Showing posts with label playlist. Show all posts
Showing posts with label playlist. Show all posts

Friday, December 7, 2018

"Paper Girl" by Cindy R. Wilson


REVIEW and GIVEAWAY
Paper Girl
by Cindy R. Wilson

Paper Girl  by Cindy R. Wilson

Paper Girl by Cindy R. Wilson is currently on tour with YA Bound Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my review, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


Description
I haven’t left my house in over a year. My doctor says it’s social anxiety, but I know the only things that are safe are made of paper. My room is paper. My world is paper. Everything outside is fire. All it would take is one spark for me to burst into flames. So I stay inside. Where nothing can touch me.
Then my mom hires a tutor. Jackson. This boy I had a crush on before the world became too terrifying to live in. Jackson’s life is the complete opposite of mine, and I can tell he’s got secrets of his own. But he makes me feel things. Makes me want to try again. Makes me want to be brave. I can almost taste the outside world. But so many things could go wrong, and all it takes is one spark for everything I love to disappear ...


Excerpt
ZOE
I heard the elevator ding from down the hallway. Therapist #6. Probably another clone of Dr. Edwards and all the other therapists I’d had over the years. I ducked into my study when Mom told her to come back, and planted myself beside my desk. When she came in, her quick smile suggested she was perfectly comfortable walking into a strange place. Well, strange didn’t even begin to cover me and my room. The proof? Her surprised expression when she realized she’d just entered the Milky Way.
Strewn about the room were paper planets, stars, moons, and hopefully soon a couple of constellations. I folded them, cut them out, and crafted them until they became art. They mostly lined the southern wall, but Jupiter was bound to leak onto the ceiling.
And therein lay 80 percent of my life. Paper art in these four walls.
Therapist #6 said, “Wow. This is…out of this world.”
My cheeks flamed, and I gurgled out a laugh. It sounded so silly, so I kept my gaze averted. She didn’t look like a therapist. In fact, she looked young enough to be Dr. Edwards’s daughter, with her dark skinny jeans, a hip blazer, and a navy scarf with designs that reminded me of the galaxy above us. Her shoes were yellow—the same shade I used to make the sun. Did that mean she was inexperienced?
“Zoe, I’m Dr. Gina Price. You can call me Gina. Dr. Edwards mentioned I was coming when he saw you last week, right?”
I nodded. He’d sprung it on me after our session, right after we’d talked about compulsions and changing behaviors. We’d talked about how my parents were enablers, allowing me to stay cooped up in my large apartment with my own paper playground so I’d have no reason to want to leave. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’d talked with them as well. My parents probably didn’t know what to do with a word like that. Enabler. Martin and Yoko King weren’t sure what to do with my therapy, either. They thought I was just “shy” and maybe “a little obsessive.”
“This is really impressive,” Gina said, staring at the ceiling. “How long did it take?”
I flicked a glance at her, surprised she asked. Dr. Edwards never asked about my paper art. My stomach clenched so tight, I thought I might throw up. I knew exactly what she was doing. Making small talk to get me to open up, feel comfortable. I kind of wanted to create paper dolls out of both her and Dr. Edwards so I could make them get swallowed by a black hole.
“A long time,” I said, so quiet I was sure she hadn’t heard me.
She stared up at Pluto, one of my favorite pieces. The dwarf planet and I were more alike than I wanted to admit. Both not quite what everyone thought we should be. It could be cold and lonely out in space.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“Wilson made me care about the major and minor characters, root for their successes. I read Paper Girl in one sitting.” ~ Amy's Book Reviews
Paper Girl was unique in the way other elements were explored so that the whole story wasn't just focused on teenage anxiety.” ~ Hayley (Backpacking Bookworm), Goodreads
“... this book is amazing, and I believe Cindy R. Wilson did an excellent job telling this story.” ~ Heather, Goodreads
“Highly recommended to anyone that like YA contemporary novels.” ~ Bookish Tiffany
“I LOVED this book. It's a really sweet story, and I loved how pro-therapy it is.” ~ Julie, NetGalley


My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.


