few times.  He simply acted…dumb.  And I think that was the biggest let down for me, to see someone who is full of self-confidence turn into a martyr.

This book started off strong, about Owen finally finding his inner strength.  But I think it was done so at the expense of Nicks character.




Giveaway

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Contest ends July 31st


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Saturday, July 13, 2019

Author In The Hot Seat: A.D. Ellis #Interview #Giveaway


Diverse Reader is really happy to welcome author A.D. Ellis to the hot seat this morning. She's here with us answering a fast fire interview and sharing with all of you some of her books. There's also a giveaway so don't forget to enter at the end.




Fast Fire Questions

What month were you born? April

What was your favorite childhood book? I Am a Puppy and There’s a Monster at the End of This Book

When you were little what is the first thing you remember wanting to be when you grew up? Teacher. Then dolphin trainer. Then DJ. Then back to teacher.

What is the title of the very first book you published? For Nicky

What is the title of your latest book? What Blooms Beneath

Describe yourself in three words. Sarcastic, supportive, determined

If there was one place you’d love to go for writing inspiration, where would it be? Probably a mountain cabin where I could sit with a cool breeze and great view while sipping hot tea

Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla

Day or night? Night

Coffee or tea? Tea

Superhero or villain? Superhero

What was your favorite subject in school? Literature and English/Newspaper

Who are three authors you auto-buy? Kay Simone, N.R. Walker, Jaclyn Osborn

Can you tell us in a sentence or two what your current WIP is about? Friends-to-lovers, but it’s a little more complicated than that.





What Blooms Beneath

Kellan considers himself lucky to have an adequate existence on earth where, in the year 2044, common citizens toil under the oppressive thumb of a corrupt and unscrupulous government. Kellan dreams of becoming part of the Department of Paranormal, Supernatural, and Fantasy Sciences, but his application is continually denied because he has no extra-sapien blood. Kellan’s simple reality shifts when Rhône unexpectedly enters his life.
Rhône, living in a camouflaged, underground village, never planned to get involved with an individual from the outer world. When Rhône and Kellan cross paths, there’s no denying the attraction and pull between them. But there’s something else, something more, just beneath the surface. 
A hidden world and painful secrets are a potentially complicated blend. However, with Rhône by his side, enlightening details and unexplored powers provide Kellan with an opportunity for deep self-discovery. Will Kellan’s open and accepting heart allow for an extraordinary love to bloom? Or will the vast differences between Kellan and Rhône take root and strangle any hope for a flourishing future?
**What Blooms Beneath is an LGBT+ Fantasy Romance featuring a pansexual male and genderqueer intersex individual.**





His Reluctant Cowboy (also now available on audio!)

Out-and-proud volunteer dance instructor, Reid Alexander, is a California boy accustomed to living in flashy luxury. He is less than thrilled upon inheriting his late grandfather’s South Dakota horse ranch. Yet he must endure three months of cowboy hell before he can even consider selling the property.
As the ranch foreman, Walker Corrigan’s entire life is Pine Ridge. When Reid arrives with cold-hearted plans to sell, Walker endeavors to endear the place to the younger man. 
Reid is unprepared for the sudden attachment to Walker, the land, and – unbelievably enough – the horses. 
Walker’s long-suffering heart takes an unexpected gallop straight toward Reid. Both men are on-board with exploring their relationship, and Reid discovers ranch ownership is more gratifying than he’d once imagined.
But Reid is forced to reconsider his place on the ranch when threats put the property and employees in danger. 
Menacing events call Reid’s integrity into question, and he considers saving everyone the hassle and throwing in the reins. But how can he leave when his heart now feels at home on Pine Ridge Ranch and in Walker’s arms?




Fight for It

Micah is a small-town mechanic with a big-time dream. He’s found his soulmate in high school social studies teacher Coleman Pierce, but while Micah’s out and proud of it, Coleman’s closet door is closed, locked, and welded shut. Stolen nights are all they’ll ever have, unless Micah can find some way to convince Cole that coming out won’t be the end of his dreams.
Cole moved to Blueridge Junction to escape his past. He planned to make himself a new life, far from home and the betrayal he’d suffered there. He wasn’t going to make the same mistakes again, but he didn’t count on meeting Micah, or the intensity of the feelings the man arouses in him.
But Micah is out and Cole… isn’t. And while Micah definitely revs his engines, Cole isn’t going to risk his job or his newly minted future on a relationship that might not work out. When outside forces bear upon the couple, Cole is faced with a decision. Will he keep his secret and risk losing everything, including the man he loves? Or will he stand with Micah and fight for their future? 






About the Author

A.D. Ellis is an Indiana girl, born and raised. She spends much of her time in central Indiana as an instructional coach/teacher in the inner city of Indianapolis, being a mom to two amazing school-aged children, and wondering how she and her husband of nearly two decades haven't driven each other insane yet. A lot of her time is also devoted to phone call avoidance and her hatred of cooking.
She loves chocolate, wine, pizza, and naps along with reading and writing romance. These loves don't leave much time for housework, much to the chagrin of her husband. Who would pick cleaning the house over a nap or a good book? She uses any extra time to increase her fluency in sarcasm.
A.D. uses she/her pronouns.
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Giveaway

One winner will get the 
audio code for His Reluctant Cowboy and a single title from A.D. Ellis' backlist sent to Kindle
Contest will end July  19th
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