Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Purple Moon Blog Tour Stop–Austin’s Diary Entry


PM Blog Tour Banner1

Over the spring, I was given the amazing chance to be a beta reader for a new YA Christian novel. The book, Purple Moon, is now out and everyone should definitely go get it, because it was incredible.

So I now get the chance to be a stop on the Release Tour!


Selena's life isn't turning out to be the fairy tale she imagined as a kid. That hope seemed to vanish long ago when her dad kicked her and her mom out of the house. This summer might finally hold the chance of a new beginning for Selena ... but having to live with her snobby cousin in Lake Lure, NC while waiting for her mom to get out of rehab wasn't how Selena was planning on spending her summer. She soon begins to wonder why she committed to give up her "bad habits" for this.

Things don't seem too bad, though. Especially when Selena gains the attention of the cute neighbor next door. But when her best friend back home in Brooklyn desperately needs her, a secret that's been hidden from Selena for years is revealed, and when she becomes a target for one of her cousin's nasty pranks, she finds herself having to face the scars from her past and the memories that come along with them. Will she follow her mom's example in running away, or trust that God still has a fairy tale life written just for her?


Find “Purple Moon” on Amazon

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My Review:

First Sentence:
Once upon a time, there was a beautiful little princess named Selena.” (Prologue)

I absolutely loved Purple Moon! There truly aren’t enough books written for Christian teens.

This novel is the story of Selena Taylor who has been struggling in life for years. It started when her mom and Selena stopping living with Selena’s dad. But this summer, Selena has to stay at her bratty cousin’s house for the summer while her mom is in rehab. Selena might be completely depressed about the thought of staying with her relatives for the summer, but she initially tries to make the best of the situation. Sadly, it doesn’t take long for Selena to be swept back into the party routine and ignore her problems. The boy next door won’t let her completely forget though. Austin remembers Selena from when they were little and played together. He becomes her friend again and gently tries to witness to this girl who is so lost and determined to avoid God.

Selena’s journey is such a realistic one. She has been through almost all the bad things one can go through. Boyfriend issues, friend problems, drinking, smoking, a disappointing mom, an absent father, etc. She is legitimately messed-up. But God can take even the most beaten, confused, and sad people and turn them into peaceful, joyful, and loving people. I connected to Selena throughout the whole story. Every time she made another mistake or pushed away someone who just wanted to help her, I felt so sad and desperate for her to turn her life around. Whenever she did make good choices, I was so, so happy for her.

Sometimes I feel like Christians are presented as either hypocrites or perfect, and Austin was neither. He made mistakes in his friendship with Selena and he owned up to them. But I admired that he just kept being there for her and forgiving her when she was a complete jerk to him. I quite like him.

The pacing and storyline were excellent. It did not wrap up too quickly and perfectly, like some books. The story was realistic in the timing and in the ending. Also, the ending was not all “la-di-da, everything is perfect.” There were some nice moments of certain mean side characters coming around and becoming better people, but not a completely unrealistic redeeming of all the not-so-nice characters.

If I had to say something I didn’t like so much, it would be that Selena literally had every problem in the book (pun not intended). I felt she had an excessive number of hardships that were almost overwhelming. But that also added to the beautiful ending of moving past all of these troubles that had weighed her down.

Also, the supporting characters were SO amazing!! Audrey, Brooke, Cole, Hayden, Lexie, Selena’s mom, Hilarie, and even the not so wonderful characters were all so fleshed out and entertaining! I especially loved Audrey and Brooke. I could totally read another book about them.

Bottom line: I loved it. It is a fantastically written and inspiring book, and I look forward to more books from Tessa Emily Hall.

Content Warning: Nothing.



Now for the guest post!


Austin’s Diary Entry

The previous fact or fiction was TRUE.

