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Summer in Paris is one of the books I read as part of a Virtual Book Tour.  Michelle Ashman Bell has written this YA coming of age novel skillfully and leaves the reader with a sense of satisfaction and sense of well-being. It is a delightful read even though difficult issues such as separation, suicide, teenage rebellion, peer pressure, drinking and boating, social outcasts, bankruptcy and grieving are dealt with.

Kenzie Williams is a fifteen year old who is accustomed to wealth, friends, polarity and talent. She has worked hard to earn her recognition in Ballet. Her world comes crashing down when her father declares Bankruptcy and her parents send her to spend the summer with her relatives in Paris Idaho for the summer. Kenzie is very likable, and the mysterious man that walks in moccasins and wears buckskins draws you into her heart.

I’ve read some of Michelle’s other YA books and her children’s series: Latterday Spies: Spyhunt, Dragon’s Jaw, The Rescue. You can count on Michelle producing a great read.

Michelle  is a middle-aged mother of four, who, after ten years of hard work, perseverance and a lot of rejection letters, finally got a book published.  As a young girl she was a devoted journal keeper.  Coupled with her great love for reading it only seemed natural to become a writer. During the course of having and raising her children, she  began writing. She spent any free time she had writing and learning the craft.  She attended workshops and conferences, joined critique groups and sent many of her stories and novels to magazines and publishers.  She received rejection after rejection.  She came close a few times, but something wasn’t quite right.

She says: “I couldn’t not write.  It’s in my blood.  When I get cut, ink comes out.  There’s something so wonderful and fulfilling about the creative process of developing characters and storylines and pouring your heart out on paper that can’t be matched by anything else.  I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to write.  And I want to encourage anyone who has the desire to write to never give up on their dream.  If you want it bad enough and are willing to work hard enough, you will become published.  I believe that with all my heart because that’s exactly how it worked for me. “

Michelle lives with her husband and family in the Salt Lake City area.

I am an avid reader in many genres – including children’s books – I read all the books I give to my nieces, nephews and now my granddaughters before I give then to them so I know what the quality is and that I’m not unknowingly passing them junk or worse.  The Sapphire Flute – book one in the Wolfchild Saga by Karen E. Hoover is one I can heartily recommend. This novel engaged me from the first sentence all the way through the end and I’m drooling for the next one in the series. Karen – Please hurry! I don’t think my heart can stand the suspense.

Ember discovers she can see magic and change the appearance of things at will. Against her mother’s wishes, she leaves for the mage trials, only to be kidnapped before arriving.  While trying to escape she discovers she inherited her father’s secret. That secret places her in direct conflict with her father’s greatest enemy.

Kayla is given guardianship of the Sapphire Flute and told not to play it. C’Tan, an evil mage, has been searching for it for decades. Any sound from the flute will call her. To protect the flute Kayla must find its birthplace in the mountains high above Javal.

C’tan will do whatever it takes to keep the two girls from fulfilling their destiny.

Karen’s descriptions are exquisite and her orchestrations are marvelous. Her fantasy writing is up there with Terry Brooks and Orson Scott Card.
I am so glad she shared her fantastical world with me and other readers.

Karen Hoover made her debut with The Sapphire Flute during Valor Publishing launch at the The Gateway Barnes and Nobles in Salt Lake City on March 16th.

Karen E. Hoover has loved the written word for as long as she can remember. Her favorite memory of her dad is the time he spent with Karen on his lap, telling her stories for hours on end. Her dad promised he would have Karen reading on her own by the time she was four years old … and he did it.

Karen took the gift of words her dad gave her and ran with it. Since then, she’s written two novels and reams of poetry. Her head is fairly popping with ideas, so she plans to write until she’s ninety-four or maybe even a hundred and four.

Inspiration is found everywhere, but Karen’s heart is fueled by her husband and two sons, the Rocky Mountains, her chronic addiction to pens and paper, and the smell of her laser printer in the morning.