June #InkRipples - Summer (#giveaway)

As a teenager in Southern California, one of my favorite summer past times was getting a tan. My friend and I would catch a ride with her sister to her sister's work early in the morning. She worked close to the beach. Then we'd hop on a bus for the rest of the trip. We'd get there so early in the morning, the fog hadn't burned off yet, but that was okay because we'd be able to pick out the ultimate spot on the still empty expanse of sand. While the seagulls cried and the waves shushed in and out, we'd get to work forming our beach beds for the day. The first bed, we scooped out a deep ditch into the sand where our bottoms would rest, building the sand we removed into a pile of high behind our heads, and a smaller swell under our knees. The second bed would be flat except for a "pillow" made from sand for when it was time to turn over and tan our backs.

We slathered on tanning oil, the distinctive coconut scent lifting into the constant wind. We'd carve out a cup holder for our drinks, and drape our towels over whichever bed we were going to start with. But the last and most important thing inside my beach bag was my book. If I was going to lay on the beach for eight hours until my friend's sister came to pick us up when she got off of work, I needed entertainment. A good book was crucial.

So this month, I want to provide you with a 'beach read.' Even if you don't have a beach nearby, I'm sure you can find a shade tree in a park, a picnic table next to a river, or a maybe a rocking chair on your front porch to make yourself comfortable in while you lose yourself in a good story.

I've listed a few of the books that I enjoyed reading. There's a cross section of fantasy, contemporary and historical fiction, so there should be something for everyone. Or, if you are like me, you're up for anything. You have your choice of a Kindle copy of one of the following:

Faery Marked by Mary Waibel

When Callie Rycroft wakes to find purple flames flickering on the ceiling, she believes she’s still dreaming. But soon she’s forced to accept that she has magic―a special magic that grants her entrance into the Faery Realm.

For centuries humans have been banned from Faery, but dangerous times call for dangerous measures. Declared Champion by the Faery Queen, Callie is assigned a Guardian, and tasked with finding the Cordial―a magical elixir needed to keep the portal to the Faery realm a secret from humans.

The upside? Reece Michaels, the boy she's been crushing on for years, is her Guardian. Callie hopes that, by spending time with Reece, he'll start to see her as more than just his best friend's sister.

The downside? She's in a race not only against time, but against another Champion, and a rogue Guardian―a Guardian who stands to threaten her developing relationship with Reece.

Magic, mistaken identities, and hidden agendas are the least of Callie's worries when she learns that the Cordial requires a sacrifice. Will Callie be willing to risk everything―even Reece―to complete her task as Champion? Or will she let the portal open, and doom both realms?

Elixir Bound by Katie Carroll

Katora Kase is next in line to take over as guardian to a secret and powerful healing Elixir. Now she must journey into the wilds of Faway Forest to find the ingredient that gives the Elixir its potency. Even though she has her sister and brother, an old family friend, and the handsome son of a mapmaker as companions, she feels alone. It is her decision alone whether or not to bind herself to the Elixir to serve and protect it until it chooses a new guardian. The forest hosts many dangers, including wicked beings that will stop at nothing to gain power, but the biggest danger Katora may face is whether or not to open up her heart to love.

An Absence of Light by Meradeth Houston

Leah’s always seen the shadow creatures. She thought she was immune to their evil—until now.

She’s walked into a massacre, stolen a BMW, and is running from the law for a crime she didn’t commit. Nineteen-year-old Leah’s life just went from mildly abnormal to totally crazy at lightning speed. But no one will believe that the shadow creatures are framing her for the murder, because she’s the only one that can see them. At least that’s what she thought.

When Leah stumbles across a group who share her ability, she discovers they have something she doesn’t: a way to fight back. When the group offers to teach her how to kill the shadow creatures, Leah jumps at the chance. But something is brewing with the creatures. They’re tracking down the hunters like there’s no tomorrow. Leah suspects that maybe there won’t be, and it’s up to her to make sure tomorrow comes. Because she’ll do anything to stop the shadows, including risking her life—and the life of the one she loves—to keep the world from being lost to darkness forever.

Caves, Canons, and Crinolines by Beverly Stowe McClure

In May of 1863, fourteen-year-old Elizabeth (Lizzie) Stamford decides to enlist in the Confederate Army. Two incidents trigger her decision. First, for months General Ulysses S. Grant and his Federal troops have been shelling Vicksburg, Mississippi. To control Vicksburg is to control the Mississippi River. Now, Vicksburg is under siege, cut off from the rest of the world.

Caves, Cannons and Crinolines is the story of Elizabeth (Lizzie) Stamford and her family's daily struggle to survive a changing way of life during the American Civil War. This is a story of fear, courage, and understanding that people, no matter where they live, have the same needs: love, peace and security.

Caves, Cannons and Crinolines by Beverly Stowe McClure is an Award-Winning Finalist in the 2012 Eric Hoffer Book Award in the category Young Adult, an Award-Winning Finalist in the Novella category of the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and also an Award-Winning Finalist in the category of Teen Literature Fiction in the 2011 Global eBook Awards.

Vitamins and Death by Medeia Sharif

Deidra Battle wants nothing more than to be invisible. After her mother, a public school teacher, engages in an embarrassing teacher-student affair at Lincoln High, they relocate to a different neighborhood and school. Being her mother’s briefcase, Deidra joins her mother at her new workplace, Hodge High.

Since her mother has reverted to her maiden name and changed her appearance, Deidra thinks no one will figure out they’re the Battles from recent news and that they’re safe. Neither of them is. Hodge brings a fresh set of bullies who discover details about the scandal that changed her life.

Feeling trapped at home with an emotionally abusive, pill-addicted mother and at school with hostile classmates who attempt to assault and blackmail her, Deidra yearns for freedom, even if she has to act out of character and hurt others in the process. Freedom comes at a price.

Okay, I could keep going forever, but I have to stop somewhere. Which of the books would you like to read? Tweet about it to enter the rafflecopter (hint, the Twitter msgs below are in the same order as the books above, so tweet the book you'd like to win!) Or add the book on Goodreads. Or repin my Pinterest posts of the book(s) you are interested in. Share one or share them all, but only share if you want to win that book, because if your entry is chosen, you will win the book the entry was about. Don't worry, they're all good!

Enter before June 22nd. You can tweet every day, so feel free to come back again and again.

Good luck and happy summer reading!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

After you enter the contest, hop on over to Mary's InkRipples post and Katie's InkRipples post. 

Ripples in the Inkwell is a themed meme hosted by Mary Waibel, Katie L. Carroll, and Kai Strand posting on the second Monday of every month. To participate compose your own post regarding the theme of the month, and link back to the three host blogs. Feel free to post whenever you want during the month, but be sure to include #inkripples when you promote so readers can find you. The idea is that we toss a word or idea into the inkwell and each post is a new ripple. There is no wrong interpretation. Themes and images and more information can be found here.


  1. I love the "tanning beds" you described. Sounds like you had a great summer. And, I think it's funny how you and Katie were on one page with the post, and I took a totally different tack. Very cool!

    Thanks for the book nod, too! (Great list of reads there!!)

    1. The beds made for a long, lazy, and comfy day :)

  2. Great minds think alike, Kai! We love going to the beach early, too. Thanks so much for including Elixir Bound on your list. :)

    1. Though I don't like tanning my skin anymore (not that I do much to stop it, but I also don't do it on purpose, either,) I do miss the ocean's beach. Our lakes aren't big enough and the beaches aren't sandy enough to be a worthy substitute.

  3. You brought back memories, Kai. When I was a kid we went to the Gulf of Mexico almost every summer. My best friend usually went with us. Great beach. We had lots of fun.
    Thanks for including Caves in your list of books.
    Oh, and I rippled today. Hope I did it right. :)

    1. Ah, nothing like good summer memories, Bev. I'm so glad you joined us on Ripples this month. I'll be sure to visit.

  4. These are great books. I've read most of them.

    1. Soooo many good books out there and this selection provides a variety. Thanks for visiting, Kelly.


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