In celebration of yesterday being the release day for PURPLE MOON, I’ve decided to give you all a peak into one of the main characters, Austin’s, diary. He wrote this entry at some point during PURPLE MOON. If you can guess at which point of the story that Austin wrote this—and email your answer to me at christiswrite [at] gmail [dot] com—you will receive 10 extra entries for the “Purple Moon” Prize Pack. However, I will need your answer by October 25th.

(Click the image to make it larger, or simply read the entry underneath if you’d rather.)


I’m beating myself up right now. Why in the world did I say that to Selena? I can’t explain how terrible I feel. She only lives next door, but I don’t even have the courage to go over there and apologize. I wish she understood the reason I feel so protective of her, and jealous of him, is because of how much she means to me. Regardless of what I told her, she’s nothing like other girls. That’s what I regret saying the most. I know it’s not true. It’s funny, how sometimes I judge people based on their behavior, but with Selena…with Selena, all I can see is her heart, and how beautiful she is. I wasn’t playing around when I told her I’ve known there was something about her, ever since we were young. Now she’s probably going to be so upset with me, and I feel horrible about it.

But the weirdest thing is—as much as I want to go over there and apologize to her right now, I’d rather not talk to her for a while. I think maybe is hold just back off and give her space. That’s what she told me to do anyway, right? In the meantime, I don’t care how long it takes, I’m going to pray my heart out for that girl. I’m going to pray until she somehow opens her eyes and sees how absolutely incredible God’s love is, how unending and beautiful his grace is. Guess that’s all I can do at this point: pray for the girl I haven’t been able to get out of my mind all summer.


Fact or Fiction?:

Guess this fact or fiction, and be sure to stop by the next blog tour stop to see if you guessed correctly! (You’ll also receive one extra entry for the “Purple Moon” Prize Pack if you send me your guess.)



Great news!
You can win a copy of this book!

Purple Moon” Prize Pack!

Two people will receive the below prizes-- a Rafflecopter giveaway


Definitely go check out the other stops on the tour!

“Purple Moon” Blog Tour Stops:

Wednesday, September 18th: Purple Moon Blog Tour Launch: The Story Behind the Story: Christ is Write

Thursday, September 19th: 5 Facts about Purple Moon: Kim Vandel

Friday, September 20th: Character Sketches + Character Cast Contest: Who YA Reading?

Monday, September 23rd: Behind the Scenes: Why I Chose Lake Lure: Words to Dreams

Tuesday, September 24th: Release Day! Selena’s Diary Entry + Creative Photo Contest: Writing for Young Adults

Wednesday, September 25th: Austin’s Diary Entry: Amy’s Book Blog

Thursday, September 26th: Q & A: Notebook Sisters

Friday, September 27th: Purple Moon Playlist: Ashley Carr

Monday, September 30th: Purple Moon Excerpt: Wooden Swings: Heather Brice

Tuesday, October 1st: Dealing With Anxiety—The Spiritual IV: The Destiny of One

Wednesday, October 2nd: Q & A: Saved by Grace

Thursday, October 3rd: Behind the Scenes: Name Meanings: Labor Not In Vain

Friday, October 4th: Is It Okay To Be An Introvert?: Alex Inks It

Monday, October 7th: Story Behind the Cover Art: Candy Apple Books

Tuesday, October 8th: Purple Moon Excerpt: Cherishing the Sunrise: Author Casey Bond

Wednesday, October 9th: Q & A: Writing While the Rice Boils

Thursday, October 10th: Behind the Scenes: Christian Human Videos: Writing in Wonderland

Friday, October 11th: Teenage Substance Abuse: Emily Rachelle

Monday, October 14th: Behind the Scenes: Lake Lure Academy of the Arts: Worthy 2 Read

Tuesday, October 15th: My Middle & High School Experience: Hello Highlights

Wednesday, October 16th: Purple Moon Excerpt: Meatless Turkey Sandwich: Diane Estrella

Thursday, October 17th: Body Image Laurel’s Leaves

Friday, October 18th: Behind the Scenes: Brewer’s Coffee: A Splash of Ink

Monday, October 21st: Purple Moon Excerpt: Farkle at the Park: A Slightly Nerdy Bookworm

Tuesday, October 22nd: Teenage Dating: Tell The World

Wednesday, October 23rd: Q & A: The YA Book Stack

Thursday, October 24th: How Much of My Personal Life Did I Put Into “Purple Moon”?: Read For Your Future

Friday, October 25th: Fairy tales & Happy Endings + Contest Winners!: Inspiring Daring


And finally, check out the fabulous author!

