Tuesday, August 4, 2015

CRYSTAL KINGDOM by Amanda Hocking / Blog Tour: Author Interview & Read An Excerpt



Hello and welcome to today's blog tour stop for Amanda Hocking's CRYSTAL KINGDOM, which is out TODAY! I'm thrilled to share my recent interview with Amanda. But first, here's a little bit about her new release. 

ABOUT THE BOOK



By: Amanda Hocking
Published by: St. Martin's Griffin
Released on: August 4th, 2015 - TODAY
Series: Kanin Chronicles #3
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N | iBooks | IndieBound
Add it to Goodreads 

Cast out by her kingdom and far from home, she's the Kanin people's only hope.

Bryn Aven - unjustly charged with murder and treason - is on the run. The one person who can help is her greatest enemy, the enigmatic Konstantin Black. Konstantin is her only ally against those who have taken over her kingdom and threaten to destroy everything she holds dear. But can she trust him?

As Bryn fights to clear her name, the Kanin rulers’ darkest secrets are coming to light… and now the entire troll world is on the brink of war. Will it tear Bryn from Ridley Dresden, the only guy she’s ever loved? And can she join forces with Finn Holmes and the Trylle kingdom? One thing is certain: an epic battle is underway—and when it’s complete, nothing will ever be the same…



AUTHOR INTERVIEW





Hi Amanda! Congratulations on your new release today. If you had to describe the Crystal Kingdom in 5 words or less, how would you describe it?

An explosive and deadly finale.


I have loved the covers for this series. Have you had any say in your covers? 

I always have some input, but I didn’t have a real idea of what I wanted for these covers. Sometimes I have an exact vision, but for these, I really wasn’t sure. So it was basically the team at St. Martin’s that put it together, and I think it captured the feel of the books perfectly.


Through out the entire series, you've introduced us to some great characters. Which of the characters did you enjoy getting to know the most? Who was the most challenging for you to write?

Tilda was initially the most challenging to write, because I needed her to be fleshed out and stand out against Ember and Bryn. But once I got a good feel of her, she became one of my favorites. 

Konstantin and Ridley were both great, for different reasons. They really are such different guys, though, so that made it even more fun.

Writing about Finn from a different perspective was also a lot of fun. Bryn respects Finn, but she definitely does not view him the same way that Wendy does in the Trylle series. It’s also interesting looking at characters in different ways.


You have a lot of great elements you've included in not only Crystal Kingdom, but throughout the entire series. I have loved the series's world building, the history/mythology, the romance, danger, and everything in between. What has been your favorite element to create/write about?

The history and mythology was what originally drew me to writing this series. I knew so much of it from writing the Trylle series, but since protagonist was an outsider who doesn’t truly know the world yet, there was a lot of stuff I had to leave out, because I just felt like it didn’t fit that story.

So it was most exciting for me to go back and to expand on the groundwork I’d laid with the previous series. 

I do also really love writing romance, too ;)


I like that each of your series ties together, yet also stands alone. Has it been a challenge tying your series all together? Was that always your goal, or something that just happened. 

I have a theory that almost all my worlds exist in the same universe – meaning that if the characters from the Kanin Chronicles were to head out to Maryland, they could run into the characters from Watersong. So it’s somewhat intentional. 

With the Trylle series and the Kanin series, I tried very hard to walk a line where new readers could pick up the books and understand without having read the other series, but old readers would be able to see places and characters they’d already fallen in love with. It was tricky, but I’m hoping I pulled it off.


Now that the series has wrapped up *sniff, sniff*, can you tell us what you're working on next? 

My next book will be Freeks – a standalone YA paranormal romance novel set in the 1980s that follows a travelling sideshow. I pitched it as Pretty in Pink meets The Lost Boys (minus the vampires) meets Carnivale. It should be out sometime in 2016 with my publisher.


If you could write in any one of your favorite literary characters into Crystal Kingdom, who would it be and why?

Since I took inspiration from the works of Alexandre Dumas, it would be cool to see someone like D'Artagnan visit. I think he’d get carried away in the swashbuckling.


