Sunday, 2 February 2014

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Reluctant Guardian by Melissa J Cunningham

I received a copy of Reluctant Guardian in exchange for my review.

Alisa hasn't been able to cope, and takes the easy option; suicide. She had hoped to be reunited with her grandmother and her best friend once she died, unfortunately for her death isn't as easy as that. Having taken her own life, Alisa has to do a penance, and doing that involves helping Brecken overcome an obstacle in his life. What Alisa doesn't expect is for Brecken to be able to see and hear her, and though she knows she shouldn't,, she can't help but fall for him after seeing the true Brecken beneath the bad boy exterior. Though there is still the problem of her being dead in the way of their relationship...

Link to Goodreads
Link to amazon
Link to Clean Teen Publishing

That was one hell of a cliff hanger that the book ended on. Quite an abrupt ending, and yet I think that it came at the right point in the story. Adding anything else to it would have need another books worth of pages! Which I hope will happen if I'm honest!

Though there are some pretty deep themes in this book, particularly related to the theme of what happens after someone commits suicide. I can't say that I've really thought about suicide before, but even then I don't think it really comes to the front of anyone's thoughts about how the people who are left behind feel. Though there is the message of suicide is bad in Reluctant Guardian it didn't feel as if you were being preached to at any point, instead it seemed to be more about forgiveness and love to me.

I loved the relationship between Brecken and Alisa as well, both of them had pretty strong characters and at the beginning they seemed to clash a bit, but that moved towards banter, and eventually towards the care that they both shared for each other. It was a long road and realistic for a relationship between two teenagers. What's more is that they didn't actually forget that one of them was dead and the other wasn't, which makes a change from these kinds of books normally.

There was a very definite split between good and evil in this book, and though I don't normally go for the good guys always doing the right thing, I think that it worked in this case. Just showing that sometimes the story being different makes all the difference itself!



This review is a part of the Blog Tour that trips down imagination road is doing on behalf of Clean Teen Publishing (and a big thanks to them for it!) Check out the other books offered by Clean Teen Publishing on their website, and don't forget to check out the other reviews I am doing for them this week!

You can also enter the giveaway which is for all of the awesome books I'm reviewing this week!


a Rafflecopter giveaway



by Melissa J. Cunningham




Guarding Brecken Shaefer—a dark and dangerous rebel—is harder than it looks. 

Death was nothing like sixteen-year-old Alisa Callahan thought it would be. Resting on pink, fluffy clouds for eternity with her gram and best friend sounded like a dream come true. After all, enduring one torturous experience after another in her short life deserved some kind of reward, right? Unfortunately, eternal rewards aren't given out so freely when you take your own life.

Required to pay the debt for committing suicide, Alisa must become a guardian. It sounds easy enough, but not when the boy she is forced to protect has a dangerous secret and wants absolutely nothing to do with her.

Brecken Shaefer isn't any normal teenager. He has special gifts that are sure to make Alisa's afterlife miserable. When feelings develop between them, everything spins out of control. Not only must Alisa face her own demons— but to protect Brecken, she must face an evil so heinous that it threatens to destroy their souls completely.

Alisa is tired of hiding from her past. When the easiest thing to do is run, can Brecken give her the strength to stay? 


Guest Post: WRITE!

At eighteen, we are expected to know what we want to do for the rest of our lives. We have to pick a career and go for it, spending countless hours and thousands of dollars to fund that training. For me, music was it. I loved music in all it's forms, and I still do. But it was hard for me to pick just exactly what I wanted to do with that music I loved so much. First, I majored as a vocalist for a while, and then I switched to a piano major, which morphed into music therapy. 

I have quite a few friends who went to four years of college only to realize they don't want that career after all, and it's too late... kind of.

My point here is... our goals change. It has been over twenty years since I was in college and as much as I love music, my desires have turned a corner. I fell in love with writing and writing is what I want to do now. For a career that is. 

I can't imagine anything more fun than writing stories people love to read. I want to inspire. I want to take people to Never Never Land. I want to steal them away for a few hours and paint a world they want to get lost in. 

Now, just because I want to do this, doesn't mean I'm going to be good at it, right? The greatest authors of all time didn't sit down one random day and write a master piece. They say it takes 10,000 hours of practice before the average writer gets good enough to sell a book. I started writing about five years ago, so if I wrote for two hours a day, every day, for those last five years, I still haven't even come close to those 10,000 hours! I still have tons of practice to go!

Thank heavens I found a publisher who is willing to be patient while I get there!

No one is great without practice. No one gets there overnight. But the one thing the “greats” do have in common is... they write. They do it, even when they don't want to, or don't feel like it. If you've had the goal to write a book, stop waiting around to get in the mood. Stop waiting to feel inspired. Inspiration comes after you start, while you're writing. Believe me, I know! I can't tell you how many times I have not been in the mood to write, but I needed to get a book finished, so I sat myself down and forced myself to type.

Most of the time, those chapters turn out great! Have faith in your muse! Have faith that you can do it, and don't let anything or anyone talk you out of it. Even if your goal is not to publish, your goal can be to finish!

So set your behind down on that chair and get your fingers moving. You could be the next Stephen King or Stephanie Meyer for all we know!

About Melissa J. Cunningham


Melissa's first novel: Reluctant Guardian, was accepted for publication through Clean Teen Publishing in August 2013. When Melissa is not writing you can find her spending time with her husband of eighteen years and her five children. Melissa studied music in college and loves to read all things fiction. Melissa lives in Northern Utah with her family, her horses, cats, dogs and chickens. 

Melissa's first novel: Reluctant Guardian, was accepted for publication through Clean Teen Publishing in August 2013. When Melissa is not writing you can find her spending time with her husband of eighteen years and her five children. Melissa studied music in college and loves to read all things fiction. Melissa lives in Northern Utah with her family, her horses, cats, dogs and chickens. 


More from Clean Teen Publishing: