Bad Romance Review

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (June 13, 2017)
  • Language: English

Grace wants out. Out of her house, where her stepfather wields fear like a weapon and her mother makes her scrub imaginary dirt off the floors. Out of her California town, too small to contain her big city dreams. Out of her life, and into the role of Parisian artist, New York director―anything but scared and alone.

Enter Gavin: charming, talented, adored. Controlling. Dangerous. When Grace and Gavin fall in love, Grace is sure it’s too good to be true. She has no idea their relationship will become a prison she’s unable to escape.

Deeply affecting and unflinchingly honest, this is a story about spiraling into darkness―and emerging into the light again.

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Tawney’s Review: This book moved me completely.

This was a tough read as the book opens into an abusive relationship that’s ending. Grace starts off by telling the reader what happened to this bad romance with her boyfriend Gavin.

It’s real, it’s raw and it will leave you heartbroken. From Gavin’s manipulation to Grace becoming an echo of herself, this book brings to light a tough subject on a toxic relationship. It was told in the second point of view of Grace writing a letter to Gavin. You could feel every pain, every heartbreak that she suffered.

Demetrios does a wonderful job at showing how the abuse escalates and the repercussions of such a relationship. You root for Grace all the way through the train wreck. It was a very addictive book but one that was a rough to read.

Should you read it? Yes! This was an emotional brutally honest book about an abusive relationship that everyone should read.

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Royal Bastards Review

Being a bastard blows. Tilla would know. Her father, Lord Kent of the Western Province, loved her as a child, but cast her aside as soon as he had trueborn children.

At sixteen, Tilla spends her days exploring long-forgotten tunnels beneath the castle with her stablehand half brother, Jax, and her nights drinking with the servants, passing out on Jax’s floor while her castle bedroom collects dust. Tilla secretly longs to sit by her father’s side, resplendent in a sparkling gown, enjoying feasts with the rest of the family. Instead, she sits with the other bastards, like Miles of House Hampstedt, an awkward scholar who’s been in love with Tilla since they were children.

Then, at a feast honoring the visiting princess Lyriana, the royal shocks everyone by choosing to sit at the Bastards’ Table. Before she knows it, Tilla is leading the sheltered princess on a late-night escapade. Along with Jax, Miles, and fellow bastard Zell, a Zitochi warrior from the north, they stumble upon a crime they were never meant to witness.

Rebellion is brewing in the west, and a brutal coup leaves Lyriana’s uncle, the Royal Archmagus, dead—with Lyriana next on the list. The group flees for their lives, relentlessly pursued by murderous mercenaries; their own parents have put a price on their heads to prevent the king and his powerful Royal Mages from discovering their treachery.

The bastards band together, realizing they alone have the power to prevent a civil war that will tear their kingdom apart—if they can warn the king in time. And if they can survive the journey.

Amazon *BN * Book Depository


Tawney’s Review: Coming off of a Game of Thrones very long lull I thought this book would be the perfect thing  to take my mind off of swords and dragons and winter coming.

This was a fantasy with swords, betrayal and mystery. It was a dark, edgy story with a band of misfit characters. Tilla is the bastard daughter of a Lord who ignores her now that he has a real proper family. When a visiting princess needs help it’s up to Tilla and her unlikely band of misfits. Almost like the Breakfast Club for fantasy.

The pace was fast and the book had lots of action that kept the reader occupied. My main problem with the book was the modern language. It felt out of place in a fantasy world that left me a little distracted. But not so much so that I couldn’t read further. After a few chapters I got use to the language and it didn’t seem as important.

I didn’t really connect with the characters but the ending was great. It was a different type of fantasy that really didn’t grasp my love but I did like it. Tons of action and fantasy to keep you occupied.

Should you read it? Yes, even though I found some faults it may just be the fantasy you are looking for with tons of action and mystery.

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Thank you Disney-Hyperion for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review!

I Believe In A Thing Called Love Review

I love Korean Dramas. I binge watch them obsessively.

Today’s book incorporates that love into a wonderful fun story you just can’t put down. This had to be one of my favorite books this year.


