Category Archives: Guest Post

Blog Tour
October 18, 2016 posted by Nichole

Rose & Thorn Blog Tour: Guest Post with Sarah Prineas

ROSE & THORN

Rose&Thorn-hc-cTitle: ROSE & THORN

Author: Sarah Prineas

Pub. Date: September 13, 2016

Publisher: HarperTeen

Pages: 416

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Find it: AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksGoodreads

 

This beauty isn’t sleeping! Sarah Prineas’s darkly imaginative retelling breaks down the classic story of Sleeping Beauty in a big, bold way. Brimming with action and romance, beautiful Rose must escape the curse that will force the kingdom to fall into a century-long slumber and fights for the freedom to find her own happily ever after.

 

After the spell protecting her is destroyed, Rose seeks safety in the world outside the valley she had called home. She’s been kept hidden all her life to delay the three curses she was born with, curses that will have drastic consequences if they take effect. Accompanied by the handsome and mysterious Griff and Quirk, his witty and warmhearted partner, Rose tries to escape from the ties that bind her to this forced fairy tale. But will the path they take lead them to freedom, or will it bring them straight into the prescribed story they are trying to avoid?

 

Set in the world of Prineas’s Ash & Bramble fifty years later, Rose & Thorn is a powerful retelling of Sleeping Beauty. If you like your fairy tales dark, your heroines daring, and your suitors dashing, this is the book for you.

 

Ash&Bramble finalTitle: ASH & BRAMBLE

Author: Sarah Prineas

Pub. Date: September 15, 2015

Publisher: HarperTeen

Pages: 464

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Find it: AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksGoodreads

 

When the glass slipper just doesn’t fit…

The tale of Cinderella has been retold countless times. But what you know is not the true story.

Pin has no recollection of who she is or how she got to the Godmother’s fortress. She only knows that she is a Seamstress, working day in and out to make ball gowns fit for fairy tales. But she longs to forsake her backbreaking servitude and dares to escape with the brave young Shoemaker.

Pin isn’t free for long before she’s captured again and forced to live the new life the Godmother chooses for her—a fairy tale story, complete with a charming prince—instead of finding her own happily ever after.

Sarah Prineas’s bold fairy tale retelling is a dark and captivating world where swords are more fitting than slippers, young shoemakers are just as striking as princes, and a heroine is more than ready to rescue herself before the clock strikes midnight.

 

 

About Sarah:

Sarah

Hi there! I’m Sarah Prineas, author of the Magic Thief series published in the US by HarperCollins and in 17 other languages around the world, and the Winterling trilogy. I live in rural Iowa with my mad scientist husband, two kids, and two cats. My next book is called Ash & Bramble, and it’s a YA. Here’s my website: http://www.sarah-prineas.com and here’s my book website (with games, wallpaper, and extras!): http://www.magicthief.com Thanks for reading!

Website |Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads

Read below to find out more about Sarah’s favorite and least favorite character to write!

Hi! Thanks so much for hosting a stop on the Rose & Thorn blog tour, and for taking the time to post this.

 

This post is all about my favorite and least favorite characters to write … and they are the same person.

In Rose & Thorn one of the main characters is named Quirk.  He is a man with dwarfism; he’s handsome, blond, with green eyes and a nice smile and he has a … quirky sense of humor.  He names his biceps, for example (“Anvil” and “Hammer”) (I think this is hilarious; YMMV).  He’s a skilled swordsman.  He’s caring and kind.  He calls a very tough and obnoxious girl “sweetheart” and it turns her to mush.  Writing him was incredibly fun.

He was also very hard to write, though, because he has some huge secrets, and a Past, and I couldn’t reveal any of that until close to the end of the book.  Quirk had to have reasons not conceal what he knows.  Concealing information like that is very difficult for a writer.  It can’t seem fake, or like people not talking to each other for stupid reasons.

In a change of subject, I didn’t have a playlist for Rose & Thorn (I don’t listen to music when writing), but the song that represents the book, for me, is and oldie: “Hold On, I’m Coming” by Sam & Dave.  At one point my main character even says it.

 

 

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of ROSE & THORN. US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

10/10/2016- Novel Novice Interview

10/11/2016- A Dream Within A Dream– Review

10/12/2016 Seeing Double In Neverland– Guest Post

10/13/2016- Mom with a Reading Problem– Review

10/14/2016- Two Chicks on Books– Interview

 

Week Two:

10/17/2016- Once Upon a Twilight– Review

10/18/2016- YaReads– Guest Post

10/19/2016- Eli to the nth– Review

10/20/2016- The Cover Contessa– Interview

10/21/2016- Mundie Moms– Review

Guest Post
September 30, 2016 posted by Nichole

The Weight of Zero by Karen Fortunati Playlist

The Weight of Zero Playlist

 

the weightThe Weight of Zero: Contemporary Young Adult, Delacorte Press

Release Date: October 11, 2016

 

Seventeen-year-old Catherine Pulaski knows Zero is coming for her. Zero, the devastating depression born of Catherine’s bipolar disease, has almost triumphed once, propelling Catherine to her first suicide attempt. With Zero only temporarily restrained by the latest med du jour, time is running out. In an old ballet shoebox, Catherine stockpiles medications, preparing to take her own life before Zero can inflict its own living death on her again.

 

But Zero’s return is delayed due to unexpected and meaningful relationships that lessen Catherine’s sense of isolation. These relationships along with the care of a gifted psychiatrist alter Catherine’s perception of her diagnosis as a death sentence. This is a story of loss and grief and hope and how some of the many shapes of love – maternal, romantic and platonic – impact a young woman’s struggle with mental illness.

 

ADD ON GOODREADS

 

Website: www.karenfortunati.com

Twitter: @karenfortunati

Facebook: @AuthorKarenFortunati

 

Recognition:

 

 

Kirkus: “Catherine’s acerbically witty narrative voice is razor sharp and often raw, and the confessional tone of her present-tense narration makes clear how overwhelming her pain is…. An honest, informative, and ultimately optimistic novel about living with mental illness.”

 

 

I don’t usually listen to music as I write and I didn’t when I was drafting The Weight of Zero. But here’s how music factors into my creative process. Because of family demands during the time I was writing Weight, I spent a ton of time in my car  – maybe seventy percent actually driving and the other thirty percent waiting around in it. I brought my laptop everywhere, worried about the lost writing opportunities. But all that car time turned out to be some of the most fruitful creative moments for me. While driving, I’d listen to music and let Catherine’s story marinate. I’d think about a scene I’d just written or what should come next in the following chapter. I’d sound out dialogue (yes!) or focus on Catherine or her mom or her friends Michael or Kristal. Here’s where music would come in. The following songs are all on my phone and these seemed to nail Catherine’s emotions at different points in her story. I’d play these over and over again in the car and it would further root me in the emotion.

 

  • Cyndi Lauper: “Unconditional Love”
  • Mary Chapin Carpenter: “This Is Love”
  • White Stripes: “We’re Going To Be Friends”
  • Florence + the Machine: “Cosmic Love”
  • John Mayer: “Say”
  • Florence + The Machine: “Dogs Days Are Over”
  • Kelly Clarkson: “Catch My Breath”
  • Natasha Bedingfield: “Unwritten”

 

The pain of bullying is a significant theme in The Weight of Zero. I got chills when I first heard “Don’t Let Them In” by Kathleen Elle. Kathleen is a truly gifted musician and the daughter of my oldest friend in the world. I met her mother, Jeannine, in kindergarten and she has been one of my best friends since.

 

“Don’t Let Them In” has been honored by both Seventeen Magazine and Abercrombie and Fitch and is featured in anti-bullying campaigns by both companies in schools and on the Internet. I got a chance to speak with Kathleen a few months ago on her inspiration for writing this compassionate and inspiring song. She told me it was prompted after a bullying presentation at her high school, specifically in its focus on the bully and the bystander. Kathleen felt like the victims had been somewhat left out of the discussion. She came home that day and wrote this song.

 

Listen to “Don’t Let Them In” on Kathleen’s website: http://www.kathleenelle.com/track/874760/don-t-let-them-in?feature_id=198282

 

Follow Kathleen on Twitter @kathlee-e11e or on Facebook at: kathleene11e

“Don’t Let Them In”

 

You’re too fat you’re too tall too short don’t fit in at all, you’re not cool enough for me.

You’re too punk you’re too nerd too gay insert any word, just stay away from me.

 

Pre-chorus:

Blowin them off doesn’t work cuz what they say really hurts but they’re just too blind to see.

That their words cut like knives, they’re probably shortening your life, picking at you piece by piece.

 

Chorus:

Because the harder you try the harder you fall, some are never gonna like you at all.

Don’t let ’em in don’t let ’em in don’t try to be something you’re not.

The harder you try the harder you fall, it’s not gonna help you out at all.

Don’t let ’em in don’t let ’em in don’t let em break your heart.

 

Verse 2:

Wanna scream wanna shout, who said being different means they kick you out? Keep your identity.

Don’t stay up late at night picking at your flaws, you’ll never win the fight, you’re your own worst enemy.

 

Pre-chorus:

Blowin ’em off doesn’t work cuz what they say really hurts but they’re just too blind to see

That their words cut like knives they’re probably shortening your life picking at you piece by piece.

 

Chorus:

Because the harder you try the harder you fall, some are never gonna like you at all.

Don’t let ’em in don’t let ’em in, don’t try to be something your’e not.

The harder you try the harder you fall, it’s not gonna help you out at all.

Don’t let ’em in don’t let ’em in don’t let ’em break your heart.

 

Bridge:

Although you’re crying on the inside don’t let them realize, they got to you.

I know you’re dying on the inside, here’s my shoulder I’ll let you cry, I got you.

 

Chorus:

Because the harder you try the harder you fall, some are never gonna like you at all.

Don’t let ’em in don’t let ’em in don’t try and be something you’re not.

The harder you try the harder you fall, it’s not gonna help you out at all.

Don’t let ’em in don’t let ’em in don’t let ’em break your heart.

Blog Tour
September 8, 2016 posted by Nichole

Blog Tour: Daring the Bad Boy by Monica Murphy “Must Read YA Contemps by Monica Murphy”

daring the bad boy banner

Daring the Bad BoyDaring the Bad Boy by Monica Murphy

Published by Entangled Crush

Published on August 22nd, 2016

Genre: YA contemporary/romance

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30332862-daring-the-bad-boy?ac=1&from_search=true

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/daring-the-bad-boy-monica-murphy/1124207006?type=eBook

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Daring-Bad-Boy-Monica-Murphy-ebook/dp/B01JGMCCGM

Entangled Teen: http://entangledpublishing.com/daring-the-bad-boy/

Truth or Dare was never this much fun…

 

Annie McFarland is sick of being a shy nobody. A session at summer camp seems like the perfect opportunity to reinvent herself—gain some confidence, kiss a boy, be whoever she wants to be. A few days in, she’s already set her sights on über-hottie Kyle. Too bad her fear of water keeps her away from the lake, where Kyle is always hanging out.

 

Jacob Fazio is at Camp Pine Ridge after one too many screw-ups. Junior counseling seems like punishment enough, but the rigid no-fraternizing-with-campers rules harsh his chill. When a night of Truth or Dare gets him roped into teaching Annie how to swim, she begs him to also teach her how to snag Kyle.

 

Late-night swim sessions turn into late-night kissing sessions…but there’s more on the line than just their hearts. If they get caught, Jake’s headed straight to juvie, but Annie’s more than ready to dare him to reveal the truth.
Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains references to drinking, sexual situations, adult language, and an intense bad boy hero who will melt your heart.


