2017 · blog tour

Blog Tour: Chasing Nirvana by Ellyn Oaksmith


Chasing Nirvana tour banner.jpg

Chasing Nirvana cover.png

Chasing Nirvana

by Elyn Oaksmith

Genre: YA Coming of Age Romance/LGBTQ

Release Date: November 3rd 2017

Summary: Fran Worth is just another girl trying to make it through senior year at Weather wax High in Aberdeen, Washington. But it’s 1993 and Fran is gay. Her comfortably off the radar life turns vividly public when a student nominates Fran for prom queen.When confronted by angry parents Fran refuses to back down, promising to deliver her hometown heroes in hopes of winning prom queen votes. Fran heads out on a 24 hour road trip to Daily City, California with four friends, including her crush who may or may not be gay. Their plan? To sneak backstage to ask Kurt Cobain and Nirvana to come home and play prom.No problem. Unless something goes wrong.

Add to Goodreads

Amazon link: http://amzn.to/2xvWdDP

About the Author

Ellyn Oaksmith.jpg

I graduated from Smith College and have a very expensive MFA from The American Film Institute. Some writers will tell you that their MFA was a waste of money. I won’t.It gave me great editorial skills and colorful, crazy experiences working as a screenwriter in LA. Cooking on fishing boats in Alaska paid my tuition. Screenwriting and working in the middle of the Bering Sea have a lot in common: hard work, unpredictability and occasionally both make you want to scream. Besides my family and friends, I love rescue dogs, cats, cooking, baking, open water swimming, kayaking and reading, reading, reading, reading. Did I mention reading?

Author Links:

WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebookInstagramAmazon Page

GIVEAWAY:

Anyone who comments on any of the blogs during the tour is

eligible to win one of 30 e-bookcopies of Chasing Nirvana.

Anyone who signs up for the Author’s newsletter during the blog tour at this link:

http://eepurl.com/2ZfTP will enter to win one of 5 signed copies of the paperback.

Chapter Sampler:

Want to check out a sample of Chasing Nirvana? Download a three chapter sample here:

https://bookhip.com/HLLPLA

Tour Schedule:

October 23rd                                                             

Blushing Bibliophile    Review

Mythical Books  Ad

3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too!  Spotlight

October 24th

Jamie Deacon – Stories of Young Love   Review

Character Madness and Musings   Chapter Sampler Link

October 25th

A New Look On Books   Playlist

To the moon and back reviews  https://tothemoonandbackagainreviews.blogspot.com/   Review*

The Layaway Dragon    Review

Loves Great Reads   Chapter Sample Link

October 26th

Plain Talk Book Marketing    www.plaintalkbm.com Promo Post

Amethyst Blue  http://Amethystblue.com     Promo Post

Nitty Gritty Romance     https://cathrinegoldstein.wordpress.com/     Promo Post

The Avid Reader   http://the-avidreader.blogspot.com      Promo Post

abookandalattee     http://abookandalattee.blogspot.com Promo Post

October 27th

Literary Meanderings    http://www.literaryme.net/     Promo Post

NightlyReading http://www.nightlyreading.wordpress.com  Promo Post

BookCrushin      http://bookcrush.in        Promo Post

The Readdicts    http://thereaddicts.blogspot.in/    Review
Afire Pages     https://afirepages.wordpress.com      Promo Post

October 30th

To Be Read     www.tobereadsite.wordpress.com    Review

The Phantom Paragrapher      www.thephantomparagrapher.blogspot.com    Review

Up ‘Til Dawn Book Blog  http://uptildawnbookblog.blogspot.com    Promo Post

Blog Tour Organized by:

ya bound

Heather

Advertisements
2017 · blog tour

Blog Tour: Satellite By Nick Lake


SatelliteSatellite by Nick Lake

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It took me a REALLY long time to actually get into this book but something kept whispering in my ear to just keep going. I am glad that I did but I need to explain my main reason of why it was so difficult to start.

THE MAIN CHARACTER WAS WRITTEN IN TEXT SPEAK!

For example… “i” for I, “u” for you and “c’ for see! It drove me crazy at first and took me a long while to even understand what was going on. But, it really makes the book unique!

After i was able to c past that, then i really started to enjoy the book. (c how crazy that can make u?)

The book revolves around Leo and the twins, Orion & Libra. They have lived on Moon 2 for their whole life but now they are ready to go “home”, as in Earth. The writer is very good at describing the space station that they lived on as well as their thoughts while first being on Earth. He was also able to remarkable at more diversity within the book with an autistic character as well as different racial characters. I was also pleasantly surprised by the LGBT elements that had shown up, I was not expecting that. There are several emergency scenarios which could make this book unputdownable. It was interesting to see the author’s take on what Earth does to their bodies after living in space their whole lives.

I enjoyed it and hope that others can see past the writing and enjoy the book for what it is… a work of unique fiction. Bravo to Mr. Lake!

View all my reviews

Heather

2017 · blog tour · Book Tours · September

Blog Tour: The Year of Four & The Blood of Kings


 

The Year of Four: A Phoebe Pope Novel Book One

Author: Nya Jade

Publisher: Dreamwell Publishing

Publication Date: October 29, 2012

Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

The students of Green Lane Academy roam their halls unaware that below their manicured campus exists a prestigious school of an entirely different kind . . .

Sixteen-year-old Phoebe Pope has enrolled at the Campus Below: a spy academy for shape-shifters hidden deep beneath the grounds of a boarding school whose humans unknowingly protect it. There, thanks to a carefully planned schedule, she leads a double life: spy trainee Below and normal teenager Above. As if two course loads, concealing a secret power she alone wields, and coping with her father’s recent death weren’t enough, Phoebe finds herself developing major feelings for actor and teen heartthrob Colten Chase, who attends the Campus Above and appears to be majoring in winning Phoebe’s heart. But when officials learn that Phoebe may be at the center of a startling prophecy, she becomes the target of shape-shifting assassins who will stop at nothing to suppress the truth. Now Phoebe’s lessons about Shaper’s enemies and spycraft take on great importance as a menace stalks the campus, with Phoebe as its target. Meanwhile, what began as an unlikely relationship with Colten, quickly morphs into heartache when she suspects that something sinister lurks beneath this movie star’s glitter and fame. Suddenly, Phoebe’s caught in a mesh of lies, betrayals, and danger where she doesn’t know who to trust, and needs to rely on herself—and her secret power—to get to the truth and to stay alive.

 

My Review:

I wasn’t quite sure going into this book because it had been so long since I read something in the paranormal genre, but I was pleasantly surprised enough to just want to keep on reading and not put it down.

I enjoyed the character of Pheobe and would love to be her sidekick. I also LOVED the idea of spy trainee and kick butt female characters in books so this one was right up my alley. Colten had me questioning his loyalty a few times during the book but he did make up for it at the end.

I also thought the idea of a special school hidden beneath a regular school was a brilliant idea. This opens the door for regular human characters to inter-mingle with the super spy characters.

This book ended with a bang and I was very happy that I had the next one ready to roll.

*One last little reason why I adored this book was the illustrations! How often do we get a YA book with illustrations?

The Blood of Kings: A Phoebe Pope Novel Book Two

Author: Nya Jade

Publisher: Dreamwell Publishing

Publication Date: April 14, 2017

Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

The thrilling, un-put-downable sequel to The Year of Four.

According to the press, Phoebe Pope and teen movie star Colten Chase are no longer an item—which is just how the happy new couple like it. And yet there’s trouble in paradise . . .

Phoebe is haunted by dreams that show her things she can’t possibly know about—including a pact between Colten and a wanted assassin. In the daylight, she struggles to keep a newly emerging power hidden, even as her hands itch to wield it.

Meanwhile, in the wake of their escape from a Vigo crèche, Phoebe and her fellow Hyphas study under lock and key at the Campus Below. As the foursome wait to see who among them will fulfill the prophecy, someone dear to Phoebe is kidnapped by a powerful Vigo determined to use her to spy on the Shaper royalty. When the Hyphas are called to the Royal Court, Phoebe refuses to heed warnings of imminent danger for she will do whatever it takes to rescue her loved one.

But once at court, nothing is as it first appears. A sinister force controls some royals, while others whisper behind closed doors about forbidden alliances. And as Phoebe draws on her courage to complete the task set by her enemy, she makes a startling discovery—one that upends her father’s memory.

With dangerous conspiracies surfacing, Phoebe must uncover what the Royal Shapers really want from her, and decide whether there’s room for Colten in her unraveling life.

 

My Review:

Woah, woah, woah!

I thought that nothing could top the first book but this one was so much better!

The characters seem more mature while they are trying to find out the Vigo’s next move and the relationship between Pheobe and Colten is stronger than ever.

The book picks up immediately where the first one left off. I felt like there was even more excitement in this book with every twist and turn of events! This book gave me all of the emotions…tears, laughter, love and hatred!

The ending was a little cliffhangerish…not on a huge level but enough to where you will want the book soon!

 

