Friday, February 28, 2014

Somewhere to Dream by Genevieve Graham

Author: Genevieve Graham 
Title: Somewhere to Dream
Series: The MacDonnells #3
Publication:  November 5, 2013
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: 336 pp.
Source: Author via Netgalley

From Genevieve Graham, author of Sound of the Heart, comes the tale of two strangers living with the Cherokee—one with a warrior’s heart; the other with deadly dreams…

The Cherokee call her Shadow Girl. A white woman adopted by Indians, Adelaide is haunted by the dark dreams she hides—of her murdered family, of the men she fears, and most of all, of the ones that foretell the future. After her visions cause her to make a terrible mistake, she renounces her power and buries her dreams deep in her soul.

Until Jesse Black is captured by the tribe. His life is spared because the Cherokee believe his warrior spirit belongs to their fallen brother. Though he hates all Indians, Adelaide illuminates their way of life for him, just as he shines light into her shadowed heart. But when her dreams return, Jesse must help her face them…or die trying…

Family torn apart. Thrust into a new world. Adelaide feels damaged and fears white men. Jesse hates Indians for what happened to his family. He has a brutal past that he must battle and she needs the courage to embrace her gift. 

" The Cherokee were human. White men were human. And yet they were dramatically different. Their hatred was a living thing, and each wanted nothing less than to annihilate the other. Somewhere in the middle was me." 

Adelaide's struggle to overcome her fear of her power and her terror of what she endured before integrating with Cherokee is an interesting thing to see. She gradually comes out of her shell, she's very timid but strong. It's tough for her in the camp because her sister adapts so well to the ways of the Cherokee and she refuses to because she's afraid then her sister leaves and she must learn their ways. There are some things she finds beautiful about her new surroundings however the savagery bothers her. In one of these brutal moments she comes face to face with a pair of eyes she's seen her dreams belonging to none other than Jesse Black, the white man who had been captured and spared by the Cherokee. They have plans for him and Adelaide, though she wants no part of it. Jesse comes from a violent household, his father blames him for surviving an attack that took the rest of his family. He's angry and but he fears that he'll be just like his father. Can these two wounded souls find peace and a love neither thought possible? Overall, this is a good story about family, love and community that I think anyone that likes historical romances.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Blitz + Giveaway: The Moon Sisters by Therese Walsh

On tour with Prism Book Tours...

A beautiful coming-of-age novel about two sisters on a journey to forgive their troubled mother, with a sheen of almost-magical realism that overlays a story about the love of a family, and especially between sisters...

The Moon SistersThe Moon Sisters
by Therese Walsh
336 pages
Coming March 4th, 2014
Mature Coming of Age
Family Drama

Therese Walsh's poignant and mesmerizing novel is a moving tale of family, love, and the power of stories. After their mother's probable suicide, sisters Olivia and Jazz are figuring out how to move on with their lives. Jazz, logical and forward-thinking, decides to get a new job, but spirited, strong-willed Olivia, who can see sounds, taste words, and smell sights, is determined to travel to the remote setting of their mother's unfinished novel to say her final goodbyes and lay their mother's spirit to rest.

Though they see things very differently, Jazz is forced by her sense of duty to help Olivia reach her goal. Bitter and frustrated by the attention heaped on her sunny sister whose world is so unique, Jazz is even more upset when they run into trouble along the way and Olivia latches to a worldly train-hopper. Though Hobbs warns Olivia that he's a thief who shouldn't be trusted, he agrees to help with their journey. As they near their destination, the tension builds between the two sisters, each hiding something from the other, and they will finally be forced to face everything between them and decide what is really important.


Appearances & News from Therese Walsh
Up-coming Tour at TLC Tours

What is your train name?
You'll want it for next week's Personality Quiz!

What readers are saying about The Moon Sisters:
Jazz and Olivia Moon are about as different as sisters can be. The death of their mother, which appears to have been a suicide, hits them both hard, but their reactions are completely opposite. Practical, 22-year-old Jazz gets a job at the funeral home that handled their mother’s funeral, while dreamy 18-year-old Olivia half blinds herself by staring at the sun and decides to visit a bog to catch sight of the wisps that her mother talked and wrote about. Accompanied by reluctant Jazz, Olivia sets off, but when the bus they’re driving breaks down, Olivia makes the rash decision to stow away on a train. There she meets a tattooed, reticent young drifter named Hobbs, who agrees to help her find the wisps. When Jazz catches up with them, she’s immediately put off by Hobbs and furious with Olivia’s refusal to give up her mission or accept that their mother’s death was a suicide. Both heartbreaking and hopeful, the Moon sisters’ journey is no quixotic quest, and readers will find themselves completely immersed in their transformative search. This magical, moving tale is not to be missed.

Therese Walsh has done it again. She is fast becoming known for delivering lush, emotional and deeply atmospheric reads that never disappoint. Her second book, The Moon Sisters, is a magical journey of grief, hope and the power of family bonds. It is a novel for the senses, a harmony of sounds, sights, scents and tastes, the likes of which you have never experienced before. You won’t want to miss this one.”
-Sarah Addison Allen, New York Times bestselling author of Lost Lake

Therese Walsh is a gifted storyteller whose lyrical prose captures the uniqueness of her characters and the compelling, slightly mystical nature of their journey. The Moon Sisters is a tale of two sisters — unalike in a multitude of ways — and their quest for understanding the secrets of their late mother’s past. The trip Jazz and Olivia take together naturally strains the bonds of an already difficult relationship, but what is slowly revealed during their time away from home proves to be truly enlightening to them both…regardless of how differently each perceives the world. This is a novel about love, hope and, above all, acceptance. Readers will find themselves caught up in a kaleidoscope of sensory details and the richness of a story beautifully told.”
-Marilyn Brant, USA Today bestselling author of The Road to You

The Moon Sisters is a novel to fall in love with. to break your heart over. to linger with and think about after you’ve finished the last of Walsh’s lovely, singing, heart-wrenching words. There is magic in the story and in the language itself and you’ll find yourself wanting to buy a copy for your sister, or your best friend, just so you have someone to share it with.”
- M.J. Rose, International bestselling author of Seduction: A Novel of Suspense

Therese Walsh's debut novel, The Last Will of Moira Leahy, was published in 2009 by Shaye Areheart books (Random House). Her second novel, The Moon Sisters, will be published by Crown (Penguin Random House) in March 2014.

Therese is the co-founder of Writer Unboxed, a blog for writers about the craft and business of fiction. Before turning to novels, she was a researcher and writer for Prevention magazine, and then a freelance writer. She’s had hundreds of articles on nutrition and fitness published in consumer magazines and online.

She has a master's degree in psychology.

Aside from writing, Therese’s favorite things include music, art, crab legs, Whose Line is it Anyway?, dark chocolate, photography, unique movies and novels, people watching, strong Irish tea, and spending time with her husband, two kids and their bouncy Jack Russell

Prism Book Tours Blitz:  Feb 18 * Feb 25 * March 4
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Feb 18 - March 11
WIN $100 Gift Card - International
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WIN print copy of The Moon Sisters - US/Canada only
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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Waiting on Wedesday #51: Take Me On by Katie McGarry

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Take Me On by Katie McGarry
Expected Release: May 2014

Goodreads Synopsis
Acclaimed author Katie McGarry returns with the knockout new story of two high school seniors who are about to learn what winning really means

Champion kickboxer Haley swore she'd never set foot in the ring again after one tragic night. But then the guy she can't stop thinking about accepts a mixed martial arts fight in her honor. Suddenly, Haley has to train West Young. All attitude, West is everything Haley promised herself she'd stay away from. Yet he won't last five seconds in the ring without her help.

West is keeping a big secret from Haley. About who he really is. But helping her-fighting for her-is a shot at redemption. Especially since it's his fault his family is falling apart. He can't change the past, but maybe he can change Haley's future.

Hayley and West have agreed to keep their relationship strictly in the ring. But as an unexpected bond forms between them and attraction mocks their best intentions, they'll face their darkest fears and discover love is worth fighting for.

What book are you looking forward to reading?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #50: The Ring & the Crown by Melissa De La Cruz

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

The Ring & the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz
Expected Release: April 2014

Goodreads Synopsis
Princess Marie-Victoria, heir to the Lily Throne, and Aelwyn Myrddn, bastard daughter of the Mage of England, grew up together. But who will rule, and who will serve? 

Quiet and gentle, Marie has never lived up to the ambitions of her mother, Queen Eleanor the Second, Supreme Ruler of the Franco-British Empire. With the help of her Head Merlin, Emrys, Eleanor has maintained her stranglehold on the world's only source of magic. She rules the most powerful empire the world has ever seen. 

But even with the aid of Emrys' magic, Eleanor's extended lifespan is nearing its end. The princess must marry and produce an heir or the Empire will be vulnerable to its greatest enemy, Prussia. The two kingdoms must unite to end the war, and the only solution is a match between Marie and Prince Leopold VII, heir to the Prussian throne. But Marie has always loved Gill, her childhood friend and soldier of the Queen's Guard. 

Together, Marie and Aelwyn, a powerful magician in her own right, come up with a plan. Aelwyn will take on Marie's face, allowing the princess to escape with Gill and live the quiet life she's always wanted. And Aelwyn will get what she's always dreamed of--the chance to rule. But the court intrigue and hunger for power in Lenoran England run deeper than anyone could imagine. In the end, there is only rule that matters in Eleanor's court: trust no one.

I have never read anything by this author but I want to read this one.
What book are you looking forward to reading?

Monday, February 17, 2014

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Author: Rosamund Hodge
Title: Cruel Beauty
Publication: January 28, 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: Publisher
Website | Twitter | Facebook
Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl's journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

She is the sacrifice. He is a monster. Bound by matrimony, Nyx must become the dutiful wife to a man who has tormented her people and caused her mothers' death. She's been trained with the skill necessary to defeating him and she's been ready to die with him. Nyx is an interesting character, though she feels duty bound to avenge a death that really wasn't her fault but sort of her fathers' for his bargain with Ignifex, she goes forward with in spite of the resentment and hatred towards her own family for being weak. I liked the first meeting between Nyx and Ignifex because she doesn't just walk in all docile but she's goes in fighting and I think this is what draws Ignifex in and eventually makes her see him differently with their banter and spending time with each other.  Ignifex tells her up front that she he will ask her each night to guess his name but if she gets it wrong she'll die thus the rules of the arrangement, morbid I know but I enjoyed the back and forth play between these two. She also has another male interest in this book, named Shade that fancies Nyx and wants her to kill Ignifex; however things get more complicated and intriguing when the truth of the difficulty of her task and the secret of her husbands' true identity will possibly destroy everything she's gained. The characters are engaging and seeing them grow throughout the story is a beautiful thing. Nyx becomes a different person because of this situation and she begins to question her first impression of Ignifex. Overall, this dark love story is a refreshing take on the Beauty and the Beast that I liked. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Reveal: Dead Girl Walking by Ruth Silver

Title: Dead Girl Walking (Royal Reaper)
Author: Ruth Silver
Expected Publication: Summer 2014
Publisher: Patchwork Press
Genre: YA, Paranormal Fantasy
Cover Design: Erica Crouch

In 1346, Princess Ophelia Dacre sneaks out of the castle to visit her boyfriend in secret. A perfect night cut short when she’s brutally murdered.

Ophelia is given the rare chance to become a grim reaper. She must become Leila Bele, cut ties with her old life, and follow the rules of the reapers. Her greatest adventure begins with death.


                "The scroll chose you. For whatever reason, she's your reap."
                "Well, that sucks." Leila chewed her bottom lip. "If I don't do it?"
                Edon hesitated before he said, "Her soul will rot inside her body. Do you have any idea what that’s like? She'll be a living corpse, a shell of a person. She won't feel anything including love. We as reapers, the undead, feel more than she ever will alive."
                Leila swallowed the lump in her throat. "How do you know that?"
                "Because I've seen what it does to a person," Edon said. "That little girl deserves better."

About the Author:
Ruth Silver attended Northern Illinois University and graduated with a Bachelor's in Communication in the spring of 2005.  While in college, she spent much of her free time writing with friends she met online and penning her first novel, Deuces are Wild, which she self-published in 2004.  Her favorite class was Creative Writing senior year where she often handed in assignments longer than the professor required because she loved to write and always wanted to finish her stories.  Her love of writing led her on an adventure in 2007 to Melbourne, Australia.  Silver enjoys reading, photography, traveling and most of all writing.  She loves dystopian and fantasy young adult stories.  Her debut novel published by Lazy Day Publishing and Patchwork Press, ABERRANT, was released April 2013.  The second novel in the series, MOIRAI, continues the saga. ISAURA, is the final installment in the ABERRANT trilogy. Ruth has been actively writing since she was a teenager.  Her current writing projects include a YA science-fiction fantasy series, ORENDA, and a YA paranormal series, DEAD GIRL WALKING. Both novels are due for release in 2014. She currently resides in Plainfield, Illinois. Website  | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Audio Review: Fast Money by Colleen Helme

Author: Colleen Helme
Narrator: Wendy Tremont King
Title: Fast Money
Series: Shelby Nichols Adventures, Book 2
Length: 8 hrs, 39 mins
Publication: 2013
Publisher: Colleen Helme
Source: Author
Website | Twitter 

A trip to the mall gives Shelby the shock of her life when she finds an extra five million dollars in the bank account Uncle Joey set up for her. She thought he was out of her life for good, but with this fast money, she’s not so sure. Now she must decide if she will tell her husband the truth that she can still read people’s minds. Including his. How will he feel when he finds out she lied to him?

When the Mexican Police tell her that Uncle Joey’s been kidnapped and look to her for the ransom, she knows she’s in big trouble. As if that isn’t enough the police detective she worked with needs her help to solve a case, and she unwittingly becomes a witness to murder. In her fight to stay alive, she finds that everyone wants a piece of the money, and just how far they will go to get it, can be a matter of life and death. She just hopes it’s not hers.

Shelby thought she her time with Uncle Joey was over but when a lump sum of money appears in her account and the Feds knocking at her door, she realizes more trouble awaits her. Only a short amount of time has passed since the incident in his office that landed her another bump to the head and almost in the hospital, again. Thinking her ability is gone, she hoped she could be done with the drama that comes with working for Uncle Joey and her relationship with her husband, Chris was beginning to become strained from all of it. 

Shelby is a terrible liar, yet thankfully, nobody knows that she still has her ability. However, as events begin to spiral out of control quickly and her secret might not hold for long. So many people want to use her and kill her because of her ties to Uncle Joey and they want the money but one person just wants to kill her for ruining his plans of escape.

What I love about Shelby is that she's not entirely helpless and after a few occasions that involve a stun gun it's easy to see why. What amazes me is how easily she adapts to the chaos around her. People die and she holds herself together fairly well, she's traumatized but she copes.Her mouth does get her into several precarious situations but it's fun to see her wiggle her way out of them.

Tremont's voice is exactly what I visualize Shelby to sound like. She brings dimension to the character in a way that's inviting and the witty and snarky personality that Helme has written comes through in this audio translation of this work. I think Shelby's story works well as an audio because it's face paced, action packed and has a likeable female lead that carries the story well along with the other supporting characters. Overall, a great listen and look forward to more of Shelby's shenanigans. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Reveal & Giveaway: Blackout by Alecia Stone

Blackout (T.O.E. Trilogy, Book 2)
Release Date: March 19, 2014
Centrinian Publishing Ltd
Summary from Goodreads:
What was shall no longer be. Was was not shall now become.

Despite having the protection of the talisman and the Legion, a reforming force of warrior angels and elementals, guarding his every move, things are not looking good for Charlie Blake. Tasked with the responsibility of saving mankind, finding the four diamonds to restore the talisman is all he can think of, but when his prophetic visions start to invade his reality and he suddenly can’t distinguish the dream world from the real world, the pending extinction of mankind becomes the least of his problems. Everyone assumes Charlie’s dormant powers are activating, until he starts showing symptoms of a deadly disease.

With his nemesis, Gaddis, threatening the lives of his loved ones, he faces a race against time to locate Raphael’s Stone, the air diamond, before an imminent pandemic destroys civilization. As he ventures into dangerous lands once again, he unearths shocking revelations about his past life that forces him to question his allegiance. With no one to turn to for answers, he can’t help but wonder if his purpose is truly to save mankind.

Excerpt from Blackout:

Charlie’s eyes shifted back and forth between Derkein and the knife. Derkein had a look in his eyes he didn’t recognise. This wasn’t the man he had moved in with. He wasn’t the man who was soon to become his adoptive father. This was an impostor.

‘My father always said everything happened for a reason,’ Derkein said, ‘but he never met you. What good is immortality if I’m stuck in one place?’ He stopped and dropped his arm by his side, the knife slipping out of his grasp and landing with a clunking noise on the marble floor.

Charlie stopped, leaving a few inches between him and Derkein, who was standing with a guarded stance. Charlie couldn’t help but wonder who was more afraid of whom.

‘You’ve left me to rot in this god forsaken world for the rest of my life, so forgive me if I seem a tad ungrateful,’ Derkein went on in a flat tone. His blank expression left no room for interpretation. ‘If I have to rot in hell, I don’t see why I should have to suffer alone.’

Charlie didn’t see it coming. Derkein lunged at him, grabbed him by the arms, and thrust him backwards. Charlie waited for the collision of his back with the conservatory door, but the impact didn’t occur. Instead, he found himself falling and landing hard on his back in darkness. The only source of light came from the kitchen ahead of him where Derkein was standing.

‘Why do you look so surprised?’ Derkein asked. ‘What did you expect was going to happen when you resurrected me, or did I not deserve the common courtesy of a conscious thought? I’m not like you. I’m not like them. Tell me, Charlie. What am I, exactly?’

Charlie rose up into a sitting position. He didn’t have the answers Derkein was seeking. ‘I’m sorry.’ The words barely escaped his mouth.

‘Yeah. Me too.’ In the blink of an eye, Derkein and the kitchen vanished, leaving Charlie in complete darkness. He sat in the empty silence, waiting. It wasn’t until he heard his rapid breathing that he realised panic had overcome him. Charlie scampered to his feet and charged ahead of him, ramming into the hard, rough texture of a brick wall.

‘Derkein!’ he yelled, pounding the wall with his fists. ‘Derkein, please –’


Charlie felt a crawling sensation move down his spine as a shrill voice echoed around him. With his palms braced against the wall, he remained still as the voice slowly faded. He held his breath as silence invaded the space once again. When the voice didn’t return, he made a move to the right, running his hand over the wall as he searched for the door.

Within seconds, he felt a tingle of cold air on the back of his neck that made him jump, and he released his breath. He spun around, shifting his head left and right, but his eyes couldn’t penetrate the darkness that surrounded him.

He reached up towards his neck and froze. The rhythm of his heart accelerated as he moved his hand over his chest in search of the familiar touch of the two silver rings he had become so accustomed to over the past five years, but the chain wasn’t around his neck. Although he couldn’t see anything, he suddenly felt as though the darkness was closing in on him, compressing his lungs as if attempting to stifle him.

A spotlight appeared a few feet in front of him, and his heart stopped. He gulped down the lump forming in his throat as he stared at the figure submerged in the light, dangling about two feet off the ground.

About the Author
Alecia Stone is a full-time writer who spends most of her days with her head in a book. She loves anything and everything paranormal - the stranger the better. Her fascination with all things supernatural sparked her obsession with books, particularly young adult fantasy fiction, which she has never grown out of. She graduated with a BA in Film & TV and has worked in television for a short period of time before branching out into storytelling.

When she's not writing, she enjoys watching movies and travelling. Blackout is the sequel to the Amazon bestselling YA fantasy novel Talisman Of El. She currently lives in the UK with her family.

Author Links:
Website ¦ Facebook ¦ Twitter ¦ Pinterest ¦ Goodreads

Cover Reveal Organised by:

Blackout Cover Reveal Giveaway

Ends March 31st.

International. Open to anyone who can receive gifted ebooks from and gift cards from either or Alternatively, gift card winners may opt for Paypal cash ($10) or a book of choice from The Book Depository ($10).

Heartbreakers Blog Tour Day 6: Author Janet Gurtler

How do you feel about love triangles?
Well, I’m married, so I don’t think my husband would appreciate the competition. Wink wink. In reality, I think a love triangle works if it’s done properly.  It’s almost a clich├ę in YA nowadays, so it has to be strong and ring true.  I think the love interests have to represent something different for the character and reflect the choices of who that character wants to be. I’ve used suggestions of a love triangle, but I usually have a character who the reader probably knows is not the best choice. For example, if any readers have read, I’M NOT HER, Tess has a crush on Nick, but those two really aren’t meant to be. Clark clearly has a crush on Tess, and ultimately, that’s who I think she ended up.  Maybe.

What makes a good romance work?
Anticipation.  Chemistry. When as readers we really, really want the two characters to get together and stay together.  I want to believe these two characters feel for each other and I want to see it in tangible and intangible ways.

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Heartbreakers Blog Tour Day 6: Author Christine Duval

What do you find romantic?
I find small gestures the most romantic. When I’ve been running around all day for work and kids’ activities and walk into the house after 8pm, not having eaten since noon and tired and my husband pours me a glass of wine with dinner waiting. That’s romantic.

Favorite romance novel or author?
I’ve been reading a lot of Colleen Hoover’s books this past year. They aren’t romances, per se, but I love the connections she creates between her characters. As for asking me to pick a favorite novel, that’s like asking me to pick a favorite child.

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Heartbreakers Blog Tour Day 6: Author Denise Jaden

What’s your favorite line from one of your books?
This is a line that, for me, kind of encapsulates the sweet romance between Marcus and Loann in Never Enough:

He looked at me with serious eyes, but not the kind that made me wonder what I’d done wrong. The kind that made me wonder what I’d done right.

What do you think are the key elements to crafting a heartbreaking romance?
I think one of the key elements to crafting a heartbreaking romance is creating characters that the reader will remember and really care about. For characters to be memorable and enticing, they need full lives, beyond what is written on the page, so I spend a lot of time figuring out years’ worth of background for many of my characters. Often it’s not the tragedy within the book that is heartbreaking on its own, but rather a buildup of everything that character has already gone through. The tragedy within the book only tips the scale.

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Heartbreakers Blog Tour Day 6: Author B.A. Binns

Who is your favorite romance movie character?
“R” from Warm Bodies, a 2013 Zombie apocalypse movie.  (Remember, I am a YA author, I like YA movies too) Truthfully, my “favorite character” changes every few years, I am fickle and always on the lookout for something new. For now that is R. I loved the way the teen boy zombie embodied so many typical teen angsts, especially his inability to talk to girls (or anyone else).  He may not be able to talk much, know his real name, or even understand the word love, but he comes to life for the girl. He gets that his number one priority is keeping her safe (and not eating her). A guy willing to give up everything to protect the girl he loves…how do you get more romantic than that?

What inspired you to write multicultural literature?
I am old enough to remember watching TV and seeing no one like myself except the occasional maid. Now we have Scandal. Yeah!! I see using different locations, ethnicities, races, religions, etc. as adding layers to my storytelling and a chance to give my readers something more and different. Just like clothing, one size does not fit all.

Since I write for the Young Adult audience, I spend a lot of time with librarians and teachers. I have spoken at library and teacher’s conferences about books and especially diversity in books. The terminology I hear from teachers is Mirrors and Windows. Mirrors so a reader can see him/herself, and windows to see what else it out there. As one teacher told me, “I want my readers to find pleasure, as well as comfort, company, information, inspiration and empowerment.”

I have been told by other authors to write “universal” and not mention race or cultural aspects. But every child of color knows (really everyone knows) that those universal characters are white.  If they were Black or Hispanic, Muslim, gay, handicapped, etc, that would be mentioned. So I mention it.  In Being God my main character was half-catholic, half-Jewish and all Black Malik Kaplan.  With Minority of One I have black and white main characters, and various gay, lesbian and bi-sexual kids of color. This gives me a lot to research, and so much more to play with. I want every teen to see themselves somewhere in my stories, especially those who might never have seen someone like themselves before.

I hear a lot of white writers say they are afraid they will end up creating stereotypes. That’s why I am doing a workshop for authors who want to create diverse characters without falling into that trap.

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Reveal & Giveaway: The Queen of Zombie Hearts by Gena Showalter

Today is the day! The cover of Gena Showalter's THE QUEEN OF ZOMBIE HEARTS is here! We're so excited to be able to share this with you as it joins an already stunning set! Ready to see it? Not quite yet lets take a look a the first two covers in the series!

First there was ALICE IN ZOMBIELAND...


Now get ready to EAT YOUR HEARTS OUT!!!

On-sale date: Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Add it to your TBR!  Goodreads

Pre-order your copy! AmazonBarnes & Noble
 Official book description:

I have a plan.

We'll either destroy them for good, or they'll destroy us.

Either way, only one of us is walking away.

In the stunning conclusion to the wildly popular White Rabbit Chronicles, Alice "Ali" Bell thinks the worst is behind her. She's ready to take the next step with boyfriend Cole Holland, the leader of the zombie slayers…until Anima Industries, the agency controlling the zombies, launches a sneak attack, killing four of her friends. It's then she realizes that humans can be more dangerous than monsters…and the worst has only begun.

As the surviving slayers prepare for war, Ali discovers she, too, can control the zombies…and she isn't the girl she thought she was. She's connected to the woman responsible for killing—and turning—Cole's mother. How can their relationship endure? As secrets come to light, and more slayers are taken or killed, Ali will fight harder than ever to bring down Anima—even sacrificing her own life for those she loves.

About Gena:
Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of the wildly popular White Rabbit Chronicles, the Angels of the Dark, the Lords of the Underworld, and the Otherworld Assassins series.  In addition to being a National Reader's Choice and RITA nominee, her romance novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan and Seventeen magazine, and have been translated in multiple languages.  She lives in Oklahoma with her family and menagerie of dogs, and truly believes love conquers all.

Giveaway Details:
1 complete set of The White Rabbit Chronicles (first 2 sent as soon as the giveaway is over and the winner will get the first hardcover of book 3 when it's available!) US/Canada Only

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Cover Reveal: Feral by Holly Schindler

Pre-order on Amazon 
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: August 26, 2014

It’s too late for you. You’re dead.

Those words float through Claire Cain’s head as she lies broken and barely alive after a brutal beating. And the words continue to haunt her months later, in the relentless, terrifying nightmares that plague her sleep. So when her father is offered a teaching sabbatical in another state, Claire is hopeful that getting out of Chicago, away from the things that remind her of what she went through, will offer a way to start anew.

