Monday, December 31, 2012

Book Review: Rapunzel Untangled, by Cindy C. Bennett

Rapunzel Untangled, by Cindy C. Bennett

Rapunzel is not your average teenager. For one thing, she has a serious illness that keeps her inside the mysterious Gothel Mansion. And for another, her hair is 15 feet long. Not to mention that she’s also the key to ultimately saving the world from certain destruction. But then she meets a boy named Fane, who changes all she has ever known, and she decides to risk everything familiar to find out who she really is. Filled with romance, adventure, and mystery, Rapunzel Untangled is one story you won’t want to put down. Discover the true meaning of love and friendship in this modern twist to the classic fairytale.

Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Cedar Fort, Inc. (February 12, 2013)

My Review:

 I have to admit, I am a huge sucker for a retelling of a fairy tale.  Some of my favorite books are new versions of old stories.  Rapunzel Untangled has joined my list of favorite teen reads for the year.  

I found Rapunzel to be a little naive and blindly obedient, but she doesn't know anything else, so it makes sense.  She was a total sweetheart, and I just loved her.  Fane was a fantastic hero.  He was a typical teenage boy while still managing to be thoughtful and courageous.  

One of the enjoyable aspects of this story was that it takes place in the present day.  Rapunzel has a computer that is hooked up to the internet.  She gets a Facebook account and "friends" Fane.  I love her reactions to modern day technology (like cars) and other things like movies, pizza, and M&Ms.  I enjoyed the relationship between Rapunzel and Fane, and I loved that while they were instantly attracted to one another, it took time for their relationship to develop into something more than friendship.  The content was perfectly clean, and I really appreciate that in a young adult novel.  

Bit of a spoiler here:  I was frustrated with the mystery behind Rapunzel.  I think it worked, but it could have been more believable than it was.  Vedmak played too small a part in the whole thing.  I spent the entire book reading about Gothel and figuring out what her motivation and plans were, just to have Vedmak swoop in during the last couple of chapters and change the game entirely.  I thought that his motivations were solid enough, but I wish that I could have learned more about him throughout the rest of the book.

In all honesty though, I enjoyed the story far too much to really complain about Vedmak.  It was a delightful modern day fairy tale full of adventure, romance, and even Facebook!

The Cover: I absolutely adore this cover.  That hair is simply gorgeous!  I like the way the braid is loose and a little messy.  The blonde color contrasts very nicely with the darker background.  I also really like the title design.  Super cute and still easy to read.

Amazon | Goodreads | Website

About the Author:
Cindy C Bennett lives in the shadows of the majestic Rocky Mountains near Salt Lake City. She has spent several years doing volunteer work with teen girls, whom she finds to be fascinating creatures - hence, her writing stories for and about them. When not reading or writing, she loves to spend time with her family which includes a husband, two sons, two daughters, two daughters-in-law and two dogs. She thinks the best things come in pairs! She does her best creating while cruising down the highway on her Harley Davidson Fatboy. GEEK GIRL (a Sweetwater book) is her first published novel. HEART ON A CHAIN, IMMORTAL MINE, BEAUTIFUL BEAST (book 1 of Enchanted Fairytales), RED AND THE WOLF (book 2 of Enchanted Fairytales), RELUCTANCE (a Noble YA short story), IN THE BEGINNING (part of the It's a Love Thing anthology), and WATCHED (part of the Screams in the Night: Tales of Terror anthology) are her others.

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Friday, December 21, 2012

Book Review and Giveaway! The Sun Zebra, by R. Garcia

The Sun Zebra, by R. Garcia
The four Nell stories that marveled readers at are put together here for the first time in this collection, which also includes an all-new story, "Birdman and the Fairy Tale." 

This book is best described as a children's book for grownups. Its aim is to encourage us to discover (or rediscover) the amazing things that children and their magical carefree world can teach us, even as we try to teach them about the harsh realities of our own. The book is a collection of five stories that follow the "adventures in living" of an unusual little girl called Nell, her mother Rhonda, and Nell's father who is the narrator of the stories.

My Review:
This book was such a dramatic change of pace from everything I've read recently that I was surprised by it.  It was absolutely beautiful.

Told from the perspective of Nell's father, this collection of short stories are a perfect reminder that childhood is available to anyone brave enough to go out and take it.  I felt like I had rediscovered childhood as an adult and came to realize that it is never out of reach. The stories emanate a warm, loving atmosphere conducive to creating smiles and satisfaction.

This is not an action packed page turner, but rather a thoughtful exploration of the important things in life. It is the type of book that you will want to read slowly, digesting each word and absorbing their meanings.  It is a book that will leave you pondering and inspired to find joy in everyday miracles.

Please, treat yourself to this book. 


About the Author:

R. Garcia is the peculiar eclectic writer. He was born in Cuba and lived in several Latin American countries before residing permanently in the United States. Along the way he obtained a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and produced several highly technical publications. However, one fine day he decided to fulfill his dream of writing something besides technical articles. This he began to do by publishing his work under the pen name "Phantomimic" on the document sharing site, where his stories have accumulated more than one hundred thousand reads and hundreds of comments. Based in part on this enthusiastic response to his work, he decided to take it to the next level. His first book on the Amazon Kindle is the collection of short stories entitled: "The Sun Zebra".

What are 10 things that your readers might not know about you?
1) As my bio reads, I was born in Cuba. This was one year before Fidel Castro
overthrew the Batista dictatorship, and went on to establish a dictatorship of his
own. My parents finally decided to leave the country when I returned one day from
elementary school singing the International Socialist Anthem.

2) As you can figure out from #1, my first language is Spanish. This is probably
why I write and read English slower than the average person.

3) Each of the last 3 generations of my immediate family has ended up resettling in
a different country for one reason or another.

4) I myself have lived in a total of 5 countries throughout my life: Cuba,
Venezuela, Ecuador, Mexico, and the United States.

5) When I was a little kid I won second place in a Lego tournament. I built a
replica of the Apollo rocket that sent the astronauts to the moon.

6) I played chess in my youth (which is what nerds did at the time) reaching a rank
of first class player.

7) Talking about nerds, I am a bit of a quirky nerd like the character Sheldon
played by the talented actor Jim Parsons in the sitcom “The Big Bang Theory”. But
unlike Sheldon I am not so socially inept!

8) I also used to be an amateur astronomer. I would go to the top of mountains with
my friends and identify the constellations and the planets. When a small telescope
was available we would also look at nearby galaxies.

9) The first time I lived surrounded by snow was here in the U.S. I arrived in New
York State during winter to pursue graduate studies. I had a cold, and that day
there was a fire alarm at 2 AM. We had to leave the student residence, and outside
it was snowing. There I was, coughing under this strange, cold, fluffy, white stuff
falling from the sky while the Americans around me were dancing and yelling,
“Party, party, party!” This was an interesting cultural experience.

10) Although my first book, the Sun Zebra, which Dena has reviewed here (thanks
Dena!) is a collection of family-friendly stories, I am an eclectic writer. My second
book of short stories will be very different. They are going to be stories that deal
with the paranormal and the psychological. I will reveal what the name of my book
will be in a few weeks on my blog. So if after reading The Sun Zebra you are in
the mood for a change of pace, stay tuned for my next book!

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Promo Blitz: The Silver Sphere, by Michael Dadich

Addiction Blog Tours

YA Fantasy

Evolved Publishing presents a wild journey to a sister planet of Earth, in "The Silver Sphere" by Michael Dadich. [YA Fantasy/Sci- Fi] Shelby Pardow never imagined she could kill someone. All she wants to do is hide from her troubled father... when she is teleported to awaiting soldiers on the planet Azimuth. Here she is not a child, but Kin to one of the six Aulic Assembly members whom Malefic Cacoethes has drugged and imprisoned. He seeks to become dictator of this world (and then Earth by proxy). His father, Biskara, is an evil celestial entity, tracked by the Assembly with an armillary device, The Silver Sphere. With the Assembly now deposed, Biskara directs Malefic and the Nightlanders to their strategic targets. Unless.... Can Shelby find the other Kin, and develop courage and combat skills? Can the Kin reassemble in time to release or replace the Assembly, overthrowing Malefic and restraining Biskara?

Links to Buy

I’ve been writing since first setting pencil to steno pad at age 8. A year later, I began developing the world of my current series-in-progress, and even created its title, The Silver Sphere. Now, with the support of years of experience, those early maps and back stories have progressed into what I hope is a fresh and entertaining take on the classic young adult fantasy adventure.

Despite my frequent escapes into parallel worlds, I
root myself firmly in my very real family and community. When not pacing the yard maniacally after every few pages of writing, I spend as much time as possible hanging out with my studly 9-year-old son, and my inspirational wife Jenna. I also coach several local youth sports teams in Beverly Hills, and alternate between yelling at my two crazy Corgis and hiking with my trained German Shepherd.
For more, join me in my favorite fantasy worlds, from Lord of the Rings to the creations of C.S. Lewis, Anne McCaffrey and Terry Brooks. Even more importantly, stop by and say hello on my Facebook page at AuthorMichaelDadich, tweet me at @MichaelDadich, and stalk my website at

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Book Review: Gentleman of Her Dreams, by Jen Turano

Gentleman of Her Dreams, by Jen Turano

When Miss Charlotte Wilson asks God for a husband, she decides He must want her to pursue Mr. Hamilton Beckett, the catch of the season. The only problem? She's never actually met Hamilton. Fortunately, one of her oldest and dearest friends, Mr. Henry St. James—who has returned to New York after a two-year absence—does know Hamilton. Much to Henry's chagrin, Charlotte immediately ropes him into helping her meet Hamilton. However, none of her plans to catch Hamilton's eye go as she expected, and she is even more confused when her old feelings for Henry begin to resurrect themselves. In the midst of the mayhem Charlotte always seems to cause, she wonders if the gentleman of her dreams might be an entirely different man than she thought.

This novella is a companion to A Change of Fortune, Jen Turano's full-length debut novel, available fall 2012.


Short, sweet, and adorably funny, Gentleman of Her Dreams is a companion novella for the full length novel A Change of Fortune.  However, it is not necessary to read one to understand the other.  They are both fine on their own.

This quick read was an absolute delight and just what I was looking for.  I love historical fiction, and every now and again I feel the need to get away from all the paranormal and adventure and just read a good clean romance.  This short christian romance was exactly what I wanted.  It was humorous, witty, and super cute.  It was squeaky clean, too!  

It is FREE right now on Amazon.  Definitely worth the read.

File Size: 415 KB
Print Length: 81 pages
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (September 1, 2012)


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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Blog Tour and Giveaway: First Time, by Samuel Ben White

Tour Schedule

First Time: The Legend of Garison Fitch

"What if history didn't happen that way ... the first time?"

Garison Fitch was one of the most revered scientists in the Soviet Americas until he left fame behind to work on a secret project in his log cabin in the mountains of Marx.

But something went wrong. Instead of traveling interdimentionally, Garison has traveled through time ... twice.

Now, he's in something called "The United States of America" and a woman he's never met before is calling herself his wife. It it a hoax? Or, has he somehow changed history?

If so, can he return the world to what he believes is "normal", or must he live in this strange world he created?



"Sam continues to weave his magic as a storyteller. I always find myself anxious to find out what will happen next and what kind of twist will befall the adventurers. It helps to be familiar with the places that the heroines go, which adds to the story."
~Labdaddy, Texas

"I've had a few very unproductive but enjoyable days thanks to Samuel Ben White. If you haven't read Sam's books you have been missing a treat. These were funny, suspenseful, spiritual and kept you turning the pages."
~Karen S.

"Just wanted to say how much I have enjoyed your books. I have a Kindle and I have purchased all of the Garison Fitch novels. I am in Saudi Arabia and your books have really helped take me away from here."
~Scott, Saudi Arabia

Also Part of the Series:

Saving Time

Two years ago Garison Fitch traveled through time and rewrote history. An accident in the eighteenth century created a whole new world, and even gave Garison a wife he had never met before. Now, he’s got a daughter and he’s coming to enjoy this world he created. Until he’s attacked by men masquerading as Indians, and a funeral procession from out of the past enlists his help, and a tree grows from sappling to full-grown in a matter of minutes, threatening his daughter’s very life. Time itself is unraveling and Garison’s trips through time seem to be the cause. Garison must go back in time once again and keep himself from making the original trip that started the problem. But he can’t use his time machine to go back. How does one sew up a rip in time?

Lost Time

Jason Kerrigan and Brownwyn Dalmouth are pilots with the Republic of Texas Army Air Corps. A world war is going on and bombs have just brought an end to Crockett Air Field in south Texas. Jason and Bronwyn, though, are called away from the battle to be test pilots for a new aircraft that-they're told-will bring the war to an end. The experimental craft lives up to expectations in early tests, but then it lands them somewhere it never should have sent them. Another place? Another time? Another dimension? Somehow, they've taken a trip to the future and changed the past. Or did they? The answer to their change of reality may be known to a Justice of the Peace in Colorado named Garison Fitch. To figure it out, though, Garison may have to team up with his least favorite person: Bat Garrett.


"That's George Washington," she replied, surprised that he had never seen a dollar bill before. Although, she was becoming less surprised with each of these new revelations. His memory seemed to be as full of holes as a sponge, yet sometimes as solid as coral.

"Is he someone famous?" Garison asked. Inwardly he laughed as he mused that young George must have taken his advice and made something of his life to appear on currency.

Heather looked at him incredulously, but said, "Everyone in the world knows who he was—literally. Everyone. George Washington? He was the first President of the United States. Lead the Continental Congress when they drafted the Constitution. Held us together. Father of the country."

"I thought John Adams was the first president," Garison offered meekly, surprised he remembered even that little bit of historical trivia. He was embarrassed by his lack of knowledge of history—which in the last day seemed to have become even worse than he thought.

"No, John Adams was the second president, and George's vice-president before that. George was the man who, as general, turned the colonial rebels into a force coherent enough to beat the British off the soil. Then he brought us together as a nation."

"Uh-oh," Garison said, slumping to the couch.


Author Samuel Ben White

Samuel Ben White (“Sam” to his friends) is the author of the national newspaper comic strip “Tuttle’s” (found at and the on-line comic book “Burt & the I.L.S.” (found at He is married and has two sons. He serves his community as both a minister at a small church and a chaplain with hospice. In addition to his time travel stories, Sam has also written and published detective novels, a western, three fantasy novels and four works of Christian fiction.


Blog Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card
Ends 12/18/12
Open to anyone who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent's permission. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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First Time: The Legend of Garison Fitch Tour Schedule:

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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Book Review: Masquerade, by Janette Rallison

When Clarissa takes a much needed job under slightly false pretenses, she doesn't think it will be such a big deal. She may have told her movie-star boss that she was married, but that shouldn't matter. After all, she doesn't want anything to do with men for a long, long time.

It's hard for a woman to keep up the masquerade when her boss is as handsome as Slade Jacobson and the job takes her to Hawaii with him. In between handling his whirlwind four-year-old daughter and dealing with a whole cast of Hollywood personalities, Clarissa has to keep a tight hold on her heart.


Another charming and clean romantic comedy by one of my favorite authors, Janette Rallison.  It had the same type of voice and wit as her young adult novels do, but with a grown woman stumbling through embarrassing situations instead of a teen. 

