Thursday, March 3, 2016

The May Queen Murders by Sarah Jude - Review + Exclusive Content!

Stay on the roads. Don’t enter the woods. Never go out at night.  
 
Those are the rules in Rowan’s Glen, a remote farming community in the Missouri Ozarks where Ivy Templeton’s family has lived for centuries. It’s an old-fashioned way of life, full of superstition and traditions, and sixteen-year-old Ivy loves it. The other kids at school may think the Glen kids are weird, but Ivy doesn’t care—she has her cousin Heather as her best friend. The two girls share everything with each other—or so Ivy thinks. When Heather goes missing after a May Day celebration, Ivy discovers that both her best friend and her beloved hometown are as full of secrets as the woods that surround them. 
 
 
Review:
 
The May Queen Murders by Sarah Jude is a Southern Gothic tale that delivers both a spooky and thrilling storyline. While there is plenty of gore to be creepy, there is just enough love to make it a romance. That said, the romantic story arcs make this an excellent diverse YA book, as Jude isn't afraid to explore same-sex relationships.
 
The atmosphere and world-building is spot on and makes the perfect backdrop for such a dark, twisted tale. Jude's descriptions are vivid and imaginative and her writing is nearly flawless. The characters are well-constructed, and while not always likeable, they are real and relatable.
 
Another thing I really was charmed by was how besides being dark and thrilling, this was also a book about "firsts". Main character, Ivy, is suddenly thrown into a first love and mystery and is ultimately forced into finding herself along the way.
 
Finally, the ending is creepy and surprising and will throw you completely off because you won't see it coming. Sarah Jude has written a phenomenal book that spans many genres and has something for pretty much everyone!!
 
 
Exclusive Content: (Yay!)
 
The cover for May Queen Murders is gorgeous. Can you talk about its composition, and how it pertains to your story? Are there any secrets hidden in the illustration that hint at more you only know having written the story that inspired it?
 
Isn’t it? The photographer is a young Polish artist named Marcin Nabgraba, and his work is so striking. It’s an image in a series that he has worked on for years and he only takes one picture in the series a year, and they are all equally beautiful. It’s a funny story how it became the cover. I initially stumbled across the image and put it on a private inspiration board because it was haunting and the water looked cold and the woods eerie. Shortly after my book was acquired, my editor and I got to talking about how I’m an artist and a very visual person, so it made sense for her to look at images I’d collected as she edited. Somehow this picture wound
up in the hands of the art department and while there were other (all incredibly gorgeous) cover comps created, this one was the unanimous YES from my agent, my editor, the whole team, and myself.
 
I admit I was unsure about the pink, slashed font for the title because I just have an aversion to pink (I’m a purple gal). And yet the more I looked at it, the more it stood out.
 
As far as any secrets in the photograph . . . well, I can tell you it’s not directly supposed to Ivy or Heather but something older than either of the cousins.
 
 
About the Book:
Pages: Hardcover, 304 pages
Release Date: May 3rd 2016
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
 
 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Learn Spanish the Gringa Way by Erin Ashley Sieber

About The Book:


Learning Spanish The Gringa Way By: Erin Ashley Sieber Published: September 24, 2014 Publisher: AuthorHouse Pages: 232
Step into a new world of learning, in which the journey itself is actually fun and exciting! The Gringa has taken a somewhat "nontraditional" approach toward teaching the Spanish language to English speakers. In doing so, she pioneered a system, The Gringa Way, which allows learners to translate their English thoughts into Spanish thoughts and sentences.   This total "new approach" not only makes the language much easier to learn and understand but it transforms what many thought was "impossible" and makes it completely achievable. Many people have been totally overwhelmed by the "strict rules" and vast grammatical differences they discovered when trying the "old" and "traditional" methods of learning usable Spanish - so they quit - saying it is simply way too hard and frustrating.  With The Gringa Way method and the help of this book, you will be speaking Spanish easier than you ever thought possible.
Book Links:


Website | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BAM

**REVIEW**

As someone who took French her entire life, I was initially very skeptical about a book promising to teach me Spanish. I am a French girl through and through. The Spanish classes I took in college did nothing but confuse me and my pronunciation was garbled.

However, Erin Ashley Sieber breaks down the Spanish language into easy to understand methods that even I could follow! Within a few pages, I was hooked, and found myself speaking out loud to myself!

This is a great tool that will allow you to begin learning conversational, basic Spanish and develop a love for the language. Those of you looking to pick up another language should definitely check out Learn Spanish The Gringa Way!!!
 
.99 Weekly Special:
 Purchase the digital edition of The Gringa Way for the special reduced price of .99 during this week only at the thegringa.com. Not only will you get a stellar discount, but you will also receive a personalized and signed GRINGA card and pen. Please send proof of purchase with physical mailing address to ladyreadertours@gmail.com.


Book Trailer:


Follow The Tour:


January 18th Cabin Goddess – Recipe and Review
January 19th Christine Abee – Review
January 19th aobibliosphere™ - Spotlight 
January 20th A Diary of A Book Addict – Review
January 20th Unconventional Librarian – Guest Post
January 21st Karin's Fantasy World – Review
January 21st Heather Ann's Book Reviews  – Review
January 21st Pixie Vixen Book Reviews – Review
January 21stRoom With Books – Spotlight/Excerpt
January 22nd Anything But Vanilla Book Blog – Review
January 22nd aobibliosphere™ Review
January 22ndLady Reader's Bookstuff - Tiff – Review 

About The Author:


"I fell in love with the Spanish language, as well as the Spanish people, at a young, impressionable age. When I was fourteen I received a trip to Cancun, Mexico as a gift for Christmas! It was this trip that changed the rest of my career course, and really my outlook on life and other cultures.
What happened you ask? When I arrived to Cancun, Mexico, I was excited and eager to explore this new and beautiful land. It was my first time out of the States, and I was ready to mingle! Along my journey in Cancun, I encountered some people from South America who were traveling. I was all too eager to hear and learn about their background and country of Argentina - but there was one big problem I encountered with this: I did not speak Spanish (at the time) and they did not speak English. Besides knowing how to say “hola,” I had yet to have learned any Spanish. My best friend, (who was with me on the trip) did have a year of Spanish, but she was not yet fluent in any sense of the term. What is the point of this story you might ask? It was in that very moment of pure frustration and disappointment from not being able to communicate - I told myself: I would not let this happen again.
When I got back to the states, not only did I pick Spanish as my (language of choice) for all of my high schooling, but decided to go on to also make the Spanish language my major in College, and then go on to pursue a career using Spanish. My love for the language opened up many doors:
In High School, the National Spanish Honor Society inducted me into their honor roll. I then earned my first degree in the Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and International Business from Florida Atlantic University. While attending the university, I jumped at the chance to live and study in Salamanca, Spain and El Puerto de Santa Maria, Spain, as well as attend the private language school, Estudio Sampere for six months, where I received some of my most intense instruction in the Spanish language. I then went on to obtain my Master’s Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Entrepreneurship from the H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business at Nova Southeastern University.
Since then, I have traveled the world and been to more than 8 Spanish speaking countries, have worked for the major newspaper El Nuevo Herald as their Business Development Manager , am a member of the American Translation Association as well as a qualified Court Interpreter in my home state of Maryland. I have also had the privilege to teach English to Spanish speaking members of a Major League baseball team."
Author Links:
Website | YouTube | YouTube | Google + |Facebook| Twitter
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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

BLOODCRAFT by Amalie Howard - Review + Giveaway!



Bloodcraft by Amalie Howard
Series: Bloodspell #2 
Genre: Upper YA/NA (mature content), Fantasy
Publication: December 15th, 2015


All magic has its price, and no one knows that better than Victoria Warrick. Gifted with a centuries-old blood curse, Tori has finally learned to master her blood’s demands and has emerged triumphant with Christian Devereux, a vampire overlord, at her side.

But the worst is yet to come …

In the infamous City of Lights, home to both the Witch Clans and the Vampire Council, Tori enrolls at the exclusive Belles Fontaines school in Paris, where she is faced with a devastating choice: choose Christian and be an outcast, or choose the coven and secure her place with the witches.

When the fate of the supernatural world is targeted by a sinister new threat, Christian and Victoria must unite their two warring species to defeat it. Their bond will be tested, twisted, and sorely weakened, and Tori will find herself in uncharted territory—a dangerous place to be when her blood’s magic has its own dark agenda.

But to save them all, she may have no choice but to invoke its deadly power.

PURCHASE
Amazon | Kobo | B&N

----------------------------------------------------

**REVIEW**

After nearly 4 years of waiting, we finally get the much-anticipated sequel to Bloodspell! And Amalie Howard does not disappoint!! At first, I found it a bit hard hard to get into as I didn't re-read or skim Bloodspell, but after 20-30 pages, it all started coming back.

One thing that I noticed was Amalie's ability to write a great fight scene has always been incredible - but now is impeccable. Main character Victoria (Tori), and her boyfriend Christian are not only the perfect couple couple but make a perfect fighting team.

The curse surrounding Tori deepens and war break out. This creates a story arc that  keeps you flipping pages! Christian's brother, Lucien, also returns as a  most delightful villain - one that you just love/hate.

Amalie's writing is fast, clear, and pulls the reader in quickly. The entire book is satisfying, just like the ending. Unlike Bloodspell, Bloodcraft doesn't has no cliffhanger, which makes it pretty much the perfect story! Bravo to Amalie on another nearly flawless novel!!
__________________________________
Book #1, Bloodspell



AVAILABLE ON

Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Kobo

for 99¢!


__________________________________________________________________

About the Author



AMALIE HOWARD grew up on a small Caribbean island (Trinidad & Tobago) where she spent most of her childhood with her nose buried in a book or running around barefoot, shimmying up mango trees and dreaming of adventure. 25 countries, surfing with sharks and several tattoos later, she has traded in bungee jumping in China for writing the adventures she imagines instead. She isn’t entirely convinced which takes more guts.

An aspiring writer from a young age, Amalie’s poem “The Candle,” written at age twelve, was published in a University of Warwick journal. At fifteen, she was  a recipient of a Royal Commonwealth Society Essay Award (a global youth writing competition). A Colby College graduate, she completed simultaneous Honors Theses in both French and International Studies, and graduated Summa Cum Laude/Phi Beta Kappa. At Colby, she was cited for research and criticism in Raffael Scheck’s article, “German Conservatism and Female Political Activism in the Early Weimar Republic,” and his subsequent book, Mothers of the Nation. She also received a distinction in English Literature from the University of Cambridge (A-levels) as well as a certificate in French Literature from the Ecole Normale SupĂ©rieure in Paris, France. Traveling the globe, she has worked as a research assistant, marketing representative, teen speaker and global sales executive.

agold-authorShe is the author of several young adult novels critically acclaimed by Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, VOYA, and Booklist, including Waterfell, The Almost Girl, and Alpha Goddess, a Spring 2014 Kid’s INDIE NEXT title. Her debut novel, Bloodspell, was a #1 Amazon bestseller and a Seventeen Magazine Summer Read. As an author of color and a proud supporter of diversity in fiction, her articles on multicultural fiction have appeared in The Portland Book Review and on the popular Diversity in YA blog. She currently resides in Colorado with her husband and three children. She is represented by the Liza Royce Agency and is a member of SCBWI.



__________________________________________________________________

Giveaway
  • Kindle Fire giveaway is open to US residents due to shipping restrictions. 
  • Paperback copies of BLOODSPELL & BLOODCRAFT are open to US and INT readers.
  • This giveaway is sponsored by Amalie Howard. 
  • Leading up to the release of BLOODCRAFT, more entries/options will be added to the rafflecopter to double your chances! 

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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Michelle Madow's Virtual Blog Tour, Giveaway, and Author Guest Post!!!



What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas … but that doesn’t matter when you live there.
Sisterhood, first crushes and scandalous secrets explode as Savannah, Courtney, Peyton, and
Madison return in DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER, Michelle Madow's exciting conclusion to The
Secret Diamond Sister series, releasing October 27th from Harlequin Teen.

Giveaway:

Michelle is offering up a fabulous prize during her Diamonds are Forever Virtual Tour event.
One (1) lucky winner will receive a signed paperback set of The Secret Diamond Sisters, along
with a swag pack that includes lipgloss, bookmark, sister postcards, pin! To enter, simply fill out
the Rafflecopter below:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/YjA1MGVmMjkwYTE2NWQzYWI3ODNiODExNGJiNGU0OjE0Mg==/?

About Diamonds are Forever:

Title: Diamonds are Forever
Author: Michelle Madow
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: October 27, 2015
Series: The Secret Diamond Sisters #3
Genre: Young Adult
Length: 368 Pages
ISBN: 9780373211524

It's cold outside, but the drama is hot!

The Diamond sisters jet to the mountains for spring break, and Savannah's flirt-mance with an
international pop star heats up as her pursuit of stardom succeeds. But is this romance meant to
be, or has the right guy been in front of her all along? Meanwhile, Courtney takes the next step
with her secret boyfriend—and future stepbrother—and as their parents' wedding approaches, the
pressure's on to reveal their relationship.
Peyton's figuring out a plan for her future, but she still feels guilty about getting her former
bodyguard fired and wonders if she can get over him in the arms of someone else. But the
biggest bombshell will change everything once again, because Madison's ready to tell the huge
secret she's uncovered. And with the boy who betrayed her but who could be the love of her life
fighting for his own life, she might need the Diamond sisters more than ever.

About Michelle Madow:

Michelle Madow wrote her first novel, Remembrance, in her junior year of college.
Remembrance is the first book in The Transcend Time Saga, a three part series about
reincarnation and true love that Michelle successfully self-published. The series was inspired by
Taylor Swift's "Love Story" music video. Michelle's latest YA series, The Secret Diamond
Sisters, about three sisters who discover they are the secret heirs to a Las Vegas billionaire
casino owner, was published in March 2014 by Harlequin Teen. The second book in the series,
Diamonds in the Rough, released in November 2014, and the third book, Diamonds are Forever,
will be coming out in November 2015. Michelle is active on social media networks and has
toured across America to promote her books and encourage high school students to embrace
reading and writing.

Michelle lives in Boca Raton, Florida, where she is writing more novels for young adults. She
loves reading, spending time with family and friends, traveling the world, shopping, Disney fairy
tales, Broadway musicals, and loves talking with fans on Facebook (/MichelleMadow), Twitter
(@MichelleMadow), and Instagram (@MichelleMadow).
To chat with Michelle and other fans about her books, join Michelle Madow's Street Team on
Facebook!



GUEST POST WITH MICHELLE MADOW!!!!!

Similarities between author and her characters.

The four main characters in The Secret Diamond Sisters are all very different, but each
of them does have something about them that’s similar to me!

Savannah: Big Dreams
Savannah reaches for the stars with her goal to become a popular YouTube singer. I
might not be a singer, but my goal of writing novels is similar to Savannah’s goal of
singing.

Courtney: Being a Bookworm
Courtney’s love of reading is 100% based on my own love of reading! There’s even a
part in Diamonds in the Rough where Courtney mentions reading my first book,
Remembrance.

Peyton: Style
While Peyton’s style is edgier than my own, we both share the same favorite color
(black) and love doing dark smoky eye makeup.

Madison: General Personality
One of my friends once said, “If Madison were nice, she’s basically you.” So, remove
the mean stuff that Madison does, and she’s definitely the character who’s the most
similar to myself. Although instead of her love for science, I have Courtney’s love of
reading!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Tour: HIS TOUCH / NOTHING LEFT TO BURN by Patty Blount - Top Ten + Giveaway




HIS TOUCH
By: Patty Blount
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Release date: June 29, 2015
Pages: 168
When a surly paramedic finds Kara Larsen's lost toddler, only to berate her for failing to mind her child, Kara is embarrassed and relieved she'll never have to deal with that jerk again. Doesn't he know being a single mom is a lot harder than it looks?! But when baby Nadia has trouble breathing one night, Kara's frantic 911 call brings that same jerk right to her door...

 FDNY paramedic Reid Bennett has a compulsion to help frantic parents. But after the way he over-reacted to the beautiful woman in the department store that day, she wants nothing to do with him. But it's not his fault he keeps running into her all over the city...

 When Kara bumps into Reid for the third time in a week, she can't help but wonder if the mom she lost in 2001 is playing matchmaker. As Kara and Reid form a cautious friendship, he quickly becomes baby Nadia's favorite person. But Reid has no interest in long-term commitment, or so he thought. So when Nadia's father calls out of the blue and Kara agrees to see him, Reid realizes he has some triage to do if he hopes to keep his girls...


NOTHING LEFT TO BURN
By: Patty Blount
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release date: August 4, 2015
Pages: 336

Reece’s father hasn’t spoken to him since the car wreck that killed Reece’s brother. Desperate for forgiveness, Reece joins the Junior Cadet program at his dad’s firehouse. But the program is grueling, and Reece isn’t sure he can make it through. Then he meets Amanda.

Amanda understands wanting to belong. As a foster kid, the firehouse is the only place that feels like home. She agrees to help Reece, but falling for him wasn’t part of the deal. And when a string of arsons suddenly point to Amanda, their relationship could go up in flames.


 B&N | Amazon | Goodreads | Indiebound | Google Play | Powell's | Book Depository |Kobo 




Powered by chocolate, Patty Blount is the award-winning author of novels for teens including Some Boys (2015 Firecracker Award winner, 2015 Rita Award Finalist, 2015 Bookseller's Best Award Finalist), TMI, and SEND, as well as contemporary holiday romances, A Match Made at Christmas and its sequel, His Touch.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Blog 

1.     I wrote HIS TOUCH in about a month after I lost my job. It was nice having nothing to do except write. I got lost in the story, in the problems these characters had and I think it saved me.
2.     I'm a huge Neil Diamond fan and love how Sweet Caroline has become an anthem to so many sports fans. Because Nadia's not entirely verbal yet, I thought the Bop, bop bop part would be something she could handle and love the cuteness factor.
3.     I actually did lose my toddler twice in the same day. First, he escaped at a department store in the time it took me to sign my name on a credit card slip. Found him at the back of the store, playing at the water fountain. Then I lost him inside a smaller store. Both times, I felt like my heart stopped. When I found him safe, part of me wanted to wrap him in bubble wrap ( another reference I used in this story) and the other part wanted to kill him for making me worry.
4.     The cell phone distraction is something else that happened to me in real life. I was walking across a busy parking lot and saw a baby run into the path of an SUV whose driver could not see her. I ran, full out, slammed a hand on the vehicle to make the driver stop, and then scooped up the baby, mere feet away from a rear tire. The baby's mother had no clue she was gone because she was on the phone.
5.     The 'triplets' in the CPR class were inspired by my Facebook friends, who go insane over pictures of firefighters.
6.     My youngest son suffered through repeated bouts of croup and there is no sound on earth more frightening than that seal-bark cough. It can indeed be dangerous and the year he finally made it through a winter without it, I wanted to throw a party.
7.     The "Circle of Friends" were introduced in another story (A Match Made at Christmas) and reappear in this story. I love the closeness of that circle. "When one of us is hurt, we all bleed."
8.     The reference to Aunt Enza's wooden spoon is also inspired by real life. I suspect it's an Italian Mom thing... my mother used to have a wooden spoon just for spankings.
9.     Nadia learning to nod was based on my first baby. He'd mastered that by the age of ten months and it was so cute. A single head nod when you asked him if he wanted something and a head shake if he didn't. Too cute!
10. There's a scene where Nadia steps between Reid and Kara and says, "Mine!" This was also something my first baby did often. Whenever he spotted my husband and me hugging, he'd muscle in on the action :) 




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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Blog Tour: BRUTAL YOUTH by Anthony Breznican

About The Book:


Brutal Youth
By: Anthony Breznican
Publication Date: June 2, 2015
Genres: Fiction
Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Three freshmen must join forces to survive at a troubled, working-class Catholic high school with a student body full of bullies and zealots, and a faculty that's even worse in Anthony Breznican's Brutal Youth.
With a plunging reputation and enrollment rate, Saint Michael’s has become a crumbling dumping ground for expelled delinquents and a haven for the stridently religious when incoming freshman Peter Davidek signs up. On his first day, tensions are clearly on the rise as a picked-upon upperclassmen finally snaps, unleashing a violent attack on both the students who tormented him for so long, and the corrupt, petty faculty that let it happen. But within this desperate place, Peter befriends fellow freshmen Noah Stein, a volatile classmate whose face bears the scars of a hard-fighting past, and the beautiful but lonely Lorelei Paskal —so eager to become popular, she makes only enemies. 
To even stand a chance at surviving their freshmen year, the trio must join forces as they navigate a bullying culture dominated by administrators like the once popular Ms. Bromine, their embittered guidance counselor, and Father Mercedes, the parish priest who plans to scapegoat the students as he makes off with church finances. A coming-of-age tale reversed, Brutal Youth follows these students as they discover that instead of growing older and wiser, going bad may be the only way to survive.
Book Links:


If you thought high school was hell, has Anthony Breznican got a story for you…Every bully who stalked you, every sadistic teacher who ever terrified you, every stupid prank, every hopeless crush and false friend: they’re all here, along with a few kids who hang together and try to do the right thing in a brutal environment? By turns funny and terrifying, Brutal Youth is an unputdownable tour-de-force, a Rebel Without a Cause for the 21st century.— Stephen King 
Review

First off, this is not your typical story about bullying. This is hardcore real life. Anthony Breznican does not candy coat anything in Brutal Youth-and it is just that: Brutal.

The novel focuses mainly on three freshman students and the misguided faculty at their Catholic High School. It is not a read for the faint of heart. It is dark and disturbingly real.

Breznican writes with an edge that is original and compelling. The characters and plot are both complex enough to draw you in and make you feel one with the book, which in this case can be quite frightening at times. The honesty he writes with is almost cruel, but that is what makes Brutal Youth so heartbreakingly real.
About The Author:



Anthony Breznican was born and raised in Western Pennsylvania and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1998. He has worked as a reporter for The Arizona Republic, Associated Press, and USA Today. Anthony is currently a senior staff writer for Entertainment Weekly, covering Star Wars, Marvel, the Oscars, and whatnot. Brutal Youth is his first novel.
Website | Twitter | Facebook |BY Website |Goodreads
Follow The Tour:


October 5th Christine Abee – Review
 October 5th Ramblings of a Perpetual New Girl – Review / Interview
October 5th Reads All the Books – Review
October 6th Marla Miller – Author Interview
October 6th Heather Ann's Book Reviews – Review
October 6th Baps Book Blog – Guest Post
October 7thPixie Vixen Book Reviews – Review
October 7th A Universe in Words – Review 
October 8th Bookish Babes – Review
October 8th Karin Baker – Review
October 8thThe Pirate Tree – Review
October 8th Bookish Lifestyle – Review
October 9th Melissa Martin's Reading List – Review / Interview
October 9th A Diary Of A Book Addict – Review 
October 9thTriple T Tots Tweens and Teens – Review
October 9thDizneeee's World of Books – Review
October 9thFangirlish – Review

 “Surprise, surprise—the good guys don’t always win. Sometimes, they’re lucky if they just get to keep on being the good guys.”
The Giveaway:


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