Thursday, June 27, 2013

Author Interview: Kaitlin Bevis, author of Persephone

Today I'm excited to have Kaitlin Bevis stopping by for an interview! She's talking about her novel Persephone and she's got a little bit of advice for budding authors out there. Check out the synopsis of Persephone:

There are worse things than death, worse people too.

The "talk" was bad enough, but how many teens get told that they're a goddess? When her mom tells her, Persephone is sure her mother has lost her mind. It isn't until Boreas, the god of winter, tries to abduct her that she realizes her mother was telling the truth. Hades rescues her, and in order to safely bring Persephone to the Underworld he marks her as his bride. But Boreas will stop at nothing to get Persephone. Despite her growing feelings for Hades, Persephone wants to return to the living realm. Persephone must find a way to defeat Boreas and reclaim her life.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I love reading almost as much as I love writing. I just got my Masters in English Ed from UGA, and I have an undergrad in Creative writing. I'm married, I have a beautiful, three year old daughter who says really creepy things sometimes, and I drink way too much caffeine.

Your new novel, Persephone, is about... well, the myth of Persephone, obviously! What was it about that story that just got your creative juices flowing and caused you to write about it?

Persephone came about when I was watching a trailer to Clash of the Titans. It was the quote "Damn the Gods" that really got to me. I started thinking, and if there was ever a god that was damned, it was Persephone. I mean, come on, being forced to return to your rapist every year because you ate some seeds? That couldn't be it. There had to be more to the story. Plus I'm a happy person who likes happy things, so why not make the story a happy one?

In my version, Hades brings Persephone to the Underworld to rescue her. The marriage, which means something entirely different to the gods, only happened so she could enter the Underworld without, you know, being dead. Making Hades a misunderstood good guy isn't an original concept. It's been done over and over again in my lifetime (Beauty and the Beast anyone?). But my version is a bit different in that Hades is just a good guy. Not misunderstood, not a deformed agoraphobic, just a good guy who happens to rule the Underworld.

Something must have been in the air the year I wrote Persephone, because I wasn't the only one who caught the Persephone bug. Meg Cabot, Aimee Carter, Brodi Ashton, and Rick Riordin all introduced their own versions of the Persephone myth completely independent of one another at the same time. The books weren't published or advertised yet, so there was no way to know. I even heard Karen Hesse and several other writers had started work on a Persephone anthology but shelved the project. It's strange how ideas spread like that, but it happens all the time. I'm just thrilled to be tuned into the creative whateverness of the universe to catch the same idea as so many of my literary idols.

Describe Persephone, as a character, in one sentence.

Book 1 Persephone has a lot of growing up to do, but she's loyal, and fierce, and kind.

What is the biggest piece of advice you wish you had known before you began writing Persephone?

Take my time querying. I'm really lucky I ended up with the publisher I did because in all honesty, I was so eager to be published that I didn't take much time to find the best place for it. I queried two agents, and three publishing houses. Now, reading about all the predatory publishers that are out there, I'm super lucky I ended up with an honest publisher that was willing to take a chance on me.

Do you have a favorite line from Persephone? If so, what is it and why is it your favorite?

Hmm... I think it would have to be this one:
Did he really expect me to go Okay, strange creepy man, I'll get into your scary chariot of death. No problem.
I just love how snarky it is. And really, I think someone would think that if they were in her situation. Plus her first reaction to Hades is SO different than his first reaction to her. Its fun to think about them chatting about how they first met somewhere down the road. He was all impressed by how brave she was and she thought he was a psychopath.

About the Author:

I spent my childhood curled up with a book, and a pen. If the ending didn’t agree with me, I rewrote it. I’ve always wanted to be a writer, and I spent high school and college learning everything I could so that one day I could achieve that goal. I graduated college with my BFA in English with a concentration in Creative Writing, and am pursuing my masters at the University of Georgia.

My young adult fiction novel “Persephone,” will be released this summer. I also write for Athens Parent Magazine, and truuconfessions.com. I have also published several short stories, my latest, Siren Song, is available on amazon.com.

For more about Persephone check out these sites!


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Blog Tour Guest Post: Why Are YA Books So Depressing? by Louise Rozett

I am so excited to be a part of the Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend Blog Tour! It's the second book in the Confessions series, the sequel to Confessions of an Angry Girl. Author Louise Rozett is stopping by to talk about why reading sad books is just as beneficial as reading happy books. Check out the synopsis of her book and make sure to enter the giveaway below!

Rose Zarelli has big plans for sophomore year—everything is going to be different. This year, she’s going to be the talented singer with the killer voice, the fabulous girl with the fashionista best friend, the brainiac who refuses to let Jamie Forta jerk her around...

...but if she’s not careful, she’s also going to be the sister who misses the signals, the daughter who can only think about her own pain, the “good girl” who finds herself in mid-scandal again (because no good deed goes unpunished) and possibly worst of all...the almostgirlfriend.

When all else fails, stop looking for love and go find yourself.

