Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Blog Tour: Night at the Opera by Stacy Henrie

Night at the Opera by Stacy Henrie

Book Description:

From USA Today bestselling author Stacy Henrie, comes NIGHT AT THE OPERA, an American Heiress Novel.

NIGHT AT THE OPERA - An American Heiress Book 1 (1908)

When American heiress Gwen Barton aids an injured gentleman in an opera box in London, she shares a kiss with the stranger that changes her life. More determined than ever to be herself, in spite of the limp she’s sustained since childhood, she will marry for love and not a title. She also resolves to learn the identity of the man she helped—and kissed. Surely he can’t be the irritating Avery Winfield, though. But as circumstances continue to throw Gwen and Avery together, she begins to wonder if there is more to this man than she first thought. 

While most of London only knows him as the nephew of a duke, Avery Winfield is actually working for the Secret Service Bureau to ferret out German spies from among the ton. It’s a profession that gives him purpose and a reason to remain a bachelor. But the more he interacts with Gwen Barton, an heiress from America, the more he begins to question his plans and neglected faith. Then he learns Gwen is the young lady from the opera box who helped him. Now his most important mission may have nothing to do with saving Britain from danger and everything to do with risking his heart for the woman he met that night at the opera.

Andrea's Review:

What a beautiful cover! It would definitely catch my attention at a bookstore or library.

Night at the Opera is clean, Christian historical fiction and an enjoyable, quick read. I hadn’t heard about American heiresses traveling to England to find husbands for a title and higher social status. Such a crazy idea, especially given that that wasn’t very long ago.

I really liked that Gwen didn’t care about a title or higher social status. She was trying to be a good daughter, but stayed true to herself instead of going along with a relationship that didn’t have real feelings or meaning. Her disability probably played a big role in her attitude-a good example that our trials can make us stronger.

I liked Avery as well. He also wasn’t caught up in the social desires, which made him more likable. He had a strong loyalty to country and was willing to risk his life for it. It was good to see him grow throughout the novel.

The mystery of the identities at the opera was an entertaining way for our main characters to meet, and the discovery kept things interesting.

Rorie's Review:

I must admit, I laughed at what Gwen did to wake Avery when he passed out. I never in a million years would have thought of doing something like that, especially with a complete stranger. It actually does play an important part in the story, but every time it was brought up, I kind of rolled my eyes.
Other than that, I enjoyed the story. The relationship between Gwen and Avery developed at a believable pace. Their personalities complemented each other, even if neither of them could see it for quite a while.

My heart ached for Gwen when she was searching for a solution to her childhood injury, but I'm actually glad it turned out the way it did, because she was able to come to the realization that she was much more than her injury.

The author keeps the reader guessing about who the bad guy is up until the very end when he was revealed. I thought I knew for sure who it was, but I was wrong.

I enjoyed this story and would read more from this author.

Tour Schedule:

Oct. 19 - Singing Librarian Books / Wishful Endings

Follow the Author:

Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon | Bookbub

Tour Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Title: Night at the Opera
Author: Stacy Henrie
Publisher: Mirror Press
Published: October 2018
ISBN: 1947152394
Source: We received an e-copy from the tour host in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Friday, October 12, 2018

Movie Review: Jane and Emma

Jane and Emma
In Theaters October 12, 2018


I am grateful for the opportunity I had to watch Jane and Emma, a new film depicting the relationship Jane Manning had with Emma and Joseph Smith in the 1840s. The main setting of the film is one night; however it has many flashbacks to show the relationship.

Jane was portrayed as a very faithful woman who believed that she and her family should join with the main body of the Church in Nauvoo, Illinois. When they weren't allow on a boat due to the color of their skin, they walked hundreds of miles to reach their goal. They were welcomed into the Smith's home and Jane developed an unlikely friendship with the couple.

This was a very touching movie. I've read quite a few things about the early members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but I wasn't familiar with Jane Manning or her relationship with Emma and Joseph. I loved that there was such a strong friendship between the three-that the color of Jane's skin wasn't an obstacle like it was for many during that time in history.

