Love Double Dutch Review

I remember Double Dutch as a kid.

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I wasn’t good at it but there were girls and boys out there who rocked at Double Dutch! I mean they were superstars!

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Today I review a cute middle grade book revolving around this fun game. Let’s take a look at Love Double Dutch!


 

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From the creator of the popular Disney Channel original movie, Jump In! comes a double Dutch novel perfect for fans of stories about sports, summer, and friendship.

Brooklyn middle-schooler MaKayla can only think about one thing–taking her double Dutch team all the way to the National Jump-off at Madison Square Garden. That is, until her mother breaks the news. Kayla has to spend the summer at her aunt’s house in North Carolina while her parents work out their problems . . . or decide to call it quits.

Kayla does not feel at home in the South, and she certainly doesn’t get along with her snooty cousin Sally. It looks like her Jump-off dreams are over.

Hold the phone! Turns out, double Dutch is huge in the South. She and Sally just need to find two more kids for a team. And a routine. And the confidence to stand up to the double Dutch divas who used to be Sally’s BFFs. Time to show those Southern belles some Brooklyn attitude!

Order here!


My Review:    MaKayla didn’t expect to spend a summer with her Aunt in North Carolina.  This doesn’t sit well with her since she wants her Double Dutch team to go to the National Jump-off at Madison Square Garden. But with her cousin Sally, MaKayla may get her dream of going to the Nationals!

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I loved MaKayla ! She had a drive and passion to follow her dream, even if it was tough to get to. Her determination to get to Nationals was so positive, especially when it comes to teamwork, because you need a team to get there.

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Doreen does a wonderful job at explaining Double Dutch and all the rules the girls must go through to compete in this sport. I had not realized there were so many rules into jumping.

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MaKayla was a sassy fun character who you couldn’t help but root for all the way. I loved her tomboy attitude and determination even as she struggled with family and friends situations. The book did take some serious turns regarding MaKayla’s parents separation but that didn’t take away from the story. And in reality it’s quit common in middle school. The pace was perfect and the humor wonderful.

Should you read this? Yes! Love Double Dutch was a fun read with diverse characters and a wonderful setting.

starstar  star 1/2


 

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The Window Blog Tour: Q and A with author Amelia Brunskill

Today we’re excited to be interviewing author Amelia Brunskill of The Window.

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If you don’t already know Kristen and I are twin sisters, she is 3 minutes older, and we wanted to read this book together…because it is about twins!  We came up with some questions regarding the book and twins for Amelia and we had a blast asking them.

Let’s take a look at The Window!


  • Age Range: 12 – 17 years
  • Grade Level: 7 – 9
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press (April 3, 2018)
  • Order:  Amazon * BN *

If you love The Third Twin and One of Us Is Lying and binge-watched Thirteen Reasons Why, get ready for a heart-wrenching psychological thriller about a girl who knows her twin sister better than anyone . . . or does she? Taut and atmospheric, The Window will keep you guessing until the end.

Secrets have a way of getting out. . . .

Anna is everything her identical twin is not. Outgoing and athletic, she is the opposite of quiet introvert Jess. The same on the outside, yet so completely different inside–it’s hard to believe the girls are sisters, let alone twins. But they are. And they tell each other everything.

Or so Jess thought.

After Anna falls to her death while sneaking out her bedroom window, Jess’s life begins to unravel. Everyone says it was an accident, but to Jess, that doesn’t add up. Where was Anna going? Who was she meeting? And how long had Anna been lying to her?

Jess is compelled to learn everything she can about the sister she thought she knew. At first it’s a way to stay busy and find closure . . . but Jess soon discovers that her twin kept a lot of secrets. And as she digs deeper, she learns that the answers she’s looking for may be truths that no one wants her to uncover.

Because Anna wasn’t the only one with secrets.


Q & A with Amelia Brunskill

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How did you come up with the idea for The Window?

I really enjoy mysteries that focus on a character trying to uncover the truth about what happened to someone they love, while simultaneously trying to understand how their relationship seems to have fractured in some way. So a lot of the idea stemmed from that, combined with my fascination with the idea of being a twin.

What drew you to have twin characters?

