Thursday, January 31, 2013

Cover Reveal!

I want to give a huge thank you to all the bloggers who participated in my cover reveal, and to Nereyda at YA Bound for organizing it! If you requested a review copy, I will be emailing you soon, hopefully by the end of the weekend and definitely by next week.  I'm just working out a few formatting things.  (Incidentally, if anyone knows how to format a family tree for an ebook and wants to help me out, that would be kind of amazing!)  If you didn't request a review copy and want one, leave a comment on this post and I'll try to fit you in.  And in case you didn't see the cover reveal elsewhere...here it is again!


Cover Reveal: Forty Days (Neima’s Ark, Book One) by Stephanie Parent!

Forty Days (Neima’s Ark, Book One)
By Stephanie Parent
Release Date: 02/12/13
Genre: YA
Cover Artist: Najla Qamber

Summary from Goodreads:
The entire village knows Neima’s grandfather is a madman.  For years the old man has prophesied that a great flood is coming, a flood disastrous enough to blot out the entire earth.  He’s even built an enormous ark that he claims will allow his family to survive the deluge.  But no one believes the ravings of a lunatic…

…until the rain starts.  And doesn’t stop. 

Soon sixteen-year-old Neima finds her entire world transformed, her life and those of the people she loves in peril.  Trapped on the ark with her grandfather Noah, the rest of her family, and a noisy, filthy, and hungry assortment of wild animals, will Neima find a way to survive?

With lions, tigers, and bears oh my, elephants and flamingos too, along with rivalries and betrayals, a mysterious stowaway, and perhaps even an unexpected romance, Forty Days is not your grandfather’s Noah’s Ark story.

Forty Days is approximately 45000 words, the length of a shorter novel, and is the first installment in a two-part epic story.  It does contain a cliffhanger ending.
Readers looking for a traditional, religiously oriented version of the Noah’s Ark story should be warned that Forty Days may not appeal to them.  The novel will, however, appeal to lovers of apocalyptic fiction, historical fiction, and romance, as well as anyone who’s ever dreamed of having a baby elephant as a pet.

About the Author:
Stephanie Parent is a graduate of the Master of Professional Writing program at USC and attended the Baltimore School for the Arts as a piano major. She moved to Los Angeles because of Francesca Lia Block's WEETZIE BAT books, which might give you some idea of how much books mean to her. She also loves dogs, books about dogs, and sugary coffee drinks both hot and cold.

Author Links:

Monday, January 28, 2013

Cover Reveal: The Space Between by Victoria H. Smith

I really enjoyed reading Victoria H. Smith's holiday novella, and her contemporary new adult novel coming April 2, 2013 sounds so intriguing, dramatic and unique, so I knew I wanted to participate in the cover reveal.  And it's a great one!  No surprise, since it was designed by the super-popular Okay Creations, and their artist always makes gorgeous covers.  Thanks to AToMR Tours for organizing the cover reveal, and now, without further ado...

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Book Description:

When Drake started the night at his father’s campaign fundraiser, he never imagined he’d end it being conned into buying drugs on the West Side. Losing high-stakes poker has its consequences, but he’d repeatedly face them just to hear Lacey Douglas sing. Drake sees Lacey light up the stage, and he has to have her. But his intentions for being on her side of town turn out to be the reason he can’t.
Chicago native Lacey has dreams of the opera, but life has its obstacles. Lacey has come to know her hardships as part of living in the real world and accepts them fully. When Lacey meets the intense and invigorating Drake, a fire is lit inside her, unleashing those dreams again.
Two paths that should have never crossed prove to create the exact pairing the other needs. But when their worlds take time to catch up, everything they have is tested. Finding the space between the two sides that challenge them will be hard, but it’s the only place that will keep them together.
The Space Between is a new adult contemporary romance.

Add to goodreads here.

About the Author:


Victoria H. Smith has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. She puts it to good use writing romance all day. She resides in the Midwest with her Macbook on her lap and a cornfield to her right. She often draws inspiration for her stories from her own life experiences, and the twenty-something characters she writes give her an earful about it.

In her free time, she enjoys extreme couponing, blogging, reading, and sending off a few tweets on Twitter when she can. She writes new adult fiction romance in the sub-genres of science fiction, urban fantasy, and contemporary, but really, anywhere her pen takes her she goes.