A few scenes where Jane was mistreated really tore at my heart. If you are a crier, make sure to have a tissue handy. Jane's continued faith given her many challenges was very inspiring.

The film is about an hour and a half and is rated PG.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Book Blast: Rhapsody and Rebellion by Aubrey Wynne

Rhapsody and Rebellion by Aubrey Wynne 

Book Description:

An enduring legacy... A rebellion... A destined love... 

Raised in his father’s image—practical and disciplined—there are no gray lines interrupting the Earl of Stanfeld’s black and white world. Until his mother has a dream and begs to return to her Highland home. 

Alisabeth was betrothed from the cradle. At seventeen, she marries her best friend and finds happiness if not passion. In less than a year, she’s a widow. Vowing to honor her husband’s memory, she joins his activist group of Glasgow weavers and is soon embroiled in the Radical War of 1820. 

Crossing the border into Scotland, Gideon finds his predictable world turned upside down. Folklore, legend, and political unrest intertwine with an unexpected attraction to a feisty Highland beauty. But Lissie doesn’t trust the Englishman or the rising desire between them. When the earl learns of an English plot to stir the Scots into rebellion, he must choose his country or save the clan and the woman that stirs his soul.

Get your copy for just 99 cents for a limited time!

Add to your Goodreads Shelf


The sound of horseshoes and carriage wheels crunched in the drive. A moment later, the heavy oak door slammed open. Calum Dalais filled the doorway, wild black curls clinging to his neck and strong jaws, a whip in his hand.

“Let’s go, my lovelies. We dinna know how long this uproar may last.” Sapphire blue glittered with urgency. “I’ve rented a hack to get us out of the city limits. The carriage is too tempting for the rabble.”

Maeve picked up her heavy skirts with one hand, grasped her reticule with the other, and hurried for the door. The footman tossed baggage on top of the hansom then returned to assist Maeve. Her heart beat rapidly as she settled on the frayed padded bench. A far cry from the soft velvet of their own carriage. Maeve had been delighted to accompany her parents to Edinburgh. Now she prayed for the safety of her Highland home.

“What if they stop the carriage? I’m frightened, Calum.” Panic added a shrill pitch to her mother’s voice.

“They’re just hungry and tired of not being heard. I willna let anyone harm come to ye.” Her father’s calm tone soothed both the women. “Now up ye go, Peigi, my love. We’ll be out of here in the blink of an eye.”

He sat across from them, rapped his knuckles against the roof, and the vehicle lurched forward. The horses whinnied in protest and sidestepped men running through the streets and debris flying in their path. Someone tried to hitch a ride on the side of the vehicle. Calum swore under his breath, leaned out the window, and punched the man in the face. The trespasser fell on his arse in the mud, holding his nose with one hand and a waving an angry fist in another.

The sun’s bright rays barely penetrated a dark, narrow alley as the driver took a detour to avoid the throng of rioters. Maeve peeked out the window and saw a glimpse of the square at the end of the backstreet, packed with hundreds of people streaming in from all sides. On a shoddily erected platform hung a noose, with a group of workers balancing what looked like a man on their shoulders. They tied the noose around his neck. One of his arms swayed unnaturally by his side, and she sighed with relief when bits of straw fell from the coat sleeve.

The driver cracked his whip, the hack careened around another corner, and they broke free of the crowd. As the noise subsided, Maeve listened to her parents argue about the political situation that had led to the insurrection. She leaned her head against the hard bench, each rut jerking her neck back and forth. It had been such a long day with little sleep the previous night. Her lids grew heavy, and her mind traveled back to the angry mob as she drifted off.

Praise for Aubrey Wynne:

“Well-written historical romance with a bit of everything – a tragedy, a conflicted hero, a strong and fragile heroine, interesting characters, and a happily ever after.” Amazon verified review

“Best Regency Romance I’ve read in a long time and highly recommend!” N.N. Light Book Heaven Reviews

“I adored this story. I look forward to reading more in this series.” Reads2Love Review

 “A wonderful romance!” 5 Kindles Review

Author Aubrey Wynne 

Bestselling and award-winning author Aubrey Wynne resides in the Midwest with her husband, dogs, horses, mule and barn cats. She is an elementary teacher by trade, champion of children and animals by conscience, and author by night. Obsessions include history, travel, trail riding and all things Christmas.

Her short stories, Merry Christmas, Henry and Pete's Mighty Purty Privies have won Readers Choice Awards. Dante's Gift and Paper Love received the 2016 Golden Quill, Aspen Gold, Heart of Excellence and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence.

In addition to her Chicago Christmas novellas, Aubrey will release two more Regency romances in 2018. The Wicked Earls’ Club will release again in 2019. Wynne’s medieval fantasy series launched in 2017 with Rolf's Quest, winner of the NTRWA Great Expectations.  

$50 Blast Giveaway: 

Winner’s choice of a $50 Amazon Gift Code or $50 in PayPal Cash 

Ends 11/2/18 

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. The giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. 

Friday, October 5, 2018

Blog Tour: Proximity by Traci Hunter Abramson

Reviews * Giveaway
Proximity by Traci Hunter Abramson

Book Description:

Tia Parker always seems to fall for the wrong guy. But when she meets Evan Spence at a friend's wedding, it seems like she's finally found Mr. Right. Their spark is undeniable, but reality may extinguish any hope for a future: they are separated by thousands of miles. As the couple struggles with the pitfalls of pursuing romance long-distance, Tia is taken off guard by a new arrival in town. 

Colby Farren is handsome and charming and has made it clear he's interested in Tia. Yet despite his obvious infatuation, Tia can't seem to get Evan out of her mind. Caught between the attention of two very different men, her complicated love life is soon eclipsed by much more sobering concerns. A break-in at her apartment is just the first in a series of bizarre events, each bringing her one step closer to a dangerous liaison. And knowing who to trust could be a matter of life and death.

Rorie's Review:

I am so glad that I didn't have much of anything going on this weekend, because I would have been unhappy to have to put this book down to focus on real life stuff. This was one of those creepy type stories where you sit and wonder how you would react if it happened to you.

This is also going to be a bit difficult to review, because I feel like I'll give away some spoilers if I tell you any of the plot. So, as a result, I'm going to be very generic. But it was a really good book. :)

Traci has quite the gift for writing, and quickly drawing her readers into the stories she's telling. We get to know all of the characters relatively quickly. The romance happens pretty quickly in this story, but it's a believable kind of quick. Plus, I feel like it's not the main plot of the story anyway, so it's all good.

Throughout the story I was wondering if Charlie and Kendra played a part in another one of Traci's books. They seemed kind of familiar, but only just. This is a stand-alone book, so I could just be imagining things. At any rate, if they aren't, they should be. (Hint, hint.) Definitely a book I'm happy to add to my collection.

Andrea's Review:

It was nice to change up my typical genre a bit for Traci Hunter Abramson's latest suspense novel, Proximity. The cover is perfect, and would definitely catch my attention in a bookstore or library.

While I had some misgivings about one of the characters, I wasn't convinced everyone had been introduced for quite a bit of the story. It was nice being kept on my toes. Abramson did a good job of creating a creepy bad guy.

I like the way Abramson intertwined the romance with the suspense. Neither aspect was overpowering, but both felt like pretty realistic situations with natural timing.

Tia and Evan seemed great for each other, and I liked Tia overall. Her connection to the community and as well as her inability to be on time made her endearing. The way their mutual friends got them to the wedding festivities on time was a fun way for them to connect.

There is some violence, but I didn't feel that it was overly graphic. While this wouldn't be my go-to suspense novel, I felt like it was worth the read.

Tarah's Review:

Proximity was one of those books that you don't want to put down once you've started. I will admit, that until the author makes the bad guy obvious I was kept wondering who it could be. I will say that although I enjoyed this novel, it wasn't one of the authors best. Something just felt a little off about the whole story. Maybe it was the instaromance. Even though it happened fast, I didn't mind that much, but it was really quick. I'm wondering if it was the fact that going into the story I thought it was going to be a love triangle, and I hate love triangles so I was probably going into this with not the best attitude. I was very happy to discover that this isn't a love triangle though, so if you were worried about that you don't need to be anymore.