Author Headshot_Tessa Hall

Tessa Emily Hall is a 19-year-old author of Purple Moon, her YA Christian fiction novel to be published September 2013 by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. She is also the editor over the faith department for Temperance Magazine, a column writer for Whole Magazine, a contributing writer for More To Be, as well as the PR for God of Moses Entertainment. Other than writing, Tessa enjoys acting, music, Starbucks, and her Teacup Shih Tzu—who is named Brewer after a character in her book, as well as her love for coffee.




Thank you, Tessa, for letting me read your book and hype it up for you!

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Friday, September 13, 2013

Review: City of a Thousand Dolls



Title: City of a Thousand Dolls
Author: Miriam Forster
Series: Bhinian Empire #1
Published: 2013 by HarperCollins Publishers
Version: Hardcover
Obtained: Library

An exotic treat set in an entirely original, fantastical world brimming with deadly mystery, forbidden romance, and heart-stopping adventure.
Nisha was abandoned at the gates of the City of a Thousand Dolls when she was just a child. Now sixteen, she lives on the grounds of the isolated estate, where orphan girls apprentice as musicians, healers, courtesans, and, if the rumors are true, assassins. Nisha makes her way as Matron’s assistant, her closest companions the mysterious cats that trail her shadow. Only when she begins a forbidden flirtation with the city’s handsome young courier does she let herself imagine a life outside the walls. Until one by one, girls around her start to die.
Before she becomes the next victim, Nisha decides to uncover the secrets that surround the girls’ deaths. But by getting involved, Nisha jeopardizes not only her own future in the City of a Thousand Dolls—but her own life.

First Sentence:
’Don’t move, Nisha.’ The words were playful, but the sharp slash of light along the blade of the throwing dagger was not.”

Oh my goodness. City of a Thousand Dolls blew me away. I absolutely loved everything about this book and I NEED the sequel. Now.

Nisha was abandoned as a child in the City of a Thousand Dolls. Orphan girls are brought up to be great at a particular skill that will make them useful as wives or workers in various fields. Nisha did not get the chance to join one of the groups, so she runs errands and helps out. Suddenly girls are being mysteriously murdered, and Nisha is best placed to gather evidence and quickly try to figure out the connections between the victims, while trying to figure out her own personal life.

Combine murder mystery with fantasy awesomeness and you have this book. I think it is one of the greatest combinations ever. The mystery is complex, perplexing, and unpredictable. I think I only predicted one plot twist in the entire book (and there are quite a few!).

Nisha is a wonderful heroine! She is determined to solve the mystery and stop these killings. Going to the far edges of the City, she does everything she can to figure it out. Many times endangering her own life in the process. Also, this book takes Nisha on a HUGE journey of self-discovery. What is she good at? How can she relate to her friends? Will a boy want to marry her? Why did her parents abandon her? And she is a boss and figuring these out. She never gives up until she has her answers.

Um, so the “talking” cats were just about the coolest part in the whole book. I want one! Also, I could so easily visualize this City and each House and the paths and mazes and walls. The setting had incredible detail and vivid imagery. Perfect.

This book series can go so many places with this amazing world Miriam Forster created. I know she’s writing a sequel and I’m calling it: it’s going to be so amazing that it will blow this book out of the water. She is a creative storyteller and anything she writes, I would read.

Content Warning: Nothing


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