A Court of Thorns and Roses- Review

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don’t even know what to say other than I am jealous that I wasn’t the one writing this story, lol. It played with all my feelings, surprised me, shocked me, broke my heart, made me swoon…and confused me. At this point I still love Tamlin but Rhys is such a unique and intriguing character. I already have the next book cued in. I now know what the whole hype was all about. Amazing!

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The Belles-Review

The Belles (The Belles #1)The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I picked this book on a whim. I had heard good things about it but I’ll be honest I mostly fell in love with the cover. I didn’t read it right away but once I started I basically devoured it. I love speculative fiction or anything that asks the question “what if?’ I also have a soft spot for fiction that deals with women’s issues and social injustice in general. The Belles didn’t disappoint.
The world depicted in this book is not as different from ours as it first appears. Within its pages we watch the powerplays of those in charge and the ones who want to be. We see the darker, decaying underbelly of society hiding behind beautiful colors and fine fabrics, secrets lurking beneath flower-scented clothes and a deceptive sense of joy and contentment.
Yes, some things were predictable, some didn’t quite made as much sense as I’d hoped they would, but I really enjoyed reading it and I’m looking forward to reading book 2 and I hope it was as gripping as the first.

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GIRL ON THE VERGE BY PINTIP DUNN RELEASE WEEK BLITZ

Hello Readers! Welcome to the Release Week Blitz for

Girl on the Verge by Pintip Dunn!

Check out the excerpt below, and
be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

 

Congratulations Pintip!!

 

 

 

From the author of The Darkest Lie comes a compelling, provocative story for fans of I Was Here and Vanishing Girls, about a high school senior straddling two worlds, unsure how she fits in either—and the journey of self-discovery that leads her to surprising truths.

In her small Kansas town, at her predominantly white school, Kanchana doesn’t look like anyone else. But at home, her Thai grandmother chides her for being too westernized. Only through the clothing Kan designs in secret can she find a way to fuse both cultures into something distinctly her own.

When her mother agrees to provide a home for a teenage girl named Shelly, Kan sees a chance to prove herself useful. Making Shelly feel comfortable is easy at first—her new friend is eager to please, embraces the family’s Thai traditions, and clearly looks up to Kan. Perhaps too much. Shelly seems to want everything Kanchana has, even the blond, blue-eyed boy she has a crush on. As Kan’s growing discomfort compels her to investigate Shelly’s past, she’s shocked to find how much it intersects with her own—and just how far Shelly will go to belong…

Girl on the Verge by Pintip Dunn
Publication Date: June 27, 2017
Publisher: Kensington

Google Drive | BAM | Chapters | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

 

 

A fish swims beneath the open staircase in my Khun Yai’s house. A real live fish, with its translucent fins fluttering in the water, its belly gold-scaled and bloated from regular feedings. If I part my knees, I can catch long glimpses of its lazy swimming through the gap in the stairs.

Of course, I’m not supposed to part my knees. It’s not ladylike for a twelve-year-old girl, not here, not in Thailand. The land where my parents grew up; the place that’s supposed to be my home, too. That’s what the banner said, when my relatives came to pick us up at the airport. “Welcome home, Kanchana.”

Never mind that I only come to Thailand every couple years. Never mind that I don’t look like anyone else here, with my American build and my frizzy, out-of-control hair. Never mind that I don’t look like anyone in my hometown, either, since I’m the only Asian girl in school. Never mind that the only reason we’re here now is because my father’s dead and my mom can’t keep it together.

For a moment, pain lances through me, so sharp and severe that it might as well slice my heart in half, like in one of those video games my friends like to play. I squeeze my eyes shut, but that doesn’t keep the tears from spilling out. Neither do the glasses sliding down my nose. And so the tears drip down, down, down, past my unladylike knees, through the gap in the stairs, into the fish basin below.

The drops scare the fish, who swims away with its tail swishing in the water, no longer languid, no longer lazy. So, even this creature wants to get away from me—from my grief, from my strangeness—as quickly as possible.

“There you are, luk lak,” Khun Yai says in Thai, coming down the stairs. She is my mother’s mother, and since we arrived, she’s used the endearment—child that I love—more often than my name.

“You’re up early.” She pats her forehead with a handkerchief. It’s only seven a.m., and already sweat drenches my skin like I’ve taken a dip in the basin. No wonder they take two or three showers a day here.

“Couldn’t sleep. Jet lag.”

“I’ve been up for a couple hours myself.” She eases onto the step next to me, her knees pressed together, her legs folded demurely to one side.

Immediately, I try to rearrange my body to look like hers and then give up. My legs just don’t go that way.

“What do you want to do today?” Khun Yai asks. “More shopping?”

“Um, no thanks.” I make a face. “Didn’t you hear those salesgirls at Siam Square yesterday? They rushed up as soon as we entered and said they didn’t have anything in my size.” My cheeks still burn when I think about their haughty expressions.

She sighs. “The clothes there are just ridiculously small. We’ll go to the mall today. They should have something that will fit you.”

I stare at her diminutive frame and her chopstick legs. “One of the salesgirls asked how much I weighed. Another grabbed my arm and said I felt like a side pillow.”

“They didn’t mean any harm. It is just the Thai way to be blunt.” She catches my chin and tilts up my face. “You are so beautiful. I wish you could see that.”

I could say so many things. I could tell her that I’m ugly not only in Thailand but also in the United States. Even though I’m not big by American standards—far from it—I could confess how the boys call me Squinty. How those Thai salesgirls snickered at my poodle-fuzz hair. I could explain how I’m from two worlds but fit in neither.

But I don’t. Because my words will only make her sad, and there have been enough tears in our family.

 

 

 

 

Pintip is a New York Times bestselling author of YA fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL.

Pintip’s first novel, FORGET TOMORROW won the RWA RITA® award for Best First Book. Her other novels include THE DARKEST LIE, REMEMBER YESTERDAY, and the novella, BEFORE TOMORROW. She is represented by literary agent Beth Miller of Writers House.

She lives with her husband and children in Maryland.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

 

 

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The Heart of Betrayal-Review

 

The Heart of Betrayal

by Mary E. Pearson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles, #2)

After reading “The Kiss Of Deception” and loving it, I was weary about reading its sequel. Could Mary E. Pearson really write another book as good and surprising as the first one? Well, apparently she can. I loved the surprises she threw at the reader in the first book in the series and she didn’t disappoint again on the second. She keeps you on your toes through most of the story, she makes you hate and love the characters at the same time, and in the end you thirst for that next book. Pearson has a knack to write characters who are lovable and strong as much as they are uncomfortably imperfect and to describe a cruel and hopeless world with heart. I also love that the women in the story are strong and never give up,no matter what their circumstances may be. Pearson gives her female characters a sense of sisterhood that I truly appreciate and hope holds true in real life. Another amazing read. Looking forward to the next (already in my Kindle) one.

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Unbreakable (HoA #3)-Release Blitz

 

Unbreakable (HoA #3)

Heroes of Arcania Trilogy

RELEASE DAY BLITZ

August 18th, 2016

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True heroes refuse to be broken.

Nova started the fight against Fortune for simple revenge, but now it’s turned into something much bigger. Arcania’s criminals are at each other’s throats, putting the city right in the middle of a warzone. She’ll have to work with a few unlikely allies to end Fortune’s games once and for all. Nova thought she understood what it meant to be a superhero, but will she have to lose herself to truly defeat Fortune?

Fortune has given Cole a choice, one with unbearable consequences. When Cole takes matters into his own hands to save his sister Penelope, he realizes too late he’s another pawn in Fortune’s games. Fortune will use Cole’s gift against his enemies…including Nova. Cole will have to become the hero he always wanted to be if he’s going to protect the love of his life.

Nova and Cole could finally save Arcania from Fortune’s deadly games, but are they willing to sacrifice each other?

BUY IT ON AMAZON

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HoA Trilogy Release Sale

~*~ABOUT LIZ~*~

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Liz Long is a proud graduate of Longwood University. Her inspiration comes from action and thriller genres and she spends entirely too much time watching superhero movies. Her day job includes writing for a magazine publisher in Roanoke, VA.

The Donovan Circus series has best been described as “X-Men meets the circus.” Adult horror story Witch Hearts tells the tale of a serial killer hunting witches for their powers. New Adult PNR A Reaper Made is about a teen Reaper who gets caught between falling in love or saving her sister’s soul. All titles are available for paperback or ebook on Amazon.

To learn more about Liz (including more information on her books, plus writing, marketing, and social media tips), visit her website: http://lizclong.com.

Want to Meet Liz?

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The Red Queen – a review

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The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

I just finished reading the Red Queen, a YA fantasy novel by Victoria Aveyard. Once in a while you are fortunate enough to read a book you just can’t put down. This was one of them. I found myself sneaking a few pages at breakfast before heading to work, during lunch, even after work when I really should be writing. I found myself staying up way past my bed time to read one or two more chapters. I yelled at the book when something I suspected really did come to pass. I slammed the book shut a few times when things got very dark for the main characters. I was exhausted by the time I finished reading it and that’s the beauty of it. A good book leaves you tired, happy or sad, craving for more. Needless to say I am buying the next book in the series and I don’t care how much it will cost me.

The characters were memorable. Mare, the young woman who was so much more than even she realized. Cal whose heart pulled one way while his loyalty pulled the other. And all the other characters so human in spite of their “gifts”, flawed and three-dimensional.

The speculative world the author created is reminiscent of the often repeated mistakes of human politics, of the erroneous and dangerous idea that one race can be superior to others and that there is an almost divine purpose for the division of powers.

I recommend this book to anyone who likes speculative fiction and craves rich and believable characters with complex personalities. If you, like me, like a little romance in everything you read this is also the book for you. The love triangle (or is it really a square?) in Red Queen is far from your usual boy-loves-girl-but-girl-loves-another-boy situation. Nothing is simple or obvious in this fantastic novel. Do yourself a favor and read it!

http://www.amazon.com/Red-Queen-Victoria-Aveyard/dp/0062310631/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1443908864&sr=8-1&keywords=the+red+queen

Interview with Genevieve Powell

I sat down with Genevieve Powell, the author of  Possessed by Vengeance (book 1 of the Goddess of Vengeance series), Cold Kiss Goodbye and its sequel Reaper’s Girl. I just finished reading Reaper’s Girl this week and I was very excited to be able to ask her some questions about writing in general and her books in particular. Here’s our conversation:

Q –   When I write, I am afraid I am not much of a planner. I normally start with an idea and a couple characters and I just let it develop as I write. What about you? Are you a plotter or a pantster?

A –  I am definitely a plotter, but how much so depends on the story. Sometimes I write a 5-10k outline (yes, 10k!) which is nice because it gives me confidence in the structure of the story. Other times I begin with a few key scenes in mind and let the rest surprise me because I can’t wait to dive in and get to know the characters.

I’m a big fan of a few plotting tools. One is Larry Brooks’ Story Engineering and the beat sheets other writers have developed from his ideas on structure, and the other is the snowflake method (http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/articles/snowflake-method/). I usually use both before I start a rough draft so I don’t have to fix the structure later – although stories always come with their own surprises!

– When did you decide you would like to be a writer? Have you always liked to write?

A – I always wanted to be a writer. My earliest memories are of making up stories for other kids. By the time I was in the second grade I was plinking out stories on my family’s first computer. I taught myself to touch type so I could get the words on the page as fast as they came to mind.

Q – What book do you wish you would have written? Why?

A – Libba Bray’s A Great and Terrible Beauty or Holly Black’s White Cat, both the first books in a series, both YA (and I know I’m cheating by naming two). Both these books have detailed, immersive worlds that are so lushly imagined, then peopled with memorable characters. It’s the kind of writing I aspire to.

Q – Have you written or plan to write in other genres?

A – Yes! As an avid reader, I love a beautifully wrought story in any genre. My particular weaknesses as a reader are science fiction and historical fiction, both of which I enjoy writing too. I have a sci-fi novel I’ll be querying soon with agents.

– Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?

A – Racy, definitely. I think a well-done love scene can tell us much about the characters and the evolution of their relationship… but it’s hard for me to write!

Q – What’s in your reading list right now?

A – I’m currently reading Jamie Ford’s latest, Songs of Willow Frost – his debut novel, Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, is one of my all-time favorites.  I’m also reading Stephen Fry’s The Ode Less Traveled, which is a wonderful book about writing poetry.

Q – When I met you a few months ago you were in the final stages of preparing your YA paranormal novel Cold Kiss Goodbye for publication. Recently you have released the sequel, Reaper’s Girl. What made you want to write in that genre and for that age group?

A – I had to write about Sam, and Sam was a teenager – she just had to be. She has this struggle with powerful grief and depression, at a time when she’s still discovering her identity, which is a really different experience from dealing with that as an adult. Sam’s story mirrors some of my own experiences as a teen. I wanted to write the story of struggle and hope that I would have loved to read as a seventeen-year-old who was just hanging on, waiting for life to get better.

Writing about ghosts was the best way I could grapple with the intensity of longing one experiences for the dead. And also, it was fun.

Q – Now, I know your books are going to be extremely successful and one of these days a big Hollywood producer is going to want to make a movie out of it. Who will play Sam and her two sidekicks?

A – Oh, I’d love for my actors to be relatively unknown. I have an obvious kinship with the struggling artist! I imagine Sam as someone with the look of Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit). For Abby, someone like Alicja Bachleda – you have to look at images of her looking pale and tense, though, not Hollywood perfect! For Ryan, Logan Leman (The Perks of Being a Wallflower).

Q – You are a mom. How do you find time to write and do you have a special place where you write?

A – I try to write at night after my kiddos are in bed, but I’m usually exhausted. I find that writing in the throes of sleep deprivation is kind of like I imagine writing drunk would be: you can really let go and be imaginative, but man, you’re going to need to edit! And, let’s be real — I also get a babysitter twice a week. You have to invest in yourself as a writer.

I have a home office. It’s definitely my happy place.  I don’t go in there during the day – I’m busy changing diapers, running around at the playground, pretending I’m a dinosaur. Then when I get to sit down at my laptop with a cup of coffee, I know I’m entering a separate place, a space of creation. Or sometimes of online shopping. It depends on the day we had.

Q – Do you have any advice to give new writers? When you first started writing for publication what were your expectations and were they met?

A – Oh, do I have advice! Three things.

My biggest piece of advice would be to join a critique group or take workshop classes and learn how to critique. Nothing will improve your work so much as thoughtfully identifying what works and what doesn’t about someone else’s story. You’ll better understand how to edit your own work effectively, how to develop your strengths and shore up any weaknesses.

Of course, read. Read widely. Don’t shy away from reading books on craft, either; they can be a shortcut to better work. My absolute favorite is Alice LaPlante’s The Making of a Story, which covers all kinds of techniques to experiment with and gives great examples from literature.

And last of all, follow the fun! Work hard on your writing, but if you aren’t enjoying it, too, then maybe it’s not the time for that project or that genre for you. Find something you love, that you want to return to every day.

Powell’s books are available on Amazon.com  http://tinyurl.com/nzx5yoq

or you can check out her author’s page at  https://www.facebook.com/genevievejpowell?fref=ts