Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Come Back To Me by Mila Gray, A Must Read for New Adult Readers

Title: Come Back To Me
 Author: Mila Gray 
Received by: Author

I always love a change of pace with a good New Adult book. Come Back To Me by Mila Gray offers a wide variety of storytelling. After I finished this fantastic book I realized how big the story was for Jessa and Kit, the two leading characters in Come Back To Me. Jessa has a very realistic family issue to deal with at home readers will either identify with or realize how hard war can impact a household. Kit comes to terms with most likely the darkest moment of his life and readers will get perspective on the process a soldier must go through to get past it. But the best part of the book is how author Mila Gray is able to capture the relationship between two people who are on the brink of falling in love. I believe the story is so successful because it’s written in dual POV, whi ch you know I love. Anyone who has found their one and only will be blasted back to the moment they found their special someone and anyone who hasn’t found their someone will get an idea of what to expect when it happens.



CLICK ON COVER FOR MORE AUTHOR INFO
CHECK BELOW FOR MY SONG PICK FOR THIS BOOK

Summary:

Home on leave in sunny California, Marine and local lothario Kit Ryan finds himself dangerously drawn to his best friend's sister, Jessa - the one girl he can't have.
But Kit's not about to let a few obstacles stand in his way and soon Jessa's falling for his irresistible charms.
What starts out as a summer romance of secret hook-ups and magical first times quickly develops into a passionate love affair that turns both their worlds upside down.
When summer's over and it's time for Kit to redeploy, neither Kit nor Jessa are ready to say goodbye. Jessa's finally following her dreams and Kit's discovered there's someone he'd sacrifice everything for.
Jessa's prepared to wait for Kit no matter what. But when something more than distance and time rips them apart they're forced to decide whether what they have is really worth fighting for.
A breathtaking, scorchingly hot story about love, friendship, family and finding your way back from the edge of heartbreak.

Jessa is a young woman who is about to finish high school and has been crushing on her brother’s best friend. Well her crush is about to get way more serious and Jessa will experience a lot of firsts with Kit. It’s explained that Kit is far more experienced with women in the book but this doesn’t seem to shake Jessa too much. I think it was beautiful when Kit realizes Jessa is becoming a strong woman. She becomes more daring and willing to chase her dreams of being an actress. Because of the dual POV I was able to see what Kit saw in Jessa and because of his encouragement he influences her in the best way a loved one can. Jessa cares for Kit and her family so much, she practically steps over eggshells when it comes to her overprotective military father. From serving in the military he carries a lot of darkness and it can’t help but invade the household. Jessa has many obstacles to overcome in the book but I feel the one with her father is the biggest because it seems it’s been the heaviest burden.

Kit’s best quality is his loyalty but it can also weigh heavy on his heart. What I loved most about Kit were his intentions with Jessa from the beginning. He knows that Jessa isn’t some summer fling like girls before her. He knows Jessa is special and wants to do everything right by her. He is patient and goes through a lot to spend time with her, even if it’s just for an hour he makes it count. His friendship with Jessa’s brother Riley is rooted deep, and through this friendship readers will see Kit at his very best and worst. He is constantly torn about keeping his relationship with Jessa a secret from him. It’s not as simple as, the truth will set you free when it comes to Jessa and Kit’s families.


What I loved, loved about Come Back To Me was the intro. I’d find it hard to believe that anyone could put this book down after reading Mila Gray’s intro to Jessa and Kit’s story. The intro was always in the back of my mind while reading and it offered a way bigger story than I expected. I think Mila Gray accomplished a great deal by taking readers into a military family during the crisis of war. When a soldier returns home they bring back all of the experiences and heartbreak they saw while fighting. It’s a lot to cope with, especially when you have loved ones around you. Since I do review more young adult than new adult I will say there are sexual detailed situations, which is expected sometimes in the new adult genre. They are never distasteful and Mila Gray takes great care to place these scenes with a purpose for Jessa and Kit’s relationship.


I really enjoyed reading Come Back To Me, it’s a great read for anyone who loves the new adult genre. It has romance, drama and a story that I promise will offer great insight for readers on many levels. If you are deciding on a practical future or the dream you’ve always wanted, or if you’ve reached dark times and question if you deserve something great in your life Come Back To Me may have something to offer you.




MySongPick
I picked this Band of Skulls song because it reminds me of Jessa and Kit running off together, trying to keep their relationship secret. But they just want everyone around them to support the love they have for each other.



Friday, July 18, 2014

My Review of John Dreamer by Elise Celine with a BONUS Interview!

Title: John Dreamer
Author: Elise Celine
Received by: Author

John Dreamer has an interesting concept for the common tale of fear. Fear is something people must conquer throughout life. It likes to change it’s appearance and shape, so why not a different approach in defining and conquering it? After reading John Dreamer that’s what I feel author Elise Celine has successfully done. She establishes a unique setting for a group of young people who have never met, all needing to face fear and decide which path their lives should each take.

I believe that each of our lives have multiple possible paths. It’s up to us to decide which to take and bare the fate of those decisions. Each character in the book makes a decision and the reader gets a quick summary of how that choice set of a ripple effect in their life. I think it’s a great way to inform a young audience that choices have rewards and consequences, no matter the size of the choice.

CLICK ON COVER FOR MORE AUTHOR INFO
CHECK BELOW FOR MY SONG PICK FOR THIS BOOK

Summary:

Andy wasn’t usually sure about much, but she was absolutely certain this was the weirdest day of her life as she stood stranded in the middle of a great white room with six strangers. Well, they were mostly strangers. She could have sworn she’d seen the guy with the green eyes before, and maybe that was why he kept staring at her.

When a man calling himself the Guardian appeared and said they had come to make their deepest dreams come true, they embark on an adventure none of them ever imagined, and the consequences of their actions would change them forever.

"John Dreamer" is the first in a series of books set in the confines of the Great White Room.


The main character in the book for me was not Andy; it was the white room the story is staged in. Not the typical star of a book I know, but let’s face it, sometimes great settings can steal the show if they are that good. The white room is a gracefully described setting. Me as a reader felt it was a safe place that could cause no harm to the characters. It’s a controlled environment in which the characters can evaluate their lives and decide which path to take. The place even comes with a humorous character called The Guardian, to spice things up. At first I wasn’t too sure how humor like his could fit in the situation Andy finds her self in, but it worked and balanced out the story well.

Andy is the main character in John Dreamer and the story is from her point of with the exception of a surprise POV, which I’ll let readers discover on their own. Elise Celine’s writing will easily captivate readers into her story. Andy literally wakes up in the white room and as a reader it was fun to experience. I do wish there was more detail about Andy but I’m sure there will be in the next book in the series. There is a definite buy in to her story after she sees the stranger who doesn’t seem a stranger at all. It creates interest that will keep readers reading.

Right about now is when I discuss the male lead character, but I just can’t. I have to leave it a surprise. John is written as a mystery at first. Elise gives little information about him but he has a great ending. He carries a continuous calmness with him while in the white room with Andy. I expect great things from him in the sequel.

The pace of the book is very fast and is a book I’d recommend for a weekend read. I feel young readers will find a character they can identify with, since Elise covers a wide genre of personalities. If you want to experience a different book about life choices, fear, and love then I’d recommend John Dreamer. It’s definitely a big story told in a good pace that will consume any reader.

My Song Pick




Interview Time!

I absolutely LOVE interviewing authors. I am always surprised by the answers I receive to my questions and think it's great when readers can get a great experience with the authors they love. Elise Celine has some great things to say about her book John Dreamer and what projects she's been working on. Thank you Elise again for the chance to interview you. 

The Brain picking of Author Elise Celine

What inspired you to take a unique approach on youth facing fear and the ripple effect of choice?

I have always been inspired by the power of dreams. I believe that anything is possible, that things come to you at the correct time and that everything happens for a reason. What I wanted was to send a message of hope to whoever was willing to listen. We all have a chance at redemption. We make mistakes, survive suffering and have shortcomings, but we can be better, and we can be happy. I believe that more than fear, the characters are facing life changing situations that show them that they are capable of being this incredible version of themselves that they had kept hidden for so long. Some are blessed to have other people in their lives bring out the best in them: be it teachers, friends, family or significant others. But for the rest, a good dream could make us see all the possibilities that lie within. This is what this book is about, finding that better person that looms deep in our soul. Be it braver, kinder, more assertive, self assured, grateful or simply forgiven.

You make sure to describe the white room with great detail; the chairs in particular are very detailed for each character. Was there a lot of research involved to pair the chairs with each character?

When I originally wrote this story and we made it a play, all the chairs were exactly the same white plastic type you see in your everyday picnic. When I made it into a novel, I thought that each chair should have its own personality to match that of the character it was paired with. Some came very naturally, like John and Andy’s. Others had modifications over time. For example, Olivia’s chair was completely different, but I changed it when I made the picture for the cover. My former boss, who loves to collect antiques and art, lent me the three seats that you see with Andy and when he showed me the serpent armrests I thought that it was perfect for Olivia. The chairs are a character in themselves, and they’re functional to the story, like Roy’s roller, which helps him move around as much as he needs to. I love the chairs, and there’s a new one coming in the sequel.

The Guardian is an extremely lively character who is often compared to Willy Wonka. How do you feel about the comparison?

I never thought about the familiarities between the Guardian and Willy Wonka until recently when I relived the Gene Wilder version with my kids. But he wasn’t my inspiration, because the person I see is my friend Andrew, who everybody calls “The Killer” (long story), who played the Guardian in real life. He is one of funniest people you will ever meet. Since we were a very low budget production, all our costumes were provided by the drama department at the local university. Just imagine a huge room filled with gowns and wigs and props, two stories high. Well, he had the best time coming up with all this characterizations the Guardian would give himself every time he appeared in a scene. His first choice was this silver bell bottom suit that was just ridiculous, so the image got stuck in my head. He also came out as a mambo dancer, an angel and even as Obi Wan Kenobi. But I do love that they compare him to Willy Wonka, it’s an honor for me.

Of all the characters in the white room, who was your favorite to write for and who was the most challenging?

Roy was my favorite to write for, he is just so obnoxious you love to hate him. It was fun making him struggle so much, it’s like he’s begging for trouble. I am so different from him, I loved having him say and do things I would never even dare. 

The most challenging was John himself. He had to be perfect, but flawed. He had to be real, and unbelievable at the same time. It was hard for me in the first book, but in the sequel he came to me more naturally, since he had nothing to hide anymore. The same happens with Andy, they both let their guard down and become more rounded characters.

What book or books have you read recently that you can’t stop talking about?

I read a lot, whenever I can find the time. I’ve read from the classics, to the Latin American boom writers (which are my favorite), to Harry Potter and everything in between. Right now I’m reading the first book in the Game of Thrones series (I already read 3, 4 and 5 after watching the first two seasons, but wanted to go back to know all the details that the show sometimes disregards). I could go on forever about GoT, but enough has been said about the series. Other than that the last book to make me feel something really deep was Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. The subject of mistreated kids moves me to the core, because I imagine my own kids alone and abandoned, and it makes me grateful for everything that I have in my life. 

Now, this is a very difficult question because books are my favorite thing in life, I’m a reader before a writer and I could go on and on about all the stories that have touched me.  

What writing projects do you have in the works right now?

I just finished writing the sequel for John Dreamer and am waiting for it to be edited and published. I’ve had this part of the story in my head for so long it took me no time to write, the first book took me years, and the second only several months. I decided that the series would end here, so everything is resolved now. I had the end in my mind so clear I just wanted to get there as fast as I could. One thing that was very interesting to me was that a key element came to me while I was on a cruise with my family in the Amazon River last December. I hadn’t even published the first part, but was already starting with part II. I was looking out at this incredible landscape, got struck by inspiration and wrote down one sentence, which changes everything. Now I wont tell you what it is because it would be a complete spoiler, but I hope people will like how it all comes full circle. Other than that I have another story in the back of my mind that could be a new book, also in the YA audience, but with a completely different theme, far away from fantasy and dreams. 

Finally, what do you hope readers will gain after reading your book John Dreamer? 

I hope that this story inspires others to believe in themselves, and if it touches at least one heart I will be content. All this process: writing, editing, wishing, waiting has been in itself an incredible adventure for me, and I'm grateful to whoever takes the time to read my novel, because every reader is helping make my very own dream come true.