Category Archives: Contests

Blog Tour
April 30, 2014 posted by Nichole

A Life, Forward Blog Tour: Top Ten Quotes from A Life, Redefined and A Life, Forward by Tracy Hewitt Meyer

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aliferedefinedBook One

A Life, Redefined by Tracy Hewitt Meyer, book ONE in the Rowan Slone Series

Published June 21st, 2013

Published by Cerulean Publishing



Seven years ago, an innocent act by Rowan Slone turned her life into a nightmare. Since the age of ten she’s lived with the burden of her baby brother’s death. Now she is seventeen and all she wants to do is graduate high school, go to college, and escape the loveless family she has endured all these years—the same family that holds her responsible for his death. But no one holds her responsible more than herself.

When long-time crush Mike Anderson invites her to the Prom, suddenly her future looks brighter. Rowan’s younger sister, Trina, however, is determined to ruin her new-found happiness, no matter the cost. And when Rowan discovers her mother’s long-held secret, she finds herself teetering on the edge of an abyss. Can Rowan find the strength to move toward the future or is she doomed to dwell in the past?

a life forwardBook Two

A Life, Forward by Tracy Hewitt Meyer, book TWO in the Rowan Slone Series

Genre: New Adult

Published: April 7th, 2014



A New Adult Novel

Her father is gone. Her mother is in jail. And Rowan Slone has left her dysfunctional, violent past behind. With college looming on the horizon, she has a new job that she loves, and a safe place to call home. She is close to achieving everything she ever wanted-a sense of family, a sense of purpose, and a sense of self.

But there are cracks in Rowan’s life that threaten to send her future crumbling to the ground. When her relationship begins to suffer, her father returns and her long-held secret is discovered, Rowan must find the courage to fight for the most important thing yet-herself.



Quotes from A Life, Redefined, Book #1 in the Rowan Slone Series.

  • Rowan, the main character in the Rowan Slone Series, writes poetry. This poem begins the first book:

When the darkness is too great,

When the pain is too real,

There is nothing but sharp edges,

Razor slices,

To remind me that I am alive.

  • Scene between Rowan and her guidance counselor, Miss J.:

“It wasn’t your fault. You never should’ve been left alone with an infant. You were only ten. It’s time to leave that to the past so that you can have a future.”

“I’m fine. Just fine.” My heart threatened to stop working the way it did anytime the past was brought up. “I’m making the grades. Doing fine. Why are we talking about this?”

She stepped toward me. “You carry the past with you like it’s a bag of heavy stones weighing you down. I can see the strain on your face every day. You have to move on or you won’t be able to have a future.

I slammed the door on my way out.

  • An exchange between Rowan and her younger sister, Trina, over the death of their baby brother and the effect it had on the family.


“It changed everything didn’t it?” Trina released her words in shorts spats. I could almost see them; like when they left her lips, they took on a physical form. Little balls of crusty blackness, their insides full of hidden, yet raging lava. And that lava shot out of the blackness as she spewed words at me.

  • Scene between Rowan and Mike:

“Yes.” Mike crossed his arms over his chest. He kicked his back-pack away from his feet. Leaning down into my face, his eyes level with mine, he said, “Yes.”

“Yes, what?” I managed.

“Yes, I do care about you that much. And you know what else?”

I shook my head.

“You’re beautiful.”

I burst into tears.

  • Rowan battling her demons and struggling to cope.

It was quiet inside the stall. The metal wall was cold against the heat of my palm and I rested it there for a long time-taking in, then releasing, deep breaths. My mind cleared. The anticipation built with each breath I took; the anticipation of the oncoming release. By the time I slipped my hand into my pocket and pulled out the cold, sharp razor blade, I was almost giddy.

Quotes from A Life, Forward, Book #2 in the Rowan Slone Series.

  • Poem that begins the second book:

It shines ahead.

A glimmer. A flash.

Then it is gone.

Like it never existed.

But I saw it.

And it changed me.

  • Rowan is trying to have breakfast with her best friend, Jess, and her sister comes bounding into the restaurant:

“Rowan!” Trina squealed again, as if the first time she said my name wasn’t enough. She bounced toward us, her face lit up with teeth and lipstick, and bright splashes of blush.

Her blonde ponytail flapped behind her like a windshield wiper as her hips swayed in a way no sixteen-year-old’s should. I slouched down into the booth. My sister was the last person I wanted to see.


Because I hated her.

  • Another of Rowan’s poems:

Will winter be gone,

Or will it always reside?

Will the darkness flitter away,

Or will it never subside?

  • Rowan is reflecting on her time living at the Anderson’s:

This room, this house, had become my safe zone; Mike and his family my salvation. Where would I be if they hadn’t taken me in? Would I still be in that run-down home where the shadows of my childhood were a permanent fixture on the walls? Would I be in the hospital sharing a room with Trina, both of our wrists cut, bleeding, our souls dying?

  • Rowan, thinking about her father, talking to her grandmother:

“See? He loved you, honey. Always.”

I collapsed into my Gran’s arms. At some point she eased the paper out of my hand so my tears wouldn’t smear the drawing.

What did this mean? My dad had loved me? He’d been happy enough to have a baby daughter that he drew a picture of me? And was it him I was smiling at in the picture?

This changed everything. Everything.

Thank you, YA Reads, for having me today!


About the Author:

Tracy Hewitt Meyer

Tracy Hewitt Meyer is a multi-genre, multi-published author of new adult fiction as well as adult paranormal and contemporary romance. She has a B.A. in English and a Master of Social Work, both of which feed her true passion-a love of writing. Born and raised in the beautiful state of West Virginia, Tracy now lives in the mid-east with her family, a goldendoodle, and a bearded dragon.



Twitter: @TracyHMeyer



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Author Interviews
April 28, 2014 posted by Nichole

Blog Tour: The Shadow Prince by Stacey O’Neale Review + Author Interview


20542942This prequel novella is FREE and available on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble!

Every sacrifice has consequences.

Sixteen-year-old Rowan has spent most of his life living among the mortals—learning to control the element of fire, impatiently awaiting the day his vengeful mother, Queen Prisma, will abdicate her throne. When he finally returns to Avalon for his coronation, his mother insists he must first prove his loyalty to the court by completing a secret mission: 

Kill Kalin, the half-human, half-elemental daughter of the air court king. 

Willing to do anything to remove his mother from power, he agrees to sacrifice the halfling. He returns to the mortal world with his best friend, Marcus, determined to kill the princess. But as he devises a plan, he starts to question whether or not he’s capable of completing such a heinous task. And what price he will pay if he refuses?

Available for FREE on Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Also available in PRINT from Amazon


My Review:

The Shadow Prince started out really well done. It was full of detail and high fantasy elements that immediately captured my attention. I loved the whole concept of Avalon and elemental creatures. In fact, I would definitely say that The Shadow Prince was very similar feeling to the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa and the Elemental series by Brigid Kemmerer

A slight problem that this novella had was that there was a little too much detail crammed into this tiny novella. On one hand that’s awesome because that means that the first book is going to be perfectly set up to just jump into action. On the other hand, that also means that the novella itself was a little too squished together for my personal taste. I did really enjoy the book, but I also feel that the novella should have just been a whole first books so that it had more room to grow.

I wish that the author would have turned this into a high fantasy book instead of more of a urban paranormal book. I say this because the high fantasy elements that were included in this book were amazing. What needed to be done is the modern day qualities needed to be completely wiped from this book and it needed to be more focused on a different world with unique creatures and powers. If it would have stuck to that field, I would be sitting here gushing about the Lord of the Rings qualities that the book had. However, the modern day qualities tended to give it a cheesy type of feel that did not appeal to me.

I really enjoyed the characters. I liked how there were the good guys and then the really bad guys. I kept having a slight problem with the main character, because he seemed a lot older than I think he was supposed to be portrayed as. I kept thinking he was around 25, but I think he was realistically supposed to be around 16 or 17. It’s not really a complaint of the book, but I kept getting confused why the main character was interested in a 15 year old girl. I think that he was just portrayed as a little too mature for his age.