By Lynda Dickson
Zoe is a sixteen-year-old shut-in, while Jackson is seventeen and homeless. She never leaves her house, while he doesn’t even have a house. They are total opposites, but they find each other through an online chess game, where they tell each other their most intimate secrets, not thinking that they could ever meet. Little do they realize that they already know each other. What will happen when Jackson discovers Zoe’s secret identity? Can a relationship be built on lies? And what will happen when the truth eventually comes out? Will Zoe forgive Jackson? Will she ever be able to conquer her fears and live a life in the real world? These questions, and more, will be answered in this cute romance with serious undertones.
The story is told from the points-of-view of Zoe and Jackson, interspersed with their online chess chats. They’re both extremely likeable characters in heartbreaking situations. But you just can’t help but feel optimistic that these two damaged souls with help each other heal. I loved the part Gina plays in Zoe’s recovery, especially when we find out why she does what she does.
Warnings: mental illness, alcoholism, drug abuse, child abuse.

Some of My Favorite Lines
“You can be yourself when you’re anonymous, but in real life you have to answer to who you really are. And sometimes, that’s the scariest thing of all.”
“Maybe Zoe’s childhood had vanished just like mine, and we were both unfortunate adults now.”
“The real world was like paper, and one screw up, one spark, and the whole thing would go up in flames.”
“Most everyone is too wrapped up in themselves to care about what you’re doing. And even if they do, it’s their problem, not yours.”
“How did a perfectly normal teenager go from reading on the bleachers in high school to hiding in her house and creating galaxies of paper?”
“Sometimes what you’re looking for finds you first.”
“If we were never anxious about anything, some things wouldn’t mean quite as much as they do when they happen.”


Playlist


About the Author
Cindy R. Wilson
Cindy lives at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, and loves using Colorado towns and cities as inspiration for settings in her stories. She's the mother of three girls, who provide plenty of fodder for her YA novels. Cindy writes speculative fiction and YA fiction, filled with a healthy dose of romance. You'll often find her hiking or listening to any number of playlists while she comes up with her next story idea.



Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card and Paper Girl themed journal (US only).

Links

Thursday, April 12, 2018

"Edger" by David Beem


EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
Edger
by David Beem

Edger by David Beem

Edger by David Beem is currently on tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. The tour stops here today for an excerpt and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


Description
It’s been said every story must start somewhere. Ours begins with a professional dork. The kind who fixes computers and lives in his gran’s basement. The kind tapped by destiny (that saucy minx) to become the world’s first superhero!
And not a moment too soon …
A nano-sized artificial intelligence is on the loose! It got itself dart-gunned into a cow butt by a frog man in a porn store! Two stoners are corrupting it on twitter! And that’s just the first three pages!!
Join our dork of destiny as he channels the collective unconscious—his psychic superpower - in a harrowing tale of high drama, romance, betrayal, revenge, jesus chickens, cocaine, weirdos, magicians, ninjas, nfl spies, and disco ball water torture administered to the tune of rapture, by blondie. My god, man, what does it all mean!?
It means uncorking that next bottle of wine isn’t only a good idea - it’s advisable.


Excerpt
Water and glass shower the dance floor. Needle scratches vinyl. Hattori Hanzo seizes control instinctively and I land with the grace of a ninja. Mary, who has no dead ninja in her head, thuds with the grace of a turkey carcass dropped from the Level Two parapet of Westfield Horton Plaza.
“Kill them!” someone yells.
“Don’t kill them!” I yell back, figuring that’s got to be worth a try.
Shots are fired. Screaming patrons run and duck for cover. A bullet ricochets off the wall. I grab Mary by the ropes binding her, and drag her behind a nearby couch.
More gunfire.
I chance a peek. Caleb Montana is near the front door, exchanging shots with two Nostradamus agents hiding behind a life-size statue of Caleb in his quarterback uniform, one arm cocked back, preparing to pass the football, and the other stretched out in front, pointing.
I round on Mary, who flings her wet hair back like a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model. Water sprays my supersuit’s visor.
“Cut me loose.”
“Right, right,” I say, feeling around on my utility belt. Jeez, I’ve never tried to locate anything without someone helping me from the Collective Unconscious. There are a lot of things here. I pull a tiny ball out, and the nano-technology grows into a switchblade-shaped object. Seems promising. I flick it on. Blue flame blows out from the end.
“Holy crap!”
“Come on, quit fooling around.”
“Don’t rush me! Do you have any idea how stressful this is?”
“Come on,” she says, her voice husky, cheek to floor, back arched, butt in the air.
“You never see Batman having this problem,” I mutter.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“Beem laces his absurdist plot with kooky imagery. The AI’s biological host is, at one point, a cow, and a nearly 300-pound defensive tackle may be a spy. These gags make it… Outlandish, hectic, and sometimes illogical but undeniably entertaining.” ~ Kirkus Reviews
“I loved the character development, the humor and all the little fandom jokes Edger had to offer. From start to finish David Beam had me hooked. You can’t go wrong with a ‘high tech super-advanced nano-artificial intelligence’ that thinks it might be a neo-Nazi anarchist cow. If you like quirky characters and dialog, a little science fiction, artificial intelligence and superhero’s than you’ll enjoy Edger.” ~ Mahornick
“Beem offers a somewhat unique blend of science fiction and humor. If you are looking for a deep, complicated, save-the-world-from-artificial-intelligence-gone-bad; this is probably not your book. However; if you enjoy reading those save-the-world-from-artificial-intelligence-gone-bad - and enjoy a slightly cynical, nerdy-yet-humorous view of the world - this book is a fun blend of science fiction and humor.” ~ Angela
“OMG - this book was really different but amazing at the same time. David Beem does an amazing job of describing the characters and the action that is taking place. […] I seriously hope that David Beem plans to write a continuation of this book - because I am sure it will also be a hit!” ~ Sue Ann B
“You won’t find any major plot twists in this book and I wouldn’t call it a page-turner, but it’s a very entertaining read. It’s funny which is pretty cool. I had moments where I literally did LOL! If you’re looking for something different from your normal beach read, then this is something to try out. It’s a science fiction novel full of many funny moments and a main character that you can’t help but fall in love with.” ~ Amazon Customer


Playlist


  
About the Author
David Beem
David Beem enjoys superhero movies, taekwondo, and flossing. He lives in Djibouti with his family and crippling self-doubt. Help actualize David’s inner confidence. Visit his website today and buy all the stuff.





Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $50 Amazon or B&N gift card.


Links

Thursday, January 11, 2018

"Sid Sanford Lives!" by Daniel Ford

REVIEW and EXCERPT
Sid Sanford Lives!
by Daniel Ford

Sid Sanford Lives! by Daniel Ford

Sid Sanford Lives! by Daniel Ford is currently on tour with Reading Addiction Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my review and an excerpt. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


Description
Riffing on noir and told in a series of vignettes, Sid Sanford Lives! douses humanistic themes - love, loss, and family - in bourbon, shoves them in the barrel of a gun, and shoots. This emotionally-charged debut is sure to keep readers up late into the night to find out who is left standing.
Sid Sanford always follows a path, just not his own. From backyard Wiffle ball games to New York City skyscrapers, Sid finds triumph and pain in equal measure during his uncertain, and at times violent, thrust into manhood.
A colorful, loyal family, a plethora of eccentric friends, and a few star-crossed soul mates highlight his journey, but it’s ultimately up to Sid whether his destiny fulfills his potential or drowns in the bottom of a bottle.

