#Giveaway – Sketchy Tacos by Meg D. Gonzalez @MegDGonzalez

sketchy-TacosSketchy Tacos by Meg D. Gonzalez

Teenage artist Mila Gulick travels to Mexico to get away from warring influences and find herself. But life in the land of tacos is a far cry from her sheltered life back home. Mila must find the courage to step out from behind her sketchbook and get to know the people and culture around her. While her host family and the two boys vying for her interest are nothing but smiles, all may not be as it seems.

Soon Mila is questioning her choices and the beliefs she’s held dear. Her heart, her art, and even her safety are at risk as she struggles to find a balance between cultural differences, old assumptions, and strange romance. Will her trip end in disaster or will she find the strength for which she’s been searching?

amazonPraise for the Book
“This modern coming-of-age story has it all – humor, heart, genuine characters, and spiritual depth. I highly recommend it to teen readers.” – Krista McGee, Inspy Award winning author of First Date and Starring Me

“Meg D. Gonzalez gives us a vivid look at life for an American teenager in Mexico and an even clearer picture of what happens when you decide to embrace who God made you to be. No matter what. Great first novel. Great read.” – Nancy Rue, Christy Award winning author of the Real Life series

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Excerpt
Leaning forward, I hide my hot cheeks behind a veil of wavy, brown hair Rosa somehow coaxed straight. As he pushes my bangs behind my ear, his fingertips brush my skin. I suppress a shiver. His hand lingers behind my neck. Lightning skitters across my skin.

“Qué bonita,” he murmurs, leaning forward.

Pretty. He called me pretty. Is this for real?

With a slight sway, I find myself closing the distance. My body reacts to instincts I didn’t know I possessed. Then I freeze.

What if I’m a horrible kisser? Rosa’s friends are a chatty group. What if I’m terrible, and I turn into the laughing stock of her entire social circle? I’d be alone the rest of the summer. Or I’d have to flee the country and return to Mom.

I swing away.

“What’s wrong?” His breath tickles my nose, minty fresh.

“Nothing.” Heat flames from my forehead to my fingertips. Think. Think! Come up with something coy, something cute.

My chin raises. I quirk one corner of my lips. “I’m just not that easy.”

 

MegAuthor Meg D. Gonzalez

Meg D. Gonzalez is a tea-sipping, adventure-seeking, pug-loving kind of girl. She’s crazy for God and wants to share His love with awesome young women around the globe.

She started her first novel at the age of fourteen (it will never see the light of day and that’s best for everyone), but her writing really came alive two years ago after she moved to Mexico. The crazy, wonderful people and culture she encountered inspired the story of Sketchy Tacos.

When she’s not writing, she’s learning to play video games with her husband (she’s horrible), taking hikes in beautiful parks with her pug Pascal, crocheting, and watching way too much TV.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Pinterest * Instagram

 

amazon paypalBlast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 3/5/17

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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The Extraordinary Journey of Vivenne Marshall by Shannon Kirk @ShannonCKirk

Shannon Kirk’s award winning debut novel, Method 15/33, blew me away…so when I saw The Extraordinary Journey of Vivienne Marshall was available on Netgalley, I snagged it. Thank you Shannon Kirk and Reputation Books.

Such a gorgeous cover and I do hope I am walking on clouds when it’s over.

Book Design:  Lisa Abellera

Ebook Design:  Mary C Moore

The Extraordinary Journey of Vivienne Marshall

Amazon  /  Goodreads

MY REVIEW

Be careful…when you are texting. Your inattention could be the death of you.

Vivienne lay hovering on the brink of death, one foot in the land of the living and one foot with the dead.

Noah, her dead, dream husband explains it to her. The scene made me think of a Supernatural episode, where Castielle says our Heaven is of our own making.

Is there a Heaven? Does our life pass before our eyes?

What would it look like? Who would you want there with you?

What secrets would be brought to light after your death?

And if there is a Heaven…what about Hell?

The lovely pics sprinkled throughout are a nice touch and I love it.

I am sitting in one of my favorite reading places, my patio and watering the lawn, even as the black clouds roll in, the thunder rumbling, and I am lost in Vivienne’s world, unable to quit reading.

Shannon’s descriptive words draw me into this novel from the opening pages, her poetic words bring to life fantasy worlds full of vibrant colors, beauty and love, but the flowery prose becomes onerous for me, having me starting, stopping and rereading, but that is me. I think there are many readers who will LOVE it and get lost in the story too.

This Heavenly love story is tragic, yet hopeful and very thought provoking.

I voluntarily reviewed a free ARC copy of The Extraordinary Journey of Vivienne Marshall from Shannon Kirk.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos 4 Stars

GOODREADS BLURB:  What if you could choose your heaven now? Go on a celestial shopping trip of sorts? Thirty-five-year-old Vivienne does just that, as she lies dying in the ICU; a fatal walk into the path of a truck. In her final week of life, Vivienne treks through the Heavens of a priest, a best friend, a homeless child, and a lover who never was. Vivienne’s guardian angel, Noah, who may just be her soul mate, escorts her through selections of Heavens and through the confusion Vivienne experiences as she flounders between a doubt of life and the certainty of death. Although her visits to varied afterlives provide peace and beauty, choosing proves not so easy: Vivienne’s love for her young son and her earthly father pull her from her colorful journey—and from her divine love of Noah.

The nature of love, the variety and magic of life, unending hope, and the importance of saying goodbye are central to this uplifting tale.

ABOUT SHANNON KIRK

Shannon Kirk

Shannon has been honored three times by the Faulkner Society in the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition for her works The Extraordinary Journey of Vivienne Marshall (2012 finalist), Method 15/33 (2013 finalist), and Impossibility of Interplanetary Love (2014 short-list finalist). When not practicing law, Shannon writes in her free time. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and son.

Shannon writes in several genres: literary fiction, suspense/thriller, and young adult.

Shannon is a member of International Thriller Writers and Mystery Writers of America.

Website  /  Twitter

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My review for Method 15/33

 

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Review – What Happened on Beale Street by Mary Ellis #MaryEllis

I would like to take a moment to thank Mary Ellis and Harvest House Publishers for sending me a paperback copy of What Happened on Beale Street, the second book in the Secrets of the South Mystery series.

You can see my 5 Star review for Midnight on the Mississippi, Book I, by Mary Ellis HERE.

I have gotten heavily involved in this stand alone Secrets of the South Mystery series because of its location…I love to read books that take place in an area I am familiar with and the Secrets of the South Mystery series does that. Also, I love a good mystery and it has plenty of that too.

Check out this intriguing cover…reeking of menace…ya never know what might happen on the dark and deserted street…or who’s watching.

Cover:  Lucas Art and Design

What Happened on Beale Street (Secrets of the South Mysteries #2)

Amazon  /  Goodreads

MY REVIEW

What Happened on Beale Street by Mary Ellis is my second foray into the stand alone Secrets of the South Mystery series and I am so happy to embark on another adventure through the southern states of America.

I love familiar locations and mysteries, so when I won the first beautiful book, I was ecstatic and I want to tell you how ‘marvelous’ the continuing journey has been.

A childhood pledge takes impulsive but lovable Nicki and her gang from New Orleans, Louisiana, to Memphis, Tennessee.

Nate, her uptight but competent and loyal cousin and private investigator partner are on the case. It helps to have the wealthy and hunky Hunter to finance their trip and they are on their way in style. I love it. Made me think of Hart to Hart, the crime solving TV duo, only they are married.

The characters are ‘real’, with all their good and bad exposed. They have big hearts and are there for each other.

What do murder, stalking and a scavenger hunt have in common? What Happened on Beale Street.

The mystery is not mind blowing, but the tension and pacing kept my curiosity peaked, turning page after page, until I was done. Not only did I want to know who the murderer was, but I was even more concerned and curious about Isabelle. BUT that’s a mystery you’ll have to find out for yourself.

I thought I knew exactly how it would end, but Mary Ellis seems to be able to surprise me to the very last page. The suspense makes this hard, if not impossible, to stop reading once you start. I see more stories coming with this wonderful cast of characters and I am curious where we will travel to next.

I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of What Happened of Beale Street from Mary Ellis.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos  5 Stars

ABOUT THE BOOK

GOODREADS BLURB:  What Happened on Beale Street is an exciting addition to the Secrets of the South Mysteries from bestselling author Mary Ellis. These standalone, complex crime dramas follow a private investigator’s quest to make the world a better place…solving one case at a time.

A cryptic plea for help from a childhood friend sends cousins Nate and Nicki Price from New Orleans to Memphis, the home of scrumptious barbecue and soulful blues music. When they arrive at Danny Andre’s last known address, they discover signs of a struggle and a lifestyle not in keeping with the former choirboy they fondly remember.

Danny’s sister, Isabelle, reluctantly accepts their help. She and Nate aren’t on the best of terms due to a complicated past, yet they will have to get beyond that if they want to save Danny.

On top of Danny’s alarming disappearance and his troubled relationship with Isabelle, Nate also has to rein in his favorite cousin’s overzealousness as a new and eager PI. Confronted with a possible murder, mystery, and mayhem in the land of the Delta blues, Nate must rely on his faith and investigative experience to keep one or more of them from getting killed.

ABOUT MARY ELLIS

Mary EllisMary Ellis has written twelve award-winning novels set in the Amish community and several historical romances set during the Civil War. Her latest, Midnight on the Mississippi, first of a new mystery series, Secrets of the South, is set in New Orleans. Before “retiring” to write full-time, Mary taught school and worked as a sales rep for Hershey Chocolate, a job with amazingly sweet fringe benefits. Mary enjoys traveling, gardening, bicycling and swimming, and lives in Ohio with her husband, dog and cat. She can be found on the web at: www.maryellis.net or
https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Mar…

  • You can see my Giveaways HERE.
  • You can see my Reviews HERE.
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I won the book Midnight on the Mississippi by Mary Ellis and embarked on a journey through the Secrets of the South Mystery Series. These stand alone novels are right up my alley and I hope you find them as enjoyable as I did.

Check out the gorgeous covers. Don’t they draw you right in…I want to sit on the dock, walk the street and cross that bridge!

My review for Midnight on the Mississippi

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Tag Team Giveaway – Girl of Mine by Taylor Dean @taylordeanbooks

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tag you're it photo: Tag! You\'re It! AnyOccasion-TagYoureIt-May2007.jpg

Welcome to the Tag Team Tag Team Event & Giveaway!

This is where myself (Sherry at fundinmental) and Laura at fuonlyknew tag team authors and their books. We share our reviews and giveaways, giving you two perspsectives of the book and two chances to win!

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I am so happy to welcome Taylor Dean back to fundinmental with her novel, Girl of Mine. As a tease, I think I will start with the book trailer, but be sure and read the entire post, because she has some amazing things to share with you.

I have been following Taylor Dean since I first read her paranormal series Lancaster House. She writes some amazing clean romance stories that brings tears to my eyes.

Amazon  /  Goodreads

MY REVIEW

Taylor Dean is an award winning author that is at the top of my must read list and Girl of Mine is another one of her clean romance novels that tugged at my heartstrings. I must warn you, though…. a box of tissues is required.

One month before her wedding, Jill was jilted. Now…HE’s back, continuing to break her heart.

Why is Lucas so desperate to talk to her NOW?

Jill is still in love with Lucas, so why is she engaged to another man? That is something you will have to read the book to find out.

I wonder how Taylor will HOOK me…and now I see.

The characters are complex and intertwined in a complicated scenario. Of course, I felt bad for Jill, but I felt equally as  bad for Lucas, even though it was his own fault. He made the choice to walk away.

Guilt, manipulation and miscommunication lead to a tangled web…isn’t that like real life? It is Taylor Dean’s ability to write and make it believable that allows me to become so involved in her characters and bring them to life on the pages.

Even a ‘bad guy’ can be good…can’t he? I love flawed characters. It makes them more interesting to me. I wonder if they can redeem themselves…

Jill’s childish and pouty behavior gave me some chuckles and I find romance and humor go together in real life, so it is easy to relate to her.

Girl of Mine by Taylor Dean has everything I need for a wonderful romance. Love, heartbreak and bliss, with a happy ever after. Her writing makes me laugh, cry, wring my hands in frustration as I want to yell at the characters, “Hey guys…you need to communicate.” I love that her stories leave me with a feeling of happiness and satisfaction when I turn the last page.

I received a copy of Girl of Mine from Taylor Dean in return for an honest review.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos  4 Stars

GOODREADS BLURB:  HE CAME HOME

The year is 2003 and Captain Lucas Graham is at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, about to be deployed to Iraq. A few weeks ago, he broke his engagement with Jillian Barrett, leaving her stunned and heartbroken.

Knowing he can’t leave for war without putting his affairs in order, Luke obtains a four day pass with only one goal in mind: explain his life story to his former fiancée.

The problem: Jill is now engaged to another man.

But Luke isn’t giving up. He only has four days to gain an audience with Jill, even if he has to resort to drastic measures to do so.

And he will . . .

THE TREE HOUSE FEATURED IN GIRL OF MINE

The tree house featured in GIRL OF MINE is inspired by an actual tree house that my father built on his property. It is AMAZING!

On occasion my parents let friends use their property for a wedding reception. The bride climbs to the top and throws her bouquet from the highest level.
 
Even as an adult, the tree house calls to me and brings out my inner child. I want to spend hours wandering the many levels while imagining grand adventures in my head.
 
When my siblings and I were young, my Dad promised to build us a play house. He had impressive plans for making it into a storybook cottage, similar to what Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs lived in.


It never happened.


Next the play house was going to make an appearance for my children, his grandchildren.


It never happened.


Years later he built the tree house with one of his grandsons at his side, helping every step of the way.
 
Time passed, life interfered, and the play house was never built.

Now my children have children and the play house never came to be.
 
My father recently passed away from pancreatic cancer. Up until he became ill, he still had every intention of building the play house. He even had a plot of land picked out for its future home.

 

 
 
No worries.


I think he has more than redeemed himself over the play house promise, wouldn’t you agree? I told him on numerous occasions the tree house more than made up for the lack of a play house!
 

 

Now my grandchildren have an AMAZING place to play when they visit.
(And my adult children . . . and me! Let’s face it, you’re never too old to enjoy an amazing tree house!)
 

 

My father has left behind an incredible legacy.
 
This amazing tree house made its way into GIRL OF MINE, along with many other personal family stories.
You might even say my characters, Jill and Luke, fall in love in the tree house.
It’s a great place for a budding romance.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Taylor Dean

Taylor Dean lives in Texas and is the mother of four grown children. Upon finding herself with an empty nest, she began to write the stories that were always wandering around in her head, quickly finding she had a passion for writing, specifically romance. Whether it’s paranormal, contemporary, or suspense—you’ll find all sub-genres of clean romance in her line-up.

To find out what Taylor Dean is up to, follow the links below:

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NOW…it’s time for Taylor Dean’s amazing GIVEAWAY.

GIVEAWAY TO ONE US WINNER:

INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY:
ONE KINDLE EBOOK OF GIRL OF MINE TO TWO LUCKY WINNERS.
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To be entered to win, let us know if you are US or International, leave your email so we can contact you if you are a winner and answer the question:
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Are you a jilter or a jiltee?
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 For another chance to win, soar on the wings of love over to fuonlyknew.
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Giveaway will run from 9.9.16 – 9.28.16

tag you're it photo: You're awesome tag-game-awesome-friends_zpscce89964.jpg

  • You can see my Giveaways HERE.
  • You can see my Reviews HERE.
  • If you like what you see, why don’t you follow me?
  • animated smilies photo: animated animated.gifLook on the right sidebar and let’ talk.
  • Leave your link in the comments and I will drop by to see what’s shakin’.
  • Problem commenting, look for the twitter, facebook…buttons.
  • Thanks for visiting fundinmental!
MY REVIEWS FOR TAYLOR DEAN’S BOOKS
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Making Hard Choices – I’m With You @taylordeanbooks Tag Team Giveaway

tag you're it photo: Tag! You\'re It! AnyOccasion-TagYoureIt-May2007.jpg

Welcome to my Tag Team Event! Laura and I are the Tag Team Bloggers. You can find Laura at fuonlyknew. We Tag Team an author and publish our posts at the same time. Whether it’s for a cover reveal, giveaway, review, interview, or something more, the author will be tagged by us and you will be alerted to go to Laura’s blog or mine to see additional content. It’s really fun to see how differently we view the same book and you get an extra chance to win with our giveaways!

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Taylor Dean’s I’m With You will not only tug at your heartstrings, it will break your heart and put it back together again. Making the hard choices is when you really know you are alive.

Add me to Goodreads now.

MY REVIEW

I cannot imagine the paralyzing effect losing a child would have on me. Taylor Dean does an amazing job of wringing every drop of emotion from me, but leaving me satisfied at the end.

Child loss. Trisomy 18 – incompatible with life.

The heartwrenching decision. Hope. Compassion. Love. Romance.

Taylor even includes a couple of cleaning tips while Chloe is cleaning house. It is writing like this that keeps Taylor Dean’s stories “real”.

Catastrophes draw some people closer, while tearing others apart. Each person must find their way of dealing with what little control there is left in life when tragedy strikes. . The characters are so developed and complex, I feel as if I know them, some friends, others not so much.

Two women, so totally different…and Jack. Chloe is just too nice, in my book. I want her to kick some Tanya ass and maybe even smack Jack up side the head and tell him to get real. I got very pissed at Jack, and even Chloe at times. I wanted to punch Mark in the face. What a dip shit. I was so angry the last third of the book…Men…but, it is true, Men Are From Mars and Women Are From Venus. We all deal with things in our own way…to survive.

When I think the worst is over, Taylor throws even more terrible angst my way. I knew it was too easy for Happy Ever After. Something else had to happen. I kept waiting for the proverbially other shoe to drop. It did more than drop, it collapsed!

I’m With You left me wrung out, emotionally spent. I sat in silence, regrouping.

As I read about Jerad tears filled my eyes. I had to pause before reading Taylor’s note. Trisomy 18 is real and personal for her and her family and I would like to thank them so much for sharing their story.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos  5 STARS

For a review with another perspective and another chance at the great giveaway shown below, be sure and check out Laura @ fuonlyknew.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Taylor Dean

Taylor Dean lives in Texas and is the mother of four grown children. Upon finding herself with an empty nest, she began to write the stories that were always wandering around in her head, quickly finding she had a passion for writing, specifically romance. Whether it’s paranormal, contemporary, or suspense—you’ll find all sub-genres of clean romance in her line-up.

To find out what Taylor Dean is up to, follow the links below:

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MY REVIEWS FOR TAYLOR DEAN’S BOOKS
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GIVEAWAY

Three winners!
I'm With You Giveaway

To enter answer the question or leave Taylor Dean some love below and leave your email so you can be notified. Giveaway ends October 7, 2015.
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What is your happiest or most tragic memory?
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Giveaway 3/29/16 – 4/8/16. .

 For a review with another perspective and another chance at the great giveaway shown below, be sure and check out Laura @ fuonlyknew.

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