Thursday, May 28, 2015

ARC Review: The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows

http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1422215131l/22551743.jpgThe Truth According to Us
by Annie Barrows 
Historical Fiction 
3/5 stars

Three star rating = I liked the book well enough, but I had some issues with it.

I received an ARC from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

A new historical fiction by the co-author of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society? Whose grammar do I have to correct?!
 
 
The Truth According to Us focuses on the Romeyn family and their new boarder, a young woman working on the Federal Writer's Project to write a history of the small town, Macedonia. The book takes place in the summer of 1938, during the Depression, and it feels like stepping into history. It didn't have any excessive or uninteresting textbook history lessons, but gave me a real sense and taste for what it would have been like to live then. Especially in the Southern heat. My goodness, I never want to experience that kind of sweltering summer. The descriptions here were more than enough to convey how miserable that would be.

 

It's hard to pinpoint a certain genre for this, because it has a touch of everything. It's a love story, tragedy, historical fiction, coming-of-age, mystery. There are a lot of interesting characters, several diverse and wonderful points of view, a 12-year-old wannabe sleuth, a workers' strike, and a majority of smart and witty female characters.
 
I laughed out loud at the history lessons Jottie Romeyn gives Miss Layla Beck for The History of Macedonia. I cried with Willa on the roof. As the long-buried secret is revealed, layer by layer, I yelled at characters not to fall for the lies, and pitied them, and cheered when they found their strength.
 
The wonderful array of POV characters -there are three who help narrate the story, Aunt Jottie with the broken heart, the WPA writer Miss Layla Beck, and 12-year-old sneak Willa- offers varied perspectives of not only the story, but the many facets of the characters and the unfolding mystery. Learning more and more about the mystery the characters dig up was twice as interesting seeing it from so many different angles. I particularly loved the intermittent conversations via letters, a la Guernsey, between Layla Beck and her friends and family, and we are offered entertaining snippets of The History of Macedonia. The characters are all flawed, are all so human and genuine and conflicted. GAH!
 
Barrows did an excellent job bringing this story to life. In turns hilarious, heart-breaking, maddening, and always incredibly real, The Truth According To Us was a hard book to put down.
 
While I didn't enjoy this book as much as I adore Guernsey, I did like it (I'd probably read it again in a few years). This story is not quite as light-hearted, there's a semi-depressing element, some bedroom scene references/allusions, and occasional strong language.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Top Ten Beach Reads

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book meme from the wonderful blog, The Broke and the Bookish, and I don't blog on Tuesdays. So no, you aren't time traveling.

Okay, I did have to look up the definition of a beach read. It's either something light and fluffy, something you don't have to read intensely, or something that you can be interrupted while reading. I don't know that the potential of being interrupted while reading is a good requirement for choosing a book, but let's go with it!

https://booksintofilms.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/book_confessionsshopaholic.jpg
Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

Confession: This is probably the only chick-lit I've actually read.
I love pretty much everything about this -the story, the conflict, the characters, but most of all the voice of the narrative. Hilarious. Excellent first POV story-telling, just excellent story-telling in general.
(As an aside, if anyone has chick-lit suggestions, I'm totally open.)


http://halespawn.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83451577769e20154355d880c970c-pihttps://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcR-1YzzhQRCgzQ2XmpjsnlLzREIP7wJ6x38deOwEAnIO-X7LAmVhAby Shannon Hale
Confession: I totally lied. I just remembered Hale's fantastic Austenland novels. Personally, I loved both of these equally, for different reasons. Austenland is more on the 'light and fluffy' side, a fun and quirky love story, while Midnight focuses on recently divorced Charlotte reevaluating her life while trying to decide whether a murder has been committed on her vacation. They're very different stories, but they're both funny, they're both wonderful, they're both clean, and they're both perfect for Jane Austen fans.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Anne Schaffer & Annie Barrows
Taking place directly after WWII, this book is told entirely through letters and telegrams. A writer, searching for her next idea, stumbles onto the story of an island occupied by the Nazis and how the inhabitants coped with it. It has its moments of sadness, but it's primarily a light-hearted love story, and the epistle format make for short segments and plenty of great stopping places for when those sneaker waves, er, sneak up on you.



Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
This isn't your normal beach read -it's not a chick lit or a love story, this is about a mysterious bookstore and the employee determined to discover its secret. There's a secret society, an insanely expensive font type (seriously, if you want to make some money, design a popular font!), cryptography, an activist blogger, and Google. This is a really fun story, with low-key espionage, computer nerds, and the most amazing bookstore in the universe. *sigh* If only it were real...

The Princess Bride by William Goldman
Let's just face the fact that this should be a re-read for anyone looking through this list. This would be a great book to take to the beach; you can revisit all your favorite scenes, you're always looking for the time to read it again, and you know what's going to happen so you won't be *too* annoyed if you're interrupted.

As You Wish by Cary Elwes 
Speaking of The Princess Bride, if you haven't read this yet, you're insane. Sorry to break it to you, sweetheart. If you at least have it on your TBR, we can put away the straightjacket. For now. In this memoir, Cary Elwes (aka, the onscreen Wesley, aka the Dread Pirate Roberts) has compiled all kinds of memory, trivia, fun facts, and tidbits about the filming of The Princess Bride, and not just his own, either. In one of the most wonderful book surprises ever, the pages are loaded with sidebars and asides by the majority of the cast, the director, the producers, and William Goldman himself, all recalling their own memorable events during the creation of one of my favorite movies of all time.

http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1387080213l/19472467.jpg 


Third Daughter by Susan Kaye Quinn
Steampunk goes to Bollywood in a tale of brewing war, political intrigue, espionage and -yes- love. A YA novel, first in a trilogy, great for you ladies who already read everything in the YA section. ;)



http://www.betsyschow.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/spelled-cover.jpgSpelled by Betsy Schow
(Release date June 2)
A delightful, fun romp taking a (huge) twist on The Wizard of Oz story you thought you knew. Hilarious. I loved Schow's clever and plentiful tweaks to give familiar things -like UPS and designer clothing- a proper fairy tale feel. And each chapter starts out with excerpts from helpful books like the Definitive Fairy Tale Survival Guide and Thomason's Tips to Ruthless Ruling. And the first chapter is called Dragon Slaying for Dummies. I mentioned it's hilarious, right?

http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1350080057l/13621089.jpgGeek Girl by Holly Smale
This is for the young at heart or anyone who felt like they were an awkward teen in high school. Hilarious narrative, heart-warming story, a female character who is genuinely strong (not the Hollywood sexy, must-be-super-ninja-spy-assassin-to-be-strong variety), and great character development. It's a quick read, but the compelling voice does make it hard to put down.




http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1357698514l/10433925.jpgAlways Neverland by Zoe Barton
So this one is middle grade, but if you loved Peter Pan at any point in your life, put this one in your beach bag. Especially if you wish you'd been Wendy. Especially, especially if you wish you'd been Wendy, but you didn't actually want to be Wendy in that she played mother and house while the Lost Boys fought pirates and had adventures with Indians.




And there you have it, eleven great beach reads. (Two Austenlands, remember?)
I'd love to hear your beach read suggestions!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Spelled Spotlight Tour & Gift Basket Giveaway

Psst! If you're looking for the winners of the REVELATION and THE FANGS OF BLOODHAVEN giveaways, click here!

24380140Spelled
by Betsy Schow
Sourcebooks Fire
Pub date: June 2, 2015


Hey all! Amanda here, and today I have the great pleasure to help feature Spelled in its spotlight tour! I recently finished this book, and it's hilarious. But don't just take my word for it...

Advance Praise for Spelled

“A cute adventure with romance set in a world full of fairy-tale mash-ups. Readers will love Dorthea’s evolution from spoiled princess to strong, confident heroine… For Oz fans, this work is a great clean-read alternative to Danielle Paige’s Dorothy Must Die.” -School Library Journal

“This wickedly funny, fast-paced adventure has it all: brains, courage, and heart. (Plus a kickin’ pair of heels.) .” --Jen Calonita, author of The Secrets of My Hollywood Life and Fairy Tale Reform School series

“Fairy tale survival rule #1, do NOT read this book late at night. You will wake up your entire family with loud laughter. Fairy tale survival rule #2, if you love the Wizard of Oz, clever fairy tale mash-ups, and enough twists and turns to keep you guessing what will happen until the very end, you MUST read Spelled.” --J Scott Savage, award winning author of Farworld, Case File 13, and the Mysteries of Cove series.

A hilarious and snarky reimagining of the world of Oz, along with many other fairy tales injected throughout, "Spelled" is one fabulous read…Kick off those silver slippers and tuck in with this wonderful tale!” —Senator Sipes, Lil Book Bug (Palmdale, CA)
Book Info:

Talk about unhappily ever after. Dorthea is completely princed out. Sure being the crown princess of Emerald has its perks—like Glenda Original ball gowns and Hans Christian Louboutin heels. But a forced marriage to the not-so-charming prince Kato is so not what Dorthea had in mind for her enchanted future.

Trying to fix her prince problem by wishing on a (cursed) star royally backfires, leaving Dorthea with hair made up of emerald flames and the kingdom in chaos. Her parents and everyone she loves are stuck in some place called “Kansas.” Now it’s up to Dorthea and her pixed-off prince to find the mysterious Wizard of Oz and undo the curse…before it releases the wickedest witch of all and spells The End for the world of Story.


About the author:

Betsy Schow is the author of the memoir Finished Being Fat, and has been featured on The Today Show and in The Wall Street Journal. She lives in Utah, but travels the country with Color Me Rad 5k, and partners with nonprofits to teach kids creative thinking and how to reach their goals.



Excerpt from Spelled:

Most of the crowd had dispersed. The final few stragglers looked at me with the all ­too-common look of fear mixed with trepidation. Pix ’em. They were just servants. It wasn’t like their opinion mattered.

Only one remained, watching me with open curiosity. He looked to be in his late teens or was magically enhanced to appear so. He could have been a hundred for all I knew. I’d never seen him before in my life. He was handsome enough, for a commoner, even in his worn leather pants and cracked work boots. A foreigner, his hair was unruly and dark auburn, which complemented his tanned but dirt-smudged complexion, though the tall, dark stranger vibe was ruined by his piercing pale blue eyes.
  
Well, I’d had enough of being a sideshow for the day. “If you’re the new gardener, the hedges are overgrown and in need of a trim.” I pointed in the direction of my father. “While you’re there, you can help the king with the wisps.”

The young man’s expression clouded over, but he didn’t move.

I stamped my foot and pointed more forcefully. “Off with you. Courtyard’s that way. Be sure to clean those awful boots before coming back in.”

“Someone told me I’d find a princess of great worth here. One with the strength to be the hero this realm needs.” He stared at me with those unsettling blue eyes. They were cold, like ice water—made me shiver from head to toe. Then his gaze seemed to search even deeper. Finally, he looked through me, like I was nothing. 

In brisk steps, he strode across the marble to the courtyard. But before crossing the threshold, he turned back to glare at me with his lip curled ever so slightly. “It seems she was mistaken.” 

Just like that, I had been sifted, weighed, and found wanting.

I felt my own lip curl in response. How rude! Who the Grimm was this peasant to judge me? I was wearing a Glenda original. Original! Not some fairy-godmother knockoff worn by those servant girls turned royal. I was a crown princess, for the love of fairy, and no one dismissed me.

Before I could put the boy in his place—down in the dirt, where he belonged—a clatter came from behind, making me nearly jump out of my shoes. I checked and was relieved that Sterling had simply dropped his sword. By the time I looked back, the gardener was gone. 

After stowing his blade, Sterling held up his shield, not in defense of the entrance but so he could look at his reflection. “Clearly he’s blind and doesn’t know what he’s talking about.” 

I didn’t ask for Sterling’s opinion, but it made me feel better. 

Until he opened his mouth again.

“Worth, pffft. I mean, look around at all the jewels. Your palace has everything you could ever want. Honestly, I don’t know what you’re fussing about. Why would anyone want to leave?” 

Because a cage is still a cage, no matter how big or glittering the bars are. 

And I would find a way free, no matter the cost.


Spelled Gift Basket

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thanks for stopping by! I'll get a review of Spelled up next month, but for now, know it's worth looking into. If you're looking for the winners of the REVELATION and THE FANGS OF BLOODHAVEN giveaways, click here!

Giveaway Winners

*drum roll please*

First up, the winner of The Fangs of Blood Haven by Cheree Alsop is...

a Rafflecopter giveaway
And second, the winner of Revelation by J.E. Thompson...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congratulations, winners! And thanks so much to everyone who entered this giveaway!

All right, now go have a spectacular day. ^_^

Monday, May 18, 2015

Top Ten Tween Books

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. It's so much fun to play along, and this week is a freebie! I've chosen the topic of my Top Ten Tween Books, in no particular order.

Tweens are stuck between middle grade and YA and, gosh darn it! They deserve some good books too.

There doesn't seem to be a hard and fast rule for what exactly a 'tween' book is (I generally think of it as 13-14 year-olds) so what I've picked out are books that strike me as more advanced than most middle grade fiction (higher concept, bigger stakes, more intense character development, longer books, etc.) that also don't dip into the more mentally scarring inclusions of YA (swearing, smut, etc.). I've got a little bit of everything in this list, so you'll probably find something you'll like.

Here are my top picks for the in-betweeners. These first three are books I've found in the last few years that I think will work really well for a tween audience. If you want to learn more about any title, just click on the picture.


http://www.amazon.com/Giants-Ice-Ever-Afters-Book-ebook/dp/B0061Q5NTK/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1431906167&sr=1-1&keywords=of+giants+and+ice

THE EVER AFTERS series by Shelby Bach
Fantasy/Fairy tale retellings
Coupled with great story and magic, the main reason for this pick is the amazing character development. This deals with so many issues kids face during that in-between phase, as they're trying to figure out exactly who they are and what they think. Taking place during the main characters' 12th-14th years, this series takes on a lot of real-life issues with growing up, like making and losing friends, relating to parents, figuring things out for yourself, bullying, peer pressure, and learning how to do what's right. All while saving the world from a homicidal maniac. So, bonus.


THE WIG IN THE WINDOW by Kristen Kitscher
Mystery

Best friends Sophie and Grace are convinced that their school counselor is a murderer. But after one false lead, nobody will believe them a second time. They'll have to prove it themselves, but will solving the mystery ruin their friendship? This is a great book, with wonderfully developed and clever characters, and it deals a lot with being the odd one out and figuring out who your real friends are.



THE NINJA LIBRARIANS by Jen Swann Downey
Fantasy/Adventure

A special library whose sole purpose is to track down books and writers all throughout history and attempt to preserve them any way they can. It talks about the sanctity of the written and spoken word, and especially the importance of the freedom to use them. There is a lot of sword fighting, time travel, Star Wars quotes, and the occasional Princess Bride reference. This is a perfect choice for the young or soon-to-be geek.





These next listed are all books I remember enjoying in my early teen years. (Ugh, so many cover redesigns. :P Maybe I should have done Top Ten Worst Cover Redesigns, instead...)


FINNEGAN ZWAKE series by Michael Dahl
Mystery

This series may be tough to find nowadays, but they're good. While these books are fairly short, it is a bonefide murder mystery series. For kids. Those don't come around too often now, do they? Especially when they're actually done well. The narration is kept upbeat, and Finn himself is such a strange kid, that these never get scary, just exciting. Dahl does a great job keeping these appropriate for a young audience, and your reader will love trying to solve the mystery.



ARTEMIS FOWL series by Eoin Colfer
Fantasy

The plot, concept, and ideas in this series are complex enough to appeal to both MG and YA, so that makes it a perfect pick for those in-betweeners. Not only does it have fairies and magic, but also sophisticated sci-fi equipment, evil geniuses, and lovable bodyguards. It's hilarious, and it has it's emotional moments too. As a personal favorite of mine, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this.
ALEX RIDER series by Anthony Horowitz
Spy Thriller
Fourteen-year-old British spy. Need I say more?

 

THE ENCHANTED FOREST CHRONICLES by Patricia C. Wrede
Fantasy

Though these characters are all adults, it's a great book for tweens. Much like the Shrek movies, it takes a screwball comedy approach to the fantasy genre, and Wrede has a lot of fun with it. It's age appropriate for kids, and they'll love the quirky and hilarious characters while Princess Cimorene tries to save the kingdom from evil wizards.


 


DRAGONBACK ADVENTURES by Timothy Zahn
Sci-Fi

This series deals with a lot of gray areas and morality issues as Draycos, a dragon-like alien, with the help of young con artist Jack, race to save his race from extinction, but the morality lesson is never at the expense of the heart-pounding action and it is always intriguing. Great stories, good cons, and space dragons.
SPACE. DRAGONS.
 


