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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Recover Reveal: WHISPER by Chelsea Cameron

Guys - I read this book awhile ago because once I read the first few pages, I was hooked.  I loved it and  if you like girl meets ghost stories, I'm sure you will too.  When I saw Chelsea was recovering the book, I jumped at the chance to be part of the reveal.  So without further ado, I give you:

Whisper by Chelsea M. Cameron

June 2012

People think I'm crazy. Maybe I am, since I've been able to talk to spirits for as long as I can remember. They are the forgotten, the souls who have unfinished business and can't cross over. I help them, or at least I try to. There's this one in particular, Jack, I call him, who's been following me around a lot. Usually they tell me what they need to do and move on. Not him. 

It isn't until he brings another spirit, Tracy, the victim of an unsolved hit-and-run accident, that I know for sure he's something more than just your average spirit. Then I start seeing him. And feeling his touch. And falling for him. 

In our quest to get justice for Tracy and help her move on, Jack and I become something more than just a dead boy and a living girl. I'm just waiting to see what happens next…

Now for the teaser.

Now that you've got to have it, here are the Buy Links ~

Author Information

Chelsea M. Cameron is a YA/NA New York Times/USA Today Best Selling author from Maine. Lover of things random and ridiculous, Jane Austen/Charlotte and Emily Bronte Fangirl, red velvet cake enthusiast, obsessive tea drinker, vegetarian, former cheerleader and world's worst video gamer. When not writing, she enjoys watching infomercials, singing in the car and tweeting (this one time, she was tweeted by Neil Gaiman). She has a degree in journalism from the University of Maine, Orono that she promptly abandoned to write about the people in her own head. More often than not, these people turn out to be just as weird as she is.

Her New Adult Contemporary Romance titles include My Favorite Mistake, which has been bought by Harlequin along with a sequel, Deeper We Fall and Faster We Burn (April 20, 2013)

Her Young Adult books include Nocturnal, Nightmare and Neither, the first three books in The Noctalis Chronicles. The fourth and final book, Neverend will be out in 2013. Whisper, the first in The Whisper Trilogy is also available, with the second book in the series, Silence and the final book, LIsten coming out in 2014.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

ANTIGODDESS by Kendare Blake

Ok, so I missed last week.  Blame it on Thanksgiving - hope you all had a great one!  And I don't see any upcoming releases this week, so I figured I'd tell you about the book I just finished.  You all remember Kendare Blake, author of Anna Dressed in Blood, right?  When I met her last year in Decatur, she told me about this mythology-based novel she was writing and I about died.  You know me and mythology.  Well, the book is out and I've read it.

ANTIGODDESS by Kendare Blake
Old Gods never die…

Or so Athena thought. But then the feathers started sprouting beneath her skin, invading her lungs like a strange cancer, and Hermes showed up with a fever eating away his flesh. So much for living a quiet eternity in perpetual health.
Desperately seeking the cause of their slow, miserable deaths, Athena and Hermes travel the world, gathering allies and discovering enemies both new and old. Their search leads them to Cassandra—an ordinary girl who was once an extraordinary prophetess, protected and loved by a god. 
These days, Cassandra doesn’t involve herself in the business of gods—in fact, she doesn’t even know they exist. But she could be the key in a war that is only just beginning. 
Because Hera, the queen of the gods, has aligned herself with other of the ancient Olympians, who are killing off rivals in an attempt to prolong their own lives. But these anti-gods have become corrupted in their desperation to survive, horrific caricatures of their former glory. Athena will need every advantage she can get, because immortals don’t just flicker out. 
Every one of them dies in their own way. Some choke on feathers. Others become monsters. All of them rage against their last breath.

The Goddess War is about to begin.

I admit, it was a bit difficult to relate to Athena at first.  She is cold, calculating.  What you might expect of a war goddess, but not a relatable YA lead.  Cassandra, on the other hand, I quickly identified with.  She has this awesome relationship with Aiden, a great brother, and a really cool bestie (she's captain of the hockey team and can kick some serious butt).

I really enjoyed the irony of the way each of the gods and goddesses were meeting their fate.  Kendare was clever with her death sentences and they were believable and often horrific at the same time.

What kept me going most in the story was the plot and pacing.  The stakes just kept getting higher for Athena, Hermes, Cassandra (and the others who aren't mentioned in the description, so I won't spoil it for you.  Not every god or goddess makes an appearance though - I will tell you that.)  I kept thinking, I don't know how they can survive this.  The tension kept me flipping the pages and I stayed up way late reading it.

Because the gods basically lack any power, you don't get much of a mythology feel in the classical sense, but there are plenty of references to the Trojan War and the roles everyone played there.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book. I thought it was unique and fast-paced.  If you like books with loads of action, a dash of romance, and a side of mythology, I recommend Antigoddess.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

MOONLESS - Excerpt + Contest!

Today I'm really excited to be a part of Crystal Collier's MOONLESS Blog Tour.  She's worked so hard to put this together and make this a really fun adventure for her readers.  So I won't make you read any more from me.  :)

Title: Moonless 
Author: Crystal Collier 
Series: Maiden of Time #1 
Publication: November 13th, 2013 
Category: Young Adult (YA) 
Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance 

Alexia’s nightmares become reality: a dead baron, red-eyed wraiths, and forbidden love with a man hunted by these creatures. After an attack close to home, Alexia realizes she cannot keep one foot in her old life and one in this new world. To protect her family she must either be sold into a loveless marriage, or escape with her beloved and risk becoming one of the Soulless. MOONLESS is Jane Eyre meets Supernatural. 

Unravel the mystery of the Moonless night! Hidden in each of the 8 blog tour excerpts is a single word. Gather all 8 and figure out the sentence to win a free copy of Moonless. Send your mystery sentence to crystal (AT) with the subject MYSTERY SENTENCE before December 10, 2013, and you will be entered to win one of 10 copies of MOONLESS—just in time for Christmas. Happy hunting!

Excerpt #5

Kiren extended a hand to help her up, and she took it. Her feet were instantly below her—so quickly that she stumbled and landed against his solid form. An arm rounded her back tenderly, her legs threatening to give at the elation of his touch.
He turned in the direction of the house, pulling her forward with him, moving out of the garden and up to solid brick walls. They halted at a window, the study window. Father sat within, gazing at the portrait of Dana, fingers tracing the details.
“He gave her up.” Her attention snapped back to her breathtaking captor, inhaling his oaken tang. “He could have kept her for his own, and he gave her up.”
His eyes met hers. The azure depths broke in a myriad of lighter flecks, like stars reflected in an ocean tide. They consumed her, igniting a fire within her breast—an irrational hunger for the tremor in his arm against her back, the heat of his side against hers, the feel of his hand vacillating ever so slightly . . .
He released her and took a few steps back. “You need to go now.”

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Debut YA Book Birthdays ~ Week of November 19

I missed last week's post, but I had a good excuse… I was at Disney during the weekend, so I didn't have time to do my post.  If you're interested in the books that released last week, you can see a list here.  I'm back on track though, and since I'm in the birthday kind of mood (mine was Sunday), here is the debut YA book birthday this week.  What do you think?

HE SAID, SHE SAID by Kwame Alexander
Sparks will fly in this hip-hop-hot teen novel that mixes social protest and star-crossed romance! He Said, She Said is perfect for fans of Walter Dean Myers and Rachel Vail alike.
He says: Omar "T-Diddy" Smalls has got it made—a full football ride to UMiami, hero-worship status at school, and pick of any girl at West Charleston High.
She says: Football, shmootball. Here's what Claudia Clarke cares about: Harvard, the poor, the disenfranchised, the hungry, the staggering teen pregnancy rate, investigative journalism . . . the list goes on. She does not have a minute to waste on Mr. T-Diddy Smalls and his harem of bimbos.
He Said, She Said is a fun and fresh novel from Kwame Alexander that throws these two high school seniors together when they unexpectedly end up leading the biggest social protest this side of the Mississippi—with a lot of help from Facebook and Twitter.

The stakes are high, the romance is hot, and when these worlds collide, watch out!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Debut YA Book Birthdays ~ Week of November 5

November… wow!  I hope everyone had a fabulous Halloween.  My kiddos had parties and parades and trick-or-treating, but somehow I think I'm the one about to gain 5 pounds.  Hmmm….

So, here we are at the start of Turkey Month, which I'm always partial to since my own birthday falls in November (and Destined will be turning 2, which is crazy).  And while we're talking birthdays, let's check out this week's debut YA book birthdays.  ARE THERE ANY THAT GET YOUR ATTENTION?

AFTER EDEN by Helen Douglas
The day Eden met Ryan changed her world forever. Actually, not just her world. Ryan has time traveled from the future to save the world. In a few weeks, Eden’s best friend Connor will discover a new planet—one where human life is possible. The discovery will make him famous. It will also ruin the world as we know it. When Ryan asks Eden for help, she must choose between saving the world and saving her best friend’s greatest achievement. And a crush on Ryan complicates things more than she could have imagined. Because Connor is due to make the discovery after the girl he loves breaks his heart. That girl is Eden. 

Grounded in a realistic teen world with fascinating sci-fi elements, After Eden is a heart-pounding love triangle that’s perfect for dystopian fans looking for something new to devour.

PALACE OF SPIES by Sarah Zettel (while this isn't Sarah's first novel by a long shot, it does appear to be her first YA novel)
A warning to all young ladies of delicate breeding who wish to embark upon lives of adventure: Don't.
Sixteen-year-old Peggy is a well-bred orphan who is coerced into posing as a lady in waiting at the palace of King George I. Life is grand, until Peggy starts to suspect that the girl she's impersonating might have been murdered. Unless Peggy can discover the truth, she might be doomed to the same terrible fate. But in a court of shadows and intrigue, anyone could be a spy—perhaps even the handsome young artist with whom Peggy is falling in love . . .

History and mystery spark in this effervescent series debut.

