Blog Tour: The Urban Boys by K. N. Smith

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About the Book:
The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses by K.N. Smith
Genre/ Age Group: Young Adult Fiction (Action-Adventure w/ elements of Paranormal), 12+
Amazonhttp://www.amazon.com/Urban-Boys-Discovery-Five-Senses/dp/0989474755/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
Barnes & Noblehttp://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-urban-boys-kn-smith/1122739135?ean=9780989474757
Apple iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/urban-boys-discovery-five/id1045819157?mt=11
Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26850355-the-urban-boys
Synopsis
The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses is an action-adventure story about five teen boys who are mysteriously exposed to a foreign energy source that gives them extremely heightened senses. Sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell become hypersensitive gifts that forever change the world. The story offers young and mature readers central themes of loyalty, responsibility, honesty, fear, and triumph, which become artfully integrated with cinematic-level action and high drama. The story twists, turns, and grinds through elements of paranormal and action-adventure in a diverse, exciting, edge-of-your-seat narrative.

Overview: The story’s small town of Danville Heights, a carefully crafted universe, contrasts with the dark, gloomy town of Sandry Lake, where evil abounds. Upon the boys’ mysterious incident with the energy source, they’re instinctively called to Sandry Lake to root out evil. Their senses guide them each time. However, secrecy about their mission, furious battles with evil thugs, extreme fatigue, and stress and pressure soon overwhelm the boys, but they must find a way to embrace their fate. A lurking, Dark Stranger seems to know their plight, and a strikingly beautiful, fearless girl lends way to heightened confusion. Shocking details about these two characters, and the evil antagonist, the dreaded Druth, twist and grind the story even further. Despite tension and fierce battles, will the boys hold it together long enough to fulfill their destiny? Intriguing, intelligent, and full of action, The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses offers a memorable, emotion-packed, thrilling ride for young and mature readers alike!


Ten Things You Didn’t Know About K.N. Smith
1.      She’s an avid home gardener. Remember Sandy’s garden from The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses? Well, that’s all K.N. Smith, who learned gardening from her (late) grandmother and her older sister.

2.     She makes homemade ice cream. Cookies and cream is a household favorite, but grapefruit sorbet, strawberry, and rocky road are close seconds!

3.   She wanted to be an English teacher when she grew up. She never got there, however, communications and writing are pretty closely related.

4.  She owns an award-winning marketing communications firm in addition to being an author.

5.  She has two lovely daughters, both taller than her, and a super-husband who really knows football.

6.  She has only been to a nail shop once, around age 16. She found it too expensive so she’s been doing her own nails forever.

7.  Her favorite part of her post 6:00 a.m. workout is the steam room at the gym.

8.  She’s pretty good at a game of pool!

9.  She’s an Amtrak fan and travels by train instead of plane when possible.

10.  She also has graphic design skills and personally designs The Urban Boys collaterals (except for the book covers).

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About the Author:
K.N. Smith is an American author and passionate advocate of childhood and family literacy programs throughout the world. She continues to inspire students of all ages to reach their highest potential in their literary and educational pursuits. An established non-fiction writer, Smith chose the teen fiction genre as a way to enhance her daughters’ (then) high school literary experience, and to engage other youth in literacy development.

Her creative literary flair offers young and mature readers central themes of loyalty, responsibility, honesty, fear, and triumph. As a result, scenes become artfully integrated with cinematic-level action and high drama. Her stories twist, turn, and grind through elements of science-fiction and action-adventure in diverse, exciting, edge-of-your-seat narratives. As an ardent supporter of youth and family literacy programs across the globe, she states, “My hope is that The Urban Boys will spark imagination in a wide variety of readers while elevating global literacy efforts. It’s important that we have diverse families of readers for generations to come.” K.N. Smith has over twenty years experience in writing, communications, and creative design. She lives with her family in California.

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Blog Tour: Truest by Jackie Lea Sommers

Truest Banner
Truest
Genre: YA realistic contemporary
Published on September 1st, 2015
Published by Katherine Tegen Books
Purchase Links:AmazonBarnes & NobleBook DepositoryBooks a MillionFishpondIndieBoundKoboPowell’sHarperCollins

Synopsis
Silas Hart has seriously shaken up Westlin Beck’s small-town life. Brand new to town, Silas is different than the guys in Green Lake. He’s curious, poetic, philosophical, maddening– and really, really cute. But Silas has a sister– and she has a secret. And West has a boyfriend. And life in Green Lake is about to change forever.

Guest Post
A Modern Parable

Truest was always going to have some religious themes– the narrator, Westlin Beck, is the daughter of the local pastor, after all. But I wanted to write the story in such a way that wasn’t preachy, cheesy, or saccharine– because my personal faith isn’t those things either. It’s messy and beautiful and hard and raw. I wanted Truest to reflect that reality.

But it’s hard, you know? How do you write a novel intended for the secular market that includes a discussion of faith?

Some epiphanies are as quiet as a word crawling into your mind while you try to sleep and making a nest for itself there. The word, for me, was parables. Parables in biblical times were meant for some to see … and some to not. I wondered if I could write about faith in such a way that those who wanted to see those things would and those who didn’t want to wouldn’t have to. What resulted are a handful of scenes in the book that mean different things to different audiences, and frankly, I’m delighted by that. It’s been fascinating to hear a variety of interpretations.

My faith– and the faith of so many of my friends– is a wild thing, often complicated, rarely sentimental, and centered around grace and freedom. But so many people think of faith as a greeting card, an after-school special, and a lot of pretense. It was important to me to show Silas Hart, the love interest and the biggest spiritual influence on West, as a boy who screws up, loses his temper, curses like a sailor, battles his own inner demons– and who loves God. I’m hopeful that– just like me– others are drawn in by authenticity of any stripe.

About the Author:jackie

Jackie Lea Sommers lives and loves and writes in Minnesota, where the people are nice and the Os are long. She is the 2013 winner of the Katherine Paterson Prize. She dislikes OCD, horcruxes, and Minnesota winters. She likes book boyfriends, cranky teenagers, and Minnesota springs. Truest is her first novel.

Connect With The Author
www.twitter.com/jackieleawrites
www.jackieleasommers.com
www.facebook.com/jackieleawrites
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Giveaway
One signed and annotated hardcover of Truest
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Blog Tour: A Life, Forward by Tracy Hewitt Meyer

Book Title: A Life, Forward (Book 2 in Rowan Slone series)
Publish Date: April 7th, 2014
Genre: NA
Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Link: Amazon
Synopsis:
Her father is gone. Her mother is in jail. And Rowan Slone has left her dysfunctional, violent past behind. With college looming on the horizon, she has a new job that she loves, and a safe place to call home. She is close to achieving everything she ever wanted-a sense of family, a sense of purpose, and a sense of self.
But there are cracks in Rowan’s life that threaten to send her future crumbling to the ground. When her relationship begins to suffer, her father returns and her long-held secret is discovered, Rowan must find the courage to fight for the most important thing yet-herself.
Review:
When we first met Rowan Slone, she was dealing with a horrible home life that involved her abusive father, her drama-filled sister and her obese and depressed mom. Things had been like that since Rowan’s brother Aiden had died in his crib 7 years ago. Rowan carried the guilt with her wherever she went and when things got too bad, she dealt with the pain by cutting herself.
Now her father’s gone, her mother’s in jail and Rowan is living with her boyfriend’s family. But things aren’t so good in the romance department either. Mike is away at college and things seem to be drifting apart between them. Rowan misses him so much and it doesn’t seem like he misses her at all.
Now her father is coming back around. She doesn’t want him around her but when he drops a bombshell on her, Rowan starts to feel guilty for pushing him away. Now this is where I really wish there had been more development in this storyline. I thought that it was too rushed and things were resolved way too quickly. 
I had an issue with Rowan this time around. She was too dependent on Mike for happiness. Yes she had had a rough childhood and teenage years. She longed for approval and acceptance from her family that when she got together with Mike, she made him her whole world. Yes, Mike is to blame as well. He could have tried harder to keep their relationship afloat but he didn’t. I don’t know if he was really into her or if he just wanted to save someone.
Watching Rowan slowly figure out what she wanted in life and taking steps to make sure she achieved her goals was great. She clearly wants to make something of her life and she’s not willing to allow anyone or anything to stand in her way.
Loved Jess’ storyline as well. So glad that Rowan was by her side throughout everything that Jess went through. Jess needed someone on her side as she dealt with unexpected surprises. Rowan’s unfailing loyalty to her friend is wonderful to see. So often in YA books we have frienemies. Not in this book. Not with Jess & Rowan.
For the most part I did enjoy this book. I thought certain things were rushed and I wanted more on certain storylines and Rowan was a pain in the butt at times. She finally started to focus on her dreams again, which was a welcome reprieve from how she was in the beginning of the book. I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed book 1 but I did enjoy it. I will be giving it 4 stars.
About the Author:
Tracy Hewitt Meyer is a multi-genre, multi-published author of new adult fiction as well as adult paranormal and contemporary romance. She has a B.A. in English and a Master of Social Work, both of which feed her true passion-a love of writing. Born and raised in the beautiful state of West Virginia, Tracy now lives in the mid-east with her family, a goldendoodle, and a bearded dragon.
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