Book Tour (Review): The Christmas Spirit by Alexandrea Weis

The Christmas Spirit
Alexandrea Weis
Published by: Rosewind Books
Publication date: October 27th 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance


Courtney Winston is a writer on a deadline. Eager to finish her book and get over a recent break-up, she ditches Christmas with her family and retreats to a secluded cabin in the mountains.

Appliances rarely work, and cell service is spotty, but Courtney senses there is more to her rustic rental—something dark and haunting.

Then Peter, the attractive Stone Mountain Lodge owner, and a meddling cook, Mrs. Finn, keep coming around, shattering her peace and offering advice on how to fix her heavy heart.

Courtney grows closer to Peter, but Mrs. Finn warns her of his troubled past. Undaunted, Courtney sets out to win him over. But being with the brooding stranger may end up costing her more than she ever imagined.

Goodreads / Amazon


I received a free copy via Xpresso Book Tours for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone.

This isn’t my first Alexandrea Weis book, but I may have to put this as my top story. It’s a Christmas story with a spooky element. At first, I was laughing at myself for reading a holiday romance set during the wrong holiday, but the spook factor made it perfect for this month.

I needed something that made me smile and give me the chills. This book was it!

The characters are well written and have you questioning what is going on. I love the story of Perchta too. I didn’t know about her until this book. Once I read up more about her, I was even more sold on this book.

I am going to have Weis on my list of authors to read. Not that she wasn’t to begin with. Just that this book kept her in her spot. This book is perfect for right now.

Author Bio:

Alexandrea Weis, RN-CS, PhD, is a multi-award-winning author, screenwriter, advanced practice registered nurse, and historian who was born and raised in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Having grown up in the motion picture industry as the daughter of a director, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story moving and memorable.

Weis writes romance, mystery, suspense, thrillers, supernatural, and young adult fiction and has sold approximately one million books. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans where she is a permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries and rescues orphaned and injured animals.

She is a member of both the International Thriller Writers Association and the Horror Writers Association.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Newsletter

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Book Tour (Review): Warriors of Wing and Flame by Sara B. Larsen

Hardcover : 384 pages
ISBN-10 : 1250208432
ISBN-13 : 978-1250208439
Publisher : Tor Teen (October 27, 2020)

Language: : English
“Packed with fascinating relationships, pulse-pounding romance, and breathtaking adventure, this story held me captive to every page.” ―Kathryn Purdie, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Burning Glass
“I was completely swept away with this fierce magical story of broken family, and sisters trying to survive a mysterious past. Romance, betrayal, gryphons, forbidden doorways, and devoted sisters had me flipping the pages to unravel the secrets of this dark world where no one is who they seem to be. Larson has created a spellbinding world that has all the elements I love―magic, mystery, romance, and sisterhood! I can’t wait for more!” ―Mary E. Pearson, New York Times bestselling author of The Kiss of Deception
“What a stunning gem of a story. Fans of gorgeous, emotional, action-packed fantasy are going to want to snap this up. I loved it so much, I read it in one sitting!” ―C.J. Redwine, New York Times bestselling author of the Ravenspire series
“Larson’s bold and imaginative tale of sisterhood, magic, and monsters is a deft exploration of loneliness, family, and friendship inside a citadel hedged by lies and blood.” ―A.G. Howard, #1 New York Times and international bestselling author of The Splintered Series
“Sisters of Shadow and Light is a rare beauty that will grip your heart and steal your breath away. I adored this book!” ―Jennifer A. Nielsen, New York Times bestselling author of The Traitor’s Game
“Fantasy readers will become absorbed in the world-building and strong relationship between the sisters.” ―School Library Connection
“Fans of the author’s earlier work, as well as that of Kristin Cashore and Rachel Hartman, will enjoy this story. Purchase for those who love fantasy novels and Larson’s other books.” ―School Library Journal

Acclaimed author Sara B. Larson continues her enchanting YA fantasy duology with a timeless fairytale feel in an original voice.

The doorway between the magical Visempirum and the human world has been reopened. Paladin are once more living in the citadel where Zuhra and Inara grew up completely isolated by the magical hedge that trapped them there. Amidst the brewing conflict between the Paladin and humans looms the threat of Barloc, who has stolen Inara’s immense power and continues to elude the Paladin who are desperately searching for him.

In this sequel to Sisters of Shadow and Light, Inara and Zuhra must navigate the treacherous paths of self-discovery, their love for each other, and for the boys who have captured their hearts. Together, they search for the strength within themselves to bridge the divide between the two worlds they inhabit, even as war threatens to destroy everything—and everyone—they love.