The story was completely enjoyable.  Rallison has the ability to make me forget that I am not part of the plot.  I melt into the world of the characters, and get lost in their ups and downs.  I laughed so much during this book, and it was refreshing to read something other than teen angst.  

I appreciated that both of the main characters were divorced (in a non-morbid way of course).  But it made the story less picture perfect and more believable.  I loved how neither Clarissa or Slade were flawless.  They were both just average people with regular problems that happen to land in one humorous situation after another.  

For only $2.99, you can't go wrong with this one.

Age Level: Adult
File Size: 496 KB

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Texting Tyler, by Rebecca Rembish

In a time where people rely on their cell phones for everything, a romance like this was bound to happen.

Christopher Clarke is the nicest guy Amy Fallon has ever met. He is sixteen, handsome, smart, funny…an all-around great guy. Tyler Clarke is hot. So why is Amy, one of the smartest girls in school, so clueless when it comes to realizing who she is truly falling in love with? Or better yet, who’s falling in love with her.

Amy is forced to spend the week at her grandmother’s house in Arizona. She returns home to New York with a closer bond to her grandmother, a best friend she adores, and a boyfriend she believes is everything she has ever dreamed of.

After months of sporadic long distance texting, Amy’s infatuation with Tyler continues growing. She shares evening video chats with Chris, while convincing herself Tyler is the brother she truly cares for. Things finally seem to be falling in to place for Amy…that is, until she starts to realize whom her heart is truly longing for.

When she returns to Arizona almost a year later, things don’t go quite as planned. Amy is blindsided not only by the death of her grandmother, but she learns the truth behind the text messages from Tyler.


This book was super cute.  I love contemporary romance and this one was right up my alley.  It was a light read about a teen girl in a long distance relationship(s).  Rembish was brilliant at including texts as part of the story and helping it move forward.  

While the story is mostly told from Amy's perspective, it does flip over to Chris every now and then to give his view.  I really enjoyed that aspect of the book.  It was fun to see how both characters were dealing with the relationship and how the other was reacting.

I really liked Amy.  She is a very believable teenage girl.  She is pretty, smart, insecure, and a little clueless.  She falls for a lousy guy just because he showed interest in her, all while developing real feelings for his brother.  The way their relationship plays out was entertaining and kept me interested the entire time.  I felt like this book wasn't as predictable as most YA books, so I didn't ever reach a point where I got bored.

I fell head over heels for Chris.  Sometimes I thought that maybe he was a little too perfect, but he was an awesome guy and just right for Amy.  

My one and only complaint about the book is the language that is used.  There is a lot of cursing, and some of it is really strong.  I am a firm advocate for clean teen reads, and while this one was perfectly clean romantically, the use of foul language really threw me for a loop.  I realize that most teens probably use that type of language, but I really wish the author had chosen to leave it out of the story.


1. What inspired you to write Texting Tyler? 
I read an article on how texting was taking away some of the romance in YA books. I thought it would be funny to write a whole book based on texting. The first two words I typed were…Texting Tyler.

2. Will there be a sequel? 

YES! I am so excited. It’s in the review process and will be released in December 2012.

3. What do you enjoy most about writing Young Adult novels? 

I love ANGST!! I love DRAMA!! And being able to create it (without having to actually live it) is so much FUN!

4. Are you working on anything new? 

I am currently working on another technology driven romance. Here’s a glimpse…butt dialing. LOL!

5. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors? 

Make sure you have a tough skin! And if you figure out how to do that, let me know. I’m still working on getting one.


“I can’t wait.” Amy was genuinely excited.
They walked out to the parking lot and said their goodbyes.
“See ya tomorrow!” Dana shouted to them as they were walking away. 
“Okay!” Amy yelled back. They had just left and she already couldn’t wait to see them again the next day.
“They’re cool, right?” Chris asked. 
“Very,” Amy answered right away. 
Chris puffed his chest out. “I knew you’d like them. I could tell they really liked you too.” 
They waited by the car for Tyler, who took his time walking over to join them. He moved slowly, clicking the doors open with his key chain. They were all about to get in the car when Tyler turned to Chris. 
“Hey man chuck this for me.” Tyler held out the soda cup he was slurping on during the movie.
“Chuck it yourself,” Chris said.
“Then walk home,” Tyler said matter-of-factly.  
“Just give it to me.” Chris huffed as he took the soda cup from his brother and walked over to the trashcan. 
Amy and Tyler got in to the car shutting the doors. She heard a click and looked over at Tyler who was laughing. “Watch this,” he said to her.
A moment later Chris came back and opened the door to the car. Clunk, it wouldn’t open. 
“Unlock the door,” Chris said through the window. 
Tyler ignored him.
“Open the door,” Chris said impatiently.
Tyler clicked the button back and forth quickly. Chris went to open the door. Clunk, it wouldn’t open. 
Amy shifted uncomfortably in her seat. Tyler looked over at her and lifted his eyebrows at her as he continued to laugh. 
“Tyler, I swear to God man. Why you doing this?” Chris asked shaking his head. 
Amy felt bad for him. Tyler continued to ignore him and started the car. Amy looked out the window at Chris giving him a sympathetic look. Tyler put the car in drive and drove forward a few feet. Chris walked forward a few feet and knocked on the window. 
“Come on man please,” Chris begged. 
Tyler clicked the door and this time Chris was able to get in. “You’re such a puss Chris. I shoulda made you walk home.” Tyler laughed at him before turning the volume of the music up high so that no one was able to talk the entire ride home. 
Amy felt her phone vibrate in her pocket and she slid the phone out to see a text from Chris. 



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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Book Review: Highland Sactuary, by Jennifer Hudson Taylor

From Goodreads:
Gavin MacKenzie, a chieftain heir who is hired to restore the ancient Castle of Braigh, discovers a hidden village of outcasts who have created their own private sanctuary from the world. Among them is Serena Boyd, a mysterious and comely lass, who captures Gavin's heart in spite of harboring a deadly past that could destroy her future.

The villagers happen to be keeping an intriguing secret as well, and when a fierce enemy launches an attack against them, greed leads to bitter betrayal. Then, as Gavin prepares a defense, the villagers unite in a bold act of faith, showing how God's love is more powerful than any human force on earth.


A friend of mine recommended this book to me.  Historical Fiction has always been one of my favorite genres to read.  Add a little romance and I'm hooked.

This was such an unusual story.  In a lot of ways it was predictable and very similar to most other books on the market.  But there were other things that were new to me and took me completely by surprise. 

The predictable elements included the love story.  It was very obvious what was going to happen and who Serena was going to fall in love with.  They had the typical "forbidden love" that all nobility/peasant romance stories have.  In spite of it's predictability, I still enjoyed the love story. It was clean and sweet.  Gavin was a gentleman and I adored him completely.  Serena loved with her whole heart, and was good to the core.

The not so predictable aspects were pretty interesting.  Serena has a secret, but even she doesn't know the whole of it.  She lives with her mother in the Village of Outcasts, a community of misfits that find sanctuary living together in the woods.  Serena suffers from seizures, or "fits" as they are called in the book.  Her father wanted to abandon her when she was a newborn because he believed she was possessed of an evil spirit.  Her mother took her and fled to the Village of Outcasts where she was able to keep her daughter safe.

As Serena's relationship with Gavin develops, he is curious to know what her big secret is.  He is introduced to it at the market when Serena has one of her fits in public.  The townsfolk think she is a witch and possessed.  They want to burn her at the stake.  

There were more surprises as the book went on, but I don't want to give everything away.  I found it very interesting and had a difficult time putting it down.  The writing wasn't perfect, and the use of dialect was pretty heavy and made some of the reading frustrating. 

It is available in both Kindle and paperback formats.

Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Abingdon Press (October 2011)
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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Blog Tour and Giveaway: The Wedding Cake Girl, by Anne Pfeffer


Seventeen-year-old Alexandra spends so much time helping others realize their dreams that she never has time for her own. An expert ocean diver and reluctant maker of wedding cakes, she longs to leave roses and frosting behind to study oceanography. Alex’s mother won’t have it—needy and dependent, Mom can’t run the family wedding cake business on her own.

No matter what Alex does, things only get worse for her. When she saves a man's life while scuba diving and becomes the local hero, Mom's angry with Alex for going diving at all. Mom discourages Alex's new friendship with Jeremy, a fun and insanely wealthy boy who happens to have a secret. Then, Alex's best friend, Zack, a hunky island guy, starts to take an interest in her as well. The problem is, he's dating another girl.

As Alex struggles to learn where she stands between her two difficult and confusing Prince Charmings, it occurs to her that maybe what she really needs is a Prince Charming for Mom. If she doesn't do something fast, they'll bury her in her "Sue's Wedding Cakery" apron with a spatula in her hand.

The Wedding Cake Girl features a colorful island setting, dangerous underwater diving adventures, a family of billionaires, and lots and lots of buttercream. The book is Alex's journey toward not only finding love, but learning how to step forward and take control of her own life, a rite of passage that faces all young readers.


I really enjoyed this book.  It wasn't perfect, but it was a really cute story about a girl who just wants to have a normal life.  She is an avid diver that lives on a small island just off the west coast.  

I fell in love with the island that Alex lived on.  It was so beautiful and so well described, I started to think that it was a real place.  Although I found Alex to be a little whiny sometimes, I generally liked her and could sympathize with her.  She has absolutely rotten luck with most aspects of her life, and everything she does seems to just make it worse. 

One of the things that I really liked about this book is that it wasn't the typical teen romance.  It was more realistic and less predictable than the vast majority of books out there.  Alex was interested in three different boys over the course of the story.  It wasn't a "decide your eternal fate right now" type of romance.  Although Alex's love life was a big part of the book, it wasn't all consuming or over the top.  The book was about figuring out life, making big decisions, and hopefully finding a guy along the way.  

I loved Jeremy.  I thought he was a fantastic friend and an all around good character.  Zack was more of a tossup.  My attitude toward him tended to follow the feelings of the main character.  Sometimes I loved him and sometimes I didn't.  

Just one word of caution about the romances that happen in this book.  There is a point in the story when Alex goes too far with her boyfriend.  They don't go ALL the way, but far enough that I started to wonder if I was going to have to skip a page or two.

Overall, I found this story to be delightful and entertaining.  I love the cover.  It is pretty and whimsical, and it portrays the feeling of the book well.

File Size: 365 KB
Print Length: 202 pages
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

Author Bio: 

Anne Pfeffer lives in Los Angeles near a large rotating neon chicken head with her daughter and her dachshund Taco.
Twitter: AnnePfeffer1

Interview With the Author:

1.    What inspired you to write The Wedding Cake Girl?

First, I adore Catalina Island and thought it would make a fun, beautiful setting for a book. It was the model for my fictional Santa Rita Island. 

            I was married on Catalina, and my wedding cake was made by a lady who lived in town and made most of the wedding cakes on the island.  This was many years ago, and I think that woman has long since left the island. I never got to know her, and she as a person was NOT—repeat, NOT – the model for the crazy Sue Marshall.  But her job, of course, was. She was the Wedding Cake Lady, and from there I came up with Alexandra, The Wedding Cake Girl.

2.    Will there be a sequel?

A lot of people have asked for one, and I like to please my readers. So I’m thinking about it.  But I need a good story.  Let’s just say I’m seriously considering it!

