Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Charm Release Day Blitz + Giveaway


I am so excited that CHARM by J.A. Armitage is available now and that I get to share the news!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by USA Today Bestselling Author J.A. Armitage, be sure to check out all the details below. 

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a Cinderella Prize Pack courtesy of J.A. So if you’d like a chance to win, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

Title: CHARM
Author: J.A. Armitage
Pub. Date: September 26, 2017
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Pages: 291
Formats: eBook
Find it: AmazonGoodreads

You all know the story of Cinderella... 
The kingdom needs an heir and Princess Charmaine is quite aware that the job rests solely upon her shoulders. The problem is, she has no intention of ever getting married, let alone pushing a child out of her ladyparts. When her elder sister dies, Charmaine has to take her place at the ball designed to find her a husband. The problem is, she doesn't want to choose between a hundred eligible bachelors. She just wants to live her life in peace and find love in her own time. 

Cynder knows about the impending war between his people and those of his masters, but working as an underpaid servant in the palace kitchens leaves him with little power to do anything about it. On one hand, he's a staunch supporter of his own royal family, but he can't deny the attraction he feels for the daughter of the king and queen he works for. 

Charm is the first in the Reverse Fairytale series by USA Today bestselling author J.A.Armitage. Take everything you think you know about fairytales and turn it on its head.

Excerpt
My mother smiled. Her smile had a way of putting people at ease. I’d seen her use it countless times on nervous subjects. That’s what made her a good queen. She flicked her eyes towards my father who just nodded and then she turned back to me. Reaching forward and taking my hand in hers she spoke softly to me. Another trick of hers to keep me calm. I wondered briefly what exactly she would need to keep me calm for.

You already know

The little voice was persistent.

“We cannot cancel the ball. Too much is at stake and, while it is unfortunate timing, it would be madness to stop it at this late stage. Your father and I have talked extensively about this and we have decided that you are to take Grace’s place.”

I opened my mouth in shock. We had only just begun the official mourning for Grace and here they both were, asking me to take her place at some stupid party.

“You mean dance with the men?”

“Not just dance with them. We need concrete ties. The country is in a period of great instability and we need a leader to take our place when we are gone. We need you to choose a husband.”

About JA
Born in Leeds, I lived a very normal life until I got bored one day and decided to travel the world. Since then I've worked on a Banana Plantation, cleaned ACDC's dressing room and been a professional clown.

I climbed to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and the top of Kilimanjaro. Nowadays you'll find me being a climbing frame for my two young children, working in a school, and renovating my home.

Did I also mention I wrote some books? I hope you enjoy them!

For my free books, just sign up to my newsletter here http://www.subscribepage.com/v7o8k4
Giveaway

*****CHARM GIVEAWAY*****
I'm giving away a Cinderella swag pack, print copies of Charm and a $20 Amazon voucher.

1st prize: Cinderella Swag Pack with NYT bestselling book, DVD and print copy of Charm

2nd Prize: $20 Amazon Giftcard and Ecopy of Charm

3rd Prize: Print copy of Charm

Just click the link below to take you to the entry form:

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Hanging Girl Blog Tour & Giveaway





The Hanging Girl
Author: Eileen Cook
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Pages: 320
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Synopsis:
Skye Thorn has given tarot card readings for years, and now her psychic visions are helping the police find the town’s missing golden girl. It’s no challenge—her readings have always been faked, but this time she has some insider knowledge. The kidnapping was supposed to be easy—no one would get hurt and she’d get the money she needs to start a new life. But a seemingly harmless prank has turned dark, and Skye realizes the people she’s involved with are willing to kill to get what they want and she must discover their true identity before it’s too late.


Interview
What sets The Hanging Girl apart from your other novels?
What I think all my books have in common are main characters who are trying to figure out who they really are. They’re all in difficult situations, that they’ve probably made much worse by their own actions. They must decide how they will resolve the situation and what they can live with doing. The difference for The Hanging Girl is that it’s a bit creepier than my other books, and pulls in a bit of a paranormal element as the main character reads tarot cards.

The initial inspiration for this book came after I went to a conference put on by The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. They’re a group of people who use science to investigate various topics- including psychics. The session I went to covered how easy it is to fool someone into believing you have psychic ability. I found that fascinating and filed away the information knowing it would be useful for a character. I am also one of those people who REALLY wants to believe in psychics, but is leery. Writing about it allowed me to explore that fear of how someone could take advantage of those beliefs.

The second bit of inspiration came after talking to a good friend about lies. I started to think about a character who tells a lie (for a good reason) and how that leads to more lies, until she is in so deep that she has no idea how to get free. I think many people have told a lie to try and make a situation better, that ended up leading to more trouble. (Hopefully not as much trouble as it got the main character, Skye, into!)

If The Hanging Girl had a theme song what would it be?
The song Ironic by Alanis Morisette works well as it’s all about luck not turning out quite the way you intended it to. 


Who was your favorite character to write?
This question makes me realize how parents feel when someone asks them which of their kids they like the best. I like all the characters for different reasons- even those who don’t behave very well. I feel somewhat to blame for their behavior since I wrote them. I know some people like main characters to be super likable, but I enjoy characters who are a mix of good and bad. Messy people with complicated lives fascinate me.

The main character Skye is certainly right up there at the top of favorites. I admire her for being a fighter. Things haven’t always been easy for her. Her dad’s not in her life, her mom was really young when she was born, and financially they don’t have much. Skye doesn’t always make the best decisions (understatement), but she’s active in trying to do something to make her life better. She doesn’t sit back and complain. I always respect people who at least try. 

The characters aren’t based on anyone real, but like any self-respecting author I do tend to steal bits and pieces from people that I know. There are elements of Skye- her resourcefulness and her humor that I’ve admired in friends. 

Can you tell us about any projects you currently have in the works?
To be honest I am always happiest when I have a project on the go. I love the process of making things up. I know some people feel tortured by the process of writing, but it’s one of my favorite things to do. The book I am currently working on is called The Stranger, although that title might change. It takes place in London England. I don’t want to give away too much but it involves a character named Kim having a chance meeting with someone who ends up completely changing her life.

Oh, and there’s a murder in there too. : ) 

And for your extra amusement, here is a photo of my dog Cairo. He wants your readers to know that no dogs were harmed in the making of the novel.


Squee!! This puppy is the cutest!!
About the Author
Eileen Cook is a multi-published author with her novels appearing in eight different languages. Her books have been optioned for film and TV. She spent most of her teen years wishing she were someone else or somewhere else, which is great training for a writer. Her newest book, WITH MALICE, will be out in June 2016. She’s an instructor/mentor with the Simon Fraser University Writer’s Studio Program.

You can read more about Eileen, her books, and the things that strike her as funny atwww.eileencook.com. Eileen lives in Vancouver with her husband and two very naughty dogs and no longer wishes to be anyone or anywhere else.


Giveaway
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Friday, September 22, 2017

Ascending the Boneyard by C.G. Watson

Ascending the Boneyard
Author: C.G. Watson
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: February 16, 2016
Goodreads

Review:
I was going through my Edelweiss shelf and realized that for a good part of 2016 I read books, wrote a one sentence review on Goodreads, and promptly forgot to go back and add coherent thoughts. In my defense, Ascending the Boneyard is a very forgettable book.

This novel begins with the awful home life of Caleb Tosh. His brother is disabled, Dad is an awful human being, and his mother is unable to cope. Caleb's way of dealing is with a video game, The Boneyard. He spends all of his time in The Boneyard and it gets to the point where both Caleb and the reader can't tell the difference between the game and life.

I'll be real, this book was confusing. It was jumpy, fragmented, and hard to follow. I read once that authors use unclear words when they don't know what they're trying to say. This entire book felt like the author wasn't sure what they wanted to say. The author wanted to elicit emotion from the reader, especially with everything Caleb is going through, but I didn't care because the story was too convoluted. There were elements of a story here but it was never cohesive. I was left feeling baffled rather than feeling bad for Caleb.

Overall, I think I'm being generous giving this book two stars. I'm glad this book was short or I would have given up on reading it after the first 50 pages.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Goblins of Bellwater Review & Giveaway

The Goblins of Bellwater
Author: Molly Ringle
Publisher: Central Avenue Publishing
Publication Date: October 1, 2017
Goodreads

Review:

Before starting The Goblins of Bellwater I fully admit to thinking it was going to be a story of David Bowie-eqsue goblins and young maidens trying to rescue their siblings. While this novel did have a rescue element, an old curse, and goblins. They were definitely not the swoony Bowie kind. They were the traditional, gross, obsessed with gold type.

The Goblins of Bellwater takes place in the fictional town of Bellwater located in Washington state along the Puget Sound. I grew up in Tacoma so the setting and feel of a rainy pacific northwest winter felt very familiar. The descriptions were well done and left me feeling a little homesick. The main storyline revolved around Kit, Livy, Skye and Grady. It dealt with how their lives were affected by the goblins living in Bellwater and the curse on Kit's family.

There was also a great deal of romance in this story. I'd say the main thrust of the first part of the novel was setting up the romances between Kit/Livy and Skye/Grady. If I had one main qualm with this novel it would be that the romance read a little young to me, more young adult than new adult which is how I would classify this book. I liked the pairings but there was a lot of fade to black type scenes.

I enjoyed the environmental elements of this story. A large part of novel takes place in the woods and waterways of Puget Sound. This is an area of great beauty and the story touches on issues of the human impact on the local environment. Livy is a forest ranger of some sort and I liked that aspect of her character.

Overall, I enjoyed The Goblins of Bellwater. I've been in a pretty serious book slump for the better part of a year now. This book had that something interesting that made me want to keep reading. It's definitely one to add to your TBR list.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Odd & True by Cat Winters Blog Tour + Giveaway






ODD & TRUE
Author: Cat Winters
Pub. Date: September 12, 2017
Publisher: Amulet Books
Pages: 368
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Synopsis:
Trudchen grew up hearing Odette’s stories of their monster-slaying mother and a magician’s curse. But now that Tru’s older, she’s starting to wonder if her older sister’s tales were just comforting lies, especially because there’s nothing fantastic about her own life—permanently disabled and in constant pain from childhood polio.
In 1909, after a two-year absence, Od reappears with a suitcase supposedly full of weapons and a promise to rescue Tru from the monsters on their way to attack her. But it’s Od who seems haunted by something. And when the sisters’ search for their mother leads them to a face-off with the Leeds Devil, a nightmarish beast that’s wreaking havoc in the Mid-Atlantic states, Tru discovers the peculiar possibility that she and her sister—despite their dark pasts and ordinary appearances—might, indeed, have magic after all.

About Cat Winters

Cat Winters’s critically acclaimed debut novel, In the Shadow of Blackbirds, was named a 2014 Morris Award Finalist, a 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults pick, a 2013 Bram Stoker Award Nominee, and a School Library Journal Best Book of 2013. Her upcoming novels include The Cure for Dreaming (Amulet Books/Oct. 2014) and The Uninvited (William Morrow/2015), and she’s a contributor to the 2015 YA horror anthology Slasher Girls & Monster Boys. She lives in Portland, Oregon. Visit her online at www.catwinters.com. Photo by Tara Kelly.


Giveaway
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Monday, September 11, 2017

Arena by Holly Jennings

Arena
Author: Holly Jennings
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Goodreads

Review:
Arena by Holly Jennings follows Kali Ling a fighter in the RAGE tournaments. Every week Kali enters the virtual ring and is killed. The fighters feel pain but everything else is digital and when they die they wake up in the real world.

I picked up this novel because I thought it would be similar to Rush by Eve Silver which I loved. It has a similar concept. Both deal with fighters in a virtual ring, but Rush blends in an alien/sci-fi theme and Arena, well, Arena felt like the concept of the story was never fully realized.

The characters in Arena came off as one-dimensional. Kali’s lover is killed right in front of her (for real) and yet she was very quick to move on to the new “hottie” on her team. It was a classic enemies turned romantic interest plot. I had trouble believing it. To be honest, I had a hard time believing anything the characters did. Their motives didn’t feel solid enough and I wished the characters had been further fleshed out.

Overall, this book was interesting enough to keep me reading until the end but not interesting enough for me to want to continue the series. It felt like it could have been edited down, there were things happening that were not central to the story and added nothing of value. If you enjoy video games and fast-paced reads this might just be for you. 

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Murder Among the Stars Blog Tour + Giveaway

Murder Among the Stars
Authors: Adam Shankan & Laura Sullivan
Publisher: Atheneum Books
Publication Date: June 13, 2017

Synopsis
After being framed for attempted murder, Lulu Kelly has earned a rest. Unfortunately, there is no rest in Hollywood for a rising starlet. Lulu and her boyfriend Freddie are invited to posh Hearst Castle, where Lulu will be competing against other young actresses for the role of a lifetime. But what’s a house party without a little murder?
After a rival actress is found dead under the dining room table, Lulu makes it her mission to solve the mystery. But illusion is this town’s number one export, and it’s hard to tell the ambitious from the truly evil. As the clues pile up, Lulu and Freddie race to find the killer, even as Lulu becomes the next target.


Adam Shankman
Adam Shankman is the director and producer of the exuberant musical remake of Hairspray, the producer of the top-grossing Step Up films, the director of the adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks bestseller A Walk to Remember starring Mandy Moore, and the director of Bringing Down the House starring Steve Martin and Queen Latifah. Adam has also directed episodes of Modern Family and Glee, and he was a popular judge on So You Think You Can Dance.

Laura Sullivan
Laura L. Sullivan is a former newspaper editor, biologist, social worker, and deputy sheriff who writes because storytelling is the easiest way to do everything in the world. Her books include Love By the Morning Star, Delusion, and Ladies in Waiting. Laura lives on the Florida coast.


Giveaway
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