ARC Review: From a Distant Star-Karen McQuestion

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cooltext1889161239 copySeventeen-year-old Emma was the only one who hadn’t given up on her boyfriend, Lucas. Everyone else—his family, his friends, his doctors—believed that any moment could be his last. So when Lucas miraculously returns from the brink of death, Emma thinks her prayers have been answered.

As the surprised town rejoices, Emma begins to question whether Lucas is the same boy she’s always known. When she finds an unidentifiable object on his family’s farm—and government agents come to claim it—she begins to suspect that nothing is what it seems. Emma’s out-of-this-world discovery may be the key to setting things right, but only if she and Lucas can evade the agents who are after what they have. With all her hopes and dreams on the line, Emma sets out to save the boy she loves. And with a little help from a distant star, she might just have a chance at making those dreams come true.

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***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Skyscape.

From a Distant Star is an unconventional take on body snatchers. Karen McQuestion turns the gaze back around, questioning who the real enemy is, man or alien?

PROS:

  • Told from 3 perspectives, Karen McQuestion successfully slips from one persona to the next. Whether it be masculine, feminine, animal or alien, the tone is distinct and inventive. You can easily embrace their feelings and thoughts. 
  • The overall concept of From a Distant Star is intriguing. The idea that an alien would possess a body in spirit was crazy unique, especially when most alien stories center on abduction and experimentation. 
  • Mrs. Kokesh was quirky, dramatic and everything you’d want in a pseudo-psychic witch. Sometimes she was hokey and bizarre and others she was fussy and blunt. I adored her spunky spirit. 
  • Scout is strangely magnetic. He’s weird in the best way. His fascination with the human world, his innocence, and his obvious intelligence were very attractive. At times he’s like a child exploring the world with wonder for the first time and others he’s profound. His questions make you think about the nature of humanity and how the heart works. There’s a scene that is super sweet and will melt your heart, totally winning you over. Alien or not, Scout’s humanity is unquestionable. 

CONS:

  • The pace was really slow. It didn’t pick up until about halfway through and up until that point it was a struggle to stay hooked. 
  • Emma was detached for me. Her entire focus was on Lucas and getting him well. It was like she didn’t know who she was or how to be without him. It made it difficult to become attached to her character. Her likes and dislikes, except for a brief car dancing scene were largely absent and made it hard to form a solid opinion of her. Emma also makes decisions that are questionable and downright infuriating at times. 
  • The secret agents, the research facility, the crazy alien fans were expected and fairly predictable. 

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

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Book Blitz: Rebel Preview-Various

Have you heard of the Rebel Writers? They call themselves a group of like-minded word nerds, but what they really are is a group of self-published and hybrid authors who have been busting their butts to put out some quality content over the last year. They are releasing their first compilation and giving you a FREE sneak peek into one of each of their books.

Rebel Preview

cooltext1889161239 copyThis book is a compilation of chapters from the authors who make up The Rebel Writers. The excerpts are not full-length novels and are only intended to provide samples of multiple stories to expose you to new works. Included are contemporary romance, fantasy, science fiction, dystopian and paranormal stories.

Regan Claire – Gathering Water

Della was handed a slim folder the day she turned eighteen. Inside it was the name of her mother and the identity of a family that never tried to pull her from the foster system she hates. When Della moves across the country to claim the only pieces of her mother that still remain, she finds herself pulled into an unimaginable world —one on the brink of war — and it takes everything Della has not to drown in a destiny she didn’t choose. Can she move past her anger and pain to save the people she’s come to love, or will her enemies strike before Della has the chance to become the only weapon capable of destroying them?

Theresa Kay – Dark Expanse

In a world of military space stations, planetary jumps and alien offensives, nineteen-year-old Eva Braebel’s life has never been easy. She’s small. She’s female. And she earned the ire of a powerful General at a young age. With hard work and the support of her friends, she achieves more than she ever dreamed possible: A position as flight squadron leader and the man who she loves by her side. Eva just got everything she’s ever wanted, but how long can she keep it? 

Caylie Marcoe – Choose Us

Riley Logan and Travis Grayson have been best friends for fifteen years. Riley never imagined that working as Travis’s personal assistant would land her the job of undercover spy on a televised dating show meant to find him love. Travis forced her into it and now the last girl she expected is the one she wants him to choose – her. 

Stormy Smith – Bound by Duty

Amelia Bradbury is the last living Elder. She has power she can’t control and has been forced to hide, while a prophecy dictates her fate even as she fights for a normal life. She faces a betrothal she can’t stop and, on top of it all, she’s lost her heart to a human. When the whole truth comes to light, will Amelia choose her duty or her heart?

Elizabeth Tuttle – Spark of Light

Nearly a century ago the world was decimated by a magical war. In their defeat, elves were captured by humans, cut off from their magic, and broken down into lifeless, drone-like slaves. Avery is different. Never completely broken, she must pretend in order to survive. But when love sparks the light inside Avery, her magic blooms to full force. It’s only once she is ripped away from this love that Avery finds herself at The Farm, facing truths she never expected and the possibility that she could be spark her people need to reignite.

Kat Nichols – Family Secrets

Sophia Morganthal is an orphan that not only found herself flung halfway across the country to live with relatives she never knew existed, but that those relatives came from a long line of witches that require her to be initiated into their coven within the year to prevent a battle for leadership. As Sophia learns more about herself, and what being initiated into Blackthorne coven really means, she must answer the ultimate question – would she give up everything for her family?

Rebel Preview Insta

Join the conversation in the Rebel Writers fan group on Facebook.

Are you an aspiring author looking for some support? Consider joining the Rebel Alliance and we will connect you to other authors of varying levels. Bounce ideas, ask questions about the industry and the process, share and critique work…the options are endless for creating your own group of Rebels.

Happy reading,

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Author Spotlight: Jessica Wilde

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Our Time

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cooltext1889161239 copyJocelyn White’s only priority in life is her daughter, Olivia. As a single mother, with no family and the only friends she had now hours away, life isn’t easy. But the last several years taught her what is truly important and she plans on spending the time she has loving her little girl and keeping her safe and happy. She doesn’t plan on her new gorgeous, blue eyed neighbor turning out to be the one thing her and Olivia have been missing.

Andrew Carter has been waiting his whole life for a woman like Jocelyn. After his parents died years before, leaving him to care for his little sister, Madison, he spent years patiently waiting for a family of his own. When Jocelyn and Olivia completely steal his heart, he knows his patience has finally paid off and it’s time for his life to finally start.

What he doesn’t know is that Jocelyn is keeping something from him. Something she learned a few years ago.

Life is short and sometimes, time isn’t on your side.

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Our Time Teaser

Every One of Me

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Goodreads

cooltext1889161239 copyFive years ago, Tessa Marshall turned her back on everything she once knew. She left behind her friends and family hoping they would be better off without her in the way. Now, after being diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder and determined to set her life straight, she is going back. She doesn’t expect her best friend growing up, and the only man she has ever loved, to be waiting for her.

Charlie Mackenzie never knew the real reasons why Tessa left, but because of the promises he swore to keep, he feels responsible. He has spent the last five years staying distracted, and trying not to chase after her and drag her back to him. Now that she is finally back, he won’t allow her to push him away without knowing how he has felt about her all along. The only problem? He’s not just dealing with Tessa anymore.

The two of them must decide if their love is worth fighting for and Tess has to learn to just let go, because Charlie won’t let her go. He won’t let any one of her go

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Every One of Me Teaser

Leverage (The Brannock Siblings #1)

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cooltext1889161239 copyAdventure. That’s all Aislinn ‘Ash’ Brannock wanted in her life. Her dad and two brothers – all cops – got to see it all, but their over-protectiveness made her feel like she had been locked away in a tower with three fire breathing dragons watching her every move. Yes, it was that bad. The only silver lining? Lucas Shade. Her brothers’ best friend growing up, and apparently the only man she will ever love because let’s face it, none of the others even come close. After an unfortunate mistake lands her back in her father’s home, her world is turned upside down and Lucas is there in a tightly wrapped package of serious with a big red bow on top. Life just got interesting, but it comes with a price, one she never wanted to pay.

Detective Lucas Shade never had a real family, but the Brannocks took him in as one of their own and he never took it for granted. Ash was a big reason for why he stuck around, but in order to save himself the beating of a lifetime from her two older brothers, he kept his feelings for her hidden. When the case he has been working on for months takes a turn, Ash could become the leverage the bad guys have been waiting for, but keeping her invisible may destroy everything Lucas has worked so hard for. Good thing Ash is the only person he would give up everything to protect.

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Leverage Teaser

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Conned (The Brannock Siblings #2) Conned Cover

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cooltext1889161239 copyConall Brannock takes his job seriously. He doesn’t get attached, he doesn’t ask questions, and he protects his family at all costs. Nothing will change that. Not even the sweet, green eyed witness that just burst into his life and shifted his world. He has one job to do; protect Emily until she can testify. He can’t let his interest in her get in the way, but the more he finds out about her, the more he can’t help but wonder how the beautiful broken girl got into this mess in the first place. And the longer he takes to learn the truth, the deeper he falls for her.

Emily Dawson has a job to do. Stay off the grid, testify, and hopefully get her brother back. He’s all she has left of the family she struggled so hard to hold together and she would do anything to keep him safe. Even if it means she has put herself in harm’s way or that she has conned everyone into believing she saw something she didn’t. She knows where her loyalties lie, but her stoic yet gentle protector and his crazy family makes her question everything she once knew.

Loyalty can be one sided.

Family isn’t always blood.

And honesty can destroy everything she has come to love.

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Conned Teaser

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MISSING (The Brannock Siblings #3)

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cooltext1889161239 copyThere are two things in this life that Gus Brannock truly loves; his family and his job. His family is growing and he wants what his brother and sister have before the job he’s worked so hard for takes its toll. The woman he’s got his eye on, however, isn’t interested in being with a man who risks his life every day. When the unexpected friendship with the sassy red head he used to hate turns into something Gus just doesn’t want to live without, he will do whatever it takes to have her. The hazards of his job as a detective for missing children may end up proving to be too much, but there’s a reason Aiden was brought into his life and nothing will stand in his way to keep her there.

Aiden Murphy used to hate the handsome jerk next door until a surprising discovery spun her world in another direction. Her life of devotion to her sister and niece has been her biggest strength with the exception of her art. That is, until Gus turns out to be the one thing that has been missing from that life all along. Aiden must decide if the unknown is worth the risk of loving the dedicated detective or if being pulled into his world is more than she can handle. When Gus becomes the only way for her to keep the people she loves most safe, will she understand why he treasures her untried strength or will she let her fear of the unknown decide for her?

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Missing Teaser

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Ricochet (Rise & Fall #1)

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cooltext1889161239 copyFear.

It’s the last thing I remembered.

I was afraid.

Afraid to fight, afraid to run… afraid to breathe.

Then, everything had gone dark. As if life was finally hearing my pleas, my cries to end the torment. To end the fear.

But even in the dark, I still felt it.

I always felt it.

My life had been a ricochet of one event leading to the next. Bouncing back and forth from good to bad. Happiness to despair. Hope to fear.

My name is Arianna West. I’m stronger now. Steady. Alive.

I can find a way to survive on my own. I can see what is coming for me. I can channel my fear into strength.

Except… I didn’t see Jack.

And Jack changed everything.

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Ricochet Teaser

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cooltext1889178114 copyI live in Morgan Utah with my husband, daughter, and dog, Kolo. I write as often as my active daughter will let me and my husband has the patience of a saint. I find inspiration from dreams, people I meet, and life experiences. When I write, I usually end up drinking one too many cans of Peace Tea, eating three too many Fruit by the Foot fruit snacks, and accidently kicking my pup and best buddy, Kolo, too many times since he loves to sleep under my desk at my feet.

I started writing as a teen, but my fear of the unknown won out every time and I threw everything out. After becoming a mother and deciding to stay at home to raise my beautiful little girl, I tried again when I couldn’t stop thinking of ideas. I loved every minute, every hour of sleep lost, and every character that came to life in my mind.

It’s strange, but my favorite moments are when I have writer’s block because I can turn to my husband and find inspiration through him by just doing what we do best together. Talking, laughing, and just being in love. He doesn’t like to read, but he never stops encouraging me to keep going.
Writing has become an important part of my life and every book has a special place in my heart.

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