*Blog Tour + Giveaway* Lady Smoke – Laura Sebastian

lady smoke designer credit billelis @billelisTitle: LADY SMOKE (Ash Princess Trilogy #2)

Author: Laura Sebastian

Pub. Date: February 5, 2019

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook

Pages: 512

Find it:

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The sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller that was “made for fans of Victoria Aveyard and Sabaa Tahir” ( Bustle ), Lady Smoke is an epic new fantasy about a throne cruelly stolen and a girl who must fight to take it back for her people. 

The Kaiser murdered Theodosia’s mother, the Fire Queen, when Theo was only six. He took Theo’s country and kept her prisoner, crowning her Ash Princess–a pet to toy with and humiliate for ten long years. That era has ended. The Kaiser thought his prisoner weak and defenseless. He didn’t realize that a sharp mind is the deadliest weapon.

Theo no longer wears a crown of ashes. She has taken back her rightful title, and a hostage–Prinz Soren. But her people remain enslaved under the Kaiser’s rule, and now she is thousands of miles away from them and her throne.

To get them back, she will need an army. Only, securing an army means she must trust her aunt, the dreaded pirate Dragonsbane. And according to Dragonsbane, an army can only be produced if Theo takes a husband. Something an Astrean Queen has never done.

Theo knows that freedom comes at a price, but she is determined to find a way to save her country without losing herself.

A darkly enchanting page-turner you won’t be able to put down.” –Bustle on Ash Princess, Book 1 in the Ash Princess series


About Book 1:

ashTitle: ASH PRINCESS (Ash Princess Trilogy #1)

Author: Laura Sebastian

Pub. Date: April 24, 2018

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook

Pages: 432

Find it:

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Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered before her eyes. On that day, the Kaiser took Theodosia’s family, her land, and her name. Theo was crowned Ash Princess–a title of shame to bear in her new life as a prisoner.

For ten years Theo has been a captive in her own palace. She’s endured the relentless abuse and ridicule of the Kaiser and his court. She is powerless, surviving in her new world only by burying the girl she was deep inside.

Then, one night, the Kaiser forces her to do the unthinkable. With blood on her hands and all hope of reclaiming her throne lost, she realizes that surviving is no longer enough. But she does have a weapon: her mind is sharper than any sword. And power isn’t always won on the battlefield.

For ten years, the Ash Princess has seen her land pillaged and her people enslaved. That all ends here.


About Laura:

author-photo-300x200Laura Sebastian was born and raised in South Florida (the Redlands and Key Largo) and has always loved telling stories–many apologies to her little brother who often got in trouble because of them. No copies of her first book, a Cinderella retelling about angels circa 2nd grade, remain. Thankfully.

After getting her BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design, she moved to New York City thinking that she would stay for a couple of years before going somewhere better suited for a small-town, sun-loving girl. Five years later, she’s still here and madly in love with it.

When Laura isn’t writing, she’s probably reading, baking cookies or cupcakes, buying more clothes than her overstuffed closet can fit, or forcing her lazy dog Neville to take a walk.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram


My Review

Lady Smoke, an exquisite and breathtaking read, is a perfect bridge between Ash Princess and Ember Queen, the final book in the trilogy. Lady Smoke continues where Ash Princess ends, and brings the readers on a journey full of history and the continuous game of cat and mouse.

In Lady Smoke, Theo meets many potential suitors who, in exchange for her hand in marriage, will give her a big enough army to take down the Kaiser and reclaim Astrea. What I liked about all these suitors is that we are given the chance to learn more about the other countries and why none assisted Astrea in that time of need ten years ago. And, of course, Theo’s heart still battles with her feelings for Blaise and Soren; one she knows she loves and one she denies her feelings.

Theo is still playing a dangerous game in Lady Smoke, using her wits to outsmart those who underestimate her and treat her as a China doll. The only main difference is that she’s playing multiple games with her aunt, the Kaiser, and King Etristo. She will have to prove to them all that she is strong enough to be Queen. But she also understands that she has more to lose than she did when she was in the possession of the Kaiser, so she must be choose her battles. As the reader, I was rooting for Theo to come out victorious in her battles; I want to see her take her country back.

In Lady Smoke, Theo discovers more about herself and what she’s capable of, and that power, that realization, is going to set up the third book to begin with a bang (especially with THAT ending). She battles with her actions as Queen; she starts to realize that some of her actions are similar to the Kaiser and that slowly scares her. Not only does she have to figure out how to get Astrea back, she also has to determine how to get the Kaiser’s voice out of her head. But her actions as Queen are not the only thing keeping her up at night. How she left things back in Astrea with the Kaiser haunt her and bring a surprising realization to what she is actually capable of and who she is potentially meant to be.

Overall, Lady Smoke provides a wonderful sequel to Ash Princess, one that will not disappoint. Lady Smoke leads up to what will be a heart pounding end to an amazing trilogy. Queen Theodosia is an ember burning among flames, and she won’t stop until the Kaiser pays for what he did; she won’t stop until she has reclaimed Astrea. The Ash Princess is no more; make room for the Queen of Astrea, the Queen of Flame and Fury.

Lady Smoke releases February 5, 2019.


Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of LADY SMOKE, US Only.

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Tour Schedule:

Week One:

1/1/2019- To Be Read– Review

1/2/2019- A Dream Within A Dream– Review

1/3/2019- Here’s to Happy Endings– Review

1/4/2019- Random Bookish Banter– Review

Week Two:

1/7/2019- Tween 2 Teen Book Reviews– Review

1/8/2019- Jrsbookreviews– Review

1/9/2019- Omg Books and More Books– Review

1/10/2019- Fiction Fare– Review

1/11/2019- Du Livre– Review

Week Three:

1/14/2019- Loie Dunn– Review

1/15/2019- A Court of Coffee and Books– Review

1/16/2019- Paws and Paperbacks– Review

1/17/2019- A Gingerly Review– Review

1/18/2019- Lifestyle of Me– Review

Week Four:

1/21/2019- Paper Reader– Review

1/22/2019- Adventures and Reading– Review

1/23/2019- Popthebutterfly Reads– Review

1/24/2019- Adventures Thru Wonderland– Review

1/25/2019- YA Books Central– Interview

Week Five:

1/28/2019- Confessions of a YA Reader– Review

1/29/2019- Colorimetry– Interview

1/30/2019- Smada’s Book Smack– Review

1/31/2019- Kat’s Books– Review

Hosted by Rockstar Book Tours; thank you so much for including us on this blog tour!

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*Blog Tour + Giveaway* Pretty in Punxsutawney by Laurie Boyle Crompton

Pretty in Punxsatawney_RD3Title: Pretty In Punxsutawney

Author: Laurie Boyle Crompton

Publisher: Blink

Release date: January 22, 2019

Genre: Young Adult — Contemporary, Romance

Synopsis:

A mashup of Groundhog Day and Pretty in Pink, the book stars a senior who is forced to relive the first day at her new school in an endless loop. Andie is convinced she needs true love’s kiss to break the curse, but instead discovers how a high school filled with cliques and misfits can find common ground despite everyone’s differences.

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36168849-pretty-in-punxsutawney

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2rdEb48

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pretty-in-punxsutawney-laurie-boyle-crompton/1128209537?#/

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Pretty-in-Punxsutawney-Laurie-Boyle-Crompton/9780310762164

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/search/book?keys=Pretty+in+Punxsutawney


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

laurieboylecrompton (1)Laurie Boyle Crompton is the YA author of the upcoming PRETTY IN PUNXSUTAWNEY (Blink/HarperCollins 2019) as well as ADRENALINE CRUSH (Macmillan/2014, Square Fish/2016), BLAZE (or Love in the Time of Supervillains), THE REAL PROM QUEENS OF WESTFIELD HIGH and LOVE AND VANDALISM (Sourcebooks/2013, 2014, 2017). Growing up in ‘Pennsyltucky’ in the 1980s, Laurie couldn’t wait to escape rural life. After saving up her tips from waitressing at a local greasy spoon at 18 she packed up her acid wash jeans and moved to NY. Where everyone else had stopped wearing acid wash.

She graduated first in her class from St. John’s University with a BA in English and Journalism. Since then she’s written for national magazines like ALLURE, survived a teaching stint at an all-boy high school, and appeared on Good Day New York several times as a Toy Expert. And yes, ‘toy expert’ is an actual profession. Really.

She has lived in places like Orlando, Florida where she and her husband spent all of their spare time and money visiting theme parks before moving to the Cotswolds in England for six months, which was every bit as cool as that sounds. The Cromptons are now back in New York where their two children resent never going to Disney.

Laurie occasionally enjoys hanging out in fields of blooming flowers and also refering to herself in the third person.

Website: https://www.lboylecrompton.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lbcrompton

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lbcrompton/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/laurie.b.crompton


MY REVIEW

This book was absolutely adorable! When I read that Groundhog Day would be the main basis for this book, I knew I needed to read this. Pretty in Punxsutawney is a cute and fast-read contemporary that hooked me from the very beginning. It’s a wonderful mash-up of Groundhog Day and Pretty In Pink, which makes for a fun and laugh-at-loud read. I loved how much Andie evolved over those repeating days. Each day brought a new scenario for Andie, which gave the reader a little snippet into another part of Andie’s personality.

When Andie wakes up the next morning after her first day of school, only to find out that she’s reliving the same day over and over again, she thinks it’s a blessing, yet also a curse. She thinks it’s the world’s way of telling her to get the day right and to find true love. And, of course, to get her first kiss. But little does she know that not everything is going to go as planned and not everyone is who they seem. And maybe, just maybe, you don’t need a kiss to break a time loop.

I loved Andie as a character. She’s strong and funny and someone I could really connect with throughout the book. I enjoyed seeing her dynamics with the many characters along the way, especially with Tom. She interacts with kids from different cliques in her high school, where she sees that many people put on an image at school and hide who they really are. And through all these characters, all these interactions, she starts to understand the person she wants to be. Even though her days are filled with angst and high school drama (like having to deal with a girl trying to steal the guy she thinks she likes), she stills fights to figure out who she is and what she’s supposed to do to break the curse.

One of my favorite things about Pretty in Punxsutawney was all the references to classic 80s movies, like Pretty in Pink. I’m a huge movie buff, so I loved all the references and how they all incorporated into the story. Andie references some of her mom’s favorite 80s movies to help her get through each repeat day, and each movie reference helps create a different outcome, which, in turn, teaches Andie something about herself she didn’t know.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Pretty in Punxsutawney. It was different from any contemporary books I have read and referring to 80s nostalgic movies definitely put the cherry on top. If you enjoy contemporaries with big-screen features similar to Groundhog Day and other well-known movies, I highly recommend!

Pretty in Punxsutawney comes out January 15, 2019!


GIVEAWAY

Prize: 5 finished copies of Pretty In Punxsutawney by Laurie Boyle Crompton (USA only)

Starts: 1/7/19

Ends:  1/16/19

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TOUR SCHEDULE

http://fantasticflyingbookclub.blogspot.com/2018/12/tour-schedule-pretty-in-punxsutawney-by.html


Thank you so much, Fantastic Flying Book Club, for having us on this amazing book blog tour!

*Blog Tour + Giveaway* My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life – Rachel Cohn

My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life High ResTitle: MY ALMOST FLAWLESS TOKYO DREAM LIFE

Author: Rachel Cohn

Pub. Date: December 18, 2018

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Pages: 384

Find it:

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“I’m here to take you to live with your father. In Tokyo, Japan! Happy birthday!”

In the Land of the Rising Sun, where high culture meets high kitsch, and fashion and technology are at the forefront of the First World’s future, the foreign-born teen elite attend ICS-the International Collegiate School of Tokyo. Their accents are fluid. Their homes are ridiculously posh. Their sports games often involve a (private) plane trip to another country. They miss school because of jet lag and visa issues. When they get in trouble, they seek diplomatic immunity.

Enter foster-kid-out-of-water Elle Zoellner, who, on her sixteenth birthday discovers that her long-lost father, Kenji Takahari, is actually a Japanese hotel mogul and wants her to come live with him. Um, yes, please! Elle jets off first class from Washington D.C. to Tokyo, which seems like a dream come true. Until she meets her enigmatic father, her way-too-fab aunt, and her hyper-critical grandmother, who seems to wish Elle didn’t exist. In an effort to please her new family, Elle falls in with the Ex-Brats, a troupe of uber-cool international kids who spend money like it’s air. But when she starts to crush on a boy named Ryuu, who’s frozen out by the Brats and despised by her new family, her already tenuous living situation just might implode.

My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life is about learning what it is to be a family, and finding the inner strength to be yourself, even in the most extreme circumstances.


About Rachel:

RachelRachel Cohn is the bestselling, award-winning author of many books. She lives in Los Angeles with two very cool cats named McNulty and Bunk.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram


Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive finished copies of MY ALMOST FLAWLESS TOKYO DREAM LIFE, US only.

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Excerpt

Keep your head down. Stay quiet. In ten minutes, it will be over.

“EZ! EZ! EZ!” The boys at the back of the bus chanted. My  bad  luck  that  the  initials  in  my  name—Elle Zoellner—made  me  too  “EZ”  a  target  for  unoriginal bullies.

A sharp pencil hit my neck and then fell to the floor behind me. I heard Redmond’s voice say, “Damn, I was hoping it would catch inside her spiderweb of frizz hair.” Hah, the joke was on him. My hair was indeed frizzy, but it was so dirty that anything thrown into it would have no scientific option other than to slide down, the result of that one-shower-a-week rule.

Today was my  sixteenth birthday.  While other  girls probably wished for a driver’s license or a new outfit or a later curfew, all I wanted was to be clean. Sucked for me that this year’s birthday fell on a Tuesday. Wednesday was shower day.

Of course Foster Home #3 parents always denied to my social worker that the shower was off-limits to me except on Wednesdays. If I had a phone, I could secretly record them talking about it, but why bother? Then I’d probably be sent to an even worse home. Foster Homes #1 (lice) and #2 (bedbugs) had been bad enough, but #3 (over- lords who were mean, and liars) was the worst. I didn’t want to know what could happen at #4.

The devil you know is better than the one you don’t, Mom always told me. Mom was raised in foster care; she would know. She tried for better for me, and until the car crash two years ago, she’d succeeded. She had a job. We had a nice, small house. There was laughter in our lives. A cat. Then, after the car accident, the Beast moved in and took over. He wasn’t someone I could see or talk to; the Beast was addiction. And thanks to that Beast, my mom was now in prison.

Was Mom keeping track of time? Did she even remem- ber today was my (Not So) Sweet Sixteen? If I had a phone, I knew I’d see a dozen emails/texts/GIFs from Reggie, my best friend from when we were both on the swim team at the Y, wishing me a happy birthday. But he also didn’t have a phone and was stranded at a boys’ home across the county, another foster care victim. Not victim—he’d hate that word. I’m a survivor, Reggie would say. His mother had also been an addict, but she never made it to prison. She died from a fentanyl overdose. Despite my miserable situation, I was still incredibly grateful that my mother was alive. I knew how lucky we were that Mom’s problem took her to jail rather than a graveyard.

“Hey, smell bomb! Turn around when you’re addressed by your superiors.” The latest taunt came from Jacinda Zubrowski, who sat two rows behind me on the bus and two seats behind me in homeroom, and never failed to comment on my smelly, secondhand clothes.

The poor kid sitting next to me—I didn’t even know his name, he was some scrawny freshman who looked about twelve—slid closer to the  window.  Smart  move. No reason he should be brought down with me. Then he scrunched his nose and said, on the down low, “There are showers in the gym locker room, you know.” Little jerk.

I knew. I was hardly going to further expose myself— naked—in a public high school locker room. I’d rather smell bad.

“Anybody hungry for some mixed nuts?” a male voice—one of Redmond’s friends—asked, and the back of the bus group laughed. What a not clever way to speculate about my heritage. My mother was part Irish, German, African American, and Native American, but the shape of my eyes and my cheekbones indicated my biological father was Japanese. I’d never met him, didn’t even know his name. “Mr. Tokyo,” Mom called him. He was probably married like all of Mom’s other boyfriends. Married men were her primary weakness, until she was introduced to painkillers. One of those men had been driving the car when they got hit from behind on the Beltway. He died. Mom suffered severe spine injuries. That’s when the Beast took over. I blamed the dead married man.

An object much larger than a pencil hit the back of my head. I wouldn’t have known exactly what it was, except the next one missed my head, grazed my shoulder, and landed on my lap. A bar of soap.

A new chant erupted in the back of the bus. “Smell bomb! Smell bomb!”

Happy birthday, Elle Zoellner.

Full Excerpt Here!


Tour Schedule:

Week One:

12/3/2018- Novel Novice– Excerpt

12/4/2018- Here’s to Happy Endings– Review

12/5/2018- A Court of Coffee and Books– Excerpt

12/6/2018- BookHounds YA– Review

12/7/2018- A Gingerly Review– Review

Week Two:

12/10/2018- Rhythmicbooktrovert– Review

12/11/2018- Do You Dog-ear?– Review

12/12/2018- A Dream Within A Dream– Excerpt

12/13/2018- Daily Waffle– Excerpt

12/14/2018- The Reading Corner for All– Review

Week Three:

12/17/2018- Lisa Loves Literature– Review

12/18/2018- Eli to the nth– Review

12/19/2018- Dani Reviews Things– Review

12/20/2018- The Pages In-Between– Review

12/21/2018- Sincerely Karen Jo Blog– Review

Week Four:

12/24/2018- Falling For YA– Interview

12/25/2018- Smada’s Book Smack– Review

12/26/2018- All the Ups and Downs– Excerpt

12/27/2018- Confessions of a YA Reader– Review

12/28/2018- Wishful Endings– Excerpt

Week Five:

12/31/2018- Under the Book Cover– Excerpt


Thank you Rockstar Book Tours for this blog tour and included A Court of Coffee and Books!

nikole

*Author Q&A & Giveaway Blog Tour* Girl at the Grave – Teri Bailey Black

About the Book

girlTitle: Girl At the Grave

Author: Teri Bailey Black

Publisher: Tor Teen

Release Date: August 7, 2018

Genre: Young Adult — Historical Fiction, Mystery

Synopsis:

Valentine has spent years trying to outrun her mother’s legacy. But small towns have long memories, and when a new string of murders occurs, all signs point to the daughter of a murderer.

Only one person believes Valentine is innocent—Rowan Blackshaw, the son of the man her mother killed all those years ago. Valentine vows to find the real killer, but when she finally uncovers the horrifying truth, she must choose to face her own dark secrets, even if it means losing Rowan in the end.

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33294216-girl-at-the-grave

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2RlslRp

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/girl-at-the-grave-teri-bailey-black/1127026392#/

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Girl-at-the-Grave-Teri-Bailey-Black/9780765399489

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780765399489

About the Author

Teri-Bailey-BlackTeri Bailey Black grew up near the beach in southern California in a large, quirky family with no television or junk food, but an abundance of books and art supplies. She’s happiest when she’s creating things, whether it’s with words, fabric, or digging in the garden. She makes an amazing chocolate cherry cake—frequently. She and her husband have four children and live in Orange County, California.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TeriBaileyBlack

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/teribaileyblack/

Website: https://www.teribaileyblack.com/


Q&A with Teri Bailey Black

Thank you so much for stopping by on the blog, Teri! I’m so excited to host you here today! Girl at the Grave is absolutely stunning! 

1. One thing I love hearing authors talk about is their inspiration for their books. What inspired you to write Girl at the Grave?

I’m a very visual person (I grew up in a family of artists), so for me a story usually starts as an image in my mind. This book began with the image of a little girl in the 1800’s, with wild hair and dirty feet, looking through a schoolhouse window. The teacher tries to draw her inside, but she runs away. Most of the kids call her names, but one boy watches her with piercing attention. I wondered why that little girl was an outcast and decided her mother was hanged for murdering a prominent man—the father of the boy who watches her. After I’d written about a hundred pages of that little girl’s story, I realized I was more interested in the 17-year-old girl she becomes. So I started writing a new book where the handsome son of the murdered man still watches her, and it became a love story as well as a murder mystery. I thought up a few interesting plot twists and secrets—and I was off and running. Well, typing.

2. Every writer has a different writing experience. What was your writing experience like? Did the story come naturally or all at once or did you have to claw the story out of your characters? Or was it something else entirely? 

I’m a “seat of the pants” writer by nature (start with a vague idea and make it up as I go) but I do WANT to be an outliner (sigh) and I do TRY to outline ahead of time. My first draft of GIRL took about a year and was quite different than the final printed story. The first quarter of the book was Valentine’s childhood (seeing her mother hanged but not understanding why), and then the story jumped to her teen years. 

I sent out queries to agents and got several requests for the full manuscript, followed by rejections with some encouraging compliments. One agent asked for a revision and resubmit, with a suggestion to make it either a full children’s story or a full YA story. Seemed so obvious, suddenly. I spent about six months completely rewriting it, even changing the underlying murder mystery quite a bit.

I sent the new version back to that agent, who replied with some looovely compliments about my writing abilities that gave me hope—but now had issues with the characterizations. Sigh. I set it aside for six months, then attacked it again with fresh eyes. And THIS time, I was able to fly through it fairly quickly because I really knew my characters and story, so it was easy to move the pieces around.

After I signed with an agent (the amazing Barbara Poelle) and sold it to Tor Teen, my editor Amy Stapp had some powerful insights that made another major revision necessary. And then it became a book. Looking back, this book took several years because I was learning to write as I wrote it. The book I’m working on now is flying together much more easily.

3. Which one of your characters do you resonate with the most and why?

I feel a strong connection with my main character Valentine. She’s grown up as an outcast, never fitting in, and I think most of us have had those moments in our life when we feel like we don’t fit in. I love Valentine’s hard work ethic. She lost her mother at age six (or was it five? funny how I’ve forgotten!), so she’s had to learn how to cook and clean and survive on her own. (In my first draft, she spies through town windows watching other mothers, but that was cut.) I’m quite crafty myself and love the way Valentine sews a vest for Sam and bakes gingerbread for Birdy. Oh—and Birdy!! Valentine has such a warm, generous heart. She knows what it feels like to not fit in. She cares about those even less fortunate than herself, which is why she wants to work with Alina Lunt.

4. What is a quirky or unique habit you have?

I start writing at 4 or 5 in the morning—yes, really! The world is asleep, the house is quiet, and I can disappear into my story. Then, alas, the sun rises, the house gets noisy, time to shower and make the bed and throw in a load of laundry. I still write throughout the day, but I’m much more creative and productive in those early morning hours. The downside: my brain melts at 8pm.

5. If you could choose one character from your novel to spend a day around town with, who would you choose and why?

I love creative people, so I’d love to hang out with Rowan Blackshaw. I would enjoy watching him draw and paint. (Three of my sisters went to art school, and I always love watching them work.) Rowan is a deep-thinker—and smart—so I’d love to listen to him ramble about just about anything. And yeah, he’s gorgeous, so that doesn’t hurt. 

6. This is another question I love to ask authors! What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Writing advice! Mostly—keep it fun. Join writing groups and go to conferences and make personal connections, because that’s the good stuff. I know . . . most of us are closet introverts, but it’s worth the effort to find some writing friends. My critique group meets once a week and we have a blast. In the past, I had a critique group that only met online (living across the globe, literally), and that was also rewarding.

Listen to your critique partners and DON’T BE OFFENDED. Listen and learn. Nobody starts out great. You have to figure out your weaknesses before you can improve. You want critique partners who point out both the good and the bad. It’s not very helpful if they only say, “Wow, this is great.” And it’s discouraging if they only say, “Um . . . no.”

Publication seems like an obvious end goal, but that adds a truckload of pressure, both getting there and then getting through it, so decide if you’d rather just write for personal enjoyment—which is a worthy goal. I repeat: keep it fun!

Thank you again for stopping by, Teri! 🙂


Giveaway!

19_d1a46b34-4d61-4685-b2f8-6e4bf4a84a23_1800xPrize: Wonderland Book Beau, size XL for a standard hardcover (USA only)

Starts: 10/25/18

Ends:  11/2/18

ENTER HERE!


Tour Schedule

http://fantasticflyingbookclub.blogspot.com/2018/09/tour-schedule-girl-at-grave-by-teri.html

Thank you, Fantastic Flying Book Club for hosting this wonderful book tour!

 

*Blog Tour + Giveaway* Dream Keeper – Amber R. Duell

DreamKeeper_cover.jpgTitle: DREAM KEEPER

Author: Amber R. Duell

Pub. Date: January 29, 2019

Publisher: The Parliament House

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 288

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, B&N

The Sandman is seventeen-year-old Nora’s closest friend and best-kept secret. He has to be, if she doesn’t want a one-way ticket back to the psychiatrist. It took her too long to learn not to mention the hooded figure in her dreams to her mother, who still watches Nora as if she’ll crack. So when Nora’s friends start mysteriously dying gruesome deaths in their sleep, she isn’t altogether surprised when the police direct their suspicion at her. The Sandman is the only one she can turn to for answers. But the truth might be more than she bargained for…

For the last five years, the Sandman has spent every night protecting Nora. When he hid the secret to the Nightmare Lord’s escape inside her dreams, he never expected to fall in love with her. Neither did he think his nemesis would find her so quickly, but there’s no mistaking his cruel handiwork. The Nightmare Lord is tired of playing by the rules and will do anything to release his deadly nightmares into the world, even if that means tormenting Nora until she breaks.

When the Nightmare Lord kidnaps Nora’s sister, Nora must enter enemy territory to save her. The Sandman is determined to help, but if Nora isn’t careful, she could lose even more than her family to the darkness.


About Amber:

AmberAmber R. Duell was born and raised in a small town in Central New York. While it will always be home, she’s constantly moving with her husband and two sons as a military wife. Before becoming published, she had a wide range of occupations including banking, bartending (though she’s never tried alcohol), and phlebotomy (though she faints with needles). She also volunteered as a re-enactor at the local Revolutionary War fort and worked near shelter cats which led to her previous crazy cat lady status.

She does her best writing in the middle of the night, surviving the daylight hours with massive amounts of caffeine. Her favorite stories are dark with a touch of romance and a villain you either love to hate or hate to love.

When not reading or writing, she enjoys snowboarding, embroidering, snuggling with her cat, and staying up way too late to research genealogy. She loves to travel and has visited more countries than states. Kissing the Blarney Stone and hand-feeding monkeys in the mountains of France will be hard to beat, but that doesn’t stop her from trying to find the next real-life adventure.

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


My Review

“A rendering of worlds. A distortion of nature. A binding of power.”

Dream Keeper is a wonderfully unique and enchanting tale that will charm you from the first line and leave you wishing there was more. The world is fascinating and the whole idea is wildly original. Nora, the Sandman, and the Weaver are characters that you know belong in this world. They are characters many will be able to relate to, all in different ways, as these characters have some differences from each other.

Nora is that type of protagonist that you root for from the first chapter. Though her life takes a drastic turn for the worst, she never gives up and stays strong. She doesn’t let the horrors defeat her, even when they hit home. The Sandman is just like her in that sense. He’s strong and will do anything to protect Nora and the secret Dream she holds in her mind. The Sandman is portrayed so well, and I loved his character. Duell did an incredible job with the characters, so trust me when I say that this book is not just all about the world building.

“You’ll soon find out there are worse things than death.”

Oh, lord, the Weaver is one of those villains you know is evil to the core, but someone you secretly like. That’s the case for me. He may be deadly and, you know, kill people, but he has a way with words, and I really liked that about the Weaver. He’s creepy and dangerous and interesting, but there’s this vibe with him. I was looking forward to a lot of his scenes, especially his interactions with Nora and the Sandman. He’s a well-drawn villain; he himself is a living nightmare, and it was really neat to see his story.

“For every light there was a shadow, for every dream, a nightmare.”

If you think the cover is beautiful, you need to read Duell’s world building. The world building in Dream Keeper is fresh and so unlike anything I’ve read. There’s the Day (real) world, the Dream Realm, and the Nightmare Realm. The drastic differences between the three is so distinctive and well-depicted. And how Duell brings all three together…wow. She does it so smoothly and it blends so well with the story. What also makes this story unique is how the nightmares are portrayed. There are regular nightmares, of horrors that are fiction and not real. And then there are nightmares that are real and haunt the host that could potentially lead to death. I know: scary, right? The nightmare creatures are intriguing and hauntingly creepy; they’re definitely not a creature I would want to come face-to-face with. Overall, the world building is a breath of fresh air.

If you haven’t read anything by Amber Duell yet, I highly recommend starting with Dream Keeper. That’s the case for me, and I plan on reading more of Duell’s work. I was delightfully surprised by this tale and I cannot wait for next installment! Dream Keeper comes out January 29, 2019, but you can pre-order now!

Thank you to the author for sending an advanced e-copy for me to read and write an honest review! All quotes are from the advanced e-copy and may not appear in the final novel.


Enter the Dream Keeper Giveaway!

1 winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card, International.

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Tour Schedule

Week One:

10/22/2018- Smada’s Book Smack– Review

10/23/2018- A Court of Coffee and Books– Review

10/24/2018- Oh Hey! Books.– Excerpt

10/25/2018- BookHounds YA– Excerpt

10/26/2018- Loie Dunn– Review

Week Two:

10/29/2018- MetalPhantasmReads– Review

10/30/2018- Falling For YA– Excerpt

10/31/2018- Adventures Thru Wonderland– Review

11/1/2018- Am Kinda Busy Reading– Review

11/2/2018- Do You Dog-ear?– Review


Thank you, Rockstar Book Tours and Amber R. Duell, for this wonderful blog tour!

 

*Blog Tour* Star-Crossed – Pintip Dunn

Star-Crossed-1600pxTitle: Star-Crossed
Author: Pintip Dunn
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: October 2nd 2018
Publisher: Entangled Teen

Summary:

In a world where nutrition can be transferred via a pill, and society is split into Eaters and Non-Eaters, seventeen-year-old Princess Vela has a grave dilemma. Her father, the king, is dying, and only a transplant of organs from a healthy Non-Eater boy will save him.

Vela is tasked with choosing a boy fit to die for the king, which is impossible enough. But then Carr, the boy she’s loved all her life, emerges as the best candidate in the Bittersweet Trials. And he’s determined to win, because by doing so, he can save the life of his Non-Eater sister.

Refusing to accept losing the boy she loves, Vela bends the rules and cheats. But when someone begins to sabotage the Trials, Vela must reevaluate her own integrity—and learn the true sacrifice of becoming a ruler.

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Purchase links can be found here: https://entangledpublishing.com/star-crossed.html 


About the Author

Pintip+croppedPintip Dunn is a New York Times bestselling author of young adult fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B., and received her J.D. at Yale Law School.

Pintip’s novel FORGET TOMORROW won the 2016 RWA RITA® for Best First Book, and SEIZE TODAY won the 2018 RITA for Best Young Adult Romance. Her books have been translated into four languages, and they have been nominated for the following awards: the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire; the Japanese Sakura Medal; the MASL Truman Award; the Tome Society It list; and the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her other titles include REMEMBER YESTERDAY, THE DARKEST LIE, GIRL ON THE VERGE, and the upcoming STAR-CROSSED and MALICE.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon | Entangled Publishing


My Review

Star-Crossed takes readers to a new and unique world, where there are two different kinds of people: the Aegis and the colonists. Aegis have the ability to ingest more food than the colonists due to genetic modifications that take sixty years of their life. With that genetic modification, Aegis are able to feed everyone with nutrition pills. This itself is a unique concept. I’ve read a decent amount of YA Sci-Fi, but none had this concept where people give up sixty years of their life to feed their nation with pills. Not to mention the colonists have never tried real food. Imagine having a life where you take a nutrition pill and never know the taste of real food. It sounds quite horrible, in my opinion (both options do).

The author knows how to weave a fantastical world together. There’s enough detail to bring the story to life and make the readers feel like they are part of that world. What I found nice was that the story did not focus on heaving world building, but rather what happened to the characters. Princess Vela is the heart of the story, and the plot brings her story together wonderfully. As the reader, expect plot twists and a killer on the loose. I was able to figure out some of the plot twists, but I was still pleasantly surprised by the ones I did not figure out. In no way does this story feel like it just ends or it cuts to the chase too fast; it’s perfectly paced.

Pintip Dunn does a wonderful job with character building and differentiation. Each character has their own personality and a strong relationship with Princess Vela. Princess Vela and her sister, Princess Blanca, are so exceptionally different, and it’s fascinating to see how each tackles their assignment for who will be the next successor. Vela handles her assignment with heart and demonstrates a type of leadership she never knew she had; whereas Blanca is more headstrong and listens to the facts instead of her heart. Vela’s relationship with Astana is heartwarming and like any friendship; their friendship reminded me of the one I have with my best friend, and how I would do anything for her, just like Vela. And then there is Carr, the boy Vela has always loved. I saw the love they both had for each other, and that love only increased as the Trials continued.

Overall, I really enjoyed Star-Crossed. I liked how it was realistic enough in the sense that Princess Vela knew there were things she could not change, and things she could. Pintip blends Sci-Fi, mystery, and romance well to weave together a beautiful story. This was the first book I’ve read by Pintip Dunn, and I plan on definitely reading more by her. Star-Crossed is out now!

Recommended for readers who love sc-fi, unique plots, a little mystery, and a budding romance.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars


GIVEAWAY:

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Blog Tour Organized by:

YA Bounk Tour Button

*Blog Tour + Giveaway* The Lantern’s Ember – Colleen Houck

LANTERN'S EMBERTitle: THE LANTERN’S EMBER

Author: Colleen Houck

Pub. Date: September 11, 2018

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Pages: 416

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NiBooksTBD

Welcome to a world where nightmarish creatures reign supreme.

Five hundred years ago, Jack made a deal with the devil. It’s difficult for him to remember much about his mortal days. So, he focuses on fulfilling his sentence as a Lantern—one of the watchmen who guard the portals to the Otherworld, a realm crawling with every nightmarish creature imaginable. Jack has spent centuries jumping from town to town, ensuring that nary a mortal—or not-so-mortal—soul slips past him. That is, until he meets beautiful Ember O’Dare.

Seventeen, stubborn, and a natural-born witch, Ember feels a strong pull to the Otherworld. Undeterred by Jack’s warnings, she crosses into the forbidden plane with the help of a mysterious and debonair vampire—and the chase through a dazzling, dangerous world is on. Jack must do everything in his power to get Ember back where she belongs before both the earthly and unearthly worlds descend into chaos.


About Colleen:

colleen2New York Times Bestselling author Colleen Houck is a lifelong reader whose literary interests include action, adventure, paranormal, science fiction, and romance. When she’s not busy writing, she likes to spend time chatting on the phone with one of her six siblings, watching plays, and shopping online. Colleen has lived in Arizona, Idaho, Utah, California, and North Carolina and is now permanently settled in Salem, Oregon with her husband and a huge assortment of plush tigers.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads | YouTube | Instagram


Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of THE LANTERN’S EMBER, US Only.

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My Review

“Do not let fear of the unknown prevent you from discovery, vampire; otherwise, the story of your life will be a dull tale indeed.”

The Lantern’s Ember is the perfect book for Halloween. As Halloween is my favorite holiday, I could not pass up this book, nor could I pass up another book by Colleen Houck. I loved the wonderful take on Halloween and how it came to be. This unique story will grab you from the first line and won’t let go. As the reader, I wanted to know what would happen to Ember when she crossed into the Otherworld. And there was no way I was missing any scenes with Jack (he’s a fascinating and beautiful character). Trust me, if you love the fall time and/or Halloween, you are not going to want to miss this book!

Adventure mixed with paranormal and romance is what you will find in Colleen Houck’s newest book. Ember, the main character, is a powerful witch who wants to venture into the Otherworld, a place filled with magic and lore. The only problem: Jack, the lantern that guards the bridge to the Otherworld, won’t let her pass. The whole aspect of this book was fascinating and so different from Halloween books I have read. I loved that it was more focused on navigating through the Otherworld and building relationships than the horror (which, might I add, is not present in the story, so this is perfect for those who prefer to steer clear from the horror genre).

My favorite part about The Lantern’s Ember was the world building. Most of the book is spent in the Otherworld, where vampires, werewolves, goblins, and more creatures reign supreme. Ember is introduced to so many aspects of the Otherworld, and it’s quite amazing to see it all. The world itself has a steampunk feeling to it, something that is very different and unique. The Otherworld is ruled by the Lord of the Underworld; however, the world is powered by Witchlight, a power the High witch tries to maintain. The world was so distinctive and beautifully crafted; I loved Houck’s writing that brought this world to life. All in all, the world was haunting and perfect for all those Halloween creatures.

Ember is a spunk of a witch, and I loved that. She’s full of sass and refuses to be told she can’t do something (which is what leads her to the Otherworld in the first place). She’s someone I would want as a friend; Ember is a fighter and a protector, especially when it comes to Finney, her best friend (who is exceptionally smart and a trustworthy companion). Whereas Ember has her witch power, Finney has his brain and his instruments. Ember is overall a character that refuses to give up and fights for what she wants, which is something I resonate with and love to read about.

I also enjoyed the relationships Ember has with Jack, Finney, and Dev. Ember has a somewhat playful yet romantic relationship with Jack, once she finally meets him. He’s protective of her but lets Ember be her own person, which makes for a great relationship. And then there’s Dev. Oh, the mysterious and alluring vampire Dev. I loved Dev’s personality and how he acted around Ember (most of the time). On the page, he lures the reader in with his style and his captivating presence. Though I loved Jack, I loved Dev’s character almost as much.

My overall reaction toward The Lantern’s Ember is positive, and it’s definitely a story I won’t forget any time soon. The story line is mesmerizing and so are the characters. The story itself read more like a middle grade novel than a Young Adult; however, I was still able to resonate with the characters. If you are looking for a book with a rich storyline and world building filled with lore, then The Lantern’s Ember is for you!


Tour Schedule:

Week One:

9/3/2018- Captivated Reading– Review

9/4/2018- Jrsbookreviews– Review

9/5/2018- Portrait of a Book– Review

9/6/2018- YA Books Central– Interview

9/7/2018- Zach’s YA Reviews– Review

Week Two:

9/10/2018- Such A Novel Idea– Review

9/11/2018- Lisa Loves Literature– Review

9/12/2018- Wishful Endings– Interview

9/13/2018- The Bookish Libra– Review

9/14/2018- Here’s to Happy Endings– Review

Week Three:

9/17/2018- The Desert Bibliophile– Review

9/18/2018- Smada’s Book Smack– Review

9/19/2018- Book-Keeping– Review

9/20/2018- A Dream Within A Dream– Review

9/21/2018- A Court of Coffee and Books– Review (You’re Here!)

Week Four:

9/24/2018- Do You Dog-ear?– Review

9/25/2018- Savings in Seconds– Review

9/26/2018- Book Briefs– Review

9/27/2018- Pacific Northwest Bookworm– Review

9/28/2018- Two Chicks on Books– Excerpt

Thank you Rockstar Book Tours for hosting this amazing book blog tour! I loved being part of this tour!

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