Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Blog Tour: Talon (Talon #1) by Julie Kagawa | Teaser + Giveaway

Blog Tour: Talon (Talon #1) by Julie Kagawa | Teaser + Giveaway

Blog Tour: Talon (Talon #1) by Julie Kagawa | Teaser + GiveawayTalon by Julie Kagawa
Series: Talon #1
on October 28, 2014
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 400
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they're positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.

Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.

Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon's newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey: and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember's bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him: and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons.

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julieAbout the author:

Julie Kagawa was born in Sacramento, California. But nothing exciting really happened to her there. So, at the age of nine she and her family moved to Hawaii, which she soon discovered was inhabited by large carnivorous insects, colonies of house geckos and frequent hurricanes. She spent much of her time in the ocean, when she wasn’t getting chased out of it by reef sharks, jellyfish and the odd eel.

To pay the rent, Julie worked in different bookstores over the years, but discovered the managers frowned upon her reading the books she was supposed to be shelving. So she turned to her other passion: training animals. She worked as a professional dog trainer for several years, dodging Chihuahua bites and overly enthusiastic Labradors, until her first book sold and she stopped training to write full-time.

Julie now lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where the frequency of shark attacks are at an all-time low. She lives with her husband, two obnoxious cats, one Australian shepherd who is too smart for his own good and the latest addition, a hyperactive Papillon puppy.

Website |  Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Giveaway!

Grand-Prize
Each tour stop is offering up a finished copy of TALON!

Five lucky grand prize winners will receive one of Julie’s amazing dragon figurines as well as some fun signed swag. To enter for the grand prize, you MUST follow the tour each day, find and catch the dragon, and answer the daily question.

Please enter via the Rafflecopter form. Giveaway is open to US/Canada.

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Dragon Hunt_Embers

“Catch the Dragon Contest”: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, a dragon will appear on a different blog and stay there for 48hrs. Once you have found the dragon, click on it and you will be directed to a Rafflecopter entry form for the Grand Prize Giveaway! To enter, you must answer the daily question found at the tour stop!!!

Where could the dragon appear? On all Book Blogger Tour Hosts and The Harlequin Paranormal Blog, so go now and catch yourself a dragon! Will you find it? And will you be able to keep it?

Daily question: What about Talon has you most excited to read it?

Tour Schedule:

 

 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Blog Tour: As Long As You Love Me (2B Trilogy #2) by Ann Aguirre | Review + Giveaway

Blog Tour: As Long As You Love Me (2B Trilogy #2) by Ann Aguirre | Review + Giveaway

Blog Tour: As Long As You Love Me (2B Trilogy #2) by Ann Aguirre | Review + GiveawayAs Long As You Love Me by Ann Aguirre
Series: 2B Trilogy #2
Published by Harlequin HQN on September 30, 2014
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
4 Stars

Most people dream about getting out of Sharon, Nebraska, but after three years away, Lauren Barrett is coming home. There are the justifications she gives to everyone else—missing her family, losing her college scholarship. And then there’s the reason Lauren can’t admit to anyone: Rob Conrad, her best friend’s older brother.

Football prowess and jaw-dropping good looks made Rob a star in high school. Out in the real world, his job and his relationships are going nowhere. He can’t pinpoint exactly what’s missing until Lauren comes back to town, bringing old feelings and new dreams with her. But he’s the guy that women love and leave—not the one who makes them think of forever.

Though she’s terrified of opening up, Lauren’s ready to take that chance. Because the only thing more important than figuring out where you truly belong is finding the person you were meant to be with.

picadillyblueAs Long As You Love Me, the second book in the 2B trilogy, cemented my love for Ann Aguirre’s new adult books.  I enjoyed I Want It That Way but it seems like nothing compared to my love for As Long As You Love Me.

Rob and Lauren stole my heart from the very first page.  I really connected with both of the characters.  Rob is a very attractive but not so smart guy.  He’s always been looked at as the dumb jock, not just by outsiders but by his whole family.    His confidence is nonexistent and he sees himself going nowhere in life.  Lauren is really one of the only people who sees potential in him.  She is just as messed up as he is though, just in different ways.  She has severe social anxiety and it has practically crippled her.  She has moved back home from college and Rob is one of the only people in town for her to hang out with.  What starts as a sweet friendship quickly develops into something more and the two of them bring out the best in each other.  However, things are never smooth sailing so they face many trials, making you wonder if these two are destined for a happy ending or better off on their own.

Rob and Lauren’s flaws are what connected me to them because I could so easily relate to them.  Ann Aguirre created characters that readers will easily be able to understand and sympathize with.  It doesn’t hurt that Rob is also a dream guy.  Lauren’s not too bad herself! She’s got a fabulous sense of humor and the banter between the two of them really just made me smile.  I really liked that their relationship was far from perfect but they worked through their issues together.  They didn’t keep anything from each other.  If Rob did something that bothered Lauren, she let him know, and vice versa.  They were very open about things and it was really refreshing.  For once I didn’t want to reach into the book and knock some sense into the characters.

The story is far from action-packed but it’s still completely unputdownable.  Rob and Lauren are enough to hook readers.  I just wanted to know if they’d get their happy ending and if so, how everything would work out.  It didn’t hurt that there were cameos from the characters of I Want It That Way.  There was also just enough drama to keep things interesting.  Things were far from perfect in Sharon, Nebraska and the honesty of the small town setting really added to how much I loved As Long As You Love Me.

Overall, As Long As You Love Me is a wonderful new adult novel that I think fans of the genre will adore.  It’s a sweet contemporary story that will leave you with a smile on your face!

What others are saying about As Long As You Love Me:

Fic Fare’s review: “Overall, this series is a wonderful addition to the new adult genre – not as heavy as some of the books you’ll find in this genre, but I really like that we’re getting some that aren’t all angst, angst, angst.”

Nomi’s Paranormal Palace’s review: “Although I liked the first book, As Long As You Love Me is definitely my favourite in the series so far.”

Closet Geeks and Slow Mo’s review: “So I got to admit, when I finished. I did sigh happily.”

Ann Aguirre

 About the author:

Ann Aguirre is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author and RITA winner with a degree in English Literature; before she began writing full time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, children, and various pets. Ann likes books, emo music, action movies, and she writes all kinds of genre fiction for adults and teens, published with Harlequin, Macmillan, and Penguin, among others.

Website **Facebook**Twitter**Tumblr ** Goodreads ** Newsletter SignUp

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Blog Tour: Atlantia by Ally Condie | Q & A + Giveaway #TeamBelow

If you’ve been living under a rock, you might not know that Ally Condie has a new book coming out this month.  Atlantia hits shelves on October 28.  To celebrate the release, Penguin has put together a fabulous blog tour and campaign.  There are two teams, #TeamBelow (I’m on this team!), and #TeamAbove.

TeamBelow-Atlantiablogbanner

Throughout the month you can follow along the blog tour (I’ll post the schedule below) as well as check out the hashtags #TeamBelow and #TeamAbove on Instagram and Twitter.  There will be interviews, reviews, giveaways, and lots of fun stuff going on.  PenguinTeen will also be helping us promote all the special content we’ll be featuring throughout the month.  This is going to be one awesome (friendly!) competition between #TeamBelow and #TeamAbove.

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Atlantia by Ally Condie
To Be Released on: October 28th, 2014
Add it to Goodreads
Pre-Order it from: Amazon | B&N

 

Can you hear Atlantia breathing?

For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamt of the sand and sky Above—of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all her plans for the future are thwarted when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected decision, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self—and the powerful siren voice she has long hidden—she has nothing left to lose.

Guided by a dangerous and unlikely mentor, Rio formulates a plan that leads to increasingly treacherous questions about her mother’s death, her own destiny, and the complex system constructed to govern the divide between land and sea. Her life and her city depend on Rio to listen to the voices of the past and to speak long-hidden truths.

Q & A

Thanks so much for stopping by the blog! 

Thank you for having me, and for being part of the Atlantia blog tour! It’s so much fun to get to visit your blog.

Your new book, Atlantia, features an Above world and Below world. Would you want to live Above or Below?

I would definitely want to live Above. I do love the ocean, but I wouldn’t want to live UNDER it. I’m also kind of claustrophobic. I’ve taken the Chunnel (the underwater train from England to France) before and I think is about the longest I can stand being underwater. I also like being able to walk for miles and miles and not reach the end of my world.

Who is the character most like you in Atlantia?

I think the character most like me in the story is probably Bay. I would do just about anything to protect those I love. But I don’t think I’m as unselfish as she is. I’m also a bit like Rio, because I know the feeling of being trapped and also the wonderful feeling of breaking free.

What’s the one thing you have to have when you’re writing?

Water. I guess that’s a little ironic, since this is a book with water in it! But I drink a lot of water while I am writing. I’m not sure what’s up with that. I know that’s a pretty lame answer. I guess the other thing I need most (can I have two?) is quiet. Which is kind of impossible in a house with four kids, but I bought some noise-canceling headphones and that REALLY helps.

Do you read YA when you’re not writing it? If so, what is your top recommendation?

*I read a lot of YA and I also read a lot of adult fiction. As far as recent reads go, my top YA recommendation is KISS OF DECEPTION by Mary Pearson. I thought this was a fantastic read and she does some extremely interesting/well-executed things with point-of-view. For adult fiction, I just finished Kate Atkinson’s BEHIND THE SCENES AT THE MUSEUM and I adored it. She’s a brilliant writer.

What’s next for you? Any more YA novels in the works?

*Yes! I am working on a YA novel right now. It’s in a completely different setting than anything I’ve done before, and it’s a book that I’ve wanted to write for years but haven’t attempted until now. I probably can’t say much more since it’s still very early stages. As far as what else is next for me—I’m looking forward to the Atlantia tour (I love meeting readers and doing school visits!) and I’ll also continue to try to keep up with my kids (they are 11, 8, 6, and 3, and they are very busy and fun).

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About the author:

Ally Condie is the author of the MATCHED Trilogy, a #1 New York Times and international bestseller. MATCHED was chosen as one of YALSA’s 2011 Teens’ Top Ten and named as one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Best Children’s Books of 2010. The sequels, CROSSED and REACHED, were also critically acclaimed and received starred reviews, and all three books are available in 30+ languages. Disney has optioned the film rights for the series.

A former English teacher, she lives with her husband and four children outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. She loves reading, writing, running, and listening to her husband play guitar. (Source: Ally Condie’s website)

 
You can find Ally via her Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 
 
 

Want to follow along the #TeamBelow blog tour?  Check out the schedule!

September 28 – Katie (Mundie Moms) – Long Q&A
September 30 – Jen (I Read Banned Books) – Guest post
October 2 – Katie (Katie’s Book Blog) – Short Q&A
October 4 – Lea (YA Book Queen) – Review
October 6 – Taschima (Bloody Bookaholic) – Fancasting
October 8 – Jeremy (Novel Thoughts Blog) – Guest post
October 10 – Erin/ Flo (Fangirlish) – Review
October 12 – Nancy (Ravenous Reader) – Review
October 14 – Sara (Novel Novice) – Playlist
October 16 – Jess (Gone with the Words) – Short Q&A
October 18 – Rachel (Paper Cuts) – Guest post
October 20 – Georgia (Eve’s Fan Garden) – Playlist
October 22 – Gabby (Queen Ella Bee Reads) – Long Q&A
October 24 – Andrea (Reading Lark) – Review
October 26 – Tirzah (The Compulsive Reader) – Playlist

Want to win my ARC of Atlantia? (Is that even a question?) Fill out the Rafflecopter! (US/CA only)

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

I’ll Give You The Sun Blog Tour | Interview With Jandy Nelson + Giveaway

I’ll Give You The Sun Blog Tour | Interview With Jandy Nelson + Giveaway

I’m beyond excited to be part of the blog tour for I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson. I just posted my review this past Monday but I have to reiterate: this is my favorite book of 2014! I can’t rave about this book enough. Jandy Nelson is one of my favorite authors and I’m honored to have her here on the blog today!

Interview!

Jude and Noah are twins.  You aren’t a twin, are you?  If not, how did you capture that unique relationship between twins, that special bond?

Well, I’m happy you feel I captured it! No, I’m not a twin. I do have twins in my life and did research on twins for the book. But still, I really don’t feel like I can speak at all for twins in general, only for Noah and Jude with their particular personalities, who come from a particular family and a particular place and time and have their own particular roller-coaster relationship and fierce bond. I think in many ways, it was they who taught me what it must be like being a twin. I guess I just tried to listen to them.

What are some authors that inspired your writing? 

My two favorite authors of all time are Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Virginia Woolf and their novels inspire me in all ways, not just to do with writing. In the YA and MG world I’m very inspired by the work of Francesca Lia Block, Markus Zusak, An Na, Laurie Halse Anderson, Stephen Chbosky, Rainbow Rowell, Sharon Creech, Patrick Ness, Carol Lynch Williams, Gayle Forman, Margo Rabb, Nina LaCour, Gabrielle Zevin, John Green, David Levithan, among many many others. As for picture book writers, I’m gaga over William Steig. And then, there are the amazing poets like Neruda, Berryman, Wright, Carson.

What is your writing process like?

Well, for this book, the writing process was pretty crazy. I’m not sure how it happened but I ended up spending most of the 3 ½ years writing this book in a pitch black room with the curtains drawn, ear plugs in, and sound machine blasting! The only light in the room was the computer screen which became like a portal into the story. For some reason, this allowed me an intimacy with the characters I’d never felt before and enabled me to live inside the story completely. It was fantastic, totally nuts, but fantastic. Besides for that, I work best when I get to start first thing when I wake up without checking email or talking too much. I usually work from that point in AM until I can’t anymore, guzzling endless amounts of green tea all day long!

Jandy Nelson (photo credit Sonya Sones)
About the author:

Jandy Nelson, like her characters in I’ll Give You the Sun, comes from a superstitious lot. She was tutored from a young age in the art of the four-leaf clover hunt; she knocks wood, throws salt, and carries charms in her pockets. Her debut novel, The Sky Is Everywhere, was on multiple Best Books of the Year lists, was a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults pick, earned numerous starred reviews, has been translated widely, and continues to enjoy great international success. Currently a full-time writer, Jandy lives and writes in San Francisco, California—not far from the settings ofThe Sky Is Everywhere and I’ll Give You the Sun. Visit her online at www.jandynelson.com or find her on twitter at @jandynelson.

I’ll Give You the Sun is on shelves now! Signed / personalized copies are available from Books Inc.

About I’ll Give You The Sun:

9780803734968_large_I'll_Give_You_the_Sun

A brilliant, luminous story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal for fans of John Green, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell

Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah’s story to tell. The later years are Jude’s. What the twins don’t realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.

This radiant novel from the acclaimed, award-winning author of The Sky Is Everywhere will leave you breathless and teary and laughing—often all at once.

 

Be sure to check out the rest of the blog tour, featuring guest posts, interviews, giveaways, and more!

Sept. 1 – Cuddlebuggery

Sept. 2 – Novel Sounds

Sept. 3 – Perpetual Page Turner

Sept. 4 – Forever Young Adult

Sept. 8 – The Young Folks

Sept. 9 – The Book Hookup

Sept. 10 – Grown Up Fangirl

Sept. 11 – Bewitched Bookworms

Sept. 15 – Candace’s Book Blog

Sept. 16 – Novel Novice

Sept. 17 – Alice Marvels

Sept. 18 – Icey Books

Sept. 22 – The Midnight Garden

Sept. 23 – The Starry-Eyed Revue

Sept. 24 – Tales of a Ravenous Reader

Sept. 25 – Katie’s Book Blog

Sept. 29 –GReads!

Sept. 30 –Anna Reads

Giveaway!

PenguinTeen is giving away 5 copies of the new paperback edition of The Sky Is Everywhere!

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Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life – and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey’s boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie’s own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they’re the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can’t collide without the whole wide world exploding.

This remarkable debut is perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Francesca Lia Block. Just as much a celebration of love as it is a portrait of loss, Lennie’s struggle to sort her own melody out of the noise around her is always honest, often hilarious, and ultimately unforgettable.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Adrenaline Crush by Laurie Boyle Crompton | Review + Giveaway

Adrenaline Crush by Laurie Boyle Crompton | Review + GiveawayAdrenaline Crush by Laurie Boyle Crompton
Published by Farrar Straus and Giroux on September 23, 2014
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 192
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
4 Stars

When a daredevil teen pushes herself too far, she must choose between two boys: the one who wants to keep her safe, and the one who dares her to return to her old self.

Seventeen-year-old Dyna comes from a family of risk takers and is an avid thrill-seeker herself, until the day she splinters her ankle in a terrible fall. Her whole life goes from mountain biking and rock climbing to sitting at home and attending group sessions at the bizarre alternative healing center that her hippie mother found. The boy who witnessed Dyna’s accident believes her injury is a wakeup call and he encourages her mild new lifestyle, but a young Afghanistan War veteran she meets at the healing center pushes her to start taking chances again. Forced to face the consequences of her daredevil impulses, Dyna finds herself in danger of risking the one thing she’s always treated with caution—her heart.

picadillyblueBefore reading Adrenaline Crush, I hadn’t heard much about it but what I had heard wasn’t the greatest.  I went in with low expectations and the book definitely surpassed them.  I found myself really enjoying Adrenaline Crush and I powered through this book!

Dyna isn’t an easy character to like for a while.  She’s fearless, at first, and totally willing to go after whatever she wants.  However, after her accident, she’s scared of all the things she used to love and she thinks safe is the best way to go.  Her new boyfriend, Jay, totally embodies her new philosophy of taking things safe.  He’s sweet and kind and pretty corny.  He had no flaws and that in itself was totally a flaw for me.  As for being fearless, Dyna doesn’t see her ever being that way again.  That changes when she joins the Ulyssess center for physical therapy and meets Pierce.  Pierce and the rest of the group force Dyna to realize that maybe being safe isn’t the best way to live the rest of her life.  Pierce definitely had some flaws and I loved that about him.  He was strong but could be volatile.  He brought out the best and the worst in Dyna.

Dyna’s family was one of my favorite things about Adrenaline Crush.  Her parents are originally introduced as two people who don’t pay much attention to their kids but I did not see them that way at all.  When Dyna was in her accident, they would not leave her alone.  They were super overprotective but they were awesome.  Her dad’s protective attitude towards Jay was so funny.  As for Dyna’s older brother, Harley, he cracked me up.  He was a total stoner, going nowhere, but I thought he was adorable.  They had a very strong family and I loved seeing that.

The story is super fast-paced.  The book itself is only around 190 pages and it flies by.  I seriously sat down, started this one, and couldn’t put it down until I was done.  I wanted to know what Dyna would choose and how the other Ulysses center patients would overcome their issues.

Overall, Adrenaline Crush is a really cute story with a little bit of a deeper story.  I will definitely be checking out more from this author.

What others are saying about Adrenaline Crush:

Lili’s Reflections’ review: “If you enjoy characters with haunted pasts, a love triangle done right, incredibly strong heroines, and a family dynamic that is absolutely to die for, I highly recommend this book.”

Rather Be Reading’s review: “All in all, the book kept me interested and was definitely enjoyable, even if it won’t be a forever favorite.”

Books Are Vital’s review: “Adrenaline Crush definitely lives up to its name.”

Giveaway!

Thanks to the wonderful people at Macmillan, I have a copy of Adrenaline Crush to giveaway to one US resident.  Just fill out the Rafflecopter!

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Saturday, September 20, 2014

2014 YA Contemporary Challenge: September Reviews + Giveaway!

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It’s that time again!  Time to link up your September reviews and be entered for a chance to win some great books!

Okay so here’s what you have to do to be entered to win the awesome prize pack for September!
-Fill out the Rafflecopter!
-Link up your reviews so other participants can check them out!
-Remember that for a book to count it must have been published in 2014!

What do you have the chance to win this month?

Contemp Sep

-Adrenaline Crush by Laurie Boyle Crompton
-Kiss of Broken Glass by Madeleine Kuderick

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Friday, September 19, 2014

Blog Tour: The Queen of Zombie Hearts by Gena Showalter | Interview + Giveaway

Blog Tour: The Queen of Zombie Hearts by Gena Showalter | Interview + Giveaway

Blog Tour: The Queen of Zombie Hearts by Gena Showalter | Interview + GiveawayThe Queen of Zombie Hearts by Gena Showalter
Series: White Rabbit Chronicles #3
on September 30, 2014
Pages: 464
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

I have a plan.

We'll either destroy them for good, or they'll destroy us.

Either way, only one of us is walking away.

In the stunning conclusion to the wildly popular White Rabbit Chronicles, Alice "Ali" Bell thinks the worst is behind her. She's ready to take the next step with boyfriend Cole Holland, the leader of the zombie slayers…until Anima Industries, the agency controlling the zombies, launches a sneak attack, killing four of her friends. It's then she realizes that humans can be more dangerous than monsters…and the worst has only begun.

As the surviving slayers prepare for war, Ali discovers she, too, can control the zombies…and she isn't the girl she thought she was. She's connected to the woman responsible for killing—and turning—Cole's mother. How can their relationship endure? As secrets come to light, and more slayers are taken or killed, Ali will fight harder than ever to bring down Anima—even sacrificing her own life for those she loves.

I’m beyond excited to be part of the blog tour for The Queen of Zombie Hearts by Gena Showalter. This is the final book in the White Rabbit Chronicles and I don’t know about you guys but I’m eager to see how Ali and Cole’s story is going to end.

Check out my interview with Gena Showalter!

  • First off, thanks so much for doing this interview. I’m a huge fan of your young adult books and I’m really excited to be part of the blog tour for Queen of Zombie Hearts!

GS: Thank you so much for having me over!

  • Describe the White Rabbit Chronicles in 140 characters or less!

GS: The first time I read this, I somehow homed in on the number 40.  I came up with: ‘Nonstop action with zombies, slayers & romance’ and then ‘Monsters go boom, girl falls in love.’  Then it hit me.  I’d missed 100 characters.  So.

As the war between zombie and humans—and humans and humans—heats up, Ali Bell has to decide what’s more important.  Her love life…or her life.

  • How is writing for young adults different from writing for adults?

GS: Maybe I shouldn’t admit this, but it’s very much…here goes, just say it…the same.  I do my best to create characters with fully realized backstories, keep the action and adventure flowing, weave in secrets, reveal those secrets, and my favorite: make the pages sizzle as certain characters fall in love.

  • The White Rabbit Chronicles features a good mix of characters. Do you have a favorite? If so, who and why?

GS: Kat has always been my girl.  I adore her attitude, her witty comebacks, and the fact that she was once angry with her boyfriend for a crime he committed…in a dream.  A trait I share.  I have often blamed my family members for their dream-crimes.  (You know what you did, Mother!)

And I must say, Kat is in top form in The Queen of Zombie Hearts.  She didn’t just steal my heart, she decided to rip it out and keep it in her trophy case.

Her motto is: I’m on board the awesome train, and you can hop on or get run over.

  • When you first started writing the White Rabbit Chronicles, did you know how the trilogy was going to end or did that come to you later?

GS: Much to my dismay, no.  I wrote the first book with only a vague idea of where I was headed.  Girl realizes zombies are real, falls for boy who kills zombies, learns to kill zombies herself, romance, the end.  I had a better idea with book two—mirror images come to life, Z wars, secrets among friends, problems with the romance—and then absolutely ZERO idea with book three—uh, more zombies?  I knew I had to tie up all the threads I’d left dangling in the first two books, and had to brainstorm with my editor about how, exactly, to do that.

The end result THRILLED me.  Do I enjoy torturing my characters?  Yes.  This book is proof.  Did I smile more while writing this book than ever before?  Definitely.  And not just because of the torture.  Some of the things that come out of the mouths of my characters… I’m smiling now!

  • What advice would you give to people living in the world of the White Rabbit Chronicles? In case of a zombie apocalypse, any tips would be helpful!

GS: Stay close to a slayer.  If you can’t see the zombies, you’re toast.  But, uh…maybe don’t try to steal a slayer’s boyfriend.  You’ll be even bloodier toast.

  • Any hints about what readers can expect next from you? More YA in the future?

GS: I will be launching a brand new YA trilogy next year (2015) and I’m SO excited.  In fact, I’ve never been so excited about an idea, or a book, or a group of characters.  Ideas have been flowing continuously for about a year, and I’ve been keeping notes.  I know exactly where to start, where to go, and how to end.  Thank the good Lord!

Gena Showalter
About Gena Showalter:
GENA SHOWALTER is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the Intertwined novels and several other popular YA and adult series. Her stories have been featured on MTV and in Seventeen magazine and have been praised as “unputdownable.” Growing up, she always had her nose buried in a book. When it came time to buckle down and get a job, she knew writing was it for her. Gena lives in Oklahoma with her family and three slobbery bulldogs. Become a fan on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @GenaShowalter and visit her at genashowalter.com/young-adult/ and at HarlequinTEEN.com.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Harlequin Website

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Giveaway Info:

Each tour stop is offering up a copy of either ALICE IN ZOMBIELAND, THROUGH THE ZOMBIE GLASS, or QUEEN OF ZOMBIE HEARTS!

One lucky grand prize winner will receive a $100 gift card and a complete set of the White Rabbit Chronicles. To enter for the grand prize, you MUST follow the tour each day, hunt down the white rabbit, and answer the daily question.

Please enter via the Rafflecopter form. Giveaway is open to US/Canada.

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“Look for the White Rabbit Contest”: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, the white rabbit will appear on a different blog and stay there for 48hrs. Once you have found the rabbit, click on it and you will be directed to a Rafflecopter entry form for the Grand Prize Giveaway! To enter, you must answer the daily question found at the tour stop!!

 

Where could the Rabbit appear? On all Book Blogger Tour Hosts and The Harlequin Paranormal Blog, so go now and hunt the rabbit. Will you find it?

 

Daily Question: Who is your favorite White Rabbit chronicles Character, apart from Ali and Cole 🙂 ?

 

Tour Schedule:

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Blog Tour: Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper | Review + Giveaway

Blog Tour: Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper | Review + Giveaway

Blog Tour: Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper | Review + GiveawaySalt & Storm by Kendall Kulper
Published by Little Brown on September 23, 2014
Genres: Historical Fantasy
Pages: 416
Format: ARC
Source: BEA, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
4 Stars

A sweeping historical romance about a witch who foresees her own murder--and the one boy who can help change her future.

Sixteen-year-old Avery Roe wants only to take her rightful place as the witch of Prince Island, making the charms that keep the island's whalers safe at sea, but her mother has forced her into a magic-free world of proper manners and respectability. When Avery dreams she's to be murdered, she knows time is running out to unlock her magic and save herself.

Avery finds an unexpected ally in a tattooed harpoon boy named Tane--a sailor with magic of his own, who moves Avery in ways she never expected. Becoming a witch might stop her murder and save her island from ruin, but Avery discovers her magic requires a sacrifice she never prepared for.

picadillyblueSalt & Storm, Kendall Kulper’s debut novel, is truly unlike anything I’ve read.  It’s historical fantasy brimming with witches, magic, curses, romance, and mystery.  I couldn’t put it down!

Salt & Storm starts off very slowly.  Don’t let that stop you from continuing with the story though.  The writing is heavy, very reminiscent of other historical fantasy novels.  That’s not to say that it’s not gorgeous though because it definitely is.  I remember the style of writing being pitched as similar to Laini Taylor’s and I definitely saw that comparison from the start.  Kendall Kulper does have a style all her own though that readers will get used to quickly and come to love over the course of the book.

The story itself is fascinating.  I’ve always been a fan of stories about witches and Salt & Storm is going to be added to my list of recommendations when it comes to those types of books.  These aren’t your typical witches though.  The Roe witches each have very distinct abilities.  Avery’s grandma’s magic focuses on emotions, Avery’s mom’s magic also focused on emotions but specifically those of love and affection, and Avery’s own gift was to be able to interpret dreams, although sometimes it seemed more like a curse.  Also, the witches were held in very high esteem on the island.  Sure, people were intimidated by them but they also sought them out for protection and aid.

The romance was very much a slow burn type of romance, my absolute favorite.  There were times at first when I feared it would veer into instalove territory but that was not the case.  It was more that Avery and Tane had an instant attraction as well as a kind of magical pull.  Tane was good for Avery.  He opened her eyes to how sheltered she was and gave her a new way of looking at life.  She really changed as a person as she got closer to Tane and he made her a lot more likable in my eyes.

Overall, Salt & Storm won’t be for everyone, that’s for sure, but I highly recommend it.  It’s a captivating story that may take longer to read than other books but it’s worth it!

What others are saying about Salt & Storm:

Love Is Not A Triangle’s review: “I enjoyed the history in Salt & Storm and the book overall.”

Good Books & Good Wine’s review: “Salt & Storm made me feel heavy and weighted down and I am totally okay with that.”

Maji Bookshelf’s review: “Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this book and I was overall disappointed in everything about it, from the plot, character development, to the romance.”

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About the author:

Kendall Kulper writes historical fiction with a fantasy twist for teen readers and knows more about nineteenth century whaling than she ever imagined. Her debut YA novel, SALT & STORM will be published by Little, Brown September 23, 2014. She graduated from Harvard University with a degree in history and literature in 2008 and spent several years as a journalist before deciding to write full-time. She grew up in the wilds of New Jersey and now lives in Boston with her husband and chronically-anxious Australian Shepherd mix, Abby.

Website/Twitter/Facebook/Goodreads/Tumblr

 

 

 

 

 

Giveaway

2 winners will receive hardcover copies of Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper.  US only!

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

Week One:

9/15/2014- Novel Novice– Interview

9/15/2014- The Infinite To-Read Shelf– Review

9/16/2014– All Things Urban Fantasy– Guest Post

9/16/2014– No BS Book Reviews– Review

9/17/2014– Such a Novel Idea– Interview

9/17/2014– Katie’s Book Blog– Review

9/18/2014– IceyBooks– Interview

9/18/2014– Reading YA Rocks– Excerpt

9/19/2014– Wishful Endings– Guest Post

9/19/2014– Casual Readers– Review

 

Week Two:

9/22/2014– Supernatural Snark Interview

9/22/2014– About to Read– Review

9/23/2014– The Cover Contessa– Guest Post

9/23/2014– Imaginary Reads Review

9/24/2014– Fire and Ice– Guest Post

9/24/2014– Once Upon a Twilight– Review

9/25/2014– Tales of the Ravenous Reader– Interview

9/25/2014– The Best Books Ever– Review

9/26/2014– Two Chicks on Books– Guest Post

9/26/2014– Tynga’s Reviews– Review

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Blog Tour: Louder Than Words by Iris St. Clair | Review + Giveaway

Blog Tour: Louder Than Words by Iris St. Clair | Review + Giveaway

Blog Tour: Louder Than Words by Iris St. Clair | Review + GiveawayLouder Than Words by Iris St. Clair
Published by Swoon Romance on September 16, 2014
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 310
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
3 Stars

Disappointment has been on speed dial in Ellen Grayson's life lately. Her dad died, her mom numbs the grief with drugs and alcohol, and her so-called friends have slowly abandoned her.

Trusting a popular teacher with her troubles should have been safe and should NOT have led to an unwelcome seduction attempt that made her desperate to escape the final moments of Junior year. Lesson learned. Best to keep all the sordid details to herself and trust no one.

Enter Rex Jacobi, a cocky boy, recently transplanted from New York City and fellow summer camp employee. Though his quick wit and confidence draws her in, she can't let him get too close. And summer is just long enough and hot enough to keep a boy like that at arm's length.

But by the time Rex's charm wears down her resistance, it's too late. He's put Ellen on the "just friends" shelf and has shifted his romantic attentions to the impossibly annoying and perky anti-Ellen. Even worse, the teacher who tried to get her to sleep with him is still at it, preying on other girls while Ellen struggles to come to terms with what happened.

With her ability to trust as shaky as a chastity vow on prom night, Ellen must decide if she has enough remaining courage to speak up about the well-liked teacher and risk retribution, tell Rex how she really feels about him and risk heartbreak, or hold all her secrets inside. After all, it's the only safe place she knows when the only thing louder than words is the fear of being rejected.

picadillyblueStraight contemporary romances haven’t really been wowing me lately and I was hoping Louder Than Words would change that.  While I enjoyed the book and I devoured the story, it just didn’t stand out to me as anything all that special.  It’s a fun read but there could have been a lot more to it.

Louder Than Words does not have a promising beginning.  It’s cheesy and not the best writing and it doesn’t do a good job showcasing what the book contains.  If I had picked this one up at the store and read nothing but the first chapter, I would not have bought it.  However, once I got past that, things got better.  The writing is really rather juvenile but that does help to speed the story along.  However, it doesn’t do justice to the characters or the story.  I honestly felt like I could have been reading something written by a student rather than a published work.  I was not impressed by that aspect of Louder Than Words.

The characters have a lot of growing up to do when readers first meet them.  Ellen and Rex meet during the summer before their senior year of high school but when I was first introduced to them I thought they were much younger.  They were both really immature and Ellen was extremely naive.  That was something I was able to look past though since I expected them to do some growing throughout the course of the story.  Luckily, they did.  Ellen has had a rough couple of years and she is rather cynical.  She’s unwilling to trust most people and Rex is no exception.  In fact, she probably trusts him least of all.  He’s new in town and she has no clue what he could possibly see in her.  Ellen’s lack of confidence in herself was heartbreaking.  She thought very little of herself.  The only thing she ever really liked about herself was her intelligence.  It’s a strong quality of hers but it’s definitely not all Ellen had going for her.  She was also strong, funny, and a tad awkward (which I totally related to.)  Rex was a total sweetheart but he was definitely a bit of a player.  He knew what he looked like and he was willing to use that to his advantage.  Once he saw that his charm and looks weren’t going to work with Ellen though he became a much more honest version of himself.  He was quirky, funny, smart, and kind.  He appealed to me a lot even with his horrible decision making skills.

The secondary characters didn’t stand out a ton to me but they were not bad.  Gracie was annoying and bitchy but I’m pretty sure that was done on purpose.  Lizzy was supposedly Ellen’s best friend but she played a very minor role in the story until the very end.  She wasn’t present for most of the book and I didn’t care much for her when she was introduced to the story.  Robbie, Ellen’s brother and guardian, was a great guy who very obviously cared a ton for his little sister.  However, he tended to underestimate her knowledge at times and it got on my nerves a little.  Mr. Hamer, the creepy science teacher, came across totally like he was supposed to.  He gave me the creeps from the start.  I wasn’t sure how to feel about Leanne for most of the book but she ended up being a good person and a good friend to Ellen which I really liked since Ellen did not have enough of those.

There were parts of the story that seemed almost as if they were thrown in as afterthoughts.  For the first half of the book the story surrounding Ellen and Mr. Hamer went absolutely nowhere and that bothered me a lot.  Then there was a side story about a little boy who was maybe being abused at home.  That story didn’t really go anywhere or play any role in the bigger story.  There was also the story about Rex and his father that took up maybe a chapter but never really came up again after that.  Same with Ellen’s mom and her drug habits.  That story was introduced at the beginning, disappeared for most of the book, and then came back again at the end.  For someone so affected by her mom, you’d think Ellen would mention it more than she did or even think about it more than she did.

Overall, Louder Than Words is an all-around mediocre read that I found entertaining but none too meaningful.  If you’re not looking for a story with any hidden agendas or extensive development, check this one out.

iris st claire About the author:

Iris St. Clair is the pen name for a long-suffering cubicle worker by day, a Walter Mitty-like dreamer by night. (Her alter ego Tatiana Ivanadance also choreographs gravity-defying routines in those fantasies, but that’s another bio.)

No matter what genre she writes, she prefers witty, insecure heroines and kind, persistent heroes able to break through to the gooey heart inside.

In high school she was voted most likely to win at Monopoly and Clue, but least likely to throw a ball anywhere near a target. Thank goodness writing requires less hand-eye coordination, punctuation errors notwithstanding.

Iris believes in the two-year “fish or cut bait” dating rule and has a 20+ year marriage and two teenaged sons as proof of concept. She lives, writes, dreams and dances in the rainy Portland, OR area.

Author Links:

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

GIVEAWAY:
$10 Amazon gift card + ebook of Louder Than Words (INT)

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Back To School with Jessica Darling | Guest Post + Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Jessica Darling’s It List #2: The (Totally Not) Guaranteed Guide to Friends, Foes & Faux Friends I have a wonderful back-to-school tip from Megan McCafferty.

Jessica Darling

The (Totally Not) Guaranteed Guide to Friends, Foes & Faux Friends by Megan McCafferty on September 16, 2014
Buy the Book | Goodreads

 Jessica Darling is getting the hang of seventh grade — finally! While her old BFF, Bridget, is busy talking (nonstop) about her new boyfriend, Burke, Jessica tries to fit in with her new friends, Sara, Manda, and Hope. The IT List instructions from her sister, Bethany, and an epic slumber party may help Jessica secure her spot in the cool clique, but does she even want it?

Megan McCafferty’s It List series introduces readers to Jessica Darling, an unabashedly brainy seventh grader who stays true to herself, even if it means being (totally not) cool.

 

 

 

 
Want to know what Megan has to say about going back to school?

Trust me when I say there’s not enough room in this or any blog to thoroughly catalog the myriad ways I was a mess in middle school.  So when I was first asked to offer back-to-school advice, my gut reaction was something like, WHAT? ARE YOU KIDDING? I WAS A CATASTROPHE. DON’T TAKE ADVICE FROM ME.

And then I remembered: I have a kid. He just started junior high. And I probably gave him some back-to-school advice because that’s part of my job as a parent, right? At breakfast this morning I asked him.

“What’s the best advice I gave you about starting sixth grade?”

“You didn’t give me any advice.”

“I didn’t?”

“Nope.”

“Huh.”

“I already know to work hard in my classes.”

“Right. Of course.”

“And have fun. Though fun is different now. “

“How so?”

“When you’re a little kid, having fun is your only job. But in middle school you get more responsibilities so you have to find the fun. That’s why I’m gonna run cross country and do choir and drama.”

“Because those activities are fun for you.”

“Well. Yeah. Duh.”

“So work hard and find the fun. That’s it.”

“That’s it.”

That’s it.

Giveaway!

Little, Brown and Megan McCafferty have been kind enough to offer one signed copy of Jessica Darling’s It List 2: The (Totally Not) Guaranteed Guide to Friends, Foes & Faux Friends to one US resident!

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Want to know more about the first book in the series?

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Jessica Darling’s It List: The (Totally Not) Guaranteed Guide to Popularity, Prettiness & Perfection by Megan McCafferty
Buy The Book | Goodreads

Move over, Dork Diaries! Jessica Darling, star of Megan McCafferty’s bestselling Jessica Darling series for adults, is back in a hilarious new series perfect for tween (10 to 14) girls.

I hadn’t even gotten to homeroom yet and I’d already discovered five hard truths about junior high:

1. My best friend had turned pretty.
2. She didn’t know it yet.
3. It wouldn’t be long before she did.
4. That knowledge would change everything between us.
5. And there wasn’t a thing I could do about it.

It’s the first day of seventh grade. Is Jessica Darling doomed for dorkdom?

New York Times bestselling author Megan McCafferty’s hilarious series opener will have you laughing, cringing, and cheering for Jessica Darling as she learns that being herself beats being popular, pretty & perfect any day.

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Jessica Darling’s IT List: The (Totally Not) Guaranteed Guide to Popularity, Prettiness and Perfection is the first in a new middle grade series on sale now. Megan McCafferty is also the New York Times bestselling author of the Jessica Darling series for teens and adults, Bumped and Thumped. Her work has received honors from the ALA and the NYPL and has been translated into eleven languages, including Chinese, German and Indonesian. Megan is a Princeton University Community Fellow for Mathey College.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads