BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, Favorite, YA

Dust, #1 Heirs of Neverland, by Kara Swanson and Giveaway

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About the Book

Title: Dust

Authors: Kara Swanson

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Release Date: July 21, 2020

The truth about Neverland is far more dangerous than a fairy tale Claire Kenton Swanson-Dust-195x300believes the world is too dark for magic to be real—since her twin brother was stolen away as a child. Now Claire’s desperate search points to London…and a boy who shouldn’t exist. Peter Pan is having a beastly time getting back to Neverland. Grounded in London and hunted by his own Lost Boys, Peter searches for the last hope of restoring his crumbling island: a lass with magic in her veins. The girl who fears her own destiny is on a collision course with the boy who never wanted to grow up. The truth behind this fairy tale is about to unravel everything Claire thought she knew about Peter Pan—and herself.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

My Review

“When did this fairy tale become a nightmare?” So moans Claire Kenton as she re-examines the old Peter Pan book, the only clue she has to her missing brother, Connor.
Reasons NOT to read DUST by Kara Swanson:
1. You don’t want to know about the 2020 YA inspirational book that has everybody abuzz. This book is a shoo-in for awards.
2. You don’t like books changed up. You’ll stick with the tried-and-true, don’t mess with perfection, please. Only as Kara Swanson so ably points out in her retelling of the Peter Pan tale, Neverland actually ISN’T perfect.
3. You don’t like dark retellings. Ah, but if there weren’t darkness, you wouldn’t see the light. The pixies are best seen at twilight or dawn. Also, darkness and shadows are an unfortunate part of life. But, “You were created for more than to bear the weight of your shadows—but you have to choose to no longer let them define you.
You have to choose to let the light shine through the shattered pieces.”

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4. You don’t see any need for Pan to grow up. Who-wee, in Dust, we see the real results of Pan’s refusal to think beyond childish imaginations. All of Neverland is out of whack.
5. You don’t think your YA could learn any helpful lessons from Dust. I’ve found as a parent, your child only listens so much. But find someone else promoting the same thinking through a fun avenue like an action-packed, slightly dark book, and they’ll absorb lessons almost by osmosis.
6. Too much darkness in this tale. Not true. It is dark, but choices are made, like Claire’s. ”And most of all, for me, for the girl who believed she was broken but who couldn’t see the beauty shining inside. For the person the creator of the stars made me to be. ’I choose light.’ ”

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7. Dust ends on a cliffhanger. I can’t help you there. But author Kara Swanson has SHADOW coming out next! Don’t miss either of these!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and publisher through Celebrate Lit. This in no way affects my opinions which are solely my own.

 

My Rating

5 Stars- Hit My Reading Sweet Spot

About the Author

As the daughter of missionaries, Kara Swanson spent her childhood running Kara-Swason-_-Floral-Headshot-1000-300x300barefoot through the lush jungles of Papua New Guinea. Able to relate with characters dropped into a unique new world, she quickly fell in love with the fantasy genre. The award-winning author of The Girl Who Could See, Kara is passionate about crafting stories of light shattering darkness, connecting with readers, and becoming best friends with a mermaid—though not necessarily in that order. Kara chats about coffee, fairy tales and bookish things online (@karaswansonauthor) and at karaswanson.com

 

 

More from Kara

I wrote Dust not just for those who grew up loving the original Peter Pan story — but especially for the children who were left behind. Those of us who never escaped through a window to a magical world, whose childhoods oftentimes felt a little shadowed.

Dust follows Peter Pan when he is cast out of Neverland, grounded in London. For the first time, this Peter has to start thinking about someone other than himself—and become a beacon to remind any Lost ones that there is still magic to be found.

Dust also follows a young woman named Claire who can create pixie dust, but is desperately afraid of herself because when her fears and insecurities leak out, her dust starts to burn. Claire has seen too many shadows to believe in fairytales anymore and is doing everything she can just to lock away the strange dust dripping from her fingertips. But when she meets Peter, he challenges everything she thought she knew.

I wrote Claire for those of us who may feel too weighted to even remember what it feels like to have hope lift your soul. Who can look at ourselves and all we see are our own shadows and shortcomings.

Throughout the course of the novel, Peter has to teach Claire how to see the spark of light inside herself that is far brighter than the darkness. As he helps this girl learn how to fly, Peter rediscovers what it is that truly makes him Peter Pan: the unquenchable childlike belief that there are weightless thoughts in all of us that can lift us out of the shadows.

This story is a love letter to anyone who has ever needed that reminder. We have value simply because we exist. We do not have to be weighed down by our shadows. There is still light that can lift our hearts if we have faith, trust…and a dash of the impossible.

 

Blog Stops

Andrea Christenson, July 31

Rebecca Tews, July 31

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 1

Texas Book-aholic, August 1

For the Love of Literature, August 2

deb’s Book Review, August 2

Emily Yager, August 2

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, August 3

Blessed & Bookish, August 3

Through the Fire Blogs, August 4

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, August 4

Worthy2Read, August 5

Losing the Busyness, August 5

Adventures of A Travelers Wife, August 5

Remembrancy, August 6

Wishful Endings, August 6

Inklings and notions, August 7

April Hayman, Author, August 7

For Him and My Family, August 8

Musings of A Sassy Bookish Mama, August 8

Inside the Wong Mind, August 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 9

Nancy E Wood, August 9

Tell Tale Book Reviews, August 10

Mia Reads, August 10

Simple Harvest Reads, August 11 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Faery Tales Are Real, August 11

