Saturday, July 27, 2013

Shuffle Saturday (34): One Direction Medley

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:

One Direction Medley by Anthem Lights

I love this mashup of One Direction songs! These guys have great voices, and while their covers aren't quite as good as Boyce Avenue, their mashups are amazing! You should definitely check out their Best of 2012 mashup as well!

What are you listening to?

Friday, July 26, 2013

Interview: Samantha R. Anderer, author of Falling In

Today we have an interview with Samantha R. Anderer, the author of Falling In. Falling In is like the answer to any fangirl's dreams! Samantha has also been awesome enough to provide a promo code for 40% off at Createspace, so make sure you scroll to the bottom to check it out! 

Now that summer vacation has begun, Peyton Cole wants to relax and enjoy the last book of her favorite Young Adult romance series. She reads as Gavin Forrester and Venus Angeletti notice someone watching them from the bushes, and Peyton realizes they mean her. Suddenly she is part of their world, and she doesn't know how she got there.

Hot-beyond-belief Gavin seems attracted to her, and she thinks it might be fun to pop in and out of the book at will. Then everything changes when someone tries to kill her. Peyton wants to return to the safety of her world, but she can't get out of the story. Her best friends, her sister, and the boy who loves her rush against time to save her, but the truth may be more than they can handle.

Tell us about yourself.

For as long as I can remember, I've had characters and stories in my head. When I was little, I acted out adventures with my toys. When I learned how to write, I started capturing the adventures on paper. It wasn't until I was sixteen that I realized I wanted to do this for a living. Twenty plus years later, I'm still writing, editing, and honing my skills. I practically live and breathe my characters; when I'm not writing about them, I'm creating art about them. Who needs a life when you have characters? ;^)

In Falling In, Peyton is crushing hard on fictional, yet swoon worthy Gavin. This is something a lot of us fangirls can relate to. So did this idea form after an epic fictional crush of your own? If so, who was it who won your heart?

I'd like to say the story came from a fictional crush, but it really just popped into my head one day as I woke up from a nap. But I've been around a few fandoms, so I was probably influenced by all the fangirls out there who seem to be having a great time crushing on their fictional heroes.

Speaking of fictional crushes, who would you put on our top five list of book boyfriends?

You probably already have Stefan Salvatore on your list, right? I never read stories for the romance, but I really liked Stefan in the four original Vampire Diaries novels. He's serious, honorable, and tries to do what's right. I also liked Clayton Greene, a character from Julie Kenner's two-book Good Ghouls series from a few years back. One of my favorite movies is The Lost Boys, and Clayton reminded me of the Frog Brothers whom I adore.

Was there ever a moment while writing Falling In that you just felt like giving up? How did you get through it? Or how did you keep yourself motivated?

There are plenty of times that I feel like giving up while writing. Sometimes I will put a story away, but I come back to it eventually. I sort of have this grudge match mentality--the more difficult and annoying a task becomes, the more determined I am to finish it. Once I develop a grudge match with a story, I know I'll finish it soon.

What is your favorite line from Falling In and what makes it your favorite?

Please do not sit there and tell me that book is haunted. – Melia Kahala
That's my favorite line because Melia is the skeptic of the story. She doesn't want to believe anything supernatural is going on, so I think her snappy remarks really add to the story.

Excerpt from Falling In:

The book lay waiting for her atop her desk where she’d pushed back her laptop to make room. Balancing her plate in one hand and soft drink in the other, she stepped over the heaps of clothes, stuffed animals, and books that littered the floor. She sat down on her desk chair, took a bite of her sandwich, and then opened the novel to the place she marked with a fan-made bookmark she’d printed out. The bookmark featured a fan’s drawing of Gavin and Venus in each other’s arms. The drawing was very close to the way Peyton pictured them in her mind, but she thought Gavin would be even hotter than that. It was too bad she didn’t have artistic ability. Creating the characters the way she saw them would be fun, and she could put her own image of Gavin on her phone and take it with her wherever she went. 
Peyton swallowed another bite, wiped her fingers with her napkin, and began to read. 
Chapter 7 
As Time Goes By
I can’t believe it’s already almost the middle of August. As cliché as it sounds, it’s absolutely true that time flies when you’re having fun. I’ve had so much fun here in this town, and I never want it to end. To think I thought it was going to be a terrible summer! I met the love of my life, and I never want to lose him. 
But time is getting away from us. Summer vacation will soon be over, and I’ll have to go back to my dismal life and get ready for my senior year. I’m so afraid I’ll never see Gavin again after August. Everybody tells horror stories about long distance relationships, but I really want to believe that Gavin and I are different. I want to believe our love is strong enough to withstand a year apart, and we’ll find each other again after high school graduation. Our love is like no other love in the world. It’s better, stronger, and more faithful. I have no doubt that we love each other more than any couple ever has or ever will. Our love has already been tested several times, and we’ve come out of all those tests together and more solid than ever. 
But another part of me still worries. Will our time apart make us forget the way we love each other? Will we change over the coming year and lose sight of each other? Will he meet someone else, someone much more deserving of him than I am? That question scares me the most—after all, I almost blew it with him last month when I met Zach. I don’t know how I almost let someone else come between us. Will Gavin do the same? 
I shook my fears away. There was no point in dwelling on them now. We still have two weeks to be together, and I wasn’t going to ruin it by worrying. I showered and got ready for my date with Gavin. We were going to meet at the park for a little private time before we joined our friends for dinner. As far as I was concerned, we could never have enough private time. 
When I arrived at the park, he was waiting for me. It was amazing the way he always took my breath away just by doing ordinary things like sitting on a picnic bench. He looked like the finest work of art without even trying. Sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly believe he’s mine and that he wants me. 
He stood up when he saw me, and when I reached his side, he took me in his arms. We only saw each other a few hours ago, but being in his arms again felt like the
sweetest reunion after a long, lonely separation. I felt like everything was in its natural place when we were together. 
“I missed you,” he whispered in my ear, and his warm breath sent shivers down my spine. “I wish we never had to be apart. I watch the clock and count the minutes until we can be together again.” 
My chills increased with his every word. We were always on the same wavelength, always thinking and feeling the same way. I was going to tell him so, but his lips met mine, banishing all need for words. Our kisses spoke on a higher plane that words could never reach. 
But then, like a bolt of lightning striking us down, our moment was interrupted by the sound of rustling bushes. We jumped apart. “Someone is spying on us!” I exclaimed, and I gazed around at the brush for the offending party. I hoped it was only some pervert, and Zach wasn’t back to try again to steal me from Gavin. 
I spotted movement in the bushes twenty feet across from us. “There! I see someone moving right there!” 
Gavin leaned forward for a closer look. “Come out, whoever you are. We can see you.” 
With a jolt, Peyton realized they were talking to her.

Trailer:

This trailer was hilarious because it was created using The Sims! Made my day!


Special Promo Code:

Samantha has created a special promo code for you guys! If you buy Falling In directly from Createspace you get 40% off when you use this code:

6GTPL9RE

Buy it HERE!


For more about Falling In check out these sites!


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Title: The 5th Wave
Author: Rick Yancey
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Publish Date: May 7th, 2013
Rating:

The Passage meets Ender’s Game in an epic new series from award-winning author Rick Yancey.

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey is one of those books that, once you start reading, it's hard to put back down. After the 4th Wave it's hard to know who's human and who isn't. It's hard to trust when you don't know how to tell who the enemy is. And Yancey not only instills that idea, not only in his characters minds, but in his readers as well. Should you trust the characters you think you know or are they manipulating you? Or worse, are they being manipulated?

Cassie is a feisty heroine, I'll give her that. She's tough and does what she needs to do, but when it comes to boys... well, they're her kryptonite. Boys, namely Evan Walker, seem to turn Cassie into an unreasonable, melodramatic teenager, even though I know she's smarter than that. She knows she's smarter than that. And I like Evan, I really do, but their relationship was such instalove that I just couldn't get into it. They were sweet and I like them together, I just wish Cassie would have stayed strong to her beliefs when getting involved with him. And that Yancey would have flushed out their relationship better. It happened over the course of weeks (months, maybe) but the way it was written (at first at least) left me wanting, even if the idea of their relationship was great.

Ben on the other hand... Oh, Ben Parish. I fell in love with him. Hard. He's been through a lot and he's broken, but not weak. He's loving and perfect and takes care of his squad no matter what, even when he's scared. He makes hard decisions and sometimes they don't end the way he wants them to, but he pushes through anyway. I really loved the relationship he had with Nugget. And, although I'm still a little unsure about Ringer, I thought their relationship was cute too.