 

About the Author:

Monica

Monica Murphy is the New York Times, USA Today and #1 international bestselling author of the One Week Girlfriend series, the Billionaire Bachelors and The Rules series. Her books have been translated in almost a dozen languages and has sold over one million copies worldwide. She is a traditionally published author with Bantam/Random House and Harper Collins/Avon, as well as an independently published author. She writes new adult, young adult and contemporary romance. She is also USA Today bestselling romance author Karen Erickson.

She is a wife and a mother of three who lives with her family in central California on fourteen acres in the middle of nowhere, along with their one dog and too many cats. A self-confessed workaholic, when she’s not writing, she’s reading or hanging out with her husband and kids. She’s a firm believer in happy endings, though she will admit to putting her characters through many angst-filled moments before they finally get that hard won HEA.

Website: http://monicamurphyauthor.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5934418.Monica_Murphy

Twitter: @MsMonicaMurphy

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

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MonicaMurphyauthor

Newsletter: http://monicamurphyauthor.us6.list-manage1.com/subscribe?u=f1ced7b830&id=f985eea9cd


 

Read Below for an excerpt from Daring the Bad Boy:

Annie

“Don’t forget to pack extras of everything,” Mom stressed, her voice high, her entire demeanor anxious. She really didn’t want me to leave, though she was the one who’d suggested I go to camp in the first place. And I guess I can’t blame her, since I am her only child, but it’s just for a few weeks—I had to be wait-listed, and when a spot opened up for the second session, I begged my parents to let me go.

But with the way she’s fretting over my leaving, I realize she needs to cut the umbilical cord sometime. At least I’ll be outside getting fresh air, not stuck in the air-conditioned house with my nose in a book. That’s how I usually spend my summers.

Well, no more.

Not that there’s anything wrong with reading, but…it was my escape, my safe place. I’m tired of living in someone else’s imaginary world—I want to live in my world for once. But it’s hard making a new impression on people you’ve known your entire school life, some of them since preschool.

To them I’m quiet little Annie McFarland. The girl who cried so hard on the first day of kindergarten that she blew a bubble of snot out her nose. The girl who was so petrified to perform in the third-grade Christmas play that her knees literally knocked together and everyone could hear them. The girl who had a major crush on Wade Johnson in sixth grade and wrote him a heartfelt Valentine’s Day poem—and he shared it with all his friends.

I endured their teasing for the rest of the school year. Sixth grade was definitely not my favorite year.

Yeah. I could go on and on.

I’d just finished my sophomore year, and while everyone was busy pairing off, being social, actually doing something with their lives, I was stuck. Stuck in my quiet shell, stuck with the nerd-girl label, stuck as the teacher’s pet. I hated it.

More than anything, I was beyond ready for a change.

“Extra T-shirts, extra shorts.” Mom ticked off the items with her fingers, her gaze meeting mine. “Extra, um, feminine products.”

My cheeks went hot. “I’ve already packed extra everything.” I waved a hand at my open but mostly stuffed duffel bag.

“Okay, good. Good. Wouldn’t want you to run out of necessities. Though I fully plan on sending you care packages. And there’s parents’ weekend, too, so I can always bring you whatever you might need.” Mom was rambling. A sure sign she was upset.

“Mom.” I went to her and took her hand, giving it a squeeze. “I don’t leave for another twenty-four hours. It’s not time to cry yet.”

“I’ll just miss you.” She brushed a stray hair away from my forehead, her gaze soft. “You’ve never left us like this before, for this long. A whole month, hundreds of miles away. With strangers.” She stressed the last word.

That was my favorite part of the plan. Being with strangers, people who don’t know the real me. I could totally reinvent myself. Be whoever I wanted to be. I could demand they call me Ann, tell them I’m the most popular girl at my school, and win the attention of all the hot boys within hours of my arrival.

Though I doubted any of that would really happen. Just because I’m with people who don’t know me doesn’t mean my real self won’t make an immediate appearance. It’s hard for me to open up to new people. Plus, I really don’t like it when someone calls me Ann—I think Annie’s a much cuter name. And I’ve never gotten the attention of a hot boy in my entire life. Well, I have—hello, Wade Johnson—but that was unwanted attention. That I’m great at.

I’d like to change that particularly annoying trait of mine.

Okay, I’m not drop-dead gorgeous with a bubbly, flirtatious personality, not by a long shot. I’m not a hideous troll, either, but come on. Hot guys have never noticed me—unless they’re six and I’m blowing snot bubbles out my nose. Or I write really bad poetry that makes adolescent boys howl with laughter. And that’s not the way I want boys to notice me.

“I’ll be fine,” I reassured Mom, offering her a smile in return, which somehow only seemed to upset her more. Her chin got all wobbly, and she yanked me into her arms, holding me close. I let her smother me with Mom love for a few minutes before I disentangled myself from her embrace. “Seriously, it’s going to be okay. I’ll write you and Dad as much as I can.”

“Which shouldn’t be very much at all. I want you to meet new people and try new things. You need to stay busy and have fun. Don’t worry about us.” She wagged her finger at me before her hand dropped to her side. “I know you feel a little stifled here, so this will be good for you.”

Mom understood. She always had. We moved here when I was two, back to Dad’s hometown; he felt right at home because he was home. Mom, on the other hand, was still considered an outsider, and they’d always treated her that way. So she knew what it was like, to feel like you didn’t fit in. She understood my problems at school, when Dad always blew them off. Not that he was mean about it. He just didn’t get it.

“It’s going to be great,” I told Mom with a genuine smile. My heart did a funny little flip in the center of my chest and I breathed deeply, telling myself everything really would be great.

Going to camp was going to change my life.

***

Jake

One month earlier

“You’re going. I know this is a last-minute decision and you’re probably pissed that you have to leave tomorrow, but too damn bad, Jacob. You’re out of here.” Dad’s voice was firm, simmering with anger. His eyes blazed with barely withheld fury as he glared at me. He was super pissed, but what else was new? “And that’s final. No arguments, no defiance, no threats that you’ll run away. The second you leave this house without my permission, I’m calling the cops. And they will lock you up. Thanks to your latest mishap, that’s guaranteed.”

I stared at him, my arms crossed in front of my chest, my jaw clenched so tight I felt like I could crush my teeth into powder. My uncle’s summer camp held good memories. Back when I was a kid and had no cares in the world, and my main priorities had been swimming in the lake and hanging out with friends.

But those days were a long time ago.

Now I didn’t want to go back. There was no point. I was a different person. Not just older, but freaking wiser.

Well. Maybe not wiser. I kept fucking up, like I couldn’t help myself. That latest mishap Dad was talking about? Stealing hubcaps off fancy cars in the middle of the night with my so-called friends. We’d been drinking. I’d been dared. The moment the cops showed up, they all bailed on me. Every last one of them, and I was royally busted. They booked me like a real criminal, taking my photo, getting my fingerprints. I’d nearly pissed my pants I was so scared.

Never let them see it, though. Just kept my mouth shut and glared at everyone. When Dad showed up to bail me out, I almost went weak with relief. I believed I was home free—until he got me into the car and proceeded to yell the entire drive home.

That was the first clue that I’d have to finally pay for my sins.

Dad went with me to my court appearance and asked to speak to the judge. I thought he would plead my case. Tell the scowling middle-aged woman with glasses perched on the tip of her nose that I really was a good kid. I just needed another chance.

Nope. Dad chucked me so far under the bus, I still have tire marks across my stomach. He told the judge I was a screwup, a failure, a disappointment, and that he was afraid for my future. He then promised her if she gave me community service, he’d make sure I did my time by working at my uncle’s summer camp under strict supervision.

She’d agreed.

And now here I am, going to camp and having to work with a bunch of asshole kids who’ll give me nothing but crap over the next two months. The only thing that was giving me hope? The possibility there would be plenty of pretty counselors with a bad-boy fetish. I’ll be willing to fulfill whatever fantasy they have, as long as we can do it on the down low. My uncle gets one whiff of me doing something wrong, and I’m a dead man. I’ll end up in juvenile hall or, worse, in freaking jail. My dad’ll make sure I pay for my mistakes.

“Fine,” I muttered, dropping my head so I didn’t have to look him in the eye. Seeing the disappointment there, all the anger and frustration, I couldn’t take it anymore. “I’ll go.”

His deep sigh of relief was loud, and hearing it didn’t make me feel any better. We sat in the living room, Dad in his recliner, me on the couch. I let my arms drop to my sides and took a deep breath, glancing around the room. It was small, narrow, no pictures on the wall, no homey touches. A total bachelor pad, Dad had told me when we moved in to the place, like that was going to appeal to fourteen-year-old me.

After Mom died, Dad sold our house—too full of memories, he’d said, his expression pained—and we rented this shitty little two-story condo. A temporary move, he’d reassured me. The place was old but centrally located in single-dom paradise. As in, there were plenty of divorced women who lived in this complex who were hot for my dad.

And it sucked. Mom’s dying had completely messed with my head. But Dad’s moving us away from the only home I’d ever known had pushed me over the edge. The more trouble I got into, the more attention I received. It didn’t matter if it was bad or good; at least someone was looking at me. Acknowledging me. Telling me I mattered.

Sort of.

“Spending the summer with your uncle Bob is just what you need,” Dad said, his expression softening, the anger slowly dissipating because I didn’t protest or get angry. Why fight it? At least at camp, I’d have some freedom.

I’d be working my ass off and under Uncle Bob’s thumb all the time, but what else could I do?

“Though just because you’re surrounded by a bunch of young girls doesn’t mean you should touch any of them.” The pointed look Dad sent my way almost made me want to laugh.

Almost.

“They’re off-limits. Forbidden. The campers, at least. You have to follow your uncle’s rules. The counselors, they’re your peers, but I wouldn’t recommend you messing around with any of them, either. You don’t need the distraction.” He paused. “You mess up once, and you’ll end up in juvie. Understand?”

I nodded. Whatever. I’d mess around with whoever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I’d freaking need the distraction so I wouldn’t lose my mind having to work for Uncle Bob all summer long.

“You’ll get out of here.” Away from my friends. “You’ll meet new people.” Who aren’t my friends. “You’ll earn a little money and save it up.” So I can buy my own cigarettes or weed or whatever I want and not have to ask for cash from you. “And you might learn a thing or two.”

Yeah, right.

But instead of saying any of that, I nodded like I agreed and stood, finally meeting his gaze. His eyes weren’t blazing with so much frustration anymore, and I felt like I’d jumped over the first hurdle. “I’d better go pack, then,” I told him, and left the room.

Never looked back once, either.


Read below to find out some of Monica Murphy’s Must Read YA Contemps!

I love a good YA contemporary story, especially if there’s lots of romance involved. I can’t help it — I’m a sucker for a good romance. And while I could probably make this list extra, extra long, I will try and contain myself and only share a few.

