Elementals: The Blood of the Hydra by Michelle Madow

Title: Elementals: The Blood of the Hydra
Author: Michelle Madow
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Release Date: April 18, 2016
Publisher: Dreamscape Publishing
Series: Elementals #2
Format: eBook and paperback
ISBN: 9781311296788


Finding out that her new school had her in a special homeroom for witches was strange enough, but now Nicole must face the realization that she has the rare power to kill with just a touch. It’s a secret she needs to keep not only from the Head Elders, but from the super-sexy witch Blake, who she’s had undeniable chemistry with even before he broke up with his long-term girlfriend, the vengeful witch Danielle.

Now Nicole and the four others gifted with powers over the elements, including Blake and Danielle, must stop a series of monsters that they previously believed to be dead from rising once again and destroying the mortal world. Three magical items are needed, including the blood of the slain hydra – ingredients that they must journey to the dangerous, mystical islands in Greece to retrieve.

The monsters they face on this journey will be more threatening than anything they’ve encountered yet. But with the fate of the world on their shoulders, it’s up to the Elementals to return home victorious. Will they find the ingredients they need? Can Nicole and her friends pull off this mission while the tension between her, Blake, and Danielle threatens to ruin everything? And how long will it be until Nicole is forced to use her ability to kill in front of everyone, revealing the true darkness of her powers?

Find out in The Blood of the Hydra, and join the Elementals on their next journey in their quest to save the world – or die trying.
Pre-order:  Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble  |  iBooks  |  Kobo

Michelle Madow has always loved writing stories, but the possibility of being an author used to feel more like a dream than a reality. She didn’t share her stories with anyone until her junior year of college, when she signed up for an Intro to Creative Writing course. Her teacher and classmates read the first chapter of a book idea she had, and they loved it so much that they told her she had to finish the book so they could find out what happened next. By the end of the school year, Michelle finished that book, which would later be published as her first novel, Remembrance.

Michelle grew up in Baltimore, and now lives in Boca Raton, Florida, where she writes books for young adults. Some of her favorite things are: reading, pizza, traveling, shopping, time travel, Broadway musicals, and spending time with friends and family. Michelle has toured across America to promote her books and to encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. Someday, she hopes to travel the world for a year on a cruise ship.

         Connect with Michelle:  Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Goodreads

Visit Michelle online at www.michellemadow.com, and be sure to sign up for her newsletterc and follow her on Amazon to get instant updates on her books!

Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace #BookReview #Playlist #Giveaway @The_FFBC

Shallow Graves
by Kali Wallace
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: January 26th 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Horror, Zombies, Fantasy, Thriller, Contemporary, Fiction, Mystery, Supernatural

For fans of Holly Black and Nova Ren Suma, a gripping, hauntingly atmospheric novel about murder, revenge, and a world where monsters—human and otherwise—lurk at the fringes.

When seventeen-year-old Breezy Lin wakes up in a shallow grave one year after her death, she doesn’t remember who killed her or why. All she knows is that she’s somehow conscious—and not only that, she’s able to sense who around her is hiding a murderous past. In life, Breezy was always drawn to the elegance of the universe and the mystery of the stars. Now she must set out to find answers and discover what is to become of her in the gritty, dangerous world to which she now belongs—where killers hide in plain sight and a sinister cult is hunting for strange creatures like her. What she finds is at once empowering, redemptive, and dangerous.

Tense, complex, and wholly engaging, Shallow Graves is a stunning first novel from Kali Wallace.

Shallow Graves was not what I was expecting. I did not reread the synopsis before I started reading the book so it was like I was going into it blind. It’s such an interesting and different plot. I couldn’t help but be sucked in.

Breezy is such an interesting character. She spends a large part of the book being fearless and analytical. She almost seems to be slightly void of emotion. She is on a journey but she doesn’t quite know what she is looking for. There is a whole lot of finding herself, her new self.

I have to say as a mother it was hard to read about some of the murders. I always want to crawl into a story and save the children. It’s just a flip that gets switched when you have a kid. My husband works in News and is the same way, the stories make him feel physically ill. I also have to say it’s a sign of good writing that I can picture the scene, that I feel for the victims. I thought the memories where both the hardest thing to read and also the most interesting.

For me the book had a really strong beginning and and really strong ending. There was just a little clump towards the end where it felt like something wasn’t quite fleshed out. I was little confused about somewhere Breezy goes. I really like Kali Wallace’s writing style though so it kept me reading. The importance of the choice Breezy makes really sums up her search for answers.

I’m so glad there was no love story. That doesn’t mean we don’t meet some really interesting characters. Not just the ones she meets but the ones from her past as well.

I enjoyed Shallow Graves, I thought the book was really interesting, different and has an addictive writing style. I can’t wait to read more of Kali Wallace’s works in the future.
Kali Wallace studied geology and geophysics before she decided she enjoyed inventing imaginary worlds as much as she liked researching the real one. Her short fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, F&SF, Asimov's, Lightspeed Magazine, and Tor.com. Her first novel will be published by Katherine Tegen Books in 2016. She lives in southern California.


#Titans Pre-Order Deal #ReadytoRide @AuthorVScott

Are you ready to ride on 2-23-2016? Not only will you receive an amazing book when you pre-order but you can score a signed poster (it's amazing I have one), a signed book plate and a chance to win a Skype chat with Victoria!
Titans by Victoria Scott
February 23rd 2016 by Scholastic Press

Ever since the Titans first appeared in her Detroit neighborhood, Astrid Sullivan’s world has revolved around the mechanical horses. She and her best friend have spent countless hours watching them and their jockeys practice on the track. It’s not just the thrill of the race. It’s the engineering of the horses and the way they’re programmed to seem so lifelike. The Titans are everything that fascinates Astrid, and nothing she’ll ever touch.

She hates them a little, too. Her dad lost everything betting on the Titans. And the races are a reminder of the gap between the rich jockeys who can afford the expensive machines to ride, and the working class friends and neighbors of Astrid’s who wager on them.

But when Astrid’s offered a chance to enter an early model Titan in this year’s derby, well, she decides to risk it all. Because for a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, it’s more than a chance at fame or money. Betting on herself is the only way she can see to hang on to everyone in the world she cares about.
Before you leave make sure to grab this wallpaper for your phone and sport you Titans Pride!

iPhone Wallpaper

Guest Post: 10 Things You Didn't Know About Forget Tomorrow with Pintip Dunn #giveaway

I am very excited to have Pintip Dunn stopping by the blog today sharing 10 Things You didn't know about Forget Tomorrow. I have to tell you this was one of my favorite Sci-Fi of last year and if someone mentions it around me I do the "OMG that book is amazing"!

1. Forget Tomorrow is dedicated to my sister, Lana, who is twelve years younger than me. I always joke that I love this story because I get to kill her in it. But really, this book is about how much I love her.

2. All my books have food in them because I'm obsessed with eating. So in Forget Tomorrow, Callie dreams of being a Manual Chef when she grows up. ("Manual" because most food in the post-boom era is produced straight from the Meal Assembler.)

3. Logan's name was originally Tony, and Jessa's name used to be Jessamine. Callie has always been Callie.

4. In the very first version of the book, Callie doesn't go to prison.

5. Forget Tomorrow finaled in RWA's prestigious Golden Heart® contest for unpublished manuscripts in 2012. It was up against Romily Bernard's FIND ME, Natalie Richards' SIX MONTHS LATER, and Cecily White's ANGEL ACADEMY. Instead of being competitors, we became great friends because of this contest.

6. Speaking of contests, right after I wrote the opening of Forget Tomorrow, I entered every writing contest I could find in a two-month period, hoping that I would final in at least one of them. To my utter shock, FT finaled in eleven out of fourteen contests and won seven of them.

7. My agent, Beth Miller of Writers House, found me in one of these contests. In her words, she "stalked" me until the manuscript was ready for submission. And then, she made me an offer within 24 hours.

8. Forget Tomorrow is the fifth book I sold, but it will be the first one to be published.

9. Forget Tomorrow was my fourth book, but it was the first YA I ever wrote. The moment I wrote the first sentence, I knew I had found my genre. It felt like home.

10. The premise for this book came from a hazy afternoon nap with my son. Maybe I need to take naps more often!

Title: Forget Tomorrow (Forget Tomorrow Series #1)
Author: Pintip Dunn (Goodreads Author)
Published: November 3, 2015
Publisher: Entangled Teen

Imagine a world where your destiny has already been decided...by your future self.

It's Callie’s seventeenth birthday and, like everyone else, she's eagerly awaiting her vision―a memory sent back in time to sculpt each citizen into the person they're meant to be. A world-class swimmer. A renowned scientist.

Or in Callie's case, a criminal.

In her vision, she sees herself murdering her gifted younger sister. Before she can process what it means, Callie is arrested and placed in Limbo―a hellish prison for those destined to break the law. With the help of her childhood crush, Logan, a boy she hasn’t spoken to in five years, she escapes.

But on the run from her future, as well as the government, Callie sets in motion a chain of events that she hopes will change her fate. If not, she must figure out how to protect her sister from the biggest threat of all—Callie, herself. (less)

Pintip Dunn graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL. She also published an article in the YALE LAW JOURNAL, entitled, “How Judges Overrule: Speech Act Theory and the Doctrine of Stare Decisis,”
Pintip is represented by literary agent Beth Miller of Writers House. She is a 2012 RWA Golden Heart® finalist and a 2014 double-finalist. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Washington Romance Writers, YARWA, and The Golden Network.
She lives with her husband and children in Maryland. You can learn more about Pintip and her books at www.pintipdunn.com
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Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira #BookReview #Playlist #Giveaway @The_FFBC

Bookishly Ever After (Ever After #1)
by Isabel Bandeira
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
Release Date: January 12th 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

In a perfect world, sixteen-year-old Phoebe Martins’ life would be a book. Preferably a YA novel with magic and a hot paranormal love interest. Unfortunately, her life probably wouldn’t even qualify for a quiet contemporary. But when Phoebe finds out that Dev, the hottest guy in the clarinet section, might actually have a crush on her, she turns to her favorite books for advice. Phoebe overhauls her personality to become as awesome as her favorite heroines and win Dev’s heart. But if her plan fails, can she go back to her happy world of fictional boys after falling for the real thing?

Bookishly Ever After is that book you read when you are looking for something that is going to be light and make you smile. That’s exactly what I did. It was unbelievably adorkable. Plus it was like reading what my husband and I would be like in high school.

Phoebe is such a cute character. I loved that she is book obsessed, knits, watches Kdramas and still has a strong group of friends. Phoebe felt like high school when there are so many times I never picture a YA character as an actual high school student. Phoebe could have been me, should could have been one of my friends. I loved that feeling it gave me. So many things Phoebe did, I remembered doing. Being such a fangirl about an author and having a bookish daydreams about a boy you like. I had a similar group of friends.

Dev as the leading man was perfect. He was so adorable and I admit he did some things that remind me of my husband. Like waiting in line at a book signing (He’s my BEA bag carrier), reading my books out loud and of course making the jokes about being in love with Vampires or dead people. So once again it was pretty easy to bond with book. You know when you go somewhere and you see two teenagers flirting (at work especially) and you can’t help smiling. That’s how I felt about this book the entire way through.

The drama is very high school crush style. So very cute and light. I liked that we get parts of the books Phoebe is reading and her notes as she uses them with relationship advice. I thought the plot moved along nicely.

I loved that Phoebe has close friends that a big part of the story. They are there when she needs help, support and just someone to hang out with. She also has a close relationship with her sister. It’s really nice to have those elements in the story.

I really enjoyed the book it made me feel bubbly reading it. So if you are tired of heavy stuff and want to read something to cleanse your palate (yes that’s how I think of it). This is the book that is going to put you in that smiley happy place.

Isabel Bandeira grew up surrounded by trees and lakes in Southern New Jersey, right on the edge of the Pine Barrens. Her summers were always spent in Portugal, where the cathedrals, castles, and ancient tombs only fed her fairy tale obsession. Between all those influences and her serious glitter addiction, it wasn’t a surprise when she started writing stories of her own.

In her free time between writing and her day job as a Mechanical Engineer who designs and develops medical devices, she reads, dances, figure skates, and knits.

Isabel lives in New Jersey with her little black cat, too many books, and a closetful of vintage hats. She is represented by Carrie Howland of Donadio & Olson. BOOKISHLY EVER AFTER is her debut novel.


Underwater by Marisa Reichardt #BookReview #Playlist #Giveaway @The_FFBC

by Marisa Reichardt
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux
Release Date: January 12th 2016

Morgan didn’t mean to do anything wrong that day. Actually, she meant to do something right. But her kind act inadvertently played a role in a deadly tragedy. In order to move on, Morgan must learn to forgive—first someone who did something that might be unforgivable, and then, herself.

