Monday, June 27, 2016

Read Something Different From E.A. West!

Ahoy, lovely readers!

I can't believe June is almost over. Where's the time going? Hopefully you're not too mixed up in the dog days of summer and are eager for another Summer Camp read!

This one has been on my blog before, and I'm honored to feature it this summer. Growing up is hard enough, but being a teen with autism is even harder. And when you're unique like the protagonist in this book things can get...deadly.

Check out this fast-paced YA read from E.A. West! Different

Jezebel Smith is different. She can’t talk, she doesn’t look like anyone in her family, and no matter what she does it’s always the wrong thing. God accepts her for who she is, but He’s the only one who does. Then she finds an unconscious man in her favorite cave, and her life is turned upside down. New people and new rules collide with the old, leaving Jezebel unsure of which set of rules apply to her life. When the strangers in town attempt to help her out of the nightmare she’s grown up in, it promises to change her life forever.

I just love when YA novels throw a confused teen into a fantasy world! If you do, too, then this should be on your to-read list for sure.

But of course, I got a little excerpt to whet your palate ;)


Fear shivered through her that he was sleeping so much. One of her brothers had fallen out of a tree once and hit his head, and the doctor said they had to keep him from falling asleep for a while. Jezebel didn’t know if falling off a ledge and hitting his head made the man have to stay awake or not.

After worrying for a while longer, she finally decided she’d have to risk a beating from her parents and go get the doctor. She didn’t know if he’d come, but she had to try. Daniel was the only person to ever treat her kindly, and he needed help.

She put a couple more sticks on the fire so it would keep burning while she was gone, and then she lit the lantern and headed out of the cavern. As she neared the cave entrance, the flame went out. She slowed her steps and followed the faint glow of daylight. Hopefully the doctor had a flashlight. When she stepped into the woods, she set the lantern by the cave entrance and ran toward town. She practiced saying Daniel’s name while she ran, praying the doctor would come if she told him the injured man’s name.

As she neared the edge of town, she slowed down to catch her breath. She hesitantly stepped onto the main road, terrified at the thought of trying to convince the doctor to go with her. She’d learned a long time ago that no one believed her about anything, and since she couldn’t talk, people didn’t understand what she tried to tell them anyway.

A lot of strange cars and people clogged the main street through town, and Jezebel wondered who they were. Unless Reverend Brown was holding one of his many revivals, the town rarely had many visitors. As she continued toward the doctor’s office, a woman carrying a stack of papers walked toward her with a smile. Jezebel stopped, her mind whirling with uncertainty, and the woman handed her a paper.

“We’re looking for this man. He went hiking in this area a couple of days ago and didn’t come back.”

Jezebel studied the sheet in her hands, and her heart skipped a beat. A picture of Daniel stared back, and some words had been printed across the bottom in black ink. She pointed to the photo. “D-Dan... Daniel.”

“That’s right, his name is Daniel,” the woman said, her tone changing a little. “Have you seen him?”

Jezebel nodded and looked back the way she’d come. “C-c-cave.”

“You saw him in a cave?”

She nodded again, excitement rushing through her. For the first time in her life, someone understood what she tried to say. She touched the photograph on the paper, indicating where the cut on Daniel’s head was. Before she could see if the woman understood, she heard her older brother spit out her name. She cringed and felt herself shriveling inside.


You can purchase Different at the links below:


Amazon UK:

Barnes & Noble:



And here's a little bit about our lovely author and why she thinks Different is a great summer read!
"When I was younger, my summers were filled with hiking at state parks, camping, and otherwise enjoying the great outdoors. Some of that experience found its way into Different. The main character, Jezebel, loves to explore the woods and spend time outside. Whether you love to get out in nature or prefer to enjoy it from a distance, Different offers you a chance to explore the world through the eyes of an autistic teen."

Sounds like a great explanation about the book! 

About the Author

E.A. West, award-winning author of sweet and inspirational romance, is a lifelong lover of books and storytelling. In high school, she picked up her pen in a creative writing class and hasn’t laid it down yet. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, knitting, and crocheting. She lives in Indiana with her family and a small zoo of pets.

You can find out more about E. A. West on her social media sites below:








And that's all for this summer installment! Get to readin'! 


Monday, June 20, 2016

Week 3 of Summer Reading gets Musical!

Ahoy lovely readers!

Hope you all enjoyed a wonderful Fathers Day over the weekend! It's time for another installment of the YA summer camp!

This week's read is a great one for any musically inclined kids. Get in tune with Jacqueline Seewald's Stacy's Song

Stacy's talent and love for music forces her to make hard choices. Life is risky, but she must learn to make important decisions on her own. Stacy Nelson, warm-hearted with a sense of humor, is a tall, skinny teenager, sometimes called "giraffe" by other kids. She's an average student with a lot of extracurricular interests. Her good friend Karen wants Stacy to practice with her and try out for cheerleading. Liz Norris asks Stacy to join a band that she and her brother Michael are starting, but Stacy has reservations. Her first meeting with Michael Norris is stormy, yet she is drawn in by his outstanding musical ability and joins the band. Stacy always wants to please everyone, but fails to think about who she is and what she really wants. After making the cheerleading squad, Greg Lawson, captain of the football team, becomes interested in Stacy. He is easy-going and charming, just the opposite of Michael. They start dating, and Stacy is suddenly popular in and out of school. As a cheerleader, she is accepted by the in-crowd. She tries to relax and enjoy this new lifestyle. When Stacy has difficulty meeting all of her commitments and her grades fall, her father is displeased and insists she quit the band. Stacy feels torn-wanting to please her father without letting down the other band members. Ultimately, while dealing with family and peer pressure, she must decide what is best for her.

You can find Stacy's Song at these links below:





What makes Stacy's Song a good summer read, you ask? Our author, Jacqueline, has a few words on that:

"STACY’S SONG is a perfect YA romance/coming-of-age novel for fun summer reading. The novel has family values and partly occurs in the summer. It also has a nice upbeat, inspiring message: be true to yourself. I hope that family and friends will gift this novel to teens."

Want a little more? Of course you do! Get hooked on this wonderful excerpt:


The foyer oozed darkness; the living room was equally gloomy, even after Liz pulled back the curtains. As my eyes adjusted, I was startled to see a boy sitting in the corner hunched over a piano. Liz saw him too.

“Michael, I didn’t know you were there. Stacy, I’d like to introduce you to my brother. He’s the composer in the family. Michael, like you Stacy is very talented.”

He didn’t respond. In fact, he didn’t even look up or acknowledge my presence in the room. There was something about him that made me feel uneasy. I could see him much better now that my eyes were adjusting to the dusky room. I figured him for around seventeen, with straight, sand-colored hair long on the sides. He looked fairly tall, though I couldn’t tell because he didn’t bother to stand up. He wore dark glasses that I found particularly odd since the room was ill lit.

“What do you play?” he asked in a voice that could have frozen a lake. “I’ll need to hear what you can do. What did you bring with you?”

“I didn’t expect an audition,” I responded with equal frost.

“Yeah, well, Liz thinks you’re all right, but I’d like to decide that for myself.”

Liz seemed to sense the tenseness in the atmosphere and jumped in. “Why don’t you sit down and relax, get to know each other better, and I’ll go fix us a snack.” Coward! She didn’t even bother to wait for a response, instead hurrying off to the kitchen and leaving an uncomfortable silence in the room.

Michael didn’t look at me. He seemed to be busy composing, but I had a feeling that was bogus.

“Do you go to Wilson High?” I asked him.

An odd smile crossed his lips. “No, I’m too special for that.” There was a hint of sarcasm in his tone, as if his words had some personal or private meaning.

Not easily daunted, I tried again. If you can’t discuss anything else, usually the weather’s a safe topic. “It’s turned beautiful, don’t you think? This must be the sunniest day we’ve had in months.”

“I wouldn’t know,” he said in a voice I can only describe as hostile.

“Wouldn’t know or don’t care?” I was sorry I said it even as I spoke; usually I’m polite, but this boy just seemed to bring out the worst in me. I hated the way he wouldn’t even look in my direction. I guess he thought those dark glasses made him look cool. I felt a sudden urge to yank off his glasses and break them. “Look, maybe I just ought to go,” I said.

He rose to his feet with an awkward, unsteady movement. “Wait! I want you to try out some of our music. You can use Liz’s guitar.”

“I don’t know…” I said.

“What have you got to lose?”

I looked around and saw an electric guitar against the opposite wall. “I have to warn you I’m used to an acoustic not an electric.”

“It’s no big deal making the switch for a real musician. If you’re any good I can show you in minutes.” He seemed to be daring me, taunting.

“All right,” I said picking up the guitar.

As he started across the room I pushed the coffee table forward to allow more foot space. Before I could say anything Michael Norris walked into the table losing his balance. I put out my hand to steady him; he almost fell on top of me. My heart started to pound like a runner racing toward the finish line. I withdrew from him striving to regain my composure. I put down the guitar.

“Sorry,” he said, “I’m not usually this clumsy.”

Why had he walked into the table? Anyone could have seen it. Then a thought hit me. Of course! Why was I so naïve, so dense?

And let's learn a little more about our author!

Multiple award-winning author, Jacqueline Seewald, has taught creative, expository and technical writing at Rutgers University as well as high school English. She also worked as both an academic librarian and an educational media specialist. Sixteen of her books of fiction have been published to critical praise including books for adults, teens and children. Her short stories, poems, essays, reviews and articles have appeared in hundreds of diverse publications and numerous anthologies such as: THE WRITER, L.A. TIMES, PEDESTAL, SHERLOCK HOLMES MYSTERY MAGAZINE, OVER MY DEAD BODY!, THE MYSTERY MEGAPACK, LIBRARY JOURNAL, and PUBLISHERS WEEKLY. One of her poems recently took first place in the Reader’s Digest 2015 Poetry Contest. She’s also an amateur landscape artist. Her writer’s blog can be found at:

You can also find her on:


Amazon Author Page:

As well as Twitter and Goodreads

And that's it for this week! Stay tuned for more excellent reads to keep the summer fun!

Until next time, keep readin' and dreamin'


Monday, June 13, 2016

Summer Reading Week 2: You'll be Eagar for this YA Paranormal Fiction!

Ahoy lovely readers!

Summer is well upon us. With high humidity and triple digit temps, I'm already growing tired of the sticky weather and impromptu rains. Anyone else longing for the next season already? Fall is great, right? You get dryer weather, pretty leaves...

And let's not forget spooky Halloween!

Which is why my next YA Summer Reading feature has me looking to witchier seasons. If you enjoy historical fiction about the Salem Witch Trials, then this is the next read to have on your list!

Get spooky with me and read Heather Eagar's Devil's Playground!

Sixteen-year-old Elizabeth Winters may be a witch, but she doesn’t know the first thing about magic—unless you count accidental bouts of spontaneous combustion. Elizabeth’s father, a wizard himself, has forbidden the use of her powers for her own protection, but when accusations of witchcraft start flying through Salem Village, she wishes she was more prepared. 
Despite her lack of magical knowledge, Elizabeth appoints herself to save innocent women from the demise the village has in store for them. Elizabeth finds, however, that she is not the hero Salem needs her to be. 
She meant to save them. She cursed them instead. 

This seems like an especially good read for a tween or teenager who's wise beyond their years. A story with a strong protagonist who has the weight of her community on her shoulders? Sounds like the perfect book to get lost in during those summer showers!
But, let's have Heather herself tell us why Devil's Playground is the perfect summer reading!

"Devil's Playground is a good summer read because you are taken on a fun and thrilling ride through the Salem Witch Trials, but there are no tests or pop quizzes after. You get to experience a fantastical version of 1682 Salem, and have fun with history...actually live it. The Book Junkie Reads said, 'I could literally feel the magic in the air. The words on the pages gave an aura of realism in each phrase. I felt line I was back in the Salem Witch Trials.'"

I'm sure that's got you wanting to scoop up this great read ASAP! You can find Devil's Playground at these sites below:

Barnes and Noble:





And let's learn a bit about our author!

