Monday, September 2, 2013

Visited by Janine Caldwell ~ Book Tour ~ #Review & Excerpt

Visited by Janine Caldwell
Publication date: May 25th 2013
Genre: YA coming-of-age fantasy


Seventeen-year-old Joanna Murphy has lost faith in her life. Vying for her mom’s attention, she’s resentful of her stepdad’s intrusion to their family. Her best friend, Tommy, has no clue she’s in love with him as he dates girl after girl without noticing how it tortures her. The final kicker, though, is God’s sick joke to make her freakishly tall when everyone knows boys prefer petite girls.

Then in a bizarre accident Joanna meets James, a breathtaking teen who appears to her after an unusual falling star sighting. Suddenly, her dream for an alien encounter becomes all too real. But when she finds her life has been made unrecognizable, she’s forced into an explosive study of the original design for her life that just may have her regretting every wish she ever made.


Janine Caldwell was born in Concord, CA and raised in the small San Francisco Bay Area town of Clayton. Four days after her high school graduation, Janine attended California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and graduated with a degree in English.

Janine now lives in Anthem, AZ with her husband and two sons. As a lifelong literature fanatic, she knew it was only a matter of time before she would become obsessed with writing her own work. With relatives like the Brothers Grimm and Anita Loos (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes), she figured fantasy writing had to be in her DNA.

Books published by Janine include Visited, a YA coming-of-age fantasy, Rematch and Double Fault—the first two books of The Vortex Series. The final book in this YA fantasy romance, Deuce, will be released fall 2013.


I love paranormal books, and sci-fi and fantasy, and usually have no problem following them, and believing in them. But for some reason I had a bit of a hard time in the beginning believing what was going on. I did warm to the idea, but never really liked our main character Joanna, she was very selfish and I didn't like her negative attitude to her mother, and the fact she was happy with her husband, she seemed to rather keep her alone and miserable than be happy with this man. 

But other than that I did like the story. It was unique and different. I did find it a bit “young” for my tastes, as most YA are a bit more mature (meaning the characters, which I like better) but the big revelation at the end was rewarding for sure. This seems to be a standalone novel but I am not sure on that.

It was a bit predictable, but that’s not always a bad thing. In this case it was fine, I didn't mind it at all.

I do recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good sci-fi/paranormal like read, for young adults.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars, this is a very well written book, and is worth checking out.

I was provided a copy of this book for my honest review.

This review is also posted at Amazon, here, and Goodreads, here.

