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Thursday, 31 January 2013

Blog Tour: Clayton Falls series by Alyssa Rose Ivy (Excerpt)

About the author of VEER and DERAILED: 
Alyssa Rose Ivy Alyssa Rose Ivy is a Young Adult and New Adult author who loves to weave stories with romance and a southern setting. Although raised in the New York area, she fell in love with the South after moving to New Orleans for college. After years as a perpetual student, she turned back to her creative side and decided to write. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and two young children, and she can usually be found with a cup of coffee in her hand.
Derailed (Clayton Falls, #1)ABOUT THE BOOK (DERAILED):
When you're lost, sometimes the only place you can go is home.

Broken over the death of her fiancé, Molly leaves law school to return to her childhood home in North Carolina. Expecting to lay low until she can figure out what else to do with her life, she finds herself in the arms of her high school sweetheart, the boy who represents everything from the past she tried to leave behind.

Looking for an escape, she instead finds a way back to the girl she almost forgot existed and a future she never dreamed possible.
With his brown hair buzzed short as usual, and the constant tan with a hint of sunburn he always sported from working on his dad’s boats, my high school sweetheart stood at the counter.
“Molly?” His brown eyes widened. A barely visible smile played on the corner of his lips.
“Hi, Ben.” I smiled, giving a small wave. Inside, my stomach did somersaults. I wasn’t ready for this.
“Wow, what are you doing here? You work at Marney’s again?” He placed a hand on the counter. “Aren’t you supposed to be in Boston?”
“Plans changed.”
“How so?” Ben was never one for mincing words.
“I quit law school.”
“Oh. How’d your fiancé take it?” He said the word ‘fiancé’ like it left a bad taste in his mouth.
“We’re not getting married.”
“Oh… I didn’t know.”
“Yeah, I didn’t exactly spread the word. Did your dad really not tell you I was back?”
“My Dad?”
“I ran into him this morning. I figured he would have mentioned it, or am I wrong and you don’t work with him anymore?” Ben’s plans, aside from his music, had always been to work in his father’s marina sales and rental company and to take over one day. It was hard to pull him away from the water.
“He didn’t mention it.” His face scrunched up the way it always did when he was thinking. “But wow, I definitely didn’t expect to see you.”
“I’ve been getting that a lot.”
“So since you’re working here, does that mean you plan to stay around?” I couldn’t tell what answer he wanted.
I leaned up against the back counter. “Maybe… I really don’t know. This was kind of a last minute decision.”
“How last minute?”
“Meaning I walked out of class, packed up what I wanted from my apartment, and left the city.”
“That’s… cool.” Ben put his hands in his pockets.
We stood in awkward silence for a while, just looking at each other. “So, can I get you something?”
“Oh sure, the special.”
“Okay, coming right up.” I grabbed one of the chicken salad sandwiches I had spent so much time making and wrapped it up. “So what have you been up to?” I called over my shoulder.
“You know, work mostly—I’ve started a side business taking out fishing tours. It keeps me pretty busy. I’m still playing with the guys, though.”
“Yeah, I heard that.” I fidgeted nervously while holding his sandwich in one hand. Making small talk with Ben wasn’t easy. There was way too much we needed to say to each other, but couldn’t.
“We’re playing tonight at Gill’s. You should come.”
“Oh, I don’t know, but thanks.”
“Come on, you should. I promise we’re better than in high school.” He smiled, and I knew I was lost. It was impossible to say no to that smile.
“All right.”
“Yeah? Okay, cool. Maybe we can catch up after? It’s been a long time.”
“Okay.” I filled a cup with Coke. I assumed he hadn’t changed his drink of choice.
He looked torn for a moment. “Oh, and Mol?”
“Yeah?” I placed his drink on the counter.
“For what it’s worth, I’m sorry things didn’t work out for you up in Boston.”
“Thanks. I appreciate it.”
“See you later.”
As soon as the door chime sounded announcing Ben’s exit, Gail came out to join me. “Now that’s the old Molly. All it took was five minutes with Ben Mathews. I think we found your solution.”

