crossing the barrier.

crossing the barrier review tour

High school student Malakai Thomas, star wide receiver of the varsity team, collides with band member Lily Morgan on his way to football practice. As days go by, Malakai cannot get the petite clarinetist out of his head.

Lily Morgan can feel everyone’s emotions. She loses her ability to shield herself against them the day Malakai runs into her. Now she must try to maintain her sanity in the emotional jungle that is high school, as well as deal with her growing feelings for Malakai.

Can Malakai get over the social stigma and his own internal struggle to be with Lily? Is Lily’s secret too big to accept, even for him?

i’ve recently started reading books with more of a paranormal story line. when i started reading this book that is what i was mentally prepared for. if you are looking for a book that is more paranormal than teen romance, this is not the book for you. perhaps the subsequent books in the series get a little more paranormal-y in their theme, but i didn’t think this really registered very high on the paranormal spectrum.

that being said i’m ready to tell you what i thought.

this book is long. soooo much longer than i was anticipating. i like long books. i like really, really long books (look up justin cronin if you don’t know him yet and like end of the world, sci-fi, paranormal-y sort of stuff) but this book just didn’t move super quick. now, i know. we don’t read to rush through things and finish books in record time. we read to relax, to escape, to enjoy all the words. i am not mad at all that this book was long. i just feel like i finished this book and after all those pages there were still so many things unresolved for me.

the character development was excellent 90% of the time. lots of the necessary details were included for each of the major players but i still think there should have been more. lily is an empath with a dead father and a mother that hates her. i would have liked to know so much more about her history – much sooner than it was offered up in the book. i would also really like to know what relevance the being an empath has to the story line other than making it hard for lily to deal with things in the day-to-day. are we reading a story that takes place in a time/setting where there are more than one type of person…has something caused empaths to exist or have they always been here? are they everywhere?

parts of this story were slow to get going and then other parts it seemed like an explanation was added last minute for clarity but ended up just causing more questions or confusion.

i really liked this story. i liked the characters and their relationships. i just wanted more. almost 400 pages is a lot for a YA novel – and it ended and i still had so many questions.

i’m curious to read book 2. i like the potential this story line has enough that i’ve jotted down the questions i would like to see resolved and am giving this one a 3/5.

if you want to give this book a read it will be F-R-E-E FREE on amazon.com September 1 – September 5th! and after you read it please, please, please let me know if the malakai in your mind matches the malakai on the cover bc it is driving me nuts!

about the author

Martine Lewis is a forty something who was born and raised in the French speaking province of Quebec, Canada. She spent her childhood looking forward to her summer vacations at the farm, which were a nice escape from the suburbs where she lived.

Her first written endeavor was a 200-page handwritten Duran Duran bandfiction which she wrote when she was eleven years old. Of all her written work, this is the only one she no longer has.

All throughout high school, Martine wrote more bandfictions and some original work, then she went to write fanfictions in the Star Wars, Buffy and Harry Potter universes. Her fanficiton in the Potterverse are mostly centered on characters of her own creation and can be found onfanfiction.net.

Following her viewing of Roswell on Netflix in 2012, Martine wrote book two and three of the Gray Eyes Series, then went on to create the Gray Eyes Series universe in which she has been playing ever since. She writes contemporary coming-of-age romance fiction (young adult/new adult) with a twist.

Martine is an avid reader and rollerskater. She loves sushi, hot chocolate on a cold day, and the beach. But what she loves above all else is to curl on her chair with her computer and write more stories for her readers.

Martine currently lives in Houston TX with her two cats.

Author links: website: www.martinelewisauthor.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/martinelewisauthor

Twitter: www.twitter.com/authorMartine

Instagram: www.instagram.com/martinelewisauthor

Goodreads author page: www.goodreads.com/martinelewisauthor

Amazon author page: www.amazon.com/author/martinelewis

Amazon sell link: http://goo.gl/DJ2w6n

about the book

Genre: Upper YA Coming of Age Contemporary Romance with a touch of Paranormal

Published on March 22nd, 2016

Published by BMJ Chanapi Press

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29107100-crossing-the-barrier

Amazon sell link: https://goo.gl/5azdxT

 

The Summer Before Forever.