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I have an older sister, so when we were growing up I was totally the annoying younger sister who always wanted to hang out with her and her friends, and she was the cool older sister who, especially once she became a teenager, didn’t always want me in tow. Also, my family moved frequently which meant I had to keep making new friends everywhere we went. Between those two things, the idea of having a twin was incredibly appealing since I imagined that we would, of course, be best friends. I wanted to explore what it might be like for twin sisters who in some ways did have this incredibly close bond, but who also began wanting to experiment with going down different paths.

We are twins, and we love the idea that you make the twins so separate in identity from each other, because most twins have their own identity and it’s a misconception in YA books, how did you come up with that concept?

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Right from the beginning, I wanted Jess and Anna to be very distinct from each other. I wanted Jess to reside somewhere along the autism spectrum, being quite literal and finding it difficult to connect with other people, and then for Anna to be much more poetic and romantic in her thought processes. I felt like these differences caused a natural tension between some of their choices and actions, and contributed to why Anna choose not to come to Jess about some of the things she was struggling with.

How did you research the bond between twins? Do you have friends who are twins or did you talk to a set of twins to understand the closeness/bond between twins.

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I do have a good writing friend who is an identical twin, so I did ask her a couple of questions. I also did some research on twins, but most of the research erred more on the side of fact checking (making sure it was feasible that one twin might fall within the autism spectrum while the other one did not, also looking at things like fingerprint patterns). I intentionally avoided doing too much research on real life twins and their bond though, because I worried that I might accidentally overly incorporate details from specific individuals.

 Are any of the characters based off of your personality or one of your friends?

In some ways, Jess is a very dialed up version of how I felt when I was fifteen, which was chronically out of sync with the people around me. None of the other characters are consciously based on the personality of anyone I know, although I’m sure there are bits and pieces of different people in there!

What books would you compare The Window to?

I like to think of it as falling somewhere between the lyrical poignancy of We Were Liars and the read-in-one-sitting deliciousness of One of Us is Lying.


Thank you Amelia for the wonderful interview!

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Stay tuned for our review on The Window!

 

Love Tawney and Kristen

Pre-Pub Adventure: March

Today is a special Pre-Pub Adventure day! The authors will be showing their favorite sentences or paragraphs form their books!

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Let’s take a peek at our Pre-Pub Adventure authors’ books!


 

Nisha Sharma

 

What is your favorite sentence or paragraph from your book and why is it your favorite?

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“Remember, Winnie Mehta, fighting fate never works. I’ve made a career out of proving just how powerful destiny can be.”

In MY SO-CALLED BOLLYWOOD LIFE, the heroine Winnie has dreams where one of the biggest actors in Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan, visits her and gives her life advice. This line is from the first time Shah Rukh Khan visits Winnie. Shah Rukh Khan delivers the line after Winnie questions whether or not he knows what he’s talking about.

The reason why this is one of my favorite lines in the book is because it was one of the first scenes I wrote when I started drafting My So-Called Bollywood Life, and it remained untouched after all the years of editing the book went through. I think the reason why it hasn’t changed, is because it’s the key truth the main character has to realize in her journey through the story. I hope readers enjoy the journey as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Follow NishaTwitter * Instagram * Blog


Don Zolidis

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What is your favorite sentence or paragraph from your book and why is it your favorite?

It’s so hard to pick one paragraph or line! So I picked this one from the first chapter that kind of encapsulates the tone and theme of the book:

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“Craig,” she said gently, “I don’t want to hurt you.” This is what she always said while she was hurting me. It was as if someone was taking an ice pick and stabbing it through my eye. I don’t want to hurt you. Stab. Stab. Stab. You’re only making it worse by screaming and crying. Stab. Stab. Stab. This will feel much better when I do the other eye.

Follow Don: Twitter * Facebook * Blog


Amy Trueblood

      

 

What is your favorite sentence or paragraph from your book and why is it your favorite?

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“Do you want to talk about it? The war?” I asked.

“No. I don’t like thinking about it, much less speaking about it.”

I understood what he meant. You could fool yourself into believing you had a normal life if you never thought or talked about your past. It was easier to put those feelings away in some small box locked deep inside your heart rather than face it every day. 