The 5th Wave, despite having almost nothing but glowing reviews, still managed to shock me. It was one of the best books I've read this year. Definitely the best alien invasion I've read about since The Host. If you have any doubts regarding the hype behind The 5th Wave, try not to think about it. Just pick up the book and lose yourself in the adventure.

For more about The 5th Wave check out these sites!


Monday, July 22, 2013

Teaser Tuesday (52): The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

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

This week's teaser is from The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey. I know, I know. Almost everyone has already read this one and loved it. And for good reason! It's really good. Tons of action with just an undertone of romance.

In the 4th Wave, you can't trust that people are still people. But you can trust that your gun is still your gun.

{The 5th Wave, Chapter 3}

Synopsis of The 5th Wave:

The Passage meets Ender’s Game in an epic new series from award-winning author Rick Yancey.

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

For more about The 5th Wave check out these sites!


Review: The Heartbreak Messenger by Alexander Vance

Title: The Heartbreak Messenger
Author: Alexander Vance
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publish Date: July 23rd, 2013
Rating:

Twelve-year-old Quentin never asked to be "The Heartbreak Messenger," it just kind of happened - and he's not one to let a golden opportunity pass him by. The valuable communications service he offers is simple: he delivers break-up messages. For a small fee, he will deliver such a message to your soon-to-be ex-girlfriend. If you order the deluxe package, he'll even throw in some flowers and a box of chocolates...well, you don't want to leave a girl completely alone.

At first, Quentin's entrepreneurial brainchild is surprisingly successful. But as he interacts with clients and message recipients, from the teary-eyed football player to the dangerously powerful soccer chick, it doesn't take him long to start wondering whether his business will create negative repercussions in how life, especially for his relationship with his long-time best friend Abigail. Quentin discovers the game of love adn the emotions that go with it are as complicated as they come - even for an almost innocent bystander.

This brisk tale, infused with Quentin's strong narrative voice, dry wit, and sometimes over-eager schemes, presents an engaging character that is clueless yet brilliant, sarcastic yet sensitive.

The Heartbreak Messenger by Alexander Vance took me by surprise. I expected it to be a cute, quick read. What I didn't expect was to stay up much too late because I just couldn't put the book down. I don't usually read middle grade novels, but since this one seemed on the cusp of young adult I gave it a shot, and I'm so glad I did.

One thing that made The Heartbreak Messenger stand out for me was the solid business strategies of thirteen year old Quentin. Seriously. This kid could be one of the sharks on Shark Tank when he's older. He's desperate for cash and is willing to work for it, but not to the point of doing anything illegal. Although his business does push some moral boundaries and he knows it. But what does he care? He's thirteen and raking in dough to help his single mom pay the rent. To heck with moral boundaries. Quentin does feel guilty about breaking people's hearts though, and that's part of what makes him so lovable.

Alexander Vance sort of nails the standard young boy coming of age story. And Quentin's voice is perfection. Sometimes the cutesy cussing (e.g. "kicked my trash" instead of... well, you know) seemed a little forced, but it fit perfectly with the characters personalities, so I'm not complaining. I'd even go as far as to say this reminded me a little of Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen, one of my all time favorite coming of age stories. It had the same innocence that Flipped had, and the same agelessness. The story takes place in the present, but it could have easily taken place in any decade.

The Heartbreak Messenger is great for younger readers, with its lovable, yet clueless narrator and the way he transitions from being—in his words—"too young" to think about girls as anything but best friends to maybe, possibly, seeing them as something more. And it's great for adult readers, too. It had me smiling the whole way through. And occasionally rolling my eyes at how little Quentin understood about girls.



For more about The Heartbreak Messenger check out these sites!


Friday, July 19, 2013

Blog Tour Excerpt: Program 13 by Nicole Sobon

Today we're sharing an excerpt from Nicole Sobon's new book, Program 13. A dead girl, an evil corporation and robots? This sounds like a winner to us! Check out the synopsis:

Two identities. One Body.

17-year-old Emile Reed, may have died, but she isn't dead. Her body now belongs to Program Thirteen, where her every thought, every movement, is controlled. Until Emile begins to find her way back inside of Thirteen's core, where she manages to fend off Thirteen’s programming to reclaim the life that she lost. But Charles McVeigh, the owner of Vesta Corp, isn’t willing to let Thirteen go. And he will stop at nothing to reclaim control of Thirteen's programming. Because without her, McVeigh has nothing.

