Friday, October 31, 2014

Timmy's Review of By the Creek by Geoff Laughton


This was a good read for me. There were many things I loved about this book and a few things that I think could have been better. First, let me tell you what it was about (without giving anything away). David and his mother moved to rural Michigan, where David is basically stuck out in the country with no car or friends until school starts. Because the story starts at the beginning of his summer break, that left a lot of free time. So after a few days, he goes and explores his new home and finds a creek. While at the creek, he runs into Benjamin, an Amish kid that lives in a community nearby. At first, Benjamin was not supposed to talk to David, (though he did anyway), until something happened to change that. Later they discovered they liked each other as more than friends and had to work to hide that. 

I loved learning about the Amish Community, and what it meant to be Amish. I always love books that teach me new things as I read. I even did more research after I had finished the book because I was intrigued by the Amish way of life. 

I also like that this book has a younger feel to it with older characters. There was some violence, but it was off page so you know it happened yet didn’t have to read it. That made this book a great book for younger teens who are looking to read books with older characters and without reading violence. I think the author did that very well in this book. I don’t know if his intent was to aim it at younger teens, but this would be great for them; and it’s a good read for older kids as well. So he expanded his audience by doing this. 

I like that there was a build up to the boys’ relationship. They were first wary of each other, then hidden friends, then not so hidden friends, until they became lovers. This gave it a more realistic feel for me being that one of the characters was from a strict religious background and community. 

Now, what I would have liked to be different in the book. Because this book spans a few years, daily life goes by fast. In real life, people, especially teens, change a lot in just a few years’ time. That didn’t happen here. There was some change in Benjamin, but David was the same kid through the whole book. We also lost a lot of action and were “told” how his life went. I like to read books that flow more like movies, where I “watch” (or am shown) the action instead of being told what happens. I do realize that that would be hard with this type of book because it would make it crazy long, but maybe a little more action would have worked. 

I feel the ending has left a spot for more to come and I hope there is more because we need more closure for these boys. I give this book 3 marbles. It’s a good read and I would recommend it to young teens.


By the Creek is available at


About By the Creek

Soon-to-be high school junior David Harper hates his family’s move to the country. There’s nothing to do, and he misses his friends in the city. But he doesn’t have a choice. His mother’s job is in Mason County now, so David and his mom are too, and he has to make the best of it.

At first, the only redeeming feature of David’s new home is the swimming hole across the field from his house. Then David meets Benjamin Killinger, and suddenly life stops being so dull.

Benjamin is Amish, and cooling off in the swimming hole is one of the few liberties he and his brothers enjoy. A friendship with an English boy is not—but that doesn’t stop him and David from getting to know each other, as long as it's on the neutral ground by the creek. After David risks his life to save Benjamin’s father, the boys’ friendship is tolerated, then accepted. But before long, Benjamin’s feelings for David grow beyond the platonic. Benjamin's family and the rest of the community will never allow a love like that, and a secret this big can’t stay secret forever...

Find Geoff Laughton on Goodreads and on Facebook

Friday, October 24, 2014

Timmy's Review of Weatherboy by Theo Fenraven


For me as a teen reader, I thought Weatherboy was a great read. The story flowed nicely and the writing was uncomplicated. Even reading about more adult issues such as government and climate control, this book was easy to follow. I don’t mind a challenging book once in a while, but it was nice just to sit and read a book without having to look any words up, or reread a paragraph that was weighed down with metaphors and descriptions. That is not to say this was a boring read, because it wasn’t. There was something going on from the very first chapter, and it didn’t stop until the book was over. 

The story, though, read like a long prologue and I hope that there is more to tell about Tuck later. This was like reading the back-story about a future book. It explains how Tuck got the power to change the weather, what that ability did for him, and could do for the government and the world, but I feel there needs to be more of this story told. There were things left unsettled, a character left unexplained, and it’s my hope that it means there will be a second book to explain what was left open. 

I think Tuck was a very believable teen boy. He had worries, concerns, and fears that would match any 15 year old going through this situation. His friends, Holly and Mick, were also good characters, though they had little to do with the story as the book progressed. I would have liked to read more about them. To most teens, their friends are more important than anyone else is, so it’s unrealistic that they just faded out the way they did. 

Tuck seemed to have the perfect parents, which is a little unrealistic, but they did have a few failings that made them more human to me. To me, that was important to make them seem more real. They are laidback, and way too trusting of their 15-year-old son. They loved Tuck and I felt that strong connection from the book, but I think parents would fight more to keep their child from being used by the government. He had a bi-sexual grandfather who was living with his longtime male lover. They were a great source of information when Tuck had questions about his own sexuality, and very supportive when Tuck needed them. 

I did something I have never done before when writing this review. I had two close friends that had also read and reviewed this book, and I read both reviews. I don’t normally go looking for other reviews until after mine is posted because I don’t want to be influenced by them. But I decided to look at them because I was curious about what their take on the story was. I both agreed and disagreed with things they wrote, but there was one thing I really disagreed with. Tucks sexuality was important in this book. The book is not based on it and there is not a romance involved. However, a very important character comes about based solely on the fact that Tuck is gay. That’s all I’ll say on that, because I don’t want to give out spoilers. 