  Desi Lee knows how carburetors work. She learned CPR at the age of five. As a high school senior, she has never missed a day of school and has never had a B in her entire life. She’s for sure going to Stanford. But—she’s never had a boyfriend. In fact, she’s a disaster in romance, a clumsy, stammering humiliation-magnet whose botched attempts at flirting have become legendary with her friends. So when the hottest human specimen to have ever lived walks into her life one day, Desi decides to tackle her flirting failures with the same zest she’s applied to everything else in her life. She finds her answer in the Korean dramas her father has been obsessively watching for years—where the hapless heroine always seems to end up in the arms of her true love by episode ten. It’s a simple formula, and Desi is a quick study. Armed with her “K Drama Rules for True Love,” Desi goes after the moody, elusive artist Luca Drakos—and boat rescues, love triangles, and fake car crashes ensue. But when the fun and games turn to true feels, Desi finds out that real love is about way more than just drama.

Amazon * BN * Book Depository


Tawney’s Review: This book came at the best possible time. With the world in turmoil I Believe In A Thing Called Love brought great humor and wonderful characters that immersed me in a world full of Korean Dramas. It was just the lighthearted thing I need right now. It just made me feel so damn good!

Desi Lee is fantastic at everything except boys. She can’t flirt. In fact she has epic disasters. So one with a plan Desi uses her Father’s K-Dramas for guidance. Let the over the top drama ensue!

And after a binge marathon of K dramas Desi created a list called “K Drama True Steps to True Love.” I love step  #1: “You are the living embodiment of all that is pure and good.” Which if you ever watched a K Drama most of the heroines in the story are pure, sweet and oh so innocent. See K Drama The Moon Embraces the Sun. I also love #4: “Let the guy get to you with annoyance or obsession. It does seem that all the K Drama heroines have this issue. See Boys Over Flowers. And the best one #20: “You are not allowed to be happy until the very last possible minute.” See Rooftop Prince. All K Dramas seem to have this issue and it can be quite annoying but you watch anyway. You need to see the couple win!

The book is humorous, just like K Dramas, and Desi is such a strong heroine with complex feelings and you just root for her to get the guy. And like any K Drama she gets hurt, tries her best but it just ends in disaster, hurts others, and it’s so frustrating that you can’t understand why she does some of the things she does…cue K Drama characteristics!

Oh the glorious torture of waiting for the couple to get together. Definitely K Drama step #20. K Dramas always have this torture that makes a binge worthy weekend. The ending to the book was perfect. It brought a smile to my face. Desi and Luca are the embodiment of a K Drama couple. Every mistake and misstep Desi makes was hilarious and it enhanced the story. As watching a K Drama you groan, you smile, you balk and then you laugh. So many emotions flowed while reading this.

Should you read it? Yes even if you have never watched a Korean Drama you will easily fall in love with the story and characters. I Believe In A Thing Called Love is one of my favorite books of 2017! I highly recommend it and you may just also fall in love with K Dramas too.

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About the Author:

Maurene Goo grew up in a Los Angeles suburb surrounded by floral wallpaper and piles of books. She is the author of Since You Asked… and I Believe in a Thing Called Love and has very strong feelings about tacos and houseplants. You can find her in Los Angeles with her husband and two cats–one weird, one even more weird.

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Wildman Review

 

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (June 6, 2017)
  • Language: English

“How can a total stranger understand you better than the people you’ve known your entire life?”

When Lance’s ’93 Buick breaks down in the middle of nowhere, he tells himself Don’t panic. After all, he’s valedictorian of his class. First-chair trumpet player. Scholarship winner. Nothing can stop Lance Hendricks.

But the locals don’t know that. They don’t even know his name. Stuck in a small town, Lance could be anyone: a delinquent, a traveler, a maniac. One of the townies calls him Wildman, and a new world opens up.

He’s ordering drinks at a roadhouse. Jumping a train. Talking to an intriguing older girl who is asking about his future. And what he really wants. As one day blurs into the next, Lance finds himself drifting farther from home and closer to a girl who makes him feel a way he’s never felt before-like himself.

This debut novel by a remarkable new talent explores the relationship between identity and place, the power of being seen, and the speed at which a well-planned life can change forever.

Pre-order


 

Tawney’s Review: A unique coming of age story with some mystery and romance.

Lance was suppose to be with his girlfriend at a graduation party but instead he’s in a town with strangers doing things he never thought he would do. His old car broke down and it was a gift from an absent father so he won’t leave it. This is how Lance comes to hang with locals such as the eccentric Dakota and only answers to Wildman. The story feels real with Lance’s conflicts among himself and others. The teen angst could be a little annoying at times but teens have drama.

Gieger does a wonderful job at the struggles the characters go through and peeling back their flaws, especially Lance’s, to finding out who they really are. There is the right amount of humor and twists that keep the pages turning.

