**RELEASE PROMO, INTERVIEW & REVIEW** The Color of Happiness by K.P. Gazelle

We are very excited about this soon-to-be-released young adult contemporary story, packed with romance and drama, from debut author, K.P. Gazelle, and released by Radiant Books. It is a strong and meaningful story, with some beautiful moments with fantastic characters that will enlighten you and give you that boost you always needed! 🙂

Heart-warming story of adolescence, self-esteem & love!

The_Color_of_Happiness_KINDLETitle: The Color of Happiness

Author: K.P. Gazelle

Genre: Young Adult, contemporary, drama, romance

Release date: March 1st, 2015

Released by: Radiant Books

Length: 197 pages

Book Blurb: Faith Lane is the girl who has everything. At least, that’s what everyone thinks when they see her rocking a killer dress while laughing with her best friend, Tiffany. But Faith’s life is far from flawless. Her peers torment her relentlessly, and her parents expect her to be the epitome of perfection. Criticized and pressured at school and home, Faith retreats into silent acceptance and finds an escape in her passion of dancing. Then she meets Alex – quirky, forever with a pass, and concealing a mysterious secret of his own. And through his encouragement, Faith starts believing in her gift for dance and gains courage to stand up for herself. But will she be able to keep her footing when the events of one night consume her with the need to jump off the rocky cliffs near her coastal home? And what has pushed her to the edge of reason?

REVIEW

Adolescence hits us all, along with the many lessons we have to learn about ourselves and others. We all want to be accepted, we all want to feel great and we all want to experience love. The Color of Happiness explores all of these subject matters and I loved every second. It really put me in the mind frame of movies such as The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles and St. Elmo’s Fire – to name but a few!

Faith Lane experiences teasing and torment from her peers as she has her own individual wardrobe – sometimes she’s a hit and other times a flop. But the teasing upsets Faith and keeps her self-esteem low. If it wasn’t for her best friend, Tiffany, she would be quite alone. However, she is one that is strong enough to stand up for what she believes in, and even when her mother wants her to wear an outfit that she has made looking like the Mexican flag, Faith wears it in a selfless act to spare her mum’s feelings.

Tiffany is a strong character – she accepts Faith for who she is, encourages her when she’s feeling low and gives her a great boost when she needs it. We can all do with a Tiffany in our lives. She is the one person that Faith opens up to about her feelings of her peers, school work, her parents, and boys.

Faith’s parents can be quite controlling over her life -not wanting her to do too much socialising with the wrong sorts and keeping a very close eye on her grades. Even when reaching 95%+ in her exams, her mother in particular tries to push for more. Faith knows it is because her parents just want the best for her and because they worry, but she needs a release of pressure at times.

One day at school changes her life forever. After being teased by an upperman, she is relieved from further torment as his friend, Alex, encourages him to stop. Although dubious at first, after bumping into Alex around the school and having conversations and small flirtatious moments with him, she begins to develop feelings for him and they begin to see each other on a regular basis. Albeit, without the knowledge of Faith’s parents – they are so controlling over her life she feels that they won’t accept her having a boyfriend and therefore feels she has no choice but to keep him a secret from them.

Alex soon becomes the love of her life. They share many lovely, intimate and emotional times together. And he really is the boost that she has always needed, giving her courage and building her self-esteem, as well as showing her what true love is all about. The moments with Alex are written beautifully.

Alone in her bedroom, she has been watching dancing videos on the internet and practices the moves around her home and in-between classes at school when no one else is around. After noticing Faith do this and knowing that there is an opening with the dance class, Alex (and later Tiffany) encourage Faith to audition. Not really believing in herself, and knowing her parents want her to dedicate time on her studies, she tries to shrug it off. But deep inside she knows that she would love the opportunity to feel free in dance. Being urged to at least try the audition out, she flourishes and her confidence soars.

Faith’s life comes crashing down when there is a major twist in the story with some very unfortunate events. The reader is taken on a journey with Faith as she tries to piece her life back together. It is extremely touching in parts that may bring a tear or two to your eyes.

The Color of Happiness is a powerful read with so much meaning. It puts the message across for all of us, not just adolescents, to ‘have a go’, even if in doubt. That during dark times you can pick yourself back up. It is a huge confidence boost, uplifting and a great read for any teen, as well as a motivation boost for those feeling down or those with low self-esteem. The story provides courage and faith to all those that read it, which is exactly what Alex does for Faith’s character. It is a great debut from author K.P. Gazelle!

An ARC copy of The Color of Happiness was provided by the publisher in return for an honest and fair review.

The Color of Happiness is available at Amazon US and Amazon UK.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR, K.P. GAZELLE

Welcome to A Reader’s Review Blog. We would like to thank you for participating in our interview for The Color of Happiness.

Thank you SO much for having me 🙂

Where did your inspiration come from to write The Color of Happiness?

Different events and people inspired different parts of the book.  The element of grounded friendships was inspired from my personal life.  I have the BEST friends!

Can you relate to any of the characters in The Color of Happiness, either personally or through a friend?

I can relate to Faith in certain ways.  Like Faith, I put a lot of pressure on myself to excel and do the best that I can.

Your character, Faith, escapes her peer pressure and the pressure from her parents through dance. Has dance ever played a part in your own life?

Nope!  I’m more like Tiffany – Faith’s best friend – in that regard LOL.  Couldn’t dance if my life depended on it!

Can you tell us more about Alex, and the effect he has on Faith?

Alex, of course, is Faith’s love interest in the book.  He’s one of the people who really get Faith to start believing in her dance abilities and in herself as an individual overall.

Were any particular areas of the story more difficult to write than others?

Definitely, yes.  Sometimes, it was difficult to share the exact emotions a character was experiencing at a given time.

How would you describe your writing style?

Hmmm . . . I don’t know if I have a set style.  I like to write in character, so that changes each time.

Are you an avid reader? Do you have a favourite book/author?

Yes!  I absolutely LOVE to read!  I love too many books and authors to pick a favorite . . .

When you are not writing, what do you do like to do? What is next for K.P. Gazelle?

You would probably find me reading.  I also enjoy taking pictures, although I’m not very good at it LOL.  There’s been an idea rattling in my head for some time.  Let’s see what happens with it!

 Thank you for your time. We wish you every success with The Color of Happiness!

*Review* Newly released: Playing the Field (Duty & Desire #4) by C.J. Pinard

Playing the Field (Duty & Desire, Book 4)Playing the Field (Duty & Desire #4) by C.J. Pinard

FRESHLY RELEASED January 15th, 2015, contemporary military romance/chick-lit

Blurb: An overachiever in uniform…

Jace Lawless is an overachiever, a go-getter, and determined to accomplish everything he sets his mind to. After serving his country in the U.S. Marine Corps, and receiving his college degree, he’s picked up by a popular minor league baseball team, all while continuing his service in the USMC reserves.

When Jace meets a beautiful, breathtaking single mother named Miranda Cates, it takes him by surprise. Her shady past and beautiful little girl are the conundrum that both confuses and fascinates Jace. He can’t tear his thoughts away from Miranda, and eventually he believes he can win her over with his dimpled smirk and witty charms.

Once Miranda becomes his, the part of him she hated the most – the part he had kept secret from her for so long – rears its ugly head. Will Miranda lean on her friend Cara for support while staying by his side once he tells her that duty is calling… or will she decide she can’t handle it and take her daughter and leave?

Playing the Field is the fourth and final installment of the Duty & Desire series. Contains adult situations and minor scenes of war.  

REVIEW

After reading Book 3, Boots Beneath My Bed (Miranda’s Story), Playing the Field goes hand-in-hand as the final story of this sweet, contemporary, military romance series focuses on Jace’s point of view, his background with the U.S. Marine Corps and minor league baseball team, as well as his strong feelings for Miranda. If you’re looking for a refreshing, cheeky, fun and romantic read then this is a series for you!

From early on in the story the reader has a sense of just how much baseball and the Marines mean to Jace. As well as both being an enjoyment of his, he is also incredibly talented at both and his skills are noticed. They both play a huge role in his life, but it could all be about to change with Miranda about to enter it.

Not a fan of a military man, as she has been let down more than once, Miranda makes it clear to Jace that she would never date another! This leaves Jace wondering when he should let her know of his background. You can sense his genuine worry of losing her if she found out but knows that she has to know. How can he make her see his point and that he isn’t a player?

We learn that despite Jace’s macho appearance and strong masculinity, he is actually a rather sweet hottie. He is considerate towards Miranda, and yet has the self respect to follow his dream and remain with the Marines until his contract is up at least! But will he be able to convince Miranda to stay with him?

It isn’t too long before Jace realises his feelings for his ex, Samantha, were nothing compared to how he loves Miranda. Not only does he absolute love her delectable, curvaceous body, he also admires her strong will. Yes, Miranda holds his heart both physically and emotionally. And, he also adores her young daughter, Ashlynn, and has a strong sense that he can’t let these ladies out of his life.

Although his relationship is the core of the story, Jace is also tackling nightmares from when he was once deployed. The author writes with such care over these dark and serious events, and yet still manages to keep the read, as a whole, light. As the story continues some of these events are more frequent and add more power as the reader begins to see just how much the Marines mean to Jace, and also how he doesn’t want it to affect a life he longs for with Miranda. This could be one of the biggest battles he has ever had!

Playing the Field is a delight to read and, as the whole series has been, very refreshing! Fans of Duty & Desire books 1 and 2 will also be pleased to hear that Cara and Riley also have an appearance in Playing the Field, as the author carries on a little of their storyline too and how their relationship affect Miranda and Jace (Cara being Miranda’s best friend, and Riley a military man himself with a story to tell of his own). Yes, to thoroughly enjoy I would strongly recommend that the series be read as a whole, as these lives intertwine and each book is from a different perspective. They fit together superbly well and you truly get to see all angles. What a way to honour the military and their families, C.J.!

A copy of Playing the Field (Duty & Desire #4) was provided by the author in return for an honest and fair review.

Playing the Field is available at Amazon US and Amazon UK.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

You can also find Books 1 & 2 available!

Patriotic Duty (Duty & Desire 1) series previously entitled ‘When Riley Met Cara’

Patriotic Duty (When Riley Met Cara #1)Blurb: Newly divorced party girl Cara Reid just wants to have fun. Much too young to even be a divorcee, she and her bestie, Miranda, set off to have fun and maybe a few casual hookups and live life. One night at a military bar, Cara meets Riley Forrester, a hot Army soldier who makes her melt with one look of his deep ocean blue eyes. But Riley is only staying the summer in California and then has to go back to Colorado when it’s over. Cara tells herself he’s just a summer fling and is determined to enjoy herself and let him go once the summer is over. But when Riley receives orders he wasn’t expecting, she’s forced to make a decision on whether she’s going to be there for him when he gets back, or move on with her life. What she wasn’t expecting was to fall so hard for the beautiful soldier boy, and now she’s faced with accepting her feelings or letting him go.

For readers 18+. Contains adult content.

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Tour of Duty (Duty & Desire #2)

Tour of DutyBlurb: Army Sergeant Riley Forrester knew all about love, loss, and pain. He knew the love of a woman just to lose it. He had spent the best summer of his life with a beautiful single mother named Cara Reid, and then desperately needed her love to get him through a long, cold deployment. When things went horribly wrong overseas, he decided it was best to let Cara go and let her move on with her life. Cara wouldn’t be forgotten that easily, though. She had seeped her way into his heart and his dreams, and Riley knew he’d never love another like her. Contains adult content, for readers 18 and older. Also contains minor scenes of war.

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Boots Beneath My Bed (Miranda’s Story) (Duty & Desire #4)

Boots Beneath My Bed (Miranda's Story)Blurb: Miranda Cates finally graduates from college and is excited to begin her dream career in law enforcement. After the final betrayal and heartbreak of her college boyfriend, Chris, she moves back home with a firm plan in place for her life.

However, the life she has carefully mapped out for herself takes a serious left turn. Miranda finds she not only has to be strong for herself, but for the daughter who hadn’t been part of her plan.

Determined to still believe in true love, life throws Miranda one more wicked curveball. She meets Jace Lawless, a hot minor league baseball player, whose warm aqua eyes and big dimple have her unraveling her carefully laid plans. A man who may be just be too good to be true.

Boots Beneath My Bed (Miranda’s Story) is book 3 in the Duty & Desire series, and while it is recommended to read the books in order, it’s not necessary.

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AUTHOR LINKS

If you would like to contact C.J. Pinard you can reach her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/CJPinardAuthor or you can e-mail her at cjpinardauthor@gmail.com.