Excerpt from:
THE YEAR OF FOUR
A PHOEBE POPE NOVEL (Book 1)
by NYA JADE
The instant Phoebe stepped into
the Great Hall, the scent of sweet spices wafted into her nostrils. She stood
still, trying to absorb the scene before her. A large, two-story dome glistened
at the center of the cavernous room—a glass structure embellished with several
golden images of a lion’s head. Countless ornamental glass bottles ablaze with
firelight formed a circle around the base of the dome, washing the room in warm
light. Inside, long tables, garnished with white moon flowers, had been
arranged in three rows in front of a wide stage. The festive tables were packed
with hundreds of students whose backs faced Phoebe and Hayley.
Phoebe elbowed Hayley. “Amazing,
huh?”
“Unreal,” Hayley gushed. “Now
what?”
“Over there.” Phoebe nodded toward
the only two empty seats at the last row of tables near the dome’s entrance.
Hayley charged forward, pulling
Phoebe along with her.
“Don’t look,” Hayley whispered,
“but we’re getting the evil eye.”
“Crap.” Phoebe cringed at the
disapproving glare she got from some faculty members. Great
first impression
, she thought.
“Next,” a commanding male baritone
bellowed, as Phoebe and Hayley settled into their seats. “I call before you
Xavier Reno.”
Phoebe’s eyes followed an
elaborate marble staircase, one of a pair that spiraled upward to a balcony
that was situated under the dome’s ceiling and to the right side of the stage.
There, a middle-aged man with a prominent aquiline nose and deep sunken eyes
stood peering down at the crowd. He wore a purple toga that swathed him in
silken waves. From her father’s description, Phoebe knew at once that this man
must be Professor Yori, Headmaster of the Campus Below.
Phoebe turned her attention to the
stage where a male student draped in an ivory toga rose from a bench. After a
nervous glance at a blond, heavyset girl next to him, also in a toga, who gave
an encouraging smile, the boy moved forward, tugging up fistfuls of cloth to
prevent tripping as he walked. He arrived at center stage, and cautiously
picked up a luminous object from a round, gilded table.
Hayley gasped, shifting in her
seat for a better view. “Utaviium,” she said, faster than Phoebe could think
it. And it was. Thin and cylindrical, Utaviium was a pale blue crystal
enchanted to capture and hold a single bolt of lightning. It was beautiful to
look at; both of the girls sat transfixed, focused on the frenetic light within
the crystal.
“Xavier, show yourself!” Professor
Yori declared.
In the moment of those words’
utterance, several things happened at once. The boy’s toga slipped to the
floor. He smashed the Utaviium at his feet. A massive wave of energy rippled
through the dome, and for an instant, Phoebe was blinded by the intensity of
its accompanying light. When her vision recovered, a giant, red falcon stood
where the boy had been.
Spreading his
bejeweled fingers across the balcony’s railing, Professor Yori spoke down to
the majestic bird, “Son of Osiah, rise!” Phoebe watched a pair of iridescent
wings unfold sleekly, wings that from tip to tip spanned the width of the
stage. The falcon lifted and lowered them slowly. The students erupted with
applause as he took silent flight, faltered for a moment, then shot upward to a
long perch suspended from the dome’s ceiling by gold chains. All heads peered
up as, beating his wings inward to steady himself, the falcon took his place on
the perch next to a silver eagle and a black hawk.
Phoebe glanced to her side. She
saw Hayley’s eyes ablaze with her own excitement. Never before had she seen the
mind-thrilling spectacle of a first time Conversion.
Books in the Phoebe Pope Series:
The Year of Four (Book 1)
The Blood of Kings (Book 2)
https://nightlyreading.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/3e241-blog_tour.png?w=663

Monday, September 4 Books featured at CGB Blog Tours

Tuesday, September 5 Guest blogging at Books, Dreams, Life

Wednesday, September 6 Books featured at Comfy Chair Books Guest blogging at Mythical Books

Thursday, September 7 Books featured at Mello and June

Friday, September 8 Books featured at The Bookworm Chronicles

Monday, September 11 Books reviewed at Morbid Romantic

Tuesday, September 12 Interviewed at I’m Shelf-ish

Wednesday, September 13 Books featured at A Title Wave

Thursday, September 14 Books featured at The Dark Phantom

Friday, September 15 Books featured at The Writer’s Life

Monday, September 18 The Year of Four Character Interview at Portrait of a Book Book featured at Medium

Tuesday, September 19 Books featured at As the Page Turns

Wednesday, September 20 Books featured at Voodoo Princess

Thursday, September 21 Guest blogging at A Book Lover

Friday, September 22 Interviewed at Niume

Monday, September 25 Books featured at Lover of Literature Book featured at Postagon

Tuesday, September 26 Books featured at Write and Take Flight

Wednesday, September 27 The Book of Kings Character Interview at Portrait of a Book

Thursday, September 28 Books reviewed at Lauren’s Crammed Bookshelf

Friday, September 29 Books reviewed at Woah! Bam!

Books reviewed at Nightly Reading

Books reviewed at The Rest is Still Unwritten

Books featured at Teatime and Books

Heather

blog tour · June

Blog Tour: White Fur by Jardine Libaire


51y0m5V36L._SX329_BO1204203200_A stunning star-crossed love story set against the glitz and grit of 1980s New York City

When Elise Perez meets Jamey Hyde on a desolate winter afternoon, fate implodes, and neither of their lives will ever be the same. Although they are next-door neighbors in New Haven, they come from different worlds. Elise grew up in public housing without a father and didn’t graduate from high school; Jamey is a junior at Yale, heir to a private investment bank fortune and beholden to high family expectations. Nevertheless, the attraction is instant, and what starts out as sexual obsession turns into something greater, stranger, and impossible to ignore.

The unlikely couple moves to Manhattan in hopes of forging an adult life together, but Jamey’s family intervenes in desperation, and the consequences of staying together are suddenly severe. And when a night out with old friends takes a shocking turn, Jamey and Elise find themselves fighting not just for their love, but also for their lives.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

My Thoughts:

This was a tough book to read but I really fell in love with both of the main characters. Told in dual POV, I got a feel and understanding of what it was like living on two different sides of the coin per say. Elise is very poor and is not afraid to let people know it. She is brave and full of self confidence. I get the feeling that she does not care what anyone thinks about her and I loved her at certain times when she needed to face Jamey’s stuck up family. Jamey on the other hand was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and I was not sure if he really loved Elise or just used her to irritate his parent’s after being ignored by them for most of his life. One big thing that I learned from reading this book is that no one’s life is perfect. You could have all the money in the world and still not be completely happy.

I must say that there were some points in the book that I felt the story dragged but I was interested enough to keep reading. I loved that it was set in the 80’s since I grew up in the 80’s and love everything about the decade. The other favorite of mine was the setting of the city especially NYC! I love anything that has to do with NY and would have loved to live there at some point if I had not had children at an early age.

Overall, I did enjoy the story and would characterize it as a cross between romance and coming of age. A definite “must read” for anyone whom enjoys those genres!

Thank you to TLC Book Tours for the review copy and invite to be included in this tour!

About The Author:

Jardine Libaire is a graduate of Skidmore College and the University of Michigan2143031 MFA program, where she was a winner of the Hopwood Award. White Fur is her second novel for adults. She lives in Austin, Texas.

Connect with Jardine

Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

tlc tour host

heather

2016 · blog tour · October

Blog Tour: Beast by Brie Spangler


BeastBeast by Brie Spangler

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a beauty and the beast retelling with a tad bit of a twist to it. I am normally not fond of retelling’s or books told in the male POV but surprisingly, I did enjoy this one!

I really enjoyed the character of Dylan and felt sorry for him that he struggled with his appearance. I wanted so badly for him to just “own it”! I really liked Jamie too and loved the fact that she was not afraid to be herself even if herself was not what the rest of the world saw.

I went into this book without reading any reviews or having any idea of what happens and let me tell you, I was surprised by the direction that the story went but it also kept me reading to see where these characters would end up. It made the story more exciting and to be honest, I may have had a hard time reading it if I had known ahead of time what was going to happen.

I must warn you though, this book should only be read by those with an open mind and those that do not have a problem with LGBT. If that is not a concern, then DEFINITELY pick it up!!!

View all my reviews

heather

2016 · blog tour · October

Blog Tour: Girl On The Brink by Christina Hoag


blog-tour

Girl on the Brink: A NovelGirl on the Brink: A Novel by Christina Hoag

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I often find that I really enjoy these books that have to do with dating abuse. I think that it is because I can relate. I had a bad experience with an ex that was not as bad as this situation but bordered on mental abuse. It was very difficult to get out of that relationship so I really felt for these characters while reading.

I enjoyed the character of Chloe a lot. She is a smart kid whom may not have made all the correct decisions but was smart enough to know when to get out. I could feel her loneliness when she was experiencing trouble with her friends and her boyfriend all at the same time. I really felt saddened during those times.

At first, Kieran, was perfect. I even fell for him but he quickly became obsessive and domineering, not to mention physically abusive. By the end of the book, I no longer had a liking for him and parts seemed to be written to make the reader feel a little bad for all he had gone through, but I did not.

I would suggest this book for any teen that may be going through an abusive relationship or any teen whom is starting to date just so that they know the dangers and can see the warning signs.

View all my reviews

ABOUT TEEN DATING VIOLENCE

Abusive relationships are widespread, cutting across socioeconomic, racial and ethnic, religiousand gender preference lines. One in three high school girls experience dating violence, while more than half of college-aged women reported experiencing controlling behavior in a relationship. Eighty-nine percent of male college students said they were unable to recognize the signs of an abusive relationship, and a third of teens involved in intimate partner violence ever told anyone about it.
For more information, see http://www.breakthecycle.org/dating-violence-research
.

About the Author

Christina Hoag is the author of Girl on the Brink, a romantic thriller for young adults (Fire download-2and Ice YA/Melange Books, August 2016) and Skin of Tattoos, a literary thriller set in L.A.’s gang underworld (Martin Brown Publishing, September 2016). She is a former reporter for the Associated Press and Miami Herald and worked as a correspondent in Latin America writing for major media outlets including Time, Business Week, Financial Times, the Houston Chronicle and The New York Times. She is the co-author of Peace in
the Hood: Working with Gang Members to End the Violence, a groundbreaking book on gang intervention (Turner Publishing, 2014). She resides in Los Angeles. For more information, see www.christinahoag.com
.
Author Links:

GIVEAWAY:

ya bound
heather
2016 · blog tour · October

Blog Tour: Moon Chosen by PC Cast w/Excerpt


Moon ChosenMoon Chosen by P.C. Cast

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed the House of Night books so when I saw that this book was coming…I knew that I had to have it!!!

What I loved…

I liked the story line in general. This was a great fantasy and one that was unique to this genre. I also really enjoyed the characters. My favorite was Mari. She was very brave and loyal. I really enjoyed Sora too, she was kind of a bad a$$ in her own way. Nik was kind of a lost soul but was also enjoyable in his own right.

What I thought could have been better….

I usually love really long novels because it keeps you with the characters that you love, but, I thought this one was extremely long. There were times that I got a little bored with what was going on but I was enamored by the story enough to keep going. The dual POV’s tended to be a bit confusing but not enough that I was not sure of what was going on.

I am very much looking forward to the next book in this series. If you heart Ms. Cast’s work, then you have to pick this one up!

View all my reviews

Excerpt

CREDIT: From Moon Chosen by PC Cast. Copyright © 2016 by the authors and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Griffin. 