Overall, I thought that this was a good book that definitely has the potential to be expanded. This series is going to appeal to many readers, especially high fantasy lovers!


Pages: 111

Publication Date: March 25th 2014

Publisher: Phoenix Reign Publishing

Rating: : ★★★☆☆


Author Interview with Stacey O’Neale

unnamed (1)Stacey O’Neale lives in Annapolis, Maryland. When she’s not writing, she spends her time fangirling over books, blogging, watching fantasy television shows, cheering for the Baltimore Ravens, and hanging out with her husband and daughter.

Her career in publishing started as a blogger-turned-publicist for two successful small publishers. Stacey writes young adult paranormal romance and adult science fiction romance. Her books always include swoon-worthy heroes, snarky heroines, and lots of kissing.

Stacey loves hearing from readers. Follow her on Twitter @StaceyONeale, look for her on Facebook, Pinterest, and GoodReads. You can also visit her blog at

Can you tell us about your novella, The Shadow Prince, in 15 words or less?

I think THE SHADOW PRINCE at its core is about friendship, making tough choices, and survival.

 What genre is The Shadow Prince?

Upper YA Paranormal

When will the first book in the Mortal Enchantment series be released?

May 20, 2014

Will the first book take place immediately after this novella or will some time have passed?

The first chapter of MORTAL ENCHANTMENT is basically the last chapter of THE SHADOW PRINCE, but it’s in Kalin’s point of view. It continues forward from there.

Do you intend to write more novellas for the Mortal Enchantment series?

I’ve been asked by a few reviewers to write Marcus and Ariel’s story. If I do, it will be something I offer to readers for free like THE SHADOW PRINCE.

 Is Marcus gone forever or can we expect to see more of him in the future? Will he ever get Ariel?

Marcus will be in MORTAL ENCHANTMENT. He comes back into the story in a really special way. It made one of my beta readers cry. I’m not going to tell you if he gets the girl. 😉

When The Shadow Prince took place, Rowan seemed to have some concrete decisions about what he wanted to do with his kingdom. Toward the end of the novella, though, he seemed to just abandon those thoughts. Did his punishment bring about that decision or was it something else?

He never abandoned those thoughts. By giving up the crown, he made the ultimate sacrifice. When he decided to watch over Kalin, he believed he was doing what was best for his people. Meaning, he thought he was acting as a king would. And, judging by the events in the last chapter, he was right.

What can we expect from Rowan and Kalin throughout the series?

Lots! It’s interesting because Kalin is completely unaware of what’s happened over the last year. King Taron told Rowan he never wanted her to know, so when certain events happen, their perspectives are quite different. There will definitely be lots of friction.

Are you currently working on anything else?

I’m halfway through an adult science fiction romance. It’s the first book in a trilogy. It reminds me a bit of the 90’s show, Roswell. After I finish, I have to write book two in the MORTAL ENCHANTMENT series.

What do you have planned after this series?

I’d like to bounce between YA and Adult Paranormal Romance. Once I finish the two series I mentioned in #9, I have a YA Urban Fantasy series I’m chomping at the bit to write.

 What is the best book you’ve read recently?

WHITE HOT KISS by Jennifer L. Armentrout! I absolutely love Roth and I will fight dirty if anyone tries to claim him. ;-p

What is currently in your TBR pile?

LOL! I have over 300 books on my TBR. I read anything YA or Adult in Fantasy, Paranormal, Steampunk, Dystopian, Science Fiction, and even Contemporary Romance! I try to read a book a week. The only time I don’t is when I’m close to a deadline.

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Blog Tour
April 23, 2014 posted by Nichole

The Treatment Blog Tour: Character Interview with Suzanne Young

Hi everyone! Welcome back!


I am so excited to be on The Treatment Blog Tour! I read The Program a couple weeks ago and OH MY GOODNESS. So much happens during that book! I’m excited to read The Treatment and see what’s up next for Sloane and James. Make sure you read The Program and check out The Treatment when it hits stores on April 29th!

unnamed (1)The Treatment

Can Sloane and James survive the lies and secrets surrounding them, or will The Program claim them in the end? Find out in this sequel to The Program, which Publishers Weekly called “chilling and suspenseful.”

How do you stop an epidemic?

Sloane and James are on the run after barely surviving the suicide epidemic and The Program. But they’re not out of danger. Huge pieces of their memories are still missing, and although Sloane and James have found their way back to each other, The Program isn’t ready to let them go.

Escaping with a group of troubled rebels, Sloane and James will have to figure out who they can trust, and how to take down The Program. But for as far as they’ve come, there’s still a lot Sloane and James can’t remember. The key to unlocking their past lies with the Treatment—a pill that can bring back forgotten memories, but at a high cost. And there’s only one dose.

Ultimately when the stakes are at their highest, can Sloane and James survive the many lies and secrets surrounding them, or will The Program claim them in the end?



Barnes and Noble:


Suzanne Young

Suzanne Young

Originally from New York, Suzanne Young moved to Arizona to pursue her dream of not freezing to death. She currently resides in Tempe, where she teaches high school English. When not writing obsessively, Suzanne can be found searching her own tragic memories for inspiration.

Suzanne is the author of several books for teens, including THE PROGRAM, A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL, and A WANT SO WICKED.






And nooooow for the character interview!


(After The Program, before The Treatment)

My first few questions are for Sloane:

What is next for you and James?

We run. The Program is after us, and now we can’t go back home. I’m not sure we ever will. In the meantime, we’ll make our own home—withThe Program each other. At least… for as long as we’re free.

Do you think that you will ever be able to forgive your parents for what they did to you?

Yes, but first they’d have to see what the Program has done to us. They’d have to understand how I’ve been hurt, damaged. I’ll never be able to trust again. The Program has changed me. I need them to understand that before I forgive them.

At the end of The Program you had decided not to take the pill that would restore your memories. Don’t you think that you’re owed the truth?

Right now, I don’t know what’s true. I want to be me—but what if who I am now disappears when I take that pill? Changes the way I feel about myself, about James. I can’t take that chance. I just want to live.

What are your true feelings toward Realm?

I don’t know. He’s my friend, my best friend from what I can remember. But I know he’s keeping secrets from me. But at this point… who isn’t?

My next questions are for James:

Now that you’re reunited with Sloane, what are your feelings toward her?

How dirty can I make this? Keep it appropriate—okay. I think she’s a smartass, a rebel—the kind of girl who can get me killed. So obviously I’m completely mad about her.

Do you remember her even just a little?

No. I don’t remember shit.

If you had the chance to restore your memories would you do it?

In a heartbeat. I deserve the truth.

What is your next plan? Fight or hide?

If it was just me, I’d fight. But first I have to make sure Sloane is safe from the Program. Even if I have to take them down myself.

My next couple questions are for Sloane’s mom.

Do you feel justified in your decision about what you did to Sloane?

What I did? I saved her life. It was the hardest decision I’ve ever made, but I love my daughter. I watched for weeks as she got sicker and sicker–there WAS no other choice.

Why do you believe so firmly in the Program?

Because Lacey Klamath is still alive and my son is not. I would do anything for my children—anything. This is the one chance we have, and if we get it wrong, they die. The Program saves lives. Sometimes the end justifies the means.

Obviously Sloane does not agree with your decision. Based on that information, would you do it to her again?

I would. I will always choose my child, and I’d rather have her hate me than dead.

When you noticed that Sloane had forgotten all about her past were you at all concerned?

Of course, but we can give her back some of what she lost. We can build new memories.

My last few questions are for Suzanne Young herself

What is with that ending?!?! What’s going to happen? Is everyone going to get a happy ending? I demand answers!

The end of The Program has Sloane and James on the run. There is an epilogue with a girl named Ally, but it’s there to show what Realm is up to, and how he still thinks of Sloane, how he really does love her the best way he can.

The Treatment picks up right where The Program left off, Sloane and James running. Along the way they meet up with some rebels. People lie. People get taken back to The Program. It’s a footrace, and no… not everyone will be happy. But the overall series is meant to be hopeful.

Is The Treatment going to be the last book in the series or will it continue on?

