Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Book trailer reveal: The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel

Hi folks!

Excellent news today! Entangled TEEN reveals the book trailer of THE BOOK OF IVY, the next big distopian title that comes out in November. I haven't seen the trailer myself, so I'll be watching along. And believe me, I can't wait to get to read the book!

ENJOY!




Excellent stuff, if I dare say so myself.
Now, if you want to learn more about this novel, keep on reading. And before I forget - there's a Goodreads giveaway running for 3 paperback copies of the book. Here's the link: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/111469-the-book-of-ivy 
Or you could just enter via the widget below:




Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel

The Book of Ivy

by Amy Engel

Giveaway ends November 04, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win


Book synopsis:

After a brutal nuclear war, the United States was left decimated. A small group of survivors eventually banded together, but only after more conflict over which family would govern the new nation. The Westfalls lost. Fifty years later, peace and control are maintained by marrying the daughters of the losing side to the sons of the winning group in a yearly ritual.

This year, it is my turn.

My name is Ivy Westfall, and my mission is simple: to kill the president’s son—my soon-to-be husband—and return the Westfall family to power.

But Bishop Lattimer is either a very skilled actor or he’s not the cruel, heartless boy my family warned me to expect. He might even be the one person in this world who truly understands me. But there is no escape from my fate. I am the only one who can restore the Westfall legacy.

Because Bishop must die. And I must be the one to kill him…

Buy links:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1mj5PXZ
B&N: http://bit.ly/BoIBN
iTunes: http://bit.ly/BoIiTunes
Kobo: http://bit.ly/BoIKobo 
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20640755-the-book-of-ivy?ac=1

About Amy Engel:

Amy Engel was born in Kansas and after a childhood spent bouncing between countries (Iran, Taiwan) and states (Kansas, California, Missouri, Washington, D.C.), she settled in Kansas City, Missouri where she lives with her husband and two kids. Before devoting herself full time to motherhood and writing, she was a criminal defense attorney, which is not quite as exciting as it looks on TV. When she has a free moment, she can usually be found reading, running, or shoe shopping.

Find Amy online:
Website: http://amyengel.net
Twitter: http://twitter.com/aengelwrites

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Cover reveal: Ruby's Letters by Maggie Van Well

Today is the cover reveal of Contemporary Romance/Paranormal Mystery RUBY'S LETTERS by author Maggie Van Well. I know Maggie and can tell you she's very nice and fun and she's transferred that to her books. RUBY'S LETTERS will be released just before Halloween, on October 27th. Check out the summary below and go pre-order yourself a copy.

Book synopsis:


You never know what you’ll find behind the wall of a closed up fireplace. Emma Hopkins is a recently divorced chimney sweep trying to make it in a man’s world. When she wins a huge job in Brooklyn Heights , she finds more than she bargains for; a sexy general contractor who makes her blood boil and an evil spirit who wants her dead. Ryan Atkinson struggles to keep his once-successful general contracting business alive, but horrors in his past have made him a shell of the man he once was. Now he has to face those fears to save Emma from a murderous ghost hell-bent on revenge. Together, Ryan and Emma become ghost hunting partners, hoping to solve the mystery behind Ruby’s letters. What they uncover is a one-hundred year old murder and a budding love that can’t be denied.

Blurb One Liner: In order to save a mutual client – and possibly themselves – from an evil spirit, a strong willed female chimney-sweep and a tortured general contractor must team up and reveal the mystery behind Ruby’s Letters.

Links:

Goodreads / Amazon


Author Bio: 

Maggie lives on Long Island with her husband, four insane children (no idea where they get that from) and three entertaining Italian greyhounds; Rosie, Stripe and Santa's Little Helper (yes, that's his real name). She also has two ringed-neck doves, because, ya know, who doesn’t like getting woken up at 2 in the morning by cooing? She loves the ocean, and feels blessed to be able to go to the beach whenever she wants. She is addicted to cafĂ© mochas, Godiva chocolate, and hidden object games. Seriously, there’s an intervention in her future.

