A Masterpiece of our Love - book 1
The Masterpiece Trilogy
Nikki Lynn Barrett
Romance/ Mystery/ Suspense
The first in a brand new contemporary/suspense trilogy!
Two Lives Torn by tragedy.
Eight-year-old Becca and twelve-year-old Hunter cling to each other and life after surviving a plane crash which stole their families.
Two Souls Seeking Love.
Each year, from the time she was old enough to travel on her own, Becca met up with Hunter on the island that altered their lives forever.
Until he stopped showing.
Her constant. Her link to the past. Gone in the blink of an eye.
Two Lives Bound by Secret.
Suffering more heartbreak, Hunter returns to the one place he’s always sought comfort, the island where he and Becca met. It was the place that stole from him, and in the same instance gave to him. He hasn't been back or spoken to Becca in four years.
Though he’s sure she must hate him for disappearing, Hunter discovers the girl gone, now a woman in her place. Hunter is determined to prove to Becca he isn’t the same twelve-year-old boy of yesteryear.
But someone isn't happy about their reunion...
Strange things begin happening. Letters start showing up in their hotel rooms and at home with cryptic messages.
Two Broken Hearts Heal as One.
With the mystery unsolved, Hunter convinces Becca to spend the remainder of the summer back home with him, both for safety and to give them a chance to discover the adults they’ve now become.
Will love get a chance to blossom, or will the past come back and tear the masterpiece of their love apart once and for all?
Author Nikki Lynn Barrett is touring with Chic-Lit Plus Book Tours this week and I had the pleasure of reviewing her first book in the Masterpiece Trilogy. If you’re looking for a last-minute beach read, be sure to check out this novel, and see what others are saying by following the tour here.
A Masterpiece of our Love is the first book in an exciting new trilogy. The author has written a beautiful romantic love story, filled with suspense, mystery and drama.
Becca was 8 years old when she lost her family in a devastating plane crash. Pulled from the wreckage by 12-year-old Hunter whose family was also aboard the plane, they were the only 2 survivors. The story starts out 20 years later, where Becca and Hunter reunite annually, although Hunter has been a no-show for the past 4 years, he arrives this time. They easily rekindle their friendship, and realize they both have stronger feelings for each other than just as friends.
I found Becca to be an amazing character. She has overcome so much in her life and she just keeps going. Throughout the story, you get flashbacks of what she has been through since the accident. She is a strong, smart and determined woman. It was so easy to connect with Becca, and there were many times I just wanted to reach out and give her a hug.
Hunter is a likable character as well, but in my eyes I felt he failed as a hero. In the beginning, he seemed to be a stong and supportive counterpart to Becca, but as his problems started to unravel, he just fell apart. Instead of getting the help and support he needed, he just ran away. While I felt Becca’s character grew throughout the story, I just couldn’t relate to Hunter.
This book mainly focuses on Becca & Hunters relationship, but has some drama thrown in as well. There is also a stalker who is threatening both characters, and the mystery surrounding that keeps things interesting. My only issues with this book are: at times I felt the story dragged a bit and used way to many ‘I love you’s ‘ as fluff. Also, I am not a fan of cliffhangers, and this book left me hanging. I felt frustrated with the ending, and would’ve liked a little bit more closure. I definitely want more of Becca & Hunter and to find out the story of their stalker, so I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.
*Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review for the authors blog tour with Chic-Lit Plus. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I’m an avid lover of books. I’ve been writing as far back as I can remember, completing my first “book” by fifth grade in one of those one subject spiral notebooks. I have a passion for music, photography, jewelry and all things creative. I live in Arizona with my husband and son, but dream of being somewhere much colder and stormier. For now, I’ll have to live that life through my characters and stick it out with the summer heat.
Meet Me In Barcelona
Paperback/Kindle/MP3 CD, Audiobook, MP3 Audo, Unabridged
A surprise trip to Barcelona with her boyfriend, Jake, seems like the perfect antidote to Grace Sawyer's current woes. The city is dazzling and unpredictable, but the biggest surprise for Grace is discovering who arranged and paid for the vacation.
