Thursday, May 25, 2017

Cover Reveal: Amnesia by Cambria Herbert



Amnesia
Cambria Hebert
Publication date: June 12th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
I washed ashore in a little lake town.
A place where everyone knows everyone, yet…
No one knows me.
I don’t know me.
If a woman doesn’t know her own name, does she really exist?
I don’t know my natural hair color, my birthdate, or where I live.
I am invisible.
To everyone, to everything, even to myself.
Except to him.
I see the recognition deep in his stare, the way it lingers on my face as if I’m a puzzle he’s desperate to put together.
I just want answers, the truth… knowledge.
His lips are sealed. Still, his eyes beguile me.
I can’t trust anyone, not even myself. Someone wants me dead, the same someone who tried to bury me in a watery grave.
They’ll come for me again… I won’t know their face.
I don’t even know mine.
I am amnesia.


Author Bio:
Cambria Hebert is an award winning, bestselling novelist of more than twenty books. She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major, and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair.
Besides writing, Cambria loves a caramel latte, staying up late, sleeping in, and watching movies. She considers math human torture and has an irrational fear of chickens (yes, chickens). You can often find her running on the treadmill (she’d rather be eating a donut), painting her toenails (because she bites her fingernails), or walking her chorkie (the real boss of the house).
Cambria has written within the young adult and new adult genres, penning many paranormal and contemporary titles. Her favorite genre to read and write is romantic suspense. A few of her most recognized titles are: The Hashtag Series, Text, Torch, and Tattoo.
Cambria Hebert owns and operates Cambria Hebert Books, LLC.

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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Book Blitz: Lady of Sherwood by Molly Bilinski


Lady of Sherwood
Molly Bilinski
(Outlaws of Sherwood #1)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: April 24th 2017
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Young Adult
Robin of Lockesly was neither the son her father wanted, nor the daughter her mother expected. When she refuses an arranged marriage to a harsh and cruel knight, the deadly events that follow change her destiny forever.
After a night of tragedy, Robin and the few remaining survivors flee to Nottingham. With a newfound anonymity, they start to live different lives. There, she and her band make mischief, robbing from the rich and giving to the poor. But charity isn’t the only thing she wants–she wants revenge.
As the sheriff draws his net closer, Robin’s choices begin to haunt her. She’ll have to choose between what’s lawful and what her conscience believes is right–all while staying one step ahead of the hangman.
Lady of Sherwood is a unique young adult retelling of the beloved Robin Hood legend. Filled with action and romance, this new series follows a teenage heroine through her fantastic, yet dangerous adventures.
EXCERPT:
Other girls—some of the youngest ones from the kitchen—came from the brush. Smoke clung to them like a shroud, and tears had run in rivers down soot-stained cheeks. Ginny, the youngest at six, ran to Jemma and attached herself like a limpet to the older girl’s legs.
“Where is everyone else?” Robin asked, glancing between them and then back at the flaming manor. “Where is—where’s—” Her face heated even as the rest of her body grew chilled, and she stuffed her first in her mouth to muffle her scream.
“We are the only ones.”
Robin looked up at Kitty, surprised to find herself on her knees in the damp grass. She curled her shaking fingers into fists, and then rested them on her thighs. “How—what happened?”
“That man,” the girl went on, absently twisting her skirt in her hands. “The one who’d been courting you… he came for you in the night. When he couldn’t find you, he gathered everyone in the great hall.”
“Except you lot?” Jemma inquired.
“He was hurting her.” Kitty’s eyes took on a glossy quality. “He had Maggie by the hair, and he was hurting her. She had Ginny behind her, protecting her. I—I hit him over the head with a candle stand.”
“We went through the old tunnel,” another voice piped up. Maggie slipped her hand into Kitty’s. “Me and Kitty and Ginny.”
“And my—my mother?” Robin took a deep, shuddering breath.
“She kept her secret. We heard ‘im, shouting. He wanted to know where you was.” Ginny, this time. She wandered away from Jemma, and Robin opened her arms for her to nestle into. She’d helped Jemma look after the younger servants on the sly for years. Whether they’d been orphaned at birth or left to the streets, Jemma had brought them each back to the manor, and she’d given them a home and a hope the rest of the world didn’t offer. “She didn’t tell, Robin. She didn’t tell him where you was.”
“I heard Charlotte say you were gone,” Maggie said quietly. “She’d gone to your mother’s chambers to tell her. Miss Jemma was gone, too, and so was your bow.” She shrugged, a delicate lift of her shoulders. “We all thought you had gone to the field.”
“And she said nothing?” Robin’s heart beat hard against her ribcage.
“Lady was very brave,” Ginny murmured.
“She was,” Robin agreed. “Like you are. You all.” She looked at each of the other girls, who stared back, clearly waiting.
It hit her then—they were waiting for her. With the only survivors of the manor in front of her, and her mother dead—God rest her soul, God hold them all in His hand—it occurred to her in that moment. She was the Lady of Lockesly.


Author Bio:
Molly is a 2013 graduate of William Smith College with a bachelors in chemistry. She puts her science powers to use by day and is a novelist by night (and weekend...and any five minutes she can find). When she's not writing or working, she's scoping out coffee shops, exploring her new city (Buffalo, NY), taking day trips to Canada, and putting together puzzles.

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Monday, May 15, 2017

Book Tour: Refuge for Masterminds by Kathleen Baldwin

From Award Winning Author
Kathleen Baldwin
The stakes in this game of spies are life and death.
Book Cover
REFUGE FOR MASTERMINDS
Kathleen Baldwin
Series: Stranje House, Book 3
Genre: Young Adult, Teen Alternative Historical Fantasy
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: May 23, 2017
Lady Jane Moore has a secret. A secret that must be kept buried. If anyone discovered the truth, her life at Stranje House would crumble. And with Napoleon Bonaparte threatening to invade England, everyone at Stranje House is already in mortal danger.
There’s a traitor in the house. Someone is sneaking information to Napoleon’s spies, Lady Daneska and Ghost. Jane is determined to find out who it is before suspicions rip apart the bonds of friendship at Stranje House. Her desperate hunt for the traitor ensnares a brash young American inventor, Alexander Sinclair, Robert Fulton’s nephew, into an ambush that puts his life in danger. Sinclair is the most maddening young man in all of Christendom, a sharp-tongued rascal with boorish manners, but Lady Jane cannot bear the thought of the golden-haired genius being harmed.
Is Jane enough of a mastermind to save Alexander, her friends at Stranje House, and possibly England itself?
Fans of Gail Carriger, Patricia Wrede, and Caroline Stevermer will love this Regency-era alternate history filled with spunky heroines, handsome young lords, and dastardly villains.
"Baldwin has a winning series here: her characters are intriguing and fully rendered."
- Stacey Comfort, Booklist
"Refuge for Masterminds moves at a fast pace from the first page and doesn’t stop. Although it is written with a young adult audience in mind, it is a fun and enjoyable novel and will also appeal to adult readers."
- Francesca Pelaccia, Historical Novel Society

Purchase Links

Other Books by the Author

Don't miss the first two books in the Stranje House series:
Book Cover
A SCHOOL FOR UNUSUAL GIRLS
Series: Stranje House, Book 1
Napoleon is exiled, Europe is in shambles and Britain is at war on four fronts. Daughters of the Beau Monde who don’t fit high society’s strict mold are banished to Stranje House, where headmistress, Emma Stranje, entangles these unusual girls in the dangerous world of spies, diplomacy, and war.
"A completely original--and totally engrossing--world, full of smart girls, handsome boys and sinister mysteries...Sign me up."
- Meg Cabot, NYT Bestselling Author of The Princess Diaries on A School for Unusual Girls
Book Cover
EXILE FOR DREAMERS
Series: Stranje House, Book 2
Tess Aubreyson can't run far enough or fast enough to escape the prophetic dreams that haunt her. But with Napoleon threatening to invade England, Tess’s disturbing dreams may be the only means of saving Lord Ravencross, the man she loves, and her friends at Stranje House.
"This spy school for girls . . . is impossible to put down! . . . I recommend this book to anyone that loves brave girls, adventure and great friendships."
- 5 Girls Book Reviews

Giveaway

WIN
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Prizes up for grabs:
Be one of three lucky winners:
$10 Gift Card + hardback copy of Refuge for Masterminds
Contest runs from May 15 - June 3, 2017.

About Kathleen Baldwin

Author Pic
Kathleen Baldwin loves adventure in books and in real life. She taught rock climbing in the Rockies, survival camped in the desert, was stalked by a mountain lion, lost an argument with a rattlesnake, spent way too long in college, fell in love and married her very own hero.
A SCHOOL FOR UNUSUAL GIRLS, the first book in the alternate history series for teens, was awarded Spirit of Texas in 2016, is a Junior Library Guild selection, and Kansas NEA Reading Circle gave it a starred review in their 2016 “Best of the Best” for High Schools. Ian Bryce, producer of Spiderman, Saving Private Ryan, and other notable films optioned the series for film.
REFUGE FOR MASTERMINDS, Book 3 in the Stranje House series, releases May 23rd.
#1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot calls this romantic Regency adventure, "completely original and totally engrossing."
Official website: http://kathleenbaldwin.com/
Social media links:

Join The Tour

Follow the book tour from May 15 - June 3, 2017.
Get sneak peaks, excerpts, fun facts and other never-before-published info on Refuge for Masterminds.
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Sunday, May 14, 2017

Review: It Started with Goodbye by Christina June

 I am so excited to share my stop on the It Started With Goodbye tour!  June's debut novel does not disappoint!

I received an ARC of this novel in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.




Synopsis

Sixteen-year-old Tatum Elsea is bracing for the worst summer of her life. After being falsely accused of a crime, she’s stuck under stepmother-imposed house arrest and her BFF’s gone ghost. Tatum fills her newfound free time with community service by day and working at her covert graphic design business at night (which includes trading emails with a cute cello-playing client). When Tatum discovers she’s not the only one in the house keeping secrets, she finds she has the chance to make amends with her family and friends. Equipped with a new perspective, and assisted by her feisty step-abuela-slash-fairy-godmother, Tatum is ready to start fresh and maybe even get her happy ending along the way.

This book is available from: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY

My Thoughts
It was so hard to adult while I was reading this book!  All I wanted to do was read!  I fell in love with the characters and found the story so very easy to relate to.  

Let's talk about the MC.  Tate is a very strong and very stressed teenager.  Like most teenage girls, she sees the world around her only through her filter.  She has a difficult time looking outside of herself to the way the world affects those around her.  She is definitely oblivious to the effects that her choices have on others.  The best part of her character, however, is that she overcomes all of these things.  She grows in a way that we hope most teenagers do.  I would LOVE to share this book with my students as the bildungsroman motif is one that they are currently living out.  

Additionally, Tate's relationship with SK was so very organic!  I loved that it grew and matured in a very realistic way instead of them being just thrown together.  It was a reminder that love can develop in some of the most unlikely ways.  

Lastly, I ADORED the way that June approached the Cinderella tale.  I think she did a wonderful job of including all of the mystical parts while still keeping the story very true to life.  Did real magic happen?  No.  Did it seem like magic to Tate and Tilly?  You better believe it!  The prince was perfect and the keychain was a wonderful alternative to the glass slipper!  June promises her readers a wonderful tale and what she delivered was more magical than I had truly expected.

My Rating

About the Author
Christina June writes young adult contemporary fiction when she’s not writing college recommendation letters during her day job as a school counselor. She loves the little moments in life that help someone discover who they’re meant to become – whether it’s her students or her characters.

Christina is a voracious reader, loves to travel, eats too many cupcakes, and hopes to one day be bicoastal – the east coast of the US and the east coast of Scotland. She lives just outside Washington DC with her husband and daughter.

Her debut novel, IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE, was published by Blink/HarperCollins on May 9, 2017.


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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Three Reasons to Read A List of Cages by Robin Roe

Title: A List of Cages

Author: Robin Roe
Publisher: Hyperion
Publication Date: January 2017
Genre: YA, Realistic Fiction, Mental Illness Awareness

I won a copy of this book through a giveaway.  Neither the author nor publisher are associated with this review.

Due to graphic scenes of violence, this book may not be suitable for all audiences.

Description from GoodReads
When Adam Blake lands the best elective ever in his senior year, serving as an aide to the school psychologist, he thinks he’s got it made. Sure, it means a lot of sitting around, which isn’t easy for a guy with ADHD, but he can’t complain, since he gets to spend the period texting all his friends. Then the doctor asks him to track down the troubled freshman who keeps dodging her, and Adam discovers that the boy is Julian—the foster brother he hasn’t seen in five years.

Adam is ecstatic to be reunited. At first, Julian seems like the boy he once knew. He’s still kindhearted. He still writes stories and loves picture books meant for little kids. But as they spend more time together, Adam realizes that Julian is keeping secrets, like where he hides during the middle of the day, and what’s really going on inside his house. Adam is determined to help him, but his involvement could cost both boys their lives…

A List of Reasons
In her novel, Roe presents us with lists of her own.  It seems only fitting that I provide you with the top five reasons you should run out and purchase this book right now!

1.  Roe's writing style!
OMG!  I have waited a long time to read a book that I fall into as easily as I fell into A List of Cages!  Roe's descriptive style encourages the reader to not only understand each event in the book, but to experience it and to care about it.  Rather than leaving her audience feeling mildly upset, Roe destroys her audience and truly forces readers to think.

2. A Poignant Description of a Real Problem
Domestic violence is a common problem.  Because we hear about it so often, abuse can become a joke to younger generations who have had the fortune of never experiencing this problem.   I am happy to see a book written for young adults that truly brings this problem to attention.  Roe does a wonderful job demonstrating the abuse, how to respond if someone tells you they are being abused, and the importance of reporting cases of domestic violence.

3. Role Models
Adam and Emerald are every day ordinary kids.  However, each one shows that it is important to stand up for your beliefs and to take care of the people around you.  Many of the students I have worked with only see themselves as boring people.  They refuse to see that the seemingly small choices can make a world of difference for someone else.  

But, seriously, why are you still reading my review!  GO BUY THIS BOOK!  GO NOW!

My Rating:


About the Author
Robin Roe is the author of A LIST OF CAGES, which has received starred reviews from Booklist, Kirkus, School Library Journal, Shelf Awareness, and Publishers Weekly. She has a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a master’s from Harvard. She counseled adolescents in Boston before
she moved to Dallas to run a mentoring program for at-risk teens.

Robin loves connecting with her readers and can be found on Twitter @robinroewriter. You can also use the contact form on her website to send her a message: www.robinroewriter.com.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Book Blitz: The Unseen by Jacob Devlin


The Unseen
Jacob Devlin
(Order of the Bell #2)
Published by: Blaze Publishing
Publication date: May 9th 2017
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Young Adult
Crescenzo and his friends may have survived their confounding journey to the enchanted realms of Florindale, but now they find themselves fighting for their sanity and lives while stuck on the other side of the very mirror they set out to destroy.
With their families trapped by a former ally with a crippling fear of the queen, Enzo, Rosana, and Zack must play a deadly game in Wonderland, where shadows are on the move, kings are at war, and one of them wants Rosana dead.
As darkness hovers over the world, the friends must lean on each other and stop the King of Hearts from following through on Avoria’s orders: Break them.
Sequel to:
EXCERPT:
Zack wrinkled his brows. “Who are you? Why have I come to see you? I don’t even know you.”
“You wouldn’t know of Madame Esme. But she certainly knows of you. Lady Fortune keeps painting your name in the cosmos. It would appear there is an important role for you in the journeys of Pinocchio’s son.”
“Enzo,” Zack said quietly.
“Yes.” A chill rippled through the air, and Madame Esme cast a wary gaze around the tent. “Now, Madame Esme has very limited time to speak to you. Please listen carefully.” She lowered her voice, reached across the table, and then seized Zack’s elbow. “I have predicted the death of one of your own . . . the son of Pinocchio. Madame Esme cannot be sure of the circumstances, but it is to take place soon in the realm of wonder.”
Zack yanked his elbow out of Madame Esme’s grip. “What are you saying? Why would you tell me something like that, even if it were true? That’s . . . an evil thing to say.”
The woman edged forward, impossibly calm given the horrible news she delivered. “Madame Esme is never wrong, Son of Pan. Oh, how often she wishes she were! Avoria arrived seven days ago, and what a mess we have become! The lands of Roma are falling to ruins once more. The Grand Canyon crumbles to dust as we speak. Avoria seeks a territory in which to build her citadel, and nothing will ever be the same. But the son of Pinocchio is destined to lead us all to battle. Thus, we need you, Son of Pan. We need you all to dethrone Avoria and restore peace. But if The Carver dies, hope dies with him.”


Author Bio:
When Jacob Devlin was four years old, he would lounge around in Batman pajamas and make semi-autobiographical picture books about an adventurous python named Jake the Snake. Eventually, he traded his favorite blue crayon for a black pen, and he never put it down. When not reading or writing, Jacob loves practicing his Italian, watching stand-up comedy, going deaf at rock concerts, and geeking out at comic book conventions. He does most of these things in southern Arizona.

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Friday, May 5, 2017

Cover Reveal: Starr Gone by Kim Briggs

⭐⭐⭐ Unveiling a new cover ⭐⭐⭐
Book Cover
STARR GONE
by Kim Briggs
Series: Starr Fall Series, Book 3
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary, YA Romance, YA Thriller

Publication Date: June 3, 2017
A Starr gone. A team betrayed.
You never know who your true friends are until a gun’s pointed at you. One will take a bullet, and the other will pull the trigger. Starr learned that lesson the hard way.
The perfect smile. A killer attitude. General Treadwell wanted nothing more than to turn Starr Bishop into the ideal assassin, but she’s far more valuable as Jessica Chamberlain, granddaughter and heir to Chamberlain Chocolates. Luckily, he’s found two enthusiastic replacements. They lack Starr’s intelligence, but no matter, they possess their own weapons of persuasion along with a flair for the dramatic, and that’s never a bad thing.
Di, along with Christian, Frank, Ben and Coda, are determined to keep Starr safe, but the depths of betrayal crack the very foundation of the team. When Starr becomes a pawn in a game of power, money, and manipulation, Di channels her WWSD (What Would Starr Do) to rally the team. She owes her best friend that much. No... More.

Pre-order Now for $2.99 Only!

Other Books in the Series

Don't miss the other books in the Starr Fall series.
Book Cover
STARR FALL
Series: Starr Fall Series, Book 1
When the Organization decides Starr would make the ideal assassin, she needs to escape the island and disappear. While in hiding she meets dark, moody, and dead sexy Christian Evergood. Christian makes Starr forget that the Organization is after her, but their lives are more entwined than either one realizes.
One Starr falls, and a killer rises!
Buy Links: Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble
"Great start to a new YA series! This was definitely an enjoyable read with a cliff hanger of an ending."
- K.G. Fletcher, Goodreads reviewer
Book Cover
STARR LOST
Series: Starr Fall Series, Book 2
A Starr falls, and a family is found.
On the run from the Organization, Starr and Christian find safety on the Qualla Boundary with their friends, Ben and Coda, but Starr needs answers. She owes her dear dead friends, Sami and Jody, that much. She forms a team of her own to fight the general and his recruits.
Life becomes tense on the Qualla Boundary, sparks fly, and the Organization is about to smash in their door.
Buy Links: Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble
"After reading Starr Fall I didn't think anything could top that at all. Then I read this book... I just loved it, and the ending was INCREDIBLE."
- Meggan Turner, Goodreads reviewer

Giveaway

WIN $10 AMAZON GIFT CARD
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Contest runs from May 5 - 9, 2017.

About Kim Briggs

Author Pic
Kim Briggs once smashed into a tree while skiing. The accident led to a concussion, a cracked sternum, temporary notoriety as a sixth grader returned from the dead, and the realization that fictionalized accounts are way more interesting than just slipping on the ice.
An unhealthy obsession with conspiracy theories combined with a love of travel and happily ever afters led Kim to write her YA novel, Starr Fall, where a secret organization decides 17-year-old Starr Bishop is not only the model student, but the ideal assassin. While in hiding, Starr meets dark, moody, and dead sexy Christian Evergood. Cue the swoon worthy music. But it’s not all happily ever afters for Kim. Her NA novel, And Then He, explores the dark and scary corners of the human psyche. Following a night of innocent flirting with a handsome stranger, Tiffani finds herself in the midst of a nightmare she can’t escape. And Then He is available through Amazon and other major book retailers. Starr Fall released November 2016 with Inkspell Publishing, followed by Starr Lost in January 2017 and Starr Gone in June 2017. Her novella, Avalanche is part of the Valentine Kisses Anthology and released February 14, 2017.
When she’s not doing something writerly, Kim can be found jumping into snowdrifts with her three kids, husband, and dog. She’s careful to avoid trees.
Visit her website and sign up for updates: http://www.KimBriggsWrite.com.
Please like her Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/KimBriggsWrite/.
Chat with her on Twitter: @KimBriggsWrite.
She shares writing love with her INK Sister Alison Green Myers at INK Sisters Write: http://INKSistersWrite.Blogspot.com.
Social media links:

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Book Blitz: Ensnared by Rita Stradling


Ensnared
Rita Stradling
Publication date: May 23rd 2017
Genres: New Adult, Science Fiction
A Near Future Retelling of Beauty and the Beast
Alainn’s father is not a bad man. He’s a genius and an inventor. When he’s hired to create the robot Rose, Alainn knows taking the money is a mistake.
Rose acts like a human. She looks exactly like Alainn. But, something in her comes out wrong.
To save her father from a five year prison sentence, Alainn takes Rose’s place. She says goodbye to the sun and goes to live in a tower no human is allowed to enter. She becomes the prisoner of a man no human is allowed to see.
Believing that a life of servitude lies ahead, Alainn finds a very different fate awaits her in the company of the strange, scarred recluse.
EXCERPT:
December 2, 2026
Alainn woke knowing someone was in her room.
Whoever it was sat behind her. Quiet, even breaths rasped through the air. Alainn’s eyelids peeked open. Moonlight cast a grayish glow, cutting deep shadows into the space around her bed.
“Good morning, Alainn,” Rose said in a quiet voice. When Alainn didn’t respond, Rose said, “I can tell from the change in your breathing pattern that you are awake.”
“Rose?” she whispered, not quite ready to let out a sigh of relief. Alainn twisted to look at her. “What are you doing here? Did you break my lock?”
“I picked it,” she said. “It is now locked again.”
“Oh, uh—” Her heart pounded in her chest; she sat up and faced the robot. “Why—why would you do that?”
The moonlight lit half of Rose’s face as she watched Alainn, expressionless. “Do not be alarmed. You are obviously having a fear reaction, but I was simply waiting for you to wake up.”
“Don’t you need to sleep—recharge?”
Now that Alainn faced Rose, she smelled the faint odor of her exhaust. Rose continuously exhaled the lightest tang of something sweet and acidic. The air in the room felt used, like a plane cabin after a cross-country flight.
“I was not completely forthcoming with you today. While what I said was true, I have for a time now believed that having Father imprisoned would impede my potential. While I have far surpassed his skills in software, there are times when I need assistance. I am limited by my need to stay near my charging station. Your brother is often absent for days at a time—and you, months.”
“Okay, wait—you’re going to go tomorrow?” Alainn scooted forward on the bed. A dormant hope resurged through her. Alainn would do anything—she’d worship at the robot’s feet if Rose agreed to go.
“No, you are going to go tomorrow.”
Alainn froze, staring at Rose. “What?” she whispered.
“I have calculated one way in which all parties can achieve their desires.”
“I’m sorry—I’m not understanding.” Alainn shook her head. A hard knot formed in her stomach.
“I am not surprised.” Rose reached out to pat Alainn’s hand. “You are not as intelligent as the rest of your family.”
“Spell it out in really simple terms, then.” She just managed to not growl the words at Rose.
Slowly, Rose looked up to the ceiling, moonlight slashing up the curve of her neck, her chin, and the line of her nose. “Earlier tonight, I arranged for you to be picked up by Mr. Garbhan through e-mail, writing as if I was Father. In one hour, a car will arrive outside to take you to his building. I have designed and created hardware for your body. If you are scanned, a chip in the hardware will communicate to the scanners that you have an organic circuitry system rather than a human brain.”
Alainn shook her head, hoping to dislodge some of the grogginess there. “I’m still not following—you’re saying you want me to pretend to be you and turn myself over? That you already arranged it?”
“Yes, you are following. That is exactly what I am saying.”
“I—I—” Alainn shook her head again. The air thinned around her.
“I have a working plan for the transplanting. You can assimilate easily into a life of servitude as you are already accustomed to the labor you will be asked to perform.” Rose lifted a hand, ghostly gray in the low light, and ticked off the chores on her fingers. “Cooking, housekeeping, and bookkeeping. Unless . . . is your concern that he might use you for sexual gratification?”
“What? No.”
“I believe that this would be a particular concern of yours.”
“I never even considered that he would do that to you—I, of all people, would never have tried to push you into going if I thought you’d be used that way.” Alainn blinked furiously. “Rose, do you really think that I would have let myself be the model when my dad printed your face and body if I thought Mr. Garbhan was going to do that to you?”
“It is highly unlikely that I was designed for this function. I have also been assured that there were documents signed to that effect addressed to Father.”
Alainn held out her palms to Rose. “Rose, it’s not just that. I can’t take your place. There’s no way that would work . . . and I can’t live in that tower for the rest of my life. I’m a human. I know that probably sounds callous to you, but you were created to not need sunshine and fresh air. And you don’t need exercise. Humans need those things, me especially. Everything I am,” she touched her chest, “is centered on being in the outdoors.”
“The duration will be seven to fourteen days, no longer.” Her head swung down, causing shadows to swallow her eyes. Two black hollows focused on Alainn. “When Mr. Garbhan pays Father, he and I will make the Rosette model; this process should only take a week, unless there are complications. And then I will devise a way to switch you with the new model.”


Author Bio:
Rita Stradling is the author of The Deception Dance series, the Dakota Kekoa series and The Fourteen Day Soul Detox Novella Serial. She has a BA in Art History and a particular love for modern and medieval art.
Rita lives with her husband and son in Northern California.
She has an insatiable novel addiction and mostly reads young adult and adult: romance, paranormal, urban fantasy and high fantasy.

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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

My Thoughts on Every Day by David Levithan

Title: Every Day
Author: David Levithan
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: August 28, 2012
Genre: SciFi, Fantasy, Young Adult

I purchased this book from Amazon.  Neither the author nor the publisher requested or paid for this review.

Description from GoodReads
Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.
There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.


It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

My Thoughts
When this was published five years ago, my sister adored it.  I thought it sounded like an interesting premise, but I never picked it up.  Until three days ago.  At which point, I absolutely devoured it!

I LOVED A.  What a complex character.  He has never had a specific person to sit down and talk about morality or values with and yet he seems to have developed a terrific moral compass all on his own.  He could have chosen to stay away from books and school, but he chose to learn regardless of the disjointed way he attends school.  I am excited to see a main character who seeks school and learning rather than simply taking it when forced.  Yes, I understand that there are days when he skips classes, but please don't forget that this is also true for many good students today!

Overall, I liked the idea of A waking up in a different body each day.  I thought that Levithan did a terrific job showing a plethora of people.  This is so important for many modern day readers.  It is far too easy for us to get stuck in our own heads and to never see anything from a different point of view.  Every Day pulls that shade of comfort away from the reader.  Levithan forces his audience to see the pain and the pleasure in people of all shapes, sizes, situations, and creeds.  This was definitely my favorite part of the book.

However, I truly disliked that there is never any explanation for why A is the way that he is.  I found it challenging to accept that I would never know why he flips from body to body like he does.  I wonder about his family.  Were his birth parents like him?  I mean he has to come from somewhere!  And how does Reverend Poole know so much?  How has he learned the things that he discusses with A (sorry guys, no spoilers).  

I hated the lack of information and explanation in this book, but loved the romance, characters, and diverse topics.  I will be reading the sequel in the future.



My Rating



About the Author

David Levithan (born 1972) is an American children's book editor and award-winning author. He published his first YA book, Boy Meets Boy, in 2003. Levithan is also the founding editor of PUSH, a Young Adult imprint of Scholastic Press.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Cover Reveal: Colorless by Rita Stradling


Colorless
Rita Stradling
Publication date: August 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
In Domengrad, there are rules all must live by: Fear the Gods. Worship the Magicians. Forsake the Iconoclasts.
To Annabelle Klein, the rules laid down by the Magicians are the mere ramblings of stuffy old men. As far as she’s concerned, the historic Iconoclasts, heretics who nearly destroyed the Magicians so long ago, are nothing but myth. She has much more important matters to worry about.
Heiress to a manor mortgaged down to its candlesticks and betrothed to her loathsome, lecherous cousin, sixteen-year-old Annabelle doubts the gods could forsake her more.
Then Annabelle is informed of her parents’ sudden and simultaneous deaths, and all of the pigment drips out of her skin and hair, leaving her colorless. Within moments, Annabelle is invisible and forgotten by all who know her.
Living like a wraith in her own home, Annabelle discovers that to regain her color she must solve the mystery behind her parents’ murders and her strange transformation.
Meanwhile, hundreds of the Magicians’ monks, with their all-black eyes and conjoined minds, have usurped control of Annabelle’s family manor. An Iconoclast is rumored to be about—a person who they claim goes unseen, unheard, and lost to memory, yet is the greatest threat to all of Domengrad. For the first time in a hundred years, the monks plan to unleash the dire wolves of old.
Their only target: Annabelle.


Author Bio:
Rita Stradling is the author of The Deception Dance series, the Dakota Kekoa series and The Fourteen Day Soul Detox Novella Serial. She has a BA in Art History and a particular love for modern and medieval art.
Rita lives with her husband and son in Northern California.
She has an insatiable novel addiction and mostly reads young adult and adult: romance, paranormal, urban fantasy and high fantasy.

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Friday, April 28, 2017

Book Blitz: The Devil's Whisper


The Devil’s Whisper
T.H. Moore
Publication date: May 1st 2017
Genres: Adult, Dystopian, Suspense
Take a moment and imagine your history books devoid of war. Envision entire civilizations absent of heinous crimes against humanity. A planet spared from the plagues of slavery, cultural genocides, and the colonization of indigenous nations by foreigners. Would you dare make the choices necessary to maintain this Utopia in which universal peace existed? Could you ignore the Devil whispering in your ear, luring you away from a world in which loving your fellow man was the expectation, not the exception?
In a state of reverie, an impractical idea of world peace has given birth to a culture in which the human race has chosen to live free of violent criminals. Instead, criminals have been systematically exiled to the lone prison city, Katingal, constructed in a far corner of Earth. Sentenced for the remainder of their natural lives, the wicked pit themselves against their soulless brethren. Exposure, disease, and starvation claim their victims daily. Those who survive nature’s wrath negotiate the perils of the prison city through murder and cannibalism. All the while, this inimitable death sentence satisfies civilization’s aim to punish the world’s irretrievable outcasts.
Charles “Yäbälay” Gravo is the criminal mastermind behind the world’s largest human trafficking network. As a prime most-wanted fugitive, he sets into motion events that will forever alter the realities of both civilization’s Utopia and Katingal’s Hell.
EXCERPT:
Though Charles felt relieved to have discovered Kristoff’s lair, he could see that the savage was surrounded by his men. Nevertheless, Charles surged ahead, his heart racing in tempo with his legs as he moved closer to his objective.
As Charles drew near, a commotion broke out on the balcony. The group of men were drinking, dancing, and fighting as if the balcony were a mosh pit. One reveler grabbed another, while a third man struck the unfortunate chap with a pipe. He buckled, and with one swift movement, the two men flung their victim from the balcony. His limp body fell twenty floors to the hard pavement below. Charles heard the thump when it hit, and the cheers from a group of men who had been waiting for it on the street.
“The king is offering sacrifices tonight,” one maniac on the balcony cheered, hooting down at the dead man sprawled on the pavement.
Charles quickened his pace, staying close to the edges of the road. He ducked into a nearby building and crouched down in a dark corner, using his hands to gather a pile of dirt. He took a mouthful of the water from his satchel and pushed it around his mouth to alleviate his thirst before releasing a thin, controlled stream onto the dirt pile. After mixing the water and dirt into a dark paste, he covered his pale face until all that remained visible were his green eyes.
As he continued his trek toward the epicenter of the city, Charles heard the faint symphony of suffering. Angry yells of men coming from the east and bloodcurdling screams of women pierced the night to the west. Moments later, he slid past a band of filthy men vying for ownership of a corpse like a pack of wolves.
Another ruckus was followed by another violent assault. Just like the one before him, the beaten man was thrown from the balcony. He screamed the entire way down while the maniacs rejoiced from above. Scavengers sprinted past Charles to the man’s broken body and started ripping him apart.
Kristoff’s acolytes leaned over the balcony railing and waved their arms in the air, chanting, “Kris-toff! Kris-toff! Kris-toff! The king of K-City!”
Charles was fifty yards from the barbed wire courtyard that secured the front entrance to the Apex building. Another scream of fear, followed by another thud, a pitched body, and the scurry of the scavengers. This time, Charles was close enough to hear bones snapping against the pavement. He took cover to avoid the scavengers, and waited while they butchered the latest sacrifice with their homemade weapons.
Charles darted along the side of the building until he spotted four men guarding the back doorway.
“Four offerings so far tonight,” one of the guards warned the other three. “Two more before it’s safe to go back up there.”
“You sound like a woman, Manta,” the smallest guard said.
“Fuck you, Hiro!” He laughed. “You look like a woman. Now give me some pussy, you dwarf!”
“Curse me again and I’ll take your tongue,” Hiro seethed, pulling a short knife from his belt.
The other three guards erupted into laughter. “You call that a knife?” said one. “The only thing that knife is good for is picking your rotting teeth.”


Author Bio:
T.H. Moore is a Southwest Philadelphia native who relocated to Camden, New Jersey at the age of ten. He’s an active member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Morgan State University. His career as an Information Technology Consultant and Real-Estate investor has afforded him the opportunity to travel to many countries all over the world as well as the majority of the United States. Blending experience with imagination helped formulate the basis of, and inspired him to write his first novel, ‘The End Justifies the Means’.
His second novel, The Devil’s Whisper, is uniquely creative fiction that ventures away from the inspiration of his own life experiences. In The Devil’s Whisper, he dives into a darker set of dual protagonists whose sole objective is to survive the circumstances of the world they live in. T.H. Moore is the proud father of one son, Jason, and currently resides in Virginia, where he is working on the next two installments of The Devil’s Whisper trilogy.

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Sink Your Teeth Into It! A Review of Vampire Boy by Aric Cushing

Title: Vampire Boy
Author: Aric Cushing
Publisher: Grand & Archer
Publication Date: October 1. 2016
Genre: Horror, Fantasy, Middle School

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

Description from GoodReads
When Alex Vambarey attends his first year at the Carpathian Academy, he has no idea that there are other creatures besides vampires. He's never met a gargoyle, or a pixie for that matter. Of course he's read about them -- in the Vampedia -- but in real life? No way. But now everyone's trying to figure out the Magus riddle and win the school prize. Even the Brownies are all befuddled!

Well, maybe it's natural. It's his first term, and there are all sorts of things that don't make any sense. Like all the janitors collecting dirt. That's just plain weird. No, there was definitely something bigger going on. Way bigger. And if he was right, the secret was somewhere in the Night Gallery. The secret about Carpathia, and the secret about himself!

My Thoughts
Fans of Harry Potter, BEWARE!  You will probably do the same thing I did with this novel-sit down to read it and not stand up again until you run out of book.  This story absolutely mesmerized me.

Many of the characters are both well-developed and comical.  I especially adored Otis, and believe that many middle school boys will relate to this gargoyle covered in volcano marks who loves to chow down. He definitely had the energy that many of them do.

Additionally, I liked that this book gives students a riddle to think about.  Not only does this encourage critical thinking skills to develop, it encourages them to keep reading.  Therefore, two of the struggles that reading teachers deal with are faced head-on by the book itself.  

Finally, I appreciated Cushing's decision to provide a glossary at the beginning of the novel and a definition of each of the words as they are encountered in the novel.  Middle school students require this repetition and it is apparent that Cushing knows what his audience requires.

Unfortunately, there are a few things that I need to critique.  At one point, for example, a character speaks and is named before ever being introduced.  It felt like I was in a car with Joe, Sally, and Chuck, yet Dave is talking.  Huh?  How does that work?

I also felt that there were a few parts that Cushing should have used more space in the novel to better develop.  This leaves students two choices.  Do they use their imagination to think up those explanations, or do they just ignore it.  In my experience, many will just ignore the parts that aren't spelled out.

Overall, I truly enjoyed reading this book.  I would LOVE to share this with my seventh grade class.

My Rating





About the Author
The following was taken from IMDB.

Aric Cushing studied at the American Conservatory Theater and the London Court Theater in England. He grew up in the Northern California Redwoods and divides his time between acting and writing. He is a member of the Horror Writers Association of America and the Co-Founder of The Fear and Fantasy Film Festival.

Vampire Boy has recently won first place for the Readers View Awards.  You can read about that here.