Excerpt
As always, Sid Sanford was following some plan, just not his own.
He debated whether or not to jump the ticket line in Grand Central like a prick. He finally picked up his duffel bag and darted in front of two male tourists who were already sipping out of tall boys disguised in paper bags.
“What the hell, dude?” One of them asked.
“Take me two seconds,” Sid said, already striking the touch screen.
“There’s a line back there,” the other said.
“I see it, I was just there. And now I’m here. The less we talk, the more I can focus on getting out of your way.”
Sid ignored the other comments from the rest of the pissed-off rush hour commuters and eagerly slid his debit card into the black prongs.
Unable to read card, the screen flashed. Please swipe again.
He impatiently obliged and started tapping his foot as if he were trapped in a meeting while in dire need of ridding himself of his morning coffee.
The transaction timed out.
The machine finally read his card. He grabbed his ticket and bolted toward track twenty-six. He sprinted across the station’s opulent waiting area, his worn brown shoes desperately gripping the slick, polished marble floor. He hustled through the gate and could see the train’s conductor signaling the final boarding call to the people on the platform. He slowed and power walked the final few feet. The doors snapped shut as soon as he stepped into the train bound for Waterbury.
Sid took a moment to savor the mundane victory and then found an open aisle seat. He tossed his bag onto the narrow rack above his head after pulling out his laptop and headphones. He put his ticket in the slot on the headrest in front of him and settled into the bruised maroon and dull blue plastic seats. He opened up his computer, found a decent playlist to zone out to, and closed his eyes.
His phone vibrated in his pocket. He looked down to find Constance’s name scrawling across the screen.
“Son of a—” He stopped himself when he caught a glance of the elderly woman sitting next to the window. “Sorry.”
The woman shrugged.
He dug his phone out and took a breath before answering it.
“Make it?” Constance asked.
“Yeah, on the train now.”
“Good. Have a safe trip.”
“Thanks. And thanks for checking up on me.”
“It’s what I’m here for,” she said. “Listen, I know we’ve had our differences lately…and well…since we’ve known each other. But I’m always here if you need anything. I know how you get with things like this. You shut down and won’t let people in. That’s not what you deserve right now.”
“Yeah. Appreciate it. We’re pulling out of the station. I’m going to sleep a bit.”
“Don’t miss your transfer.”
“I won’t.”
“Let me know when you get there. I love you.”
“Okay, bye.”
Sid leaned his head back and tried his best to suppress a memory of Jocelyn. She had moved into an apartment not long ago and had asked for his help. He had gotten assigned a high school track event and couldn’t make it. She assumed he was lying so he could spend time chasing after Constance. She wasn’t completely wrong—he could have easily caught a train out of the city after the meet—but he had fought with her all the same.
He ended up coming home after Constance broke up with him weeks later, armed with champagne and his mother’s whoopie pies. He had another surprise for her—he couldn’t remember what it is now—but instead of just handing it to her and winning back her friendship, he made her negotiate for it.
“Always the asshole,” Sid muttered.

“Give me a hint,” Jocelyn said.
“No,” Sid said.
“Why not?”
“Because any hint I come up with will ruin the surprise.”
“Really?”
“Really.”
“You’re probably right, men suck at giving hints.”
“True.”
“What if I told you that you couldn’t have anymore?”
She covered the last few bits of his whoopie pie. Any other Sanford might have bitten her hand off, but he remained calm and defiant.
“I’d have to give it up.”
“Are you serious, Sid?”
“Yep.”
“You were just having an intimate moment with that thing a minute ago, and now you’d just let it go because you don’t want to give me a little hint about my surprise?”
“Correct.”
“Is there anything I can do to change your mind? More food perhaps?”
Yes, actually, he thought. Fall in love with me. Marry me. Tell me not to leave ever again. Just say you love me and I’ll give you anything you want for the rest of my life.
“Nope,” he said instead.
Sid wished he could tell her how much he loved her, how achingly beautiful she was.
But he didn’t.
“I thought I was doing you a favor by procuring you some whoopie pies, and come to find out, you’re lobbying my mother for them the whole time,” Sid said.
“And she said I could come over anytime I wanted, so there,” Jocelyn said. “I really just need her to teach me how to make them.”
“At that point she’d disown me. I would be useless to her. Then she’d adopt you.”
“See! Everybody wins!”
Later, he went to peck her on the cheek, but instead kissed her full on the lips. It lasted a heartbeat, but he poured more passion into it than any other kiss he could remember.
“What was that for?” She asked.
I love you, he didn’t say.
“I’m proud of you,” Sid actually said.
“For what?”
“Just everything. If you ever want company again, just let me know.”
“I will.”
“I’d walk through fire to get back here to you.”

Sid coughed, urging the tears to wait until he landed in the passenger seat of his father’s car. The train pulled out of the underground tunnel and the brick and grime of Harlem appeared in the window.
He put his headphones on and turned on Neil Young’s “Cowgirl in the Sand.” He tapped the keyboard for a moment, unwilling to allow his urge to start Jocelyn’s eulogy to overpower him. However, it did in short order so he created a blank document and wrote,
“I met Jocelyn during a backyard Wiffle ball game.”
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“It’s no wonder that baseball is at the center of this compelling drama. There’s something quintessentially American about Ford’s writing, an understanding of the complex familial love between working-class parents and big-dreaming children. At the heart of Sid, though, is how those bonds shift and ultimately tighten in the face of violence.” ~ Erica Wright, author of The Granite Moth and The Red Chameleon
“In his debut novel, Daniel Ford knocks the stuffing out of Sid Sanford, only to skillfully stitch him back together, presenting a complex, flawed, and compelling character - one who’s bound to break your heart. Sid Sanford Lives! is a wry, touching, and captivating portrait of the highs and lows that make up a life.” ~ W.B. Belcher, author of Lay Down Your Weary Tune
“Sid Sanford loves three things: baseball, his family, and women. Sid has a big heart, and gives it away time and again, usually with disastrous results. Daniel Ford’s fine, sensitive debut novel, Sid Sanford Lives!, follows a young man as he comes of age, matures, and gains both wisdom and a measure of peace.” ~ Anne Leigh Parrish, author of Women Within and What is Found, What is Lost
“Achingly funny and sad. Full of life, loss, and baseball.” ~ Daniel Paisner, author of A Single Happened Thing

My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.


By Lynda Dickson
Sid and Jocelyn have been best friends since they were ten. Through multiple girlfriends and breakups, Jocelyn has always been there for Sid. But when he moves way to college, he meets Constance. He falls in love with her, but his relationship with Jocelyn complicates things. When tragedy strikes, Sid struggles to cope. Between his drunken bouts and multiple casual sexual encounters, the support of his family and friends might be the only thing keeping him alive.
Permeated with images of baseball, the story jumps backwards and forwards in time and is told from multiple points of view. I love the interactions between the characters and the easy-going banter and ribbing, especially between Sid and his brothers. Sid is a rogue, but you just can't help but like him, as well as the whole mixed bag of characters. There is a lot of telling, not showing, but this works in a literary context. It also feels a bit rushed, especially towards the end. I would have enjoyed spending more time with Sid and his family. Editing errors including spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and the incorrect use of homophones.
Warnings: coarse language, sex scenes, underage drinking, violence.

Playlist for Sid Sanford Lives!


About the Author
Daniel Ford
Daniel Ford is an author, journalist, and the co-founder/co-host of Writer’s Bone, a literary website and podcast that champions aspiring authors and screenwriters. Sid Sanford Lives! is his debut novel. Ford lives with his fiancée Stephanie in Boston, Massachusetts. He can often be found coaxing words out of a half-empty bourbon glass.



Links