I give this book 4 marbles, and beg the author not to let Tuck’s story stop here. I would like more, please. I would recommend this book to anyone, but mostly to teens. It’s a light, easy read that is not boring or slow because the adventure flows nicely.


Weatherboy is available in ebook at Amazon

A copy of this book was given to me by the author 
in exchange for a fair and honest review.

About Weatherboy:
After fifteen-year-old Tuck finds a Maya artifact while on vacation in Guatemala, his whole life changes. To his surprise, he discovers he can make it rain and snow. A local weatherman happens to be around when Tuck creates a waterspout near his home in Tarpon Springs, Florida, and the next thing he knows, someone from the Department of Homeland Security is picking him up at school and taking him to their offices in Orlando. From there, things only get weirder and more dangerous when he’s escorted to Washington, D.C.

With help from friends and family, Tuck tries to outwit government agents while staying one step ahead of the mysterious Rafe Castillo, the man assigned to ride herd on him. Tuck has an amazing opportunity to reverse the effects of climate change… but only if he stays alive long enough to do it.


Find Theo Fenraven on his blog, on Goodreads,
on Facebook, and on Twitter @Fenraven

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Slaying Isidore's Dragons coming in April, 2015 from Harmony Ink Press!


COMING IN APRIL, 2015

5 Best friends
4 Vicious brothers
3 STD tests
2 Guys in love
1 Car bombing
&
Nowhere to run

Slaying Isidore’s Dragon’s follows the burgeoning love of two high school seniors during the worst year of their lives. Irish born Declan David de Quirke II is the son of two Ambassadors, one Irish and one American. He’s come out to his parents but to no one else. French born Jean-Isidore de Sauveterre is the son of two Ambassadors, one Catalan and one Parisian. His four half-brothers have been told to cure him of his homosexuality. Declan and Isidore meet at the beginning of their senior year in high school at a private academy in the United States. Declan is immediately smitten with Isidore and becomes his knight in shining armor. Isidore wants to keep what little is left of his sanity and needs Declan’s love to do it.
5 Weeks of hell
4 Attempts on their lives
3 Law enforcement agencies
2 Dead high school seniors
1 Jealous friend
&
A love that won’t be denied

One is beaten, one is drugged, one is nearly raped, one has been raped, they are harassed by professors and police, and have fights at school, but none of it compares to running for their lives. When the Headmaster’s popular son attempts suicide and someone attempts to assassinate Declan’s mother, they are thrown headlong into chaos, betrayal, conspiracy, allegations of sexual coercion, pornography, even murder. And one of them carries a secret that may get them killed.
5 New family members
4 BFF’s
3 Countries
2 Extraordinary Psychologists
1 Courageous Mother
&
A new beginning for two young men in love
All content ©2011-2014 C. Kennedy. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Voice - A Blog Written by the Community for the Community brought to you by Have a Gay Day!


Have a Gay Day is the brainchild of Michael Knote. An innovator and visionary, he is changing the world one gay day at a time. Have a Gay Day's goal is to "create a safe environment for the purpose of Equality, Education, and Support of the LGBT community and their Allies."

Truthfully, Michael and Have a Gay Day do far more than create a safe environment for our community. Projects include Spectrum, a pay it forward project for the community; Prism, a non-emergency chatline when you need someone to talk to; a planned Mobile Community Center and outreach program; and Create a Project which enables you to choose how you'd like to contribute to the communityjust to name a few! You can also volunteer, donate, shop, or just get involved in the community! Have a Gay Day also has a Partner Program if you and your business want to contribute to the community!

Within Have a Gay Day, Michael began The Voice, a blog written by the community for the community. I'm pleased to announce that I have the honor and privilege of being a contributor. I'll write periodic articles about all kinds of things in our community and hope you'll join me in high-spirited discussion. Begin reading right here!

Like Have a Gay Day on Facebook, follow Have a Gay Day on Twitter, and I hope to see you on The Voice!

If you are a journalist and would like more information or an interview, please email media@haveagayday.org

Have a Gay Day™ is a Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit Corporation

Friday, October 17, 2014

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Omorphi is a finalist in the 2014 Rainbow Awards!

It is my great pleasure to announce that Omorphi is a finalist in the
2014 Rainbow Awards!

"Hauntingly beautiful, a book that you never wanted to end because you were so much a part of the characters lives. When you finish the book you want to know more, to pick up the phone and call Christy. Magically written, the voices and setting of the story were so clear you lived each moment with the characters."

"This book and others like it are the reason I put so much time and effort into judging for the Rainbow Awards. Flawless from start to finish, written with such deft prose that as a reader one cannot help but be pulled deep into the psyche of the characters. I love Christy, Michael, Jake, all their friends and family. Hell, I even love Uncle Smitty. Their world is filled with unspeakable horrors and oceans of pain, but for the chance to sit quietly at their sides on a sunny afternoon, I’d definitely take my chances. Wow."

Thank you to all of you who read Omorphi and thank you, Elisa and all the judges, for all you do for us!