Mari braced herself, and as she had so many times before, felt her mother stiffen while energy surged through Leda and into Mari, sizzling through her palm, down her arm to swirl around and around inside her, growing in power with each second that passed. Mari’s heartbeat began to hammer and her breathing suddenly increased until she was panting as hard as was the pup. In her arms, Rigel whined uncertainly.
“Focus.” Her mother’s voice was only a whisper, but Mari could feel it through her whole body. “You can do this. The power is not yours to keep – your body is merely its channel. Borrow serenity from the image of the Earth Mother. Though you may be surrounded by chaos or sickness or injuries, find the true you within. Release that which belongs to the world –fears, worry, sadness, so that the silver stream may wash unimpeded through you. It is a waterfall at night. Rigel is the basin that must hold it.”
Mari stared at the beautiful image of the Earth Mother that Leda pruned and cared for so lovingly. But, as always, the figure was only foliage and art to Mari. She couldn’t feel the divine presence her mother revered. She could not find her true self – her center. “Mama, I c-can’t. It’s s-so c-cold. It- it hurts.” Mari stuttered through chattering teeth.
“Only because the healing power is not meant for you. Release the fears of your body, Mari. Focus! Find your grounding and become a channel for the moon’s energy. Tonight you must succeed. If you do not, your Rigel will surely die.”
Her mother’s words exploded through Mari’s body. “No! He can’t die. I won’t let him.” She gritted her teeth against the cold and tried to focus past the pain – to release the cacophony of emotions that swirled through her body unimpeded – and to be the channel for the moonfall of water. Yet, still the power was a whirlpool within her. It terrified Mari and threatened to suck her down to drown in its freezing depths.
This was when she usually failed. This was when she dropped her mother’s hand and allowed sickness to claim her so that she vomited, dry heaving misery and moonlight while Leda stroked her back, consoling her with calm, loving words that reminded Mari there would be a next time – she would do better the next time.
But there was no next time for Rigel, and Mari refused to lose him. Think! Focus!
“Mari, slow your breathing. Calm your heart. This is no longer practice. You either heal Rigel, or fail and he dies from shock and blood loss. This is your reality.”
“That’s it, Mama! I need to make this my reality!” Mari squeezed her eyes closed. Could that be the answer? Could it really be that simple? Mari imagined that she was in their burrow, alone, sitting at her desk preparing to create a sketch. Her gulping breath slowed. Her hammering heart quieted. Mari found her grounding as she envisioned a blank sheet of paper. On that paper her imagination began to quickly, easily, sketch an image of herself, sitting crossed-legged with Rigel spread across her lap. From above her silver light cascaded into her lifted palm, washing through her body in a glistening wave to spout from her other palm, which was pressed against the pup’s bloody chest. Eyes still tightly shut Mari worked on the scene, creating a picture of Rigel’s body that was washed clean of blood by the liquid light, leaving behind wounds that were neatly closed and already healing.
Suddenly the cold tide within Mari was controllable. Instead of drowning her, it used her as a conduit, passing through her harmlessly as she let go of the energy. I’m doing it! I’m doing it! And just that quickly her concentration shattered. The picture she’d been creating disappeared along with the tide of power within her.
“No! No! Get it back! I was doing it – it was working,” Mari gasped, gripping her mother’s hand like a lifeline.
“It’s too late. The sun is fully risen. Even with your help I cannot call the moon back to me,” Leda knelt beside Mari, gently disentangling her daughter’s hand from hers. “But it was enough. You did it, sweet girl. I knew you could. Praise the Earth Mother and the blessed Moon! You have saved him.”
Feeling dizzy and disconnected, Mari looked down at Rigel. The pup wagged his tail animatedly and sat up, licking her face. Even though she felt light-headed, she laughed weakly and put her arms around him. He nested there, curled against her body and, sending her waves of contentment, Rigel fell sound to sleep in her arms. With a trembling hand, Mari brushed aside the blood-matted fur on his chest. What had only moments before been deep, seeping, whip-like lacerations were now pink lines of newly joined flesh that had ceased bleeding.
“I knew it was true. You do have my powers and more.”

About PC

P.C. CAST is the #1 New York Times and USA Today Best-Selling author of the House of

Night Series and a member of the Oklahoma Writers Hall of Fame.  With more than 20

million copies in print in over 40 countries, her novels have been awarded thepc-cast_2_credit-daniel-stark-at-stark-photography

prestigious: Oklahoma Book Award, YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, Romantic

Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Prism, Holt Medallion, Daphne du Maurier,

Booksellers’ Best, and the Laurel Wreath.

Ms. Cast was born in the Midwest, and grew up being shuttled back-and- forth between

Illinois and Oklahoma, which is where she fell in love with Quarter Horses and mythology.

After high school she joined the United States Air Force and began public speaking and writing. After her tour in the USAF, she taught high school for 15 years before retiring to write full time.  Ms.

Cast lives in Oregon surrounded by beloved cats, dogs, horses, and family.

Thank you to the publisher for the copy of the book in exchange of an honest review.

heather

2016 · blog tour · October

Promo Post: The Cabin by Natasha Preston w/Excerpt!


thumbnail_9781492618553-300RGB

The Cabin

By Natasha Preston

Paperback: 336 pages

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire (September 6, 2016)

A New York Times Bestseller!

There may only be one killer, but no one is innocent in this new young adult thriller from Natasha Preston, author of The Cellar, a New York Times Bestseller, and Awake

They think they’re invincible.
They think they can do and say whatever they want.
They think there are no consequences.
They’ve left me no choice.
It’s time for them to pay for their sins.

A weekend partying at a remote cabin is just what Mackenzie needs. She can’t wait to let loose with her friends. But a crazy night of fun leaves two of them dead-murdered.