The Summer Before Forever

ok. i will admit i was a little unsure about this book once i realized it was a girl and her soon-to-be stepbrother falling in love.

i will also admit that i ended up reading this book in one sitting and stayed up til about 4 in the morning to get it finished despite knowing i had a 10+ hour shift 6 hours later.

i really am a sucker for a good butterflies in the stomach love story.

in the summer before forever by melissa chambers we get to meet some really amazing characters. chloe (sweet, modest, and a bit troubled) packs her best friend – Jenna (reality tv famous, outgoing, and the perfect storm to chloe’s calm) into her car and heads to her father’s new home with his new fiance and soon to be new son for the summer.

chloe’s relationship experience is non-existent. the only guy she ever really liked ended up making her fairly certain she wouldn’t be able to have a relationship or trust a boy – ever. landon – the future stepbrother – is charming and smart but has a pretty big secret of his own. you can feel the unspoken connection between these two characters immediately. they each have their own back stories that literally have nothing to do with the other but melissa artfully twists their pasts into the current story line in which their pasts are helping to set the stage for a summer neither of them are likely to forget.

i really don’t want to give anything away. at all. you really just need to trust me. this would be a fantastic book for a roadtrip, day at the beach, or rainy afternoon inside! the characters are believable and awesome, the dialogue is realistic, the subject matter is legit. if you’re a fan of a good, fun YA book – look no further.

i got all the feels from this book and enthusiastically give it 4.5/5 stars.

the summer before forever banner

want to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card so you can buy all the books and read all the words? Enter the giveaway here:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1cb55495916/

about the author

melissa chambers

Melissa Chambers writes contemporary novels for young, new, and actual adults. A Nashville native, she spends her days working in the music industry and her nights tapping away at her keyboard. While she’s slightly obsessed with alt rock, she leaves the guitar playing to her husband and kid. She never misses a chance to play a tennis match, listen to an audiobook, or eat a bowl of ice cream. (Rocky road, please!) She’s a member of SCBWI and RWA including several local and online chapters thereof.

She holds her B.S. in Communications from the University of Tennessee.

Website: http://www.melissachambers.com

Twitter: MelChambersAuth

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MelissaChambersAuthor

Newsletter: http://melissachambers.com/?page_id=539

book excerpt: chapter one

It’s not like I didn’t know better. How many times has it been drilled into my brain—into the brain of every child over the age of three. Don’t get into a car with a stranger. But can the guy you’ve been melting for since the start of sophomore year really be considered a stranger…even if you never officially met him before?

I accidentally gun the gas as I squirm a little. Eight hours in a driver’s seat is hell on any behind.

It’s done. It’s over. In fact, I’m lucky. I got out of the nightmare with all my firsts still intact…well, most of them. Not quite the first kiss I have been waiting for these past sixteen years. But how juvenile is it anyway that a girl on the brink of seventeen would go un-kissed? Sweet sixteen and never been kissed—endearing. Seventeen and never been kissed—circus freak. At least that’s out of the way.

Jenna rouses in the passenger seat, yawning. “Oh my God. There’s the ocean.”

So it is, Captain Obvious. My Honda Civic starts its ascent up a fairly frightening looking bridge over an inlet.

“How long have I been asleep?”

“Couple of hours.”

She grabs her phone and squints at the screen. “Service. Thank God.”

I can’t help but smile. “What would Jenna Quigley do without social media for a day?”

“I have my fans to consider,” she says.

I give her a look.

“Kidding.”

Oh, but if only she was kidding. It’s amazing what placing eighth in a karaoke contest can do for one’s ego. Okay, so it was the most popular singing competition on any major network, but same difference.

She flips through her phone. “Oooh. I almost forgot. You’re going to this one.”

Jenna and I are two of the most unlikely best friends in the history of friendships, but one thing that does bring us together is our shared love of music.

Unfortunately, our tastes couldn’t possibly be further apart on the spectrum.

“You’ve said that about the last five songs you played for me,” I say.

She holds up her free hand, the thumb on the other still scrolling. “I swear this is one of your people, not mine.”

She sets her phone down and stares at me with those huge green eyes as the synthpop sounds of St. Lucia fill my car.

I eye her. I wouldn’t call St. Lucia one of my people, but he definitely doesn’t suck. And as far as artists go that break the barrier between her pop roots and my alt rock ones, this is one I can live with. Besides, this song is highly danceable. My upper body moves to the beat without my permission.

She points at me. “See! I told you you’d love it.”

I let a smile through. “I don’t hate it. How did you get into him?”

“Mason,” she says.

