Saturday, March 30, 2013

Stacking the Shelves and In My Mailbox #33


Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and features books you've added to your shelves, both physical and virtual. In My Mailbox from the Story Siren is another meme that highlights the books that bloggers have bought or received for review.

Bought:
The Bird by Jo Michaels

For Review:
January Black by Wendy S. Russo

Rush Me by Allison Parr

A Moment by Marie Hall

White Trash Beautiful by Teresa Mummert

Head Over Heels by Cindy Procter-King

Matchplay by Dakota Madison

Friday, March 29, 2013

Second Sight Book Four FAQs

Since the release of Dark Premonitions last week, I received some questions about the fourth book of the series. Warning! The following does contain spoilers from the third book, so don't continue if you have yet to read it.

When will Second Sight Book Four be released?

I don't have a firm date yet, but most likely it'll come out in early September.

How many books are in the series?

Second Sight Book Four will be the final novel in the series. I have been tossing around the idea of a prequel novella that takes place during the time Kate went into the coma and awoke with her powers. However, the fourth book will most likely be released first.

Is Kate dead?

She's dead-ish, lol. The final scene with Jared's mother takes place in the inbetween. The book will open where the third book left out and readers will find out Rose Corbett's role in everything that has happened to Kate and Jared up to this point.

Will Declan still come between Kate and Jared?

Declan is going to play a pivotal role in the final book. Jared and Declan team up to find out who attacked Kate and develop a sort of shaky friendship.

Will Kate and Jared EVER have sex? (This one is actually from my hubby hehe.)

There are a few love scenes in Second Sight Book Four and since it's been building up for so long, they have to be epic, right?

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Review: After Math by Denise Grover Swank

Goodreads Summary:

Scarlett Goodwin’s world is divided into Before and After.

Before she agreed to tutor Tucker price, college junior Scarlett was introvert, struggling with her social anxiety and determined to not end up living in a trailer park like her mother and her younger sister. A mathematics major, she goes to her classes, to her job in the tutoring lab, and then hides in the apartment she shares with her friend, Caroline.

After junior Tucker Price, Southern University’s star soccer player enters the equation, her carefully plotted life is thrown off its axis. Tucker’s failing his required College Algebra class. With his eligibility is at risk, the university chancellor dangles an expensive piece of computer software for the math department if Scarlett agrees to privately tutor him.Tucker’s bad boy, womanizer reputation makes Scarlett wary of any contact, let alone spending several hours a week in close proximity.

But from her first encounter, she realizes Tucker isn’t the person everyone else sees. He carries a mountain of secrets which she suspects hold the reason to his self-destructive behavior. But the deeper she delves into the cause of his pain, the deeper she gets sucked into his chaos. Will Scarlett find the happiness she’s looking for, or will she be caught in Tucker’s aftermath?

Wow this book has officially started my jock boy book kick! Tucker, the hot soccer star, had me swooning! Besides my new book crush, I loved how the novel was so much more than a cute nerd girl/popular jock boy romance and the author brought together two broken people to heal one another.

The story is told from Scarlett’s POV, a math major suffering from anxiety problems. Anxiety disorders are fairly common, but this was actually one of the first books I read that I felt accurately showed the thoughts associated with the conditions. I wanted Scarlett to snap out of it, but empathized with how simple things were incredibly hard for her such as attending parties or walking in late to class.

Tucker starts off as the cliché bad boy soccer star. He has a rep as a womanizer and wild partier. Although his past is hinted at, I liked that it wasn’t thrown in the reader’s face. I sometimes find it hard to cheer for a couple when the boy is shown sleeping around at the start of the book. When Scarlett starts to tutor him, she sees a softer side and what the “real” Tucker is like. They both try to deny their attraction, but they build a connection quickly.

Tucker and Scarlett both had rough upbringings and I thought the way they tried to help each other through their problems was very sweet. Anxiety controls Scarlett’s life while Tucker is forced onto the path of trying to play pro soccer, although he no longer enjoys the sport. They have a very intense relationship and I loved how Tucker tried to help her get a handle on her anxiety in social situations. Scarlett was so supportive and honest with Tucker, something he feels he never had in his life.

The writing flowed well for me and I liked how the author really didn’t shy away from sharing many of Scarlett’s insecurities. The characters felt very authentic to me and a lot of the drama that can happen on campus was realistic.

SPOILER ALERT My only complaint is that once the romance happens between the two, it felt sort of rushed. After all the buildup, I wanted more of the drama that could’ve came as two characters with major issues tried to have a relationship. END OF SPOILER

Can’t wait to see what else is available by the author since I really loved this one! I don’t think a sequel is planned, but I definitely would love to see another story featuring Scarlett and Tucker.

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

I received a copy of this book for my honest review.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Blue Hearts of Mars by Nicole Grotepas Book Blast and $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway



Blue Hearts of Mars by Nicole Grotepas




Retta Heikkinen knows the unspoken rule of society: love between androids and humans is forbidden. A simple enough edict until Hemingway Koskinen spends an evening charming her with his intense gaze, bewitching smile, and sparkling conversation that hints at so much more than the usual obsessions of high school boys. Rules were meant to be cast aside, especially when love beckons.



If only it were as simple as being in love.



Trouble is brewing, not just for Hemingway--for all androids. Secrets have been kept, lies propagated, and Retta soon discovers that a frightening future awaits thousands of androids if she doesn’t do something to stop it. Worse yet, she will lose the one love she’s ever endangered herself for: Hemingway.







Praise



"Nothing like I've read before. A true original story! Everything is so well described. Now if they could make a follow up book and movie, that would be great!" ~Mrs. Z (Amazon)



"I was addicted to this book from the beginning. Life on Mars was very real and not at all a sci fi world I didn't understand . . . I found myself rooting for Retta and Hemingway from the very beginning. Easy reading, couldn't put it down and had it read in a weekend. Waiting for a sequel!" ~TNielsen (Amazon)



"The ending of this book is exceptional. While it was different from what I imagined, the way the author brought in a shocking revelation was amazing. I probably reread the last chapter 3 times letting it sink in and the meaning behind it. It was truly beautiful . . . I would love to see more of Retta and Hemingway!" ~Kat Meyer, (Goodreads)



"I love how the author populated Mars . . . so descriptive and comprehensive . . . I could clearly picture everything as if I was seeing the movie &/or was along for the ride. . . . Retta, the main character, is strong, opinionated, and a great champion for her cause." ~Megan (Amazon)



"I had been in the worst reading slump ever and came across this on Goodreads and thought I'd give it a try. Well, I was pleasantly surprised on how funny and exciting and mysterious it was . . . Mei, Retta's bff, had me laughing out loud quite a bit as well as Retta herself. I'd definitely hang out with those two." ~Deanneluvbooks (Goodreads)







Blue Hearts of Mars has made it to the quarterfinals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.



Readers are invited to download the excerpts (here) and rate and comment on the entries. So please, if you want to contribute, download and rate Blue Hearts! Your support is incredibly appreciated!





Or purchase the full version of the book here: Amazon









Author Nicole Grotepas



Nicole wrote her first fantasy novel in 7th grade on her mother's old Brother typewriter. It was never finished but it strongly resembled a Dragonlance plot and she's forever wondered what happened to the manuscript and Tonathan--the handsome elven protagonist. After living in Nashville where she worked as an editor, she returned to the Utah desert where she was raised. Nicole now lives near the Wasatch mountains with her husband. She writes and raises her son and three cats full time.









Tour Schedule











Book Blast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 4/14/13



Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.





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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Review: Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Goodreads Summary:

Finally, the highly anticipated follow-up to the New York Times bestseller Beautiful Disaster. Can you love someone too much?
Travis Maddox learned two things from his mother before she died: Love hard. Fight harder.

In Walking Disaster, the life of Travis is full of fast women, underground gambling, and violence. But just when he thinks he is invincible, Abby Abernathy brings him to his knees.

Every story has two sides. In Beautiful Disaster, Abby had her say. Now it’s time to see the story through Travis’s eyes.


Publication Date: April 2, 2013

Wow, that was one crazy trip! I understand now why people get so worked up one way or another over these characters from the Beautiful Disaster series. Reading Travis and Abby’s story was addictive and I literally couldn’t put the book down.

As a little background, I never finished reading Beautiful Disaster. I had downloaded it ages ago when it came out with that awful cover featuring an open mouth with some weird crap on the tongue. I didn’t really like the characters so didn’t get past the first few chapters. Here's a refresher in case you never saw the old cover:


For Walking Disaster, I still couldn’t stand the characters. Those people were awful! There was so much misogyny from both the men and the women, a lot of it was hard to stomach. At the beginning of the book, Travis was seriously such a douche bag. I felt myself growing violent every time he called a girl a slut or a ho. The girls were just as bad! Some people sleep around in college, it doesn’t make them deserving of being called a STD riddled whore. But just because their actions weren’t right, it doesn’t mean that this kind of behavior doesn’t happen.

Once Travis and Abby get together, Travis had flashes of likability. But his violent and controlling side kept me from being completely Team Travis. Yet, I could see how he was getting frustrated with Abby, she kept sending mixed signals and was so wishy-washy. Honestly, the only character I really liked was Shep, who seemed like the voice of reason that everyone told to shut up all the time.  

However, I must admit, it’s still a good story and a lot of it is very realistic. People do have crazy and destructive relationships. I knew several couples that had intense relationships where half of the time they had crazy fights and broke up and the other half they were deliriously happy and wanted to get married.

I’m kind of torn on whether I should’ve read BD first. In one sense, I feel like WD may have been less exciting to read since I would’ve already known the story. On the other hand, a lot of things that must have happened in the first book were glossed over in WD. Like Travis mentions how Abby is almost hurt at one of his fights, but it’s never fully explained what happened. There’s also not a lot of character development, so I found myself a little confused over who was who.

It was definitely interesting being inside of Travis’s head! I think fans of the series are really going to enjoy his take on his relationship with Abby. I see what all of the fuss is about, I finished the book days ago and I still can’t stop thinking about the characters.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book for review!      

Monday, March 25, 2013

Cover Reveal: Tragic by J.A. Huss



Tragic by J.A. Huss
Publication date:  May 20th 2013 
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance


Synopsis:
Rook Walsh is TRAGIC

Because life so far – just sucks.  Some girls get parents.  Rook got the foster care system.  Some girls get Prince Charming.  Rook got an abusive frog.  Some girls get lucky…

Rook got a second chance.

And she took it.  Because when fate throws you a bone – you grab it with both hands and run.

Antoine Chaput knows the minute he spies Rook in his photography studio that she’s got The Look.  The dark and desperate look he must have to land the exclusive TRAGIC media contract.

Rook is paired up with top model, Ronin, and he’s everything her abusive ex-boyfriend wasn’t. Patient, gentle, happy, attentive, and sexy!  He knows exactly what to do to make Rook blush for Antoine’s portfolio.

Rook’s luck changes in an instant and suddenly she’s the darling of the modeling world.  It’s a dream job to go with a dream guy and all she has to do is look pretty and follow directions. But there’s always a price to pay – and Rook is about to get the bill.

TRAGIC is a new adult contemporary romance.


----

AUTHOR BIO
J. A. Huss likes to write new adult books that make you think and keep you guessing. Her favorite genre to read is space opera, but since practically no one reads those books, she writes new adult science fiction, paranormal romance, contemporary romance, urban fantasy, and books about Junco (who refuses to be saddled with a label). 

She has an undergraduate degree in horses, (yes, really–Thank you, Colorado State University) and a master’s degree in forensic toxicology from the University of Florida. She used to have a job driving around Colorado doing pretty much nothing but shooting the breeze with farmers, but now she just writes, runs the New Adult Addiction and Clean Teen Reads Book Blogs, and runs an online science classroom for homeschoolers.

Author links:


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Stacking the Shelves and In My Mailbox #32

I got some really good books for review this week! So excited!!!

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and features books you've added to your shelves, both physical and virtual. In My Mailbox from the Story Siren is another meme that highlights the books that bloggers have bought or received for review.

For Review:
Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

After Math by Denise Grover Swank

Residue by Laury Falter

Shallow Pond by Alissa Grosso

Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton

Friday, March 22, 2013

Kick Butt Characters Blog Hop Giveaway



2nd Annual Kick Butt Characters Hop
March 23rd - 28th


Winner will receive the choice of either The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa, Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi, Insurgent by Veronica Roth or Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi. International giveaway. Choice of eBook will be sent via Amazon.com or BN.com.

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Review: Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker

Goodreads Summary:

Kacey Cleary’s whole life imploded four years ago in a drunk-driving accident. Now she’s working hard to bury the pieces left behind—all but one. Her little sister, Livie. Kacey can swallow the constant disapproval from her born-again aunt Darla over her self-destructive lifestyle; she can stop herself from going kick-boxer crazy on Uncle Raymond when he loses the girls’ college funds at a blackjack table. She just needs to keep it together until Livie is no longer a minor, and then they can get the hell out of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

But when Uncle Raymond slides into bed next to Livie one night, Kacey decides it’s time to run. Armed with two bus tickets and dreams of living near the coast, Kacey and Livie start their new lives in a Miami apartment complex, complete with a grumpy landlord, a pervert upstairs, and a neighbor with a stage name perfectly matched to her chosen “profession.” But Kacey’s not worried. She can handle all of them. What she can’t handle is Trent Emerson in apartment 1D.

Kacey doesn’t want to feel. She doesn’t. It’s safer that way. For everyone. But sexy Trent finds a way into her numb heart, reigniting her ability to love again. She starts to believe that maybe she can leave the past where it belongs and start over. Maybe she’s not beyond repair.

But Kacey isn’t the only one who’s broken. Seemingly perfect Trent has an unforgiveable past of his own; one that, when discovered, will shatter Kacey’s newly constructed life and send her back into suffocating darkness.


Publication Date: December 11, 2012

Just a warning, this is going to be a gushing review where I basically declare my love for this awesome book! I loved everything about it! This was definitely a character driven novel and so many of the scenes left me emotionally spent.

Kacey, the main character, has been through hell and back. A horrific drunk driving accident rips her parents, boyfriend and best friend from her in an instant. Kacey is the sole survivor, living with the emotional and physical repercussions from the accident. After her uncle tries to molest her little sister Livie, they take off to start over in Miami.

Kacey is very closed off emotionally at the start of the novel, but it’s easy to see glimpses of her softer side when it comes to her interactions with Livie. She’d do anything for her sister, including making an effort to befriend the neighbors that live in their new apartment building.

When Kacey meets her sexy new neighbor Trent, I was expecting the book to turn into scene after scene of the two of them doing it. This was so not what the book was like. Although there’s definitely some sexy scenes, a favorite being where Trent saves Kacey from a snake in the shower, it was really a story about two damaged characters learning how to heal and live and love again.

I did guess the twist, but it still didn’t make it any less heart wrenching. I wasn’t sure if I could handle Kacey not getting a happy ending. She really pulled at my heart and it was obvious how much of a risk she was taking by letting Trent in and opening up to him.

The secondary characters were all awesome and well written. Storm could have come off as a cliché, but she didn’t at all. I loved her and her daughter and was glad when the possibility of romance came into her life as well.

Loved the writing style too. The emotions of Kacey jumped off of the page and I felt like I was drowning in the pain, right alongside her. I honestly can’t praise this book enough, it was an absolutely fabulous NA book!

Rating: 5/5 Stars

A few favorite quotes:

“I don't hate you. I could never hate you. Give me your heart, Kacey. I'll take everything that comes with it.”

“I barrel into his arms, my mouth connecting with his. Seizing him. Feeling him. Loving him.”

“I can feel his very existence as if it's wrapping its hand around my soul, cradling it, trying to protect it from harm and I'm terrified. Terrified because I don't ever want the feeling to end.”

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book for review!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Picture Perfect by Camille Dixon Book Blast and eBook Giveaway


Picture Perfect by Camille Dixon 
Publication date: March 26th 2013 
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

Synopsis:
On the outside, Devin Thompson looks like he has it all - charm, good looks, and a scholarship every art major at Sanhope would kill for. But on the inside, he’s dying. His family is falling apart, his grades are dropping, and his girlfriend just dumped him for his hockey team rival, who also happens to be his younger brother. Not to mention he hasn’t been able to snap a decent picture for his senior portfolio in weeks. But when a sultry redhead with fire burning in her eyes struts across his path, he thinks he may have finally found his muse…

Angela “Angel” Davis learned early on that life never offers any hand-outs. And she’s getting burned out. Between juggling her nights as an exotic dancer at a men’s private club and struggling to keep up with her elementary education courses during the day, she barely has time to think of the future. Not that she wants to. The future implies planning, and Angel is no stranger to broken dreams. Then she meets Devin, a man who’s so wrong for her, yet she can’t seem to stay away from.

When Devin offers to take her on as his private model, Angel finds the cash hard to refuse. Each has something the other desperately needs, and neither one is willing to walk away. As their professional relationship spirals out of control into something more, they learn sometimes the wrong person can be the only right person, and that life - and people - are rarely picture perfect.


---

AUTHOR BIO
I'm a Southern girl who's spent the last few years freezing my toosh off up north. Except for the snow, things are pretty good. I love sunshine, sweet tea, and romances that touch my heart. A lifelong romantic, I found my own prince charming at an online dating site. Six months later, he asked me to marry him. Picture Perfect is my debut novel.

Author Links:


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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Ixeos by Jennings Wright Book Blast and $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway


Ixeos



The McClellands are enjoying a lazy summer vacation at the beach when they are lured from our world into Ixeos, an alternate Earth. Finding themselves lost in a maze of tunnels under Paris and surrounded by strangers, they discover that they have been brought to Ixeos for one purpose:  to take the planet back from humanoid aliens who have claimed it. With the aid of the tunnels and a mysterious man named Landon, the teens travel the world seeking the key that will allow them to free Darian, the long-imprisoned rebel leader. But the aliens aren't the only problem on Ixeos -- the McClellands have to deal with brutal gangs, desperate junkies, and a world without power, where all the technology is owned by the aliens, and where most of the population has been killed or enslaved. The worst part? There's no way home.










Author Jennings Wright





Born and raised in Florida, Jennings spent her early years reading anything she could get her hands on, when she wasn't spending time in and on the water. She won a prize in the 6th grade for her science fiction stories.



Jennings attended the University of Tampa, graduating with a B.A. in Political Science, and almost enough credits for B.A.s in both English and History. She attended graduate school at the University of West Florida, studying Psychology. She spent time over the years doing various kinds of business writing, editing, and teaching writing, but mostly having and raising her family, homeschooling her children, owning and running a business with her husband, and starting a non-profit.



Thanks to a crazy idea called NaNoWriMo Jennings got back into creative writing in 2011 and hasn't stopped since. She currently lives in North Carolina with her husband, also a business owner and writer, and two children, and travels extensively with her family, and her non-profit in Uganda.







Tour Schedule











Book Blast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 4/7/13



Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.



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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Cover and Synopsis Reveal: The Disappearing Girl by Heather Topham Wood


Kayla Marlowe is slowly vanishing…

Last year, Kayla’s world imploded. Her beloved father died, leaving her alone with a narcissistic mother who is quick to criticize her daughter’s appearance. During her winter break from college, Kayla’s dangerous obsession with losing weight begins.

Kayla feels like her world changes for the better overnight. Being skinny seems to be the key to the happiness she has desperately been seeking. Her mother and friends shower her with compliments, telling her how fantastic she looks. Kayla is starving, but no one knows it.

Cameron Bennett explodes into Kayla’s life. He’s sexy and kind—he has every quality she has been looking for in a guy. As Cameron grows closer to Kayla and learns of how far she’s willing to go to stay thin, he becomes desperate to save her.

Kayla’s struggles with anorexia and bulimia reach a breaking point and she is forced to confront her body image issues in order to survive. She wonders if Cameron could be the one to help heal her from the pain of her past. 

Add on Goodreads: The Disappearing Girl

Coming May 2013

This book is sort of a passion project for me and very different than my paranormal works. I felt really inspired to share Kayla's story and I think a lot of people are going to relate to her struggles with her weight. I'll be posting excerpts and other goodies in preparation of the May release.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Blog Tour Stop and Guest Post: Starseed by Liz Gruder

Starseed
Author: Liz Gruder
ISBN: 978-1937178291
Publisher: WiDo Publishing
Published: February 2013


SUMMARY

Kaila Guidry has always known she is different. When she meets Jordyn Stryker at school, she finds out just how different.

Jordyn was born and raised far from Earth, a starseed, one of six new students sent to Louisiana's Bush High to learn human ways. But Jordyn didn't count on meeting someone like Kaila.

When Kaila is pushed to her limit by high school bullying and cruelty, Jordyn awakens her to a new reality—and to love. But to prove herself, Kaila must look the other way as the real purposes of the starseeds unfold.

As the horrific plan behind the starseed visit to Earth moves inexorably forward, Kaila and Jordan, caught in an impossible love, must determine where their true loyalties lie.


Praise

"You know from the opening paragraph that something very strange is going on… We see Kaila try to live the life of a normal teen, and we see her "otherness" pull her back into an increasingly tangled web of questions, deceit, and hidden intentions. Liz really shines as a writer, lining the closets and drawers of everyday life with spine-chilling suspense that springs out at you when you least expect it. Starseed is an entertaining read. I highly recommend."
--Patricia B. Smith. Author “What the Animals Tell Me” and “Fifty Shades of Santa” (clean romance fiction)

"Liz Gruder’s characters come alive through youthful, spunky narrative, and her headstrong heroine, Kaila Guidry, elicits a reader’s encouragement from the first page. Fans of Amanda Hocking will find themselves similarly transported into Gruder’s exploration of the dark sides of faith, love, higher dimensions, and, of course, high school." --Jadie Jones, young-adult fantasy author

Purchase



Author Liz Gruder
As a youth, Liz Gruder saw a series of UFOs with her best friend while riding bikes. Ever since, she’s held a fascination for the stars. An avid reader, she used to hide under her covers and read with a flashlight. She has degrees in English and Psychology from Tulane University, a nursing license and a yoga certification. After going through Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Liz realized how short life is and is now slowly fulfilling her bucket list: she’s been to the Egyptian pyramids (totally awesome and thought provoking) and is now teaching yoga and writing speculative fiction. Starseed is her debut novel.

Goodreads * Twitter * Website * Blog * Facebook

Guest Post: Tips for Writing a Sci-Fi YA Novel

It’s essential to do a lot of research no matter what you’re writing. So, in undertaking a novel about extraterrestrials, I devoured everything I could on ETs and UFOs. If you read about a vampire putting on suntan lotion in a beach scene, you’d suspect the writer hadn’t done her homework and that author loses credibility. Likewise, since most UFO sightings are of saucer or triangular shaped craft, you don’t want a rocket ship. That’s why we laugh at black-and-white 1950s alien movies—because the scriptwriters were trying to create ships and aliens based on imagination and a 1950s technology.

There’s debate about the propulsion systems of UFOs, but most people agree they are silent, that they can make right-angles while flying in the sky, that they can simply disappear from sight. Rocket ships can’t do this, so clearly alien technology involves knowledge of physics most humans don’t currently have. So most of the research I did on UFOs is considered “fringe” science. It took me through an incredible ride of other dimensions, teleportation, telepathy and a hybrid program (creating a race of people who are half-human, half extraterrestrial).

While research can be fascinating, it won’t fascinate your readers in a novel unless you create characters the reader care about and put them in precarious situations. Research alone equals non-fiction. Fiction, first and foremost, must have characters that evoke emotion in the reader. When thinking of your fave novels, isn’t it because the situation and characters aroused emotion? It wasn’t because of the science or fantasy itself, but because the characters were put into a credible situation due to the research and then suffered, feared, loved and grew. A lot of science fiction can seem cold or clinical and that’s why I think characters and emotion are essential in YA sci-fi.

This is also why I think that a lot of YA sci-fi features a strong romance element. When you have a teen girl who is half-extraterrestrial and home-schooled because her family knows she’s different, then put her in high school where she meets a boy who is half extraterrestrial, yet raised far from Earth, you set up immediate attraction. Who hasn’t, at times, felt different and like an alien? Especially in high school when the judging can be so harsh and we are struggling to know our true selves. If you were half-ET, who could better understand than a real alien? You’d probably look at all the high school “groups” with equal puzzlement. We dream of meeting that “other half” that understands, that is in sync, that doesn’t ridicule or mock because we are different. Ridicule and mocking are for bullies and less evolved beings . . . .

It’s important to maintain consistency. I had a scene where Jordyn teleports Kaila to Egypt for her birthday. Now how can it be afternoon and sunny in Louisiana, USA and then afternoon and sunny in Egypt? Wouldn’t it be night time in Egypt? Not if aliens can access timelines and teleport to times in the past or future. So to arrive in sunny afternoon Egypt, Jordyn explains time and that they are actually standing in Egypt the “previous” afternoon.

The word “starseed” is a generic term, meaning someone who originates from the stars. Though many characters in Starseed are hybrids (biological half-human, half-extraterrestrial people), there are starseeds whose soul originates from other star systems yet placed in a human body. This is the basis for the character Priscilla Snowden, who exemplifies the truer meaning of what many understand as starseeds here on Earth. These starseeds are benevolent and wish for the raising of human consciousness. Many starseeds don’t even know they are starseeds, but have always had an interest in the stars and instinctively know they are different. Science or science fiction? … you decide.

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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Stacking the Shelves and In My Mailbox #31


Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and features books you've added to your shelves, both physical and virtual. In My Mailbox from the Story Siren is another meme that highlights the books that bloggers have bought or received for review.

For Review:
Golden by Jessi Kirby

Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker

The Body Electric by Allie Duzett

The Harvesting byMelanie Karsak

The Registry by Shannon Stoker

We Are Water by Wally Lamb

Friday, March 15, 2013

Strength by Carrie Butler Blog Tour Stop and Review


Strength by Carrie Butler
Series: Mark of Nexus #1 
Publication: March 7th 2013
by Sapphire Star Publishing 
Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance

Synopsis:
When college student Rena Collins finds herself nose-to-chest with the campus outcast, her rumor-laced notions are shattered. Handsome, considerate, and seemingly sane, Wallace Blake doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, screaming and banging on the walls of his dorm room. Hell, he doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, period.

Too curious for her own good, Rena vows to uncover the truth behind Wallace’s madman reputation--and how two seconds of contact had left her with bruises. Of course, there are a few setbacks along the way: guilt, admiration, feelings of the warm and fuzzy variety…

Not to mention the unwanted attention of Wallace's powerful, supernaturally-gifted family.

They’re a bloodline divided by opposing ideals, two soon-to-be warring factions that live in secret among us. When Rena ends up caught in their crossfire, Wallace has no choice but to save her by using his powers. Now they’re really in trouble. With war on the horizon and Rena’s life in the balance, he needs to put some distance between them. But Rena won’t let go. If fighting is what it takes to prove her own strength and keep Wallace in her life, then that’s what she’ll do--even if it means risking a whole lot more than her heart.


PURCHASE: 


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AUTHOR BIO
Carrie daydreamed her way through college—until they thrust a marketing degree into her hands, slapped a summa cum laude seal on the corner, and booted her out into a less-than-stellar job market. Instead of panicking at the prospect of unemployment, she used her Midwestern logic to steer into the skid and point her life in the direction she really wanted to go: writing out those daydreams.

Author Links:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carrieabutler

My Review:

This was a great debut from Carrie Butler! I loved the characters in the book, especially Wallace (swoon) and I’m excited to see where this story ends up going in future novels.


Rena was a strong female lead. She was tough when she needed be, especially when it came to looking out for Wallace. I loved how she refused to be pushed away by him, despite his insistence that he was only trying to protect her. The only thing I wish was that the author provided a little more background on Rena. I think this would’ve helped readers understand her motivations a little better.

Wallace was my favorite character in the book by a mile. It was refreshing to read about a romantic lead that didn’t have a womanizing past or a bad boy reputation. The author wrote Wallace with plenty of depth and I loved the natural development from friendship to romance between Rena and him. When Wallace’s bad boy brother Cole comes into the picture, I was so relieved that the author decided not to have Rena fall for him too. Although I didn’t want a romance between Cole and Rena, I did enjoy his one-liners.

Most of the novel is centered on Rena meeting Wallace and learning about his supernatural heritage. I was looking forward to the paranormal aspects to come into play and I found it took a really long time until they were finally introduced. The last quarter of the book felt rushed and I found myself a little overwhelmed with the inclusion of the new characters and plotlines.  

That being said, I get that this is a series starter and I think the author did a good job of laying the foundation for future books. I’d imagine the action would start quickly in the next novel and not be focused as much on the development of Rena and Wallace’s relationship. I’ll definitely read the next book and I hope it’s released soon. I need more Wallace NOW!

Rating: 4/5 Stars
 
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Thursday, March 14, 2013

3 Sides to a Circle by Jolene Perry and Janna Watts Blog Tour Stop and Review


Welcome to my stop on the 3 Sides of a Circle blog tour by Jolene Perry and Janna Watts hosted by YA Bound.  Click HERE to see the rest of the blog tour schedule!

3 Sides to a Circle
Release Date: 02/25/13
Paperback/e-book
205 pages

Summary from Goodreads:
Love is the ultimate rush.

Freshman year of college isn't easy. But with a friend like Libby Patterson, it is unforgettable.

Libby is honest and fearless and adorable. She's the girl on campus that everyone knows. The life of every party. Infectious and addictive, Libby captivates all those around her. Particularly her roommate Honor and their boy bestie Toby.

But three isn't always a magic number. And there's more to this trio than what everyone sees.

When Honor finds herself falling for an artist, and Libby doesn’t approve, and Toby finds himself watching Libby more than he should...the sides of their circle become strained.

The three are suddenly stretched between friendship, love and taking sides. They must fight to hold on to each other. But the tighter the hold, the harder it gets. Especially when Libby's unpredictability turns dangerous. Now it's up to Honor and Toby to save her from the downward spiral that could break their circle for good.


Where to buy 3 Sides of a Circle:

Author Bios:
Jolene wears juvenile T-shirts, worn-out Chucks, and eats too much chocolate. She makes up words, drinks Shirley Temples, and suffocates a little without her iPod. 

Janna wears juvenile pajama pants, worn-out Chucks, and wakes up ridiculously early. Pen name abuser. Rule Breaker. Trouble maker. Corrupter of youth. In books.

My Review:


This was a cute book about college friendships. I think the authors did a good job of showing how easily you can grow close to roommates and floormates in such a short time when beginning college. Honor, Libby and Toby become like a family within a few short weeks of meeting.

The characters were interesting. Libby was over the top and I kept thinking that I would’ve definitely been requesting a room switch if I ended up with her. Honor was portrayed as her exact opposite, reserved and quiet. By becoming friends with Libby, Honor feels she’s able to break out of her comfort zone and begin a relationship with a painter named Sawyer.

Toby was by far my favorite character and I loved the chapters from his POV. He could be my new nerdy book boyfriend—he was that adorable. I think the authors did an excellent job of making Toby’s inner thoughts and actions sound like a real guy and not what a girl would hope a guy is thinking about.

The relationships were okay enough, I didn’t feel a ton of chemistry between Libby/Toby and Sawyer/Honor. I probably would have preferred a Toby/Honor pairing.

The second half of the book really picks up and delves into some serious issues. There are a few heart-wrenching scenes where I felt myself fighting back tears. The drama kept me reading late into the night.

Overall, a great addition to the New Adult genre and a book I would definitely recommend!

Rating: 4/5 Stars

I received a copy of this book for review through YA Bound Book Tours

***GIVEAWAY***
1 Nook Simple Touch w/ Glowlight - US Only
2 paperback copies - US Only
3 ebook copies - international

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Undesirable by S. Celi Blog Tour Stop


• Title: The Undesirable (Undesirable #1) 

• Author: S. Celi

• Release Date: January 28, 2013

• Genre: New Adult

Synopsis:

*This book is Mature YA/ New Adult. It is recommended for readers 14 and over.

What if everything you knew turned out to be a lie?

Charlotte Walker knows how to live under the rule of The Party. She has managed for 18 years. She helps out her drunken mother and keeps life going at a familiar, steady pace. She doesn’t ask questions, even though she has many of them in her heart.

Fostino Sanchez knows how to live under the rule of The Party, too. For 19 years, he’s worked to be the perfect Party member. He knows what must be done to keep Maxwell Cooper in power, and how find the The Undesirables that threaten to take away everything that matters.

As the months go by, what matters most to Fostino is Charlotte Walker.

While their love blooms, danger comes to Charlotte and Fostino’s small hometown of Harrison Corners, OH. Threats they never knew existed could take away all that they care about. And just when these two teens think they know what will come next, Charlotte learns the truth about a secret she has long suspected.

What Charlotte finds out changes everything.

EVERYTHING.

THE UNDESIRABLE is Charlotte Walker’s story, from her point of view. It is a thrilling, suspenseful tale of love, curiosity, adversity, and maturity against the backdrop of a futuristic war.

Should Charlotte trust Fostino with what she knows? Can she trust anyone? Will she find it in herself to rise up against terrible odds? What if the ultimate Undesirable is her?


GR Link http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16148033-the-undesirable

Book Promo Video linkhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=3FeGSAaNOYI

Author Bio: 
New Orleans born Sara Celi has lived all over the United States. She calls the Greater Cincinnati area and the Queen City home.

She's currently a TV reporter and anchor in Oklahoma City, and has spent more than a decade working in journalism. She graduated cum laude from Western Kentucky University in 2004.

Celi is also a contributing author to Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Power of Positive.

The Undesirable is her debut novel.

In her spare time, she likes to read, shop, write, travel, run long distances, volunteer with the Junior League, and fund raise for Cooperative for Education, a non-profit providing educational opportunities for Guatemalan kids.

Author Contact Info: 
twitter:  saragceli
Website: http://celibrationoflife.wordpress.com/   



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