The reason I love this part of the book is that for the first time readers are seeing Grace recognize the deep flaws in her life. How she realizes that her past makes her vulnerable. In this scene with Henry she sees herself reflected back in his pain, and she acknowledges that for the first time in her life perhaps she’s not alone.

 Follow Amy:Facebook * Instagram * Twitter * Blog


 

Adrienne Young

What is your favorite sentence or paragraph from your book and why is it your favorite?

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I have way too many favorites, but here is one! I cried while writing this little section. Inge, who you will meet in Sky in the Deep, is explaining sál fjotra – an unbreakable bond between souls. I love this because I feel like it’s so true in real life, finding a connection with others through pain that you may have never formed without it. There is something really special about those bonds and I think in a way, they really are unbreakable. When you’ve hurt with someone, you become fused to them on a very deep level. Eelyn calls it “a tether borne of tears”.

Inge spoke softly. “This kind of bond is formed when a soul is broken. It’s formed through pain, loss, and heartbreak. They’re bound by something deeper than we can see. And that made Iri family.”

I stopped trying to hold back the tears that were waiting to fall. Because I knew exactly what she was talking about. It was what I had with Mýra. A tether borne of tears.

Follow Adrienne: Twitter * Facebook * Instagram Blog


Laurie Morrison

  

What is your favorite sentence or paragraph from your book and why is it your favorite?

It’s hard to pick a favorite sentence or paragraph! But here’s one I really love:

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“It’s all still completely messed up, that I live in this big house with all this expensive stuff we don’t really need and go to this school where most people’s parents drive shiny new cars and buy them expensive stuff that they don’t need, either, and then there are neighborhoods like the one in Northeast Philly where Mr. Ellis used to teach and even the one where Sierra came from. And even though I don’t know what to do to make any of it less unfair, I do know this: I’m not going to forget about Hailey or zone out when I walk past somebody asking for money on the street. I won’t. Because someday, maybe, I’ll be able to do something more.”

This paragraph comes from the end of the book and I added it pretty late in the game, at the line-edit stage. I like these sentences so much because they really capture my main character’s enduring commitment to justice. The desire to act when she sees something unfair is at the core of her character, and she makes a whole lot of really big mistakes throughout the novel, but I don’t think those bad decisions define her. What really defines her, in my mind, is her continued determination and hope that she will someday help to make the world a better place even though she’s majorly flubbed her very misguided first attempt at doing that. I love this about her and hope readers will, too!

Follow Laurie: Twitter * Instagram * Blog

What is your favorite sentence or paragraph from your book and why is it your favorite?

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There’s a certain very famous designer who’s been quoted as saying, “No one wants to see roundish women.” For this guy, fashion is a world of dreams and illusions where only certain people are welcome.

Of course, it’s true that fashion mocks and humiliates fat people relentlessly. But the real deal is that we’ve all been Roundish at one time or another. We’ve all been made to think we’re less than we ought to be. We’ve all faced su­perficial shaming about our sizes, shapes, skin tones, hair or age and have been led to believe that our value is based only on what we see in the mirror.

Yet this designer is totally wrong about fashion. He’s completely missed the point. It’s not an illusion or a dream. It’s a tool that should help people feel good about themselves and to achieve their dreams.

The Roundish are the thinkers, dreamers, doers and be­lievers. Your heart, your spirit, your hopes—these are the things that matter.

About this excerpt: Personally, I have always loved fashion but also, as a fat person, have felt quite excluded by it. There are entire trends – like skinny jeans – designed to show that fashion isn’t really meant for fat people. In my book, I really wanted to explore that idea via my main character, Cookie Vonn. She’s pursuing her passion of designing clothes, dreaming of success in a field that often deliberately shuns people who look like like her. So there’s this tension between this art form that Cookie loves and the industry that monetizes it. Part of her process of growing up is trying to find out if she can change that industry or if it’s going to change her.
Follow Kelly: Twitter * Facebook * Instagram * Blog

Mae Respicio

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My favorite lines in The House That Lou Built are actually the very first and last lines but since I don’t want to give those away I’ll share a few that introduce one of my favorite characters in the book, Lou’s wood shopteacher:

“Whenever Mr. Keller sees people goofing off during shop, he points at them with his nub and says, “Careful or you’ll lose a digit.” His finger ends at the joint. He lost the tip in high school while not paying attention during shop. Everyone freaks out when they see the stub up close—including me. Right now it’s hovering a few inches from my face, pale and smooth around the bone. I try not to look.”

Follow Mae on: Twitter * Instagram Blog

 Weren’t all these quotes beautiful and leave you wanting more?

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See you on the next Pre-Pub Adventure!

Our Dark Stars Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway!

Today we’re part of the Our Dark Stars Blog Tour and Giveaway! Let’s take a look at the book and then on to my review!

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OUR DARK STARS Blog Tour Assets

About The Book:

Title: OUR DARK STARS

Author: Audrey Grey and Krystal Wade

Pub. Date: March 6, 2018

Publisher: Blaze Publishing, LLC

Pages: 316

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Find it: AmazonB&NiBooksTBDGoodreads

 

While she sleeps, the whole universe changes.

Princess Talia Starchaser has it all. Wealth. Status. Adoring citizens. But on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, she’s forced to publicly betray her best friend, a companion mock she’s had since birth, setting events into motion that lead to the destruction of the humans, and the princess floating through space, a remnant of a time when humans ruled over droids.

One hundred years later, half-mock captain Will Perrault and his ragtag crew discover a device floating in space. When a very human Talia emerges from its depths, Will suspects she’s the key to buying his way back into the regiment he once commanded against the last remaining rebel humans—and the ruling mock queen’s good graces.

Both Talia and Will would rather get space-tossed than trust one another, but with the queen’s forces chasing them across the galaxy and the fate of both worlds hanging in the balance, they’ll forge the unlikeliest of alliances to survive.


Review:

My first thought was boy this cover is gorgeous!

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I don’t usually read YA sci-fi books but this one intrigued me. It’s the dense technical mumbo jumbo of spaceships and flight that make me tune out. Hey I like Star Wars and Star Trek but sci-fi books sometimes have too much of that space tech info dump. Our Dark Stars was a light space book with adventure and romance but not too much technical information so it didn’t slow the pace.

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There are two different POV that alternated between Will and Talia. I found both of the characters intriguing. In the future humans created mocks (robots) to help them in ever day life but soon the mocks start a war against the humans. Hmmmm sounds familiar…

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The human and mock aspect was interesting. The way the humans treated the mocks before the war and the way the mocks treated humans after the war is eye opening. I liked that Will and his crew were mocks making the tension escalate. I loved that Grey and Wade took us on an adventure to different planets with different characters through Will and his crew. It was a fun read.

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Grey and Wade did a wonderful job at world building and bringing to life deep space and all its unfamiliarity. The authors words flowed smoothly and I couldn’t tell which scene or chapter each one wrote. The pacing was swift and I never found a dull moment.

Should you read it? Yes, a fun space adventure with engaging characters and wonderful settings that’s not to be missed!

starstar  starstar


 

 About the authors:

About Audrey:

Hi! I’m an award winning and USA Today bestselling author of several books, including the Moonbeam Children’s Award bronze finalist, SHADOW FALL. I live in the charming state of Oklahoma with my crew: one husband, two little people, four mischievous dogs, and one poor cat. You can usually find me hiding out in my office from said crew, surrounded by books and sipping kombucha while dreaming up wondrous worlds for my characters to live in.

In between the chaos—What’s for dinner? Stop pinching your sister! Homework! Dishes!— and my writing, I make time for various projects. An admitted paintaholic, I’ve painted, sprayed or transformed nearly every piece of my house at least once. I even painted my husband’s beloved fabric chair. Oops!

I thrive on creation: starting from an idea, a blank canvas, or perhaps an outdated room, and using my imagination to create something new and emotionally engaging that’s all my own. But stories have always been my first love. Weaving together complex worlds full of flawed, conflicted characters allows me to express myself in a way I could never do otherwise.

