Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wistful YA~TREASURE DARKLY by Jordan Elizabeth & a GIVEAWAY!

Wistful YA is my reoccurring spotlight, giving young adult literature center stage.

My next featured young adult tale is from a sweet author, who happens to be one of my co-authors filling up the pages of GEARS OF BRASS. She writes down her nightmares to live her dreams, as quoted from her CQ bio. How cool????

Intrigued by a touch of steampunk, mystery, and romance all wound up in a western setting? Then check out this next YA release. And remember to enter for your chance to win one of two free eCopies of the book! 

AMAZONGOODREADS
 PUBLISHER WEBSITE

TREASURE DARKLY: Treasure Chronicles #1 by Jordan Elizabeth

Genre: YA Steampunk, Romance
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Released: February 15, 2015
Pages: 289
Format: Paperback, eBook

Favorite Line/ Passage: Amethyst: Adam tossed Amethyst onto a sack of grain behind a closed barrel. Breath whooshed from her lungs as her body jerked against the hardness. The gag slipped down her lips enough for her to spit it out. 

"You idiot," she panted. The only light in the cellar came from the doors to the outside that Adam had left open. "You don't think  someone's going to find me in the bloody cellar?" (Kindle: 53%) OMGosh, I just love this character. 

I'd like to thank the author for supplying me with an eCopy in exchange for an honest review.


Description: Seventeen-year-old Clark Treasure assumes the drink he stole off the captain is absinthe… until the chemicals in the liquid give him the ability to awaken the dead. 

A great invention for creating perfect soldiers, yes, but Clark wants to live as a miner, not a slave to the army—or the deceased. On the run, Clark turns to his estranged, mining tycoon father for help. The Treasures welcome Clark with open arms, so he jumps at the chance to help them protect their ranch against Senator Horan, a man who hates anyone more powerful than he. 

Sixteen-year-old Amethyst Treasure loathes the idea of spending the summer away from her bustling city life to rot on her father’s ranch, but when a handsome young man shows up claiming to be her secret half-brother, her curiosity is piqued. He’s clever, street smart, and has no qualms jumping into the brawl between the Treasures and Horans. Caught in the middle, Horan kidnaps Amethyst, and all she gets is this lousy bullet through her heart. 

When Clark brings her back to life, however, the real action starts, and Amethyst joins him in his fight against the Horan clan—whatever the cost. Defeating the Horans may seem easy at first, but going up against men with the same fighting vengeance as Clark, and a Senator with power he’s obtained by brainwashing the masses? 

Well, Amethyst’s boring summer at home has turned into an adventure on the run, chock full of intrigue, danger, love, and a mysterious boy named Clark.

NIGHTSTAND WORTHY!

My Splats: a little bit of snark and romance mingle with steampunk elements in a western flair to bring an under-privileged boy to his true lineage. 

Raw and real is what opens the first few scenes. The reader is introduced to a dank yet busy brothel and Clark as a child, exposed to truths of life at such a young age. He tends to take most of it in stride, accepting what he can't change and seeing hope for growth in what he can. It was actually refreshing to see a younger person claim his life instead of wading through as a victim. Despite living in a less-than-appropriate establishment for a child, Clark has an obvious affection for his mother, which is so nice to see in a young adult story. 

The tale comes to life through clever use of names, titles of places, and physical mechanics which were pleasant to both eye and ear. Solid character descriptions, including distinct voices, lit up the pages. Personally, westerns are not my favorite setting. But blended with the steampunk descriptions, the numerous mysteries, and ... well, yes - romance - it really worked. So much so that at times I hardly noticed it was set in field dust, barns of hay, parlors, and on horses. It was also interesting to see this world through duel POVs - character points-of-views. Trust me. The male and female perspective showed totally different sides. :)

I was particularly intrigued by the overall premise. Being plagued with the ability to bring back the dead in exchange for another's life is quite the burden to bare. Complicate that with the accidental stealing of that gift/curse, and it makes for great tension and conflict. Speaking of conflict, the idea of a boy from nothing showing up at a wealthy home to claim he belongs to them ... I think you get the picture. And within that tension, there's loads of family member conflicts: some for Clark and some against him. Then add in a feud with a rival wealthy family, growth of commerce and dignity of different peoples, and that the government is searching for the one who stole the potion to begin with, and you'll have to agree that Clark's journey is full of action. 

Spoiler Alert: And then there's the paranormal aspects of Clark discovering his real father and communicating with his spirit... I'm such a sucker for any otherworldly trait.