Artistic Nobody, August 12

Ashley’s Bookshelf, August 12

Pause for Tales, August 12

Just the Write Escape, August 13

Blossoms and Blessings, August 13

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kara is giving away the grand prize package of a Dust-themed bundle that includes a signed hardcover, bookmarks, character cards, Peter + Claire art print, and an exclusive Dust pin!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/fe3a/dust-celebration-tour

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, Favorite, YA

Victoria Grace, the Jerkface by SE Clancy with Giveaway

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About the Book

Book:  Victoria Grace: The Jerkface

Author: S.E. Clancy

Genre:  Young Adult Contemporary

Release Date: June 15, 2020

 

51480082Ever since Tori Weston and MamaBear were abandoned by her dad, finances have been tighter than a new pair of skinny jeans. As if keeping her grades up for scholarships and working every spare moment weren’t enough, Tori gets suckered into visiting a retirement home and paired with ancient resident Marigold Williams. After learning she’s the only one to visit Marigold in decades, Tori becomes a regular at Willow Springs. Besides, someone has to help with her history homework.

Corbin Dallas barges into Tori’s life with a prosthetic leg and a dimple, working his way into her hectic schedule. Though she tries to deny it, there’s something beyond his Texan drawl that gets Tori hoping she’s more than his sidekick. Together, they race to find Marigold’s missing family before she fades away. Tori ditches her soul-sucking job, along with her dreams of having a paint-peeled clunker to call her own, in order to help her friend one last time.

 

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

My Review

A multi-generational story that will appeal to both young adults and adults as it pulls on your heartstrings and leaves you a bit undone. My emotions are so raw as I finish this novel of an unlikely friendship between an awkward seventeen-year-old and a ninety-six-year-old lady. SE Clancy has a clear winner in Victoria Grace, the Jerkface.
“My delicate stick of dynamite.” This is how a friend of Victoria Grace (or Tori, as she’s known to everybody but Marigold), describes our socially awkward and misfit book nerd heroine. Tori has no father present in the home, a mom (“MamaBear”) who is a cop, and a bike for transportation. She wants out of Redding, where they have recently moved…NOW.
In reluctant response to a youth group challenge, Tori ends up at Willow Springs Retirement Home where she meets and slowly befriends prim and proper Marigold.
I love the paradox that is Tori. Unpopular, she is a friend to Madison, who seems like she should be on the inside track. She’s part of the self-joined group of Grammar Police. “Fingernails down a chalkboard. No matter how many times I teased or corrected her, Madison’s text messages looked like an illiterate goat typed them, one hoof at a time.” Oh, do I love Tori!  And her sarcasm is cute and ever-present, as is her quick wit. Who else would call a bus a “rolling metal zoo”?

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Marigold, of Willow Springs, is sweet, feisty, secretive, and regal, all at once. I love the way Tori and Marigold develop a symbiotic relationship and become stronger as two than they are as individuals.
Ah, Corbin. Not quite perfect, but close. In the right spot at the right time, he grows on you. He complements Tori well.

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This book somehow conjures up the same feelings as A Walk to Remember. So be warned and ready. Open the book prepared for laughs, memories, love, and tears. Don’t forget the Kleenex.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and publisher via Celebrate Lit. This in no way influenced my opinions, which are solely my own.

 

My Rating

5 Stars– Superior- Hit My Reading Sweet Spot

 

About the Author

 

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S.E. Clancy (aka Sarah) is a bit of a sci-fi nerd, geek, and self-proclaimed dork. There isn’t much she won’t try at least once…unless it involves mayonnaise, because that stuff is just gross. You can learn more about her at seclancy.com.

 

More from S.E.

Victoria Grace the Jerkface started as a short story after I’d listened to my favorite song by Nat King Cole: The Christmas Song. I’d overheard a teenager say, “I don’t even know what a chestnut is.” I typed that into a note on my phone because it struck a chord. Within days, a photographer named Tom Hussey issued a series called “Reflections” that featured elderly people gazing into mirrors and seeing their younger selves. That same night, one of my children asked for a project to earn school credits. Like flint to tinder, the idea of this teenager who didn’t know what a chestnut was having to visit an older person left in a care home began to grow.

To add in a bit of my mom and myself to the story, I had my main character Tori (Victoria Grace) love her mom’s meatloaf. It’s a recipe that my mom used from her grandma, an amazing woman we called Grandma Ted.

Ted’s Meatloaf

  • 1 pound thawed ground beef or turkey
  • 1 packet of dry onion soup mix
  • 1 – 2 heels of bread torn into dime-sized pieces (1 for turkey, 2 for beef)
  • 1 egg

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients in a single bowl. Works best if you use your hands, but mix really well if you use a spoon to incorporate all of the ingredients.

Spray a loaf pan with non-stick spray. Do not use parchment paper—no one wants a soggy bottom. Plop the entire mixture into the pan and place into the middle of the oven. Cook for an hour.

This recipe doubles easily, just change the cooking time to 1 ½ – 1 ¾ hours and check the internal temp with a thermostat.

 

Blog Stops

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, June 15

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, June 16

Books, Life, and Christ, June 16

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, June 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 18

Texas Book-aholic, June 19

Inklings and notions, June 20

Robin’s Nest, June 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 21

Nancy E Wood , June 21

For Him and My Family, June 22

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 23

deb’s Book Review, June 24

Batya’s Bits, June 25

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 26

CarpeDiem, June 26

Pause for Tales, June 27

Artistic Nobody, June 28 (Guest Review from Kelsey Barela)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, S.E. is giving away the grand prize package of signed book, origami bookmark, marigold seeds, & $10 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/fc81/victoria-grace-the-jerkface-celebration-tour-giveaway