You can purchase Warriors of Wing and Flame at the following Retailers:


I received a copy of Warriors of Wing and Flame from the publisher via JeanBookNerd for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation for this review.

I don’t know what it is about me and reading sequels before the first book, but it seems to have become a talent of mine. Warriors of Wing and Flame is the sequel and conclusion to a fantasy duology that focuses on family, loss, and personal growth. Whereas there are sequels that leave you in the dark if you read them first, Larsen does a great job continuing the story without making the reader feel like they absolutely need the first.

Do I want the first? Duh.

You can see that whatever happened in book one the main characters, sisters Inara and Zhura, have grown tremendously. That growth only continues with this book. Between the sisters, it is hard to pick one over the other. Both are dealing with PTSD and depression over the events from book one. What is great is that you see the different ways it is dealt with and how their own relationship is strengthened though hesitant at first.

The magic system is amazing and is probably the biggest reason why I wish I read the first book. Yes, I don’t know how it was introduced, but I was not left confused with what I read. I love the concept of the glowing eyes and sanaulus. And there is something else but I feel it is probably very much a spoiler. Suffice to say, it makes Inara’s predicament even more upsetting, but pivotal.

In short, I am definitely getting book one and start over from the beginning. Inara and Zhura’s relationship is beautiful and reminds me of the closeness I have with my own siblings. Seeing the beginning of their story will only make this reading experience that much better.

Ten reasons to read WARRIORS OF WING AND FLAME

If you love stories about sisters.

If you love stories with really amazing kissing scenes.

If you love stories with gryphons that warriors fly on and have lifelong bonds with.

If you love stories with magic.

If you love stories with shocking plot twists.

If you love stories with misunderstood characters.

If you love stories with an enemies to lovers trope.

If you love stories with high stakes where you’re not sure who will survive or not.

If you love stories where characters think they undertand love but find out they were very naïve and had a lot to learn.

If you love stories that are full of action, adventure, romance, magic, a bit of mystery, and that will keep your heart pounding and the pages turning!

Photo Content from Sara B. Larson

Sara B. Larson is the author of the acclaimed YA fantasy DEFY trilogy (DEFY, IGNITE, and ENDURE) and the DARK BREAKS THE DAWN duology (DARK BREAKS THE DAWN and BRIGHT BURNS THE NIGHT). She can’t remember a time when she didn’t write books—although she now uses a computer instead of a Little Mermaid notebook. Sara lives in Utah with her husband, their four children, and their Maltese, Loki. She writes in brief snippets throughout the day and the quiet hours when most people are sleeping. Her husband claims she should have a degree in “the art of multitasking.” When she’s not mothering or writing, you can often find her at the gym repenting for her sugar addiction.

OCTOBER 21st WEDNESDAY Movies, Shows, & Books EXCERPT
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Nerd Blast! Pretty Funny For A Girl by Rebecca Elliott

Hardcover : 384 pages
ISBN-10 : 1682631478
ISBN-13 : 978-1682631478
Publisher : Peachtree Publishing (October 1, 2020)
Language: : English


“Elliott, who has previously published picture books and early readers, nails the voice and persona of a high school girl…. A good purchase for libraries that need coming-of-age books centering body-positivity.” ―School Library Journal

“A feel-good story featuring a narrator who’s likable and genuinely funny, even at her most self-deprecating. Dreams, being true to oneself, body-image issues, single parenting, family dynamics, self-confidence, and a realistic depiction of friendship make this a refreshing coming-of-age read full of optimism, dreams, and plenty of stereotype-smashing laughs. A natural pick for Dumplin’ (2015) fans.” ―Booklist

“Sharp, funny… The working-class British milieu feels freshly wrought, and Elliott’s characters are well balanced… [Haylah’s] comedy routine, though at times self-deprecating, also flips some stereotypes.” ―Publishers Weekly

A candid and laugh-out-loud journey of family, friends, and fierce mistakes.

Haylah Swinton is an ace best friend, a loving daughter, and an incredibly patient sister to a four-year-old nutcase of a brother. Best of all, she’s pretty confident she’s mastered making light of every situation–from her mom’s new boyfriend to unsolicited remarks on her plus-sized figure. Haylah’s learning to embrace all of her curvy parts and, besides, she has a secret: one day, she’ll be a stand-up comedian star.