The suspense was good. That was my favorite part of the story. I'm not sure how I feel about the author bringing in old characters when it seems like the book should be in a different series. Don't get me wrong, I love Charlie and Kendra. Their books were fun, and I really liked them. It just seems weird to me to start a new series and add in old characters. If I hadn't read them before, I'm not sure if I would have been confused for not. Without their backstory they seem a little too perfect.

Tour Schedule:

*Oct. 1st:,,

Tour Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway Proximity
Author: Traci Hunter Abramson
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc.
Published: October 2018
ISBN: 1524406821
Source: We received copies from the publisher in exchange for honest reviews.

Purchase: Amazon | Deseret Book

Thursday, October 4, 2018

#FallingInLove – Author Cindy Roland Anderson – $25 Giveaway

The Rogue Warrior by Cindy Roland Anderson 

Book Description:

His job was to protect her, not fall in love with her. 

When Logan Steele is hired to protect an archery champion who is being stalked, the former SEAL automatically assumes his client is a man. Then he meets Weslee Campbell, a beautiful woman with the prettiest light blue eyes he’s ever looked into, and he knows his life is about to change forever. That is, if his fear doesn’t get the best of him. For a man who has faced enemy insurgents, rescued innocent people in the line of fire, and piloted a helicopter without experience to save his SEAL team, he shouldn’t be afraid of anything…yet meeting a pretty girl with a heart of gold has him questioning if he’s brave enough to fall in love.  

Get it now on Amazon

Read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited

Add to your Goodreads Shelf


As they slowly made their way toward the entrance, Weslee regretted her earlier behavior. She’d acted like a spoiled brat when all he was trying to do was keep her out of harm’s way. Her mother had raised her to be a lady, and she needed to make an apology.

She tipped her face up to look at him and realized now was not the time to apologize. Focused and stern looking, Logan honed in on the crowd around them. With his attention riveted on their surroundings, it gave her a moment to really study him. His appearance was a little deceiving. The clean-cut look gave him a hot-boy-next-door kind of vibe. Dressed in the expensive tux, he looked more like a sexy British spy than a soldier. It was his piercing blue eyes that gave him an edge, making him look cool, calm, and dangerous.

As if he knew she was checking him out, his eyes flashed to hers. Glimmering like chips of ice, they held very little warmth and were deadly serious. Still, despite his cool assessment, she felt that magnetic pull toward him. Instead of shrinking away, no doubt what he intended her to do, she held his gaze and gave him a soft smile.

Then she saw it. A fiery attraction flickered behind his eyes just before he shuttered it and looked away. That brief second of intense heat wrapped around her like a warm blanket right out of the dryer. What if Inez was right? What if meeting Logan was her destiny?


On sale for just 99 cents on October 4th & 5th


Logan and Weslee have such a fun and rewarding love story! I loved the chemistry between them, the suspense leading toward the ending, and the comedy spread throughout the book as well. Such a fun, romantic read, and the perfect addition to the Navy SEAL Romance Series 2.0. ~ Kimberly  



Author Cindy Roland Anderson 

Cindy Roland Anderson writes clean, contemporary romance with a combination of humor, romantic tension and some pretty great kissing scenes. She and her husband, John, live in northern Utah, and have five amazing children. Their family has expanded by adding a son-in-law, a daughter-in-law, and seven adorable grandchildren. She is a registered nurse and has worked in the NICU as well as the newborn nursery. She loves to read, almost as much as she loves writing. And she loves chocolate, probably a little too much.  



Giveaway Details: 

Ends 10/28/18 

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal or gift codes via Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

$50 Blast Giveaway – Something About Forever by Kimberly Loth

Something About Forever by Kimberly Loth 

Book Description:


They are bound to be the death of me. 

Especially one with blue eyes, perfectly Mormon cut hair, and probably the inspiration for the girl’s camp song "Hot Priest". 

Why the heck did he have to be the bishop’s son? Cause here’s the thing. While I’m Mormon, I don’t really belong. I mean, I want to, but I just can’t seem to keep on the straight and narrow. Seriously, look at me. I’m not even supposed to use the name Mormon anymore, but Latter-Day Saint is a mouthful. So I’m sticking to Mormon. Sorry, Prophet. 

The bishop knows my past. He knows my problems. There is no freaking way he’s going to let me date his son. 

Yet, Nate comes after me anyway. And I fall hard. 

But eventually….I will have to tell him about my past. 

And I know, he’ll run far, far away from me when I do.

Get it Now on Amazon

Praise for Something About Forever:

Something About Forever hit me directly in the feels. I haven’t read a book in a while that’s made me cry but this one got my tear ducts flowing. Lauren and Nate’s story is very reliable. I completely recommend this book if you haven’t read it yet! ~Brianna  

While this book could have been preachy, it is far from it. Religion isn't forced on you, even though it plays a major role in the story. It is simply one part of what helps Lauren turn her life around. I liked the way Lauren struggled to overcome her past and forgive herself. It was realistic. This story is unlike any I've read by Kimberly Loth. She moved in an entirely new direction with her writing. The result is a story well worth reading. I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to the next book in the series. ~Donna  

Being not so perfect either, this book resonated deeply within my soul. The power of forgiveness for yourself and in giving to others can change your life. What a masterfully told story of love, acceptance, and forgiveness that is appropriate for teenagers and adults alike. ~Alie  

I'm not really someone who is big on books with religion, but I really loved this story... This is such a sweet and forgiving story that the entire time I read it I felt light-hearted and happy. I really enjoyed the adventure of Lauren and Nate. ~Ruby  

A different genre than normal, I was totally enraptured by this tale. This author truly breathed life into these characters and captured the very essence of forgiveness and redemption. ~Patty  

A heartbreaking love story. It was hard for me to get passed the specificity of religion but I feel it could fit into any Christian setting. It's a good story. Well written. I hope that you enjoy it too. ~Richard  

This book draws you in from the beginning and keeps you enthralled in Lauren and Nate’s story. It’s a real tear-jerker, so make sure the tissues are handy when you read it. It has great characters that you soon become invested in and an emotional plot that keeps you turning the pages. ~Rabid  

Add to your Goodreads Shelf


“Lauren, we need to talk.”

Those four words needed to be expunged from the English language. Seriously. They build some stupid dread that might or might not be warranted. Every time I heard them, my hands started to sweat, and I didn’t even know what the issue was.

I took a sip of my hot chocolate, savoring the taste of the whipped cream before the liquid burned my tongue. I set down my mug, my lips still stinging. I knew better than to drink it that fast, but Mom had distracted me. What on earth did she want to talk about?

Maybe she’d found out I’d been drinking. My stepdad, Steve, wouldn’t have told her, but there were a number of other ways she could’ve found out. In the last few months, she’d been a lot more aware of what was going on around her.

“What’s up?” I asked with mock casualness. Steve sat next to my mom and would not meet my eyes. Heat crept up my neck and my face flushed. This would not be good.

“I got a new job,” Mom said with a grin.

Phew. “Oh, that’s good.” I let out a breath. See, she didn’t have to say, we need to talkand get my nerves up all unnecessarily. Mom dropped her eyes. “But we have to move.”

Oh, yes, finally! I knew she’d been looking in the city. I’d wanted to move to New York City for years. At least twice a month, Cherise and I hit up parties there. I’d officially be cooler than she was now. I blew on my chocolate, now feeling silly for overreacting.

“Really? That’s awesome. Will we be living in Brooklyn by Sierra?” My sister had lived in New York for the last three years, though when I went, I didn’t see her. She wouldn’t approve of my antics in the city. I only visited her when Mom went too.

“No, love, we’re not moving to the city.” She’d dropped into her pity-mom voice—the one she always used when she delivered bad news.

“I don’t understand.” My hands gripped the hot mug.