I started creating stories during the sweltering Oklahoma summers spent laboring in my father’s wheat fields. Alone and bored, I dreamed up wild fables of vampires (the Anne Rice kind), cave men, and love-torn ghosts. By college my tales had grown more persistent, and I started to actually write them down.

Now, fiction is my life, and I look forward to sharing my characters and their stories with all of you.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Tumblr | Goodreads

 

About Krystal:

I’m happily married to the love of my life (don’t gag) and raising three beautiful children in the gorgeous state of Virginia. We live just outside Washington, D.C., and every day I wake up to find myself stuck in traffic trying to get there.

The horrid commute gives me plenty of time to zone out and think about my characters in full, brilliant details (I’m a safe driver; don’t worry). Stories give me a way to forget about the sometimes smelly strangers sitting next to me on the fifty mile trek into town (I pick up hitchhikers every day. True story. Check out http://www.slug-lines.com if you don’t believe me).

I’ve been a part of organized hitchhiking for nearly fifteen years, but that’s just one small aspect of my oh-so-large life. When I’m not working, commuting, or chasing after my three children (four if you count the man), you can usually find me outside talking to my chickens like they’re the cutest things in the world (they are), or training my amazing dogs how to herd said chickens (which they love), or curled up on the sofa with a good book (why can’t that be 100% of the time?).

I hope you love my stories (or just like them a little; that would be okay, too). And I hope that one day you find your passion, because there’s nothing in life better than doing what you love while surrounded by people you love.

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


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Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a $30 Amazon GC and a hardcover copy of Cinder, US Only.

 

Enter here!

 

Follow the rest of the tour!

Week One:

3/19/2018- Books at Dawn– Excerpt

3/19/2018- What A Nerd Girl Says– Review

3/20/2018- Emily Reads Everything– Review

3/20/2018- Darque Dreamer Reads– Review

3/21/2018- F A N N A Interview

3/21/2018- Twirling Book Princess– Review

3/22/2018- The Desert Bibliophile– Review

3/22/2018- Here’s to Happy Endings– Review

3/23/2018- BookHounds– Interview

3/23/2018- Sincerely Karen Jo– Review

 

Week Two:

3/26/2018- Wonder Struck– Excerpt

3/26/2018- Dani Reviews Things– Review

3/27/2018- Sweet Southern Home– Excerpt

3/27/2018- Smada’s Book Smack– Review

3/28/2018- Lisa Loves Literature– Interview

3/28/2018- A Gingerly Review– Review

3/29/2018- Novel Novice– Guest Post

3/29/2018- Twinning for Books– Review

3/30/2018- The Cover Contessa Interview

3/30/2018- I Heart Romance & YA– Review

In Her Skin Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway!

 

Today we’re excited to be part of In Her Skin Blog Tour! Let’s take a look at the book.

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IN HER SKIN Blog Tour Assets

About The Book:

Title: IN HER SKIN

Author: Kim Savage

Pub. Date: March 27, 2018

Publisher: FSG

Pages: 304

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

Find it: AmazonAudibleB&NiBooksTBDGoodreads

 

Sixteen-year-old con artist Jo Chastain is about to take on the biggest heist of her life: impersonating a missing girl. Life on the streets of Boston these past few years hasn’t been easy, and Jo is hoping to cash in on a little safety, a little security. She finds her opportunity in the Lovecrafts, a wealthy family with ties to the unsolved disappearance of Vivienne Weir, who vanished when she was nine.

When Jo takes on Vivi’s identity and stages the girl’s miraculous return, the Lovecrafts welcome her back with open arms. They give her everything she could want: love, money, and proximity to their intoxicating and unpredictable daughter, Temple. But nothing is as it seems in the Lovecraft household—and some secrets refuse to stay buried. As hidden crimes come to the surface, and lines of deception begin to blur, Jo must choose to either hold onto an illusion of safety, or escape the danger around her before it’s too late.


Review:

This was a creeptastic book!

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The dark premise intrigued me. I think I saw a Law & Order SVU episode that had a girl posing as a missing girl and her story didn’t turn out well either. I love that Jo went to con a family but as you read each page you started to wonder who was conning who?

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Savage does a wonderful job at keeping the mystery at bay but all the while keeping the pace swift with all the shocking plot twists. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough! It was a dark sinister read.