Should you read it? A wonderful read with such a bittersweet ending!

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Pre-Pub Adventure: May 2017

It’s that time again where we check in with our authors and see what they’re doing on their publishing adventure!

Every month we follow authors on their publishing adventure. Have you ever wondered how authors prepare for a book release or what they are working on while also getting ready to publish a new book? How do they multitask? Find out on Pre-Pub Adventure as we follow authors to publishing their books.

To the adventure!


Kayla Olson

kayla      pre-pub-4

  1. You just received your first hardcover finished copy of The Sandcastle Empire, what was that like? 

It was so incredible to see the finished copy! I hadn’t actually seen the back cover yet, with the beautiful blurb from Beth Revis on it, so that part was fun. One of the first things I did was to take a peek at the book without its jacket—the spine is seriously beautiful, with shiny green text! The very best part, though, was when I got to show my husband and little boy their names in the dedication/acknowledgment sections. I’d kept those parts a surprise, and I’m glad I did.

2As a writer do you write every day and aim for a set amount of words or pages a day? 

Usually, I’ll set a time goal rather than a word count one—I’m a very slow writer, so it’s better for me to aim for a set amount of focused time (especially in this season when I have a lot going on and am easily distracted; I like using apps like Flat Tomato and Forest to keep me on track!). I usually do set mini-word count goals for each sprint, though, which gives me small goals to aim for. If I do enough sprints, my small word count totals start to add up! 

3. What have you been up to since last we checked in? 

So many things!! I took a trip out to West Hollywood and Santa Monica in late April, and I got to spend time with so many wonderful people. It was also my first time in attendance at YallWest, which was a ton of fun—I even got to meet some readers/sign some ARCs! Ever since coming home to Texas, I’ve been in the revision cave, working diligently on my second book with HarperTeen. (That one’s scheduled for Fall 2018—more on that as soon as I can share!) I’ve also been nailing down details for book events in June—we’ll likely be adding to the list of dates/locations, but for now, if you’re in Texas (Austin / Denton / Irving / Houston), I’m coming your way! Details on my website’s events page here

Fun question for this month! Have you ever put someone you didn’t like in your book as revenge? 

Not in The Sandcastle Empire…but…in another project, yes. 😉

Follow Kayla: Twitter * Instagram * Tumblr * Blog


Nic Stone

     

  1. You had an interview the other day with WBEZ, how did that go? What did you talk about? (I’ll put a link to the interview when it is up)

It was awesome! It was a joint interview with the illustrious Angie Thomas, author of #1 New York Times bestselling THE HATE U GIVE, and we talked about our books and our influences. Check it out here!

  1. Is there a certain type of scene that is harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Drama?

Hmm. Not really? Honestly, the hardest things for me to write are transitions. Especially ones where there’s a time-jump involved. Getting better at it though (I hope!).

3. Are you a plotter or a pantser? 

Honestly, I find that it varies. Some stuff is very intensely plotted, some has a lighter plotting touch, and what I’m working on now is totally pantsed because I tried to plot and failed miserably, lol!

Follow Nic: Twitter * Instagram * YouTube


Abby Reed

pre-2pre-pub4

  1. Your book When Planets Fall is out! How did you celebrate?

Whoo hoo!! I have a book baby!! YAY!! I celebrated twice. The day of release was more low key for me. My husband happened to be home, so we went for a long walk with our pups and bought several cupcakes for us to devour. I made us a nice lunch and splurged with a bath bomb. I spent time catching up on mentions and giggling over pictures people sent of WHEN PLANETS FALL in their hands. By the end of the day, I was so happy I turned anxious (never had that happen before), so I actually did some writing to focus myself.

The next day my family went out to eat. They surprised me by decorating the room with red, blue, and green balloons and bought a massive red-velvet cake. I also got to sign my first copy! It felt pretty magical!

And the kindle version of WPF actually hit in the top 50 and 100 in a couple categories! Not bad for a debut from a small press! Needless to say, my publisher is happy with me. That’s worth a cupcake in and of itself.

2. What are your plans for the release? Any tours?

I’ve actually accomplished most of the things for my release already. But I have one final blog tour coming up at the end of the month with Xpresso Tours. I will also be having a Goodreads giveaway too.

3. Now that your first book is out will you take a small break like a vacation or onto the next project?

Both! I’m already working on Book 2, but I am taking a couple trips. One is for a family event. The other is a not-so-fun, let’s-go-to-the-doctor trip. But the other is to visit my best friend for a long weekend. It’s her birthday and birthdays are as sacred as religious holidays for us. We might hit up Disney or the Harry Potter world (butterbeer anyone??). I’ve got my Gryffindor t-shirt all ready to go 🙂

Fun bonus question! Have you ever put someone you didn’t like in your book as revenge? 

Actually . . . . . totally. Ha. Book 2. Let’s just say you should never hurt somebody an author cares about. You might end up fictionally dead.

Follow Abby: Twitter * Instagram


Amanda Foody

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1. What have you been up to since last we checked in?
I’ve been working on quite a few upcoming projects. In particular, I’m finishing up some rewrites on my next book, Ace of Shades. I’ve also been busy traveling and planning a lot for Daughter’s release in July.
2. What does your writing process look like?
I’m not too particular about writing. I prefer to write at night, with the time to work on large chunks of writing at once. I also like to be comfortable–blankets, lounge clothes, and a candle is a must! I can’t focus at coffee shops and offices, where I’m too focused on the fact that I’d rather be in bed. If I’m struggling, I might break out a little wine or put on a book playlist.
3. What’s your least favorite part of the publishing/writing process? 
I’m not a huge fan of drafting, especially for the very first time. I intensely plot my projects ahead of time, but even though so much development occurs on the actual page, I am always impatient to be done so I can turn on my analytical, problem-solving part of my brain. Drafting can just feel like such a marathon, and I actually write fairly quickly. Plotting ahead of time is the only thing that keeps me sane.
Fun question for this month! Have you ever put someone you didn’t like in your book as revenge? 
No! I’ve never written a character inspired by a real life person–only by other fictional characters. I get way more hung up on fictional people than I do real ones, I guess.

Follow Amanda: Twitter * Tumblr * Pinterest * Instagram


1. What have you been up to since last we checked in?

Edits! I am in the middle of editing my debut, which is super stressful, but also kind of amazing. It’s kind of like baking bread. I started with these random ingredients that I formed into this lumpy thing that my editor is now shaping, and when it’s all done I’ll have a beautifully formed loaf. I love reading her notes. Some are face-palm worthy (I’m constantly going “why didn’t I think of that?”), and some are cringe-inducing (the sentences that made sense in my head but didn’t translate to the page), and some boost my self-esteem (I mean really, nothing feels better than an industry professional saying your words are gorgeous!), but they all make my book better. I’ve also realized how much easier it is to cut words once you get some time and distance between you and your manuscript. It’s hard to give a manuscript space to breathe, but it makes editing go so much smoother.

2. As a writer do you write every day and aim for a set amount of words or pages a day?

Ha! I wish. I used to try to write every day, but, you know, life. For me, it’s less about the number of days I write and more about the quality of the time I spend writing. I don’t set word goals, but scene or chapter goals. Word goals work great for some people, but I always end up flinging out crap just to meet a goal and then getting overwhelmed by all the editing I have to do later. So I break the rules and edit as I write, shooting for quality over quantity. The initial drafting process goes slower, but revisions are so much faster!

3. What’s your least favorite part of the publishing/writing process?

I’m the most impatient person ever. Which sucks in an industry dominated by so much waiting. It doesn’t matter what phase of the process you’re in–writing, querying, submitting, editing, debuting–there will be a significant amount of waiting involved. Don’t get me wrong, I love this industry, but sometimes I wish I could hibernate through the thumb-twiddly parts and skip straight to the exciting bits!

Fun question for this month! Have you ever put someone you didn’t like in your book as revenge?

I’m going to have to plead the fifth on this one! But I will say that I’m inspired by the people I encounter, and I may or may not have have been inspired in particular by folks who have made me mad. Take that as you will. ; )

Follow S.F. Henson: Twitter * Goodread *Facebook


Until next the next Adventure!

Edgeland Review

  • Age Range: 10 – 12 years
  • Grade Levl: 5 and up
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers (May 9, 2017
  • Amazon * BN* Book Depository

Thousands of miles south of the island of Bliss, day and night last for 72 hours. Here is one of the natural wonders of this world: a whirlpool thirty miles wide and a hundred miles around. This is the Drain. Anything sucked into its frothing, turbulent waters is never seen again.

Wren has spent most of her life on Edgeland, a nearby island where people bring their dead to be blessed and prepared for the afterlife. There the dead are loaded into boats with treasure and sent over the cliff, and into the Drain. Orphaned and alone, Wren dreams of escaping Edgeland, and her chance finally comes when furriers from the Polar north arrive with their dead, and treasure for their dead.

With the help of her friend Alec, Wren plans to loot one of the boats before it enters the Drain. But the boat–with Alec and Wren onboard–is sucked into the whirlpool. What they discover beyond the abyss is beyond what anyone could have imagined.


 

Review: A great thriller for middler graders that delves into mortality.

Edgeland is a standalone sequel to NightfallIf you haven’t read Nightfall don’t worry. You don’t have to in order to understand this book. I would highly recommend reading Nightfall though. Both books are creepy so if your kids don’t like such things it might not be for them.

A refreshing read with two great characters. Wren and Alec are perfect companions on this harrowing journey through the Drain. The authors do a wonderful job at describing this world immersing the reader into every path Wren and Alec take in order to attempt to escape. This world is dangerous with paranormal elements but the characters rely on each other which makes their friendship bloom.

Should you read it? Yes! This is a creeptastic book but may not be suitable for all middle graders.

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When Planets Fall Release Days Blitz & Giveaway

I am so excited that WHEN PLANETS FALL by Abby J. Reed is available now and that I get to share the news!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Abby J. Reed, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a finished copy of the book and swag, US Only, courtesy of Abby and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.


 

About the Book: 

Title: WHEN PLANETS FALL (Stars Fall Circle #1)

Author: Abby J. Reed

Pub. Date: May 10, 2017

Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing

Pages: 420

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Find it: AmazonBarnes & Noble, TBD,  Goodreads

 

On a planet where the only difference between three tribes is their blood color, war is on the horizon. Breaker, an amputee, wants peace for his family and home. Malani, a kidnapped POW, wants to return home. Luka wants justice for his home. All three teens come together when Breaker is given seven days to fix a wrecked enemy starship or their home, and peace, is forfeit..

“In this richly imagined start to a new sci-fi series, Reed brings optimism to the goal of solving entrenched violence in a galaxy far, far away . . . A propulsive, sharply crafted tale about a planetary war.” –Kirkus Reviews

 

Excerpt:

I cupped my hands around my mouth. “Brody! Brody!”

Nobody was allowed to break boundary unless you were on hunting rounds and wanted a shot at the deercorns—three-horns, good meat—or on boundary duty. The land between here and the Heron Mountains in the west was technically neutral territory and belonged to no one. Too many good game trails passed through and everyone needed good protein. You’d think this meant a peace card for any who marched through the area. Then a handful of cycles back, attacks started becoming more frequent. Now, neutral territory meant open hunting season on everyone.

And if you were in trouble . . . the compound wouldn’t help.

I couldn’t leave him out there. I had to go over the fence. Beyond the compound’s boundary.

I was going to murder that kid.

The tree branches on the opposite side created a tunnel. Ravines on either side had been dug deep for a grave ditch in case of a future blood bath. Water filled them now. No need to waste time or tears while shoveling, just dump the bodies in the pre-dug ditch. Time and pain in the past saved time and pain in the future.

I set my foot on the lowest rail. The wood jiggled. Bangit. I couldn’t climb over the stupid thing. I pocketed the pick, got back on my bike, reversed, and aimed it at the fence. Even though the bike ran on solatech energy, the magnetic polarity of mineral deposits in the ground kept it afloat. In theory, the bike should pass right over the fence, since the fence wasn’t quite solid, so the bike would never lose complete contact with the ground.

I revved the bike. A surge of solaenergy sent me flying toward the fence. I shoved on the handles right before I hit the broken rail, bouncing and soaring right over the fence. The bike didn’t even bounce on the ground on the other side.

My chest tightened a notch.

I just broke boundary.

I hadn’t broke boundary in eight cycles.

I swear there was still a faint smell of cinnamon, though the gun smoke couldn’t have hung in the air this long. Lining the ravine were the twelve gravecrosses. Rainwater ran like thinned-out blood off the names carved into the bars. The letters were slowly being erased by weather and time, as though the people were being slowly erased from our memory until they never existed.


About Abby:

Abby J. Reed writes young adult science fiction and fantasy novels that ask what if. She has a degree in English Writing and is drawn to characters with physical limitations due to her own neurological disorder called Chronic Migraine. Her debut novel, WHEN PLANETS FALL, will be published in April 2017 by Soul Mate Publishing.

Abby lives in Colorado with her husband and two fluffy pups. If her hands aren’t on the keyboard, they are stained purple and blue with paint.

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


Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a finished copy of WHEN PLANETS FALL & Swag, US Only.

Enter here!