What makes you human?

Excerpt from Program 13:

The leather straps constricted my wrists forcing me to endure the electric current soaring through my body. With each jolt of energy, the wires beneath my skin buzzed, sending a shrill throughout my core. Programmed to respond to pain, my body flung forward involuntarily. 
“Pain is a natural reaction,” they told us. “It’s a part of being human. It is something you will better understand once your human identity is finally installed.” 
But no matter how much I might look human, I was not. 
I was a Program, a machine built to appear human. 
The straps dug into my skin, tearing it slightly. I could feel the cold brushing against the metal surrounding the wires beneath the break. The tearing didn’t hurt, but my Program reacted as though it did. The scientists wanted to see how we react to pain. They wanted to believe we were capable of acting human. 
This body, this skin, it was a cover for what I truly was. 
“They do not have enough experience with your kind,” the White Coats said. “We just want to make sure you are safe out there. This is your world, too.” 
At least, that was what they told me. 
“Program Thirteen,” a harsh voice called from behind the glass. I could faintly make out a shadow of the man as he held his clipboard in his hand, carefully checking each box indicating I’d passed my daily inspection. I was making excellent progress, or so I’d heard.
“Your Program is coming along quite nicely,” McVeigh had told me. “I can only imagine how well you will do once your human identity is programmed into your core.” 
I knew that McVeigh was happy with my progress here at Vesta Corp, but I did not comprehend much of what he said. What I did know was that as long as my treatments continued to work, I’d remain activated. I’d retain a purpose. That was all that mattered. 
Looking down, I could see that the leather straps were hanging down, no longer constricting my wrists. Even without the straps to hold me down, I did not move. I remained seated, waiting for a White Coat to come strolling in through the door. As I waited, I noticed that my skin where it had been torn from the pressure of the restraints was flapping around. I’d have to pay a visit to the doctor again so that she could tend to the tear. 
“You must find a way to fight the pain, Thirteen,” she’d tell me, just like she always did.
And then I’d nod, because that was what I was expected to do. 
The truth was that I had no control over how my Program reacted to pain. Everything I did, everything I was – it was all controlled by the scientists. I didn’t choose to react. My Program, the one which they’d built, did. I twisted my wrist so that my palm was facing up, and I gazed down at the open skin. No blood. No bone. Only exposed metal.

About the Author:

Nicole Sobon is the author of the Emile Reed Chronicles, Capture, No Place Like Home, and various short stories.

For more about Program 13 check out these sites!


Make sure to follow the rest of the tour HERE!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Author Interview & Giveaway: Anne Van, author of Tokyo Dare

 Today we have an interview with author Anne Van. She's talking about her novel Tokyo Dare and she's been kind enough to give away an ebook ARC! Check out the blurb for Tokyo Dare:

Sixteen-year-old artist, Erin Van Horn, doesn’t know an Unagi Roll from a Kaiser Roll. But on a dare from her best friend, Tori Mukigawa, she wins a spot as an exchange student at a prestigious Tokyo high school. Once in the land of the rising sun, Erin struggles to learn the culture and deal with a host family from hell. Otosan, the father, stops speaking to her after she “murders” his favorite bonsai tree. The mother, Okasan, believes Erin’s evil because she’s left-handed and their son is an Elvis impersonator who is convinced Erin’s the spitting image of Priscilla if only she’d dye her blonde hair black, and become his child bride.

But Erin has a bigger problem than her crazy host family when she faces the ultimate dare from Tori—a to-do list. Racked with guilt for winning the spot that should have gone to her best friend, Erin is determined to complete the list. All she has to do is find a rock star boyfriend, (sure, there’s one on every street corner), apprentice under a famous Japanese artist, (no problem, they’ll be listed in the Tokyo Yellow Pages) and visit Linda’s long lost relatives to find out what’s hidden in the family closet. So what if the only words she knows in Japanese are, “Excuse me eat pretty idiot.”

How hard could it be?

How long have you been writing Young Adult?

I’ve been writing YA for five years. I love the genre. Seems I never grew up.

Where you do you get inspiration for Tokyo Dare?

I’ve lived in Japan, travel a lot, and met some amazing people. I’m a very curious person, which makes me wander off the beaten path. This usually leads to wonderful discoveries like secret temples and hidden neighborhoods, but sometimes leads me to some places I’d rather not find like the spot where the village people dump their jars of rotten pickled eggs. Yuck!

What about your next book? Will it be part of a series or stand alone? Can you give us a taste to wet our appetites?

I’m working on book two of the Sushi Chronicle Series. Erin has her dream boyfriend and is doing well in her second semester at Seda Academy. She’s even making progress on her crazy to-do list. She’s moving out of the host family from hell! But just when she thinks she’s settling into her life in Japan a string of events turns her world upside down.

What does the future hold for you?

I’m working on the Tokyo Dare series and several other projects. I’m always developing new story ideas. My head is full of them.

Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Praise for Tokyo Dare:

If you are in need of a fun vacation to a foreign country, buy this book. I finished Tokyo Dare feeling like I'd been on a journey overseas to Japan with a spunky high-school girl. Erin meets some hilarious and interesting characters along the way, including a host brother who impersonates Elvis. I laughed. I learned about Japanese customs. I felt like I'd taken a wonderfully long summer break. All for 3.99.

About the Author:

Anne Van is an artist, fashionista, turned writer. She has a Masters Degree in Fine Art and attended Waseda University in Tokyo Japan on a scholarship. She has exhibited her artwork all over the United States and one of her works was displayed in a museum in Picasso’s hometown of Malaga, Spain. After several years toiling as a fine artist, she switched gears to pursue another passion, fashion. Anne graduated from FIDM in Los Angeles and designed sportswear for major retailers. All the while she heard stories in her head. So one day she quit fashion and finally put her stories on paper. Since then Anne has published an article in a national magazine and an award winning travel story about her time living in Tokyo, Japan. She has also published short fiction. Anne continues to write the stories that fill her head. She lives in a Victorian home in a historic landmark district in Pasadena, California along with three rescue cats, including one that has six toes, and her TV composer husband who thankfully doesn’t.

For more about Tokyo Dare check out these sites!


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Blog Tour: The Year of the Great Seventh by Teresa Orts

Today we're so excited to be a part of The Year of the Great Seventh Blog Tour! Not only is the book a grand romantic adventure, but so is the tour! Author Teresa Orts has put together an epic scavenger hunt for us to find the clues that will lead main characters Sophie and Nate together again. Be sure to check out the rules below so you can play along. It's really fun! Check out the synopsis of The Year of the Great Seventh:
Sophie has always felt out of step — an outsider, even amongst friends in her high school with all the hype about celebrity culture. Her life in L.A. seems to have been already written for her, but when her junior year starts, it all takes a drastic turn. When she crosses paths with the school's heartthrob, Nate Werner, they fall for each other in a way neither can understand. What they don’t know is that by giving in to their desires, they are unlocking an ancient Egyptian prophecy that threatens to return Earth to the dark ages.

To undo the curse, Nate and Sophie embark on an adventure that takes them across the country. But their quest is not only to save the world as they know it. It is also a fight for their very survival. Behind the scenes, there are those that are counting on them to fail.

Rules for the World Tour:

Welcome to the Year of the Great Seventh summer world tour!

We will be hopping from side to side of the globe helping Nate and Sophie find each other, but for that, we need you through the entire tour. Sophie and Nate need to meet at a secret location at the end of the blog tour, but since they don’t want anyone else to know where, they left the address in hidden code.

We will be giving you clues at each tour stop that will help you find the location. Also, at each blog tour stop, we will unveil a part of a picture that discloses the secret location.


These are the rules of the game:

- You’ll need to have read The Year of the Great Seventh to be able to follow the game, or at least, have some knowledge of what happens in the novel.

- You’ll need access to Google maps (Street View).

- At each blog tour stop we will reveal a sentence like this:

Sophie spent an afternoon at the (2676 S Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA—second word written on top of the main entrance door) Park with her friends.

- You’ll need to put that address into Google maps, and using Street View, you need to work out which word is missing. In this case, the answer would the following:

Sophie spent an afternoon at the SKATE Park with her friends.

- We are only interested in the first letter of the word: “S”.

- The next day, we will plot that letter into the four words that will hint the secret location, and we will give you the new sentence.

For example:

- - - - - - - - S - - - - - -

- Additionally, there will be a photo of the secret location at each blog tour stop. At the first stop, it will be totally blacked out, but as we go along the tour, we will start unveiling different parts.

- When we get to the last stop, with the photo and the four words that we will have deciphered, you’ll be on your own to find the secret location.

- The first 5 people who send an email to greatseventhtour@outlook.com with the correct solution will win a free hardcopy of The Year of the Great Seventh.

- We will only disclose the winners after the last stop of the blog tour, and will strictly follow the email entries by date/time received to award the books to the first 5 people who discover the secret location. Please remember to include your first name, last name, and address in the email. We will not use this information for any other purpose.

- You can write comments on the blog post. We are okay with people helping each other; however, the first 5 people to send the correct answer win the books.

- If you change your mind about the secret location, you can send more than one email.

- There can only be one winner per address, and you can only win a maximum of 1 book per person.

Let’s hope we can help Nate and Sophie find each other!

Good luck to everyone!

Teresa Orts

Today's Clues:

Yesterday’s solution:

The rising sun, (Ra), was symbolized by an obelisk.


Today’s sentence:

(Via Cernaia 30, Torino, Italy – top word on the awning) had possessed all the answers needed by Sophie and Nate to save themselves.

The picture of the secret location:


World Tour Schedule:

July 16           YA Book Addict
July 17           Pretty in Fiction
July 18           Reading Away the Days
July 19           Book Mark Belles
July 20           Le Vanity Victorienne
July 21           The Maniacal Bookworm
July 22           Book - Marks the Spot
July 23           Digesting the Words
July 24           Butterfly Feet Walking on Books
July 25           Book Divas
July 26           Nawanda Files
July 27           Coffee, Books and Me
July 28           The Dust Jacket
July 29           The Bookish Outsider
July 30           Just a Book Lover
August 1       So Many Books, So Little Time
August 2       Framed In Words

Check out The Year of the Great Seventh at these sites!


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Teaser Tuesday (51): Viral Nation by Shaunta Grimes

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

This week's teaser is from Viral Nation by Shaunta Grimes. This book is so good, you guys! Great sci-fi/dystopian with some awesome time travel thrown in! I am desperately trying to finish this book. I love it, but every time I pick it up someone interrupts me! I'm going crazy with the suspense! I'm so close to being finished though, so there will be a review coming soon. This little teaser is one of my favorite scenes between siblings West and Clover.

Is there more?"

She looked up at him. "He kissed me."


Christ.

{Viral Nation, Shaunta Grimes}

Synopsis of Viral Nation:

After a virus claimed nearly the entire global population, the world changed. The United States splintered into fifty walled cities where the surviving citizens clustered to start over. The Company, which ended the plague by bringing a life-saving vaccine back from the future, controls everything. They ration the scant food and supplies through a lottery system, mandate daily doses of virus suppressant, and even monitor future timelines to stop crimes before they can be committed.

Brilliant but autistic, sixteen-year-old Clover Donovan has always dreamed of studying at the Waverly-Stead Academy. Her brother and caretaker, West, has done everything in his power to make her dream a reality. But Clover’s refusal to part with her beloved service dog denies her entry into the school. Instead, she is drafted into the Time Mariners, a team of Company operatives who travel through time to gather news about the future.

When one of Clover’s missions reveals that West’s life is in danger, the Donovans are shattered. To change West’s fate, they’ll have to take on the mysterious Company. But as its secrets are revealed, they realize that the Company’s rule may not be as benevolent as it seems. In saving her brother, Clover will face a more powerful force than she ever imagined… and will team up with a band of fellow misfits and outsiders to incite a revolution that will change their destinies forever.

For more about Viral Nation check out these sites!



Monday, July 15, 2013

Author Interview: Robert Beck, author of Dawn of the Knight

Today we have an interview with author Robert Beck. His novel Dawn of the Knight is a really cool story about a teenage boy trained to be a covert operative! How awesome is that? And guess what? It's FREE on Smashwords! Check out the synopsis:

In this thrilling and suspenseful action/romance novel, a fatherless Canadian high school boy, Lance Rock, has been raised and trained by the United States government’s former top operative. For his senior year, Lance decides to travel to California in the hope of finding a girlfriend as well as freedom from his regimented life. Once there, he inadvertently ends up in the home of a mother and her two teenage daughters. He is forced to use his skills to defend them and himself from the woman’s ex-husband—a crime lord who has been terrorizing the family for over a decade!

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m 54 years old and I am originally from Montreal, Canada. I came down to the United States in 1981 to go to school (Cairn University), met my future wife there, and decided to stay after I got married. I have been married 28 years and I have four children, two boys and two girls. I am currently residing in Honey Brook, Pennsylvania, which is approximately 30 miles west of Philadelphia. I never, ever, thought I’d be a writer. I never had any desire for it. I actually had a desire to be an artist/illustrator, but my life didn’t turn out the way I thought it would. My oldest son was a communications major in college. I thought that he would be the one to take up writing. I did an Amazon.com search and bought three of the most highly recommended books on how to write fiction that I could find, and then gave them to him. He chose not to pursue writing, however. Three years ago I became extremely discouraged with my job and my life. I decided I would try to write a story as a means of escaping the boredom. But first, I read the three books I had purchased for him. They were so helpful that I’ve actually credited them in the acknowledgment section of my book!

Your novel, Dawn of the Knight, is an action packed adventure story. What were some of your influences while writing?

I’m a huge fan of cool, operative/secret agent type characters having grown up watching James Bond, Derek Flint, The Wild, Wild West, The Avengers, The Man from Uncle, and more recently, Jason Bourne and Alex Rider. When I was younger, I had read a 1960’s young adult teen spy series titled, “Chris Cool/Teen Agent,” by Jack Lancer, and I loved it. That series only lasted six books and I decided that if I would ever write a book series it would involve an operative type teenage character. Since I’m originally from Canada, I made the protagonist Canadian as well. I also knew I didn’t want him working for a government agency. I thought, what would happen if you put a teenage boy with operative type skills in a high school setting? The result is this story.

I love the name of your main character, Lance Rock. It just sounds so much like an action hero! Did it take you a while to come up with the perfect name for him, or was it just something you knew from day one?

Believe it or not I actually grew up with a boy named Lance Rock! When we were younger I thought that was the coolest name any kid could have! I had originally named the Character Ron West but changed it to Lance Rock because I thought that name sounded more rugged and tougher.

If there was one piece of advice you could have known before you started writing Dawn of the Knight, what would it be?

I never realized how hard it would be to get recognition for a self-published E-Book. It’s like trying to climb Mount Everest! But I’m hanging in there and I’m sure the recognition will come in time.

I always ask authors what their favorite line from their books are. So what was your favorite line from Dawn of the Knight and why?

In the story Lance is attacked by 25 players from the football team in the high school cafeteria. They had been bullying the other students and Lance issues an ultimatum to then to stop or else face his justice. He is forced to defend himself and he ends up completely obliterating them. One of the student bystanders makes the comment that Lance is like “freaking Superman.” The next day he is approached by two hit men who want to murder him. One of the men is carrying a newspaper with the headline, “Superman in HS Brawl” in reference to Lance’s cafeteria fight. When Lance adjusts his stance in order to defend himself, one of the men points a gun at him and says, “You just relax there, Superman. You’re not bulletproof!”

I’m a huge Superman fan and there are many references throughout the story of Lance equaling Superman. This one is my favorite.


Get your FREE copy of Dawn of the Knight on Smashwords!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Teaser Tuesday (50): Roman Holiday by Ashleyn Poston

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

This week's teaser is from Roman Holiday by Ashleyn Poston. I haven't started this one yet, so I just randomly opened to a page for a quote and I landed on a doozy! This book is definitely going to make me laugh, I can already tell.

Ooh!" Maggie's voice raises on octave with interest. "Do tell! Cute? Tall? Hunky? Dorky? Sneezy?"

"And he lives with six other men in a cottage by the woods, sure.

{Roman Holiday, Chapter 8}

Synopsis of Roman Holiday:

Haters gonna hate.

Eighteen-year-old Junie Baltimore is glad the band Roman Holiday is dead, done, so last year. She can finally take their wannabe rock songs off the jukebox in her late father's bar and introduce her simple-minded peers to real rock 'n roll.

It's the perfect plan―until she accidentally crosses paths with the estranged lead singer, Roman Montgomery, and finds herself oddly attracted to his quirky humor and hipster red suspenders. He isn't half-bad, really. In fact, he likes rock 'n roll, too―and he has a killer arm tat.

But Roman is hiding a secret that is slowly eating him from the inside out. The truth is buried somewhere beneath his guarded emerald eyes, but is Junie willing to risk everything―including her late father's bar―to find out what it is?

Because guys like him never fall for girls like her. Not even in love songs.

Who is she kidding? It's an easy choice... right?

For more about Roman Holiday check out these sites!


Monday, July 8, 2013

Author Interview: Cat Mann, author of A Beautiful Fate

Today we have an interview with author Cat Mann. She's talking about her novel A Beautiful Fate and  she's been kind enough to give away an ebook! As an added bonus she's offering a special half off discount until July 14th, 2013 over at Smashwords. You'll find the deal and coupon code below if you're interested in checking out the novel! Check out the synopsis of A Beautiful Fate:

Obsessive and driven by nightmares, Ava Baio is uprooted from her Chicago home after the untimely and tragic death of her loving mother. Taken across country by her antagonistic grandmother and placed as a boarding student at a school in Dana Point, California, Ava struggles with isolation and the loss of her mother and her grandfather. Faced with having left her beloved brownstone behind and attending a new school, surrounded by new faces and unfamiliar scenery, she finds herself sorting through unfamiliar and uncharted feelings with a strange and beautiful boy, Ari – a modern day Adonis. After an unconventional start to their relationship, Ava becomes intensely absorbed by her love for Ari, and with his help and the help of his family, she discovers who she really is – a Fate descended from Atropos. She learns that the Greek mythology she grew up reading is not comprised of myth after all.

Ava faces constant challenges both in her relationship with Ari and with the fact that she is being hunted by six threatening and ruthless men who want nothing more than for her to die so that they can live forever. She has no choice but to stand up for those she has come to love. In doing so, she becomes something she hates, a killer.

A true page-turner, A Beautiful Fate is Part One of The Beautiful Fate Series. The novel is full of suspense, romance and the allure of ancient Greece. Ava and Ari will leave the reader hoping the story will never end.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am a twenty-nine year old book- lover. I am married to my awesome husband, Derek. We have been married for 6 years now and together we have two little girls ages 5 and 3. I grew up in Springfield Illinois (Land of Lincoln!) and I currently reside just outside of Springfield in an itty-bitty town near the Sangamon River. When I am not writing, I am either running my girls back and forth from dance class or reading whatever may be in front of my nose.

Greek mythology seems to be a trend among authors these days. What is it about mythology that inspired you and how is A Beautiful Fate different from some of the others out there?

Greek mythology has always amazed me. I love the creativity and imagination behind Homer’s epic poems. I am not quite sure where my inspiration came from, but when I set out to write, Greek mythology just seemed like a no-brainer. I believe that A Beautiful Fate is set apart from the other mythology-inspired books out there because of the countless amount of time and research that went in to this project. A Beautiful Fate takes the stories from ancient Greece and puts a fresh spin on them. New stories emerge from the descendants of beloved Greek characters in a truly unique and awesome way.

I know authors sometimes infuse some of their own personality traits or characteristics into their characters. Do you share any traits with the characters of A Beautiful Fate?

I most certainly see myself in a few of the characters in the novel. Ava, the story’s protagonist, and I shared more qualities than I think I would like to admit sometimes! Ava and I both share an immense love for music, we are obsessive, neither of us likes to be touched and we are both pretty crabby in the mornings. I thoroughly enjoy people watching and I see parts of different people I know in my life interwoven in the various characters.

If you could go back in time to when you first started writing A Beautiful Fate, what is one piece of advice you'd give yourself?

I set out to write The Beautiful Fate Series about two years ago. I finished book one and quickly moved in to book two, A Broken Fate. I began writing book three, A Forsaken Fate about ten months ago and decided, half way through, to take a break from writing the third book so I could concentrate on working closely with my editor on the first two novels. I am just now trying to get back in to the swing of writing book three and I am struggling to find the time I so desperately need to write. If I could go back in time, I would definitely have never taken a break in writing the series.

What is your favorite line from A Beautiful Fate and what makes it your favorite?

My favorite line in the novel comes from Ari when he says,
I love the girl that’s in my bed.
I love this line because the words came directly from my husband. The first novel was already complete and off at the editor when I woke up one beautiful morning with my husband at my side. He said those exact words and I smiled so hard, I knew I had to incorporate the line into my book.

Giveaway & 50% OFF DEAL:

Cat, being the awesome author that she is, is offering up one copy of A Beautiful Fate and 50% off for all our readers at Smashwords until July 14th, 2013! Just use the following code for the special half off price!

FK33A

Click HERE to use the code!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


For more about A Beautiful Fate check out these sites!



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