Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Blog Tour: The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner | Playlist

Blog Tour: The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner | Playlist

Blog Tour: The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner | PlaylistThe Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
Published by Crown Books for Young Readers/Random House on March 8th 2016
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

Dill has had to wrestle with vipers his whole life—at home, as the only son of a Pentecostal minister who urges him to handle poisonous rattlesnakes, and at school, where he faces down bullies who target him for his father’s extreme faith and very public fall from grace.
He and his fellow outcast friends must try to make it through their senior year of high school without letting the small-town culture destroy their creative spirits and sense of self. Graduation will lead to new beginnings for Lydia, whose edgy fashion blog is her ticket out of their rural Tennessee town. And Travis is content where he is thanks to his obsession with an epic book series and the fangirl turning his reality into real-life fantasy.
Their diverging paths could mean the end of their friendship. But not before Dill confronts his dark legacy to attempt to find a way into the light of a future worth living.

 
 
 

A playlist for DILL, one of the three main characters in The Serpent King

Chvrches—Tether
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-zN2KmHg0s

Dill would love this song because he would find very resonant the idea of wondering if he’ll ever get away from a place that’s got him tethered. The energy and intelligence of Chvrches’ lead singer would remind him of Lydia, so he would have a crush on her. And their sound would remind him of the 1980s goth music that Lydia loves.

 Sharon Van Etten—Serpents
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYgyQ20TJAs

Dill would love this song because it’s about personal demons and they just happen to take the form of serpents, just like his. Sharon Van Etten got her start in Murfreesboro and is one of the real-life models for Dill. I imagine his songwriting being similar to hers in its nakedness and vulnerability.

Strand of Oaks—Wait for Love
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqPUotRW7CQ

Dill would love this song because it makes beauty out of waiting to be loved, which is a struggle Dill knows intimately. I picture Dill’s voice having the same soaring quality as Timothy Showalter’s.

 Joy Division—Love Will Tear Us Apart
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuuObGsB0No

Dill loves this song because it’s Lydia’s favorite song. Period. But he also loves it because it’s gloomy and poetic and Dill loves gloomy and poetic things. Also, there’s a strangely hopeful lilt in the song, the way Dill holds onto hope even when he doesn’t know he is.

New Order—True Faith
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfI1S0PKJR8

Dill loves this song because it talks about destiny and coming of age. It talks about unexpected turns in life. And plus, when Dill’s mom asks the title of one of New Order’s songs after Dill’s told her that they’re a Christian band, it sounds great for him to say “True Faith.” That goes over well in the Early household.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog tour!

Monday, February 22: Jenuine Cupcakes, Kickoff Blog Tour Post
Tuesday, February 23: Book Hounds, Review
Wednesday, February 24: Mundie Moms, Review
Thursday, February 25: Curling Up With a Good Book, Review
Friday, February 26: To Read or Not to Read, Annotate a Scene Guest Post

Monday, February 29: Bookish Lifestyle, Review
Tuesday, March 1: The Book Swarm, Review
Wednesday, March 2: Katie’s Book Blog, Playlist Post
Thursday, March 3: Paperback Princess, Guest Post: Writing a Character with a Parent in Prison
Friday, March 4: Who R U, Behind the Scenes Book Secret Guest Post

Monday, March 7: Icey Books, Review
Tuesday, March 8: Stories & Sweeties, Author Interview
Wednesday, March 9: LovingDemBooks, Review
Thursday, March 10: Swoony Boys Podcast, Review
Friday, March 11: Good Books And Good Wine, Review

Monday, March 14: Winter Haven Books, Review
Tuesday, March 15: Me, My Shelf and I, Review
Wednesday, March 16: Novel Novice, Review
Thursday, March 17: Lili’s Reflections, Review
Friday, March 18: A Reader of Fictions, Author “Don’t Miss” in Nashville Guest Post

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Blog Tour: Seven Black Diamonds by Melissa Marr | Review + Giveaway

Blog Tour: Seven Black Diamonds by Melissa Marr | Review + Giveaway

Blog Tour: Seven Black Diamonds by Melissa Marr | Review + GiveawaySeven Black Diamonds (Untitled, #1) by Melissa Marr
Published by HarperCollins on March 1st 2016
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
4 Stars

This riveting fantasy marks Melissa Marr’s return to the world of faery courts that made her Wicked Lovely series an international phenomenon.

Lilywhite Abernathy is a criminal—she’s half human, half fae, and since the time before she was born, a war has been raging between humans and faeries. The Queen of Blood and Rage, ruler of the fae courts, wants to avenge the tragic death of her heir due to the actions of reckless humans.

Lily’s father has always shielded her, but when she’s sent to the prestigious St. Columba’s school, she’s delivered straight into the arms of a fae sleeper cell—the Black Diamonds. The Diamonds are planted in the human world as the sons and daughters of the most influential families and tasked with destroying it from within. Against her will, Lilywhite’s been chosen to join them...and even the romantic attention of the fae rock singer Creed Morrison isn’t enough to keep Lily from wanting to run back to the familiar world she knows.

Melissa Marr returns to faery in a dramatic story of the precarious space between two worlds and the people who must thrive there. The combination of ethereal fae powers, tumultuous romance, and a bloodthirsty faery queen will have longtime fans and new readers at the edge of their seats.

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It’s been a while since I’ve read a book about faeries and that’s because I’m really picky when it comes to them.  Melissa Marr has always been one of my go-to authors for these types of books and Seven Black Diamonds just proved that she’s on that list for a very good reason.

Pros:

  • Characters: I’m all about the boys but I can’t help but love a book with a strong female lead and that’s exactly what Lily is.  She takes control, she knows what she wants, and she doesn’t let others get in her way.  Yeah there are some boys in her life but they definitely are not in charge when it comes to Lily.  I have to say that it’s a little weird that she didn’t have much of a soft side (she was definitely a badass) but I didn’t really have a problem with that.  Speaking of the boys in Lily’s life, let’s start with Creed.  Not only is he fae (totally enough to grab my attention), he’s also a rock star.  Melissa Marr managed to combine two of my favorite things so I definitely loved Creed.  There was also Zephyr (not another love interest) who was the leader and had quite a few secrets.  There’s a good mix of people in the group called the Black Diamonds and I really liked that.  I don’t want to forget the other main character in Seven Black Diamonds, Eilidh (not a clue how to pronounce that one).  She is the daughter of the Fae queen and her side of the story shows the Fae world.  While she is the queen’s daughter, she isn’t necessarily all for what her mother is planning and that’s kinda where her story intersects with Lily’s.
  • Fae powers: I’m not going to say a lot about this aspect but I was totally intrigued by it.  Everyone in the Black Diamonds had a different ability that related to an element or two.  I loved seeing how they used them and I look forward to seeing how they might come in handy in the future books.
  • Romantic tension: I’ve always thought Melissa Marr did a great job with romantic tension and Seven Black Diamonds is no exception.  I don’t even know where I would start with this one.  Lily and Creed are only one of the couples that have some tension between them (as well as secrets.)  I love that as I’ve grown older, I’ve been able to stick with Marr’s books and they almost seem to have grown with me.

Cons:

  • I don’t even know how to label this one so I’m just gonna go for it.  There is a lot of info being shared in Seven Black Diamonds and it could be a bit much at times.  I get that it’s the start of a series and readers need to know these things but it was just overwhelming sometimes.  It also took away from the story and made it seem like there wasn’t a lot going on, plot wise.
  • POV: Just be warned that there are quite a few points of view and it can be a little confusing at first.  I got used to it pretty quickly but it did take me by surprise.

Overall, I definitely think Seven Black Diamonds is a promising start to this new series from Melissa Marr.  While it had it’s flaws, I look forward to seeing what happens next.

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Week One:

2/22/2016- Gone with the Words- Scavenger Hunt

2/23/2016- Katie’s Book Blog- Review

2/24/2016- YA Book Madness- Scavenger Hunt

2/25/2016- Pandora’s Books- Review

2/26/2016- Tales of the Ravenous Reader- Scavenger Hunt 

Week Two:

2/29/2016- The Best Books Ever- Review

3/1/2016- Me, My Shelf and I- Scavenger Hunt

3/2/2016- Rabid Reads- Review

3/3/2016- Once Upon a Twilight- Scavenger Hunt

3/4/2016- YA Bibliophile- Review

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Blog Tour: Q&A with Famine aka Sebastian from Riders by Veronica Rossi

Blog Tour: Q&A with Famine aka Sebastian from Riders by Veronica Rossi

I was lucky enough to borrow an ARC of Riders a few months ago and I’ve been dying to tell you guys about it ever since.  When I was asked to participate in the blog tour, I jumped at the chance.  I’m so excited to have an Q&A with Famine aka Sebastian.

Riders-Blog-Tour_Famine-350x200

A few questions for Sebastian, aka Famine, of RIDERS

What’s your favorite thing about being a horseman in RIDERS?

All of it. Daryn, the guys, the horses, the travel. It’s awesome. All of it.

What’s your least favorite thing?

I don’t even know. The thought that someday it might end?

What’s one thing that’s surprised you about being Famine?

The gear, for sure. I have the coolest clothes. They’re sick. Really high-quality.

Give us a little insight into your tastes. What was the last song you listened to? Last thing that made you laugh?

The last song I listened to was actually one I played and sang myself. I did a cover of Ed Sheeran’s Shirtsleeves. Love that song. I do a pretty good acoustic version of it. And what made me laugh was Gideon trying to sing the lyrics. He’s so bad. So tone-deaf. It killed me. If llamas could sing, that’s what it sounded like. I cried, it was so funny. He really gave it his all, though. You have to admire that.

 

VERONICA ROSSI is a New York Times bestselling author of fiction for young adults. She completed undergraduate studies at UCLA and then went on to study fine art at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. She lives in Northern California with her husband and two sons. When not writing, she enjoys reading, painting, and counting down the minutes until she can get back to making up stories about imaginary people.

 

Make sure to check out my review of Riders which will be up a little later this week.  And you don’t want to miss the other Q&A’s so check out Eater of Books and Good Choice Reading for those!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

The Countdown (The Taking #3) by Kimberly Derting | Harper Teen Summer 2016 Blog Tour Spotlight & Giveaway

HarperTeenSummer2016Tour

You know that amazing Harper Winter tour that I was a part of a couple months ago?  Well look at this!  I was lucky enough to be chosen as part of the Summer tour and I’m here to promote one of my favorite authors! Stick around, find out a little about The Countdown, and prepare to enter some epic giveaways.

Oh and don’t forget to check out the other blogs that are part of the tour as they will be spotlighting the rest of Harper Teen’s Summer catalog.

Hitting Shelves May 10, 2016

the countdown

She may no longer be human…but she’s their only hope.

In the concluding book in the otherworldly Taking trilogy, Kyra struggles to understand who she is as she races to save the world from complete destruction.

Ever since Kyra was abducted by aliens and then returned to earth, she has known there was something different about her. Now she knows the truth: she is an alien too. Her alien captors replaced all her human DNA with their own—gifting her with supernatural powers like incredible healing, enhanced eyesight, and telekinesis. But when she’s captured by an unexpected enemy, Kyra begins to wonder if her abilities are also a curse. And is she, as her enemies believe, meant to play some key role in helping an impending alien invasion? Is it programmed into her, something inescapable? Or can she fight that destiny?

No matter what the truth is, Kyra is sure of one thing: She just rescued the love of her life, Tyler, and she is not going to stand by and let anyone hurt him or her friends. Whatever it takes, Kyra will do everything in her power to save the world…even if it means making the ultimate sacrifice.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & NobleBook Depository

Giveaway time!

#1 – A Harper Teen Summer 2016 Catalog prizepack of 45 books*.

*Titles not included: The Crown by Kiera Cass, Escape from Asylum by Madeline Roux, Sing by Vivi Greene, The Countdown by Kimberly Derting, & United As One by Pittacus Lore

In addition to the one massive prize winner, we will also have 4 winners who will be able to select 3 titles they want from the Summer 2016 Catalog.

US Only

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#2 – 5 Finished Copies from the Harper Teen Winter 2016 Catalog

5 books are: Front Lines by Michael Grant, Revenge & the Wild by Michelle Modesto, The Lifeboat Clique by Kathy Parks, Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin, & The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

US Only

How to enter:
Collect the daily word from each blog stop during the Harper Summer 2016 Tour (a total of 50). Once you’ve collected them all, email the complete saying to: HarperTeenTour@gmail.com

Prize Rules:
1.) Winner must have a valid US mailing address to receive the prize
2.) Winner must be over 13
3.) Only one (1) entry per person for Prize #2 – duplicates will be deleted.
4.) Only a completed phrase will be accepted as an entry – do not email each word/phrase daily. Wait until you have the complete saying and then email in.
5.) All email submissions must be received by 11:59 PM EST 3/31/2016.
6.) Winners will be selected 4/1/2016 and will have 48 hours to claim their prize before another is selected.
7.) Participating blogs and bloggers are not responsible for unsent, damaged, and/or stolen prizes offered by the publisher.

#3 – Leap Year Giveaway – 4 of the most anticipated ARCs from Summer 2016

Books are: My Lady Jane, Ivory & Bone, The Crown’s Game and This Savage Song

US Only

How to enter:
This giveaway will only run on February 29, 2016. The rafflecopter form will work for 24 hours and a winner will be chosen on March 1, 2016.

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Lastly, don’t forget about our amazing Facebook Author Chats where you will have chances to win more prizes and books! The first chat will be 2/16/16 at 8 pm EST!

RSVP TODAY
Or CLICK HERE for more info!

Check out the other stops on the blog tour!

This is the rest of the Harper Summer 2016 tour!  Don’t miss a single stop


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Blog Tour: High School Horror + Giveaway

Blog Tour: High School Horror + Giveaway

Blog Tour: High School Horror + GiveawayTeen Frankenstein by Chandler Baker
Published by Feiwel & Friends on January 12th 2016
Genres: Horror
Pages: 368
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

High school meets classic horror in this groundbreaking new series.

It was a dark and stormy night when Tor Frankenstein accidentally hit someone with her car. And killed him. But all is not lost--Tor, being the scientific genius she is, brings him back to life...

