Booksparks PR Presents: The Gods of Heavenly Punishment

The Gods of Heavenly PunishmentTitle:  The Gods of Heavenly Punishment
Author:  Jennifer Cody Epstein
Format:  Print
Length:  384 pages
Publisher:  W.W. Norton & Company
Rating:  5 Stars

A lush, exquisitely rendered meditation on war, The Gods of Heavenly Punishment tells the story of several families, American and Japanese, their loves and infidelities, their dreams and losses, and how they are all connected by one of the most devastating acts of war in human history.

In this evocative and thrilling epic novel, fifteen-year-old Yoshi Kobayashi, child of Japan’s New Empire, daughter of an ardent expansionist and a mother with a haunting past, is on her way home on a March night when American bombers shower her city with napalm—an attack that leaves one hundred thousand dead within hours and half the city in ashen ruins. In the days that follow, Yoshi’s old life will blur beyond recognition, leading her to a new world marked by destruction and shaped by those considered the enemy: Cam, a downed bomber pi.lot taken prisoner by the Imperial Japanese Army; Anton, a gifted architect who helped modernize Tokyo’s prewar skyline but is now charged with destroying it; and Billy, an Occupation soldier who arrives in the blackened city with a dark secret of his own. Directly or indirectly, each will shape Yoshi’s journey as she seeks safety, love, and redemption.  -Goodreads

My Thoughts
The Gods of Heavenly Punishment is a sumptuous feast for the mind of any reader.  Full to the brim with sights, sounds, and experiences so personal to each character that readers can see, feel, and touch the book's world through them.
In all of my literary experience, there have been a scant few books that have appealed to all aspects of my reading experience in such a complete way.
There is never a moment throughout the course of this story, where one is at a loss for that magical thread that weaves the story into the intricately interwoven tableau of lives that play out so vividly within it's pages.
When reading this book, one will be pleased to find that the stories bear no slant favoring one culture over another.
Both the good and bad of all people and situations is allowed to play out naturally.
This book is a literary gem that should grace the shelves of any collection. 

About Jennifer
Jennifer Cody Epstein

I am an unrepentant book addict and the author of The Gods of Heavenly Punishment, as well as the international bestseller The Painter from Shanghai. I have also written for The Wall Street Journal, The Asian Wall Street Journal, The Nation (Thailand), Self and Mademoiselle magazines, and the NBC and HBO networks, working in Kyoto, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Bangkok as well as Washington D.C. and New York. I’ve taught at Columbia University in New York and Doshisha University in Kyoto, and have an MFA from Columbia, a Masters of International Relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and a BA in Asian Studies/English from Amherst College. I currently live in Brooklyn, NY with my husband, filmmaker Michael Epstein, my two amazing daughters and an exceptionally needy Springer Spaniel.

Be sure to visit all the stops on the

Souls of the Stones Book Tour

Broken Stone (Souls of the Stones, #3)Title:  Broke Stone
Author:  Kelly Walker
Format:  ERC
Length:  394 pages
Publisher:  Kelly Walker
Rating:  5 Stars

UNABLE TO AVOID HER DESTINY ANY LONGER, Emariya has become the leader her mother always envisioned. Before she can focus on embracing her gifts to unify her three lands, she must first stop her own land from dissolving into civil war. Spurred by her brother’s devious policies and thirst for power, the people of the Uplands have surged into revolt. If Emariya cannot convince her own people to stand down and follow her, she will never convince her uncle she can lead all three lands. And he’s only given her half a year to do it.

AS SHE TRIES TO WIN HER OWN PEOPLE'S HEARTS, the love of her life, Torian Ahlen begins to lose his mind. While Torian is driven into a dark depression by his visions of Terin, Emariya realizes the only way to bring him back from the brink is to confront her brother once and for all and rescue Torian's sister. Unfortunately, because of the pull of the stones, his sister isn’t sure she wants to be rescued.

IF EMARIYA IS TO HAVE ANY CHANCE AT SAVING TORIAN'S MIND and his sister’s virtue, she will have to go directly to the source, those that bestowed the gifts (or curse) in the first place. But will whoever is waiting at The Cradle Of The Three be willing to help her? Her only chance to get Terin away from Reeve will be to nullify the pull of the Stones, accepting whatever changes that may mean for her and Torian  -Goodreads


My Thoughts
There is so much to say about this series, as well as the final book.  This series is true high fantasy and watching Emariya grow from the wild young lady who roamed the fields of her father's estate to the powerhouse of a Queen that she has become...WOW!

This entire series has set the standard for what great storytelling is very high, and Broken Stone did not disappoint.  Emariya manged to shine in this book.  Finding ways to fight through her personal battles and the strength to fight the bigger ones for both her people and her love.

Readers will love the final transformation that they witness in this beloved heroine.  This is the book where she truly shines.
This is also the book in which her love for Torian is tested and proven, as she tries to save him from himself.

This series is comparable to ones such as  Graceling, His Fair Assassin, and other greats of that caliber.
I am honored as a reviewer to have had the chance to review the complete series.
This is one to own and cherish.

About this Author

Kelly Walker was born in Trappe, MD but she now calls Fredericksburg Virginia home. She has an unhealthy appreciation for chocolate, and a soft spot for rescued animals. Her best lessons on writing came from a lifetime of reading. She loves the fantastical, and the magical, and believes a captivating romance can be the most realistic magic of all. Kelly, her husband and her two children share their home with three dogs who walk her, and two cats who permit her to occasionally share their couch.

 Find Kelly

InkSlinger PR Presents: Clicks

ClicksTitle:  Clicks:  The Pinhold Prophecy
Author:  Amy Evans
Format:  ERC
Length:  250 pages
Publisher:  Amy Evans Ink
Rating:  5 tars 

Clicks are the sounds the universe makes when it stops to tell you what's going to happen next. Truths you hear in your heart that you can't explain.

For sixteen year old Cami, the clicks won’t stop. They’re telling her to fall in love with the wrong twin, that her family is hiding something, and that Pinhold, her pristine Island home, is in danger.

Born and bred to win, Cami’s family expects her to join a secret society called The Guard, marry one of the two identical twin boys next door, and stay on Pinhold Island for the rest of her life. Home to perfect waves, black sand beaches, and the world-famous Surf Carnival, Pinhold seems deceptively perfect. While visitors are jealous of the few hundred people who get to live there, Cami feels stifled. Thanks to the intense link she shares with her own twin, Mica, she can't even be alone with her thoughts. While Cami's more than happy to be a lifeguard, a lifelong commitment to the endless summer feels like a trap.

It should have been a fun summer of surf competitions and beach patrol. But dolphins are washing up on shore and the best swimmers are drowning. Then her twin brother Mica goes down too.

The only thing that can save her brother is the truth that only Cami can learn. But can she trust the clicks?

My Thoughts

Want the recipe for a great book?

Try this.
3 parts Mystery
2 parts Romance
1 part Paranormal
3 parts Action 
A dash of Fun
This book is best when read ASAP.  Read until done.

The story of Cami, the twinning and the island speaks to something alien and otherworldly; before one can lose oneself on that plot line however, the romance between she and Blake and the mystery of the dolphins and downed swimmers has you off chasing them as well.
This book manages to be something new and different in the realm of  "been there and done that" YA.
The characters are written in such an honest way, that you begin to see them as friends.  You feel what they feel.  Want what they want. Find yourself lost in the pull of their struggles.

The setting of the island, the water, and the sun make this a great summer read.  Unlike most summer reads however, this is no cottony ball of fluff.  Be prepared for action, plot twists, secrets, romance, and never quite knowing what is coming next.

This is an awesome read that takes one off the beaten path and on to uncharted literary nirvana!

Amy Evans Bio:

Amy  EvansAmy Evans is a wife, mother, ocean lover and storyteller. She's created multi-platform mobile apps, social media games, and interactive story worlds for HIPnTASTY, a company she co-founded in 2001.  She loves dolphins, aliens and pugs, and sometimes writes for so long they all look like the same thing.  Clicks is her debut novel about instincts, a Surf Carnival, an endless summer and the hottest beach patrol on the California coast.   Clicks are truths you can feel, the sounds that the universe makes when it warns you that your world is about to change forever. If you listen to them, you get on the wave before it crests; control your path, surf into your destiny. If you ignore them, the wave crashes around you, and you try desperately not to drown.


Author Goodreads:


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Blog Tour Schedule:

June 17: Reading Teen
June 19: Lite-Rate-Ture
June 20: Two Tall Tales
June 21: Jessie Harrell

Ink Slinger Presents: Selling Scarlett

Selling Scarlett (Love Inc., #1)Title:  Selling Scarlett
Author:  Ella James
Format:  ERC
Pages:  269 pages
Publisher:  Barkley's Books
Rating:  4 Stars

Elizabeth DeVille doesn't belong at a party like this—one where the gowns cost more than her Camry and cigars run higher than her grad school utility bills. Dragged out of seclusion by her best friend Suri, Elizabeth is merely playing dress-up, rubbing elbows with a crowd that banished her troubled family years ago.

Hunter West is tired. Tired of parties, tired of pretending, and tired of trying to right a wrong that haunts him every day. Bourbon heir and professional poker player by day, by night Hunter is gambling with his life in a high-stakes game of crime and blackmail.

When Elizabeth stumbles into Hunter's den of vices, she's a light in the darkness, a flame in the void. And, just like everything he touches, Hunter mars her in a record time. To rectify the damage done, Elizabeth needs money she doesn't have, and she's come up with a foolproof way to get it.

Follow Elizabeth—code-named Scarlett—to the lush Nevada brothel where she'll auction her virginity and risk the only thing that's not for sale: her heart. The highest bidder is a familiar face, with wicked hands and the devil's mouth. And a secret so dark that it could cost her life.


My Thoughts
Selling Scarlett puts a new an different face on erotic romance.
This a book that proves that it is a good thing to include a great story with your sex.
Readers will find themselves taken with Elizabeth.  She may be a virgin, but that in no way makes her naive about what she wants or how to get  it.
The surprising thing and the the crux of the story lies in just how deep her loyalties go.
Elizabeth/Scarlett is the one constant in a story full of secrets, blackmail, old wounds, and vendettas.

The Boys
He loves Elizabeth.  He is in big tr ouble and only she can save him.
The relationship between Cross and Elizabeth is what sets this book apart from most reads of this type.
The usual scenario for the plot being something along the lines of:

Good girl + Bad Boy + Great Sex = Good Girl Saving Bad Boy From Bad Past + Falling In Love

Because of Cross, this took a big detour from that path and charted it's own.

Let's see if you can follow me here.

Good Girl + Injured Friend =  Good Girl + Bad Boy - Vcard + Great Sex + Day Saving + Falling In Love.
I will leave you to read the book and discover where Cross fits in that equasion.

He is the one who has it all.  At least on the surface.  He is also the lonely heart looking for something real.
He has all of the hallmarks of a wonderful leading man.

Scars (emotional and physical)

It is when these things meet with the quiet powerhouse that is Elizabeth that magic happens and the sparks start to fly.

Last Words
This is a very well written book.  The one negative being that there were parts of the story that deserved more detail.

The bidding war for Scarlett.
The reason for the blackmail.
Hunter's past.
Cross's past.

This book is written as a standalone in a collection of related works.  If this is what book 1 is like; this reviewer can't wait for the coming delights.

About Ella James
I'm a 20-something sci-fi nerd with a journalism degree and a serious York Peppermint Pattie addiction. I spend my days baby-wrangling and dog-chasing and my nights tapping on my laptop and hanging out with my writer/editor husband. A fun day for me involves lots of writing, running, and researching topped off with some quality Kindle time. My life's goal is to find an empty cottage in an enchanted forest, install a solar panel for my laptop, and move in - never to be seen again, except in sweatpants.

Ella's Links

Author Goodreads:

The Giveaway

Action Packed "Rogue Touch" Steals the Show

Rogue TouchTitle:  Rogue Touch
Author:  Christine Woodward
Format:  ERC
Length:  288 pages
Publisher:  Hyperion
Rating:  4 Stars

 "An interesting take on Rogue, as her powers take her down a path I never would have imagined." --Chris Claremont, author of Dragon Moon and writer for seventeen years of Uncanny X-Men

Twenty-year-old Anna Marie was just fired for the third time--this time from a bakery. Why can't she hold a job? Well, for starters, she dresses . . . differently. She looks like a Goth girl to the extreme, her shock of white hair contrasting with her head-to-toe black garb, her face the only skin she chooses to reveal. But Anna Marie doesn't have a choice. Her skin, her touch, is a deadly weapon that must be concealed. She accidentally put her first boyfriend, Cody, in a coma when they kissed. Horrified, she ran away to Jackson, Mississippi, where she's been living alone in a cramped apartment and scraping by on food stamps.

Then she meets otherworldly James and everything changes. He's just like her--completely alone and also on the run. To elude James's mysterious and dangerous family, the pair takes to the highway. As they cross the country, their simmering attraction intensifies and they both open up about their secretive pasts. James reveals that his true name is Touch and he christens Anna Marie Rogue. But with danger at their heels, they know they can't run forever. Rogue must decide if she'll unleash her devastating powers once again, which she swore never to do, in order to save the only person who seems truly to understand and accept her.

"A lost chapter from Rogue's past, told with elegance and conviction and attention to detail. Really entertaining." --Mike Carey, author of the Felix Castor novels and writer of X-Men: Legacy  -Goodreads

My Thoughts
This is a new and different Rogue story.  Yes, it starts out pretty much the same way that most X-Men stories do.  Person with powers ostracized and driven on to society's fringes because of their power/otherness.
That is until she meets James.

James who wears a leather coat and whose teeth chatter at the height of a Mississippi summer.  James of the glowing orbs of light that make ATMs spit money like slot machines stuck on jackpot.  James who has stolen her heart.  James who is not of this world?

Getting know James as he gets to know Rogue, and she gets to know him is glorious.  The romantic side of their complicated relationship developers very slowly.  Granted the slowness is most likely due to their inability to touch without intervening layers, but oh well.

Though this book is supposed to be Rogue's story.  James or Touch and the mystery surrounding him, is the driving force behind this read.  

It seems that Rogue isn't the only one on the run.  That's right folks...James is being hunted by people who travel in light and have orbs that make cars disintegrate.
It is this chase that in time, starts to wear on one's nerves.  While it is true that the chase both keeps the story moving and serves as a vehicle for important plot questions to be answered.  It simply goes on far too long.

Meanwhile, things with the already labrythine plot just seem to get twistier.

This is an awesome read despite the chase drain and almost unbearable sexual tension between Rogue and Touch.  A great thing about this story is that readers don't have to wait until the end of the book to encounter those "mouth wide open" moments.  

This is a book that screams to be a Summer blockbuster at theaters near you.
It is this reviewer's sincerest hope that this is a first installment in a written series starring Rogue and Touch.

BookSparks PR Presents: Crumble

CrumbleTitle:  Crumble
Author:  Fleur Philips
Format:  ERC
Length:  168 pages
Publisher:  Fleur Philips
Rating:  5 Stars

Eighteen-year-old Sarah McKnight has a secret. She's in love with David Brooks. Sarah is white. David is black. But Sarah's not the only one keeping secrets in the close-knit community of Kalispell, Montana. Her father George, who owns a local gun shop and proudly drives a truck with a Confederate flag bumper sticker, hides his own complicated past. When he discovers Sarah's relationship, George decides to share his feelings with Alex Mackey-a lonely classmate of Sarah's whom George has taken under his wing. As Alex embraces the power of Sarah's father's dark hatred, the hopes and dreams of young lives hang in the balance. In just a few short months, Sarah and David will graduate from high school and leave Kalispell for a new life together in Los Angeles. Maybe in California, they can stop hiding their love-and the other secret they share...something George McKnight-and Alex Mackey-will never accept.  -Goodreads

My Thoughts
This small novel packs a very big emotional punch.  Not only does it tackle "hot button" issues such as interracial dating, teen pregnancy, and abortion; as chronicled in the story of David and Sarah.  It goes on to address the evils of spousal and child abuse, bigotry, manipulation, and murder with the tale spun by George and Alex's interactions.

The story told here is one that the public at large sees played out in the news on an almost regular basis.  As much as our society would like to think that we have outgrown the shadows cast by hatred and intolerance;the undeniable ring of truth heard in the echo of these voices is blaringly clear.

This is a book built on drama, and Fleur Philips proves herself quite an able mistress when it comes to both creating and maintaining the nail-biting highs and lows needs to captivate her readers.
Her plots seem simple on the surface.  Straight forward and easy to follow to an expected end, until...
the switch.

This switch and the reason behind it is one that readers will have to read to believe!

 This is a book made to leave readers asking...
How many chips would it
take to make my
life's mirror


About Fleur Philips

was born in Pasadena, California in 1973. Thankfully, my parents had the great sense to get our family (I have three brothers) out of Los Angeles. In 1976, we moved to Missoula, Montana, but I spent the majority of my life on the shores of Flathead Lake in the small town of Polson—less than 5,000 people. I couldn’t have asked for a more incredible place to be a kid. I was in 3rd grade when I won my first literary prize! My children’s book, Misty’s Adventure, won the all-school writing contest and was placed in the library for all of the student body to enjoy.
In 1992, I graduated from Polson High School. I attended the University of Oregon in Eugene for three years where I was both president and personnel chair of the Psi Alpha Chapter of the Chi Omega Sorority. In 1994, I was awarded placement in the Kidd Tutorial Creative Writing Program at U of O, directed by Mr. Chang Rae-Lee (my second literary prize!). Of the 90 applicants who submitted short stories, only 30 of us were accepted. In 1995, I left Eugene and returned to Missoula where I attended the University of Montana. In 1998, I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English. In a Native American Studies class that year, the professor (acclaimed Montana novelist, Debra Magpie Earling) assigned us the task of writing a short story, highlighting one memorable life event. I wrote about the burning of my house when I was in 8th grade. Ms. Earling picked three of the stories (from a class of nearly 100 students) to read out loud. Mine was one of the three chosen (my third literary prize!).
All I wanted to do was be a writer, but I was encouraged by a career counselor to return to school to obtain a teaching credential as a “fall back” to my writing. So, I did, and in 2001 (after moving back to Southern California with my then husband and our son) I was hired to teach language arts and drama at a junior high school in Upland. I was there for approximately four months before I quit and never returned to a classroom. I realized my counselor was wrong—if you want to teach, teach. If you want to write, don’t teach. I decided, since I lived so close to Hollywood, that I would try my hand at acting. I booked a handful of background casting jobs and, after being a “featured extra” on Steven Spielberg’s Catch Me If You Can, I joined the Screen Actors Guild. It was a short-lived adventure, and I eventually “fell” into sales and marketing full-time. But between working and being a mom, I managed to complete three manuscripts—two of which remain stuffed in a box in my office. My third manuscript, I Am Lucky Bird, was picked up by a small publishing company in London and was released on October 1, 2011. It was a general fiction finalist for the 2011 Book of the Year Award from ForeWord Reviews (my fourth literary prize!).
After an interesting 10-year career in marketing—including one year as Dr. Arnold William Klein’s Communications Director (Michael Jackson’s famed dermatologist)—I am today working independently as a communications consultant. I am also a graduate of Antioch University in Los Angeles with an MFA in Creative Writing. My newest novel, Crumble, is the 2013 San Francisco Book Festival Winner for YA Fiction and a YA Fiction Finalist in the 2013 International Book Awards.

Where To Find Fleur

Don't forget to visit all the stops on the

Turning These Pages Will Make You Want To "Follow The White Rabbit"

Follow the White Rabbit (Beautiful Madness, #1)Title:  Follow The White  Rabbit
(Beautiful Madness:  Book One)
Author:  Kellie Sheridan
Format:  ERC
Length:  100 pages
Publisher:  Patchwork Press
Rating:  4 Stars

For centuries, Wonderland thrived as the domain of beautiful bedlam and unapologetic madness. It was a place like no other. All it took was one girl slipping in through the cracks of the universe to start chaos spiraling toward order. In the 150 years since Alice’s visit, the realm has become tainted—almost normal. Rabbits in waistcoats and playing card minions are little more than creatures of myth, and Wonderland is literally falling to pieces.

For Gwen, Rose, and Lucky, Wonderland is home, and yet they know little of its former glory. When the Alice prophecy resurfaces, they’ll have one chance to use Wonderland’s own legends to bring a little mayhem back into their reality. For she who controls Alice controls the fate of Wonderland.  -Goodreads

My Thoughts
This book was quite a wonderful surprise.  The author manages to both introduce the reader to a Wonderland of her own making, and create a buzz for the continuation of the series in a mere 100 pages.
Readers will find the new Wonderland one 150 years post Alice, and divided between the Queendoms of the Red and White.
Rose, The White Queen, is new to ruling and wishes to see Wonderland returned to the wild fanciful place that it was under Alice
Rose has seen both the coming of Alice and the future of Wonderland if The Red Queen has her way.
Delilah, The Red Queen, is all about progress.  The progress she wants however, has nothing to do with Alice's Wonderland. 

Lucky, The White Rabbit, is the key to the coming of Alice and there are a few people that are hot on her trail.
The problem...
She can hop through time.
The White Queen has sought out the services of Wonderland's best problem solvers, Gwen and Marc.
Can they find Lucky and convince her to help them before it's too late?

This is a wonderful start to a great series.  The Wonderland found here is familiar enough to be welcoming, and different enough to allow one to  be excited about it's newness.
This world promises to be one full of vibrant, larger than life characters and titillating plot twists.
The only negative about this read comes at the beginning.   The character introduced at the beginning of the story may or may not be Alice.  That not knowing coupled with the incongruity of her part in the story is confusing.  Hopefully this will be rectified later in the story.
This reviewer is very excited about the promise of both this book and it's coming series.

Refuge by Carole Rummage Tour with Giveaway #Refuge

Laney Lowell moved across the country to escape her past, not to fall in love. But when she becomes friends with Gabe, a handsome artist plagued by a mysterious disease, she'll have to decide between facing his dark truth or walking away from him forever. This thrilling romance is full of twists that will keep you guessing to the last page.

Carole Rummage Biography

Carole Rummage lives in North Carolina with her husband, rambunctious dog, Toby and needy cat, Pepper. She has three children and six grandchildren who keep her on her toes. Even though she's a grandmother, she's young at heart and loves working with and writing for young people. She's had several careers in her life and now happily adds being a writer to the mix. Her favorite quote is from George Elliott, "It's never too late to be what you might have been." She believes this applies to everything in life. After all, succeeding at new things just takes faith and trust and a little bit of fairy dust...

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