READ AN EXCERPT


tracking

"Where are we going?” I asked. It might have been a better question to ask before I’d gotten in the black Mustang with Konstantin, but I hadn’t wanted him to leave without me. And did it really matter where we were going? I had no place to be. No place to call home.
“I don’t know.” He glanced in the rearview mirror, watching the diner disappear behind us as he sped down the high- way. “Do you have somewhere in mind?”
I shook my head. “No.” Then I looked over at him. “But we should find someplace where we can really talk.”
“How about a motel?” he suggested, and when I scowled at him, he laughed. “If I was going to murder you, I would’ve done it already, and if I was just looking to get laid, believe me when I say there are easier ways to do it than this.”
“Why don’t you come out with it right now? I think a talk is long overdue.”
He smirked. “You sound so menacing.”
I looked out the window, watching the lush greenery as we sped by it. Even with me moving all over as a tracker, it was always jarring to go from the harsh cold of Doldastam to the bright warmth of anywhere else. Home was so far away, and this felt like a whole other world.
“How did you find me?” I asked, still watching the full ash trees that lined the side of the road.
“It was actually quite simple,” he said, and I looked back at him. He reached into the pocket of his leather jacket and pulled out a blond lock of hair held together with a thread.

10 Fairytales & Fairytale Retellings / Top Ten Tuesday #35



Hello & welcome to this week's Top Ten Tuesday. This week's topic is Fairytales & Fairytale Retellings. My last Top Ten Tuesday post was, 10 Books That Celebrate Diversity / Diverse Characters. 





  1. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas; I love Sarah's writing, and this is a fabulous telling of Beauty and the Beast, with a touch of a few other fairytales. *review coming soon to MMs*
  2. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh; I loved this retelling of One Thousand and One Nights. 
  3. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer; If you love fairytale retellings, this is the series you'll want to read! My favorite from the series is Scarlet.
  4. Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen; I LOVE the story of Robin Hood, and this retelling is one of my all time favorite fairy tale retellings.
  5. Cruel Beauty of Rosamund Hodge; This is another fabulous Beauty & The Best retelling that I loved!
  6. The Artisans by Julie Reece; An electrifying retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I loved this read!
  7. Entwined by Heather Dixon; I loved Heather Dixon's retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses.
  8. Goddess by Josephine Angelini; If you love Greek mythology, pick up this series!
  9. Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson; Two words, Norse Mythology! 
  10. Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay; Fans of twisted fairytales will enjoy this spin on the story of Sleeping Beauty. 
Other Great Fairytale Retellings: 
  1. Everneath by Brodi Ashton; Greek Mythology
  2. Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce; A great Little Red Riding Hood retelling for YA readers.
  3. Splintered by A.G. Howard; A fabulously twisted retelling of Alice and Wonderland. 
These are just a few of the fairytale retellings I've read and really enjoyed. I've got a shelf full of retellings to still read, which I wish I could say I've read in time for this post. I know there are a lot of great fairytale retellings in the YA world. What are some of your favorite retellings?


If you're looking for some other great fairytale retellings, check out this list here from Epic Reads. *Click image to enlarge.

OUT TODAY! August 4th, 2015 Edition

Hello readers! Are you looking for something new to read? Check out today's new YA releases!

Week of August 4th



    Which books are you looking forward to reading? 

    Monday, August 3, 2015

    Get Your Exclusive First Look at ABC Family's @ShadowhuntersTV from EW

    Entertainment Weekly has your exclusive first look at ABC Family's Shadowhunters TV. They shared these three exclusive photos from the set, here. Click each picture to enlarge. 


    Jace & Clary are headed into the City of Bones, which will air in the second episode. 


    Airing in episode three, Jace, Clary, Alec and Isabelle are on a rescue mission.


    Jace & Clary, pictured with Magnus, crashed a Warlock party.


    Shadowhunters TV is set to air in early 2016 on ABC Family, and is based on Cassandra Clare's The Mortal Instruments book series. Find out more about the pictures featured above, here

    WHILE YOU WERE GONE by Amy K. Nichols / Book Trailer Reveal

    Hello and welcome to today's book trailer reveal. I'm so thrilled to share the trailer for for Amy K. Nichols's WHILE YOU WERE GONE, with you. This is the second book in Amy's Duplexity duologyand is being released TOMORROW! Before you check out the trailer, here's a little bit about the book. 

    ABOUT WHILE YOU WERE GONE



    By: Amy K. Nichols
    Published by: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers hardcover
    On sale: August 4, 2015 -TOMORROW
    Series: Duplexity #2 (This is a duology series)
    Ages 12 and up
    Hardcover: 978-0-385-75392-0 | $17.99 | $20.99 Can. | 304 pages
    Ebook: 978-0-385-75394-4| $10.99 
    Hardcover Library Binding: 978-0-385-75393-7| US $20.99 | Can. $24.99

    Eevee is a promising young artist and the governor's daughter in a city where censorship is everywhere and security is everything. When a fire devastates her exhibition--years in the making--her dreams of attending an elite art institute are dashed. She's struggling to find inspiration when she meets Danny.

    Raised in a foster home, Danny's life has always been full of hurt and hardship--until a glitch in the universe changes everything. Suddenly Danny is living in a home he's never seen with the parents he's never known. It's like he's a new Danny--but this alternate self has secrets--ties to an underground anarchist group that have already landed him in hot water. When he starts to develop feelings for Eevee he's even more disturbed to learn that he might have started the fire that ruined her work. As Danny sifts through clues from his past and Eevee attempts to piece together her future, they uncover a secret that's bigger than both of them. Together, they must correct the breach between the worlds before it's too late.

    CHECK OUT THE BOOK TRAILER!




    I really like this book trailer. My first thought was, I'd pick the book up based on the trailer alone. My second thought, is that I feel like it compliments the book well. What do you think of the trailer? 

     WHILE YOU WERE GONE by Amy K. Nichols (Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers | On sale August 4, 2015 | Ages 12 and up). Told with alternating perspectives, WHILE YOU WERE GONE explores the chaos theory, time travel, and their philosophical implications, and is a riveting read for both teens and adults.

    FAST HOOKS!
    ·         Sci-Fi + Romance: Similar to Cinder or Across the Universe, there is some serious chemistry to draw girl readers.
    ·         Brainy, Kicka** Heroine: Eevee is a brilliant artist who eschews her privileged background to stand up for what is right.
    ·         Crossover Appeal: Adult-friendly concept and technology themes make this a natural crossover read.


    Praise for Book One in the Duplexity duology, NOW THAT YOU’RE HERE:
    "The perfect blend of sci-fi and swoons, Now That You're Here is like no other book I've read. Riveting, romantic and utterly original,
    it kept me up late!" 
    – Amie Kaufman, author of These Broken Stars and Illuminae

    "Dynamic, dizzying, and downright daring, Now That You're Here kept me guessing until the end, and ready for the next."
    – Shannon Messenger, author of Let the Sky Fall


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    AMY K. NICHOLS lives on the edge of the Phoenix desert with her husband and children. In the evenings, she enjoys sitting outside, counting bats and naming stars. NOW THAT YOU'RE HERE is her first novel and WHILE YOU WERE GONE is her second. Visit her online at www.amyknichols.com. Follow her on Twitter @AmyKNichols.


    Sunday, August 2, 2015

    August 2015 YA Releases



    It's August, and that means summer is winding down, and school will be starting  soon... NOOOO! I'm not ready for school to start just yet. Luckily there's still a few more weeks to get your summer reading done. There are some awesome YA books being released this month. Check out the AUGUST YA RELEASES below to wrap up your summer reading list! *Click on the book's title to be taking to it's Goodreads page*

    Week of August 4th


    Week of August 11th


    Week of August 18th


    Week of August 25th



    I'm really looking forward to this month's releases! Which books are you looking forward to reading?

    Don't see a YA book you know is being released this month? Just leave me a comment with the title, the author, and the publisher, and I'll add it to the list. This list is complied from arcs/books on my TBR book case, Epic Reads's Most Anticipated YA Books To Read in August list, and releases I found on Goodreads. 

    Saturday, August 1, 2015

    #KeepShadowhuntersFaithful Twitter Chat



    Shadowhunter fans, join a world wide fandom chat happening now on Twitter! Just use the  to join! Share with Shadowhunter fans from around the world, what you hope to see in the ShadowhuntersTV series. And, share what you hope the tv series writers stay faithful to, based on The Mortal Instruments book series, by Cassandra Clare. Join the fun, which kicked off at 2 pm CST!

    @ShadowhuntersTV Series: Weekly Wrap-Up



    Happy Saturday Shadowhunters! Each week I recap the latest Tweets the cast and crew share from the ShadowhuntersTV set. Check out this week's ShadowhuntersTV weekly wrap up. That is, if you're not too busy being distracted about the picture above. 

    * * * * * * * * * * * * 

    From @ShadowhuntersTV 
    Check out a few of the pictures from Jade Wolf and find out more about it via ShadowhuntersTV post here




    Be sure to check out ShadowhuntersTV website www.shadowhunterstv.com & follow them on Facebook.

    From the Cast:


    LEIGH BARDUGO Is Coming to Book People on 9/29!



    Leigh Bardugo is coming to Austin, TX on 9/29/15!


    Book People announced yesterday that Leigh Bardugo will be stopping by their store on 9/29/15 at 7 pm for her SIX OF CROWS MAGIC & MAYHEM TOUR!! Check out the signing details here, as well as pre-order your copy! Book People ships world wide! *Pictures source: Book People

    ABOUT SIX OF CROWS

    Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price--and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...
    A convict with a thirst for revenge.
    A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.
    A runaway with a privileged past.
    A spy known as the Wraith.
    A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.
    A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.
    Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction--if they don't kill each other first.

    FIND ME IF YOU DARE by Vicki Leigh / Cover Reveal

    Hello and welcome to today's cover reveal for Vicki Leigh's FIND ME IF YOU DARE, book #2 in her DREAMCATCHER Series. Keep reading to out more about Vicki's upcoming release, and find out how to enter her 20+ book giveaway.


    By: Vicki Leigh
    Published by: Curiosity Quills Press
    To Be Released on: December 1, 2015
    Series: Dreamcatcher #2

    They may have won the first battle, but the Apocalypse has just begun.

    Five weeks have passed since the battle that left Rome and Columbus in ruins. Sheltered in the hidden city of Caelum, Daniel and Kayla train alongside over one hundred Magus and Protectors, hoping that their unified ranks will be enough to take down their greatest threat yet: Richard, his followers, and his horde of Nightmares. Then a fallen comrade is returned to Caelum with a message carved into his chest and a note referencing the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and Daniel knows their time for training is over.

    Finally understanding Richard’s plans for Kayla and the three other Magus born on Halloween, Daniel and the rest of Caelum’s volunteers scout the U.S. in a desperate attempt to stop their enemy before he can unleash his first Horseman. But when massive attacks claim thousands of lives, people all over the world begin to fall ill—including those Daniel and Kayla care about the most.

    With the Horseman of Pestilence released, Daniel knows it’s time to step aside and let Kayla take the lead. Only she has the power to rival her father’s. But when Richard’s plot turns out to be darker than they imagined, their fight is met with more death and destruction—and an enemy who might be unbeatable, after all.


    The first book in the Dreamcatcher series, Catch Me When I Fall, is ONLY .99 CENTS this weekend on Amazon!

    Stop by Vicki's Tumblr page vickileighauthor.tumblr.com to enter to win an awesome 22 BOOK giveaway. The list of items people can win: 
    • 20 copies of CATCH ME WHEN I FALL (Book One of the Dreamcatcher Series)
    • a signed copy of CITY LOVE by Susane Colasanti
    • The Vampire Diaries wall poster of Damon Salvatore
    • a copy of SHADOW STUDY by Maria V. Snyder
    • 5 handmade dream catchers
    • a poster of the SORCERER HEIR series, signed by Cinda Chima
    • 2 posters of the cover of DOON, signed by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon. 
    • a poster of the cover of DAMSEL DISTRESSED, signed by Kelsey Macke
    • a poster of Melissa Lander's ALIENATED cover

    Friday, July 31, 2015

    EVERY LAST BREATH by Jennifer L. Armentrout / Giveaway

    HAPPY FRIDAY! As promised earlier this week, I am giving away a copy of EVERY LAST BREATH by Jennifer Armentrout. I LOVED this book. It's so good and everything I had hoped it would be and more. Before I share the details of my international giveaway, here's a little bit about the book.

    About Every Last Breath


    By: Jennifer L. Armentrout
    Published by: Harlequin Teen
    Released on: 7.28.15
    Series: The Dark Elements #3
    Rating: 5 Stars - I LOVED IT
    Source: Book Gifted from Publisher
    Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
    Add it to Goodreads

    Some loves will last 'til your dying breath

    Every choice has consequences—but seventeen-year-old Layla faces tougher choices than most. Light or darkness. Wickedly sexy demon prince Roth, or Zayne, the gorgeous, protective Warden she never thought could be hers. Hardest of all, Layla has to decide which side of herself to trust.

    Layla has a new problem, too. A Lilin—the deadliest of demons—has been unleashed, wreaking havoc on those around her…including her best friend. To keep Sam from a fate much, much worse than death, Layla must strike a deal with the enemy while saving her city—and her race—from destruction.

    Torn between two worlds and two different boys, Layla has no certainties, least of all survival, especially when an old bargain comes back to haunt them all. But sometimes, when secrets are everywhere and the truth seems unknowable, you have to listen to your heart, pick a side—and then fight like hell…

    This was the perfect ending for one of my favorite series. I loved all that Armentrout gave me in Every Last Breath. This book was sooooooo good. My fangirl review will be posted soon. 


    THE GIVEAWAY



    Earlier this week a fabulous surprise package arrived full of EVERY LAST BREATH goodies from Harlequin Teen. Today I want to share in the Every Last Breath love, and giveaway one of the copies of the book I received (pictured above). 

    1 lucky winner can enter to win a copy of EVERY LAST BREATH. This will be open internationally! Please be sure to read through the terms & conditions before entering to win. Those can be found on the bottom of the form below. 

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Happy Birthday to J.K. Rowling



     HAPPY BIRTHDAY to one of our favorite children's authors, J.K. Rowling! In honor of her, I'm sharing some of my favorite quotes from her beloved Happy Potter series.