So when impossibly cool and thirstalicious Leo reveals he’s also into comedy, Haylah jumps at the chance to ghost-write his sets. But is Leo as interested in returning the favor? Even though her friends warn her of Leo’s intentions, Haylah’s not ready to listen–and she might just be digging herself deeper toward heartbreak. If Haylah’s ever going to step into the spotlight, first she’ll need to find the confidence to put herself out there and strut like the boss she really is.

Rebecca Elliott’s hilarious and authentic narrative voice is sure to capture readers’ hearts as her plus-sized, teenage heroine navigates learning to love the body she’s in while dealing with friends, family, and boys.

You can purchase Pretty Funny for a Girl at the following Retailers:


Photo Content from Rebecca Elliott

Rebecca Elliott was not so much born as assembled from potatoes, cat hair and sarcasm in Suffolk quite a few years ago. A school project of Rebecca’s from the age of 6 reads, “When I grow up I want to write and draw books”, clearly a precocious little brat but still, if nothing else it proves that when she’s made a decision she really can’t be bothered to change it. After a ‘brief’ detour from this career plan involving wanting to be Stephen Fry, a degree in philosophy and a dull office job, she finally got round to doing the whole book thing .

Since then she has become an award-winning (you won’t have heard of the award but come on, that sounds good, right?)and bestselling author of over 30 books for children. These include Just Because, a book about her daughter who had severe special needs and her ongoing series Owl Diaries which has sold 6 million copies worldwide. Her new YA novel, ‘Pretty Funny’ is due out in March 2020. (Published by Penguin, like actual Penguin. Which is dream-come-true awesome) And her mum really likes it.

When she’s not story-making she can be found reading (everyone puts that as a hobby but really, I mean who doesn’t read? Even if its just the TV guide?), loudly venting her issues on the drums, singing in her band, painting pictures only she appreciates, at the movies (again, everyone, right?), podcasting or just hanging out with her husband Matthew (a history teacher), her children (professional monkey-boys), chickens (egg production executives) and cat Bernard (currently unemployed).


*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*


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Kindle Force: Vampire Samurai by Kailin Gow

Publication Date : September 22, 2020
Publisher : RomanceOnTheGoBooks

Imprint of Sparklesoup (September 22, 2020)
Language: : English

Praise for KAILIN GOW“The Saving You Saving Me Project is an important work that covers issues that are real.Read the book [and] support the project.” —Frankie Boyer Show, nationally syndicated show in Boston’s top station.

“[Kailin Gow] is very very sweet and an expert on body issues, self-esteem, and women’s issues…” —Broadminded Show, nationally syndicated show on women and celebrities. Sirius XM Radio.

“Kailin Gow is an expert on young adult issues and self-esteem. On top of that, she’s a very successful fiction author…” —John Mercure, news host on #1 radio news station WTMJ, Milwaukee.

Vol. 2 of Vampire Samurai – continues Evie Everheart’s kick-a$$ adventure with the Vampire Samurai and his band of hot brothers…

Here’s what it’s about:

I am Evie Everheart. As a Life’s Blood Carrier, I am pursued by all vampires who want to become All Powerful or to become human again. Which is practically ALL vampires. Basically, I’m screwed.

Then I meet him, the Vampire Samurai and his band of brothers…another vampire, a fae, and a shifter.
What they want of me, I’ve yet to find out.

Friend or foe?

I don’t know. But as a carrier, all I know is that I must do everything I can to keep the vampires from getting my blood or humanity as we know it, would end.

**Vampire Samurai is a new series in the PULSE Vampires World Series, a YA series appropriate for age 16 and up. Rating is TV-14.



FANTASTIC NEWS BOOK NERDS!! We an awesome PROMOTIONAL BLAST for Kailin Gow’sVAMPIRE SAMURAI VOLUME 2 running from now until 11:59pm (PST) on the last day of the blast.

A special promotional price ($2.99) for VAMPIRE SAMURAI E-book will be set for the duration of the event. Make sure you get your copy, coming soon!

You can purchase Vampire Samurai Vol. 2 at the following Retailers:
Photo Content from KailinGow

From visiting Romania, Award-winning and Million-Selling USA Today Bestselling Author Kailin Gowwas asked to write stories about vampires; visiting the Black Forest in Germany and seeing the castles of Europe inspired her to write fantasy; visiting Asia’s mystical mountains inspired her to write action adventure and mythological dystopians. From her experience in college as a peer counselor and her volunteer work with women’s shelters, she was inspired to write contemporary romance with social issues for women, new adults, young adults, and teens. Having faced adversity, including battling stereotypes and bullying, Kailin Gow has become a well-known speaker and figure in media. Her adventurous bold spirit has taken her around the world, where she has ridden on top of elephants through jungles, hand-fed sting rays, studied kung fu from a Shaolin Temple monk, and learned cooking from a celebrity chef.

Compelled to write her first fiction book because of 9/11, Kailin Gow now has over 465 fiction books published under Kailin Gow and various Pen Names which are USA Today Bestselling authors in many genres. She is also an award-winning screenwriter, director, producer, speaker, and host whose films have screened and premiered in theaters all over the world including at Cannes. As a speaker and host, she has hosted international shows at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, been a celebrity judge at beauty pageants, been a judge for writing contests, and hosted television series. She was featured as an Indie Author Success Story on the homepage of Amazon for a month and is also included in Amazon’s book called Transformations, and her YA book series called Bitter Frost Series has been made into a digital game, an animated award-winning short film, and is in development as a television series, and her coming of age YA/New Adult romance Loving Summer is being developed as a featured film.



*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*

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Book Tour (REVIEW): Copy Boy by Shelley Blanton-Stroud

Join Us For This Tour from August 24 to September 18, 2020BOOK DETAILS:
Series Title: COPY BOY by Shelley Blanton-Stroud
Category: AdultFiction (18+)
Genre: Noir, Historical Mystery, Literary
Publisher: She Writes Press
Release dates: June 23, 2020
Content Rating:
PG-13 + M. The book includes: the F-word 7 times, the word “g–dammit” 4 times, and one violent fight in the beginning.

Book Description:

a very brave boy. And a very difficult girl. She’ll become a remarkable
woman, an icon of her century, but that’s a long way off. Not my fault,
she thinks, dropping a bloody crowbar in the irrigation ditch after
Daddy. She steals Momma’s Ford and escapes to Depression-era San
Francisco, where she fakes her way into work as a newspaper copy boy.
Everything’s looking up. She’s climbing the ladder at the paper, winning
validation, skill, and connections with the artists and thinkers of her
day. But then Daddy reappears on the paper’s front page, his arm around
a girl who’s just been beaten into a coma one block from Jane’s
newspaper―hit in the head with a crowbar. Jane’s got to find Daddy
before he finds her, and before everyone else finds her out. She’s got
to protect her invented identity. This is what she thinks she wants.
It’s definitely what her dead brother wants.

I received a copy for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation made for this review.
Set in the Depression Era, Copy Boy is a new look at feminism, finding your voice, and the struggles society from all around go through. It follows the life of Jane who poses as her long dead twin brother in order to find a job and make a name for herself. In the midst of this struggle, there is a mixture of mystery and corruption that she has to deal with.

What I found interesting about this book is the different types of women and their own inner power struggles. We have Jane, a young woman who has no real prospect but a lot of ambition and drive. There is her mother, a woman willing to do anything and bide her time to get what she wants. There is the girl who Jane moves in with and the other woman who takes her in and guides her through the California city backdrop. Every female character has their own motivations and actions that at first you feel are just that, but if you look at this book with a feminist lens, you start to see a pattern that coincides with society’s view of the female gender.

I found the story itself to be a bit slow, but there was still a level and value of entertainment involved. There are moments that the writing style is almost poetic, but it doesn’t feel out of place or pull away the reader from the book. This is a book I’d like to reread with a theoretical mindset.

Meet the Author:Shelley Blanton-Stroud grew up in California’s Central Valley, the daughter of
Dust Bowl immigrants who made good on their ambition to get out of the
field. She teaches college writing in Northern California and consults
with writers in the energy industry. She co-directs Stories on Stage
Sacramento, where actors perform the stories of established and emerging
authors, and serves on the advisory board of 916 Ink, an arts-based
creative writing nonprofit for children. She has also served on the
Writers’ Advisory Board for the Belize Writers’ Conference. Copy Boy is
her first novel, and she’s currently working on her second. She also
writes and publishes flash fiction and non-fiction, which you can find
at such journals as Brevity and Cleaver. She and her husband live in
Sacramento with an aging beagle and many photos of their out-of-state
sons.Connect with the author: website ~ twitter ~ facebook ~ instagram ~ bookbub
Tour Schedule:Aug 24 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Aug 25 – Locks, Hooks and Books – audiobook review / giveaway
Aug 25 – fundinmental – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 26 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review / giveaway
Aug 27 – I’m Into Books – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 28 – Reading Authors Network – book review / giveaway
Aug 28 – PuzzlePaws Blog – audiobook review / giveaway
Aug 31 – Sefina Hawke’s Books – book spotlight
Sep 1 – Gina Rae Mitchell – book review / giveaway
Sep 2 – T’s Stuff – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Sep 2 – Literary Flits – book review / giveaway
Sep 3 – She Just Loves Books – audiobook review / giveaway
Sep 4 –Pick a Good Book – book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 7 – Svetlanas reads and views – book review
Sep 8 – 100 Pages A Day – book review / giveaway
Sep 9 – Olio by Marilyn – book spotlight / author interview
Sep 9 – Olio by Marilyn – book review / giveaway
Sep 10 – Books for Books – audiobook review
Sep 11 – Hall Ways Blog – audiobook review / giveaway
Sep 14 – Amy’s Booket List – audiobook review / giveaway
Sep 15 – Casia’s Corner – book review
Sep 16 – Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews – audiobook review / author interview / giveaway
Sep 17 –Pen Possessed – book review / giveaway
Sep 18 – My Fictional Oasis – book review
Sep 18 – PuzzlePaws Blog – book review / giveaway

Enter the Giveaway:

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Book Tour (REVIEW): Secret Legacy by Carissa Andrews

Secret Legacy
Carissa Andrews
(The Windhaven Witches #1)
Publication date: September 15th 2020
Genres: Adult, Paranormal

☆☆~~ 50% of Royalties Donated to the American Cancer Society! ~~☆☆

Nestled in the woods of Windhaven, Blackwood Manor waits to unleash a dark and deadly legacy…

When Autumn Blackwood shows up at Windhaven Academy for the Witching Stick Orientation, she hopes to find out what dormant powers she could possibly possess to have been accepted to the elite supernatural school. Instead, the academy is in chaos as everyone frantically hunts for two missing girls.

But as school begins with Autumn no closer to figuring out her powers, strange occurrences start to follow her everywhere. Even at home, Blackwood Manor keeps many secrets, and Autumn can’t escape its haunting past.

New friends urge her to learn more about her family’s history in order to unlock her powers and make sense of what’s happening at Blackwood Manor, but Autumn’s not so sure. Once an accident brings Autumn face-to-face with death, however, she realizes her gifts are tied to a legacy that can either save or doom them all…

Fans of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, Joe Hill’s Locke & Key, or MR Forbes’ Necromancer: The Complete Series will love The Windhaven Witches.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo


I received a free copy for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation for this review.

Secret Legacy is a paranormal fantasy romance that plays on nostalgia while adding its own flair to the paranormal genre. It is a book that is easy to get into, may take a little time to warm up, but the ending is sufficient enough to entice a reader to the next part in the series.

Written in first person, the book is about a young woman who thinks she is normal but is accepted into a prestigious supernatural university nonetheless. With that mystery, she is pushed into going and is placed in the center of another mystery on top of finding out just what type of supernatural she really is.

As I said in the beginning, the book is easy to start. The writing style is reminiscent of young adult books and reads like one. That, added with the geeky references, it is likely a 90’s kid would at least enjoy parts. That said, it did droll on around the 20% mark.

I wasn’t invested in the budding romance that is introduced in the beginning, though I cannot be sure that it’s more because of my current life or the story itself. The Male lead is charming and has moments where I do like him, but again, I wasn’t too invested. That isn’t to say that the rest of the book was bad.

The mystery involving Autumn, our main character, was enough to keep me reading and it only got more intriguing the moment she returned to the family home she barely remembers.

Secret Legacy is a decent enough first book that I can see growing with each passing addition to the series and world. Worth a look if you want something new and fairly easy to read between the big stuff you are plowing through.

Author Bio:

“An author emerges from the depths of Minnesotan waters. Sci-fi/Fantasy is my pen of choice.”

Carissa Andrews is a Minnesota-based genre-bending author who writes a combination of science fiction, fantasy, and dystopia. When not writing her own books, she’s busy reading them.

Carissa’s internationally bestselling trilogy, The Pendomus Chronicles, is now in digital, print, and audiobook formats. She has hit the scene as an up and coming speculative fiction author who uses a mix of scifi and fantasy, twisted in modern mythology and alternative history. Check out The Final Five, Oracle, Awakening, and Love is a Merciless God!

Carissa has big plans for 2020. Check out her upcoming series, The Windhaven Witches.

For more information on their release, visit Carissa Andrews’ author website: and sign up for her newsletter notifications.

She lives in central Minnesota with her husband and brood of five kids. Not to mention, her insane husky puppies, Aztec and Pharaoh.

Carissa is also a freelance graphic designer, writer and content creator, social media manager, and marketing professional. She writes consistently on topics of science, technology, art, writing, photography, graphic design, health, self-improvement, and more. Her articles can be found published across the interwebs. Carissa is also a Top-Rated Freelancer on Upwork, and can be contacted for freelancing opportunities:

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest


Book Tour (EXCERPT): The Sargeant’s Daughter by Teressa Shelton

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: She Writes Press (August 11, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1631527215
ISBN-13: 978-1631527210


“Shelton hails from an extremely dysfunctional family, but, miraculously, she survives intact. People in seemingly hopeless situations may take solace.” ―Booklist

As a little girl, Teressa’s father dotes on her and little sister, Karen, while mercilessly mocking her older sister, Debbie. Teressa thinks its Debbie’s fault―until she gets a little older and he begins tormenting her, too. Soon enough, his verbal abuse turns physical. Her sergeant father brings his military life home, meeting each of his daughters’ infractions with extreme punishment for them all. Meanwhile, their mother watches silently, never defending her daughters and never subjected to physical abuse herself. Terrified to be at home and terrified to tell anyone, Teressa seeks solace in books, music, and the family she can find outside of her home: a best friend, a kind neighbor, and a doting grandfather. At first cowed by her father’s abuse and desperate to believe that maybe, one day, things will change, Teressa ultimately grows into a young woman who understands that if she wants a better life, she’ll have to build it for herself―so she does.

You can purchaseThe Sergeant’s Daughter at the following Retailers:

Chapter 15 — The Sergeant’s Daughter Excerpt

Mom and Dad were waiting for us when we got off the plane at the Seattle airport that January morning in 1968. I’d been so nervous during the trip that I’d sweated through my dress, and so the first thing I wanted to do was to change clothes, but Dad insisted we hit the road and begin the 2,200- mile journey to Missouri.

“Who’s riding with me?” Mom asked.

“I am,” my sisters and I all said in unison.

Mom gave me a little kick and nodded her head in Dad’s direction, her way of instructing me to ride with him. She told us he would be lonely if one of us didn’t go with him. I didn’t believe her for a second. Dad was happiest when no one was around to bother him. Anyway, I didn’t want to ride with him. He drove too fast and smoked too much. Mom smoked, too, but at least she rolled her window down and blew the smoke outside. Sometimes the smoke in Dad’s truck got so thick that my face turned yellow. When Dad noticed, he’d threaten, “You better not puke in my truck.”

Dad always led the way down the highway on our trips, and Mom followed. But it didn’t take long before her car was no longer visible in Dad’s rearview mirror. He’d pull over and smoke another cigarette. When Mom’s car was only inches away, Dad would pull in front of her to regain the lead.

This time while waiting for Mom, Dad smoked two cigarettes. Then he cursed and jumped out of the truck, pacing up and down the shoulder of the road until Mom parked behind us. As soon as she stepped out of the car, Dad was on her. “How long do you think I’ve been waiting?”

Mom said she didn’t know. “I’m not the driver you are. The roads are slick, and the girls are scared.”

“I don’t give a shit,” Dad huffed. “From here on out, I want that Rambler’s fender kissing my bumper. You got that?”

When Dad got back in the truck, I knew the drill: keep my eyes down and don’t say a word. But my knees started to shake. Dad glared at me and then at my knees. “Damn it, Teressa,” he said. “Stop those knees, or I’ll give you a reason to shake.”

But my knees wouldn’t behave, no matter how hard I tried to make them. Dad slammed on the brakes. He told me to get in the back. I was confused. Did he mean that I should go outside?

“I’m not going to tell you again,” Dad said. “Get in the back of the truck!”

I reached down to grab my coat off the floor, but Dad snatched me by my shirt, opened the door, and shoved me out into the frigid Montana air. I stood there, my head spinning. Dad tapped on the gas. I knew if I didn’t jump into the truck bed, he’d leave me on the side of the road. I hunkered down against the cab, with my back against the glass. When Dad took off, my eyes watered and my tears instantly froze.

