A Aurora YA Review: Under the Stars by Geoff Laughton

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Rating: I give this book 5 out of 5 stars

Under the Stars coverDSP : “Ethan Tanner is an out and proud, fastidious, and fashionable sixteen-year-old vegetarian who likes theater and musicals. This year, it’s his sister’s turn to pick the vacation destination, so he ends up on a dude ranch he knows he is going to hate. What with the dirt, animals, and germs, he can’t possibly be happy.

Jason McCoy is the closeted sixteen-year-old son of the ranch owners and is trying to find his place in a world that doesn’t seem to fit him. He takes an interest in Ethan, shows him around, and gets him to ride a horse. When he invites Ethan camping, Ethan thinks Jason must be joking. But Ethan takes a risk, and the two boys bond under the stars.

After that, Ethan and Jason are inseparable. Their friendship grows into something deeper as they begin to figure out what they want from life. But Ethan’s home is in Chicago, and the distance might be more than the two teenagers—and their blossoming relationship—can withstand.”

 

Under the Stars follows a sixteen year old boy, Ethan, as he goes on a vacation with his parents and little sister to a ranch. At first, Ethan is reluctant to go and doesn’t think he’ll enjoy the trip much at all, but because it was his sister’s turn to choose where they wanted to go, he didn’t have much choice. When he actually arrives at the ranch, Ethan quickly connects with the owner’s son, Jason, and the two of them develop a close relationship.

As someone who isn’t usually much of a fan of contemporary, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. Within the first few pages I was completely drawn in, and I related to Ethan immediately. One thing I absolutely loved about this book was the representation of Ethan’s parents and the close relationship they had, even though they didn’t all necessarily agree throughout the entire book. It didn’t go the route of representing parents as being completely unsupportive, which I think could be a great thing for young adults who are reading this book and might be considering coming out to their parents to see that positive dynamic represented.

Jason and Ethan were both great characters who I loved seeing interact with each other, and all of their discussions and the things they did seemed very real. Ethan’s growth, especially, throughout the book, was something I really enjoyed, because he did change, but he held onto who he was and he didn’t make a one-eighty turn around. All in all, I really enjoyed this book and I would definitely read it again any time.

Cover Artist: L.C. Chase

The cover art is simple, but pretty and well suited to the book. I think the dark color scheme definitely makes it appealing, while the bright color of the fire draws the readers eyes to the bottom of the page where the artist wants them to look.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner ebook & Paperback      All Romance eBook     amazon      Under the Stars

Book Details:

ebook, 180 pages, YA young adult title
Published October 9th 2014 by Harmony Ink Press
ISBN139781632163080

Cover Reveal for Key of Behliseth by Lou Hoffmann! (contest)

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Book Name: Key of Behliseth (The Sunchild Chronicles)
Author Name: Lou Hoffmann

DEC2013LAPTOP - HoffmannAuthor Bio: Lou Hoffmann, a mother and grandmother now, has carried on her love affair with books for more than half a century, and she hasn’t even made a dent in the list of books she’d love to read—partly because the list keeps growing as more and more fascinating tales are told in written form. She reads factual things—books about physics and stars and fractal chaos, but when she wants truth, she looks for it in quality fiction. Through all that time she’s written stories of her own, but she’s come to be a published author only as a johnnie-come-lately. Lou loves other kinds of beauty as well, including music and silence, laughter and tears, youth and age, sunshine and storms, forests and fields, rivers and seas. Proud to be a bisexual woman, she’s seen the world change and change back and change more in dozens of ways, and she has great hope for the freedom to love in the world the youth of today will create in the future. You can find Lou on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/lou.hoffmann, or twitter @Lou_Hoffmann.

Author Contact:  Twitter   @Lou_Hoffmann

Key of BehlisethTitle:  Key of Behliseth (The SunChild Chronicles) by Lou Hoffmann
Cover Artist: Catt Ford
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press (Dreamspinner Press YA imprint)
Buy Links:          Dreamspinner eBook  Dreamspinner Paper 

Note: Use this code for a discount at DSP:Code: SUNCHILD
20% off – preorders
15% off – first 2 weeks after release

Blurb:
On his way to meet a fate he’d rather avoid, homeless gay teen Lucky steps through a wizard’s door and is caught up in a whirlwind quest and an ancient war. He tries to convince himself that his involvement with sword fights, magic, and interworld travel is a fluke, and that ice-breathing dragons and fire-breathing eagles don’t really exist. But with each passing hour, he remembers more about who he is and where he’s from, and with help, he begins to claim his power.
Lucky might someday rule a nation, but before he can do that, he must remember his true name, accept his destiny, and master his extraordinary abilities. Only then can he help to banish the evil that has invaded earth and find his way home—through a gateway to another world.

Excerpt (larger text to the side):

 

KOB excerpt graphic when something is trueThurlock gazed evenly at him. His cheek twitched; probably a tic, but to Lucky it looked like pain, a wince repeated over and over again. It made Thurlock’s next words seem important, maybe even urgent.

“I have erred. I’ve hurt you and that was never my intent. I assure you neither I nor Han are serial killers or anything else that’s ugly—we’re not like any of the predators you’ve probably met in the last few years.” Lucky didn’t have to decide whether to try to deny he’d had such thoughts, because Thurlock kept talking. “You can leave, if you want, with your key. If you go, I’ll watch over you as best I can, and—”

“Watch over me?”

“—and I’ll never again force you or trick you into coming here. You never need come back, if you wish it that way. Or—” Thurlock shifted his gaze, and though he didn’t move, his gray eyes closed in on Lucky’s until it felt as if they stood nose to nose. “—or you can open your eyes, and look into mine, and let yourself see with that part of you that you trust even though you don’t understand it, the part that knows when something is important, when something is true.”

hoffman KOB SCC banner (corrected) colorTour Dates: 8/12/14

Tour Stops: Parker Williams, Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves, Amanda C. Stone, Havan Fellows, MM Good Book Reviews, Prism Book Alliance, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Velvet Panic, Love Bytes, The Hat Party, Angel Martinez, Fallen Angel Reviews, Iyana Jenna, Will Parkinson, The Novel Approach, Hearts on Fire, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Smoocher’s Voice, Cate Ashwood, Charli Green

Contest:  Ebook copy of Key to Behliseth by Lou Hoffman.  Use the Rafflecopter link provided for the entry form and for additional contest details.  YA contest, age appropriate.

Rafflecopter Code: a Rafflecopter giveaway