Carrie Ann wasn't just Grace's foster sister. Clever, pretty, and mercurial, she was her best friend—until everything went terribly wrong. Now, as she flees an abusive marriage, Carrie Ann has turned to the one person she hopes will come through for her. Despite her initial misgivings, Grace wants to help. But then Carrie Ann and Jake both go missing. Stunned and confused, Grace begins to realize how much of herself she's kept from Jake—and how much of Carrie Ann she never understood. Soon Grace is baited into following a trail of scant clues across Spain, determined to find the truth, even if she must revisit her troubled past to do it.
Mary Carter's intriguing novel delves into the complexities of childhood bonds, the corrosive weight of guilt and blame, and all the ways we try—and often fail—to truly know the ones we love.
For More Information
• Meet Me in Barcelona is available at Amazon.
• Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
• Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
• Read Chapter One here.
Author Mary Carter is here today with a guest post on how ‘Fisher Price playtime’ helped turn her into a storyteller.
Mary is touring with Pump Up Your Book for her novel Meet Me In Barcelona. Be sure to see the giveaway at the end of the post for your chance to win a free book.
THE FISHER PRICE ACADEMY
By Mary Carter
I grew up in a series of small towns in Ohio. It was an age where mothers let their kids run around the neighborhood and kept their doors unlocked. We didn’t have Xbox, or computers, or smart phones, even cable. To this day, I still think fondly of the chunky yellow rotary phone hanging on our kitchen wall. In the absence of these technological babysitters, my sister and I really learned to use our imaginations. We had these Fisher Price characters – not the ones that look like round heads with no necks and squat bodies—no, we preferred the ones that looked like real people—except much tinier. So when we weren’t playing Red Rover, Cross the Delaware, Red Light, Green Light, or War, we played with our Fisher Price people. Boy, did they have dramatic lives! They married, and divorced. They lied to each other, they started and lost jobs, they moved to new towns, they made friends, they fought. One or another of them would get kidnapped on almost a daily basis, only to be rescued by the handsome new fireman-neighbor. They performed deep-sea rescues when other characters were drowning, which in addition to the kidnapping happened at astronomical rates for a small town in Ohio. Sometimes they were filthy rich, but when they got too big for their britches, we’d rip everything out from under them and make them dirt poor, begging on their hard, plastic knees for forgiveness. They owned jeeps, and helicopters, and speedboats. Somehow all of them were also ordained ministers because they officiated ceremonies at the drop of a hat. We built them roof decks made out of flat stones from our driveway, and gave them professions like models, fireman, rescue workers, and nurses. Hour after hour would fly by. It was Melrose Place before its time. What I realize now, is that we were actually practicing the art of writing. It’s no surprise to me that my sister and I are both professional scribes now. She lives in LA and writes for television and movies, I lived in New York, and now Chicago, and write plays and novels. Our lives may differ wildly, but one thing is for sure. We began our storytelling careers at The Fisher Price Acadmey.
Mary Carter is a freelance writer and novelist. Meet Me in Barcelona is her eighth novel. Her other works include: Three Months in Florence, The Things I Do For You, The Pub Across the Pond, My Sister’s Voice, Sunnyside Blues, She’ll Take It, and Accidentally Engaged. In addition to her novels she has written six novellas: Return to Hampton Beach in the anthology, Summer Days, A Southern Christmas in the upcoming 2014 anthology Our First Christmas, A Kiss Before Midnight in the anthology, You’re Still the One, A Very Maui Christmas in the New York Times best selling anthology Holiday Magic, and The Honeymoon House in the New York Times best selling anthology Almost Home. Mary currently lives in Chicago, IL with a demanding labradoodle. She wishes she could thank her gorgeous husband, but she doesn’t have one. In addition to writing she leads writing workshops.
Mary Carter is giving away 3 books including My Sister’s Voice, Three Months in Venice and Sunnyside Blues!
Terms & Conditions:
• By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
• One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one set of three books by Mary Carter.
• This giveaway begins August 4 and ends on October 31.
• Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, November 3.
• Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!
ENTER TO WIN!
Cracks In The Sidewalk
Bette Lee Crosby
Fiction, Family Saga
Bent Pine Publishing
A powerful story that is a heart-wrenching reminder of how fragile relationships can be. Cracks in the Sidewalk is based on a true story.