Off in the distance, I saw Mom’s car and imagined my sisters’ faces pressed against the front window. I kept watching the red Rambler, looking for a sign. But Mom did what she always did: She followed Dad. Just when I thought my fingers might snap, Dad hit the brakes, jolting me against the cab. He got out of his truck, slammed the door, grabbed me by the arm, and plopped me on the side of the road. “Now, by damn,” he said, “you’ve got something to shake about.”

Copyright © 2020 by Teressa Shelton

Photo Content from She Writes Press

Teressa Shelton has lived in nine states and three countries. After graduating from Belmont University in Nashville, she embarked on a career in managing medical practices. She lives with her family in Springfield, IL. The Sergeant’s Daughter is her first book.

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Blog Tour (REVIEW): Heart Sister by Michael F. Stewart

Heart Sister
Michael F. Stewart
Publication date: September 15th 2020
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

After his twin sister, Minnie, dies in an accident, Emmitt’s world goes sideways. He’s lost his best friend and it feels like the family is falling apart without her. But Minnie was an organ donor and Emmitt soon receives an anonymous thank you letter from one of the transplant recipients. Inspiration strikes, and he decides to try and put his sister back together, in spirit. He’s going to track down each organ recipient and film them to show his parents the results of Minnie’s selfless act and help them move on. But when each recipient falls short of his expectations and the star of his film, the girl who received his sister’s heart, refuses to meet him, Emmitt has to turn to extreme measures to find her. What he doesn’t know is that his “heart sister” is hiding an agonizing secret, one that could push Emmitt to the breaking point.

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I received a free copy via Xpresso Book Tours for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation made for this review.

You know the videos, the ones circulating in your social media feed, a grieving family member leans to a stranger’s chest, a stethoscope in their ears. They place the circle on the chest and listen. They listen to the heartbeat of their lost husband or son, mother or daughter, sister or brother. Tears start flowing from the organ recipient, the onlookers, the family, and you, the viewer. No one is dried eyed.

Reading this book was a bit like that. You see the process of grief and a young man trying to grapple and make sense of the loss of his twin. He tries to bring her to life in the best way he knows how: Film and Virtual Reality. In the process, he makes life-lasting connections and learns something about himself.

To say this book is a single-sitting read won’t give it justice, even though it easily is. It isn’t the length that makes it that way, it’s the emotion weaved into the prose. You feel with Emmitt. You laugh with Emmitt. And you may even cry for Emmitt. I didn’t want to put down this book. Not even for food and I love food.

Michael F. Stewart is a craftsman with his writing. Heart Sister is easily one of the best books I’ve read this year thus far. I was pulled into the narrative and I felt for the family. I wanted to help Emmitt find his organ siblings. The number of different people his sister helped through her donorship shows that every person is important. Every human being has the ability to be a hero and it isn’t just the donor who are the heroes. The family that is willing to make that sacrifice is as well.

This is a book everyone should read. If you aren’t an organ donor, it may change your mind. If you are, it only solidifies that one day you may end up helping someone and it doesn’t mean that your family would be without you completely.

Author Bio:

Michael F. Stewart is an award-winning author of many books for young people in various genres, including Ray Vs. the Meaning of Life, which earned a Kirkus Star and won the Publishers Weekly’s Booklife Grand Prize. and Heart Sister (Summer/Fall 2020, Orca Books). Michael lives in Ottawa.

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JeanBookNerd Storytellers BOX: Summer Collection featuring Eat, Pray, #FML by Gabrielle Stone


I have just opened a new subscription box from JeanBookNerd Storytellers BOX! My video is down below as well as an excerpt from the book featured in the box: Eat, Pray, #FML by Gabrielle Stone.

A year and a half into our marriage, I found out my husband had been having an affair with a nineteen-year-old for six months. I filed for divorce and left.

Two weeks later I met a man, and we fell madly in love. It was a fairy-tale romance for a month and a half, and he convinced me to join him on a romantic month-long vacation in Italy. Forty-eight hours before we were supposed to get on a plane, he told me he needed to go by himself. I was devastated. So, I had a decision to make. Either stay home and be heartbroken, or go travel Europe for a month by myself. And staying at home heartbroken? F%*k. That.

What does a woman do when her life has fallen apart and her heart has been ripped out and stepped on twice in two months? She goes on a wild adventure, makes some bad decisions, and does a sh*t load of soul searching. But most importantly? She finds out how to love…herself.

This is so not Eat, Pray, Love.

This is Eat, Pray, #FML.