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Savage also does a wonderful job at painting a dark world with her vivid descriptions and interaction of the characters. It’s a haunting story full of secrets and at every twist and turn you hold your breath in anticipation.

Should you read this? Yes, In Her Skin was a twisted delight and a perfect dark ride for any reader of thrillers.

starstar  starstar


 

About Kim:

I was born and raised in Massachusetts, on the South Shore, which sounds beachy, even luxe. Think Winnebagos and chicken coops. My three brothers, 16, 10, and 8 years older, were teens by the time I became a person. Happiest around adults, who often forgot I was there, I spent days eavesdropping on gossipy moms in lawn chairs and nights listening under the table during tipsy Scrabble parties.

My dad read to me nightly. Eventually and early, I read to myself, everywhere. On top of an enormous freezer chest stuffed with meat. On drives until I grew nauseous. In bed until my eyes gave out. I read anything I could get my hands on. V.C. Andrews and Dickens. Black Beauty and the Bible. The Economist. Madeline L’Engle and Margaret Atwood. National Geographic.

I got a bachelor’s degree in English from Stonehill College and a Master’s in Journalism from Northeastern University. For a while, I worked as a business journalist. Instead of waiting for the Federal Reserve to release the Beige Book, I pitched story ideas along the lines of “Stigmatized Properties: When Murder Kills Property Values”. You see where things were headed.

Today, I live with my family northwest of Boston in a town a lot like Shiverton, near the real Fells reservation of AFTER THE WOODS. Born with dysgeographica—I’m directionally challenged—the fear of getting lost in that lovely, dark forest lives close to my skin.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Tumblr | Goodreads


 

Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a finished copy of IN HER SKIN and BEAUTIFUL BROKEN GIRLS, US Only.

Enter here!

 

 

 

Follow the rest of In Her Skin Blog Tour!

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

3/19/2018- Bookhounds YA– Interview

3/19/2018- Hauntedbybooks13– Review

3/20/2018- Falling For YA– Excerpt

3/20/2018- A Gingerly Review– Review

3/21/2018- Dani Reviews Things– Interview

3/21/2018- Book-Keeping– Review

3/22/2018- Nerdophiles– Review

3/22/2018- JustAddAWord– Review

3/23/2018- Literary Meanderings– Interview

3/23/2018- The Desert Bibliophile– Review

 

Week Two:

3/26/2018- Pretty Deadly Reviews– Excerpt

3/26/2018- Riddle’s Reviews– Review

3/27/2018- Feed Your Fiction Addiction– Review

3/27/2018- Smada’s Book Smack– Review

3/28/2018- Storybook slayers– Excerpt

3/28/2018- Twinning for Books– Review

3/29/2018- Rainy Day Reviews- Review

3/29/2018- Here’s to Happy Endings- Review

3/30/2018- Bibliobibuli YA– Interview

3/30/2018- FICTION FARE– Review

 

Aru Shah And The End Of Time Review

Today’s review was such a fun book and I loved the Hindu Mythology!

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Let’s take a look at this exciting series by Roshani Chokshi called Aru Shah and the End of Time!


 

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  • Age Range: 9 – 12 years
  • Series: Pandava Series (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Rick Riordan Presents (March 27, 2018)

Twelve-year-old Aru Shah has a tendency to stretch the truth in order to fit in at school. While her classmates are jetting off to family vacations in exotic locales, she’ll be spending her autumn break at home, in the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture, waiting for her mom to return from her latest archeological trip. Is it any wonder that Aru makes up stories about being royalty, traveling to Paris, and having a chauffeur?

One day, three schoolmates show up at Aru’s doorstep to catch her in a lie. They don’t believe her claim that the museum’s Lamp of Bharata is cursed, and they dare Aru to prove it. Just a quick light, Aru thinks. Then she can get herself out of this mess and never ever fib again.

But lighting the lamp has dire consequences. She unwittingly frees the Sleeper, an ancient demon whose duty it is to awaken the God of Destruction. Her classmates and beloved mother are frozen in time, and it’s up to Aru to save them.

The only way to stop the demon is to find the reincarnations of the five legendary Pandava brothers, protagonists of the Hindu epic poem, the Mahabharata, and journey through the Kingdom of Death. But how is one girl in Spider-Man pajamas supposed to do all that?

Order here!


Review: I’m very glad that the imprint Rick Riordan Presents exists because of all the diverse mythological books that will be coming out for kids. Thank you!

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Roshani Choksh’si new series delves into the world of Hindu mythology. I love mythology and I wasn’t familiar with Hindu mythology but Chokshi did a wonderful job at bringing that world to life and immersing the reader into the fantastic adventure of Aru Sha.

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Aru was a wonderful character to follow. Being in middle school was tough and you can relate to Aru’s dilemma juggling school and the end of the world. I love how blunt she was and how she stretched the truth, but that can get her in trouble. She had wit and such a big personality for such a small child. You couldn’t help but love Aru!

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Chokshi writing was beautiful and vivid, filling each scene with breathtaking description.  Weaving Hindu mythology with the current world, Chokshi writing flows and the pace intensifies as Aru’s adventure deepens. Waking the cursed lamp called a diya thus waking demonic Sleeper, Aru has her hands full. Don’t fret! She has a guardian, a Pigeon named Subala, who Aru calls Boo…..

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Ah so cute!

Aru learns that she is the reincarnation of one of five Pandava brothers, each the child of a different god! What’s a girl to do when such a revelation is revealed? Take on a quest with your reincarnated soul sibling and stop the Sleeper.

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I look forward to more of Aru’s adventures! I was left satisfied with the ending and anticipate for the second book because….I need more!

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Should you read this? Yes! If you like the Percy Jackson series than pick Aru Shah and the End of Time and enter the world of Hindu mythology with a strong female lead in Aru Shah and follow her adventure with every turn of the page.

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About the Author

Author Roshani Chokshi
Roshani Chokshi (www.roshanichokshi.com) is the author of the instant New York Times bestselling novel, The Star-Touched Queen, and its companion, A Crown of Wishes. She studied fairy tales in college, and she has a pet luck dragon that looks suspiciously like a Great Pyrenees dog. Aru Shah and the End of Time, her middle grade debut, was inspired by the stories her grandmother told her as well as Roshani’s all-consuming love for Sailor Moon. She lives in Georgia and says “y’all,” but she doesn’t really have a Southern accent. Her Twitter handle is @roshani_chokshi.

 

 

 

Orphan Monster Spy Blog Tour: Questions and Answers with author Matt Killeen

 

 

Today we’re excited to be part of the Orphan Monster Spy Blog Tour!

As part of the blog tour author Matt Killeen will be answering some of our questions. But first let’s take a look at this fabulous book!


BOOK DESCRIPTION 

Her name is Sarah. She’s blonde, blue-eyed, and Jewish in 1939 Germany. And her act of resistance is about to change the world.
After her mother is shot at a checkpoint, fifteen-year-old Sarah meets a mysterious man with an ambiguous accent, a suspiciously bare apartment, and a lockbox full of weapons. He’s part of the secret resistance against the Third Reich, and he needs Sarah to hide in plain sight at a school for the daughters of top Nazi brass, posing as one of them. If she can befriend the daughter of a key scientist and get invited to her house, she might be able to steal the blueprints to a bomb that could destroy the cities of Western Europe. Nothing could prepare Sarah for her cutthroat schoolmates, and soon she finds herself in a battle for survival unlike any she’d ever imagined. But anyone who underestimates this innocent-seeming girl does so at their peril. She may look sweet, but she’s the Nazis’ worst nightmare.
 

Order here!


 

And now to our interview with Matt Killeen!