Why Are YA Books So Depressing? by Louise Rozett:

I get asked this question a lot—a lot of YA authors do, probably because the time in life that we’re writing about is a tricky one, full of turmoil. Usually the person asking me that particular question liked Angry Girl or Almost-Girlfriend, but not always. Sometimes readers get really mad about having spent time with a book that depressed them.

The thing is, it’s a writer’s job to make readers think and feel, and if readers are not thinking and feeling, then the writer is doing something wrong. Why would readers want to read something that didn’t have an effect on them? And...do we want to be happy all the time? Isn’t there some value in feeling something other than happiness? (This, of course, is what most people call a first-world problem, meaning that if we have a choice between feeling happy and feeling sad, our lives are probably pretty easy and we should stop complaining.)

I think it’s just as valuable to read something that makes us sad as it is to read something that makes us happy. Both kinds of books can cause the type of self-reflection that I feel like we can all benefit from, where we sit around and think, “Huh. Why did I connect to that character so deeply?” or “Huh. Why did that character make me so mad?” Even if we’re reading to escape feeling sad or depressed, isn’t there value in reading about someone who’s feeling something similar to what we’re feeling?

A lot of times, the reason we have a positive or negative reaction to a character or a situation is because it hits close to home. There is something about the situation that speaks to us, that touches us. Maybe we want to look at why, maybe we don’t. But really, why wouldn’t we want to examine that? What’s so scary about trying to understand what we’re feeling?

So, I don’t feel like YA books are depressing overall. I think they’re intense, and can be scary or intimidating sometimes, but I think they’re awesome, and emotionally real, and important. And those are good things.

Giveaway:

One lucky winner will get a signed copy of Confessions of an Angry Girl, a signed copy of Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend, and a $25 iTunes gift card! (US only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


About the Author:

Louise Rozett is an author, a playwright, and a recovering performer. She made her YA debut with Confessions of an Angry Girl, published by Harlequin Teen. The next book in the series, Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend, is due out June 2013. She lives with her 120-pound Bernese Mountain dog Lester (named after Lester Freamon from THE WIRE, of course) in one of the world's greatest literary meccas, Brooklyn...and also in sunny Los Angeles. (Being bi-coastal is fun!) Visit www.Louiserozett.com for more info.

Thanks for checking out my stop on the Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend blog tour hosted by YA Bound Book Tours.  Click HERE to see the full blog tour schedule!

For more about Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend check out these sites!


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Teaser Tuesday (49): Taste Test by Kelly Fiore

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

I haven't done a Teaser Tuesday in a while so today I'm teasing a quote from Taste Test by Kelly Fiore! If you haven't heard of this one you need to go check it out immediately. It's such a cute book, perfect for a trip to the beach. It's not out until August 27th, so be sure to add it to your TBR! This quote is from the notes of one of the judges of Taste Test and I think it's totally hilarious.


I've never had a steak that bad before. I'm actually sort of impressed.

{Taste Test, 50%}

Synopsis of Taste Test:

Nora Henderson has been basting baby back ribs for as long as she could reach the counter of her dad's famous barbecue joint. When she's accepted to Taste Test, a teen reality cooking competition, Nora can't wait to leave her humble hometown behind. On set, run-ins with the maddeningly handsome and talented son of a famous chef, Christian Van Lorten, make Nora wonder if it's him or the win she really wants, but as she and Christian emerge as front-runners for the final prize, Nora can't ignore the mysterious accidents plaguing the kitchen arena. Someone is conducting eliminations of their own, and if Nora doesn't stop them, she could be next to get "chopped" for good.

With romance and intrigue as delectable as the winning recipes included in the story, this debut novel will be devoured by all.

For more about Taste Test check out these sites!


*All quotes are taken from an uncorrected ARC. Quotes may not match the finished copy.*

Cover Reveal: Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott

I'm so excited to help reveal the cover of Victoria Scott's Fire & Flood, which will hit shelves March 2014! (So far away! I know!) I really enjoyed her debut novel The Collector and I can't wait to read this first book in a new series, Check out the synopsis:

In a perilous race across the world, having the best Pandora can be the difference between life and death.

Sixteen-year-old Tella Holloway isn’t happy. Her mother rushed them out of Boston and into a craptastic house nestled in Middle of Nowhere, Montana. To make matters worse, Tella’s brother is sick, and though a dozen doctors can’t determine the cause, her mother is sure Montana’s “fresh air” will help. Now Tella spends her days being homeschooled, and uses her imagination as entertainment.

But when a small blue box appears on her bed, Tella’s world is rocked. Inside the strange package she finds a white ear bud—and after she fits it into place and touches its blinking button—an unknown voice fills her head. Tella is invited to join the Brimstone Bleed, a race across four ecosystems: desert, sea, mountains, jungle. The voice in Tella’s ear explains she has 48 hours to retrieve her Pandora, an animal genetically designed to help her win.

Tella has never been the sporty type; she’s more a cheerleader than an athlete. But despite her mother’s warnings, she’s determined to compete in the race. And she’ll do anything to win, because if Tella is the Brimstone Bleed victor, she'll be granted a specific gift—the cure to save her brother’s life.

FIRE & FLOOD is a teen thriller set in modern day.


I really love this cover. Victoria has said that the people at Scholastic wanted it to stand out to people of all ages and genders and I think that's exactly what it does! I said it on Twitter when I first saw the cover and I'll say it again. The title font reminds me of the cover of The Hunger Games, but the cover's also got it's own something-something, don't you think?

What do you think of the cover?


Monday, June 24, 2013

Win A Trip To The Set Of Your Favorite YA Movie!

Apparently the new trend is to giveaway an invite to the set of YA movies. And I love it! Right now you can win a trip to the set of Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters (Dimitri!!!) and to the set of Divergent (FOUR!).

Want to win a trip to Vampire Academy from the Weinstein Company?



Or how about a chance to see Four and Tris on the set of Divergent from eOne Films and Indigo?



Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Blog Tour Spotlight: Passion and Pain by Kathy Petrakis

Today we're spotlighting book one of the Dancers and Divas series, Passion and Pain, by Kathy Petrakis! If you liked movies like Fame and Step Up you'll definitely want to check this series out! Here''s the synopsis of Passion and Pain:

Does passion and desire guarantee success? Can friends really be trusted? Can true love be found beneath lust and deceit?

These are questions tenacious street dancer Elena Martinez faces as she struggles to compete against the most talented students at New York’s top Performing Arts High School. Along with her best friend, the carefree and mischievous Sebastien Duval, they are determined to make center stage.

But the singing diva Letitia has other plans. Beautiful, talented and popular, her desire for revenge could ruin everything for Elena and Sebastien. Now, they must fight against prejudice, treachery and deceit as Letitia sets out to destroy Elena’s friendships, her romance, her dignity and her dreams. Can Elena win the battle for true love, happiness and success?

Excerpt from Passion and Pain:

Anya glared at him with her arms crossed. She looked him up and down without any attempt to be discrete. She noted his vest top, hairy chest, multiple tattoos and baggy pants with distaste. Like she needed to see his boxers. She hated hip hop dancers. Male ones anyway. They were so, so classless. She never imagined her ballet career would come to this. 
Darius laughed. “Better get used to it, princess, cause you’re going to be seeing a lot of it.” 
Anya shifted uncomfortably at his tone. She had to do something or this hour would last forever. 
“I suppose you could show me what you have,” Anya said as she sat in the corner of the room, head held high. 
“Really? Hmmm. Fine.” He put on some heavy hip hop music and danced aggressively for a minute.

“And that’s how it’s done!” 
“You call that dancing? That looked like martial arts gone wrong. I wanted to run for the police, not watch you.” 
“The point is it made you feel something. You felt scared. That’s called an e-mo-tion.“ 
“Whatever. And stop treating me like a child.” 
“Stop acting like one.” 
She pouted in reply. 
“Why don’t you show me what you have, seeing as you are the mentee?” he said. 
“Fine, no problem.” She put on some classical music and went through a minute of her solo. She leaped and turned gracefully, knowing she looked fantastic. 
Darius clapped mockingly. “Great!” Anya beamed even more. “If I wanted to go to sleep. That was about as heartwarming as hugging an ice statue.” 
Anya was infuriated and humiliated. How could this person possibly see her flaws so easily?

Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


To follow the tour CLICK HERE or on the banner!

About the Author:

Kathy Petrakis was born and raised in Sydney Australia by Greek immigrant parents. She always had a passion for the performing arts - dancing, acting and singing but they were hobbies giving way to a traditional professional career in banking. Before this book, her writing was used to entertain friends with her unusual, and often disastrous travel adventures from around the world.

By the hand of fate, Passion and Pain and Bittersweet were born while living in London, heaven for lovers of the performing arts. After launching Passion and Pain, she returned to Sydney for the launch of the sequel, Bittersweet.


For more about Passion and Pain check out these sites!


Find the sequel Bittersweet at these sites!


Monday, June 17, 2013

Guest Post: Top 5 Gut-Wrenching Love Triangles by Kara Leigh Miller

Today we have an amazing guest post from Kara Leigh Miller about the 5 most gut wrenching love triangles according to her! There are some great love triangles on this list that I'm sure will have you reliving the pain right along with Kara. And be sure to check out her book, The Georgia Corbins, for another one of those gut wrenching triangles!

Ali Philips never thought anything could be more devastating than the day Levi and Tucker Corbin, her two best friends—her only friends—moved away. Three years passed without a single phone call, text message, or email from them and she’s resolved to the fact that she will probably never see them again. Until one morning when she comes face-to-face with Levi Corbin in physics class.

Little does she know, the Corbins have returned to Haldeen with only one thing on their minds: winning Ali’s heart. Ali soon finds herself in the middle of a love triangle she doesn’t want any part of. As she tries to reclaim the friendships she’s lost and to adjust to the unfamiliar feelings she’s having, she struggles with making the one decision that will forever change their lives: Levi or Tucker Corbin?

She’s always had a special bond with Tucker and feels most comfortable when she’s with him. But Levi brings her to life in a way she didn’t think was possible and makes her feel things she didn’t think she would ever feel. Torn between the two, Ali is certain of only one thing–by the time it’s over, she’ll lose one of her best friends.

Top 5 Most Gut-Wrenching Love Triangles by Kara Leigh Miller:

Ah, the love triangle. One woman forced to choose between two men—both of whom are perfect for different reasons. It's a plot device that has been used for decades, a device that has transcended from books to movies and even to television. If done well, it can be tense and hot and gut-wrenching.

My newest YA novel, THE GEORGIA CORBINS, is an ultimate love triangle: fraternal twin brothers are pitted against each other as they vie for the love of their childhood best friend.

In honor of this, I'm sharing my top 5 most gut-wrenching love triangles. This list has been compiled mostly from books and television.

1. Damon /Elena /Stephan (The Vampire Diaries)
Both Damon and Stephan are swoon worthy, and Elena is hands down one of the luckiest fictional girls on the plant. Stephan is sweet and caring, and it's obvious he truly loves Elena. Then there is Damon, who is, in all honestly, a jerk to everyone except Elena. He's the perfect bad boy: sexy, arrogant, and selfish, but with a wellhidden big heart. What I find the most gut-wrenching about this triangle is that no matter what Damon does or how much he professes his love to Elena, something always seems to come between them. Personally, I'm Team Damon all the way, but this is one of the rare instances where I would be okay with whomever Elena ends up with.

2. Jake/Kate/Sawyer (Lost)
Need I say more? What I love most about this triangle is the duality of it. Sawyer loved Kate because of her bad side, and when she was with him, that side came out. Jack, on the other hand, loved Kate because he saw the good in her, and he was always able to bring that out. There were two very specific instances during this series that I found particularly gut-wrenching. (1) The scene where they'd been captured by The Others, and Jack is forced to watch Kate and Sawyer together. And (2) the scene near the end where they're in the helicopter, finally getting off the island. The helicopter was carrying too much weight, so Sawyer jumps off (into the ocean), which ultimately saves Kate's life. I'm getting goose bumps just thinking about it. There is nothing hotter than a man who will put his life on the line for the woman he loves.

3. Jay Gatsby/Daisy Buchanan/Tom Buchanan (The Great Gatsby)
This is one of my all-time favorite books. Old flames get rekindled between Daisy and Gatsby, which is always a good way to get your heart pumping. But when one of them is married, it creates a whole lot of problems. This was one of the few books I've read that actually moved me to tears. The ending (which I'm not going to divulge because I don't want to ruin it for those who haven't read it) is a bit of a shock and is truly gut-wrenching, for obvious reasons--one of them dies.

4. Edward/Bella/Jacob (The Twilight Saga)
I'm not really sure this is a true love triangle simply because Bella always knew it was going to be Edward, despite her strong feelings for Jacob. So, why is it on this list, you ask? Because I've always been Team Jacob, and I think he got shafted. I find that to be heartbreaking. I'll probably get stoned for what I'm about to say, but here goes…I thought Bella was downright mean to Jacob. I mean, she used him to make herself feel better and she wanted him around all the time—not because she wanted to be with him, but because she just did. And she did it knowing full well how he felt about her. I know, I'm rambling, but I can't help it. My heart goes out to poor Jacob.

5. Beau/Ashton/Sawyer (The Vincent Boys)
Beau and Sawyer are cousins. At the start, Sawyer is dating Ashton, but Aston is majorly crushing on Beau. What I found most gut-wrenching about this (which also happens to be the thing I liked the most), was just how far Aston and Beau were willing to go to be together. Now, I don't condone some of their behavior (lying, cheating, sneaking around), but when you forget all about that, the love Aston and Beau have for each other really is fantastic. So, why is this gut-wrenching? Because poor Sawyer, for a majority of the book, is totally clueless. He's a good guy and he's being betrayed by the two people he loves and trusts the most. But, ce la vie, right? That's what makes a good love triangle great.

What are your favorite love triangles?

Giveaway:

To celebrate the release of The Georgia Corbins, Kara Leigh Miller is giving away exciting prizes. The Grand Prize, which is open to US residents only, includes a signed copy of The Georgia Corbins, The Georgia Corbins hardcover journal and postcards, The Georgia Corbins tote bag, Kara Leigh Miller pens and notebooks, and Legasea bookmarks.

Second and third prizes are an ebook copy of The Georgia Corbins, and one lucky person will win a first chapter critique. International entries are welcome. Good luck! Winners will be announced July 1st.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



About the Author:

Born and raised in the small town of Mexico, New York, Kara was an only child who was forced to find ways to entertain herself. Playing make believe with her Barbie dolls and stuffed animals was her first real taste of storytelling before she became old enough to develop a love affair with the written word. In early 2010, Kara picked up her very first erotic romance novel, and she was instantly hooked.

She loves to write contemporary romance, erotica, and young adult romance. Currently she has several full-length novels in the works, a series of novellas, and a handful of short stories. Kara is an active member of the CNY Creative Writers CafĂ© and the CNY Romance Writers. Today, Kara resides in New Haven, New York with her husband, five kids, and three cats. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s thinking about reading and writing. And when she’s not doing that, she’s spending time with her family and friends.