Thus begins a twisty, turn-y take on a familiar tale, set in the town of Hollow Pines, Texas, where high school is truly horrifying.

Hey guys! I’m super excited to be part of the High School Horror blog tour for Chandler Baker’s new novel, Teen Frankenstein.  I’ve got an awesome guest post from one of the team members over at Macmillan and stick around until the end to win a copy of the book.

 

High School Horror Guest Post

 

This is a cautionary tale about underage drinking. I’m not referring to the associated health risks, driving dangers, and potential negative impact on grades. I’m referring to the potential to embarrass yourself in the WORST WAY HUMANLY POSSIBLE.

I did not grow up in a family where alcohol was a major part of family gatherings. My primary knowledge of alcohol in any capacity was based on Donna Martin’s ill-fated experience at the prom on 90210. So when I went to the sleepover at my new friend Alice’s and someone brought out a giant bottle of (what I now know to have been) extremely cheap gin, I had no idea what to do with it. I just knew that it was ninth grade, these were new friends, and I wanted to seem cool.

And it turned out that these friends weren’t actually much more daring than me- they wanted to ‘live on the edge’ by drinking gin too, but also didn’t know what to do with it. I did vaguely recall (from Snoop Dogg) that gin was supposed to be mixed with juice, so I grabbed a bottle of fruit punch and decided to take over as chief mixologist. Except I didn’t realize that the ratio of alcohol to mixer was NOT supposed to be 1:1. And I poured each of us a glass that was exactly one half gin, and one half punch. And then we drank them.

At first, it was all fun and games and sing-alongs. And then we started talking about crushes. And when I confessed mine (Alex Green),  I learned that he happened to work at a crab shack that was walking distance from Alice’s house. You see where this is going…

We decided to sneak out and walk (stumble) to the crab shack, in hopes that he’d be finishing his shift. What we actually expected to accomplish was a bit unclear (as are my memories of that night), but I believe the end goal was for us to fall in love. And as luck would have it, he WAS there, and he was just getting ready to ride his bike home when we approached. He looked at us as if he was wondering what we were doing there and then suddenly, my friends were gone. They’d left me there alone (in reality, they were hiding behind an SUV, giggling at me). I opened my mouth to attempt to spit some game…and that’s when it happened. Full-on, projectile vomit. The kind you don’t even see coming, so you can’t find a covert way to do it. And thanks to the laws of science, it landed ALL OVER poor Alex Green, who was horrified, and who avoided me the entire remaining time we were in high school.

So there you have it, kids. Not only is underage drinking foolish for any number of other reasons, it can also kill your game…forever.

Author Links/Info

Add High School Horror: Teen Frankenstein to your to-read list on Goodreads.

Join in on social media with #HighSchoolHorror

Visit Chandler’s website and follow her on Twitter and Instagram!

Full Blog Tour Schedule
11-Jan
Fierce Reads
12-Jan Good Books and Good Wine
13-Jan Jana’s Book List
14-Jan Booki Emoji
15-Jan Sci Fi Chick
16-Jan Novel Novice
17-Jan Word Spelunking
18-Jan XPresso Reads
19-Jan Working for the Mandroid
20-Jan Katie’s Book Blog

Giveaway

One US/CA reader will win a copy of Teen Frankenstein

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Monday, January 11, 2016

Blog Tour: Zero Day by Jan Gangsei | Review + Giveaway

Blog Tour: Zero Day by Jan Gangsei | Review + Giveaway

Blog Tour: Zero Day by Jan Gangsei | Review + GiveawayZero Day by Jan Gangsei
on January 12th 2016
Genres: Suspense
Pages: 368
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
4 Stars

Eight years ago, Addie Webster was the victim of the most notorious kidnapping case of the decade. Addie vanished—and her high-profile parents were forced to move on.

Mark Webster is now president of the United States, fighting to keep the oval office after a tumultuous first term. Then, the unthinkable happens: the president’s daughter resurfaces. Addie is brought back into her family’s fold, but who is this sixteen-year-old girl with a quiet, burning intelligence now living in the White House? There are those in the president’s political circle who find her timely return suspicious.

When the NSA approaches Darrow Fergusson, Addie’s childhood best friend and the son of the president’s chief of staff, he doesn't know what to think. How could this slip of a girl be a threat to national security? But at the risk of having his own secrets exposed by the powerful government agency, Darrow agrees to spy on Addie.

It soon becomes apparent that Addie is much more than the traumatized victim of a sick political fringe group. Addie has come with a mission. Will she choose to complete it? And what will happen if she does?

My Thoughts:

Zero Day is one of those books that automatically got added to my TBR when I read the synopsis.  I didn’t care about other reviews, that the author was a debut, none of that.  Suspense featuring the daughter of the President of the United States who also happens to be a kidnapping victim?  I was sold.  Jan Gangsei’s debut novel surprised me in many ways and was definitely worth the read.