“One of the restaurants I interviewed with wants me to open a new location in Tucson, Arizona.” 

Wait. What? The room went silent for several long moments. The only sound in the room was the slow drip of the coffee maker. The bitter smell suddenly assaulted my nostrils. Maybe I misheard her. 

“Excuse me? Arizona? What about Steve’s job?”

This couldn’t be happening. I had friends here. I was content with the way things were. I had a routine and it was good. This was my life. They couldn’t just up and move me to Arizona.

I wasn’t sure I could even locate that on a map, let alone fathom living there. I’d never been out of the northeast. They didn’t have snow in Arizona.

Nope. This was not happening.

 “Steve can work from anywhere,” Mom said. I thought back on the last several months. I should’ve seen this coming—the whispered conversations between her and Steve, her sudden trip out west to visit her sister, mom packing up the guest room. I missed all the signs. It was like sleeping until noon and realizing you missed the sunrise.

I clenched my fists, thinking through all the implications. I didn’t like change, and there had been altogether too much of it lately. “But we don’t need the money, right? Steve makes enough.”

“Sure he does. But this is a great opportunity for me to get back into the business. I miss working.”

I couldn’t go. I was horrible at making new friends, and I liked partying. What if the kids in Arizona didn't like me? I blinked away tears. “But, Mom, you could get a job at Denny’s. I don’t want to move.” She was a chef. A good one too, but after Dad left, she sank into a deep depression and lost her job. After that, she only worked odd catering jobs. She’d been looking for something better for months.

Her lips formed a tight line. “I’m sorry. The decision has already been made.”

I met my stepdad’s eyes. He loved the snow as much as I did. We hadn’t even had a good snowfall yet this year. “Steve, help me out here.”

He took my mom’s hand. “I’m ready for a change of scenery. This is a good thing. A fresh start. Your mom deserves this.”

“When are we moving?” Given enough time, I might be able to talk her out of it. Show her that I couldn’t move. Maybe I could just move in with my bff, Cherise. Her mom liked me well enough. Yeah. That’s what I’d do. Besides, mom wouldn’t move me in the middle of the school year. That was like GPA suicide. Not that my GPA was any good anyway, but that didn’t matter.

Mom let out a breath. “Please don’t get upset. We have to move midyear. But it will be okay.”

I knew better than to think we could stay for another six months.

“Maybe Steve and I can stay here until the end of the school year.”

Steve gave my mom a look. “No. I don’t want to be away from her that long.”

My chest tightened. “When?”

“Two weeks.”

“Two weeks?” I shrieked. That was before Christmas. I had plans. Big ones, including watching the ball drop in Times Square on New Years Eve. I’d never been allowed to go by myself before, but this year, Cherise and I had an elaborate plan to go anyway. It included a lot of lies, but they’d always worked before.

Two weeks? This was impossible.  

Author Kimberly Loth

Kimberly Loth has lived all over the world. From the isolated woods of the Ozarks to exotic city of Cairo. Currently, she resides in Tucson, Arizona with her family including an old grumpy cat named Max. She’s been writing for ten years and is the author of the Amazon bestselling series The Dragon Kings. In her free time, she volunteers at church, reads, and travels as often as possible.

$50 Blast Giveaway:

Winner's choice of a $50 Amazon Gift Code or $50 in PayPal Cash

Ends 10/29/18

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. The giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Blog Tour: Squint by Chad Morris and Shelly Brown

Squint by Chad Morris and Shelly Brown

Book Description:

My name is Flint, but everyone in middle school calls me Squint because I'm losing my vision. I used to play football, but not anymore. I haven t had a friend in a long time. Thankfully, real friends can see the real you, even when you can't clearly see.

Flint loves to draw. In fact, he's furiously trying to finish his comic book so he can be the youngest winner of the Find a Comic Star contest. He s also rushing to finish because he has keratoconus an eye disease that could eventually make him blind.

McKell is the new girl at school and immediately hangs with the popular kids. Except McKell's not a fan of the way her friends treat this boy named Squint. He seems nice and really talented. He draws awesome pictures of superheroes. McKell wants to get to know him, but is it worth the risk? What if her friends catch her hanging with the kid who squints all the time?