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Cover Reveal: While He Was Away by Karen Schreck (Special Edition Cover and Guest Post)

One year--he'll be gone for one year and then we'll be together again and everything will be back to the way it should be.

The day David left, I felt like my heart was breaking. Sure, any long-distance relationship is tough, but David was going to war--to fight, to protect, to put his life in danger. We can get through this, though. We'll talk, we'll email, we won't let anything come between us.

I can be an army girlfriend for one year. But will my sweet, soulful, funny David be the same person when he comes home? Will I? And what if he doesn't come home at all?...

While He Was Away
My thoughts on cover: I love black and white covers! There's just something about them that I adore and the pink fonts are so cool! I admit, I would pick this one up in a bookstore rather the old cover.
Karen Schreck
Karen Schreck is the author of the young adult novel WHILE HE WAS AWAY (Sourcebooks Fire, May 2012), as well as the novel DREAM JOURNAL, which was a 2006 Young Adult BookSense Pick, and the award-winning children's book, LUCY'S FAMILY TREE. The recipient of a Pushcart Prize and an Illinois State Arts Council Grant, Karen received her doctorate in English and Creative Writing from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She writes and teaches for a living, and she loves visiting schools and other gatherings of readers and writers to talk about her books the writing process. 
GUEST POST by author Karen Schreck! INSPIRATION
While He Was Away Walmart-Exclusive Cover Reveal
 and How Inspiration Can Come From Anywhere:
Even a Trip to the Grocery Store and a Handful of Long-Lost Photographs
By Karen Schreck
I sometimes wonder what my mother would say if she knew that her story—one of the saddest, sweetest love stories I’ve ever heard—was retold in a new way in my young adult novel, While He Was Away.
Now Sourcebooks Fire is sharing the story yet again, in a second, exclusive edition, released nation-wide at Walmart.  The fact that Sourcebooks believed enough in While He Was Away to bring it to life the first time felt like a much-needed confirmation of years of hard work.  The fact that they are standing behind my book again in this way . . . well, it feels like a miracle.  I’m truly grateful.
I wonder what my mother would say to this incredible news? I like to think she would be grateful too.  I like to think she would be happy.  She wanted her story heard after all.  So much so that it was one of the last things she told me, just before she died.
One rainy night when I was fourteen, right before cancer left her to ill to talk, let alone drive a car, my mother said, “Come with me.  We’re going shopping.”  We drove to the little local market and wandered up and down the aisles, as she threw in a can of tuna, some dishwashing soap, and other little things we didn’t need.  We paid for these little things.  She looked anxious and tired, still she hadn’t said a thing; we hadn’t spoken a word.
It was only when we were parked in our driveway again that my mother said, “I was married once before when I was very young.  He died a hero in WWII.”
And that was that.  Soon after, she died.
I thought about my mother’s mysterious love story for many years.  I talked to relatives, found long-lost photographs.  The story took seed in me.  It flowered into a novel about a young women whose boyfriend leaves for the Iraq War.  In her loneliness, she seeks out a grandmother she’s never met, whose first husband died in WWII.  She seeks out a character inspired by mother.
A late night drive, a few words spoken in the dark.  Even things as simple as this can inspire a novel.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Review: Boundless - Cynthia Hand

THIS REVIEW HAS SPOILERS AT THE END OF THE POST. So if you want to know once and for all who Clara chose, read the bottom of the post. Everything else is spoiler free.
Author: Cynthia Hand
Release Date: January 22nd 2013
Publisher:  HarperTeen
Genres: YA, Paranormal, Angels
Pages: 438
Source: Bought

The past few years have held more surprises than part-angel Clara Gardner could ever have anticipated. Yet from the dizzying highs of first love, to the agonizing low of losing someone close to her, the one thing she can no longer deny is that she was never meant to live a normal life.

Since discovering the special role she plays among the other angel-bloods, Clara has been determined to protect Tucker Avery from the evil that follows her . . . even if it means breaking both their hearts. Leaving town seems like the best option, so she’s headed back to California - and so is Christian Prescott, the irresistible boy from the vision that started her on this journey in the first place.

As Clara makes her way in a world that is frighteningly new, she discovers that the fallen angel who attacked her is watching her every move. And he’s not the only one. . . . With the battle against the Black Wings looming, Clara knows she must finally fulfil her destiny. But it won’t come without sacrifices and betrayal.

In the riveting finale of the Unearthly series, Clara must decide her fate once and for all.
I prepared my box of tissues and chocolates ready before diving into BOUNDLESS. Even though I was super excited to find out what happens (and yes, mostly who she ends up with), I was also shaking. Like so scared 'cause I've heard from so many people that they've cried and whatnot. I started this at about 8pm and finished it at about 1 or 2am. And then after the final last page, I just put my book down stared at my ceiling (I was already in bed, yo). And then I just cried. SO MANY FEELS. I'll get on that but first, let me tell you that BOUNDLESS is a perfect and satisfying conclusion to one of my favourite series and I wouldn't change anything about it. Just perfect.
I just love Clara. She just acts like such a normal teenage girl sometimes and you can't help but love her and sympathize with her because of all the angel visions and purpose business. She makes really stupid jokes in the very serious situations and in this book, you'll find out once and for all what her angelic purpose is, whether she'll choose free will or destiny.
Someone previously said that the only love triangles that are ACTUALLY love triangles are Will/Jem from TID and Tucker/Christian from this series. I agree!! There's no bad boy, there's both good guys that are good and suited to Clara in different ways. I just love the unpredictability of this love triangle and applaud Cynthia Hand for not making this like the other boring love triangles out there right now. Just saying.
You guys all know I'm Team Tucker, right? Right? And how much I hated Christian after book 2, Hallowed. Well, I'm not going to say anything but just that I don't hate Christian anymore. I know. Very big surprise there! We get to spend so much time with Christian here than with Tucker and you can see how much he truly cares for Clara. But I'm still Tucker. Even though I'm still on a team, that doesn't mean that she ends up with him, though, mind you. To avoid spoilers, all I'm going to say is that I'm very satistified with the ending and the epilogue, even if she ended up with the one that I like or not.
The UNEARTHLY series is one of my all time favourite series ever and I'm very heartbroken that there won't be any Clara, Christian and Tucker and the others to read about anymore. *sobs* I remember reading Unearthly in 2011 and completely falling in love with it. It's one of the very rare angel books that actually stands out from everything else. I felt very bittersweet right after the last page of Boundless. From the last few chapters, I actually thought I was going to have a heart attack. It was just so intense! You don't know what's going to happen, whether someone's going to die or not etc. Just WOW.  
I gotta tell you, Cynthia Hand is one awesome lady. Her writing has always been great, but with Boundless I just love her as author even more. Even though she writes about angels, her writing as always had a very contemporary look to them that sometimes you forgot Clara and the others are even angels at all. But in a very good way.
Did I ever mention how much I love the settings in this series? The first two books had Jackson Hole, Wyoming and gosh do I want to go to that place!! And with Boundless, Clara, Christian and Angela now go to Stanford University and Cynthia's descriptions are just so vivid that you can almost imagine being there!
All in all, if you haven't started this series yet, DO so now. I promise you, this series has got to be one of the most in YA and I will undoubtly read anything that Cynthia Hand will write and publish. I heard that her next project is a YA contemporary with a twist, so I'm very much looking forward to that. And if her boys in this series (hello, Tucker!) are any indication of her boys in future books, well..count me in. ;)
(My favourite book of the series has still got to be Unearthly, then Boundless, and poor little Hallowed is at the bottom for me.)
Unearthly (Unearthly, #1)Hallowed (Unearthly, #2)Boundless (Unearthly, #3)
Goodbye, Unearthly series! I'll miss you! *sobs*
Highlight to show spoilers
Are you as happy as I am about the ending?? I cried and smiled and cried some more!! The epilogue was very sweet and I wouldn't change a thing! I'm glad that Angela is now ok and Tucker's last line was just AWWW.
If I did a bet about who Clara's going to end up with, I'd choose Christian. BUT I'm so so Team Tucker and loved the outcome! Guys, remember one thing: free will over destiny. But I felt so sorry for Christian though! I don't hate him now and I have to admit he's a great guy who's always been there for Clara. But like Clara said, he's just her best friend, Tucker's her love.
Didn't you guess what was up with Jeffrey's 'girlfriend' right after Clara met her? Because I did.
About Clara's purpose - can someone help me because I was a bit confused about that at the end :/

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Showcase Sunday (29)

Hosted by the lovely Books, Biscuits and Tea, the aim of Showcase Sunday is to highlight our newest books or book related swag and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto e-readers each week.

No pictures today since I can't find my camera but I thought you guys would still like to know what books I got! :)

Boundless (Unearthly, #3)Everbound (Everneath, #2)Vanilla on Top (Walk on the Wild Side #1)
Boundless by Cynthia Hand
This book almost gave me a heart attack. LOVED IT. So sad 'cause Unearthly is one of my all time favourite series and the best angel series out there so upset that there won't be any Clara, Tucker and Christian. Team Tuck, btw. Review will be posted on Monday, 28th Jan.
Everbound by Brodi Ashton
Don't you just love this cover? I do.
Vanilla On Top by C.J. Ellison
I love the Entangled line BRAZEN and I think it's my favourite line from them (except for Entangled Teen). This book was so good! And hot! Review coming soon.

The Collector (Dante Walker, #1)Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles, #1)The Rules for DisappearingGame for Marriage (Game for It #1)
The Collector by Victoria Scott
I've already read and devoured this book. Here's my review. Y'all want this one! Thank you so much to Entangled Teen and publicist Heather Riccio! Love ya! :D
Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood (UK new)
Already read this ages ago but I got a UK paperback since I'm in the blog tour for it, I love the new cover, by the way! :) Thanks Penguin/Puffin UK!
The Rules For Disappearing by Ashley Elston
This book is about a witness protection program kinda thing and I can't wait to read it! Thanks Disney Hyperion and Netgalley!
Game For Marriage by Karen Erickson
This book caused me to lose sleep! And plus, the guy is super yummy! I can read any of Entangled's BRAZEN line and will love it! :) Blog tour/review soon. Thanks Entangled!
Still don't have Apollyon and waiting for The Indigo Spell and Scarlet!

So, what did YOU guys get this week? Let me know what you think of my weekly haul and leave your links down below, I'll try to go and check them out! :)

Weekly Roundup!
Cover Reveal: Reclaimed by Sara Guillory
Cover Reveal: Blurred by Tara Fuller
Blog Makeover! (Well, kinda!)
Review: Easy by Tammara
WoW: The Liberator by Victoria Scott
Review: The Collector by Victoria Scott
Guest Post: Author Robin Bielman
Author Interview: Laura Lam (Pantomime)


Friday, 25 January 2013

Blog Tour: Robin Bielman (Guest Post)

About the author of YOURS AT MIDNIGHT:  
Robin Bielman Robin lives in Southern California, a bike ride away from the ocean if she's feeling really adventurous, with her high school sweetheart husband, two sons, and a very cute mini labradoodle named Harry (after Harry Dresden from Jim Butcher's Dresden Files books).

When Robin's not reading or writing her next story, she loves to bake, run, hike, and dream of all the travel adventures she hopes to have. She is addicted to cafe mochas, and if every day were Cupcake Day, she'd be a happy camper.

She writes contemporary romance for Entangled Publishing.

Yours at Midnight

Lyric Whetsone only had eyes for Quinn Sobel's brother Oliver, until a car crash took Oliver's life on New Year's Eve. Then, a moment of shared grief between Quinn and Lyric became something more impassioned, something that frightened Quinn so much he ran from Lyric's bed and her life, disappearing for four long years.

Now Quinn's back for another New Year's Eve, struggling for closure, desperate to leave his grief in the past and make amends with the girl of his dreams.