I'd recommend this story for any action-packed/romance, YA enthusiast, and also anyone who appreciates the finery of the western and Victorian eras.

The giveaway runs from 05/27 to 06/10. The two winners will be drawn after that an announced the following week. Thanks so much for entering and spreading the word! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Childhood Apraxia of Speech

There are a multiple of valiant causes in today's world. I'm sure we've all been touched by at least one cause in some way. A family member or friend's struggle with a disease. Or maybe an acquaintance through social media drowning in medical debt. They are all worthy. 

Today, as I've done before, I'm sharing with you one cause that is near and dear to my mommy heart. 

Childhood Apraxia of Speech is a motor speech disorder, where the brain has difficulty sending messages to the parts of the body that are responsible for verbal communication. The child is fully aware of what he or she wants to say, but physically can't. As you can imagine, this poses loads of frustration for the child. 

I could go on and give you specifics about signs, false signs, and processes to proper diagnosis and treatments, but I won't. Instead, I'll share with you a piece I wrote for Apraxia - KIDS/CASANA a few years back. For those who've read this piece before, feel free to skim to the end. It's be great if you'd tweet a message to help raise awareness! To the new and/or young parents out there, I hope you find comfort in my family's experience. Finding someone who understands your plight can make all the difference in your world.

As the mother of three young children, I figured I’d seen it all from ADHD, tonsillitis, surgeries, colds, and runny noses. I was wrong.

CJ was born on a crisp November day in 2003, two weeks earlier than expected, and with a true knot in his umbilical cord. He should not have survived.

Feeling tremendously blessed, we took CJ home and, for the next six months, went about the busy life of raising four children. The latter half of his first year was spent with picture books in his hands and puzzle pieces scattered on the floor. He was fanatical about pictures. So much so, that by twelve-months old he had mastered 60-piece puzzles with no aid at all, pointing out objects in the pictures. He figured out how to communicate his wants and needs. I used to joke, calling it our private language. He excelled in every area of growth, except for the normal sounds babies make.

His first birthday came and went, but did not take with it his inability to make sounds other than the grunts and groans we’d grown accustom to. With no improvement in articulating formidable sounds over the next months, I spoke to our pediatrician about my concerns. She set up an appointment for CJ, who was 22 months old at the time, to be evaluated by a speech therapist. Her trust in me as a parent would never be forgotten.

CJ was officially diagnosed with Apraxia of Speech.

As a family, we dedicated ourselves to learning sign language and used amazing DVDs to do so. Once CJ was given his “Picture” book, he could hand us little images of his wants and needs. It was then that I finally understood what he had been telling me all along.Hearing CJ’s diagnosis being described as a neurological disorder could have crippled me. Instead, I collected research and questioned his two therapists on ways I could help him at home in addition to his therapy regiment. I searched magazines, the internet, and any other source to find pictures of everything under the sun. 

Shrinking the images and laminating them into a deck of cards made it easy to take to any ice rink or field my older kids were playing at. We would use car rides as therapy by flipping pictures to CJ and encouraging him to form the sounds. My older children helped, too. Slowly we saw improvement.CJ had lots to say. He only needed help finding his voice.

My greatest joy was the first time I heard him say, “Mama.”

The next three years were spent in therapy, where CJ and his therapists developed a fond relationship, one that would unexpectedly follow him into elementary school. There, he entered special services for speech therapy. His original therapist took a job at the school and could keep an eye on CJ, one of her star little guys. We were so blessed.

But soon, it was evident that CJ had met and even surpassed the official state benchmarks to receive services any longer. It was then that an image of a chubby 22-month-old sitting at a lone table in his therapy room and swooning over the mini M&Ms, which had become his expected reward during speech, wafted across my mind. I knew how hard he had worked. I had educated myself enough about Apraxia to know that it could continue to affect him as his vocabulary and the demands on his system increased, especially around third and sixth grades. I could not let his hard work go to waste.

Through my advocacy, CJ was allowed to remain in speech therapy for the remainder of kindergarten, first grade, and the beginning of second grade. He is still in the second grade and was recently discharged from the program; however, I asked for a written agreement, stating that CJ will be allowed back into the program, with ease, if his speech skills backslide when entering third grade. Given that his original therapist is at the school, I am confident she, as his advocate, will insure CJ’s continued care.

The most important message I have through CJ’s story is parental advocacy. There is nothing wrong with standing up for your child’s well-being, as long as it is delivered in a positive manner. Parents can be their child’s voice, until he or she finds their own.

Every child deserves a voice.

For more information, feel free to visit ASHA or CASANA. Please copy and paste a tweet for us! Raising awareness can help in ways you'll never know, but that doesn't lessen the value. Thanks in advance. 

Childhood Apraxia of Speech Awareness Day!!! Help give kids a voice!   

What is Childhood Apraxia of Speech?    

Every child deserves a voice. Childhood Apraxia of Speech Awareness Day!!!   
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Friday, May 8, 2015

Reveal YA Team~VESSEL, by Lisa Cresswell

M9B-Friday-Reveal
Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal! It's been a few months since I've participated in a regular Friday reveal, but I'm really excited about this one. 

Meet this week's featured writer presented by Month9Books! 
Lisa T. Cresswell, author of Vessel

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Meet Lisa T. Cresswell!
Lisa T. CresswellLisa, like most writers, began scribbling silly notes, stories, and poems at a very young age. Born in North Carolina, the South proved fertile ground to her imagination with its beautiful white sand beaches and red earth. In fifth grade, she wrote, directed and starred in a play “The Queen of the Nile” at school, despite the fact that she is decidedly un-Egyptian looking. Perhaps that’s why she went on to become a real life archaeologist? 
Unexpectedly transplanted to Idaho as a teenager, Lisa learned to love the desert and the wide open skies out West. This is where her interest in cultures, both ancient and living, really took root, and she became a Great Basin archaeologist. However, the itch to write never did leave for long. Her first books became the middle grade fantasy trilogy, The Storyteller Series. Her first traditionally published work, Hush Puppy, is now available from Featherweight Press. 

Lisa still lives in Idaho with her family and a menagerie of furry critters that includes way too many llamas!  
Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Lightening Round Questions

Twitter or Facebook? Twitter by far!

Favorite Superhero? Hulk
Ooh, you link green! #winks

Favorite TV show? Um, I don't watch tv anymore.

Sweet or Salty? Sweet

Coke or Pepsi? Pepsi before I gave it up; now its coffee :)
Oh yeah... coffee!

Any Phobias? Heights/fear of falling

Song you can’t get enough of right now? They play it way too much, but
I still like Uptown Funk.

Who is your ultimate Book Boyfriend? That's tough. I'm sure Peta's up
there. I'll get back to you on that one ;)
There really are toooooo many good ones to choose from.

What are you reading right now or what's on your TBR? I want to read
the latest Neil Gaiman book. Always!
#raiseshand #nodsemphatically 

Fall Movie you’re most looking forward to? It's really next winter,
but it's STAR WARS!!

LCresswell_Vessel_M9B_eCover_1800x2700
Title: Vessel
Publication date: May 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Lisa T. Cresswell
Description: The sun exploded on On April 18, 2112 in a Class X solar storm the likes of which humankind had never seen.
They had exactly nineteen minutes to decide what to do next. 
They had nineteen minutes until a geomagnetic wave washed over the Earth, frying every electrical device created by humans, blacking out entire continents, and every satellite in their sky. 
Nineteen minutes to say goodbye to the world they knew, forever, and to prepare for a new Earth, a new Sun.

Generations after solar storms destroyed nearly all human technology on Earth, humans reverted to a middle ages-like existence, books are burned as heresy, and all knowledge of the remaining technology is kept hidden by a privileged few called the Reticents. 
amazonAlana, a disfigured slave girl, and Recks, a traveling minstrel and sometimes-thief, join forces to bring knowledge and books back to the human race. But when Alana is chosen against her will to be the Vessel, the living repository for all human knowledge, she must find the strength to be what the world needs even if it’s the last thing she wants. 
add to goodreads
Lisa, like most writers, began scribbling silly notes, stories, and poems at a very young age. Born in North Carolina, the South proved fertile ground to her imagination with its beautiful white sand beaches and red earth. In fifth grade, she wrote, directed and starred in a play “The Queen of the Nile” at school, despite the fact that she is decidedly un-Egyptian looking. Perhaps that’s why she went on to become a real life archaeologist? 
Unexpectedly transplanted to Idaho as a teenager, Lisa learned to love the desert and the wide open skies out West. This is where her interest in cultures, both ancient and living, really took root, and she became a Great Basin archaeologist. However, the itch to write never did leave for long. Her first books became the middle grade fantasy trilogy, The Storyteller Series. Her first traditionally published work, Hush Puppy, is now available from Featherweight Press. 
ButtonLisa still lives in Idaho with her family and a menagerie of furry critters that includes way too many llamas!
Giveaway

Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!
The book will be sent upon the titles release.


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