McKell has a hidden talent of her own but doesn't share it for fear of being judged. Her terminally ill brother, Danny, challenges McKell to share her love of poetry and songwriting. Flint seems like someone she could trust. Someone who would never laugh at her. Someone who is as good and brave as the superhero in Flint's comic book named Squint.

Squint is the inspiring story of two new friends dealing with their own challenges, who learn to trust each other, believe in themselves, and begin to truly see what matters most.

Rorie's Review:

I've always been a sucker for the underdog kind of stories, so I was excited to get a chance to read Squint. This book did not disappoint. Flint - aka Squint - has dealt with a whole lot of issues since he was diagnosed with keratoconus. Not only physical issues, but issues with mean people at school. As a result, he closed himself off from everyone and focuses solely on creating his comic with the hopes that his life will get better after he finishes it.

Enter McKell. She rocks Squint's world when she not only pays attention to him, but she is actually NICE to him. Something he isn't expecting from anyone. As their friendship grows, Squint learns a lot about McKell and her struggles, but also learns a lot about himself, his family and people who he once considered friends.

I like how this story doesn't make Squint a complete victim, and lets the reader see that things might not always be as cut and dry as they seem to be. This is a book I really want my older two boys to read, (and my younger two when they're just a little older) and hope that they can understand all of the different messages that this book gives to the reader.

Tarah's Review:

This is another of those books that I think every middle grade kid should read. It was powerful. I loved the idea of looking at things through different eyes. I loved how the book showed that none of us are all good or all bad. We all have things that we just don't see. We all have people that we minimize and ignore, and maybe we need to look around a little more and see their backstory.

I thought Squint's comic book was a fun addition to the story. I like how it paralleled his own life, and he was able to see others in his life a little more clearly. I loved the story with his grandparents. That was super touching to me.

I kind of wish that somethings had been said more clearly instead of leaving the read to glean it on his/her own. I think when dealing with middle school kids we might need to be more blunt.  But I would definitely recommend this book.

This is what a couple of my kids had to say about this book:

"I liked how they included two stories in one, and they both intertwine. The book was good. I liked the message of the story. I liked the rock dog. He was funny."

"I liked how they told both the characters stories and what they were both facing...because Middle School can get pretty hard.  I liked how the people thought their friend was helping them even if their friend didn't feel like they were doing anything to help. I liked how Squint's and McKell's problems are realistic. It's hard moving into a new place where you don't know who anyone is. It's hard to make friends with new people when you've been bullied a lot. I liked it all. I would read it again."

Andrea's Review:

I loved Mustaches for Maddie so I was very excited when I heard that the authors were releasing another book. Squint and Mustaches for Maddie have a similar feel, although I didn't connect as deeply with Squint. I think my connection may have been less because I'm not into comic books, so the parts where we read Squint's comic story didn't hold my attention as much as the rest of the story. That said, I still enjoyed the story and thought it had a great message.

My takeaway was that we don’t know what people are going through and a little kindness goes a long way. I loved Danny and his friend Yellow and the difference they made by Danny sharing his happy attitude. His challenges made people stretch outside of their comfort zones to help people and make a difference for someone.

I thought Squint’s situation with Gavin was quite eye-opening. Gavin didn’t recognize how his joking was hurtful, and Squint didn’t realize that his defense mechanism of not talking to Gavin was making him think that Squint didn’t like him. You don’t typically think about it from that side.

I loved when Squint's grandpa said, "Hard work is always something you should be proud of." So true. We might not get the results we hoped for, but that shouldn't diminish our effort.

Sometimes we’re blind to the sacrifices the people make for us (Squint’s grandparents, especially his grandma).

Parts of this book are pretty emotional and I couldn’t help but cry. This is a clean and inspirational read that I recommend. Squint
Author: Chad Morris & Shelly Brown
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Published: October 2018
ISBN: 1629724858
Source: We received copies from the publisher in exchange for honest reviews.

Purchase: Amazon | Deseret Book