3. What do you enjoy most about writing Young Adult novels?

 I think teen books are more hopeful and forward-looking than many books for adults. Teenagers have their whole lives ahead of them, which is both scary and exciting.  I like writing stories about kids who grapple with knotty every-day problems and who learn in the course of the book who they are, what their skills and passions are, and what they want to do with their lives. And if my fictional characters can do those things, maybe at least a few of my readers will believe they can too.

4. Are you working on anything new?

 Yes.  It’s called Girls Love Travis Walker.  It’s a New Adult book, about a nineteen year old high school drop-out.  It’s much grittier than The Wedding Cake Girl – about a guy who could be described as a player, but who’s working hard to save himself and his mother from eviction. It will have a hot romance, and Travis will learn some lessons along the way.  It will also feature fire fighters!  

5. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Learn how to write.  There’s a lot of specific craft that distinguishes the professional writer from the amateur.  In my early days, I would dash off these things I thought were brilliant, then ship them off to free-lance editors who would beg  me – I mean, BEG me – to take writing classes.  As one editor put it, “In good conscience, I must advise you to invest in writing classes instead of hiring me – although God knows I need the money.”

So I listened and took many, many hours of writing class and underwent (still undergo) many, many hours of critiques. I personally think you have to like writing – or need to write. The process of creating a book is so long, you have to like it in order to get through it.  And I do like it!   


Someone with a whimsical imagination must have named the streets in Paradise. I head down
Cinnamon Street to Carousel Avenue and turn left. It takes me all of one minute to get to Dizzy's Dive. Fishnets full of carefully preserved sea life cover the walls. Amidst the motionless crabs and swordfish, a soccer game blares from ten TVs. Brazil's playing Italy.

I squeeze my way through the tables. Zack's already sitting at the counter. Technically, since Dizzy's is a full-fledged liquor-slinging establishment, Zack and I are not allowed on the premises. But seeing as how Dizzy Malone is Zack's uncle, and Spike Malone, Zack's dad, is Chief of Police, there's no one to turn us in or arrest us. Zack and I have been hanging at Dizzy's since we were little, slugging down sodas and sitting near Dizzy at the bar, where he could keep an eye on us.

Zack listens to the person beside him, grinning broadly, his smile white against his tan. I love the way he's always himself, always calm and centered. A couple of girls walk by, checking him out, but he's waving to me.

It's okay if Zack's with Rosie, I try to convince myself. After all, I was the one who stupidly said it was better to be just friends.

Three months ago, Zack and I went mountain biking and stopped to rest on a hillside. I lay in a patch of sun with my eyes closed, while Zack walked around nearby. I heard him rustling in the grass, but didn't know what he was doing until I sat up, opened my eyes, and found him holding out a bunch of wildflowers. To me.

I leaned forward, admiring the island poppies and Arroyo lupine in his hand. "The flowers are great this spring, with all the rain we've gotten!" Then I looked up.

He had a half-embarrassed, half-determined expression on his face. "They're for you," he said.

"Oh!" In shock, I took them and sat there, looking down at them, not knowing what to say.

"I thought that maybe I should ask you out on a date. That is," he added, "if you're interested." He put on this "just-kidding" expression that masked the shy and serious Zack underneath and gave him an escape route if needed.

But the word "date" meant one thing: my mother and her men. I would never live in that world or let it touch what I had with Zack.

"I don't do dates!" The words flew out of me. I scrambled to my feet, the flowers falling from my hand. "Your friendship means too much to me."

"Yeah, I know, me too," he said, suddenly busy brushing off his shorts with angry little strokes.

"Zack, I...." I knew I'd hurt him, but I didn't know how to undo what I'd done. "Now I've dropped your flowers!" I wailed, trying to pick them up out of the long grass.

"Don't worry about it." He stalked off toward his mountain bike.


"Forget it." He asked Rosie out the very next day.

I haven't been able to fix my mistake. We're still friends and diving partners, but it's not the same.


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*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*


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