For more about The Georgia Corbins check out these sites!


Review: A Trick of the Light by Lois Metzger

Title: A Trick of the Light
Author: Lois Metzger
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publish Date: June 18th, 2013
Rating:

Mike Welles had everything under control. But that was before. Now things are rough at home, and they’re getting confusing at school. He’s losing his sense of direction, and he feels like he’s a mess.

Then there’s a voice in his head. A friend, who’s trying to help him get control again. More than that—the voice can guide him to become faster and stronger than he was before, to rid his life of everything that’s holding him back. To figure out who he is again. If only Mike will listen.

Telling a story of a rarely recognized segment of eating disorder sufferers—young men—A Trick of the Light by Lois Metzger is a book for fans of the complex characters and emotional truths in Laurie Halse Anderson’s Wintergirls and Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why.

A Trick of the Light by Lois Metzger tells the story of fifteen year old Mike Welles and how he develops, hides, and finally receives help for anorexia.

Before reading this book I knew that boys could have anorexia. I knew it was possible, but I'd never heard of an actual case before. I'd never really thought about what it might be like for a boy. You hear the stories of girls with eating disorders all the time. Models, actresses, girls you went to school with. Everyone's heard about a girl with anorexia. It's more common for a girl to be insecure and fall into that pattern of wanting to be thinner and attractive. When I think of boys trying to get in shape I think of weight lifting and trying to get bigger not smaller. But Mike's story really opened my eyes to the way anorexia works. The way it seeps into the victims mind and takes control.

The most unique part of A Trick of the Light is definitely its narrator. The book isn't told in the point of view of Mike, the victim. It's told from the point of view of Mike's eating disorder. The anorexia is its own character and as the reader you get to watch as it slowly takes control of Mike's life, tricks him into thinking he's becoming stronger, better, when really he's just wasting away. It's like a real life monster, destroying Mike from the inside out. This is a genius move on Metzger's part. To separate Mike and his disorder. Somehow this odd narrator makes you root for Mike and the people around him, but helps you understand the disease at the same time. You see the manipulation going on in Mike's head. The sickness in action.

The thing I liked most was that Metzger didn't sugar coat anything. She showed eating disorders for what they are, showed the tricks anorexics use to hide their weight loss from people and doctors. She took Mike and the reader into hospitals specializing in eating disorders, showed the truth of the disease, but in a way that illuminated and taught without sounding like a text book.

This was a book I picked up and read in one sitting because I just couldn't put it down. It's short, but profound. A Trick of the Light will definitely be sticking with me for a long time. While the ending might not have been wrapped up neat and tidy, it did show growth and hope for the future and that's much more realistic anyway.

For more about A Trick of the Light check out these sites!


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Blog Tour Review: Georgetown Academy: Book 4 by Jessica Koosed Etting & Alyssa Embree Schwartz

Title: Georgetown Academy: Book 4
Authors: Jessica Koosed Etting & Alyssa Embree Schwartz
Publisher: Coliloquy
Publish Date: June 11th, 2013
Rating:

When the vice president resigns and Ellie and Taryn’s parents emerge as the frontrunners, the girls find themselves back in the spotlight.

Ellie could not care less about becoming the Second Daughter, but she knows how much the opportunity to make history means to her mother – and women everywhere. With her family taking center stage, Ellie must decide whether she can put her feelings for Gabe on hold - again.

Taryn, so used to captivating the hearts and minds of everyone she meets, is unbothered by the increased media scrutiny. But an inopportune screw-up has her beholden to an unlikely – and unfriendly – source for help.

Overnight, Evan has skyrocketed from social pariah to Miss Popular. As she and her reluctant parents adjust to her new lifestyle, the last thing she needs is a front-page scandal.

Brinley can’t stop thinking about her Stowe-bound hook-up…until her father’s intern, Patrick, starts flirting. Is it time to abandon her fling now that she has a more appropriate suitor?

With the second highest office in the land up for grabs, everyone is picking sides. But where does the heart lie when duty, truth, and love collide?

The girls of Georgetown Academy are back and the stakes are higher than ever in Book 4 of the Georgetown Academy series by Jessica Koosed Etting and Alyssa Embree Schwartz. Stress levels are high for Taryn and Ellie as they not only try to survive high school romances, but also survive being pitted against each other while their parents run for Vice President of the United States of America. But they aren't the only characters being put through the ringer in this one!

Brinley really won me over in Book 3, going from a character I felt sorry for to one I really liked. And I liked her even more in Book 4! I liked seeing the hardworking PR side to her as she helped her dad groom the Reyes family to be in the political spotlight. She took her role seriously, even though she was never the biggest fan of Taryn Reyes. I also like the way Brinley always handles the men in her life. She doesn't get so worked up over boys the way the other girls do. She knows boys come and go and while she has a couple of crushes in this book, she knows that boys aren't the be all end all of life. Brinley has always held my respect and I hope she gets a guy who respects her too! *cough* Shane the Bellhop! *cough*

Evan has always been one of my favorite characters in this series. She's dedicated and hardworking and her relationship with Hunter has always been so cute. And the way she deals with her problems in Book 4 has just reaffirmed what I've always thought about her. She's an incredibly good person at heart and deserves much more than she gets. At least she has the adorable Hunter to comfort her while everything else seems to be going wrong in her life.

I would love to see Ellie and Taryn get together and talk about all of their fears and worries. I think those two would see the world, and themselves, a lot differently afterward. It's so funny to see them both dealing with the pressure of possibly becoming the Second Daughter and constantly questioning their choices, from what they say to the press to which dress they wear to the Dedication party. They are so much alike, yet they both wish over and over to be as cool and collected as the other one. It was interesting to see two totally different people having the same worries and how they both handled the stress. I'd really love to see them become friends now that they aren't being labeled as enemies in the press!

Okay, now, if you've read my reviews for Books 1, 2, and 3 already then you know I have a slight crush on Brooks Madison. Alright, maybe it's more than just slight... But, boy, does Brooks earn every bit of that crush in this book! I don't want to give away any details, but the advice and comfort he gives to Taryn is just... I can't even! He's just too incredible, and getting better and better in each book!

If you've read these books you know just how fun all the politics and drama can be, so you'll definitely want to get a copy of Book 4 as soon as possible. If you haven't read this series yet then now's the perfect time to start. You can find all four books in one amazing bundle, Georgetown Academy: Season One! Trust me, after finishing book one you'll be glad you have the other three handy!

For more about Georgetown Academy: Book 4 check out these sites!


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Blog Tour Author Interview: KC Blake, author of Bait

Today we have author KC Blake stopping by as part of the blog tour for her new book Bait, the first book in The Order of the Spirit Realms series! Read her interview to find out how to win a $25 gift card and a signed copy of Bait! Check out the synopsis:

If you don’t believe monsters in the closet are real, ask Bay-Lee.

At sixteen, Bay-Lee is an average student. She never raises her hand in class and doesn’t put the right answers on tests even though she knows them. The other kids would be surprised to learn she’s living under an alias as she’s forced to move from state to state, hiding from The Order, a secret society of shifters bent on killing her before she can start to Van Helsing’s school. For some reason the monsters are afraid of her.

When a reaper steps out of her closet to issue a warning, she realizes her problems are only beginning. Even as her dream of following in her father’s footsteps to become a hunter draws closer, a dark threat looms over the school. Someone or some thing is killing hunters on their birthdays. If she doesn’t figure this mystery out fast, she won’t make it to seventeen. Her childhood was stolen from her. She’s determined not to lose anything else to the bloodthirsty beasts.

Bay-Lee developed a plan over the years. It’s a plan for vengeance, a plan for justice. The biggest obstacle in her way: jungle green eyes. Falling in love at this point could ruin everything. It’s the furthest thing from her mind. Then she meets a young hunter with a past as dark as her own and a bleak future. From the moment they meet he makes it clear he wants nothing to do with her.

Tell me about your new book.

Here is what is says about the book on Amazon:
At sixteen, Bay-Lee Bishop is not a typical girl. The last thing she wants is to be popular, but flying under the radar is nearly impossible when you’re the tallest kid in the eleventh grade. She works hard to maintain a steady C point average, never raises her hand in class, and avoids extra-curricular activity of any kind. The other students would be shocked to learn she’s living under an alias, relocating at her uncle’s whim, and hiding from monsters who want her dead because she’s Van Helsing’s daughter. 
Life is weird. Then everything changes. A reaper uses her closet to cross over from the Spirit Realm right before her father whisks her away to a new school. This is the school she was born for, the school where she will learn to hunt and kill monsters, but it isn’t what she imagined. Students hate her, her mentor refuses to help her, and wraiths are murdering hunters on their birthdays. She is laser-focused on training. Love is not an option for her. Try telling that to her heart.  

Is it part of a series?

Yes it is. Bait is the first book in the Order of the Spirit Realm Series with the second book due out in October.

What other books do you have out there?

I have a series about a vampire who gets a second chance to live a normal life, or so he thinks. Then he discovers his powers are returning and he has to fight the head werewolf.

The first book in this series is called Vampires Rule. It’s followed by Werewolves Rule and Shifters Rule.

I also have a series about teen witches playing games at school using their powers. Each book has a different set of characters and a new game to play, so it doesn’t matter what order you read them in. Crushed is about sisters using their powers to enchant boys in order to win a bet. Kristen picks on the wrong boy and almost dies the same day. Witch Hunt is about a teen reporter who won’t stop at anything to get a story. When she hears the popular kids are going to play a secret game, she has to know more.

Which character is your favorite to write for?

In Bait, I would have to say it’s Nick Gallos. Come on, he’s a vampire hunter using a rock star alias. What could be more cool than that? He’s fun to write for because I never know what he’s going to do next.

What do you love the most about writing?

Visiting other worlds, living in someone else’s skin for a few hours each day, and basically daydreaming. The greatest reward I get from it is when other people love my characters as much as I do.