Chapter One of Linked

After the day I had, it’s high time to climb to my secret spot. From my bedroom, I hear Mom and her husband, Stan, shut off the TV in the family room before scuffling upstairs to the master bedroom, their voices muffled and low. I wait a few minutes to be sure they’re in for the night before sliding open my sticky bedroom window.
Armed with one of our many Mexican blankets, I pop out the window’s screen to climb through to the roof, working to avoid banging a knee or whacking my head in the process, while also balancing a full tumbler of soda in my hand. Quite tricky for a girl like me born with extra long limbs.
Of course, even though it’s the blackest of nights with a mere sliver of moon shining, it’s still no relief from the brutal heat. The moment I step out of my air-conditioned room, a blast of hot air smacks me in the face. Gotta love Arizona in the summertime. Since I’m always a sweaty mess around this time of year, it’s no surprise my tank top is already clinging to my back as I creep over our roof’s Spanish tiles. The last time I was up here a few of them were loose, so I’m careful to step on only the sturdy ones. When I reach the peak of the roof, I throw down my blanket to sit on, feeling the hard tiles even through the blanket’s thick wool.
I settle in, thankful as always to have the stars as entertainment. To escape reality for just a bit and go a little crazy, pretending I live in a galaxy far, far away. I’m sure this would rate high on the nerd barometer, but I picture myself living in an extraterrestrial world where there’s an order about things. Where everyone is given a clear path to who they are and what they should do with their life. A world unlike planet Earth. It’s this sort of thinking, my not-of-this-world imagination, Mom blames for my teenage angst. I disagree. My imagination is my relief. It helps me get through monstrously bad days. Like today, for example.
I hear an owl hooting softly in the distance before spotting a couple of bats nose-diving above me. Scrunching my nose at the creepy things, I sit tight until they’ve disappeared before relaxing back onto my elbows. I take long swigs of what’s left of my soda, awestruck by the view. As much as I complain about living in the desert, I admit our nighttime is spectacular. A black velvet backdrop with billions of holes punched through it, winking and glittering down on us.
The night sky has a way of calming me when nothing else can. Believe me, I know how weird this sounds, but I tend to feel more comfortable with the idea of floating in space, on the brink of discovering an alien world, than I am with being stuck here on Earth—the real world where I have no way to control or change most of what happens to me.
Just as I’m blowing the hair out of my eyes, wishing my life here could be different, a streak of white light flashes in the sky. Soon after, a shooting star dashes across the inky blackness, shockingly bright. All the other stars fade in the glare. There’s no way this is a regular shooting star, or as I’ve learned in science class, bits of burning dust and rock.
Not wanting to miss anything, I bolt upright and accidentally knock over my plastic tumbler with my elbow. It rolls down the side of the roof, but I ignore it, too fascinated by the meteor. Its tail seems never ending, but what’s even more amazing is that while it smears its way across the sky, it appears to change course halfway through its descent. As unlikely as this may be, it looks as if it’s now heading straight for my neighborhood!
What the heck is this thing? A UFO?
The thought gets me pumped and up on my feet. Forgetting I’m perched on top of an angled roof covered in unstable tiles, I wobble and have to adjust my footing to steady myself. Normally, I would’ve sat right back down, freaked out by the possibility of slipping off the roof, but I’m too distracted now. Whatever’s happening up there, I’m sure it’s a once-in-a-lifetime event. I only hope someone else catches this phenomenon because I have no clue how I’ll explain this to anyone. It’s too incredible for words.
While my gaze is zeroed in on the sky, it suddenly occurs to me I should be recording this marvel on my cell phone. My science buddies will never forgive me if I don’t.
Come on, Joanna, use your brain. No one will believe you otherwise, and a video like this would go viral in no time. You could win blogger of the year!
Hastily, I grab my phone from my back pocket, but fumble it. It lands with a crunch on the roof before bouncing down the slick tiles, colliding with my forgotten tumbler. Both are cradled only by the flimsy gutter.
“Crap! Not my phone!” I literally just spent the last six months saving my allowance and babysitting earnings to replace my old phone that simply gave up one day after a marathon texting session with Tommy. If it drops over the side of the roof, it’ll be toast for sure.
Placing my hands on my hips, I shout, “Seriously, Universe? Could you make this day any suckier? Ugh!”
I drop down to my hands and knees, bitter to give up my star watch to rescue a stupid phone. Cautiously, I crawl over the roof’s tiles. The rough texture digs uncomfortably into the bare skin of my knees as I inch down the slope of the roof. Wishing now more than ever for Jedi powers to move objects with my mind, I stretch out my arm. For once, I don’t mind I have a wingspan of an NBA star as my fingertips flutter closely to the phone with my long reach. I almost have it when a few tiles move underneath me. They start to shift and come loose under my weight, taking me for a ride along with them.
I make like a pancake to stop myself from moving any closer to the gutter, not caring to have any part of skidding over the edge of my extremely tall, two-story house. The sound of tiles shattering on our back patio is evidence enough of the trouble I’m in, the danger of my situation if I keep slipping.
While my heart beats as though it’s going to break free from my chest, I choke back the scream building up in my throat as I carefully turn myself around, slow as a desert tortoise, to crawl back up the roof. Grasping for any remaining tiles in my reach, I start to drag myself up when more tiles spring up and break free. With nothing left to hold onto, I slide back down the slope of the roof until half my body ends up dangling in the air over the lip of the gutter. In no time at all, I learn the gutter isn’t made to support a human’s body weight because it buckles, sending my phone and tumbler plummeting to the ground.
It’s hard to ignore the ringing in my ears as I cling with everything I have. All I can think is, I can’t die yet. I’m only seventeen. A girl has to at least land her first real kiss before she can die, right?
Beads of sweat roll down my forehead and sting my eyes. I want to rub my face on my arm, but feel paralyzed, scared any movement will cause me to fall. When I accept I’m not able to haul myself back up on my own, I start to really panic.
“Mom! Stan! Help!” I’m straining to be heard over the continuous hum of the house’s air conditioning units. “The roof... Hurry... Please!”
All at once, the gutter under my waist breaks away from the roof and I begin to free-fall. My arms and legs flail through the air as I watch the roof get farther away from me. I lose my stomach in my throat, disoriented and dizzy.
In seconds, I slam down on the concrete feet first before dropping onto my back. My head is last to hit the concrete and takes the least of the blow. I would be happy about that, except the wind is knocked out of me and my insides feel jarred loose. As I’m blinking away tears, it feels like my legs and spine have splintered into fragments. I taste blood in my mouth, and when I try to move, I can’t. White-hot, blinding pain blurs my vision. I’m left wheezing fast, shallow breaths when someone kneels beside me.
“Shhh. Don’t move,” a deep voice says.
If I could flinch in shock, I would have. The boy belonging to the voice came out of nowhere and I didn’t recognize him. Through my fuzzy vision I try to make out his face, but only see blondish swirls of hair, backlit by the patio’s motion detector floodlight. He places his large hands firmly onto my body—one palm on my forehead, the other on my chest. His skin feels cool, smooth. For a moment I almost relax, but then another wave of unbearable pain seizes me and I don’t care who this guy is—I just want the pain to stop!
“Hold on. I’m going to make you feel better. Just a few seconds more.”
He applies more pressure on my body with his hands, but in my frantic state, I can’t pinpoint where exactly I’m injured. It seems every bone, every nerve ending has been set on fire. On top of that, the boy’s touch is hurting me. If only I had a voice, I would order him to stop what he’s doing.
But then, before I can do or think anything else, it’s gone—the pain, the blurry vision, the gasping for air—all gone.
My lips move, trying to form a syllable. When I fail, I simply close my eyes and exhale— not from pain, but from relief. Surrendering to this newfound calmness spreading throughout my body, I feel the heavy shawl of sleep dragging me down to a surprisingly comfortable and safe place to rest. And so I do.

This Book Tour is brought to you by Xpresso Book tour. You can see the rest of the blogs on this tour, Here


  1. Hey! Thanks so much for your review of Visited! I really appreciate it. If you have time I would love for you to vote for it on Goodreads. Here's the link:

    I also have my very own fan club on Goodreads that I would love for you to join. Thanks again!