Monday, July 29, 2013

The Island by Jen Minkman Book Blast

Title-The Island
By- Jen Minkman
Publication Date-June 1, 2013
*Novella* (80 pages)
Genre- YA Dystopian


‘I walk toward the sea. The endless surface of the water extends to the horizon, whichever way I look.

Our world is small. We are on our own, and we only have ourselves to depend on. We rely on the Force deep within us, as taught to us by our forefathers.

If I were to walk westward from here, I would come across a barrier – the Wall.
Behind it, there are Fools. At least, that’s what everyone says.
I have never seen one.’

Leia lives on the Island, a world in which children leave their parents to take care of themselves when they are ten years old. Across this Island runs a wall that no one has ever crossed. The Fools living behind it are not amenable to reason – they believe in illusions. That’s what The Book says, the only thing left to the Eastern Islanders by their ancestors.
But when a strange man washes ashore and Leia meets a Fool face to face, her life will never be the same. Is what she and her friends believe about the Island really true?

Or is everyone in their world, in fact, a Fool?

Our Review 

This is a first for me reading this gene making my over all reading gene base a little larger now. I enjoyed the book.The story had a strong main character Leia who really made the story flow where you could not wait to see what move she made next.

The Synopsis is what made me read this story as I was curious to see where it would lead. I found the idea of why children would be separated from there parents at the age of ten to go off on there own and live and survive on a different part of the island and not returning to there parents and hometown until they wed to be extremely intriguing.

I originally read the uncorrected proof of the story and have to say that the cast of characters names( originally) to be much more of a mystery  then the final cut ones. I liked them because I found them to be different and not the original run of the mill ones making them a little bit more intriguing for me.

This story was a novella and could have very well have been a full length novel.The story has remarks from Stars Wars trilogy making it a little bit quirky .

One thing I found that surprised me is that they never explained why the children were forced to leave there parents in the first place later on of course everything comes to light and all is revealed .I think that is what kept me turning the pages that anticipation of finding out why ?

Leia is the ringleader of there little rebel band.She has found out by another friend that the one in charge of them all is keeping things from them and takes it upon herself to find out what those things are.Things have been the same for 100 years now . But, the one in charge seems to be abusing his power and the others now  want to overthrow him and elect a new leader but, he is so powerful and feared it will not be an easy task.They need proof so they need to steal the book of legends to prove him a liar.

The island is divided by a wall and they are told that the  fools live on the other side but not one of them knows what a fool looks like or anything about them. There current living arrangements and beliefs are based on a legend written by there ancestors but know one ever questioned those beliefs until Leia decided she wanted to know more and went on a journey to find answers.

Leia's journey lead her to find a fool from the other side of the island learning that they really are not so different then they are other than the children live with there parents here and are happy about it.

From this point on the story becomes a whirlwind of questions and answers.So much starts to unfold all is foretold almost becoming a little bit overwhelming for the cast of characters and for yourself  just to take in all at once .Your in awe with this new world you have just discovered. Your learning so much about the past wondering if for generations you have been choosing to live separated from your parents all this time based on one misconception from one point in time?

intriguing cast of characters made this story a fun young adult read.We are giving this read 4 stars !


About the Author-

Jen Minkman (1978) was born in Holland, in the town of Alphen aan den Rijn. When she was 19, she moved between The Hague, Salzburg (Austria), Brussels (Belgium) and Cambridge (UK) to complete her studies in intercultural communication. She is currently a teacher of English, career counsellor and teenage coach at a secondary school in Voorburg, Holland. She tries to read at least 100 books a year (and write a few, too!). She is a published author in her own country, and translates her own books from Dutch into English for self-publication.
In her spare time, she plays the piano, the guitar and the violin. For every novel she writes, she creates a soundtrack.

'I have always been drawn to writing. My first book was a sci-fi novel at the age of eight, which I painstakingly typed out on my dad's typewriter and illustrated myself. Nowadays, I stick to poetry, paranormal romance, chicklit and/or fantasy. In my home country, I am the first-ever published writer of paranormal romance, and I will gradually make my books also available in English (seeing I have to re-write and translate the books myself, this will take some time!).


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Sweet Thing by Renee Carlino is visiting our Blog today and having a Giveaway for her new book !

Title: Sweet Thing
Author: Renee Carlino
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Age Group:  New Adult
Event organized by: AToMR Tours

Links to the book:

Sweet Thing will also be on sale for $2.99 from July 24th to August 2nd


Book Description:

 A USA TODAY bestseller, Sweet Thing tells the story of Mia Kelly, a twenty-five-year-old walking Gap ad who thinks she has life figured out when her father’s sudden death uproots her from slow-paced Ann Arbor to New York City’s bustling East Village. There she discovers her father’s spirit for life and the legacy he left behind with the help of an old cafĂ©, a few eccentric friends, and one charming musician.

Will Ryan is good-looking, poetic, spontaneous, and on the brink of fame when he meets Mia, his new landlord, muse, and personal heartbreaker.

A story of self-discovery and friendship, Sweet Thing shines light on the power of loving and letting go.

What reviewers are saying about Sweet Thing. . .

Maryse's Book Blog - "It gave me every emotion and in just the right amount. My perfect read. . . 5 stars PLUS!!!!"

Jelena's Book Blog - "Her writing style is so fresh, the tone, the dialogue, the plot, the characters.... everything... just everything was marvelous she is definitely an author to watch out for."

A Love Affair With Books - "If you are looking for a new author, a new read or might want a bit of a cry, I highly recommend SWEET THING"

Book Addicts - "This book made me FEEL; it made me yearn for a happily ever after."

The SUBCLUB Books - "I was hooked and hanging on every word from the Prologue all the way to the Epilogue, I had a hard time steering my eyes away from the story it had a fierce grasp on me and I happily obliged to ride the journey alongside the characters."

Shh Moms Reading - "This is 5 HUGE stars ~ a soul searing beautifully written book that now owns a piece of my heart."

EXCERPT 1: from A Prayer for Us

Looking around at the remaining guests, the little white lights everywhere and the glistening pond, I thought Jenny and Tyler’s wedding couldn’t have been any better; it was complete magic. Playing music with Mia made an already perfect night spectacular. I wanted to grab a bottle of champagne and stroll around the little pond with Audrey, but I couldn’t find her anywhere.
I made my way up to the cottage and entered the front door. Right away I could hear movement. The moment I turned the corner to head down the short hallway, I saw Mia in sneaky mode, quietly closing one of the bedroom doors. When she turned, she ran right into my chest.
“Have you seen Audrey? I said. She just stared at me, blank-faced.
“What, Mia? She remained expressionless and then dick-stick Dustin walked out of the room and stood behind her. “Oh no. Really? Really, Mia? You and him? Holy shit, she was fucking him in there. Oh my god, she’s gonna need disinfecting. And then Audrey walked out and stood next to Dustin. “What? I started laughing uncontrollably. Why wasn’t I invited to this party? “The three of you? What the fuck?” I searched Mia’s face. She looked sad. I couldn’t believe it. I turned and headed down the hallway, thinking what a travesty this was—my best friend and my girlfriend together with Dustin, the filthiest, STD-ridden dirtbag in the universe.
I went straight for the bar, grabbed a bottle of whiskey, and then headed toward the pond. I could hear Mia yelling behind me. I kept my head down, got into the little

white boat, and rowed away from the dock. I just kept thinking How could Mia do that, did she have no dignity? and How could Dustin use her that way when he knows how precious she is to me? How could he when he knows that I would have given anything to be with her, to be with Mia.
She yelled at me to come back and talk to her.

“I’m not. Talking. To. You. Ever!” I screamed. I saw Dustin with his arm around Audrey, standing behind Mia. I stood up in the boat, barely able to keep my balance, and flipped them off with both hands. “Fuck all of you!” I almost fell over, so I sat down and rowed farther into the darkness before yelling a final, “Don’t look for me!”
I could still see them under the lights, but I knew they couldn’t see me. When I  got to the other side, I pulled the boat up onto the shore and started on the whiskey. First I heard her and then I saw her coming toward me from the footpath.