And with that name, my shoulders still. Not that there’s anything wrong with Mason. He’s not the one who tried to force himself on me. No, that particular honor goes to his best friend, Trevor. I haven’t told Jenna yet. She’ll be crushed when she finds out—and then murderous. With the summer in front of us, I need to keep her living in blissful ignorance. If I don’t, she’ll blow up to Mason about it, and then it will become this huge deal around school.

As far as she’s concerned, Trevor and I kissed, and there was no spark.

“So this kid who’s going to be your stepbrother—what’s his name?” Jenna asks.

Here we go. I suppose I’ve put this off long enough. “I probably should mention… He’s not really a kid.”

“Great. Is he some pervy preteen who’s going to be peeping through the crack of my bedroom door?”

“Not exactly.” I don’t know if he’s pervy or not, but I <em>do</em> know he’s not a preteen. He’s only a year older than us. It’s stupid, but I’m not ready for Jenna to find out yet. If I’d told her when I found out, she’d have found him on social media and wrapped him around her pinky before we even arrived. I just want a chance to get to know him at the same time rather than the two of them being old buds and best friends before we even arrive…or worse, dating.

I stare past the road out into the sparkling ocean spread in front of us. Secretly, I’m hoping he’s more like me than he is like her. I’ve never had a brother. God, I need that right now. A guy I can trust, who’s got my back. I have these ridiculous fantasies of this guy who immediately takes me under his protective wing as he kickboxes Trevor in the balls for what he tried to make me do…for what he swears we <em>will</em> do someday.

“So? What’s his name?” Jenna repeats.

“I don’t remember,” I lie.

She glares at me. “Well, what has your dad told you about him?”

I hit the blinker, and we turn toward our home for the next two months. “You think my dad and I have actual conversations?”

Jenna sits up and gasps, staring out the window. “No. Freaking. Way.”

A massive stone archway with sleek, aqua letters reading Sea Glass Cove welcomes us into a resort covered in pastel beach bungalows, a crazy big golf course, and a pool that looks like it was hijacked from Atlantis.

“Why didn’t you tell me your dad was loaded?” Jenna asks.

“He’s not,” I say. “This is his fiancée’s house.”

She snickers. “Score, Mr. Stone. Your dad must be hotter than I remember.”

I make a face. “Gross, Jenna.”

“Does he have a huge penis?” She pokes me in the side.

I swerve. “You’re going to get us killed, nasty.”

Jenna stabs a finger across my face. “265, there it is.”

I turn into the driveway of a two-story baby blue house. A black Jeep sits next to a shiny red Porsche SUV in front of my Honda. All this belongs to my future stepmother. Geez. Does my dad have a huge penis?

I open the door, and the salty sea air hits my face like the smell of chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven. Florida, even the humidity that’s so thick I think I might need an asthma inhaler, is my temporary escape for the summer.

I know I have to go back home to Cliff Ridge eventually, but when I do, the evil Trevor will be gone for college. As much as the next two months are going to win the award for most awkward daughter/dad summer ever, it’s better than the alternative of spending it back home looking over my shoulder.

I open the trunk and start gathering our bags.

“Cute,” Jenna says.

I glance at the house next door. “Yeah, you won’t find lavender houses in Cliff Ridge.”

“Not the house,” Jenna says out of the corner of her mouth.

“Let me get that.”

I look up to put a face with the unfamiliar male voice. Holy Zac Efron. Who in the… Oh no. I bet this is—

“Hey.” He grins at Jenna. “Which one of you is my new little sister?”

Jenna’s eyes go wide and she elbows me in the side. “Thank God not me.”

Great. Just…great.

He gives her a mischievous lift of an eyebrow, and then shifts his gaze to me. “Chloe?”

This guy has got the bluest eyes I’ve ever seen and short, shaggy, dark hair that falls all around his face in that totally messy and totally doesn’t care kind of way. Standing at least six feet tall, he towers over me, but I’m used to that. A light sprinkling of freckles decorates his tanned face, whereas I look like I’ve been hiding under a UV protected rock my whole life.

I scratch my eyebrow. “Yeah. Landon, right?”

“I thought you couldn’t remember his name,” Jenna mutters.

I cut my eyes at her in warning. He offers me his hand, and I take it.

“So you’re the new sister. You’re my first.” He gives the slightest hint of a smile and lets go of my hand. We watch as he wrangles our big roller bags out of the trunk and carries them both by the handles into the house.