Pros:

  • Suspense: The suspense in Zero Day was strong.  I grew up reading James Patterson, Harlan Coben, and many other adult crime writers that were fabulous at suspense.  I’ve only found that same caliber in a few young adult authors so I was a bit skeptical going into this one.  While I did manage to guess a few things, it was usually only right before they were about to be revealed anyway so it didn’t take away from my enjoyment.
  • Romance: I was iffy about this romance for a while.  Darrow and Addie grew up together and Darrow pretty much held himself responsible for Addie’s kidnapping.  He was also 9-years-old at the time so there really wasn’t anything he could have done but try telling him that.  When Addie is returned, he pretty much automatically has feelings for her.  I couldn’t tell if it was because of what they went through or not but he grew on me and I liked seeing him with Addie.  As for Addie’s side of the relationship, it was really hard to judge.  If you read the book you’ll understand what I mean but her personality was so odd that I had a hard time telling if she meant things or if she was attempting to play someone.  I wanted her to like Darrow and at times I felt that she did but other times I was a bit hesitant.  It was odd.
  • Characters: Where do I even begin with these characters?  I have some really mixed feelings about some of them but overall I loved the development of them and the complexities to all of them.  Just look at Addie.  She was all over the place with her feelings and thoughts.  I couldn’t tell from page to page what was coming next with her.  She obviously went through a ton of crazy stuff in the eight years that she was held captive but that wasn’t really what fascinated me about her.  I wanted to know more about what motivated her when she got home.  You will understand what I mean if you read the book.  Her parents were both good parents and bad ones.  They cared so much about public opinion and they couldn’t see how that was affecting their daughters.  Then again, they would spend private time with them and be completely wonderful.  I guess that’s how politics works.  And I won’t spoil anything about Addie’s captors but I will say that they were seriously messed up.  Very twisted.
  • Setting: I don’t know if it’s so much the setting that I loved but what comes along with the setting.  A lot of the story takes place in and around the White House and also at Addie and Darrow’s very classy high school.  Taking a peek inside the world of the offspring of high up government officials was really interesting.  I can’t tell you how accurate it is but I enjoyed it.  I love reading about the lifestyles of the rich and famous so that definitely appealed to me.

Pro/Con:

  • Story: The story had good and bad things going for it.  I loved the idea of the story but the execution left some things to be desired.  I read a majority of the book before I even realized what exactly Cerberus was hoping to gain from their terrorist attacks.  Also, once I figured it out, I couldn’t really see how what they were doing was going to achieve that goal.  It confused me.  However, the idea of someone on the inside of the White House working with terrorists really appealed to me and kept me very intrigued.  Things tied up pretty nicely at the end but I could see how there might be room for a sequel and I wouldn’t say no to reading that.

Cons:

  • Writing: The writing was a bit heavy.  I honestly can’t put my finger on what exactly about it caused the book to drag more than it should have but there was just something about it.  I was hoping that as  I read more of the book, I would get used to the style and the pace would pick up but that didn’t happen.  It’s also weird because the book features short chapters which tend to speed things along for me but that didn’t happen with Zero Day.  The story was interesting enough though that I didn’t every feel like giving up on it.

Overall, Zero Day had it’s flaws but it’s good parts far outweighed those.  It’s a great read for fans of suspense with hints of hacking and politics as well as a peek at the lifestyles of the rich and famous.  I will be keeping an eye out to see what Jan Gangsei does next.

What others are saying about Zero Day:

Bookish Babes’ review: “Zero Day by Jan Gangsei is a pulse pounding YA thriller that kept me guessing until the end.”

Kovescence of the Mind’s review: ” The strong female lead provides a refreshing addition to the realm of technology and mystery in young-adult fiction.”

Looking for something similar? Check out Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimano!

Giveaway

Enter to win one of three copies of Zero Day!

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Blog Tour: Love and Other Alien Experiences by Kerry Winfrey | Review

Blog Tour: Love and Other Alien Experiences by Kerry Winfrey | Review

Blog Tour: Love and Other Alien Experiences by Kerry Winfrey | ReviewLove and Other Alien Experiences by Kerry Winfrey
Published by The Studio on November 10th 2015
Genres: Contemporary
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
4 Stars

In this heartwarming debut by HelloGiggles blogger Kerry Winfrey, a young agoraphobe begins a journey of first love that leads her to the true meaning of home—just by taking one small step outside of her house.

My name is Mallory Sullivan.

My therapist says I have an anxiety disorder.

My brother says I’m an “optimistic recluse.”

Everybody else says I'm a freak.

And they kind of have a point, because I haven't left the house in 67 days and only attend class via the webcam on my laptop. The person I talk to the most other than my mom and brother is the completely obnoxious BeamMeUp, and all we do is argue on New Mexico’s premiere alien message board.