But Lyric has a secret--one that could drive Quinn from her life forever. Will Quinn run away from the love and acceptance he's always wanted...or will he claim his New Year's kiss and make her his at midnight?
Thanks so much for having me as a guest today, Jana! I’m delighted to be here and talk about the inspiration behind my latest release, Yours At Midnight. I thought I’d have a little fun with my explanation…
I – N- S – P –I –R – A – T – I – O – N
I    I decided to write a New Year’s Eve themed novella after my editor and publisher, Entangled Publishing, gave a shout out for holiday themed stories.
N   New Year’s Eve! Everyone celebrates New Year’s Eve, right? Whether you hit the town, have a party, attend a party, do dinner and a movie, stay home in your PJ’s, everyone in some small way celebrates the end of one year and the start of a new one.
S   Secrets. Who hasn’t had a secret? Who doesn’t want to know someone’s secret? Come on, be honest. Secrets draw you in and make you wonder. My heroine has got one heck of a secret, and it’s eating her up inside.
P   Pancakes and pumpkin. There’s a breakfast scene in my book and when I was writing it I thought about what my own kids love to eat and pancakes is at the top of their list. At the top of mine? Pumpkin muffins. So I added those, too. J
I    Italian. One of the foreign languages my hero, Quinn, speaks. I think most girls would agree with me that Italian = sexy.
R   Resolutions. My book opens with my heroine, Lyric, decided on her resolution: find a man. We all know how hard resolutions are to keep, and I wanted to give Lyric something attainable, but oh so full of conflict.
A    Accidents. I don’t want to give anything away, but from some accidents love and hope and precious gifts can bloom.
T   Teddy. Teddy plays an important role in my book—a tail wagging, golden fur, escape artist kind of importance. His inspiration came from my own lovable dog, Harry. Although, my Harry has yet to sneak out of the gate.
I    Inch by inch, Lyric and Quinn get closer. I love reading stories where there’s lots of buildup to getting the hero and heroine together, so I wanted to do the same.
O   Oliver.  Quinn’s twin brother died in a car accident four years ago, but he’s still a very important part of the story. This book poured out of me very quickly and I think the inclusion of loss stemmed from wanting to write sexual tension and sweetness between my hero and heroine that also included misunderstandings and apprehension. In order to do that, I needed Oliver, but only in the past.
N    Naked. There are several different meanings that go with this word. Unclothed, exposed, bare, raw, stripped, unguarded. I tried to hit them all.
What do you like best in your favorite books? I’d love to know!

2013 Debut Author Interview: Laura Lam

Every Friday here at The Book Goddess blog, I will be featuring one 2013 debut author and interview them about their upcoming book. If you want to take a look at the past interviews, go HERE.

About the author of PANTOMIME!
Laura Lam Laura Lam was raised near San Francisco, California, by two former Haight-Ashbury hippies. Both of them encouraged her to finger-paint to her heart’s desire, colour outside of the lines, and consider the library a second home. This led to an overabundance of daydreams.

She relocated to Scotland to be with her husband, whom she met on the internet when he insulted her taste in books. She almost blocked him but is glad she didn’t. At times she misses the sunshine.

PANTOMIME  by Laura Lam - debuting February 5th 2013 from Strange Chemistry

R. H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic is the greatest circus of Ellada. Nestled among the glowing blue Penglass—remnants of a mysterious civilisation long gone—are wonders beyond the wildest imagination. It’s a place where anything seems possible, where if you close your eyes you can believe that the magic and knowledge of the vanished Chimaera is still there. It’s a place where anyone can hide.

Iphigenia Laurus, or Gene, the daughter of a noble family, is uncomfortable in corsets and crinoline, and prefers climbing trees to debutante balls. Micah Grey, a runaway living on the streets, joins the circus as an aerialist’s apprentice and soon becomes the circus’s rising star.

But Gene and Micah have balancing acts of their own to perform, and a secret in their blood that could unlock the mysteries of Ellada.



1.    Describe your book in 5 words.


Secrets, identity, magic, flying, falling.


2.    PANTOMIME I thought was a very unique book. How did you come up with it and the characters Micah and Gene without giving too much a way?


I actually started another book with a 27-year-old Micah Grey, first. The character came into my head almost by accident, but I was a little nervous about writing a character like Micah. So I took my time, did some research, and then realized I needed to tell his story.


But I kept getting stuck on the plot and tapping into his voice. I thought I’d write a “short story” about Micah’s background to get a feel for him. But I fell in love with the circus and the characters and the straightforward coming of age story and that became its own book.