What are you working on now?

I am working on Hunter (book #2 in the Order of the Spirit Realm Series). Can you keep a secret? Today I am writing a scene that involves a love triangle. I hope Bay-Lee makes the right choice.

Where can readers find you and your books?

I am easy to find. I’m all over the place. On Twitter I am @kasiblake, and I am also on Goodreads a lot. I have an author fan page on Facebook and a blog here: http://kasi-kcblake.blogspot.com

There is also a book club called Order of the Spirit Realm on Goodreads. You can find the link on the right on my blog’s home page. Join us and let’s talk about the book.

All of my books can be found on Amazon, Smashwords, B&N, I-Bookstore, etc. They are easy to find.

Is there anything you would like to say to your readers?

Yes. Please review my books after reading them on whatever online place you got them from. A lot of people tell me they just don’t know what to say. Don’t worry about it.

You can always repeat what some of the others have said or just put a few lines about enjoying it and wanting others to experience it. Reviews are such a HUGE help to authors. You have no idea, and I appreciate every single one that I get. Thank you.


Do you want to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card? Would you like a signed copy of Bait? If you answered yes to these questions, email me at kblake234@hotmail.com for details on how to enter. It’s easy and fun. All you have to do is send out an email to your friends telling them about the contest and my books. I will write the email. All you have to do is forward it.

About the Author:

Born and raised in sunny California, K.C. Blake fell in love with books at a young age and decided to pursue writing as a career. Her favorite authors include Stephen King, John Saul, Cassandra Clare, J.K. Rowling, and Carrie Jones. In her spare time she enjoys shopping (and when I say shopping I mean go to the mall early in the day, eat lunch, and then keep going until you don't have any streng
th left), reading great books, taking care of animals (she lives on a farm), and searching for creative ideas to improve her home. A former writer for Harlequin, she now publishes her books her way and loves every second of it. She is currently living in the Midwest with two cats, a dog, several cows, and five baby ducks.

For more about Bait check out these sites!


Monday, June 10, 2013

Review: Spies and Prejudice by Talia Vance

Title: Spies and Prejudice
Author: Talia Vance
Publisher: Egmont
Publish Date: June 11th, 2013
Rating:

Fields’ Rule #1: Don’t fall for the enemy.

Berry Fields is not looking for a boyfriend. She’s busy trailing cheaters and liars in her job as a private investigator, collecting evidence of the affairs she’s sure all men commit. And thanks to a pepper spray incident during an eighth grade game of spin the bottle, the guys at her school are not exactly lining up to date her, either.

So when arrogant—and gorgeous—Tanner Halston rolls into town and calls her “nothing amazing,” it’s no loss for Berry. She’ll forget him in no time. She’s more concerned with the questions surfacing about her mother’s death.

But why does Tanner seem to pop up everywhere in her investigation, always getting in her way? Is he trying to stop her from discovering the truth, or protecting her from an unknown threat? And why can’t Berry remember to hate him when he looks into her eyes?

With a playful nod to Jane Austen, Spies and Prejudice will captivate readers as love and espionage collide.

Spies and Prejudice by Talia Vance is cute retelling of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, which just happens to be one of my favorite books of all time. I read every retelling I can find and love the story, no matter how many times I read it. And while I really liked the first 90% of Spies and Prejudice, the ending just didn't hold up to the rest of the book. It felt rushed and a little confusing.

Berry is a prickly character. She's smart and entertaining to read about, but she's obviously not very into people or making new friends. She's very self-centered, ignoring other people's opinions because she thinks she's more aware than everyone else since she's a spy. But, well... She's always just sort of jumping to conclusions about people. Which, I guess, is very Lizzie Bennett of her. But, like I said, Berry was an entertaining character to read about.

Spies and Prejudice wasn't a close retelling of Pride and Prejudice which I actually appreciated. I liked how Vance took the themes of the story, but made her own plot instead of just copying Austen's. It made the book much more fun to read, because I had no idea if certain characters would really act just like the characters from Pride and Prejudice they were based on or not. It was a fresh take on the story. And the spy element was so much fun I couldn't care less that it might not be entirely realistic.

There were a few things that bothered me while reading. Like why, oh why, wasn't Berry's dad involved more in this book? I mean, seriously. He's supposed to be a private investigator. You would think he'd be a helpful resource or at least better at noticing his daughter was hiding something. And the whole mystery of Berry's mom was... well, it wasn't predictable, that's for sure. But there was a whole portion of the ending where I was just like, "Uh??" I'm still not sure how I feel about the ending. Is it over? Was that really it? It didn't feel finished. At all. If there was one thing that made me like the book less it was the last two chapters because of the terrible wrap up of a really great mystery. And once you find out the truth, the whole mystery sort of seems pretty dumb, along with the characters reactions to it.

Spies and Prejudice is a light romantic read. It's not particularly memorable, but it was cute, if a little confusing at times. I had a hard time rating this one, because I enjoyed the beginning so much. Is there supposed to be a sequel? Because, if so, I will definitely be reading it to find out more about that ending! But if not, then I'm pretty much just confused with where this book went.

For more about Spies and Prejudice check out these sites!


Saturday, June 8, 2013

Shuffle Saturday (32): Ghost Town

Every Saturday I'll be posting a random song off of my iPod. Everyone can feel free to join in, just leave a link to your Shuffle Saturday post in the comments! This week's song is:

Ghost Town by Shiny Toy Guns

It's been a couple weeks since my last Shuffle Saturday so today I'm posting a Shiny Toy Guns song! I love this song. I've only just seen the video and I'm not really sure about it. The animation is awesome, but... eh, not really my thing. Still love the song though!

What are you listening to?

Friday, June 7, 2013

Crushing On... Evie Greene from Poison Princess

I've noticed tons of memes and features that focus on which books are coming out and who's getting ARC's of what and heartthroby quotes and that's totally fun to read about, but what about discussing the finer details of those books, like say, the characters? The only one I've stumbled across is My Book Boyfriend by The Unread Reader which I love! But it's a little narrow in it's scope. Not all of the character's I love are book boyfriend material. Some of them aren't even boys! So, I came up with my own feature, just to rant and rave about the things I love most about books. Because this is why I started book blogging. To rant about my favorite books, my favorite worlds, my favorite characters. To have a safe place to go off the deep end about why I LOVE THIS CHARACTER SOOOOO MUCH. You can't do that in polite society, you know. Some people *eye roll* seem to think it's weird to talk about fictional people and places like they actually exist. I, however, condone this behavior. I actually encourage it! Thus, Crush On was born.

Once a month I'm going to have a post dedicated to a fictional character I have a crush on. Boy, girl, Grimalkin from The Iron Fey series, it doesn't matter. I'll tell you why I'm crushing on them and maybe include some quotes to show why I fell hard and fast for them. And anybody can feel free to join in at any time, so don't hesitate to share who you're crushing on!

This month's Crush is:

Evie Greene
from Posion Princess by Kresley Cole

Does it seem odd to anyone else that I chose Evie as my first Crush instead of Jackson Deveoux? Because Jackson is mad hott! (Oh yeah, he gets the extra T. If you don't already know that head over to my review of Poison Princess and find out what you're missing, because you are definitely missing some STUFF!) Anyway, Jackson's a super hot hottie with a badass crossbow, so why on earth is he not my Crush pick?

That's easy. Because Evie is the one who has to deal with Jackson and all of his brood, therefore I respect her. Too many times in YA the male character is the one earning respect and swoons and the title of badass. And Jackson totally earns all of those things, but so does Evie. She's not Miss Plain Jane high-schooler who, for SOME reason, has all the boys lusting after her. She's a hot, rich chick who has all the boys lusting after her ;)

But seriously, she's an intelligent character who not only has to learn how to live in the world after the apocalypse (AKA the Flash), but she has to do so while caring for her injured mother! That's huge. That's real. That's not, Oh, there's an apocalypse and everything I've ever known is gone and now I have to start my life over in this world where I have nothing and no one so I think I'll just attach myself to this cute boy I just met. No. That's, My mom is dying and this boy who hated me in high school just showed up at my door and I don't trust him so what the hell am I going to do because I need to get my mom to a damn doctor? Plus there's the whole vision thing Evie's trying to deal with. She has no idea what her visions mean, but she knows she needs to find her grandmother fast and figure out what to do with them, because, oh yeah, they're real and they terrify her.

And then on top of all the stress the girl's dealing with we add in Jackson. Ole' Jack is a lot of things, but easy to handle is not one of them. He's a live wire, or more aptly a case of dynamite ready to explode. He's got a lot weighing him down in life. Even though the life he knew is over, he still carries the chip of being the poor kid, the ruffian, the punk who will never be better than the bayou. And most times he takes all that anger and frustration he's got penned up inside of him out on Evie. My hat goes off to this girl because as I see it, there are only a few ways to handle Jackson. One, she could swoon and give in to him because he's hot (like smokin' hot, but still, grow a backbone, girl!). Two, she could say, "Eff off, dude," and continue on her journey by herself because it isn't worth the hassle. Or three, she can do precisely what she does. Say, "Eff off, dude," when it needs saying, but stick with him because she's smart enough to know she needs his help and, yeah... because he's hot.(Well, she mostly does this. There's one time when... Well, anyone would have stormed off THAT time.)

Then there's the secret not even Evie knows about. The one that makes her tough as nails (or thorns *wink, wink*) and able to take care of herself just fine, and then suddenly the tables are turned and Jackson isn't the one with the temper they need to worry about anymore.

So even though I have a crazy, fangirl crush on Jackson, it's Evie I'm girl-crushing on this month. He might be strong, but she's stronger, he might be badass, but she's a bigger badass, he might have a secret sensitive side, but she knows when she's in over her head and needs him to keep her sane. That and a million other things leave me crushing on Evie Greene.

Have you read Poison Princess yet? Did it leave you with a deeply seeded girl crush on Evie the way it did me? Or are you crushing on someone else entirely?

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