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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A TOTES Awesome Love Letter & Giveaway! {THE BURNING SKY/PERILOUS SEA}

From Becca & Andye 



Dear Readers,

Every once in awhile there is a story that touches our hearts more than others. There is a story that is so beautiful and exciting and moving and creative that we just can't let it go with a simple review or two.

This is one of those stories.

We couldn't just move on. We had to know more! So we did some digging. Sleuthing.

I can't tell you how we came by this letter from Titus to his Beloved. Oooh, wonder who that is! Maybe we snuck into Titus' bedroom at school. You'll never prove it. So just stop worrying about how it happened, and just say thank you.

You're welcome!

Read. And fall in love.

Beloved,

You came back.
You came back.
I know I told you that I am glad. And I know you sensed my immense relief. But you cannot possibly know just how jubilant I am. Even now, hours afterwards, I walk on clouds.
Such a marvelous feeling, to not be alone. And such a pure, humbling joy, to learn that you moved mountains to come back to school, so we could be together again. (Figurative mountains, that is, since you could probably move literal mountains too.)
And yet…
Do you know that every day of this past summer, even as I fretted over how you would possibly make your way back, part of me—a small, yet insistent part—prayed that you would not. This part of me wanted you to find the safe house in the Labyrinthine Mountains and stay there, sheltered from the searching eyes of Atlantis.
You could have remained hidden your whole life, surrounded by peace and beauty, untroubled by the strife of the outside world.
But you came back.
I wish you to live forever; yet by keeping you close to me, I all but guarantee the opposite.  And so it was that in my thrill, there was a small, yet unmistakable strain of sorrow.
Until you said to me, I am not meant to be kept safe. I am meant for fearsome risks and epic clashes.
I am grateful for everything about you—your wit, your smile, your kindness, the swagger in your gait as you walk across a cricket pitch. But above all, I am grateful for your valor, for that generosity of your bravery which would overcome not only your own fear, but mine too.
I live for you—and you alone.

Titus

*Sigh*

Do you understand why we are in love with Titus??

To celebrate our love, and the recovery of this most precious love letter, we have a very special giveaway for you.

You may have seen Becca's amazing totes (If you haven't, you are missing out, for sure!) She has an ETSY shop where you can order pre-made totes, or get one custom made!

It absolutely pains me to offer this tote up and not just keep it for myself, but here goes . . .

Becca is giving away this amazing tote to ONE OF YOU *sobs*


And, because we want to MAKE SURE that you have read The Burning Sky and The Perilous Sea, we will also be giving away a copy of either book 1 or book 2, depending on your preference! Say a huge THANK YOU to Booki at Harper Teen for providing that!

And thank you, Sherry, for playing along, and for this amazing series that you've given us!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Danielle Ellison Takes Over the Blog! {FOLLOW ME THROUGH DARKNESS}

By Danielle Ellison


My book releases today!!!! (I’m still trying to process that.)

Giving birth to a book baby, creating something to put out there into the world, is a big deal. It’s not a feeling I can describe. Each book that you create comes with a new feeling.

Follow Me Through Darkness is my third release this year. Third. Going from zero to three in a year has been a crazy journey. (One that all of you have made unforgettable!) But it feels like my first. It’s a totally new experience, a totally terrifying one that carries a different kind of weight than my other two books. This is the first of a trilogy. (Goodness knows I have enough story to tell in three books but will all of you stick with me for three books?! I hope so!) The first of my heart. This is the book that I’ve spent four years pouring into. That I’ve dreamed of sharing with everyone. That I’ve cried over, grown up with, hoped and prayed and wished would strike something in everyone who reads it. It’s a huge part of my life.

I’ve talked for weeks now all over the internet how much this book means to me, how long it’s been with me, and the journey that we’ve gone through together. .

And now, it’s yours. .

It was just mine, for four years, and now it becomes your book. I created it for you.

That’s the most intense and crazy and exciting part of this whole publishing thing. I create for you. I’m literally feel like I’m handing all of you a piece of my soul right now and praying that you won’t hate it. .

But now it’s not about me anymore.

It’s about you. It’s about Neely and her world and if you connect with it. It’s about if you will love it, or hate it, or what you feel. It’s yours to experience—and that’s way too exciting for me to express here!

Thank you for letting me share this story with you. I’m so lucky, so pleased, that now it’s your book. I really hope that you read it. ☺


* Whew! That was emotional. I’m going to go eat gluten free cake now! You want some?



About the Book:

The truth won't always set you free.

Less than a year ago, Neely Ambrose’s biggest worry was having the freedom to follow a path that wasn't chosen for her.

Less than a year ago, she believed she could trust the Elders who said they had everyone’s best interest at heart and who said they were keeping them safe from the outside.

Sixty days ago, she discovered what they had planned for everyone she loved—and that all of it centered around her.

Now she’s on the run through a dangerous wasteland full of killing machines, secret organizations, and people who want to sell her back to the Elders for their own safety. The whole world outside the Compound is living proof that everything in Neely’s life was a lie manufactured by the Elders, which may even include the boy she loves.

All Neely wants is the truth, but each new piece of it drives her further from what she thought she knew. With only forty days until everyone she loves falls under the Elders’ mind control, Neely must decipher who to trust, what questions to ask, and how to get one step ahead of the Elders, who will do anything to keep their secrets buried.

Add FOLLOW ME THROUGH DARKNESS to Goodreads

Order A Copy: Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Your indie // One More Page Books (signed copies)

About the Author:

When she’s not writing, Danielle is usually drinking coffee, fighting her nomadic urges, watching too much TV, or dreaming of the day when she can be British. Danielle is also the author of SALT and STORM, a series about a snarky witch without magic. She has settled in Northern Virginia, for now, but you can always find her on twitter @DanielleEWrites.

Website || Twitter || Instagram || Tumblr || Facebook
 
Danielle Ellison spent of her childhood reading instead of learning math. It's probably the reason she can't divide without a calculator and has spent her life seeking the next adventure. It's also probably the reason she's had so many different zip codes and jobs.

{Indie Spotlight} GIDEON LEE by Lisa Orchard



GideonLee 500x750

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you!

My new release is coming October 21st and it's going to be on sale for $.99! This is the first book in the Starlight Chronicles and I'm very excited about this series! Check out the excerpt below!

A great YA read!

Lark Singer’s relationship with her mother is prickly to say the least. As she enters a musical competition that could launch her career, Lark also searches for answers her mother would rather keep hidden. Throw into the mix the fact her best friend Bean has been acting strangely, and Lark finds herself launched into uncharted territory. Will her quest for answers sabotage her musical aspirations?


Chapter One I want to be like Gideon Lee. My lips move as I read the title of my essay. They twitch as I stifle a snicker. Looking around the room, I make sure no one has seen my facial tic. My eyes light upon the Presidents’ pictures lined up on the wall. They face me, each with a unique expression, and I wonder what they were thinking while they posed. They are above the clock so my gaze naturally falls on it. It’s almost time for lunch.

I settle back in my seat and my lips twitch again. A feeling of defiant exhilaration washes over me like a tidal wave.

 Montgomery’s going to freak when he reads this.

Despite my best efforts, a giggle escapes and the boy in front of me turns around and gives me the evil eye. I return the glare. He is slumped over, and sweat beads on his upper lip. I think this is odd — it’s rather chilly in the room — but dismiss it before I turn back to my essay.  

I bet old man Montgomery doesn’t even know who Gideon Lee is. This thought sends another giggle to the surface, but I quickly squash it by biting my lip.

I picture him searching Gideon Lee’s name on the Internet. I see his expression changing from confusion to disgust. I imagine him taking off his black, thick-rimmed glasses and shaking his head. I hear him mutter, “Lark Singer, what are you doing?” He rubs his face. I can actually hear the rough sandpapery sound as his hand finds his day old stubble. He sighs and puts his glasses back on. “What am I going to do with you?”

I remember when Mr. Montgomery first told us about the assignment. We were supposed to write an essay on someone we admire, someone who has contributed to society in some way. I know when he says this he wants us to write about an a historical figure. After all this is history class, but I raised my hand anyway.

“Lark,” he called out as he stood at his lectern.

“Do they have to be dead?”

He cocked his head as he studied me with his piercing blue eyes. Then he ran his hand over his military style crew cut, and I watched as his salt and pepper hair flattened then popped back into place as if each hair was standing at attention. I could tell he wasn’t sure where this was going. “Well… I guess not.” That’s when he froze, as if he realized he had just opened a door for me and he wasn’t going to like what was on the other side. He shifted his weight, and looked down at the floor before he backpedaled. “But they have to have made a positive contribution to society. It can’t be about a mobster or anything like that.” Pursing his lips, he stared at me, fiddling with those glasses. “This is one half of your semester grade, Lark. I wouldn’t pull any funny stuff.”

“Oh, I won’t. Scout’s honor,” I answered sweetly, placing my hand over my heart and giving him the scout salute, while inside I planned my rebellion.  

I have him. I’m going to write about Gideon Lee, and there’s nothing he can do about it.

Monday, October 20, 2014

THE FIRE ARTIST by Daisy Whitney {Review}

Review by Valerie 

THE FIRE ARTIST
by Daisy Whitney
Age Range: 12 - 17 years
Grade Level: 7 and up
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens (October 14, 2014)
Goodreads | Amazon

Aria is an elemental artist—she creates fire from her hands. But her power is not natural. She steals it from lightning. It’s dangerous and illegal in her world. When she’s recruited to perform, she seizes the chance to get away from her family. But her power is fading too fast to keep stealing from the sky. She has no choice but to turn to a Granter—a modern day genie. She gets one wish at an extremely high price. Aria’s willing to take a chance, but then she falls in love with the Granter . . . and he wants his freedom. Aria must decide what she’s willing to bargain and how much her own heart, body, and soul are worth.

In a world where the sport of elemental powers is the most popular form of entertainment, readers will be swept away by a romance with stakes higher than life and death. 
The Fire Artist is quite the weird book; I wouldn’t say it all good or all bad, it’s just really weird. In this world, there are elemental artists who create beautiful displays and our main character, Aria, is one of them…. Kind of. You see, elements start to show around the age of thirteen but Aria was a late bloomer and she ended up stealing her fire from the skies (more on why in the next paragraph). Naturally, it’s killing her because that is what happens when your best friend (Elise, an air user) has to strike you in the heart with lightening. It’s an intriguing world that they live in.

The reason that Aria steals fire is because her father, a royal douchebag, took a match to her hands for years trying to coax the fire out of her. He promised her that fire doesn’t hurt fire users but that wasn’t true; her hands are scarred from years of torment and it’s really heartbreaking. Her older brother was sent to jail for setting cars on fire which meant that her father put all of his desperation onto Aria. It’s such a recognizable scenario, a parent who lost their dream forces their child into a life that they don’t want and it is just terribly sad. Aria was scared of her father but she tried to be strong because her mother was ill and she wanted to protect her younger sister from his evils. She was a really brave character and I appreciated that fact about her. Her scars run much deeper than her hands and the book talks about that a lot which was hard to read. Aria frequently referenced her trauma and since the author wrote about her abusive father, I was appreciative that she also mentioned her trauma that followed her around.

Aria has taken on so much responsibility to take care of her entire family and all of her actions are taken from that initial foundation that we were given. A series of events occur and she feels like in order to protect her family, she must find a granter (a genie) and ask for the natural gift of fire. Now here is where the real story begins; she meets a granter named Taj and they start to fall for each other. This book honestly isn’t even about her powers; it’s more about the granters. I read this more like Just One Wish than anything else. Things happen and craziest occurs with all of that but spoilers…

It was interesting at times but not entirely great as a whole. I felt like this novel was 40% abusive father, 40% genie love/drama, and only 20% fire artist which is odd considering the title…. If you really like genies, I think that this could be the book for you.
https://twitter.com/valercrazy

Friday, October 17, 2014

A Letter to GLORY O'BRIEN'S HISTORY OF THE FUTURE by A.S. King

Review by Becca 

Glory O'Brien's History of the Future
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (October 14, 2014)
Language: English
Goodreads | Amazon

Graduating from high school is a time of limitless possibilities--but not for Glory, who has no plan for what's next. Her mother committed suicide when Glory was only four years old, and she's never stopped wondering if she will eventually go the same way...until a transformative night when she begins to experience an astonishing new power to see a person's infinite past and future. From ancient ancestors to many generations forward, Glory is bombarded with visions--and what she sees ahead of her is terrifying: A tyrannical new leader raises an army. Women's rights disappear. A violent second civil war breaks out. And young girls vanish daily, sold off or interned in camps. Glory makes it her mission to record everything she sees, hoping her notes will somehow make a difference. She may not see a future for herself, but she'll do anything to make sure this one doesn't come to pass. 
Dear Glory O'Brien's History of the Future,

Holy moly! Your name is gargantuan! So I'm just going to call you Glory from here on out, kay? Anyways, you were my very first A.S. King novel, and I was really excited about you, because your author is pretty much a big deal in the world of YA. I was curious to see what the fuss was all about. I'm happy to say that you were a very enlightening read, and one that I was riveted to as well.

Your main character's, Glory O'Brien, mother killed herself when she was younger, and ever since, Glory has pretty much destined herself to the same fate. She has no idea what she wants to do with life, or if she even belongs, until the day that she starts seeing visions of the future every time she looks at someone, which ultimately ends up changing everything.

I'll admit, you have some tough issues inside your pages, Glory. There's mentions of sex, STD's, suicide, some cussing, and (gasp) feminism, but these are all very real issues in our day and age. They were all needed inside your pages, but I'll admit maybe you might be a bit much for some of the younger crowd. But the fact that your character is so much a feminist really made me excited. It's not very often that I come across a book that talks about women's rights as much as you, and I LOVED that fact about you. Bravo to your author! Seriously. Standing ovation.

But back to your characters. Glory is a little bit different, but not in a bad way. I liked that she was stand-offish to most people, because I'm the same way, and her best friend was kind of like one I had back in the day. You know they aren't a very good friend, but you keep hanging out with them anyways. I totally got that. I wish Glory would've had a better relationship with her dad though. I know her mother's death kind of drove a hole in both of their lives, but I was happy to see them get closer with each page I turned.

Now, the visions that Glory sees are addicting. I'm not sure if that's the right word, but I looked forward to those parts the most. They were frightening, and something that I could see happening. I don't think I would've been able to handle seeing all of those visions as well as Glory did though.

All in all, I think you are a fabulous read, Glory O'Brien's History of the Future. You were different, in a good way, and stand out from the crowd. I don't think you're a book that I would read again, but I did enjoy you quite a bit. I would think that readers of Andrew Smith would really love you, though. Your writing was in the same vein. Four stars to you, Glory!

Pondering the Future,
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