3.    Do you prefer Micah or Gene? Who was the easiest and the hardest to write about and why?


I love them both. Micah gets to have a lot more fun than Gene, however. They were both about the same level of difficulty in terms of writing. I found the voices very easy to tap into, but perhaps Micah’s was a bit harder because I had to balance him against so many more characters.


4.    Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started? What was your publishing journey like?


I started writing as a teen but didn’t finish anything. I took a break for a few years and read a lot to get an idea for the kind of fiction I liked best. I studied creative writing at university (which in retrospect was not the best for day-job career prospects) and wrote short stories and poems, and placed in a couple of university contests. It was during uni that I came up with the idea for Micah Grey.


I became serious about writing in late 2009, just after I moved from California to Scotland to be with my husband, who I met on the internet when I was 15 and he was 16. The only job I could find was a really boring admin assistant job, and so I daydreamed the plot while I filed and wrote both Pantomime and the adult Micah Grey book in the evenings. I finished Pantomime and subbed it to Angry Robot’s Open Door month in March 2011, not really expecting anything but proud of myself for subbing.


To my surprise, I made it to the editorial round. But there were lingering issues with the manuscript, and they thought it was YA. But luckily, they were branching out into YA anyway, so I was their first submission, I think. I received a revision request in November, spent 3 months editing, and then grabbed an agent and a book deal in 3 weeks. Everything came together and it still feels a bit like a fairy tale.



5.    Aside from PANTOMIME coming out this year, what else can we expect from you? New books, new projects?


It gets a bit tricky to speak too much about books not under contract. There will definitely be a sequel to Pantomime. I’m also working on another project set in the real-world, which is a gothic tale with a twist. I’ve also written some short stories set in Ellada & the Archipelago, Pantomime’s world, and have ideas for other Micah Grey books as well. So hopefully there’ll be some announcements about those this year!


6.    As a reader, what is the most important to you, the characters or the plot? And as a writer, is it different?


Characters. If I love the characters I’ll follow them anywhere. Give me the most amazing plot but terrible characters and I put it down. With writing it’s the same. I like doing character studies and I’m probably never going to be an action thriller writer, as that’s just not my style.


7.    What made you decide to write a Young Adult book?


As I said, I wrote one by accident. I’ve read a lot of YA for years and adore it, but I’ve also read adult fantasy where the protagonists were teens, so I wasn’t really sure initially which side of the divide Pantomime should be on. That’s why I initially subbed it as adult. But with the themes explored, I do think it belongs firmly in the YA camp.


I think it was easier for me to start with YA because I was 21 and being a teen was so fresh in my mind—I remembered all the heartache and the fierce desire to figure out who you are and what you believe in. YA has such powerful emotions and stories and so it was what I was drawn to explore.


8.    What are you feeling now that we're getting nearer to the February release date? Are you nervous or just really excited to get PANTOMIME out into the hands of readers and bloggers?


Both? It’s my dream come true, but it’s also so terrifying. In some ways Pantomime is quite a personal book, as if through a lens I shared more about myself than I originally meant to. But I think most authors must feel that way with their work. But I love the story of Pantomime and I love Gene and Micah, and I’m so glad other people are growing to care for them too. It’s wonderful.


9.    What other books are you really looking forward to read in 2013?


So many! A few sequels like Dracomachia by Rachel Hartman and Scarlet by Marissa Meyer. I also really like the look of Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson and keeping up with the Strange Chemistry titles!


10. Did you had to do any research for PANTOMIME and if so, can you tell us what?


I did quite a lot of research into the circus, circus slang and customs, the Victorian society, etiquette and debutante balls, industrialization, colonization, and possible future technologies. Whenever I go to a museum, little interesting tidbits find their way into my head for a later date.

I try not to make too many notes as I research, so then that way it comes to me organically as I write, instead of me trying to fit in as many of the factoids I’ve stumbled across as I can. I love research, so it’s always a pleasure, especially when I stumble across something that I know will enrich the story.

I've already read PANTOMIME and it was awesome! Read my review HERE.

Check back next Friday for our next author interview, Lauren Miller (author of PARALLEL) and an ARC giveaway of her book, Parallel!
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