With no signs of a forced entry or struggle, suspicion turns to the five survivors. Someone isn’t telling the truth. And Mackenzie’s first mistake? Assuming the killing is over…

Excerpt

I flicked my eyes open in time to see Megan stick out her tongue at Josh and stumble up the stairs. Blake was quiet but smirking at the scene.
You so like Blake. I did—-much more than I should.
“What’s your problem?” Aaron asked Josh, slumping back against the end of the sofa from his place on the floor. “Ever since Tilly and Gigi died, you’ve been a complete dick.”
Before that too.
I curled up, not wanting to talk about my dead friends with Josh. It made me violently angry when I thought about the things he’s said and what he was doing. You can be glad you didn’t die, but it’s unacceptable to be glad someone else did. I gritted my teeth.
“What’s your problem?” Josh sneered. “You dumped Tilly just before, remember?”
Aaron’s eyes darkened. “You know what, Josh? Drop dead! I swear if you ever say her name again, I’ll kill you.” I expected Aaron to get up and lunge for Josh. But he just sat there. Was he too drunk to move as well? That didn’t usually stop him.
Sighing, I scrubbed my face with my hands. Nights always ended in arguments now and I was tired of it.
“Stop!” Courtney shouted. “End it now.”
I clenched my fists. How could she not see who Josh really was? That he was the instigator? Aaron shook his head and took another swig from his bottle of vodka, finishing the last drop. I wanted to get up and leave the room, but I couldn’t even raise my arm. My eyes suddenly weighed a ton again. I was so over this. I felt horrible. I probably looked it too. The room spun, and I my limbs got lighter and lighter, like they were going to lift and I’d float off. Snuggling into the sofa with a throw pillow, I drifted.
It only felt like minutes later when I was woken up by the bravest human on earth. I don’t come out of sleep gracefully. This had better be good. “What?” I growled. Blake’s very amused expression was the first thing I saw when I reluctantly opened my eyes.
His eyes lit up and he grinned. “Your shirt.”
I propped myself up on one elbow and looked down. My shirt was still on, so I didn’t know what he was going on about. “What? My what, Blake?”
“It’s…” He traced his finger along my hip bone, where my shirt had ridden up an inch or two, showing a small slice of skin. Oh. I tried to breathe normally, but my senses were on overload. His intense gaze was all I could see, and that woody, masculine aftershave was all I could smell. His fingertip trailing over my skin tickled and left me breathless.
I looked around to see if anyone else was awake. Kyle and Aaron were sprawled and snoring on the floor. Courtney and Josh were nowhere to be seen, probably upstairs. Hypocrites. “You woke me up to touch my stomach?” I asked as calmly as I could.
“No, I woke you up to see if you’ve known me long enough to let me take you to bed yet.”
No, he hasn’t, but I can feel all logic jumping right out of the window. I’ve never wanted someone I barely knew before, but Blake is different.
My eyebrows shot up in shock, but my heart raced with excitement. I didn’t know Blake, not really, but I couldn’t get my brain to function well enough to convince me of that. Before I could reply, Blake’s lips touched mine, and that was when logical thought ended. I let him take me upstairs.

heather

2016 · blog tour · October

Blog Tour: Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven


Holding Up the UniverseHolding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a really great contemporary read and my first one by Ms. Niven. I will be on the look out for more in the future though!

Libby has had a traumatic past! She was the fat girl but not just any fat girl….she was the girl who got so fat that she had to be cut out of her house. I really felt so saddened for her but this did not deter her from going out there and trying to make a life for herself. I really admired her bravery and even though sometimes, she hurt really bad…she did not let them see her cry.

Jack was often times a real jerk. It took me a while to really warm up to him. He had this bad boy persona that he had to keep up even though he had a secret that he was hiding. Jack is face blind which literally means that he does not recognize faces. No one’s! Even his own sometimes or his siblings or parents! He has kept this secret from his family and this is the reason why he tends to be such a jerk at times. He does not want anyone to know.

The two collide during a game of “fat girl rodeo” (which is a made up game where you hold onto the fat girl as long as you can. the one who holds on the longest wins) (this game is really offensive BTW). Needless to say, they end up in a sort of group counseling situation where they get to know each other better.

I really enjoyed the alternating POV’s. The ending was pretty powerful and I really want to suggest this book to my daughters. The character of Libby is really one to look up to full of strength, bravery and compassion!

View all my reviews

Thank you to the publisher for the review copy in exchange of an honest review!

heather

2016 · blog tour · September

Points of Departure Excerpt, Top Ten & Giveaway!


unspecified

unspecified-1Points of Departure
by Emily O’Beirne
Genre: YA Contemporary (LGBT)
Release Date: June 16th 2016
Ylva Publishing

Summary from Goodreads:

In this young adult novel, to be released June 2016, best friends Kit and Liza have been looking forward to this trip forever.
Five girls, five tickets overseas. It’s exactly what they all need after the final slog of high school. But when Kit’s suddenly forced to drop out, Liza’s left with three girls she barely knows.
There’s Mai, committed only to partying. There’s Tam, who already has her doubts about leaving her sick father behind. And there’s Olivia, so miserable about screwing up exams she’s not even sure she wants to get out of bed, let alone on a plane. Meanwhile Kit’s stuck working double shifts to pay off a debt, wondering if she’ll ever get it together.
All Liza wants from this trip is to discover a new version of herself. She just hadn’t planned on doing it without Kit by her side.
And they’re all learning that travel isn’t just about the places you go, but who you’re with at the time.

Add to Goodreads

Buy Links: Amazon | Ylva

Excerpt

Liza finishes sorting her washing, climbs onto the bed, and kicks her legs over Kit’s.
Kit runs her hands along Liza’s sharp, brown shinbones, feeling that familiar bubbling of envy at her friend’s ridiculously great legs. Why can’t she have a body like that, instead of this short, scrawny one?
“You have to help me pack,” Liza says. “Promise?”
“Of course.” Kit pouts. “And you have to promise you won’t have too much fun without me.”
“Highly doubtful.” Liza inspects the ends of her hair, pulling the wiry coils straight.
“And you won’t find a new best friend?”
Liza just looks at her. “I’ll be gone four weeks, Kit. Four weeks. I’m just hoping I can manage a conversation with these girls, let alone to make friends with them.”
“You’ll be fine,” Kit tells her for the thousandth time. “Mai’s fun. Tam’s a sweetheart, even if she seems tough. And Olivia’s awesome.”
Kit frowns as she thinks of Olivia yesterday. Kit’s never seen her friend so miserable. Olivia’s usually so assured and self-sufficient. But she’s so messed up over her exams and Will. Poor thing. She wants to tell Liza to look out for her while they’re away, but Olivia begged Kit not to tell anyone about exams. So instead, she just says, “Hey, Olivia might seem kind of, I don’t know, distant or whatever, but she’s going through some stuff, that’s all. Give her a chance. You’ll like her.”
Liza shrugs, like she’s only half listening, and continues to inspect her split ends.
Kit taps her fingers on Liza’s leg. “Anyway, who knows? Maybe you’ll meet someone on this trip. Have an exotic one-night stand with some Mediterranean hottie.”
“Maybe.” She stares out the window, her eyes closing against the sunlight streaming through the window. “Doubt it.”
Kit watches the pink staining her best friend’s cheeks fade slowly.
Liza’s cheeks were even pinker the night of the end-of-school party, when she dragged Kit out to sit on the kerb, an uncharacteristic bottle clutched in her hand, and told her about this Alika girl.
The fact that her best friend was telling her that she had spent the last couple of months in some fraught, unspoken thing with a girl didn’t surprise her, exactly. But that Liza was finally saying anything to her about it did.
The fact that Liza might be gay had crossed Kit’s mind a couple of times over the years. It would explain why she’s so damn shy around guys. And it would explain why, at eighteen, she’s never had a boyfriend despite some of the incredible talent Kit has spotted at those athletics comps.
But even though she’d thought about it, Kit never said anything—in case it hadn’t actually occurred to Liza yet. And Kit had known that her best friend would tell her if and when she had anything to tell her.
And that turned out to be the night of their final classes. Liza was so drunk and fevered with her need to tell Kit about this mess she had gotten herself in, she skated right past the liking-girls news. Instead, she went straight to the part where she had started some clandestine thing with a girl in her training squad, an impossibly withdrawn, beautiful nineteen-year-old who was apparently barely willing to admit she was a lesbian to herself, let alone to someone else.
Kit kept her arm wrapped tightly around her Liza’s waist as she told Kit about this girl. Liza swiped tears from her eyes, telling her how the only time this girl seemed to acknowledge Liza was when she was jumping her in the car after competitions or climbing into her bed at night at the training institute. Not that Liza didn’t want to be doing that, she said. She just didn’t want it like that. And Kit just held on and let her cry it out. And when the tears were done, Kit wiped the tears from her friends face and told her to dump her.
It wasn’t until a few weeks later that they even broached the topic of Liza being gay in general, when Liza admitted how nervous she was about coming out to her parents, and about dropping two big revelations on them at once. But by then her coming out to Kit just didn’t seem like a thing. So why make it one? At that point, the fact that Liza had stopped talking to this girl who kept treating her like crap seemed way more important than workshopping her sexuality. That kind of seemed like a done deal at this point.
“Hey, does Alika know you’re leaving next week?” she asks
Liza shrugs. “Don’t know, don’t care.”
“Good,” Kit tells her, even if she doesn’t one hundred per cent believe her.
She looks over at her friend. She’s gazing out the window, a small frown on her face. Kit hopes Liza does meet someone. Someone who likes her out loud and who makes her feel like the awesome, beautiful person she is. She deserves it. Maybe even needs it a little. She’s the sweetest, most quietly funny and wickedly insightful person Kit has ever met in her life. And she thought that about Liza when they were eight. Now Liza and the rest of the world need to know it.
“I wish you were coming with us,” Liza suddenly moans.
“So do I.” Who wouldn’t choose four weeks of travelling in Europe over four weeks of working double shifts all week to pay off one party? Not even a good party. A party where she found Liam lying in the bath fully dressed with that stupidly hot Rachel perched on the end with her perfect pixie hair and MAC red lips.
Liza shifts across the bed so she’s lying next to Kit. She wraps her hands around Kit’s arm and squeezes it. “You were, like, the social glue.”
“I know,” she says again, resting her head against her friend’s shoulder. Kit’s already keenly aware Liza’s terrified she won’t get along with the others. What she doesn’t know is that everyone feels like that. Her cousin was furious when Kit broke the news. Olivia was even more depressed, and Mai told her outright that she was a stupid, freaking idiot.
She sighs. She will get her shit together this summer. She will. She grabs her friend’s hand and shakes it. “I’m so sorry, Lize,” she says for the zillionth time.
“It’s okay,” Liza says softly.
They lie there in a shaft of muted late afternoon sun. Kit listens to Liza breathe slowly next to her. She’s going to miss her so much.
“I’ll miss you,” Liza whispers, as if she’s heard her thoughts.
Kit snuggles up to her friend and smiles. “I’ll miss you, too.”

Top Ten LGBT Books For Young Readers

I was asked in this post to list my top ten books of all time. But honestly, the thought of having to conjure and then commit for internet posterity to my ten all-time favourite novels is positively panic-inducing. And frankly, I would probably have needed another ten years added to that deadline if I were to even to try. So instead I decided to put together a list of my all-time top-ten favourite LGBT books for young adults, which was a little easier. I apologise to any books I have adored and forgotten. I’m getting old.
Here they are in no particular order.
1208928Loaded, Christos Tsiolkas
While this forceful, passionate Australian gay classic was marketed for adults, it’s about a nineteen-year-old, making it young adult enough for me to grace this list. Ari is young, gay and disenchanted with his Greek family, his job and the world in general. In one epic night out in Melbourne, he confronts all the pain and poetry that can be found in all the conflicting aspects of his life. This book is beautiful and ugly in all the right ways.
Pages for You, Sylvia Brownrigg
Lyrical and nostalgic, it’s a beautiful rendering of a first-year university student’s first relationship with a woman, narrated from start to finish. Despite its flowery prose, the book tells some bittersweet truths about the universalities of the beginning, middle and inevitable denouement of relationships—even the happy ones—in a way that really resonated with me.
Clancy of the Undertow, Christopher Currie
A delightful Aussie read about growing up gay in a small town where it does not pay to be different. While Clancy wrestles with a whole lot family drama, a reputation for being a weirdo (second only to her brother), and being dogged by an impossible crush on the town hot girl, Clancy is doing it hard. But she’s also got a dry wit, a smart take on life, and a survivor’s instinct to help her get by. This wry, funny protagonist is one of my favourite YA heroines.
Ask the Passengers, A.S King
I love how conflicted the main character, Astrid, is through the process of coming-out, and how frustrated she is with the notion of having to define oneself so wholly to do so. The narrator is smart, thoughtful and honest, and this story is just a bit different from so many other stories about teenagers coming to terms with their sexuality. It’s one that tells you that half the work (if not more) of coming out is about coming out to yourself, not the rest of the world.
Valencia, Michelle Tea 
I found a copy of this book about the chaos that comes with being young, broke, gay and champing at the bit to experience everything in a Melbourne second-hand bookshop right at a time when I was young, gay, living in the thick of the inner-city and feeling exactly the same way. I’m not sure how I’d feel about it now, but at the time something about its poetic but gritty urbanity really spoke to me. Even if I didn’t always identify the characters, and it feels dated now, it made me feel something that at the time was very valuable: valid.
Not Otherwise Specified, Hannah Moskowitz 17900792
This book is about a bisexual teenager, Etta, who’s got a boatload of problems, but spirit’s not one of them. This book bursts at the seams with the true voice, contradictions and conflicts of being a teenager in a world that wants you to fit neatly into it when you just cannot or will not. Another book I adored for it’s forceful, honest narrator.
Dive, Stacy Donovan 
I discovered this story recently and really loved this book for it’s unique and lyrical writing style. A Lambda Literary Award nominee back in 1994, it follows a brief time in the life of V. And not a great time either. Her dad’s seriously ill, her dog’s been hit by a car, and her best friend’s being weird. But she finds her escape in the form of Jane…
Annie on my Mind, Nancy Garden
Because this is the YA classic and even though it’s dated now, it has so much to offer. It’s a book about two girls falling in love in a time where there weren’t many girls visibly in love. This meant Annie and Liza were totally on their own as they figured out the nature of their feelings for each other. This renders their journey to realisation both painful and beautiful.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post, Emily M Danforth 
I love this book for being such a YA epic. It tells the entire story of Cameron’s childhood and teenage years, and the pain and the hardship of growing up gay in a small-minded place. It’s written beautifully, and makes itself important by giving this young, gay character’s life the complete rendering it deserves.
20312458Tell Me Again how a Crush Should Feel, Sara Farizan
For me this book about Leila who is trying her best not to come out, makes this list for the writing more than anything. It’s a style of voice, characterisation and prose that just speaks to me in a really satisfying way. And Farizan wasn’t afraid of portraying complex and conflicting feelings in her characters, even in a ‘light’ book, which always makes me truly, deeply happy.

About the Author

Thirteen-year-old Emily woke up one morning with a sudden itch to write her first novel. All day, she sat through her classes, feverishly scribbling away (her rare silence probably a cherished respite for her teachers). And by the time the last bell rang, she had penned fifteen handwritten pages of angsty drivel, replete with blood-red sunsets, moody saxophone music playing somewhere far off in the night, and abandoned whiskey bottles rolling across tables. Needless to say, that singular literary accomplishment is buried in a box somewhere, ready for her later amusement.
From Melbourne, Australia, Emily was recently granted her PhD. She works part-time in academia, where she hates marking papers but loves working with her students. She also loves where she lives but travels as much as possible and tends to harbour crushes on cities more than on people.
Living in an apartment, Emily sadly does not possess her dream writing room overlooking an idyllic garden of her creation. Instead, she spends a lot of her time staring over the screen of her laptop and out the window at the somewhat less pretty (but highly entertaining) combined kebab stand/carwash across the road. (from the publisher’s website)
Author Links:
WebsiteGoodreadsTwitter

Giveaway

Prizes:

10 e-copies of Points Of Departure!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

ya bound

Until Next Time…

XOXO,

Heather