Author Links: Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads



Sunday, January 27, 2013

Feature: THE BOOK by Jessica Bell

I've heard so many wonderful things about prose and poetry writer Jessica Bell, and when I heard about her new novella, I really wanted to feature it on my blog!  THE BOOK sounds incredibly unique, eerie and moving, and I'm going to be reading it very soon!  You should definitely check it out too...



Ever wondered how a five-year-old girl perceives the world? Then you definitely need to get your hands on THE BOOK, a novella by Jessica Bell.









Check out these awesome reviews:
"Jessica Bell’s surprising risks with language capture a child’s clear vision in a world of adult heartbreak. Indelible. Courageous." ~Thaisa Frank, author of Heidegger's Glasses and Enchantment

"THE BOOK is both heartwarming and heartbreaking. It's going to rip your blood pump out of your chest, kick it around like a football, and then shove it back inside you, leaving you with a potently reinvigorated faith in humanity. A curiously captivating read that somehow manages to encapsulate the length and breadth of love and family in one slim volume." ~Josh Donellan, author of Zeb and the Great Ruckus

Here's the blurb:
This book is not The Book. The Book is in this book. And The Book in this book is both the goodie and the baddie.

Bonnie is five. She wants to bury The Book because it is a demon that should go to hell. Penny, Bonnie’s mother, does bury The Book, but every day she digs it up and writes in it. John, Bonnie’s father, doesn’t live with them anymore. But he still likes to write in it from time to time. Ted, Bonnie’s stepfather, would like to write in The Book, but Penny won’t allow it.

To Bonnie, The Book is sadness.
To Penny, The Book is liberation.
To John, The Book is forgiveness.
To Ted, The Book is envy.
But The Book in this book isn’t what it seems at all.

If there was one thing in this world you wished you could hold in your hand, what would it be? The world bets it would be The Book.

Intrigued?

Available at all major retailers in e-book and paperback, including Amazon US and Amazon UK.






Thursday, January 24, 2013

Verse Day #4




For Verse Day #4, Gabrielle Prendergast is taking a look at movies about poets over at Angelhorn.  I guess it's not really about a poet (at least not a real, famous one) but this post made me think of Dead Poets Society.  Just hearing the title of that movie makes me want to cry!  (It's a good movie, just really sad.)  Anyway, here's an excerpt from the post...


VERSEDAY #4: Movies about Poets

It’s VerseDay again, and another installment of our yearlong celebration of verse. This week, in honor of Kill Your Darlings, an Allen Ginsberg biopic starring Daniel Radcliffe, that debuted at Sundance recently, I thought I’d take note of a few other films that celebrate (and I use that term loosely) the true lives of poets…”

Read the rest here.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Excerpt from Surprise Project

So I have a bit of a surprise, impromptu project releasing early next month, February 12th to be exact...I just put it up on goodreads last Saturday, and you can check it out here.  I'm very nervous about it, to be honest, but I was just preparing some excerpts for a release blitz and I thought...hey, these aren't so bad.  So I've decided to post an impromptu excerpt.  Read it before you visit the book description on Goodreads, and see if you can guess what it's about!


I still remember the day I first heard about the rains that would supposedly fall till our cottages were submerged, our animals drowned, though I can’t recall who told me, or whether I simply overheard the gossip.  But I will never forget the way I tore through the village, heading straight for my father at work in the smithy, and I will never forget how I ran inside without calling out first, even though I was forbidden to do so.  Father was pouring molten bronze into molds, but to my young mind and eyes, it was as if he held liquid fire just a few hands’ breadth from his body, at the end of a long, precariously thin wooden handle.  If he was a more excitable man, a less steady one, there might have been a terrible accident.  As it was, the worst I received was a scolding once Father put the smoking-hot pot down on the smith stone and led me back outside, away from the open flame and molten metal.  And even his reprimand was light, once he realized how frightened I was; he never could be harsh with me.  I remember how he gathered me in his arms, so close that I rested my cheek against the warm leather of his apron and breathed in the smoky residue that lingered there.  He told me that there would be no flood, that old Noah wasn’t right in the head, though I should never say so aloud.
“But how can you know?” I whispered into his chest.
He breathed out, long and deep, and I bit my lip as I waited for him to speak.  “I suppose nothing in this world is certain,” he said at last.  “But I promise that if you, if any member of our family is ever in danger, I’ll do everything I can to protect you.”
Now, as I wash Father’s tunics in the river, I realize I can’t remember the last time I visited him at the smithy, or even exchanged more than a few words with him over supper.  The ark has kept him busy, I suppose.
It takes me a minute to notice Derya is no longer chattering beside me, and I crane my neck to see her standing beside Jorin, facing away from the river.  “Can you imagine,” she says softly, “all of this, just…gone?”
I turn and follow her gaze, taking it all in: the mud-brick cottages, the bits of straw embedded in their walls and roofs gleaming golden in the sun; the fields of wheat and barley, low and parched now that the harvest has ended; the pens of grazing goats and cattle and sheep; the forested hills that cup our valley in their protective hands.  It may not be much, in the scheme of the wide world I’ve heard tales of but never seen, and I may not always feel welcome here.  But this is the only home I’ve ever known, and no, I cannot imagine it destroyed.     

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Cover Reveal: Hereafter by Jennifer Snyder

I'm a big fan of Jennifer's writing, so I'm very excited to be participating in the reveal of the GORGEOUS cover for her new novel Hereafter.


Hereafter is a YA paranormal romance releasing February 18, 2013, and you can add it to goodreads here.  The beautiful cover was designed by Once Upon a Time Covers, and this cover reveal was organized by AToMR Tours.


In Death I could finally see the importance of Life…

After being forced to become a Reaper Council member and being torn away from the one she loves, Rowan Harper must learn to accept her altered Fate as well as her death and move on. A task easier said than done, especially when witnessing those you love suffer in the wake of your death.
When an unlikely ally provides information that could change everything, Rowan sets out on a journey through Purgatory with her beloved by her side and a nonchalant Tracker to learn the true meaning of the word sacrifice. Another task which seems easier said than done, especially with the threat of Purgatory’s ability to corrupt your soul the longer you’re in its grip looming above their heads.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jennifer Snyder lives in North Carolina were she spends most of her time writing young adult fiction, reading, and struggling to stay on top of housework. She is an instant coffee lover with an obsession for spiral bound notebooks and smooth writing pens. Jennifer lives with her husband and two children, who endure listening to songs that spur inspiration on repeat and tolerate her love for all paranormal, teenage-targeted TV shows.







Sunday, January 13, 2013

Book Review: The Truth about Lilly Barnes by Kimberly Russell



Kimberly Russell’s The Truth about Lilly Barnes is one of the most realistic depictions of depression I’ve ever read, and it’s also a story you won’t be able to stop reading once you start.  I really think anyone who has experienced depression themselves, or knows someone who’s struggled with depression and/or abuse, should read this book—and really, isn’t that almost everyone?

At the risk of getting too personal, I will say that I have struggled with depression myself, and a lot of fictional (and heck, even nonfictional) accounts of depression read somehow “off” to me.  With The Truth about Lilly Barnes, I never had this problem.  I’d say the author either has some personal experience in this field or did very detailed research, because everything about this book felt realistic, from Lilly’s internal thought processes at various stages in her journey, to the description of the psychiatric facility, to the characterization of the therapist.  In addition, Lilly’s reaction to the incident that prompted her suicide attempt was VERY real, complex, and well-defined.

This novel draws you in from the very beginning as Lilly tells us that she plans to commit suicide, but doesn’t reveal her reasons.  This tactic forces readers to keep turning pages…but it also forces me to be a bit vague in my review, so sorry about that!  The other factor that draws you in right away is Lilly’s vivid voice.  Lilly’s depression comes through loud and clear, but so does her dark sense of humor, which keeps the narration from becoming overdramatic or maudlin.  Here’s a great example, when Lilly sees her IV in the hospital:

“It seems sort of unnecessary to prolong my life but I guess they can’t just let me die. I’m sure there would be paperwork.”

As the story continues, we also get the POV of Lilly’s friend Buddy.  While Buddy’s POV isn’t quite as memorable as Lilly’s, it’s still distinct and gives us a necessary break from the intensity of Lilly’s worldview.

Since Smashwords gives word counts on its website, I know that The Truth about Lilly Barnes is a shorter book, at just over 30000 words.  However, it didn’t feel short to me, and definitely not too short.  If anything, I think the sparseness and compactness of the writing really helped to avoid any potential melodrama.  And the ending was perfect—hopeful and sweet without being unrealistic.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Verse Day #2!

The second edition of VerseDay, the weekly celebration of verse novels and poetry organized by author and blogger Gabrielle Prendergast, is up now at Gabrielle's blog angelhorn.com.  Check out the excerpt below and be sure to visit angelhorn for the full post!




Some Writer’s Resolutions Inspired by Verse Novelist Leslea Newman

It's VerseDay again! VerseDay is a yearlong blog fest celebrating all things verse. Hosted by Versenovels.com, VerseDay will highlight weekly posts from writers and bloggers who have something to say about verse. This blog, Angelhorn will be blogging for verse day regularly so watch this space for more VerseDay fun. You can visit the VerseDay homepage to find out what other bloggers and writers are involved and sign up yourself.
For my first VerseDay post I want to share what I learned and resolved after chatting with poet Lesléa Newman.

When I chatted with Lesléa Newman earlier this week about her magnificent verse novel OCTOBER MOURNING:A Song for Matthew Shepard, I was interested to learn that she didn't write the poems that make up this extraordinary book in order.

GabrielleSaraP: OCTOBER MOURNING is both a verse novel and a collection of poetry which would appeal to fans of both forms. Any comments?
Lesleanewman: I really thought of it as a collection of themed poems, as opposed to a verse novel…

Read the remainder of the post here.

Top Cuddles of 2012 Giveaway Hop Winner

The winner of the Top Cuddles of 2012 Giveaway Hop is...Artemis!  And if you didn't win, I highly encourage you to pick up The Snow Child.  It's well worth the read!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

An AToMR Promo Event: The Crimson Hunt by Victoria H. Smith


I am very excited to be participating in the promo event for Victoria H. Smith's New Adult Science Fiction Romance, The Crimson Hunt, Book 1 of the Eldaen Light Chronicles.  The event is organized by AToMR Tours.  While I haven't yet read The Crimson Hunt, I did read Victoria's holiday novella,  Holiday Fling, and it was super fun!  Here's a bit more about The Crimson Hunt:


College junior Ariel Richmond is working on year three of Project Normalcy.

Her house reeks of keggers past and her bestie is just a slight bit vulgar. But the thing is—they both aid in making life refreshingly uneventful.

So much for hard-earned mediocrity when Luca Grinaldi appears on the scene.

Luca’s sudden presence on campus is hard to ignore. Those bright eyes act like a beacon to unsuspecting females, and with features like his, he’s got to be moonlighting for GQ. Luca hopelessly captivates Ariel with his confidence and charisma, but the mysteries surrounding him make him nearly untouchable. And just when Ariel grows close enough to unlock his secrets, a tragic event sends her life in a downward spiral.

That steady life is no longer an option and allies quickly become scarce. The mysterious Luca seems to be the only one willing to help her—but with that trust comes the burden of his secrets. He has a dark mission of otherworldly proportions, and is willing to sacrifice as many lives as it takes to see it completed.

Gone are the days of simply maintaining normalcy, and if Ariel isn’t cautious with her trust, so soon may be her future.


The Crimson Hunt is a New Adult Science Fiction Romance.

You can grab The Crimson Hunt at AmazonBarnes & NobleSmashwords, and in print.

Now here's an excerpt to whet your appetite...

I continued my rigorous review of the material. But as the night went on, I didn’t gain much ground. There were about fifteen chapters in the first half of the semester’s lectures. I was only up to chapter eight. There’d never be enough time for me to get them down pat before the midterm tomorrow. I wanted to cry at the thought. Laying my head in my textbook, I hoped the words would materialize into my brain.
“I think the book works better if you are actually reading it.” A gentle laugh accompanied the words.
I jolted, startled by Luca’s sudden appearance. I quickly raised my head, hoping to God there weren’t any page marks indented into my face. I rubbed my eyes, and Luca’s beautiful face appeared before me. “Don’t be so mean. I’m stressing out here. The midterm is tomorrow.” I said this though I didn’t really mind that he poked fun at me. It was really cute to see him joke.
I couldn’t help but notice how hot he looked tonight with his strong build lining his t-shirt. He should never cover his beauty with clothes and such things. He also wore a heather-gray carpenter jacket. I hoped my cardigan was enough for the weather when I left tonight.
“I was not trying to be cruel. I was just stating a fact.” He laughed again and sat on the edge of the table.
I smiled, his laughter bringing my anxiety down a bit.
“What are you caught up on? May I be of any use?”
There were a lot of things he could help me with at this point, but none of them had to do with Zoology.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Victoria H. Smith has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. She puts it to good use writing romance all day. She resides in the Midwest with her Macbook on her lap and a cornfield to her right. She often draws inspiration for her stories from her own life experiences, and the twenty-something characters she writes give her an earful about it.

In her free time, she enjoys extreme couponing, blogging, reading, and sending off a few tweets on Twitter when she can. She writes new adult fiction romance in the sub-genres of science fiction, urban fantasy, and contemporary, but really, anywhere her pen takes her she goes.

Visit Victoria on her blogFacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.

And best of all, Victoria is offering one ebook of The Crimson Hunt in mobi, epub, or pdf format!  This giveaway is international and will run from January 7th to 15th.  I will contact the winner on Jan. 16th, and the winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.






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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Cover Reveal: Disconnect by Imran Siddiq





Disconnect by Imran Siddiq (Divided Worlds Trilogy #1), coming Feb. 22 2013...what a striking, strong and unique cover!


"In space, love has boundaries."

Dirtying fingernails in sewers is fast approaching worthlessness for Zachary, a 16-year old Underworld scavenger. When footage of an Overworld girl, Rosa, is discovered, his intrigue heightens at why she expresses sadness with a lavish lifestyle.

In meeting Rosa, Zachary is scorned by her opinion of the deprived. She pities him and provides a means for them to communicate. With time, friendship and something he’s never felt grows; love for another human. Knowing Rosa calls him when it suits her isn’t enough; he wants to meet her, but how? Relationships in Underworld are few, let alone the impossibility with those above the ceiling.

Underworld will suffer when plans to conquer Jupiter’s moon, Europa move ahead. Worse is Rosa’s father, a disgraced Overworld ambassador, approving the plan.
Zachary must defeat the prejudice of the worlds, sneak within opposing forces, lose friends and challenge Rosa’s sadness. In doing so, a twisted secret is uncovered that may devour the reason he lives; Rosa.

Add Disconnect on goodreads here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR



     Imran Siddiq may have tried to leave Leicester a few times, but its become his place to wake up to two cats, freeze when the heating’s off and most of all, get down to writing. At a young age, his primary school teacher commented on his creativity and ability to tell stories. At the age of 29, during a night in the jungle, the bug inside awakened, and for the last 5 years he’s been sacrificing every second that he can to write. A veteran of writing festivals, a presence on Twitter and gobbling up all forms of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, he hopes he can bring a smile to others in the same way that he had, aged 5, reading with a torch under his duvet. Imran’s preferred genre is YA Sci Fi, and he has a tendency to throw a droid in every novel. 

Author Links:



Wednesday, January 2, 2013

VerseDay #1

I am so excited to be a part of the new weekly feature VerseDay, organized by the amazing YA writer, blogger, and verse novel champion Gabrielle Prendergast and hosted by her site versenovels.com.  Every Thursday, a different blogger will be highlighting a topic related to verse novels or poetry, and often a giveaway as well.

So here's a little teaser for VerseDay post #1...


VERSEDAY #1 - THE CYBIL NOMINEES FOR POETRY

It's VerseDay! VerseDay is a year long blog fest celebrating all things verse. Each Thursday one of our VerseDay bloggers will post something about verse - a review, a giveaway, writing tips, anything. Other participating bloggers will link to that week's post on their blogs, tweet or Facebook the link and just generally add their support.

For this, our inaugural post, we're going to take a closer look at the 2012Cybil nominees in the poetry category. Personally I love that the Cybils include a poetry category. Despite the popularity of verse novels, poetry is an oft overlooked area of writing for young readers. But as these seven nominees demonstrate, there is no shortage of great collections out there.

Be sure to check out the full post here, and thanks to Gabrielle for organizing this!