SAFFY'S ANGEL by Hilary McKay
Contemporary

Meet the Cassons, a bizarre, eccentric, and completely lovable British family. I have several staple quotes from this series that mean entirely nothing outside of context -"Flag pants!"- and I listened to this book all through my teen years obsessively. This would definitely fall more into the tween category. There are several books about the Casson family, but this is the first and by far my favorite. This is a fun, delightful story about a young girl trying to find herself and her place in her family. Don't dismiss it just as a girl's book, either; my favorite character is the only brother of the Cassons, Indigo, and his daring efforts to overcome his fear of heights, and the youngest and fearless of the bunch, Rose, is absolutely hysterical.



ALIEN SECRETS by Annette Curtis Klause
Sci-Fi/Mystery

Puck is a clever heroine and she's thrown into a high-stakes conspiracy involving an alien of a nearly extinct race and a sacred artifact. This is a great sci-fi for a tween reader; the description and detail aren't too complicated, but they aren't dumbed down either. This is a great mystery that will keep the pages turning, and the ending packs a pretty good punch.


Okay, I'm going to cheat a little. I'm adding an eleventh to my top ten, because I just can't leave out...


Ugh, my least favorite of
the redesigned covers. :P
THE VESPER HOLLY ADVENTURES by Lloyd Alexander
Adventure

I discovered these when I was about fourteen and I adored them. It's basically an Indiana Jones setup -world travel, ancient legends, rebel armies- with Vesper Holly who is anything but your socially acceptable Victorian schoolgirl. Now, Vesper is sixteen, but the books are fairly short, 150-200 pages, and the adventures are all-consuming. If you want to give your little girl a role model, Vesper Holly is a good one. This series will also appeal to boys -did I mention the Indiana Jones set up? But if they don't feel comfortable reading a book about a GIRL, let them know it's all narrated Doctor Watson-style by her guardian, Uncle Brinnie, who is hilarious and slightly clueless. Have no fear; there's no incessant girl talk here. Plus, Lloyd Alexander is a master storyteller.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

REVIEW: Of Enemies and Endings by Shelby Bach (The Ever Afters, bk 4)

Of Enemies and Endings
by Shelby Bach
The Ever Afters, bk 4
MG/Fantasy
5+/5 stars

No worries; no spoilers! I don't give anything away, but I do reference events from previous books.
Also, this being the last book in my favorite series, I'm entitled to a little fangirling. Or a lot. At least some. Right. Here we go.

So much angst! So much anxiety! So much fun!

I can't remember the last time I was this invested in a book. You know those jokes about book hangovers and readers not caring about reality because they're entirely consumed by a fictional universe? This is that book. I still haven't recovered. I finished it two weeks ago and I'm reading a new book and I still just want to think about this one.


Spoilers for Of Enemies and Endings will be avoided with this review, but I have to warn you that once you start this book you really shouldn't put it down. (And definitely not at chapter 18. ESPECIALLY not at chapter 18. That crushed my soul for a whole weekend.)



Of Enemies and Endings is the final book of The Ever Afters series. Everything is coming to a head and everything has changed for Rory. At the end of the last book, she finally told her parents about Ever After School and it's fun to see her family dealing with this. I loved Amy, and it's great seeing her family adjust not only to this new world, but who Rory is in this new world. I will admit, I've become increasingly impatient with Maggie, Rory's mom, as the series progresses but that's a clear sign of just how well she's portrayed. How do you think an overprotective mother is going to react to this stuff?

And then there's Chase.
Whose position changed at the end of the last book.
You all know what I'm talking about. I'm just going to say this development adds substantially to the emotional roller coaster ride.

Shelby Bach's character playlists make great listening music! 

Now a warning. Of Enemies and Endings is a lot more serious than the others. The series has gradually become so, with higher stakes each book, but this one really takes the cake. Usually, we have the fun banter of the Characters -specifically Chase- to keep things more light-hearted and upbeat. Well. Bach doesn't drop the jokes cold turkey, but as tensions rise and the deadline for Rory's face-off with the Snow Queen approaches there are considerably less. Specifically Chase's.

I must admit that I laughed hysterically at the end of Chapter 8. And I feel really, really bad about that. Sorry.*

Shelby Bach's foreshadowing skills continue to astound me. There were things mentioned in book two that led directly into a major event in the finale and I didn't even notice the clues. Every detail in every book is so masterfully and subtly interwoven that I am in awe. Stunned, even.
She also has an amazing knack for making her characters so realistic, doing what they should be doing instead of doing what you want them to be doing. Which is both frustrating and wonderful at the same time.

Something I really liked about Of Enemies and Endings is that it doesn't follow the traditional format of a Tale and quest. It's so unpredictable. Which is quite fitting, considering the Tale of Rory Landon is an Unwritten one. While some of the plot twists I did see coming, there were some that smacked me right between the eyes like one of Lena's Baseball Bats of Destruction.

The real surprise for me in this book was Hansel. We get to see a side of him here that clashes with the image Rory has built of him, and I love that. I love seeing new facets of characters, of looking at them from another perspective. He's my favorite minor character in this book and definitely worth mention.

This book got me right in the gut, guys. I mean, I loved the others. But this one. Right in the gut. I laughed. I cried. I was terrified. I yelled at characters. A lot. There were parts that ripped my heart out, parts that almost stitched it back together, and then parts that wrenched it out and tore it to shreds again. To say this is an emotional roller coaster ride would be a gross understatement, but the most important thing you need to know is that it's worth it. Every single moment -even the heartbreaking ones- are worth it. This is an amazing piece of storytelling, quite possibly the best book of the whole series, and while it's full of angst and emotional turmoil and moments that will make you want to throw it across the room, it's exactly how the series needs to end.

Gosh, I feel like I'm spelling out all this gloom and doom for you. Don't worry! Whatever you do, don't dread this book. Because it's amazing and wonderful. It's just a lot more intense than the others. It's the conclusion. This is where everything comes to a head -things you didn't even know were things!- and this is where everyone hits their lowest low, collectively and individually.

There's a lot going on in this book. Expect a knot of excitement and anxiety in your stomach the entire time. I think, in part for me, this was from knowing that this was the end. The End.

I wanted to gobble it whole and put it off and savor it indefinitely all at once! This book was spectacular. It was not disappointing. It was everything I wanted it to be, plus more.

I am completely satisfied with the series. Not to say I wouldn't love to see more if, perchance, we got some short stories. Or even more books in the same world (if we were to be really, really lucky). But I have no complaints. This final book is beautiful and I immediately wanted to read it again.

Of Enemies and Endings gets five stars from me, while The Ever Afters series collectively receives twenty, plus:
  • two thumbs up
  • a squeal of delight
  • lifetime devotion
  • instant recommendation to every single human being who asks
  • an immortal place high on my list of all-time favorites
Thank you, Shelby Bach, for this awesome and amazing adventure. I hate to see it end, but man, what an ending.
 
Of Enemies and Endings will be available June 30th and keep an eye on my channel and blog, because I'll probably have some kind of celebration for it.

Want to check out the rest of my reviews for The Ever Afters series? Here you go! Enjoy!

Don't forget to check out Shelby Bach's blog. She's also giving away two advance copies of this epic conclusion, so don't miss it!

*Comments to be understood after YOU'VE read the book. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Giveaway | April Wrap Up

Two book giveaways in one day? How did we get so lucky!?

Cheree Alsop, author of seven YA series and several novels with a supernatural edge, is launching her brand new series, The Monster Asylum, and she's providing an ebook copy of the first book, The Fangs of Bloodhaven. (This giveaway is open internationally.)


Monster Asylum 1 Book CoverBeing a teenage vampire in a human family isn’t easy, especially in a city where harboring any monster subspecies is illegal. When Everett is injured attempting to save a werewolf, she takes him to the Monster Asylum, a place that shouldn’t exist, and introduces him to a world of acceptance and possibility. Dark creatures begin to plague the five cities. Everett’s ability to fight against them makes him irreplaceable if the human world that fears him can accept a vampire as a hero.
 


Cheree Alsop is a seriously accomplished independently published author who churns out books like there's no tomorrow. She's one of those indie authors who's helping the industry get a good name. Find out more about her:


a Rafflecopter giveaway


J.E. Thompson is celebrating an awesome new book cover, and wanted to share the love. A paperback copy of the first book in his Almost Human series, Revelation, is also on the giveaway list! (This giveaway is only open to US residents.)
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-tTSXBxjZw-w/VQ8hS1ik9_I/AAAAAAAAARs/CfUg-_YTlEY/s1600/Revelation%2Bfront%2BCover.jpg


Headline reads, "New tribe emerges from the Brazilian jungle."
A never before seen tribe suddenly appears. Bigfoot sightings filter in. A
raccoon shows up with red fur. Animal Control rounds up increasing numbers of stray dogs wandering the beach but no owners claim them.
For fifteen year old Michelle Thorn, seeing a living Bigfoot in the Oregon forest is only the beginning. The next few weeks will shatter her beliefs about who she is.



Bigfoot. Conspiracy. Murder.
Bring it on.

This adventurous thriller, laced with a bit of sci-fi flair, is J.E. Thompson's first novel. You can find out more about him and his newly released anthology Deliciously Dark Tales here:


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Now for the wrap up! I'm talking about all the books I read and got in April, with just a little bit of singing and maybe a pantomimed Psycho scene. (Okay, definitely that.)




ALL THE LINKS:
Geek Girl by Holly Smale
Video Review | Blog
The Ghost is Love by Jonathan Carroll
Video Review | Blog
Brother Odd by Dean Koontz
Goodreads
Of Witches and Wind by Shelby Bach
Video Review
Of Sorcery and Snow by Shelby Bach
Video Review
OF ENEMIES AND ENDINGS by Shelby Bach
Fairest by Marissa Meyer
Third Daughter by Susan Kaye Quinn
Video Review | Blog
Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi

Monday, May 4, 2015

May the Fourth Be With You Always


Am I really going to pass up the chance to geek about Star Wars? No way!

And this trailer, guys. I know it's been out awhile, but still. EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS TRAILER.



Luke repeating those iconic lines gave me chills.

I still know next to nothing about the plot, but I really don't care, because this is Star Wars. This is the return of Star Wars and I'm so excited to enjoy a new trilogy and all the hype of release and the moment it hits the big screen, because I've never been able to fully experience this before. So many times I wish I'd been around when the first trilogy was originally released, just to be there, just to be part of it. Just EVERYTHING. And now I can be. I'm geeking out, guys. I'm so sparking excited!

But that last bit with Han and Chewie, 'We're home', that's it. That is IT! The rest of the trailer gave me chills, but that's when I cheered. Seeing that duo back together, on screen, this just got real, people.

I guess I know what I'm doing for my birthday this year. ^_^


Now for some random  
Amanda + Star Wars facts

I have only seen one Star Wars film in theaters. This was The Phantom Menace. It was the first Star Wars film I'd ever seen. I was thoroughly confused, I absolutely loved it, Liam Neeson was my first action hero, and I nearly strangled my aunt when she made a passing comment about how sweet little Anakin Skywalker grew up to be the big bad Darth Vader.

 http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/414ls1q8CfL._SY355_.jpg
Yes, even at eight I abhorred spoilers.

I spent a lot of time addicted to Return of the Jedi,
but have finally conceded that the original is the best.


 I have been known to ride the Star Tours adventure
in Disneyland up to four times in a row, multiple days.
Before there was more than one adventure.

http://img.pandawhale.com/160166-han-solo-hey-its-me-gif-Imgur-DW69.gif
 Han Solo is my favorite.


I will always have a soft spot
for Ewan McGregor as Obi Wan.

i loved jar jar binks as a child
sorry. but it's the truth.


Before I even knew what Star Wars was, I always seemed to be walking in on other people watching it, and always at the exact same scene.
I have probably watched Han, Luke, Leia, and Chewie battle the trash compactor eight times more than I've seen the film.

http://kidologist.com/wp-content/2014/03/leia_trash_compactor.jpg

http://www.geekalerts.com/u/Star-Wars-Trash-Compactor-Bookends.jpg


Speaking of which...
These are pretty sweet.
And book readers can always use more bookends.







I adore this photo
http://weknowmemes.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/the-moment-mark-hamill-and-carrie-fisher-found-out-they-were-twins.jpg

And I still rock out to this song. So let's close this Star Wars day blog post out properly, shall we? Grab your lightsabers and your fake mikes.