But Morgan can’t move on. She can’t even move beyond the front door of the apartment she shares with her mother and little brother. Morgan feels like she’s underwater, unable to surface. Unable to see her friends. Unable to go to school.

When it seems Morgan can’t hold her breath any longer, a new boy moves in next door. Evan reminds her of the salty ocean air and the rush she used to get from swimming. He might be just what she needs to help her reconnect with the world outside.

Underwater is a powerful, hopeful debut novel about redemption, recovery, and finding the strength it takes to face your past and move on.

Underwater is a brilliant book. The plot is not only great but written in a way that keeps the book moving. You get invested in both Morgan’s character as well to what has happened to her. It felt like a short book but I think it was more that I read it so fast.

My husband is not necessarily a YA fan and when I explained the plot to him he was like wow that is a great premise. We start off with a girl named Morgan who is suffering from PTSD and can not leave her house. We don’t know from the beginning what caused this, instead we are left a breadcrumb trail that we follow while reading. All the information comes to light naturally. I wanted to know what had happened but I also didn’t feel like I was being tortured with keeping the information just out of reach. It made the plot progress at a great pace and kept me in the story from beginning to finish of the book.

I like Morgan as a character. We see such a strong family bond between her brother and her mom. I liked how involved her mom is in her recovery, not just some mome that flits away. Every step Morgan takes her mom is right there cheering her on. We also see of some her mom’s own struggles. We also have Brenda, Morgan’s therapist, who helps her take the steps she needs to find her way to recovery. We get more backstory from all the characters which is also something I really loved about the book.

When Evan enters Morgan’s life, he gives her the kind of hope I think only an outsider can give. I loved that their story was sweet but didn’t take over the story. It’s not just about Evan and Morgan finding each other it’s Morgan finding herself because of it.

PTSD is death with in multiple ways. We know Morgan is suffering from it because of the event that happened at her school. Which she has a very specific survivor's guilt about. Her dad is in the military and has been deployed multiple times. Too many times and now suffers from PTSD as well. So on top of Morgan’s own issues her family also has her dad to deal with. It really shows the difference between someone who wants help and someone who isn’t ready for help yet.

Underwater is a great debut from Marisa Reichardt. It was definitely that book I was not expecting and I completely loved. This is one that should be picked up and not missed.

I'm a SoCal native and high school writing instructor. I currently live in Los Angeles and can usually be found huddled over my laptop in coffeehouses or swimming in the ocean.

My debut YA contemporary novel, UNDERWATER, will be out 1/12/16 from Macmillan/FSG and 4/7/16 Macmillan Children's UK.

I love all books and all genres. While I do keep track of all the books I've read here, I generally don't do ratings or reviews.


Happy Birthday #Truthwitch

You have probably been hearing a lot about Truthwitch since last years BEA16 after the mad dash for Arcs. I've been a Susan Dennard fan since her first series Something Strange & Deadly. So I was definitely excited when I read Truthwitch and I can say it has easily lived up to the hype. I haven't finished my review yet but I thought I would share with you some things going on with the book. As a member of the street team we were challenged to come up with our own Truthwitch Party so I will share some of my ideas. Before that though I want to mention the 10 Days of Truthwitch that Susan is hosting to celebrate the release of the US copy and then the UK copy on the 14th.

So my fun party ideas in case you are having your own Truthwitch Party

I went to the Morton Arboretum and saw these fun lights. I thought what a great ambiance for a party.

Of course you need to have a bookmark and why not magnets that match.

I might cut a little crooked

You would also need some temporary tattoos to represent your clan

Let's creative. A lego station so that you can make your own Truthwitch Lego. They aren't just for kids these days. lol

You would need a shirt as well because you have to be dressed for the event

So that's how to have a great Truthwitch Party. Now join the chat tonight at 8pm CST with the #TruthwitchParty Hashtag

A Shout to the Void: Accidental Hiatus

So I think I took a unintentional hiatus from the Blog. I should have known better honestly. The Holidays are pretty hectic. My kids are off from break and people seem to be in and out of my house constantly......CON-STANT-LY. I might start screaming at any moment. So it's hard to get any reading done. Plus I'll be honest, my husband got me a Playstation 4 and Fallout 4 so I've been occupied with other stuff as well. I'll be back next week with Truthwitch celebrations. Yay!!