1. How did you come up with Orphan Monster Spy?

I’ve had a life-long horrified fascination with WW2, Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, partly because I grew up in the war-mad ‘70s and partly because I knew real-live Germans. My mother’s best friend was German and as a child I had real problems squaring the lovely, pacifist people I knew with the war stories that made up the majority of the films, comics and TV programmes at the time. As I learned the details of the Holocaust that dichotomy grew more profound and disturbing. I’ve carried this horrified fascination ever since and a lot of the research for this book was built on that foundation. Moving to South London, I regularly passed a mural dedicated to Violette Szabo – an SOE agent who had parachuted twice into occupied France to help organise resistance and sabotage. I knew her story well, as I’d seen the movie Carve Her Name With Pride as a child, but I was amazed how young she was when she volunteered for what was barely more than a suicide mission. At 21 I’d been a mess, not much more mature than I had been at 18 or 15…and Sarah was born, pretty much fully-formed and clearly calling the shots. Stockwell was also where the innocent student Jean Charles de Menezes was murdered by anti-terrorism police. It’s a classic example of what happens when you let fear dictate action and policy and made the whole bus trip fertile creative ground. Would the Allies use a teenage agent if they needed to? They did much worse before the end of the war and it turns out there were plenty of teenage partisans, couriers and resisters fighting the Nazis, some as young as 12.

 

2. What is your writing process like?

I’m a plotter, but I’m cusp pantser…there’s a framework with an ending and a few plot critical events along the way. Then I start writing chronologically from the start. This allows the characters to guide the action – they are very much in charge and sometimes do unexpected things. Sarah was supposed to be saved by the Captain, but that didn’t feel right and, in the end, she saved him. Her decision in many ways. It also allows for new bits as I research. Sarah needed to be at a port looking for escape – realistically that needed to be Lake Constance, which meant Friedrichshafen, which meant Zeppelins and so on.

 

3. What advice do you have for newbie writers?

WRITE. If you’re writing, you’re a writer. Carve out time and write as often as possible – every day if you can, no matter if it’s rubbish – and don’t let anyone take that time off you. Find yourself a website, crit group or other support network of writers you respect. Learn to crit (give constructive feedback) and be critted. READ. Learn your craft.

 

4. If you had to pick a character from any book, who would you want to meet and what would you do?

That’s a tough question. I have a problematic savior complex so there are a few characters I’d like to sweep in and rescue from their dubious decisions and sticky endings – I’d elaborate but, you know…spoilers. That’s not very healthy I think. Most fictional characters are on some kind of progression and shouldn’t be messed with. I imagine a dinner with Clarice Bean, Cassandra Mortmain and Anne Shirley would be good value.

 

 


AUTHOR BIO:
 
Matt Killeen was born in Birmingham, in the UK, back when trousers were wide and everything was brown. Early instruction in his craft included being told that a drawing of a Cylon exploding isn’t writing and copying-out your mother’s payslip isn’t an essay “about my family.” Several alternative careers beckoned, some involving laser guns and guitars, before he finally returned to words and attempted to make a living as an advertising copywriter and largely ignored music and sports journalist. He now writes for the world’s best loved toy company, as it wasn’t possible to be an X-wing pilot. Married to his Nuyorican soul mate, he is parent to both an unfeasibly clever teenager and a toddler who is challenging his father’s anti-establishment credentials by repeatedly writing on the walls. He accidently moved to the countryside in 2016.
 Follow Matt on Twitter

Check out the rest of the Orphan Monster Spy Blog Tour!

 
WEEK ONE
3/12 – Crossroad Reviews – Review
3/13 – Twinning for Books – Q&A
3/14 – Live To Read – Review
3/15 – Spinatale Reviews – Review + Creative Picture
3/16 – Bookworm Banter – Review
 
WEEK TWO
3/19 – The Young Folks – Playlist
3/20 – Cracking the Cover – Review
3/21 – Bookish Connoisseur – Review
3/22 – Bookfoolery – Review
3/23 – Four Violet Reviews – Review
 
WEEK THREE
3/26 – Katy’s Library Blog – Creative Instagram Photo
3/27 – Adventures in YA Publishing – Q&A
3/28 – The Heart of a Book Blogger – Book Aesthetics
3/29 – Forever Young Adult – Review
3/30 – Bookablereads – Review
 
WEEK FOUR
4/2 – The Lovely Books – Review
4/3 – Here’s to Happy Endings – Review
4/4 – Once Upon a Twilight – Review + Fav Quotes
4/5 – Books Coffee and Repeat – Spotify Playlist
4/6 – Book Reporter – Review