Heather Eagar currently resides in Logan, Utah where she strives to balance her love of writing with raising a husband and two kids. Devil's Playground is her debut novel, but it will not be her last. She is currently working on the second book in the series. Heather is also a book reviewer and you can find reviews for Middle-grade fiction through Adult novels on her website,

You can also reach out to Heather on her social media sites:





There you have your second summer reading YA novel! Get to reading, and tune in next week for another great read!

Keep readin' and dreamin'


Monday, June 6, 2016

Summer reading: This week's Kuhl feature!

Ahoy lovely readers!

Summer is upon us, so I'm going to turn my Fiction Features over to the summer reading theme. Though the kids are out of school, let's keep their imaginations and minds running during these lazy days!

And don't worry, I'll make sure to only feature the interesting YA titles ;)

First up, is an riveting YA paranormal romance title by L. K. Kuhl. If you're into dark reads for the beach, this one's right up your alley! Check out Everlasting!

Seventeen-year-old Sophia Bandell is scared of boys, and her biggest fear is dying. Boys make her uncomfortable and itchy and dying is …well …dying. She is ecstatic when her long lost friend calls her, inviting her to spend the summer with her on the beach at Charleston, South Carolina.

When a plastic saucer hits her in the head as she’s sunbathing, Sophia has no idea it will forever change the course of her life. It is there she comes face to face with the impressive Tate Forester.

She is scared and …itchy, but he’s gorgeous and she can’t shake him from her mind. They begin dating and Sophia soon knows he’s the one.

But things turn dark when she learns Tate isn’t the person she thinks he is, and the real reason her friend has brought her to the beach will teach her about life after death.

This everlasting summer on the beach gives Sophia a sweet taste of first love—the happiness as well as the heartbreak.

This read would be perfect for the teen who enjoys both dark and romantic stories. Swap out the favorite TV dramas with Everlasting, and you won't be disappointed!

I've even got a little tidbit from our author about why she thinks Everlasting is a good summer read:

"Everlasting would be a great summer read for everyone ages 15 and up because it is a beach read!! It carries you away to the beach at Charleston, South Carolina. Sophia Bandell gets to spend her entire summer away from her mundane, cool home in Montana for a first time vacation in the hot sands of the beach. I think teens and older people alike will love to curl up in a beach chair themselves listening to the waves crashing while they read this or curled up somewhere in a hammock underneath a shade tree. Either way, it's an enchanting, great summer read!!"

Need I say more? What's that? Do you want an excerpt? You got it!

We stood there and looked around, an awkward silence playing between us. Then he stepped closer and took my hand in his, sending a bolt of staggering electricity zipping through my chest. “Her hand fits perfectly in mine.” He whispered this, as if confirming it with someone. His gaze locked on it, analyzing, then with a shake of his head, he spoke louder. “Sophia, I’m sorry. I …I lied to you.”

I looked at him—bewilderment crinkling my face—and tried to understand. “Lied?” My voice broke. “I don’t get it.”

“I wasn’t sick that day. Well, in a way I was, I guess. The truth is, I was gut-sick. That guy …he was sitting by you the whole day ...and …and he never left your side. I’d check throughout the day, but he was still there. I couldn’t help it. I was insanely jealous.” He looked down, his tone deepening as he flexed his fingers that were still laced through mine.

“What?” His words astounded me. I swiped my brow with my free hand. “You were jealous …of me?”

He released my hand and paced back and forth, the nervousness seeping through as he wrung his hands. “I know it’s stupid, but I couldn’t help myself. I love the way you laugh and …I like you, Sophia …a lot, and it hurt me to see you with someone else.”

He lifted his hair off his forehead, pushing it up. His eyes locked on mine again, captivating me. I couldn’t look away. My self-consciousness took over—heckling me. The way I looked right now—with my hair a matted mess from the mist, and no makeup on—must look ridiculous. I drew away, making myself smaller.

I laughed my nervous laugh and kicked the sand with my shoe. “Who, him? You mean …Brian?” My words wobbled, but I giggled, unable to believe that Brian talking to me could make anyone jealous.


You can pick up Everlasting at these sites below:


Barnes & Noble:




Thus concludes week 1 of Fred's Summer Features! Stay tuned, as always, for more writing blogs and all things Lucid!

Until next time, keep readin' and dreamin'!