Category: Young Adult (14 – 17 years)
SNAPSHOTS AT THE FONTAINE MOTEL
With a wink and a nod to such movie greats as Thelma & Louise and The Breakfast Club, Snapshots at the Fontaine Motel is about six eighteen-year-old friends in 1996 who seek immediate revenge after one of them is brutally attacked. But when their vigilante justice accidentally leaves the attacker dead, they flee Michigan to save their own lives as the FBI inches dangerously close. While hiding out in an isolated Oklahoma motel, they discover not only themselves, but find love and uncover shocking deadly secrets that will change everything and threaten the very lives they’re frantic to protect!
A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ (REVIEW)
Snapshots at the Fontaine Motel intertwines romance and mystery seamlessly. Although the clues are very subtle, they lead to some very powerful and wicked twists. The story is about six teenagers who have been friends since grade school. When they discover that one of them has been raped by the school bully, five of them decide to take matters into their own hands, and the results are… Ahhh, I almost said too much. To continue, things aren’t always as they seem, and here’s where the twisting and turning begins with an astounding intensity. When it’s all over, the outcome gives you one of those,“Humph I didn’t see that comin moments!”
There are two UNIQUE things about Snapshots at the Fontaine Motel. One is the way television shows, movies, and music from the 1990’s was included. Sometimes as a reference and at other times as part of the story. The other thing was the way you were drawn into the different romance stories of both Jill and Matt.
This book is recommended for Young Adults 15+.
BUY IT HERE: Amazon
BIO Skot Harris has a degree in creative writing from the University of Michigan. Snapshots at the Fontaine Motel is his third novel. He grew up near Detroit and now lives in England with his husband.
K. M. ODDECK
It’s midsummer. David Elbert’s final semester at the university comes to an end. For this fresh Engineer, the daunting task of saving a company from imminent disaster soon pales in comparison to the multimillion-dollar stash of drugs and money found in a luxurious property he comes to own. His nerves start to singe. Criminals come out of the wood work. Escalation is imminent. When police and drug enforcement agents pop onto the scene, all hell quickly breaks loose. At this point, pure survival instinct takes over.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ (REVIEW)
When I started reading Intrinsic Encounters I expected mystery, intrigue, espionage, and a spy thriller. Why? I’m not sure, that’s just what the cover spoke to me. Instead, I got the longest most hilarious first chapter I’ve ever read. It gave you all of David’s backstory. And the things he did as a kid. Hm, hm, hm. His parents way of resolving the problem–priceless. I’m still laughing.
Getting over my initial shock that this was not a mystery was replaced by some well written humor. This hype was immediately replaced as we returned to the present and David presented a more somber mood.
Then Elise came into the picture, David’s girl friend. No, not girlfriend, his friend that is a girl. That is until David realizes his like for her has moved into love. Aaaah, a budding romance. This is a romance novel. Of course not! Let me be clear that relationship does develop throughout the novel, but—there was that thing you know, that thing that centered around Displaytek (the place where David did his internship). That engineering thing that got him there in the first place and was the primary story of the book. Right, Let me explain it more clearly, It was that thing that some of us would label as technology. While others would call it geeky and nerdy. Oh! Or science fiction as those of us who must categorize books into genres would call it.
No mystery! I should have really been let down. But, I like humor. I like romance. Wait, I even like science fiction. Besides, there was a little bit of mystery with that drug thing. Yet, you already know about that.
The UNIQUE thing about Intrinsic Encounters is the suspense. Yes, you heard me, it is a suspense thriller, (my mystery) with lots of action and adventure. When David walks into Displaytek on the first day, and talks to Anje Tille of Human Resources, he asks her what is expected of him as an intern. Her answer is what kept me turning the pages of this book. With characters like Henrik Wang and John Nwosu, Intrinsic Encounters is also an ETHNIC read.
This book is recommended for Young Adults from age 16 and Adults.
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BIO: K. M. Oddeck received his degree in Business Engineering from the University of Applied Sciences in Jena. Upon graduation, he started writing Intrinsic Encounters. He currently lives in Germany.
C. T. MARKEE
Verónica pushes through the other seventh grade kids in our breezeway, speaking over the noise, “María! What’s wrong with Hannah?”
What does she want? Like she suddenly cares about Hannah, cares that the nurse sent her home, cares that her eyes were glassy, her face swollen and her whole body sagging. I begged Hannah to stay home, but she wouldn’t listen.
Thus begins a multicultural novel set in Salinas, California, in which 12-year-old María Cortez discovers her inner strength and uses it to save her best friend, Hannah, a Caucasian girl who lives next door. As the story unfolds, a presumed enemy becomes a friend, a mysterious old women, a curandera, becomes her mentor, she learns why the space on her birth certificate for father is blank, she discovers her Huichol roots and in the end she choses a life career.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ (REVIEW)
When I started reading María’s Beads, I thought I knew a lot about Hispanic culture, I was pleasantly surprised to know that I didn’t. I loved the storytelling aspect of María’s Beads, and the way in which certain things were presented in the story. What certain things you ask? You know I can’t tell you, that would spoil the story for you.
I can tell you that she used the same method of an important historical figure to solve the problem of Hannah’s illness. What, you want more information about this historical figure and what she did? Really! So you can be mad at me later for giving away the story. Lets go on.
The UNIQUE thing about María’s Beads is the power Maria receives from the beads and from her lessons with La Curandera. María’s Beads is also an ETHNIC read because Maria learns that her Hispanic roots are a mix of Huichol and Brazilian.
I really, really liked this wonderful, amazing, historical story for Middle Grade Readers 10 – 12 and Young Adults to age 14.
BIO: One evening my wife told me the story of her 13-year-old best friend who lived next door to where she grew up in Salinas, California. One day, she contracted kidney disease, her parents refused medical intervention and the girl died. I was struck by the emotional impact of such an event on a pre-teen. It propelled my wife out of a near-poverty existence and into a life-time career as a medical professional, impacting hundreds of patients. This book is my attempt to capture that motivation for pre-teen girls without the death.
Charles is coordinator and meeting moderator for the Sonoma County Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). He has published three middle-grade novels as well as work in three literary anthologies, Tiny-Lights literary website and the Santa Rosa Press democrat newspaper. He was co-editor of the Redwood Writers 2012 anthology, Call of the Wild, and is an active member of the Redwood Writers a branch of the California Writer’s Club (CWC).
THE STRUGGLE: MOM AND THE SUMMERTIME BLUES
Patrice Smith, Donna Smith, Shannon Smith, Charity Smith, and Faith Smith
Illustrator/Artist Patrice Smith
Editor Jermaine Smith
The school bell rings and school’s out. It’s time for summer! You rush out into the hall, say goodbye to your friends and run to the school bus. You just can’t wait for summer to begin. But for these four girls, it’s the complete opposite…
Meet four sisters: Diamond, Sheila, Crystal, and Felicity
Nice girls who loofa school and dread summer. Yeah, you heard right dread summer. Read about this comical tale of how their mother makes their lives miserable during their “fun” summer.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ REVIEW
Many, many, times over the last 23 years, my son has accused me of being from another planet. However, there have been too many times to count that I’ve wondered if that was true about him. Okay, yeah, I was there when he was born so,iIn reality this is just the difference in thinking between parent and child. The Struggle: Mom and the Summertime Blues is about such a difference. It is written by four sisters (age 10 – 13/14) who hate summer vacation. Really! They hate summer vacation. Why, you wonder? Everyone knows that summer is all about fun.. You have all these plans in your mind that you’re gonna do this and you’re gonna do that but then Mom has all these things for you to do. Right?
As you start reading Diamond’s story, you find yourself laughing a few minutes later. This theme of gut busting laughter continues on through Sheila, Crystal, and Felicity. Felicity—Oh, I have to stop, no spoilers here.
I will say this, the one thing that makes this book UNIQUE, is that it’s based on fact. As I mentioned before it’s quite hilarious and a lot of fun to read. Kids will identify with everything that has been written by their age appropriate counterparts while parents will enjoy Mom’s redemption.
Another thing I found interesting about The Struggle: Mom and the Summertime Blues was how after being given the project of writing a book about their summer, each girl took on a different identity, and made mom the villain. Why is it always the moms? I guess it’s because we give out the orders, schedule the activities, make the food choices, and—well the list goes on.
Here is a little insight for you kids of eight to thirteen, Mom, in this ETHNIC read featuring African-American characters, gives you a warning to let you know that an adult is now writing the book.If you want to know what your parents are thinking and how they come to some of the decisions they make about your life. READ ON!
The Struggle: Mom and the Summertime Blues is recommend for Middle Grade and Young Adult Readers to age 14. However, parents will love it too.
BUY IT HERE: Amazon