Thursday's Treasure Trove



Here at Lives and Breathes Book Blog we are cheerleaders for all things Indie and would like to help Indie authors receive as much exposure as possible. One way we plan to help that along is through a new weekly segment called Thursday’s Treasure Trove. In the Trove, we will be digging up some Hidden Gems and Buried Treasures. The Hidden Gem will be a book that one of our bloggers has read and loved, yet has seen little fanfare. The Buried Treasure will be a book that was popular when it was released, at least six months ago, and has seen little action as of late. If you have a favorite book that qualifies for either category, let us know and maybe you will see it on the Trove post in the future. Happy digging!!

  Buried Treasure of the Week
Flat Out Love by Jessica Park
Rediscovered by Kathy 
He was tall, at least six feet, with dirty blond hair that hung over his eyes. His T-shirt read Nietzsche Is My Homeboy.So, that was Matt. Who Julie Seagle likes. A lot. But there is also Finn. Who she flat out loves.

Complicated? Awkward? Completely.


But really, how was this freshly-minted Boston transplant and newbie college freshman supposed to know that she would end up living with the family of an old friend of her mother's? This was all supposed to be temporary. Julie wasn't supposed to be important to the Watkins family, or to fall in love with one of the brothers. Especially the one she's never quite met. But what does that really matter? Finn gets her, like no one ever has before. They have connection.

But here's the thing about love, in all its twisty, bumpy permutations—it always throws you a few curves. And no one ever escapes unscathed.


But really, how was this freshly-minted Boston transplant and newbie college freshman supposed to know that she would end up living with the family of an old friend of her mother's? This was all supposed to be temporary. Julie wasn't supposed to be important to the Watkins family, or to fall in love with one of the brothers. Especially the one she's never quite met. But what does that really matter? Finn gets her, like no one ever has before. They have connection.

But here's the thing about love, in all its twisty, bumpy permutations—it always throws you a few curves. And no one ever escapes unscathed.


Kathy Says: 
Julie Seagle finds herself unexpectedly without a place to live just a few days before her freshman year of college is about to begin. Through a bazaar twist of fate she ends up staying with her Mom's college roommate and her somewhat dysfunctional family. Julie knows that there is something unusual about the family she is staying with but she can't help but fall in love with each of them.
I loved watching Julie grow and get to know quirky Celeste, adventurous Finn, and brainy but hilarious Matt. From Celeste`s endearing social awkwardness to Matt`s funny geek t-shirts I flat-out loved this book and its complex set of characters. In the end this is the timeless story of family, love, and loss told in an extraordinary way.
This book was truly something remarkable. A book that stays with you long after you turn the last page. It's not often you come across a book that has a truly unique premise (I can't say too much without giving away the surprise so just trust me on this). Each character was fully developed, lovable, and real. There were laughs, there were tears, and there was heart. As Jessica Park has said, "Lots of love, hinges, parachutes, and fonts for you!" 5 shining stars for this brilliant buried treasure you won't want to miss!


“So we've pulled the chute, and we're drifting, riding the sky. It's just you and me. You can hear me now that we're falling like this, remember? I tell you that I don't want this to end. I don't want to land and reach the real world, because I like our world up here better.”

Purchase - Amazon

Hidden Gem of the Week
Emi Lost and Found by Lori Otto
Discovered by Lea

When artist Nate Wilson falls in love, he falls hard. The problem is, he's only been in love once, and the girl of his affections is his best friend, Emi Hennigan. In high school, the two bonded over painful breakups, and swore off a relationship to save their friendship. 

Thirteen years later, Nate has had more than his share of emotionally-unfulfilling, sexual relationships with beautiful women to distract himself from his true romantic feelings. When a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity takes Nate away from his friend and his comfortable lifestyle, he is forced to reflect on the distinct void that Emi's absence leaves in his life. 

To Nate's surprise, Emi has a similar experience; but as the friends embark upon their journey toward happiness together, destiny reveals other plans for Emi.  

This is the first of three books in the Emi Lost & Found series.

Lea Says: 
Selecting the first Hidden Gem for the Trove was really a no-brainer for me. I suppose this won’t be a traditional review so much as it will be me singing (or writing) the praises of one of the most emotional and amazing series I have ever read—the Emi Lost and Found Series by Lori Otto.   

When I discovered the first book in this series, I honestly didn’t know what to anticipate, but my expectations were not very high. I had found it on a blog's list of freebies back when I first started reading Indie books. I mean…it was free. At the time, this was insane to me. FREE! Now, and partially in thanks to this book, I download tons of freebies and have found so many other hidden gems this way.

In the beginning, it seemed like it would be a typical, cute, “best friends turned lovers” type of story. In some ways, it was, but it had ingredients that I live for—angst and tension. If you are not a fan of those things, don’t worry, it’s not an excessive amount, but it was definitely enough to keep me interested.
But, most importantly…it had Nate. 
Nate Wilson is talented, sexy, chivalrous, sweet and loving—his critics would say maybe a little too loving, at times. He is, in a nutshell, amazing.
I spent the majority of the first book envious of the history between Nate and his best friend since high school, Emi Hennigan. No matter what goes on in either of their lives, he seems to put her first, and you almost feel sorry for his girlfriends—almost. You just know Emi and Nate are meant to be together, and after a frustrating series of events, it seems they may finally get what you want for them. 

I won’t go into much detail about the book, or the series, because it’s impossible to do so without giving away too much. All I will say is this—just like a boy scout, the motto when reading this series is: be prepared. Stock up on your favorite flavor of ice cream and a ton of Kleenex. Trust me. 
When I finish a book that someone touted as an “ugly cry,” I am usually left just feeling sad. Sometimes I even get a little pissed, thinking there is something wrong with me, or maybe it was just missing the depth I needed to truly connect to the characters. Whatever it is, I am not a crier. I can name two books, maybe three, that have ever brought me even close to tears. So, when I found reviews where people claimed this series ripped their hearts out, or that they couldn’t finish it because it was too sad, I was pretty skeptical. However, these types of statements make me need to read a book so I immediately got it, but I am ashamed to say that I waited a couple of months before I actually read it. But once I started, I could not put it down. I lived in an Otto Bubble for a week straight, and I am certain my husband thought I was crazy, given the amount of sobbing he witnessed.
Oh, you will be coasting through the first book, thinking, “What was she whining about?” Do not worry…you will get there. It will hit you and it will suck. The tablet will be thrown across the room or—if you’re like me—it will go in the freezer. Oh, and then you will hate me. I have tortured many friends with this series, and have received enough hate texts and scathing Facebook messages to develop a serious complex. Yet, whenever someone asks for a book recommendation, this is generally the first one out of my mouth. 
Ms. Otto’s ability to make you fall in love with her characters is unsurpassed by any other I have experienced. I read these books over nine months ago and I still get teary-eyed when thinking of the storyline. The way she builds you up and brings you to a happy, sweet place right before she takes a sledgehammer to your heart, obliterating it to dust, is actually slightly cruel, albeit genius. You will probably want to hunt her down and punch her in the face; I know I did. But somehow she manages to vacuum up every last piece of that vital organ and, particle by particle, reconstruct you a new one. And at the close of the series, after you’ve run through the gamut of every emotion possible, you will be happy. Ecstatic. Things will feel right—even if you were reluctant for them to ever be right again. Makes no sense, yeah? Read the series, it will make perfect sense. 

I love books that make me feel, any type of emotion, whether it be misery, hate, love, etc., and this one series managed to evoke almost everything from me. If I could give this series, more than 5 stars, I would. If I could buy a copy for everyone I talked to, I would. The entire three book series is already available and can be purchased individually, or in a bundle. There is also a free prequel entitled Not Today, But Someday that gives insight into Nate and Emi’s beginning in high school. It can be read before the series or after. I suggest after, but that is only my opinion. It’s sweet, but also a little gritty and sexy, even though it is considered YA. 

“One transcendent kiss
that later makes lovers take
soft breaths, holding hands...”

Series Bundle Purchase Links:
Amazon
Smashwords 
 

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