Friday, March 31, 2017

Thirteen Therapists

Sanders, R.J. (2012). Thirteen Therapists. Featherweight Press.

Young Adult / Contemporary / Relationships 


Book Blurb: Senior Aaron Hardaway has a new bad boy lover and he wants his mother out of his hair---super therapist Thirteen warns eyes wide open, but will Aaron listen? He's the son of one of Chicago's richest families. He'll graduate from an exclusive Chicago prep-school. He cruises in a Benz SLK300, a grad present from his father. Aaron Hardaway has it all. But a boyfriend. And a loving mother. Sylvia Karnes Hardaway, evil Queen of Chicago society, long ago thrust her son into therapy hell. Twelve shrinks later, Thirteen enters Aaron's life. Thirteen's mantra is eyes wide open. Thirteen will transform Aaron's life. So will bad boy Derrick. Aaron hooks up with Derrick, and things will never be the same. Maybe he should have kept his eyes wide open.

Watch the book trailer!


HALL WAYS REVIEW: It's been four years since I read this book. . . And I still remember it. I read it straight through in one sitting because I had to know how things were going to turn out for Aaron Hardaway -- a character I came to adore.  I am not sure how posting my review slipped through the cracks (I had it framed, I had my notes) but it did. The good news is that Thirteen Therapists is as timely as ever with its characters and premise, so here goes. 

On the surface, Aaron is living the teen dream: money, the best of everything it can buy, status, and connections.  Beneath the surface, he is alone and drowning in it all, and he longs to be his authentic self. Aaron is someone that readers will immediately like and want to feel loved and kept safe; but he doesn't always make it easy. 

As readers watch the decisions Aaron makes, we understand and feel things right along with him: the passion of sexual attraction, the comfort of belonging, the anxiety of ditching common sense, the thrill of the forbidden.  Right along with those feelings, author Russell Sanders makes sure readers are ill at ease with how the story is unfolding as Aaron and willing Aaron to keep his eyes wide open, as Aaron's therapist (nicknamed Thirteen) has advised him. 

The writing is outstanding and the book is wonderfully edited. The secondary characters, particularly Aaron's mother and bad-boy boyfriend Derrick, are well-written and fully imaginable and realistic. (And evoked strong emotional reactions from me. Momma Bear, claws out.) Sanders also does a great job of building the tension for readers and plants subtle (and not so subtle) hints that there's a train wreck coming. We don't want to believe the wreck is really going to happen, but again, as is human nature, we have to watch. 

Thirteen Therapists is totally engaging. It has twists, turns, and surprises; it has heartbreak, humiliation, and humor; and it has drug use, underage drinking, and male/male sex -- pretty graphic at times -- so sensitive readers beware.  Sanders is an excellent writer, and he has written a bunch of other books since this debut (and I have two of them on my Kindle reader right now.)

Thank you to the author for sharing his book with me so many years ago (and sincerest apologies for not sharing my opinion with the world sooner) in exchange for my honest opinion -- the only kind I give.


Russell  J. Sanders is an actor, a musician, a teacher, and now, a writer. He loves writing for young adults, and his novels Thirteen Therapists, Special Effect, The Book of Ethan, and Colors are coming of age tales that will appeal to all. His latest book, All You Need is Love, was published March 21, 2017 by Harmony Ink Press

Russell lives in Houston, Texas, with his husband, where he spends his time writing and volunteering and spending time with friends and just living a good life.  

Connect With the Author:  

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Summoner Rising Release Celebration, Excerpt, & Giveaway!

I am so excited that SUMMONER RISING by Melanie McFarlane releases today and that I get to share the news! If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Melanie McFarlane, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a GIVEAWAY of a DVD of THE CRAFT, US Only, courtesy of Month9Books. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

About The Book:
Author: Melanie McFarlane
Pub. Date: March 28, 2017
Publisher: Month9Books
Format: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 300

Law One: A summoner is responsible for all creatures it lets through from the netherworld.

Dacie Cantar wishes someone had explained the Laws of Summoning to her before she watched a shadowy creature crawl out of a painting at the local arcade. At least it explains the strange things she's witnessed since moving in with her great-aunt, after her mother’s untimely death. But who wants to be followed by shadows the rest of their lif e? Add that to being stalked by a strange boy at school, who just might be her Tovaros (aka soulmate), it’s about all Dacie can handle in her new life.
As she nears her seventeenth birthday, will she be ready for her new responsibilities, or will the shadows that stalked her mother until her death, finally consume Dacie, too? And then there’s Law Two…

When we pull up at the front of the house, everything is dark. Katya must be out. I stay quiet as I close the door and walk onto the front porch.

“Don’t be mad,” Tryan says grabbing my hand and pulling me back against his chest. He looks down into my face. “Demons aren’t trustworthy,” he says. “Just remember that.”

I relax my body against his and Tryan leans down and kisses me. His lips are soft and gentle, and I melt against him. The stress of this last month melts away.

A shiver runs through my body and Tryan mistakes it for a chill. “Let’s go inside,” he says, pulling my hand toward the door.

As Tryan grabs the handle, the door creaks open. It’s not locked? He looks back at me with a frown creased across his brow. I push past him into the house.

“Katya?” I call out into the darkness. Nothing. Lights flicker into the kitchen through the open patio doors on the other side of the house.

“Come on,” Tryan says pulling me outside with a finger to his lips. “This way.”

We slowly creep around the side of the house, following the flickering lights to the back yard. Between the tall fence and the wooden siding of the house, we’re sitting ducks. We slow down as we reach the back corner and Tryan grabs my hand.

“Let me go first,” he says. “Please. Trust me.”

I nod and hold back as Tryan passes in front of me. He peers around the corner, then holds up a hand for me to stop as he disappears into the backyard.

I shuffle around the corner, but Tryan is nowhere to be seen. Lights are hanging along the fence to the back of the property, flickering on and off.

“Tryan?” I whisper. No answer. I look back. Where is he?

“Tryan?” I call out a little louder this time.

About Melanie: 

Melanie McFarlane is a passionate writer of other-wordly adventures, a little excitable, and a little quirky. Whether it’s uncovering the corruption of the future, or traveling to other worlds to save the universe, she jumps in with both hands on her keyboard. Though she can be found obsessing over zombies and orcs from time to time, Melanie has focused her powers on her YA debut There Once Were Stars, and her YA urban fantasy Summoner RisingShe lives with her husband and two daughters in the Land of Living Skies.

Giveaway Details:
1 winner will receive a DVD of THE CRAFT, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A Human Element Audiobook Blog Tour, Audio Excerpt & Giveaway!

Author: Donna Galanti

Narrator: Chase Bradley

Length: 10h 8m

Publisher:Auspicious Apparatus Press⎮2017

Genre: Science Fiction/Thriller

Release date: Jan. 10, 2017


Evil comes in many forms…

One by one, Laura Armstrong’s friends and adoptive family members are being murdered, and despite her unique healing powers, she can do nothing to stop it. The savage killer haunts her dreams, tormenting her with the promise that she is next.

Determined to find the killer, she follows her visions to the site of a crashed meteorite in her hometown. There, she meets Ben Fieldstone, who seeks answers about his parents’ death the night the meteorite struck. In a race to stop a madman, they unravel a frightening secret that binds them together.

But the killer’s desire to destroy Laura face-to-face leads to a showdown that puts Laura and Ben’s emotional relationship and Laura’s pure spirit to the test. With the killer closing in, Laura discovers her destiny is linked to his, and she has two choices—redeem him or kill him.

Buy on Audible/Amazon


Donna Galanti is the author of the paranormal suspense Element Trilogy (Imajin Books) and the children’s fantasy adventure Joshua and The Lightning Road series (Month9Books). Donna is a contributing editor for International Thriller Writers the Big Thrill magazine and blogs with other middle grade authors at Project Middle Grade Mayhem. She’s lived from England as a child, to Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer. Donna enjoys teaching at conferences on the writing craft and marketing and also presenting as a guest author at elementary and middle schools. Visit her at and


Chase was born and raised in a quiet town in upstate New York. He concentrated on musical pursuits through most of his younger years, excelling in anything that had to do with using his voice. He attended college in Potsdam, NY, where he studied Wilderness Leadership, Sociology and Vocal training at the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam. Chase’s dream since he was a kid was to be a voice over artist and professional musician, but after college he decided to spread his wings and explore the world a bit first. He worked as a mountain guide in Alaska, leading Ice Climbing, Mountaineering, and Backpacking trips. He traveled all over North and South America for work and and pleasure, climbing and skiing everything that stood in his way. After meeting a beautiful woman (in Alaska of all places!) and falling in love, he settled down in Lake Tahoe California, where he currently resides with his wife and two children. Chase has finally returned to his roots and works as a full time voice over artist, and plays weekly shows with his band. Things have come full circle, and the dream has been fulfilled. Chase does commercial voice over work, but has found that his true passion is narrating audiobooks. He has narrated 14 audiobooks to date, with more to come! Chase is constantly looking for ways to improve his narration, and deliver the best possible performance for the authors and listeners.


Click for Audioclip

$10 Amazon Gift Card and A Hidden Element (Book 2) on Digital Audiobook!
A Human Element Giveaway #1

A Human Element Giveaway #2

Mar. 15: The Desert Bibliophile (Review, Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

Mar. 16: 2 Girls And A Book (Review)

Mar. 17: XOXO Book Blog (Giveaway, Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

Mar. 18: The Phantom Paragrapher (Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

Mar. 19: Dab of Darkness (Review)

Mar. 20: Blogger Nicole (Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

Mar. 21: Lilly's Book World (Review)

Mar. 22: 4 the Luv of Sanity (Review, Playlist & Giveaway)

Mar. 23: The Bookworm Lodge (Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

Mar. 24: The Pursuit of Bookishness (Review & Giveaway)

Mar. 25: Lomeraniel (Review, Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

Mar. 26: Kristina Stanley (Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

Mar. 27: Holed Up In A Book (Review & Giveaway)

Mar. 28: Hall Ways (Giveaway, Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

Mar. 29: Spunky n Sassy (Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

Mar. 30: SMADA's Book Smack (Review, Giveaway, Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

Mar. 31: Ronelle Antoinette (Review, Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

Apr. 1: Bound4Escape (Review)

Apr. 2: Book Lover's Life (Spotlight & Giveaway)

Apr. 3: My World in Words and Pages (Review & Giveaway)

Apr. 4: A Page To Turn (Review & Author Interview)

ABW Promos3
➜Sign up as a host here

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Almost A Minyan Book Blog Tour, Review, & Giveaway!


  Genre: Picture Book / Jewish Traditions
Publisher: Sociosights Press  Facebook  Twitter 

Date of Publication: April 5, 2017
Number of Pages: 40

Scroll down for Giveaway!

Will she be the one to take Grandfather’s place?

According to Jewish tradition, a quorum of ten adults is required for public worship. Almost a Minyan traces the story of a young girl whose father and grandfather are regular participants in the town’s minyan - until her beloved Zayde passes on.

Without him, it is even harder for her father to find enough people to make a minyan. Then one day, he brings Zayde’s tefillin to his eldest daughter. A striking new addition to the diverse books movement, Almost a Minyan shares important Hebrew terms and religious concepts through a compelling and beautifully illustrated story for children.

* * *


“A warmhearted introduction to coming-of-age in a worship community.” -- Kirkus Reviews

“A story of inclusion, belonging and equality. I loved the modern, egalitarian, and traditional values shared in this meaningful story. This is a wonderful modern story for our children and grandchildren!”       -- Cantor Deborah Katchko-Gray
Congregation Shir Shalom, CT
Founder of the Women Cantors’ Network

“A delightful read for girls and boys alike, this poetic family tale brings a wonderful sentimentality to daily Jewish prayers. Moreover, the beauty of the illustrations contributes additional warmth to this snapshot of Jewish life. A nice addition for all libraries and all ages.”    -- Rabbi Jimmy Kessler, DHL, DD
Congregation B’nai Israel, Galveston

HALL WAYS REVIEW: ✪✪✪✪✪ What a magnificent story of Jewish tradition, the circle of life, and a young girl finding her place in the world.  I am not Jewish, so the words and traditions were completely unfamiliar to me; however, author Lori Kline provides a short glossary of terms at the end of the book, so I just started there! (Side note: at first, when I saw the word “G-d’s,” I thought it was a typo. When I saw it again, I decided to do some research and learned even more about Jewish tradition. The incomplete spelling is indeed intentional.)

The book cover was just chosen for an upcoming cover of Publisher's Weeklyand I am not surprised. Susan Simon's artwork (and I am calling it artwork, not illustrations for a reason) is precious. Her pages are full of color and emotion, evocative, and just feel good. There is a comfort in looking at the pages. Simon gets just the right expressions on the characters' faces, and their eyes perfectly reflect Kline's words. Simon uses colors and textures to create the changing moods from scene to scene, all in harmony with author Lori Kline's lovely words.  (So harmonious, in fact, that I teared-up by the beauty, sadness, and familiarity of one part.)

Almost A Minyan is told through rhyme, and readers will hear the voice of our main character, who is never named – perhaps because she represents all females on the verge of taking steps towards bigger things? The rhyming sentences are well-written and flow so that there is a definite rhythm and cadence to the book. It would be a wonderful read-aloud story, but I also can see how readers of any age would like to experience it alone (and I’d recommend a print copy for maximum enjoyment and easy flipping back and forth to the glossary). I disagreed with some end punctuation in a place or two and spotted a capitalization error, but I am doubtful most readers will notice, and it certainly didn’t affect my enjoyment of this thoughtful, informative, sentimental book.  

Thank you to Lone Star Book Blog Tours and Sociosights Press for providing me an eBook in exchange for my honest opinion – the only kind I give.

Lori Sales Kline heralds from Squirrel Hill in Pittsburgh, PA, which hosts a wonderfully rich Jewish community that fueled her love for Jewish tradition, ritual and practice at home and at, “the shul.”  Following her undergraduate and graduate work at the University of Texas in Austin, Lori chose to make Austin her home, largely due to the spiritual connection she felt in the close-knit Austin Jewish community.  In her spare time, Lori enjoys camping, celebrating Judaism with her husband and son, and friends. She previously authored the children’s picture book,  Josiah’s Dreams.


Susan Simon’s illustrations feature expressive children, humor, sweetness, and imaginative whimsy. She has illustrated seventeen children's books. Susan lives in the Sonoran Desert of southern Arizona, with the saguaro cactuses, the coyotes, the Catalina mountains, and her husband, D.B., a music theory professor at the University of Arizona.

As a very young child, Susan both learned from and fell in love with the goodness and beauty readable in some children’s book illustrations. Without having words for it, she understood very young the power of a picture to inform deeply. When she’s not trying to give her all to share with children that kind of quality in her own work, she enjoys walking her two beloved rescued mutts - Oatcake and Peach - riding her giant green bicycle, and playing her growly old accordion.Website     Facebook     LinkedIn

One Signed Copy of Almost A Minyan
March 24-April 7, 2017
(U.S. Only)

Illustration Preview 1
Author Interview 1
Guest Post
Illustration Preview 2
Author Interview 2
Illustration Preview 3
Author Interview 3

blog tour services provided by: