Friday, August 1, 2014

A Snippet from The Dark Artifices

The Dark Artifices by Cassandra Jean
From Cassie's tumblr, a new TDA snippet. Mark, Mark, Mark. I'm loving his character as well as Cristina's:
Now he looked at her sideways. “You don’t think I look like a Shadowhunter any more?”

“Do you want to?” Cristina asked.

“I want to look like my family,” Mark said. “I cannot have the Blackthorn coloring, but I can look as much like Nephilim as possible. Besides, if I wish to be part of the investigation, I cannot stand out.”

Cristina held back from telling Mark that there was no world in which he didn’t stand out. “I can make you look like a Shadowhunter.”

OCEANBORN by Amalie Howard, Blog Tour: Character Intro/Giveaway

Welcome today's OCEANBORN blog tour stop! Today I'm thrilled to introduce you to one of the characters from Amalie's book, Kelsey Chow. Here's Kelsey: 

Kelsey Chow
Likes: I love hockey, and I love learning about new things. Not necessarily in that order. I take my education very seriously. I also like reading books and watching movies. I enjoy waking up in my own bed, and the way fresh, clean sheets smell. I love my boyfriend, Sawyer, when he’s not being totally clueless, and when he brings me flowers “just because.” I like Thai food and street fairs, particularly ones with Nutella crepes. I like candid photography—taking photos when no one thinks you’re looking. I love the idea of capturing those real moments on film when it’s not a pose, it’s art in action. I like that my best friend is not who everyone thinks she is, and I especially like that she trusts me with her secret. I love being able to have a voice and make a difference.
Dislikes: Egotism. Ill-mannered people. Bigger people who forget to fight for the smaller people. Marshmallows. Being told what to do.

About The Book

The coronation is over.
But the battle has just begun.

Nerissa Marin has won her crown. But can she keep it? Already, her ties to the human realm are driving a wedge between Nerissa and her people. When word arrives that her part-human prince consort, Lo, has been poisoned, she makes the difficult choice to leave Waterfell and return landside. As the royal courts debate her decision, even more disturbing rumors surface: a plot is rising against her, led by someone she least expects.

On land, Nerissa learns another shocking truth: Lo does not remember who she is. As her choice to try to save him threatens her hold on her crown, changing loyalties and uncertainty test her courage in ways she could never have imagined. Nerissa will have one last chance to prove herself as a queen …and save the undersea kingdom she loves. Add to GoodReads 
About the Series

Order your copy of book one, WATERFELL

Get your copy of OCEANBORN TODAY!

SEAMONSTER by Amalie Howard (Aquarathi #1.5)
Available on AMAZON for only $.99

About The Author

AMALIE HOWARD grew up on a small Caribbean island where she spent most of her childhood with her nose buried in a book or being a tomboy running around barefoot, shimmying up mango trees and dreaming of adventure. 22 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.

She is the author of several young adult novels critically acclaimed by Kirkus, PW, and Booklist, including Waterfell, The Almost Girl, and Alpha Goddess, a Spring 2014 Kid’s INDIE NEXT title. Her debut novel, Bloodspell, was an 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 New York with her husband and three children. Visit her at
Find Amalie: Website † Twitter † Facebook † GoodReads

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Catching Up with Cassie: Parabatai Q&A and Brazil Tour

Jem and Will by a chelseabee

Q. Hi Cassie! I just want to say that your last book COHF (and also the others) helped get through a tough time. My best friend (I mean my Soul Best Friend, that I know since I was 7) showed me City of Bones one day. And I got so into the saga and the characters and so I kept reading them ALL. Even TID. Anyway, that BFF, stopped talking to me last month, she thought we were ‘too different’ to still get along with each other and without any other explanation she just left me. It felt like a betryal. She was my PARABATAI. We were will and jem. Jace and alec. Emma and jules. WE DEFINITELY WERE THEM. We r different, that’s true, but we complemented each other and never had that been a problem. And I am so wrecked. And I was reading COHF while all of this was happening. And it was heartbreaking for me too read about alec and jace and how I had lost MY PARABATAI. The one person a NEVER thought I would lose. And I was just wondering, how can someone get over the fact of losing their parabatai? I know will lost jem and jem lost will, but that was kind of mutual. This time, it feels like I am the only one suffereing cause she doesnt even show or let me know that she cares about what happend. And do you believe that Parabatais maybe werent meant to be parabatais in the first place? Because I believe is worse to think that maybe she wasnt my parabatai after all… Jem will never get over the fact that he lost his parabatai and I dont want to feel this forever. Advice? Amazing fact: when we were 10 we did a pact. A pact of commitment, a pact that said we were FOREVER. Like a parabatai’s pact (we didnt runed ourselves though, we just holded hands haha) And I remember it every single day, while I stare at nothing, forever wishing this hadnt happend to me.—[name redacted]

CASSIE: This isn’t technically Shadowhunter stuff, so this is just my advice as a human and I hope it isn’t terrible. Friend breakups are the worst. Here is this person you relied on and thought would be there for you forever and then they’re – gone. As with any relationship, a close friendship creates a world, a world where the two of you live, and when the friendship ends that world dies. So you’re right to mourn, and it’s okay to do so.

Flashback Friday: Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm by Leigh Badugo, Audiobook Review

By: Leigh Bardugo
Narrator: Lauren Fortgang
Series: The Grisha Trilogy (website with extras)
Publisher: Henry Holt/Brilliance Audio
Release Date: June 5, 2012/ September 17, 2013
Source: Purchased

Buy: amazon | IndieBound | iTunes | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository

Rating: 5 out of 5 Sun Summoner Stars (and boy, are those powerful and bright)

Synopsis of Shadow and Bone: Alina Starkov doesn't expect much from life. Orphaned by the Border Wars, the one thing she could rely on was her best friend and fellow refugee, Mal. And lately not even that seems certain. Drafted into the army of their war-torn homeland, they're sent on a dangerous mission into the Fold, a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. When their convoy is attacked, all seems lost until Alina reveals a dormant power that not even she knew existed. Ripped from everything she knows, she is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. He believes she is the answer the people have been waiting for: the one person with the power to destroy the Fold.

Swept up in a world of luxury and illusion, envied as the Darkling's favorite, Alina struggles to fit into her new life without Mal by her side. But as the threat to the kingdom mounts, Alina discovers a secret that sets her on a collision course with the most powerful forces in the kingdom. Now only her past can save her... and only she can save the future.

So here's the deal, you know that book that people, I mean close friends not just any ol' person, tell you about. And they go on and on and ON about how you should drop everything and read this now. You ignore them because you may be caught up in a Summer of Contemporary Reads, and you just aren't in the mood for fantasy of any kind. You want real stories with real people and you don't care that your friends are declaring themselves Team Whomever because your fangirlsh ways are on overload anyway. Ever been there? Well, that was me when Shadow and Bone came out.

Then early this summer, I looked at my shelves and thought, hmmm, I wonder if this story is good as an audiobook? I clicked over to iTunes and BAM, I was hooked.

Fan Art Friday

Here's a collection of fan art that Cassie posted this week on her tumblr. Which is your favorite?

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Time of The Fireflies by Kimberly Griffith, Book Trailer Reveal

Hello MG (middle grade) readers! I've got a fabulous treat for you today. I'm so thrilled to be revealing Kimberly Griffiths Little's book trailer for her The TIME of The FIREFLIES. Before you check out the trailer, here's a little bit about her book:

When Larissa Renaud starts receiving eerie phone calls on a disconnected old phone in her family's antique shop, she knows she's in for a strange summer. A series of clues leads her to the muddy river banks, where clouds of fireflies dance among the cypress knees and cattails each evening at twilight. The fireflies are beautiful and mysterious, and they take her on a magical journey through time, where Larissa learns secrets about her family's tragic past -- deadly, curse-ridden secrets that could harm the future of her family as she knows it. It soon becomes clear that it is up to Larissa to prevent history from repeating itself and a fatal tragedy from striking the people she loves.

Critically acclaimed author Kimberley Griffiths Little spins a thrilling tale filled with family secrets, haunting mystery, and dangerous adventure in the story of one girl's race to unravel the curse that has haunted her family for generations. (Synopsis from Scholastic Press)

Order from:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Add it to  Goodreads! 


Professional Reviews for The TIME of The FIREFLIES: 

“Haunting, well-constructed tale . . . A plot filled with suspense, adventure, and mystery.  Perfect choice for lovers of ghost stories, historical fiction, or just a good yarn.”
—School Library Journal

“Little’s strengths lie in building a strong sense of the history of a place, its inhabitants, and how one can greatly affect the other. A satisfyingly creepy mystery, wrapped up in the bonds of family.” —Publisher’s Weekly 

“Suspense builds quickly and doesn’t falter . . . Larissa’s first-person narration is fresh and engaging, and the richly evoked south Louisiana setting serves to ground this ethereal tale in a real time and place while contributing to the mysterious mood it requires. —Kirkus Reviews 

Find Kimberly via: 
Enter To Win
A signed finished hardcover copy as well as some swag, including a glow-in-the-dark firefly necklace. 

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Homeroom Diaries by James Patterson, Giveaway

Happy almost end of the week! One more day to go until it's Friday!! I've got a little treat for you to make your Thursday that much more enjoyable. Today I'm thrilled to spotlight a new YA book out from acclaimed author James Patterson. His newest YA book, Homeroom Diaries has recently hit shelves, but I've got a copy of it, and a few other James Patterson goodies to giveaway today. First, here's a little bit about Homeroom Diaries:

In James Patterson's first highly illustrated "diary fiction" story for teens, the mega-bestselling author's most endearing and original teen heroine ever proves that everyone can use a helping hand once in a while.

Margaret "Cuckoo" Clarke recently had a brief stay in a mental institution following an emotional breakdown, but she's turning over a new leaf with her "Happiness Project". She's determined to beat down the bad vibes of the Haters, the Terror Teachers, and all of the trials and tribulations of high school by writing and drawing in her diary. And when life gets really tough, she works through her own moments of uncertainty through imaginary conversations with her favorite literary characters.

Cuckoo's also got a nearly impossible mission: she, along with her misfit band of self-deprecating friends (who call themselves "the Freakshow") decide to bridge the gap between warring cliques and "bring the Nations together". Not everyone is so willing to join hands and get along, but Cuckoo never stops smiling...until one of her closest friends, pushed to desperation by a Hater prank, decides that enough is enough.

Purchase from:
·         Apple Store
·         Barnes & Noble
·         Google eBooks
·         IndieBound
·         Kobo eBooks
·         Powells
·         Target
·         Walmart
·         Amazon

Breakfast Served Anytime by Sarah Combs, Book Review

By: Sarah Combs
Publisher: Candlewick
Release Date: April 8, 2014
Source: netgalley

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 quirky and perfect stars 

Buy: IndieBound | Barnes and Noble | amazon | Book Depository

Breakfast Served Anytime

Synopsis:  A coming-of-age debut evokes the bittersweet joys and pangs of finding independence in one unforgettable summer away at "geek camp."

When Gloria sets out to spend the summer before her senior year at a camp for gifted and talented students, she doesn’t know quite what to expect. Fresh from the heartache of losing her grandmother and missing her best friend, Gloria resolves to make the best of her new circumstances. But some things are proving to be more challenging than she expected. Like the series of mysterious clues left by a certain Professor X before he even shows up to teach his class, Secrets of the Written Word. Or the very sweet, but very conservative, roommate whose coal-industry family champions mountaintop removal. Not to mention the obnoxious Mason, who dresses like the Mad Hatter and immediately gets on Gloria’s nerves — but somehow won’t escape her thoughts.

Beautifully told by debut author Sarah Combs, this honest and touching story of growing up is imbued with the serene atmosphere of Kentucky’s natural landscape.

You guys know how I love tension in a story, well, I'm here to say that every once in a while a quiet story catches my attention. In the inner sanctum of my reader's heart, I'm a character-driven reader. I fall easily for well constructed fictional people and I fell hard for quirky Gloria. Every detail about her, from her love of To Kill a Mockingbird to her habit of adding little bits of findings and scraps to her Gloria Bishop Book of Ephemera made me love her more. The geek camp setting allows Sarah Combs to explore even more interesting characters and every, single one (and I do mean, every single one) is worthwhile meeting.

There are not many stories like this one. There are flashier titles out there. But in my summer reading so far, I haven't come across a book like this. Everyone in this story is so much deeper than they first appear to be and everyone serves a purpose in showing how, in the end (and in spite of changing circumstances), the characters remain true to themselves.

I realize I'm babbling, so let me use one of my favorite quotes from the book, and I know it will resonate with my fellow bookworms. In one of the class assignments, Gloria explains her love of To Kill a Mockingbird and how it's meaningful to her because it was her grandmother's favorite (page 245):
I guess what I'm trying to say is that sometimes you can love a book not so much because of what it's about or what happens in it, but because it belongs to a certain time or person in your life -- like you'll always remember where you were when you read it for the first time, or who gave it to you, or what season it was, or who you were before you read it and how you were different when it was over.
See what I mean? Sarah's writing rings true and her words simply slice through that reader-heart of mine.

When you're tired of quick beach reads, cute romances or the latest buzzy title, pick up Breakfast Served Everywhere. I guarantee you will fall in love with Sarah's characters. What a memorable debut story, and yes, now I want more stories from Sarah.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Guardian by Courtney Cole, Cover Reveal

We are absolutely thrilled to bring you the Cover Reveal for Courtney Cole's GUARDIAN! GUARDIAN is a YA Paranormal Romance, and a book close to Courtney’s heart. It is being released on August 28th!


GUARDIAN Synopsis: 
Sometimes, things that go bump in the night are real. My name is Whitney Lane. I’m sixteen years old and at first, I thought I was crazy. I kept seeing shadows move along walls, and hearing whispers around corners, but whenever I looked, there was never anything there. Until one day, there was. Our world isn’t what we think. There are things around us, good things, bad things, scary things. Things that we tell ourselves aren’t real, but they are. They’re very real, and they’re terrifying. I’ve been swept up now, in a battle of good and evil, confused about love and what is supposed to be love, but isn’t. I don’t know what to think anymore. I can’t trust my emotions and I don’t know what is true. There’s only one thing I know for sure. Nothing is what it seems. 



 Courtney Cole is a novelist who would eat mythology for breakfast if she could. She has a degree in Business, but has since discovered that corporate America is not nearly as fun to live in as fictional worlds. She loves chocolate and roller coasters and hates waiting and rude people. Courtney lives in quiet suburbia, close to Lake Michigan, with her real-life Prince Charming, her ornery kids (there is a small chance that they get their orneriness from their mother) and a small domestic zoo. 

Visit Courtney here: Website |Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter SignUp| Pinterest

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, Book Review

By: E. Lockhart
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: May 13, 2014
Source: Purchased

Rating: 5 out of 5 summery sky stars

Buy: IndieBound | amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository

We Were Liars

Synopsis: A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.

Oh, E. (Emily) Lockhart, you wrote this book just for me. Little known facts about me: I love, love, love stories about large families. Large, privileged families with lots of secrets and in-fighting are even better. I think it's because I grew up in the very opposite of that. No trust fund, no private schools, no islands owned by my grandfather that I could conveniently spend my summers on with the rest of my very privileged cousins. But it doesn't stop me from wondering what it would be like. Emily gives us just those glimpses. The Sinclairs are full of old money, but as the older generation carves and clings to what they think should be theirs, the younger one bonds carelessly realizing that perhaps there is more to life than percentages of inheritance.

Cadence with her cousins, Johnny and Mirren, and their friend, Gat, have spent summers together on her grandfather's island since they were eight years old. Together they are The Liars. I loved the tightness of their group, and their exclusivity (ignoring their younger cousins and the older generation, too). The Liars questions their parents' preoccupation with inheritance, class and race. And don't worry, Mundie Moms, there is a sweetness to the budding romance between Cady and Gat, who as an outsider, continually questions the lifestyle level maintained by the older generation of Sinclairs.

And then in the summer of their fifteenth year, everything backfires. There is an event that causes Cady to have amnesia, and she becomes my favorite of all protagonists -- a very unreliable narrator. The story twists as Cady begins to remember events slowly and the unfolding of the plot reminded me of the last of those summer vacation sunsets. You know it's coming, you just want it to last.

If you're looking for a summer story that will be predictable, don't pick up We Were Liars. Also, set aside some time. Trust me on this. You will not be able to put it down. I finished it in one long flight and it has easily become my very favorite summer read of 2014.

- - -
Emily and Delacorte have set up a We Were Liars tumblr and a pinterest (you know how I love that!) board -- be sure to check those out.

Sisters' Fate by Jessica Spotswood, Waiting on Wednesday #220

By: Jessica Spotswood
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Release Date:  August 14, 2014
Series: The Cahill Witch Chronicles #3
Sisters' Fate (The Cahill Witch Chronicles, #3)

A fever ravages New London, but with the Brotherhood sending suspected witches straight to the gallows, the Sisters are powerless against the disease. They can’t help without revealing their powers—as Cate learns when a potent display of magic turns her into the most wanted witch in all of New England.

To make matters worse, Cate has been erased from the memory of her beloved Finn. While she’s torn between protecting him from further attacks and encouraging him to fall for her all over again, she’s certain she can never forgive Maura’s betrayal. And now that Tess’s visions have taken a deadly turn, the prophecy that one Cahill sister will murder another looms ever closer to its fulfillment.

Katie's reviews of Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles #1) and Star Cursed (The Cahill Witch Chronicles #2) make me want to catch up to this series right away! "Twists, betrayals, romance, magic and war"?!?! That's my kind of story. Who's joining me in reading the first two books in the series before the last one comes out??? 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Just One Night by Gayle Forman, Book Review

Series: Just One Day 2.5
Publisher: Viking Childrens
Release Date: May 29, 2014
Source: Purchased
Rating: 5 out of 5 starry stars -- I loved it!

Buy: iBooks | bamkindle | nook | kobo

Just One Night (Just One Day, #2.5)

Synopsis:  After spending one life-changing day in Paris with laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter, sheltered American good girl Allyson “Lulu” Healey discovered her new lover had disappeared without a trace. Just One Day followed Allyson’s quest to reunite with Willem; Just One Year chronicled the pair’s year apart from Willem’s perspective. Now, back together at last, this delectable e-novella reveals the couple’s final chapter.

(SPOILER WARINING: This is the 2.5-ish installment of the series, my assumption is that you've read the first two books. If you haven't, proceed with caution because there are massive spoilers ahead)

My kindle informs me that this e-novella was only 43 pages. Well, it was 43 pages of pure, unfiltered fangirlish delight.. Let me back up a sec, you see I was maybe one of the few who actually liked the ending of Just One Year. I completely got the cinematic feeling of the abrupt moment as the curtain was drawn and we all thought, "NOOOOOOO! Don't stop there, Gayle!!!!".  I got it. I did. It was fitting to the story of Allyson and Willem. They were these two strangers that were never really supposed to hit it off. Never really supposed to fall in love. And certainly, all those missed opportunities were never, ever supposed to lead to crossed paths once again. But (SPOILER), they did. And then what happened?

Gayle gives us the "what happened" bits, and she paces it along quite nicely so you're left with that feeling of okay, I get it. What happened was…what was supposed to happen. Sometimes, I think we readers are a little too curious with our What Ifs, but in this case, I am so glad that Gayle listened and gave us her What If.

If you haven't bought it, yes, it's well worth the price (currently $0.99 in most formats).  Gayle also taped 5 episodes of her reading Just One Night on Penguin Teen's You Tube channel. Here's the first part (phew, what a "goodnight story"):

Twitter Tuesday: Gayle Forman's If I Stay Movie Sountrack List

The twitterverse was all abuzz a few days ago with the newly revealed "If I Stay" soundtrack song list. I know I speak for Katie, Shandra and Emm when I say we are genuinely excited about this movie. Everything looks so just-the-way-we-pictured-it-when-we-read-it.

1.   "Who Needs You" - The Orwels
2.   "Until We Get There" - Lucius
3.   "I Want What You Have" - Willamette Stone
4.   "All of Me" - Tanlines
5.   "Promise" - Ben Howard
6.   "Never Coming Down" - Willamette Stone
7.   "Halo" - Ane Brun and LinnĂ©a Olsson
8.   "I Will Be There" - Odessa
9.   "Mind" - Willamette Stone
10. "Morning" - Beck
11. "Karen Revisited" - Sonic Youth
12. "Today" - Willamette Stone
13. "Heart Like Yours" - Willamette Stone
14. "Heal (If I Stay Version)" - Tom Odell

Did you notice all the Williamette Stone songs? That's Adam's band! For legal reasons, the name of the band has been changed from Shooting Star to Willamette Stone. I don't think any of us really mind that change. And guess what? Yes, you can hear samples of the Willamette Stone tracks on soundcloud.

For creative readers, there's even a fan art challenge with weekly prizes!

But, this is what we really wanted to see -- more of the movie! So, here's the clip that was shown on this weekend's mtvU Fandom Awards:

Oh, I am so ready to see this movie! It will open in theaters on August 22nd. You can follow the latest movie updates on their official webpage or on the movie's twitter account.

Monday, July 28, 2014

A Thank You from Cassie for the Birthday Wishes

Art by aegisdea
A message from Cassie to all her fans who wished her a happy birthday:
AWWWWWWW.I feel verys loved. Thanks for all the nice messages, everyone! I spent the day pushing Holly into a pond, good times.
Don't you love aegisdea's art? She always captures the emotion of the moment so well. And LOL, poor Holly!

A TDA Snippet: A Little Cristina

Cristina by CassandraJean
Cassie released this snippet from The Dark Artifices today:
Cristina looked after Emma, her hand going to the pendant at her own throat. It was silver, in the shape of a circle with a rose inside it. The rose was wrapped around with thorny briars. Words were written in Latin on the back: she didn’t need to look at them to know them. She’d known them all her life. Blessed be the Angel my strength who teaches my hands to war, and my fingers to fight. The rose for Rosales, the words for Raziel, the Angel who had created the Shadowhunters a thousand years ago. Cristina had always thought Emma fought for her parabatai and for revenge, while she fought for family and faith. But maybe it was all the same thing: maybe it was all love, in the end.
Oh, I think we're going to love Cristina!