Right now it’s the last book. Sloane and James’s story is wrapped up.

What is your favorite scene or quote from The Treatment?

“My boyfriend is the biggest liar I’ve ever known. But it does it with the best of intentions.”


Thanks for stopping by YaReads!


The Giveaway:

1 Set of The Program and The Treatment
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Blog Tour
April 20, 2014 posted by Nichole

Blog Tour: Screaming Divas by Suzanne Kamata Review + Giveaway

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unnamed (1)Screaming Divas by Suzanne Kamata

Publication Date: May 18th, 2014

Publisher: Merit Press

Pages: 208

Genre: YA Contemporary

Barnes and Noble:


The Book Depository:

At sixteen, Trudy Baxter is tired of her debutante mom, her deadbeat dad, and her standing reservation at the juvenile detention center. Changing her name to Trudy Sin, she cranks up her major chops as a singer and starts a band, gathering around other girls ill at ease in their own lives. Cassie Haywood, would-have-been beauty queen, was scarred in an accident in which her alcoholic mom was killed. But she can still sing and play her guitar, even though she seeks way too much relief from the pain in her body and her heart through drugs, and way too much relief from loneliness through casual sex. Still, it’s Cassie who hears former child prodigy Harumi Yokoyama playing in a punk band at a party, and enlists her, outraging Harumi’s overbearing first-generation Japanese parents. The fourth member is Esther Shealy, who joins as a drummer in order to be close to Cassie–the long-time object of her unrequited love–and Harumi, her estranged childhood friend. Together, they are Screaming Divas, and they’re quickly swept up as a local sensation. Then, just as they are about to achieve their rock-girl dreams, a tragedy strikes.

About the Author:

Screaming Divas author photo

Back in the day, Suzanne Kamata spent a lot of time hanging out in a club in Columbia, South Carolina, much like the one in Screaming Divas. (The beat goes on . . .) She later wrote about musicians for The State newspaper, The Japan Times, and other publications. Now, she mostly writes novels. In her free time, she enjoys searching for the perfect fake fur leopard-print coat and listening to the Japanese all-girl band Chatmonchy. Her YA debut, Gadget Girl: The Art of Being Invisible was named the 2013-2014 APALA YA Honor Book and Grand Prize Winner of the Paris Book Festival. For more info, visit or follow her on Twitter @shikokusue.

My Review:

I’m not the overall biggest fan of the YA contemporary genre, but I actually found this book to be rather refreshing. It had a laid back Joan Jett rocker feel to it that was pretty cool to read about. I really enjoyed that this book was focused around a female rock band. Not only was that empowering but it was cool!

Personally, I think that there were too many POV’s in Screaming Divas. Four POV’s was a bit much, especially since there was one girl who I  didn’t care for. Even though I thought that it was too many POV’s, I thought that it was executed well and everything blended well together. Again, though, I would have preferred that it come from one POV.

I really enjoyed that Screaming Divas was not the typical flowery, sunshiney, everyone be happy sort of YA contemporary book. There  was something dark and dangerous about it that I found really appealing. Even though it was dark and dangerous, though, it wasn’t too over done. The laid back feel to the book kept everything in check. I will say, though, that sex and drugs play a part in this book and that’s not going to be a topic for everyone.

The ending of this book was SHOCKING! Some things happened that I didn’t see coming and I was completely blindsided. I liked that element of surprise a lot. The ending of Screaming Divas is set up well for a second book and I think that it’s going to gain a lot of interest.

Overall, I thought that Screaming Divas was a good book. It was a solid read that continuously kept me interested. I liked it!

Pages: 208

Publication Date: May 18th, 2014

Publisher: Merit Press

Rating: : ★★★☆☆

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Blog Tour
March 5, 2014 posted by Nichole

Sing Sweet Nightingale (The Dream War Saga #1) by Erica Cameron

ssn banner


Author: Erica Cameron

Release Date: March 4, 2014

Pages: 320

Publisher: Spencer Hill Press

Goodreads/Amazon/Barnes & Noble

Mariella Teagen hasn’t spoken a word in four years.

She pledged her voice to Orane, the man she loves—someone she only sees in her dreams. Each night, she escapes to Paradise, the world Orane created for her, and she sings for him. Mariella never believed she could stay in Paradise longer than a night, but two weeks before her eighteenth birthday, Orane hints that she may be able to stay forever.

Hudson Vincent made a pledge to never fight again.

Calease, the creature who created his dream world, swore that giving up violence would protect Hudson. But when his vow caused the death of his little brother, Hudson turned his grief on Calease and destroyed the dream world. The battle left him with new abilities and disturbing visions of a silent girl in grave danger—Mariella.

Now, Hudson is fighting to save Mariella’s life while she fights to give it away. And he must find a way to show her Orane’s true intentions before she is lost to Paradise forever.


My Review:

When I first started reading Sing Sweet Nightingale, I was on the fence. The whole concept of the main character, Mariella, not speaking and traveling to a dream world run by demons every night was a little odd. It definitely took me awhile to decide what I thought of it. Honestly, I wanted to DNF it at first, but I’m glad I didn’t! After I pushed through 50 or so pages of weirdness it actually started to get pretty good!

I enjoyed the adventure and slight paranormal aspect to Sing Sweet Nightingale. I like Hudson’s character most of all and how he was sent to save Mariella from this dream world. I didn’t overly love the concept of “boy comes in to save the day and rescue girl” but I enjoyed how it played out at the end. I wish that there would have been a slightly bigger paranormal theme going on. Maybe some mystical powers or a couple more bigger showdowns would have really brought the book to life.

Another thing that I enjoyed about Sing Sweet Nightingale was the lack of romance going on. I found it refreshing that it wasn’t all about Mariella and Hudson getting it on from page one. Really, there was barely any romance going on throughout the whole thing. I did find the ending a little odd with Mariella and Hudson. Where did THAT come from? But I enjoyed the chemistry between all of the characters and the overall fun quality to it.

The dream world that both Mariella and Hudson traveled to was beautifully unique. It takes quite some talent to create the visuals and coolness that Cameron created. Again, it was a little weird to read about, but I was a big fan of it! I found that world to be very interesting!

Overall, I did enjoy reading Sing Sweet Nightingale. Again, I wish there would have been a slightly bigger paranormal theme going on, but I found it to be a fun read. I’m interested to see what Cameron will come up with next!


About Erica:

Erica Cameron knew that writing was her passion when she turned a picture book into a mystery novella as a teen. That unnamed (1)piece wasn’t her best work, but it got her an A. After college, she used her degree in Psychology and Creative Writing to shape a story about a dreamworld. Then a chance encounter at a rooftop party in Tribeca made her dream career a reality.

Erica is many things but most notably the following: writer, reader, editor, dancer, choreographer, singer, lover of musical theater, movie obsessed, sucker for romance, Florida resident, and quasi-recluse. She loves the beach but hates the heat, has equal passion for the art of Salvador Dali and Venetian Carnival masks, has a penchant for unique jewelry and sun/moon décor pieces, and a desire to travel the entire world on a cruise ship. Or a private yacht. You know, whatever works.

Her debut novel Sing Sweet Nightingale releases March 4, 2014 from Spencer Hill Press. It is the first book in The Dream War Saga.

Erica is represented by Danielle Chiotti at Upstart Crow Literary. However, for subrights inquiries on Sing Sweet Nightingale, contact Rebecca Mancini at Rights Mix. Regarding publicity for The Dream War Saga, contact Cindy Thomas at cthomas {@} spencerhillcontemporary {.} com.

To contact Erica, try:
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads
Tumblr  |  Pinterest  |  Google+  |  The Mystical Demystified

Photo by Lani Woodland

Giveaway Details

2 finished copies of the book, plus a grand prize basket! US Only.
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Tour Schedule

Week One:

3/3/2014- Bookish Things & more– Review

3/3/2014- Bibliophilia, Please– Interview

3/4/2014- Lola’s Reviews– Review

3/4/2014- A Backwards Story– Guest Post

3/5/2014- YaReads– Review

3/5/2014- Addicted Readers– Interview

3/6/2014- Once Upon A Twilight– Review

3/6/2014- The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club– Guest Post

3/7/2014- Seeing Night Reviews – Review

3/7/2014- The Irish Banana Review– Guest Post

Week Two:

3/10/2014- Chasm of Books– Review

3/10/2014- Lost in Ever After– Interview

3/11/2014- The Demon Librarian– Review

3/11/2014- Paulette’s Papers– Guest Post

3/12/2014- Poisoned Rationality– Review

3/12/2014- The Best Books Ever– Interview

3/13/2014- Spiced Latte Reads– Review

3/13/2014- Dark Novella– Guest Post

3/14/2014- A Dream Within A Dream– Review

3/14/2014- Parajunkee’s View– Interview

Book Reviews
March 4, 2014 posted by Nichole

Half Bad (Half Life Trilogy #1) – Sally Green

18079804A stunning, magical debut. An international sensation.

In modern-day England, witches live alongside humans: White witches, who are good; Black witches, who are evil; and fifteen-year-old Nathan, who is both. Nathan’s father is the world’s most powerful and cruel Black witch, and his mother is dead. He is hunted from all sides. Trapped in a cage, beaten and handcuffed, Nathan must escape before his sixteenth birthday, at which point he will receive three gifts from his father and come into his own as a witch—or else he will die. But how can Nathan find his father when his every action is tracked, when there is no one safe to trust—not even family, not even the girl he loves?

In the tradition of Patrick Ness and Markus Zusak, Half Bad is a gripping tale of alienation and the indomitable will to survive, a story that will grab hold of you and not let go until the very last page.


Half Bad is one of those books that just pops out of nowhere and slaps you in the face with how good it is. I picked this one up because it was about witches, and who doesn’t love witches? I was amazed at how raw and powerful the storyline was. I was so intrigued and mind blown over the twists and turns that Sally Green provided. I felt like I was constantly being knocked off my feet. Whenever I picked myself back up again, I was instantly knocked back down.

When I first started Half Bad, I didn’t like it. That didn’t last long; it only lasted about 20 pages. The problem was that it’s written in second person point of view for the first two chapters, and I cannot stand having the word “you” thrown around that much. My preference is first person. I can handle third person POV, but do NOT stick me with second person POV. I actually almost DNF’d it right away because of that. So if you have that same problem starting out don’t freak out. Stick with it and it WILL get better!

What I absolutely loved about Half Bad was all of the messages thrown around. I loved how Half Bad really twisted around the common definitions for black and white. White magic is often depicted as “good” while black is “bad.” This book really makes you think about those concepts since the “white” witches were very hostile, abusive, aggressive, and dangerous. The “black” witches weren’t the best witches, either, but I did see more good come from them than the white witches. I think that’s a great concept for people to think about. It’s difficult to just place people in certain categories, and I felt that Half Bad did a really great job challenging those beliefs.

While Half Bad is about witches and is obviously a paranormal read, Contemporary lovers are going to absolutely adore this one. It’s actually pretty low key on the paranormal aspects. It focuses a lot more on Nathan’s trauma and trying to work around his personal scars. My heart broke for Nathan so many times. It was difficult for me at times to watch this little boy grow up in a semi normal life and then watch three years of his life be full or torture and abuse. Once Nathan is captured, he is never the same. I thought that Half Bad did a good job of showcasing trauma, depression, and mental illness. It seems weird to me that so much could be going on in one book. I really think that this is a book that could suit lovers of all genres.

As far as romances go, Half Bad doesn’t really have any. Nathan has a crush on a girl from the very beginning of the book but that is so low key to the rest of the story. I feel like that relationship will probably grow a little more as the series continues. So people need to be aware that this is not a book to fall head over heels in love with a romance story. That aspect doesn’t really exist in this one. I actually found it a little creepy that Nathan was so hung up on his crush because he went for years without even seeing her. Seeing as they hadn’t seen each other since Nathan was 14, I felt that it was a little weird he was so hung up on her at 16 and 17.

