Sunday, June 30, 2013

Author Interview with Megan Crewe + Giveaway: Signed Copy of The Lives We Lost

Hi guys! It's the fifth day of Dystopian Domination 4. Hope you're enjoying it as much as we are! :) Today, I have Megan Crewe for an author interview. And I also have something for you later. ;)


What inspired you to write this series?
The initial spark of the idea came after a nightmare--I realized the only two books I've ever read that have given me nightmares both had to do with viruses, so obviously viruses and epidemics scare me more than just about anything in the world! And then it occurred to me that I could probably write a pretty intense story about something I was that scared of. So I started playing with the idea of an epidemic story.


I'd also wanted to write something generally apocalyptic for a while. A lot of the time, when I read a post-apocalyptic or dystopian story, I find myself most curious about what it was like while society was going through the state of change that resulted in this new world. It seemed to me that transition period, between our current world and something different, would be a fascinating time to examine. The virus was just one possible way that could happen.

How did you come up with the ‘sickness?’
One of the biggest inspirations for my "friendly flu" was an issue I've had with zombie story lines. Most zombie stories start after most people are already dead and zombies have pretty much taken over, and I always wonder how on earth they managed to. I mean, usually they're very slow and stupid, and so scary and threatening that if you saw one you'd run the other way. So how did they manage to catch and kill so many people when the zombie plague was just getting started? A really smart virus, I thought, would spread itself not by making its host attack other people, but by making its host extra social and friendly, giving it access to as many new hosts to jump to as possible.


So, I think of my virus as sort of anti-zombieism. ;)

For those who are interested, I go into a lot more detail of the decisions I made in designing the virus and the science behind it here.

What kind of research did you do for this series?
I did a lot of reading about viruses and epidemics, of course. Learning how viruses work, so I could make mine as believable as possible; learning how people and societies have responded to outbreaks in the past. I also did a lot of reading and watching of nature documentaries, to supplement my knowledge of animal behavior, since Kaelyn is such a wildlife enthusiast. And I had to do a lot of reading on survival techniques to figure out how to get the group through the long winter.


I spent a lot of time on Google maps, too, charting the characters' course after they left the island, calculating how long a tank of gas would last them, etc.

I really loved how you used the diary format in telling the story of Kaelyn. Why did you decide to use this format?
I wanted the story to be more of a day-by-day record of the gradual decline Kaelyn's world goes through, rather than just focusing on the big events that are usually needed to make a full scene. The journal format worked perfectly for that. I also liked the idea that the reader is following along at exactly the same pace Kaelyn is living through these events. There are never things about the future that Kaelyn knows and just isn't telling yet--the next day is as much a mystery to her as the reader. I think that adds a certain type of suspense that I really enjoy in this type of story.


In terms of character development, how did you mold Kaelyn?
I've tried to give Kaelyn a distinctive character arc in each book in the series--to have her be different by the end than she was in the beginning. In the first, for example, it's mainly about her coming to recognize her value and strengths as a person, even if they aren't what's typically seen as important. The challenges she faces during the epidemic and the relationships she forms all play a role in shaping her growth.


Which part was the most difficult to write in Book 2: beginning, middle or end? Why?
I pretty much always find beginnings and endings harder than middles, and usually beginnings the hardest of all. With the second book in the trilogy, the beginning was especially hard because I had to balance getting the story moving and grabbing the readers' interest with reminding readers who might not have read Book 1 in several months who these people were and what they'd most recently been through. On the other hand, the ending was more difficult than usual because I'd originally intended for this to be a two book series, and it only became a trilogy when I realized the story I'd wanted to tell for the sequel wouldn't fit into just one book. So I had to take the first half of what I'd seen as one story and make it into a story that stood at least somewhat on its own with a reasonably satisfying ending. That was tricky! It changed a lot over time, too. In the first two drafts of the book, the story ended one chapter later, after events that now play out in the first two chapters of Book 3.


To evade the typical second-book-isis aka the halt in action and dropping of interest in the second book of this series, what did you do?
It was important to me not to fall into the trap of repeating myself or having the characters regress as if their grown in the first book hadn't happened. So I went for a big change--I forced them off the island and onto the mainland, which they hadn't seen at all in the first book, and gave them a totally new quest. I also introduced several new characters, and a new set of villains, to add complexity to the conflicts and character development.


Aside from this series, is there anything else you’re working on?
I'm always working on new things! I have my new trilogy that I recently sold, and I'm also working on a yet another new project that I can't say anything about yet, other than it's another YA.


What’s next for Megan Crewe?
After Book 3 in the Fallen World trilogy, THE WORLDS WE MAKE, which is coming out next February, I have a new SF trilogy on the way. This one involves aliens, time travel, and space ships--three of my favorite SF elements! It's about a girl who finds out that aliens have been using Earth as a laboratory, experimenting with changes in the past to see what effects they'll have, and joins up with an alien rebel to try to stop them before their experimentation causes a total catastrophe. At the moment it's called EARTH & SKY, but it's looking as though that will become the series title and we'll come up with a different title for the first book.


Thanks for the interview!

Like many authors, Megan Crewe finds writing about herself much more difficult than making things up. A few definite facts: she lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband and two cats (and does on occasion say "eh"), she tutors children and teens with special needs, and she has yet to make friends with a ghost, though she welcomes the opportunity. Her first novel, GIVE UP THE GHOST, was published by Henry Holt in 2009 and is now out in paperback. THE WAY WE FALL and THE LIVES WE LOST are now available from Disney-Hyperion.

Follow Megan: Website | Blog | Twitter

Book Description:

Hardcover, 288 pages
February 12th 2013, Disney Hyperion

First, the virus took Kaelyn’s friends. Then, her family. Now it’s taken away her home.

But she can't look back—the life she once had is gone forever.

A deadly virus has destroyed Kaelyn’s small island community and spread beyond the quarantine. No one is safe. But when Kaelyn finds samples of a vaccine in her father's abandoned lab, she knows there must be someone, somewhere, who can replicate it. As Kaelyn and her friends head to the mainland, they encounter a world beyond recognition. It’s not only the “friendly flu” that’s a killer—there are people who will stop at nothing to get their hands on the vaccine. How much will Kaelyn risk for an unproven cure, when the search could either destroy those she loves or save the human race?

Megan Crewe's second volume in the Fallen World trilogy is an action-packed journey that explores the resilience of friendship, the ache of lost love, and Kaelyn’s enduring hope in the face of the sacrifices she must make to stay alive.

What's up for grabs? Signed Copy of The Lives We Lost by Megan Crewe.

Open internationally.
You should be at least 13 years old.
Be a follower. :)


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Saturday, June 29, 2013

June Wrap Up: Interview wih Gina Linko + Giveaway: Signed Copy of Flutter

Hi guys! It's time for another Time Travel wrap-up. This time, Dianne and I will have two different giveaways for you. I invited Gina Linko to Fragments of Life for an interview. (Stick around for the international giveaway later!) You can also go to Dianne's blog to check out her interview with Deborah Noyes and her giveaway of Plague in the Mirror!


What is your general idea of time travel before writing Flutter?
I didn't know a lot. I did a lot of research on time travel, the idea of wormholes, the grandfather paradox, other theories concerning time travel. It really is fascinating, and there is so much there, in terms of opportunity for life-changing experiences, do-overs, things like that, so it is a writer's dream come true! We have a lot of way of introducing drama and mystery with time travel.


How did the idea for Flutter come to you?
The idea of Flutter came to me when thinking about seizures, and sort of, the "What if?" idea that they were more/different than the current accepted definition.


Will there be a sequel to Flutter?
There is no sequel to Flutter planned. I think that I have ended Emery's journey, although I love that the ending is ambiguous, in that you can sort of choose how you interpret what happens to Emery, where she goes, what she does, whether she comes back to this loop, whether there is finality in it or not. For me, my favorite part of the book is the ending. And I hope you like it too!


How do you balance the romance element and the time travel element? / How do you manage to sustain the romantic element in Flutter through time?
I really liked the idea of having this boy become part of Emery's home loop, as she calls it, and then also part of her time travels. To me, that was what it was all about, figuring out how these two different worlds fit together, and how Asher could possibly be involved, and, of course, why.


Do you read reviews of your book? 
Why or why not? Oh, I try not to. For me, the book and the characters are finished, in a way, and I am usually on to a new book, writing a new story, so I try to stay active with that and not read reviews, because I am a people-pleaser at heart, and it would hurt too much! I'm too sensitive!

What are your thoughts about negative reviews?
People are entitled to their opinions, and I love the whole atmosphere of online book blogging/reviewing. It is a really supportive environment on the whole. I have found bloggers to be just so friendly and to really want to help authors out in spreading the word about their books. It's been such a fun experience to "meet" all these people online.


What is next for Gina Linko?
My next book Indigo, comes out in October. The summary is below. It's another sci-fi mystery/romance, much like Flutter! Also, you can check it out at my web site: ginalinko.com.

A gift?

A curse?

A moment that changes everything. . . .

Caught in an unexpected spring squall, Corrine's first instinct is to protect her little sister Sophie after a nasty fall. But when Corrine reaches out to comfort her sister, the exact opposite occurs. Her touch--charged with an otherworldly force and bursting with blinding indigo color--surges violently from Corrine to her sister. In an instant, Sophie is dead. From that moment on, Corrine convinces herself that everyone would be better off if she simply withdrew from life.

When her family abruptly moves to New Orleans, Corrine's withdrawal is made all the easier. No friends. No connections. No chance of hurting anyone. But strange things continue to happen around her in this haunting, mystical city. And she realizes that her power cannot be ignored, especially when Rennick, a talented local artist with a bad-boy past, suggests another possibility: Corrine might have the touch. An ability to heal those around her. But knowing what happened to her sister, can Corrine trust her gift?


What is your writing style - how do you write a novel?
I become absolutely obsessed. Once I have an idea, I take a long time brainstorming and thinking about it, for weeks. I do research and take notes, all day long, even when I'm supposed to be doing other things. And when I finally am ready to write, I do so in a fugue. I just write the first draft very quickly, pulling all-nighters, and just trying to get it all on paper. Then I go back and revise, slowly, over and over, making it "good" as I like to say.


About the Author:

Gina Linko has a graduate degree in creative writing from DePaul University and lives outside Chicago with her husband and three children. Gina teaches college English part-time, but her real passion is sitting down at a blank computer screen and asking herself the question, "What if...?"

Follow Gina: Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Book Description:

Hardcover, 352 pages
October 23rd 2012, Random House Books for Young Readers

All Emery Land wants is to be like any other 17-year-old—to go to school, hang out with her friends, and just be normal. But for as long as she can remember, she’s suffered from seizures. And in recent years they’ve consumed her life. To Emery they’re much more than seizures, she calls them loops—moments when she travels through wormholes back and forth in time and to a mysterious town. The loops are taking their toll on her physically. So she practically lives in the hospital where her scientist father and an ever-growing team of doctors monitor her every move. They’re extremely interested in the data they collect when Emery seizes. It appears that she’s tapping into parts of the brain typically left untouched by normal human beings.

Escaping from the hospital, Emery travels to Esperanza, the town from her loops on the upper peninsula of Michigan, where she meets Asher Clarke. Ash’s life is governed by his single-minded pursuit of performing good Samaritan acts to atone for the death of a loved one. His journey is very much entwined with Emery’s loops.

Drawn together they must unravel their complicated connection before it’s too late.

Giveaway Time!

Open internationally.
Ends on July 30th.
You should be at least 13 years old.


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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Author Interview with Elizabeth Richards + Giveaway: Hardcover of Phoenix

Hi guys! Today is the third day of Dystopian Domination 4. I'm happy to introduce you to one of my most favorite authors ever, Elizabeth Richards.


What kind of research did you to for this series?
I did a lot of reading about World War II, specifically about the ghettos and concentration camps, which are featured in Black City and Phoenix. I also had to speak to a heart specialist about something….but I can’t say why. SPOILERS!


How did you balance the elements of romance, paranormal and dystopia in Phoenix?
At its core, PHOENIX is a dystopian book, so I wrote the story as I would’ve done if there weren’t supernatural creatures in it. The fact Ash is a Darkling and Elijah a Bastet wasn’t relevant; they’re just these two normal guys, with normal issues and dreams in life…they just happen to be supernatural! With the romance, that’s easy—whenever I felt there had been a lot of action or I was in a glum mood, I threw in a kissing scene or got Elijah wet! That always cheered me up.


I'm a fan of yours since Black City. It's mainly because of the unpredictability of your book. How do you maintain the constant level of twists and turns in your stories? Is there a secret for it?
I don’t plot my books before I start writing them (sshhh, don’t tell my editor)! I have a vague idea of what’s going to happen, but I don’t write detailed outlines because I like the characters to tell me what should happen, so I’m surprised. And if I’m surprised, then the reader should be too. Also, when I revise the MS, I’m always looking for ways to shake things up and so I throw in another twist or two!


I'm just dying to know (as well as thousands of readers out there I'm sure). Who/what inspired Ash?
A lot of guys that inspire me are actors I was crushing on as a teenager in the 1990s (I know, I’m old). So for me, Ash has the artistic soul of River Phoenix, the sexy hair and eyes of Keanu Reeves, the bad-boy attitude of Christian Slater in Heathers and the quiet cool of Jared Leto in My So Called Life. You might need to Google all these references... ;-p


How does your preferences of a guy - a dream guy specifically - influence how you molded Ash into being?
There’s definitely aspects of my ‘dream guy’ in Ash—he’s loving, loyal, brave, charitable, funny, sexy—but really, my characters tell me what they look like, how they dress, what their quirks are etc. So while I might have a ‘dream guy’ in mind that doesn’t necessarily mean my character agrees with me that’s what he should look like!


Where did you cull out the species of Bastets from? Is there a specific mythological race that inspired you? Or is a combination of several mythologies?
I’ve always been fascinated by ancient Egypt and the Bastets are named after the Egyptian goddess of cats. So they’re mainly inspired by that. I wanted a species that would be the natural predator of the Darklings, so I came up with the idea of the Bastets—these sultry feline-like people, with cheetah-spots on their skin, saber teeth and long tails.


Just a random question. Were there any songs that triggered your imagination/writer juices to flow while you were working on Phoenix?
I listened to the Tron Legacy soundtrack and Two Steps from Hell quite a bit. But I like to mix things up, so I tend to listen to chart music or artists like Kate Bush, Tori Amos and Bat for Lashes when I’m writing.


It might be a bit too early but what can we expect from Book Three?
Lots of action, explosions, kissing and huge revelations!


Thank you for the interview, Liz! We'll be waiting patiently for Book 3!

Book Description via Goodreads:

Hardcover, 368 pages
June 4th 2013, Putnam Juvenile

Weeks after his crucifixion and rebirth as Phoenix, Ash Fisher believes his troubles are far behind him. He and Natalie are engaged and life seems good. But his happiness is short-lived when he receives a threatening visit from Purian Rose, who gives Ash an ultimatum: vote in favor of Rose’s Law permanently relegating Darklings to the wrong side of the wall or Natalie will be killed.

The decision seems obvious to Ash; he must save Natalie. But when Ash learns about The Tenth, a new and deadly concentration camp where the Darklings would be sent, the choice doesn’t seem so simple. Unable to ignore his conscience, Ash votes against Rose’s Law, signing Natalie’s death warrant and putting a troubled nation back into the throes of bloody battle.

Elizabeth Richards is an award-winning journalist, who spent her early career reviewing videogames before making the bold (or crazy) move into travel writing, despite suffering from terrible travel sickness.

In her spare time, she ran a successful lifestyle website aimed at teenage girls, where she got to interview many of her favourite bands, go to gigs and basically blag loads of free swag all in the name of ‘research’.

Elizabeth lives in Buckinghamshire, England, with her husband. Black City is her debut novel and Phoenix is the sequel.

Follow Liz: Site | Twitter | Goodreads


Giveaway

What's up for grabs?A Hardcover of Phoenix by Elizabeth Richards (Who doesn't want that??)

Follow the blog in any way that you like - GFC (though people say that this will be obsolete soon :( or Bloglovin or via email)
Open internationally.
You should be at least 13 years old.


So, my lovelies, for extra entries, comment below. Answer this question: What do you think of Ash now after Liz described her inspiration for Ash?

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Character Interview with Josh + Giveaway: Aberrant by Ruth Silver and more

Hi everyone! Today, Dystopian Domination 4 officially starts. This is our 3rd year and I hope you'll stick around throughout the entire event. The first feature is a character interview with Josh from the story world of Aberrant by Ruth Silver. I'm encouraging you to stick around for the giveaway.


Can you tell us about yourself?
I grew up in a town called Genesis, in Cabal. My mother was part of a secret rebel group, which I had no idea about, until I ventured to Haven with my best friend, Olivia. I spent most of my free time hanging out with my childhood best friend, before we escaped from Genesis. Occasionally, I’d play a practical joke on her, but for the most part I consider myself easy going.


Can you tell us about Cabal? The ambiance, culture and society?
Our country, Cabal doesn’t have much in the way of culture. With everyone dressing for their respective jobs and living in the same style homes, we’re all pretty uniform. I never paid much attention to it. Personally, I didn’t care one way or another. It wasn’t until I visited Haven and walked through a museum, that I realized what I’d missed.


What do you think of Olivia?
She’s smart, sometimes too smart for her own good. She likes to rebel, but usually just a little. She keeps most people at arms length, and definitely has grown leery on who to trust. I don’t blame her, I feel the same way with all we’ve been through together. I also think she’s brilliant and beautiful. There’s something about her that I’m drawn to, even if I know it could kill me.


What was it like growing up with her?
Mostly, it consisted of playing outside as kids at the park. As we grew older, we spent time together near her father’s grave. I’ll tell you a secret, I wouldn’t have done that for anyone else. Graveyards creep me out!


If there's something you could change in your world, what would it be?
I know what I should say (freedom and children being born naturally). It’s probably selfish and terrible of me to say it, but I wish Olivia wasn’t different. I wish she was ordinary and far from special. She’ll always be special to me, but I hate fearing at any moment, something terrible could happen to her. I know the government will always want to hunt her down and it worries me, because one day we might not be so lucky.


Book Description:

Paperback, 240 pages
April 28th 2013, Ruth Silver

In the future Dystopian society of Cabal, the government instills equality for all and offers its citizens the perfect system. There is food, shelter and jobs for everyone. The one requirement is to follow the rules without question, including the government's match in marriage and "The Day of the Chosen", a lottery that randomly selects families to conceive children as natural means hasn't existed in generations. Following her eighteenth birthday, Olivia Parker accepts her requirement to marry her childhood best friend, Joshua Warren, and is eager to start her work assignment and new life when it all comes abruptly to an end as she's arrested and thrown in prison. The only crime committed, her existence. Olivia is unlike the rest of the world born not from "The Day of the Chosen." The truth haunts the government and puts her life in grave danger as one simple fact would destroy the perfect system.

With Joshua's help, Olivia breaks free of prison and is forced on the run. Together they set out to find the promised rebel town in search of a new home and new life together. Their situation seems less than promising as they reach the town of Haven. New rules and customs must be adhered to in order to stay. Leaving would mean most certain death in the large expanse of the Gravelands. Time is running out as the government mounts an attack to destroy Olivia and bury her secret with her. Thrown into a world unlike their own, they must quickly adapt to survive.

Purchase Aberrant: Amazon | The Book Depository

About the Author:

Ruth Silver is the best-selling author of Aberrant. The Young Adult Romantic Dystopian Adventure, Aberrant is the first in a trilogy, released April 17th, 2013. Silver first began writing poetry as a teenager and reading heaps of fan fiction in her free time. She attended Northern Illinois University in 2001 and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Communication. While in college she spent much of her free time writing with friends she met online and penning her first novel, Deuces are Wild, which she self-published in 2004. Her favorite class was Creative Writing senior year where she often handed in assignments longer than the professor required, because she loved to write and always wanted to finish her stories. Her love of writing, led her on an adventure in 2007 to Melbourne, Australia. Silver enjoys reading YA novels and sharing her favorite books with other readers. She also enjoys photography, traveling and of most of all writing.

Follow Ruth: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Giveaway

What's up for grabs?$25 Amazon Gift Card, Signed Copy of Aberrant + a character named after you in the sequel.

Open internationally.
You should be at least 13 years old.


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Monday, June 24, 2013

Dystopian Domination 4 is here!

Hi guys! So there's a really good reason why it's been quiet around here... No, I'm not on a hiatus. I've been very busy behind the scenes aka emailing tons of authors and organizing, plotting, the usual shiz. And I'm happy to say that the domination is officially back!

In the tradition of spreading the dystopian love throughout the blogosphere, yours truly and Kai @ Amaterasu Reads bring you the fourth wave: Dystopian Domination 4!

When: June 26 to July 18, 2013
Where: Fragments of Life + Amaterasu Reads
How: Guest Posts, Author Interviews, Character Interviews and Giveaways


I am prepared. I present to you le schedule of madness:


So... *nudges* Are you guys excited now? No?

The amazing Kai prepared these (look down!) These are inspired by and lifted from the cover of Ward by Jordana Franknel. We don't own the art but instead we appreciate it and choose it as the design for our event button since it sets the dystopic mood.




That's all for now. See you tomorrow!


NBS brings another author to Manila in August: Who's next?

Like most of you, I've been on the lookout for information about who is next. We've had our guessing game pre-April after Tahereh Mafi's signing but we can't seem to get it right.


My guess is that...this is a Harper Collins author. With a bestselling novel since there are two stops. So he/she is someone very important and adored by booklovers worldwide. I'm guessing that since the last author who came to Manila was a MG author. The next one is a YA author. But enough with guessing. Let's go down to the deets:

What: Book Signing Event
When: August 3 – Manila Signing; August 4 – Cebu Signing
Watch out for the announcement/ revelation on July 1, 3 pm.

Yes, we have to wait. And no, even though I'm part of this revelation campaign, I don't know who it is. To stalk NBS, follow their twitter account @nbsalert


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: The Elites by Natasha Ngan + Waterfell by Amalie Howard

*waves* Hi! It feels like AGES since I've done a Waiting on Wednesday post. This week, I have two novels that I'm absolutely dying to read. One is the second book of one of the best writers on the face of the planet, Amalie Howard, and the the other is a futuristic book with exoticism and romance.

Book Description:

The Elites by Natasha Ngan
Date of Publication: September 5th 2013
Publisher: Hot Key Books

'There is a rumour that the Elites don't bleed.'

Hundreds of years into the future, wars, riots, resource crises and rising sea-levels have destroyed the old civilisations. Only one city has survived: Neo-Babel, a city full of cultures - and racial tension. Fifteen-year-old Silver is an Elite, a citizen of Neo-Babel chosen to guard the city due to her superior DNA. She'd never dream of leaving - but then she fails to prevent the assassination of Neo Babel's president, setting off a chain of events more shocking and devastating than she could ever have imagined. Forced to flee the city with her best friend Butterfly (a boy with genetically-enhanced wings), Silver will have to fight to find her family, uncover the truth about Neo-Babel and come to terms with her complicated feelings for Butterfly.

Packed full of adventure, romance, exoticism and the power of friendship, THE ELITES is a highly compelling and beautifully written novel from a supremely talented debut author.


Why I chose this:

Oh my gosh, you guys! This sounds like my kind of read. Here's the list of things that I want in a book:

Futuristic. Check!
Wars. Check!
Scientific shiz. Check!
Adventure. Check!
Action. Check!
Exoticism. Check!

Whoa, I'm so excited to read this I'm practically trembling!


Book Description:

Waterfell by Amalie Howard
Date of Publication: October 29th 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen

THE GIRL WHO WOULD BE QUEEN

Nerissa Marin hides among teens in her human form, waiting for the day she can claim her birthright—the undersea kingdom stolen from her the day her father was murdered. Blending in is her best weapon—until her father's betrayer confronts Nerissa and challenges her to a battle to the death on Nerissa's upcoming birthday—the day she comes of age.

Amid danger and the heartbreak of her missing mother, falling for a human boy is the last thing Nerissa should do. But Lo Seavon breaches her defenses and somehow becomes the only person she can count on to help her desperate search for her mother, a prisoner of Nerissa's mortal enemy. Is Lo the linchpin that might win Nerissa back her crown? Or will this mortal boy become the weakness that destroys her?


Why I chose this:

Next up is a mermaid book, written by my favorite author and friend, Amalie Howard (who also wrote the amazing Bloodspell in 2011.) But aside from the fact that Amalie writes so darn well, like awe-inducing, smile-inducing perfection, mermaids! Guys, I'm so eager for a sea creature-starred book! Falling for a human boy = delicious romance. This just sounds so promising. Really looking forward!

What are you waiting for this Wednesday? Leave your links below!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Review: Fractured by Teri Terry

Book Description:

Paperback, 432 pages
April 4th 2013, Orchard Books

How do you know where to go when you don't remember where you came from?

Kyla's memory has been erased,
her personality wiped blank,
her memories lost for ever.

Or so she thought.

Kyla shouldn't be able to remember anything. But she can - and she's beginning to realise that there are a lot of dark secrets locked away in her memories. When a mysterious man from her past comes back into her life, she thinks she's on her way to finding the truth. But the more she learns about her history, the more confusing her future becomes...

Set in a disturbing future world, FRACTURED is an engrossing, fast-paced read that establishes Teri Terry as a master thriller writer.

Source: Victoria + Orchard Books (Thank you!)

My Thoughts:

Slated, the first book, left me heartbroken, crushed, in agony and yet, still wanting more. With Fractured, the author not only swept me off my feet once again and lured me back into her amazing story world, she also managed to break my heart and crush me a second time. To keep it short and sweet: I absolutely loved Fractured!

In Slated, the characters were multilayered and complex. In Fractured, I found out that all the complexity of the characters was just the tip of the iceberg. Fractured explores deeper layers: issues, trauma, memories and the past. The Kyla I know now has grown and changed so much. From being the odd Slated to desperately wanting to know more about her child self to something entirely unexpected. When it comes to Kyla, there were layers and layers of secrets and memories, bound by force and several processes and intense experiences. Since reading Slated, I have become emotionally attached to Kyla. So reading as she dealt with problem after problem, suffered, crumpled, rose again and fought was a roller coaster of emotions. I was constantly at the edge of my seat.

The absence of Ben in her life became one of the many reasons why I remained emotionally attached to her. Even though they have known for each other for just a few months, their bond was strong. There were certain parts in the book when I just felt my heart twisting in pain. I experienced Rain's pain and that doesn't happen all the time.

The mysterious Nico played a bigger role in Fractured. The questions that his existence raised was, to be honest, enough to draw me in and keep me reading. I was so desperate to find the answer to that big question mark in my head. As it turned out, his life was woven with Rain's. When it came to Nico, nothing was ever what it appeared to be. Shrouded in a cloud of motives and secrets, I found him troubling, intriguing and sometimes, even a bit swoon-worthy when he was in a good mood. Most of the time though, alarm bells were ringing in my head for Rain. I tend to be suspicious of certain characters and that was exactly what happened in the case of Nico.

The action in this book was not the kind of action that was intense. Instead, it was the kind of action that was constantly accompanied by hesitation, mind games and suspense. That worked fabulously well with me. You never know what's going to happen next.

Fractured is part thriller, part psychological and all-dystopic. Fractured satisfies various types of readers. I highly recommend this to readers who are looking for unpredictable reads, psychological reads and dystopia with high levels of mustery and suspense and with bursts of action.

Rating:


5 Cupids = Eternal book love.
I will never, ever, ever forget this book. I highly recommend this!



Monday, June 10, 2013

Blitz + International Giveaway: Eversea by Natasha Boyd

Thanks to Giselle of Xpresso Book Tours + Natasha Boyd, I'm featuring Eversea, a New Adult Contemporary Romance! Stick around for an excerpt and a giveaway.

Book Description:

Eversea by Natasha Boyd
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Publication date: June 10th 2013

Synopsis:
• An orphaned small-town southern girl, burdened by responsibility and stuck in time.
• A Hollywood A-list mega-star, on the run from his latest scandal and with everything to lose.
• A chance encounter that leads to an unlikely arrangement and epic love affair that will change them both forever.

When his co-star and real-life girlfriend is caught cheating on him with her married and much older director, A-list hottie, Jack Eversea, finds himself in sleepy Butler Cove, South Carolina. Jack hopes the sultry southern heat in this tiny coastal Lowcountry town will hide him not only from the tabloids and his cheating girlfriend, but his increasingly vapid life and the people who run it. He doesn’t count on meeting Keri Ann Butler.

Keri Ann has relied on herself so long, dealing with her family’s death and the responsibilities of keeping up her family’s historic mansion, that boys and certainly the meager offering of eligible boys in Butler Cove, have never figured into her equation. But fate has other plans. Suddenly face to face with the man who played the movie role of her favorite fictional character, Jack has Keri Ann yearning for everything she has previously avoided ... and Jack must decide whether this funny, sassy girl is worth changing his life for, before his mistakes catch up to him.

Eversea is a FINALIST in the Winter Rose Unpublished Contest for 2013



Purchase on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About the Author

Natasha Boyd is a writer with a background in marketing and public relations. She lives in the coastal Carolina Lowcountry, complete with Spanish moss, alligators and mosquitoes the size of tiny birds. She has a husband, two sons and a cat named Tuna. Eversea is her first full-length novel.

Follow Natasha: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

I'm quite excited for Eversea! I'd like to share with you two teasers from this NA novel:

First and foremost, this interesting photo teaser...


Can someone say hot? And another one:

Jazz grabbed a poker from the fireplace, and we both skidded on sock feet to the front door. I looked out of the peephole, but with no lights on I couldn’t really see a thing.
“I can’t see anything,” I whispered, and then jumped back as another round of banging started.
“Keri Ann?” Jack’s voice shouted over the wind and rain.
“Oh my God.” I mouthed to Jazz.
Her eyes were wide.
“Do you think he got my message?”
“Shit, I don’t know,” she whispered back, her shoulders hunching up.
“Keri Ann? Please ... please open the door. I really need to talk to you.”
What the heck was he doing out there in the rain? Obviously, I was going to have to let him in. I could feel mortification and it’s crimson tide crawling up my chest to my neck.
Jazz shrugged with an apologetic ‘this is your mess, I have no clue how to help you here’ look on her face.
“Thanks!” I hissed at her.
“Keri Ann! Open the Goddamn door ... please?” Jack’s voice broke over the last word and my shoulders slumped.
Jazz rolled her eyes.
I opened the door as a huge gust of wind blew in and wrenched it out of my hands. It swung back hard banging against the wall. And there stood the tall looming shadow of Jack, hands on either side of the doorframe, in jeans and a dark wet t-shirt that clung to his body. Water streamed down his beautiful face.
“For the love of shrimp n’ grits, girl,” I heard Jazz murmur next to me as we both took in the archangel standing on the threshold. “Good luck.”
I shivered.

Giveaways

There are two giveaways for you. First is this: Win an ebook of Eversea by Natasha Boyd. Open internationally! Ends on June 26th. You don't have to be a follower for this - open to everyone!

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And the Grand Prize Giveaway! Open internationally!

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Friday, June 07, 2013

Snow White Sorrow Blitz + Giveaway

Thanks to Giselle of Xpresso Book Tours + Cameron Jace, I have another blitz for you guys! Stick around for an excerpt and a giveaway.

Book Description:

Snow White Sorrow by Cameron Jace
Series: The Grimm Diaries #1
Publication: May 30th 2013
Genre: YA Paranormal/Fairy Tale

What if all you knew about fairy tales was wrong?

Sixteen year old Loki Blackstar is no Prince Charming. His mother is a ghost. His only friend is a red Cadillac that talks to him through the radio. He looks like an Angel but acts like jerk. No wonder he has been banned from Heaven, which is the least of his troubles. Loki needs a job to pay for school and support himself.

Still, Loki has a rare gift: He is a Dreamhunter. One of the few in the world who can hunt and kill immortal demons in their dreams so they never wake up again.

When Loki is sent to kill a sixteen-year-old vampire girl the locals call Snow White Sorrow, he is pulled into a magical but dangerous world. The locals believe the monster to be Snow White.

The real Snow White... living in the ruins of an ancient castle in a small town. She is described as horribly beautiful, terrifyingly enchanting, and wickedly lovely.

What he finds instead is a beautiful monster girl filled with rage and hurt, who has an epic untold story to tell of things such like why the Brothers Grimm altered the fairy tale, who the Evil Queen really is, where the mirror came from, and who possessed it.

Snow White has killed every person who has dared come near the castle where she once lived with the queen. Mysteriously, she lets Loki live, and whispers two words in his ears; two words that will change his life forever.


Purchase on Amazon | Smashwords

About the Author

Wonderlander, Neverlander, Unicorn-chaser, enchanter, musician, survived a coma, & totally awesome. Sometimes I tell stories. Always luv the little monsters I write young adult paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and science fiction mostly. The Grimm Diaries series is a seven book saga that deals with retellings of fairy tales from a young adult POV - it connects most of the fairy tales together and claims to be the truth about fairy tales. I live in San Fransisco and seriously think circles are way cooler than triangles.

Follow Cameron: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

If you still need more details or if you need a 'sample' of the book, here's an excerpt from Snow White Blood Red:


Giveaway

Win an ebook of Snow White Sorrow by Cameron Jace. Open internationally! Ends on June 19th. You don't have to be a follower for this - open to everyone!

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Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Review: Ink by Amanda Sun

Book Description:

Paperback, 377 pages (Reviewer's Copy: ARC)
June 25th 2013, Harlequin Teen

I looked down at the paper, still touching the tip of my shoe. I reached for it, flipping the page over to look.

Scrawls of ink outlined a drawing of a girl lying on a bench.

A sick feeling started to twist in my stomach, like motion sickness.

And then the girl in the drawing turned her head, and her inky eyes glared straight into mine.


On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.

Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they'll both be targets.

Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive.

Source: Kai + Harlequin Teen (Thank you!!)

My Thoughts:

When I started reading Ink, I immediately noticed how Katie was trying to immerse herself in a foreign land. Sun did an amazing job with integrating the Japanese culture, language and mythology into the novel, so much so that I felt that the Japanese-ness of Ink became some sort of skeleton, supporting the story. She made me feel like I was actually there, going to a high school. One of the things I really appreciated was the integration of phrases, expressions and sentences in Japanese.

Katie was still mourning the death of her mother. In Ink, I got to see a mature, down-toned sadness that made it all the more pronounced. Katie did not whine about it much nor did she let this melancholy swallow her whole. One of the reasons why I like her was that she always found things to laugh about, joke about or simply point out. Her curiosity was ablaze. She knew what she wanted in life and made sure that she got it.

Tomohiro was mysterious, attractive and hard to read. There was always a sense of mystery around him – hanging questions in the air. He was rude one second, sweetly smiling at you in the next. He was a walking unpredictability, drawing my attention in every chance. As the story progressed, I got glimpses into his life. Tomohiro was so hard to read at first because he wore ‘layers’ over his true self. He was complex, 100% endearing, soft and gentle and so unforgettable.

The paranormal element of Ink was something I have never encountered before and for that, it became all the more unforgettable. I will not reveal anything more than necessary but I will just say this: the kami, the descendants of Amaterasu, and their legend were interesting points for me. As ‘supernaturals’ walking amongst humans, they were both a threat to the public and threatened by people who want to wield their powers. The ink-related abilities in this novel creeped me out, shocked me and amazed me all at the same time.

The writing was beautiful. Ink had the best qualities of an Anime: fun, cute, sweet and imaginative. The action was not overly dramatic but instead it was detailed, coming in bursts of violence and speed. I loved the twists and turns woven into the story, although they were to be expected, walking in this exotic story world left me guessing what was going to happen next. The secondary characters were also great. Yuki and Tanaka were radiant personalities, constantly bringing color and humor into the story.

Katie and Tomohiro’s relationship started out strained and generally soaked in annoyance, rudeness and glares. So I admit that it wasn’t the perfect beginning. After a series of stalker moves, shared secrets and confrontations, the two start to develop feelings for one another. Right now, you might be thinking: typical YA. I beg to disagree. Katie and Tomo have a link, the unavoidable ‘bond’ between YA lovers and this time it was neither entirely destiny nor something supernatural. It was simple shared experience, shared sadness: the deaths and loss of their mothers. This emptiness inside them made them understand each other better. That bridged the gap – cultural and emotional – between them. The attraction and emotional and a bit of sexual tension zinged between Katie and Tomo, a bit blush-inducing, smile-inducing and just so sweet and passionate. Hopeless (and not so hopeless) romantics will love these bits.

Ink is an oriental gem that is masterfully-written and unforgettably engaging. I officially label this as one of my favorite YA reads for 2013, as well as one of the best debuts I’ve ever read. Overall, Ink is intoxicating with its romance, paranormalcy and atmosphere. Pick this up! You won’t regret it. I highly recommend this to readers of paranormal romance and mythology-themed YA books. Full of life, fun and humor, Ink will appeal to readers looking for reads that follow the tradition of our beloved Anime and adventures. At the same time, Ink will appeal to readers who are looking for something unique and oriental especially when it comes to Asian/Japanese mythology.

Rating:


5 Cupids = Eternal book love.
I will never, ever, ever forget this book. I highly recommend this!


Sunday, June 02, 2013

Taking Back Forever Blitz + Giveaway: Grasping for Eternity + Taking Back Forever by Karen Amanda Hooper

Thanks to Giselle of Xpresso Book Tours + Karen Amanda Hooper (one of my favorite authors ever), I have another blitz for you guys! Stick around for a short but sweet excerpt and a giveaway.

Book Description:

May 31st 2013, Starry Sky Publishing

Forever is worth the fight.

Maryah erased all memory of her past lives, but she couldn’t erase her soul mate Nathan, or his undying love. Now, Maryah and Nathan have a second chance at a future together, but first Maryah must remember the person she used to be and embrace her supernatural gifts—more than one kindrily member’s life depends on it.

Maryah’s power is Harmony’s best hope of finding her kidnapped soul mate, Gregory. But Harmony isn’t big on asking anyone for help, and she’s tired of waiting, so she’s taking matters into her own hands. Heaven help anyone who stands in her way.


About the Author


Karen was born and bred in Baltimore, frolicked and froze in Colorado for a couple of years and is currently sunning and splashing around Florida with her two beloved dogs. She's addicted to coffee, chocolate and complicated happily-ever-afters.

Karen has been making up stories for as long as she can remember. In high school she discovered her passion for putting her thoughts onto paper, but it wasn't until her late twenties that she wrote her first novel. Due to her strong Disney upbringing, she still believes in fairytales and will forever sprinkle magic throughout all of her novels.


Follow Karen: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

If you still need more details or if you need a 'sample' of the book, here's an excerpt for you:


Giveaway

Win an ebook bundle of Grasping for Eternity + Taking Back Forever by Karen Amanda Hooper. Open internationally! Ends on June 14th. You don't have to be a follower for this - open to everyone!

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For US/CA residents, Karen has another giveaway for you: win a signed paperback of Grasping at Eternity + Taking Back Forever + Kindrily-themed gifts! (If you're not a US/CA resident but have an address Karen can send to, you can join as well.)

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