But after yesterday, I have something: a chance. If I can win the homecoming crown by convincing resident hot popular guy and Friday Night Lights spawn Brad Kirkpatrick to go as my date, then maybe #stayathome will never appear next to the name @Mallory_Sullivan ever again.

First, I have to leave my room.

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Kerry Winfrey’s debut novel tackles the mental illness of agoraphobia with fun, flair, and facts.  Love and Other Alien Experiences is a strong debut that took me by surprise.  I can’t say what I expected but I think it would have exceeded those expectations that I might have had.

I don’t know what it is lately but this is the third book I’ve read recently about a girl who couldn’t or wouldn’t leave her house.  Agoraphobia is not something I’m familiar with but it is something that fascinates me and that was a big part of my draw to Love and Other Alien Experiences.  Kerry Winfrey chose a more lighthearted way to showcase this illness and I really enjoyed that take on it.  Mallory knows that there is something wrong with her and she knows she should do something about it.  She finally sees that chance to do something about it when she is nominated for homecoming court.  She could win some serious prize money if she actually won and that would be the perfect chance for her to set out to find her father.

Mallory’s life consists of classes taken via webcam and interactions on message boards about aliens.  Hence the title.  She has these crazy interactions with someone online named BeamMeUp and that’s pretty much her only socialization.  Her mom and brother play a key role in her life but they can’t possibly provide all the social interaction that a person needs.  That’s where Mallory’s love interest comes in.  It’s a bit of a reveal so I won’t say anything about who it is but I will say that they work perfectly with Mallory.  Mallory’s illness is something she’s always been made to feel bad about and that’s not what he does to her.  Mallory herself is a great character with a wonderful personality.  She’s sarcastic and open about her illness.  I kinda loved her.

Overall, Love and Other Alien Experiences has me eager to see what Kerry Winfrey writes next.  If you’re looking for a quick, fun read that doesn’t gloss over the details of having a mental illness, this one is for you.

What others are saying about Love and Other Alien Experiences:

Sleepsontables’ review: “If you were a fan of Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone or Made You Up by Francesca Zappia I recommend Love and Other Alien Experiences.”

Welcome to Ladyville’s review: “Love and Other Alien Experiences is a cheeky little tale about a teenage agoraphobe, who by a surprise to everyone gets nominated for prom queen, and decides to win.”

Monday, November 16, 2015

Blog Tour: The Lies About Truth by Courtney C. Stevens | Q&A

I am so excited to be part of the blog tour for Courtney C. Stevens’ sophomore novel, The Lies About Truth, hosted by The Irish Banana Review.  I just recently reviewed it and you should probably check out my review sometime.

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Sadie Kingston, is a girl living in the aftermath. A year after surviving a car accident that killed her friend Trent and left her body and face scarred, she can’t move forward. The only person who seems to understand her is Trent’s brother, Max.

As Sadie begins to fall for Max, she’s unsure if she is truly healed enough to be with him — even if Max is able to look at her scars and not shy away. But when the truth about the accident and subsequent events comes to light, Sadie has to decide if she can embrace the future or if she’ll always be trapped in the past.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | The Book Depository | Goodreads

Q&A with Courtney C. Stevens

What inspired you to write The Lies About Truth?

It was the merging of two things: a memory from the past and a feeling from the present.

When I was in high school, I had a group of friends from a few counties over. When I met them, they had just been through an unspeakably hard time. In 1993, seven boys died in a car accident that happened between school and work. Their car struck another car and injured the driver. My friend was dating the driver. Her father drove the other car in the accident.

I never forgot the terrible position she was in: to grieve the boy she loved and to be grateful that her father lived. Two side-by-side emotions at war.

That incident was the spark for this book about a group of friends who have a car accident with each other. However, the character of Sadie Kingston and her internal struggle came from me. While I’ve never been through the windshield of a Yaris, I have felt like the scars in my life (the things I perceive to be shameful) are the things that everyone sees first.

What has been your experience going from a debut author to your second book? Did your writing style change in any way after getting published?

It took thirty years to write my first book and three months to type it out.

It took two years to write my second book, and two years to type it again and again until I got it right.

I’m not sure which was faster.

Sophomore books are different for most authors. There’s an expectation and a readership that didn’t exist while writing a debut. But on the whole, I believe in writing for myself first. A book has to belong in my heart and soul before it can ever belong to a reader. It took a grace period to remind myself of that fact when I wrote The Lies About Truth. I don’t think my writing style changed, but I hope I am constantly improving my craft.

One stretch for me in The Lies About Truth was to have more main characters on the stage at the same time. Faking Normal has one on one conversation, where The Lies About Truth often has four people in conversation, or four main characters. That was a learning curve.

What is the book you would write if you had free rein to write about absolutely anything and know it would be published?

I plan to write magical realism after I finish my current contract. I have a heart for strange things, and I hope I get to share it at some point.

About the Author

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Courtney C. Stevens grew up in Kentucky and lives in Nashville, Tennessee. She is an adjunct professor and a former youth minister. Her other skills include playing hide-and-seek, climbing trees, and being an Olympic torch bearer. She is also the author of Faking Normal, which Kirkus Reviews called “a story that resonates” and Publishers Weekly called a “rich debut,” as well as the e-novellaThe Blue-Haired Boy.

 

Make sure to check out the rest of the tour!

Week 1:

Week 2:

Giveaway

Enter to win 1 of 3 copies of The Lies About Truth

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Monday, October 26, 2015

Blog Tour: Frosh: First Blush by Monica B. Wagner | Review

Blog Tour: Frosh: First Blush by Monica B. Wagner | Review

Blog Tour: Frosh: First Blush by Monica B. Wagner | ReviewFrosh: First Blush (Frosh, #1) by Mónica B. Wagner
Series: Frosh #1
Published by The Studio/ Paper Lantern Lit on October 20th 2015
Genres: Contemporary
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
4 Stars

During welcome week at Hillson University, the FROSH will hit the fan.
Type-A aspiring journalist Ellie plans to take freshman year by storm. But hell-bent on breaking a huge on-campus scandal, she risks becoming one herself—and getting the mysterious, heart-melting QB in serious trouble.
Grant, star quarterback and charismatic chick-magnet, is hiding a life-altering secret. The last thing he needs is an overeager (absolutely adorable) journalist asking questions. He’s got a reputation to protect.
High-society legacy student Devon is ready to catch the football hottie of her dreams. If the tabloids feature her with the “it” boy on her arm, her tainted past will be buried—or so she thinks.
Charlie, pre-med, is done being the sweet and funny geek that girls like Devon ignore. But if he tries to impress her with a new edgy, spontaneous attitude, will his heart end up in the emergency room?
FROSH intertwines the stories of Ellie, Grant, Devon, and Charlie in Mónica B. Wagner’s sexy NA debut series, about falling in love and falling apart.

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New adult has been my thing lately but I especially love new adult that takes place at college.  Obviously, when I saw Frosh, I had to add it to my TBR.  While I did have my issues with it, Frosh is definitely a fun read to start off a series I can see myself continuing.

Daniela (Ellie) is taking her freshman year by storm.  She’s determined to get the editorial assistant position at the Hillson Daily Nexus.  She’s focused and passionate and she knows that she’s the best candidate for the job.  She just has to prove it to everyone else and she has exactly one week and one assignment to do that.  It just so happens to be that her assignment is one rather distracting football player.  Grant is the quarterback of Hillson’s football team and it appears his passion is football, just like Ellie’s is journalism.  As a freshman, he knows he needs to stay focused on the game and make himself known at Hillson.  Ellie complicates that.

I wasn’t sure what to think of Ellie at first.  She seemed a little uptight and very focused on getting the position she wanted at the HDN.  I quickly warmed up to her though.  She was fun and bubbly and it was easy to see that she was just very passionate about journalism.  Sometimes she came across as a little rude towards other passions (such as football) but she did try and relate them to her own passion to help her understand people a little better.  I liked that she could see that football was to Grant what journalism was to her (or so she thought).  She wasn’t just a snob about anyone who wasn’t in to journalism and that worked in her favor for me.  As for Grant, he’s cocky but he definitely seems to have earned that cockiness.  He’s smart and funny and good at what he does.  It doesn’t hurt that he has a body of a Greek god.  And while he may be great at football, he’s not sure it’s what he wants to do with his life.  He’s a little lost and he’s not sure where his future is going.  When Ellie enters the picture he finally sees something he really wants and he’s willing to go after her.

Then there’s the other half of the story.  Devon is on a mission to catch a guy.  One guy in particular: Grant.  She’s determined to get her man so that she can bury the mistakes of her past.  Devon is a self proclaimed bitch and I could see it from the start.  She’d been hurt in the past and it made her completely close off.  She wanted no girl friends and she only had eyes for one guy.  Too bad that wasn’t the guy who had eyes for her.  Charlie was a geek.  He didn’t think he had anything in common with Devon but once he got to know her he quickly found out that wasn’t the case.  Devon is smart underneath the airhead facade.  She doesn’t want anything to do with Charlie and Charlie’s not normally the type to chase after a girl who seems way out of his league but he doesn’t want to give up on her.

Charlie was a total cutie and at first I thought he could do a lot better than Devon.  She was just so mean!  I understood that she had been hurt in the past and that she had secrets but she just seemed so cold.  She was very single-minded in her mission to get Grant and I felt like Charlie was going to get hurt because of that.  I didn’t love her ever but I did warm up to her and I liked the side of herself that she showed around Charlie.  She was a smart girl and she should have showed it more often.  Together they made an odd pair but I liked it.

And let me tell you there are some steamy scenes in this book.  Both couples really had some chemistry and I loved that.   Neither part of either couple really had the upper hand.  Grant was popular but Ellie was extremely smart.  Charlie was extremely smart and Devon was driven.  They balanced each other out really well.  It was definitely a couple cases of opposites attracting and I loved to see that.

Overall, Frosh: First Blush is a good start to this series.  I look forward to reading more about the students of Hillson University.  New adult fans should definitely check this one out.

What others are saying about Frosh: First Blush:

On a Book Bender’s review: “If you love New Adult, you will want to pick this book up.”

Fiktshun’s review: “This is one of those stories that will make you shake your head at some of the characters’ actions and decisions, want to throttle a few of them, root for the ones you adore and hope they get a happy ending.”

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace | Harper Teen Winter 2016 Blog Tour Spotlight & Giveaway

HarperTeen-Winter-2016-Tour

You guys have no idea how excited I am to be part of this special tour to help spotlight Harper Teen’s awesome Winter 2016 titles.  Check out the book I’m featuring (one I’m particularly excited about) and then enter the three giveaways to win 40+ titles from the Winter catalog of Harper Teen, 5 titles from their Fall 2015 catalog, and an ARC of Shallow Graves.

Oh and since this is a spotlight tour, make sure to stop by all the other blogs (listed below) to find out more about the awesome YA titles coming from Harper Teen in 2016.

Hitting shelves January 26, 2016:

Shallow Graves

For fans of Holly Black and Nova Ren Suma, a gripping, hauntingly atmospheric novel about murder, revenge, and a world where monsters—human and otherwise—lurk at the fringes.

When seventeen-year-old Breezy Lin wakes up in a shallow grave one year after her death, she doesn’t remember who killed her or why. All she knows is that she’s somehow conscious—and not only that, she’s able to sense who around her is hiding a murderous past. In life, Breezy was always drawn to the elegance of the universe and the mystery of the stars. Now she must set out to find answers and discover what is to become of her in the gritty, dangerous world to which she now belongs—where killers hide in plain sight and a sinister cult is hunting for strange creatures like her. What she finds is at once empowering, redemptive, and dangerous.

Tense, complex, and wholly engaging, Shallow Graves is a stunning first novel from Kali Wallace.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Book Depository

I don’t know about you guys but I’m pretty damn excited for this book.  I’m a huge fan of Holly Black so any author whose work is compared to hers is automatically added to my TBR.  And it doesn’t hurt that the cover is stunning.

Check out the other stops on the blog tour:

You don’t want to miss a single spotlight post about Harper Teen’s Winter titles.  They don’t mess around when it comes to publishing amazing books.

This is the Harper Winter 2016 Tour!


This list will close in 61 days, 8 hrs, 42 min (12/6/2015 11:59 PM North America – Eastern Standard Time)

Now here’s your chance to enter three awesome giveaways!

Make sure to read the rules for each giveaway and you can enter one, two, or all three.

Giveaway #1:

A Harper Teen Winter 2016 Catalog prizepack of 40+ books*

*All YA titles in the winter2016 catalog with the exception of The Siren by Kiera Cass, Yellow Brick War by Danielle Paige and Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard.*

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Giveaway #2:

5 Finished Copies from the Harper Teen Fall 2015 Catalog

5 books are: The Lies About Truth, Walk on Earth A Stranger, Dreamland, Dumplin’, and Da Vinci’s Tiger

How to enter:

Collect the daily word from each blog stop during the Harper Winter 2016 Tour (a total of 45). (I suggest going to the blog chart above, and going in numerical order.) Once you’ve collected them all, email the complete saying to: HarperTeenTour@gmail.com.

Hint for today’s word: It’s bold, italicized, and underlined.  😉

Prize Rules:

1.)    Winner must have a valid US mailing address to receive the prize

2.)    Winner must be over 13

3.)    Only one (1) entry per person for Prize #2 – duplicates will be deleted.

4.)    Only a completed phrase will be accepted as an entry – do not email each word/phrase daily. Wait until you have the complete saying and then email in.

5.)    All email submissions must be received by 11:59 PM EST 11/30/2015.

6.)    Winners will be selected 12/1/2015 and will have 48 hours to claim their prize before another is selected.

7.)    Participating blogs and bloggers are not responsible for unsent, damaged, and/or stolen prizes offered by the publisher.

** TO ENTER, EMAIL ALL YOUR SECRET WORDS YOU’VE COLLECTED TO: HarperTeenTour@gmail.com **

Giveaway #3:

Win an ARC of Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace.

Open internationally!  Just fill out the Rafflecopter.

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