Monday, August 25, 2014

The Sound of Letting Go by @swkehoe Blog Tour

Please excuse our late posting of this fun tour stop, 
as it should have posted on August 4th.

THE SOUND OF LETTING GO Blog Tour: Author Stasia Ward Kehoe chats with SR Johannes about happy hours and exotic animals

I’ve just wrapped up a fabulous week at NOVELNOVICE.COM, during which I discussed what happens FIVE MONTHS AFTER a novel is published, the writing process, my over-expressive eyebrows and other vital topics. Now, I’m thrilled to be taking my THE SOUND OF LETTING GO Summer Blog Tour (click that, you know, ‘cuz there are giveaways) on a virtual summer road trip with some of the most talented, wonderful and hilarious writers I know.

Today, I’m delighted to introduce my Pacific Ocean-adjacent book buddies to a dynamo from that OTHER coast. I first encountered SR Johannes, marketing maniac and powerhouse self-pubbed author, through online writer friends. Years later, I finally met her IN THE FLESH at an SCBW LA conference. Yes, there were cocktails. Yes, she is hilarious. Yes, you should totally invite her to your next happy hour. But, at least you can join us here on the interwebs today. Where exactly, you ask…

SWK: Where have we set up our fantasy beach chairs? 

SHELLI: Navarre Beach in Florida 

SWK: What are we drinking? 
SHELLI: Extra Dirty vodka martinis :) 

SWK: Bottoms up! And speaking of liquids, what are you doing to drain the joy from your summer? 

SHELLI: Trying to balance promoting new book with job with kids. (The pool and my friend's incessant happy hours aren't helping either :) 

SWK: Other than the aforementioned martinis, what puts joy back into your summer? 

SHELLI: Listening to my kids laugh at the pool and carrying my new Kindle Paperwhite with me wherever I go :) 

Here’s a bit about Shelli’s latest book, UNSTOPPABLE

Out in the marshes of the Everglades, Grace and her friends rescue an abused—and endangered—Florida panther. When the panther runs off, Grace follows it to Uncle Bob's, a seedy roadside zoo that illegally exhibits endangered and exotic animals. Before she can rescue the panther, she and her friends are kidnapped by the ruthless owner and dragged deep into the Everglades for a hunting challenge.

Only this time, Grace is the prey.

Shelli shares her thoughts on the interwebs at her websiteFacebooktumblr and twitter!

Wondering about Stasia Ward Kehoe and her latest book?


For sixteen years, Daisy has been good. A good daughter, helping out with her autistic younger brother uncomplainingly. A good friend, even when her best friend makes her feel like a third wheel. When her parents announce they’re sending her brother to an institution—without consulting her—Daisy’s furious, and decides the best way to be a good sister is to start being bad. She quits jazz band and orchestra, slacks in school, and falls for bad-boy Dave. 

But one person won’t let Daisy forget who she used to be: Irish exchange student and brilliant musician Cal. Does she want the bad boy or the prodigy? Should she side with her parents or protect her brother? How can she know when to hold on and when—and how—to let go? 

About Stasia Ward Kehoe:

Stasia Ward Kehoe grew up dreaming of becoming a professional ballerina but she didn't grow quite enough (she is 5'4") or have sufficiently good knees (they are peppered with surgery scars) to achieve this goal. Instead, she went to Georgetown University from which she received a semi-unintentional BA in English. After working at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and Random House Publishing in New York, City, and receiving her MA in Performance Studies from New York University, she married a dude who looks just like Clark Kent (the hot geek who turns into Superman), had four awesome sons, and moved to the Pacific Northwest where she now lives. She then started writing with a vengeance, publishing her first young adult novel, AUDITION, in 2011. She advises not being too specific in your long-term goals however, if you decide to write a book, sit on your backside and don't get up until you have (a) died of starvation or (b) written the words "the end." THE SOUND OF LETTING GO is her second novel and her short-term plan is to write another so, as you read this bio, she's likely got her fingers glued to a keyboard. Stasia also enjoys artichokes, chocolate (but, come on, who doesn't?), parentheticals (obviously) and turning on her car to an explosion of pop music because the last person to drive it was one of her teenagers--especially if the song is about heartache and healing and has a good dance beat.

Find her online:





Friday, August 22, 2014

Cover Reveal: ARRGH! by Stacey R. Campbell & Giveaway!

We're so excited to share the cover of ARRGH! by Stacey Campbell, a middle grade fantasy adventure. This book releases September 24th, 2014. 


Forced to remain silent after being kidnapped by pirates Christopher must find a way to save an innocent merchant ship’s captain and his daughter from the evil grasp of Captain Redblade proving that friendship and family are worth fighting for no matter the costs.

About the Author:

Stacey R. Campbell lives in the Pacific North West with her husband, three daughters, three dogs, and a pet
IMG_1648 (1)turtle named Todd. She is a graduate of the University of Washington. At the age of seven Stacey was told that she would never be the writer she dreamed of being because she is dyslexic. Finally Stacey found that she could not look her children in the eyes and tell them that they could be what ever they wanted to be if she did not do the same. Now Stacey can't stop writing and loves to help children pursue their own dreams. Stacey is the young adult author of Hush, A Lakeview Novel and Whisper, A Lakeview Novel. ARRGH! is Stacey’s first middle grade book.

For more books from this author, visiting information, and author events please visit Stacey at:

You can also learn more about Stacey R. Campbell on

Live in the Seattle area? Meet Stacey Campbell, YA author Martha Brockenbrough and others at the UW bookstore, Mill Creek, on October 9th at 7:00! There will also be a book launch for ARRGH!, Dec. 3rd at 7:00 at the UW Bookstore in the U district. 

Paperbacks of HUSH & WHISPER (Young Adult)- US only
ebook of ARRGH! (Middle Grade)- INT

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Candace Reviews Scene of the Climb by Kate Dyer-Seeley

Scene of the Climb by Kate Dyser-Seeley

Published by Kensington on June 3, 2014 

Genres: Adult, mystery

Pages: 304 

Format: Paperback 

Source: Bought

Meg Reed bluffs her way into writing for 'Northwest Extreme', passing herself off to editor-in-chief Greg Dixon as an outdoor adventure enthusiast. Never mind that Meg's idea of sport is climbing onto the couch without spilling her latte. So when she finds herself clawing to the top of Angel's Rest - a 2000-foot peak - to cover the latest challenge in a reality TV adventure show, she can't imagine feeling more terrified. Until she witnesses a body plummet off the side of the cliff. Now Meg has a murder to investigate ... and if the climbing doesn't kill her, a murderer just might.

This review was first posted on Candace's Book Blog.

Scene of the Climb is an adult murder mystery but fit’s the ‘New Adult’ category fine since the main character, Meg, is fresh out of college. She has a young voice and still lives the life of a young person. This book is also appropriate for mature YA readers as there’s no adult content.

Meg was a character that was immediately easy to like. At times she felt slightly naive, but I liked her go-get-it attitude where she pushed to get answers and didn’t just sit back. When she knew that someone was murdered she was determined to find out who did it, and she didn’t let anything stand in her way. Maybe not the smartest idea, at least much of the time, but I understood her desperate need for answers.

Meg has a nice group of friends and I liked what we got to know about them. I especially liked her friend Matt and hope that he’s even more present in future books. I loved her Grandmother who is intuitive (or psychic), and I’m anxious to see more of her.
This is near where Meg’s grandmother lives and along a path that Meg walks.
My favorite aspect of the book was actually the location. The book takes place locally and spotlights a variety of places I’ve been. I could follow Meg where she went because I was so familiar with the different locations. When she had an experience driving a particular rode I was right there with her as I’ve driven that road on a dark rainy night and it’s very skinny lanes and rather terrifying. The familiarity to everything enhanced the book for me and had me wanting to get out and visit some of the places I haven’t been to real recently.
View from Vista House, this is near where the murder took place in the book.

Multnomah Falls, one of the places featured in the book.
The mystery worked out well. I didn’t guess who the murderer was until shortly before Meg did (same scene) so that was definitely good. I enjoyed the clues that were dropped and was able to try to do my own detective work. Of course nothing added up because it’s just too much information, so you try to sift through what is important, etc. I had been craving a mystery and I got a good one! This maybe doesn’t quite fit under ‘cozy’ mystery because it’s not a small town but the author makes it feel so with repeat characters and places they visit. I definitely recommend it to fans of mysteries, it’s one you don’t want to miss!

About the Reviewer:

Candace is a wife and mother to two. She’s blogged at Candace’s Book Blog since November 2008. She enjoys a variety of genres including anything and everything young adult, some adult urban fantasy, a little bit of adult paranormal romance, some historical fiction and reads lots of childrens books. You can find her on her blog at, twitter @candacemom2two and on goodreads.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Candace Reviews The Bridge From Me to You by Lisa Schroeder

The Bridge From Me to You by Lisa Schroeder
on July 29, 2014 
Pages: 336 
Format: ARC 

Lauren has a secret. Colby has a problem. But when they find each other, everything falls into place.

Lauren is the new girl in town with a dark secret. Colby is the football hero with a dream of something more. In alternating chapters, they come together, fall apart, and build something stronger than either of them thought possible--something to truly believe in.

This review was also posted at Candace's Book Blog.
The Bridge from Me to You is a quiet and beautiful story. It was a fast read that was told in half-verse (maybe a bit less than half) and had me enraptured immediately.

Characters~ Lauren is a wonderful character with this beautiful gentleness to her. She has a quiet but strong personality. Because we get alternating perspectives I felt like we get to know her even better. We see her in her head, but we also see her from Colby’s POV which gives us a different view. We see her strengths- believing and caring in people, in the way she interacts with her family and steps in when it comes to helping someone who she doesn’t know who’s been injured severely. She has had to deal with a lot with her mother and some stuff that happened in the past. When she connects with others she gives her all. Lauren’s POV is told in verse except for the few chapters where she’s talking to the counselor. You would think that in such few words we would feel like we didn’t know Lauren at all, but that’s not the case. We get the dept of her emotions and the things going through her head and there’s not all these fillers of her doing this and that, etc. It’s the meat of the story and it works perfectly.

Colby is the town football hero. Everyone knows him and he has a lot of pressure from his dad and the town to do good in football and to get a scholarship. But Colby wants more than football, he has other interests. He’s struggling to find a way to tell his dad and just let everyone know because he doesn’t want to disappoint them. Colby’s POV is not in verse and it works well, fleshing out his sweet and kind personality and showing us more of the interactions between him and Lauren. I felt like with this technique we really get the best of both worlds. We still get the emotion, but we get more of a few of the things happening in less sparse of text. Colby is struggling not only with his want of not wanting to play football, but with the accident his best friend was in and is recovering from. His ability to balance so much and efforts to make everyone happy were astounding, but it was sad to see how much pain he was going through.

Romance~ Initially it seemed that it would be a fast romance but the way it went, that wasn’t really the case. They have a strong immediate attraction but because of some certain predicaments they decide to be friends first. They struggle to keep the line there and not cross into more-than-friends territory, but the attraction between them was strong. I enjoyed watching it play out and kept my fingers crossed that they would both find their way.

Plot~ The book felt clear that it was sort of a love letter to Friday Night Lights. I don’t know if it’s because I know the author adores the show, or if it was that obvious. But it worked. It’s a small town that really loves football. I’m not a sports person, but it didn’t matter for this book. There wasn’t any deep discussions about football or even very many football scenes. We know it’s important and we see that, but there’s nothing lengthy or boring concerning that aspect.

The relationship between Colby and Lauren is a big part of the story, but we also see Lauren’s struggle concerning her family and Colby’s with his family and his situation of wanting to do something other than football. The book felt the perfect mix of issues and never came heavy, at the same time it wasn’t a happy-go-lucky book either. Lisa Schroeder always weaves a lot of strong emotions into her books and it’s very present in this one as well. There were times I teared up (though didn’t outright cry) and times I laughed out loud. It’s not an extremely emotional ride, but it definitely brings your heart into the equation.

Negatives~ Honestly, I’m not sure if I have any. I guess I would say that I wish that there’d maybe been a bit more conclusion regarding Lauren’s mother and her brother. I felt like she has some things to tell her aunt and uncle as well. However, these are minor issues.

This is a beautiful story that only takes a short while to get through. It’s definitely worth the time to pick it up and you’ll quickly get immersed in this small Oregon town full of amazing people!

About the Author:
Lisa Schroeder is a native Oregonian which means her childhood summers were spent camping, fishing, reading books, and playing in the sun, when it finally came out. These days, Lisa spends her summers, and every other part of the year, sharing all of the wonderful things Oregon has to offer with her husband and two sons. She is the author of numerous books for kids and teens, including I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME and THE DAY BEFORE (Simon Pulse) and IT'S RAINING CUPCAKES (Aladdin).

About the Reviewer:
Candace is a wife and mother to two. She’s blogged at Candace’s Book Blog since November 2008. She enjoys a variety of genres including anything and everything young adult, some adult urban fantasy, a little bit of adult paranormal romance, some historical fiction and reads lots of childrens books. You can find her on her blog at, twitter @candacemom2two and on goodreads.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Candace Reviews The Body in the Woods by April Henry

The Body in the Woods (A Point Last Seen Mystery #1) by April Henry
Expected Publication: June 17, 2014 by Henry Holt

In this new series told from multiple perspectives, teen members of a search and rescue team discover a dead body in the woods.
Alexis, Nick, and Ruby have very different backgrounds: Alexis has spent her life covering for her mom’s mental illness, Nick’s bravado hides his fear of not being good enough, and Ruby just wants to pursue her eccentric interests in a world that doesn’t understand her. When the three teens join Portland County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, they are teamed up to search for a autistic man lost in the woods. What they find instead is a dead body. In a friendship that will be forged in danger, fear, and courage, the three team up to find the girl’s killer—before he can strike one of their own.
This first book in April Henry’s Point Last Seen YA mystery series is full of riveting suspense, putting readers in the middle of harrowing rescues and crime scene investigations.
This review is also posted at Candace's Book Blog.

I haven't read a ton of young adult mysteries. Any I have read the mystery was just more of an add-on rather than the focus. Once I started reading The Body in the Woods I wasn't immediately sure what I felt about the narration but as the story continued I discovered that I really liked it for this story as it all goes together perfectly. The book was fast paced and impossible to put down. And even though I figured out the killer a few chapters early, it was still a fun ride and I still spent most of the book trying to figure out who it was.

Characters~ The story is focused on three teens; Ruby, Alexis and Nick. They each have their own issues and distinct personalities. Alexis keeps people at arms length because of her home life; Ruby is quirky and has slightly overbearing parents (mostly they're concerned about her preoccupation with death) and Nick has ADHD and misses the dad he never knew. Each of their personalities comes through remarkably well for being told in third person. I didn't particularly like Nick, but he proves himself in the end and he added different elements that brought a lot to the story.

In addition we also get brief view points of the killer which gives us a few additional clues.

Setting~ The book takes place in Portland Oregon, which is where I live (well, I live near Portland) and so it was really cool for the setting to be so close to home. When they talked about Forest Park (Portland's version of Central Park) I could picture it all clearly. At the same time I think it was a bit creepy and I'm afraid I might be looking for dead bodies the next time I visit Forest Park. I'll be sure to stick to trails and places with other people. ;)

Plot~ It's a mystery, as I've already mentioned, and it goes at a perfect pace. The clues are revealed slowly, some true and some false leads. It was fun to try to uncover the killer. At the same time we're getting little bits and pieces of the characters lives and the things they are going through.

Negatives~ I don't really have anything big for negatives. The only thing I can say is that I kind of wish that the clue that gave it away wasn't so obvious and I would have liked to not figure it out quite yet. It's toward the end though and so it's not really such a big deal.

Overall this was a great read! It's the first in a series and I'm hoping the next book has the same characters.

Disclosure: I received this book for review purposes, all opinions expressed are my own and I was not paid or influenced in any way.

About the Author:
April Henry is that rarest of all creatures: a native Oregonian. She is also the New York Times-bestselling author of 13 mysteries for teens and adults.

When she was in grade school, she sent a short story to Roald Dahl (author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), who arranged to have it published. Her latest young adult thriller is The Night She Disappeared. Foreign rights have sold in England, Turkey, and Germany, and it has just been optioned for film.

April lives in Portland with her husband and daughter.

New York Times bestselling author. In 2012, look for The Night She Disappeared and Eyes of Justice

Find April on...
Her website
Her Blog

Review by Candace:
Candace is a wife and mother to two. She’s blogged at Candace’s Book Blog since November 2008. She enjoys a variety of genres including anything and everything young adult, some adult urban fantasy, a little bit of adult paranormal romance, some historical fiction and reads lots of childrens books. You can find her on her blog at, twitter @candacemom2two and on goodreads.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Candace Reviews The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes

The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes
Published by Harper on May 20th, 2014 
Pages: 384 
Format: ARC 
Source: Gift

Soccer star Lainey Mitchell is gearing up to spend an epic summer with her amazing boyfriend, Jason, when he suddenly breaks up with her—no reasons, no warning, and in public no less! Lainey is more than crushed, but with help from her friend Bianca, she resolves to do whatever it takes to get Jason back.
And that’s when the girls stumble across a copy of The Art of War. With just one glance, they're sure they can use the book to lure Jason back into Lainey’s arms. So Lainey channels her inner warlord, recruiting spies to gather intel and persuading her coworker Micah to pose as her new boyfriend to make Jason jealous. After a few "dates", it looks like her plan is going to work! But now her relationship with Micah is starting to feel like more than just a game.
What's a girl to do when what she wants is totally different from what she needs? How do you figure out the person you're meant to be with, if you're still figuring out the person you're meant to be?
This review was first posted at Candace's Book Blog.

The Art of Lainey is a light summery read that still holds some depth within the characters and the situations they have to go through.

Characters~ Lainey is a character that I had to grow to like and I would say that’s probably pretty intentional. She has some growth to go through before she really gets to a place where we can really love her. She has to realize a lot of things and come to terms with how she’s changed. Fortunately she’s a good person and while maybe a bit blind to some things initially, she slowly opens up to different people and new situations. Even though she’s not the most likable person at the start, I never felt that strong feeling of dislike. I just saw that she was a bit naive and not totally seeing things very well. She never really drove me nuts, even when I knew her decisions were not the smartest. Fortunately she has a wonderful friend in Bianca who is there for her the entire way, always speaking up when Lainey is not thinking clearly, or clearly making the wrong choice about something.

Micah is Lainey’s co-worker and the perfect person to be her fake boyfriend since his girlfriend recently broke up with him. So they can trade the favor. Micah is really not Lainey’s type at all. She’s the sporty popular girl and he’s the guy with the mohawk and tattoos. But as they get to know each other they realize they have more in common than they thought. I really liked how Micah was not a bad guy and kind of shows that not every guy with a mohawk and tattoos is out breaking the law. Well, if they are it might just be over something kind of silly.

The secondary characters were done very well. Her parents weren’t real present but the descriptions of them and the little we saw of them made their personalities very bold and easy to remember.

Romance~ I think it’s pretty easy to figure out what is going to happen, but it was such a fun ride watching it unfold. There’s no insta-love as the two spend time together at work as well as on their ‘dates’. They seemed to be tied together even better by the common goal and in the end it benefited them. It was super sweet and I loved this romance!

Plot~ There’s not too much to add here since it’s a pretty simple one. But I liked that there were little issues added in. Lainey realizing that her ex and one of her friends was not all she thought they were. Coming to terms with the fact that she was a bit judgmental of others.

Negatives~ I wish we’d seen a bit more of Lainey’s parents. They were so well crafted, I just wanted to see more of them. I also felt like her friend Bianca was always there for her for everything she went through but somehow she was missing a lot of the time. I think I would have liked to see a bit more of her. All these are pretty small little issues though.

This was a super fast and fun read. The last half of the book was hard for me to put down. I was never bored and eager to find out what would happen next. This is a perfect summer read that is light and fun but adds a bit of depth as well.

Disclosure: I won this book and all opinions are my own.

Review by Candace:
Candace is a wife and mother to two. She’s blogged at Candace’s Book Blog since November 2008. She enjoys a variety of genres including anything and everything young adult, some adult urban fantasy, a little bit of adult paranormal romance, some historical fiction and reads lots of childrens books. You can find her on her blog at, twitter @candacemom2two and on goodreads.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Far Dawn by @kcemerson Review

The Far Dawn by Kevin Emerson
Published by Katherine Tegan Books on August 26, 2014
Review copy: e-ARC

If you want to read the reviews in order here are reviews for The Lost Code and The Dark Shore.

After reading first two books in the Atlanteans series I was thrilled to find 'The Far Dawn' on Edelweiss a few weeks back.  And so, with warnings directly from Kevin about how I would hate him afterward, I went to a local cafe and dedicated my entire day to reading it.  I live tweeted while I was reading it in a non spoilery way.  It was fun to hear Kevin's thoughts based on my tweets.

Kevin's books pack a lot of punch and I was left worried about how Lily and Owen would survive once they left Desenna in 'The Dark Shore' .  Opening the book with lyrical verse about three coffins couldn't have scared me any more if he had tried.  Who had died?  Who was thinking about this happening? What a prologue!

Not only is the beginning a surprise but in a shocking move a character we haven't seen since 'The Lost Code' rejoins the story in the part 1.  Yes, I was shocked.  In fact I wrote myself a note about it and tweeted about it as well!

By chapter 4 I began to understand why he thought I would not want to talk to him ever again.  I mean...GEEZ!  Fun trivia, Kevin waited 3 years to reveal the doozy that happened in chapter 7.  I am completely evil for making you read the ENTIRE book to find out what I mean.  When I tweeted updates I had questions and sometimes Kevin would answer.  (Find Kevin on twitter @kcemerson, he tweets about his music and books!)

Once I hit chapter 12, I was sure I had figured out what may happen next, boy was I wrong.  All this time, from pretty early on in 'The Lost Code' you will have a certain idea about Owen but turns out he is not who we all think he is.  Intrigued?  You should be...I can tell you that you will not expect the twists and turns that Owen faces.

When I happened upon chapter 19, I wondered why Owen made the very tough choice that he did.  In fact, I've had discussions with a co-worker about it and I'm still unresolved on it.  This part has stuck with me.  I still wonder about it and I wonder what others will think about it.  Mostly because it seemed strange to me that this plan was Owen's and I wondered how he came up with it.  I'm being secretive but it's important to the storyline so look out!  

Admittedly as I read closer and closer to the end I started wondering if there would be a book 4.  I had no idea how Owen's story would be resolved by the time I arrived at the last page.  In fact the last few pages I almost started yelling because I was so freaked out about what may or may not be happening.  All this is to say  you won't be able to put this book down.

Things that I still wonder about:
1. If Kevin drew up a map of where the Bio-Dome is and all the places that Owen and Lily travel to throughout the trilogy?
2. Because I've read the trilogy spread out a year between 'The Lost Code' and 'The Dark Shore' and then another 6 months until I read 'The Far Dawn', I wonder what the full time line is for the trilogy?

Want to Pre-Order?

About the author: Kevin is the author of the OLIVER NOCTURNE series and CARLOS IS GONNA GET IT. His new novel, EXILE, the first book in the Exile series, came out April 29th.

Kevin is also a musician. His current project is music for the Exile trilogy, where he wrote music that is included in the book and audiobook.  

Find Kevin at: Goodreads and Twitter and of course his website!