On to a more negative note, the last 100 pages of Half Bad were very difficult to get through. It started to read more as an adult novel than a YA book. It also got reallllllly boring and weird. I obviously wasn’t going to DNF it when I had invested over 300 pages into the book, but if it had started out that way I never would have finished it. It concerns me a little bit about the second book. It’s rare that such a good book loses it’s heat toward the end….so….we’ll see.

Before I reached those last 100 pages, I was comparing Half Bad to the Harry Potter series. That’s how good it was. It obviously wasn’t AS GOOD as HP, but it’s been a long time since I’ve found such a good paranormal/witch book. However, I do wish that there would have been more magic and paranormal aspects to the book. Don’t go into this book thinking that it’s full of witches and magic. It’s not. While the majority of the characters are witches, I can’t really think of any magic that happened in the book. I can think of the “gifts” that some of the witches had, but this is not a book filled with wands, spells, and magic cauldrons.

Overall, I really enjoyed this one. It was originally a 5 star book for me, but those last 100 pages bumped it down to a 4. I would still recommend it, not only because it’s a great book but because it has also been optioned for film by Fox 2000. I will be reading the second book when it comes out, and I can’t wait to watch the movie. Fingers crossed that it happens!


Half Bad is out in stores today. Go buy your copy!


Pages: 416

Publication Date: March 4th, 2014

Publisher: Viking Juvenile

Rating: : ★★★★☆


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Blog Tour
February 26, 2014 posted by Nichole

Blog Tour: Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith & Giveaway

unnamed (2)

unnamedSixteen-year-old Austin Szerba interweaves the story of his Polish legacy with the storyof how he and his best friend , Robby, brought about the end of humanity and the rise of an army of unstoppable, six-foot tall praying mantises in small-town Iowa.

To make matters worse, Austin’s hormones are totally oblivious; they don’t care that the world is in utter chaos: Austin is in love with his girlfriend, Shann, but remains confused about his sexual orientation. He’s stewing in a self-professed constant state of maximum horniness, directed at both Robby and Shann. Ultimately, it’s up to Austin to save the world and propagate the species in this sci-fright journey of survival, sex, and the complex realities of the human condition.




Blog Tour Schedule:

February 3rd – The Midnight Garden
February 3rd – The Story Siren
February 4th – Good Choice Reading
February 4th – Bookish
February 5th – I Read Banned Books
February 5th – Jenna Does Books
February 6th – Bibliophilia, Please
February 6th – Escaping One Book At A Time
February 7th – Scott Reads It
February 7th – Live to Read
February 10th – Alice Marvels
February 10th – The Society
February 11th – Lexi Swoons
February 11th – A Reader of Fictions
February 12th – Roof Beam Reader
February 12th – Forever Young Adult
February 13th – The Compulsive Reader
February 13th – Books and Bling
February 14th – Book Chic Club
February 14th – The QQQE
February 17th – JeanBookNerd
February 17th – Ticket to Anywhere
February 18th – Sleep Eat Read Books
February 18th – Read Now Sleep Later
February 19th – Anna Reads
February 19th – Word Spelunking
February 20th – Books With Bite
February 20th – What A Nerd Girl Says
February 21st – Wastepaper Prose
February 21st – LRB – Guest
February 24th – We Are Word Nerds
February 24th Cabin Goddess
February 25th – Ex Libris
February 25th – Cari’s Book Blog
February 25th – A Good Addiction
February 26th – YA Reads
February 26th – The Young Folks
February 27th – Novel Thoughts
February 27th – Fangirlish
February 28th – Once Upon a Twilight
February 28th – Naughty Book Kitties
About the Author:
unnamed (1)Andrew Smith is the award-winning author of several Young Adult novels, including the critically acclaimed Winger (Starred reviews in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Booklist, and Shelf Awareness—an Amazon “Best of the Year”) and The Marbury Lens (A YALSA BFYA, and Starred reviews and Best of the Year in both Publishers Weekly and Booklist).
He is a native-born Californian who spent most of his formative years traveling the world. His university studies focused on Political Science, Journalism, and Literature. He has published numerous short stories and articles. Grasshopper Jungle, coming February 11, 2014, is his seventh novel. He lives in Southern California.


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