Tuesday, April 28, 2015

An Ember in the Ashes Release Day blitz!


I am so excited that AN EMBER IN THE ASHES by Sabaa Tahir releases today and that I get to share the news, along with a special introduction from Sabaa herself!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Sabaa Tahir, be sure to check out all the details below.
This blitz also includes a giveaway for a signed copies of the book and some of those awesome sword letter openers we’ve seen around courtesy of Sabaa, Penguin Teen, and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.


A letter from Sabaa Tahir.



Dear Readers,

Today, my “baby” AN EMBER IN THE ASHES is finally out in the world! From inception to pub date, this journey took eight years. And what a journey it was: writing, rewriting, revising, editing, querying, submitting; Meeting other debuts, bloggers, booksellers and librarians, and hearing their thoughts on EMBER. There aren’t enough superlatives to describe the radness.

And now, the book is here! I am so excited to see it in the hands of readers. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. To celebrate release day, I’m giving away two signed, first-edition hardcovers of the book. Details below!

All my best,

Sabaa

Title: AN EMBER IN THE ASHES
Author: Sabaa TahirPub. Date: April 28, 2015Publisher: RazorbillPages: 464Find it: AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooks, Goodreads


Set in a terrifyingly brutal Rome-like world, An Ember in the Ashes is an epic fantasy debut about an orphan fighting for her family and a soldier fighting for his freedom. It’s a story that’s literally burning to be told.
LAIA is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution.
ELIAS is the academy’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor.
When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself.


Check out the book trailer!

About Sabaa:
Sabaa Tahir grew up in California’s Mojave Desert at her family’s 18-room motel. There, she spent her time devouring fantasy novels, raiding her brother’s comic book stash and playing guitar badly. She began writing An Ember in the Ashes while working nights as a newspaper editor. She likes thunderous indie rock, garish socks and all things nerd. Sabaa currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family.








Giveaway Details:

2 winners will receive a signed hardcover of AN EMBER IN THE ASHES. US Only.

3 winners will receive a hardcover of AN EMBER IN THE ASHES and a Sword Letter Opener! US Only.

Ends on May 9th at Midnight EST!



Teaser Tuesday #94 Ice Kissed by Amanda Hocking



Welcome to Teaser Tuesdays! Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! My Teaser Tuesday is for the following...


Ice Kissed (Kanin Chronicles, #2)
Ice Kissed by Amanda Hocking
Expected Publication: May 5, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Summery:
Bryn Aven has always longed to be a part of the Kanin world.
Though she has no social status because she’s a half-breed, she refuses to give up on her dream of serving the kingdom she loves. It’s a dream that brings her to a whole new realm . . . the glittering palace of the Skojare.
The Skojare people need protection from the same brutal rival who’s been threatening the Kanin, and, being half Skojare herself, it’s a chance for Bryn to learn more about her heritage. Her boss Ridley Dresden is overseeing her mission and wants to help. He’s always been her most trusted friend—but as their undeniable attraction heats up, he becomes a distraction she can’t afford.

Brynn is about to discover that the Skojare world is full of secrets, and as she’s drawn in deeper and deeper, she doesn’t know who to trust. As she gets closer to Ridley, she realizes she may not even be able to trust her own heart.

(Teasers are from an Advanced Readers Copy. Teasers are subject to change in the finished copy)

Teaser from Ebook page:10

"But now as I rode Bloom through the falling snow, pushing him hard as though I could somehow escape the truth, I realized I was more afraid that my memories were right."

Teasers from Ebook page: 21

"The sight of him had been like encountering a ghost, and I'd been in shock, so he'd been able to get the best of me."

Mark your calendars!!! Swing by the blog on May 4th for our Review, Excerpt, and GIVEAWAY!!!!

*PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your ‘teasers’ in a comment here if you don’t have a blog Thanks!



Monday, April 27, 2015

Upcoming Release: Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Expected Publication: May 5, 2015
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Peyton, Sydney's charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion's share of their parents' attention and—lately—concern. When Peyton's increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?

Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.

The uber-popular Sarah Dessen explores her signature themes of family, self-discovery, and change in her twelfth novel, sure to delight her legions of fans.

My Thoughts
Saint Anything is a perfect example of Sarah Dessen’s ability to pen a worthy Young Adult contemporary that’s filled with a great cast and a story that allows for a sense of connection.

In this novel, we meet Sydney who has always been overshadowed by her bigger-than-life older brother Peyton. Having the spotlight on him was the norm to her existence and that included her parents doting constant attention on him despite his transgressions. So when Peyton is charged with a drunk driving conviction that leaves a fifteen year old boy paralyzed, Sydney finds herself lost and not quite sure how to adjust to the new family dynamics. She ultimately makes a drastic decision to switch from her small private school to Jackson High School to alleviate some financial pressure on her parents, and this is where she meets the Chatham family.

Making new friends and redefining what’s important to her, Sydney finally gets a chance to feel a part of something and for once be noticed. The bond she creates with Mac and Layla opens Sydney’s eyes to true friendship and familial connection, which is always a good feeling to experience when reading one of Dessen’s novels.

As with most of her other books, I absolutely love how Dessen doesn’t feel the need to make a romance the center of her books. She places more of an emphasis on friendships, family dynamics and character self-development, which was clearly evident in this book.

The light romance between Mac and Sydney was fun to witness because it was so subtle, yet meaningful. I enjoyed their scenes together, but most of all I appreciated what they came to mean to each other. The saint charm he gave her was a nice gesture because I know how much something like that means to those that believe in protectors. Very heartwarming.

Overall Saint Anything was signature of Dessen’s ability create a meaningful story about family and friends. I enjoyed this book from beginning to end.
4 Snowflakes

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Review: Seed by Lisa Heathfield

Seed by Lisa Heathfield
Release date: March 10, 2015
Publisher: Running Press Kids
Review copy from NetGalley

All that Pearl knows can be encapsulated in one word: Seed. It is the isolated community that she was born into. It is the land that she sows and reaps. It is the center of her family and everything that means home. And it is all kept under the watchful eye of Papa S.

At fifteen years old, Pearl is finally old enough to be chosen as Papa S’s companion. She feels excitement... and surprising trepidation that she cannot explain. The arrival of a new family into the Seed community — particularly the teenage son, Ellis — only complicates the life and lifestyle that Pearl has depended upon as safe and constant.

Ellis is compelling, charming, and worldly, and he seems to have a lot of answers to questions Pearl has never thought to ask. But as Pearl digs to the roots of the truth, only she can decide what she will allow to come to the surface.

My Thoughts:

As someone who's fascinated by cults and anything to do with them, factual or fictional, the moment I read the synopsis for Lisa Heathfield's YA debut Seed, I knew that I would have to get my hands on it ASAP. Though there seems to be more and more YA novels that feature cultish aspect, I find that many of them do it in a setting that's not completely contemporary. The fact that Heathfield's novel seems to take place in a world just like ours instantly made me even more curious, because I often find that books that like with a setting that I can identify with, have a much bigger effect on me.

We are introduced to Pearl, a 15-year-old girl who has just become a woman according to the rules of Seed, the most beautiful place in the world. Her new womanhood means that she is allowed to grown out her hair, to wear a skirt, and most importantly, now she's allowed to become the companion of Papa S., the leader of Seed, appointed by Nature. Pearl loves Seed and everything it represents – peace, love for nature, family. Rather than being a child of someone, she's the child of Nature and when she does something wrong or has wrong thoughts, she understands that the Nature will punish her, and she's okay with that. Having spent her whole life at Seed, she does not know that somewhere else, things are different.

When Linda moves to Seed from the Outside with her two children, Pearl finds things changing. The older of Linda's children, Ellis, a boy of Pearl's age starts to make Pearl feel things that she knows she is not supposed to feel. She's not allowed to be jealous of the attention Ellis gives to the other people of Seed, she's not allowed to feel attraction, because her ultimate goal should be to be the companion of Papa S. And she's certainly not allowed to question the rules of Seed and the possibilities of life Outside. But as more and more happens, she starts to realize that maybe there's a possibility she could have been wrong. That maybe she has been living a lie.

What I really loved about Seed is the way Heathfield very slowly and carefully reveals the workings of the cult. Rather than laying them out all at once, she builds them into the story and reveals them to the reader through dialogue and characterization. It was extremely interesting to read about Pearl and the way she very slowly starts to understand that the life outside of Seed might not be what she has been told it is. The way she blindly believes in everything Papa S. says is heartbreaking for someone who knows better and I really liked the way Heathfield first makes her so sure of the fact that Seed is the best possible place for her to be.

The way Heathfield builds the story really makes this book one of those titles that is just so difficult to put down. I found myself wanting to read more and more, just to learn more about the cult and the thoughts of Pearl as they start to change. Though I kind of knew before starting this one that Papa S. would be creepy as hell, I kind of wished that he would have been even a bit more brutal. Yes, I completely hated and despised him, but maybe it is the masochist in me for wished for even more. But for a YA novel, Papa S. is plenty creepy.

Heathfield is a very talented writer and Seed is a very promising debut. It is a coming-of-age story, a story about a delusional con-artist, a story about a society that might first seem ideal, but that actually is very messed up. Though there's just a hint of romance added to the mix, I am grateful that Heathfield has written this a story of a young woman's maturation and the way someone's worldview can change through experiences and exploration. I am definitely looking forward to seeing what Heathfield comes up next, and I hope that this novel finds its way to the hands of YA readers, because it definitely is a book worth reading!

Four Snowflakes



 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

TXLA!

This past week was the annual TLA convention. For those who don't know TLA stands for Texas Library Association and is basically heaven for bloggers and readers. This was my second year attending and if you have ever been to ALA then you know what this is like expect much smaller.  Sometimes bigger is better and while I do love ALA, TLA gives me the chance to really talk with publishers and not feel rushed and overwhelmed.  I am terrible at remembering pictures but I did manage to take a few from the event.
 
I've realized after this year that I have gotten into a very bad habit.  Normally I have a list of must have books and I'll go and beg for these titles which I did do this year, but I did something different this time around and it was by accident.  I was talking to my friend who went with me (who is delightful by the way ;)) at the Penguin both.  I was showing her Still Waters by Ash Parsons and explaining how I loved the dark undertones of the book when an amazing publicist popped up and said "oh if you loved that one you have to check this out!"  He dropped Fell of Dark by Patrick Downes into my hands and I have never been more thankful.  I have already read and loved this book and I am so grateful he overheard my conversation. Fell of Dark wasn't on my must have list because I hadn't heard anything about this debut title.  Shame!!  So I started thinking what else don't I know about?!  From that point on in every booth I would ask "what do you recommend" Some publicists were excited for my genre choice others stayed away from creepy, but still tried to help which I thought was amazing.  This year I brought home not only my must haves, but quite a few new to me titles that sound absolutely amazing!  I am so glad that the Penguin publicist stepped in because now I have a new strategy.  The titles I know about I can always buy, but these hidden gems that I don't know about might go unnoticed and that would be a travesty!  So thank you Penguin for your amazing people and all the other publishers like Little Brown, Houghton Mifflin, Harper, Harlequin, Random House, & Simon & Schuster  who stepped up and showed me some new incredible books that I can't wait to dive into!

Some of my favorite finds were:
Fell of Dark The Detour Violent Ends I Crawl Through It

Now I have to mention Violent Ends because this book is completely new to me and I have no idea how I missed hearing about this one!  This story is told from 17 points of view and each point of view was written by a different author!  Kendare Blake, Trish Doller, Neal Schusterman, and Courtney Summers are just a few!!  I mean where did this come from??!  I am so beyond excited I was lucky enough to grab a copy of this book!

And I did just notice that every cover is grey...hmmm..

I also got to meet the amazing Rachel Vincent and grab a copy of The Stars Never Rise!  I have been wanting this book forever and I am so excited to finally have it in my hands!

Giveaway time!  Normally I have a few books that I can part with, but this year I was really choosy and only accepted what I knew I would read so I am going to giveaway a pre order this year.  You can pick from my favorite finds list or one that you are pining for.
 US $15 and open to wherever the Book Depository delivers. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway