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Armchair BEA: Non-Fiction Books

 
Today's topic is talking about Non-Fiction books. Let me tell you that I actually used to absolutely love non-fiction books. I have read a large amount of history related subjects, especially anything that has to do with women rulers. 
 
I have also come to realize that Non-Fiction reads make great chasers for Fiction reads. I remember reading a book about the Salem Witch Trials by Ann Rinaldi in probably middle school. I became so interested in the actual subject material I found myself picking up Non-Fiction reads about the events, I even visited Salem itself (I was lucky to have a dad who travels for work all the time). I still do this often but a lot of my research has turned to the internet. Reading something like the Die For Me series has made me interested in Paris and because I'm a history buff it will no doubt lead me to not just reading a travel guide but things about their history. Dracula is another good example as to read things about who was considered the real life vampire, Vlad the Impaler. You will often find that a non-fiction reads quite a bit like a Fiction book. Think about it, a lot of Fiction books are based off real life experiences.
 
What are some of your favorite Non-Fiction reads? Do you read Non-Fiction?

Cover Reveal: Witch Fall by Amber Argyle

 
Witch Fall
Amber Argyle
Witch Song #3
Cover Creation: Laura Save
October 2, 2013

About the Book:

All things fall.

Even Witches.


Supreme in their dominion over seasons, storms and sea, the Witches have forgotten the unmatched destructiveness of mankind—and among the weapons men seek are the magical songs of the Witches.

Lilette is one of the few who sees the signs of decadence and decay within the Witches. An outsider amidst her own kind, can she delay her people's annihilation long enough for them to survive the war that is coming?


The awesomeness that is the whole cover;

 
 
 
 
About the Author:

For the first twelve years of my life, I lived in a two bedroom ranch house at the base of a mountain. Besides my parents, my family consisted of three brothers--the oldest of which enjoyed beating me up. Ironically, the younger two were terrible wimps. I rode horses, moved sprinkler pipe, and mucked out barns (when they could catch me). We didn't have a lot of money, and the part of the ranch we lived on was eventually repossessed by the bank. Subsequently, we had to move to town (I know. I should have written Westerns).

I graduated from Utah State University with a bachelors degree (English and physical education), a husband, and a two-year old. I was a member of the collegiate honor society and graduated cum laude (which basically means I'm an overachiever).

My second son had severe colic, often crying for 16 hours a day. By the time he was four months old, I was in a very dark place. I discovered that I could prop him up between my arms and type for brief periods of time. Creating stories quickly became a cathartic addiction I couldn't function without.

It took seven manuscripts and five very long years before my debut novel, Witch Song, came out.

I currently live in Northern Utah with my husband and three children.

Twitter | Facebook | Website | Pinterest




Feature and Follow

Feature and Follow Friday is a blog hop that is designed to provide some much-appreciated exposure to the bloggers participating, and to expand their following. Hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read, each of whom feature a chosen blog for the week, it's an interesting way to get to know one another.

If you would like to follow me, you can do so by GFC, Twitter or Linky .

I also make sure to go back and follow everyone that comments and I try to always follow twitter along with GFC/Linky. So if you have a twitter that is not on your page for some reason leave it in the comments and I will follow you that way too! I've recently become a fan of Bloglovin since it sends me an email update of everyones post. So much easier to follow then GFC! So follow me on there and I will definitely follow you back. If you don't have it, check it out.

Follow on Bloglovin
 
Q: What blogger would you most like to meet in real life? Tell us about him or her.

Honestly I don't have any specific person I would like to meet anybody. My biggest problem is that I'm shy so if I see someone I'm not the type to be like. Hey You, I know you. It's why I keep thinking I want to form some kind of book club in my area so that it would be easier to meet eachother. Maybe people are shy like me but books can always bond.

Cover Reveal: True Love's First Kiss by Heidi Garrett


True Love's First Kiss
Heidi Garrett
June 18, 2013

About the Book

In the Enchanted World, true love’s first kiss is magic.

Nandana’s Mark, Book 1: When two half-faeries—Melia and her younger sister—are cursed under dreadful circumstances, true love’s first kiss is the remedy.

The Flower of Isbelline, Book 2: Nothing but true love’s first kiss can save Melia’s younger sister from blind ambition and ruin.

The Dragon Carnivale, Book 3: Melia must choose the freedom she cherishes or true love’s first kiss—and a relationship that promises to secure her place in the Whole.

The Queen of the Realm of Faerie is a fairy tale fantasy series that bridges the Mortal and Enchanted worlds. The main character, Melia, is an eighteen-year-old half-faerie, half-mortal. She lives in Illialei, a country in the Enchanted World, with her two sisters and their mother. Melia’s father has been exiled to the Mortal World, and her best friend is a pixie.

When the story opens in the first book, Melia is troubled by her dark moon visions, gossip she overhears about her parents at the local market, and the trauma of living among full-blooded faeries with wings—she doesn’t have any.

As the series unfolds, the historic and mystical forces that shape Melia’s life are revealed. Each step of her journey—to find the place where she belongs—alters her perceptions about herself, deepens her relationships with others, and enlarges her world view.

True Love’s First Kiss is a compilation of the first three books in this ongoing series





About the Author

The product of a verbally gifted family, Heidi Garrett is possibly the least loquacious of them all. While her Uncle John created off-the-cuff characters like King Machi-Machi and her Uncle James turned otherwise ordinary moments into O. Henry stories, she would often sit dazzled and silent, thrilled that these were ‘her people,’ as Grandma would say.
Despite the verbal inadequacy that shadowed Heidi whenever she was in her family’s presence, she never stopped writing in secret. Whether it was angsty teen poetry, the personal journals she has since burned (imagine bonfires), passionate letters to the editor, purgative song lyrics, or simply imagined vignettes, Heidi has played with words all of her life.
Bottom line: she loves stories and the people who tell them.

Website | Twitter | Facebook


 
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Armchair BEA: Day 2

Design Credit: Nina of Nina Reads
 
 
 
So it's day 2 for the Armchair BEA event and todays topics are Becoming a Better Blogger and Genre: Fiction
 
So I will start of with becoming a better Blogger. I have only been blogging for a year and a half and even though that seems like a while the time has flown by. I probably started my blog around the worst time in my life to do so because my personal life exploded, so I think I went weeks where I posted barely anything. Although I have to admit that I learned things from that. At first I felt like I had to review everything everyone sends to me because I wanted to help them out. I learned quickly that it is just not possible. I also learned that if there are days that I don't blog then there are days I don't blog. My blog is meant to be a fun and kind of relaxing thing and I think I have found my happy medium. I don't participate in anything like tours, cover reveals, etc.. unless I'm genuinely interested in the book. I also do the same with reviews but I remind myself that I have found so many books that I enjoy because of reviewing or agreeing to review. There are books that I still think, gosh I wonder when the next one is going to come out, that are self-published. So I like to keep an open mind without overwhelming myself. I kind of made the decision that I was going to write reviews the way I like to write them and not follow review writing guidelines. I know super bad right. I do, however, want to improve the quality of my writing. Obviously my babble factor needs improvement too. :)
 
 
So the genre of Fiction. Well yep I love it, but I also enjoy non-fiction. I think I have read so many books on Russian and English history my head might explode. Trying to talk about Fiction is kind of very broad. I'm not sure I have met a subject in Fiction that I don't enjoy. I love love Sci-Fi and Fantasy but to be honest so many of those things are mixed together these days that you are not just reading a sci-fi book. It's a Dystopia, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Romance book. So I think Fiction has really learned how to mix things up and give us so many great things for everyone to read. You don't have to be a hard core fan of Fantasy to enjoy something like Shadow and Bone, or completely sci-fi to get into Unraveling. If you are asking me to pick something specific in Fiction that I love, I can't do it. If you are asking if I love Fiction in general. Yes I absolutely do.

Armchair BEA: Introduction

Design Credit: Nina of Nina Reads
 
 
Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?

Hmm so I am Jen and I have been blogging for probably a year and a half now. I got into to it because I really enjoyed reading blogs like MundieMoms and I wanted to do something similar. Since the Internet first became available for public consumption (yep I'm 31 I remember when that happened) I have been making sites. Normally I made different kind of Manga/Anime involved sites. I even taught myself how to html code. So when I had a website making itch talking about something I love seemed natural. Plus I've discovered so many wonderful books I might not have if I wasn't involved with blogging.

Where in the world are you blogging from? Tell a random fact or something special about your current location. Feel free to share pictures.

I'm in Chicagoland. I say that because I'm in the suburbs of Chicago. There are so many special things about Chicago itself, but if I have to pick something to love the most it's the museums. Plus the easy access. If you live in the suburbs the city is just a train ride away. Plus we have awesome food, I have yet to experience a city with as good of food as Chicago.

Have you previously participated in Armchair BEA? What brought you back for another year? If you have not previously participated, what drew you to the event?

No I haven't and I really wanted to be all into it this year. Being busy though with my kids I even forgot to post this introduction! So its a day late.

What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book you have read so far in 2013?

I'm currently reading Shutdown by Heather Anastasiu, I have read so many good good books this year I don't think I could pick a favorite.

Tell us one non-book-related thing that everyone reading your blog may not know about you.

Hmm I like sports. Especially Hockey, Yay Go Blackhawks!

What literary location would you most like to visit? Why?

Paris, I've kind of developed an obsession since reading Amy Plum's Die for Me series. Being she lives there she describes it perfectly. I so desperately want to sit in a cafe and read.

Feature and Follow

Feature and Follow Friday is a blog hop that is designed to provide some much-appreciated exposure to the bloggers participating, and to expand their following. Hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read, each of whom feature a chosen blog for the week, it's an interesting way to get to know one another.

If you would like to follow me, you can do so by GFC, Twitter or Linky .

I also make sure to go back and follow everyone that comments and I try to always follow twitter along with GFC/Linky. So if you have a twitter that is not on your page for some reason leave it in the comments and I will follow you that way too! I've recently become a fan of Bloglovin since it sends me an email update of everyones post. So much easier to follow then GFC! So follow me on there and I will definitely follow you back. If you don't have it, check it out.

Follow on Bloglovin
 
Q. The #FF is 150 weeks old! And we want to hear from you! What would you change about the hop? What do you like about it? Or just suggest a question to be used for next week!
 
Toughest question yet! No I really enjoy Feature and Follow, I like answering the question because it get my brain ticking.Plus it's nice to have a feature blog and get to know other blogs a little better.  Although I've always been horrible at thinking up questions.

The Liberator by Victoria Scott: Excerpt and Giveaway!

The Liberator
Victoria Scott
Dante Walker #2
August 27, 2013
 
About the Book
 
Bad boy, meet bad girl.
Dante has a shiny new cuff wrapped around his ankle, and he doesn't like that mess one bit. His new accessory comes straight from Big Guy himself and marks the former demon as a liberator. Despite his gritty past and bad boy ways, Dante Walker has been granted a second chance.

When Dante is given his first mission as a liberator to save the soul of seventeen-year-old Aspen, he knows he’s got this. But Aspen reminds him of the rebellious life he used to live and is making it difficult to resist sinful temptations. Though Dante is committed to living clean for his girlfriend Charlie, this dude’s been a playboy for far too long…and old demons die hard.

With Charlie becoming the girl she was never able to be pre-makeover and Aspen showing him how delicious it feels to embrace his inner beast, Dante will have to go somewhere he never thought he’d return to in order to accomplish the impossible: save the girl he’s been assigned to, and keep the girl he loves.
 

 
 
Excerpt
 
 
When I open my eyes, the sun is trying to murder me. It’s shining on my face and making my head pound. Or maybe it’s my hangover that’s giving me the headache, but nonetheless—me and the sun?—we’re not on friendly terms.
Charlie murmurs beside me. My arms are still wrapped around her waist, and I suddenly realize I must have crashed out in her bed last night. If Grams wakes up and finds me here, she’ll run me a bath…and toss in the toaster.
“Morning, babe,” I whisper.
“Morning, hot stuff,” a distinctly male voice responds.
I whip around, my heart racing, and find Max sitting in a chair across the room. “You look so hot when you first wake up,” he says. He raises a hand to his hair. “Got that whole sexy bed head thing going on.”
Charlie doesn’t even move from her place, but I feel her laughing against me. “Your friend is kind of creepy, Dante,” she manages.
“Max, what the hell are you doing in here?” I ask, pulling the covers farther up even though I’m (regretfully) fully-clothed.
“Real question is, why did I wait so long to join you guys?” Max stands from his chair and cocks his head. A mischievous smile crawls across his face.
“No,” I say, trying to appear serious. “Don’t even think about it, dude.”
Max starts running in place, his smile widening farther until he looks deranged. “Ready or not!” Before I can stop him, Max races toward the bed and dives on top of us. “Oh! Oh it feels even better than I imagined.” He rolls back and forth across our bodies as Charlie laughs and I wonder why I’m friends with such a raging idiot.
With all my strength, I grab Max’s shirt and rotate him toward the edge. He falls off the side, his arms pin-wheeling. There’s a loud thud, and then nothing.
I wait for several seconds before leaning over to search for him. Max is lying face down on the floor, his arms and legs curled like a dead spider. “You’re not really hurt,” I say.
“I think you gave me spinal bifida. You need to call someone.”
“That’s a genetic disorder,” I respond with a sigh, collapsing back onto my pillow. A second later, he raises his head very, very slowly up from the side of the bed. It’s one of the more unsettling things he’s ever done. “Max, is there a purpose to this visit?” I ask. I want so badly to act like he’s annoying me. But he knows, and I know, that we both love this game: the one where I pretend he’s a pain in my ass, and he acts like a damn circus clown.
He stands up, crosses the room, and plops back down in the chair. “Valery sent me.”
I throw an arm across my eyes. “Of course she did.” Beside me, Charlie moves to get up and I immediately reach for her. She squeals and wiggles out of my grasp.
I watch as she walks around the bed and ruffles Max’s hair. The twenty-eight year old pants like a dog. It’s a bit disturbing considering Charlie’s seventeen. She eyes me with a grin. “I’ll make waffles.”
My face lights up.
“Yes,” she continues. “And bacon.”
I glance at Max and nod toward Charlie. “That’s my girl.”
“Damn straight,” he says.
“I’m still making breakfast for your birthday,” I call after Charlie. Then, looking at Max, I add, “My girl’s going to be legal soon.”
Max says, “Boom.”

 
 Exciting right!! I hope you enjoyed the little glimpse into the next book.

Giveaway

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway


About the Author:

Victoria Scott is a YA writer with a die-hard affection for dark and humorous books. Her work is represented by the fabulous Laurie McLean of Larsen-Pomada literary agency. She has a master’s degree in marketing, and is a member of the Writers’ League of Texas and Teen Shiver.

Her first YA book, THE COLLECTOR, will be published by Entangled Teen in 2013. And her short story, FOUR HOUSES, is available now through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

She currently lives in Dallas with her husband, Ryan.

Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads / Youtube

Early Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Title: Dare You To
Series: Pushing the Limits #2
Author: Katie McGarry
Author Info: Website / Twitter / Goodreads / Facebook
Pub Date: May 28, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Format: ebook (netgalley)
Pages: 462
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Book Depository

Summary:

Ryan lowers his lips to my ear. "Dance with me, Beth."

"No." I whisper the reply. I hate him and I hate myself for wanting him to touch me again....

"I dare you..."

If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does....

Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him.

But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all....

Review:

Pushing the Limits is what I consider my favorite young adult contemporary, it’s actually the book that made me interested in ready more YA contemp. Needless to say I was pretty excited and had high expectations for Dare You To. Once again Katie McGarry does a fantastic job with the dual perspective and writing interesting characters. Her writing has a way of flowing that makes you feel like you are watching things happen live instead of reading a book. I really consider Katie amazingly talented and I would read anything she writes.

I loved Ryan from the minute we meet him. He lives what some consider a perfect life but there is something down to Earth about him. I think it’s because of his friends Chris and Logan and the dares that they like to do. He is definitely a jock but he is the baseball team star pitcher rather than the school quarterback which gives him a definite different kind of credibility. Which sounds weird but it’s true, you don’t think of him as owning the school even though he is popular. It’s kind of interesting.

I hated Beth at first; it took me a while to connect with her character. I can’t remember if I liked her at all in Pushing the Limits but I was just so frustrated with her at the beginning with the way she acted. I had to keep reminding myself that I have no idea what I would be like if I was dealt the hand that she was. Even though she is a teenager I felt like she also had a scared little eight year old girl trapped inside of her. This is someone who had to learn to be tough and emotionally void at a young age. I finally connected with her character about a third into the book and found that I was able to root for her and hope things work out.

It was a good love story. I like how Ryan and Beth initially meet and the fact that at first they don’t exactly even like each other. With all of Beth’s pushing Ryan away, there are points when he actually almost seems like he is going to give up and walk away. It’s an interesting love tug of war that they play throughout the book. Often times playing one another to meet their own needs, even though they end up really caring about one another in the process. I also like how their relationship challenges both of them and brings out the best in their characters. If they did break up in the future they could walk away and say, I became a better person because of you.

Chris, Logan, Lacey and Scott are some great side characters. I like that Scott is trying to take Beth out of the ghetto and help her start a new life. Logan actually is a very interesting character even though we don’t know much about him. I feel like he would be a good character to get into later on. I remember really liking Isaiah in Pushing the Limits but I didn’t like him at all in this book. Maybe because I wanted Beth to get out of the life she had in Louisville. I like that Beth still refers to Echo as the psycho girl Noah is dating. It wouldn’t have made sense if they ever became friends. Lacey is just simply great, she is one tough girl and is kind of the conscience of the boys.

Wow what a crazy plot. There is so much going on! You have the extreme issues on Beth’s side and the issues that probably a lot of families deal with on Ryan’s side. I could definitely see things like that happening where I come from (even though it’s not a small town) because there are lots of parents that like to “keep up appearances”. There was a bit of mystery about what Beth’s mom is keeping in the spare bedroom, my mind went everywhere from she has Beth’s dad’s dead body in there to a meth lab. We have a villain with Trent, he was one scary guy. No super evil villain powers needed and it’s even scarier that there are real Trents out there in the world. There are moms like Beths who have the child taking care of the mom instead of the other way around. The book deals with the tough circumstances well.

Another great read from the Pushing the Limits series and I say if you are not a YA contemporary fan normally then definitely try out these books. If you are already a fan of the first book I don’t think you will be disappointed in this second installment.


Sunday Post: Book Haul, The long overdue version


Hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer
 

So this Book Haul is loooong overdue. I've been very busy lately on the weekends and during the week I've been doing a big run of Blog Tours. So I've been focused on reading and reviewing for those.

I hope everybody had a good mother's day. Not only was it mothers day for me but it was also my daughters 2nd Birthday! So talk about busy weekend.

First I'm going to start off with things that have been going on with the blog lately...


  


 

 

So moving on to my book haul. Well I've attended some events and won some things and I can tell you that I'm not buying anymore books for a while (as I buy a Nook book this morning) I really want to get through some books and write some reviews.

So first I was really excited about winning a few giveaways. One was for the Kimberly Derting Blog Tour and I won an awesome prize pack of all the books hardcover and signed, along with signed posters, bookmarks, stickers, braceletts and nail polish. So it was pretty exciting.



Then from Mundie Moms I actually won this a while ago but with the movie I think she has been busy so it came in the mail. Yay! A hardcover copy of Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi.


So then last weekend my husband and I journeyed on down to Kansas City, MO to go to RT. We actually made a weekend out of  it and did other things so he wasn't bored with just books. Who could possibly be bored with books. So I brought my books to be signed and then bought some new ones and had them signed. The two stacks on the left are the books I brought with me and the one on the right is the books I got there. I also got some various swags like bookmarks, cookie, jewelry, buttons and the awesome Seige and Storm nail polish. So it was lots of fun. I always feel a little overwhelmed because there are so many authors. Then there is a picture of me with Victoria Scott hooray and one with Jennifer Armentrout, yay! Two of my favorite authors of course.


 
 
Then I went to a the Dark Days of Summer tour which included
 
 
 
So I got my books signed by them, some bookmarks and that kind of fun stuff.
 
 
I'm really excited about the extra content from Liz Norris, I admit I'm totally obsessed with her books. I loved them.
 
 
As far as books go that is pretty much it. I'm sure I've gotten plenty of e-books because I'm a happy clicker when it comes to those. Look that is only .99 cents or 1.99 what a deal...click. So sometimes I can't even keep track of what I have.
 
So what is your haul this week? Meet any fun authors?
 

Feature and Follow

Feature and Follow Friday is a blog hop that is designed to provide some much-appreciated exposure to the bloggers participating, and to expand their following. Hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read, each of whom feature a chosen blog for the week, it's an interesting way to get to know one another.

If you would like to follow me, you can do so by GFC, Twitter or Linky .

I also make sure to go back and follow everyone that comments and I try to always follow twitter along with GFC/Linky. So if you have a twitter that is not on your page for some reason leave it in the comments and I will follow you that way too! I've recently become a fan of Bloglovin since it sends me an email update of everyones post. So much easier to follow then GFC! So follow me on there and I will definitely follow you back. If you don't have it, check it out.

Follow on Bloglovin
Q: School is out! What is your favorite Summer Reading book?

I actually don't really have a favorite summer read. I don't change my reading habits in the summer as far as book content. We are reading Unbreak My Heart for book club for our summer read.


 So that would probably qualify. I like to read cookbooks in the summer because I feel motivated to cook light and fresh meals. ha ha so maybe that is my summer read.

Book Blast: The Forgotten Ones is .99 cents!

The Forgotten Ones

The Danaan Trilogy

Book One



is now available exclusively on Amazon!
And until May 19 it's only 99 cents!



Allison O'Malley's plan is to go to grad school so she can get a good job and take care of her schizophrenic mother. She has carefully closed herself off from everything else, including a relationship with Ethan, who she's been in love with for as long as she can remember.

What is definitely not part of the plan is the return of her long-lost father, who claims he can bring Allison's mother back from the dark place her mind has gone. Allison doesn't trust her father, so why would she believe his stories about a long forgotten Irish people, the Tuatha de Danaan? But truths have a way of revealing themselves. Secrets will eventually surface. And Allison must learn to set aside her plan and work with her father if there is even a small chance it could restore her mother's sanity.





About Laura Howard





Laura Howard lives in New Hampshire with her husband and four children. Her obsession with books began at the age of 6 when she got her first library card. Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley High and other girly novels were routinely devoured in single sittings. Books took a backseat to diapers when she had her first child. It wasn’t until the release of a little novel called Twilight, 8 years later, that she rediscovered her love of fiction. Soon after, her own characters began to make themselves known. The Forgotten Ones is her first published novel.

 
Connect with Laura:





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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Submerged by Nicole Sobon

 
I'm happy to be a part of the Submerged blog tour today hosted by Itching for Books. Make sure to check out the full tour schedule HERE

 
Submerged by Nicole Sobon
Outbreak #1
Release: February 14, 2013
paperback, 384 pgs
 
 
 
About the Book

After a mysterious virus makes its way into the United States, the government demands that states seal themselves off from one another and do their best to protect their surviving residents. When the state of Florida is bordered off from the surrounding states, Taylen Fincher, a seventeen-year-old girl with a yearning for her former life finds herself wondering how much of what they’ve been told is true.

When Troum took control of the state, he told the residents that the other states had fallen to the virus and that he wouldn’t allow the same thing to happen to them. But Taylen doesn’t believe it. She insists that there is still life outside of the state, and she is going to do whatever it takes to prove it… but her actions will cost her more than she ever expected.

Troum kidnaps Taylen’s sister, Penelope, in hopes of coaxing her into behaving – into being a submissive resident, much like the others. But Taylen isn’t one to give in that easily.

Eager to rescue her sister, Taylen will set out on an adventure that’ll force her to open her heart to the unexpected and to uncover secrets that will change everything.



Guest Post
 
 Nicole stopped by the blog to share an excerpt from Spark
 

An excerpt from Spark: a Submerged Short Story:

The sun beat down upon the Sector, beads of sweat traveled across my scars, highlighting the painful reminders of the life I’d come to live.
According to the tablets hanging throughout the Sector, it was going on 7AM. Most of my fellow residents were still in bed, having spent the better part of the previous night scouring for food and shelter. That used to be me until I found a way out and a way into the Family Sector.
But still, even with the silence enveloping the Sector, I knew better than to keep my hand too far from my weapon. There were still others like me that lingered in the shadows, hidden behind the weather beaten shacks, eager for a chance to attack, a chance that I wasn’t willing to give them.
Even after losing everything, I wasn’t ready to die.
I guess one could say that I was a glutton for punishment.
My fingers reached inside of my pocket, searching for the hunting knife that I had received from my father long ago. It was one of the few things I had left to remind me of him – of the times when I still had a family, a home, a life.
Out here, in the Homeless Sector, I was on my own and the only way to survive was to fight. So that was what I did. Every. Single. Day.
I wasn’t the best fighter within the Sector – as evident by the scars that lined my body – but I was damn near close.
I could see the image of the ocean filling the tablets as I made my way through the empty streets, on my way out to the Widowed Sector.
After the Outbreak left our world in discord, people feared that the end of the world would follow. They began to fear large bodies of water, believing they would come to wash away what little had survived the Outbreak. It hadn’t helped that Troum, our newly appointed leader, had made it a point to remind the others of the water bordering the state on a daily basis. He’d promised that he’d protect us – though I was sure that promise was aimed more so at the Family Sector than the rest of us, seeing as we were considered the garbage of the state – and they’d believed him.
Sometimes I wondered if their brains actually worked, or if they recalled anything they’d learned before the Outbreak.

Spark is one of two digital shorts that takes place during Submerged. It is very short (approximately 3,000 words), but it offers a better explanation as to why Glate helps Taylen, while also providing a better perspective on his life within the Homeless Sector.


Giveaway
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway



About the Author

Nicole Sobon is a YA author of several novels, including Program 13, The Emile Reed Chronicles, Capture, No Place Like Home, and the latest Submerged. This is the first in her dystopian duology.

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Terra by Gretchen Powell



 
Title: Terra
Author: Gretchen Powell
Release Date: December 12, 2012
paperback, pg 286
  



About the Book

A broken and desolate Earth. A young girl struggling to survive. A lost boy with a powerful secret.

A discovery that will change everything.

In the distant wake of a plague that has decimated the Earth's population, humanity is split in two: The rich and powerful live in skycities that float overhead, while those who remain on the ground have gathered in settlements strewn across a dying planet. Eighteen-year-old Terra Rhodon is a terrestrial--a denizen of the barren groundworld--who makes her living as a scav. Long abandoned by her father, her caregivers gone, Terra supports herself and her younger brother, Mica, by scouring the earth for discarded scraps and metals to recycle for profit. One day, while on a routine scavenging run, she discovers something that shocks her home settlement of Genesis X-16. When the value of her discovery is revealed, Terra's world is turned upside down.

Terra suddenly finds herself asking questions no one will answer. Her search for the truth leads her to Adam--a beguiling skydweller unlike any she has ever met. But Adam has secrets and a quest of his own, and with him by her side, the world Terra thought she knew begins to unravel. Soon her discoveries unearth a terrifying conspiracy that has the potential to shatter everything--a revelation that will test the bonds of loyalty, family, and love.

 
 
Review:
 
I was really excited to read Terra by Gretchen Powell and I’m happy to say that I loved it. I kept thinking, I need to get a scav bag like Terra’s. I’m not sure why or what I would do with it but I was just so into the book.

I loved the world that Gretchen created in Terra. It’s actually not that big as it centers around the terrestrial settlement Genesis X-16 or sixteen as they usually call it. Then there are the sky cities, which we don’t really hang out on but Terra explains them as best she can. She has only seen them herself by way of the television. I’ve always had a fascination with things like airships, so a whole floating city completely intrigues me. We also have all the interesting gadgets that come into play as well. Especially the tech that Adam finds and brings along with him. This book had a real dystopia/sci-fi feel but not to the extent that a non-sci-fi person wouldn’t want to read it.

We are in a dystopia world, where the classes are divided by skydwellers and Terrestrials. The settlements are what would be considered the poorer class. They have to take on odd jobs, one of which includes scavenging. This is kind of like gathering soda cans and turning them into a collection, or when people steal copper wire from construction sites to sell. That’s what I thought of anyway. The Terrestrials have barely enough to get by and it’s what the Skydwellers provide them. You earn Steel which is how you buy things. There is also rationing day where you get can of glup to eat. Not very appetizing but it sustains them. Real food is a thing of the past for most terrestials unless you come into some kind of windfall. Which is exactly what happens to Terra, unfortunately for her she is the curious sort and ends up finding herself caught up in more than she bargains for, the skydwellers are hiding more than she realizes.

Terra is pretty kick-butt character. She is the tom boy variety, one of the few female scavengers since the raiders can be pretty unpleasant when they are out in the fields. She takes care of her younger brother Mica who is actually a teenager himself.

I loved Mica too, he doesn’t really need protecting. He is thirteen almost fourteen and very intelligent. I enjoyed the bantering that often happens between the siblings. They more take care of each other rather than one over the other. Plus we really see Mica grow as the book progresses and it’s nice to see that since he isn’t the main character but still has an important role.

Adam made me laugh. He is the perfect love interest for Terra. Very elusive and has mastered that I’m not lying; I’m just not elaborating kind of thing. I like that he is able to push Terra’s buttons without pushing her too far. Their relationship grows very naturally and they have some really cute dialogue between them.
“Who are you?” I ask.
“I’m Adam. I thought we’d met.”
“I’m being serious.”
“So am I.”

They start off more as friends and then it starts to develop into something more as it becomes obvious they attracted to one another. Terra is more standoffish at first being that she doesn’t want to involve herself in more hurtful situations then she already has.

I loved this plot! There is a main plot point that comes out later in the book that I did not expect and then I felt myself flying through the pages. Not that I was going at a slow pace in the beginning. I just thought the plot was very well drawn out. Things didn’t happen to fast or come out of nowhere and even though I had surprises it wasn’t like oh this makes no sense. Everything blended together well and had a good flow. There was also a cliffhanger but it’s not the kind that makes you think how dare you do that to me. We wrap up things in book one well and it’s a great hanger on for book two. Definitely makes me want to read it.



Chapters 1 & 2 are available to read online: Sample Chapters


About the Author

Half-Chinese and the daughter of a US diplomat, Gretchen Powell spent her childhood growing up in far-off places. She made it all the way to her mid-twenties whilst maintaining her deep-seated love for young adult novels, so she decided to write one of her own.
Her creative process involves copious amounts of Sour Patch Kids and sleeping fitfully. Her many interests include anything with polka dots, Harry Potter, and playing the ukulele.

When she isn't crafting devastated futuristic worlds and fiery heroines, Gretchen also writes a healthy living blog, entitled "Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen!"

She lives in Northern Virginia with her two adorable miniature schnauzers. They wear many sweaters.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS |



The Giveaway

Signed copy of the book and three signed bookmarks to ONE WINNER.

The giveaway is US ONLY.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Tour Schedule

Week One

May 6th – Parajunkee  – Guest Post
May 7th – Gobs and Gobs of Books – Interview
May 7th – Caught Between the Pages  – Guest Post
May 8th – Poisoned Rationality  – Interview
May 9th – Lost in Books  – Guest Post
May 9th – My Book Addiction  – Review
May 10th – Moonlight Gleam’s Bookshelf  – Interview
May 10th – Library of a Book Witch  – Review

Week Two

May 13th – Jenna Does Books  - Guest Post
May 13th – Buried Under Books – Review
May 14th – The Best Books Ever  – Interview
May 14th – Pieces of Whimsy  - Review
May 15th – Seeing Night Reviews  – Review
May 16th – Paulette’s Papers  – Interview
May 17th – Burning Impossibly Bright  – Review
May 17th – Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf  – Guest Post



RockStar Book Tours

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Of Silver and Beasts by Trisha Wolfe

 
I am so happy to be a part of the tour for Of Silver and Beasts hosted by the Tuff Girl Legion.
 
 
Of Silver and Beasts
A Goddess Wars Novel #1
April 19, 2013
ebook, 305 pages
 
 photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg  photo 111AD205-AA04-4F9E-A0F4-C1264C4E9F30-1855-000001A1E8CEB6D7_zps9b730b94.jpg
 
 

Summary:

 
In the sand-covered queendom of Cavan, the goddess once saved a young Kaliope’s life, preventing the mercury her father attempted to hide in her blood from reaching her heart. Now, a cybernetic clamp filters it, but the silver streaks swirling faintly beneath her skin are a constant reminder that she’s different.

When nineteen-year-old Kaliope is chosen as head of the Nactue Guard, she becomes the sworn protector to her empress. In the midst of an invasion on a neighboring land, Kaliope is placed in charge of guarding Prince Caben, the last heir to his kingdom. But when they’re attacked by the feared Otherworlders, Caben and Kaliope are abducted and taken below to a realm where they must fight for their life in a caged arena.

Kaliope struggles to protect her princely charge, keeping him and herself alive while battling inhumanly opponents, and trying to save the stolen, sacred relic that will restore her empress’s life force and all of Cavan. And if she can somehow awaken the goddess within her, she may save what’s most important.



Review:


This was an easy book for me to devour. Trisha Wolfe is beyond awesome at two things, creating a kick-ass heroine and creating swoon worthy relationships. She does so once again in Of Silver and Beast, I am dying I mean dying for the next installment.

Definitely an interesting spectrum of characters, there were the bad guys that you like anyway because they weren’t necessarily bad. Then of course the good guys that aren’t as good as they seem. Although those are not completely obvious, I’ve still got my suspicious goggles on.
Kaliope, Kal, is a great female lead. She is strong and clever and I like how she takes a step often to really assess a situation. She also has a definite hot temper. One of the challenges that Kal faces is that she must hide the Mercury that flows in her blood. She has a device that allows it to pump away from her heart but when she becomes emotional it comes to the service. Her mother believes that Alyah one of the goddesses has blessed Kal and that is why she is alive. Kal suffered an abusive childhood which has made her strong and brave. I love her devotion to her mother, it shows her softer side.

Okay so I loved the relationship that develops between Caben and Kaliope. At the beginning they basically can’t stand each other for the most part because they keep getting in the others way of doing what they actually want to do. Caben challenges Kal in a way that I think she is not used to, especially coming for a society where the women are dominant. I also think it’s hard for her to see men really clearly with the past experiences she has had with her father. Caben definitely challenges her belief that men are useless. I found myself smiling at many of their exchanges, short of giggling because I loved them.

The world that the story place in is very interesting. There are 3 different main kingdoms and of those we really only spend time in Cavan. This is a society where the women are the dominant ones and they have an Empress, Iana, who runs the kingdom. Kaliope is actually has spent her time previous to where we pick her up at training to be a protector and in hopes to get promoted to Nactue, which is basically the Empress personal bodyguards. The Nactue is made up of only women. The other area that the majority of the book takes place is the Otherworlders realm which is underground. This turns out to be more developed and elaborate then the surface dwellers seem to believe.
Trisha is great with weaving her unique mythology into stories. This of course has a strong mythology background (The Goddess Wars) but it’s not specific to a region, these Goddesses are ones that Trisha as created but you can tell they are based off some of the other know ones. The Moon Goddess has a very strong presence being she is what fuels a lot of the story, she is not on the side of good though. Bale was banished by the other Goddesses for her hate of humanity. The Otherworlders however worship her almost blindly and this is what is believed to fuel their attacks on the other kingdoms.

The plot was filled with plenty of action that kept it moving. When we get to the Otherworlders realm things get a little crazy. It reminds me a lot of Gladiator competitions that they used to have in the Coliseums. There is a bit of mystery intertwined as we learn the how and why of the attacks of Otherworlders and even as to why they are abducting people as they go. I don’t like giving away too much of the story because I was on my toes the entire time and I want you to feel the same way as I did when I read.

Okay the best part of this ending. It was one of those that was a cliffhanger, but it also wrapped up enough that you won’t be stomping your feet too hard. What I loved about it is that it kept me thinking after I read the book. How are they going to get out of this, what could she have done differently. Could Kal have tried doing this instead, will this work later. What happens if she poos? (You have to read it to understand that one. :)  )I love a book that has me going over different scenarios in my head after I’m done reading. It means it really invested me in the story and got me caring enough about the characters enough to worry about them after the fact.

I consider this another win by Trisha Wolfe! Every time I read a new book by her I think oh wait this is my favorite of her books now. I’m so excited for book 2!

Excerpt



The cool sensation of the fresh water on my skin helps me forget my nerves and I lie back, floating just below the top of the water. My body dulls, the cold soothing my sore muscles, and I welcome the numbness. The ceiling of the cave is sprinkled with tiny clusters of white lights, dotting the canopy above our heads like stars in the sky. I feel as if I’m sitting on the rooftop of my apartment, staring at the night sky, not here in the Otherworld, awaiting my death.
The water rolls, rocking my body, and I glance over as Caben floats up beside me. He’s on his back also, and points to the lights dusting the cave ceiling.
“Diamonds,” he says.
“Really?” I don’t know much about any minerals other than mercury. And somehow, diamonds as our stars makes my chest heavy. It’s too beautiful. “How can you tell?”
“The ultraviolet light shows the impurities,” he says. “The imperfections actually absorb the dark light, causing the diamond to emit a visible glow.” He chuckles. “A very expensive lighting effect.”
I laugh. “Quite expensive.” They twinkle as they reflect the rippling water. “But almost more heavenly than the stars.” I lower my voice at the end, hoping he didn’t hear my spoken thoughts.
Caben doesn’t speak, and the trickling of the stream and lap of the pool becomes the only sound as we float in compatible silence. I could drift off, fall asleep in this peaceful place, but I know we still have a mission to complete before the Reckoning.
This thought awakens me, and I touch my feet to the bottom of the pool and begin to wade toward the edge.
I hear Caben’s heavy groan. “No you don’t,” he says, and captures the bottom of my tunic. He tugs me through the water, back to the pool’s center. “Not yet. This could be our last reprieve, and I plan for us to enjoy it.”
As I turn to face him, his fingers slip from my shirt to my waist, grazing my stomach. My skin prickles, and I shiver, matching the trembling water around us. His deep blue eyes meet mine, and he swallows, his Adam’s apple working. Slowly, he begins to inch up my tunic—
“Wait.” I place my hand on top of his.
He cranes an eyebrow. “It should really have time to dry before we go back.”
Logically, that makes sense. But the heated look he’s giving me says so much more. And regardless of the attraction I may feel for the prince—a woman would have to be blind—and whether or not we actually escape this hell ... what then? We share an intimate moment once, and go back to our stations in life, simply pretending nothing happened?
Or maybe I’m reading too much into his gaze. He’s a man, and physical desire is self-serving. He may die ... and he probably wants to bed a woman one last time. Everything about his character screams he’s not one who thinks past the moment.
I could lose myself for now, give in to the pulse quickening my blood with need, but I’ve never shown a man the clamp over my heart. It would have to be something I did for a different reason if I ever chose to do so. Not merely because I may die soon.
As I push his hand away and start to swim off, he grasps my waist, encircling his firm arms around my stomach, and pulls my back to his chest.
“Don’t run from me,” he breathes into my ear. “I’m not asking for anything. Not even whatever it is you’re hiding. Just stay here.”



Help Trisha and the Tuff Girl Legion get to 50 reviews on Amazon to read this full scene from Caben’s POV! Scene will release on Trisha’s blog. You can bookmark the bonus material here!

Giveaway

 
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway


About the Author:

Trisha Wolfe is the author of the YA Steampunk DESTINY'S FIRE (Omnific Publishing), the NA Historical/Supernatural ASTARTE'S WRATH, and the upcoming YA Utopian FIREBLOOD from Spencer Hill Press, October 2013. Her NA Dark Fantasy OF SILVER AND BEASTS available May 2013.

She’s the creator of YA Bound, a promotional site for the Young Adult genre. Also a member of SCWW and The Apocalypsies. Check out www.TrishaWolfe.com for more on her books and bonus material. Follow Trisha on Twitter @TrishWolfe and like her Facebook page for updates.