PUSHING THE LIMITS by Katie McGarry – Wow, this book just blew me away. I devoured it in one sitting – on Halloween, when my kids were dying to go trick or treat and I kept putting them off. And while I’m only mentioning this one book, trust me, read all of Katie’s books. They’re wonderful. And now I’m lucky enough to call this fantastic woman my friend. She is one of the most genuine people I know. She’s amazing.

pushing-the-limits

PERFECT CHEMISTRY by Simone Elkeles – This is the first contemporary romance I read in a long time, back after it first came out. I fell madly in love with Alex. Madly. In. Love. Ah, this book gave me all the feels! I adore it and will pull it out to reread every few years.

perfect-chemistry

THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US by Kasie West – I went on a Kasie West reading spree this summer and I have zero regrets. I love her easy style, I love all of her characters and as I read one book after another, I started to realize something…the places she described, I felt like I’d been there before. Turns out, she lives not too far from me. We’re practically neighbors! Which means I need to invite her to coffee soon so I can gush over her amazing books!

distance between us

NO ONE NEEDS TO KNOW by Amanda Grace – I really enjoyed this book. Olivia hates how distant her relationship is with her twin brother Liam, who is her best friend. She also hates how Liam is dating Zoey, a girl she really doesn’t like. But then she realizes she likes Zoey…a lot. And Zoey likes her too. But what about Liam? Talk about a love triangle. A really well written one too.

noone needs

MY LIFE NEXT DOOR by Huntley Fitzpatrick – Such a well written book. So much yearning and angst and swoony moments. I just realized I never read The Boy Most Likely To and it’s sitting on my Kindle, just waiting to be consumed. I know what I’m doing later tonight…

my life

THE WAY I USED TO BE by Amber Smith – This book blew me away. It was so painful yet beautifully written and real. Achingly real. Tough subject matter – Eden is raped by her brother’s best friend, and she doesn’t tell anyone. This secret slowly tears her apart as the book is told in four parts, throughout her high school years. A powerful story that I still think about.

THE WAY I USED TO BE

ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES by Jennifer Niven – I can’t say enough about this book and how much it moved me. Violet and Fitch are such fantastically drawn characters, I felt like I was living their story along with them. This book explores mental illness in such a real, raw way. I reread it recently and cried all over again.

all the bright places

Bonus mention – All the books from the Entangled Crush line! I haven’t read one that’s disappointed me yet. They’re all so fun and light and cute! My most recent read from the line was RESISTING THE REBEL by Lisa Brown Roberts and it was so good! Caleb is a perfect book boyfriend.

resisting

I could go on and on but I think I need to stop now. Before this post turns into the never ending list of must read YA contemporary books…. :)

The Tour Schedule:

August 29th

Alice’s Book Vault – Promo Post

Just One More Chapter – Promo Post

August 30th

The Phantom Paragrapher – Review

The Book Beacon – Promo Post

August 31st

Bookish Escapes – Review

Roxy’s Book Reviews – Promo Post

September 1st

Daydreaming Books – Review

Read Love Blog – Review

September 2nd

Dana’s YA Bookpile – Guest Post

September 3rd

Beanie’s Book Blog – Review

September 4th

PBC – Promo Post

September 5th

The Cozy Little Book Nook – Review

September 6th

Never Too Many To Read – Review

September 7th

We Found Wonderland in Books – Author Interview

September 8th

A Leisure Moment – Review

YaReads – Guest Post

September 9th

RoloPoloBookBlog – Review

Swoony Boys Podcast – Character Interview

September 10th

The Bookish Introvert – Review

September 11th

Adventures in Writing – Review

Novel Knight – Promo Post

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Blog Tour
September 2, 2016 posted by Nichole

Blog Tour: The Vrai Domicile by Courtney Ruggles

vrai banner

sixthThe Sixth Domicile (The Domicile Series Book 1) by Courtney Ruggles

Published on January 20th, 2016

Published by Elephantine Publishing

Genre: New Adult Dystopian

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28405871-the-sixth-domicile?ac=1&from_search=true

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Sixth-Domicile-Book-ebook/dp/B017O08SDO/192-0301566-9071950?ie=UTF8&redirect=true

In a future ravaged by greed and war, The Domicile has emerged. A new civilization governed by clandestine Elders where citizens are united by white masks and uniform identities. To remove one’s mask, to go outside the Domicile, to show defiance, means being sent to the Meurtre, a horrifying death sentence.

Q437B doesn’t follow the rules. She craves sunlight, dares to love her childhood friend B116A, and–the most forbidden of all–has seen the true face of her beloved beneath his mask.

But when Q becomes an Adulte, The Domicile threatens to take away everything that makes her happy. She is forced to marry an abusive soldier who demands she conform.

Whispers spread about the unconventional lessons she teaches her new students. And when Q openly disobeys the Elders, the people become restless, questioning the truth of the world in the wake of such defiance.

Rumblings of discontent stir as others begin to follow the path toward their freedom. The Revolution has begun, and Q is the spark that ignited the flames.

The Sixth Domicile is book 1 in the Domicile Series, A New Adult dystopian. Fans of Veronica Roth’s Divergent and Ally Condie’s Matched series will love The Sixth Domicile.


vraiThe Vrai Domicile (The Domicile Series Book 2) by Courtney Ruggles

Genre: New Adult Dystopian

To be released on August 24th, 2016

Pre-Order Link

https://www.amazon.com/Vrai-Domicile-Book-ebook/dp/B01H80246W

Q437B was ready to die for the Second Revolution. Then she entered the Meurtre

Q and B expected death when the Elders ordered their execution. What they discover instead changes everything they thought they knew about their world. Saved by the mercy of the Elders, they awaken in the Vrai Domicile, a mysterious place hidden below the Sixth Domicile housing hundreds of former rebels.

Except these rebels have been brainwashed, conditioned to be blind followers.

Q quickly learns of the Elders’ new plan for her – she is to become their warrior, to reunite the Vrai and Sixth Domiciles with purity, love, and unwavering faith. But to Q, she’ll be undoing everything she and the rebels fought for.

Now Q and B must fight to survive once more, forced to forge new alliances with strangers who promise nothing is as it seems. But surviving comes with a choice – follow the Elders and quash the Revolution, or defy them and free the people, putting B’s and Grandmother’s lives at risk.

In a place where the fire of rebellion is extinguished at every turn, can Q continue to be the spark that fuels the Revolution?

Book 2 in The Sixth Domicile Series by Courtney Ruggles, a 5 star Readers Favorite!

Pre-order now!

Vrai Domicile Teaser
courtney

Courtney’s love for writing started pretty much when she learned to read, which her mother would tell you was a feat in itself back when she was in the first grade. Once she aced those flashcards with vocabulary words, Courtney’s writing took off. And her love with it. In school, she was always writing short stories on a word processor (What?? Word processor with floppy disks?). Oh yes, she literally had a card filing case full of floppy disks.

Now getting her Doctorate in social work, she’s used this education to help her write some of the gritty issues entwined in her stories. When Courtney isn’t writing her next book while drinking coffee, you can find her doing homework (drag) with chocolate chip flavored coffee, reading series of books (because school books are only so interesting) while drinking pumpkin flavored coffee, playing with her little boy, or daydreaming of future beach houses while drinking some other scrumptious flavor of coffee.

 

 

Media Links

Website: www.courtneyruggles.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorCRuggles

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCourtneyRuggles/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

Instagram: @courtneyruggles

Check out the playlist for Vrai Domicile below:

Empty Gold- Halsey

So Far Away- Faunts

Only One- NF

All I Want- Kodaline

Waiting Game- Banks

Eyes Half Closed- Crywolf

Seven Devils- Florence + The Machine

Born to Die- Lana Del Rey

Never Forget You- Zara Larsson & MNEK

Run Wild- for KING & COUNTRY

All Is Whole- Whitley

Lies- Marina & The Diamonds

Control- Halsey

These are songs I listened to while writing The Vrai Domicile, plus so many others! I love listening to music as I write.  In fact, I don’t write without listening to music!  And often times, it’s when I’m listening to amazing songs and artists that I come up with some awesome scenes for the book.

These are awesome recs! I’m super ashamed to say that there are several that I haven’t listened to, but I’m a huge fan of Florence, Kodaline, and Lana Del Rey. Fun fact about me: I have All I Want on my ipod and constantly listen to it on repeat!

The Giveaway:

Swag bag with bookmarks, Domicile keychains, an exclusive Domicile poster, and bracelets; open to US residents only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Read below for an excerpt from Vrai Domicile:

A100B’s words filled my head again. I bit my lip as I listened to what she said, demanding me to say them and then do exactly what she was telling me to do. “Untie it from your belt. You must do it,” she commanded in my ear.

I looked down at the whip hanging on my side, my fingers brushing the Fouetter as terror and guilt gripped me.

I gulped, my stomach churning and tears threatening me, gagging me. “Say it!” she hissed in my ear. She repeated the words so I would recite them exactly right.

“T987A, a rogue Guerrier, helped me escape from the Domicile and betray you.” My voice shook and I kept swallowing the saliva building in my mouth from the threat of rising bile.

“I swear to not betray you again, and to demonstrate that promise, I will punish T987A.” I finished the words A100B demanded I repeat. Q437A stood next to me, smirking.

Two Guerriers emerged from the side of the Rotonde dragging T987A between them. I sucked in my bottom lip to stifle a cry. T987A was a part of the rebellion, one of the Guerriers who informed us what the Guerriers were doing and helped protect B and me. He fought Q437A when they found us sneaking out of the Domicile the last time, which gave us the time to run to the Rotonde to save Grandmother, and where I screamed at the people to reveal the Elders’ murderous ways.

“I can’t,” I whispered as quietly as I could, barely moving my lips, sure A100B could hear me.

“Take the Fouetter from your belt, Q437B,” she breathed in my ear. T987A stared at me in disbelief. I squeezed my eyes shut, knowing they were ready to beat my grandmother, beat her fervently until almost all the blood seeped from her. And then save her without numbing the pain to prepare to do it again.

I didn’t know what would happen to T987A after this. I tried to reason with myself. I couldn’t get out of this. T987A was much stronger than my grandmother. I had endured twenty lashes, he could withstand at least that.

My throat constricted as I fought to keep from vomiting or crying, not sure which would be worse right now. I pleaded with my eyes as his locked with mine to forgive me. I loosened the Fouetter, never taking my gaze from his. “I’m sorry,” I mouthed at him and hoped he could read my lips, my desperation, my turmoil, and my devastation.

The Guerriers hoisted him on the platform and pushed him down, forcing him to his knees and rounding his back to give me maximum exposure.

The Fouetter was heavy in my hands, much heavier than when we’d trained, as if it’d been filled with lead. The Guerriers wielded it effortlessly; I had wielded it effortlessly on innocent tile. I licked my lips, bit my tongue hard enough to taste metallic blood, now infused with the abundance of saliva.

“I’m so sorry,” I whispered, my voice hitched by the tears now freely falling. There were too many to keep at bay. They fell from my eyes and dripped into T987A’s hair as I hovered over him, holding the Fouetter at my side. My whisper was loud enough for him to hear me, for the Guerriers holding him, and possibly the closest people to the platform. A100B heard it, her infuriated breath sounding in my ear. The Elders heard.

Q437A’s hand grabbed my right arm owning the Fouetter. “I will help you, Q437B. As my partner and fellow soldier, I will aid you in punishing this betrayer!” I knew Q437A’s words were being fed to him as well.

I went numb. He wouldn’t let me release the Fouetter. Instead his hand clenched over mine on the Fouetter, making sure I didn’t let go. He raised my arm high in the air. I sucked in a deep breath and held it in, biting the inside of my cheek as he drove my arm down, the Fouetter whistling in the air. I squeezed my eyes shut. The leather strips made contact with T987A’s back, the contact vibrating through the handle of the Fouetter.

He screamed. Q437A raised my arm again high above my head and forcefully slammed it back down. The whip cracked against T987A; his cry echoed. Tears seeped from my locked eyes. I gulped, trying to hide the hiccups of sobs escaping from me. I wanted to scream, to cry out. To use my three-day training and throw my elbow back into Q437A’s chest to knock him off balance. And then attack him, knock him to the ground and beat the life out of him.

Q437A kept raising my arm above my head and swinging it down so the Fouetter lashed T987A’s back. I didn’t count the times Q437A repeated the motion to cruelly whip T987A.

Finally, the Elder’s voice boomed again over the Rotonde. Q437A had raised my arm high in the air again, readying for another blow. “That is enough!” he demanded. “By the mercy in us, T987A has served his punishment of thirty lashes. May the scars remind him of his transgressions and how we saved him today from the Meurtre. T987A, we implore you to become pure again.”

The Tour Schedule:

August 24th

Justicereads – Review Book #1

NovelKnight – Author Interview

Noshelfcontrol – Review Book #1

August 25th

Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books! – Promo Post

VampyreLady’s Cover Reveals, Blog Tours, New Releases & All Things Bookish – Promo Post

August 26th

Strong Novels – Author Interview

August 27th

Little Miss Trainwreck – Author Interview

Roxy’s Book Reviews – Promo Post

August 28th

Bookrantings – Review Book #1

August 29th

The Book Beacon – Promo Post

August 30th

Justicereads – Review Book #2

August 31st

Eelsaysbooks – Review Book #1

September 1st

Eelsaysbooks – Review Book #2

Crossroad Reviews – Promo Post

September 2nd

YaReads – Guest Post

September 3rd

Just One More Chapter – Promo Post

September 4th

YA Book Divas – Promo Post

September 5th

RoloPoloBookBlog – Promo Post

September 6th

Us Girls & A Book – Review Books 1 & #2

Book of the Month
August 27, 2016 posted by Nichole

Book of the Month: Guest Post from Bridget Hodder:

Book of the MonthbridgetI’m a dreamer and a do-gooder. When I realized (around age 9) that my efforts to make this world a better place were falling pretty flat, I decided to make up entirely different, better worlds of my own, and ask readers to join me there.

“WHY RATS?”

I didn’t add a “rat” dimension to the story simply to tweak the original, or for sheer enjoyment of their unexpected situations and witty dialogue.

The rats allow us to explore what it really means to be human. Is humanity a birthright, or a way of being? At some point, if “humans” behave monstrously enough, do they forfeit their humanity?

My all-time favorite Middle Grade books had some pretty deep philosophy at the core, while entertaining me so much I hardly noticed the depth until I thought about it afterwards. Then I would go back and read those books again, to put it all together. That’s what I wanted to do in THE RAT PRINCE. It flowed naturally from my beliefs about respect, love, courage and the worth of striving even when there seems to be no chance of success.

We all fight the same existential battles, and the books that stay with us are the ones offering insight or hope, reminding us we’re all in this together.

THANKS, NICHOLE!!!


the rat prince

The dashing Prince of the Rats–who’s in love with Cinderella–is changed into her coachman on the night of the big ball. And he’s about to turn the legend (and the evening) upside down on his way to a most unexpected happy ending!

Buy the Rat Prince Today!

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-rat-prince-bridget-hodder/1122087547?ean=9780374302139

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Rat-Prince-Bridget-Hodder/dp/0374302138

You guys, this book sounds SUPER CUTE! I love that this is an MG Cinderella retelling. I LOVE the cover. I just love it all!

Guest Post
July 22, 2016 posted by Nichole

Sixth Prime by Dan O’Brien: Defining Characters and Representing Female Characters

index2.3.5.7.11.13. A war brews as a galaxy struggles to maintain a peace treaty signed in haste. The Commonwealth boasts sprawling cities built upon slums. The Sovereignty has placed the yoke of industry upon its citizens. Sixteen men and women are connected in a way they cannot yet understand. A murder of a prominent artist begins a chain of events that will ultimately determine the fate of the universe. Only thirteen will remain. In the end, there can be only one Prime. Are you a Prime?


 

When I started writing Sixth Prime, I decided early on to do something very deliberate: I would make half the main characters female; I would make sure the personalities better reflected the myriad of the human experience; and I would describe characters without using skin color or any physical identifiers.

You might be wondering: what exactly is the point of that?

Women represent half the population.

I would be remiss if I ignored the statistics right in front of me. 82% of readers are female, so why wouldn’t you include female characters when so many readers are women. I don’t mean the traditional roles of queens and romantic interests; I’m talking about adventurers and villains, scientists and soldiers, and everything in between. The goal should be to tell the best possible story. I waited until I had outlined everything, and then randomly assigned characters as men and women (this includes romantic relationships as well, so buckle your seatbelts).

Personality guides behavior and decision-making.

I went to graduate school for psychology, and as such I’ve always had a fascination with why people do what they do. This, naturally, translated into thinking about how I could smuggle personality psychology into a narrative. The Prime saga, beginning with Sixth Prime, is an attempt to do just that. I wanted readers to feel like they were represented by one of the characters in such a way that the decisions and consequences felt more real to them.

The reader should decide how the characters look.  

I know it’s a long shot, but maybe (just maybe) the Prime Saga becomes a movie or limited series. I bring this up because nothing is worse than people arguing how characters should look or the kinds of actors or actresses who should play them. Really, even if an adaptation is not in order, I love the idea of people coming to their own conclusions about how a character should look based on their choices, personality, and behavior. I want the characters to be defined by how they make readers feel; I want a reader to be able to see themselves in the character and as the character.

Here is the working teaser:

2.3.5.7.11.13.

A war brews as a galaxy struggles to maintain a peace treaty signed in haste. The Commonwealth boasts sprawling cities built upon slums. The Sovereignty has placed the yoke of industry upon its citizens. Sixteen men and women are connected in a way they cannot yet understand. A murder of a prominent artist begins a chain of events that will ultimately determine the fate of the universe.

Only thirteen will remain.

In the end, there can be only one Prime.

Are you a Prime?

Interested yet? I sure hope so. If you are, then how about a brief excerpt? Check it out at: http://authordanobrien.com/2016/03/05/preview-of-sixth-prime/

Perhaps you want to order the Kindle version for only $2.99? http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01ENLPOVG


rustic-author-danDan O’Brien has written over 50 books, including the bestselling Bitten (which was featured on Conversations Book Club’s Top 100 novels of 2012). Before starting Amalgam, he was the senior editor and marketing director for an international magazine. In addition, he has spent over a decade in the publishing industry as a freelance editor. You can learn more about his literary and publishing consulting business by visiting his website at: www.amalgamconsulting.com.

Dystopia
July 17, 2016 posted by Nichole

New Adult Event: Guest Post from Author Courtney Ruggles: New Adult Meets Dystopian!

   Hi, everyone! Welcome back!

I’m excited to continue our New Adult event by introducing you all to author Courtney Ruggles. Courtney is the author of the Domicile series, an NA dystopian series! Today, Courtney has stopped by for a special guest post to discuss why she writes in the NA genre and its connections to dystopian novels.

About Courtney Ruggles:

courtney

Courtney’s love for writing started pretty much when she learned to read, which her mother would tell you was a feat in itself back when she was in the first grade. Once she aced those flashcards with vocabulary words, Courtney’s writing took off.  And her love with it.  In school, she was always writing short stories on a word processor (What?? Word processor with floppy disks?). Oh yes, she literally had a card filing case full of floppy disks.

Now getting her Doctorate in social work, she’s used this education to help her write some of the gritty issues entwined in her stories. When Courtney isn’t writing her next book while drinking coffee, you can find her doing homework (drag) with chocolate chip flavored coffee, reading series of books (because school books are only so interesting) while drinking pumpkin flavored coffee, playing with her little boy, or daydreaming of future beach houses while drinking some other scrumptious flavor of coffee.

 

 

Media Links

Website: www.courtneyruggles.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorCRuggles

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCourtneyRuggles/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

Instagram: @courtneyruggles

 

   Dystopia is saturating the market is what’s being heard through the industry, that publishers and agents are refusing to publish more dystopians.  And after hits like Divergent and Hunger Games, of course the realm of books would see an upsurge of dystopians. 

                Because we love them.  Whether it’s because of the imaginative worlds, the unique fights, the twists and exaggerations of actual truths in our current society, we cannot get enough of dystopians.  With our new founded love, the subgenre of dystopia will morph into its own genre with established subcategories and flourish.  In my opinion anyway, we just have to give it the coals and oxygen it needs to catch fire.

                I can already see this emergence. With the critics roaring about oversaturation of dystopian, we’ve seen many of those mainstream stories in the YA category.  But I write new adult. Just recently during a panel discussion, I was asked why I wrote new adult dystopian rather than the popular young adult. In a panel of twelve dystopian authors, only two of us strayed from YA into the NA world.  

                Why? It’s rather simple.  I find it more fun.  First of all, it’s more realistic for me. The heroin and hero in The Sixth Domicile are in their twenties.  Because when I was sixteen like some of the other dystopian heroes, I was not worried about saving the world.  Instead, I was worried about buying my next awesome name brand shirt, having enough gas money to drive my friends to the movies, or blaring the coolest bands with my sunroof open in my beat up Mazda MX6. I was too immature to think outside my bubble and when those thoughts of doing more than the shallow teen I was, they simply bounced away. Saving myself was unrealistic, let along an entire people.

                The other author and I shared our reasons for writing new adult with the group. Because teenagers are mostly self-centered (yes, there are exceptions, but it’s the age! They are supposed to be self-centered as they discover themselves) which leaves them unable to understand the magnitude of their choices.  With my characters, one of the aspects which sets them apart from other dystopians I’ve read is the ability to realize consequences of their choices, empathize even with the protagonists, and transition (while stumbling) into those major adult decisions. It’s a new take, a new feel with perspectives that are more mature and perhaps a little more relatable.

                Plus, I get to write sex scenes and that’s a blast in itself.

                As dystopia continues to take off and “saturate” the book world, I look forward to seeing more ways this genre branches out such as in new adult. The creativeness in dystopians will never be limited and the amazing, imaginative people who create these stories will continue to do so. So I write NA dystopian, pioneering through a new genre. Which genre will you pioneer through? 😉


sixthThe Sixth Domicile (The Domicile Series Book 1) by Courtney Ruggles

Published on January 20th, 2016

Published by Elephantine Publishing

Genre: New Adult Dystopian

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28405871-the-sixth-domicile?ac=1&from_search=true

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Sixth-Domicile-Book-ebook/dp/B017O08SDO/192-0301566-9071950?ie=UTF8&redirect=true

In a future ravaged by greed and war, The Domicile has emerged. A new civilization governed by clandestine Elders where citizens are united by white masks and uniform identities. To remove one’s mask, to go outside the Domicile, to show defiance, means being sent to the Meurtre, a horrifying death sentence.

Q437B doesn’t follow the rules. She craves sunlight, dares to love her childhood friend B116A, and–the most forbidden of all–has seen the true face of her beloved beneath his mask.

But when Q becomes an Adulte, The Domicile threatens to take away everything that makes her happy. She is forced to marry an abusive soldier who demands she conform.

Whispers spread about the unconventional lessons she teaches her new students. And when Q openly disobeys the Elders, the people become restless, questioning the truth of the world in the wake of such defiance.

Rumblings of discontent stir as others begin to follow the path toward their freedom. The Revolution has begun, and Q is the spark that ignited the flames.

The Sixth Domicile is book 1 in the Domicile Series, A New Adult dystopian. Fans of Veronica Roth’s Divergent and Ally Condie’s Matched series will love The Sixth Domicile.