Connect with Maggie:
Website / Twitter / Facebook

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Blog Tour(review): The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing by C.K.Kelly Martin

 
Book details:

The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing by C.K. Kelly Martin
Publication date: September 1st 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Synopsis:
Losing weight over the summer gains Serena some popularity, but it also means discovering first-hand the pains of being a fifteen-year-old girl in a world that both sexualizes and shames young women. After narrowly avoiding exploitation in a shortlived relationship, Serena aligns with a new friend who was the victim of an explicit image that was shared at school. When Serena finds herself in a relationship with a new guy, she is surprised to find a different set of expectations. But have her previous experiences damaged her too much to make it work? As Serena struggles to find who she is as opposed to who she is expected to be, she begins sighting Devin – her older brother who disappeared months earlier.


Purchase:


My review:

NOTE: I received the eARC of this book as a part of the blog tour organized by Xpresso Book Tours. My review is honest.

To be honest, when I requested this book, I wasn't entirely sure what I was getting myself into. I thought that this would be just another YA novel with typical themes and characters. I was very surprised when things didn't turn out all that typical - surprised in a positive way that is.

Writing style:
The story was told in first person POV, with Serena being the POV character. There was need for some polishing of the manuscript, so a good editor is in order.

Story line:
Like I mentioned above, this isn't the usual contemporary teen romance, where everything is quite obvious right away. Things happen out of the blue in the most realistic of ways that I felt like I was invited to share the deepest feelings, expectations and hopes of the characters. Also, I liked the growth of each character and the development of each relationship - slow, steady, believable.

Themes:
- sibling love is important, can be character-building and certainly can be a support
- parental expectations can be overwhelming
- drug addiction(and any other addiction, really) and how it changes people
- romantic relationships - the importance of being honest, of being careful, of being responsible

Characters:
Serena, being the POV character, is the one I got to know the best. I liked what I saw in her. I liked how much she grew in the span of this novel. She used to be a girl in rage, a hurt girl who didn't want to trust anyone, who felt disregarded and an outsider in a family of special people. By the end, she learned that she was just as special, but in different aspects. I really liked her reaction toward Gage - from beginning to end, except when she lied to him and when she tried to jump him. That was just weird, but I still totally understood her. What came after that was very thought-provoking and I enjoyed reading about her.

Gage, a random guy with a complicated life seemed to be just what Serena needed. Of course, since I didn't see all that much of him, and wasn't privy to his thoughts, I only had Serena's view of events. Gage was responsible, thoughtful and knew exactly what he wanted out of life. He hadn't been that way though, and the results are obvious. But I really liked how he got to handle things in the end. Very mature, even if a bit late.

Morgan, Serena's famous brother, seemed to be way out there in the beginning, but the more I saw of him, the more I realized that Serena may have filtered Morgan's real personality through a weird prism that only showed certain traits and held in others. Morgan was very open, sociable and likeable. But more important - he loved his family and did whatever he could think of to keep it together.

Devin, Serena's other brother, who was a drug addict some months ago, caused a lot of trouble in the family. The mom seemed to totally loose it after Devin left school and house and disappeared from the map. I think that he was a bit too selfish, running away like that and making everyone terrified that something horrible might've happened to him. Of course, I'm aware that drug addicts (or any addicts really) don't think very clearly, so Devin didn't really act any differently than expected. What was selfish of him was that even when he got clean he never thought to call home and tell his family that he's okay.

The mom was totally out there, addicted to Swarovski figurines and completely loosing if anything happened to those super precious crystals. She was messed up bad, but I don't think that Devin's disappearance act caused it. It may have intensified it though.

The dad seemed to be completely out of control. He was there but did nothing to help his wife get better.

Nicole and Genevieve, the two friends Serena acquired after a run-in with with some stupid boys (among them her boyfriend) were sworn off boys because they'd suffered humiliation on more than one occasion. They liked to play tough, but inwardly they were just hurt and needed reassurance and love.

In conclusion:
The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing isn't a fast-pace read, but it leaves you thinking in the end.

My rating is 4.5 stars


AUTHOR BIO
C.K. KELLY MARTIN’s bestselling debut novel, I Know It’s Over, was published in 2008. It was followed by One Lonely Degree, The Lighter Side of Life and Death, My Beating Teenage Heart and the sci-fi thriller, Yesterday. A graduate of the Film Studies program at York University, Martin loves good books, movies, music, web design, and Ireland. She currently resides in Oakville, Ontario.


Author Links:
http://www.ckkellymartin.com/




Tour-wide giveaway (US/CAN)
  • A selection of YA fiction from Dancing Cat Books' fall releases (4 books including a print copy of The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Blog tour (review): Charming by Krystal Wade

 
Book details:

Charming by Krystal Wade
Published by: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication date: October 6th 2014
Genres: Thriller, Young Adult

Synopsis:
They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and that’s great . . . as long as you don’t die.
Sixteen-year-old Haley Tremaine had it all: top-notch school, fantastic family, and a bright future, but all of that changed when an accident tore her family apart. Now, an alcoholic father, a bitter younger sister, and a cold headstone bearing her mother’s name are all she has left.
Chris Charming has it all: a powerful CEO for a father, a prestigious school, and a fortune at his fingertips, but none of that matters when he lands a reputation as a troublemaker. Struggling to follow in his father’s footsteps, he reaches out to the one person he believes truly sees him, the one person he wants: Haley.
Little do they know someone’s determined to bring the two together, even if it means murder.

Purchase:


My review:

NOTE: I received an eARC of this book from the blog tour organizer, Xpresso Book Tours.

I've been on a teen murder mystery streak for the past month, so when I saw this title pop up, I thought 'Awesome!' It didn't turn out to be a masterpiece, but it wasn't abysmal either, so I'll go for average and you can read my dissection below.

Writing style:
It definitely needed to be polished and proofread. There were scenes that could've been written better, more fluently.

Story line:
Charming started out slow and the story seemed to turn from the murder mystery I was advertised in the synopsis, to a story of parental abuse. I did not enjoy that first half of the book at all. Reading about Haley getting both verbally and physically abused by her own father almost had me putting the novel away. But then strange things started happening so I decided to stick around. When weird things started happening, I finally thought that the book was redeemable.

Themes:
-parental abuse
-sibling love
-keeping secrets & the consequences of that
-friendships
-psychological perversion

Characters:
Haley was one strong, but exceptionally confused girl. After her mom died in a car crash, she had no one to count on, no one to seek advice from. Her father beat her and abused her verbally all the time just because she'd taken her looks from her mom. I don't think I liked her reasoning much. She was only in high school, but she was playing the mother bird for her sister and grandma and sickly enough, her father. Things would've been so much better if she used that head on her shoulders differently.

Joselyn, Haley's little sister, needed someone to sit down and talk to her, or better yet, slap her. Being the lazy sibling, she had no right to talk down to Haley. She wasn't so young that she wouldn't understand what was happening with her dad or sister, but she seemed to willingly close her eyes to the abuse that Haley went through on a daily basis.

Chris Charming came out of nowhere, was too good to be true, and fit the mold of the knight in shining armor to the dot. I'm not entirely sure I liked him all that much. He seemed too well moulded to fit the author's needs instead of having him be his own character.

Christine was Haley's best and only friend who could be counted on for all things. Having a history of her own, she was still the most loveable character of the lot. Except from her smoking pot, that is.

In conclusion:
If you're looking for a fast-pace murder mystery, this book isn't for you. If you're looking for a sweet romance, this book isn't for you either. However, if you're looking for a slow development of both, then you may be in for it.

My rating is:



AUTHOR BIO

Krystal Wade is happily married to the love of her life (don’t gag) and raising three beautiful children in the gorgeous state of Virginia. They live just outside Washington, D.C., and every day she wakes up to find herself stuck in traffic trying to get there.
The horrid commute gives Krystal plenty of time to zone out and think about her characters in full, brilliant details (she’s a safe driver; don’t worry). Stories give her a way to forget about the sometimes smelly strangers sitting next to her on the fifty mile trek into town (she picks up hitchhikers every day. True story. Check out www.slug-lines.com if you don’t believe us).
Krystal has been a part of organized hitchhiking for nearly fifteen years, but that’s just one small aspect of her oh-so-large life. When she’s not working, commuting, or chasing after her three children (four if you count the man), you can usually find Krystal outside talking to her chickens like they’re the cutest things in the world (they are), or training her amazing dogs how to herd said chickens (which they love), or curled up on the sofa with a good book (why can’t that be 100% of the time?).
Author links: 


Giveaway:


Tour-wide giveaway (US)
  • A Kindle Paperwhite
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 3, 2014

Book review: Mine To Spell by Janeal Falor

Synopsis:

Cynthia has always hidden from her father’s hexes behind her older sister. When her family gains independence unheard of for women, she’s relieved that her days of harsh punishments are over. But as her seventeenth birthday approaches—the typical age to be sold to a new master—death threats endanger her sisters. She now faces two options: run or meet society’s expectations.

For once, Cynthia isn’t going to let her older sister shield her from the problem. She’s going to prove to herself, her sisters, and society that her family isn’t a threat to their traditions. She willingly chooses to be purchased by a new master. A bold step that takes her somewhere she never thought she would go and to a man she might possibly fall in love with. With his help, she may just find a way to save her sisters while discovering how to stand up for herself. If she lives long enough.




NOTE: I received the eARC from the author in exchange for my honest review.

Mine to Spell was not as captivating as the prequel. Sure, I kept on thinking "just one more chapter", but at the same time, I couldn't feel the same stir inside me.

The beginning disappointed me a little because 1) I didn't expect to be reading Cynthia's story and 2)it proceeded rather slow. Also, the events puzzled me a little and the answers I got to my questions weren't all that satisfactory.

I'm still unsure how Cynthia managed to conquer all those important milestones in a society that hates all things female. Yes, she had powerful magic in her blood, but she was largely untrained.

Writing style:
Falor has done a good job continuing her bestselling Mine Series with this new installment. The book is a page-turner, well written and enthralling.

Story line:
Like I said above, this was Cynthia's story. I guess my opinion was a bit biased because I was a strong Serena supporter. Maybe that's why Cynthia's POV and adventures couldn't grab me all that much. For some reason, I couldn't even enjoy all the fighting and struggles as much as I wished.

Themes:
- Women and their fight for equality and independence in a world where men rule.
- Fear to speak up, fear to be yourself
- Betrayal
- Family is important, but sometimes, it constrains a person too much.

Characters:
Cynthia wanted to save her family from all that they were put through because of Serena's newly acquired freedom. She was brave accepting that marital contract, and even braver breaking it the way she did. And let's not forget to mention the annual tournament. Cynthia really showed the realm what a woman could do when she put her mind to it. I'm still undecided whether that accomplished anything in the end.

Lucas didn't leave such a great impression on me. Cynthia's character threw a bit of shade on him and everyone else.
Still, seeing that Lucas helped her in a time of need, then befriended her and tutored her to fight, I suppose I can say he was helpful for her growth.
I'm not sure whether I felt much for him though. He seemed to be just a side character. Even though he supported Cynthia in all she did, Lucas remained a bit underdeveloped.

Zade and Serena didn't play any big part in this novel. Sure they appeared here and there (which I guess is how it's supposed to be), but I loved them too much and wanted to read more about them. Also, I didn't like how Serena seemed to have shifted gears a bit. She appeared to be growing weak in her determination to abolish the Patriarchal way of thinking. 

My rating is:


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Blog Tour (interview): Stupid Girl by Cindy Miles


 Book & Author details:

Stupid Girl by Cindy Miles
Publication date: May 13th 2014
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Synopsis:
Only fools fall in love…

After her senior year of high school leaves behind nothing but heartache, Olivia Beaumont is sure of this: She’s no stupid girl. She sets out for Winston College, promising herself that she will remain focused on her first and only love – astronomy. But all it takes is cocky sophomore Brax Jenkins and an accidental collision with a football, to throw her entire year off course.
A quick-tempered Southie who escaped the inner city streets of Boston to pitch for Winston, Brax is known to play way more fields than just the baseball diamond. So, when his name is drawn to take part in his fraternity’s hazing dare, Brax eagerly accepts the mission to take Olivia’s virginity. But he doesn’t plan on falling hard for the sweet and sassy Texas girl who sees right through his bad-boy persona.
As Olivia and Brax battle their feelings for each other, echoes of the past year begin to surface. A boy who once turned Olivia’s whole world upside down reappears, and “harmless” pranks wreak havoc. Pretty soon the aspiring astronomer is on the verge of revealing her most difficult, heartbreaking secret. All the while, Brax must wrestle with the irrevocable dare, and Olivia struggles against all logic as she does the one thing only a stupid girl would do: fall in love.

Cindy Miles agreed to do an interview with me for this tour. So of course I fired at her a bunch of questions!