ENGINES OF THE BROKEN WORLD by Jason Vanhee (another published author making his debut YA appearance)
Merciful Truth and her brother, Gospel, have just pulled their dead mother into the kitchen and stowed her under the table. It was a long illness, and they wanted to bury her—they did—but it’s far too cold outside, and they know they won’t be able to dig into the frozen ground. The Minister who lives with them, who preaches through his animal form, doesn’t make them feel any better about what they’ve done. Merciful calms her guilty feelings but only until, from the other room, she hears a voice she thought she’d never hear again. It’s her mother’s voice, and it’s singing a lullaby. . . .
Engines of the Broken World is a chilling young adult novel from Jason Vanhee.

BROKEN by C.J. Lyons (and ANOTHER adult author venturing over to YA land)
Diagnosed with a rare and untreatable heart condition, Scarlet has come to terms with the fact that she's going to die. Literally of a broken heart. It could be tomorrow, or it could be next year. But the clock is ticking...

All Scarlet asks is for a chance to attend high school—even if just for a week-a chance to be just like everyone else. But Scarlet can feel her heart beating out of control with each slammed locker and vicious taunt. Is this normal? Really? Yet there's more going on than she knows. And finding out the truth might just kill Scarlet before her heart does...

And this is definitely NOT a debut, but since I adore Jessica Souders (as a person and an author), I have to wish her a VERY HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY for Revelations, book 2 in the Elysium Chronicles.  And if you haven't read Renegade yet (book 1), go forth and do so!

The Elysium Chronicles, J.A. Souders’ riveting SF series for teens which began with the psychological thriller Renegade, continues in Revelations.

Six weeks after her arrival on the Surface, Evelyn Winters is no closer to unlocking the memories lost in her subconscious than she was when she first came. Isolated in a strange new society, Evie has only Gavin Hunter to remind her of who she once was.
 But even with a clean slate, it’s easy to see that Evie doesn’t fit in on the Surface. And as her differences make her feel more and more alone, she can’t help but yearn for that place she doesn’t remember: the isolated city hidden in the depths of the ocean. Elysium. Home.
 But she can’t exactly tell Gavin what she’s feeling. Not when he’s the one who helped her escape Elysium in the first place, and has the scars to prove it. Though the doctors say otherwise, Gavin believes that Evie just needs time. And if her memories don’t come back, well, maybe she’s better off not remembering her past.
 But the decision may be out of their hands when Evie’s ever-elusive memories begin to collide with reality. People and images from her past appear in the most unlikely places, haunting her, provoking her…and making her seem not only strange but dangerous.
 Evie and Gavin can’t wait around for her memories to return. They’ll have to journey across the Outlands of the Surface to find help, and in the end, their search may just lead them back to the place it all started…

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


I went to my trusted source for debut YA releases last night and found NOTHING.  Not even non-debut authors are releasing today. Do people not want to compete with Halloween or something?  Who knows!

Anyway, so as not to miss my once-a-week posting day, I thought I'd share a pic of me being Fan Girl with Joshua Radin (his music inspired lots of my writing) and my hubby playing along.  Hope you have a beautiful week and delightfully frightening Halloween!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Debut YA Book Birthdays ~ Week of October 22

Again this week, I found only 1 debut YA novel.  But boy, does this sound different?  What do you think... TBR pile or not so much?

FREAKBOY by Kristin Elizabeth Clark

From the outside, Brendan Chase seems to have it pretty easy. He’s a star wrestler, a video game aficionado, and a loving boyfriend to his seemingly perfect match, Vanessa. But on the inside, Brendan struggles to understand why his body feels so wrong—why he sometimes fantasizes having long hair, soft skin, and gentle curves. Is there even a name for guys like him? Guys who sometimes want to be girls? Or is Brendan just a freak?

In Freakboy's razor-sharp verse, Kristin Clark folds three narratives into one powerful story: Brendan trying to understand his sexual identity, Vanessa fighting to keep her and Brendan’s relationship alive, and Angel struggling to confront her demons.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Debut YA Book Birthdays ~ Week of October 15th

I could only find one debut novel this week, but it sounds pretty intense.  What do you guys think???

ANYWHERE BUT HERE by Tanya Lloyd Kyi
Cole’s small town is a trap he’s determined to escape in this fresh and moving debut novel that balances loss with humor.

Ever since his mom died, Cole just feels stuck. His dad acts like a stranger, and Lauren, his picture-perfect girlfriend of two years, doesn’t understand him anymore. He can’t ditch his dad, so Cole breaks up with Lauren. She doesn’t take the news very well, and Cole’s best friend won’t get off his case about it.

Now more than ever, Cole wants to graduate and leave his small, suffocating town. And everything is going according to plan—until Cole discovers the one secret that could keep him there…forever.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Review: SIDELINED by Kendra Highley

Sidelined by Kendra Highley

After being pushed to excel her entire life, high school basketball star Genna Pierce is finally where she wants to be. University scouts are taking notice, her team is on its way to the state tourney, and Jake Butler, the hot boy she's daydreamed about since ninth grade, is showing some definite interest. When he asks her out and their relationship takes off, Genna believes things can't get better.

Then, it's over.

A freak accident ends her career before it's even begun. Her parents are fighting more than ever, her friends don't understand what she's going through, and she's not sure who she is without basketball. And while he tries to be there for her, Genna doesn't understand how Jake could ever want the broken version of the girl he fell for.

Her life in a tailspin, Genna turns to the only solace that eases her pain: Vicodin.

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This book hooked me from the beginning.  Genna's voice is realistic and engaging.  I loved her drive and what a kick-butt girl she was in a very real way (no kicking monster butt, but she could tear it up on the basketball court).  She's got an amazing best friend who isn't the so-bubbly-you-want-to-scream variety and her new boy friend is pretty much a typical guy.  In short, the characters are so real you could touch them and entirely three dimensional.

As you can tell from the blurb, reading this book is like watching a train wreck happen in really slow motion.  Genna starts with the Vicodin to drown out the emotional pain more than the physical pain from breaking her leg: the loss of basketball, her mother's betrayal, the embarrassment and feelings of inadequacy.  At first, it doesn't seem like her prescription use is all that bad, which is exactly what Genna is thinking.  But the more Genna starts to react like an addict, the more we can see what a hold it has on her life.

I'm not going to say that this was a feel-good read.  It did end well, but there were painful moments along the way.  I think an errant tear even escaped my eye toward the end.  As an "issue" book, however, I'd say it's first rate.  I think it's important for teens dealing with addiction to see that things are not hopeless and it will get better. But it will take hard work and you've got to accept the support of the people trying to help.

If you or a teen you know could benefit from this book, it's definitely worth a read.  The writing to top-notch and the characters compelling.  You'll even get to meet some LGBT characters in this one too.  Bonus "issue" points!

Thanks to Entangled Teen for providing me with a review copy in exchange for my honest review.  This did not have any effect on my opinions.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Debut YA Book Birthdays ~ Week of October 8th

Wow - there are A LOT (and I mean a lot) of YA books coming out this week, and three are by debut YA novelists.  Check them out and see if any of these very different books catches your interest.


A young seamstress and a royal nursemaid find themselves at the center of an epic power struggle in this stunning young-adult debut.

On the eve of Princess Sophia’s wedding, the Scandinavian city of Skyggehavn prepares to fete the occasion with a sumptuous display of riches: brocade and satin and jewels, feasts of sugar fruit and sweet spiced wine. Yet beneath the veneer of celebration, a shiver of darkness creeps through the palace halls. A mysterious illness plagues the royal family, threatening the lives of the throne’s heirs, and a courtier’s wolfish hunger for the king’s favors sets a devious plot in motion. Here in the palace at Skyggehavn, things are seldom as they seem — and when a single errant prick of a needle sets off a series of events that will alter the course of history, the fates of seamstress Ava Bingen and mute nursemaid Midi Sorte become irrevocably intertwined with that of mad Queen Isabel. As they navigate a tangled web of palace intrigue, power-lust, and deception, Ava and Midi must carve out their own survival any way they can.

RED by Allison Cherry

Felicity St. John has it all: loyal best friends, a hot guy, and artistic talent. And she’s right on track to win the Miss Scarlet pageant. Her perfect life is possible because of just one thing: her long, wavy, coppery red hair.

Having red hair is all that matters in Scarletville. Redheads hold all the power—and everybody knows it. That’s why Felicity is scared down to her roots when she receives an anonymous note:
I know your secret.

Because Felicity is a big fake. Her hair color comes straight out of a bottle. And if anyone discovered the truth, she’d be a social outcast faster than she could say strawberry blond. Her mother would disown her, her friends would shun her, and her boyfriend would dump her. And forget about winning that pageant crown and the prize money that comes with it—money that would allow her to fulfill her dream of going to art school.

Felicity isn’t about to let someone blackmail her life away. But just how far is she willing to go to protect her red cred?

MUCKERS by Sandra Neil Wallace

Former ESPN sportscaster Sandra Neil Wallace (wife to Knopf author Rich Wallace) makes her young adult novel debut with a historical fiction story that is equal partsHoosiers and October Sky. Felix O'Sullivan's world is crumbling around him: the mine that employs most of town is on the brink of closing, threatening to shutter the entire town. And Felix, or Red, after his fire-colored hair, will be one of 24 students in the final graduating class of his local high school. But Red's got his own burdens to bear: his older brother, Bobby, died in the war, and he's been struggling to follow in his footsteps ever since. That means assuming Bobby's old position as quarterback, and leading the last-ever Muckers team to the championship. Maybe then his angry, broken-hearted father will acknowledge him, and they'll be able to put Bobby's death behind them. 

But the only way for the hardscrabble Muckers team to win State is to go undefeated, and tackle their biggest rival, Phoenix United, which would be something of a miracle. Luckily, miracles can happen all the time on the field. Fans of Friday Night Lights and Tim Tharp's Knights of the Hill Country will take to this enthralling story of a town rallying together to turn a tragedy into a triumph. 

I thinking The Kingdom of Little Wounds sounds the most intriguing to me, but Red also sounds like fun.  Which books do you like?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

MOONLESS Cover Reveal

I'm excited to show you the cover for fellow #yalitchat author, Crystal Collier, and her debut YA, MOONLESS.

Title: Moonless 
Author: Crystal Collier 
Series: Maiden of Time #1 
Publication: November 13th, 2013 
Category: Young Adult (YA) 
Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance 

Alexia’s nightmares become reality: a dead baron, red-eyed wraiths, and forbidden love with a man hunted by these creatures. After an attack close to home, Alexia realizes she cannot keep one foot in her old life and one in this new world. To protect her family she must either be sold into a loveless marriage, or escape with her beloved and risk becoming one of the Soulless. MOONLESS is Jane Eyre meets Supernatural. 

Stay tuned for the blog tour November 11-30.  I'll be a stop along the way on November 23rd, when I will post an excerpt.  So excited!  In the meantime, you can find Crystal in these places around the web...

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Debut YA Book Birthdays ~ Week of September 24

I know it's getting close to Halloween, because the thrillers are coming.  (Especially if you look at all the books released this week, not just the debuts.)  But this week we have a thriller and a book meant for John Green fans.  Both sound pretty good to me.  What do you think?

FIND ME by Romily Bernard

Fans of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy will just love this creepy and alluring teen thriller. Complete with action, techie intrigue, a horrifying mystery, and a blossoming romance full of sparks, Find Me is an exhilarating debut.
When teen hacker and foster child Wick Tate finds a dead classmate's diary on her front step, with a note reading "Find me," she sets off on a perverse game of hide-and-seek to catch the killer. But things get even more personal as Wick's deadbeat dad returns and the killer points to Wick's sister Lily as the next target.
With the help of oh-so-cute hacker-boy-next-door Griff, can Wick find her tormenter and save her sister?
Find Me won a 2012 Golden Heart Award and placed first in the 2011 YA Unpublished Maggie Awards (given by Georgia Romance Writers).


What happens when you put a suicidal eighteen-year-old philosophy student, his ex-girlfriend, his best friend, and his newborn baby in a truck and send them to Grandma's house? This debut novel by Emil Ostrovski will appeal to fans of John Green, Chris Crutcher, and Jay Asher.
On the morning of his eighteenth birthday, philosophy student and high school senior Jack Polovsky is somewhat seriously thinking of suicide when his cell phone rings. Jack's ex-girlfriend, Jess, has given birth, and Jack is the father. Jack hasn't spoken with Jess in about nine months—and she wants him to see the baby before he is adopted. The new teenage father kidnaps the baby, names him Socrates, stocks up on baby supplies at Wal-Mart, and hits the road with his best friend, Tommy, and the ex-girlfriend. As they head to Grandma's house (eluding the police at every turn), Jack tells baby Socrates about Homer, Troy, Aristotle, the real Socrates, and the Greek myths—because all stories spring from those stories, really. Even this one. Funny, heart-wrenching, and wholly original, this debut novel by Emil Ostrovski explores the nature of family, love, friendship, fate, fatherhood, and myth.

Monday, September 23, 2013

ALPHA GODDESS teaser + giveaway

Hardcover, 400 pages
Expected publication: March 4th 2014 by Sky Pony Press

In Serjana Caelum’s world, gods exist. So do goddesses. Sera knows this because she is one of them. A secret long concealed by her parents, Sera is Lakshmi reborn, the human avatar of an immortal Indian goddess rumored to control all the planes of existence. Marked by the sigils of both heaven and hell, Sera’s avatar is meant to bring balance to the mortal world, but all she creates is chaos. A chaos that Azrath, the Asura Lord of Death, hopes to use to unleash hell on earth.

Torn between reconciling her past and present, Sera must figure out how to stop Azrath before the Mortal Realm is destroyed. But trust doesn’t come easy in a world fissured by lies and betrayal. Her best friend Kyle is hiding his own dark secrets, and her mysterious new neighbor, Devendra, seems to know a lot more than he’s telling. Struggling between her opposing halves and her attraction to the boys tied to each of them, Sera must become the goddess she was meant to be, or risk failing, which means sacrificing the world she was born to protect.

"Dev grasped her hand and drew it over to him, running his thumb over the mark on her left palm. Sera felt her cheeks redden at his gentle touch. Something electric unfolded inside of her, and her vision tunneled into a memory. This time it was different, though, full of light instead of darkness.

A flutter of firelight from the magical little clay pots lit all around them . . . the discordant aching sounds of a sitar strumming in the background. It was a glorious display, a triumph of good over evil in celebration of their love. His kiss was light upon her cheek, his touch a gossamer caress. She spun in a slow circle, the light on her beloved’s face glowing from within him. She laughed because she was glowing, too."

Amalie Howard also has an upcoming release with HarlequinTeen on October 29th for her brand new series, the Aquarathi, WATERFELL. To celebrate the upcoming release she is hosting an EPIC giveaway! And we mean EPIC. Readers have THREE chances to win an iPad mini! Check out the post here on how you could win:

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Seventeen Magazine Summer Club author Amalie Howard grew up on a small Caribbean island where she spent most of her childhood with her nose buried in a book or being a tomboy running around barefoot, shimmying up mango trees and dreaming of adventure. 22 countries, surfing with sharks and several tattoos later, she has traded in bungee jumping in China for writing the adventures she imagines instead. She isn’t entirely convinced which takes more guts. She currently resides in New York with her husband and three children.

She is the author of The Aquarathi series from Harlequin TEEN (Waterfell and Oceanborn), The Almost Girl from Strange Chemistry, Alpha Goddess from Sky Pony Press, and Bloodspell from Langdon Street Press. She is represented by the Liza Royce Agency. Visit her at or on Twitter (@AmalieHoward).

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Debut YA Book Birthdays

Well, I know I've been MIA (or perhaps AWOL) lately, but life has been busy, so there you go...

To get back into the spirit of things, let's celebrate some debut YA book birthdays!

TUMBLE & FALL by Alexandra Coutts

A novel about the end of days full of surprising beginnings

The world is living in the shadow of oncoming disaster. An asteroid is set to strike the earth in just one week’s time; catastrophe is unavoidable. The question isn’t how to save the world—the question is, what to do with the time that's left? Against this stark backdrop, three island teens wrestle with intertwining stories of love, friendship and family—all with the ultimate stakes at hand. 

Alexandra Coutts's TUMBLE & FALL is a powerful story of courage, love, and hope at the end of the world. 

THE BURNING SKY (The Elemental Series) by Sherry Thomas - her fame as come as a writer of adult romance, but this is her debut YA novel

Just before the start of Summer Half, in April 1883, a very minor event took place at Eton College, that venerable and illustrious English public school for boys. A sixteen-year-old pupil named Archer Fairfax returned from a three-month absence, caused by a fractured femur, to resume his education.

Almost every word in the preceding sentence is false. Archer Fairfax had not suffered a broken limb. He had never before set foot in Eton. His name was not Archer Fairfax. And he was not, in fact, even a he.

This is the story of a girl who fooled a thousand boys, a boy who fooled an entire country, a partnership that would change the fate of realms, and a power to challenge the greatest tyrant the world had ever known.

Expect magic.

And as an aside, I just finished The Raven Boys last weekend and pre-ordered The Dream Thieves, which comes out this week.  So even though it's a long ways away from Maggie Steifvater's debut book birthday, I have to give her a shout out (and squee) anyway.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

What I've been reading lately

I have been devouring books these days... you read my review of DARKER DAYS by Jus Acardo.  But there have been a ton of other fun reads on my Kindle lately too.

Most of these are older, but if you haven't read them yet, I'd recommend them to you.  Here are my mini reviews for each.

PIVOT POINT by Kasie West

This book blew my mind just a little bit. It was so awesome and I couldn't wait to read it every night. I highly recommend this to any fan of YA literature. It has everything, from love to angst to danger and one great, big impossible choice.  (I know, it's not much of a review, but there aren't really words to describe how much I enjoyed watching the two alternate realities play out and how well they were woven together.)

WRECKLESS by Bria Quinlan

I enjoyed this fun, little read about a wall-flower coming out in a big way after being betrayed. Even though the story takes place over just one night, the character arc is pretty dramatic and liked watching the main character come into her own. I could understand why she had been hiding herself for so long, but it was nice to see her move forward too. I also enjoyed the male lead too. He had some baggage of his own, but a heart of (perhaps tarnished) gold.

THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Steifvater

I really enjoyed this story. It was hard for me to put down at night and go to sleep. I kept wanting to come back and see what would happen with the Raven Boys, Blue and their quest. The uniqueness and intrigue of the story really resonated with me. What I didn't like was how little was tied up at the end. I get that it's a series, but we get introduced at the very end to an entirely new plot line without any real resolution to biggest plot in this story. I docked it a star because of this. But, of course, I pre-ordered the next book, so I wasn't put off enough that I didn't still want to know what happened. Plus, Maggie's writing is beautiful. I love how she turns a phrase, as it were.

So, those are my short thoughts on each of these enjoyable books.  What have you read and loved lately?

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Happy Book Birthday to A Missing Peace

My blogging buddy, Beth Fred, is celebrating her YA book birthday today for her new novel, A MISSING PEACE.  The reviews coming in on this book are fantastic!
A turbulent, emotionally charged YA novel that breaks down barriers and challenges the status quo...

Angry, seventeen-year-old Iraqi war refugee Mirriam Yohanna hates her new life in Killeen, Texas, where the main attraction is a military base, populated with spoiled army brats like Caleb Miller.

Caleb has much to be angry about too, including Mirriam who turns him down flat in front of everyone. Eager for retribution, Caleb agrees to a dare that will see him take Mirriam to the prom and regain his pride.

But their relationship soon moves beyond high school antics. Mirriam and Caleb are bound together by more than location, and as they are forced to work closely together on a school assignment, they start to uncover an explosive story that has the potential to ruin lives — and both of their futures. One single truth changes everything and strengthens their bond.

When Mirriam's family discovers their relationship, they decide it's time to arrange her marriage to a proper Iraqi man. Caleb must convince Mirriam that he is in it for forever — or risk losing her for good.

 To learn more about Beth, check out her blog.  You can get your copy of A MISSING PEACE today on Amazon (when I checked it was only $.99).

Friday, August 23, 2013

Ember Blog Tour & Review of DARKER DAYS (+ contest)

"Our fires burn brightly for our readers and as a way to say thanks to our readers we've launched our latest division of Entangled Teen and it's name is Ember. We have two exciting launch titles: Darker Days by Jus Accardo and Chaos by Christine O'Neil. Read away!" Entangled Teen Ember is a division of Entangled Teen that specializes in digital-first YAs.
Chaos by Christine O’Neil

My name is Maggie Raynard. After sixteen years being just plain me, suddenly, when I lose my temper, my fingers become weapons of mass destruction. Turns out I'm a semi-god, descended from Aphrodite. Sounds cool in theory, but when I accidentally put my ex-boyfriend in a coma, things go downhill pretty fast.

Now some new guy named Mac Finnegan has made it his mission in life to continually piss me off. I'm stuck learning how to use my new powers while also dealing with regular high school problems, and with this annoying and super-hot—guy all
up in my business, I'm about to flip out.

But it gets worse. I just learned there's this watchdog council of semis who keep an eye out for any bad apples. They think I'm the baddest one in the bunch and want to take me out before I do any more damage. My nemesis Mac might turn out to be my salvation, only he's got secrets of his own...and they may just kill us both.
Darker Days by Jus Accardo 

A little sin can be deadly...
Jessie Darker goes to high school during the day, but at night she helps with the family investigation business. 
Cheating husbands and stolen inheritances? They’re your girls—but their specialty is a bit darker. Zombie in your garage? Pesky Poltergeist living in your pool? They’ll have the problem solved in a magical minute. For a nominal fee, of course...
When gorgeous new client, Lukas Scott, saunters into the office requesting their help to find a stolen box, it sounds like a simple case—until the truth comes out. The box is full of Sin.
Seven deadly ones, in fact.
They’ve got five days to recapture the Sins before they're recalled by the box, taking seven hijacked human bodies with them. Easy peasy—except for one thing...
There’s a spell that will allow the Sins to remain free, causing chaos forever. When the key ingredient threatens the life of someone she knows, Jessie must make the ultimate choice between love and family—or lose everything.


I was given an ARC of Darker Days in exchange for my honest review.  This was my first Jus Accardo novel, but I "knew" her from #yalitchat and was really excited to dive in.  The synopsis sounded awesome!  And I wasn't disappointed.  From line 1, I knew I was going to like Accardo's writing style.

Jessie (awesome name, btw!) Darker takes teen snark to a whole new level.  This girl has a quip for everything and can't manage to keep her mouth shut unless a witch is forcing her to.  But it wasn't annoying at all.  Jessie just had that kick butt personality and when you're a teen, sometimes your only (or best) weapons are words.  Not that Jessie has a shortage of weapons, because when it comes to "monster mashing" (her term), she and her mom are on top of their game.  They take down zombies, possessed dogs, and any sort of Otherworlder that comes their way.

The book sort of reminded me of a teen version of Kim Harrison's The Hallow Series (starting with Dead Witch Walking).  Jessie is tough at nails even if not completely competent.  She's got a bit of a hidden power -- she's not a witch but her abilities are arguably cooler.  And there are a collection of cool paranormal creatures in the mix.

Perhaps the best paranormal creature is Lukas.  Sweet, yummy Lukas.  Lukas is full of Sin himself (at least it's not Lust), but he does a really good job of keeping his inner evil at bay (I can't tell you more than that without spoiling things). But the best part about Lukas is how at peace he is with his fate because just a small amount of time with Jessie has given him peace. Who doesn't want someone to love them like that?  Jessie and Lukas felt so star-crossed, it made me root for them even harder.

The plot was relatively complex, meaning I didn't guess precisely how the ending was going to come down.  That's a good thing!  And it certainly kept me flipping the pages.  It's action-packed and I never once felt bored or wanting the pace to move along more quickly.  But then again, with 7 deadly sins rampaging your town, there's never going to be a dull moment.

In short, if you like snappy dialog and a fast-moving plot with paranormal hotties and baddies, you won't want to miss Darker Days.  I'll be very interested to see where the next book in the series goes.

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Debut YA Book Birthdays~ Week of August 20th

Well, this is it for us.  Today is my kiddos' official LAST day of summer.  School starts tomorrow and I'm pretty excited (although I'd be happier if Lands End had gotten the new uniforms here on time!). But something else that's pretty exciting are these debut YA novels.  What's got you excited this week?

VIII by H.M. Castor (who knew Henry VIII was so hot??)

Destined for greatness...tormented by demons. The epic story of Henry VIII’s transformation from a handsome, gifted youth to a murderous, cruel king.
Hal is a young man of extraordinary talents, astonishing warrior skills, sharp intelligence, and a fierce sense of honor and virtue. He believes he is destined for greatness. His father wishes he would disappear. Haunted by the ghosts of his family’s violent past, Hal embarks on a journey that leads him to absolute power—and brings him face to face with his demons.

“History comes alive from the first page to the last” (The Independent) in this fascinating, previously untold story of how a charismatic, athletic young man grew up to become the murderous, vengeful King Henry VIII.

BROTHER, BROTHER by Clay Carmichael (she has other
children's books and an MG, but this is her first YA)

The day his grandmother dies, seventeen-year-old Billy “Brother” Grace discovers that he has a twin who has recently made headlines by nearly overdosing on drugs. His twin also happens to be the son of a powerful senator. His newly discovered family may not be all that interested in a cheery reunion, but Brother is determined to get answers. When he arrives on the secluded island off the coast of North Carolina where the senator and his family live, sparks will fly, old resentments will be released, and secrets revealed. Part coming-of-age story, part love story, Clay Carmichael's Brother, Brother is a book about finding out that who you are and where you come from aren't necessarily the same thing.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Happy Release Day Tiffany King! (+ giveaway)

I had the great pleasure of meeting Tiffany King at the Decatur Book Festival last year.  Not only was she from Florida (instant awesome) but she was sweet as can be!  Today, she's celebrating ANOTHER book birthday, this time with her sequel to Jordyn, called Jordyn and the Caverns of Gloom.

Sadly, I haven't had the chance to read Jordyn yet, but OMG does this sound good.

My so-called family lied.
My friends lied.
The only guy I ever liked lied.
My mentor, the one I was supposed to trust lied.

My entire existence is built on lies and yet now they want my help. Scratch that, now
they need my help. I'll play the good soldier, but I am no longer the person I was before. This time it will be on my terms. I will trust no one.

I am a weapon. I am Jordyn.

To get your copy now, check out Amazon.
And to find Tiffany around the web, try these favorite haunts:

FacebookTiffany King
PintrestTiffany King
GoodreadsTiffany King

  Author Bio:
Tiffany King is the author of The Saving Angels Series, Wishing for Someday Soon, Forever Changed, Unlikely Allies, Miss Me Not and Jordyn: A Daemon Hunter Novel book one. Writer by day and book fanatic the rest of the time, she is now pursuing her life-long dream of weaving tales for others to enjoy.

She has a loving husband and two wonderful kids. (Five, if you count her three spoiled cats). Her addictions include: Her iphone and ipad, chocolate, Diet Coke, chocolate, Harry Potter, chocolate, and her favorite TV shows. Want to know what they are? Just ask.

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Free Download of Beautifully Broken by Sherry Soule

Hello readers - I have exciting news from author Sherry Soule on how you can get a FREE copy of her novel, Beautifully Broken, and enter to win a $10 Amazon gift card for leaving a review.

To promote the new edition of BEAUTIFULLY BROKEN (with more romantic escapades and additional bonus material!) and to give fans of the Spellbound series a chance to read the revised version without having to buy a new copy, I have decided to offer it as a free download at Story Cartel for a limited time. 
Readers who sign up at Story Cartel to receive the free eBook will also be entered into a random drawing to win a $10 Amazon gift card, IF they post an honest review of the book. 
Free book + Review = Gift card
Sounds pretty awesome, right? 
A word of warning…BEAUTIFULLY BROKEN (Part One) does end with a major cliffhanger, so if you hate those, then you might want to skip the free download. However, on the plus side, the sequel SHATTERED SILENCE (Part Two) is available for purchase from all major online retailers for only $3.99, if you’re dying to find out what happens next.
I will post reminders about this and other promos on my Facebook page and my Twitter: @WriterSherry so be sure that you follow me at both of these social media sites, and the Official Spellbound Site.
So, anyone willing and able to read and review the new version of BB, would you be so kind as to leave an honest review on Amazon and/or Goodreads afterwards? (You don’t have to include that it was a “free read,” and actually, I’d prefer that you didn’t. But it’s fine if you do.)

Leave review at this Amazon page:
If you could do your best to get your review up by Sunday, September 8, 2013, I would greatly appreciate it. 
Win a $10 Amazon Gift card
I will be giving away three $10 Amazon Gift cards to reviewers. It's easy to enter. Just fill out this form with the link to your review.
If you'd like to write something for your blog, you're quite welcome to do that at any time. If you do, send us the link here and it will count as an extra entry into the giveaway contest.
Thank you for supporting the work of writers. I hope you enjoy the book!
P.S. If you'd like to share this free book with your friends, visit and spread the word through Facebook and Twitter. 
P. S. Please help me to promote this free eBook by posting it on your FB page, blog, or by sending out a tweet with a link back to this post. ;-D

NOTE: Please remove/delete the previous copy BEFORE uploading the new free version to ensure that you read the correct edition. Sometimes an eReader device will not upload another version of the same title if the old one isn’t removed first.