*Due to mature content and language this book is recommended to readers 18+*

“Reading this book has absolutely inspired me. These are words of pure truth. To say I needed to read this is an understatement. I’m so thankful for this book and how it opened my eyes about myself and my relationships. I’m ready to see it on the big screen!”

“Eat, Pray, #FML is a riveting journey of what happens when your life is thrown to the wolves and you come out leading the pack. This isn’t a soul-searching book, it’s a soul defining book, and Gabrielle shows us how to elegantly do so…without giving a single f%*k.”
-K.L. RANDIS (Bestselling author of Spilled Milk: Based On A True Story)




  • 1. Signed Book – EAT, PRAY, & #FML
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  • 3. T-Shirt
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  • 5. Sticker
  • 6. Compact Mirror
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  • 9. Mask


To get your BOX, visit JeanBookNerd. Subscriptions can be monthly, quarterly, or six months.

Use the discount code, casia10, for 10% off your order!



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Blog Tour (REVIEW): Sparrow by Mary Cecilia Jackson

Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Tor Teen (March 17, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0765398850
ISBN-13: 978-0765398857

Praise for SPARROW


“Mary Cecilia Jackson leaves no perspective unexplored in this beautifully woven story of love, loss, self-acceptance, and strength. Sparrow and Lucas are heroes in every sense of the word, as they navigate a new, unfamiliar dance―the pain of knowing when to stay grounded and when to fly.” ―Jennifer Brown, bestselling author of Hate List

In the tradition of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak, a devastating but hopeful YA debut about a ballerina who finds the courage to confront the abuse that haunts her past and threatens her future.

There are two kinds of people on the planet. Hunters and prey
I thought I would be safe after my mother died. I thought I could stop searching for new places to hide. But you can’t escape what you are, what you’ve always been.
My name is Savannah Darcy Rose.
And I am still prey.

Though Savannah Rose―Sparrow to her friends and family―is a gifted ballerina, her real talent is keeping secrets. Schooled in silence by her long-dead mother, Sparrow has always believed that her lifelong creed―“I’m not the kind of girl who tells”―will make her just like everyone else: Normal. Happy. Safe. But in the aftermath of a brutal assault by her seemingly perfect boyfriend Tristan, Sparrow must finally find the courage to confront the ghosts of her past, or lose herself forever….

You can purchaseSparrow at the following Retailers:
I received a copy of Sparrow for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation for this review.
Oh man. That’s really all I can say. Oh. Man. Oh man, the writing is well done. Oh man, the dual point of view is great. Oh man, what a heavy subject.
And, it is. Sparrow is a Young Adult contemporary that hits home for abuse victims as well as educates the readers who haven’t experienced violence in their dating or family life. With the dual point of view, you get both the victim and the outside friend trying to keep the victim safe. You learn what it feels like to be on one end and what you can do or what signs to recognize if you are the friend.
It is an easy read, pulling you into the story through the narrative, but not a book you can read in one sitting. At least, I couldn’t. It kind of reminded me of some of my personal experiences (though I never experienced physical), but that didn’t push away from the story. If anything, it made me value what Jackson was doing as well as gave me more value. Seeing abuse as an outsider kind of forces you to recognize that you aren’t the one at fault or in trouble. You are the one trying to survive.
And that’s a HUGE message to give to readers. Your value isn’t what others make it out to be. It’s what you put into your life.
Jackson weaves a beautiful story, giving the reader just enough to know what is happening, but switches the narrative to give you outside insight. Through that shift, you notice what the previous viewpoint didn’t. You see what signs to look out for if you suspect your loved ones are in a bad relationship. This is definitely a book to read, but a heavy subject for just one sitting.
Seriously, you need to read this book.
Photo Content Mary Cecilia Jackson

Mary Cecilia Jackson has worked as a middle school teacher, an adjunct instructor of college freshmen, a technical writer and editor, a speechwriter, a museum docent, and a development officer for central Virginia’s PBS and NPR stations. Her first novel, Sparrow, was an honor recipient of the SCBWI Sue Alexander Award and a young-adult finalist in the Writers’ League of Texas manuscript contest. She lives with her architect husband, William, in Western North Carolina and Hawaii, where they have a farm and five ridiculously adorable goats.

JULY 27th MONDAY A Court of Coffee and Books REVIEW
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JULY 31st FRIDAY Here’s to Happy Endings REVIEW
JULY 31st FRIDAY Twirling Book Princess EXCERPT
JULY 31st FRIDAY Enthralled Bookworm EXCERPT
*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*

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