Thursday, June 8, 2017

Book Review: RAMONA BLUE by Julie Murphy

Dear Kim,

Ramona Blue is tall.
Ramona Blue is a sister.
Ramona Blue is a survivor.
Ramona Blue has blue hair.
Ramona Blue is questioning.

And maybe those details are enough to summarize this story, but I loved it too much to stop...



Ramona Blue is Julie Murphy’s third novel to hit the shelves. Much like her Side Effects May Vary and DUMPLIN’, Murphy inserts us into the town of her main character. 

We know the setting. 
We know the friends. 
And we intimately know our main character: Ramona Blue.



The central relationship in the book is between Ramona and her sister Hattie. Both girls dream of leaving Eulogy, Mississippi after Ramona graduates from high school. Then Hattie becomes pregnant and her Cinderella dreams are dashed. Ramona is no stranger to sacrificing for her family, but the baby has her sacrificing any hope of a future on her own. 



While Ramona's own mother is inconsistent at being motherly, and barely contributing to the family, her father has many sweet moments in the book that make Ramona’s situation feel very familiar to my own. I appreciate the care Murphy took in bringing such an authentic view of family life to the page. As she says in the book, “childhood ends and adult life begins the moment you stop believing your parents can rescue you.”


💙💙💙

Murphy did play with my heart a bit. The opening scene between Grace and Ramona gave me all the feels. I wanted Ramona and Grace to step off the page and walk down the beach toward wedded bliss. (I know I am a HOPELESS romantic.) But the heartbreak of a summer romance hangs all over the page too. 

Murphy had me believing that distance would be what keeps Ramona and Grace apart. (This is familiarity sneaking between my own head and the page. This is the “reading like she knows me” that gets a reader into trouble because Murphy doesn’t know me.) Murphy doesn’t care about my fool heart. She had surprises in store for me—the reader— and Ramona too.

I won’t write much about Ramona and Freddie, several (read thousands) folks have already done so online. (A few to explore: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1844866135, http://meloukhia.net/2017/04/book_review_ramona_blue_by_julie_murphy/, http://womenwriteaboutcomics.com/2017/05/26/ramona-blue-sweet-novel-sexual-fluidity/... still looking for a review from a teen of the book.)

Murphy gives Ramona’s experiences a voice, we see a character explore her roles in an ever changing family. Murphy was successful in showing that being trapped doesn't always make you scream: “I WANT OUT”. There's nuance when your family is in need. It isn’t all about you. It is about eating, and contributing, and the guilt of getting out. But it is also about YOU. The need to be yourself no matter the outside pressures searing hot against your neck. This book made me cry—happy tears and big, fat sorrow too.

I look forward to sharing this book with teens, and to the story Julie Murphy gives us next.

Much love,

Alison

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

BOOK BLITZ: Starr Gone by Kim Briggs

Dear Alison & friends,

Hi! Today kicks off the Starr Gone Book Blitz & Blog Tour. I can't wait to share more of Starr and Di's story with everybody. In Starr Gone, you get to meet Rebecca, a close friend of Christian, Ben, and Coda who is also from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Tribal Nation. Her presence brings a much needed calmness and new perspective to Team Starr. And, AND did you know there are already 3 FIVE STAR reviews?!?!

NEW BOOK RELEASE!
A Starr gone. A team betrayed.
Starr Gone
STARR GONE
Kim Briggs
Series: Starr Fall Book 3
Genre:†Young Adult Contemporary, YA Romance, YA Thriller
Publisher: Inkspell Publishing
Publication Date: June 3, 2017
A Starr gone. A team betrayed.
You never know who your true friends are until a gunís pointed at you. One will take a bullet, and the other will pull the trigger. Starr learned that lesson the hard way.
The perfect smile. A killer attitude. General Treadwell wanted nothing more than to turn Starr Bishop into the ideal assassin, but sheís far more valuable as Jessica Chamberlain, granddaughter and heir to Chamberlain Chocolates. Luckily, heís found two enthusiastic replacements. They lack Starrís intelligence, but no matter, they possess their own weapons of persuasion along with a flair for the dramatic, and thatís never a bad thing.
Di, along with Christian, Frank, Ben and Coda, are determined to keep Starr safe, but the depths of betrayal crack the very foundation of the team. When Starr becomes a pawn in a game of power, money, and manipulation, Di channels her WWSD (What Would Starr Do) to rally the team. She owes her best friend that much. No... More.
"I love this book so much and this series just won't stop getting better and better!"
- Meggan Turner, Goodreads Reviewer

Purchase Links

Starr Gone Teaser

Other Books by Kim Briggs

Don't miss the first two books in the Starr Fall series:
Starr Fall
STARR FALL
Series: Starr Fall Book 1
When the Organization decides Starr would make the ideal assassin, she needs to escape the island and disappear. While in hiding she meets dark, moody, and dead sexy Christian Evergood. Christian makes Starr forget that the Organization is after her, but their lives are more entwined than either one realizes.
One Starr falls, and a killer rises!
Buy†Links: Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble
Related Links

Starr Lost
STARR LOST
Series: Starr Fall Book 2
A Starr falls, and a family is found.
On the run from the Organization, Starr and Christian find safety on the Qualla Boundary with their friends, Ben and Coda, but Starr needs answers. She owes her dear dead friends, Sami and Jody, that much. She forms a team of her own to fight the general and his recruits.
Life becomes tense on the Qualla Boundary, sparks fly, and the Organization is about to smash in their door.
Buy†Links: Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble
"Amazing, Amazing Must Read. Had me edging from my seat, wide eyed with what's going to happen with each turn of the page."
- Amazon Customer, Amazon reviewer

Giveaway

WIN
Starr Gone Giveaway Graphic
Be the lucky winner:
$10 Amazon Gift Card, Starr Gone Paperback and Swag
Contest runs from June 6 - 19, 2017.

About†Kim Briggs

Kim Briggs
Kim Briggs once smashed into a tree while skiing. The accident led to a concussion, a cracked sternum, temporary notoriety as a sixth grader returned from the dead, and the realization that fictionalized accounts are way more interesting than just slipping on the ice.
An unhealthy obsession with conspiracy theories combined with a love of travel and happily ever afters led Kim to write her YA novel, Starr Fall, where a secret organization decides 17-year-old Starr Bishop is not only the model student, but the ideal assassin. While in hiding, Starr meets dark, moody, and dead sexy Christian Evergood. Cue the swoon worthy music. But itís not all happily ever afters for Kim. Her NA novel, And Then He, explores the dark and scary corners of the human psyche. Following a night of innocent flirting with a handsome stranger, Tiffani finds herself in the midst of a nightmare she canít escape. And Then He is available through Amazon and other major book retailers. Starr Fall released November 2016 with Inkspell Publishing, followed by Starr Lost in January 2017 and Starr Gone in June 2017. Her novella, Avalanche is part of the Valentine Kisses Anthology and released February 14, 2017.
When sheís not doing something writerly, Kim can be found jumping into snowdrifts with her three kids, husband, and dog. Sheís careful to avoid trees.
Visit her website and sign up for updates: http://www.KimBriggsWrite.com
She shares writing love with her INK Sister Alison Green Myers at INK Sisters Write
Connect with her†on these social media sites: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Tumblr

Book Tour Schedule

Follow the book tour from June 6 - 19, 2017.
Discover more features, excerpts, reviews, interviews, fun facts and other extras on the tour.
To check the latest tour schedule, visit the Starr Gone Book Page at Book Unleashed.
Starr Gone Tour Graphic

In partnership with
Book Unleashed Logo
Book Unleashed Book Tours

So, that's it for the Starr Gone Book Blitz post, but remember, follow the Starr Gone Blog Tour everyday for Fun Facts, inside scoops, new excerpts, new character reviews, plus prizes!!

I would love to hear what you think about the book, the cover, or about your favorite book! Comment below!

Write on,
Kim

Saturday, June 3, 2017

BOOK RELEASE: Starr Gone by Kim Briggs

Dear Alison and friends,

Today is the day! Today is the day Starr Gone, Book Three of the Starr Fall Series releases into the world! The Starr Gone Book Blitz begins Monday. The Starr Gone Blog Tour starts Tuesday but for today, I'll provide a never before scene excerpt from Starr Gone!!

And forgive me, I will be shouting to the world that Starr Gone is out! Muah! Thanks for all your Writer Love, and let me know what you think in the comments! 