“Don’t fucking come near me, Mia. I swear to God I will row myself into the middle of that Goddamn pond and stay there till next year.”
She stayed where she was and in the calmest, sweetest voice, said, “I walked into the room and thought you and Audrey were having sex. I couldn’t see who it was behind the screen. I tried to sneak back out, and that’s when I ran into you. I was confused.”
I believed her, but I couldn’t face her in that moment. Audrey and Dustin had humiliated me and I knew Mia felt sorry for me.
“Go away, Mia.”

I spent the next hour in that little boat, thinking about everything, thinking about my life, thinking about the time Mia had asked me what my hopes and dreams were. I

knew without a doubt they included her, but I also knew I had to be patient with her. The fact that Audrey and Dustin, that pencil-dick, were probably screwing around right in front of my face, didn’t even bother me. I just thought about how relieved I was that it wasn’t Mia.
I headed back to the cottage and found her sleeping, absolutely peaceful and beautiful. Her long, dark hair was braided and resting over her shoulder. She was on her side; the quilt was shrugged half down, exposing her almost completely in her T-shirt and underwear. Honestly, by that point I had gotten over wanting to fuck Mia. When I  thought about being with her, I only thought about making love to her, sweetly. That  night I wanted so badly just to have slow, soft, sleepy sex with her. I lay beside her on top of the quilt and watched her sleep. I thought back to earlier that day at the wedding when she came walking down the aisle, how badly I wanted to see her in white, but still how stunning she looked. I thought about her reaction when she saw Jenny and the way she’d lovingly but enviously stared at Jenny on her dad’s arm. I knew Mia was thinking about her own father and that the grief and pain was still weighing heavily on her. I thought about how she was always alone, even when she dated that dipshit, Bob. Mia just seemed like this lost little soul and I knew it would be a while before she came around. I passed out thinking about what it would be like to hold her and praying that she would let me; praying for us.
A few hours later I woke up to the feel of her gentle hand pulling my belt open. I noticed she had removed my shoes and tie. I looked down at her through foggy, squinted eyes. She smiled lovingly at me. There was just a hint of pity in her expression, but her face was warm and kind.

“I got it,” I said. “Come back to bed.”

She slid back into bed while I stripped down to my boxers. She turned away from me and onto her side. I curled up behind her and hitched my leg over hers. I reached my hand up under her shirt to her warm, soft skin. I was holding her; she didn’t stop me. It felt so good. That moment was tender, raw, and sacred, and I would take a fleeting moment like that any day over an eternity of mediocrity.
“Are you okay? she whispered.

“I am now.” I kissed her hair and inhaled deeply. “It hurt more when I thought it was you,” I said and then I dozed off again. I woke up practically laying on top of her. My hands were on her sides and my head rested on her stomach. I think I was crushing her, but she didn’t seem to mind. She was running her hands through my hair. She smelled like Mia always smelled, clean and cozy and like home. I stayed there as still as I could; I wanted it to last forever. And then I thought, “Oh screw it. I’m going for it.”
I anchored my fingers and tried slowly to pull her panties down. She pressed herself against me like she liked it and then I think she felt me hard beneath her and jerked away to sit up. I watched her blushing face. She bit down on that pouty bottom lip.
I whispered, “Sorry, baby.”

Her lips curled into a tiny smile, and she leaned over, kissed my shoulder, and breathed, “Get some sleep,” just barely loud enough for me to hear.

When she left the room, I looked down at myself and laughed. Patience, my friend, patience.

About the Author

Renee’s first friends were the imaginary kind and even though her characters haven’t gone away, thankfully the delusions have. She admits she’s a wildly hopeless romantic and she blames 80’s movies staring Molly Ringwald for that. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog June. When she’s not at the beach with her boys or working on the next book, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate.

Author social media links:
Twitter: @renayz