But when she arrives in Peculiar, Missouri, Claire quickly realizes something is wrong—the town is brimming with hidden dangers and overrun by feral cats. And her fears are confirmed when a popular high school girl, Serena Sims, is suddenly found dead in the icy woods behind the school. While everyone is quick to say Serena died in an accident, Claire knows there’s more to it—for she was the one who found Serena, battered and most certainly dead, surrounded by the town’s feral cats.

Now Claire vows to learn the truth about what happened, but the closer she gets to uncovering the mystery, the closer she also gets to discovering a frightening reality about herself and the damage she truly sustained in that Chicago alley. . . .

With an eerie setting and heart-stopping twists and turns, Holly Schindler weaves a gripping story that will make you question everything you think you know.
Author Website

Heartbreakers Blog Tour Day 5: Author Brenda Hiatt

What’s the most romantic place you’ve ever visited or would like to visit?
There was a beautiful spot on campus when I was in college, at William & Mary in Williamsburg, called Crim Dell. It’s a charming arched wooden bridge over a stream in some very picturesque woods. In spring, when the azaleas were in bloom, it was gorgeous. It was voted “most romantic spot on a college campus” for several years running and I know a lot of proposals and even weddings happened there! (Not mine, though.)

Tell us your favorite love quote.
“Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.” –Aristotle. (This really fits the theme of STARSTRUCK, by the way!)

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Heartbreakers Blog Tour Day 5: Author Jenny Kaczorowski

What appeals to you about writing about teen love?
The drama! I remember the first boy I thought I loved. I was 14 and I was all in. He completely broke my heart and it was the absolute end of the world. My teen years were so intense. Everything mattered so much and felt it all so deeply. As an adult, I kind of miss that passion. Writing for teens lets me relive some of that, without losing the experiences and wisdom that have come with getting older.

Describe the Art of Falling in three words.
Identity, longing, kissing. For me, THE ART OF FALLING is about finding who you really are behind the image you project. My two main characters, Bria and Ben, both have these larger-than-life images at their high school and their journey is really about reconciling who they are with how people see them. They both long to be more than their personas, they long for each other, they long for more than high school. And then there’s lots of kissing. This whole story started with two kissing scenes I cut from another story. In my first serious manuscript, the first kiss didn’t happen until about 2/3 into the story. FALLING has a kiss within the first chapter. So yes. Kissing happens.

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Heartbreakers Blog Tour Day 4: Author Jen McConnel

What do you enjoy writing more…break-ups or make-ups?
Can I say both? I like the break-up followed, eventually, by a make-up. The tension is really fun to play with.

Favorite song about love or heartbreak?
I don’t know if it’s a favorite or not, but Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” makes me cry every time I hear it. It’s like I’m sixteen again, sobbing in the basement after another disappointment.

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Heartbreakers Blog Tour Day 4: Author Eileen Cook

If you could be any character in your favorite book, who would it be and why?
The problem with being a character in a book is that while they might get a happy ending, usually their lives are full of all sorts of trouble before they get there.  So I’d love to have the love between the characters in The Fault in Our Stars, but  I don’t want to have cancer. While I’d love to be brave like Katniss- no way I’d want to go into the arena and fight for my life. This makes picking a character difficult.

Growing up I used to re-read the book From The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler all the time. The main character runs away from home and goes to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.  I still think it would be nice to run away and live in a museum. Plus, there’s no fight to the death!

What makes a believable romance?
Romance starts with attraction, but lasting romance is about being with someone who believes in you, and in the person they know you can be. They push you to be better.  We tend to think of romance as roses and poetry, but real romance is often the small things that show you that someone really knows you.  There is nothing better than being in a crowded room, looking across making eye contact with someone and knowing they know exactly what you’re thinking without saying a word.

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Heartbreakers Blog Tour Day 3: Author Sara Hantz

What do you think is the worst book break up you’ve ever read? 
Gale/Katniss from The Hunger Games

How do you spend Valentine’s Day? 
Going out for a meal in our favorite restaurant, overlooking the ocean.

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