Starr Gone
Book Three of the Starr Fall Series
By Kim Briggs


ISBN:(ebook)  978-1-945910-16-6
Print:  978-1-945910-17-3

BUY LINKS:

BLURB:

A Starr gone. A team betrayed.
You never know who your true friends are until a gun’s pointed at you. One will take a bullet, and the other will pull the trigger. Starr learned that lesson the hard way.
The perfect smile. A killer attitude. General Treadwell wanted nothing more than to turn Starr Bishop into the ideal assassin, but she’s far more valuable as Jessica Chamberlain, granddaughter and heir to Chamberlain Chocolates. Luckily, he’s found two enthusiastic replacements. They lack Starr’s intelligence, but no matter, they possess their own weapons of persuasion along with a flair for the dramatic, and that’s never a bad thing.
Di, along with Christian, Frank, Ben and Coda, are determined to keep Starr safe, but the depths of betrayal crack the very foundation of the team. When Starr becomes a pawn in a game of power, money, and manipulation, Di channels her WWSD (What Would Starr Do) to rally the team. She owes her best friend that much. No... More.


EXCERPT 3:

Starr
While we say our goodbyes to Coda and Ben, Jude borrows Christian’s phone to order the pizza. “Great, thanks,” I hear him say. “It’ll be ready in about a half an hour. It takes about fifteen to get there. Hey Christian, want to go for a ride to pick it up?”
Christian pushes up from the floor. “Sure.”
At the sound of his voice, my heart races. “I don’t think you should go.”
“Starr, it’s just pizza.”
I reach for his hands and pull him down next to me. “Forget the pizza.”
He leans in and whispers, “Starr, it’s just pizza and besides, we don’t want to leave Jude alone and I’m not sending Di in my place.”
I glance over at Di.
No, she’s been through too much. Much too much. My stomach twists in knots. “I’ll make it up to you later,” he promises.
“Please don’t go,” I whisper and throw my arms around him. I find his lips with a wild desire never to let him go. I know it’s silly. He’s just going for pizza, but the way my life’s been rolling lately, I’m not taking any chances.
“Come on,” Jude says with a laugh in his voice. Dissimilar from his usual annoyed reaction. It only makes me more nervous. “Pizza awaits.”
Christian struggles to pull away, but I don’t want to let him go. Not yet. “I love you,” I blurt out.
He smiles at me. “I love you too. I’ll be right back.”
Tears well up in my eyes as I watch his disappearing back.
“Starr, are you alright?” Di asks.
“Yeah, I guess. No, not really. I’m feeling a little paranoid.”
“Let’s watch a show—something mushy and icky the guys would never want to watch, and no news,” she warns pointing the remote in my direction.
“No news,” I concede.
Before Di can change the channel, a newsflash comes up. “We’d like to interrupt your regularly scheduled viewing for a brief announcement:…

About the Author:
Kim Briggs once smashed into a tree while skiing. The accident led to a concussion, a cracked sternum, temporary notoriety as a sixth grader returned from the dead, and the realization that fictionalized accounts are way more interesting than just slipping on the ice.
An unhealthy obsession with conspiracy theories combined with a love of travel and happily ever afters led Kim to write her YA novel, Starr Fall, where a secret organization decides 17-year-old Starr Bishop is not only the model student, but the ideal assassin. While in hiding, Starr meets dark, moody, and dead sexy Christian Evergood. Cue the swoon worthy music. But it’s not all happily ever afters for Kim. Her NA novel, And Then He, explores the dark and scary corners of the human psyche. Following a night of innocent flirting with a handsome stranger, Tiffani finds herself in the midst of a nightmare she can’t escape. And Then He is available through Amazon and other major book retailers. Starr Fall released November 2016 with Inkspell Publishing, followed by Starr Lost in January 2017 and Starr Gone in June 2017. Her novella, Avalanche is part of the Valentine Kisses Anthology and released February 14, 2017.
When she’s not doing something writerly, Kim can be found jumping into snowdrifts with her three kids, husband, and dog. She’s careful to avoid trees.

Visit her website and sign up for updates: www.KimBriggsWrite.com
Please like her Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/KimBriggsWrite/
Chat with her on Twitter: @KimBriggsWrite
She shares writing love with her INK Sister Alison Green Myers at INK Sisters Write http://INKSistersWrite.Blogspot.com

What do you think?

Write on,
Kim