Me: What are the five stupidest things you've ever done?
 Cindy:
1. Put moss on my head and pretended that it was long princess hair. NEVER put Spanish Moss on your HEAD! (chiggers!)
2. Fell on a Loch Ness boat tour in Scotland on our first day there. After, I had two big black eyes and a broken nose for the entire trip. Pictures=gorgeous!
3. Used half-n-half when I should’ve used heavy cream.
4. Left a pack of gum in the pocket of my jeans. Washed them. Then dried them. = Gum everywhere!
5. Dyed easter eggs with my children and THEN realized I hadn’t boiled the eggs. EEK!

Me: Have you based this book on someone you know or is it purely inspired by your imagination?

 Cindy:Purely inspired by imagination!

Me: How did you go about naming your characters?

 Cindy:Naming my characters is one of the best parts of the writing process to me. For Stupid Girl I knew I had a heroine who was a little old-fashioned, not your usual hip young adult, so I searched older classic names. My hero needed to be cool. Hot. Sexy. Brash. I love searching through baby name data bases and seeing what I can come up with. Sometimes, I shift things a bit until the name feels unique and just right. :)

Me: Would you ever consider writing a book where the main character would be based on you?

 Cindy:I’ve kind of done that, LOL. Although, the book version was WAY better and WAY cooler and WAY not-so-boring! My heroine in Highland Knight is an author, and I gave her quite a lot of my likes/dislikes. :)

Me: What was the easiest scene for you to write?

 Cindy:In Stupid Girl, probably the opening scene where the hero, Brax, barrels into the heroine, Olivia, on the lawn, and their reaction to each other. That scene just flew out and it’s pretty much the same in the book as the first draft I wrote.

Me: Which other books can you compare Stupid Girl to?

 Cindy:Hmm. So many college romances out there, it’s hard to say. I’ve had a few readers comment that it reminded them of Beautiful Disaster, but I don’t see it. :) It’s college, yes. Bad-boy hero, yes. Heroines are completely different, though, so really it’s each reader’s own personal perception. :)

Me: Of all sports, why did you choose baseball?
 Cindy:I LOVE baseball. I’m a huge fan! Of all baseball! Going all the way back to the beginning. I love everything about it, and about going to a ball game. My grandpa loved it and we used to watch games together, and we’d go to games in Atlanta as well. Big fun! I love the sounds of the park, the hotdogs, and the sound of the ball cracking against the bat!


Where to find Stupid Girl:

Purchase:


AUTHOR BIO
 
National bestselling author Cindy Miles writes edgy romance, ranging from contemporary love stories to sexy paranormals. A native of southern coastal Georgia, she loves reading (naturally), baking swoon-worthy desserts, traveling abroad, yoga, and classic rock. The cover for her upcoming New Adult romance, STUPID GIRL, was featured on USA Today’s Happily Ever After blog. In the novel, a volatile mix of bad boys, sassy smart girls, dark secrets, and red-hot romance add up to one wild ride through college.

Author Links:


What's next?

From Cindy Miles, bestselling new adult author of STUPID GIRL, comes the next installment of her blockbuster Stupid in Love series – STUPID BOY. 



Brax Jenkins and Olivia Beaumont are the most envied couple at Winston College—but the so-called “virginity dare,” orchestrated by Brax’s old fraternity, almost tore them apart. Now, a new dare is taking shape, and it’s sure to set the campus ablaze with crazy new rumors and chaos. 

 

Winston’s “It Girl” Harper Bell isn’t just president of Alpha Delta Phi—she’s also a master at keeping her ugly past a secret. So, when the Kappas’ dare hits closer to home for her more than anyone realizes, she devises a competition of her own as payback. Three sorority sisters will seek out a notorious bad boy, train him to be the perfect boyfriend, seduce him almost to the point of no return, and promptly—and publicly—break his heart. 

Always up for a challenge, Harper targets the biggest player she can find: Brax’s wickedly handsome foster brother Kane McCarthy. 

But, Harper discovers there’s much more to Kane than girls, games, and partying. His easy smile belies the quiet, old soul reflected in his deep brown eyes. 

All it takes is one night, one secret laid bare, and one kiss from Kane to shift Harper’s world on its axis. Suddenly, the girl who’s always walked a straight and narrow path can’t think of anything else except losing control.


Giveaway:


Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)
  • A signed copy of Stupid Girl
  • 5x eBook copies of Stupid Girl (gifted from either Amazon or B&N)
  • 50$ Amazon Gift Card
a Rafflecopter giveaway