Claire McDermott is a wife, a mother, a grandmother... Her only daughter is gravely ill... Her son-in-law is resentful and angry... Her grandchildren are missing...
After years of writing letters, hoping to find the children, hoping to bring them back, Claire receives a reply...a dog-eared gray envelope is stuffed into her mailbox, but will it bring hope or simply put an end to the waiting?
Can a single letter change the lives of four people? Claire McDermott and her grandchildren are about to discover letters are a journey of the heart which can ultimately deliver people to their destination.
Reviews for Cracks -
Reviewed By Samantha Rivera for Readers' FavoriteElizabeth is a woman whose sole purpose in life is to be a good wife and mother. She has no care in the world but to accomplish these goals and she works hard at them despite the treatment she is given at the hands of her husband. When Elizabeth falls ill suddenly during her pregnancy with their last child, her husband determines to have nothing to do with her. Unfortunately that means her children (including her newborn son) will also have nothing to do with her. It's almost a year before Elizabeth is finally able to see her young children again, but even then things are not what they might seem in Cracks in the Sidewalk.Cracks in the Sidewalk is the type of book that you can't stop thinking about long after you put it down. Elizabeth is a woman that any woman would be proud to be. She is able to roll with the punches and even when people behave in a reprehensible way towards her she is incapable of truly hating them and can only feel sorry for the love they don't have. Her plight is one no mother would ever want to find herself in, but at the same time it is one that will draw you in. This is a heart-wrenching story but it is also a beautiful one of love and devotion and forgiveness. For Elizabeth's children and her mother it is also a story of miracles and of overcoming any obstacle life may put in your way. An excellent book by Bette Lee Crosby.
A moving, emotional story...when I read this book I felt so moved, I was crying at the end...writing flowed beautifully...depth of characters and insight kept me turning pages.-Bria Burton
A compelling story...Well written, with a realistic, compassionate telling, Cracks In the Sidewalk will bring readers into the family, happy to be a part of it.-Angie Mangino
Literary Awards for Cracks in the Sidewalk - Amazon Family Saga Bestseller FPA President’s Book Award Royal Palm Literary Award
Cracks will be on sale at all retailers.
Grab your copy of this emotionally powerful book that’s based on a true story. Cracks In The Sidewalk is on sale for 99¢ through August 31, 2014!
Escape one danger. Jump into another. . . .
“Eddleman brings a strong sense of atmosphere to this post-apocalyptic coming-of-age piece, and the underlying message—that it’s possible to contribute in unexpected ways—is a positive one.” —Publishers Weekly
Twelve-year-old Hope lives in White Rock, a town of inventors struggling to recover from the green bombs of World War III. But Hope is terrible at inventing and would much rather sneak off to cliff dive into the Bomb’s Breath—the deadly band of compressed air that covers the crater left by the bombs—than fail at yet another invention. When bandits discover that White Rock has priceless antibiotics, they invade. With a two-day deadline to finish making this year’s batch and no ingredients to make more, the town is left to choose whether to hand over the medicine and die from the disease that’s run rampant since the bombs, or die fighting the bandits now. Help lies in a neighboring town, but the bandits count everyone fourteen and older each hour. Hope and her friends Aaren and Brock might be the only ones who can escape to make the dangerous trek through the Bomb’s Breath and over the snow-covered mountain. For once, inventing isn’t the answer, but the daring and recklessness that usually get Hope into trouble might just save them all.
In an attempt to get through my TBR pile, I’ve been working on some long overdue reviews. I received Sky Jumpers through NetGalley last fall. I finally put some time aside to catch up with my reading, so here’s another fun middle grade story I enjoyed reading that I can cross off my list…
What would life be like if we had to start all over, without any of our current gadgets, power or technology?
Sky Jumpers is a futuristic story of 12-year-old Hope, living in post WWIII times, after the ‘green bombs’ destroyed life as we know it. The community of White Rock, which is surrounded by the deadly gas that destroys everything, focuses on inventing products and tools to use in everyday life. Unfortunately, Hope, is not a very good inventor. She has yet to invent a product that will hold up in the town’s annual invention event. Feeling she is a disappointment to her parents, she feels embarrassed and defeated. When the town gets overtaken by bandits, Hope and her friends take on a dangerous adventure to seek help from outside their community, on the other side of the deadly gases. Will Hope be able to get help in time to save her town, or, will this be the end of White Rock?
Sky Jumpers is a super fun-filled adventure story. The characters are well developed and easy for pre-teens to relate to. Hope is a likable character, and it’s easy to feel her disappointment with her invention disaster. Although I enjoyed the story, there were a couple things that bothered me. First, I didn’t ike the fact that the kids disobeyed their parents orders not to go near the bombs breath (deadly gas). Knowing it was dangerous and deadly, they went behind their parents backs and made a game of going through it. I felt that it was saying it’s ok to dis-respect your parents as long as you don’t get hurt. Also, there’s an incident that happens to Hope’s father that I think some more sensitive kids will find bothersome, only because I know my daughter would’ve enjoyed this book, but would’ve let that image stick in her head for awhile.
Overall, Sky Jumpers is a unique story, with interesting characters, intense drama and a thrilling adventure that can be enjoyed by teens as well as adults.
*Disclosure* I received a copy of this book through NetGalley and all opinions are my own.
Peggy Eddleman writes adventure books for middle grade readers. Her debut novel, SKY JUMPERS releases from Random House Children’s Books on September 24, 2013, with the second in the series following a year later. Besides writing, Peggy enjoys playing laser tag with her husband and their three kids, doing cartwheels in long hallways, trying new restaurants, and occasionally painting murals on walls.
She is represented by Sara Crowe of Harvey Klinger, Inc. You can find her online at peggyeddleman.com
The Agben School
The Legend of the Gamesmen #2
Agben had stood for a thousand years. A mysterious school housing more than students, it was the seat of the powerful Women of Agben, and the center for harnessing the potency of herbs. Few knew all that transpired within the walls.
And now Marra stood at its gate.
Friends and support stripped from her, the fragile life she’d built for herself now lay in tatters. And the source of this evil hunted her like a deer culled from the herd.
The gateway before her was her only hope.
For as the city itself crumbled, all depended not on a prince trying to save his people, nor the valiant men who’d brought them this far.
Everything depended on finding a magic powder in the vaults of Agben itself.
Everything depended on her.
For More Information
The Agben School is available at Amazon.
Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
– PROLOGUE –Mik was all of ten years old, and had responsibility.
That’s what his mother had told him this morning, when it was time to open the shop. His grandfather was ill, and needed care from time to time.
“Just keep it closed for the morning,” Father had suggested.
“Not with four ships in port,” Mother had snapped back.
So it was his job to mind the shop.
He’d done everything before, of course. Poured out the herbs, wrapped them in paper. Kept them close to himself until the customer paid in coin. “A poor little Mid Isle shop taking credit would go broke in a month,” his mother smilingly explained to any who asked.
Yes, he’d seen it all and he knew what to do.
Until the pretty girl walked in. Maybe 16 years old, he guessed. Maybe more. Her clothes weren’t as nice as many before her, but nicer than some. She had that desert air about her, down to the sandal shoes, but her hair was long in the Missean fashion, not the short cut of the Flats.
She didn’t seem Agben. But she didn’t seem not Agben, either.
It was a dark red hair, braided down her back. When she turned in the sunlight from the door the red flashed at him. Little wisps escaped and curled around her face, making her seem too soft.
Women of Agben were never soft.
Mik realized that responsibility did indeed have weight, just as his father said. He was feeling that weight on his shoulders this very second.
The girl looked over the shelves carefully, and he didn’t interrupt her.
And then she turned to him, and smiled. The smile alone was almost enough to prove she wasn’t Agben. Almost.
“Illsmith,” she said. “Do you have any?”
Mik nodded. “In the back, Miss. How much do you want?”
“Just a handful, please.” Her eyes were blue, he saw, but not the faded blue of his mother and baby sister. Hers were a deep blue, like the sea’s depths as evening fell.
He hurried to fetch her Illsmith.
“And Musk Oil?” she called after him.
Ahh hah! The pretty girl must be of Agben, Mik realized. Illsmith was a desert plant, and Musk Oil from the Great Continent. Those two went together, he knew, to rub on sore muscles and strained shoulders. He knew because one of the Agben women had told his mother so when his father had hurt himself pulling in the big swoopfish.
Mik grabbed a tiny glass bottle of oil – all of ten copper, he told himself – and then the crock of Illsmith. Returning to the girl, he set both on the counter, and produced a paper for the Illsmith. “Twelve copper,” he told her as plucked out a good handful of the herb and wrapped it proper.
Some people frowned when the price was mentioned, but this girl merely pulled coins from a pocket and counted it out.
Mik stooped low, to open the box his mother had told him he shouldn’t know about, and snatch the pretty bauble inside.
He carefully wrapped it in a soft cloth, the kind used for fragile glass on long trips. And then presented it to the girl.
“What is this?” she asked, starting to lift a wrapped corner.
Mik stopped her as old man Tanner strode into the shop. “Take it,” the boy whispered.
“Mik, my boy,” Tanner grinned, looking around for his mother. The old man always wanted advice on a new ache. “Your mother not here this morning?”
The girl hesitated, still staring at him. He snatched up the coin she’d placed on the counter, and tugged the step ladder over to just beneath the Stomach Cure jar.
“That’s right,” Tanner told him. “Just a swig, my boy. Just a swig.”
Mik felt the pretty girl’s eyes on him. Surely she knew no one else was supposed to see that thing. Surely she knew to stick it in her pocket and pretend it didn’t exist.
The girl gave him a last frown, but said no more. By the time he’d wrangled the tonic down from the shelf, she’d gone.
Today’s guest post is one I’m sure many of us can relate to. I know I can. I held off purchasing my first Kindle for long time after they came out, but now, I don’t go anywhere without it.
Please welcome author Jo Sparkes today, who is on tour with Pump Up Your Book with her fantasy novel, The Agben School.
Defrosting the eBook
My husband, the tech fanatic, bought himself a kindle. I thought it looked very cold and unfeeling. How could you possibly get much emotion from that?
Truth is, I’m somewhat frugal. Okay, cheap. And those things cost a wad of cash.
Of course, I’d had that sort of reaction to technology before. When smart phones came along, I swore not to allow one near me. A phone was for calls, I scoffed. Why would anyone need all that other stuff when you have a computer on your desk? So much money! But my husband ignored me, as usual, and bought the phones. It wasn’t long until I found myself snapping cute photos of Oscar, our dog, and texting them to appreciative friends.
I couldn’t quite see, however, how an eBook display thingy could brighten the world.
So the husband bought me one in time for our vacation. You see, one of the pleasures of time off is the chance to catch up on my reading. This necessitates carrying an extra large suitcase to hold all the paperbacks – and that meant airline fees. So, reluctantly, I finally accepted the gizmo.
And was hard-pressed not to let the husband see how much I liked it. For at the mere touch of a button, all the books I wished to bring were there, awaiting my command. If my eyes were tired from a long day, or a little fuzzy from my contacts, I could change the font side with impunity.
Most appealing to my frugal soul was discovering a mass of inexpensive eBooks, some even free. The price of paperbacks seemed ever rising, and to suddenly find this cache of cheap entertainment was the cherry on the techie sundae.
“So you agree – these are good things?” my husband nudged me on the plane.
“Still too cold,” I mumbled back. So he bought me a warm leather cover.
“I still draw the line at google glasses,” I told him. After all, we wives must have the last word.
A well-known Century City Producer once said that Jo Sparkes “…writes some of the best dialogue I’ve read.” Her body of work includes scripts for Children’s live-action and animated television programs, a direct to video Children’s DVD, commercial work for corporate clients. She won the 2012 Kay Snow award for her screenplay, Frank Retrieval.
She’s written numerous articles for internet sites. As a member of the Pro Football Writer’s Association, she was a contributing writer for the Arizona Sports Fans Network, where she was known for her humorous articles, player interviews and game coverage. Jo was unofficially the first to interview Emmitt Smith when he arrived in Arizona to play for the Cardinals.
She served as an adjunct teacher at the Film School at Scottsdale Community College, and wrote “Feedback How to Give It How to Get It” for writers, actors, and other artists.