Jenna rests an elbow on my shoulder. “Who needs to use the rollers when you’ve got muscles like that?”

She looks at me for a reaction, but I turn to the trunk to avoid her.

“So, some kid brother you got there,” she says. “What the hell, Chlo?”

I tug the rest of the bags out of the trunk and load us both down with them. “I said he wasn’t a kid…exactly.”

Jenna points to his backside as he climbs the front porch steps. “Not a kid,? That is a full-fledged man. His boy parts grew up years ago.”

I anchor a canvas bag to her right shoulder. “Don’t be gross.”

I shut the trunk, and we make our way toward the house.

Landon holds the door open for us, and we scoot past him into the foyer. It’s weird stepping into this house that I guess will be my home in a way. My dad lives here after all, but it’s not really his…at least not yet. I glance around at all the white and aqua stuff, including a pristine white couch. God, I hope I don’t spill anything on that.

“This is a beautiful house,” I say.

“My mom’s a real estate agent. She’s into decorating houses and stuff.”

I glance around. “Is my dad here?”

“They just texted. They’ll be here in just a little while. They’re getting dinner stuff.” He smiles. “I think they’re going all out for your first night.”

I suppose that warms my heart a tad. Doesn’t really make up for my dad’s virtual complete absence from my life for the past five months, but who’s keeping score.

“Where will we be sleeping?” Jenna asks with innuendo.

“Upstairs. Follow me.”

As he leads us up the stairs Jenna points at his behind again and gives a thumb’s up. I give my throat a slice in warning, and it just eggs her on.

He hauls our suitcases into a pale yellow room. Jenna tosses her bags on one of the twin beds, and I sit down on the other.

“I’ll let you settle in. Nice to meet you, Jenna…Chloe.”

“Likewise,” Jenna says as he shuts the door to our room behind him.

I glare at her.

She flops onto the bed she claimed. “What’d I do?”

“We’re going to be here two months,” I say pointedly.

“So?”

“So if you hook up with him now and things go sour next week, it’s going to be a long two months.”

She sighs and sits up. “Point taken. Besides that, he’s just the first one we’ve seen. I bet there are a whole slew of them down at the beach. Let’s go.” She rips into her suitcase and comes up with a hot pink bikini.

“I want to wait for my dad to get home. You go.”

“That’s cool. I’ll wait with you.” She pulls her phone out of her pocket and flips through one of her seven or eight social media apps, I assume.

“Ah, look at my sweetie.”

“Who?” I ask. It could be anyone.

She glowers at me. “Mason.”

I nod. Of course. They hooked up the same night I had my fiasco with Trevor. Jenna never clarifies what she means by hooked up. I’m guessing it’s somewhere between a peck on the cheek and full-on sex.

I hang clothes in one of the two closets, and then pull out the bag with my shower stuff. As I go to set my shampoo down on the corner of the tub, I notice a bottle of men’s body wash. I realize that the door I assumed was to a linen closet is actually too big to be a closet door. I creep toward it and give it a little shove. It leads to another bedroom. A guy’s bedroom.

Gray, t-shirt material sheets pool on the unmade bed. A football poster decorates one wall, while another poster of Kate Upton in a bikini hangs on another. At least sixty or seventy hardbacks line the shelves of a bookcase. I check the door, and then take a few steps closer to read the titles—biographies, many of world leaders or prominent figures in history. I spot one sitting on his desk with a bookmark peeping out of it. Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy.

He’s redeemed for the Kate Upton poster.

A classic tennis racket in a wooden case sits on a shelf above his bed. A toddler-sized jersey hangs in a frame on one wall next to a shelf housing a single trophy. I come closer and read the plaque. The Mean Green Gorillas, Team Participant. I can’t help but giggle.

“I don’t come in your room and laugh at your stuff.”

I jump a mile and spin around.

Landon lounges against the doorframe.

about the book

The Summer Before Forever by Melissa Chambers

Published by Entangled Teen

To be released August 22nd, 2016

Genre: YA Contemporary

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Summer-Before-Forever-Melissa-Chambers-ebook/dp/B01JGMQDZ8#nav-subnav

Entangled Teen: http://entangledpublishing.com/the-summer-before-forever/

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-summer-before-forever-melissa-chambers/1124233252;jsessionid=679C567CFA097FBB24E06FFB99DD096A.prodny_store02-atgap08

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29902748-the-summer-before-forever